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Chuse, not alone a proper mate,
THE NEEDLESS ALARM.
THERE is a field through which I often pass,
The sun, accomplishing his early march,
Sheep grazed the field; some with soft bosom pressM
But when the huntsman, with distended cheek)
The man to solitude accuslom'd long,
* Two woods belonging to 1ohn Throckmorton, £«$•
He scans of every loco-motive kind; /
Birds of all feather, beasts of ev'ry name,
That serve mankind, or shun them, wild or tame -;
The looks and gestures of their griefs and fears
Have, all, articulation in his ears;
He spells them true by intuition's light,
And needs no glossary to set him right.
This truth premised was needful as a text, To win due credence to what follows next.
Awhile they mus'd ; surveying every face, Thou hadst suppos'd them of superior race; Their perriwigs of wool, and fears combin'd, Stamp'd on each countenance such marks of mind, That sage they seem'd, as lawyers o'er a doubt, Which, puzzling long, at last they puzzle out; Or academic tutors, teaching youths, Sure never to want them, mathematic truths; When thus a mutton, statlier than the rest, A ram, the ewes and wethers, sad address'd.
Friends! we have liv'd too long. I never heard Sounds such as these, so worthy to be fear'd. Could I believe that winds for ages pent In earth's dark womb have found at last a vent, And from their prison house below arise, With all these hideous bowlings to the skies, I could be much compos'd nor should appear For such a cause to feel the slightest fear. Yourselves have seen, what time the thunder rolled All night, we resting quiet in the fold. Or heard we that tremendous bray alone; 1 should expound the melancholy tone; Should deem it by our old companion made, The ass; for he we know, has lately stray'd, And being lost, perhaps, and wand'ring wide, Might be suppos'd to clamour tor a guide. But ah! those dreadful yells what soul can hear, That owns a carcase, and not quake for fear?
Daemons produce them doubtless, brazen claw'd
Him answer'd then his loving mate and true,
How! leap into the pit our life to save? To save our life leap all into the grave? For can we find it less? Contemplate first The depth how awful! falling there, we burst; Or should the brambles, interpos'd, our fall In part abate, that happiness were small; For with a race like theirs no chance I see Of peace or ease to creature clad as we. Meantime noise kills not. Be it Dapple's bray, Or be it not, or be it whose it may, And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues Of Daemons utter'd, from whatever lungs, Sounds are but sounds, and till the cause appea^, We have at least commodious standing here; Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast From earth or hell, we can but plunge at last.'
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals,. For reynard, close attended at his heels By panting dog, tir'd man, and spatter'd horse, Through mere good fortune, took a diff'rent course. The flock grew calm again, and I, the road Following that led me to my own abode, Much wonder'd that the silly sheep had found Such cause of terror in an empty sound, So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound.
Beware of desp'rate steps. The darkest day
COWPER, CHAP. XXV.
THE MODERN RAKE'S PROGRESS.
THE young Tobias was his father's joy;
He train'd him, as he thought, to deeds of praise,
He taught him virtue, and he taught him truth,
And sent him early to a public school.
Here as it seem'd (but he had none to blame)
Virtue forsook him, and habitual vice
Grew in his stead. He laugh'd at honesty,
Became a sceptic, and could raise a doubt
E'en of his father's truth. 'Twas idly done
To tell him of another world, for wits
Knew better; and the only good on earth
Was pleasure; not to follow that was sin.
"Sure he that made as, made us to enjoy;
"And why said he, should my fond father prate
"Of virtue and religion. They afford
"No joys, and would abridge the scanty few
"Of nature. Nature be my deity,
"Her let me worship, as herself enjoins,
"At the full board of plenty." Thoughtless boy!
So to a libertine, he grew, a wit,
A man of honour, boasting empty names
That dignify the villain. Seldom seen,
And when at home, under a cautious mask
Concealing the lewd soul, his father thought
He grew in wisdom, as he grew in years.
He fondly deem'd he could perceive the growth
Of goodness and of learning, shooting up,
Like the young offspring of the shelter'd hop,
Unusual progress in a summer's night.
He call'd him home, with great applause dismiss'd,