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Short-lived possession! but the record fair,
That memory keeps of all thy kindness there,
Still outlives many a storm, that has effaced
A thousand other themes less deeply traced.
Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,
That thou mightst know me safe and warmly laid;
Thy morning bounties ere I left my home,
The biscuit or confectionary plum;
The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestow'd
By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glow'd :
All this, and more endearing still than all,
Thy constant flow of love that knew no fall,
Ne'er roughen'd by those cataracts and breaks
That humour interposed too often makes;
All this still legible in memory's page,
And still to be so to my latest age,
Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay
Such honours to thee as my numbers may;
Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,
Not scorn'd in heaven, though little noticed here.
Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,
The violet, the pink, and jessamine,
I prick'd them into paper with a pin
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my head, and smile),
Could those few pleasant days again appear,
Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here?
I would not trust my heart—the dear delight
Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might.-
But no- -what here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.
Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's coast
(The storms all weather'd and the ocean cross'd),
Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle
Where spices breathe, and brighter seasons smile,
There sits quiescent on the floods, that show
Her beauteous form reflected clear below,
While airs impregnated with incense play
Around her, fanning light her streamers gay;
So thou, with sails how swift ! hast reach'd the shore,
“Where tempests never beat nor billows roar;"
And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide
Of life, long since has anchor'd by thy side.
But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest,
Always from port withheld, always distress'd-
Me howling blasts drive devious, tempest-toss'd,
Sails ripp'd, seams opening wide, and compass lost,
And day by day some current's thwarting force
Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.
But oh, the thought, that thou art safe, and he !
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not that I deduce my birth
From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise-
The son of parents pass’d into the skies.
And now, farewell—Time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wish'd is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again ;
To have renew'd the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine ;
And, while the wings of fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft--
Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.—Cowper.
JOHN GILPIN was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
A trainband captain eke was he
Of famous London town.
John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear :
“ Though wedded we have been
These twice ten tedious years, yet we
No holiday have seen.
“ To-morrow is our wedding-day,
And we will then repair Unto the • Bell,' at Edmonton,
All in a chaise and pair.
“My sister, and my sister's child,
Myself, and children three,
Will fill the chaise; so you must rida
On horseback after we.
He soon replied, “I do admire
Of womankind but one,
And you are she, my dearest dear,
Therefore it shall be done. “I am a linendraper bold,
As all the world doth know,
And my good friend the calend'rer
Will lend his horse to go.”
Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, “ That's well said;
And for that wine is dear,
We will be furnish'd with our own,
Which is both bright and clear.”
John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wife;
O’erjoy'd was he to find,
That, though on pleasure she was bent,
She had a frugal mind.
The morning came, the chaise was brought
But yet was not allow'd
To drive up to the door, lest all
that she was proud. So three doors off, the chaise was stay'd,
Where they did all get in; Six precious souls, and all agog
To dash through thick and thin.
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels,
Were never folk so glad,
The stones did rattle underneath,
As if Cheapside were mad.
John Gilpin at his horse's side
Seized fast the flowing mane,
And up he got, in haste to ride,
But soon came down again ;
For saddletree scarce reach'd had he,
His journey to begin,
When, turning round his head, he saw
Three customers come in.
So down he came ; for loss of time,
Although it grieved him sore,
Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,
Would trouble him much more. 'Twas long before the customers
Were suited to their mind, When Betty screaming came down stairs,
" The wine is left behind !” “Good lack!” quoth he—"yet bring it me,
My leathern belt likewise,
In which I bear my trusty sword
When I do exercise."
Now mistress Gilpin (careful soul !)
Had two stone bottles found,
To hold the liquor that she loved,
And keep it safe and sound. Each bottle had a curling ear,
Through which the belt he drew, And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true.
Then over all, that he might be
Equipp'd from top to toe,
His long red cloak, well-brush'd and neat,
He manfully did throw.
Now see him mounted once again
Upon his nimble steed,
Full slowly pacing o'er the stones,
With caution and good heed.
But finding soon a smoother road
Beneath his well-shod feet, The snorting beast began to trot,
Which gall’d him in his seat. So, fair and softly, John he cried,
But John he cried in vain ;
That trot became a gallop soon,
In spite of curb and rein.
So stooping down, as needs he must
Who cannot sit upright,
He grasp'd the mane with both his hands,
And eke with all his might.
His horse, who never in that sort
Had handled been before,
What thing upon his back had got
Did wonder more and more.
Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Away went hat and wig;
He little dreamt, when he set out,
Of running such a rig.
The wind did blow, the cloak did fly,
Like streamer long and gay,
Till, loop and button failing both,
At last it flew away.
Then might all people well discern
The bottles he had slung ;
A bottle swinging at each side,
As hath been said or sung.
The dogs did bark, the children scream'd,
Up flew the windows all; And every soul cried out, “ Well done!”
As loud as he could bawl.
Away went Gilpin—who but he ?
His fame soon spread around,
He carries weight! he rides a race !
'Tis for a thousand pound !