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Children," thus spake a hare sedate,
Who oft had known the extremes of Fate,
"In slight events the attentive mind
May hints of good instruction find.
"That our condition is the worst,
"And we with such misfortunes cursed
"As all comparison defy,
"Was late the universal cry.
When, lo! an accident so slight,
"As yonder little linnet's flight,
"Has made your stubborn hearts confess
(So your amazement bids me guess) "That all our load of woes and fears "Is but a part of what he bears.
"Where can he rest secure from harms, “Whom even a helpless hare alarms? "Yet he repines not at his lot; "When past, his dangers are forgot : "On yonder bough he trims his wings, “And with unusual rapture sings ;
“While we, less wretched, sink beneath
"Our lighter ills, and rush to death.
No more of this unmeaning rage,
But hear, my friends, the words of age:
When, by the winds of autumn driven, "The scattered clouds fly cross the heaven, "Oft have we, from some mountain's head, "Beheld the alternate light and shade
Sweep the long vale. Here, hovering, lowers "The shadowy cloud; there, downward pours,
Streaming direct, a flood of day,
"Which from the view flies swift away;
"It flies, while other shades advance,
With gleams of joy, and clouds of woe.
Then hope not, while we journey on,
"Still to be basking in the sun;
"Nor fear, though now in shades ye mourn,
"That sunshine will no more return.
If, by your terrors overcome,
"Ye fly before the approaching gloom,
The rapid clouds your flight pursue,
And darkness still o'ercasts your view.
"Who longs to reach the radiant plain,
"Maintain your ground; the fleeting shade, "Erelong, spontaneous glides away,
"And gives you back the enlivening ray. “Lo! while I speak, our danger past!
No more the shrill horn's angry blast "Howls in our ear; the savage roar "Of war and murder is no more. "Then snatch the hour that Fate allows, "Nor think of past or future woes." He spoke; and hope revives; the lake, That instant, one and all forsake,
In sweet amusement to employ
The present sprightly hour of joy.
Now, from the western mountain's brow, Compassed with clouds of various glow, The sun a broader orb displays,
And shoots aslope his ruddy rays.
The lawn assumes a fresher green,
BEING PART OF AN INSCRIPTION FOR A MONUMENT TO BE ERECTED
BY A GENTLEMAN TO THE MEMORY OF HIS LADY.
FAREWELL, my best beloved! whose heavenly mind
With meek simplicity, and joy of heart;
Though sprightly, gentle; though polite, sincere ;
Unblamed, unequalled, in each sphere of life,