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Wouldst thou, possessor of a flock, employ
THE YEARLY DISTRESS, OR TITHING TIME
AT STOCK IN ESSEX.
Verses addressed to a Country Clergyman, complaining of the
disagreeableness of the day annually appointed for receive ing the Dues at the Parsonage.
· COME, ponder well, for ’tis no jest,
To laugh it would be wrong,
Three quarters of a year
When tithing time draws near,
As one at point to die,
He heaves up many a sigh.
Along the miry road,
To make their payments good.
In sooth the sorrow of such days
Is not to be express’d,
Are both alike distress'd.
Now all unwelcome at his gates
The clumsy swains alight, With rueful faces and bald pates
He trembles at the sight."
And well he may, for well he knows
Each bumpkin of the clan, Instead of paying what he owes,
Will cheat him if he can. '
So in they come-each makes his leg,
And flings his head before,
And not to quit a score.
“ And how does miss and madam do,
The little boy and all ?” “ All tight and well. And how do you,
Good Mr. What-d'ye-call ?”
The dinner comes, and down they sit,
Were e'er such hungry folk ? There's little talking, and no wit ;r.
It is no time to joke.
One wipes his nose upon his sleeve,
One spits upon the floor,
Holds up the cloth before.
The punch goes round, and they are dull
And lumpish still as ever;
They only weigh the heavier.
At length the busy time begins.
“ Come, neighbours, we must wag—" The money chinks, down drop their chins,
Each lugging out his bag.
One talks of mildew and of frost,
And one of storms of hail, And one of pigs that he has lost
By maggots at the tail.
Quoth one, “ A rarer man than you
In pulpit none shall hear :
You sell it plaguy dear.”
O why are farmers made so coarse,
Or clergy made so fine ?
May kill a sound divine.
Then let the boobies stay at home ;
'Twould cost him, I dare say, Less trouble taking twice the sum
Without the clowns that pay.
On his emphatical and interesting Delivery of the Defence of
Warren Hastings, Esq. in the House of Lords.
COWPER, whose silver voice, task'd sometimes hard,
Legends prolix delivers in the ears
(Attentive when thou read'st) of England's peers, Let verse at length yield thee thy just reward.
Thou wast not heard with drowsy disregard,
Expending late on all that length of plea
Thy generous powers, but silence honour'd thee, Mute as e'er gazed on orator or bard.
Thou art not voice alone, but hast beside
Of Attic phrase and senatorial tone, Like thy renown'd forefathers, far and wide Thy fame diffuse, praised not for utterance meet
Of others' speech, but magic of thy own.