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Abroad in the meadows to see the young lambs
Run sporting about by the side of their dams,
With fleeces so clean and so white;
Or a nest of young doves in a large open cage,
When they play all in love, without anger or rage,
How much we may learn from the sight !
If we had been ducks, we might dabble in mud,
Or dogs, we might play 'till it ended in blood;
So foul and so fierce are their natures:
But Thomas, and William, and such pretty names,
Should be cleanly and harmless as doves or as
Those lovely sweet innocent creatures.
Not a thing that we do, nor a word that we say,
Should injure another in jesting or play;
For he's still in earnest that’s hurt :
How rude are the boys that throw pebbles and
There's none but a madman will fling about fire,
And tell you, “'Tis all but in sport.”
The sturdy rock, for all his strength,
By raging seas is rent in twain:
The marble stone is pierc'd at length,
With little drops of drizzling rain;
The ox doth yield unto the yoke,
The steel obeys the hammer's stroke. . .
The stately stag, that seems so stout,
By yelping hounds at bay is set;
The swiftest bird that flies about,
At length is caught in fowler's net;
The greatest fish, in deepest brook,
Is soon deceived by subtle hook.
Yea, man himself, unto whose will
All things are bounden to obey,
For all his wit and worthy skill,
Doth fade at length and fall away;
There is no thing but time doth waste, The heav'ns, the earth, consume at last.
But Virtue sits triumphing still
Upon the throne of glorious fame;
Though spiteful Death man's body kill,
Yet hurts he not his virtuous name;
By life or death whate'er betides,
The state of Virtue never slides.
Though down the bed, where Miro lay,
He slept not to the dawn of day:
And who could hope a moment's rest
While thoughts like these perplex the breast 2
Knowledge conceal’d beyond the sky—
Ah! what can dim-ey'd man descry?
Life's good or ill 'till felt unknown :
To-morrow is to-morrow's own :
My mortal hour the next may be—
Or Heav'n may hoary age decree.
My moments pass—when past, I know
If fraught with happiness or woe.
The tardy knowledge comes too late,
And unprepar'd we meet our fate;
Ah! why, if Heav'n is wise and kind,
Thus hoodwink'd man’s immortal mind *
Why prescience jealously denied,
Of life alone the guard and guide 2
Man born to woe, as sparks ascend,
The means of bliss Heav'n will not lend.
Here slumber seal’d his weary eyes |
A dream ensu'd, to make him wise.
(But all her sons, like Eve, shall know,
Knowledge, that Heav'n forbids, is woe.)
An angel thus bespoke him : “Friend,
“I come at once thy doubts to end;
“Full to thy view I’ll make appear “The fate of thy ensuing year.” He ceas'd, and from the doubter's eyes Fell scales—a scene began to rise— One raving in a fever lay ! Shriek’d l and expir'd turn'd cold as clay. Annther, worn to skin and bone, Deep ! and more deep ! fetch'd many a groant And now, the shadow gasp'd for breath ! And now was agoniz'd in death ! “Who’s she, that fever robb'd of life P’’ The angel answer'd, “"Twas your wife " “The man consumption ended, who " Again the angel answer'd : “You !” That dreadful word like thunder broke The dreamer started and awoke – What can this shocking dream portend ? Two deaths before the year shall end My wife's the first nor her's alonel As much it ascertain'd my own * “Your wife! and you !”—This tingling ear Still rings, as were the angel here ! But what's a dream 2 Nay some rehearse It just demotes its own reverse. Of mine shall I presume the same * Impossible! from Heav'n it came : Came to correct this wrangling heart, And what but truth can Heav'n impart — Must I then die 3 Is death so near 2 Good Heav'n' accept this gushing tear ! To ev'ry crime thy grace extend! And let that death my sorrows end —.
But how to break it to my fair?
For the dread secret she must share!
Warn'd, she'll prepare herself to die,
And shine a brighter saint on high. -
The dream was told—how struck the dame!
High bounds her pulse—her blood's on flame.
See her in bed! she pants!—she turns !
She raves | how fell the fever burns!—
She's gone! and, when her heart-strings broke,
Miro felt more than half the stroke
By forethought of that dreadful day,
How much was Miro worn away !
But quite to lose so fond a wife,
It shrinks him to a shade of life .
E'en Hope, the waster's constant friend,
That scarce deserts him at his end;.
Hope flies the piner's heart; nor dare
That heart importune Heav'n to spare :
But certain, that his doom's decreed,
Meets death halfway; and dies indeed.
Man at his peril through the future pries;
What best were hid, Heav'n hides from human
eyes. so. . . . . . ;
Hence, there are seasons to be purely gay; .
And e'en misfortunes have their proper day.
Hence Hope, that helps life's heaviest loads to
bear; - - - . . . . . . . .
Hence all the humble confidence of Pray’r;
Hence Resignation calms the pious breast, , .
And all that Heav'n permits, man construes best.