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And settle in soft musings as I tread
The walk, still verdant, under oaks and elms,
Whose outspread branches over-arch the glade.
No noise is here, or none that hinders thought.
The redbreast warbles still, but is content
With slender notes, and more than half sup-
Pleased with his solitude, and fitting light
From spray to spray, where'er he rests he shakes
From many a twig the pendent drops of ice,
That tinkle in the withered leaves below.
Stillness, accompanied with sounds so soft,
Charms more than silence. Meditation here
May think down hours to moments. Here the
heart May give a useful lesson to the head, And Learning wiser grow without his books.
The Nightingale and flow-worm.
NIGHTINGALE, that all day long
Had cheered the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied far off, upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spark;
So, stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop.
The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus, right eloquent-
“Did you admire my lamp,” quoth he,
“ As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song;
For 'twas the self-same power divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine ;
That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night."
The songster heard his short oration,
And warbling out his approbation,
Released him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
Hence jarring sectaries may learn
Their real interest to discern;
That brother should not war with
brother, And worry
and devour each other ; But sing and shine by sweet consent, Till life's poor transient night is spent,
Respecting in each other's case,
The gifts of nature and of grace.
Those Christians best deserve the name,
Who studiously make peace their aim ;
Peace both the duty and the prize
Of him that creeps and him that flies.
€ruelty to Inferior Animals .
WOULD not enter on my list of friends (Though grac'd with polish'd manners and fine
sense, Yet wanting sensibility), the man Who needlessly sets foot upon a worm. An inadvertent step may crush the snail, That crawls at evening in the public path ; But he that has humanity, forewarn'd, Will tread aside, and let the reptile live. The creeping vermin, loathsome to the sight, And charg'd perhaps with venom, that intrudes A visitor unwelcome into scenes Sacred to neatness and repose, th' alcove, The chamber, or refectory, may die : A necessary act incurs no blame. Not so, when held within their proper bounds,
And guiltless of offence, they range the air,
Or take their pastime in the spacious field :
There they are privileged. And he that hunts
Or harms them there, is guilty of a wrong ;
Disturbs the economy of nature's realm,
Who, when she form’d, design'd them an abode.
The sum is this : if man's convenience, health,
Or safety, interfere, his rights and claims
Are paramount, and must extinguish theirs ;
Else they are all,—the meanest things that are,
As free to live and to enjoy that life,
As God was free to form them at the first,
Who, in his sovereign wisdom, made them all.
Ye, therefore, who love mercy, teach
To love it too. The spring-time of our years
Is soon dishonour'd and defild, in most,
By budding ills, that ask a prudent hand
To check them. But, alas ! none sooner shoots,
If unrestrained, into luxuriant growth,
Than cruelty-most dev'lish of them all.
Mercy to him that shows it, is the rule
And righteous limitation of its act,
By which Heav'n moves in pard’ning guilty man ;
And he that shows none, being ripe in years,
And conscious of the outrage he commits,
Shall seek it and not find it in his turn.
Alexander Selkirk, was put on shore on the uninhabited island of Juan Fernandez, by his captain, in 1704. He remained there four years.
AM monarch of all I survey;
My right there is none to dispute ;
From the centre all round to the sea
I am lord of the fowl and the brute.
O Solitude! where are the charms
That sages have seen in thy face?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms,
Than reign in this horrible place!
I am out of humanity's reach,
I must finish my journey alone,
Never hear the sweet music of speech-
I start at the sound of my own!
The beasts that roam over the plain
My form with indifference see ;
They are so unacquainted with man,
Their tameness is shocking to me.
Society, friendship, and love,
Divinely bestow'd upon man,