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Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw
Her husband posting down Into the country far away,
She pullid out half-a-crown; And thus unto the youth she said,
That drove them to the Bell, “This shall be yours, when you bring back
My husband safe and well.”
The calender, amaz'd to see
His neighbor in such trim, Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate, And thus accosted him :
The youth did ride, and soon did meet Dreading a negative, and overaw'd
Lest he should trespass, begg'd to go abroad.
“Go, fellow ! - whither?”-turning short aboutBy catching at his rein ;
Nay. Stay at home-you 're always going out."
“ 'Tis but a step, sir, just at the street's end." But not performing what he meant,
For what?”—“An' please you, sir, to see a friend.' And gladly would have done,
" A friend !" Horatio cried, and seemn'd to startThe frighted steed he frighted more,
“Yea marry shalt thou, and with all my heart.And made him faster run.
And fetch my cloak; for, though the night be raw,
I'll see him too—the first I ever saw." Away went Gilpin, and away
I knew the man, and knew his nature mild, Went posiboy at his heels,
And was his plaything often when a child; The postboy's horse right glad to miss But somewhat at that moment pinch'd him close, The lumb'ring of the wheels.
Else he was seldom-biller or morose.
Perhaps his confidence just then betray'd, Six gentlemen upon the road,
His grief might prompt him with the speech he made; Thus seeing Gilpin fly,
Perhaps 'twas mere good-humor gave it birth, With postboy scamp'ring in the rear, The harmless play of pleasantry and mirth. They rais'u the hue and cry :
Howe'er it was, his language, in my mind,
Bespoke at least a man that knew mankind. “Stop thief! stop thief!—a highwayman!" But not to moralize too much, and strain, Not one of them was mute;
To prove an evil, of which all complain, And all and each that pass'd that way
(I hate long arguments verbosely spun,) Did join in the pursuit.
One story more, dear Hill, and I have done.
Once on a time an emp'ror, a wise man,
No matter where, in China, or Japan,
Decreed, that whosoever should offend
Against the well-known duties of a friend,
Convicted once should ever after wear
But half a coat, and show his bosom bare.
The punishment importing this, no doubt,
That all was naught within, and all found out. Nor stopp'd till where he had got up
O happy Britain! we have not to fear
Such hard and arbitrary measure here ;
Else, could a law, like that which I relate,
Once have the sanction of our triple state,
Some few, that I have known in days of old,
Would run most dreadful risk of catching cold;
While you, my friend, whatever wind should blow
JOSEPH HILL, ESQ.
Survivor sole, and hardly such, of all
That once liv'd here, thy brethren, at my birth, DEAR Joseph-five-and-twenty years ago (Since which I number threescore winters past.) Alas, how time escapes ! -'tis even so—
A shatter'd vet'ran, bollow-trunk'd perhaps,
With truth from Heaven, created thing adore,
When our forefather Druids in their oaks
Whence comes it then, that in the wane of life, or thickest shades, like Adam after taste
Horatio's servant once, with bow and cringe, The auburn nut that held thee, swallowing down Swinging the parlor-door upon its hinge,
Thy yet close-folded latitude of boughs
And all thine embryo vastness at a gulp.
Delight in agitation, yet sustain
But, worn by frequent impulse, to the cause
Of their best tone their dissolution owe.
Thought cannot spend itself, comparing still Thy rudiments should sleep the winter through. The great and little of thy lot, thy growth
From almost nullity into a state So Fancy dreams. Disprove it, if ye can, Of matchless grandeur, and declension thence, Ye reas'ners broad awake, whose busy search Slow, into such magnificent decay. Of argument, employ'd too oft amiss,
Time was, when, settling on thy leaf, a fly Sifts half the pleasures of short life away! Could shake thee to the root-and time has been
When tempests could not. At thy firmest age Thou fellst mature; and in the loamy clod Thou hadst within thy bole solid contents, Swelling with vegetative force instinct
That might have ribb’d the sides and plank'd the deck Didst burst thine egg, as theirs the fabled Twins, Of some flagg'd admiral; and tortuous arms, Now stars ; two lobes, protruding, pair'd exact; The shipwright's darling treasure, didst present A leaf succeeded, and another leaf,
To the four-quarter'd winds, robust and bold, And, all the elements thy puny growth
Warp'd into tough knee-timber,* many a load! Fost'ring propitious, thou becam'st a twig.
But the ax spar'd thee. In those thriftier days,
Oaks fell not, hewn by thousands, to supply Who liv'd, when thou wast such ? O couldst thou The bottomless demands of contest, wag'd speak,
For senatorial honors. Thus to Time As in Dodona once thy kindred trees
The task was left to whittle thee away Oracular, I would not curious ask
With his sly scythe, whose ever-nibbling edge, The future, best unknown, but at thy mouth Noiseless, an atom, and an atom more, Inquisitive, the less ambiguous past. .
Disjoining from the rest, has, unobserv'd,
Achiev'd a labor, which had far and wide,
By man perform d, made all the forest ring.
Embowel'd now, and of thy ancient self
Possessing nought, but the scoop'd rind, that seems Desp'rate attempt, till trees shall speak again! An huge throat, calling to the clouds for drink,
Which it would give in rivulets to thy root, Time made thee what thou wast, king of the Thou temptest none, but rather much forbidd'st wood;
The seller's toil, which thou couldst ill requite. And Time hath made thee what thou art-a cave Yet is thy root sincere, sound as the rock, For owls to roost in. Once thy spreading boughs A quarry of stout spurs, and knotted fangs, O'erhung the champaign ; and the num'rous flocks, which, crook'd into a thousand whimsies, clasp That graz'd it, stood beneath that ample cope The stubborn soil, and hold thee still erect. Uncrowded, yet safe-shelter'd from the storm. No flock frequents thee now. Thou hast outliv'd So stands a kingdom, whose foundation yet Thy popularity, and art become
Fails not, in virtue and in wisdom laid, (Unless verse rescue thee awhile) a thing
Though all the superstructure, by the tooth Forgotten, as the foliage of thy youth.
Pulveriz'd of venality, a shell
Stands now, and semblance only of itself!
Thine arms have left thee. Winds have rent Then t'vig; then sapling; and, as cent’ry rollid
them off Slow after century, a giant-bulk
Long since, and rovers of the forest wild, Of girth enormous, with moss-cushion'd root With bow and shaft, have burnt them. Some have left Upheav'd above the soil, and sides emboss'd A splinter'd stump, bleach'd to a snowy white; With prominent wens globosetill at the last And some, memorial none, where once they grew. The rottenness, which time is charged to inflict Yet life still lingers in thee, and puts forth On other mighty ones, found also thee.
Proof not contemptible of what she can,
Even where death predominates. The spring What exhibitions various hath the world
Finds thee not less alive to her sweet force, Witness'd of mutability, in all
Than yonder upstarts of the neighb'ring wood, That we account most durable below!
So much thy juniors, who their birth receiv'd
Half a millennium since the date of thine.
But since, although well qualified by age
* Knee-timber is found in the crooked arms of oak, In all that live, plant, animal, and man,
which, by reason of their distortion, are easily adjusted And in conclusion mar them. Nature's threads, to the angle formed where the deck and the ship's sides Fine passing thought, e'en in her coarsest works,
They left their outcast mate behind, And scudded still before the wind.
Some succor yet they could afford;
And, such as storms allow,
Delay'd not to bestow.
On thy distorted root, with hearers none,
"One man alone, the father of us all,
Nor, cruel as it seem'd, could he
Their haste himself condemn, Aware that flight, in such a sea,
Alone could rescue them; Yet bitter felt it still to die Deserted, and his friends so nigh.
He long survives, who lives an hour
In ocean, self-upheld : And so long he, with unspent pow'r,
His destiny repellid : And ever as the minutes flew, Entreated help, or cried—“Adieu !"
At length, his transient respite past,
His comrades, who before
Could catch the sound no more. For then, by toil subdued, he drank The stifling wave, and then he sank.
No poet wept him; but the page
Of narrative sincere,
Is wet with Anson's tear.
OBSCUREST night involv'd the sky;
Th’ Atlantic billows roar'd, When such a destin'd wretch as I,
Wash'd headlong from on board, Of friends, of hope, of all bereft, His floating home for ever left. No braver chief could Albion boast,
Than he, with whom he went, Nor ever ship left Albion's coast,
With warmer wishes sent. He lov'd them both, but both in vain, Nor him beheld, nor her again. Not long beneath the whelming brine,
Expert to swim, he lay: Nor soon he felt his strength decline, courage
away ; But wag'd with death a lasting strife, Supported by despair of life. He shouted; nor his friends had fail'd
To check the vessel's course, But so the furious blast prevail'd,
That, pitiless, perforce,
I therefore purpose not, or dream,
Descanting on his fate,
A more enduring date.
No voice divine the storm allay'd,
No light propitious shone ; When, snatch'd from all effectual aid,
We perish'd, each alone : But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelm'd in deeper gulfs than he.
JAMES Beattie, an admired poet and a moralist, priety applied to such a person as he represents, and was born about 1735, in the county of Kincardine, the “Gothic days" in which he is placed are not hisin Scotland. His father was a small farmer, who, torically to be recognized, yet there is great beauty, though living in indigence, had imbibed so much of both moral and descriptive, in the delineation, and the spirit of his country, that he procured for his son perhaps no writer has managed the Spenserian stanza a literary education, first at a parochial school, and with more dexterity and harmony. The second part then at ihe college of New Aberdeen, in which he of this poem, which contains the maturer part of the entered as a bursar or exhibitioner. In the intervals education of the young bard, did not appear till 1774, of the sessions, James is supposed to have added to and then left the work a fragment. But whatever his scanty pittance by teaching at a country-school. may be the defects of the Minstrel, it possesses beau. Returning to Aberdeen, he obtained the situation of ties which will secure it a place among the approved assistant to the master of the principal grammar- productions of the British muse. school, whose daughter he married. From youth he Beattie visited London for the first time in 1771, had cultivated a talent for poetry; and in 1760 he where he was received with much cordiality by the ventured to submit the fruit of his studies in this admirers of his writings, who found equal cause to walk to the public, by a volume of “ Original Poems love and esteem the author. Not long afterwards, and Translations." They were followed, in 1765, by the degree of LL. D. was conferred on him by his “ 'The Judgment of Paris ;" and these performances, college at Aberdeen. In 1777 a new edition, by subwhich displayed a familiarity with poetic diction, and scription, was published of his “Essay on Truth,” harmony of versification, seem to have made bim to which were added three Essays on subjects of favorably known in his neighborhood.
polite literature. In 1783 he published " DisserThe interest of the Earl of Errol acquired for him tations Moral and Critical,” consisting of detached the post of professor of moral philosophy and logic essays, which had formed part of a course of lecin the Marischal College of Aberdeen; in which tures delivered by the author as professor. His last capacity he published a work, entitled “ An Essay on work was “ Evidences of the Christian Religion, the Nature and Immutability of Truth, in opposition briefly and plainly stated," 2 vols. 1786. His time to Sophistry and Scepticism,” 1770. Being written was now much occupied with the duties of his in a popular manner, it was much read, and gained station, and particularly with the education of his the author many admirers, especially among the most eldest son, a youth of uncommon promise. His distinguished members of the Church of England; death, of a decline, was a very severe trial of the and, at the suggestion of Lord Mansfield, he was father's fortitude and resignation ; and it was folrewarded with a pension of 2001. from the King's lowed some years after by that of his younger son. privy-purse.
These afflictions, with other domestic misfortunes, In 1771 his fame was largely extended by the entirely broke his spirits, and brought him to his first part of his " Minstrel," a piece the subject of grave at Aberdeen, in August, 1803, in the 68th which is the imagined birth and education of a poet. year of his age. Although the word Minstrel is not with much pro