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THE REAPER'S CHILD. - Miss Lamb.
If you go to the field where the reapers now bind
The sheaves of ripe corn, there a fine little lass,
Only three months of age, by the hedge-row you'll find
Left alone by its mother upon the low grass.
While the mother is reaping, the infant is sleeping;
Not the basket that holds the provision is less,
By the hard-working reaper, than this little sleeper,
Regarded, till hunger does on the babe press.
Then it opens its eyes, and it utters loud cries,
Which its hard-working mother afar off will hear;
She comes at its calling, she quiets its squalling,
And feeds it, and leaves it again without fear.
When you were as young as this field-nursed daugh
You were fed in the house and brought up on the
So tenderly watched, thy fond mother thought her
Whole time well bestowed in nursing of thee.
FEIGNED COURAGE. Miss Lamb.
HORATIO, of ideal courage vain,
Was flourishing in air his father's cane,
And, as the fumes of valor swelled his pate,
Now thought himself this hero, and now that;
"And now," he cried, "I will Achilles be;
My sword I brandis; see the Trojans flee!
Now I'll be Hector, when his angry blade
A lane through heaps of slaughtered Grecians made
And now, by deeds still braver, I'll evince
I am no less than Edward the Black Prince.
Give way, ye coward French!" As thus he spoke,
And aimed in fancy a sufficient stroke
To fix the fate of Cressy or Poictiers,
(The Muse relates the hero's fate with tears,)
He struck his milk-white hand against a nail,
Sees his own blood, and feels his courage fail.
Ah! where is now that boasted valor flown,
That in the tented field so late was shown?•
Achilles weeps, great Hector hangs the head,
And the Black Prince goes whimpering to bed.
Busy, curious, thirsty fly,
Drink with me, and drink as I;
Freely welcome to my cup,
Couldst thou sip and sip it up;
Make the most of life you may,
Life is short and wears away,
Both alike are mine and thine,
Hastening quick to thy decline;
Thine's a summer, mine no more,
Though repeated to threescore;
Threescore summers, when they 're gone,
Will appear as short as one.
GOING INTO BREECHES.- Miss Lamb.
Joy to Philip, he this day
Has his long coats cast away,
And (the childish season gone)
Puts the manly breeches on.
Officer on gay parade,
Red coat in his first cockade,
Bridegroom in his wedding trim,
Birth-day beau surpassing him,
Never did with conscious gait
Strut about in half the state,
Or the pride, (yet free from sin,)
Of my little manikin;
Never was there pride or bliss
Half so rational as his.
Sashes, frocks, to those that need 'em,
Philip's limbs have got their freedom,
He can run, or he can ride,
And do twenty things beside,
Which his petticoats forbade ;
Is he not a happy lad?
Now he 's under other banners,
He must leave his former manners;
Bid adieu to female games,
And forget their very names.
Puss in corners, hide and seek,
Sports for girls and punies weak!
Baste the bear he now may play at,
Leap-frog, football, sport away at,
Show his skill and strength at cricket,
Mark his distance, pitch his wicket,
Run about in winter's snow
Till his cheeks and fingers glow,
Forgot of all his own domestic crew;
The faithful dog alone his master knew;
Unfed, unhoused, neglected, on the clay,
Like an old servant, now cashiered, he lay;
And, though e'en then expiring on the plain,
Touched with resentment of ungrateful man,
And longing to behold his ancient lord again.
Him when he saw, he rose, and crawled to meet,
'T was all he could, — and fawned, and kissed his feet,
Seized with dumb joy; then, falling by his side,
Owned his returning lord, looked up, and died.
THE COMPLAINTS OF THE POOR.- Southey,
"AND wherefore do the poor complain?"
The rich man asked of me.
"Come, walk abroad with me," I said,
"And I will answer thee."
'Twas evening, and the frozen streets
Were cheerless to behold,
And we were wrapt and coated well,
And yet we were a-cold.
We met an old bareheaded man,
His locks were few and white;
I asked him what he did abroad
In that cold winter's night.
'T was bitter keen, indeed, he said,
But at home no fire had he,
And therefore he had come abroad,
To ask for charity.
We met a young, barefooted child,
And she begged loud and bold; I asked her what she did abroad When the wind it blew so cold.
She said her father was at home,
And he lay sick abed;
And therefore was it she was sent
Abroad to beg for bread.
We saw a woman sitting down
Upon a stone to rest;
She had a baby at her back,
And another at her breast.
I asked her why she loitered there, When the night-wind was so chill; She turned her head and bade the child, That screamed behind, be still.
She told us that her husband served,
A soldier, far away,
And therefore to her parish she
Was begging back her way.
I turned me to the rich man then,
For silently stood he;
"You asked me why the poor complain, And these have answered thee."