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At every step beneath their feet they tread
The life of multitudes, a nation's bread;
Earth seems a garden in its loveliest dress
Before them, and behind a wilderness;
Famine and Pestilence, her first-born son,
Attend to finish what the sword begun,
And echoing praises such as fiends might earn,
And folly pays, resound at your return.
A calm succeeds ;—but plenty with her train
Of heartfelt joys, succeeds not soon again,
And years of pining indigence must show
What scourges are the gods that rule below.
Yet man, laborious man, by slow degrees,
(Such is his thirst of opulence and ease,)
Plies all the sinews of industrious toil,
Gleans up the refuse of the general spoil,
Rebuilds the towers that smoked upon the plain,
And the sun gilds the shining spires again.
Increasing commerce and reviving art Renew the quarrel on the conqueror's part, And the sad lesson must be learn'd once more, That wealth within is ruin at the door.
monarchs, laureld heroes, say, But Ætnas of the suffering world ye sway ? Sweet nature stripp'd of her embroider'd robe, Deplores the wasted regions of her globe, And stands a witness at Truth's aweful bar, To prove you there, destroyers as ye are.
Oh place me in some heaven-protected isle, Where
peace and equity and freedom smile, Where no volcano pours his fiery flood, No crested warrior dips his plume in blood,
Where power secures what industry has won,
Where to succeed is not to be undone,
A land that distant tyrants hate in vain,
In Britain's isle, beneath a George's reign.
POET, THE OYSTER, AND SENSITIVE PLANT.
An Oyster cast upon the shore
Was heard, though never heard before,
Complaining in a speech well worded,
And worthy thus to be recorded :
Ah hapless wretch ! condemn'd to dwell
Ordain'd to move when others please,
Not for my own content or ease,
But toss'd and buffeted about,
Now in the water, and now out.
'Twere better to be born a stone
Of ruder shape and feeling none,
Than with a tenderness like mine,
And sensibilities so fine!
I envy that unfeeling shrub,
Fast-rooted against every rub.
The plant he meant grew not far off,
And felt the sneer with scorn enough,
Was hurt, disgusted, mortified,
And with asperity replied.
When, cry the botanists, and stare,
Did plants callid Sensitive grow there?
No matter when-a poet's muse is
To make them grow just where she chooses.
You shapeless nothing in a dish,
You that are but almost a fish,
I scorn your coarse insinuation,
And have most plentiful occasion
To wish myself the rock I view,
Or such another dolt as you.
For many a grave and learned clerk,
And many a gay unletter'd spark,
With curious touch examines me,
If I can feel as well as he;
And when I bend, retire, and shrink,
Says, well—'tis more than one would think.-
Thus life is spent, oh fie upon't !
In being touch'd, and crying, don't.
A poet in his evening walk,
O'erheard and check'd this idle talk.
he said, and yours,
Whatever evil it endures,
Deserves not, if so soon offended,
Much to be pitied or commended.
Disputes though short, are far too long,
Where both alike are in the wrong ;
Your feelings in their full amount,
Are all upon your own account.
You in your grotto-work enclosed
Complain of being thus exposed,
Yet nothing feel in that rough coat,
Save when the knife is at your throat,
Wherever driven by wind or tide,
Exempt from every ill beside.
And as for you, my Lady Squeamish,
Who reckon every touch a blemish,
If all the plants that can be found
Embellishing the scene around,
Should droop and wither where they grow,
You would not feel at all, not you.
The noblest minds their virtue prove
By pity, sympathy, and love;
These, these are feelings truly fine,
their owner half divine.
His censure reach'd them as he deal it,
And each by shrinking show'd he felt it.
REV. WILLIAM CAWTHORNE UNWIN.
Unwin, I should but ill
The kindness of a friend,
Whose worth deserves as warm a lay
As ever friendship penn'd,
Thy name omitted in a page
That would reclaim a vicious age.
An union form'd, as mine with thee,
Not rashly or in sport,
May be as fervent in degree,
And faithful in its sort,
And may as rich in comfort prove,
As that of true fraternal love.
The bud inserted in the rind,
The bud of peach or rose, Adorns, though differing in its kind,
The stock whereon it grows With flower as sweet or fruit as fair As if produced by nature there. Not rich, I render what I may;
I seize thy name in haste, And place it in this first assay,
Lest this should prove the last. 'Tis where it should be, in a plan That holds in view the good of man.
The poet's lyre, to fix his fame,
Should be the poet's heart;
Affection lights a brighter flame
Than ever blazed by art.
No muses on these lines attend,
I sink the poet in the friend.
PRINTED BY C. WHITTINGHAM