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Till Giles with ponderous beetle foremost go,


SHEEP, POULTRY, LITTERING And scattering splinters fly at every blow;

When pressing round him, eager for the prize,
From their mixt breath warm exhalations rise.

Left ye your bleating charge, when daylight fled,
Near where the hay-stack lifts its snowy head ?

Whose fence of bushy furze, so close and warm, If now in beaded rows drops deck the spray, May stop the slanting bullets of the storm. While Phoebus grants a momentary ray,

For, hark ! it blows ; a dark and dismal night! Let but a cloud's broad shadow intervene,

Heaven guide the traveller's fearful steps aright! And stiffened into gems the drops are seen ;

Now from the woods, mistrustful and sharp-eyed, And down the furrowed oak's broad southern side

The fox in silent darkness seems to glide, Streams of dissolving rime no longer glide.

Stealing around us, listening as he goes,

If chance the cock or stammering cockerel crows, THRESHING; FODDERING COWS AND SWINE IN THE YARD. Or goose, or nodding duck, should darkling cry, Though night approaching bids for rest prepare,

As if apprised of lurking danger nigh : Still the flail echoes through the frosty air,

Destruction waits them, Giles, if e'er you fail Nor stops till deepest shades of darkness come,

To bolt their doors against the driving gale. Sending at length the weary laborer home.

Strewed you (still mindful of the unsheltered head) From him, with bed and nightly food supplied,

Burdens of straw the cattle's welcome bed ? Throughout the yard, housed round on every side,

Thine heart should feel, what thou may'st hourly see, Deep-plunging cows their rustling feast enjoy,

That duty's basis is humanity :
And snatch sweet mouthfuls from the passing boy, of pain's unsavory cup though thou may'st taste
Who moves unseen beneath his trailing load, (The wrath of Winter from the bleak north-east),
Fills the tall racks, and leaves a scattered road ;

Thine utmost sufferings in the coldest day
Where oft the swine from ambush warm and dry A period terminates, and joys repay.'
Bolt out, and scamper headlong to their sty,

TUE FARMER-BOY'S LIFE COMPARED WITH THE SAILOR-BOY'S. When Giles, with well-known voice, already there,

-NIGUT ON THE WINTER SEA, - THE SEA-BOY'S LABDDeigns them a portion of his evening care.

Perhaps e'en



boast, Him tho' the cold may pierce, and storms molest,

Full many a bark rides down the neighboring coast, Succeeding hours shall cheer with warmth and rest:

Where the high northern waves tremendous roar, Gladness to spread, and raise the grateful smile, Drove down by blasts from Norway's icy shore. He hurls the fagot bursting from the pile,

The sea-boy there, less fortunate than thou, And many a log, and rifted trunk, conveys

Feels all thy pains in all the gusts that blow; To heap the fire, and to extend the blaze,

His freezing hands now drenched, now dry, by turns; That quivering strong through every opening flies, Now lost, now seen, the distant light that burns While smoky columns unobstructed rise.

On some tall cliff upraised, a flaming guide, For the rude architect, unknown to fame

That throws its friendly radiance o'er the tide. (Nor symmetry nor elegance his aim),

His labors cease not with declining day, Who spreads his floors of solid oak on high,

But toils and perils mark his watery way ; On beams rough-hewn, from age to age that lie,

And whilst in peaceful dreains secure we lie, Bade his wide fabric unimpaired sustain

The ruthless whirlwinds rage along the sky, Pomona's store, and cheese, and golden grain ;

Round his head whistling ! and shalt thou repine, Bade from its central base, capacious laid,

While this protecting roof still shelters thine?' The well-wrought chimney rear its lofty head ; Where since hath many a savory ham been stored, THE FARMER'S INSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATION WELL RECEIVED ;

DROWSINESS. And tempests howled, and Christmas gambols roared.

Mild, as the vernal shower, his words prevail, THE WINTER FIRESIDE; PLOCGHMEN AND GILES.

And aid the moral precept of his tale :
Flat on the hearth the glowing embers lie, His wondering hearers learn, and ever keep
And flames reflected dance in every eye :

These first ideas of the restless deep ;
There the long billet, forced at last to bend,

And, as the opening mind a circuit tries, While frothing sap gushes at either end, (smiles, Present felicities in value rise. Throws round its welcome heat :— the ploughman Increasing pleasures every hour they find, And oft the joke runs hard on sheepish Giles, The warmth more precious, and the shelter kind; Who sits joint tenant of the corner-stool,

Warmth that long reigning bids the eyelids close, The converse sharing, though in duty's school ; As through the blood its balmy influence goes, For now attentively 't is his to hear

When the cheered heart forgets fatigues and cares, Interrogations from the master's chair.

And drowsiness alone dominion bears.



Sweet then the ploughman slumbers, hale and When the last topic dies upon his tongue ; (young, Sweet then the bliss his transient dreams inspire, Till chillblains wake him, or the snapping fire.

He starts, and, ever thoughtful of his team, Along the glittering snow a feeble gleam Shoots from his lantern, as he yawning goes To add fresh comforts to their night's repose ; Diffusing fragrance as their food he moves, And pats the jolly sides of those he loves. Thus full replenished, perfect ease possest, From night till morn alternate food and rest, No rightful cheer withheld, no sleep debarred, Their each day's labor brings its sure reward. Yet when, from plough or lumbering cart set free, They taste a while the sweets of liberty, E'en sober Dobbin lifts his clumsy heels, And kicks, disdainful of the dirty wheels : But soon, his frolic ended, yields again To trudge the road, and wear the clinking chain.

His half-healed wounds inflamed ; again the wheels
With tiresome sameness in his ears resound,
O'er blinding dust, or miles of flinty ground.
Thus nightly robbed, and injured day by day,
His piecemeal murderers wear his life away.

What say'st thou, Dobbin? what tho' hounds await
With open jaws the moment of thy fate ?
No better fate attends his public race ;
His life is misery, and his end disgrace !
Then freely bear thy burden to the mill :
Obey but one short law, – thy driver's will.
Affection, to thy mem'ry ever true,
Shall boast of mighty loads that Dobbin drew,
And back to childhood shall the mind, with pride,
Recount thy gentleness in many a ride
To pond, or field, or village fair, when thou
Held'st high thy braided mane and comely brow;
And oft the tale shall rise to homely fame
Upon thy generous spirit and thy name.


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Short-sighted Dobbin !- thou canst only see The trivial hardships that encompass thee : Thy chains were freedom, and thy toils repose, Could the poor post-horse tell thee all his woes ; Show thee his bleeding shoulders, and unfold The dreadful anguish he endures for gold : Hired at each call of business, lust, or rage, That prompt the traveller on from stage to stage. Still on his strength depends their boasted speed ; For them his limbs grow weak, his bare ribs bleed; And though he groaning quickens at command, Their extra shilling in the rider's hand Becomes his bitter scourge : - -'t is he must feel The double efforts of the lash and steel ; Till when, up hill, the destined inn he gains, And trembling under complicated pains, Prone from his nostrils, darting on the ground, His breath emitted, floats in clouds around ; Drops chase each other down his chest and sides, And spattered mud his native color hides ; Through his swoln veins the boiling current flows, And every nerve a separate torture knows. His harness loosed, he welcomes eager-eyed The pail's full draught that quivers by his side ; And joys to see the well-known stable-door, As the starved mariner the friendly shore.

Though faithful to a proverb, we regard
The midnight chieftain of the farmer's yard,
Beneath whose guardianship all hearts rejoice,
Woke by the echo of his hollow voice ;
Yet as the hound may faltering quit the pack,
Snuff the foul scent, and hasten yelping back ;
And e'en the docile pointer know disgrace,
Thwarting the general instinct of his race;
E'en so the mastiff, or the meaner cur,
At times, will from the path of duty err
(A pattern of fidelity by day ;
By night a murderer, lurking for his prey),
And round the pastures or the fold will creep,
And, coward-like, attack the peaceful sheep ;
Alone the wanton mischief he pursues,
Alone in reeking blood his jaws imbrues ;
Chasing amain his frightened victims round,
Till death in wild confusion strews the ground ;
Then, wearied out, to kennel sneaks away,
And licks his guilty paws till break of day.

The dead discovered, and the news once spread,
Vengeance hangs o'er the unknown culprit's head;
And careful shepherds extra hours bestow
In patient watchings for the common foe;
A foe most dreaded now, when rest and peace
Should wait the season of the flock's increase.


Ah, well for him, if here his sufferings ceased, And ample hours of rest his pains appeased ! But, roused again, and sternly bade to rise, And shake refreshing slumber from his eyes, Ere his exhausted spirits can return, Or through his frame reviving ardor burn, Come forth he must, tho' limping, maimed, and sore; He hears the whip; the chaise is at the door ; The collar tightens,

nd again he feels


In part these nightly terrors to dispel,
Giles, ere he sleeps, his little flock must tell.
From the fireside with many a shrug he hies,
Glad if the full-orbed moon salute his eyes,
And through the unbroken stillness of the night
Shed on his path her beams of cheering light.
With sauntering step he climbs the distant stile,
Whilst all around him wears a placid smile ;



There views the white-robed clouds in clusters driven,
And all the glorious pageantry of heaven.
Low, on the utmost boundary of the sight,
The rising vapors catch the silver light;
Thence fancy measures, as they parting fly,
Which first will throw its shadow on the eye,
Passing the source of light; and thence away,
Succeeded quick by brighter still than they.
For yet above these wafted clouds are seen,
In a remoter sky, still more serene,
Others, detached in ranges through the air,
Spotless as snow, and countless as they 're fair ;
Scattered immensely wide from east to west,
The beauteous semblance of a flock at rest.
These, to the raptured mind, aloud proclaim
Their mighty Shepherd's everlasting name.

Whilst thus the loiterer's utmost stretch of soul
Climbs the still clouds, or passes those that roll,
And loosed imagination soaring goes
High o'er his home, and all his little woes,
Time glides away ; neglected duty calls !
At once from plains of light to earth he falls,
And down a narrow lane, well known by day,
With all his speed pursues his sounding way,
In thought still half absorbed, and chilled with cold;
When, lo! an object frightful to behold;
A grisly spectre, clothed in silver-gray,
Around whose feet the waving shadows play,
Stands in his path ! - He stops, and not a breath
Heaves from his heart, that sinks almost to death.

The happy thought alleviates his pain : He creeps another step, then stops again : Till slowly, as his noiseless feet draw near, Its perfect lineaments at once appear ; Its crown of shiv'ring ivy whispering peace, And its white bark that fronts the moon's pale face. Now, whilst his blood mounts upward, now he knows The solid gain that from conviction flows; And strengthened confidence shall hence fulfil (With conscious innocence more valued still) The drcariest task that winter nights can bring, By church-yard dark, or grove, or fairy ring ; Still buoying up the timid mind of youth, Till loit'ring reason hoists the scale of truth. With these blest guardians Giles his course pursues, Till, numbering his heavy-sided ewes, Surrounding stillness tranquillize his breast, And shape the dreams that wait his hours of rest.



As when retreating tempests we behold, Whose skirts at length the azure sky unfold, And, full of murmurings and mingled wrath, Slowly unshroud the smiling face of earth, Bringing the bosom joy : so Winter flies ! And see the source of life and light uprise ! A heightening arch o'er southern hills he bends; Warm on the cheek the slanting beam descends, And gives the reeking mead a brighter hue, And draws the modest primrose bud to view.



Loud the owl halloos o'er his head unseen ; All else is silent, dismally serene : Some prompt ejaculation, whispered low, Yet bears him up against the threatening foe ; And thus poor Giles, though half inclined to fly, Mutters his doubts, and strains his steadfast eye. "'T is not my crimes thou com’st here to reprove ; No murders stain my soul, no perjured love : If thou 'rt indeed what here thou seem'st to be, Thy dreadful mission cannot reach to me. By parents taught still to mistrust mine eyes, Still to approach cach object of surprise, Lest fancy's formful visions should deceive In moonlight paths, or glooms of falling eve, This then's the moment when my heart should try To scan thy motionless deformity ; But, O! the fearful task ! yet well I know An aged ash, with many a spreading bough (Beneath whose leaves I've found a Summer's bower, Beneath whose trunk I've weathered many a Stands singly down this solitary way, (shower), But far beyond where now my footsteps stay. 'T is true, thus far I've come with heedless haste; No reckoning kept, no passing objects traced : And can I, then, have reached that very tree ! Or is its reverend form assumed by thee?'



Yet frosts succeed, and winds impetuous rush, And bail-storms rattle through the budding bush ; And night-fallen lambs require the shepherd's care, And teeming ewes, that still their burdens bear; Beneath whose sides to-morrow's dawn may sce The milk-white strangers bow the trembling knee; At whose first birth the powerful instinct 's seen That fills with champions the daisied green : For ewes that stood aloof with fearful eye, With stamping foot, now men and dogs defy, And, obstinately faithful to their young, Guard their first steps to join the bleating throng.



But casualties and death from damps and cold Will still attend the well-conducted fold : Her tender offspring dead, the dam aloud Calls, and runs wild, amidst the unconscious crowd: And orphaned sucklings raise the piteous cry; No wool to warm them, no defenders nigh. And must her streaming milk then flow in vain? Must unregarded innocence complain? No; -ere this strong solicitude subside, Maternal fondness may be fresh applied,

And the adopted stripling still may find
A parent most assiduously kind.
For this he's doomed a while disguised to range
(For fraud or force must work the wished-for change),
For this his predecessor's skin he wears,
Till cheated into tenderness and cares,
The unsuspecting dam, contented grown,
Cherish and guard the fondling as her own.


Thus all by turns to fair perfection rise ; Thus twins are parted to increase their size : Thus instinct yields as interest points the way, Till the bright flock, augmenting every day, On sunny hills and vales of springing flowers With ceaseless clamor greet the vernal hours.

The humbler shepherd here with joy beholds The approved economy of crowded folds, And, in his small contracted round of cares, Adjusts the practice of each hint he hears : For boys with emulation learn to glow, And boast their pastures, and their healthful show Of well-grown lambs, the glory of the Spring, And field to field in competition bring.


MENDED BY PASSERS BY. E'en Giles, for all his cares and watchings past, And all his contests with the wintry blast, Claims a full share of that sweet praise bestowed By gazing neighbors, when along the road, Or village green, his curly-coated throng Suspends the chorus of the spinner's song ; When admiration's unaffected grace Lisps from the tongue, and beams in every face : Delightful moments !- sunshine, health, and joy, Play round and cheer the elevated boy ! THANKSGIVING, PRAISE, AND PRAYER, OF THE FARMER'S BOY,

IN PROSPECT OF A NEW YEAR. Another Spring !' his heart exulting cries ; Another year! with promised blessings rise ! Eternal Power ! from whom these blessings flow, Teach me still more to wonder, more to know : Seed-time and harvest let me see again ; Wander the leaf-strewn wood, the frozen plain : Let the first flower, corn-waving field, plain, tree, Here round my home, still lift my soul to Thee ; And let me, ever, midst thy bounties, raiso An humble note of thankfulness and praise !'

Tusser's “January's Husbandry."

A kindly good January Forgotten month past,

Freezeth pot by the fire. Do now at the last. When Christmas is ended bid feasting adieu, Go play the good husband thy stock to renew, Be mindful of rearing, in hope of a gain Dame profit shall give thee reward for thy pain. Who both by his calf and his lamb will be known, May well kill a neat and sheep of his own; And he that can rear up a pig in his house, Hath cheaper his bacon, and sweeter his souse. Who eateth his veal, pig and lamb, being froth, Shall, twice in a week, go to bed without broth : Unskilful that pass not, but sell away, sell, Shall never have plenty wherever they dwell. Be greedy in spending and careless to save, And shortly be needy, and ready to crave ; Be wilful to kill, and unskilful to store, And look for no foison, I tell thee before. * * Leave killing of coney, let doe go to buck, And vermine thy borough, for fear of ill-luck. Feed dovo (no more killing), old dove-house repair, Save dove-dung for hop-yard, when house ye make

fair. ** From Christmas till May be well entered in, Some cattle wax faint and look poorly and thin ; And chiefly when primo grass at first doth appear Then most is the danger of all the whole year.

Take verjuice 1 and heat it, a pint to a cow,
Bay salt, a handful, to rub tongue ye wot how :
That done with the salt, let her drink off the rest ;
This many times raiseth up the feeble beast. * *
In ridding of pasture, with turfs that lie by,
Fill every hole up as close as a die :
The labor is little, the profit is gay,
Whatever the loitering laborers say.
The sticks and the stones go gather up clean,
For hurting of scythe or for harming of green.
For fear of Hugh Prowler get home with the rest ;
When frost is at hardest then carriage is best.
Young broom, or good pasture, thy ewes do require,
Warm barth,2 and in safety, their lambs do desire :
Look often well to them, for foxes and dogs,
For pits, and for brambles, for vermin, and hogs.
More dainty the lamb, the more worth to be sold,
The sooner the better, for ewe that is old ;
But if yo do mind to have milk of the dame,
Till May do not sever the lamb from the same.
Ewes yearly by twinning rich masters do make ;
The lamb of such twinners for breeders go take. * *
Calves likely that come between Christmas and Lent
Take huswife to rear,3 or else after repent. * *
The senior weaned, his younger shall teach
Both how to drink water and hay for to reach :
More stroken and made of, when aught it doth ail,
More gentle ye make it, for yoke or the pail. * *
1 Juice of crab-apples. 2 Berth ; lair, place to lie in.

1 It is still too common to sell and kill animals when too young. Broth was formerly the supper-dish in farmhouses.

the strongest stock, if well attended to.

3 Early

res ma

Pastoral for January.

VIRGIL'S “MELIBUS." BENEATH a holm, repaired two jolly swains ; Their sheep and goats together grazed the plains : Both young Arcadians, both alike inspired To sing, and answer as the song required. Daphnis, as umpire, took the middle seat ; And fortune thither led my weary feet. For while I fenced my myrtles from the cold, The father of my flock had wandered from the fold. Of Daphnis I inquired; he, smiling, said, Dismiss your fear, and pointed where he fed. And, if no greater cares disturb your mind, Sit here with us, in covert of the wind. Your lowing heifers, of their own accord, At watering time will seek the neighboring ford. Here wanton Mincius winds along the meads, And shades his happy banks with bending reeds : And see from yon old oak, that mates the skies, How black the clouds of sw bees arise. What should I do! nor was Alcippe nigh, Nor absent Phyllis could my care supply ; To house, and feed by hand my weaning lambs, And drain the strutting udders of their dams? Great was the strife betwixt the singing swains : And I preferred my pleasure to my gains. Alternate rhyme the ready champions choge ; These Corydon rehearsed, and Thyrsis those. Corydon. Ye Muses, ever fair, and ever young, Assist my numbers, and inspire my song. With all my Codrus, 0, inspire my breast ! For Codrus, after Phoebus, sings the best. Or, if my wishes have presumed too high, And stretched their bounds beyond mortality, The praise of artful numbers I resign, And hang my pipe upon the sacred pine. Thyrsis. Arcadian swains, your youthful poetcrown With ivy wreaths; though surly Codrus frown. Or if he blast my Muse with envious praise, Then fence my brows with amulets of bays ; Lest his ill arts, or his malicious tongue, Should poison, or bewitch, my growing song. C. These branches of a stag, this tusky boar (The first essay of arms untried before), Young Mycon offers, Delia, to thy shrine ; But speed his hunting with thy power divine. Thy statue then of Parian stone shall stand ; Thy legs in buskins with a purple band. T. This bowl of milk, these cakes (our country fare), For thee, Priapus, yearly we prepare, Because a little garden is thy care. But if the falling lambs increase my fold, Thy marble statue shall be turned to gold.

C. Fair Galatea, with thy silver feet,
0, whiter than the swan, and more than Hybla sweet !
Tall as a poplar, taper as the bole,
Come, charm thy shepherd, and restore my soul.
Come, when my lated sheep at night return;
And crown the silent hours, and stop the rosy morn.
T. May I become as abject in thy sight
As sea-weed on the shore, and black as night ;
Rough as a bur, deformed like him who chaws
Sardinian herbage to contract his jaws ;
Such and so monstrous let thy swain appear,
If one day's absence looks not like a year.
Hence from the field for shame : the flock deserves
No better feeding while the shepherd starves.
C. Ye mossy springs, inviting easy sleep, [keep,
Ye trees, whose leafy shades those mossy fountains
Defend my flock; the summer heats are near,
And blossoms on the swelling vines appear.
T. With heapy fires our cheerful hearth is crowned ;
And firs for torches in the woods abound :
We fear not more the winds and wintry cold,
Than streams the banks, or wolves the bleating fold.
C. Our woods, with juniper and chestnuts crowned,
With falling fruits and berries paint the ground ;
And lavish nature laughs, and strews her stores
But if Alexis from our mountains fly, (around.
Even running rivers leave their channels dry.
T. Parched are the plains, and frying is the field,
Nor withering vines their juicy vintage yield.
But if returning Phyllis bless the plain,
The grass revives ; the woods are green again ;
And Jove descends in showers of kindly rain.
C. The poplar is by great Alcides worn ;
The brows of Phoebus his own bays adorn ;
The branching vine the jolly Bacchus loves ;
The Cyprian queen delights in myrtle groves.
With hazel Phyllis crowns her flowing hair ;
And while she loves that common wreath to wear,
Nor bays, nor myrtle boughs, with hazel shall con-

T. The towering ash is fairest in the woods ;
In gardens pines, and poplars by the floods :
But if my Lycidas will ease my pains,
And often visit our forsaken plains,
To him the towering ash shall yield in woods ;
In gardens pines, and poplars by the floods.
Melibaus. These rhymes I did to memory com-

When vanquished Thyrsis did in vain contend ;
Since when, 't is Corydon among the swains,
Young Corydon without a rival reigns.

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