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Where proud Covent-garden, in desolate hours
Of snow and hoar-frost, spreads her fruit and her flowers,
Mid coaches and chariots, a Waggon of straw
Up the Hay-market hill he oft whistles his way,
But chiefly to Smithfield he loves to repair,-
Now farewell, Old Adam, when low thou art laid
THE SMALL CELANDINE.
THERE is a Flower, the Lesser Celandine,
That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain;
When hailstones have been falling, swarm on swarm,—
Or blasts the green field and the trees distress'd,
Oft have I seen it muffled up from harm,
In close self-shelter, like a Thing at rest.
But lately, one rough day, this Flower I pass'd,
I stopp'd, and said with inly-muttered voice, "It doth not love the shower, nor seek the cold:
This neither is its courage nor its choice,
But its necessity in being old.
The sunshine may not bless it, nor the dew;
It cannot help itself in its decay;
Stiff in its members, withered, changed of hue." And, in my spleen, I smiled that it was grey.
To be a Prodigal's Favorite-then, worse truth,
O Man! that from thy fair and shining youth
ANIMAL TRANQUILLITY AND DECAY.
THE little hedge-row birds
That peck along the road, regard him not.
His look and bending figure, all bespeak
A man who does not move with pain, but moves
To settled quiet: he is one by whom
All effort seems forgotten; one to whom
Long patience hath such mild composure given,
THE TWO THIEVES,
THE LAST STAGE OF AVARICE.
O Now that the genius of Bewick were mine,
What feats would I work with my magical hand! Book-learning and books should be banished the land: And for hunger and thirst and such troublesome calls Every Ale-house should then have a feast on its walls.
The Traveller would hang his wet clothes on a chair; Let them smoke, let them burn, not a straw would he care For the Prodigal Son, Joseph's Dream and his Sheaves, Oh, what would they be to my tale of two Thieves?