« EelmineJätka »
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 wing protects her care;
And ev'ry fowl that flies at large,
Instructs me in a parent's charge.
From nature too I took 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 chatt'ring pie?
Nor would I, with felonious flight,
By stealth invade my neighbour's right.
Rapacious animals we hate;
Kites, hawks, and wolves, deserve their fate.
Do not we just abhorrence find
Against the toad and serpent kind?
But envy, calumny, and spite,
Bear stronger venom in their bite.
Thus ev'ry object of création
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 virtues prove 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.
A MAN PERISHING IN THE SNOW;
From whence Reflections are raised on the Miseries of Lifi.
THOMPSON. As thus the snows arise; and foul, and fierce, All winter drives along the darken’d air; In his own loose-revolving fields, the swain .. Disaster'd stands; sees other hills ascend, Of unknown joyless brow; and other scenes, Of horrid prospect, shag the trackless plain : Nor finds the river, nor the forest, hid Beneath the formless wild; but wanders on From hill to dale, still more and more astray; Impatient flouncing through the thrifted heaps, Stung with the thoughts of home; the thoughts
of home Rush on his nerves, and call their vigour forth .; In many a vain attempt. How sinks his soul! What black despair, what horror fills his heart! When for the dusky spot, which fancy feign'd: His tufted cottage rising through the snow,
He meets the roughness of the middle waste,
Far from the track and blest abode of man;
While round him night resistless closes fast,
And ev'ry tempest howling o'er his head,
Renders the savage wilderness more wild.
Then throng the busy shapes into his mind,
Of cover'd pits, unfathomably deep,
A dire descent; beyond the pow'r of frost,
Of faithless bogs; of precipices huge,
Smooth'd up with snow; and what is land, un-
What water, of the still unfrozen spring,
In the loose marsh or solitary lake,
Where the fresh fountain from the bottom boils.
These check his fearful steps, and down he sinks
Beneath the shelter of the shapeless drift,
Thinking o'er all the bitterness of death
Mix'd with the tender anguish nature shoots
Through the wrung bosom of the dying man,
His wife, his children, and his friends unseen.
In vain for him th' officious wife prepares
The fire fair-blazing, and the vestment warm;
In vain his little children peeping out
Into the mingled storm, demand their sire
With tears of artless innocence. Alas!
Nor wife, nor children more shall he behold,
Nor friends, nor sacred home. On ev'ry nerve
The deadly winter seizes; shuts up sense;
And o'er his inmost vitals creeping cold,
Lays him along the snows, a stiffen'd corse
Stretch'd out, and bleaching in the northern blast.
Ah, little think the gay licentious proud,
Whom pleasure, pow'r, and affluence surround,
They who their thoughtless hours in giddy mirth,
And wanton, often cruel, riot, waste;
Ah, little think they, as they dance along,
How many teel, this very moment, death,
And all the sad variety of pain.
How many sink in the devouring flood,
Or more devouring flame! How many bleed,
By shameful variance betwixt man and man!
How many pine in want, and dungeon glooms,
Shut from the common air, and common use
Of their own limbs! How
Of baleful grief, or eat the bitter bread
Of misery! Sore pierc'd by wintry winds,
How many sink into the sordid hut
Of cheerless poverty! How many shake
With all the fiercer tortures of the mind,
Unbounded passion, madness, guilt, remorse!
How many, rack'd with honest passions, droop
In deep retir'd distress! How many stand
Around the death-bed of their dearest friends,