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THIS poet was born on the twenty-fourth of December, 1754, at Aldborough, in Suffolk, where his father and grandfather were officers of the customs. At the school where he received his education he gained a prize for one of his poems; and on leaving it he became an apprentice to a surgeon and apothecary in his native village. On the completion of his apprenticeship, abandoning all hope of success in his profession, he went to London to commence a life of authorship. Unknown and unfriended, he endeavoured in vain to induce the booksellers to publish his writings. At length, in 1780, two years after his arrival in the great metropolis, he ventured to print at his own expense a poem entitled "The Candidate," which was favourably received. He was soon after introduced to EDMUND BURKE, who became his friend and patron, and presented him to Fox and other eminent contemporaries. In 1781 he published "The Library," and was ordained a deacon. In the following year he became curate of Aldborough, and in 1783 he entered his name at Trinity Hall, Cambridge; but left the Uni-ed versity without graduating, though he was subsequently presented with the degree of B. C. L. After residing for a considerable period at Belvoir Castle, as chaplain to the Duke of RUTLAND, he was introduced to the Lord Chancellor THURLOW, who bestowed upon him successively the living of Frome St. Quintin, in Dorsetshire, and the rectories of Muston and West Allington in the diocese of Lincoln. In 1807 he published a complete edition of his works then written, which was received with general applause. Three years afterward appeared "The Borough;" in

1812, his "Tales ;" and in 1819, his "Tales of the Hall." He died at Trowbridge, in Wiltshire, in February, 1832.

As a man, CRABBE was admired and loved by all who knew him. LOCKHART, in describing his person, says "his noble forehead, his bright beaming eye-without any thing of old age about it, though he was then above seventy-his sweet and innocent smile, and the calm, mellow tones of his voice, all are reproduced the moment I open any page of his poetry." A perfect edition of his poetical writings, with a graceful and sensible memoir by his son, has been issued by MURRAY, since his death.


LET me not have this gloomy view

About my room, around my bed;
But morning roses, wet with dew,

To cool my burning brows instead.
As flowers that once in Eden grew,

Let them their fragrant spirits shed;
And every day the sweets renew,
Till I, a fading flower, am dead.


The lovers of homely truth may appeal to CRABBE in proof that its sternest utterance is dramatic. No poet has ventured to rely more entirely on fact. He paints without delicacy, but his touches are so very literal as to be striking and effective. The poor have found in him their ablest annalist. The most gloomy phases of life are described in his tales with an integrity that has rendered them almost as imposing as a tragedy. The interest awaken

by his pictures is often fearful, merely from their appalling truth and touching minuteness. He was a mannerist, and some of the features of his mannerism-his monotonous versification, and minute portraitures of worthless characters, with their rude jests and familiar moralizing-are unpleasing; but his powerful and graphic delineations of humble life, his occasional touches of deepest tenderness, and the profoundness of his wisdom, mark not less strongly than these blemishes, all that he wrote, and will keep green his reputation while the world we live in is the scene of sin and suffering.

Oh! let the herbs I loved to rear

Give to my sense their perfumed breath;
Let them be placed about my bier,

And grace the gloomy house of death.
I'll have my grave beneath a hill,

Where only Lucy's self shall know;
Where runs the pure pellucid rill

Upon its gravelly bed below:
There violets on the borders blow,
And insects their soft light display,-



Till, as the morning sunbeams glow,
The cold phosphoric fires decay.
That is the grave to Lucy shown,—
The soil a pure and silver sand,
The green, cold moss above it grown,
Unpluck'd of all but maiden hand:
In virgin earth, till then unturn'd,

There let my maiden form be laid,
Nor let my changed clay be spurn'd,

Nor for new guest that bed be made.
There will the lark,-the lamb, in sport,
In air,-on earth,-securely play,
And Lucy to my grave resort,

As innocent, but not so gay.
I will not have the churchyard ground,
With bones all black and ugly grown,
To press my shivering body round,

Or on my wasted limbs be thrown.
With ribs and skulls I will not sleep,

In clammy beds of cold blue clay, Through which the ringed earth-worms creep; And on the shrouded bosom prey; I will not have the bell proclaim

When those sad marriage rites begin,And boys, without regard or shame,

Press the vile mouldering masses in. Say not, it is beneath my care;

I cannot these cold truths allow :These thoughts may not afflict me there,

But, oh! they vex and tease me now. Raise not a turf, nor set a stone,

That man a maiden's grave may trace; But thou, my Lucy, come alone,

And let affection find the place.

Oh! take me from a world I hate,

Men cruel, selfish, sensual, cold; And, in some pure and blessed state, Let me my sister minds behold: From and sordid views refined, gross Our heaven of spotless love to share,For only generous souls design'd, And not a man to meet us there.


Mr Damon was the first to wake
The gentle flame that cannot die;
My Damon is the last to take

The faithful bosom's softest sigh:
The life between is nothing worth,

Oh! cast it from my thought away; Think of the day that gave it birth,

And this, its sweet returning day. Buried be all that has been done.

Or say that naught is done amiss; For who the dangerous path can shun In such bewildering world as this? But love can every fault forgive,

Or with a tender look reprove; And now let naught in memory live, But that we meet, and that we love.


PLACE the white man on Afric's coast, Whose swarthy sons in blood delight, Who of their scorn to Europe boast,

And paint their very demons white: There, while the sterner sex disdains To soothe the woes they cannot feel, Woman will strive to heal his pains,

And weep for those she cannot heal. Hers is warm pity's sacred glow,

From all her stores she bears a part; And bids the spring of hope reflow,

That languish'd in the fainting heart. "What though so pale his haggard face,

So sunk and sad his looks,"-she cries: "And far unlike our nobler race,

With crisped locks and rolling eyes; Yet misery marks him of our kind,—

We see him lost, alone, afraid! And pangs of body, griefs in mind, Pronounce him man, and ask our aid. Perhaps in some far distant shore There are who in these forms delight; Whose milky features please them more Than ours of jet, thus burnish'd bright; Of such may be his weeping wife,

Such children for their sire may call; And if we spare his ebbing life,

Our kindness may preserve them all." Thus her compassion woman shows;

Beneath the line her acts are these; Nor the wide waste of Lapland snows

Can her warm flow of pity freeze ;"From some sad land the stranger comes,


Where joys like ours are never found; Let's soothe him in our happy homes,

Where freedom sits, with plenty crown'd. ""Tis good the fainting soul to cheer,

To see the famish'd stranger fed; To milk for him the mother-deer,

To smooth for him the furry bed. The powers above our Lapland bless With good no other people know; T' enlarge the joys that we possess,

By feeling those that we bestow!" Thus, in extremes of cold and heat,

Where wandering man may trace his kind; Wherever grief and want retreat,

In woman they compassion find: She makes the female breast her seat,

And dictates mercy to the mind. Man may the sterner virtues know,

Determined justice, truth severe; But female hearts with pity glow,

And woman holds affliction dear: For guiltless woes her sorrows flow,

And suffering vice compels her tear,"Tis hers to soothe the ills below,

And bid life's fairer views appear. To woman's gentle kind we owe

What comforts and delights us here; They its gay hopes on youth bestow,

And care they soothe—and age they cheer.

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And now his freedom he attain'd-if free The lost to reason, truth, and hope, can be; The playful children of the place he meets; Playful with them he rambles through the streets; In all they need, his stronger arm he lends, And his lost mind to these approving friends.

That gentle maid, whom once the youth had Is now with mild religious pity moved; [loved, Kindly she chides his boyish flights, while he Will for a moment fix'd and pensive be; And as she trembling speaks, his lively eyes Explore her looks, he listens to her sighs; [vade Charm'd by her voice, the harmonious sounds inHis clouded mind, and for a time persuade : Like a pleased infant, who has newly caught, From the maternal glance, a gleam of thought; He stands enrapt, the half-known voice to hear, And starts, half-conscious, at the falling tear!

Rarely from town, nor then unwatch'd, he goes, In darker mood, as if to hide his woes; But, soon returning, with impatience seeks [speaks; His youthful friends, and shouts, and sings, and Speaks a wild speech, with action all as wildThe children's leader, and himself a child; He spins their top, or, at their bidding, bends His back, while o'er it leap his laughing friends; Simple and weak, he acts the boy once more, And heedless children call him Silly Shore.


WHEN first I came Within his view, I fancied there was shame, I judged resentment; I mistook the airThese fainter passions live not with despair; Or but exist and die :-Hope, fear, and love, Joy, doubt, and hate, may other spirits move, But touch not his, who every waking hour Has one fix'd dread, and always feels its power. He takes his tasteless food; and, when 'tis done, Counts up his meals, now lessen'd by that one; For expectation is on time intent, Whether he brings us joy or punishment.

Yes! e'en in sleep th' impressions all remain ; He hears the sentence, and he feels the chain; He seems the place for that sad act to see, And dreams the very thirst which then will be! A priest attends-it seems the one he knew In his best days, beneath whose care he grew. At this his terrors take a sudden flightHe sees his native village with delight; The house, the chamber, where he once array'd His youthful person; where he knelt and pray'd: Then too the comforts he enjoy'd at home, The days of joy; the joys themselves are come ;

The hours of innocence; the timid look

Of his loved maid, when first her hand he took And told his hope; her trembling joy appears, Her forced reserve, and his retreating fears.


Yes! all are with him now, and all the while Life's early prospects and his Fanny smile: Then come his sister and his village friend, And he will now the sweetest moments spend Life has to yield:-No! never will he find Again on earth such pleasure in his mind. He goes through shrubby walks these friends among, Love in their looks and pleasure on their tongue. Pierced by no crime, and urged by no desire For more than true and honest hearts require, They feel the calm delight, and thus proceed Through the green lane,-then lingerin the mead,— Stray o'er the heath in all its purple bloom, And pluck the blossom where the wild bees hum; Then through the broomy bound with ease they pass, And press the sandy sheep-walk's slender grass, Where dwarfish flowers among the gorse are spread, And the lamb browses by the linnet's bed! [way Then 'cross the bounding brook they make their O'er its rough bridge-and there behold the bay !— The ocean smiling to the fervid sunThe waves that faintly fall and slowly runThe ships at distance, and the boats at hand: And now they walk upon the sea-side sand, Counting the number, and what kind they be, Ships softly sinking in the sleepy sea: Now arm in arm, now parted, they behold The glittering waters on the shingles roll'd: The timid girls, half-dreading their design, Dip the small foot in the retarded brine, [flow, And search for crimson weeds, which spreading Or lie like pictures on the sand below; With all those bright red pebbles, that the sun Through the small waves so softly shines upon; And those live-lucid jellies which the eye Delights to trace as they swim glittering by: Pearl-shells and rubied star-fish they admire, And will arrange above the parlour fireTokens of bliss!"


WHEN all you see through densest fog is seen; When you can hear the fishers near at hand Distinctly speak, yet see not where they stand; Or sometimes them and not their boat discern, Or, half-conceal'd, some figure at the stern; Boys who, on shore, to sea the pebble cast, Will hear it strike against the viewless mast; While the stern boatman growls his fierce disdain, At whom he knows not, whom he threats in vain.

"T is pleasant then to view the nets float past, Net after net, till you have seen the last; And as you wait till all beyond you slip, A boat comes gliding from an anchor'd ship, Breaking the silence with the dipping oar, And their own tones, as labouring for the shore; Those measured tones with which the scene agree, And give a sadness to serenity.


THEN died lamented, in the strength of life, A valued mother and a faithful wife, Call'd not away, when time had loosed each hold On the fond heart, and each desire grew cold; But when, to all that knit us to our kind, She felt fast bound as charity can bind ;Not when the ills of age, its pain, its care, The drooping spirit for its fate prepare; And, each affection failing, leaves the heart Loosed from life's charm, and willing to depart ;But all her ties the strong invader broke, In all their strength, by one tremendous stroke! Sudden and swift the eager pest came on, And terror grew, till every hope was gone: Still those around appear'd for hope to seek! But view'd the sick, and were afraid to speak.

Slowly they bore, with solemn step, the dead, When grief grew loud and bitter tears were shed: My part began; a crowd drew near the place, Awe in each eye, alarm in every face; So swift the ill, and of so fierce a kind, That fear with pity mingled in each mind; Friends with the husband came their griefs to blend; For good-man Frankford was to all a friend. The last-born boy they held above the bier, He knew not grief, but cries express'd his fear; Each different age and sex reveal'd its pain, In now a louder, now a lower strain; While the meek father, listening to their tones, Swell'd the full cadence of the grief by groans.

The elder sister strove her pangs to hide, And soothing words to younger minds applied: "Be still, be patient," oft she strove to say; But fail'd as oft, and weeping turn'd away.

Curious and sad, upon the fresh-dug hill,
The village lads stood melancholy still;
And idle children, wandering to and fro,
As nature guided, took the tone of wo.


SHE left her infant on the Sunday morn, A creature doom'd to shame! in sorrow born. She came not home to share our humble meal,Her father thinking what his child would feel From his hard sentence !-Still she came not home, The night grew dark, and yet she was not come ! The east-wind roar'd, the sea return'd the sound, And the rain fell as if the world were drown'd: There were no lights without, and my good man, To kindness frighten'd, with a groan began To talk of Ruth, and pray! and then he took The Bible down, and read the holy book:

Ruth is betrothed-something more than betrothedto a young sailor, who, on the eve of marriage, is carried relentlessly off by a press-gang, and afterward slain in battle. A canting, hypocritical weaver afterward becomes a suitor of the widowed bride, and her father urges her with severity to wed the missioned suiter. The above extract is from the conclusion of the story, in the "Tales of the Hall." The heroine has promised to give her answer on Sunday.

For he had learning: and when that was done,
We sat in silence-whither could we run?
We said and then rush'd frighten'd from the door,
For we could bear our own conceit no more:
We call'd on neighbours-there she had not been;
We met some wanderers-ours they had not seen:
We hurried o'er the beach, both north and south,
Then join'd, and wander'd to our haven's mouth:
Where rush'd the falling waters wildly out,

I scarcely heard the good man's fearful shout,
Who saw a something on the billow ride,
And-Heaven have mercy on our sins! he cried,
It is my child!-and to the present hour
So he believes-and spirits have the power!

And she was gone! the waters wide and deep
Roll'd o'er her body as she lay asleep!
She heard no more the angry waves and wind,
She heard no more the threatening of mankind;
Wrapt in dark weeds, the refuse of the storm,
To the hard rock was borne her comely form!

But oh! what storm was in that mind! what strife, That could compel her to lay down her life! For she was seen within the sea to wade, By one at distance, when she first had pray'd; Then to a rock within the hither shoal, Softly, and with a fearful step, she stole ; Then, when she gain'd it, on the top she stood A moment still-and dropt into the flood! The man cried loudly, but he cried in vain,She heard not then-she never heard again!



And sandy road has banks on either side;
Where, lo! a hollow on the left appear'd,
And there a gipsy tribe their tent had rear'd;
'Twas open spread, to catch the morning sun,
And they had now their early meal begun,
When two brown boys just left their grassy seat,
The early traveller with their prayers to greet:
While yet Orlando held his pence in hand,
He saw their sister on her duty stand;
Some twelve years old, demure, affected, sly,
Prepared the force of early powers to try:
Sudden a look of languor he descries,
And well-feign'd apprehension in her eyes;
Train'd, but yet savage, in her speaking face,
He mark'd the features of her vagrant race;
When a light laugh and roguish leer express'd
The vice implanted in her youthful breast!
Within, the father, who from fences nigh
Had brought the fuel for the fire's supply, [by:
Watch'd now the feeble blaze, and stood dejected
On ragged rug, just borrow'd from the bed,
And by the hand of coarse indulgence fed,
In dirty patchwork negligently dress'd,
Reclined the wife, an infant at her breast;
In her wild face some touch of grace remain'd,
Of vigour palsied and of beauty stain'd;
Her blood-shot eyes on her unheeding mate
Were wrathful turn'd, and seem'd her wants to


Cursing his tardy aid-her mother there
With gipsy-state engross'd the only chair;
Solemn and dull her look: with such she stands,
And reads the milk-maid's fortune, in her hands
Tracing the lines of life; assumed through years,
Each feature now the steady falsehood wears;
With hard and savage eye she views the food,
And grudging pinches their intruding brood!
Last in the group, the worn-out grandsire sits,
Neglected, lost, and living but by fits;
Useless, despised, his worthless labours done,
And half-protected by the vicious son,
Who half-supports him! He, with heavy glance,
Views the young ruffians who around him dance;
And, by the sadness in his face, appears

To trace the progress of their future years; [ceit,
Through what strange course of misery, vice, de-
Must wildly wander each unpractised cheat;
What shame and grief, what punishment and pain,
Sport of fierce passions, must each child sustain-
Ere they like him approach their latter end,
Without a hope, a comfort, or a friend!


YOUR plan I love not:—with a number you Have placed your poor, your pitiable few; There, in one house, for all their lives to be, The pauper-palace which they hate to see! That giant building, that high bounding wall, Those bare-worn walks, that lofty thundering hall! That large, loud clock, which tolls each dreaded hour,

Those gates and locks, and all those signs of power:
It is a prison with a milder name,
Which few inhabit without dread or shame.-

Alas! their sorrows in their bosoms dwell; They've much to suffer, but have naught to tell: They have no evil in the place to state, And dare not say, it is the house they hate: They own there's granted all such place can give, But live repining,-for 'tis there they live!

Grandsires are there, who now no more must see, No more must nurse upon the trembling knee, The lost, loved daughter's infant progeny ! Like death's dread mansion, this allows not place For joyful meetings of a kindred race.

Is not the matron there, to whom the son Was wont at each declining day to run; He (when his toil was over) gave delight, By lifting up the latch, and one "Good night?" Yes she is here; but nightly to her door The son, still labouring, can return no more.

Widows are here, who in their huts were left, Of husbands, children, plenty, ease, bereft ; Yet all that grief within the humble shed Was soften'd, soften'd the humble bed : But here, in all its force, remains the grief, And not one softening object for relief.

Who can, when here, the social neighbour meet? Who learn the story current in the street? Who to the long-known intimate impart Facts they have learn'd, or feelings of the heart?—

They talk, indeed; but who can choose a friend, Or seek companions, at their journey's end?—

What if no grievous fears their lives annoy, Is it not worse, no prospects to enjoy ? "Tis cheerless living in such bounded view, With nothing dreadful, but with nothing new; Nothing to bring them joy, to make them weepThe day itself is, like the night, asleep: Or on the sameness if a break be made, "Tis by some pauper to his grave convey'd; By smuggled news from neighbouring village told, News never true, or truth a twelvemonth old! By some new inmate doom'd with them to dwell, Or justice come to see that all goes well; Or change of room, or hour of leave to crawl On the black footway winding with the wall, Till the stern bell forbids, or master's sterner call.

Here the good pauper, losing all the praise By worthy deeds acquired in better days, Breathes a few months; then, to his chamber led, Expires while strangers prattle round his bed.


Now be their arts display'd, how first they choose A cause and party, as the bard his muse; Inspired by these, with clamorous zeal they cry, And through the town their dreams and omens fly : So the sibylline leaves were blown about, Disjointed scraps of fate involved in doubt; So idle dreams, the journals of the night, Are right and wrong by turns, and mingle wrong with right.

Some, champions for the rights that prop the crown,
Some, sturdy patriots, sworn to pull them down;
Some, neutral powers, with secret forces fraught,
Wishing for war, but willing to be bought:
While some to every side and party go,
Shift every friend, and join with every foe;
Like sturdy rogues in privateers, they strike
This side and that, the foes of both alike;
A traitor-crew, who thrive in troubled times,
Fear'd for their force, and courted for their crimes.
Chief to the prosperous side the numbers sail,
Fickle and false, they veer with every gale;
As birds that migrate from a freezing shore,
In search of warmer climes, come skimming o'er,
Some bold adventurers first prepare to try
The doubtful sunshine of the distant sky;
But soon the growing summer's certain sun
Wins more and more, till all at last are won:
So, on the early prospect of disgrace,
Fly in vast troops this apprehensive race;
Instinctive tribes! their failing food they dread,
And buy, with timely change, their future bread.

Such are our guides: how many a peaceful head, Born to be still, have they to wrangling led! How many an honest zealot stolen from trade, And factious tools of pious pastors made! With clews like these they tread the maze of state, These oracles explore, to learn our fate; Pleased with the guides who can so well deceive, Who cannot lie so fast as they believe.

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