Page images
PDF
EPUB

114

THE PRIMROSE AND BRAMBLE.

“ Alas! thou poor unhappy thing,
Not bless'd with either thorn or sting,
What shall protect, if this lone shade
The trav’ller's trampling feet invade?
Me should he dare to touch, with speed
He should repent th' audacious deed :
Such insolence I'd soon repay,
And send him bleeding hence away.”
His boast the primrose meekly hears,
Nor felt from thence uneasy fears ;
Since thorns she deem'd a less defence
Than unoffending innocence.
Ere long, to shun Sol's scorching rays,
Close to the hedge a trav’ller strays :
The bramble did as she had plann'd,
And deeply scratch'd his passing hand.
The man, resentful of the deed,
Soon rooted up the worthless weed;
Toss'd it, indignant, from his sight,
That none might suffer from its spite :
While undisturb’d the primrose blooms,
And all admire its sweet perfumes.

My dearest child! the tale attend,
And learn this maxim from a friend,
This maxim often taught in vain, -
“ Ill-nature still produces pain :
At others though she aims her dart,
It turns, and pierces her own heart;
While meekness does the soul engage,
Admir'd, belov’d, in youth or age.”

T

The Bee, Ant, and Sparrow.

On a bright dewy summer's morn,
A bee rang'd o'er the verdant lawn;
Studious to husband ev'ry hour,
And make the most of ev'ry flower.
Nimble from stalk to stalk she flies,
And loads with yellow wax her thighs,
With which the artist builds her comb,
And keeps all tight and warm at home;
Or from the cowslip's golden bells
Sucks honey to enrich her cells ;
Or ev'ry tempting rose pursues,
Or sips the lily's fragrant dews;
Yet never robs the shining bloom
Or of its beauty or perfume.
Thus she discharg'd, in every way,
The various duties of the day.

It chanced a frugal ant was near,
Whose brow was wrinkled o'er with care;
A great economist was she,
Nor less laborious than the bee :
By prudent parents often taught
What ills arise from want of thought;
That poverty on sloth attends,
On poverty the loss of friends.
Hence ev'ry day the ant is found
With anxious steps to tread the ground;
With curious search to trace the grain,
And drag the heavy load with pain.

116

THE BEE, ANT, AND SPARROW.

The active bee with pleasure saw
The ant fulfil her parent's law :
“ Ah! sister-labourer,” says she,
How very fortunate are we,
Who, taught in infancy to know
The comforts which from labour flow,
Are independent of the great,
Nor know the wants of pride and state !
Why is our food so very sweet?
Because we earn before we eat.
Why are our wants so very few ?
Because we nature's calls pursue.
Whence our complacency of mind ?
Because we act our parts assign’d.
Have we incessant tasks to do?
Is not all nature busy too?
Doth not the sun, with constant pace,
Persist to run his annual race?
Do not the stars, which shine so bright,
Renew their courses ev'ry night?
Doth not the ox obedient bow
His patient neck, and draw the plough?
Or when did e'er the gen'rous steed
Withhold his labour, or his speed ?
If all nature's system scan,
The only idle thing is man.”

A wanton sparrow long'd to hear
Their sage discourse, and straight drew near ;
The bird was talkative and loud,
And very pert, and very proud :

you

As worthless and as vain a thing,
Perhaps, as ever wore a wing.
She found, as on a spray she sat,
The little friends were close in chat;
That virtue was their fav’rite theme,
And toil and probity their scheme.
She thought them arrant prudes at best;
Such talk was hateful to her breast :
When, to display her naughty mind,
Hunger with cruelty combin'd,
She view'd the ant with savage eyes,
And hopt, and hopt, to snatch her prize.
The bee, who watch'd her op’ning bill,
And guess'd her fell design to kill,
Ask'd her from whence her anger rose,
And why she treated ants as foes ?
The sparrow her reply began,
And thus the conversation ran :

“Whenever I'm disposed to dine,
I think the whole creation mine;
That I'm a bird of high degree,
And ev'ry insect made for me.
Hence oft I search the emmet-brood;
For emmets are delicious food;
And oft, in wantonness and play,
I slay ten thousand in a day.”

A prowling cat the miscreant spies,
And wide expands her amber eyes :
Near and more near grimalkin draws;
She wags her tail, portends her paws;

Then, springing on her thoughtless prey, She bore the vicious bird away.

Thus, in her cruelty and pride, The wicked wanton sparrow died.

COTTON.

John Gilpin.

John GILPIN was a citizen

Of credit and renown,
A train-band captain eke was he

Of famous London town.

John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,

“Though wedded we have been These twice ten tedious years, yet we

No holiday have seen.

To-morrow is our wedding-day,

And we will then repair Unto the Bell at Edmonton

All in a chaise and pair.

My sister, and my sister's child,

Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must ride

On horseback after we.”

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »