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Yet Plenty reigns, and from her boundless hoard,
Here once a year Distinction lowers its crest,
From The Former's Boy : Summer.
MISERIES OF THE POST-HORSE.
E'en sober Dobbin lifts his clumsy heels
Short-sighted Dobbin!—thou canst only see
Ah, well for him if here his sufferings ceased,
From The Farmer's Boy: Wintcr.
THE SHEPHERD AND THE SPECTRE
Whilst thus the loiterer's utmost stretch of soul Climbs the still clouds, or passes those that roll, And loosed Imagination soaring goes High o'er his home, and all his little woes, Time glides away; neglected Duty calls: At once from plains of light to earth he fails, And down a narrow lane, well known by day, With all his speed pursues his sounding way, In thought still half absorb'd, and chilld with cold; When, lo! an object frightful to behold; A grisly SPECTRE, clothed in silver-grey, Around whose feet the waving shadows play, Stands in his path!-He stops, and not a breath Heaves from his heart, that sinks almost to death. Loud the owl halloos o'er his head unseen; All else is silent, dismally serene: Some prompt ejaculation whisper'd low, Yet bears him up against the threat'ning foe; And thus poor Giles, though half inclined to fly, Mutters his doubts, and strains his steadfast eye. “ 'Tis not my crimes thou com'st here to reprove; No murders stain my soul, no perjured love: If thou ’rt indeed what here thou seem'st to be, Thy dreadful mission cannot reach to me. By parents taught still to mistrust mine
eyes, Still to approach each object of surprise, Lest Fancy's formful visions should deceive In moonlight paths, or glooms of falling eve, This then 's the moment when my heart should try To scan thy motionless deformity; But oh, the fearful task! yet well I know An aged ash, with many a spreading bough (Beneath whose leaves I've found a summer's bow'r, Beneath whose trunk I've weather d many a show'r) Stands singly down this solitary way, But far beyond where now my footsteps stay. 'Tis true, thus far I've come with heedless haste; No reck’ning kept, no passing objects traced :And can I then have reach'd that very tree? Or is its reverend form assumed by thee?” The happy thought alleviates his pain : He creeps another step; then stops again; Till slowly, as his noiseless feet draw near, Its perfect lineaments at once appear;
Its crown of shivering ivy whispering peace,
From The Farmer's Boy : Winter.
Near the high road upon a winding stream An honest Miller rose to wealth and fame: The noblest virtues cheer'd his lengthen'd days, And all the country echoed with his praise. His wife, the doctress of the neighb'ring poor, Drew constant prayers and blessings round his door.
One summer's night (the hour of rest was come) Darkness unusual overspread their home; A chilling blast was felt: the foremost cloud Sprinkled the bubbling pool; and thunder loud, Though distant yet, menaced the country round, And fill'd the heavens with its solemn sound. Who can retire to rest when tempests lourNor wait the issue of the coming hour? Meekly resign'd she sat, in anxious pain; He fill’d his pipe, and listen'd to the rain That batter'd furiously their strong abode, Roar'd in the dam, and lash'd the pebbled road: When, mingling with the storin, confused and wild, They heard, or thought they heard, a screaming child: The voice approach'd; and midst the thunder's roar, Now loudly begg'd for mercy at the door.
Mercy was there: the Miller heard the call; His door he open'd; when a sudden squall Drove in a wretched Girl; who weeping stood, Whilst the cold rain dripp'd from her in a flood. With kind officiousness the tender Dame Roused up the dying embers to a flame;
Dry clothes procured, and cheer'd her shivering guest,
The Miller felt his indignation rise,
See, fluttering sighs that rise against her will, And agitating dreams disturb her still! Dame, we should know before we go to rest, Whence comes this Girl, and how she came distrest. Wake her, and ask; for she is sorely bruised : I long to know by whom she's thus misused.” “ Child, what's your name? how came you in the
storm? Have you no home to keep you dry and warm ? Who gave you all those wounds your shoulders show? Where are your parents? Whither would you go?"
The stranger, bursting into tears, look'd pale, And this the purport of her artless tale. “I have no parents, and no friends beside: I well remember when my mother diedMy brother cried; and so did I that day; We had no father-he was gone away. That night we left our home new clothes to wear; The Work-house found them; we were carried there. We loved each other dearly; when we met We always shared what trifles we could get. But George was older by a year than me:He parted from me and was sent to sea. "Good bye, dear Phæbe,' the poor fellow said ! Perhaps he'll come again; perhaps he's dead. When I grew strong enough I went to place, My mistress had a sour ill-natured face; And though I've been so often beat and chid, I strove to please her, Sir ; indeed, I did. Weary and spiritless to bed I crept, And always cried at night before I slept. This morning I offended; and I bore A cruel beating, worse than all before. Unknown to all the house I ran away, And thus far travelld through the sultry day;