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VII.

When children first begin to spell,
And stammer out a syllable,

We think them tedious creatures;
But difficulties soon abate,
When birds are to be taught to prate,

And women are the teachers.

THE SHRUBBERY.

WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION.

I.

Oh happy shades....to me unblest !

Friendly to peace, but not to me! How ill the scene that offers rest,

And heart that cannot rest, agree!

II.

This glassy stream, that spreading pine,

Those alders quiv'ring to the breeze, Might sooth a soul less hurt than mine,

And please, if any thing could please.

III.

But fix'd unalterable care

Foregoes not what she feels within, Shows the same sadness ev'ry where,

And slights the season and the scene.

IV.

For all that pleas'd in wood or lawn,

While peace possess'd these silent bow'rs, Her animating smile withdrawn,

Has lost its beauties and its pow'rs.,

V

The saint or moralist should tread

This moss-grown alley, musing, slow; They seek, like me, the secret shade,

But not, like me, to nourish woe!

VI.

Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste

Alike admonish not to roam; These tell me of enjoyments past,

And those of sorrows yet to come.

THE WINTER NOSEGAY.

1.

WHAT nature, alas! has denied

To the delicate growth of our isle, Art has in a measure supplied,

And winter is deck'd with a smile.

See, Mary, what beauties I bring

From the shelter of that sunny shed, Where the flow'rs have the charms of the spring,

Though abroad they are frozen and dead.

II.

'Tis a bow'r of Arcadian sweets,

Where Flora is still in her prime, A fortress, to which she retreats

From the cruel assaults of the climc. While earth wears a mantle of snow,

These pinks are as fresh and as gay, As the fairest and sweetest that blow

On the beautiful bosom of May.

III.

See how they have safely surviv'd

The frowns of a sky so severe ; Such Mary's true love, that has liv'd

Through many a turbulent year. The charms of the late blowing rose

Seem grac'd with a livelier hue, And the winter of sorrow best shows

The truth of a friend such as you.

MUTUAL FORBEARANCE

NECESSARY TO THE HAPPINESS OF THE MARRIED

STATE.

THE lady thus address'd her spouse..
What a mere dungeon is this house!
By no means large enough ; and, was it,
Yet this dull room, and that dark closet....
Those hangings, with their worn-out graces,
Long beards, long noses, and pale faces....
Are such an antiquated scene,
They overwhelm me with the spleen!
Sir Humphry, shooting in the dark,
Makes answer quite beside the mark:
No doubt, my dear, I bade him come,
Engag'd myself to be at home,
And shall expect him at the door
Precisely when the clock strikes four.

You are so deaf, the lady cried,
(And rais'd her voice, and frown'd beside)
You are so sadly deaf, my dear,
What shall I do to make you hear?

Dismiss poor Harry! he replies;
Some people are more nice than wise....
For one slight trespass all this stir?
What if he did ride whip and spur,
'Twas but a mile....your fav'rite horse
Will never look one hair the worse.

Well, I protest 'tis past all bearing....
Child! I am rather hard of hearing....
Yes, truly....one must scream and bawl....
I tell you, you can't hear at all!
Then, with a voice exceeding low,
No matter if you hear or no,

Alas! and is domestic strife,
That sorest ill of human life,
A plague so little to be fear'd,
As to be wantonly incurr'd,
To gratify a fretful passion,
On ev'ry trivial provocation?
The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasion to forbear;
And something, ev'ry day they live,
To pity, and, perhaps, forgive.
But if infirmities that fall
In common to the lot of all....
A blemish or a sense impair'd....
Are crimes so little to be spar'd,
Then farewell all that must create
The comfort of the wedded state;
Instead of harmony, 'tis jar
And tumult, and intestine war.

The love that cheers life's latest stage,
Proof against sickness and old age,
Presery'd by virtue from declension,
Becomes not weary of attention;
But lives, when that exterior grace
Which first inspir'd the flame decays.

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