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“This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
Might have bloom'd with its owner awhile; And the tear, that is wiped with a little address,
May be follow'd, perhaps, by a smile.” CoWPER
THE BEGGAR'S PETITION. Pity the sorrows of a poor old man,
Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door, Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span;
Oh! give relief; and Heaven will bless your store. These tatter'd clothes my poverty bespeak, 5
These hoary locks proclaim my lengthen'd years : And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek
Has been a channel to a flood of tears. Yon house, erected on the rising ground,
With tempting aspect drew me from my road; 10 For Plenty there a residence has found,
And Grandeur a magnificent abode: (Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor :)
Here as I craved a morsel of their bread, A pamper'd menial drove me from the door, 15
To seek a shelter in a humbler shed.
Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold:
20 Should I reveal the sources of my grief,
If soft humanity e'er touch'd your breast, Your hands would not withhold the kind relief,
And tears of pity would not be represt.
Heaven sends misfortunes: why should we repine? 25
'T is Heaven has brought me to the state you see : And your condition may be soon like mine,
The child of sorrow and of misery. A little farm was my paternal lot;
Then like the lark I sprightly hail’d the morn; 30 But, ah ! oppression forced me from my cot;
My cattle died, and blighted was my corn. My daughter, once the comfort of my age,
Lured by a villain from her native home, Is cast abandon’d on the world's wide stage, 85
And doom'd in scanty poverty to roam. My tender wife, sweet soother of my care,
Struck with sad anguish at the stern decree, Fell, lingering fell, a victim to despair,
And left the world to wretchedness and me. Pity the sorrows of a poor
man, Whose trembling limbs have borne himto your door, Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span; Oh! give relief; and Heaven will bless your store.
WEAK and irresolute is Man;
The purpose of to-day,
To-morrow rends away.
Vice seems already slain,
And it revives again.
Some foe to his upright intent
Finds out his weaker part;
But pleasure wins his heart.
Through all his art we view,
His conscience owns it true.
And dangers little known,
20 But oars alone can ne'er prevail
To reach the distant coast;
THE POPLAR FIELD.
THE poplars are fell’d; farewell to the shade,
My fugitive years are all hasting away,
EPITAPH ON A HARE.
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Nor ear heard huntsman's hallo'
Who, nursed with tender care,
Was still a wild Jack-hare.
His pittance ev'ry night,
And, when he could, would bite.
And milk, and oats, and straw;
With sand to scour his maw.
On pippins' russet peel,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.
A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.
For then he lost his fear,
Or when a storm drew near.
30 Dozing out all his idle noons,
And every night at play.
For he would oft beguile
And force me to a smile.
He finds his long last home,
40 He, still more aged, feels the shocks
From which no care can save, And, partner once of Tiney's box, Must soon partake his grave.
DIRGE IN CYMBELINE. To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.