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The poplars are felled; farewell to the shade,
Twelve years have elapsed since I first took a view
The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
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 -'
IDEM LATINE REDDITUM.
PoPULEiE cecidit gratissima copia silvae,
Hei mihi! bis senos dum luctu torqueor annos,
Ah ubi nunc merulae cantus? Felicior ilium
Sed qui succisas doleo succidar et ipse,
* Mote to Ed. of 1803. Mr. Cowper afterwards altered this last stanza in the following manner:
Tam subito periisse videns tam digna manere,
INSCRIPTION FOR THE TOMB OF MR. HAMILTON.
Pause here, and think: a monitory rhyme
Consult life's silent clock, thy bounding vein;
Here lies, whom hound did ne'erpursue, Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,
Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
And to domestic bounds confined,
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,
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,
On pippins' russet peel,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.
A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
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
And waits, in snug concealment laid,
He, still more aged, feels the shocks
And, partner once of Tiney's box,
Hie etiam jacet,
MIDDLE AND LATER LIFE.
(This division includes some pieces published anonymously during the Author's lifetime.)
A TALE, FOUNDED ON A FACT
WHICH HAPPENED IN JANUARY 1779.
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.