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Speak not of fate: ah! change the While music charms the ravish'd ear; theme,

While sparkling cups delight our eyes, And talk of odors, talk of wine,

Be gay, and scorn the frowns of age. Talk of the flowers that round us bloom : 'Tis all a cloud, 'tis all a dream;

What cruel answer have I heard? To love and joy thy thoughts confine, And yet, by heaven, I love thee still: Nor hope to pierce the sacred gloom. Can aught be cruel from thy lip?

Yet say, how fell that bitter word Beauty has such resistless power, From lips which streams of sweetness fill That even the chaste Egyptian dame Which nought but drops of honey sip? Sigh'd for the blooming Hebrew boy: For her how fatal was the hour,

Go boldly forth, my simple lay, When to the banks of Nilus came Whose accents flow with artless ease, A youth so lovely and so coy!

Like orient pearls at random strung:

Thy notes are sweet, the damsels say; But ah! sweet maid, my counsel hear But oh! far sweeter, if they please (Youth should attend when those advise The nymph for whom these notes are Whom long experience renders sage):



1750-1825. [Daughter of James Lindsay, fifth Earl of Balcarres. Born Dec. 8, 1750. Married, 1793, to Sir Andrew Barnard, Librarian to George III. Died May 8, 1825.]



WHEN the sheep are in the fauld, and And auld Robin Gray came a-courtin

the kye come hame, When a' the world to rest are gane, The waes o' my heart fa' in showers My father couldna work, and my mother frae my e'e,

couldna spin; While my gudeman lies sound by me. I toiled day and night, but their bread

I couldna win; Young Jamie lo'ed me weel, and sought Auld Rob maintained them baith, and, me for his bride;

wi' tears in his e'e, But saving a crown, he had naething Said, Jennie, for their sakes, oh marry me!

else beside. To make the crown a pound, my Jamie My heart it said nay; I looked for gaed to sea;

Jamie back; And the crown and the pound were But the wind it blew high, and the ship baith for me.

it was a wrack; He hadna been awa' a week but only His ship it was a wrack — why didna twa,

Jamie dee? When my father brak his arm, and the Or why do I live to cry, Wae's me?

cow was stown awa'; My mother she fell sick, and my Jamie My father urgit sair : my mother didna


at the sea,

did we say;

But she looked in my face till my heart O sair, sair did we greet, and muckle

was like to break: They gie'd him my hand, but my heart We took but ae kiss, and I bade him was at the sea;

gang away : Sae auld Robin Gray he was gudeman I wish that I were dead, but I'm no like to me.

to dee;

And why was I born to say, Wae's me? I hadna been a wife a week but only four,

I gang like a ghaist, and I carena to When mournfu' as I sat on the stane at

spin; the door,

I daurna think on Jamie, for that wad I saw my Jamie's wraith, for I couldna

be a sin; think it he

But I'll do my best a gude wife aye to be, Till he said, I'm come hame to marry For auld Robin Gray he is kind unto




1754–1832. [GEORGE CRABBE was born at Aldborough in Suffolk, of poor parents, on the 24th of December, 1754. He was apprenticed in his fourteenth year to a surgeon at Wickham Brook, near Bury St. Edmunds, and after completing his term, actually practised at Aldborough. He was not how. ever successful in his profession, and being reduced to great extremities, he determined to go to London, and to devote himself to literature, for which he had at an early age discovered a strong: bent. For a long time he sought in vain for patronage, but was at length fortunate enough to attract the attention of Burke, through whose kindly influence The Library (1781). was favorably received by the public. In the same year he took orders, and two years later published The Village, after first submitting it to the revision of Johnson. This work at once established his reputation: but instead of following up his success, for the period of twenty-four years he pụblished but one poem, The Newspaper (1785), and devoted himself almost entirely to parish work. In 1807 appeared The Parish Register, which was succeeded in 1810 by The Borough, in 1812 by Tales in Verse, and in 1819 by Tales of the Hall. This was his last poetical work, though his death did not take place till February 3, 1832, thirteen years later.]


[From The Village, Book I.] FLED are those times, when in harmon

ious strains, The rustic poet praised his native plains : No shepherds now, in smooth alternate

verse, . Their country's beauty, or their nymph's

rehearse; Yet still for these we frame the tender

strain, Still in our lays fond Corydons com

plain, And shepherd's boys their amorous

pains reveal,

The only pains, alas! they never feel.
On Mincio's banks, in Cæsar's boun-

teous reign,
If Tityrus found the golden age again,
Must sleepy bards the flattering dream

prolong, Mechanic echoes of the Mantuan song? From Truth and Nature shall we widely

stray, Where Virgil, not where fancy, leads

the way?

No; cast by fortune on a frowning

coast, Which neither groves nor happy valleys



Where other cares than those the Muse

relates, And other shepherds dwell with other

mates; By such examples taught, I paint the

cot, As Truth will paint it and as bards will

not: Nor you, ye poor, of lettered scorn

complain, To you the smoothest song is smooth in

vain; O’ercome by labor, and bowed down

by time, Feel you the barren flattery of a rhyme ? Can poets soothe you, when you pine

for bread, By winding myrtles round your ruin'd

shed? Can their light tales your weighty griefs

o'erpower, Or glad with airy mirth the toilsome

hour? Lo! where the heath, with withering

brake grown o'er, Lends the light turf that warms the

neighboring poor; From thence a length of burning sand

appears, Where the thin harvest waves its

withered ears; Rank weeds, that every art and care

defy, Reign o'er the land and rob the blighted

rye: There thistles stretch their prickly arms

afar, And to the ragged infant threaten war; There poppies nodding, mock the hope

of toil; There the blue bugloss paints the sterile

soil; Hardy and high, above the tender sheaf, The slimy mallow waves her silky leaf; O'er the young shoot the charlock

throws a shade, And clasping tares cling round the

sickly blade; With mingled tints the rocky coasts

abound, And a sad splendor vainly shines


[From The Borough, Letter xxiii.) Yes! e'en in sleep the impressions all

remain, He hears the sentence and he feels the

chain : He sees the judge and jury — when he

shakes, And loudly cries “Not guilty!” and

awakes : Then chilling tremblings o'er his body

creep, Till worn-out nature is compelled to

sleep. Now comes the dream again: it

shows each scene With each small circumstance that comes

between, The call to suffering, and the very

deed There crowds go with him, follow, and

precede; Some heartless shout, some pity, all

condemn, While he in fancied envy looks at them : He seems the place for that sad act to

see, And dreams the very thirst which then

will be: A priest attends it seems the one he

knew In his best days, beneath whose care he

grew. At this his terrors take a sudden flight, He sees his native village with delight; The home, the chamber, where he once

arrayed His youthful person; where he knelt

and prayed : Then too the comfort he enjoyed at

home, The days of joy; the joys themselves

are come; The hours of innocence; the timid look Of his loved maid, when first her hand

he took, And told his hope; her trembling joy

appears, Her forced reserve and his retreating



the sun

All now is present; 'tis a moment's The ocean smiling to the fervid sungleam,

The waves that faintly fall and slowly Of former sunshine — stay delightful dream!

The ships at distance and the boats at Let them within his pleasant garden

hand; walk,

And now they walk upon the seaside Give him her arm, of blessings let them

sand, talk.

Counting the number and what kind Yes! all are with him now, and all

they be, the while

Ships softly sinking in the sleepy sea; Life's early prospects and his Fanny's Now arm in arm, now parted, they besmile:

hold Then come his sister and his village The glittering waters on the shingles friend,

rolled; And he will now the sweetest moments The timid girls, half dreading their despend

sign, Life has to yield; No! never will he Dip the small foot in the retarded brine, find

And search for crimson weeds, which Again on earth such pleasure in his spreading flow, mind :

Or lie like pictures on the sand below; He goes through shrubby walks these With all those bright red pebbles, that

friends among, Love in their looks and honor on the Through the small waves so softly shines tongue :

upon. Nay, there's a charm beyond what And those live lucid jellies which the eye nature shows,

Delights to trace as they swim glitterThe bloom is softer and more sweetly

ing by: glows.

Pearl shells and rubied star-fish they Pierced by no crime and urged by no

admire, desire

And will arrange above the parlor fireFor more than true and honest hearts Tokens of bliss! Oh! horrible ! a wave require,

Roars as it rises — Save me, Edward ! They feel the calm delight, and thus

save! proceed

She cries :- Alas! the watchman on Through the green lane — then linger in the mead;

Calls, and lets in - truth, terror, and Stray o'er the heath in all its purple

the day! bloom, And pluck the blossoms where the wild bees hum;

STROLLING PLAYERS. Then through the broomy bound with ease they pass,

[From The Borough, Letter xii.] And press the sandy sheep-walk's slen- SAD happy race! Soon raised and

soon depressed, Where dwarfish flowers among the Your days all passed in jeopardy and gorse are spread,

jest; And the lamb browses by the linnet's Poor without prudence, with afflictions bed;

vain, Then 'cross the bounding brook they Not warned by misery, not enriched by make their way

gain: O'er its rough bridge - and there be- Whom justice, pitying, chides from place hold the bay !

to place,

his way

der grass,

the parts

the poor,

A wandering, careless, wretched, merry When beggars saw the frugal merchant race,

pass, Who cheerful looks assume, and play It moved their pity and they said “Alas!

Hard is thy fate, my brother," and they Of happy rovers with repining hearts;

felt Then cast off care, and, in the mimic A beggar's pride as they that pity dealt. pain

The dogs, who learn of man to scorn Of tragic woe, feel spirits light and vain, Distress and hope — the mind's, the Barked him away from every decent body's, wear,

door; The man's affliction and the actor's While they who saw him bare but tear :

thought him rich, Alternate times of fasting and excess To show respect or scorn they knew not Are yours, ye smiling children of dis

which. tress.

But while our merchant seemed so Slaves though ye be, your wandering

base and mean, freedom seems,

He had his wanderings, sometimes not And with your varying views and rest

unseen; less schemes,

To scenes of various woe he nightly Your griefs are transient, as your joys

went, are dreams.

And serious sums in healing misery

spent; Oft has he cheered the wretched at a

rate THE FOUNDER OF THE ALMS- For which he daily might have dined on HOUSE.


He has been seen his hair all silver [From The Borough, Letter xiii.]

white, LEAVE now our streets, and in yon plain Shaking and shivering - as he stole by behold

night, Those pleasant seats for the reduced To feed unenvied on his still delight. and old;

A twofold taste he had; to give and A merchant's gift, whose wife and

spare, children died;

Both were his duties, and had equal When he to saving all his powers ap

care, plied;

It was his joy to sit at home and fast, He wore his coat till bare was every Then send a widow and her boys repast : thread,

Tears in his eyes would spite of him apAnd with the meanest fare his body fed.

pear, He had a female cousin, who with care But he from other eyes has kept the Walked in his steps, and learned of him

tear: to spare ;

All in a wintry night from far he came With emulation and success they strove, To soothe the sorrows of a suffering Improving still, still seeking to improve,

dame, As if that useful knowledge they would Whose husband robb'd him, and to gain

whom he meant How little food would human life sus- A lingering but reforming punish

ment: No pauper came their table's crumbs to Home then he walked, and found his

crave; Scraping they lived, but not a scrap they When fire and rushlight met his troubled gave :


tain :

anger rise

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