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The Complaints of the Poor.
And wherefore do the poor complain?
The rich man ask'd of me,Come, walk abroad with me, I said,
And I will answer thee.
'Twas evening, and the frozen streets
Were cheerless to behold; And we were wrapt and coated well,
And yet we both were cold.
We met an old bare-headed man,
His locks were few and white, J ask'd him what he did abroad
In that cold winter night?
'Twas bitter keen, indeed, he said,
But at home no fire had he, And therefore he had come abroad
To ask for charity.
We met a young bare-footed child,
And she begged loud and bold, I asked her what she did abroad
When the wind did blow so cold ?
She said her father was at home,
And he lay sick in bed ;
Abroad, to beg her bread.
We saw a woman sitting down
Upon a stone to rest;
And another at her breast.
1 ask'd her why she loitered there,
When the wind it was so chill ?
That screamed behind, be still.
She told us that her husband served
A soldier far away ;
Was begging back her way.
I turned me to the rich man then,
For silently stood he;
And these have answered thee.-Southey.
Ri'pening; maturing. Dispers'ing; scattering. Stri'king; remarkable. Distinguishes; marks out. Decli'ning; decaying. Denominated; called, styled. Melancholy; gloomy. Sensa'tions ; feelings. Grad'ual; progressive. Mon'uments; memorials. Desola'tion; destruction, loneliness. For'cibly ; strongly. Suggest'; hint, intimate. Reflecting; thoughtful, considerate. Compar'ison ; resemblance. Fu'gitive; fleeting, transient.
Now the leaf
As the ripening and dispersing of seeds is a striking character of October; so the fall of the leaf distinguishes the month of November. From this circumstance the whole declining season of the year is often, in common language, denominated the fall.' The melancholy sensations which at
tend this gradual death of vegetable nature, by which the trees are stripped of all their beauty, and left so many monuments of decay and desolation, forcibly suggest to the reflecting mind an apt comparison for the fugitive generations of
This quick succession of springing and falling leaves has been thus beautifully plied by Homer:
Like leaves on trees the race of man is found,
So flourish these, when those are pass'd away. The loss of verdure, together with the shortened day, the diminished warmth, and frequent rains, justify the title of the gloomy month of November : and it seems to be felt by other animals as well as by man.
In pensive guise
Thomson. Intervals, however, of clear and pleasant weather occasionally happen; and in general the autumval months are, in our island, softer and less variable than the corresponding ones in spring.
In fair weather the mornings are sharp; but the hoar frost, or thin ice, soon vanishes before the rising sun.
Sudden storms of wind and rain frequently occur, which at once strip the trees of their faded leaves, and reduce them to their state of withered nakedness.
One of the first trees that becomes naked is the walnut, which is quickly succeeded by the mulberry, horse chesnut, sycamore, lime, and ash; the elm retains its verdure for some time longer; the beech and oak are the latest forest trees in casting their leaves : apple and peach-trees often remain green till the latter end of November ; and pollard oaks, and young beeches, lose not their withered leaves, till they are pushed off by the new ones of the succeeding spring.
The wood-pigeon, or stock-dove, the latest in its arrival of the winter birds of passage, makes its appearance about the middle of the month. When pinched by hunger, it will eat the young tops of turnips, but beech mast is its favourite food, and before the old beech woods in the southern parts of the island were so much thinned, the multitudes of stock-doves that annually resorted thither, probably from Sweden and the north of Germany, were almost incredible. They might be seen, like rooks, in long strings of a thousand, or more, directing their evening Right to the thick woods, where they were shot in great numbers by the fowlers who waited their arrival.
Salmon now begin to ascend the rivers in order to spawn; they are extremely active fishes, and will force their way almost to the source of the most rapid streams, overcoming with surprising agility cataracts and other obstacles to their passage. There are several salmon leaps, as they are called, in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, at which numbers of fish are taken by nets or baskets placed under the fall, into which they are carried after an unsuccessful leap.
The farmer endeavours to finish all his ploughing in the course of this month, and then lays op his instruments till the next spring.
Cattle and horses are taken out of the exhausted pastures, and kept in the yard or stable. Hogs are put up to fatten. Sheep are turned into the turnip-field, or in stormy weather fed with hay at the rick. Bees require to be moved under shelter, and pigeons in the dove-house to be fed.
Picture of the Seasons.
Up! quit thy bower, late wears the hour,
Up! maiden fair, and bind thy hair,
to the field are gone.