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WILLIAM COW PE R.

Bonn, 1731 ; DIED, 1800. l'rincipal Works.—The Task, Table Talk, Jolin Gilpin, Hymns,

Translation of Homer.

THE JACKDAI.

There is a bird, who by his coat,
And by the hoarseness of his note,

Might be supposed a crow;
A great frequenter of the church,
Where, bishop-like, he finds a perch,

And dormitory too.
Above the steeple shines a plato,
That turns, and turns, to indicate

From what point blows the weather.
Look up-your brains begin to swim,
"Tis in the clouds—that pleases him,

He chooses it the rather.

Fond of the speculative height,
Thither he wings his airy flight;

And thence securely sees
The bustle and the rareeshow,
That occupy mankind below,

Secure and at his ease.

You think, no doubt, he sits and muscs
On future broken bones and bruises,

If he should chance to fall.

WILLIAM COWPER.

77

No; not a single thought like that
Employs his philosophic pate,

Or troubles it at all.
He sees that this great roundabout,
The world with all its motley rout,

Church, army, physic, law
Its customs and its businesses,
Is no concern at all of his,

And says—what says he ?-Caw.
Thrice happy bird ! I too have seen
Much of the vanities of men;

And sick of having seen 'em, Would cheerfully these limbs resign For such a pair of wings as thine,

And such a head between 'ern.

SLAVERY. I would not have a slave to till my ground, To carry me, to fan me while I sleep, And tremble when I wake, for all the wealth That sinews bought and sold have ever earn'd. No! I would rather be myself the slave, And wear the bonds, than fasten them on him. We have no slaves at home-then why abroad ? And they themselves, once ferried o'er the wave That parts us, are emancipate and loosed. Slaves cannot breathe in England; if their langs Receive our air, that moment they are free; They touch our country, and their shackles fall.

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THE THREE WARNINGS. THE tree of deepest root is found Least willing still to quit the ground; 'Twas therefore said by ancient sages

That love of life increas'd with years,
So much, that in our latter stages,
When pains grow sharp, and sickness rages,

The greatest love of life appears.
This great affection to believe,
Which all confess, but few perceive,
If old assertions can't prevail,
Be pleas'd to hear a modern tale.

When sports went round, and all were gay, On neighbour Dobson's wedding day, Death call'd aside the jocund groom With him into another room, And looking grave, “You must," says he,

Quit your sweet bride, and come with me." “With you! and quit my Susan's side ? With you ?" the hapless husband cried ; “Young as I am, 'tis monstrous hard ! Besides, in truth, I'm not prepar'd; My thoughts on other matters go: This is my wedding day, you know." What more he urg'd I have not heard,

His reasons could not well be stronger ; So Death the poor delinquent spar’d,

And left to live a little longer.

MRS. THRALE.

Yet, calling up a serious look,
His hour-glass trembled while he spoke--
“Neighbour," he said, " farewell; no more
Shall Death listurb your mirthful hour;
And, farther, to avoid all blame
Of cruelty upon my name,
To give you time for preparation,
And fit you for your future station,
Three several warnings you shall have
Before you're summon'd to the grave:
Willing, for once, I'll quit my prey,

Apd grant a kind reprieve,
In hopes you'll have no more to say,
But, when I call again this way,

Well pleas'd the world will leave."
To these conditions both consented,
And parted perfectly contented.

What next the hero of our tale befell,
How long he liv'd, how wise, how well,
How roundly he pursued his course,
And smok'd his pipe, and strok'd his horse,

The willing Muse shall tell :
He chaffer'd, then, he bought, he sold,
Nor once perceiv'd his growing old,

Nor thought of Death as near ;
His friends not false, his wife no shrew,
Many his gains, his children few,

He pass'd his hours in peace.
But whilo ho viowd his wealth incrcase,

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While thus along life's dusty road
The beaten track content he trod,
Old Time, whose haste no mortal spares,
Uncall’d, unheeded, unawares,

Brought on his eightieth year.
And now one night, in musing mood,

As all alone he sate,

Th' unwelcome messenger of fate
Once more before him stood.
Half kill'd with anger and surprise,
“ So soon return’d ? ” old Dobson cries :

So soon, d’ye call it ?” Death replies ;
“Surely, my friend, you're but in jest !

Since I was here before
"Tis six and forty years at least,

And you are now fourscore !"
“So much the worse,” the clown rejoin'd;
"To spare the aged would be kind;
Beside, you promis’d me Three Warnings,
Which I have look'd for nights and mornings !'
“I know," cries Death, “that at the best,
I seldom am a welcome guest;
But don't be captious, friend, at least:
I little thought you'd still be able
To stump about your farm and stable;
Your years have run to a great length:
I wish you joy, tho', of your strength!'

Hold,” says the farmer, “not so fast !
I have been lame these four years past."
“And no great wonder,” Death replies:

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