Come And Play In The Garden
Little sister, come away,
And let us in the garden play,
For it is a pleasant day.
On the grass-plat let us sit,
Or, if you please, we'll play a bit,
And run about all over it.
But the fruit we will not pick,
For that would be a naughty trick,
And very likely make us sick.
Nor will we pluck the pretty flowers
That grow about the beds and bowers,
Because you know they are not ours.
We'll take the daisies, white and red,
Because mamma has often said
That we may gather then instead.
And much I hope we always may
Our very dear mamma obey,
And mind whatever she may say.
A BUSY town mid Britain's isle,
Behold in fancy's eye ;
With tower, and spire, and civic pile,
Beneath a summer sky :
And orchard, garden, field, and park,
And grove, and sunny wall ;
And ranging buildings, light and dark,
As evening shadows fall.
Then listen to the ceaseless din
Of hammer, saw, and crane ;
And traffic passing out and in,
From alley, street, and lane.
The sound, without a pause between,
Of foot, and wheel, and hoof ;
The manufacture's loud machine
From yonder lengthened roof.
And children at their evening sports,
Parading to and fro ;
Assembled in the quiet courts
Of yonder cottage row.
Gay streets display their shining wares
To every roving eye,
As eager in their own affairs,
The busy tribes go by.
And ah ! what varied forms of woe,
What hope and fear are found ;
What passions rise, what scandals grow,
Within this narrow bound !
To pass the peaceful dwellings by,
No stranger eye might guess
Those scenes of joy and agony,
Of discord and distress.
Pain writhes within those stately walls ;
Here pallid want hath been ;
That casement where the curtain falls
Shows death has entered in.
The dwelling ranging next to this,
A youthful group displays ;
Elate they seem with present bliss,
And hope of distant days.
There at her chamber-window high,
A lonely maiden sits ;
Its casement fronts the western sky
And balmy air admits :
And while her thoughts have wandered far
From all she hears and sees,
She gazes on the evening star
That twinkles through the trees.
Is it to watch the setting sun
She does that seat prefer ?--
Alas ! the maiden thinks of one
Who never thinks of her.
But lively is the street below,
And ceaseless is the hum,
As some intent on pleasure go,
On schemes of profit some.
Now widening seems the stream to be,
As evening stretches o'er ;
Plebeian tribes from toil set free
Pour forth from every door.
A school, arranged in order due,
(Before the sun goes down)
Lady and lady, two and two,
Comes winding through the town.
And what drives up to yonder door
The gaping crowd among ?
A wedding train of chaises four,
And all the bells are rung.
The laden waggon tinkles by,
The post is going out,
The lights are lit, the coaches ply
To tavern, ball, and rout.
Thus closed that merry summer's day ;
And would you ask me how
You might the busy scene survey,
And see those faces now ?--
Then hither turn--yon waving grass
And mouldering stones will show ;
For these transactions came to pass
A hundred years ago.
THERE was a youth--but woe is me :
I quite forgot his name, and he,
Without some label round his neck,
Is like one pea among a peck.
Go search the country up and down,
Port, city, village, parish, town,
And, saving just the face and name,
You shall behold the very same
Wherever pleasure's train resorts,
From the Land's End to Johnny Groat's ;
And thousands such have swelled the herd
From William, down to George the Third.
To life he started--thanks to fate,
In contact with a good estate :
Provided thus, and quite at ease,
He takes for granted all he sees ;
Ne'er sends a thought, nor lifts an eye,
To ask what am I ? where ? and why ?--
All that is no affair of his,
Somehow he came--and there he is !
Without such philosophic stuff,
Alive and well, and that's enough.
Thoughts ! why, if all that crawl like train
Of caterpillars through his brains,
With every syllable let fall,
Bon mot, and compliment, and all,
Were melted down in furnace fire,
I doubt if shred of golden wire,
To make, amongst it all would linger,
A ring for Tom Thumb's little finger.
Yet, think not that he comes below
The modern, average ratio--
The current coin of fashion's mint--
The common, ball-room going stint.
Of trifling cost his stock in trade is,
Whose business is to please the ladies ;
Or who to honours may aspire
Of a town beau or country squire.
The cant of fashion and of vice
To learn, slight effort will suffice :
And he was furnished with that knowledge,
Even before he went to college.
And thus, without the toil of thought,
Favour and flattery may be bought.
No need to win the laurel, now,
For lady's smile or vassal's bow ;
To lie exposed in patriot camp,
Or study by the midnight lamp.
Nature and art might vainly strive
To keep his intellect alive.
--'Twould not have forced an exclamation
Worthy a note of admiration,
If he had been on Gibeon's hill,
And seen the sun and moon stand still.
What prodigy was ever known
To raise the pitch of fashion's tone !
Or make it yield, by any chance,
That studied air of nonchalance,
Which after all, however graced,
Is apathy, and want of taste.
The vulgar every station fill,
St. Giles' or James's --which you will ;
Spruce drapers in their masters' shops,
Rank with right honourable fops :
No real distinction marks the kinds--
The raw material of their minds.
But mind claims rank that cannot yield
To blazoned arms and crested shield
Above the need and reach it stands
Of diamond stars from royal hands ;
Nor waits the nod of courtly state,
To bid it be, or not be great.
The regions where it wings its way
Are set with brighter stars than they :
With calm contempt it thence looks down
On fortune's favour or its frown ;
Looks down on those who vainly try,
By strange inversion of the eye,
From that poor mole-hill where they sit,
To cast a downward look on it :
As robin, from his pear-tree height,
Looks down upon the eagle's flight.
Before our youth had learnt his letters,
They taught him to despise his betters
And if some things have been forgot,
That lesson certainly has not.
The haunts his genius chiefly graces
Are tables, stables, taverns, races ;--
The things of which he most afraid is,
Are tradesmen's bills, and learned ladies
He deems the first a grievous bore,
But loathes the latter even more
Than solitude or rainy weather,
Unless they happen both together.
Soft his existence rolls away,
To-morrow plenteous as to-day :
He lives, enjoys, and lives anew,--
And when he dies,--what shall we do !
Down a close street, whose darksome shops display
Old clothes and iron on both sides the way ;
Loathsome and wretched, whence the eye in pain
Averted turns, nor seeks to view again ;
Where lowest dregs of human nature dwell,
More loathsome than the rags and rust they sell ;--
A pale mechanic rents an attic floor,
By many a shattered stair you gain the door :
'Tis one poor room, whose blackened wails are hung
With dust that settled there when he was young.
The rusty grate two massy bricks displays
To fill the sides and make a frugal blaze.
The door unhinged, the window patched and broke,
The panes obscured by half a century's smoke :
There stands the bench at which his life is spent,
Worn, grooved, and bored, and worm-devoured, and bent,
Where daily, undisturbed by foes or friends,
In one unvaried attitude he bends.
His tools, long practised, seem to understand
Scarce less their functions, than his own right hand.
With these he drives his craft with patient skill :
Year after year would find him at it still :
The noisy world around is changing all,
War follows peace, and kingdoms rise and fall ;
France rages now, and Spain, and now the Turk ;
Now victory sounds ;--but there he sits at work !
A man might see him so, then bid adieu, --
Make a long voyage to China or Peru ;
There traffic, settle, build ; at length might come
Altered, and old, and weather-beaten, home,
And find him on the same square foot of floor
On which he left him twenty years before.
--The self-same bench, and attitude, and stool,
The same quick movement of his cunning tool
The very distance 'twixt his knees and chin,
As though he had but stepped just out and in.
Such is his fate--and yet you might descry
A latent spark of meaning in his eye,
--That crowded shelf, beside his bench contains
One old worn volume that employs his brains :
With algebraic lore its page is spread,
Where a and b contend with x and z ;
Sold by some student from an Oxford hall,
--Bought by the pound upon a broker's stall.
On this it is his sole delight to pore,
Early and late, when working time is o'er :
But oft he stops, bewildered and perplexed,
At some hard problem in the learned text ;
Pressing his hand upon his puzzled brain
At what the dullest school-boy could explain.
From needful sleep the precious hour he saves
To give his thirsty mind the stream it craves :
There, with his slender rush beside him placed,
He drinks the knowledge in with greedy haste.
At early morning, when the frosty air
Brightens Orion and the northern Bear,
His distant window 'mid the dusky row,
Holds a dim light to passenger below.
--A light more dim is flashing on his mind,
That shows its darkness, and its view confined.
Had science shone around his early days,
How had his soul expanded in the blaze !
But penury bound him, and his mind in vain
Struggles and writhes beneath her iron chain.
--At length the taper fades, and distant cry
Of early sweep bespeaks the morning nigh ;
Slowly it breaks,--and that rejoicing ray
That wakes the healthful country into day,
Tips the green hills, slants o'er the level plain,
Reddens the pool, and stream, and cottage pane,
And field, and garden, park, and stately hall,--
Now darts obliquely on his wretched wall.
He knows the wonted signal ; shuts his book,
Slowly consigns it to its dusky nook ;
Looks out awhile, with fixt and absent stare,
On crowded roofs, seen through the foggy air ;
Stirs up the embers, takes his sickly draught,
Sighs at his fortunes, and resumes his craft.