« PreviousContinue »
« Besides, I must share in the wants of the times,
Because I have had my full share in its crimes;
And I'm apt to believe the distress which is sent,
Is to punish and cure us of all discontent.
But harvest is coming-potatoes are come !
Our prospect clears up; ye complainers, be dumb!
“And though I've no money, and though I've no lands,
I've head on my shoulders, and a pair of good hands;
So I'll work the whole day, and on Sundays I'll seek
At church how to bear all the wants of the week.
The gentlefolks too will afford us supplies ;
They'll subscribe—and they'll give up their puddings and
Derry down. “ Then before I'm induced to take part in a riot, I'll ask this short question—What shall I get by it?' So I'll e’en wait a little, till cheaper the bread, For a mittimus hangs o'er each rioter's head; And when of two evils I'm asked which is best, I'd rather be hungry than hanged, I protest.
Derry down.” Quoth Tom, “Thou art right; if I rise, I'm a Turk:" So he threw down his pitchfork, and went to his work.
Have you heard of a collier of honest renown,
Who dwelt on the borders of Newcastle town?
His name it was Joseph-you better may know
If I tell you he always was called Patient Joe.
Whatever betided, he thought it was right,
And Providence still he kept ever in sight;
To those who love God, let things turn as they would,
He was certain that all worked together for good.
He praised his Creator whatever befell;
How thankful was Joseph when matters went well!
How sincere were his carols of praise for good health,
And how grateful for any increase in his wealth!
In trouble he bowed him to God's holy will;
How contented was Joseph when matters went ill !
When rich and when poor, he alike understood,
That all things together were working for good.
If the land was afflicted with war, he declared,
'Twas a needful correction for sins which he shared :
And when nierciful Heaven bade slaughter to cease,
How thankful was Joe for the blessing of peace!
When taxes ran high, and provisions were dear,
Still Joseph declared he had nothing to fear;
It was but a trial he well understood,
From Him who made all work together for good.
Though his wife was but sickly, his gettings but small,
Yet a mind so submissive prepared him for all ;
He lived on his gains, were they greater or less,
And the Giver he ceased not each moment to bless.
When another child came, he received him with joy,
And Providence blessed, who had sent him the boy ;
But when the child died, said poor Joe, “ I'm content,
For God had a right to recall what he lent.”
It was Joseph's ill fortune to work in a pit
With some who believed that profaneness was wit:
When disasters befell him, much pleasure they showed,
And laughed, and said, “ Joseph, will this work for good ?”
But ever when these would profanely advance,
That this happened by luck, and that happened by chance,
Still Joseph insisted no chance could be found;
Not a sparrow by accident falls to the ground.
Among his companions who worked in the pit,
And made him the butt of their profligate wit,
Was idle Tim Jenkins, who drank and who gamed,
Who mocked at his Bible, and was not ashamed.
One day at the pit his old comrades he found,
And they chatted, preparing to go under ground;
Tim Jenkins, as usual, was turning to jest
Joe's notion—that all things which happened were besk,
As Joe on the ground had unthinkingly laid His provision for dinner, of bacon and bread, A dog, on the watch, seized the bread and the meat, And off with his prey ran with footsteps so fleet. Now to see the delight that Tim Jenkins expressed ! “Is the loss of thy dinner too, Joe, for the best ?” “No doubt on't,” said Joe; “but as I must eat, 'Tis my duty to try to recover my meat." So saying, he followed the dog a long round, While Tim, laughing and swearing, went down under
ground. Poor Joe soon returned, though his bacon was lost, For the dog a good dinner had made at his cost. When Joseph came back, he expected a sneer, But the face of each collier spoke horror and fear; “What a narrow escape hast thou had!” they all said; “ The pit is fallen in, and Tim Jenkins is dead!” How sincere was the gratitude Joseph expressed ! How warm the compassion which glowed in his breast! Thus events great and small, if aright understood, Will be found to be working together for good. “When my meat,” Joseph cried, “ was just now stolen
away, And I had no prospect of eating to-day, How could it appear to a short-sighted sinner, · That my life would be saved by the loss of my dinner!”
A PEEP INTO A PRISON.
Look through the land from north to south,
And look from east to west,
And see what is to Englishmen
Of life the deadliest pest.
It is not want, though that is bad;
Nor war, though that is worse; But Britons brave endure, alas !
A self-inflicted curse. Go where you will, throughout the realm,
You'll find the reigning sin, In cities, villages, and towns,
—The monster's name is Gin. The prince of darkness never sent
To man a deadlier foe;
“My name is Legion,” it may say,
The source of many a wo.
Nor does the fiend alone deprive
The laborer of his wealth ;
That is not all; it murders too
His honest name and health.
We say the times are grievous hard,
And hard they are, 'tis true;
But, drunkards, to your wives and babes
They're harder made by you. The drunkard's tax is self-imposed,
Like every other sin;
The taxes altogether lay
No weight so great as gin.
The state compels no man to drink,
Compels no man to game;
'Tis gin and gambling sink him down
To rags, and want, and shame.
The kindest husband, changed by gin,
Is for a tyrant known;
The tenderest heart that nature made,
Becomes a heart of stone.
In many a house the harmless babes
Are poorly clothed and fed,
Because the craving gin-shop takes
The children's daily bread.
Come, neighbor, take a walk with me,
Through many a London street,
And see the cause of penury
In hundreds we shall meet.
We shall not need to travel far
Behold that great man's door ;
He well discerns yon idle crew
From the deserving poor.
He will relieve with liberal hand
The child of honest thrift;
But where long scores at gin-shops stand,
He will withhold his gift.
Behold that shivering female there,
Who plies her wosul trade!
'Tis ten to one you'll find that gin
That hopeless wretch has made. Look down those steps, and view below
Yon cellar under ground;
There every want, and every wo,
And every sin is found.
Those little wretches, trembling there
With hunger and with cold,
Were, by their parents' love of gin,
To sin and misery sold.
Blessed be those friends to human kind
Who take these wretches up,
Ere they have drunk the bitter dregs
Of their sad parents' cup.
Look through that prison's iron bars,
Look through that dismal grate,
And learn what dire misfortune brought
So terrible a fate.
The debtor and the felon too,
Though differing much in sin,
Too oft you'll find were thither brought
By all-destroying gin.
Yet Heaven forbid I should confound
Calamity with guilt!
Or name the debtor's lesser fault
With blood of brother spilt.
To prison dire misfortune oft
The guiltless debtor brings; Yet oftener far it will be found
From gin the misery springs.