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Thou would'st dot, deaf to nature's tend'rest plea,
Turn him adrift upon a rolling fea,
Nor fay, Go thither, conscious that there lay
A brood of asps, or quicksands in his way;
Then, only govern’d by the self-fame rule
Of nat'ral pity, send him not to school.
No-guard him better. Is he not thine own,
Thyself in miniature, thy flesh, thy bone?
And hop'st thou not ('tis ev'ry father's hope)
That, since thy strength must with thy years elope,
And thou wilt need fome comfort to assuage
Health's last farewell, a staff of thine old age,
That then, in recompense of all thy cares,
Thy child shall show refpect to thy gray hairs,
Befriend thee, of all other friends bereft,
And give thy life its only cordial left?
Aware then how much danger intervenes,
To compass that good end, forecast the means.
His heart, now pallive, yields to thy command ;-
Secure it thine, its key is in thine hand.
If thou desert thy charge, and throw it wide,
Nor heed what guests there enter and abide,
Complain not if attachments lewd and base
Supplant thee in it, and usurp thy place.
But, if thou guard its sacred chambers sure
From vicious inmates and delights impure,
Either his gratitude shall hold him fast,
And keep him warm and filial to the last;
Or, if he prove unkind (as who can say,
But, being man, and therefore frail, he may?)
One comfort yet shall cheer thine aged heart-
Howe'er he flight thee, thou haft done thy part.
Oh barb'rous ! would'lt thou with a Gothic hand Pull down the schools—what!--all schools i' th’land; Or throw them up to liv'ry.nags and
Or turn them into shops and auction rooms ?
A captious question, Sir, (and yours is one)
Deserves an answer similar, or pone.
Would'st thou, poffeffor of a flock, employ
(Appriz'd that he is such) a careless boy,
And feed him well, and give him handsome pay,
Merely to sleep, and let them run astray?
Survey our schools and colleges, and see
A light not much unlike fimile.
From education, as the leading cause,
The public character its colour draws;
Thence the prevailing manners take their caft,
Extravagant or sober, loose or chaste.
And, though I would not advertise them yet,
Nor write on each--This building to be Lety
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Unless the world were all prepar'd t'embrace
A plan well worthy to supply their place;
Yet, backward as they are, and long have been,
To cultivate and keep the MORALS clean,
(Forgive the crime) I wish them, I confefs,
Or better manag'd, or encourag'd less.
MRS THROCKMORTON'S BULFINCH.
Ye nymphs ! if e’er your eyes were red
With tears o'er hapless fav'rites shed,
O share Maria's grief!
Her fav’rite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage?)
Affaffin'd by a thief.
Where Rhenus strays his vines among,
The egg was laid from which he sprung;
And though by nature mute,
Or only with a whistle blest,
Well-taught, he all the sounds express’d,
Of flagelet or flute.
The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the fleekest mole;
His bosom of the hue
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall foon arise
To sweep up all the dew,
Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe, alike to bird and mouse,
No cat had leave to dwell;
And Bully's cage supported stood,
On props of smoothest-shaven wood,
Large built, and lattic'd well;
Well-lattic'd—but the grate, alas !
Not rough with wire of steel or brass,
For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wands from Ouse's side,
With which, when neatly peeld and dried,
The swains their bakets make.
Night veil'd the pole. All seem'd secure,
When led by instinct sharp and sure,
Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth-fallied on the scout,
Long-back'd, long-tail'd, with whisker’d snout,
And badger-colour'd hide.
He, ent'ring at the study-door,
Its ample area 'gan explore;
And something in the wind
Conjectur’d, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,
Food, chiefly, for the mind.