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Anxious the little truants watch his
eye, When each in order 'tis his turn to try. What different thoughts the varied features show, As on the forms they settle in a row. Here dire forebodings fill a murky face, Of task unlearnt, a flogging, and disgrace; There smiling humour claims another causeA well-conn'd lesson, honour, and applause.
How slow yon loiterer to the desk doth come! He knows not how to work or state his sum. The Mentor looks aghast, then lifts his specks, And starts some question framed but to perplex: There's no reply,-—'tis vain to plead or strive,The Rule of Three brings forth the rule on five. See you that group
collected round a slate, As if some mighty business to debate; Two keep the corner, cutter-case in hand Two more as ambuscade and sentry stand ? With them nor Voster's problems make a fuss, Nor geographic question they discussWhat care they now the fate of Rome or Greece, Intent alone upon their fox and geese?
Why creeps with noiseless step and stealthy pace That blue-eyed boy so near the females' place? Behind his back he hides the figured slate, Full-worked the sum a smiling girl doth wait. Back undetected to his seat he flies, Escaped the monitor's keen Argus eyes; For one red cherry from a hand so fair, He dares the rod, and what would he not dare?
The bell calls silence; all obey the sound; With dignity the Master then looks round; They hail the signal, while he shakes his head“Last class to spelling-all the rest have read.” 'Tis three o'clock! “Home, home!” each young
Thus plods the Master; thus his life is passed;
Some furlongs distant from the Village Green,
The Bishop and the Marquis sometimes call
Among the numerous guests, not one can boast
Passing the precincts of the Squire's abode, Whose front looks out upon the public road, Into the festooned drawing-room you're shown, And haply left some time to muse alone. Here fancy seems in gorgeousness to waste All her best efforts, heedless even of taste. The gaudy furniture of finished art, So crowded, each of each appears a part. The walls invisible, so closely hung With sporting plates that form a motley throng. Here last year's Curragh winner paws the ground, Beside him Randal ready for a round; There the great Ashbourne steeple-chase is seen, Lord Howth in yellow tops and coat of green. Pointers and spaniels numberless bestow Their varied colours to make up a show. Thus, almost dizzied with the changing hues, Enough th' unlearned in such things to confuse,
'Mid velvet drapery, fring'd with aureal fire, The gazer wonders, ceasing to admire.
The Squire is much esteemed, and much carest, For ten miles round his cattle are the best; His hounds are matchless; and his table—where Can luckless sportsmen meet such sumptuous fare? And then his knowledge ! with a memory stor’d With every name the turf and ring afford. Who won the Derby on a certain date He quickly tells, and wlio the Epsom plate. When died old Eclipse—who bred Satire's damHow did last fight come off with young
Dutch Sam ? These knotty points he solves, and seldom errs, So that each disputant to him refers, All other judgments being laid aside, From old Bell's Life down to the Sportsman's Guide.
So far his learning ;-he has influence too O’er near a score of voters good and true, Who'd rather have a year's receipt well penn'd Than vote against their landlord or his friend.
'Tis said the Squire, when in the judgment seat, Mingles with justice leniency most sweet ; For he's a Magistrate that scans the laws, Not through their tactics estimates a cause. Still, better far 'twere for the luckless wight, Who spreads the snare, or bears the gun by night, To steal a cow, or set a barn in flame, Than come before him charg'd with poaching game.
These, his main features—these he carries still, Whether abroad, at home in good or ill.
All weathers suit him; every season yields
A Junior Counsel has a mansion near,