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Who, wise yourselves, desire your son should leam
Your wisdom and your waysto you I turn.
Look round you on a world perversely blind;
See what contempt has fal’n on human kind;
See wealth abused, and dignities misplaced,
Great titles, offices, and trusts disgraced,
Long lines of ancestry, renown'd of old,
Their noble qualities all quench'd and cold,
See Bedlam's closetted and hand-cuff'd charge
Surpass'd in frenzy by the mad at large;
See great commanders making war a trade,
Great lawyers, lawyers without study made;
Churchmen, in whose esteem their bless'd employ
Is odious, and their wages all their joy;
Who, far enough from furnishing their shelves
With Gospel lore, turn infidels themselves;
See womanhood despised, and manhood shamed
With infamy too nauseous to be named,
Fops at all corners, lady-like in mien,
Civetted fellows, smelt ere they are seen;
Else coarse and rude in manners, and their tongue
On fire with curses, and with nonsense hung;
Now flush'd with drunkenness, now with whoredona
Their breath a sample of last night's regale:
See volunteers in all the vilest arts,
Men well endow'd, of honourable parts,
Design'd by Nature wise, but self-made fools;
All these, and more like these, were bred at schools
And if it chance, as sometimes chance it will,
That though school-bred, the boy be virtuous still,
Such rare exceptions, shining in the dark,
Prove, rather than impeach, the just remark:
As here and there a twinkling star descried
Serves but to shew how black is all beside.
Now look on him, whose very voice in tone
Just echoes tbine, whose features are thine own,
And stroke his polish'd cheek of purest red,
And lay thine hand upon his flaxen head,
And say, ' My boy, the unwelcome hour is come,
When thou, transplanted from thy genial home,
Must find a colder soil and bleaker air,
And trust for safety to a stranger's care ;
What character, what turn thou wilt asame
Prom constant converse with I know not whom ;
Who there will court thy friendship, with what view
And, artless as thou art, whom thou wilt choose ;
Though much depends on what thy choice shall be,
Is all chance-medley, and unknown to me.'
Canst thou, the tear just trembling on thy lids,
And while the dreadful risk foreseen forbids,
Pree too, and under no constraining force,
Unless the sway of custom warp thy course ;
Lay such a stake upon the losing side,
Merely to gratify so blind a guide ?
Thou canst not! Nature, pulling at thine heart,
Condemns the unfatherly, the imprudent part.
Thou wouldst not, deaf to Nature's tenderest plea
Turn him adrift upon a rolling sea,
Nor say, Go thither, conscious that there lay
A brood of asps, or quicksands in his way;
Then, only govern'd by the self-same rule
Of natural pity, send him not to school.
No-guard him better. Is he not thine own,
Thyself in miniature, thy flesh, thy bone?
And hop'st thou not ('tis every father's hope)
That since thy strength must with thy years elope,
And thou wilt need some comfort, to assuage
Health's last farewell, a staff in thinc old age,
That then, in recompense of all thy cares,
Thy child shall shew respect to thy gray hairs;
Befriend thee, of all other friends bereft,
And give thy life its only cordial left ?
Aware then how much danger intervenes,
To compass that good end, forecast the means.
His heart, now passive, yields to thy command;
Secure it thine, its key is in thine hand.
If thou desert thy charge, and throw it wide,
Nor heed what guests there enter and abide,
Complain not if attachments lewd and base
Supplant thee in it, and wenrp thy place.
But if thou guard its sacied chambers sure
From vicious inmates, and delights impure,
Either his gratitude shall bold him fast,
And keep him warm and flial to the lasts
Or, if he prove unkind, (as who can say
But being man, and therefore frail, he may )
One comfort yet shall cheer thine aged heart;
Howe'er he slight thee, thou hast done thy part.
Oh, barbarous! wouldst thou with a Gothic hand Pull down the schools what !-all the schools i' the
land; Or throw them up to livery-nags and grooms, Or turn them into shops and auction roonis?-A captious question, sir (and yours is one), Deserves an answer similar or none. Wouldst thou, possessor of a flock, employ (Apprized that he is such) a careless boy, And feed him well, and give him handsome pay, Merely to sleep, and let them run astray? Survey our schools and colleges, and see A sight not much unlike my simile. Prom education, as the leading cause, The public character its colour draws ; Thence the prevailing manners take their cast, Extravagant or sober, loose or chaste. And though I would not advertise them yet, Nor write on each—This building to be let, Unless the world were all prepared to embrace A plan well-worthy to supply their place; Yet, backward as they are, and long have been To cultivate and keep the morals clean, (Forgive the crime) I wish them, I confess, Or better managod, or encouragod loss
An Invitation into the Country.
TBB swallows in their torpid state
Compose their useless wing, And bees in hives as idly wait
The call of early Spring.
The keenest frost that binds the stream,
The wildest wind that blows,
Are neither felt nor fear'd by them,
Secure of their repose.
But man, all feeling and awake,
The gloomy scene surveys;
With present ills his heart must ache,
And pant for brighter days. old Winter, halting o'er the mead,
Bids me and Mary mourn; But lovely Spring peeps o'er his head,
And whispers your return. Then April, with her sister May,
Shall chase him from the bowers, And weave fresh garlands every day,
To crown the smiling hours.
And if a tear, that speaks regret
Of happier times, appear,
A glimpse of joy, that we have mot,
Shall shine, and dry the tear.
ADDRESSED TO MISS STAPLETON,
(AFTERWARD MRS. COURTNBY.) SAR came-she is gone-we have met
And meet perbaps never again; The sun of that moment is set,
And seems to have risen in vain. Catharina has fled like a dream
(So vanishes pleasure, alas !) But has left a regret and esteem,
That will not so suddenly pass.
The last evening ramble we made,-
Catharina, Maria, and I,
Our progress was often delay'd
By the nightingale warbling nigh.
We paused under many a tree,
And much she was charm'd with a tono Less sweet to Maria and me,
Who so lately had witness'd her own. My numbers that day she had sung,
And gave them a grace so divine, As only her musical tongue
Could infuse into numbers of mine. The longer I heard, I esteem'd
The work of my fancy the more,
And e'en to myself never seem'd
So tuneful a poet before.
Though the pleasures of London exceed
In number the days of the year,
Catbarina, did nothing impede,
Would feel herself happier here: For the close-woven arches of limes
On the banks of our river, I know, Are sweeter to her many times
Than aught that the city can show