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WHAT are outward forms and shows,
To an honest heart compar'd?
Oft the rustic, wanting those,

Has the nobler portion shar'd.

Oft we see the homely flower
Bearing, at the hedge's side,
Virtues of more sovereign power
Than the garden's gayest pride,




In the downhill of life, when I find I'm declining, May my lot no less fortunate be,

Than a snug elbow-chair can afford for reclining, And a cot that o'erlooks the wide sea;

With an ambling pad-poney to pace o'er the lawn, While I carol away idle sorrow,

And blithe as the lark that each day hails the dawn, Look forward with hope for to-morrow.

* In the comic opera of the Maid of the Mill.”

With a porch at my door, both for shelter and shade too, As the sun-shine or rain may prevail;

And a small spot of ground for the use of the spade too, With a barn for the use of the flail.

A cow for my dairy, a dog for my game,

And a purse when a friend wants to borrow;

I'll envy no nabob his riches or fame,

Nor what honours await him to-morrow.

From the bleak northern blast may my cot be completely
Secur'd, by a neighbouring hill,

And at night may repose steal upon me more sweetly,
By the sound of a murmuring rill:

And while peace and plenty I find at my board,

With a heart free from sickness and sorrow,
With my friends may I share what to-day may afford,
And let them spread the table to-morrow.

And when I, at last, must throw off this frail covering,
Which I've worn for three-score years and ten,
On the brink of the grave I'll not seek to keep hovering,
thread wish to spin o'er again :

Nor my
But my face in the glass I'll serenely survey,

And with smiles count each wrinkle and furrow,
As this old worn-out stuff which is thread-bare to-day,
May become everlasting to-morrow.*

* [This song is here inserted from vol. i. of Mr. Plumptre's col. lection: but the author I apprehend was not the Collins of high poetical celebrity, nor can I offer any biographical report of him. It is possible, however, he may have been the person who some years ago formed a motley entertainment of music and recitation, entitled 'Collins's Evening Brush.']



(Imitated from Horace, lib. iii. od. 29.)


LET Spain's proud traders, when the mast
Bends groaning to the stormy blast,
Run to their beads with wretched plaints,
And vow and bargain with their saints,
Lest Turkish silks or Tyrian wares
Sink in the drowning ship,

Or the rich dust Peru prepares
Defraud their long projecting cares,
And add new treasures to the greedy deep.

My little skiff, that skims the shores,
With half a sail, and two short oars,
Provides me food in gentler waves :
But if they gape in wat'ry graves,
I trust th' Eternal Pow'r, whose hand
Has swell'd the storm so high,

To waft my boat and me to land,
Or give some angel swift command
To bear the drowning sailor to the sky.

* [Several of this Christian poet's songs for children, have been most happily set to music by Mr. T. F. Walmisley, and published.]




WITH any so happy, in this happy nation,

I would not change place, if to change I were free; Whate'er be their talents, of what occupation,

If poor, or if rich, high or low their degree. Though slender my fortune, of rank I'm not speaking, I have that which a bounteous Heaven hath sent; For other, or better, I am not for seeking,

I live in a cottage, I'm blest with content.

What though I have cares, which, my mind oft oppressing, Have pain'd me, at times, since the day of my birth; Yet, to lighten my sorrow, I've many a blessing,

And the man without care doth not live on this earth. Are others more learned? e'en knowledge brings sorrow, My talents are such as kind Heaven hath sent ; My wisdom's sufficient this lesson to borrowA cottage is ample, enjoy'd with content.


peace with all round me, I've many acquaintance, One friend I enjoy, and perhaps I've but one; But those who are blest with a greater abundance, More needing a friend, ah! perhaps, may have none. My wife was no beauty, nor yet was an heiress, For better for worse, I receiv'd her as sent ; Though homely her person, to me she's the fairest,

And the dower that she brought to our cot was content.

Our children are many, all sizes and


Ten in number, like steps round our table they rise, They are healthy and good, and my fond mind presages If learning they miss, they at least may be wise. Of all that I've seen, for none other I'd change them, So well am I pleas'd with my blessings thus sent, No joys of the world from our love can estrange them, For the lesson they learn in our cot is content.


To see them all settled and blest, if permitted, 'Tis surely my wish, Heaven grant me my Yet my eldest by age and by temper is fitted


To father my babes, and to husband my wife.
But as all in this world, for the best is ordained,
Good or ill, life or death, all by Heaven are sent,
O may it be said, that I never complained,
To live or to die, I'm for either content.




YES, once more that dying strain,
Anna, touch thy lute for me;
Sweet, when Pity's tones complain,
Doubly sweet is Melody.

While the Virtues thus inweave

Mildly soft the thrilling song;
Winter's long and lonesome eve

Glides unfelt, unseen, along.

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