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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:
Here as I craved a morsel of their bread,
To seek a shelter in a humbler shed.
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.
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.
The purpose of to-day,
To-morrow rends away.
Vice seems already slain,
And it revives again.
Some foe to his upright intent
Finds out his weaker part;
But pleasure wins his heart.
Through all his art we view,
His conscience owns it true.
And dangers little known,
20 But oars alone can ne'er prevail
To reach the distant coast;
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,
EPITAPH ON A HARE.
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Nor ear heard huntsman's hallo'
Who, nursed with tender care,
Was still a wild Jack-hare.
His pittance ev'ry night,
And, when he could, would bite.
And milk, and oats, and straw;
With sand to scour his maw.
On pippins' russet peel,
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.
For then he lost his fear,
Or when a storm drew near.
He thus saw steal away,
And every night at play.
For he would oft beguile
And force me to a smile.
He finds his long last home,
Till gentler Puss shall come.
From which no care can save,
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.