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Thus thirty smooth years did he thrive on his
farm : The Genius of plenty preserved him from
harm : At length, what to most is a season of sorrow, His means are run out,—he must beg, or must
To the neighbours he went,--all were free with
For his hive had so long been replenished with
honey, That they dreamt not of dearth ;—He con
tinued his rounds, Knocked here and knocked there, pounds still
adding to pounds.
He paid what he could with his ill-gotten pelf, And something, it might be, reserved for him
self: Then (what is too true) without hinting a word, Turned his back on the country—and off like a
You lift up your eyes !—but I guess that you
frame A judgment too harsh of the sin and the
shame; In him it was scarcely a business of art, For this he did all in the ease of his heart.
To London-a sad emigration I ween-
and the green; And there, with small wealth but his legs and
his hands, As lonely he stood as a crow on the sands.
All trades, as need was, did old Adam
assume, , Served as stable-boy, errand-boy, porter, and groom ;
50 But nature is gracious, necessity kind, And, in spite of the shame that may lurk in
He seems ten birthdays younger, is green and
is stout; Twice as fast as before does his blood run
about; You would say that each hair of his beard was alive,
55 And his fingers are busy as bees in a hive.
For he's not like an Old Man that leisurely
goes About work that he knows, in a track that he
knows; But often his mind is compelled to demur, And you guess that the more then his body
In the throng of the town like a stranger is
Like one whose own country's far over the
And Nature, while through the great city he
hies, Full ten times a day takes his heart by surprise.
This gives him the fancy of one that is young, More of soul in his face than of words on his
tongue; Like a maiden of twenty he trembles and sighs, And tears of fifteen will come into his eyes.
What's a tempest to him, or the dry parching
heats Yet he watches the clouds that pass over the
streets; With a look of such earnestness often will
stand, You might think he'd twelve reapers at work
in the Strand.
Where proud Covent-garden, in desolate hours Of snow and hoar-frost, spreads her fruits and
her flowers, Old Adam will smile at the pains that have
made Poor winter look fine in such strange masque
'Mid coaches and chariots, a waggon of straw, Like a magnet, the heart of old Adam can
draw; With a thousand soft pictures his memory will
teem, And his hearing is touched with the sounds of
Up the Haymarket hill he oft whistles his way, Thrusts his hands in a waggon, and smells at
the hay; He thinks of the fields he so often hath mown, And is happy as if the rich freight were his
But chiefly to Smithfield he loves to repair,- 85 If you pass by at morning, you'll meet with
him there. The breath of the cows you may see him inhale, And his heart all the while is in Tilsbury Vale. Now farewell, old Adam! when low thou art
laid, May one blade of grass spring over thy head; 90 And I hope that thy grave, wheresoever it be, Will hear the wind sigh through the leaves of a tree.
THERE is a Flower, the lesser Celandine,
And, the first moment that the sun may shine, Bright as the sun himself, 'tis out again!
When hailstones have been falling, swarm on
5 Or blasts the green field and the trees distrest, Oft have I seen it muffled up from harm, In close self-shelter, like a Thing at rest.
But lately, one rough day, this Flower I passed And recognised it, though an altered form, 10 Now standing forth an offering to the blast, And buffeted at will by rain and storm.
I stopped, and said with inly-muttered voice, “It doth not love the sbower, nor seek the
cold: This neither is its courage nor its choice, 15 But its necessity in being old.
“The sunshine may not cheer it, nor the dew;
To be a Prodigal's Favourite — then, worse
truth, A Miser's Pensioner-behold our lot! O Man, that from thy fair and shining youth Age might but take the things Youth needed not!
THE TWO THIEVES;
THE LAST STAGE OF AVARICE.
O Now that the genius of Bewick were mine, And the skill which he learned on the banks of
the Tyne, Then the Muses might' deal with me just as
they chose, For I'd take my last leave both of verse and of
What feats would I work with my magical
hand! Book-learning and books should be banished
the land : And, for hunger and thirst and such trouble
some calls, Every ale-house should then have a feast on its
The traveller would hang his wet clothes on a
chair; Let them smoke, let them burn, not a straw
would he care! For the Prodigal Son, Joseph's Dream and his