Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

O'ercome with terror, the pale boy sank down,
And wildly gazed around him, till his eye
Fell on a stone, on which these warning words
Were carved :-

• Time! thou art flying rapidly-

But whither art thou flying?
• To the grave-which yours will be-

I wait not for the d; ing.
In early youth you laughed at me,
· And, laugbing, passed life's morning;
But in thy age I laugh at thee-

Too late to give thee warning.'
• Death! thy shadowy form I see,

The steps of Time pursuing;
Like him, thou comest rapidly-

What deed must thou be doing?'
• Mortal, my message is for thee-

Thy chain to earth is rended;
I bear thee to eternity-

Prepare-thy course is ended!
Attentively the fainting boy perused
The warning lines- then grew more terrified ;
For from the grave there seemed to rise a voice
Repeating them, and telling him of time
Mispent, of death approaching rapidly,
And of the dark eternity that followed.
His fears increased, till on the ground he lay
Almost bereft of feeling and of sense-
And there his mother found him:
From the damp church-yard sod she bore her child,
Frightened to feel his clammy hands, and hear
The sighs and sobs that from his bosom came!
'Twas strange the influence which that fearful hour
Had o'er his future life; for from that night
He was a thoughtful and industrious boy!
And still the memory of those warning words
Bids him reflect—now that he is a man,
And writes these feeble lines that others may.

Ř. V.

IDLENESS AND HER FOLLOWERS.

AN ALLEGORY. Musing lately on the evils attendant on Idleness, I fell into a kind of mental slumber, when a person, ap. parently of the visionary world, his countenance speaking friendship and gaiety, respectfully approached, and taking my hand, led me forward. I immediately found myself in a beautiful country; it abounded in corn and flocks, vines and olive yards. It was autumn, and the busy labourers were gathering a plentiful harvest. The grandeur of the scene was materially heightened by the meanderings of a majestic river, which gracefully wound its way through the meadows. My guide, whose name was Imagination, said “This is the land of contentment, over which reigns Industry.' Here most readily would I have taken up my abode, but my guide forbad it, still leading me forward, till, at length, I saw at a distance another country, at the sight of which my heart sickened ; it was the land of idleness. Between the two, a sea rolled ber mighty waves, over which my guide, in a manner peculiar to himself, hastily wafted me. When we set our feet upon the detested regions, my guide engaged to tell me all he knew of the land and its inhabitants. He said,

It was once a state dependent upon Industry, but, in the course of time, the inhabitants neglected her, and her court left them. As Industry and her dependents departed, Idleness and her suite advanced ; they took possession of the territory, and planted their standard and ensign upon the bighest tower. It consisted of a deserted bee-hive.

When Idleness entered the country she was attended by a numerous train of followers. My guide saw both her and her attendants. The ruling queen sat in a chair, or chariot; her hair was long, dishevelled, and disordered, and her dress was slovenly thrown about her. She sat upon the Genius of Invention, and the arts and sciences lay neglected at her feet. At her right sat Pride, most haughty in manner, and ostentatious in

dress; at her left was Deception, babited as Pleasure, with a harp in her hand, and music books before her. Behind them sat Discontent, a morose old man; these were dispatched as ambassadors amongst the inhabi. tants.

Imagination offered to conduct me through the country, that I might see the operations of the most notorious of the followers of Idleness. I accepted his proposition, and we immediately commenced our journey. We had scarce advanced ere our attention was caught by the barrenness of the country. The inhabitants had neglected to sow, and they had no corn to reap. The vineyards and orchards were overrun with weeds. The garden was a garden no more. The river flowed, but the mill was destroyed. The plough was rusted for want of use. The börse was emaciated for want of pasture. The sheep wandered for want of a shepherd. The barns stood, but in them was no corn. The harrow and rake were lost. The fence of the flowergarden was broken ; the swine had trodden down the borders. In short, Poverty and Annihilation bad followed Idleness all over the farm. We visited the house, and called to the farmer, whose only reply was “A little more sleep, a little more slumber. We looked for his family; his wife, alas ! had long ago sunk under the weight of her accumulated woes; his children were unhealthy, their education was neglected.

We next pursued our course along the highway, which was covered with grass, for there was no commerce carried on. We saw Poverty and Disease lolling on a bench at the door of a cottage. No more did the rose smile in the window, or Content chat over the events of past ages. Backbiting and Slander were strutting through the village. Drunkenness was grinning at the stocks. Debauchery and Dissipation raised a shout and planted a standard, round which hundreds flocked. Riot spread her influence over all. The village-schoolmistress shut up her school. The rector became irregular in the performance of his clerical duties. The squire was engaged with Gambling ;

« AnteriorContinuar »