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Thou hadst an industry in doing good,
Restless as his who toils and sweats for food.
Avarice in thee was the desire of wealth
By rust imperishable or by stealth ;
And if the genuine worth of gold depend
On application to its noblest end,
Thine had a value in the scales of Heaven,
Surpassing all that mine or mint had given.
And, though God made thee of a nature prone
To distribution boundless of thy own,
And still, by motives of religious force,
Impell’d thee more to that heroic course,
Yet was thy liberality discreet,
Nice in its choice, and of a temper'd heat ;
And though in act unwearied, secret still,
As in some solitude the summer rill
Refreshes, where it winds, the faded green,
And cheers the drooping flowers, unheard, unseen.

Such was thy charity, — no sudden start,
After long sleep, of passion in the heart,
But steadfast principle, and, in its kind,
Of close relation to the eternal mind,
Traced easily to its true source above,
To Him whose works bespeak his nature, love.

Thy bounties all were Christian, and I make
This record of thee for the gospel's sake,
That the incredulous themselves may see
Its use and power exemplified in thee.

MORTUARY STANZAS FOR 1790.

Ne commonentem recta sperne. BUCHANAN.
Despise not my good counsel.

He who sits from day to day,

Where the prison'd lark is hung,
Heedless of his loudest lay,

Hardly knows that he has sung.

Where the watchman in his round

Nightly lifts his voice on high, None, accustom'd to the sound,

Wakes the sooner for his cry.

So your verse-man I, and clerk,

Yearly in my voice proclaim Death at hand— yourselves his mark

And the foe's unerring aim.

Duly at my time I come,

Publishing to all aloud, -
Soon the grave must be your home,

And your only suit a shroud.

But the monitory strain,

Oft repeated in your ears, Seems to sound too much in vain,

Wins no notice, wakes no fears.

Can a truth, by all confess'd,

Of such magnitude and weight, Grow, by being oft express’d,

Trivial as a parrot's prate ?

Pleasure's call attention wins,

Hear it often as we may; New as ever seem our sins,

Though committed every day.

Death and judgment, heaven and hell —

These alone, so often heard, No more move us than the bell

When some stranger is interr’d.

Oh, then, ere the turf or tomb

Cover us from every eye, Spirit of instruction, come,

Make us learn that we must die.

THE JUDGMENT OF THE POETS.

[May, 1791.]

Two nymphs, both nearly of an age,

Of numerous charms possess’d,
A warm dispute once chanced to wage,

Whose temper was the best.

The worth of each had been complete,

Had both alike been mild;
But one, although her smile was sweet,

Frown'd oftener than she smiled.

And in her humour, when she frown’d,

Would raise her voice, and roar, And shake with fury to the ground

The garland that she wore.

The other was of gentler cast,

From all such frenzy clear,
Her frowns were seldom known to last,

And never proved severe.

To poets of renown in song

The nymphs referr'd the cause, Who, strange to tell, all judged it wrong,

And gave misplaced applause.

They gentle callid, and kind and soft,

The flippant and the scold, And though she changed her mood so oft,

That failing left untold.

No judges, sure, were e'er so mad,

Or so resolved to err-
In short, the charms her sister had
They lavish'd all on her.

Then thus the god whom fondly they

Their great inspirer call,
Was heard, one genial summer's day,

To reprimand them all.

“ Since thus ye have combined,” he said,

“ My favourite nymph to slight, Adorning May, that peevish maid,

With June's undoubted right,

“ The minx shall, for your folly's sake,

Still prove herself a shrew,
Shall make your scribbling fingers ache,

And pinch your noses blue.”

EPITAPH

ON
MRS M. HIGGINS, OF WESTON.

[1791.]
LAURELS may flourish round the conqueror's tomb,
But happiest they who win the world to come.
Believers have a silent field to fight,
And their exploits are veil'd from húman sight:
They in some nook, where little known they dwell,
Kneel, pray in faith, and rout the hosts of hell ;
Eternal triumphs crown their toils divine,
And all those triumphs, Mary, now are thine.

THE RETIRED CAT.

[This poem was written in the autumn of 1791; its subject is mentioned with praise by the poet, as a promising kitten, in 1787.]

A Poet's Cat, sedate and grave
As poet well could wish to have,
Was much addicted to inquire
For nooks to which she might retire,
And where, secure as mouse in chink,
She might repose, or sit and think.

I know not where she caught the trick

Nature perhaps herself had cast her In such a mould philosophique,

Or else she learn'd it of her master. Sometimes ascending, debonnair, An apple-tree, or lofty pear, Lodged with convenience in the fork, She watch'd the gardener at his work ; Sometimes her ease and solace sought In an old empty watering pot, There wanting nothing, save a fan, To seem some nymph in her sedan Apparell’d in exactest sort, And ready to be borne to court.

But love of change it seems has place Not only in our wiser race; Cats also feel as well as we, That passion's force, and so did she. Her climbing, she began to find, Exposed her too much to the wind, And the old utensil of tin Was cold and comfortless within ; She therefore wish'd, instead of those, Some place of more serene repose, Where neither cold might come, nor air Too rudely wanton with her hair, And sought it in the likeliest mode Within her master's snug abode.

A drawer, it chanced, at bottom lined With linen of the softest kind, With such as merchants introduce From India, for the ladies' use, A drawer impending o'er the rest, Half open in the topmost chest, Of depth enough, and none to spare, Invited her to slumber there ; Puss, with delight beyond expression, Survey'd the scene, and took possession.

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