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THE FARMER OF TILSBURY VALE. 'Tis not for the unfeeling, the falsely refined, The squeamish in taste, and narrow of mind, And the small critic wielding his delicate pen, That I sing of old Adam, the pride of old men. He dwells in the centre of London's wide town; His staff is a sceptre-his gray hairs a crown ; Erect as a sunflower he stands, and the streak Of the unfaded rose still enlivens his cheek. Mid the dews, in the sunshine of morn, mid the joy Of the fields, he collected that bloom, when a boy ; There fashioned that countenance, which, in spite of a

stain That his life hath received, to the last will remain. A farmer he was ; and his house far and near Was the boast of the country for excellent cheer : How oft have I heard in sweet Tilsbury vale Of the silver-rimmed horn whence he dealt his mild ale! Yet Adam was far as the farthest from ruin, His fields seemed to know what their master was doing; And turnips, and corn-land, and meadow, and lea, All caught the infection-as generous as he. Yet Adam prized little the feast and the bowl, The fields better suited the ease of his soul : He strayed through the fields like an indolent wight, The quiet of nature was Adam's delight. For Adam was simple in thought, and the poor, Familiar with him, made an inn of his door : He gave them the best that he had ; or, to say What less may mislead you, they took it away.

Thus thirty smooth years did he thrive on his farm;
The genius of plenty preserved him from harm :
At length, what to most is a season of sorrow,
His means are run out, he must beg, or must borrow.

To the neighbours he went, all were free with their

money; For his hive had so long been replenished with honey, That they dreamt not of dearth; he continued his rounds, Knocked here, and knocked there, pounds still adding

to pounds. He paid what he could with this ill-gotten pelf, And something, it might be, reserved for himself: Then (what is too true), without hinting a word, Turned his back on the country ; and off like a bird.

You lift up your eyes ! but I guess that you frame
A judgment too harsh of the sin and the shame;
In him it was scarcely a business of art,
For this he did all in the ease of his heart.

To London-a sad emigration I ween-
With his grey hairs he went from the brook and the green;
And there with small wealth but his legs and his hands,
As lonely he stood as a crow on the sands.

All trades, as need was, did old Adam assume,
Served as stable-boy, errand-boy, porter, and groom;
But nature is gracious, necessity kind,
And, in spite of the shame that may lurk in his mind,

He seems ten birthdays younger, is green and is stout;
Twice as fast as before does his blood run about :
You would say that each hair of his beard was alive.
And his fingers are busy as bees in a hive.

For he's not like an old man that leisurely goes
About work that he knows, in a track that he knows;
But often his mind is compelled to demur,
And you guess that the more then his body must stir.

In the throng of the town like a stranger is he,
Like one whose own country's far over the sea ;
And nature, while through the great city he hies,
Full ten times a day takes his heart by surprise.

This gives him the fancy of one that is young,
More of soul in his face than of words on his tongue;
Like a maiden of twenty he trembles and sighs,
And tears of fifteen will come into his eyes.

What's a tempest to him, or the dry parching heats?
Yet he watches the clouds that pass over the streets;
With a look of such earnestness often will stand,
You might think he'd twelve reapers at work in the

Strand.

Where proud Covent Garden, in desolate hours
Of snow and hoar-frost, spreads her fruit and her flowers,
Old Adam will smile at the pains that have made
Poor winter look fine in such strange masquerade.

Mid coaches and chariots, a waggon of straw,
Like a magnet, the heart of old Adam can draw;
With a thousand soft pictures his memory will teem,
And his hearing is touched with the sounds of a dream.

Up the Haymarket hill he oft whistles his way,
Thrusts his hands in the waggon, and smells at the hay;
He thinks of the fields he so often hath mown,
And is happy as if the rich freight were his own.

But chiefly to Smithfield he loves to repair, -
If you pass by at morning, you 'll meet with him there:
The breath of the cows you may see him inhale,
And his heart all the while is in Tilsbury Vale.
Now farewell, old Adam ! when low thou art laid,
May one blade of grass spring up over thy head;
And I hope that thy grave, wheresoever it be,
Will hear the wind sigh through the leaves of a tree,

THE SMALL CELANDINE, There is a flower, the lesser Celandine, That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain; And, the first moment that the sun may shine, Bright as the sun itself, 'tis out again! When hailstones have been falling, swarm on swarm, Or blasts the green field and the trees distressed, Oft have I seen it muffled up from harm, In close self-shelter, like a thing at rest. But lately, one rough day, this flower I passed And recognized it, though an altered form, Now standing forth an offering to the blast, And buffeted at will by rain and storm. I stopped, and said with inly-muttered voice, “It doth not love the shower, nor seek the cold: This neither is its courage nor its choice, But its necessity in being old. “The sunshine may not cheer it, nor the dew; It cannot help itself in its decay ; Stiff in its members, withered, changed of hue.” And, in my spleen, I smiled that it was gray.

To be a prodigal's favourite-then, worse truth,
A miser's pensioner-behold our lot!
O man, that from thy fair and shining youth
Age might but take the things youth needed not!

THE TWO THIEVES;

OR, THE LAST STAGE OF AVARICE. Oh, now that the genius of Bewick were mine, And the skill which he learned on the banks of the Tyne! Then the muses might deal with me just as they chose, For I'd take my last leave both of verse and of prose. What feats would I work with my magical hand ! Book-learning and books should be banished the land : And, for hunger and thirst, and such troublesome calls, Every alehouse should then have a feast on its walls. The traveller would hang his wet clothes on a chair ; Let them smoke, let them burn, not a straw would he care! For the Prodigal Son, Joseph's Dream and his sheaves, Oh, what would they be to my tale of two thieves? The one, yet unbreeched, is not three birthdays old, His grandsire that age more than thirty times told; There are ninety good seasons of fair and foul weather Between them, and both go a-stealing together. With chips is the carpenter strewing his floor? Is a cart-load of turf at an old woman's door? Old Daniel his hand to the treasure will slide ! And his grandson's as busy at work by his side. Old Daniel begins, he stops short-and his eye, Through the lost look of dotage, is cunning and sly. 'Tis a look which at this time is hardly his own, But tells a plain tale of the days that are flown.

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