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Pastorals for December.
YE shepherds so cheerful and gay,
Whose flocks never carelessly roam ; Should Corydon's happen to stray,
0, call the poor wanderers home. Allow me to muse and to sigh,
Nor talk of the change that yo find ; None once was so watchful as I :
I have left my dear Phillis behind. Now I know what it is to have strove
With the torture of doubt and desire ; What it is to admire and to love,
And to leave her we love and admire. Ah ! lead forth my flock in the morn,
And the damps of each evening repel : Alas! I am faint and forlorn :
I have bade my dear Phillis farewell. Since Phillis vouchsafed me a look,
I never once dreamed of my vine ; May I lose both my pipe and my crook,
If I knew of a kid that was mine ! I prized every hour that went by,
Beyond all that had pleased me before ; But now they are passed, and I sigh,
And I grieve that I prized them no more. But why do I languish in vain ?
Why wander thus pensively here? 0, why did I come from the plain
Where I fed on the smiles of my dear? They tell me, my favorite maid,
The pride of that valley, is fiown; Alas! where with her I have strayed,
I could wander with pleasure alone. When forced the fair nymph to forego,
What anguish I felt at my heart ! Yet I thought, but it might not be so,
'T was with pain when she saw me depart. She gazed as I slowly withdrew;
My path I could hardly discern ; So sweetly she bade me adieu,
I thought that she bade me return. The pilgrim that journeys all day
To visit some far-distant shrine, If he bear but a relio away,
Is happy, nor heard to repine. Thus, widely removed from the fair,
Where my vows, my devotion, I owe, Soft hope is the relic I bear,
And my solace wherever I go.
And take no more heed of my sheep :
I have nothing to do but to weep. Yet do not my folly reprove :
She was fair, and my passion begun ; She smiled, and I could not but love ;
She is faithless, and I am undone. Perhaps I was void of all thought ;
Perhaps it was plain to foresce That a nymph so complete would be sought
By a swain more engaging than me. Ah ! love every hope can inspire :
It banishes wisdom the while ; And the lip of the nymph wo admire
Seems forever adorned with a smile ! She is faithless, and I am undone ;
Ye that witness the woes I endure, Let reason instruct you to shun
What it cannot instruct you to cure. Beware how you loiter in vain
Amid nymphs of a higher degree : It is not for me to explain
How fair and how fickle they be. Alas! from the day that we met
What hope of an end to my woes, When I cannot endure to forget
The glance that undid my repose ! Yet time may diminish the pain :
The flower, and the shrub, and the tree, Which I reared for her pleasure in vain,
In time may have comfort for me. The sweets of a dew-sprinkled rose,
The sound of a murmuring stream, The peace which from solitude flows,
Henceforth shall be Corydon's theme. High transports are shown to the sight,
But we are not to find them our own : Fate never bestowed such delight
As I with my Phillis had known.
To your deepest recesses I fly;
I would vanish from every eye.
With the same sad complaint it begun ; How she smiled, and I could not but love ;
Was faithless, and I am undone !
Crabbe's "Parish Register."
Of happy peasants on their dying bed ;
True Christian resignation not frequently to be seen. The
Register a melancholy record. A dying man, who at length sends for a priest ; for what purpose ? answered. Old Collet, of the inn, an instance of Dr. Young's slowsudden death ; his character and conduct. The manners and management of the Widow Goe; her successful attention to business ; her decease unexpected. The infant boy of Gerard Avlett dies ; reflections on his death, and the survivor, his sister-twin. The funeral of the deceased lady of the manor described ; her neglected mansion ; undertaker and train ; the character which her monument will hereafter display. Burial of an ancient maiden; some former drawback on her virgin fame; description of her house and household ; her manners, apprehensions, death. Isaac Ashford, a virtuous peasant, dies; his manly character ; reluctance to enter the poor-house ; and why. Misfortune and derangement of intellect in Robin Dingley; whence they proceeded; he is not restrained by misery from a wandering life ; his various returns to his parish; his final return. Wife of farmer Frankford dies in prime of life ; affliction in consequence of such death ; melancholy view of her house, &c., on her family's return from her funeral; address to Sorrow. Leah Cousins, a midwife ; her character ; and successful practice ; at length opposed by Doctor Glibb; opposition in the parish ; argument of the doctor ; of Leah ; her failure and decease. Burial of Roger Cull, a sailor ; his enmity to his family ; how it originated ; his experiment and its consequence. The Register terminates; a bell heard ; inquiry for whom. The sexton. Character of old Dibble, and the five rectors whom he served. Reflections. Conclusion.
COMMON DEATU-BED SCENES.
Sick lies the man, bewildered, lost, afraid,
CHEERFUL DEATH-BEDS UNUSUAL. THERE was,
is said, and I believe, a time, When humble Christians died with views sublime ; When all were ready for their faith to bleed, But few to write or wrangle for their creed ; When lively faith upheld the sinking heart, And friends assured to meet, prepared to part ; When love felt hope, when sorrow grew serene, And all was comfort, in the death-bed scene.
Alas! when now the gloomy king they wait, 'T is weakness yielding to resistless fate ; Like wretched men upon the ocean cast, They labor hard and struggle to the last ; • Hope against hope,' and wildly gaze around, In search of help, that never shall be found ; Nor, till the last strong billow stops the breath, Will they believe them in the jaws of death !
* True, I'm a sinner,' feebly he begins — But trust in mercy, to forgive my sins:' (Such cool confession no passed crimes excite ! Such claim on mercy, as a sinner's right !) I know mankind are frail, that God is good, And none have lived as wisdom wills they should ; We're sorely tempted in a world like this ; All men have done, and I, like all, amiss ; But now, if spared, it is my full intent To think about beginning to repent : Wrongs against me I pardon, great and small, And if I die, I die in peace with all.' His merits thus and not his sins confessed, He speaks his hopes and leaves to heaven the rest. Alas! are these the prospects, dull and cold, That dying Christians to their priests unfold ? Or mends the prospect, when the enthusiast cries, "I die assured !' and in a rapture dies ?
PROPER DEATH-BED FEELINGS DESCRIBED.
GLOOMY RETROSPECTIOX. - RESIGNATIOX CNCS'AL.
When these my records I reflecting read,
Where now is perfect resignation seen ?
Ah, where that humble, self-abasing mind,
Such have I seen in death, and much deplore
Who are the dead, how died they, I relate,
THE WICKED LANDLORD.
With Andrew Collet we the year begin, The blind, fat landlord of the old Crown-Inn : Big as his butt, and for the self-same use, To take in stores of strong, fermenting juice. On his huge chair beside the fire he sate, In revel chief, and umpire in debate ; Each night his string of vulgar tales he told, When ale was cheap, and bachelors were bold ; His heroes all were famous in their days, Cheats were his boast, and drunkards had his praise.
One in three draughts three mugs of ale took down, As mugs were then - the champion of the Crown ; For thrice three days another lived on ale, And knew no change but that of mild and stale ; Two thirsty soakers watched a vessel's side, When he the tap with dextrous hand applied ; Nor from their seats departed, till they found That butt was out, and heard the mournful sound.
He praised a poacher, precious child of fun! Who shot the keeper with his own spring-gun ; Nor less the smuggler who the exciseman tied, And left him hanging at the birch-wood side, To perish there ; - but one who saw him hang Cut the good cord — a traitor of the gang.
His own exploits with boastful glee he told, What ponds he emptied and what pikes he sold ; And how, when blessed with sight alert and gay, The night's amusements kept him through the day.
Ile sang the praises of those times, when all • For cards and dico as for their drink might call ; When justice winked on every jovial crew, And ten-pins tumbled in the parson's view.'
He told, when angry wives provoked to rail, Or drive a third-day drunkard from his ale, What were his triumphs, and how great the skill That won the vexed virago to his will ; Who raving came, – then talked in milder strain,Then wept, – then drank, and pledged her spouse
again ; Such were his themes : how knaves o'er laws prevail, Or, when made captives, how they fly from jail ; The young how brave, how subtle were the old ; And oaths attested all that folly told.
On death like his what name shall we bestow, So very sudden, yet so very slow? 'T was slow ; - discase, augmenting year by year, Showed the grim king by gradual steps brought near: 'T was not less sudden; in the night he died, He drank, he swore, he jested, and he lied ; Thus aiding folly with departing breath :• Beware, Lorenzo, the slow-sudden death.'
THE THRIFTY WIDOW. Next died the Widow Goe, an active dame, Famed ten miles round, and worthy all her fame ; She lost her husband when their loves were young, But kept her farm, her credit, and her tongue ;
Full thirty years she ruled with matchless skill, With guiding judgment and resistless will ; Advice she scorned, rebellions she suppressed, And sons and servants bowed at her behest. Like that great man's who to his Saviour came, Were the strong words of this commanding dame ; Come,' if she said, they came ; if 'go,' were gone; And if do this,' that instant it was done : Her maidens told she was all eye and ear, In darkness saw and could at distance hear; No parish business in the place could stir, Without direction or assent from her ; In turn, she took each office as it fell ; Knew all their duties, and discharged them well ; The lazy vagrants in her presence shook, And pregnant damsels feared her stern rebuke ; Who looked on want with judgment clear and cool, Who felt with reason and bestowed by rule ; She matched both sons and daughters to her mind, And lent them eyes, for love she heard was blind ; Yet ceaseless still she throve, alert, alive, The working bee in full or empty hive ; Like that industrious kind, no thoughts of sex, No cares of love, could her chaste soul perplex ; But when our farmers made their amorous vows, She talked of market-steeds and patent ploughs. Not unemployed her evenings passed away, Amusement closed as business waked the day ; When to her toilet's brief concern she ran, And conversation with her friends began ; Who all were welcome at her board to share, And joyous neighbors praised her Christmas fare ; That none around might in their scorn complain Of Gossip Goe as greedy in her gain.
Thus long she reigned, admired if not approved, Praised if not honored, feared if not beloved ; When, as the busy days of spring drew near, That called for all the forecast of the year ; When lively hope the rising crops surveyed, And April promised what September paid ; When strayed her lambs where gorse and green
weed grow ;
When rose her grass in richer vales below;
• Bless me! I die, and not a warning given,
Then fell and died !- In haste her sons drew near,
REFLECTIONS ON THE DEATH OF AN INFANT.
• But why thus lent, if thus recalled again,
The sister-spirit long may lodge below,
Yet happier therefore shall we deem the boy, Snatched from life's anxious cares and dangerous joy!
Not so ! for then would love divine in vain
Blest is the nursling never taught to sing,
To one small room the steward found his way,
THE HEARTLESS OBSEQUIES.
When woes are feigned, how ill such forms appear, And, 0 ! how needless, when the woe 's sincere.
Slow to the vault they come with heavy tread, Bending beneath the lady and her lead ; A case of elm surrounds that ponderous chest, Close on that case the crimson velvet's pressed ; Ungenerous this, that to the worm denies, With niggard caution, his appointed prize ; For now, ere yet he works his tedious way, Through cloth, and wood, and metal, to his prey, That prey, dissolving, shall a mass remain, That Fancy loathes and worms themselves disdain.
But, see! the master-mourner makes his way, To end his office, for the coffined clay ; Pleased that our rustic men and maids behold His plate like silver, and his studs liko gold, As they approach to spell the age, the name, And all the titles of the illustrious dame.
THE CNCSED MANSION-HOUSE.
Next died the lady who yon hall possessed ; And here they brought her noble bones to rest. In town she dwelt; - forsaken stood the hall, Worms ate the floors, the tapestry fled the wall ; No fire the kitchen's cheerless grate displayed; No cheerful light the long-closed sash conveyed ! The crawling worm, that turns a summer-fly, Here spun his shroud, and laid him up to die The winter-death. Upon the bed of state, The bat, shrill-shrieking, wooed his bickering mate: To empty rooms the curious came no more, From empty cellars turned the angry poor, And surly beggars cursed the ever-bolted door.
This as (my duty done) some scholar read, A village-father looked disdain, and said :
TIIE PRUDISH SPINSTER.
• Away, my friends ! why take such pains to know Unhappy bird ! who had no power to prove, What some brave marble soon in church shall show ? Save by such speech, his gratitude and love. Where not alone her gracious name shall stand, A
gray old cat his whiskers licked beside ; But how she lived, the blessing of the land ;
A type of sadness in the house of pride. How much we all deplored the noble dead,
The polished surface of an India chest, What groans we uttered, and what tears we shed ; A glassy globe, in frame of ivory prest ; Tears true as those that in the sleepy eyes
Where swam two finny creatures; one of gold, Of weeping cherubs on the stone shall rise ;
Of silver one ; both beauteous to behold :
The beasts well mannered, and the fishes mute :
The nymph to flatter and her tribe to feed ;
Who, veiling well her scorn, endured the clog, brook
Mute as the fish, and fawning as the dog.
EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY TREASURES.
As years increased, these treasures, her delight, Where those dark shrubs, that now grow wild at will, Arose in value, in their owner's sight :: Were clipped in form, and tantalized with skill ; A miser knows that, view it as he will, Where cockles blanched, and pebbles neatly spread, A guinea kept is but a guinea still : Formed shining borders for the larkspurs' bed ; And so he puts it to its proper use, There lived a lady, wise, austere, and nice,
That something more this guinea may produce : Who showed her virtue by her scorn of vice ; But silks and rings in the possessor's eyes, In the dear fashions of her youth she dressed, The oftener seen, the more in value rise, A pea-green Joseph was her favorite vest;
And thus are wisely hoarded, to bestow Erect she stood, she walked with stately mien, [lean. On pride that governs pleasure that will grow. Tight was her length of stays, and she was tall and But what availed their worth - if worth bad they
There long she lived in maiden state immured, In the sad summer of her slow decay ? From looks of love and treacherous man secured ; Then we beheld her turn and anxious look Though evil fame (but that was long before)
From trunks and chests, and fix it on her book ; Had blown her dubious blast at Catharine's door: A rich-bound book of prayer the captain gave A captain thither rich from India came,
(Some princess had it, or was said to bave), And, though a cousin called, it touched her fame :
And then once more on all her stores look round, Her annual stipend rose from his behest,
And draw a sigh so piteous and profound, And all the long-prized treasures she possessed : That told, · Alas ! how hard from these to part, If aught like joy a while appeared to stay
And for new hopes and habits form the heart !' In that stern face, and chase those frowns away, • What shall I do (she cried), my peace of mind 'Twas when those treasures she disposed for view, To gain in dying, and to die resigned ?' And heard the praises to their splendor due :
* Hear,' we returned ; these baubles cast aside,
Nor give thy God a rival, in thy pride ;
Thy closets shut, and ope thy kitchen's door ;
There own thy failings, here invite the poor ;
A friend of Mammon let thy bounty make,
For widows' prayers thy vanities forsake,
And let the hungry of thy pride partake : Bright polished amber, precious from its size,
Then shall thy inward eye with joy survey Or forms the fairest fancy could devise :
The angel Mercy tempering Death's delay!' Her drawers of cedar shut with secret springs,
Alas ! 't was hard; the treasures still had charms, And held the golden watch, the ruby rings ; Letters, long proofs of love, and verses fine
Hope still its flattery, sickness its alarms ;
Still was the same unsettled, clouded view,
And the same plaintive cry, 'What shall I do?'
Nor change appeared; for, when her race was run, For woman's wonder, held her pencilled ware ; That pictured wealth of China and Japan,
Doubtful we all exclaimed, “What has been done ?'
Apart she lived, and still she lies alone ; Like its cold mistress, shunned the eye of man.
Yon earthly heap awaits the flattering stone, Her neat small room, adorned with maiden taste,
On which invention shall be long employed
To show the various worth of Catharine Lloyd.
Next to these ladies, but in naught allied,
THE NOBLE PEASAXT.