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AFFLICTED PROTESTANT LADY IN FRANCE.
A STRANGER's purpose in these lays
Is to congratulate and not to praise ;
To give the creature the Creator's due
Were sin in me, and an offence to you.
From man to man, or even to woman paid,
Praise is the medium of a knavish trade,
A coin by craft for folly's use design’d,
Spurious, and only current with the blind.
The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown;
No traveller ever reach'd that bless'd abode,
Who found not thorns and briers in his road.
The world may dance along the flowery plain,
Cheer'd as they go by many a sprightly strain :
Where Nature has her mossy velvet spread,
With unshod feet they yet securely tread;
Admonish'd, scorn the caution and the friend,
Bent all on pleasure, heedless of its end.
But He who knew what human hearts would prove,
How slow to learn the dictates of his love,
That, hard by nature and of stubborn will,
A life of ease would make them harder still,
In pity to the souls his grace design'd
To rescue from the ruins of mankind,
Callid for a cloud to darken all their years,
And said, “ Go spend them in the vale of tears!”
O balmy gales of soul-reviving air !
O salutary streams that murmur there!
These flowing from the Fount of Grace above,
'Those breathed from lips of everlasting love.
The flinty soil indeed their feet annoys,
Chill blasts of trouble nip their springing joys,
An envious world will interpose its frown
To mar delights superior to its own,
And many a pang experienced still within,
Reminds them of their hated inmate, Sin;
But ills of every shape and every name,
Transform’d to blessings, miss their cruel aim;
And every moment's calm that soothes the breast
Is given in earnest of eternal rest.
Ah, be not sad, although thy lot be cast
Far from the flock, and in a boundless waste !
No shepherd's tents within thy view appear,
But the chief Shepherd even there is near;
Thy tender sorrows and thy plaintive strain
Flow in a foreign land, but not in vain ;
Thy tears all issue from a source divine,
And every drop bespeaks a Saviour thine.
So once in Gideon's fleece the dews were found,
And drought on all the drooping herbs around.
THE YEARLY DISTRESS;
TITHING-TIME AT STOCK IN ESSEX.
VERSES ADDRESSED TO A COUNTRY CLERGYMAN, COM
PLAINING OF THE DISAGREEABLENESS OF THE DAY AN-
NUALLY APPOINTED FOR RECEIVING THE DUES AT THE
COME, ponder well, for 't is no jest,
To laugh it would be wrong ;
The troubles of a worthy priest
The burden of my song.
This priest he merry is and blithe
Three quarters of the year,
But oh! it cuts him like a scythe
When tithing-time draws near.
He then is full of frights and fears,
As one at point to die,
And long before the day appears
He heaves up many a sigh.
For then the farmers come, jog, jog,
Along the miry road,
Each heart as heavy as a log,
To make their payments good.
In sooth the sorrow of such days
Is not to be express'd,
When he that takes and he that pays
Are both alike distress'd.
Now all unwelcome at his gates
The clumsy swains alight,
With rueful faces and bald pates;
He trembles at the sight.
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. “ 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 ?”
The dinner comes, and down they sit:
Were e'er such hungry folk ?
There's little talking and no wit;
It is no time to joke.
One wipes his nose upon his sleeve,
One spits upon the floor,
Yet not to give offence or grieve,
Holds up the cloth before.
The punch goes round, and they are dull
And lumpish still as ever ;
Like barrels with their bellies full,
They only weigh the heavier.
At length the busy time begins,
“ Come, neighbours, we must wag.” The money chinks, down drop their chins,
Each lugging out his bag.
One talks of mildew and of frost,
And one of storms and hail,
And one of pigs that he has lost
By maggots at the tail.
Quoth one, “ A rarer man than you
In pulpit none shall hear;
But yet, methinks, to tell you true,
You sell it plaguey dear.”
Oh why are farmers made so coarse,
Or clergy made so fine ?
A kick that scarce would move a horse,
May kill a sound divine.
Then let the boobies stay at home;
'T would cost him, I dare say,
Less trouble taking twice the sum,
Without the clowns that pay.
LINES ADDRESSED TO DR. DARWIN,
“ BOTANIC GARDEN."
Two Poets, * (poets, by report,
Not oft so well agree,)
Sweet harmonist of Flora's court!
Conspire to honour thee.
They best can judge a poet's worth,
Who oft themselves have known
The pangs of a poetic birth
By labours of their own.
We therefore pleased extol thy song,
Though various yet complete,
Rich in embellishment as strong,
And learned as 't is sweet.
No envy mingles with our praise ;
Though, could our hearts repine
At any poet's happier lays,
They would—they must at thine.
But we, in mutual bondage knit
Of friendship’s closest tie,
Alluding to the poem by Mr. Hayley, which accompanied these
Can gaze on even Darwin's wit
With an unjaundiced eye;
And deem the bard, whoe'er he be,
And howsoever known,
Who would not twine a wreath for thee,
Unworthy of his own.
MRS. MONTAGU'S FEATHER HANGINGS.
The Birds put off their every hue,
To dress a room for Montagu.
The Peacock sends his heavenly dyes,
His rainbows and his starry eyes;
The Pheasant, plumes which round infold
His mantling neck with downy gold;
The Cock his arch'd tail's azure show;
And, river blanch’d, the Swan his snow.
All tribes beside of Indian name,
That glossy shine, or vivid flame,
Where rises and where sets the day,
Whate'er they boast of rich and gay,
Contribute to the gorgeous plan,
Proud to advance it all they can.
This plumage neither dashing shower,
Nor blasts that shake the dripping bower,
Shall drench again or discompose,
But, screen'd from every storm that blows,
It boasts a splendour ever new,
Safe with protecting Montagu.
To the same patroness resort,
Secure of favour at her court,
Strong Genius, from whose forge of thought
Forms rise, to quick perfection wrought,
Which, though newborn, with vigour move,
Like Pallas springing arm'd from Jove;
Imagination scattering round
Wild roses over furrow'd ground,
Which Labour of his frown beguile,
And teach Philosophy a smile ;