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Nor wonder if you find that none
"refers your eye-sight to his own."
The hare and many friends.
FRIENDSHIP, in truth, is but a name,
Unless to few we stint the flame.
The child, who many fathers share,
Hath seldom known a father's care.
'Tis thus in friendship; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.,
A hare, who, in a civil way,
Complied with every thing, like Gay,
Was known by all the bestial train,
Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain.
Her care was never to offend ;
And ev'ry creature was her friend.
As forth she went at early dawn,
To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn,
Behind she hears the hunter's cries,
And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies.
She starts, she stops, she pants for breath;
She hears the near advance of death;
She doubles to mislead the hound,
And measures back her mazy round;
Till, fainting in the public way,
Half-dead with fear she gasping lay.
What transport in her bosom grew,
When first the horse appear'd in view!
"Let me," says she, "your back ascend,
And owe my safety to a friend.
You know my feet betray my flight;
To friendship ev'ry burthen's light."
The horse replied, "Poor honest puss!
It grieves my heart to see thee thus:
Be comforted, relief is near;
For all your friends are in the rear."
She next the stately bull implor'd
And thus replied the mighty lord;
"Since ev'ry beast alive can tell
That I sincerely wish you well,
I may, without offence, pretend
To take the freedom of a friend.
To leave you thus might seem unkind
But see the goat is just behind."
The goat remark'd her pulse was high,
Her languid head, her heavy eye;
"My back," says he, may do you harm;
The sheep's at hand, and wool is warm."
The sheep was feeble, and complain'd
His sides a load of wool sustain'd:
Said he was slow, confess'd his fears;
For hounds eat sheep as well as hares.
She now the trotting calf address'd,
To save from death a friend distress'd.
"Shall I," says he, "of tender age,
In this important care engage?
Older and abler pass'd you by:
How strong are those! how weak am I !
Should I presume to bear you hence,
Those friends of mine might take offence.
Excuse me then. You know my heart,
But dearest friends, alas! must part.
How shall we all lament!-Adieu!
For, see, the hounds are just in view.”
The three warnings.
THE tree of deepest root is found
Least willing still to quit the ground :
'Twas therefore said by ancient sages,
That love of life increas'd with years
So much, that in our latter stages,
When pains grow sharp, and sickness rages,
The greatest love of life appears.
This great affection to believe,
Which all confess, but few perceive,
If old assertions can't prevail,
Be pleas'd to hear a modern tale.
When sports went round, and all were gay, On neighbour Dodson's wedding-day,
Death call'd aside the jocund groom
With him into another room;
And looking grave-" You must," says he,
Quit your sweet bride, and come with me."
"With you! and quit my Susan's side!
With you!" the hapless husband cried;
"Young as I am, 'tis monstrous hard!
Beside, in truth, I'm not prepar'd:
My thoughts on other matters go;
This is my wedding-day you know.”
What more he urg'd, I have not heard,
His reasons could not well be stronger, So death the poor delinquent spar'd, And left to live a little longer. Yet calling up a serious look,
His hour-glass trembled while he spoke-
Neighbour," he said "Farewell. No more
Shall Death disturb your mirthful hour;
And farther, to avoid all blame
Of cruelty upon my name,
To give you time for preparation,
And fit you for your future station,
Three several Warnings you shall have,
Before you're summon'd to the grave.
Willing for once I'll quit my prey,
And grant a kind reprieve ;
In hopes you'll have no more to say;
But, when I call again this way,
Well pleas'd the world will leave."
To these conditions both consented,
And parted perfectly contented.
What next the hero of our tale befell,
How long he liv'd, how wise, how well,
How roundly he pursu'd his course,
And smok'd his pipe, and strok'd his horse,
The willing muse shall tell :
He chaffer'd then, he bought, he sold,
Nor once perceiv'd his growing old,
Nor thought of Death as near;
His friends not false, his wife no shrew,
Many his gains, his children few,
He pass'd his hours in peace.
But while he view'd his wealth increase,
While thus along Life's dusty road
The beaten track content he trod,
Old Time, whose haste no mortal spares,'
Uncall'd, unheeded, unawares,
Brought on his eightieth year.
And now, one night, in musing mood
As all alone he sat,
Th' unwelcome messenger of Fate
Once more before him stood.
Half kill'd with anger and surprise,
"So soon return'd!" old Dodson cries,
"So soon, d'ye call it ?" Death replies :
"Surely, my friend, you're but in jest!
Since I was here before
'Tis six-and-thirty years at least,
And you now are fourscore."
"So much the worse," the clown rejoin'd,
"To spare the aged would be kind:
However, see your search be legal ;
And your authority-is't regal?
Else you are come on a fool's errand,
With but a secretary's warrant.
Beside, you promis'd me Three Warnings,
Which I have look'd for nights and mornings!
But for that loss of time and ease,
I can recover damages.'
"I know," cries Death, "that, at the best, I seldom am a welcome guest But don't be captious, friend, at least : I little thought you'd still be able To stump about your farm and stable; Your years have run to a great length; I wish you joy, tho', of your strength!" Hold," says the farmer, "not so fast! I have been lame these four years past.' "And no great wonder," Death replies : "However, you still keep your eyes; And sure, to see one's loves and friends, For legs and arms would make amends.' "Perhaps," says Dodson, "so it might, But latterly I've lost my sight."
"This is a shocking tale, 'tis true;
But still there's comfort left for you:
Each strives your sadness to amuse,
I warrant you hear all the news.”
"There's none," cries he; " and if there were I'am grown so deaf, I could not hear."
"Nay, then," the spectre stern rejoin'd,
"These are unjustifiable yearnings;
"If you are Lame, and Deaf, and Blind,
You've had your Three sufficient Warnings.
So, come along, no more we'll part;
He said, and touch'd him with his dart.
And now, old Dodson turning pale,
Yields to his fate-so ends
FAR in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age a rev'rend hermit grew;
The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell,
His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well;
Remote from man, with God he pass'd his days,
Pray'r all his business, all his pleasure praise.
A life so sacred, such serene repose,
Seem'd heav'n itself, till one suggestion rose
That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey ;·
This sprung some doubt of Providence's sway:
His hopes no more a certain prospect boast,
And all the tenour of his soul is lost.
So when a smooth expanse receives imprest
Calm nature's image on its wat'ry breast,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
And skies beneath with answering colours glow.
But if a stone the gentle sea divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on ev'ry side,
And glimm'ring fragments of a broken sun;
Banks, trees, and skies, in thick disorder run.
To clear this doubt, to know the world by sight, To find if books or swains report it right, (For yet by swains alone the world he knew, Whose feet came wandering o'er the nightly dew,) He quits his cell; the pilgrim-staff he bore, And fix'd the scallop in his hat before; Then with the sun a rising journey went, Sedate to think, and watching each event.
The morn was wasted in the pathless grass, And long and lonesome was the wild to pass :