The poplars are felled; farewell to the shade,
And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade
The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves,
Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.

Twelve years have elapsed since I first took a view
Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew;
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade!

The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat,
And the scene where his melody charmed me before
Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.

My fugitive years are all hasting away, . „ (.' , 1 •1And I must ere long lie as lowly as they, A IWith a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head, * 1'Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead. ((< f t' (.uah

'Tis a sight to engagemgj if anything can, Vcjah'To muse oh tin- perishing pleasures af juaii;Though his life be a dream, his enjoyments, I see, Have a being less durable even than he.* T1uuuit -'


PoPULEiE cecidit gratissima copia silvae,
Conticuere susurri, omnisque evanuit umbra.
Nullae jam levibus se miscent frondibus aurae,
Et nulla in fluvio ramorum ludit imago.

Hei mihi! bis senos dum luctu torqueor annos,
His cogor silvis suetoque carere recessu,
Cum sero rediens, stratasque in gramine cernens,
Insedi arboribus, sub quels errare solebam.

Ah ubi nunc merulae cantus? Felicior ilium
Silva tegit, durae nondum permissa bipenni;Scilicet exustos colles camposque patentes
Odit, et indignans et non rediturus abivit.

Sed qui succisas doleo succidar et ipse,
Et prius huic parilis quam creverit altera silva
Flebor, et, exequiis parvis donatus, habebo
Defixum lapidem tumulique cubantis acervum.

* Mote to Ed. of 1803. Mr. Cowper afterwards altered this last stanza in the following manner:
The change both my heart and my fancy employs,
I reflect on the frailty of man and his joys;
Short-lived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see,
Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.

Tam subito periisse videns tam digna manere,
Agnosco humanas sortes et tristia fata—
Sit licet ipsebrevis, volucrique simillimus umbrae,
Est homini brevior citiusque obitura voluptas.


Pause here, and think: a monitory rhyme
Demands one moment of thy fleeting time.

Consult life's silent clock, thy bounding vein;
Seems it to say, "Health here has long to reign "?
Hast thou the vigour of thy youth ?—an eye
That beams delight ?—a heart untaught to sigh?
Yet fear. Youth, ofttimes healthful and at ease,
Anticipates a day it never sees;
And many a tomb, like Hamilton's, aloud
Exclaims, "Prepare thee for an early shroud."

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Here lies, whom hound did ne'erpursue, Nor swifter greyhound follow,

Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman's halloo;

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care,

And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild Jack hare.

Though duly from my hand he took

I lis pittance every night, He did it with a jealous look,

And, when he could, would bite.

I lis diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw;

Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.

On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,

On pippins' russet peel,
And, when his juicy salads failed,

Sliced carrot pleased him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound,

To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.

His frisking was at evening hours,

For then he lost his fear, But most before approaching showers,

Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years and five round-rolling mooi is

He thus saw steal away, Dozing out all his idle noons,

And every night at play.

I kept him for his humour's sake,

For he would oft beguile My heart of thoughts that made it ache,

And force me to a smile.

But now beneath this walnut shade
He finds his long last home,

And waits, in snug concealment laid,
Till gentler Puss shall come.

He, still more aged, feels the shocks
From which no care can save,

And, partner once of Tiney's box,
Must soon partake his grave.


Hie etiam jacet,
Qui totum novennium vixit,
Siste paulisper,
Qui praeteriturus es,
Et tecum sic reputa—
Hunc neque canis venaticus,
Nee plumbum missile,
Nee laqueus,
Nee imbres nimii,
Confecere:Tamen mortuus est—
Et moriar ego.




(This division includes some pieces published anonymously during the Author's lifetime.)



WHERE Humber pours his rich commercial stream

There dwelt a wretch, who breathed but to blaspheme;

In subterraneous caves his life he led,

Black as the mine in which he wrought for bread.

When on a day, emerging from the deep,

A Sabbath-day, (such sabbaths thousands keep!)

The wages of his weekly toil he bore

To buy a cock—whose blood might win him more;

As if the noblest of the feathered kind

Were but for battle and for death designed;

As if the consecrated hours were meant

For sport to minds on cruelty intent;

It chanced (such chances Providence obey)

He met a fellow-labourer on the way,

Whose heart the same desires had once inflamed;

But now the savage temper was reclaimed,

Persuasion on his lips had taken place;

For all plead well who plead the cause of grace.

His iron heart with Scripture he assailed,

Wooed him to hear a sermon, and prevailed.

His faithful bow the mighty preacher drew;

Swift as the lightning-glimpse the arrow flew.

He wept; he trembled; cast his eyes around,

To find a worse than he; but none he found.

He felt his sins, and wondered he should feel;

Grace made the wound, and grace alone could heal. Now farewell oaths, and blasphemies, and lies!He quits the sinner's for the martyr's prize.
That holy day was washed with many a tear,
Gilded with hope, yet shaded, too, by fear.

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