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« Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy!
Ear hath not heard its deep songs of joy;
Dreams cannot picture a world so fair-
Sorrow and death may not enter there;
Time doth not breathe on its fadeless bloom,
For beyond the clouds, and beyond the tomb,
-It is there, it is there, my child !”
" In Heaven there's rest:" that thought hath a power
To scatter the shades of life's dreariest hour;
Like a sunbeam, it dawns on a stormy sky;
Like the first glimpse of home, to a traveller's eye.
'T is the balm of the heart, of sorrow the cure; 5
The hope that deceives not, the promise that's sure.
How sweet to the weary, “In Heaven there's rest!"
The tears are all dried from the eyes of the blest;
And the smiles that succeed are so dazzling and bright,
none, but a spirit, could dwell in their light. 10 0! not like the smiles that here glow on the cheek, But to hide the deep anguish no language may speak. “In Heaven there's rest:" earth's happiest hour Fades softly away, like a morning flower; There, fadeless the bowers, unclouded the skies; 15 There, joy hath no end, and time never flies : There, nature is freed from its earliest stain; There, love hath no sorrows, and life hath no pain. “ In Heaven there's rest:" 0, how deep that repose ! Life's bitterness past, with its follies and woes,
Its passions all hush'd like the waves of the deep,
When tempests expire, and winds are asleep;
And only soft airs and sweet odours arise,
Like the evening incense that soars to the skies.
Those sounds breathe sweet music, “In Heaven there's
I long to escape to that land of the blest,
Inspired by the prospect through life's busy day,
To act and to suffer, to watch and to pray:
Then gladly exchange, when the summons is given,
The tumults of earth for the calmness of Heaven. 30
Next to these ladies, but in naught allied,
A noble Peasant, Isaac Ashford, died.
Noble he was, contemning all things mean,
His truth unquestion'd and his soul serene :
Of no man's presence Isaac felt afraid;
At no man's question Isaac look'd dismay'd:
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 seem'd, and gentleness he loved :
To bliss domestic he his heart resign'd,
And, with the firmest, had the fondest mind;
Were others joyful, he look'd smiling on,
And gave allowance where he needed none;
Good he refused with future ill to buy,
Nor knew a joy that caused reflection's sigh.
A friend to virtue, his unclouded breast
No envy stung, no jealousy distress'd;
(Bane of the Poor! it wounds their weaker mind,
To miss one favour, which their neighbours find :) 20
Yet far was he from stoic pride removed;
He felt humanely, and he warmly loved :
I mark'd his action, when his infant died,
And his old neighbour for offence was tried;
The still tears, stealing down that furrow'd cheek, 25
Spoke pity, plainer than the tongue can speak.
If pride were his,'t was 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; 30
Nor pride in rustic skill, although we 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 gain'd,
In sturdy boys to virtuous labours train'd;
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.
He had no party's rage, no sectary's whim;
Christian and countryman was all with him:
True to his Church he came; no Sunday-shower
Kept him at home in that important hour;
Nor his firm feet could one persuading Sect,
45 By the strong glare of their new light, direct; “On hope, in mine own sober light, I gaze, But should be blind and lose it in
In times severe, when many a sturdy swain
Felt it his pride, his comfort, to complain; 50
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, 55
But lost his Wife and saw his Children poor:
'T was then, a spark of—say not discontent-
Struck on his mind, and thus he gave it vent:
“Kind are your laws, ('t is not to be denied,) That in yon house, for ruin'd Age, provide, 60 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, loath with him to feed,
65 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; 70 But ill on him, who doles the day's supply, And counts our chances, who at night may die: Yet help me, Heaven! 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 placed the Workhouse in his view! 76 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: 80
I see no more those white locks thinly spread
Round the bald polish of that honour'd head;
No more that awful glance on playful wight,
Compell’d to kneel and tremble at the sight,
To fold his fingers, all in dread the while, 85
Till Mister Ashford soften’d 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 blest, and I lament no more
A wise good Man contented to be poor.
THE SEXTON.- CHARACTER OF OLD DIBBLE
AND HIS RECTORS. My Record ends :-But hark! ev'n now I hear The bell of death, and know not whose to fear; Our farmers all, and all our hinds were well; In no man's cottage danger seem'd to dwell :Yet death of man proclaim these heavy chimes, 5 For thrice they sound, with pausing space, three times.
“Go; of my Sexton seek, Whose days are sped ?-
What! he himself !--and is old Dibble dead ?"
His eightieth year he reach'd, still undecay'd,
And Rectors four to one close vault convey'd : 10
But he is gone; his care and skill I lose,
And gain a mournful subject for my
His masters lost, he'd oft in turn deplore,
And kindly add,— Heaven grant I lose no more!
Yet while he spake, a sly and pleasant glance
15 Appear'd at variance with his complaisance : For, as he told their fate and varying worth, He archly look'd,—I yet may bear thee forth.' “ When first”-(he so began)-my trade I plied, Good master Addle was the parish guide;