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A THANKSGIVING FOR MY HOUSE.

LORD, thou hast given me a cell,

Wherein to dwell;
A little house, whose humble roof

Is weather-proof;
Under the span of which I lie

Both soft and dry.
Where thou, my chamber for to ward,

Hast set a guard
Of harmless thoughts, to watch and keep

The while I sleep.
Low is my porch, as is my fate-

Both void of state ;
And yet the threshold of my door

Is worn by the poor,
Who hither come, and freely get

Good words or meat.
Like as my parlour, so my hall

And kitchen small;
A little buttery, and therein

A little bin,
Which keeps my little loaf of bread

Unchipt, unflead.
Some little sticks of thorn or brier

Make me a fire;
Close by whose living coal I sit,

And glow like it.
Lord, I confess, too, when I do

The pulse is thine,

A THANKSGIVING FOR MY HOUSE.

137

And all those other bits that be

Placed there by Thee.
The worts, the parslain, and the mess

Of water-cress,
Which of Thy kindness thou hast sent;

And my content
Makes those, and my beloved beet,

To be more sweet.
'Tis Thou that crown’st my glittering hearth

With guiltless mirth;
And giv'st me wassail bowls to drink,

Spiced to the brink.
Lord, 'tis Thy plenty-dropping hand

That sows my land :
All this and better, dost Thou send

Me for this end :
That I should render for my part

A thankful heart,
Which, fir'd with incense, I resign

As wholly Thine :
But the acceptance—that must be,

O Lord, by Thee.

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THE HAPPIEST LOT IN LIFE.

“Two things have I required of thee ; deny me them not before I die : Remove ar rom me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches ; feed me with food convenient for me ; Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord ? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”—Proverbs xxx. 7-9.

YET oft we see that some in humble state,

Are cheerful, pleasant, happy, and content;
When those, indeed, who are of higher state,

With vain additions do their thoughts torment.
The one would to his mind his fortune bind,
The other to his fortune frames his mind.

He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between

The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man's door,

Embittering all his state.

The tallest pines feel most the power
Of wintry blasts; the loftiest tower

Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts that spare the mountain's side
His cloudcapt eminence divide,

And spread the ruin round.

Thunbusied shepherd stretched beneath the hawthorn,
His careless limbs thrown out in wanton ease,

THE HAPPIEST LOT IN LIFE.

139

With thoughtless gaze perusing the arched heavens,
And idly whistling, while his sheep feed round him,
Enjoys a sweeter shade than that of monarchs
Hemmed in with care, and shook by storms of treason.

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LORD, who would live turmoiled in the court,
And may enjoy such quiet walks as these ?
This small inheritance my father left me
Contenteth me, and's worth a monarchy.
I seek not to wax great by others' waning,
Or gather wealth, I care not with what envy ;
Sufficeth that I have maintains my state,
And sends the poor well pleased from my gate.

THE VILLAGE PASTOR.

“ He waited after no pomp nor reverence,

Nor maked him a spicèd conscience;
But Christès lore, and His Apostles twelve
He taught, but first he followed it himself.”—CHAUCER.

NEAR yonder copse where once the garden smiled,
And still where many a garden flower grows wild,
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
The village preacher's modest mansion rose.
A man he was to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year ;
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place;
Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power,
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;
For other aims his heart had learned to prize,
More bent to raise the wretched than to rise.
His house was known to all the vagrant train ;
He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain.
The long-remembered beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;
The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed ;
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
Sat by his fire, and talked the night away ;
Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won.
Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began.

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