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THE NEEDLESS ALARM.
A TALE. THERE is a field through which I often pass, Thick overspread with moss and silky grass, Adjoining close to Kilwick's echoing wood, Where oft the bitch-fox hides her hapless brood, Reserv'd to solace many a neighb'ring squire, That he may follow them through brake and briar, Contusion hazarding of neck or spine, Which rural gentlemen call sport divine. A narrow brook, by rushy banks conceald, Runs in a bottom, and divides the field ; Oaks intersperse it, that had once a head But now wear crests of oven-wood instead ; And where the land slopes to its wat'ry bourne, Wide yawns a gulph beside a ragged thorn ; Bricks live the sides, but shiver'd long ago, And horrid brambles intertwine below; A hollow scoop'd I judge in ancient time, For baking earth, or burning rock to lime, Not yet the hawthorn bore her berries red, With which the fieldfare, wintry guest, is fed ; Nor autumn yet had brush'd from ev'ry spray, With her chill hand, the mellow leaves away ; But corn waş hous'd, and beans were in the stack, Now, therefore, issued forth the spotted pack, With tails high mounted, ears hung low, and throals, With a whole gamut fill'd of heav nly notes, For which, alas ! my destiny severe, Thougbears she gave me two, gave me 110 ear.
The sun, accomplishing his early march,
Sheep grazed the field; some with soft bosom press'd
But when the huntsman, with distended cheek,
The man to solitude accustom'd long,
Two woods belonging to John Throckmorton, E54.
He scans of every loco-motive kind ;
This truth premised was needful as a text,
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 howlings 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 suppor'd to clamour for a guide. But ah! those dreadful yells what soul can hear, That owns a carcase, and not quake for fear ?
Dæmons produce them doubtless, brazen claw'd
Him answer'd then his loving mate and true,
How ! leap into the pit our life to save ?
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals,
Beware of despʻrate steps. The darkest day (Live till to-morrow) will have pass'd away.
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 Een 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 us, 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 called him home, with great applause dismiss'd,