« ZurückWeiter »
Two travellers of such a cast,
Both stared; the man looked wondrous As o'er Arabia's wilds they passed,
wiseAnd on their way, in friendly chat, “My children," the chameleon cries Now talked of this, and then of that, (Then first the creature found a tongue), Discoursed awhile, 'mongst other mat. “You all are right, and all are wrong: ter,
When next you talk of what you view, Of the chameleon's form and nature. Think others see as well as you; "A stranger animal," cries one,
Nor wonder if you find that none
(1728 - 1774.) "'T is green, I saw it with these eyes, As late with open mouth it lay,
FROM "THE DESERTED VILLAGE." And warmed it in the sunny ray; Stretched at its ease the beast I viewed, SWEET was the sound, when oft, at And saw it eat the air for food."
evening's close “I've seen it, sir, as well as you, Up yonder hill the village murmur rose; And must again affirm it blue;
There, as I passsed with careless steps and At leisure I the beast surveyed
slow, Extended in the cooling shade.” The mingling notes came softened from “ 'T is green, 't is green, sir, I assure
The swain responsive as the milkmaid "Green!” cries the other in a fury;
sung, "Why, sir, d' ye think I've lost my The sober herd that lowed to meet their
young; "'T were no great loss," the friend replies; The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool, “For if they always serve you thus, The playful children just let loose froin You 'll find them but of little use.
school; So high at last the contest rose, The watch-dog's voice that bayed the From words they almost came to blows: whispering wind, When luckily came by a third;
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant To him the question they referred,
mind, And begged he'd tell them, if he knew, These all in sweet confusion sought the Whether the thing was green or blue.
shade, “Sirs," cries the umpire, cease your And filled each pause the nightingale had pother;
made. The creature 's neither one nor t’ other. But now the sounds of population fail, I caught the animal last night,
No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the And viewed it o'er by candlelight;
gale, I marked it well, it was black as jet No busy steps the grass-grown footway You stare -- but, sirs, I've got it yet,
tread, And can produce it." “Pray, sir, do; But all the bloomy flush of life is fled. I'll lay my life the thing is blue.' All but yon widowed, solitary thing, "And I 'li be sworn, that when you ’ve That feebly bends beside the plashy
spring; The reptile, you 'll pronounce him green.” She, wretched matron, forced in age, for “Well, then, at once to ease the doubt,"
bread, Replies the man, “I'll turn him out; To strip the brook with mantling cresses And when before your eyes I've set him,
spread, If you don't find him black, I 'll eat him." To pick her wintry fagot from the thorn,
He said; and full before their sight To seek her nightly shed, and weep till Produced the beast, and lo!-- 't was white. morn;
She only left of all the harmless train, And, as a bird cach fond endearment The sad historian of the pensive plain.
To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the Near yonder copse, where once the skies, garden smiled,
He tried each art, reproved each dull And still where many a garden flower delay, grows wild,
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the There, where a few torn shrubs the place way.
disclose, The village preacher's modest mansion Beside the bed where parting life was
laid, A man he was to all the country dear, And sorrow, guilt, and pain by turns And passing rich with forty pounds a dismayed, year;
The reverend champion stood. At his Remote from towns he ran his godly race, control, Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to Despair and anguish fled the struggling change, his place;
soul; Unpractised he to fawn, or seek for power, Comfort came down the trembling wretch By doctrines fashioned to the varying to raise, hour;
And his last, faltering accents whispered Far other aims his heart had learned to praise.
prize, More skilled to raise the wretched than At church, with meek and unaffected to rise.
grace, His house was known to all the vagrant His looks adorned the venerable place; train,
Truth from his lips prevailed with double He chid their wanderings, but relieved sway, their pain;
And fools, who came to scoff, remained The long-remembered beggar was his guest,
The service past, around the pious man, Whose beard descending swept his aged With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran; breast;
Even children followed, with endearing The ruined spendthrift, now no longer wile, proud,
And plucked his gown, to share the good Claimed kindred there, and had his man's smile. claims allowed ;
His ready sinile a parent's warmth ex. The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay, pressed, Sat by his fire, and talked the night Their welfare pleased him, and their cares away;
distressed ; Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow To them his heart, his love, his griefs, done,
were given, Shouldered his crutch, and showed how But all his serious thoughts had rest in fields were won.
heaven. Pleased with his guests, the good man As some tallcliff, that lifts its awful form, learned to glow,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
the storm, Careless their merits or their faults to Though round its breast the rolling clouds
are spread, His pity gave ere charity began. Eternal sunshine settles on its head. Thus to relieve the wretched was his Beside yon straggling fence that skirts
pride, And even his failings leaned to virtue's With blossomed furze un profitably gay, side :
There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, But in his duty prompt at every call, The village master taught his littleschool. He watched and wept, he prayed and A man severe he was, and stern to view; felt for all;
I knew him well, and every truant knew:
Well had the boding tremblers learned the hearth, except when winter chilled
the day, The day's disasters in his morning face; With aspen boughs and flowers and fenFull well they laughed, with counterfeited glee,
While broken teacups, wisely kept for At all his jokes, for many a joke had he; show, Full wellthe busy whisper, circling round, Ranged o'er the chimney, glistened in a Conveyed the dismal tidings when he
frowned. Yet he was kind, or if severe in aught,
Vain, transitory splendors ! could not The love he bore to learning was in fault. all The village all declared how much he Reprieve the tottering mansion from its knew;
fall ? "T was certain he could write, and cipher Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart too;
An hour's importance to the poor man's Lands he could measure, times and tides
Thither no more the peasant shall repair Andeven the story ran that hecould gauge; To sweet oblivion of his daily care; Inarguing, too, the parson owned his skill, No more the farmer's news, the barber's For, even though vanquished, he could tale,
No more the woodman's ballad shall preWhile words of learned length and thun vail; dering sound
No more the smith his dusky brow shall Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around; clear, And still they gazed, and still the wonder Relax his ponderous strength, and lean grew
to hear. That one small head could carry all he The host himself no longer shall be found knew.
Careful to see the mantling bliss go round;
Northe coy maid, half willing to be prest, But past is all his fame. The very spot Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest. Where many a time he triumphed is for
got. Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on
high, Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
THOMAS PERCY. Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspired,
(1728 - 1811.) Where gray-beard mirth and smiling toil retired,
THE FRIAR OF ORDERS GRAY. Where village statesmen talked with looks profound,
It was a friar of orders gray
And he met with a lady fair,
“Now Christ thee save, thou reverend
friar! The varnished clock that clicked behind the door;
I pray thee tell to me, The chest, contrived a double debt to pay,
If ever at yon holy shrine A bed by night, a chest of drawers by
My true-love thou didst see." day: The pictures placed for ornament and “And how should I know your true-love use;
From inany another one?" The twelve good rules; the royal game of “Oh! by his cockle hat, and staff, goose;
And by his sandal shoon;