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Partakers of thy sad decline
Thy hands their little force resign;
Yet, gently prest, press gently mine,
My Mary!

Such feebleness of limbs thou prov'st
That now at every step thou mov'st
Upheld by two; yet still thou lov'st,
My Mary!

And still to love, though prest with ill,
In wintry age to feel no chill,
With me is to be lovely still,
My Mary!

But ah! by constant heed I know
How oft the sadness that I show
Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe,
My Mary!

And should my future lot be cast
With much resemblance of the past,
Thy worn-out heart will break at last-
My Mary!


W. Cowper




Obscurest night involved the sky,
The Atlantic billows roar'd,
"When such a destined wretch as I,
Wash'd headlong from on board,
Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
His floating home for ever left.

No braver chief could Albion boast
Than he with whom he went,
Nor ever ship left Albion's coast
With warmer wishes sent.

He loved them both, but both in vain,
Nor him beheld, nor her again.








Not long beneath the whelming brine,
Expert to swim, he lay;

Nor soon he felt his strength decline,
Or courage die away;

But waged with death a lasting strife,
Supported by despair of life.

He shouted: nor his friends had fail'd
To check the vessel's course,
But so, the furious blast prevail'd,
That, pitiless perforce,

They left their outcast mate behind,
And scudded still before the wind.

Some succour yet they could afford;
And such as storms allow,

The cask, the coop, the floated cord,
Delay'd not to bestow.

But he (they knew) nor ship nor shore,
Whate'er they gave, should visit more.

Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he
Their haste himself condemn,
Aware that flight, in such a sea,
Alone could rescue them;

Yet bitter felt it still to die
Deserted, and his friends so nigh.

He long survives, who lives an hour
In ocean, self-upheld;

And so long he, with unspent power,
His destiny repell'd;

And ever, as the minutes flew,
Entreated help, or cried 'Adieu!'

At length, his transient respite past,
His comrades, who before

Had heard his voice in every blast,
Could catch the sound no more;
For then, by toil subdued, he drank
The stifling wave, and then he sank.

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No poet wept him; but the page

Of narrative sincere,

That tells his name, his worth, his age,

Is wet with Anson's tear:

And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalize the dead.

I therefore purpose not, or dream,
Descanting on his fate,

To give the melancholy theme
A more enduring date:

But misery still delights to trace
Its semblance in another's case.
No voice divine the storm allay'd,
No light propitious shone,

When, snatch'd from all effectual aid,
We perish'd, each alone:

But I beneath a rougher sea,

And whelm'd in deeper gulfs than he.

W. Cowper



In the downhill of life, when I find I'm declining,
May my fate no less fortunate be

Than a snug elbow-chair will afford for reclining,
And a cot that o'erlooks the wide sea;

5 With an ambling pad-pony to pace o'er the lawn,
While I carol away idle sorrow,


And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn Look forward with hope for Tomorrow.

With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade


As the sunshine or rain may prevail;

And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade


With a barn for the use of the flail:

A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,

And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;

15 I'll envy no Nabob his riches or fame,
Or what honours may wait him Tomorrow.

From the bleak northern blast may my cot be com


Secured by a neighboring hill;

And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly
By the sound of a murmuring rill:

5 And while peace and plenty I find at my board,
With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
With my friends may I share what Today may afford,
And let them spread the table Tomorrow.


And when I at last must throw off this frail cov'ring
Which I've worn for three score years and ten,
On the brink of the grave I'll not seek to keep hov'r-

Nor my thread wish to spin o'er again:

But my face in the glass I'll serenely survey,

And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow; 15 As this old worn-out stuff, which is threadbare Today, May become Everlasting Tomorrow.

J. Collins


Life! I know not what thou art,
But know that thou and I must part;
And when, or how, or where we met
I own to me's a secret yet.

5 Life! we've been long together


Through pleasant and through cloudy weather; 'Tis hard to part when friends are dear

Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;

-Then steal away, give little warning,

Choose thine own time;

Say not Good Night,-but in some brighter clime

Bid me Good Morning.

A. L. Barbauld

The Golden Treasury

Book Fourth






Whether on Ida's shady brow,

Or in the chambers of the East,
The chambers of the sun, that now
From ancient melody have ceased;
Whether in Heaven ye wander fair,
Or the green corners of the earth,
Or the blue regions of the air,

Where the melodious winds have birth;
Whether on crystal rocks ye rove
Beneath the bosom of the sea,
Wandering in many a coral grove,—
Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry;

How have you left the ancient love
That bards of old enjoy'd in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move,
The sound is forced, the notes are few.
W. Blake



Bards of Passion and of Mirth
Ye have left your souls on earth!
Have ye souls in heaven too,
Double-lived in regions new?

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