Page images
PDF

FABLE LXXXVII.

: THE MARTINS.

The Anecdote on which this Fable is founded, is mentioned in Woud's Mosaic History of the Creation, 2nd Edition, page 477, Note.

Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Galatians vi. 2.

In Lancashire, in Rampside town,
(Low Furness district doth it own,)
Over the window of an inn
A Martin did her nest begin,'
And carried up her clay-built wall,
And lin'd it soft and warm withal;
She lay'd her eggs, and hatch'd her young :
And now began th' unconscious wrong,
The cleanings of her nest she threw
Upon the window's crystal view;
When Molly saw the ugly stain,
And, being nicer than humane,
She vow'd the family's sad doom,
And knock'd the nest down with her broom.*
Upon the ground the callow brood
Lay in forlorn and saddest mood.
But, oh! how great's parental love,

2 ::.. All difficulties far above! And love of brothers too how great, . What will not that effectuate !! • ami wab. M 5 ia os ho e wi.

i The Martins call'd their kind around,
“ Anid quickly numbers kind abound :

To work they instantly all set,
And from the pond's brink, where 'twas wet,
The clay then in their beaks they carried,
Nor in their labour ever tarried,
And soon another nest arose
Where the young outcasts might repose;
And into which they did convey
The little dears from where they lay.
A general chirp proclaim'd their joy,
And each resum'd his own employ. ..

My neighbours, what a lesson's here,
How does fraternal love appear !
The law of Christ commands each brother
To bear the burdens of another.
Have we the sacred law fulfilld?
Would we for houseless neighbours build ?
Tho'clay and work were all requir'd,
Would not each plead that he were tir'd ?
Or that his own concerns demand,
The labour of his own dear hand ?

For shame! the friendly Martins view,--
Then, go, and in like manner do.
Be ready to assist a brother,
The burdens bear of one another,

“ of the mode of building mud-houses in the county of Dumfries, the Author of the Statistical Account of the parish of Dornock, in that county, gives the following account: "The farm-houses in general, and all the cottages, are built of mud or clay; yet, these houses, when plaistered and properly finished within, (as many of them are,) are exceeding warm and comfortable. The manner of erecting them is singular. In

the first place they dig out the foundation of the house, and lay a row or two of stones; then they procure from a pit contiguous, as inuch clay or brick-earth as is sufficient to form the walls: and having provided a quantity of straw or litter to mix with the clay, upon a day appointed, the whole neighbourhood, male and female, to the number of twenty or thirty, assemble, each with a dung-fork, a spade, or some şach instrument. Some fall to working the clay or mud, by mixing it with straw; others carry the materials; and four or six of the most experienced hands, build, and take care of the walls. In this manner, the walls of the house are finished in a few hours.'"-Eden on the Poor, Vol. i. p. 553.

FABLE LXXXVIII.

THE GENEROUS DOG.

The Anecdote on which this Fable is founded appeared in the London Papers in October 1819.

Go to the Dog, thou Revenger, consider his ways and forgive. i

See Proverbs vi. 6. Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and despitefully use you, and persecute you.

Matthew v. 44.

WHERE Paris stands, upon the Seine, ir
A Young Man sought the watery plain,
And with his Dog a boat he took,
And soon the safer shore forsook ;
To the mid-stream he straightway drew,-
In the submissive Dog he threw.
Down deep he sunk, but soon did rise, ..
To climb the boat he anxious tries, i.'
But, still, his master, with the oar,
Repuls’d, and plung'd him o'er and o’er, ..

Resolv'd, that, soon, depriv'd of breath,
His friend should find a watery death.
In vain Tray's eyes the youth implor'd,-
When he himself fell over-board;
Headlong he sunk,—he too arose-
But none his safety would oppose;
He'd been inevitably drown'd,
A faster friend had he not found.
Did Tray revenge his master's sin,
And strive the flood to keep him in?
Or with neglect his hate repay,
And for self-safety swim away?
No. His dear master in the stream,
He judg'd he could him thence redeem;
But, being underneath the boat,
He suffer'd it away to float,
Then on his collar fast he seiz'd,
And held him anxious up and pleas'd,
Until assistance came at hand,
And lodg'd both safely on the land.

Oh! you, who bear the Christian name,
And own not charity's warm flame,
Behold the Dog, and blush for shame;
Let your red cheeks remorseful burn,
If ill for ill you e'er return:
See love and instinct here prevail,
When reason and religion fail :
The Gospel precepts which you learn,
See him at once to practice turn,
Do GOOD FOR EVIL, and FORGIVE,--
Like Tray, and like TRUE CHRIstians live.

FABLE LXXXIX.

THE CAT AND HER MASTER.

A Poet mostly loves a Cat, ,
And holds with her a deal of chat;
Her purr is music to his ear,
His heart it never fails to cheer,
Complete contentment it bespeaks,
And gaiety is in her freaks.

A Poet mostly loves his tea,
Then care unbends, hi- heart is free;
It is the bev'rage, not of riot, .
But of contentment and of quiet. .
A Poet, too long since 'twas said
Delights in—at least eats-brown bread *;
• But, then, no doubt, good Sir,' you mútter,
• He loves to spread it with good butter;'
And that, when leaves are off the tree,
Gets hard, and does not spread quite free,
So he e'en sets it 'fore the fire,
That it plasticity acquire.
'Tis, likewise, known the butter pat,
Is much esteem'd by ev'ry cat;
But the old proverb says, that pats
Of butter are too dear for cats ;
And, so, when Poet feels desire
To set his butter 'fore the fire,

* Vivit siliquis et pane secundo.

Horáce, Epist. B. II., Ep. I. 1.193.

« PreviousContinue »