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MINOR POEMS.

AN EPISTLE TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ.

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DEAR Joseph-five and twenty years ago
Alas, how time escapes !—'tis even so
With frequent intercourse, and always sweet,
And always friendly, we were wont to cheat
A tedious hour-and now we never meet!
As some grave gentleman in Terence says,
('Twas therefore much the same in ancient days)
Good lack, we know not what to-morrow brings-
Strange fluctuation of all human things !
True. Changes will befall, and friends may part,
But distance only cannot change the heart:
And were I called to prove the assertion true,
One proof should serve-a reference to you.

Whence comes it then, that in the wane of life,
Though nothing have occurred to kindle strife,
We find the friends we fancied we had won,
Though numerous once, reduced to few or none ?
Can gold grow worthless that has stood the touch ?
No; gold they seemed, but they were never such.

Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringe,
Swinging the parlour door upon its hinge,
Dreading a negative, and overawed
Lest he should trespass, begged to go abroad.

Go, fellow !-whither?'— turning short about-
Nay-stay at home-you're always going out.'
''Tis but a step, sir, just at the street's end.'-
"For what?'—'An please you, sir, to see a friend.'-

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Or should the brambles, interposed, our fall
In part abate, that happiness were small;
For with a race like theirs no chance I see
Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we.
Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple’s bray,
Or be it not, or be it whose it may,
And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues
Of demons uttered, from whatever lungs,
Sounds are but sounds, and till the cause appear,
We have at least commodious standing here.
Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast
From earth or hell, we can but plunge at last.'

While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals,
For Reynard, close attended at his heels
By panting dog, tired man, and spattered horse,
Through mere good fo ine, took a different course.
The flock grew calm again, and I, the road
Following, that led me to my own abode,
Much wondered that the silly sheep had found
Such cause of terror in an empty sound
So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound.

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MORAL.

Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day,
Live till to-morrow, will have passed away.

THE YEARLY DISTRESS; OR, TITHING

TIME, AT STOCK, IN ESSEX.

Verses addressed to a Country Clergyman complaining of the disagree

ableness of the day annually appointed for receiving the Dues at the Parsonage.

COME, ponder well, for 'tis no jest,

To laugh it would be wrong,
The troubles of a worthy priest,

The burden of my song,

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In sooth the sorrow of such days

Is not to be expressed,
When he that takes, and he that pays,

Are both alike distressed.

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Now, all unwelcome at his gates,

The clumsy swains alight,
With rueful faces and bald pates--

He trembles at the sight.

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And well he may, for well he knows

Each bumpkin of the clan, Instead of paying what he owes,

Will cheat him if he can.

So in they come--each makes his leg,

And flings his head before, And looks as if he came to beg,

And not to quit a score.

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And how does miss and madam do,

The little boy and all?'
All tight and well. And how do you,

Good Mr. What-d'ye-call?'

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