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Here hails her haven; welcomes the drear scene,
Welcome, ye marshy heaths, ye pathless woods, Where the rude native rests his wearied frame Beneath the sheltering shade; where, when the storm Benumbs his naked limbs, he flies to seek The dripping shelter. Welcome, ye wild plains Unbroken by the plough, undelved by hand Of patient rustic; where for lowing herds, And for the music of the bleating flocks, Alone is heard the kangaroo's sad note Deepening in distance. Welcome, wilderness, Nature's domain ! for here, as yet unknown The comforts and the crimes of polish'd life, Nature benignly gives to all enough, Denies to all a superfluity. What though the garb of infamy I wear, Though day by day along the echoing beach I gather wave-worn shells; yet day by day I earn in honesty my frugal food, And lay me down at night to calm repose; No more condemned, the mercenary tool Of brutal lust, while heaves the indignant heart Abhorrent, and self-loathed, to fold my arms
Round the rank felon, and for daily bread
HUMPHREY AND WILLIAM.
See'st thou not, William, that the scorching sun
Agreed. Yon tree, whose purple gum bestows A ready medicine for the sick man's woes, Forms with its shadowy boughs a cool retreat To shield us from the noontide's sultry heat. Ah, Humphrey ! now upon old England's shore The weary labourer's morning work is o'er. The woodman there rests from his measured stroke, Flings down his axe, and sits beneath the oak; Savour'd with hunger there he eats his food, There drinks the cooling streamlet of the wood. To us no cooling streamlet winds its way, No joys domestic crown for us the day ; The felon's name, the outcast's garb we wear, Toil all the day, and all the night despair.
Aye, William ! labouring up the furrow'd ground, I used to love the village clock's old sound, Rejoice to hear my morning toil was done, And trudge it homeward when the clock went one. 'Twas ere I turn'd a soldier and a sinner! Pshawl curse this whining - let us fall to dinner.
I too have loved this hour, nor yet forgot The household comforts of my
little cot; For at this hour my wife with watchful care Was wont her humble dainties to prepare; The keenest sauce by hunger was supplied, And my poor
children prattled at my side. Methinks I see the old oak table spread, The clean white trencher and the good brown bread: The cheese, my daily fare, which Mary made, For Mary knew full well the housewife's trade ; The jug of cyder, - cyder I could make;And then the knives, - I won 'em at the wake, Another has them now! I toiling here Look backward like a child, and drop a tear.
I love a dismal story: tell me thine,
But, Humphrey,sure thou never canst have known The comforts of a little home thine own: A home so snug, so cheerful too, as mine, 'Twas always clean, and we could make it fine. For there King Charles's Golden Rules were seen, And there-God bless'em both I the King and Queen. The pewter plates, our garnish'd chimney's grace, So bright, that in them you might see your face; And over all, to frighten thieves, was hung, Well clean'd, although but seldom used, my gun, Ah! that damn'd gun! I took it down one morn, .. A desperate deal of harm they did my corn! Our testy Squire, too, loved to save the breed, So covey upon covey ate my seed. I mark'd the mischievous rogues, and took my aim ; I fired, they fell, and ... up the keeper came. That cursed morning brought on my undoing; I went to prison, and my farm to ruin. Poor Mary! for her grave the parish paid, No tomb-stone tells where her remains are laid ! My children .. my poor boys..
Come!..grief is dry... You to your dinner;.. to my story I. For you, my friend, who happier days have known, And each calm comfort of a home your own, This is bad living : I have spent my life In hardest toil and unavailing strife,