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Of no man's presence Isaac felt afraid ;
At no man's question Isaac look'd dismay'd:
Shame knew him not, he dreaded no disgrace,
Truth, simple truth, was written in his face ;
Yet while the serious thought his soul approv'd,
Cheerful he seem'd, and gentleness he loy'd :
To bliss domestic he his heart resign'd,
And with the firmest bad the fondest mind.
Were others joyful, he look'd smiling on,
And gave allowance when he needed none;
Good he refus'd with future ill to buy,
Nor knew a joy that caus?d reflection's sigh;
A friend to virtue, his unclouded breast
No envy stung, no jealousy distress'd ;
Bane of the poor! it wounds their weaker mind
To miss one favour which their neighbours find.
Yet far was he from stoic pride remov'd,
He felt humanely, and he warmly lov'd;
I mark'd his artion when his infant died,
And his old neighbour for offence was tried,
The still tears stealing down that furrow'd cheek
Spoke pity plainer than the tongue can speak.
If pride were his, 'twas not their vulgar pride
Who, in their base contempt, the great deride;
Nor pride in learning, though my clerk agreed,
If fate should call him, Ashford might succeed ;
Nor pride in rustic skill, although he knew,
None his superior, and his equals few :
But if that spirit in his soul had place,
It was the jealous pride that shuns disgrace ;
A pride in honest fame, by virtue gain'd,
In sturdy boys to virtuous labours train'd;
Pride in the power that guards his country's coast,
And all that Englishmen enjoy and boast;
Pride in a life that slander's tongue defy'd;
In fact, a noble passion, misnam'd pride.
He had no party's rage, no sect’ry's whim,
Christian and country was all with him:
True to his church he came, no Sunday shower
Kept him at home in that important hour,
Nor his firm feet could one persuading sect,
By the strong glare of their new light, direct;
On hope in mine own sober light I gaze,
But should be blind, and lose it in your blaze.'
In times severe, when many a sturdy swain
Felt it his pride, his comfort, to complain;
Isaac their wants would sooth, his own would hide,
And feel in that his comfort and his pride.
At length he found, when seventy years were run, His strength departed, and his labour done; When, save his honest fame, he kept no more, But lost his wife, and saw his children poor: 'Twas then a spark of(say not discontent), Struck on his mind, and thus he gave it vent: Kind are your laws, 'tis not to be deny'd, That in yon house for ruin'd age provide : And they are just; when young we give you all, And then for comforts in our weakness call; Why then this proud reluctance to be fed, To join your poor, and eat the parish bread ? But yet I linger, loathe with him to feed, Who gains his plenty by the sons of need; ' He who by contract all your paupers took, And gauges stomachs with an anxious look: On some old master I could well depend; See hinc with joy, and thank him as a friend ; But ill on him who doles the day's supply, And counts our chances who at night may die.
Yet, help me, Heaven ! and let me not complain
Of what befals me, but the fate sustain."
Such were his thoughts, and so resign'd he grew,
Daily he plac'd the workhouse in his view;
But came not there, for sudden was his fate,
He dropp’d, expiring at his cottage gate.
I feel his absence in the hours of prayer,
And view his seat, and sigh for Isaac there :
I see no more those white locks thinly spread .
Round the bald polish of that honour'd head;
No more that awful glance on playful wight
Compell’d to kneel, and tremble at the sight,
To fold his fingers all in dread the while,
Till Mister Ashford soften'd to a smile ;
No more that meek and suppliant look in prayer,
Nor the pure faith, to give it force, are there:
But he is bless'd and I lament no more
A wise good man, contented to be poor. Crabbe.
MONODY TO THE MEMORY OF LADY LYTTELTON.
At length escap'd from every human eye,
From every duty, every care,
That in my mournful thoughts might claim a share,
Or force my tears their flowing streams to dry;
Beneath the gloom of this embowering shade,
This lone retreat, for tender sorrow made,
I now may give my burden'd heart relief,
And pour forth all my stores of grief;
Of grief surpassing every other wo,
Far as the purest bliss, the happiest love
Can on the enpobled mind bestow,
Exceeds the vulgar joys that move Our gross desires, inelegant and low.
Ye tufted groves, ye gently-falling rills,
Ye high o'ershadowing hills,
Ye lawns gay-smiling with eternal green,
Oft have you my Lucy seen !
But never shall you now behold her more;
Nor will she now with fond delight,
And taste refin'd, your rural charms explore,
Clos'd are those beauteous eyes in endless night,
Those beauteous eyes, where, beaming, us'd to shine
Reason's pure light, and Virtue's spark divine.
Oft would the Dryads of these woods rejoice
To hear her heavenly voice ;
For her despising, when she deign'd to sing,
The sweetest songsters of the spring :
The woodlark and the linnet pleas'd no more ;
The nightingale was mute,
And every shepherd's flute
Was cast in silent scorn away,
While all attended to her sweeter lay.
Ye larks and linnets, now resume your song:
And thou, melodious Philomel,
Again thy plaintive story tell ;
For death has stopp'd that tuneful tongue,
Whose music could alone your warbling notes excel.
In vain I look around
O’er all the well-known ground, My Lucy's wonted footsteps to descry !
Where oft we us'd to walk,
Where oft in tender talk
We saw the summer sun go down the sky;
Nor by yon fountain's side,
Nor where its waters glide
Along the valley, can she now be found :
In all the wide-stretch'd prospects ample bound
No more my mournful eye
Can ought of her espy, But the sad sacred earth where her dear relics lie.
O shades of Hagley! where is now your boast?
Your bright inhabitant is lost.
You she preferr'd to all the gay resorts
Where female vanity might wish to shine,
The pomp of cities, and the pride of courts.
Her modest beauties shunn'd the public eye:
To your sequester'd dales
And flower-embroider'd vales
From an admiring world she chose to fly :
With Nature there retir'd, and Nature's God,
'The silent paths of wisdom trod,
And banish'd every passion from her breast,
But those, the gentlest and the best, Whose holy flames with energy divine
The virtuous heart enliven and improve,
The conjugal and the maternal love.
Sweet babes, who, like the little playful fawns,
Were wont to trip along these yerdant lawns
By your delighted mother's side,
Who now your infant steps shall guide ?
Ah! where is now the hand whose tender care
To every virtue would have form'd your youth,
And strew'd with flowers the thorny way of truth?
O loss beyond repair!
• O wretched father ! left alone,
To weep their dire misfortune, and thy own! How shall thy weaken'd mind, oppress'd with wo,
And drooping o'er thy Lucy's grave,