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GEORGE CRABBE.-Born, 1754; Died, 1832.

George Crabbe was the son of a man in humble life at Aldborough, in Suffolk. Receiving a good education, he went to London to seek a living by his pen, but failed, and was rescued from great distress by Burke, to whom he made his case known. Entering Holy Orders, he was finally appointed rector of Trowbridge, Wilts. His poems, “ The Borough,”

,"" The Parish Register," &c., are all drawn from real life, and show marvellous truthfulness of description, and not seldom a tender pathos and quiet humour that lend them a great charm.


From The Parish Register."


To pomp and pageantry in nought allied,
A noble peasant, Isaac Ashford, died.
Noble he was, contemnings all things mean,
His truth unquestioned, and his soul serene:
Of no man's presence Isaac felt afraid,
At no man's question Isaac looked dismayed:
Shame knew him not, he dreaded no disgrace;
Truth, simple truth, was written in his face;
Yet while the serious thought his soul approved,
Cheerful he seemed, and gentleness he loved:
To bliss domestic he his heart resigned,
And, with the firmest, had the fondest mind:
Were others joyful, he looked smiling on,

allowance where he needed none;
Good he refused with future ill to buy,
Nor knew a joy that caused reflection's sigh ;


'pageantry, display.

? contemning, despising.

A friend to virtue, his unclouded breast
No envy stung, no jealousy distressed;
(Bane of the poor! it wounds their weaker mind,
To miss one favour which their neighbours find :)
Yet far was he from stoic pride removed;
He felt humanely, and he warmly loved :
I marked his action when his infant died,
And his old neighbour for offence was tried;
The still tears, stealing down the furrowed cheek,
Spoke pity plainer than the tongue can speak.
If pride were his, 'twas not their vulgar pride,
Who, in their base contempt, the great deride :
Nor pride in learning, though my clerk agreed,
If fate should call him, Ashford might succeed;
Nor pride in rustic skill, although he knew
None his superior, and his equals few :
But if that spirit in his soul had place,
It was the jealous pride that shuns disgrace;
A pride in honest fame, by virtue gained,
In sturdy boys to virtuous labours trained;
Pride in the power that guards his country's coast,
And all that Englishmen enjoy and boast;
Pride in a life that slander’s tongue defied,
In fact, a noble passion, misnamed pride.
I feel his absence in the hours of prayer,
And view his seat, and sigh for Isaac there;
I see no more those white locks thinly spread
Round the bald polish of that honoured head;
No more that awful glance on playful wight,

3 stoic pride. The self-restraint and uppitying pride of the Stoic philosophers

were proverbiale

Compelled to kneel, and tremble at the sight,
To fold his fingers all in dread the while,
Till Master Ashford softened to a smile;
No more that meek and suppliant look in prayer,
Nor the pure faith (to give it force,) are there;
But he is blessed, and I lament no more,
A wise good man, contented to be poor.


W, BLAKE.-Born, 1757; Died, 1828.

William Blake was a celebrated engraver, but, also, a poet of no ordinary merit. His designs as an artist were as full of genius as his verses, but he never rose, during his life, above comparative poverty and obscurity.


“Awake, awake, my little boy !

Thou wast thy mother's only joy ;
Why dost thou weep in thy gentle sleep?
O wake! thy father does thee keep.”

_66 what land is the Land of Dreams ?
What are its mountains, and what are its streams?
O father! I saw my mother there,
Among the lilies, by waters fair.
“ Among the lambs, clothed in white,

She walked with her Thomas in sweet delight:
I wept for joy ; like a dove I mourn :-
O when shall I again return!”

-“6 Dear child! I, also, by pleasant streams
Have wander'd all night in the Land of Dreams :-
But, though calm and warm the waters wide,
I could not get to the other side.”

-“ Father, O Father! what do we here,
In this land of unbelief and fear?-
The Land of Dreams is better far,
Above the light of the morning star.'

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The son of a Scottish ploughman, and himself bred to the same humble calling, Robert Burns showed himself a poet of amazing genius. To estimate its strength his disadvantages must be remembered. As a song writer he is, perhaps, unequalled, and while humour marks some of his pieces; exquisite sensibility to natural beauty others; a large-hearted humanity not a few; there can be no question of the tender depth of feeling and delicate purity of expression in those given here.

Thou lingering star, with less’ning ray,

That lov'st to greet the early morn,
Again thou usher'st in the day

My Mary from my soul was torn.
Oh, Mary! dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of peaceful rest?
See’st thou thy lover lowly laid ?

Hear’st thou the groans that rend his breast?

2 the morning star.

1 Mary Campbell, an early love of

Burns, who died in her youth.

That sacred hour can I forget,

Can I forget the hallowed grove,
Where, by the winding Ayr, we met,

To live one day of parting love!


Eternity will not efface

Those records dear of transports past;
Thy image at our last embrace;

Ah! little thought we 'twas our last!

Ayr, gurgling, kissed his pebbled shore,

O'erhung with wild woods, thick’ning green;
The fragrant birch, and hawthorn hoar,

Twined amorous round the raptured scene.

The flowers sprang wanton to be prest,

The birds sang love on every spray,
Till too, too soon, the glowing west

Proclaimed the speed of winged day.

Still o'er these scenes my mem'ry wakes,

And fondly broods with miser care;
Time but the impression deeper makes,

As streams their channels deeper wear.

My Mary! dear departed shade!

Where is thy place of blissful rest?
See'st thou thy lover lowly laid?

Hear'st thou the groans that rend his breast ?

3 Ayr, a streamlet in Ayrshire,


* efface, wear away.
wanton, as if askinz, in their joy.


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