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At eve to hear beside their tranquil home
Though ineffectual pity thine may be,
The radiant path that Howard trod to heaven ; To stay the tottering step, the features trace ; Thy slights can make the wretched more forlorn, Inestimable sweets of social peace !
And deeper drive affliction's barbed thorn. O thou, who bidst the vernal juices rise ! Say not, “ I'll come and cheer thy gloomy cell Thou, on whose blasts autumnal foliage flies ! With news of dearest friends ; how good, how Let peace ne'er leave me, por my heart grow cold,
well; Whilst life and sanity are mine to hold.
I'll be a joyful herald to thine heart:” Shorn of their flowers that shed th' untreasured Then fail, and play the worthless trifler's part, seed,
To sip flat pleasures from thy glass's brim, The withering pasture, and the fading mead, And waste the precious hour that's due to him. Less tempting grown, diminish more and more, mercy spare the base, unmanly blow : The dairy's pride ; sweet Summer's flowing store Where can he turn, to whom complain of you? New cares succeed, and gentle duties press, Back to past joys in vain his thoughts may stray, Where the fireside, a school of tenderness,
Trace and retrace the beaten, worn-out way, Revives the languid chirp, and warms the blood The rankling injury will pierce his breast, Of cold-nipt weaklings of the latter brood, And curses on thee break his midnight rest. That from the shell just bursting into day,
Bereft of song, and ever-cheering green, Through yard or pond pursue their venturous The soft endearments of the Summer scene, way.
New harmony pervades the solemn wood, Far weightier cares and wider scenes expand; Dear to the soul, and healthful to the blood : What devastation marks the new-sown land !
For bold exertion follows on the sound “ From hungry woodland foes go, Giles, and guard of distant sportsmen, and the chiding hound; The rising wheat; ensure its great reward: First beard from kennel bursting, mad with joy, A future sustenance, a Summer's pride,
Where smiling Euston boasts her good Fitzroy, Demand thy vigilance; then be it tried:
Lord of pure alms, and gifts that wide extend; Exert thy voice, and wield thy shotless gun; The farmer's patron and the poor man's friend. Go, tarry there from morn till setting sun.”
Whose mansion glitters with the eastern ray, Keen blows the blast, or ceaseless rain descends ; | Whose elevated temple points the way, The half-stripp'd hedge a sorry shelter lends. O'er slopes and lawns, the park's extensive pride, O for a hovel, e'er so small or low,
To where the victims of the chase reside, Whose roof, repelling winds or early snow,
Ingulf'd in earth, in conscious safety warm, Might bring home's comfort fresh before his eyes! Till lo! a plot portends their coming harm. No sooner thought, than see the structure rise, In earliest hours of dark and hooded morn, In some sequester'd nook, embank'd around, Ere yet one rosy cloud bespeaks the dawn, Sods for its walls, and straw in burdens bound:
Whilst far abroad the fox pursues his prey, Dried fuel hoarded is his richest store,
He's doom'd to risk the perils of the day, And circling smoke obscures his little door; From his strong hold block'd out; perhaps to bleed, Whence creeping forth, to duty's call he yields,
Or owe his life to fortune or to speed. And strolls the Crusoe of the lonely fields.
For now the pack, impatient running on, On whitethorns towering, and the leafless rose,
Range through the darkest coverts one by one ; A frost-nipt feast in bright vermilion glows : Trace every spot; whilst down each noble glade Where clustering sloes in glossy order rise,
That guides the eye beneath a changeful shade, He crops the loaded branch ; a cumbrous prize ; The loitering sportsman feels th' instinctive flame, And o'er the flame the sputtering fruit he rests,
And checks his steed to mark the springing game. Placing green sods to seat his coming guests ; Midst intersecting cuts and winding ways His guests by promise ; playmates young and gay:
The huntsman cheers his dogs, and anxious strays, But, ah ! fresh pastimes lure their steps away! Where every narrow riding, even shorn, He sweeps his hearth, and homeward looks in vain, Gives back the echo of his mellow born ; Till feeling disappointment's cruel pain,
Till fresh and lightsome, every power untried, His fairy revels are exchanged for rage,
The starting fugitive leaps by his side, His banquet marr’d, grown dull his hermitage. His listed finger to his ear he plies, The field beconies his prison, till on high
And the view halloo bids a chorus rise Benighted birds to shades and coverts fly.
Of dogs quick-mouth'd, and shouts that mingle Midst air, health, daylight, can he prisoner be?
loud, If fields are prisons, where is liberty ?
As bursting thunder rolls from cloud to cloud Here still she dwells, and bere her votaries stroll; With ears erect, and chest of vigorous mould, But disappointed hope untunes the soul:
O'er ditch, o'er fence, unconquerably bold, Restraints unfelt whilst hours of rapture flow, The shining courser lengthens every bound, When troubles press to chains and barriers grow. And his strong footlocks suck the moisten'd ground, Look then from trivial up to greater woes;
As from the confines of the wood they pour, From the poor bird-boy with his roasted sloes, And joyous villages partake the roar. To where the dungeon'd mourner heaves the sigh; O'er heath far stretch'd, or down, or valley low, Where not one cheering sunbeam meets his eye. The stiff-limb'd peasant glorying in the show,
Pursues in vain, where youth itself soon tires,
ARGUMENT. Or hear the music of the leading cry?
Tenderness to cattle. Frozen lurnips. The cowyard, Poor, faithful Trouncer ! thou canst lead no
Night. The farm-house. Fireside. Farmer's advice more;
and instruction. Nightly cares of the stable. Dobbin. All thy fatigues and all thy triumphs o'er!
The post-horse. Sheep-stealing dogs. Walks occaTriumphs of worth, whose long-excelling fame
sioned thereby. The ghost. Lamb time. Returning Was still to follow true the hunted game;
Spring. Conclusion. Peneath enormous oaks, Britannia's boast,
With kindred pleasures moved, and cares oppress’d, In thick, impenetrable covers lost,
Sharing alike our weariness and rest;
The kindly intercourse will ever prove
A bond of amity and social love. And sweep the showering dewdrops from the grass ; To more than man this generous warmth extends,
Then bright emerging from the mist below And oft the team and shivering herd befriends; To climb the woodland hill's exulting brow. Tender solicitude the bosom tills,
Pride of thy race! with worth far less than thine, And pity executes what reason wills : Full many human leaders daily shine!
Youth learns compassion's tale from every tongue, Less faith, less constancy, less generous zeal ! And flies to aid the helpless and the young. Then no disgrace my humble verse shall feel, When now, unsparing as the scourge of war, Where not one lying line to riches bows,
Blasts follow blasts, and groves dismantled roar, Or poison’d sentiment from rancour flows; Around their home the storm-pinch'd cattle lows, Nor flowers are strewn around ambition's car: No nourishment in frozen pastures grows; An honest dog's a nobler theme by far.
Yet frozen pastures every morn resound Each sportsman heard the tidings with a sigh, With fair abundance thundering to the ground. When death's cold touch had stopt his tuneful For though on hoary twigs no buds peep out, cry ;
And e'en the hardy brambles cease to sprout, And though high deeds, and fair exalted praise, Beneath dread Winter's level sheets of snow In memory lived, and flow'd in rustic lays,
The sweet nutritious turnip deigns to grow. Short was the strain of monumental wo:
Till now imperious want and wide-spread dearth “ Foxes rejoice! here buried lies your foe!” Bid labour claim her treasures from the earth. In safety housed, throughout night's lengthening On Giles, and such as Giles, the labour falls, reign
To strew the frequent load where hunger calls. The cock sends forth a loud and piercing strain; On driving gales sharp hail indignant flies, More frequent, as the glooms of midnight flee, And sleet, more irksome still, assails his cyes ; And hours roll round that brought him liberty, Snow clogs his feet; or if no snow is seen, When Summer's early dawn, mild, clear, and bright, The field with all its juicy store to screen, Chased quick away the transitory night:-- Deep goes the frost, till every root is found Hours now in darkness veil'd; yet loud the scream A mass of rolling ice upon the ground. Of geese impatient for the playful stream ; No tender ewe can break her nightly fast, And all the feather'd tribe imprison'd raise Nor heifer strong begin the cold repast, Their morning notes of inharmonious praise: Till Giles with ponderous beetle foremost go, And many a clamorous hen and cockrel gay, And scattering splinters fly at every blow; When daylight slowly through the fog breaks way, When pressing round him, eager for the prize, Fly wantonly abroad: but, ah, how soon
From their mix'd breath warm exhalations rise. The shades of twilight follow hazy noon,
In beaded rows if drops now deck the spray, Shortening the busy day !--day that slides by While the sun grants a momentary ray, Amidst th' unfinish'd toils of husbandry;
Let but a cloud's broad shadow intervene, Toils still each morn resumed with double care, And stiffen'd into gems the drops are seen; To meet the icy terrors of the year ;
And down the furrow'd oak's broad southern side To meet the threats of Boreas undismay'd,
Streams of dissolving rime no longer glide. And Winter's gathering frowns and hoary head. Though night approaching bids for rest prepare,
Then welcome cold; welcome ye snowy nights! | Still the fail echoes through the frosty air, Heaven midst your rage shall mingle pure delights, Nor stops till deepest shades of darkness come, And confidence of hope the soul sustain,
Sending at length the weary labourer home. While devastation sweeps along the plain : From him, with bed and nightly food supplied, Nor shall the child of poverty despair,
Throughout the yard, housed round on every side, But bless the power that rules the changing year, Deep plunging cows their rustling feast enjoy, Assured, - though horrors round his cottage And snatch sweet mouthfuls from the passing boy reign,
Who moves unseen beneath his trailing load, That Spring will come, and nature smile again. Fills the tall racks, and leaves a scatter'd road,
Where oft the swine from ambush warm and dry His labours cease not with declining day,
The ruthless whirlwinds rage along the sky, Him, though the cold may pierce, and storms Round his head whistling ;-and shalt thou repine, molest,
While this protecting roof still shelters thine !" Succeeding hours shall cheer with warmth and rest; Mild as the vernal shower, his words prevail, Gladness to spread, and raise the grateful smile, And aid the moral precept of his tale: He hurls the fagot bursting from the pile,
His wondering hearers learn, and ever keep
These first ideas of the restless deep ;
Increasing pleasures every hour they find,
The warmth more precious, and the shelter kind: (Nor symmetry nor elegance his aim,)
Warmth that long reigning bids the eyelids close, Who spread his floors of solid oak on high, As through the blood its balmy influence goes, On beams rough-hewn, from age to age that lie, When the cheer'd heart forgets fatigues and cares, Bade his wide fabric unimpair'd sustain
And drowsiness alone dominion bears. The orchard's store, and cheese, and golden grain ; Sweet then the ploughman's slumbers, hale and Bade, from its central base, capacious laid,
young, The well-wrought chimney rear its lofty head; When the last topic dies upon his tongue; Where since hath many a savory ham been stored, Sweet then the bliss his transient dreams inspire, And tempests howl'd, and Christmas gambols roard. Till chilblains wake him, or the snapping fire.
Flat on the hearth the glowing embers lie, He starts, and ever thoughtful of his team, And flames reflected dance in every eye :
Along the glittering snow a feeble gleam There the long billet, forced at last to bend, Shoots from his lantern, as he yawning goes While gushing sap froths out at either end, To add fresh comforts to their night's repose ; Throws round its welcome heat:-the ploughman Diffusing fragrance as their food he moves, smiles,
And pats the jolly sides of those he loves. And oft the joke runs hard on sheepish Giles, Thus full replenish’d, perfect ease possess'd, Who sits joint tenant of the corner stool,
From night till morn alternate food and rest. The converse sharing, though in duty's school ; No rightful cheer withheld, no sleep debarr’d, For now attentively 'tis his to hear,
Their each day's labour brings its sure reward. Interrogations from the master's chair.
Yet when from plough or lumbering cart set free, “ Left ye your bleating charge, when daylight fled, They taste a while the sweets of liberty: Near where the haystack lifts its snowy head? E'en sober Dobbin lifts his clumsy heel Whose fence of bushy furze, so close and warm, And kicks, disdainful of the dirty wheel: May stop the slanting bullets of the storm. But soon, his frolic ended, yields again, For, hark! it blows; a dark and dismal night: To trudge the road, and wear the chinkling chain. Heaven guide the traveller's fearful steps aright! Shortsighted Dobbin !-thou canst only see Now from the woods mistrustful and sharp-eyed, The trivial hardships that encompass thee: The fox in silent darkness seems to glide,
Thy chains were freedom, and thy toils repose: Stealing around us, listening as he goes,
Could the poor post-horse tell thee all his woes: If chance the cock or stammering capon crows, Show thee his bleeding shoulders, and unfold Or goose, or nodding duck, should darkling cry The dreadful anguish he endures for gold: As if apprized of lurking danger nigh:
Hired at each call of business, lust, or rage, Destruction waits them, Giles, if e’er you fail That prompts the traveller on from stage to stage. To bolt their doors against the driving gale. Still on his strength depends their boasted speed; Strew'd you (still mindful of th’unshelterd head) For them his limbs grow weak, his bare ribs Burdens of straw, the cattle's welcome bed? (see,
bleed; Thine heart should feel, what thou mayst hourly And though he groaning quickens at command, That duty's basis is humanity.
Their extra shilling in the rider's hand Of pain's unsavory cup though thou mayst taste, Becomes his bitter scourge :-'tis he must feel (The wrath of Winter from the bleak north-east,) The double efforts of the lash and steel; Thine utmost sufferings in the coldest day
Till when, up hill, the destined inn he gains, A period terminates, and joys repay.
And trembling under complicated pains, Perhaps e'en now, while here those joys we boast, Prone from his nostrils, darting on the ground, Full many a bark rides down the neighbouring coast, His breath emitted floats in clouds around: Where the high northern waves tremendous roar, Drops chase each other down his chest and sides, Drove down by blasts from Norway's icy shore. And spatter'd mud his native colour hides : The seaboy there, less fortunate than thou, Through his swoln veins the boiling torrent flows Feels all thy pains in all the gusts that blow; And every nerve a separate torture knows. His freezing hands now drench’d, now dry, by turns; His harness loosed, he welcomes, eager-eyed, Now lost, now seen, the distant light that burns, The pail's full draught that quivers by his side ; On some tall cliff upraised a flaming guide, And joys to see the well-known stable door, That throws its friendly radiance o'er the tide. As the starved mariner the friendly shore.
Ah, well for him if here his sufferings ceased, Low, on the utmost boundary of the sight, And ample hours of rest his pains appeased! The rising vapours catch the silver light; But roused again, and sternly bade to rise, Thence fancy ineasures, as they parting fly, And shake refreshing slumber from his eyes, Which first will throw its shadow on the eye, Ere his exhausted spirits can return,
Passing the source of light; and thence away, Or through his frame reviving ardour burn, (sore, Succeeded quick by brighter still than they. Come forth he must, though limping, maim'd, and Far yet above these wafted clouds are seen He hears the whip; the chaise is at the door ; (In a remoter sky, still more serene,) The collar tightens, and again he feels
Others, detach'd in ranges through the air, His half-heal'd wounds inflamed ; again the wheels Spotless as snow, and countless as they're fair, With tiresome sameness in his ears resound, Scatter'd immensely wide from east to west, O'er blinding dust, or miles of flinty ground. The beauteous semblance of a flock at rest. Thus nightly robb’d, and injured day by day, These, to the raptured mind, aloud proclaim His piecemeal murderers wear his life away. Their MIGHTY SHEPHERD's everlasting Name. What say'st thou, Dobbin? what though hounds Whilst thus the loiterer's utmost stretch of soul await
Climbs the still clouds, or passes those that roll, With open jaws the moment of thy fate,
And loosed imagination soaring goes No better fate attends his public race ;
High o'er his home, and all his little woes, His life is misery, and his end disgrace.
Time glides away; neglected duty calls; Then freely bear thy burden to the mill:
At once from plains of light to earth he falls, Obey but one short law,-thy driver's will. And down a narrow lane, well known by day, Affection to thy memory ever true,
With all his speed pursues his sounding way, Shall boast of mighty loads that Dobbin drew; In thought still half-absorb’d, and chill'd with cold, And back to childhood shall the mind with pride When lo! an object frightful to behold; Recount thy gentleness in many a ride
A grisly spectre, clothed in silver-gray, To pond, or field, or village fair, when thou Around whose feet the waving shadow's play, Heldst high thy braided mane and comely brow! Stands in his path !--He stops, and not a breath And oft the tale shall rise to homely fame
Heaves from his heart, that sinks almost to death. Upon thy generous spirit and thy name.
Loud the owl balloos o'er his head unseen; Though faithful to a proverb we regard
All else is silent, dismally serene: The midnight chieftain of the farmer's yard, Some prompt ejaculation, whisper'd low, Beneath whose guardianship all hearts rejoice, Yet bears him up against the threatening foe; Woke by the echo of his hollow voice;
And thus poor Giles, though half inclined to fly, Yet as the hound may faltering quit the pack, Mutters his doubts, and strains his steadfast eye. Snuff the fowl scent, and hasten yelping back; “ 'Tis not my crimes thou comest here to reprove ; And e'en the docile pointer know disgrace, No murders stain my soul, no perjured love; Thwarting the general instinct of his race; If thou’rt indeed what here thou seem'st to be, E'en so the mastiff, or the meaner cur
Thy dreadful mission cannot reach to me. At times will from the path of duty err,
by parents taught still to mistrust mine eyes, (A pattern of fidelity by day:
Still to approach each object of surprise, By night a murderer, lurking for his prey ;) Lest fancy's formful visions should deceive And round the pastures or the fold will creep, In moonlight paths, or glooms of falling eve, And coward-like, attack the peaceful sheep. This then's the moment when my mind should try Alone the wanton mischief he pursues,
To scan thy motionless deformity ; Alone in reeking blood his jaws imbrues;
But O, the fearsul task! yet well I know Chasing amain his frighten'd victims round, An aged ash, with many a spreading bough, Till death in wild confusion strews the ground; (Beneath whose leaves I've found a summer's bower, Then wearied out, to kennel sncaks away, Beneath whose trunk I've weather'd many a And licks his guilty paws till break of day.
shower,) The deed discover'd, and the news once spread, Stands singly down this solitary way, Vengeance hangs o'er the unknown culprit's head: But far beyond where now my footsteps stay. And careful shepherds extra hours bestow
'Tis true, thus far I've come with heedless haste; In patient watchings for the common foe;
No reckoning kept, no passing objects traced : A foe most dreaded now, when rest and peace
And can I then have reach'd that very tree?
The happy thought alleviates his pain :
knows There views the white-robed clouds in clusters The solid gain that from conviction Nows ; driven,
And strengthen'd confidence shall hence fulfil And all the glorious pageantry of heaven.
(With conscious innocence more valued still
The dreariest task that winter nights can bring, For this he's doom'd awhile disguised to range,
The unsuspecting dam, contented grown,
As when retreating tempests we behold, Thus twins are parted to increase their size: Whose skirts at length the azure sky unfold, Thus instinct yields as interest points the way, And full of murmurings and mingled wrath,
Till the bright flock, augmenting every day, Slowly unshroud the smiling face of earth, On sunny hills and vales of springing flowers, Bringing the bosom joy ; so Winter flies - With ceaseless clamour greet the vernal hours. And see the source of life and light uprise !
The humbler shepherd here with joy beholds A heightening arch o'er southern hills he bends ; Th’approved economy of crowded folds, Warm on the cheek the slanting beam descends, And, in his small contracted round of cares, And gives the reeking mead a brighter hue, Adjusts the practice of each hint he hears : And draws the modest primrose bud to view. For boys with emulation learn to glow, Yet frosts succeed, and winds impetuous rush, And boast their pastures, and their healthful show And hailstorms rattle through the budding bush; Of well-grown lambs, the glory of the Spring; And nigh-fall’n lambs require the shepherd's care, And field to field in competition bring. And teeming ewes, that still their burdens bear; E’en Giles, for all his cares and watchings past, Beneath whose sides to-morrow's dawn may see And all his contests with the wintry blast, The milk-white strangers bow the trembling knee; Claims a full share of that sweet praise bestow'd At whose first birth the powerful instinct's seen By gazing neighbours, when along the road, That fills with champions the daisied green: Or village green, his curly-coated throng For ewes that stood aloof with fearful eye, Suspends the chorus of the spinner's song; With stamping foot now men and dogs defy, When admiration's unaffected grace And obstinately faithful to their young,
Lisps from the tongue, and beams in every face. Guard their first steps to join the bleating throng. Delightful moments !-Sunshine, health, and joy,
But casualties and death from damps and cold Play round, and cheer the elevated boy! Will still attend the well-conducted fold:
« Another spring !” his heart exulting cries; Her tender offspring dead, the dam aloud
“Another year! with promised blessings rise Calls, and runs wild amidst th’ unconscious crowd; ETERNAL POWER! from whom those blessings And orphan'd sucklings raise the piteous cry ;
flow, No wool to warm them, no defenders nigh. Teach me still more to wonder, more to know! And must her streaming milk then flow in vain ? Seed-time and harvest let me see again ; Must unregarded innocence complain ?
Wander the leaf-strewn wood, the frozen plain No ;-ere this strong solicitude subside,
Let the first flower, corn-waving field, plain, tree, Maternal fondness may be fresh applied,
Here round my home, still lift my soul to THEE ; And the adopted stripling still may find
And let me ever, midst thy bounties, raise A parent most assiduously kind.
An humble note of thankfulness and praise !"