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No; these were vigorous as their sires,
Nor plague nor famine came; This annual tribute Death requires,
And never waves his claim.
Like crowded forest-trees we stand,
And some are mark'd to fall; The axe will smite at God's command,
And soon shall smite us all.
Green as the bay-tree, ever green,
With its new foliage on, The gay, the thoughtless, have I seen;
I pass'd—and they were gone.
present health can health insure
For yet an hour to come;
Can always balk the tomb.
And oh! that (humble as my lot,
And scorn'd as is my strain *) These truths, though known, too much forgot, I
may not teach in vain.
So prays your Clerk, with all his heart;
And, ere he quits the pen,
And answer all — Amen!
* John Cox, Parish Clerk of Northampton.
FOR THE TOMB OF
Pause here, and think: a monitory rhime
Consult Life's silent clock, thy bounding vein;
EPITAPH ON A HARE.
Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow, Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman's hallo',
Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nurs'd with tender care, And to domestic bounds confin'd,
Was still a wild Jack-hare.
Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance ev'ry night, He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.
His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw,
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.
On twigs of hawthorn he regal'd,
On pippins' russet peel;
Sliced carrot pleas'd him well.
A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he lov'd to bound,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around,
His frisking was at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear;
But most before approaching show'rs,
Or when a storm drew near.