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Be his the natural silence of old age!
Let him be free of mountain solitudes;
Of high-way side, and with the little birds
So in the eye of Nature let him die.
THE FARMER OF TILSBURY VALE.
"Tis not for the unfeeling, the falsely refined,
He dwells in the centre of London's wide Town;
Mid the dews, in the sunshine of morn,-mid the joy
A Farmer he was; and his house far and near
Was the boast of the Country for excellent cheer:
Of the silver-rimmed horn whence he dealt his good ale.
Yet Adam was far as the farthest from ruin,
His fields seemed to know what their Master was doing; And turnips, and corn-land, and meadow, and lea,
All caught the infection-as generous as he.
Yet Adam prized little the feast and the bowl,
The fields better suited the ease of his Soul:
He strayed through the fields like an indolent Wight, The quiet of nature was Adam's delight.
For Adam was simple in thought, and the Poor
He gave them the best that he had; or, to say
Thus thirty smooth years did he thrive on his farm;
To the neighbours he went,—all were free with their money; For his hive had so long been replenished with honey
That they dreamt not of dearth-He continued his rounds, Knocked here and knocked there, pounds still adding to pounds.
He paid what he could of his ill-gotten pelf,
You lift up your eyes!-and I guess that you frame
In him it was scarcely a business of art,
To London-a sad emigration I ween
With his grey hairs he went from the brook and the green; And there, with small wealth but his legs and his hands, As lonely he stood as a Crow on the sands.
All trades, as needs was, did old Adam assume,Served as Stable-boy, Errand-boy, Porter, and Groom; But nature is gracious, necessity kind,
And, in spite of the shame that may lurk in his mind,
He seems ten birth-days younger, is green and is stout;
You would say that each hair of his beard was alive,
For he's not like an Old Man that leisurely goes About work that he knows in a track that he knows; But often his mind is compelled to demur,
And you guess that the more then his body must stir.
In the throng of the Town like a Stranger is he,
This gives him the fancy of one that is young,
What's a tempest to him or the dry parching heats?
You might think he'd twelve Reapers at work in the Strand.