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THE SHEPHERD AND THE PHILOSOPHER.
REMOTE from cities lived a swain,
Unvex'd with all the cares of gain ;
His head was silver'd o'er with age,
And long experience made him sage;
In summer's heat and winter's cold,
He fed his flock and penn'd the fold;
His hours in cheerful labour flew,
Nor envy nor ambition knew;
His wisdom and his honest fame
Through all the country raised his name.
A deep Philosopher (whose rules
Of moral life were drawn from schools),
The shepherd's homely cottage sought,
And thus explored his reach of thought.
“Whence is thy learning? Hath thy toil
O’er books consumed the midnight oil ?
Hast thou old Greece and Rome survey'd,
And the vast sense of Plato weigh’d ?
Hath Socrates thy soul refined ?
And hast thou fathom'd Tully's mind ?
Or, like the wise Ulysses, thrown
By various fates on realms unknown,
Hast thou through many cities stray'd,
Their customs, laws, and manners weigh'd ?”
THE SHEPHERD AND THE PHILOSOPHER
The Shepherd modestly replied,
“ I ne'er the paths of learning tried ;
Nor have I roam'd in foreign parts
To read mankind, their laws and arts;
For man is practised in disguise ;
He cheats the most discerning eyes.
Who by that search shall wiser grow,
When we ourselves can never know?
The little knowledge I have gain'd
Was all from simple Nature drain'd;
Hence my life's maxims took their rise ;
Hence grew my settled hate to vice.
The daily labours of the bee
Awake my soul to industry :
Who can observe the careful ant,
And not provide for future want?
My dog (the trustiest of his kind)
With gratitude inflames my mind;
I mark his true, his faithful way,
And in my service copy Tray.
In constancy and nuptial love
I learn my duty from the dove.
The hen, who from the chilly air
With pious wings protects her care,
And every fowl that flies at large
Instructs me in a parent's charge.
From Nature, too, I take my rule,
To shun contempt and ridicule.
I never, with important air,
In conversation overbear.
Can grave and formal pass for wise,
When men the solemn owl despise ?
My tongue within my lips I rein,
For who talks much must talk in vain.
We from the wordy torrent fly:
Who listens to the chattering pie ?
Nor would I, with felonious sleight,
By stealth invade my neighbour's right:
Rapacious animals we hate;
Kites, hawks, and wolves deserve their fate.
Do we not just abhorrence find
Against the toad and serpent kind ?
But envy, calumny, and spite
Bear stronger venom in their bite.
Thus every object of Creation
Can furnish hints to contemplation,
And from the most minute and mean,
A virtuous mind can morals glean.”
“Thy fame is just,” the sage replies,
“ Thy virtue proves thee truly wise.
Pride often guides the author's pen ;
Books as affected are as men.
But he who studies Nature's laws,
From certain truth his maxims draws;
And those, without our schools, suffice
To make men moral, good, and wise.”
On Linden, when the sun was low,
All bloodless lay the untrodden snow,
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat at dead of night,
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.
By torch and trumpet fast array'd,
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neigh’d
To join the dreadful revelry.
Then shook the hills, with thunder riven ; Then rush'd the steed, to battle driven ; And, louder than the bolts of Heaven,
Far flash'd the red artillery.
But redder yet that light shall glow
On Linden's hills of stained snow;
And bloodier yet, the torrent flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
'Tis morn ; but scarce yon level sun
Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
Shout in their sulphurous canopy.
The combat deepens. On, ye brave,
Who rush to glory or the grave !
Wave, Munich ! all thy banners wave !
And charge with all thy chivalry !
Few, few shall part, where many meet ;
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.
SWEET Auburn ! loveliest village of the plain,
Where health and plenty cheer'd the labouring swain,
Where smiling spring its earliest visit pay'd,
And parting summer's lingering blooms delay'd ;
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, when every sport could please ;
How often have I loiter'd o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endear'd each scene !
How often have I paused on every charm,
The shelter'd cot, the cultivated farm,