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His fav'rite Spaniel near him stood, And with his master shared the food; The crackling bones his jaws devour'd, His lapping tongue the trenchers scour'd; Till, sated now, supine he lay, And snor'd the rising fumes away. 2. The hungry Cat, in turn drew near, And humbly crav'd a servant's share. Her modest worth the master knew, And straight the fatt'ning morsel threw. 3. Enrag'd, the snarling cur awoke, And thus with spiteful envy spoke: 'They only claim a right to eat, Who earn by services their meat; Me, zeal and industry inflame To scour the fields, and spring the game; Or, plung'd in the wint'ry wave, For man the wounded bird to save. 4. With watchful diligence I keep From prowling wolves his fleecy sheep At home his midnight hours secure, And drive the robber from the door. For this his breast with kindness glows, For this his hand the food bestows. 5. And shall thy indolence impart
A warmer friendship to his heart, That thus he robs me of my due, To pamper such vile things as you ?" 6. "I own," with meekness, Puss replied, "Superior merit on your side; Nor does my breast with envy swell, To find it recompens'd so well: Yet I, in what my nature can, Contribute to the good of man. 7. Whose claws destroy the pilf'ring mouse? Who drives the vermin from the house? Or, watchful for the lab'ring swain, From lurking rats secures the grain? From hence if he rewards bestow, Why should your heart with gall o'erflow? Why pine my happiness to see,
Since there's enough for you and me ?"
"Thy words are just," the Farmer cried,
And spurn'd the snarler from his side.
The Wheat and the Weeds.
1. "Twas in a pleasant month of spring,
When flow'rets bloom and warblers sing:
A field of wheat began to rise,
'The farmer's hope, his country's prize.
When lo! amid the op'ning ears,
A various crop of weeds appears.
The poppy, soldier-like array'd,
Its flimsy scarlet flow'rs display'd.
Some, like the lofty sky, were blue;
And some were ting'd with golden hue:
But ev'ry where the wheat was seen,
Clad in one robe of modest green.
2. It chanc'd, three youths, in city bred,
That knew to eat-not raise their bread,
For pleasure's sake, had rambled there,
To see the sun, and breathe fresh air.
Of herbs and grain they little knew
What Linnæus wrote, or Sinclair grew :
But each, as o'er the field they gaz'd,
What fancy led to, pluck'd and prais'd.
3. "See," said the first, "this flow'r so red,
That gently bows its blushing head:
Can the whole field a plant display,
So rich, so noble, and so gay
"Yes," said the next, "the flow'r I show,
With star-like rays, and sky-like blue,
So much does your dull plant outshine,
That the best choice is surely mine."
4. "Stop," said the third, "the flow'r I hold,
With cluster'd leaves of burnish'd gold,
Than yours or his, is richer drest;
The choice I've made, is doubtless best."
In this, however, each agreed,
That nothing could his own exceed
And that the rising blades of green,
Did not deserve to grow between.
5. A Farmer chanc'd behind the gate
To overhear the youth's debate ;
Knowing from ign'rance error springs,
He strove to teach them better things.
6. "My lads," he said, "now understand,
These are but weeds that spoil our land;
But the green blades you trample down,
Are wheat, man's food, and nature's crown.
With art and pains the crop is sown,
And thus your daily bread is grown.
Alas! your judgment was not right,
Because you judg'd from outward sight.'
Economy the source of charity.
1. By gen'rous goodness taught, my early youth
Soon learn'd humanity.-My parents died-
Orphans have claims on charitable souls ;
The pious Edgar thought so; mov'd perhaps
By the soft eloquence of infant tears,
Perchance by nature prompted, to his roof
He led the fatherless.-
It was the seat
Of nuptial happiness: a rustic cot,
Small, yet convenient, for their wants were few:
And Edgar, knowing what all men should learn,
Was with his lot contented.-Happy state!
Labor he plied for exercise, not gain.
At early dawn, he led me to the field ;
And, drawing morals from each task he took,
"That every seed, well sown on earth,
Would yield full harvest in that awful day,
When all arrears of labor shall be paid;
Each well-meant toil rewarded."-
I found him busied near a murm'ring rill : To various little streams he turn'd its source, Where wand'ring devious thro' his neat dress'd grounds, It cheer'd the green copse, fill'd the earing corn; Then trickled gently through the perfum'd grove. 4. "Mark well, my child," he said; "this little stream Shall teach thee Charity It is a source
I never knew to fail; directed thus
Be that soft stream, the fountain of thy heart.
For, Oh! my much lov'd child, I trust thy heart
Has those affections that shall bless thyself;
And flowing softly, like this little rill,
Cheer all that droop."-
The good man did not err; The milk of human kindness warm'd my breast ; Young as I was, I felt for others' woes, And when I could, reliev'd them.-Yet I was young, And, having lavish'd all my infant store In gewgaw toys, and childish fooleries, I do remember well, a vet'ran old, Maim'd and disfigur'd by the hand of war, Implor'd my charity.
I felt, alas!
His various wants-sore, sick, and wan he seem'd:
My little heart bled at each wound he show'd.
Alas! alas! replied my infant thoughts,
And shall want cloud the evening of his days
Whose noon of life was toil ?--And then I wept.-
It was the first time that I e'er knew want;
I was indeed a bankrupt.—
I wept, but spoke not; for my heart was full.
"What wilt thou give, my boy ?"-Fearing a lie,
I sobb'd out truth most sadly. Edgar felt;
Pardon'd my folly; (for he lov'd my tears;)
And gave what sooth'd the poor man's misery.
But, in our ev'ning walk, behold! the stream
Was dry. I ask'd the cause.--
Mark me, my child! This rill, I told thee oft, thro' all thy life, Should teach thee Charity.-Now let it teach-If yet thou hast to learn, that the bless'd source Of lib'ral deeds, is wise economy.
This morn, like thee, I drew the stream too fast: Now, when the parch'd glebe wants its wat'ry aid, The source is all exhausted."
To some Children listening to a Lark.
1. SEE the lark prunes his active wings,
Rises to heaven, and soars, and sings;
His morning hymns, his mid-day lays,
Are one continued song of praise.
He speaks his maker all he can,
And shames the silent tongue of man.
2. When the declining orb of light
Reminds him of approaching night,
His warbling vespers swell the breast;
And as he sings, he sinks to rest.
3. Shall birds instructive lessons teach,
And we be deaf to what they preach ?-
No, ye dear nestlings of my heart;
Go act the wiser songster's part:
Spurn your warm couch at early dawn,
And with your God begin the morn.
4. To him your grateful tribute pay,
Through every period of the day.
To him your evening songs direct;
His eye shall watch, his arm protect :
Though darkness reigns, he's with you still;
Then sleep, my babes, and fear no ill.
The advantages of early religion.
1. HAPPY the child, whose tender years
Receive instruction well;
Who hates the sinner's path, and fears
The road that leads to hell.
2. When we give up our youth to God,
"Tis pleasing in his eyes:
A flower that's offer'd in the bud,
Is no vain sacrifice.
3. 'Tis easy work, if we begin To fear the Lord betimes;