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Shame knew him not, he dreaded no disgrace;
(Bane of the poor! it wounds their weaker mind, To miss one favour, which their neighbours find:) Yet far was he from stoic pride remov'd;
He felt humanely, and he warmly lov'd:
I mark'd his action, when his infant died,
A pride in honest fame, by virtue gain'd,
In sturdy boys to virtuous labours train'd;
He had no party's rage, no sect'ry's whim ; Christian and countrymen were all with him: True to his church he came; no Sunday-shower
Kept him at home in that important hour;
In times severe, when many a sturdy swain Felt it his pride, his comfort, to complain; Isaac their wants would soothe, his own would hide, And feel in that his comfort and his pride.
At length he found, when seventy years were run. His strength departed, and his labour done; When he, save honest fame, retain'd no more, But lost his wife, and saw his children poor: 'Twas then a spark of-say not discontentStruck on his mind, and thus he gave it vent:
"Kind are your laws ('tis not to be denied,) That in yon House, for ruin'd age, provide, And they are just ;-when young we give you all, And for assistance in our weakness call.. Why then this proud reluctance to be fed, To join your poor, and eat the parish bread? But yet I linger, loth with him to feed, Who gains his plenty by the sons of need; He who, by contract, all your paupers took, And gauges stomachs with an anxious look: On some old master I could well depend; See him with joy, and thank him as a friend; But ill on him, who doles the day's supply, And counts our chances who at night may die: Yet help me, Heav'n! and let me not complain Of what I suffer, but my fate sustain."
Such were his thoughts, and so resign'd he grew; Daily he plac'd the Workhouse in his view! But came not there, for sudden was his fate, He dropp'd, expiring, at his cottage gate.
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
A wise good man contented to be poor.
THE PARTING LOOK.
ONE day he lighter seem'd, and they forgot
PSYCHE GAZING UPON THE LOVE-GOD.
ALLOW'D to settle on celestial eyes, Soft Sleep, exulting, now exerts his sway, From Psyche's anxious pillow gladly flies To veil those orbs, whose pure and lambent ray The Powers of heaven submissively obey. Trembling and breathless then she softly rose, And seized the lamp, where it obscurely lay, With hand too rashly daring to disclose The sacred veil which hung mysterious o'er her woes.
Twice, as with agitated step she went,
The lamp, expiring, shone with doubtful gleam, As though it warn'd her from her rash intent; And twice she paus'd, and on its trembling beam Gazed with suspended breath, while voices seem With murmuring sound along the roof to sigh; As one just waking from a troublous dream, With palpitating heart and straining eye, Still fix'd with fear remains, still thinks the danger nigh.
Oh, daring Muse! wilt thou indeed essay
To paint the wonders which that lamp could show?
That splendid vision could be well exprest, The fearful awe imprudent Psyche knew, Would seize with rapture every wondering breast, When Love's all-potent charms divinely stood confest.
All imperceptible to human touch,
His wings display celestial essence light;
The clear effulgence of the blaze is such,
A youth he seems in manhood's freshest years.
Or shades his darker brow, which grace majestic wears;
Or o'er his guileless front his ringlets bright
The friendly curtain of indulgent sleep
Thus through some narrow space the azure day,
Wide darts its lucid beams, to gild the brow of night.
His fatal arrows and celestial bow
Beside the couch were negligently thrown,