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While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bosom wrought
With all the travail of uncertain thought:
His partner's acts without their cause appear;
'T was there a vice, and seemed a madness here;
Detesting that, and pitying this, he goes,
Lost and confounded with the various shows.

Now night's dim shades again involve the sky;
Again the wand'rers want a place to lie;
Again they search, and find a lodging nigh:
The soil improved around, the mansion neat,
And neither poorly low nor idly great;
It seemed to speak its master's turn of mind—
Content, and not for praise, but virtue, kind.
Hither the walkers turn with weary feet,
Then bless the mansion and the master greet.
Their greeting, fair bestowed, with modest guise
The courteous master hears, and thus replies:
"Without a vain, without a grudging heart,
To Him Who gives us all I yield a part;
From Him you come, for Him accept it here,
A frank and sober more than costly cheer."
He spoke, and bid the welcome table spread,
Then talked of virtue till the time of bed,
When the grave household round his hall repair,
Warned by a bell, and close the hours with pray'r.
At length the world, renewed by calm repose,
Was strong for toil; the dappled morn arose.
Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept
Near the closed cradle where an infant slept,
And writhed his neck: the landlord's little pride
(O strange return!) grew black and gasped and died!
Horror of horrors! what! his only son!
How looked our hermit when the fact was done?
Not hell, though hell's black jaws in sunder part
And breathe blue fire, could more assault his heart.
Confused, and struck with silence at the deed,
He flies, but, trembling, fails to fly with speed;
His steps the youth pursues. The country lay
Perplexed with roads; a servant showed the way.
A river crossed the path; the passage o'er
Was nice to find; the servant trod before;

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Long arms of oaks an open bridge supplied,
And deep the waves beneath the bending glide:
The youth, who seemed to watch a time to sin,
Approached the careless guide, and thrust him in;
Plunging he falls, and, rising, lifts his head,
Then flashing turns and sinks among the dead.

Wild, sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes;
He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries,
"Detested wretch!"-but scarce his speech began,
When the strange partner seemed no longer man:
His youthful face grew more serenely sweet;
His robe turned white, and flowed upon his feet;
Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair;
Celestial odours breathe through purpled air;
And wings, whose colours glittered on the day,
Wide at his back their gradual plumes display.
The form ethereal bursts upon his sight,
And moves in all the majesty of light.
Though loud at first the pilgrim's passion grew,
Sudden he gazed, and wist not what to do;
Surprise in secret chains his words suspends,
And in a calm his settling temper ends.
But silence here the beauteous angel broke;
The voice of music ravished as he spoke :

"Thy pray'r, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown,
In sweet memorial rise before the throne:
These charms success in our bright region find,
And force an angel down to calm thy mind;
For this commissioned, I forsook the sky-
Nay, cease to kneel! thy fellow-servant I.

"Then know the truth of government divine,
And let these scruples be no longer thine.
The Maker justly claims that world He made;
In this the right of Providence is laid;
Its sacred majesty through all depends
On using second means to work His ends:
'Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye,
The Pow'r exerts His attributes on high,
Your actions uses, not controls your will,
And bids the doubting sons of men be still.
What strange events can strike with more surprise

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.

Than those which lately strook thy wond'ring eyes?
Yet, taught by these, confess th' Almighty just,
And where you can't unriddle, learn to trust!

"The great vain man, who fared on costly food,
Whose life was too luxurious to be good,
Who made his iv'ry stands with goblets shine,
And forced his guests to morning draughts of wine,
Has, with the cup, the graceless custom lost,
And still he welcomes but with less of cost.
The mean, suspicious wretch, whose bolted door
Ne'er moved in duty to the wand'ring poor,
With him I left the cup, to teach his mind
That Heav'n can bless if mortals will be kind.
Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl,
And feels compassion touch his grateful soul.
Thus artists melt the sullen ore of lead
With heaping coals of fire upon its head;
In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow,
And, loose from dross, the silver runs below.
Long had our pious friend in virtue trod,
But now the child half weaned his heart from God;
Child of his age, for him he lived in pain,
And measured back his steps to earth again.
To what excesses had his dotage run!
But God, to save the father, took the son.
To all but thee in fits he seemed to go,

And 't was my ministry to deal the blow.
The poor fond parent, humbled in the dust,
Now owns in tears the punishment was just.
But how had all his fortune felt a wrack
Had that false servant sped in safety back!
This night his treasured heaps he meant to steal,
And what a fund of charity would fail!

"Thus Heav'n instructs thy mind: this trial o'er, Depart in peace, resign, and sin no more!"

On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew;
The sage stood wond'ring as the seraph flew :
Thus looked Elisha, when, to mount on high,
His master took the chariot of the sky;
The fiery pomp, ascending, left the view;
The prophet gazed, and wished to follow too.

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The bending hermit here a pray'r begun:

"Lord, as in heaven, on earth Thy will be done!" Then, gladly turning, sought his ancient place, And passed a life of piety and peace.

JOHN GAY

FROM

THE SHEPHERD'S WEEK

THURSDAY, OR THE SPELL

Hobnelia, seated in a dreary vale,

In pensive mood rehearsed her piteous tale.
Her piteous tale the winds in sighs bemoan,
And pining Echo answers groan for groan.

1721.

I rue the day, a rueful day I trow,
The woeful day, a day indeed of woe!
When Lubberkin to town his cattle drove:
A maiden fine bedight he hapt to love;
The maiden fine bedight his love retains,
And for the village he forsakes the plains.
Return, my Lubberkin! these ditties hear!
Spells will I try, and spells shall ease my care.

With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.
When first the year I heard the cuckoo sing
And call with welcome note the budding spring,
I straightway set a-running with such haste,
Deb'rah that won the smock scarce ran so fast;
Till, spent for lack of breath, quite weary grown,
Upon a rising bank I sat adown,

Then doffed my shoe, and by my troth, I swear,
Therein I spied this yellow frizzled hair,
As like to Lubberkin's in curl and hue

As if upon his comely pate it grew.

With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.

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At eve last Midsummer no sleep I sought,
But to the field a bag of hempseed brought.
I scattered round the seed on ev'ry side,
And three times in a trembling accent cried,
"This hempseed with my virgin hand I sow;
Who shall my true-love be the crop shall mow."
I straight looked back, and, if my eyes speak truth,
With his keen scythe behind me came the youth.

With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.
Last Valentine, the day when birds of kind
Their paramours with mutual chirpings find,
I rearly rose, just at the break of day,
Before the sun had chased the stars away;
A-field I went, amid the morning dew,
To milk my kine (for so should huswives do):
Thee first I spied; and the first swain we see,
In spite of fortune shall our true-love be.
See, Lubberkin, each bird his partner take;

And canst thou then thy sweetheart dear forsake?
With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.

Last May Day fair I searched to find a snail
That might my secret lover's name reveal.
Upon a gooseberry-bush a snail I found,
For always snails near sweetest fruit abound.
I seized the vermin, home I quickly sped,
And on the hearth the milk-white embers spread:
Slow crawled the snail, and, if I right can spell,
In the soft ashes marked a curious L.

Oh, may this wondrous omen lucky prove!
For L is found in "Lubberkin" and "Love."

With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,
And turn me thrice around, around, around.
Two hazel-nuts I threw into the flame,

And to each nut I gave a sweetheart's name.
This with the loudest bounce me sore amazed,
That in a flame of brightest colour blazed.
As blazed the nut so may thy passion grow,
For 't was thy nut that did so brightly glow.

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