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Meekness and love possess'd her soul, And innocence had crown’d the whole.

It chanced in some unguarded hour (Ah! purity, precarious flower! Let maidens of the present age Tremble, when they peruse my page); It chanced upon a luckless day, The little wanton, full of play, Rejoiced a thymy bank to gain; But short the triumphs of her reign! The treacherous slopes her fate foretell, And soon the pretty trifler fell. Beneath, a dirty ditch impress’d Its mire

upon her spotless vest. What greater ill could lamb betide, The butcher's barbarous knife beside ?

The shepherd, wounded with her cries, Straight to the bleating sufferer flies. The lambkin in his arms he took, And bore her to a neighbouring brook. The silver streams her wool refined, Her fleece in virgin whiteness shined.

Cleansed from pollution's every stain, She join'd her fellows on the plain; And saw afar the stinking shore, But ne'er approach'd those dangers more. The shepherd bless'd the kind event, And view'd his flock with sweet content.

To market next he shaped his way, And bought provisions for the day: But made for winter's rich supply, A purchase from a farmer's sty. The children round their parent crowd, And testify their mirth aloud,

Y

They saw the stranger with surprise,
And all admired his little eyes.
Familiar grown, he shared their joys,
Shared too the porridge with the boys.
The females o'er his dress preside,
They wash his face and scour his hide:
But daily more a Swine he grew,
For all these housewives e'er could do.

Hence let my youthful reader know,
That once a hog, and always so.

VIII.

DEATH AND THE RAKE. When pleasures court the human heart, Oh! 'tis reluctant work to part. Are we with griefs and pains oppress’d? Woe says, that Death's a welcome guest: Though sure to cure our evils all, He's the last doctor we would call. We think, if he arrives at morn, 'Tis hard to die as soon as born: Or if the conqueror invade, When life projects the evening shade, Do we not meditate delay, And still request a longer stay? We shift our homes, we change the air, And double, like the hunted hare: Thus be it morn or night or noon, Come when he will, he comes too soon!

You wish my subject I would wave, The preface is so very grave.

Come then, my friend, I'll change my style,
And couch instruction with a smile:
But promise, ere I tell my tale,
The serious moral shall prevail.

Vanbruin died-his son, we're told,
Succeeded to his father's gold.
Flush'd with his wealth, the thoughtless blade
Despised frugality and trade;
Left Amsterdam with eager haste,
Dress and the Hague engross'd his taste.

Ere long his passion changed its shape, He grew

enamour'd with the grape: Frequented much a house of cheer, Just like our fools of fortune here; With sots and harlots fond to join, And revel o'er his midnight wine.

Once on a time the bowls had flow'd,
Quite till the morning cock had crow'd,
When Death,

hour awake,
Enter'd the room, and claim’d the rake.
The youth's complexion spoke his fears;
Soft stole adown his cheek the tears.
At length the anguish of his breast
With faltering tongue he thus express'd-

• Thou king of terrors, hear my prayer,
And condescend for once to spare.
Let me thy clemency engage,
New to the world, and green in age.
When life no pleasures can dispense,
Or pleasures pall upon the sense;
When the eye feels departing sight, ,
And rolls its orb in vain for light;
When music's joys no longer cheer
The sickening heart, or heavy ear;

at every

Or when my aching limbs forbear,
In sprightly balls to join the fair;
I'll not repeat my suit to Death,
But cheerfully resign my breath.

• Done; (says the monarch) be it so; Observe-you promise then to go!'

What favour such protracted date
From the stern minister of fate!
Your wonder will be greater soon,
To hear the wretch perverts the boon :
Who, during years beyond a score,
Ne'er thought upon his promise more !

But were these terms by Death forgot?
Ah! no-again he seeks the sot.
The wretch was in the tavern found,
With a few gouty friends around.
Dropsy had seized his legs and thighs,
Palsy his hands, and rheuin his eyes:
When thus the king – Intemperate elf,
Thus, by debauch, to dupe yourself.
What! are my terrors spurn’d by thee?
Thou fool! to trifle thus with me!
You ask'd before for length of days,
Only to riot various ways.
What were thy pleas but then a sneer?
I'll now retort with jest severe.

• Read this small print;' the monarch cries• You mock me, sir (the man replies); I scarce could read when in my prime, And now my sight's impair'd by time. Sure you

consider not my ageI can't discern a single page. And when

my

friends the bottle pass, I scarce can see to fill my glass.'

Here, take this nut, observe it well'Tis my command

you

crack the shell.' • How can such orders be obey'd ? My grinders, sir, are quite decay'd. My teeth can scarce divide my bread, And not a sound one in

my

head.' But Death, who more sarcastic grew, Disclosed a violin to view; Then loud he call'd, Old boy, advance, Stretch out your legs, and lead the dance.'

The man rejoin'dWhen age surrounds,
How can the ear distinguish sounds ?
Are not my limbs unwieldy grown?
Are not my feet as cold as stone?
Dear sir, take pity on my state-
My legs can scarce support my weight!

Death drops the quaint insulting joke,
And meditates the fatal stroke:
Assuming all his terrors now,
He speaks with anger on his brow.

• Is thus my lenity abused;
And dare you hope to stand excused ?
You've spent your time, that pearl of price!
To the detested ends of vice :
Purchased your shortlived pleasures dear,
And seal'd your own destruction here:
Inflamed your reckoning too above,
By midnight bowls, and lawless love.
Warning, you know, I gave betimes-
Now go, and answer for your

crimes.' • Oh! my good lord, repress

the blow-
I am not yet prepared to go:
And let it, sir, be further told,
That not a neighbour thinks me old.

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