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When spendthrift wights are seated at his board,
Thus, far from courts, the Captain lives retired, By all esteemed, by many, too, admired; On kindred few the thoughts he deigns to spend, Mankind his neighbour, relative, and friend.
The Old Maid.
As every village hath a virgin staid,
Sweetly good-humoured is she where unknown, Weigh'd every word, and curb'd is every tone;
She speaks in accents faltering and faint-
her eyes, and tries to look a SaintPoints to the household objects of her care, And makes the stranger think a Heaven is there.
Oft has she pray’d—with fervent feeling pray’d, That Heaven would grant a husband to her aid; But Heaven, to check perversity and pride, In mercy to the gift, that gift denied. Then ill betide the luckless rural twain She catches trysting on the Summer plain ; Some embryo scandal, hatched both far and near, Is sure full-fledged to reach each gossip's ear.
“Hear her but lecture on Divinity,"
Altho' the lady scorns to make a lie, Be cautious what you utter when she's by ; For if by chance you tell a tale you've lieard, She may mistake, or misapply a word; And as she's clever at retailing news, Might make your story--what you wouldn't choose.
With Scripture on her lips, the pois’nous dart Of foul-mouthed slander rankles at her heart.
Thorns must infest the pillow where she sleeps,
What wonder that the sceptic's cynic smile
Far from the village din and hum of men,
Oft have I strayed the shelving rocks among, In that wild glen, with merry peals that rung, Oft bathed my parch'd lips in the bubbling tide Of streamlet issuing from its rugged side. Here, too, I've striven to tire the mountain goat, That thinn'd the wild briers with its shaggy coat,
Still bleating, as it leaped the crags with skill, “You want the power, tho' you possess the will."
Blest times of boyhood, innocence, and peace! Why must your glad'ning sunny day-dreams cease? Shall I no more the wily rabbit trace, Or snare old puss within her sitting-place? Nor e'er again disturb the early rest Of unfledg'd eaglets in their eyrie nest? How often have I hour by hour survey'd The weasels gambol in the rocky shade, Or watched the frog-spawn in that hollow dell Issue to life as if by magic spell?
I've clomb the steep that bounds Todmorden's side,
To one projecting shelf that shades a cave,
A merry knot of squires had sprung a fox,
Here many a fearless heart that ne'er would shrink
One wilder spirit than the rest, who strove To shun the fences through a thickset grove, O'ertook a jockey on a jet-black horse, Who, strange to say, had chosen the shaded course. “We're closing on a glen,” the dark one said, “Take you the lead, or else will you be led ?" “Lead on, lead on!” was answered with a yell, “I'll follow, if the d-1 lead, to h~!" They crossed the fallow grounds, the huntsman
Alas, alas! he'll never leap again;
But high above the stifled scream of pain,
noise attendant on the fall of liorse and riler, rises one loud call,