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A casket gemless ! yet for thee
Pity suspends the tender wail, For Reason shall a moral see,
While Memory paints the simple tale. Yes, it shall paint thy hapless form,
Clad decent in its russet weed ; Happy in aimless wandering's charm,
And pleased thy father's flock to feed. With vacant, reckless smile thou borest,
Patient, the scoffer's cruel jest; With unfix'd gaze could pass it o'er,
And turn it pointless from thy breast.
The' unform'd chaos of thy mind,
But through parental instinct kind,
Clings imitation, mystic power!
The school-time's regulated hour,
Mutter the mimic lesson's tone;
Brought ever and anon thine own;
And drag reluctant to his place; And oft the master's solemn rule
Would mock with grave and apt grimace. And every guileless heart would love
A nature so estranged from wrong, And every infant would protect
Thee from the passing traveller's tongue.
Thy primal joy was still to be
Where holy congregations bow;
And when they pray'd, would bend thee low. Oh Nature, wheresoe'er thou art,
Some latent worship still is there;
The Idiot's plea can never share.
Parental cares had rear'd alone;
Heaven took thee spotless to its own.
Thy sickness and thy death did cheer, Though Reason weeps not, she allows
The instinct of a parent's tear. Poor guileless thing! forgot by men,
The hillock's all remains of thee; 'Tis all thou art to mortal ken,
But Faith beyond the grave can see.
When, disencumber'd of this clod,
Shalt rise to comprehend thy God!
Full many a truth the gay might learn;
Full many a sinner might discern.
What it must be to know no sin;
What to be spotless pure within.
Go! then, and seek her humble grave,
All ye who sport in folly's ray,
List to a voice that seems to say-
To which the' eternal meed is given; "Tis wasted or improved hours That forfeit or secure thy heaven !'
And seats that princes grace ;
Not where thy wave beside
Resounds along thy tide,
Nor where thy bank along
Of courtly flatterers throng,
Of show and idle state the slave.
But where thy silver springs
To seek the seats of kings;
There like thy noiseless tide,
Hears not the current glide,
And as thy waters flow,
But blessings to bestow,
Smoothly the years shall pass, Nor shall I know that envious Time Has stolen away my youthful prime,
Till taught by thy clear glass; Till in thy crystal wave I trace The roses withering on my face.
Along thy margent green,
Shall round my bower be seen;
Let not the Muses crown
The palm that yields renown;
Nor let the Muses bring
The trumpet by thy spring ;
Softly the reed shall blow, And thy clear springs shall love the strain, And waft it to the simple swain
Who haunts the vales below; But O! beyond the shepherd's bounds, 0! waft not, Thames, its artless sounds.
Oft by thy watery glass,
Along the smooth green grass,
There if I chance to mark
With sudden shades now dark, 0! life, then will I say, and sigh, Thy face is likest to that sky.