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54

ISAAC ASHFORD.

Shame knew him not, he dreaded no dis

grace; Truth, simple truth was written in his face; Yet while the serious thought his soul ap

proved, Cheersul he seem'd, and gentleness he loved; To bliss domestic, he his heart resign'd, And with the firmest, had the fondest mind : Were others joyful, he look'd smiling on, And gave

allowance were he needed none: Good he refused with future ill to buy, Nor knew a joy that caused reflection's sigh; A friend to virtue, his unclouded breast No envy stung, no jealousy distress'd ;

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Yet far was he from stoic pride removed ;
He felt humanely and he warmly loved;
I mark'd his action 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 de

ISAAC ASHFORD.

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Nor pride in learning-though my clerk

agreed, If fate should call him, Ashford might suc

ceed; Nor pride in rustic skill, although we 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.

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Pride in a life that slander's tongue defiedIn short, a noble passion, misnamed pride.

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I feel his absence in the house 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 honoured head ; No more that awful glance on playful wight, Compelled to kneel and tremble at the sight, To fold his fingers, all in dread the while, Till Mister Ashford softened to a smile, No more that meek and suppliant look in

prayer, Nor the pure faith (to give it force) are there;

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But he is blest and I lament no more,
A wise, good man, contented to be poor.

Crabbe.

SONG :- AFTER LABOUR
Labour's strong and merry children,

Comrades of the rising sun,
Let us sing some songs together,

Now our toil is done.
No desponding, no repining!

Leisure must by toil be bought,
Never yet was good accomplished,

Without hand and thought.
Even God's all holy labour,

Fram'd the air, the stars, the sun;
Built our earth on deep foundations;
And -the world was won !

Barry Cornwall.

RESOLUTION AND INDEPEND

ENCE.
THE LEECH GATHERER.
Beside a pool bare to the eye of heaven,
I saw a man before me unawares ;

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His body was bent double, feet and head
Coming together in life's pilgrimage;
As if some dire constraint of pain, or rage
Of sickness felt by hiin in times long past.
A more than human weight upon his frame

had cast.Himself he propped, his body, limbs, and

face, Upon a smooth grey staff of shaven wood : And, still as I drew near with gentle pace, Upon the margin of that moorish food, Motionless as a cloud the old man stood; That heareth not the loud winds when they

call; And moveth altogether if it move at all. At length, himself unsettling, he the pond Stirred with his staff, and fixedly did look Upon the muddy water, which he conned, As if he had been reading in a book ; And now a strangers privilege I took ; And drawing to his side, to him did say, “This morning gives a promise of a glori

ous day."

58 RESOLUTION AND INDEPENDENCE.

A gentle answer did the old man make,
In courteous speech which forth he slowly

drew; And him with further words I thus bespake, “What occupation do you here pursue ? This is a lonesome place for one like you." He answered; while a flash of mild sur

prise Broke from the sable orbs of his yet vivid

eyes. His words came feebly, from a feeble chest, But each in solemn order followed each, With something of a lofty utterance drestChoice word and measured phrase, above the

reach Of ordinary men; a stately speech; Such as grave livers do in Scotland use, Religious men, who give to God and man

their dues.

He told, that to these waters he had come To gather Leeches, being old and poor; Employment hazardous and wearisome! And he had many hardships to endure; From pond to pond he roamed, from moor

to moor;

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