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Deep read in stratagems, and wiles of courts.
Poor man! how happy once in thy first state !
Sound was the body, and the soul serene;
Can naught compound for the first dire offense Of erring man? — Like one that is condemned, Fain would he trifle time with idle talk, And parley with his fate. - But 'tis in vain. Not all the lavish odors of the place, Offered in incense, can procure his pardon, Or mitigate his doom. - A mighty angel, With flaming sword, forbids his stay, And drives the loiterer forth; nor must he take One last and farewell round. — At once he lost His glory and his God. — If mortal now, And sorely maimed, no wonder. — Man has sinned. Sick of his bliss, and bent on new adventures, Evil he would needs try: nor tried in vain. (Dreadful experiment! destructive measure ! Where the worst thing could happen is success.) Alas! too well he sped :— the good he scorned Stalked off reluctant, like an ill-used ghost, Not to return; - or if it did, its visits, Like those of angels, short and far between : Whilst the black dæmon, with his hell-scaped train, Admitted once into its better room, Grew loud and mutinous, nor would be gone; Lording it o'er the man: who now too late Saw the rash error, which he could not mend: An error fatal not to him alone, But to his future sons, his fortune's heirs. Inglorious bondage ! - Human nature groans Beneath a vassalage so vile and cruel, And its vast body bleeds through every vein.
POEMS OF JOHN BYROM.
[JOHN BYROM was born near Manchester, England, in 1691, educated at Trinity, Cambridge ; studied medicine at Montpellier, and became a convert to Jacob Boehme's mysticism, being an unusual mixture of broad humor and deep enthusiasms; gave up medicine and worldly prudence for a penniless marriage ; was member of the Royal Society, and loved science; invented a method of short-hand, and taught it for a living till he fell heir to an estate; died 1763. He wrote vast quantities of verse, partly collected in 1773; but is remembered for the wit and point of a few skits.]
EPIGRAM GOD BLESS THE KING.
THE THREE BLACK CROWS.
Two honest tradesmen meeting in the Strand,
shall hear: an odd affair indeed !
The gentleman himself told me the case." “Where may I find him ?" Why, in such a place." Away he goes, and having found him out“Sir, be so good as to resolve a doubt." Then to his last informant he referred, And begged to know if true what he had heard : “Did you, sir, throw up a black crow?” – “Not I!" -“Bless me! how people propagate a lie!
! Black crows have been thrown up, three, two, and one, And here I find at last all comes to none ! Did you say nothing of a crow at all ? " “Crow — crow — perhaps I might, now I recall
The matter over.” “ And pray, sir, what was't ?". “Why, I was horrid sick, and at the last, I did throw up, and told my neighbor so, Something that was as black, sir, as a crow."
Two foot-companions once in deep discourse “ Tom," says
one, “let's go and steal a horse." “Steal!" says the other in a huge surprise, “He that says I'm a thief, I say he lies." “Well, well,” replies his friend,“ no such affront! I did but ask ye. If you won't, you won't." So they jogged on, till in another strain The querist moved to honest Tom again: “Suppose,” says he, “ for supposition's sake ('Tis but a supposition that I make !) — Suppose that we should filch a horse, I say?" “Filch? filch ?” quoth Tom, demurring by the way, “That's not so bad as downright theft, I own, But yet — methinks 'twere better let alone. It soundeth something pitiful and low. Shall we go filch a horse, you say? Why, no! I'll filch no filching; - and I'll tell no lie: Honesty's the best policy, say I!”
Struck with such vast integrity quite dumb, His comrade paused. At last, says he, “Come, come, Thou art an honest fellow, I
agree. Honest and poor.
- Alas, that should not be! And dry into the bargain! And no drink ! Shall we go nim a horse, Tom ? What dost think ?"
How clear are things when liquor's in the case ! Tom answers quick, with casuistic grace,
“Nim ? yes, yes, yes! Let's nim, with all my heart
'Twixt right and wrong how many gentle trimmers Will neither steal nor filch, but will be plaguy Nimmers !
BY WILLIAM SHENSTONE.
SINCE Phyllis vouchsafed me a look,
I never once dreamt of my vine:
If I knew of a kid that was mine!
Beyond all that had pleased me before;
And I grieve that I prized them no more.
But why do I languish in vain;
Why wander thus pensively here?
Where I fed on the smiles of my dear?
The pride of that valley, is flown;
I could wander with pleasure, alone.