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As here and there a twinkling star descried
Serves but to show how black is all beside.
Now look on him whose very voice in tone
Just echoes thine, whose features are thine own,
And stroke his polished cheek of purest red,
And lay thine hand upon his flaxen head,
And say, my boy, the unwelcome hour is come,
When thou, transplanted from thy genial home,
Must find a colder soil and bleaker air,
And trust for safety to a stranger's care;
What character, what turn thou wilt assume
From constant converse with I know not whom,
Who there will court thy friendship, with what view
And, artless as thou art, whom thou wilt choose,
Though much depends on what thy choice shall be,
Is all chance-medley and unknown to me.
Canst thou, the tear just trembling on thy lids.
And while the dreadful risk foreseen, forbids,
Free too, and under no constraining force,
Unless the sway of custom warp thy course,
Lay such a stake upon the losing side,
Merely to gratify so blind a guide?
Thou canst not: Nature pulling at thine heart,
Condemns the unfatherly, the imprudent part.
Thou wouldst not, deaf to nature's tenderest plea,
Turn him adrift upon a rolling sea,
Nor say, go thither, conscious that there lay
A brood of asps, or quicksands in his way;
Then only governed by the self-same rule
Of natural pity, send him not to school.
No !—Guard him better: Is he not thine own,
Thyself in miniature, thy flesh, thy bone?
And hopest thou not ('tis every father's hope)
That since thy strength must with thy years elope,
And thou wilt need some comfort to assuage
Health's last farewell, a staff of thine old age,
That then, in recompense of all thy cares,
Thy child shall show respect to thy gray hairs.
Befriend thee, of all other friends bereft,
And give thy life its only cordial left?
Aware then how much danger intervenes,
To compass that good end, forecast the means .
His heart, now passive, yields to thy command;
Secure it thine. Its key is in thine hand.
If thou desert thy charge and throw it wide,
Nor heed what guests there enter and abide,
Complain not if attachments lewd and base
Supplant thee in it, and usurp thy place.
But if thou guard its secret chambers sure
From vicious inmates and delights impure,
Either his gratitude shall hold him fast,
And keep him warm and filial to the last,
Or if he prove unkind, (as who can say
Oh, barbarous! wouldst thou with a Gothic hand Pull down the schools—what !—all the schools i' the
WRITTEN AT HATH, ON FINDING THE HEEL OF A SHOE, IN 1748.
Fortune! I thank thee: gentle goddess, thanks!
Not that my Muse, though bashful, shall deny
She would have thanked thee rather, hadst thou cast
A treasure in her way; for neither meed
Of early breakfast, to dispel the fumes
And bowel-raking pains of emptiness,
Nor noontide feast, nor evening's cool repast,
Hopes she from this, presumptuous—though perhaps
The cobbler, leather-carving artist, might.
Nathless she thanks thee, and accepts thy boon,
Whatever; not as erst the fabled cock,
Vain-glorious fool, unknowing what he found,
Spurned the rich gem thou gavest him. Wherefore, ah!
Why not on me that favour, (worthier sure,)
Conferredst thou, goddess? Thou art blind, thou sayest:
Enough !—thy blindness shall excuse the deed.
Nor does my Muse no benefit exhale
Thus fares it oft with other than the feet
Of humble villager:—the statesman thus,
Up the steep road where proud ambition leads,
Aspiring, first uninterrupted winds
His prosperous way; nor fears miscarriage foul,
While policy prevails and friends prove true:
But that support soon failing, by him left
On whom he most depended,—basely left,
Betrayed, deserted,—from his airy height
Headlong he falls, and through the rest of life
Drags the dull load of disappointment on.
ON READING MR. EICHAEDSON's HISTORY OF SIR CHARLES GEANDISON.
Say, ye apostate and profane,
Allegiance to your God,—
And lift you from the crowd?
Would you the race of glory run,
Are equal to the task:
Of human vigour ask,
To arm against repeated ill
The patient heart too brave to feel
The tortures of despair;
To gain admittance there.
To rescue from the tyrant's sword
The oppressed ;—unseen and unimplored,
To cheer the face of woe;
And a forgiven foe;
These, these distinguish from the crowd,
The guardians of mankind;
The multitude behind!
Then ask ye, from what cause on earth
The sparkling eye, Ihe mantling cheek,
How seldom we behold in one!
Beauty, like other powers, maintains
Each single feature faintly warms:
Our eyes, our ears, our heart alarms.
So when on earth the god of day
Tnrough convex orbs the beams transmit, The beams that gently warmed before, Collected, gently warm no more,
But glow with more prevailing heal.
On the green margin of the brook
Despairing Phyllida reclined, Whilst every sigh, and every look,
Declared the anguish of her mind.
Am I less lovely then? (she cries,
Oh yes, I see my languid eyes,
These eyes no more like lightning pierced,
These cheeks grew pale, when Damon first His Phyllida betrayed.
Thp rose he in his bosom wore,
How oft upon my breast was seen!
And when I kissed the drooping flower,
The wreaths that bound my braided hair,
Himself next day was proud to wear
While thus sad Phyllida lamented,
Umr.l.mgly the nymph consented,
She wiped the fallen tears away,
Then sighed and blushed, as who would say Ah! Thyrsis, I am won.