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THE DOG AND THE WATER-LILY°

NO FABLE

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THE noon was shady, and soft airs

Swept Ouse's silent tide,
When, 'scaped from literary cares,

I wandered on his side.

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My spaniel, prettiest of his race,

And high in pedigree, (Two nymphso adorned with every grace

That spaniel found for me)

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Now wantoned, lost in flags and reeds,

Now starting into sight,
Pursued the swallow o'er the meads

With scarce a slower flight.

It was the time when Ouse displayed

His lilies newly blown;
Their beauties I intent surveyed

And one I wished my own.

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With cane extended far, I sought

To steer it close to land;
But still the prize, though nearly caught,

Escaped my eager hand.

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Beau marked my unsuccessful pains

With fixed considerate face,

And puzzling set his puppy brains

To comprehend the case.
But with a cherup clear and strong,

Dispersing all his dream,
I thence withdrew, and followed long

The windings of the stream.

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My ramble ended, I returned;

Beau trotting far before,
The floating wreath again discerned,

And plunging left the shore.

I saw him with that lily cropped

Impatient swim to meet
My quick approach, and soon he dropped

The treasure at my feet.

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Charmed with the sight, “The world,” I cried,

“Shall hear of this thy deed: My dog shall mortify the pride Of man's superior breed:

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But chief myself I will enjoin,

Awake at duty's call,
To show a love as prompt as thine,

To Him who gives me all.”

THE SHRUBBERY

WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION

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Oh happy shades ! to me unblest !

Friendly to peace, but not to me! How ill the scene, that offers rest,

And heart that cannot rest, agree!

II

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This glassy stream, that spreading pine,

Those alders quivering to the breeze, Might soothe a soul less hurt than mine,

And please, if anything could please.

III

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But fixed unalterable Care

Foregoes not what she feels within, Shows the same sadness everywhere,

And slights the season and the scene.

IV

For all that pleased in wood or lawn,

While peace possessed these silent bowers, Her animating smile withdrawn,

Has lost its beauties and its powers.

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V

The saint or moralist should tread

This moss-grown alley, musing, slow; They seek like me the secret shade,

But not like me to nourish woe!

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VI

Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste

Alike admonish not to roam; These tell me of enjoyments past,

And those of sorrows yet to come.

THE NEGRO'S COMPLAINT

FORCED from home and all its pleasures,

Afric's coast I left forlorn,
To increase a stranger's treasures,

O’er the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,

Paid my price in paltry gold;
But, though slave they have enrolled me,

Minds are never to be sold.

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Still in thought as free as ever,

What are England's rights, I ask, Me from my delights to sever,

Me to torture, me to task ? Fleecy locks and black complexion,

Cannot forfeit Nature's claim;

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Skins may differ, but affection

Dwells in white and black the same.

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Why did all-creating Nature

Make the plant for which we toil ? Sighs must fan it, tears must water,

Sweat of ours must dress the soil.
Think, ye masters, iron-hearted,

Lolling at your jovial boards,
Think how many backs have smarted,

For the sweets your cane affords.

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Is there,

as ye sometimes tell us, Is there One, who reigns on high? Has He bid you buy and sell us,

Speaking from His throne, the sky ? Ask Him, if your knotted scourges,

Matches, blood-extorting screws, Are the means that duty urges

Agents of His will to use?

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Hark! He answers ! — Wild tornadoes,

Strewing yonder sea with wrecks, Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,

Are the voice with which He speaks. He, foreseeing what vexations

Afric's sons should undergo, Fixed their tyrants' habitations

Where His whirlwinds answer "No."

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