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· Three several Warnings you shall have
• Before you're summon'd to the grave.
• Willing for once I'll quit my prey,
• And 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 pursu'd 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, while he view'd his wealth increase ;
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,
The unwelcome messenger of fate Once more before him stood.
Half kill'd with anger and surprize, ,
• 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; • Besides 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, * However you still keep your eyes, • And, sure, to see one's loves and friends . For legs and arms must make amends.'
· Perhaps,' says Dobson, so it might; But, latterly, I've lost my sight.'. "This is a shocking tale, 'tis true, :
But still there's comfort left for you, • Each strives your sadness to amuse, . '
I warrant you hear all the news,
• There's none;' cries he, and, if there were, • I'm grown so deaf, I could not hear.'
Nay, then,' the spectre stern rejoin'd, * These are unjustifiable yearnings;
* If you are lame, and deaf, and blind, • You’ye had your Three sufficient Warnings :
So come with me : no more we'll part.' He said ; and touch'd him with his dart; And, now, old Dobson, turning pale, Yields to his fate.-So ends my tale.
A Raven while with glossy breast
Her new-laid eggs she fondly press’d,
And on her wicker-work high mounted,
Her chickens prematurely counted,
(A fault philosophers might blame,
If quite exempted from the same)
Enjoy'd at ease the genial day;
'Twas April, as the bumpkins say,
The legislature call'd it May.
But suddenly a wind as high
As ever swept a winter sky,
Shook the young leaves about her ears,
And filld her with a thousand fears,
Lest the rude blast should snap the bough,
And spread her golden hopes below.
But just at eve' the blowing weather,
And all her fears were hush'd together :
*And, now,' quoth poor unthinking Ralph,
''Tis over, and the brood is safe.' .
(For Ravens, tho', as birds of omen,
They teach both conjurers and old women
To tell us what is to befall,
Can't prophesy themselves at all.)
The morning came, when neighbour Hodge,
Who long had mark'd her airy lodge,
And destin'd all the treasure there
A gift to his expecting fair,
Climb'd like a squirrel to his dray,
And bore the worthless prize away.
'Tis Providence alone secures
In ev'ry change both mine and your's:
Safety consists not in escape
From dangers of a frightful shape;
An earthquake may be bid to spare
The man that's strangled by a hair.
Death steals along with silent tread,
Found oftenest in what least we dread,
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.
A Poet's Cat, sedate and grave
As poet well could wish to have,
Was much addicted to inquire
For nooks to which she might retire,
And where, secure as mouse in chink,
She might repose, or sit and think.
I know not where she caught the trick-
Nature perhaps herself had cast her
In such a mould Philosophique,
Or else she learn'd it of her Master.
Sometimes ascending debonnair,
An apple-tree, or lofty pear,
Lodg’d with convenience in the fork,
She watch'd the gard'ner at his work;
Sometimes her ease and solace sought
In an old empty wat’ring-pot,
There wanting nothing, save a fan,
To seem some nymph in her sedan,
Apparell'd in exactest sort,
And ready to be borné to court.
But love of change it seems has place
Not only in our wiser race,