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And so the sad day finishes
With one long sigh and yearning cry,
Oh for a field, my friend ; oh for a field !
The fields are bright, and all bedight
With buttercups and daisies;
Oh, how I long to quit the throng
Of human forms and faces :
The vain delights, the empty shows,
The toil and care bewild'rin',
To feel once more the sweet repose
Calm Nature gives her children.
At times the thrush shall sing, and hush
The twitt'ring yellow.hammer ;
The blackbird fluster from the bush
With panic-stricken clamour;
The finch in thistles hide from sight,
And snap the seeds and toss 'em ;
The blue-tit hop, with pert delight,
About the crab-tree blossom ;
The homely robin shall draw near,
And sing a song most tender;
The black-cap whistle soft and clear,
Swayed on a twig top slender;
The weasel from the hedge-row creep,
So crafty and so cruel,
The rabbit from the tussock leap,
And splash the frosty jewel.
I care not what the season be-
Spring, summer, autumn, winterIn morning sweet, or noon-day heat,
Or when the moonbeams glint, or
When rosy beams and fiery gleams,
And floods of golden yellow,
Proclaim the sweetest hour of all-
The evening mild and mellow.
There, though the spring shall backward keep,
And loud the March winds bluster,
The white anemone shall peep
Through loveliest leaves in cluster.
There primrose pale or violet blue
Shall gleam between the grasses ;
And stitchwort white fling starry light,
And blue bells blaze in masses.
As summer grows and spring-time goes,
O’er all the hedge shall ramble
The woodbine and the wilding rose,
And blossoms of the bramble.
When autumn comes, the leafy ways
To red and yellow turning,
With hips and haws the hedge shall blaze,
And scarlet briony burning.
When winter reigns and sheets of snow,
The flowers and grass lie under ;
The sparkling hoar frost yet shall show,
A world of fairy wonder.
To me more dear such scenes appear,
Than this eternal racket,
No longer will I fret and fag!
Hey ! call a cab, bring down my bag,
And help me quick to pack it.
For here one must go where every one goes,
And meet shoals of people whom one never knows,
Till it makes a poor fellow dyspeptic;
And the world wags along with its sorrows and shows,
And will do just the same when I'm dead I suppose ;
And I'm rapidly growing a sceptic.
For its oh, alas, well-a-day, and a-lack !
I've a pain in my head and an ache in my back ;
A terrible cold that makes me shiver,
And a general sense of a dried-up liver ;
And I feel I can hardly bear it.
And it's oh for a field with four hedgerows,
And the bliss which comes from an hour's repose,
And a true, true friend to share it.
The following “Prothalamion" was recently discovered among some other rubbish in Pope's Villa at Twickenham. It was written on the backs of old envelopes, and has evidently not received the master's last touches. Some of the lines afford an admirable instance of the way in which great authors frequently repeat themselves.
Nothing so true as what you once let fall, “ To growl at something is the lot of all;
Contentment is a gem on earth unknown,
And Perfect Happiness the wizard's stone.
Give me," you cried, " to see my duty clear,
And room to work, unhindered in my sphere;
To live my life, and work my work alone,
Unloved while living, and unwept when gone.
Let none my triumphs or my failures share,
Nor leave a sorrowing wife and joyful heir.”
Go, like St. Simon, on your lonely tower,
Wish to make all men good, but want the power.
Freedom you'll have, but still will lack the thrall,-
The bond of sympathy, which binds us all.
Children and wives are hostages to fame,
But aids and helps in every useful aim.
You answer, “ Look around, where'er you will,
Experience teaches the same lesson still.
Mark how the world, full nine times out of ten,
To abject drudgery dooms its married men :
A slave at first, before the knot is tied,
But soon a mere appendage to the bride;
A cover, next, to shield her arts from blame ;
At home ill-tempered, but abroad quite tame;
In fact, her servant; though, in name, her lord ;
Alive, neglected; but, defunct, adored.”
This picture, friend, is surely overdone,
You paint the tribe by drawing only one;
Or from one peevish grunt, in haste, conclude
The man's whole life with misery imbued.
Say, what can Horace want to crown his life,
Blest with eight little urchins, and a wife?
His lively grin proclaims the man is blest,
Here perfect happiness must be confessed !
Hark, hear that melancholy shriek, alack !--
That vile lumbago keeps him on the rack.
This evil vexed not Courthope's happy ways,
Who wants no extra coat on coldest days.
His face, his walk, his dress—whate'er you scan,
He stands revealed the prosperous gentleman.
Still must he groan each Sabbath, while he hears
The hoarse Gregorians vex his tortured ears.
Sure Bosanquet true happiness must know,
While wit and wisdom mingle as they flow,
Him Bromley Sunday scholars will obey ;
For him e'en Leech will work a good half day;
He strives to hide the fear he still must feel,
Lest sharp Jack Frost should catch his Marshal Niel.
Peace to all such ; but were there one, whose fires
True genius kindles and fair fame inspires;
Blest with demurrers, statements, counts, and pleas,
And born to arbitrations, briefs, and fees;
Should such a man, couched on his easy throne,
(Unlike the Turk) desire to live alone;
View every virgin with distrustful eyes,
And dread those arts, which suitors mostly prize,
Alike averse to blame, or to commend,
Not quite their foe, but something less than friend ;
Dreading e'en widows, when by these besieged ;
And so obliging, that he ne'er obliged ;
Who, in all marriage contracts, looks for flaws,
And sits, and meditates on Salic laws;
While Pall Mall bachelors proclaim his praise,
And spinsters wonder at his works and ways;