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More briskly moved by his severer toil ; Yet he too finds his own distress in theirs.



The taper soon extinguished, which I saw Dangled along at the cold finger's end Just when the day declined ; and the brown loaf Lodged on the shelf, half-eaten without sauce Of savory cheese, or butter, costlier still ; Sleep seems their only refuge : for, alas ! Where penury is felt the thought is chained, And sweet colloquial pleasures are but few. With all this thrift they thrive not.

All the care Ingenious parsimony takes but just Saves the small inventory, bed, and stool, Skillet, and old carved chest, from public sale. They live, and live without extorted alms Froin grudging hands ; but other boast have none, To soothe their honest pride, that scorns to beg, Nor comfort else, but in their mutual love.

To better deeds, he bundles up the spoil,
An ass's burden, and, when laden most
And heaviest, light of foot steals fast away.
Nor does the boarded hovel better guard
The well-stacked pile of riven logs and roots
From his pernicious force.


Nor will he leave Unwrenched the door, however well secured, Where Chanticleer amidst his harem sleeps In unsuspecting pomp. Twitched from the perch, He gives the princely bird, with all his wives, To his voracious bag, struggling in vain, And loudly wondering at the sudden change.

INTEMPERANCE, THE CRUEL CURSE. Nor this to feed his own. 'T were some excuse, Did pity of their sufferings warp aside His principle, and tempt him into sin For their support, so destitute. But they Neglected pine at home; themselves, as more Exposed than others, with less scruple made His victims, robbed of their defenceless all. Cruel is all he does. 'Tis quenchless thirst Of ruinous ebriety that prompts His every action, and imbrutes the man. 0, for a law to noose the villain's neck, Who starves his own; who persecutes the blood He gave them in his children's veins, and hates And wrongs the woman he has sworn to love !


I praise you much, ye 'meek and patient pair,
For ye are worthy; choosing rather far
A dry but independent crust, hard earned
And eaten with a sigh, than to endure
The rugged frowns and insolent rebuffs
Of knaves in office, partial in the work
Of distribution ; liberal of their aid
To clamorous importunity in rags,
But ofttimes deaf to suppliants who would blush
To wear a tattered garb, however coarse,
Whom famine cannot reconcile to filth :
These ask with painful shyness, and, refused
Because deserving, silently retire !

LICENSED DRAM-SHOPS. Pass where we may, through city or through town, Village or hamlet of this merry land, Though lean and beggared, every twentieth pace Conducts the unguarded nose to such a whiff Of stale debauch, forth issuing from the styes That law has licensed, as makes temperance reel.



TUB POOR ENCOCRAGED. - TRCE CIIARITY. But be ye of good courage ! Time itself Shall much befriend you. Time shall give increase; And all your numerous progeny, well trained But helpless, in few years shall find their hands, And labor too. Meanwhile ye shall not want What, conscious of your virtues, we can spare, Nor what a wealthier than ourselves may send. I mean the man who, when the distant poor Need help, denies them nothing but his name.



But poverty with most, who whimper forth Their long complaints, is self-inflicted woe ; The effect of laziness or sottish waste. Now goes the nightly thief prowling abroad For plunder ; much solicitous how best He may compensate for a day of sloth By works of darkness and nocturnal wrong.

There sit, involved and lost in curling clouds Of Indian fume, and guzzling deep, the boor,

The lackey, and the groom : the craftsman there | Takes a Lethean leave of all his toil ;

Smith, cobbler, joiner, he that plies the shears,
And he that kneads the dough; all loud alike,
All learned, and all drunk! the fiddle screams
Plaintive and piteous, as it wept and wailed
Its wasted tones and harmony unheard :
Fierce the dispute, whate'er the theme ; while she,
Fell Discord, arbitress of such debate,
Perched on the sign-post, holds with even hand
Her undecisive scales. In this she lays
A weight of ignorance ; in that, of pride ;
And smiles delighted with the eternal poise.
Dire is the frequent curse, and its twin sound,
The cheek-distending oath, not to be praised
As ornamental, musical, polite,
Like those which modern senators employ,
Whose oath is rhetoric, and who swear fo fai


Woe to the gardener's pale, the farmer's hedge, Plashed neatly, and secured with driven stakes Deep in the loamy bank. Uptorn by strength, Resistless in so bad a cause, but lame

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For more than half the tresses it sustains ;
Her elbows ruffled, and her tottering form
Il propped upon French heels; she might be deemed
(But that the basket dangling on her arm
Interprets her more truly) of a rank
Too proud for dairy-work, or sale of eggs.
Expect her soon with foot-boy at her heels,
No longer blushing for her awkward load,
Her train and her umbrella all her care !

Behold the schools in which plebeian minds, Once simple, are initiated in arts, Which some may practise with politer grace, But none with readier skill ! — 't is here they learn The road that leads from competence and peace To indigence and rapine ; till at last Society, grown weary of the load, Shakes her encumbered lap, and casts them out. WHY THE DRAM-SHOP CANNOT BE SUPPRESSED ; IT HELPS

THE PUBLIC REVENUE. BESOTTED PATRIOTISM. But censure profits little : vain the attempt To advertise in verse a public pest, That, like the filth with which the peasant feeds Ilis hungry acres, stinks, and is of use. The excise is fattened with the rich result Of all this riot ; and ten thousand casks, Forever dribbling out their base contents, Touched by the Midas finger of the state, Bleed gold for ministers to sport away. Drink, and be mad, then ; 't is your country bids ! Gloriously drunk obey the important call ! Her cause demands the assistance of your throats; – Ye all can swallow, and she asks no more.


USURPED RURAL MANNERS. SAFETY. The town has tinged the country; and the stain Appears a spot upon a vestal's robe, The worse for what it soils. The fashion runs Down into scenes still rural ; but, alas ! Scenes rarely graced with rural manners now ! Time was when in the pastoral retreat The unguarded door was safe ; men did not watch To invade another's right, or guard their own. Then sleep was undisturbed by fear, unscared By drunken howlings ; and the chilling tale Of midnight murder was wonder heard With doubtful credit, told to frighten babes.

THE SECURITY OF THE COUNTRY HAS CEASED. But farewell now to unsuspicious nights, And slumbers unalarmed! Now, ere you sleep, See that your polished arms be primed with care, And drop the night-bolt ; — ruffians are abroad, And the first larum of the cock's shrill throat May prove a trumpet, summoning your ear To horrid.sounds of hostile feet within. Even daylight has its dangers ; and the walk Through pathless wastes and woods, unconscious once Of other tenants than melodious birds, Or harmless flocks, is hazardous and bold.

ARCADIAX INNOCENCE AND HAPPINESS. Would I had fallen upon those happier days, That poets celebrate ; those golden times, And those Arcadian scenes that Maro sings, And Sidney, warbler of poetic prose! Nymphs were Dianas then, and swains had hearts That felt their virtues : innocence, it seems, From courts dismissed, found shelter in the groves; The footsteps of simplicity, impressed Upon the yielding herbage (so they sing), Then were not all effaced : then speech profane, And manners profligate, were rarely found, Observed as prodigies, and soon reclaimed.

Vain wish ! those days were never : airy dreams
Sat for the picture : and the poet's hand,
Imparting substance to an empty shade,
Imposed a gay delirium for a truth.
Grant it : I still must envy them an age,
That favored such a dream ; in days like these
Impossible, when virtue is so scarce,
That to suppose a scene where she presides
Is tramontane, and stumbles all belief.

No: we are polished now. The rural lass,
Whom once her virgin modesty and grace,
Her artless manners, and her neat attire,
So dignified, that she was hardly less
Than the fair shepherdess of old romance,
Is seen no more. The character is lost!
Her head, adorned with lappets pinned aloft,
And ribands streaming gay, superbly raised,
And magnified beyond all human size,
Indebted to some smart wig-weaver's hand

CAUSES OF DEGENERACY. - WEALTH. -- LUXURY. Lamented change ! to which full many a cause Inveterate, hopeless of a cure, conspires. The course of human things from good to ill, From ill to worse, is fatal, never fails. Increase of power begets increase of wealth ; Wealth luxury, and luxury excess ; Excess, the scrofulous and itchy plague, That seizes first the opulent, descends To the next rank contagious, and in time Taints downward all the graduated scale Of order, from the chariot to the plough.

THE RICH DESERT THEIR DUTY FOR PLEASURE, The rich, and they that have an arm to check The license of the lowest in degree, Desert their office ; and themselves, intent On pleasure, haunt the capital, and thus To all the violence of lawless hands Resign the scenes their presence might protect. Authority herself not seldom sleeps, Though resident, and witness of the wrong.

SLOTH OF SOME OF THE CLERGY. -CORRUPTION. The plump convivial parson often bears

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The magisterial sword in vain, and lays
His reverence and his worship both to rest
On the same cushion of habitual sloth.
Perhaps timidity restrains his arm ;
When he should strike he trembles, and sets free,
Himself enslaved by terror of the band,
The audacious convict, whom he dares not bind.
Perhaps, though by profession ghostly pure,
He too may have his vice, and sometimes prove
Less dainty than becomes his grave outside
In lucrative concerns. Examine well
His milk-white hand ; the palm is hardly clean
But here and there an ugly smutch appears.
Foh ! 't was a bribe that left it: he has touched
Corruption. Whoso seeks an audit here
Propitious, pays his tribute, game or fish,
Wild fowl or venison ; and his errand speeds.


THE SOLDIER'S VICES. To swear, to game, to drink ; to show at home, By lewdness, idleness, and Sabbath-breach, The great proficiency he made abroad ; To astonish and to grieve his gazing friends ; To break some maiden's and his mother's heart; To be a pest where he was useful once ; Are his sole aim, and all his glory, now.


Man in society is like a flower
Blown in its native bed : 't is there alone
His faculties, expanded in full bloom,
Shine out; there only reach their proper use.

man, associated and leagued with man
By regal warrant, or self-joined by bond
For interest's sake, or swarming into clans
Beneath one head, for purposes of war,
Like flowers selected from the rest, and bound
And bundled close to fill some crowded vase,
Fades rapidly, and, by compression marred,
Contracts defilement not to be endured.

COMMERCIAL WARS. Hence chartered boroughs are such public plagues; And burghers, men immaculate perhaps In all their private functions, once combined, Become a loathsome body, only fit For dissolution, hurtful to the main. Hence merchants, unimpeachable of sin Against the charities of domestic life, Incorporated seem at once to lose Their nature ; and, disclaiming all regard For mercy and the common rights of man, Build factories with blood, conducting trade At the sword's point, and dying the white robe Of innocent commercial justice red.

But faster far, and more than all the rest, A noble cause, which none, who bears a spark of public virtue, ever wished removed, Works the deplored and mischievous effect. 'T is universal soldiership has stabbed The heart of merit in the meaner class. Arms, through the vanity and brainless rage of those that bear them, in whatever cause, Seem most at variance with all moral good, And incompatible with serious thought. The clown, the child of nature, without guile, Blessed with an infant's ignorance of all But his own simple pleasures ; now and then A wrestling match, a foot-race, or a fair ; Is ballotted, and trembles at the news : Sheopish he doffs his hat, and mumbling swears A Bible-oath to be whate'er they please, To do he knows not what. The task performed, That instant he becomes the sergeant's care, His pupil, and his torment, and his jest. His awkward gait, his introverted toes, Bent knees, round shoulders, and dejected looks, Procure him many a curse.


By slow degrees, Unapt to learn, and formed of stubborn stuff, He yet by slow degrees puts off himself, Grows conscious of a change, and likes it well : He stands erect; his slouch becomes a walk ; He steps right onward, martial in his air, His form and movement ; is as smart above As meal and larded locks can make him ; wears His hat, or his plumed helmet, with a grace ; And, his three years of heroship expired, Returns indignant to the slighted plough. He hates the field in which no fife or drum Attends him ; drives his cattle to a march ; And sighs for the smart comrades he has left. "T were well if his exterior change were all — But with his clumsy port the wretch has lost His ignorance and harmless manners too.

THE FIELD OF GLORY A SCHOOL. Hence too the field of glory, as the world Misdeems it, dazzled by its bright array, With all its majesty of thundering pomp, Enchanting music, and immortal wreaths, Is but a school, where thoughtlessness is taught On principle, where foppery atones For folly, gallantry for every vice. THE COUNTRY, WITH ALL ITS DRAWBACKS, STILL ATTRACTIVR.

But slighted as it is, and by the great Abandoned, and, which I still more regret, Infected with the manners and the modes It knew not once, the country wins me still. I never framed a wish, or formed a plan, That flattered me with hopes of earthly bliss, But there I laid the scene. There early strayed My fancy, ere yet liberty of choice Had found me, or the hope of being free. CHARMS OF RURAL POETRY. - VIRGIL'S ECLOGUES. -MILTOX.

My very dreams were rural ; rural too The first-born efforts of my youthful muse, Sportive and jingling her poetic bells,

Ere yet her ear was mistress of their powers.
No bard could please me but whose lyre was tuned
To Nature's praises. Heroes and their feats
Fatigued me, never weary of the pipe
Of Tityrus,' assembling, as he sang,
The rustic throng beneath his favorite beech.
Then Milton had indeed a poet's charms :
New to my taste, his Paradise surpassed
The struggling efforts of my boyish tongue
To speak its excellence. I danced for joy.
I marvelled much that, at so ripe an age
As twice seven years, his beauties had then first
Engaged my wonder ; and admiring still,
And still admiring, with regret supposed
The joy half lost, because not sooner found.

There too, enamored of the life I loved,
Pathetic in its praise, in its pursuit
Determined, and possessing it at last
With transports such as favored lovers feel,
I studied, prized, and wished that I had known,
Ingenious Cowley! and, though now reclaimed
By modern lights from an erroneous taste,
I cannot but lament thy splendid wit
Entangled in the cobwebs of the schools.
I still revere thee, courtly though retired !
Though stretched at ease in Chertsey's silent bowers,
Not unemployed ; and finding rich amends
For a lost world in solitude and verse.

Even in the stifling bosom of the town,
A garden, in which nothing thrives, has charms
That soothe the rich possessor ; much consoled
That here and there some sprigs of mournful mint,
Of nightshade, or valerian, grace the wall
He cultivates. These serve him with a hint
That nature lives ; that sight-refreshing green
Is still the livery she delights to wear,
Though sickly samples of the exuberant whole.
What are the casements lined with creeping herbs,
The prouder sashes fronted with a range
Of orange, myrtle, or the fragrant weed,
The Frenchman's darling?' are they not all proofs
That man, immured in cities, still retains
His inborn, inextinguishable thirst
Of rural scenes, compensating his loss
By supplemental shifts, the best he may ?



The most unfurnished with the means of life, And they that never pass their brick-wall bounds, To range the fields, and treat their lungs with air, Yet feel the burning instinct: over head Suspend their crazy boxes, planted thick, And watered duly. There the pitcher stands A fragment, and the spoutless teapot there ; Sad witnesses how close-pent man regrets The country, with what ardor he contrives A peep at nature, when he can no more.

THE LOVE OF NATURE A UNIVERSAL ENDOWMENT. "T is born with all : the love of Nature's works Is an ingredient in the compound man, Infused at the creation of the kind. And, though the Almighty Maker has throughout Discriminated each from each, by strokes And touches of His hand, with so much art Diversified, that two were never found Twins at all points — yet this obtains in all, That all discern a beauty in His works, And all can taste them: minds that have been forined And tutored with a relish more exact, But none without some relish, none unmoved. It is a fame that dies not even there, Where nothing feeds it : neither business, crowds, Nor habits of luxurious city-life, Whatever else they smother of true worth In human bosoms, quench it or abate.

Hail, therefore, patroness of health and ease,
And contemplation, heart-consoling joys,
And harmless pleasures, in the thronged abode
Of multitudes unknown ; bail, Rural Life!
Address himself who will to the pursuit
Of honors, or emolument, or fame ;
I shall not add myself to such a chase,
Thwart his attempts, or envy his success.

Some must be great. Great offices will have
Great talents. And God gives to every man
The virtue, temper, understanding, taste,
That lifts him into life, and lets him fall

Just in the niche he was ordained to fill.
| To the deliverer of an injured land
He gives a tongue to enlarge upon, a heart
To feel, and courage to redress her wrongs :
To monarchs, dignity ; to judges, sense ;
To artists, ingenuity and skill ;
To me, an unambitious mind, content
In the low vale of life, that early felt
A wish for ease and leisure, and ere long
Found here that leisure and that ease I wished.


The villas, with which London stands begirt,
Like a swarth Indian, with his belt of beads,
Prove it. A breath of unadulterate air,
The glimpse of a green pasture, how they cheer
The citizen, and brace his languid frame !

1 A character of the Bucolics of Virgil, see p. 15.

1 Mignonette.

Ballad for January.


A. Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride,

Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome marrow !
Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny bonny bride,

And think nae mair on the Braes of Yarrow. B. Where gat ye that bonny bonny bride?

Where gat ye that winsome marrow?
A. I gat her where I darena weil be seen,

Pouing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow.
Weep not, weep not, my bonny bonny bride,

Weep not, weep not, my winsome marrow !
Nor let thy heart lament to leave

Pouing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow.
B. Why does she weep, thy bonny bonny bride ?

Why does she weep, thy winsome marrow ?
And why dare ye nae mair weil be seen

Pouing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow?
A. Lang maun she weep, lang maun she, maun she

Lang maun she weep with dule and sorrow,
And lang maun I nae mair weil be seen

Pouing the birks on the Braes of Yarrow.
For she has tint her lover lover dear,

Her lover dear, the cause of sorrow,
And I hae slain the comeliest swain

That e'er poued birks on the Braes of Yarrow.
Why runs thy stream, O Yarrow, Yarrow, red ?

Why on thy braes heard the voice of sorrow?
And why yon melancholious weeds

Hung on the bonny birks of Yarrow ?
What's yonder floats on the rueful rueful flude,

What 's yonder floats? O dule and sorrow ! 'T is he, the comely swain I slew

Upon the duleful Braes of Yarrow.
Wash, 0, wash his wounds, his wounds in tears,

His wounds in tears with dule and sorrow,
And wrap his limbs in mourning weeds,

And lay him on the Braes of Yarrow.
Then build, then build, ye sisters sisters sad,

Ye sisters sad, his tomb with sorrow,
And weep around, in waeful wise,

His helpless fate on the Braes of Yarrow.
Curse ye, curse ye his useless useless shield,

My arm that wrought the deed of sorrow,
The fatal spear that pierced his breast,

His comely breast, on the Braes of Yarrow.
Did I not warn thee, warn thee not to lue,

And warn from fight, but to my sorrow;
O'er rashly bauld, a stronger arm

Thou met'st, and fell on the Braes of Yarrow.
Sweet smells the birk, green grows, green grows

Yellow on Yarrow bank the gowan, [the grass,

Fair hangs the apple frae the rock,

Sweet the wave of Yarrow flowan.
Flows Yarrow sweet? as sweet, as sweet flows

As green its grass, its gowan as yellow,
As sweet smells on its braes the birk,

The apple from the rock as mellow.
Fair was thy love, fair fair indeed thy love,

In flowery bands thou him didst fetter ;
Though he was fair and well-beloved again,

Than me he never lued thee better.
Busk ye, then busk, my bonny bonny bride,
Busk ye,

busk ye, my winsome marrow,
Busk ye and lue me on the banks of Tweed,

And think nae mair on the Braes of Yarrow. C. How can I busk a bonny bonny bride ?

How can I busk a winsome marrow?
How lue him on the banks of Tweed,

That slew my love on the Braes of Yarrow ? 0, Yarrow fields ! may never nover rain

Nor dew thy tender blossom cover,
For there was basely slain my love,

My love, as he had not been a lover.
The boy put on his robes, his robes of green,

His purple vest, 't was my ain sewing,
Ah ! wretched me! I little little kenned

He was in these to meet his ruin.
The boy took out his milk-white milk-white

Unheedful of my dule and sorrow,
But e'er the to-fall of the night,

He lay a corpse on the Braes of Yarrow.
Much I rejoiced that waeful waeful day ;

I sang, my voice the woods returning,
But lang e'er night the spear was flown

That slew my love, and left me mourning.
What can my barbarous barbarous father do,

But with his cruel rage pursue me ?
My lover's blood is on thy spear,

How canst thou, barbarous man, then, woo me?
My happy sisters may be, may be proud ;

With cruel and ungentle scoffin,
May bid me seek in Yarrow Braes

My lover nailed in his coffin.
My brother Douglas may upbraid, upbraid,
And strive with threatening words to move

me ;
My lover's blood is on thy spear,

How canst thou ever bid me love thee ?
Yes, yes, prepare the bed, the bed of love,

With bridal sheets my body cover,
Unbar, ye bridal maids, the door,

Let in the expected husband-lover.

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