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'Twas on a certain day I went from home,
As hawking pedlars are so apt to roam;
When I return'd, the time was rather late,
My wife inform’d me what I now repeat.
She said, “Here's been a vehicle to-day,
And close by us the driver made a stay :
A little cart, drove by a little lass,
Who at our house pull'd in, and stopp'd the ass.
• She straightly ask'd if Huntington liv'd here,
But would not tell from whence she came, nor where :
She brought this weighty burden to my door,
And then return'd the way she came before.'
We held a council, but could not devise
Who was the benefactor in disguise;
At last 'twas settled, if conjecture's true,
The lot we cast, the sentence fell to you.
The little equipage of cart and ilss
Was something like what Shunem brought to pass ;
If wrong conjectur’d, take it not amiss ;
To tell the truth my poem sprung from this.
My frothy head has often fell to rhyme,
The work I stif'd for the want of time,
Till Friday last appear'd a leisure day,
In which I thought to send this swarm away.
I meant, at first, to send my thoughts to you,
And not expose the same to public view;
I only meant to send an homely fare,
And, with yourself, your other self a share.
But so it fell, when I began to write,
That heart and head brought many things to light,
Much more than I at first purpos'd to send,
For I at night had thirty verses penn'd.
I found my mind entangl'd in a strait,
How I should send this burden'd vessel's freight;
And when constrain'd some other way to seek,
'Twas fix'd to write, and send it once a week.
Again, I thought a month might turn about
Before I got this springing matter out,
While you, from day to day, might long to see
The next epistle that might come from me.
At last, I thought I'd send it from the press,
But send my pious friend the first address;
And after that, expose the whole to view,
That others might be fed as well as you.
Thus I contriv’d, and fix'd the scheme at last,
And now present you with this strange repast :
Accept my present, let it not displease;
Be thou enlarg'd, and hive this swarm of bees.
Methinks you aim'd to have your gift conceal'd,
And not in public print to be reveal’d;
But women's pleas to men's replies give place,
A priest may speak where they must hold their peace.
Give my respects to your superior, lord,
As you and him in things divine accord;
If entertain'd with what I send to thee,
I hope, in turn, you'll send a line to me.
Forget me not when both engag'd in pray'r,
A prodigal return'd should have a share ;
God well approves of charity divine,
And you, in turn, shall have a share in mine.
The chosen race, while in their native state,
Are still preserv’d, in Christ, to life, by fate;
Jehovah's eye their various steps surveys,
And lends his sacred aid through all their ways.
The distant spot, the time, and means decreed,
When they shall hear, and choose the promis'd seed;
Their future husbands' will shall be reveal'd,
And they to love shall sweet subjection yield.
A pious matron, in the days of old,
A sheep appointed for the Shepherd's fold,
A woman great, the chosen Shunamite,
Decreed, by fate, to be the Lord's delight:
A prophet grave, upon a certain day,
By God's appointment was to pass that way;
Her feet were guided with this saint to meet,
And she constrain'd the man of God to eat.