صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني


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, whose haste no mortal spares, I
Uncall'd', unheeded, unawares、, |
Brought on his eightieth year. |
And now, one night, in musing mood,
As all alone he sate,

The unwelcome messenger of Fate, |
Once more before him stood. I

Half kill'd with anger, and surprise, |
"So soon return'd' !" | 'old Dodson cries,, |
2" So soon, d'ye call it?" | 'Death replies
"Surely, my friend, you're but, in jest!a |
Since I was here before, |

'Tis six-and-thirty years', at least,

And you are now fourscore." |


"So much the worse," 'the clown rejoin'd, |
To spare the aged would be kind: |
However, see your search be le'gal;!
And your author'ity is 't re'gal? |
Else you are come on a fool's' errand, |
With but a secretary's warrant. |

Beside, you promis'd me Three War'nings |
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 seldom am a welcome guest; |

But don't be captious, friend, at least : |
I little thought you'd still be able, I
To stump about your farm', and stable; |
Your years have run to a great length; |
I wish you joy, though, of your strength !" |


But in jest ; not button jest. Years at least; not years'at-least.

[ocr errors]

"Hold'," says the farmer, "not so fast!
I have been lame these four years past." |
"And no great won'der," | Death replies : |
"However, you still keep your eyes';]
And sure, to see one's loves, and friends, |
For legs, and arms, would make amends." |
Perhaps," says Dodson, "so it might`, |
But latterly, I've lost my sight." |


[ocr errors]

"This is a shocking tale, 't is true, But still there's comfort left for you:| Each strives your sadness to amuse I warrant you hear all the news." | "There's none'," cries he;" and, if there were, | I'm grown so deaf, I could not hear." | "Nay, then," the spectre stern rejoin'd, | "These are unjus'tifiable yearnings; | If you are Lame', and Deaf', and Blind', I You've had your Three sufficient 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.

so ends my tale. |



Oft has it been my lot to mark |
A proud, conceited, talking spark, |
With eyes that hardly serv'd at most', |
To guard their master 'gainst a post; |
Yet round the world the blade has been, |
To see whatever could be seen: |
Returning from his finish'd tour, |
Grown ten times perter than before ; |
Whatever word you chance to drop, |
The travell'd fool your mouth will stop. :|

"Sir, if my judgment you'll allow — |
I've seen and sure I ought to know." |
So, begs you'd pay a due submission, |
And acquiesce in his decision. |

Two travellers of such a cast, |
As o'er Arabia's wilds they pass'd, |
And on their way, in friendly chat,
Now talk'd of this', and then of that, I
Discours'd a while, 'mongst other matter,
Of the Chameleon's form,

and nature. |

"A stranger animal," cries one,
"Sure never liv'd beneath the sun! |
A lizard's body, lean, and long, |
A fish's head, a serpent's tongue,
Its foot with triple claw disjoin'd-|
And what a length of tail, behind! |
How slow, its pace! | and then, its hue'
Who ever saw so fine a blue?” |

"Hold there," the other quick replies, |
""Tis green- I saw it with these, eyes, |
As late with open mouth, it lay, I
And warm'd it in the sunny ray; |
Stretch'd at its ease, the beast I view'd', |
And saw it eat the air for food." |

"I've seen it, friend, as well as you', |
And must again affirm it blue.. |
At leisure, I the beast survey'd', \
Extended in the cooling shade,." |

""T is green', 't is green', I can assure ye." |
"Green!" 'cries the other in a fury,
266 Why', do you think I've lost my eyes'?" |
"'T were no great loss," the friend replies,, |
For, if they always serve you thus',


You'll find them but of little use." |

So high at last the contest rose', |
From words they almost came to blows. :|
When luckily came by, a third — |
To him the question they referr'd; |
And begg'd he'd tell them, if he knew', |
Whether the thing was green, or blue. |

"Sirs," cries the umpire, |" cease your pother; | The creature's neither one nor t'other. | I caught the animal last night, |

And view'd it o'er by candle-light : |

I mark'd it well

[ocr errors]

't was black as jet You stare | but I have got it yet', | And can produce' it." | "Pray then do; | For I am sure the thing is blue.” |

"And I'll' engage, that when you've seen, |
The reptile, you'll pronounce him green." |
"Well then, at once to end the doubt," |
Replies the man, "I'll turn him out、: |
And, when before your eyes I've set him, |
If you don't find him black, I'll eat him." |
He said; then full before their sight, |
Produc'd the beast', and lo!-'t was white, !|


Both stared the man look'd wondrous wise
"My children," 'the chameleon cries,
(Then first the creature found a tongue) |
2. You all are right, and all are wrong: |
When next you talk of what you view,
Think others see as well as you: |
Nor wonder if you find that none,, |
Prefers your eye-sight to his own." |

[ocr errors]


[Written after the death of a sister-in-law.]

Answer me, burning stars of night! |
Where hath the spirit gone, |
That, past the reach of human sight, |
E'en as a breeze, hath flown?
And the stars answer'd me,- | "We roll
In light, and power on high;|
But, of the never-dying soul', |
Ask things that cannot die, !" |
O many-toned, and chainless wind ! |
Thou art a wanderer free', |

Tell me if thou its place canst find',|
Far over mount, and sea? |

And the wind murmur'd in reply', - |
"The blue deep I have cross'd', |
And met its barks, and billows high', | ́
But not what thou hast lost!" |

Ye clouds that gorgeously repose |
Around the setting sun', |

An'swer! have ye a home for those |

Whose earthly race is run'? |

The bright clouds answer'd,

We van'ish from the sky; |

"We depart, |

Ask what is deathless in thy heart, |
For that which cannot die !" |

Speak, then, thou voice of God within, !|
Thou of the deep low tone! |

Answer me! | through life's restless din', |
Where hath the spirit flown? |

And the voice answer'd,- "Be thou still!|
Enough to know is given; |

Clouds, winds, and stars their task fulfil,—| Thine is to trust in Heav'n!" |

« السابقةمتابعة »