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The Sluggard.

'Tis the voice of the sluggard—I heard him complain,
You have wak'd me too soon, I must slumber again.”
As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed
Turns his sides, and his shoulders, and his heavy head.
A little more sleep, and a little more slumber ;
Thus he wastes half his days, and his hours without number:
And when he gets up, he sits folding his hands,
Or walks about saunt'ring, or trifling he stands.
I pass'd by his garden, and saw the wild brier,
The thorn, and the thistle, grow broader and higher.
The clothes that hang on him are turning to rags;
And his money still wastes, till he starves or he begs.
I made him a visit, still hoping to find
He had ta'en better care for improving his mind :
He told me his dreams, talk'd of eating and drinking ;
But he scarce reads his Bible, and never loves thinking.
Said I then to my heart, “Here's a lesson for me;
That man's but a picture of what I might be :
But thanks to my friends for their care in my breeding,
Who taught me betimes to love working and reading!”

WATTS.

The Pet Lamb.

THE dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink;
I heard a voice : it said, “Drink, pretty creature, drink !"
And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied,
A snow-white mountain lamb, with a maiden at its side.
No other sheep were near, the lamb was all alone,
And by a slender cord was tether'd to a stone;
With one knee on the grass did the little maiden kneel,
While to the mountain lamb she gave its evening meal.

'Twas little Barbara Lethwaite, a child of beauty rare,
I watch'd them with delight; they were a lovely pair.
And now with empty can, the maiden turn'd away,
But ere ten yards were gone, her footsteps did she stay.
Towards the lamb she look’d; and from that shady place
I, unobserv’d, could see the workings of her face :
If nature to her tongue could measur'd numbers bring,
Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little maid would sing.
“What ails thee, young one? what? why pull so at thy

cord ?
Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and board ?
Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can be :
Rest, little young one, rest; what is't that aileth thee?
What is it thou wouldst seek? What's wanting to thy heart?
Thy limbs are they not strong ? and beautiful thou art :
This grass is tender grass ; these flow'rs they have no peers;
And that green corn all day is rustling in thy ears.
If the sun is shining hot, do but stretch thy woollen chain;
This beech is standing by, its covert thou can’st gain :
For rain and mountain storms the like thou need’st not fear,
The rain and storm are things that scarcely can come here.
Rest, little young one, rest; thou hast forgot the day
When

my

father found thee first in places far away: Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert own’d by none, And thy mother from thy side for evermore was gone. He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee home; A blessed day for thee! then whither wouldst thou roam ? A faithful nurse thou hast; the dam that did thee yean Upon the mountain tops, no kinder could have been. Thou know'st that, twice a day, I've brought thee, in this can, Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran : And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with dew, I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is and new.

It will not, will not rest!-Poor creature ! can it be,
That 'tis thy mother's heart, which is working so in thee?
Things that I know not of, perhaps to thee are dear,
And dreams of things which thou canst neither see nor hear.
Alas! the mountain tops which look so green and fair;-
I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come there :
The little brooks, that seem all pastime and all play,
When they are angry, roar like lions for their prey.
Here thou need’st not dread the raven in the sky;
He will not come to thee; our cottage is hard by.
Night and day thou art safe as living thing can be:
Be happy, then, and rest; what is't that aileth thee?"

WORDSWORTH.

A Wasp and a Bee.

A wasp met a beo that was just buzzing by,
And he said, “Little cousin, can you tell me why,
You are loved so much better by people than I ?
“My back shines as bright and as yellow as gold,
And my shape is most elegant, too, to behold;
Yet nobody likes me for that, I am told.
“Ah! friend,” said the bee, “It is all very true,
But if I were half as much mischief to do,
Then people would love me no better than you.
“You can boast a fine shape, and a delicate wing,
You are perfectly handsome, but yet there's one thing
That can't be put up with,—and that is your sting:
“My coat is quite homely and plain, as you see,
Yet nobody ever is angry with me,-
Because I'm a useful and innocent bee."
From this little story let people beware,
Because, like the wasp, if ill-natured they are,
They will never be loved, though they're ever so fair.

JANE TAYLOR.

The Pine Apples and the Bee.

The pine-apples, in triple row,
Were basking hot, and all in blow;
A bee of most discerning taste
Perceived the fragrance as he passed ;
On eager wing the spoiler came,
And searched for crannies in the frame,
Urged his attempt on every side,
To every pane his trunk applied ;
But still in vain—the frame was tight,
And only pervious to the light:
Thus having wasted half the day,
He trimmed his flight another way.
Our dear delights are often such,
Exposed to view, but not to touch :
The sight our foolish heart inflames,
We long for pine-apples in frames :
With hopeless wish, one looks and lingers;
One breaks the glass, and cuts his fingers;
But those whom truth and wisdom lead,
Can gather honey from a weed.

COWPER.

The Ant.

THESE emmets, how little they are in our eyes !
We tread them to dust, and a troop of them dies

Without our regard or concern :
Yet as wise as we are, if we went to their school,
There's many a sluggard and many a fool

Some lessons of wisdom might learn.
They don't wear their time out in sleeping or play,
But gather up corn in a sunshiny day,

And for winter they lay up their stores ;
They manage their work in such regular forms,
One would think they foresaw all the frosts and the storms,

And so brought their food within doors.

But I have less sense than a poor creeping ant,
If I take not due care for the things I shall want,

Nor provide against dangers in time;
When death and old age shall stare in my face,
What a wretch shall I be in the end of my days,

If I trifle away all their prime!
Now, now while my strength and my youth are in bloom,
Let me think what shall save me when sickness shall come,

And pray that my sins be forgiven.
Let me read in good books, and believe and obey,
That when death turns me out of this cottage of clay,

I may dwell in a palace in heaven.

WATTS.

The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf.

A WOLF, with hunger fierce and bold,
Ravag'd the plains, and thinn'd the fold :
Deep in the wood secure he lay,
The thefts of night regal'd the day.
In vain the shepherd's wakeful care
Hath spread the toils, and watch'd the snare :
In vain the dog pursu'd his pace;
The fleeter robber mock'd the chase.
As Lightfoot rang'd the forest round,
By chance his foe's retreat he found.

Let us awhile the war suspend,
And reason as from friend to friend.

A truce ! replies the wolf. 'Tis done!
The dog the parley thus begun :-

How can that strong intrepid mind
Attack a weak defenceless kind ?
Those jaws should prey on nobler food,
And drink the boar's and lion's blood.
Great souls with gen'rous pity melt,
Which coward tyrants never felt.
How harmless is our fleecy care !
Be brave, and let thy mercy spare.

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