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“This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,

Might have bloom'd with its owner awhile; And the tear, that is wiped with a little address,

May be follow'd, perhaps, by a smile.” COWPER,

THE BEGGAR'S PETITION. Pity the sorrows of a poor old man,

Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door, Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span;

Oh! give relief; and Heaven will bless your store. These tatter'd clothes my poverty bespeak,

These hoary locks proclaim my lengthen'd years : And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek

Has been a channel to a flood of tears. Yon house, erected on the rising ground,

With tempting aspect drew me from my road; 10 For Plenty there a residence has found,

And Grandeur a magnificent abode:
(Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor:)

Here as I craved a morsel of their bread,
A pamper'd menial drove me from the door,

To seek a shelter in a humbler shed.
Oh! take me to your hospitable dome;

Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold : Short is my passage to the friendly tomb,

For I am poor and miserably old. Should I reveal the sources of my grief,

If soft humanity e'er touch'd your breast, Your hands would not withhold the kind relief,

And tears of pity would not be represt.

20

Heaven sends misfortunes: why should we repine ? 25

'Tis Heaven has brought me to the state you see: And your condition may be soon like mine,

The child of sorrow and of misery. A little farm was my paternal lot;

Then like the lark I sprightly hail'd the morn; 30 But, ah ! oppression forced me from my cot;

My cattle died, and blighted was my corn. My daughter, once the comfort of my age,

Lured by a villain from her native home, Is cast abandon'd on the world's wide stage,

And doom'd in scanty poverty to roam. My tender wife, sweet soother of my care,

Struck with sad anguish at the stern decree, Fell, lingering fell, a victim to despair,

And left the world to wretchedness and me. 40 Pity the sorrows of a poor old man,

Whose trembling limbs have borne himto your door, Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span; Oh! give relief; and Heaven will bless your store.

Moss.

HUMAN FRAILTY.
WEAK and irresolute is Man;

The purpose of to-day,
Woven with pains into his plan,

To-morrow rends away.
The bow well bent and smart the spring, 5

Vice seems already slain,
But passion rudely snaps the string,

And it revives again.

10

Some foe to his upright intent

Finds out his weaker part;
Virtue engages his assent,

But pleasure wins his heart.
'T is here the folly of the wise

Through all his art we view,
And while his tongue the charge denies, 15

His conscience owns it true.
Bound on a voyage of awful length

And dangers little known,
A stranger to superior strength,
Man vainly trusts his own.

20 But oars alone can ne'er prevail

To reach the distant coast;
The breath of Heaven must swell the sail,
Or all the toil is lost.

COWPER

THE POPLAR FIELD. THE poplars are fell’d; farewell to the shade, And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade; The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves, Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives. Twelve years have elapsed, since I last took a view 5 Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew; And now in the grass behold they are laid, And the tree is my seat, that once lent me a shade ! The blackbird has fled to another retreat, Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat, 10 And the scene where his melody charm'd me before Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.

My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head, 15
Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.
The change both my heart and my fancy employs,—
I reflect on the frailty of man, and his joys;
Short-lived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see,
Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we. 20 *

COWPER.

EPITAPH ON A HARE.
HERE lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,

Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,

Nor ear heard huntsman's hallo'
Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,

Who, nursed with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confined,

Was still a wild Jack-hare.
Though duly from my hand he took

His pittance ev'ry night,
He did it with a jealous look,

And, when he could, would bite.
His diet was of wheaten bread,

And milk, and oats, and straw;
Thistles, or lettuces instead,

With sand to scour his maw.
On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,

On pippins' russet peel,
And, when his juicy salads fail'd,

Sliced carrot pleased him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,

Whereon he loved to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn,

And swing his rump around.
His frisking was at evening hours, 25

For then he lost his fear,
But most before approaching showers,

Or when a storm drew near.
Eight years and five round rolling moons

He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out all his idle noons,

And every night at play.
I kept him for his humour's sake,

For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,

And force me to a smile.
But now beneath his walnut shade

He finds his long last home,
And waits, in snug concealment laid,

Till gentler Puss shall come.
He, still more aged, feels the shocks

From which no care can save,
And, partner once of Tiney's box,
Must soon partake his grave.

COWPER,

40

DIRGE IN CYMBELINE. To fair Fidele's grassy tomb.

Soft maids and village hinds shall bring Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,

And rifle all the breathing spring.

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