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Such rare exceptions, shining in the dark,
Prove, rather than impeach, the juft remark:
As here and there a twinkling ftar descried
Serves but to show how black is all beside.
Now look on him, whose very voice in tone
Juft echoes thine, whose features are thine own,
And ftroke his polished cheek of pureft red,
And lay thine hand upon his flaxen head,
And say, My boy, the unwelcome hour is come,
When thou, transplanted from thy genial home,
Muft find a colder soil and bleaker air,
And truft for safety to a stranger's care;
What character, what turn thou wilt assume
From conftant converse with I know not whom;
Who there will court thy friendship, with what views,
And, artless as thou art, whom thou wilt choose;
Though much depends on what thy choice shall be,
Is all chance-medley, and unknown to me.
Can'ft thou, the tear juft trembling on thy lids,
And while the dreadful risque foreseen forbids;
Free too, and under no conftraining force,
Unless the sway of cuftom warp thy course;
Lay such a stake upon the lofing fide,
Merely to gratify so blind a guide ?
Thou can'ft not! Nature, pulling at thine heart,
Condemns the unfatherly, the imprudent part.
Thou wouldest not, deaf to Nature's tendereft plea,
Turn him adrift upon a rolling sea,
Nor say, Gó thither, conscious that there lay
A brood of asps, or quicksands in his way;
Then, only governed by the self-fame rule
Of natural pity, send him not to school.
No-guard him better. Is he not thine own,
Thyself in miniature, thy flesh, thy bone ?
And hopeft thou not ('tis every father's hope)
That, since thy strength muft with thy years elope,
And thou wilt need some comfort to affuage
Health's last farewell, a staff of thine old age,
That then, in recompense of all thy cares,
Thy child shall show respect to thy gray hairs,
Befriend thee, of all other friends bereft,
And give thy life its only cordial left?
Aware then how much danger intervenes,
To compass that good end, forecast the means,
His heart, now paffive, yields to thy command;
Secure it thine, its key is in thine hand.
If thou desert thy charge, and throw it wide,
Nor heed what guests there enter and abide,
Complain not if attachments lewd and base
Supplant thee in it, and usurp thy place.
But, if thou guard its facred chambers sure
From vicious inmates and delights impure,
Either his gratitude shall hold him faft,
And keep him warm and filial to the last;
Or, if he prove unkind (as who can say
But, being man, and therefore frail, he may ?)
One comfort yet shall cheer thine aged heart,
Howe'er he flight thee, thou hast done thy part.
Oh barbarous! wouldest thou with a Gothic hand Pull down the schools—what!--all the schools i' th'
Or throw them up to livery-nags and grooms,
Or turn them into shops and auction rooms ?
A captious question, fir, (and your's is one)
Deserves an answer similar, or none.
Wouldest thou, poffeffor of a flock, employ
(Apprized that he is such) a careless boy,
And feed him well, and give him handsome pay,
Merely to sleep, and let them run aftray ?
Survey our schools and colleges, and see
A fight not much unlike my fimile.
From education, as the leading cause,
The public character its colour draws;
Thence the prevailing manners take their caft,
Extravagant or sober, loose or chaste.
And, though I would not advertise them yet,
Nor write on each-This Building to be Let,
Unless the world were all prepared to embrace
A plan well worthy to supply their place;
Yet, backward as they are, and long have been,
To cultivate and keep the MORALS clean,
(Forgive the crime) I wish them, I confess,
Or better managed, or encourager less.
AN INVITATION INTO THE COUNTRY.
The swallows in their torpid ftate
Compose their useless wing,
And bees in hives as idly wait
The call of early spring.
The keeneft frost that binds the stream,
The wildeft wind that blows,
Are neither felt nor feared by them,
Secure of their repose.
But man, all feeling and awake,
The gloomy scene surveys;
With present ills his heart must ake,
And pant for brighter days.
Old winter, halting o'er the mead,
Bids me and Mary mourn;
But lovely spring peeps o'er his head,
And whispers your return.