[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

great sum, as things go now with poor men; but they have given me a bag of bread too, and a salt fish, and some flesh: so all helps out.”

“ Well,” said I, "and have you given it them yet?"

"No," said he," but I have called, and my wife has answered that she cannot come out yet; but in half an hour she hopes to come, and I am waiting for her. Poor woman!” says he," she is brought sadly down; she has had a swelling, and it is broke, and I hope she will recover; but I fear the child will die: but it is the Lord!” Here he stopped, and wept very much.

Well, honest friend,” said 1, “ thou hast a sure comforter, if thou hast brought thyseif to be resigned to the will of God: He is dealing with us all in judgment.” “Oh, sir," says he; “it is infinite mercy, if any of us

, are spared; and who am I to repine?”

Say'st thou so,” said I; “ and how much less is my faith than thine?At length, after some further talk, the

poor woman opened the door and called, " Robert! Robert!”

He answered, and bid her stay a few moments and he would come; so he ran down the common stairs to his boat, and fetched up a sack, in which were the provisions he had brought from the ships; and when he returned, he hallooed again; then he went to the great stone which he showed me, and emptied the sack, and laid all out, everything by themselves, and then retired; and his wife came with a little boy to fetch them away; and he called, and said, such a captain had sent such a thing, and such a captain such a thing; and at the end added: “God has sent it all; give thanks to Him!”

When the poor woman had taken up all, she was so weak, she could not carry it at once in, though the weight was not much; so she left the biscuits which were in a little bag, and left a little boy to watch it till she came again.

“ Well; but,” says I to him, “ did you leave her the four shillings too, which you said was your week's


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Yes, yes," says he;" you shall hear her own it.” So he calls again, “Rachel! Rachel!”—which it seems was her name—“ did

you take up

the money?" Yes,” said she. “How much was it?” said he. “Four shillings and a groat,” said she.

“ Well, well,” says he, “ the Lord keep you all;" and so he turned to go away.

As I could not refrain contributing tears to this man's story, so neither could I refrain my charity for his assistance; so I called him. “Hark thee, friend,” said I; come hither, for I believe thou art in health that I may venture thee;” so I pulled out my hand which was

Ι in my pocket before. “Here," says I, “ go and call thy Rachel once more, and give her a little more comfort from me; God will never forsake a family that trust in Him as thou dost:" so I gave him four other shillings, and bid him go, lay them on the stone, and call his wife. I have not words to

man's thankfulness, neither could he express it himself but by tears running down his face. He called his wife and told her God had moved the heart of a stranger, upon hearing their condition, to give them all that money; and a good deal more, such as that, he said to her. The woman, too, made signs of the like thankfulness, as well to heaven as to me, and joyfully picked it up; and I parted with no money all that year that I thought better bestowed.



De Foc.

[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The curfew“tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.



Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,

And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,

And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,

The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,

Molest her ancient solitary reign.



Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,

Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.


The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,

The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.


For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,

Or busy housewife ply her evening care; No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees, the envied kiss to share.


Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,

Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their team afield !

How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!


Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,

Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor Grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,

The short and simple annals of the Poor.


The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike the inevitable hour;

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.


Nor you, ye Proud, impute to these the fault,

If Memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault

The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.



Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,

Their sober wishes never learned to stray; Along the cool sequestered vale of life

They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.


Yet even these bones from insult to protect,

Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With i:ncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deckel,

Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.



Their name, their years, spelt by the unlettered Muse,

The place of fame and elegy supply: And many a holy text around she strews,

That teach the rustic moralist to die.


For who to dumb forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing anxious being 'e'er resigned, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,

Nor cast one longing, lingering, look behind?


On some fond breast the parting soul relies,

Some pious drops the closing eye requires : Even from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,

Even in our ashes live their wonted fires.


For thee who, mindful of the unhonoured dead,

Dost in these lines their artless tale relate; If chance by lonely contemplation led,

Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate.


Haply some hoary-headed swain may say:

• Oft have we seen him, at the peep of dawn, Brushing with hasty step the dews away,

To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.

« VorigeDoorgaan »