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That God and nature, and your int'rest too,
Seem with one voice to delegate to you?
Why hire a lodging in a house unknown,
For one whose tend'rest thoughts all hover round
This second weaning, needless as it is,"
How does it lacerate both your heart and his !
Th’intended stick, that loses day by day
Notch after notch, 'till all are smooth'd away,
Bears witness, long ere his dismission come,
With what intense desire he wants his home:
But though the joys he hopes beneath your roof
Bid fair enough to answer in the proof,
Harmless, and safe, and nat'ral as they are,
A disappointment waits him even there:
Arrivd he feels an unexpected change,
He blushes, hangs his head, is shy and strange,
No longer takes, as once, with fearless ease,
His fav'rite stand between his father's knees,
But seeks the corner of some distant feat,
And eyes the door, and watches a retreat,
And, least familiar where he should be most,
Feels all his happiest privileges loft.
Alas, poor boy !-the natural effect
Of love by absence chill'd into respect.
Say, what accomplishments, at school acquir’d,
Brings he, to sweeten fruits fo undefir'd.?
Thou well deserv'ft an alienated fon,
Unless thy conscious heart acknowledge-none,
None that, in thy domestic fnug recess,
He had not made his own with more address,
Tnough some perhaps that shock thy feeling
And better never learn'd, or left behind.
Add too, that, thus estrang'd, thou canst obtain
By no kind arts his confidence again ;
That here begins with most that long complaint
Of filial frankness loft, and love grown faint,
Which oft neglected, in life's waning years,
A parent pours into regardless ears.
Like caterpillars dangling under trees By slender threads, and swinging in the breeze, Which filthily bewray and fore disgrace The boughs in which are bred th' unfeemly
race, While ev'ry worm industriously weaves And winds his web about the riveli'd leaves ; So num'rous are the follies that annoy The mind and heart of ev'ry sprightly boy, Imaginations noxious and perverse, Which admonition can alone disperse. Th' encroaching nuisance afks a faithful hand, Patient, affectionate, of high command, To check the procreation of a breed Sure to exhaust the plant on which they feed.
Tis not enough that Greek or Roman page,
At stated hours, his freakish thoughts engage 5
Ev’n in his pastimes he requires a friend
To warn, and teach him safely to unbend,
O'er all his pleasures gently to preside,
Watch his emotions and controul their tide,
And, levying thus, and with an easy fway,
A tax of profit from his very play,
T'impress a value, not to be eras'd,
On moments squander'd else, and running all to
And seems it nothing in a father's eye
That unimprov'd those many moments fly?
And is he well content his fon should find
No nourishment to feed his growing mind
But conjugated verbs, and nouns declin'd ?
For such is all the mental food purvey'd
By public hacknies in the schooling trade ;
Who feeds a pupil's intellect with store
Of fyntax truly, but with little more ;
Dismiss their cares when they dismiss their flock,
Machines themselves, and govern’d by a clock.
Perhaps a father blest with
Would deem it no abufe or waste of pains,
T'improve this diet, at no great expence,
With sav'ry truth and wholesome common sense ;
To lead his son, for prospects of delight,
To some not steep, though philosophic height,
Thence to exhibit to his wond’ring eyes
Yon circling worlds, their distance, and their
The moons of Jove, and Saturn's belted ball,
And the harmonious order of them all ;
To show him, in an insect or a flow'r,
Such microscopic proof of skill and pow'r,
As, hid from ages past, God now displays
To combat Atheists with in modern days ;
To spread the earth before him, and commend,
With designation of the finger's end,
Its various parts to his attentive note,
Thus bringing home to him the most remote ;
To teach his heart to glow with gen'rous flame,
Caught from the deeds of men of ancient fame;
And, more than all, with commendation due
To set some living worthy in his view,
Whose fair example may at once inspire
A wish to copy what he must admire.
Such knowledge gain'd betimes, and which ap-
pears Though folid, not too weighty for his years, Sweet in itself, and not forbidding sport, When health demands it, of athletic fort, Would make him—what some lovely boys have
been, And more than one perhaps that I have seen
An evidence and reprehension, both,
Of the mere school-boy's lean and tardy growth: -
Art thou a man professionally tied,
With all thy faculties elsewhere applied, "-
Too busy to intend a meaner care
Than how t'enrich thyself, and next thine heir ; ;
Or art thou (as though rich, perhaps thou art)
But poor in knowledge, having none t' impart ;-
Behold that figure, neat, -though meanly clad,
His sprightly mingled with a shade of fad;
Not of a nimble tongue, though now and then
Heard to articulate like other men;
No jester, and yet lively in discourse;
His phrase well chofen, clear, and full of force ; ;
And his address, if not quite French in ease,
Not English stiff, but frank and form’d to please ;
Low in the world, because he scorns its arts,
A man of letters, manners, morals, parts ; .
Unpatroniz'd, and therefore little known,
Wife for himself and his few friends alone
In him thy well-appointed proxy see,
Arm’d for a work too difficult for thee' ; ;
Prepar'd by taste, by learning and true worth.
To form thy fon, to strike his genius forth;
Beneath thy roof, beneath thine eye to prove
The force of discipline when back'd by love;
To double all thy pleasure in thy child,
His mind inform'd, his morals undefild.