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On turkeys, fowls, and fishes
Most frequently they dine;
With well-replenished dishes
Their tables always shine.
They crown their feasts with butter;
They eat and rise to pray;
In silks their ladies flutter
In North Americay.
CCXXXV. ANNA LETITIA BARBAULD,
Observe the insect race, ordained to keep
The lazy Sabbath of a half-year's sleep.
Entomb'd beneath the filmy web they lie,
And wait the influence of a kinder sky.
When vernal sunbeams pierce their dark retreat,
The heaving tomb distends with vital heat;
The full-formed brood, impatient of their cell,
Start from their trance, and burst their silken shell,
Trembling awhile they stand, and scarcely dare
To launch at once upon the untried air.
At length assured, they catch the favouring gale,
And leave their sordid spoils and high in ether sail.
Lo! the bright train their radiant wings unfold,
With silver fringed, and freckled o'er with gold.
On the gay bosom of some fragrant flower,
They, idly fluttering, live their little hour;
Their life all pleasure, and their task all play,
All spring their age, and sunshine all their day.
Not so the child of sorrow, wretched man :
His course with toil concludes, with pain began,
That his high destiny he might discern,
And in misfortune's school this lesson learn-
Pleasure's the portion of the inferior kind;
But glory, virtue, heaven for man designed.
CCXXXVI. Mrs HANNAH MORE, 1744–1833. 1. SMALL HABITS.
Small habits well pursued betimes
May reach the dignity of crimes.
Truth has our reverence only, not our love;
Our praise but not our heart; a deity
Confessed but shunned; acknowledged, not adored.
Alarmed we dread her penetrating beams;
She comes too near us, and too brightly shines.
3. SMALL SOCIETIES.
In men this blunder still you find,
All think their little set mankind.
CCXXXVII. WILLIAM HAYLEY, 1745-1820.
1. EPITAPH ON COWPER.
Ye who with warmth the public triumph feel
Of talents dignified by sacred zeal,
Here, to devotion's bard devoutly just,
Pay your fond tribute due to Cowper's dust!
England, exulting in his spotless fame,
Ranks with her dearest sons his favourite name.
Sense, fancy, wit, suffice not all to raise
So clear a title to affection's praise :
His highest honours to the heart belong;
His virtues formed the magic of his song.
2. ON HIS OWN POETRY.
For me who feel, whene'er I touch the lyre,
My talents sink below my proud desire;
Who often doubt, and sometimes credit give,
When friends assure me that my verse will live ;
Whom health, too tender for the bustling throng,
Led into pensive shade and soothing song;
Whatever fortune my unpolished rhymes
May meet in present or in future times,
Let the blest art my grateful thoughts employ,
Which soothes my sorrow and augments my joy;
Whence lonely peace and social pleasure springs,
And friendship dearer than the smile of kings.
COXXXVIII. CHARLES DIBDIN, 1745-1833.
Here a sheer hulk lies poor Tom Bowling,
The darling of our crew,
No more he'll hear the tempest howling,
For death has broached him to.
His form was of the manliest beauty,
His heart was kind and soft;
Faithful below he did his duty,
And now he's gone aloft.
Tom never from his word departed,
His virtues were so rare;
His friends were many and true-hearted,
His Poll was kind and fair.
And then he'd sing so blithe and jolly,
Ah! many's the time and oft;
But mirth is turned to melancholy,
For Tom is gone aloft.
Yet shall poor Tom find pleasant weather,
When he who all commands
Shall give, to call life's crew together,
The word to pipe all hands.
Thus death, who kings and tars dispatches,
In vain Tom's life has doff'd ;
For though his body's under-hatches,
His soul is gone aloft.
CCXXXIX. MICHAEL BRUCE, 1746–1767.
A RUSTIC SCENE.
Behold the village rise,
In rural pride, 'mong intermingled trees!
Above whose aged tops the joyful swains,
At even-tide descending from the hill,
With eye enamoured, mark the many wreaths
Of pillared smoke, high curling to the clouds.
The streets resound with Labour's various voice,
Who whistles at his work. Gay on the green,
Young blooming boys, and girls with golden hair,
Trip, nimble-footed, wanton in their play,
The village hope. All in a reverend row,
Their gray-haired grandsires, sitting in the sun,
Before the gate, and leaning on the staff,
The well-remembered stories of their youth
Recount, and shake their aged locks with joy.
How fair a prospect rises to the eye,
Where Beauty vies in all her vernal forms
For ever pleasant, and for ever new!
Swells the exulting thought, expands the soul,
Drowning each ruder care: a blooming train
Of bright ideas rushes on the mind,
Imagination rouses at the scene;
And backward, through the gloom of ages past,
Beholds Arcadia, like a rural queen,
Encircled with her swains and rosy nymphs,
The mazy dance conducting on the green.
Nor yield to old Arcadia's blissful vales
Thine, gentle Leven! Green on either hand
Thy meadows spread, unbroken of the plough,
With beauty all their own. Thy fields rejoice
With all the riches of the golden year.
Fat on the plain, and mountain's sunny side,
Large droves of oxen, and the fleecy flocks,
Feed undisturbed; and fill the echoing air
With music, grateful to the master's ear.
The traveller stops, and gazes round and round
O'er all the scenes, that animate his heart
With mirth and music.
F'en the mendicant, on the old gray stone,
Sole sitting, suns him in the public way,
Feels his heart leap, and to himself he sings.
CCXL. SIR WILLIAM JONES, 1746-1794. 1. A STATE.
What constitutes a state ?
Not high-raised battlement or laboured mound,
Thick wall or moated gate;
Not cities proud with spires and turrets crowned;
Not bays and broad-armed ports,
Where, laughing at the storm, rich navies ride;
Not starred and spangled courts,
Where low-browed baseness wafts perfume to pride. No: men, high-minded men,
With powers as far above dull brutes endued
In forest, brake, or den,
As beasts excel cold rocks and brambles rude;
Men who their duties know,
But know their rights, and, knowing, dare maintain,
Prevent the long-aimed blow,
And crush the tyrant while they rend the chain:
These constitute a state,
And sovereign Law, that state's collected will,
O'er thrones and globes elate
Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill;
Smit by her sacred frown,
The fiend Discretion like a vapour sinks,
And e'en the all-dazzling Crown
Hides his faint rays, and at her bidding shrinks.
Before thy mystic altar, heavenly Truth,
I kneel in manhood as I knelt in youth:
Thus let me kneel, till this dull form decay,
And life's last shade be brightened by thy ray:
Then shall my soul, now lost in clouds below,
Soar without bound, without consuming glow.
Sir Edward Coke: Six hours in sleep, in law's grave study six,
Four spend in prayer-the rest on nature fix.
Rather: Seven hours to law, to soothing slumber seven,
Ten to the world allot, and all to