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Prudence resolved a generous foe to prove;
And Jesse felt a mingled fear and pain
In her dismission of a faithful swain,
Come near me, Jesse-let not those below
Of my reliance on your friendship know;
Look as they look, be in their freedoms free-
Gave her kind thanks, and when she saw his But all they say do you convey to me."
Kindly betrayed that she was loth to go; "But would she promise, if abroad she met A frowning world, she would remember yet Where dwelt a friend ?" "That could she not forget."
And thus they parted; but each faithful heart Felt the compulsion and refused to part.
Now by the morning mail the timid maid Was to that kind and wealthy dame conveyed; Whose invitation, when her father died, Jesse as comfort to her heart applied;
Here Jesse's thoughts to Colin's cottage flew, And with such speed she scarce their absence knew.
"Jane loves her mistress, and should she depart,
I lose her service, and she breaks her heart; My ways and wishes, looks and thoughts, she knows,
And duteous care by close attention shows:
But is she faithful? in temptation strong?
Will not she wrong me? ah! I fear the wrong:
Your father loved me; now, in time of need,
She knew the days her generous friend had Watch for my good, and to his place succeed.
As wife and widow, evil days had been;
She married early, and for half her life
Was an insulted and forsaken wife;
Widowed and poor, her angry father gave,
Mixed with reproach, the pittance of a slave;
Forgetful brothers passed her, but she knew
Her humbler friends, and to their home with-
The good old vicar to her sire applied
For help, and helped her when her sire denied; When in few years death stalked through bower and hall,
Sires, sons, and sons of sons, were buried all; She then abounded, and had wealth to spare For softening grief she once was doomed to share;
Thus trained in misery's school, and taught to feel,
She would rejoice an orphan's woes to heal :
So Jesse thought, who looked within her breast,
And thence conceived how bounteous minds
From her vast mansion looked the lady down
On humbler buildings of a busy town;
Thence came her friends of either sex, and all
With whom she lived on terms reciprocal:
They passed the hours with their accustomed
As guests inclined, but not compelled to please;
But there were others in the mansion found,
For office chosen, and by duties bound;
Three female rivals, each of power possessed,
Th' attendant-maid, poor friend, and kindred-
To these came Jesse, as a seaman thrown
By the rude storm upon a coast unknown:
The view was flattering, civil seemed the race,
But all unknown the dangers of the place.
Few hours had passed, when, from attendants
The lady uttered: "This is kind indeed;
Believe me, love! that I for one like you
Have daily prayed, a friend discreet and true;
Oh! wonder not that I on you depend,
You are mine own hereditary friend:
Hearken, my Jesse, never can I trust
Beings ungrateful, selfish, and unjust;
But you are present, and my load of care
Your love will serve to lighten and to share:
"Blood doesn't bind-that girl, who every day Eats of my bread, would wish my life away; I am her dear relation, and she thinks To make her fortune, an ambitious minx! She only courts me for the prospect's sake, Because she knows I have a will to make; Yes, love! my will delayed, I know not howBut you are here, and I will make it now.
"That idle creature, keep her in your view, See what she does, what she desires to do; On her young mind may artful villains prey, And to my plate and jewels find a way; A pleasant humor has the girl: her smile And cheerful manner tedious hours beguile: But well observe her, ever near her be, Close in your thoughts, in your professions free. "Again, my Jesse, hear what I advise, And watch a woman ever in disguise; Issop, that widow, serious, subtle, slyBut what of this-I must have company: She markets for me, and although she makes Profit, no doubt, of all she undertakes, Yet she is one I can to all produce, And all her talents are in daily use; Deprived of her, I may another find As sly and selfish, with a weaker mind: But never trust her, she is full of art, And worms herself into the closest heart; Seem then, I pray you, careless in her sight, Nor let her know, my love, how we unite.
Do, my good Jesse, cast a view around, And let no wrong within my house be found; That girl associates with-I know not who Are her companions, nor what ill they do; 'Tis then the widow plans, 'tis then she tries Her various arts and schemes for fresh supplies; 'Tis then, if ever, Jane her duty quits, And, whom I know not, favors and admits: Oh! watch their movements all; for me 'tis hard,
Indeed is vain, but you may keep a guard; And I, when none your watchful glance deceive, May make my will, and think what I shall leave."
Jesse, with fear, disgust, alarm, surprise, Heard of these duties for her ears and eyes; Heard by what service she must gain her bread, And went with scorn and sorrow to her bed. Jane was a servant fitted for her place, Experienced, cunning, fraudful, selfish, base;
Skilled in those mean humiliating arts
That make their way to proud and selfish
By instinct taught, she felt an awe, a fear,
For Jessie's upright, simple character;
Whom with gross flattery she awhile assailed,
And then beheld with hatred when it failed;
Yet trying still upon her mind for hold,
She all the secrets of the mansion told;
And to invite an equal trust, she drew
Of every mind a bold and rapid view;
But on the widowed friend with deep disdain,
And rancorous envy, dwelt the treacherous
In vain such arts; without deceit or pride,
With a just taste and feeling for her guide,
From all contagion Jesse kept apart,
Free in her manners, guarded in her heart.
Jesse one morn was thoughtful, and her sigh The widow heard as she was passing by; And-"Well!" she said, "is that some distant swain,
Or aught with us, that gives your bosom pain?
Gome, we are fellow-sufferers, slaves in thrall,
And tasks and griefs are common to us all;
Think not my frankness strange: they love to
Their state with freedom, who endure restraint;
And there is something in that speaking eye
And sober mien, that prove I may rely:
You came a stranger; to my words attend,
Accept my offer, and you find a friend;
It is a labyrinth in which you stray,
Come, hold my clue, and I will lead the way.
"Good Heaven! that one so jealous, envious,
Should be the mistress of so sweet a place,
She, who so long herself was low and poor,
Now broods suspicious on her useless store;
She loves to see us abject, loves to deal
Her insult round, and then pretends to feel :
Prepare to cast all dignity aside,
For know your talents will be quickly tried;
Nor think, from favors past, a friend to gain,
'Tis but by duties we our posts maintain :
I read her novels, gossip through the town,
And daily go, for idle stories, down;
I cheapen all she buys, and bear the curso
Of honest tradesmen for my niggard purse;
And, when for her this meanness I display,
She cries, 'I heed not what I throw away
Of secret bargains I endure the shame,
And stake my credit for our fish and game;
Oft has she smiled to hear her generous soul
Would gladly give, but stoops to my control :'
Nay! I have heard her, when she chanced to
Where I contended for a petty sum,
Affirm 'twas painful to behold such care,
'But Issop's nature is to pinch and spare;'
Thus all the meanness of the house is mine,
And my reward-to scorn her, and to dine.
"See next that giddy thing, with neither
To keep her safe, nor principle to guide:
Poor, idle, simple flirt! as sure as fate
Her maiden-fame will have an early date:
Of her beware; for all who live below
Have faults they wish not all the world to
And she is fond of listening, full of doubt,
And stoops to guilt to find an error out.
"And now once more observe the artful maid,
A lying, prying, jilting, thievish jade;
I think, my love, you would not condescend
To call a low, illiterate girl your friend :
But in our troubles we are apt, you know,
To lean on all who some compassion show;
And she has flexile features, acting eyes,
And seems with every look to sympathize;
No mirror can a mortal's grief express
With more precision, or can feel it less;
That proud, mean spirit, she by fawning courts,
By vulgar flattery, and by vile reports;
And, by that proof she every instant gives
To one so mean, that yet a meaner lives.
"Come, I have drawn the curtain, and you
Your fellow-actors, all our company;
Should you incline to throw reserve aside,
And in my judgment and my love confide,
I could some prospects open to your view,
That ask attention-and, till then, adieu."
"Farewell!" said Jesse, hastening to her
Where all she saw within, without, was gloom:
Confused, perplexed, she passed a dreary hour,
Before her reason could exert its power;
To her all seemed mysterious, all allied
To avarice, meanness, folly, craft, and pride;
Wearied with thought, she breathed the gar-
Then came the laughing lass, and joined her there.
"My sweetest friend has dwelt with us a week,
And does she love us? be sincere and speak;
My aunt you can not-Lord! how I should hate
To be like her all misery and state;
Proud, and yet envious, she disgusted sees
All who are happy, and who look at ease.
Let friendship bind us, I will quickly show
Some favorites near us, you'll be blessed to
My aunt forbids it-but, can she expect
To soothe her spleen, we shall ourselves neglect?
Jane and the widow were to watch and stay
My free-born feet; I watched as well as they;
Lo! what is this? this simple key explores
The dark recess that holds the spinster's stores?
And led by her ill star, I chanced to see
Where Issop keeps her stock of ratafic;
Used in the hours of anger and alarm,
It makes her civil, and it keeps her warm;
Thus blessed with secrets, both would choose to
Their fears now grant me what their scorn denied.
"My freedom thus by their assent secured, Bad as it is, the place may be endured; And bad it is, but her estates you know, And her beloved hoards, she must bestow; So we can slyly our amusements take, And friends of demons, if they help us, make."
"Strange creatures these," thought Jessy, half-inclined
To smile at one malicious and yet kind;
Frank and yet cunning, with a heart to love
And malice prompt-the serpent and the dove.
Here could she dwell? or could she yet depart?
Could she be artful? could she bear with art?
This splendid mansion gave the cottage grace,
She thought a dungeon was a happier place;
And Colin pleading, when he pleaded best,
Wrought not such sudden change in Jesse's
The wondering maiden, who had only read
Of such vile beings, saw them now with dread;
Safe in themselves-for nature has designed
The creature's poison harmless to the kind;
But all beside who in the haunts are found
Must dread the poison, and must feel the wound.
Days full of care, slow weary weeks passed on,
Eager to go, still Jesse was not gone;
Her time in trifling or in tears she spent,
She never gave, she never felt content:
The lady wondered that her humble guest
Strove not to please, would neither lie nor jest:
She sought no news, no scandal would convey,
But walked for health, and was at church to
All this displeased, and soon the widow cried:
"Let me be frank-I am not satisfied;
You know my wishes, I your judgment trust;
You can be useful, Jesse, and you must;
Let me be plainer, child-I want an ear,
When I am deaf, instead of mine to hear;
When mine is sleeping, let your eye awake;
When I observe not, observation take;
Alas! I rest not on my pillow laid,
Then threatening whispers make my soul afraid;
The tread of strangers to my ear ascends,
Fed at my cost, the minions of my friends;
While you, without a care, a wish to please,
Eat the vile bread of idleness and ease."
Th' indignant girl astonished answered-
This instant, madam, let me haste away; Thus speaks my father's, thus an orphan's friend?
This instant, lady, let your bounty end."
The lady frowned indignant-"What!" she
"A vicar's daughter with a princess' pride!
And pauper's lot! but pitying I forgive;
How, simple Jessy, do you think to live?
Have I not power to help you, foolish maid?
To my concerns be your attention paid;
With cheerful mind th' allotted duties take,
And recollect I have a will to make."
Jessy, who felt as liberal natures feel,
When thus the baser their designs reveal,
Replied: "Those duties were to her unfit,
Nor would her spirit to her tasks submit."
In silent scorn the lady sate awhile,
And then replied with stern contemptuous
"Think you, fair madam, that you came to
Fortunes like mine without a thought or care? A guest, indeed! from every trouble free,
Are firmly fixed in their accursed parts;
Who all profess esteem, and feel disdain,
And all, with justice, of deceit complain;
Whom I could pity, but that, while I stay,
My terror drives all kinder thoughts away;
Grateful for this, that when I think of you,
I little fear what poverty can do."
The angry matron her attendant Jane Summoned in haste to soothe the fierce disdain: "A vile detested wretch!" the lady cried, "Yet shall she be, by many an effort, tried, And, clogged with debt and fear, against her will abide;
And once secured, she never shall depart
Till I have proved the firmness of her heart;
Then when she dares not, would not, can not go,
I'll make her feel what 'tis to use me so."
The pensive Colin in his garden strayed,
But felt not then the beauties it displayed;'
There many a pleasant object met his view,
A rising wood of oaks behind it grew;
A stream ran by it, and the village-green
And public road were from the gardens seen; | He then replied: "Ah! sure, had Jesse staid, Save where the pine and larch the bound'ry And shared the comforts of our sylvan shade, made, The tenderest duty and the fondest love Would not have failed that generous heart to move;
And on the rose-beds threw a softening shade.
The mother sat beside the garden-door,
Dressed as in times ere she and hers were poor;
The broad-laced cap was known in ancient days,
When madam's dress compelled the village
And still she looked as in the times of old,
Ere his last farm the erring husband sold;
While yet the mansion stood in decent state,
And paupers waited at the well-known gate.
"Alas! my son !" the mother cried, "and
That silent grief and oft-repeated sigh?
True we are poor, but thou hast never felt
Pangs to thy father for his error dealt;
Pangs from strong hopes of visionary gain,
Forever raised, and ever found in vain.
He rose unhappy! from his fruitless schemes,
As guilty wretches from their blissful dreams;
But thou wert then, my son, a playful child,
Wondering at grief, gay, innocent, and wild;
Listening at times to thy poor mother's sighs,
With curious looks and innocent surprise;
Thy father dying, thou, my virtuous boy,
My comfort always, waked my soul to joy;
With the poor remnant of our fortune left,
Thou hast our station of its gloom bereft:
Thy lively temper, and thy cheerful air,
Have cast a smile on sadness and despair;
Thy active hand has dealt to this poor space
The bliss of plenty and the charm of grace;
And all around us wonder when they find
Such taste and strength, such skill and power
There is no mother, Colin, no not one,
But envies me so kind, so good a son;
By thee supported on this failing side,
Weakness itself awakes a parent's pride:
I bless the stroke that was my grief before,
And feel such joy that 'tis disease no more;
Shielded by thee, my want becomes my wealth-
And soothed by Colin, sickness smiles at health;
The old men love thee, they repeat thy praise,
And say, like thee were youth in earlier days;
While every village-maiden cries, 'How gay,
How smart, how brave, how good is Colin
A grateful pity would have ruled her breast,
And my distresses would have made me blest.
"But she is gone, and ever has in view
Grandeur and taste-and what will then ensue?
Surprise and then delight, in scenes so fair and
For many a day, perhaps for many a week,
Home will have charms, and to her bosom speak;
But thoughtless case, and affluence, and pride,
Seen day by day, will draw the heart aside:
And she at length, though gentle and sincere,
Will think no more of our enjoyments here."
Sighing he spake-but hark! he hears th'
Of rattling wheels! and lo! the evening coach;
Once more the movement of the horses' feet
Makes the fond heart with strong emotion beat;
Faint were his hopes, but ever had the sight
Drawn him to gaze beside his gate at night;
And when with rapid wheels it hurried by,
He grieved his parent with a hopeless sigh;
And could the blessing have been bought-
Had he not offered, to have Jessie come!
She came he saw her bending from the door,
Her face, her smile, and he beheld no more;
Lost in his joy-the mother lent her aid
T'assist and to detain the willing maid;
Who thought her late, her present home to
Sure of a welcome for the vicar's sake:
But the good parent was so pleased, so kind,
So pressing Colin, she so much inclined,
That night advanced; and then so long detained,
No wishes to depart she felt, or feigned;
Yet long in doubt she stood, and then perforce
Here was a lover fond, a friend sincere ;
Here was content and joy, for she was here:
In the mild evening, in the scene around,
The maid, now free, peculiar beauties found;
Blended with village-tones, the evening gale
Gave the sweet night-bird's warblings to the
The youth emboldened, yet abashed, now told
His fondest wish, nor found the maiden cold;
The mother smiling whispered-"Let him go
And seek the license!" Jesse answered, "No:"
But Colin went. I know not if they live
With all the comforts wealth and plenty give;
"Yet art thou sad; alas! my son, I know
Thy heart is wounded, and the cure is slow;
Fain would I think that Jesse still may come
To share the comforts of our rustic home:
She surely loved thee; I have seen the maid,
When thou hast kindly brought the vicar aid-But with pure joy to envious souls denied,
When thou hast eased his bosom of its pain,
Oh! I have seen her-she will come again."'
The matron ceased; and Colin stood the while
Silent, but striving for a grateful smile;
To suppliant meanness and suspicious pride;
And village-maids of happy couples say,
"They live like Jesse Bourn and Colin Grey."
A WOLF once passed a meadow fair;
A lonely lamb was feeding there,
A helpless object to behold,
This little straggler from the fold:
Its shepherd listless in the shade,
As on his rustic pipe he played;
The watch-dogs on their post asleep,
Now mute protectors to the sheep.
The crafty wolf, with glad surprise,
The solitary lamb espies,
And in a soft and flattering style
Essays to catch his prey with guile.
"My pretty lamb, how snug you look
In this serene and sunny nook!
Methinks it must be passing sweet,
To spend one's days in such retreat;
To wander down these meadow ways,
And on this juicy herbage graze;
Then quench one's thirst beside the stream
That mirrors back each sunny gleam.
How sociably upon its brink
Each to the other's health might drink,
But for this ugly hedge of green,
That lifts so high its sullen screen."
"If this be true," replied the lamb,
"You're inoffensive as I am;
And it must be a false report,
The charge I've heard against you brought.
Folks say that herbs you never eat,
But living flesh or butcher's meat;
By your account on herbs you feed,
And simple plants that deck the mead:
Then what occasion to divide?
Let's feed together, side by side.
Just twenty yards, it may be, hence,
You'll find a gap within the fence;
Enlarge the hole-your teeth are strong,
The labor will not take you long."
With eager joy the wolf obeyed,
And soon the opening wider made;
Then clutched his victim in his claws,
And tore him piece-meal with his jaws.
We all, like silly sheep are prone
To wander forth in paths alone;
And Scripture tells us of a foe,
Who on the earth "walks to and fro,"
An enemy with cunning power,
Still seeking whom he may devour;
And yet whose flattering speech the while
Is full of artifice and guile:
But safe that "little flock" of sheep, Who by their Heavenly Shepherd sleep; The "sheep of his right hand " they are, The people of his pasture fair.
THE sun-set clouds are fleeting by:
Look in the glowing west;
The shining clouds float dreamily
Upon the sky's blue breast.
Look at an eagle, white as snow,
His wings are tinged with red;
And purple ships, which sailing go
Where waves of fire are spread!
The sun-set clouds are changing now:
Mountains rise high and higher,
And stately towers crown their brow
With pinnacle and spire.
And now upon an azure lake
White water-lilies float,
And Naiads fair the pure blooms take To wreathe a golden boat.
The sun-set clouds with glory flush;
The sky, and all is bright;
And rainbow colors burn and blush
Amid the amber light;
While angels bear o'er land and main
A loved form, cold and dead,
Two hold the feet, and two sustain
The flower-crowned, drooping head.
The sun-set clouds are fading fast,
The dim west glows no more;
A gloom is o'er my spirit cast,
Which was so light before.
In vain the radiant stars, gold-bright,
On the blue silence start;
A dreary shadow rests to-night,
Pall-like, upon my heart.