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The Hare and Tortoise, a Fable.
On a green hillock by the shady road
My dwelling stands,--a sweet recluse abode !
And o'er my darken'd casement interwine.
The fragrant brier, the woodbine, and the vine.
Before my door the box-edg’d border lies,
Where flowers of mint and thyme and tansy rise ;
Along my wall the yellow stonecrop grows,
And the red houseleek on my brown thatch blows.
Spred on the slope of yon steep western hill,
My fruitful orchard shelters all the vill ;
There pear-trees tall their tops aspiring show,
And apple-trees their branches mix below.
A FORWARD hare, of swiftness vain, i,
The genius of the neighb'ring plain,
Would oft deride the drudging crowd:
For geniuses are ever proud,
84 The Hare and Tortoise, a Fable.
He'd boast, his flight 't were vain to follow,
For dog and horse he'd beat them hollow-
Nay, if he put forth all his strength,
Outstrip his brethren half a length.
A tortoise heard his vain oration,
A id vented thus his indignation :
6 () puss! it bodes thee dire disgrace
When I defy thee to the race.
Come, 't is a match : nay, no denial,
I lay my shell upon the trial.”
'Twas · Done and done,' all fair, 'a bet,'
Judges prepar'd, and distance set.
The scamp'ring hare outstripp’d the wind;
The creeping tortoise lagg’d behind,
And scarce had pass’d a single pole
When puss had almost reach'd the goal.
“ Friend tortoise," quoth the jeering hare,
“ Your burthen's more than you can bear ;
To help your speed it were as well *
That I should ease you of your shell :
Jog on a little faster, pr’ythee :
I'll take a nap, and then be with thee.'
The Orphan Boy.
The tortoise heard his taunting jeer,
But still resolv'd to persevere;
On to the goal securely crept,
While puss unknowing soundly slept.
The bets were won, the hare awake,
When thus the victor tortoise spake :
« Puss, though I own thy quicker parts,
Things are not always done by starts.
You may deride my awkward pace;
But now and steady wins the race."
· THE ORPHAN BOY.
ALAS! I am an orphan boy,
With nought on earth to cheer 'my heart;
No father's love, no mother's joy,
Nor kin nor kind to take my part.
My lodging is the cold, cold ground;
I eat the bread of charity;
And when the kiss of love goes round
There is no kiss, alas! for me.
85 : The Orphan Bog.
Yet once I had a father dear,
A mother too I wont to prize, ,
With ready hand to wipe the tear,
li chanc'd a transient tear to rise.
But cause of tears was rarely found;
For all my heart was youthful glee:
And, when the kiss of love went round,
How sweet a kiss there was for me!
But ha! there came a war they say.--
What is a war I cannot tell;
But drums and fifes did sweetly play, .
And loudly rang our village bell.
In truth, it was a pretty found
I thought, nor could I thence foresee
That, when the kiss of love went round,
There soon should be no kiss for me.
A scarlet coat my father took, ..
And sword as bright as bright could be;
And feathers, that so gayiy look,
All in a shining cap had he.
The Orphan Boy. . 87, Then how my little heart did bound ! Alas! I thought it fine to see; Nor dreamt that, when the kiss went round, There foon should be no kiss for me.
At length the bell again did ring;
There was a victory, they said ;
'T was what my father said he'd bring;
But ha! it brought my father dead.
My mother shriek’d: her heart was woe:
She clafp'd me to her trembling knee.
O God! that you may never know
How wild a kiss she gave to me!
But once again--but once again,
These lips a mother's kisses felt.
That once again—that once again-
The tale a heart of stone would melt--
'T was when, upon her death-bed laid,
O God! O God! that fight to see!
“ My child !—my child !” she feebly said,
And gave a parting kiss to me.