Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors]

The child who many fathers share,
Hath feldom known a father's care.
'Tis thus in friendship ; who depend
On maoy, rarely find a friend.

A hare, who, in a civil way,
Comply'd with every thing, like gay,
Was known by all the bestial train,
Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain,
Her care was, never to offend ;
And every creature was her friend.

As forth she went, at early dawn,
To talte the dew-besprinkled lawn,
Behind she hears the hunter's cries,
And from the deep-mouth'd thunder Aies.
She starts, the stops, the pants for breath;
She hears the near advance of death ;
She doubles to mislead the hound,
And measures back her mazy round;
Till, fainting in the public way,
Half-dead with fear she gasping lay.

What transport in her bosom grew,
When first the horse appear'd in view !
“Let me," says she, “your back afcend,
And owe my fafety to a friend,
You know my feet betray my flight ;
To friendship ev'ry burthen's light."

The horse replied, "Poor honest puss !
It grieves my lieart to see thee thus :
Be comforted, relief is near ;
For all your friends are in the rear."

She next the lately bull implor'd ;
And thus replied the mighty lord ;
“ Since ev'ry beast alive can tell
That I fincerely with you well,
I may, without offence, pretend
To take the freedom of a friend
To leave you thus might seem unkind ;
But see, the goat is just behind."

The goat remark'd her pulse was high,
Her languid head, her heavy eye ;
My back," says he, “ may do you harm ;
The sheep's at hand, and wool is warm."

The sheep was feeble, and complain'd
His fides a load of wool fustain's :

Said he was flow, confess'd his fears ;
For hounds eat sheep as well as bares.

She now the trotting calf address'd,
To save from death a friend distress'd.
“ Shall I,” says he, “ of tender age,
In this important care engage ?
Older and abler pafs'd you by :
How Atrong are those ! how weak, am 1!
Should I presume to bear you hence,
Those friends of mine might take offence.
Excuse me, then You know my heart,
But dearest friends, alas! must part.
How shall we all lament !--Adieu !
For, fee, the hounds are just in view." GAR.


The three warnings.
The tree of deepest root is found
Least willing till to quit the ground:
'Twas therefore faid by ancient fages,

That love of life increas'd with years
So much, that in our latter stages,
When pains grow sharp and sickness rages;
The greatelt love of life appears.

This great affection to believe,
Which all confess, but few perceive,
If old assertions can't prevail,
Be pleas'd to hear a modern tale.

When sports went round, and all were gay
On neighbour Dodson's wedding day,
Death call'd aside the jocund groom
With him into another room ;
And looking grave-" You must,” says he,

Quit your sweet bride, and come with me."
“ With you! and quit my Susan's fide!
With you !" the hapless husband cried ;
•“ Young as I am, 'tis monstrous hand !
Besides, in truth, I'm not prepar'd;
My thoughts on other matters go ;
This is my wedding-day you know."
What more he urg'd, I have not heard,

His reasons could not well be stronger í
So Death the poor delinquent spar'd,

And left to live a little longer.

Yet calling up a serious look,
His hour glais trembled while he spoke
“ Neighbour,” he said, “ Farewell. No more
Shall death disturb your mirthful hour :
And farther, to avoid all blame
Of cruelty upon my name,
To give you time for preparation,
And fit you for your future station,
Three feveral Warnings you shall have,'
Before you're fummon'd to the grave.
Willing for once I'll quit my prey,

And grant a kind reprieve ;
In hopes you'll have no more to say ;
But, when I call again this way,

Well pleas'd the world will leave."
To these conditions both confented,
And parted perfe&tly contented.

What next the hero of our tale befell,
How long he liv'd, how wise, how well,
How roundly he pursu'd his course,
And smok'd his pipe, and strok'd his horfe,

The willing muse shall tell :
He chaffer'd then, he bought, he fold,
Nor once perceiv'd his growing old,

Nor thought of Death as near ;
His friends not false, his wife no shrew,
Miny. his gains, his children few,

He pass'd his hours in peace.
But while he view'd his wealth increase,
While thus along life's dusty road
The beaten track content he trod,
Old time, whote hafte no mortal spares,
Uncall'd, unheeded, unawares,

Brought on his eightieth year,
And now, one night, in muling mood

As all alone he sate,
Th' unwelcome messenger of Fate

Once more before him stood.

Half-kill'd with anger and surprise,
" So foon return'd!" old Dodfon cries.

4. So foon, d'ye call it ?” Death replies :
Surely, my friend, you're but in jest !

Since I was here before
Tis fix-and-thirty years at least,

And you are now tour score."

[ocr errors]

“ So much the worse," the clown rejoin'd;
“ To spare the aged would be kind :
However, see your search be legal;
And your authority, is't regal ?
Else you are come on a fool's errand,
With but a secretary's warrant.
Besides, you promis'd me Three warnings,
Which I have look'd for nights and mornings !
But for that loss of time and ease,
I can recover damages

“I know," cries Death, “that at the best,
I feldom am a welcome guest ;
But don't be captious, friend, at least :
I little thought you'd still be able
To Itump about your farm and stable ;
Your years have run to a great length;
I wish you joy, tho', of your frength !"

6 Hold,” says the farmer, not fo falt i I have been lame these four years past.”

And no great wonder,” Death replies ::
“ However, you Atill keep your eyes ;
And sure, lo fee one's loves and friends,
For legs and arms would make amends."

“ Perhaps,” said Dodson, “ so it might, But latterly I've lost my fight.”

“ This is a shocking tale, 'tis true ;
But ftill there's comfort left for you :
Each trives your sadness to amuse ;
I warrant you hear all the news.

“ Chere's none,” cries he : ; " and if there were, I'm grown so deaf, I could not hear.”

Nay, then,” the spectre ftern rejoin'd,

“ These are unjustifiable yearnings ; “ If you are Lame, and Deat, and Blind, You've had your Three fufficient. Warnings. So, come along, no more we'll part ; He said, and touch'd him with his dart. And now old Dodson, turning pale, Yields to his fate--fo ends my tale.”

[ocr errors]



The Hermit.
Far in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age a rev'rend hermit grew ;

The mofs his bed, the cave his humble cell,
His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well ;
Remote from mali, with God he pati'd his days,
Prayer all his business, all his pleasure praise.

A life so facred, such ferene repose,
Seem'd heav'n itself, till one suggestion rose-
That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey ;
This fprung tome doubt of Providence's fway:
His hopes no more a certain prospect boast,
And all the tenour of his soul is loft.

So when a smooth expanse receives imprest
Calm nature's image on its wat'ry breast,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
And skies beneath with answering colours glow :
But if a stone the gentle sea divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on ev'ry side,
And glimm'ring fragments of a broken fun ;
Banks, trees, and skies, in thick

sorder run.
To clear this doubt, to know the world by fight,
To find if books or swains report it right,
(For yet by swains alone the world he knew,
Whose feet came wand'ring o'er the nightly dew,)
He quits his cell; the pilgrim-staff he bore,
And fix'd the scallop in his hat before ;
Then with the sun a riling journey went,
Sedate to think, and watching each event.

The morn was wasted in the pathless grafs,
And long and lonesome was the wild to pafs :
But when the southern sun had warm'd the day,
A youth came posting o'er a crofling way ;
His raiment decent, his complexion fair,
And soft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair :
Then near approaching, - Father, hail !” he cried,
And, “ Hail, my fon!" the rev'rend fire replied.
Words follow'd words, from question answer flow'd,
And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road ;
Till each with other pleas'd, and loath to part,
While in their age they differ, join in heart.
Thus Aands an aged elm in ivy bound,
Thus youihful ivy clasps an elm around.

Now funk the sun ; the clofing hour of day
Came onward, mantled o'er with fober gray ;
Nature in silence bid the world repose :
When near the road a fately palace rose.

« ПредишнаНапред »