« AnteriorContinuar »
wanneer we could not teach and must despair to learn. But learn we might, if not too proud to stoop to quadrupede instructions, many a good and useful quality, and virtue too, rarely exemplified among ourselves. Attachment never to be wean'd or chang'd, by any change of fortune, proof alike against unkindness, absence, and neglect; fidelity, that neither bribe nor threat can move or warp; and gratitude for small and trivial favours, lasting as the life, and glist’ning even in the dying eye.
Ah! ne'er let man, glory in wants which doom to pain and death . his blameless fellow-creatures. Let disease, let wasted hunger, by destroying, live; and the permission use with trembling thanks, meekly reluctant : 't is the brute beyond : and gluttons ever murder when they kill. Ev'n to the reptile, every cruel deed is bigh impiety. Howe'er not all, not of the sanguinary tribe are all; all are not savage. Come, ye gentle swains, like Brama's healthy sons on Indus banks, whom the pure stream and garden fruits sustain,' ye are the sons of nature; your mild hands are innocent.
John DyerThe wholesome herb neglected dies, tho' with the pure exhilarating soul of nutriment and health, and vital powers, beyond the search of art 't is copious blest: for with hot raviné fir'd, ensanguin'd man is now become the lion of the plain,
and worse.' The wolf, who from the nightly fold fierce drags the bleating prey, ne'er drunk her milk, nor wore the warming fleece; nor has the steer, at whose strong chest the deadly tyger hangs, e'er plow'd for him. They, too, are temper'd high, with hunger stung and wild necessity, nor lodges pity in their shaggy breast: but Man, whom nature form’d of milder clay, with every kind emotion in his heart, and taught alone to weep, while from her lap she pours ten thousand delicacies, herbs and fruits as numerous as the drops of rain, or beams that gave him birth; shall he, fair form ! who wears sweet smiles, and looks erect on heaven, e'er stoop to mingle with the prowling herd, and dip his tongue in gore? The beast of prey, blood-stained, deserves to bleed; but you, ye flocks! what have you done? ye peaceful people! what to merit death? you who have given us milk in luscious streams, and lent us your own coat against the winter's cold? And the plain ox, that harmless, honest, guileless animal! in what has be offended ? he whose toil, patient, and ever ready, clothes the land with all the pomp of harvest, shall he bleed, and, struggling, groan beneath the cruel hands ev'n of the clown he feeds ? and that, perhaps, to swell the riot of the autumnal feast, won by his labour! Thus the feeling heart would tenderly suggest; but, 't is enough, iù this late age, adventurous, to have touch'd light on the numbers of the Samian sage.
Thomson's “ Spring. I cannot meet the lambkin's asking eye, pat her soft cheek, and fill her mouth with food,
then say, “ Ere evening cometh, thou shalt die, and drench the knives of butchers with thy blood.” I cannot fling, with lib’ral hand, the grain, and tell the feathered race, so blest around, “For me, ere night, ye feel of death the pain; with broken necks ye fiutter on the ground. “How vile! Go, creatures of th’ Almighty's hand; enjoy the fruits which bounteous nature yields; graze, at your ease, along the sunny land: skim the free air and search the fruitful fields : go, and be happy in your mutual loves; no violence shall shake your shelter'd home; 't is life and liberty shall glad my groves; the cry of murder shall not damn my dome.' Thus should I say, were mine a house and land, and, lo! to me, a parent, should ye fly, and run, and lick, and peck, with love, my hand, and crowd around me with a fearless eye. And you, O wild inhabitants of air, to bless and to be blest, at PETER's call, invited by his kindness, should repair: chirp on his roof, and hop amid his hall. No school-boy's hand should dare your nests invade, and bear to close captivity your young : pleas'd would I see them flutter from the shade, and to my window call the sons of song. And you, O natives of the flood, should play unhurt amid your crystal realms, and sleep : : po hook should tear you from your loves away; no net, surrounding, form it's fatal sweep. Pleas'd should I gaze upon your gliding throng, to sport, invited by the summer beam : now moving in most solemn march along, now darting, leaping from the dimpled stream.
How far more grateful to the soul, the joy, thus, daily, like a set of friends, to treat ye, than, like the bloated epicure, to cry, “ Zounds! what rare dinners! God! how I could eat ye !"
Peter Pindar's “ More Money," &c. The following lines form a most pleasing trait in the character which the late amiable Dr. Beattie, has drawn of his young Minstrel. His heart from cruel sport estrang'd, would bleed to work the woe of any living thing, by trap or net; by arrow or by sling; these he detested, those he scorn'd to wield; he wish'd to be the guardian, not the king, tyrant far less, or traitor of the field. And sure the sylvan reigo unbloody joy might yield.
The Minstrel, b. i. V. 18. Does law, so jealous in the cause of man, denounce no doom on the delinquent ? None. But many a crime, deem'd innocent on earth, is register'd in heaven; and these, no doubt, have each their record, with a curse andex'd. Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, þut God will never
Cowpers Task, b. 6. In spite of that general insensibility with which the practice of oppression, and the habits of specula. tive cruelty, have benumbed the human kind, there are yet some who are affected by the sufferings of other animals; and from their distress are drawn the finest images of sorrow. Would the poet paint the deep despair of the mind, from whose side the ruth. less hand of death bath snatched suddenly the lord of her affections, the love of her virgin heart; what simile more apt to excite the sympathetic tear than
the turtle dove forlorn, who mourns, with nevera ceasing wail, her murdered mate? Who can refuse a sigh to the sadly-pleasing strains of Philomela,
66_when returning with her loaded bill, th' astonished mother finds a vacant nest, by the hard hand of unrelenting clowns, robb’d? To the ground the vain provision falls; her pinions ruffle, and low-drooping, scarce can bear the mouroer to the poplar shade; where, all abandoned to despair, she sings her sorrows through the night, and on the boughs sole sitting ; still, at every dying fall, takes up again her lamentable strain of winding woe, till, wide around, the woods
sigh to her song, and with her wail resound.” Does the fickle and inconstant maid repress the secret emotions of tenderness, and abandon the humblelove. devoted youth to despair; does be quit his native a. bode of innocence and retire to a lonely hermitage? attend, for a moment, to the beauty and humanity of his reflections; and, for a moment, reader, consult thy feelings, whether they be still of the reasoning spe. cies of man, or they have degenerated to those of an hyena.
No flocks that range the valley free
to slaughter I condemn;
I learn to pity them;
a guiltless feast I bring;
Goldsmith I can scarcely take up a book in which simplicity, innocence, and virtue is pourtrayed, where I do not