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may be that
“The fault was not in him—but in mankind:”

there can be, however, no doubt that the Poet wilfully exaggerated in his descriptions of human vice, and details of human suffering; and that he himself neither believed nor imagined his fellow-beings so odious and depraved as he describes them. His desire to be original led him into this large error, to reject the garb in which poetry had for ages been wont to array the works of the creation; and to clothe them in a dress quite as unnatural and equally opposed to reality. The rustic population of our country are neither so wretched nor so degraded as they are, with few exceptions, made to appear. The poor, as well as the rich, have their vices—but their virtues also. It is not only while writing of men and women that Crabbe “looks askance:” he can perceive in the people who surround him little that is good, and less that is gracious; but he has neither eye nor ear for the beautiful sights and delicious sounds of inanimate nature. To him, the breeze is ever harsh and unmusical,—seldom moving except to produce wrecks; and hill, and stream, and valley, are barren, muddy, and unprofitable. He contemplates all things, animate and inanimate, “through a glass, darkly.” The consequence has naturally been, that Crabbe never was a popular Poet. Yet the rough energy of his descriptions, the vigorous and manly style of his versification, the deep though oppressive interest of his stories, and his stern maxims of morality, with a little more of a kindly leaning towards humanity—must have secured for him universal admiration.


Turn to the watery world !—but who to thee
(A wonder yet unview'd) shall paint—the sea ?
Various and vast, subline in all its forms,
When lull’d by zephyrs, or when rous'd by storms,
Its colours changing, when from clouds and sun
Shades after shades upon the surface run ;
Embrown's and horrid now, and now serene,
In limpid blue, and evanescent green ;
And oft the foggy banks on ocean lie,
Lift the fair sail, and cheat th' experienced eve.

Be it the summer noon: a sandy space The ebbing tide has left upon its place; Then just the hot and stony beach above, Light twinkling streams in bright confusion move;

(For heated thus, the warmer air ascends,
And with the cooler in its fall contends),----
Then the broad bosom of the ocean keeps
An equal motion; swelling as it sleeps,
Then slowly sinking ; curling to the strand, -
Faint, lazy waves o'ercreep the ridgy sand,
Or tap the tarry boat with gentle blow,
And back return in silence, smooth and slow.
Ships in the calm seem anchor'd; for they glide
On the still sea, urged solely by the tide;
Art thou not present, this calm scene before,
Where all beside is pebbly length of shore,
And far as eye can reach, it can discern no more?

Yet sometimes comes a ruffling cloud to make The quiet surface of the ocean shake, As an awaken'd giant with a frown Might show his wrath, and then to sleep sink down.

View now the winter-storm ! above, one cloud, Black and unbroken, all the skies o'ershroud; Th’ unwieldy porpoise through the day before Had roll'd in view of boding men on shore; And sometimes hid and sometimes show'd his form, Dark as the cloud, and furious as the storm.

All where the eye delights, yet dreads to roam, The breaking billows cast the flying foam Upon the billows rising,--all the deep Is restless change; the waves so swell’d and steep, Breaking and sinking, -and the sunken swells, Nor one, one moment, in its station dwells : But nearer land you may the billows trace, As if contending in their watery chase; May watch the mightiest till the shoal they reach, Then break and hurry to their utmost stretch; Curl'd as they come, they strike with furious force, And then, reflowing, take their grating course, Raking the rounded flints, which ages past Roll’d by their rage, and shall to ages last.


Now to his grave was Roger Cuff convey'd,
And strong resentment's lingering spirit laid :
Shipwreck'd in youth, he home return'd and found
His brethren three,—and thrice they wish'd him drown'd.
“ Is this a landman's love? Be certain, then,
We part for ever!”—and they cried, “ Amen!"

His words were truth's. Some forty summers fled,
His brethren died, his kin supposed him dead :
Three nephews these-one sprightly niece, and one
Less near in blood—they call’d him surly John ;-
He work'd in woods apart from all his kind,
Fierce were his looks, and moody was his mind.

For home the sailor now began to sigh :
“ The dogs are dead--and I'll return and die ;
When all I have, my gains, in years of care,
The younger Cuffs with kinder souls shall share :-
Yet hold! I'm rich ;—with one consent they'll say,
" You're welcome, Uncle, as the flowers in Mav.'
No; I'll disguise me, be in tatters dress'd,-
And best befriend the lads who treat me best."

Now all his kindred,-neither rich nor poor,
Kept the wolf, want, some distance from the door.

In piteous plight he knock'd at George's gate,
And begg'd for aid, as he described his state :
But stern was George;" Let them who had thee strong
Help thee to drag thy weaken'd frame along;
To us a stranger while your limbs would move,
From us depart, and try a stranger's love ;-
Ha! dost thou murmur ?"-for, in Roger's throat,
Was · Rascal !' rising with disdainful note.

To pious James he then his prayer address'd : “ Good lack," quoth James, “ thy sorrows pierce my breast! And, had I wealth, as have my brethren twain, One board should feed us, and one roof contain: But plead I will thy cause, and I will pray; And so farewell !-Heaven help thee on thy way!" “ Scoundrel !” said Roger, (but apart,)—and told His case to Peter. Peter too was cold : “ The rates are high ; we have a-many poor ;

Then the gay niece the seeming pauper press’d : “ Turn, Nancy, turn, and view this form distress'd ;-Akin to thine is this declining frame, And this poor beggar claims an Uncle's name.”

“ Avaunt! begone !" the courteous maiden said, “ Thou vile impostor ! Uncle Roger's dead : I hate thee, beast; thy look my spirit shocks ! Oh! that I saw thee starving in the stocks !”.

“My gentle Niece !” he said, -and sought the wood. “ I hunger, fellow; pritbee give me food !"

" Give! am I rich ? This hatchet take, and try
Thy proper strength,-nor give those limbs the lie :
Work, feed thyself, to thine own powers appeal,
Nor whine out woes thine own right hand can heal :
And while that hand is thine, and thine a leg,
Scorn of the proud or of the base to beg.”

" Come, surly John, thy wealthy kinsman view,”
Old Roger said :-" thy words are brave and true ;
Come, live with me,-we'll vex those scoundrel boys;
And that prim shrew shall, envying, hear our joys.
Tobacco's glorious fume all day we'll share,
With beef and brandy kill all kinds of care ;
We'll beer and biscuit on our table heap,
And rail at rascals, till we fall asleep.”

Such was their life : but when the woodman died,
His grieving kin for Roger's smiles applied,-
In vain : he shut, with stern rebuke, the door,
And, dying, built a refuge for the poor ;
With this restriction,—that no Cuff should share
One meal, or shelter for one moment there.

* * * * * *

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Let me not have this gloomy view

About my room, around my bed ;
But morning roses, wet with dew,

To cool my burning brows instead.
As flow'rs that once in Eden grew,

Let them their fragrant spirits shed;
And every day the sweets renew,

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