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This moveable structure of shelves,
For its beauty admired and its use, And charged with octavos and twelves,
The gayest I had to produce; Where, flaming in scarlet and gold,
My poems enchanted I view, And hope, in due time, to behold
My Iliad and Odyssey too :
This china, that decks the alcove,
Which here people call a buffet, But what the gods call it above
Has ne'er been reveal'd to us yet : These curtains, that keep the room warm,
Or cool, as the season demands; Those stoves, that for pattern and form,
Seem the labour of Mulciber's hands :
All these are not half that I owe
To one, from our earliest youth To me ever ready to show
Benignity, friendship, and truth; For time, the destroyer declared,
And foe of our perishing kind, If even her face he has spared,
Much less could he alter her mind.
Thus compass’d about with the goods
And chattels of leisure and ease, I indulge my poetical moods
In many such fancies as these ; And fancies I fear they will seem
Poets' goods are not often so fine; The poets will swear that I dream,
Wher. I sing of the splendour of mine,
MY COUSIN, ANNE BODHAM,
RECEIVING FROM HER A NET-WORK PURSE,
MADE BY HERSELF.
My gentle Anne, whom heretofore,
Than plaything for a nurse,
I thank thee for my purse.
Gold pays the worth of all things here;
For richest rogues to win it:
The best things kept within it.
FOR THE USE OF THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL AT
HEAR, Lord, the song of praise and prayer
In heaven, thy dwelling-place,
And taught to seek thy face.
And grant us, we implore,
Thy holy sabbaths more.
To each desires sincere,
And learn as well as hear.
For if vain thoughts the minds engage
Of older far than we,
Our minds should e'er be free?
Much hope, if thou our spirits take
Under thy gracious sway,
And babes as wise as they.
A sun that ne'er declines ;
Who placed us where it shines.
SUBJOINED TO THE YEARLY BILL OF MORTALITY OF
THE PARISH OF ALL-SAINTS, NORTHAMPTON,'
ANNO DOMINI 1787.
Pallida Mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas,
While thirteen moons saw smoothly run
The Nen's barge-laden wave,
Have found their home, the grave.
Was man (frail always) made more frail
Than in foregoing years ?'
That so much death appears ?
No; these were vigorous as their sires,
Nor plague nor famine came;
And never waves his claim.
1 Composed for John Cox, parish-clerk of Northampton
Like crowded forest-trees we stand,
And some are mark'd to fall :
And soon shall smite us all.
Green as the bay-tree, ever green,
With its new foliage on,
I pass'd—and they were gone.
Read, ye that run, the awful truth
With which I charge my page : A worm is in the bud of youth,
And at the root of age.
No present health can health ensure
For yet an hour to come;
Can always balk the tomb.
Aud, O! that, humble as my lot,
And scorn'd as is my strain, These truths, though known, too much forgot,
I may not teach in vain.
So prays your clerk with all his heart,
And, ere he quits the pen,
And answer all-Amen!