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A plain good man, and Balaam was his name;
Religious, punctual, frugal, and so forth :
His word would pass for more than he was worth.
One solid dish his week-day meal affords,
An added pudding solemniz'd the Lord's :
Constant at Church, and 'Change; his gains were
His givings rare , save farthings to the poor.
The devil was piqued such saintship to behold,
And long’d to tempt him, like good job of old.
But Satan now is wiser than of yore,
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.
Rous'd by the Prince of Air the whirlwinds
The surge , and plunge his father in the deep;
Then full against his Cornish lands they roar,
And two rich shipwrecks bless the lucky shore.
Sir Balaam now , he lives like other folks,
He takes his chirping pint, and cracks his jokes :
« Live like yourself, » was soon my Lady's word;
And lo! two puddings smok'd upon the board.
Asleep and naked as an Indian lay,
An honest factor stole a gem away;
He pledg'd it to the knight; the knight had wit,
So kept the di'mond, and the rogue was bit.
Some scruple rose, but thus he eas'd his thought :
« I'll now give six-pence where I gave a groat; ,
» Where once I went to Church, I'll now go
» And am so clear too of all other vice. »
The Tempter saw his time; the work he ply'd;
Stocks and subscriptions pour on ev'ry side ,
'Till all the Dæmon makes his full descent
In one abundant show'r of Cent per Cent;
Sinks deep within him, and possesses whole,
Then dubs Director, and secures his soul.
Behold sir Balaam now a man of spirit,
Ascribes his gettings to his parts and merit;
What late he call'd a Blessing, now was Wit,
And God's good Providence, a lucky Hit.
Things change their titles, as our manners turn:
His Compting-house employ'd the Sunday morn:
Seldom at Church ('twas such a busy life)
But duly sent his family and wife.
There (so the Devil ordain'd) one Christmas-tide
My good old Lady catch'd a cold and died.
A Nymph of Quality admires our Knight:
He marries, bows at Court, and grows polite :
Leaves the dull Cits, and joins ( to please the fair)
The well-bred cuckolds in St. James's air:
In Britain's Senate he a seat obtains,
And one more Pensioner St. Stephen gains. .
My Lady falls to play ; so bad her chance,
He must repair it; takes a bribe from France ;
The House impeach him; Coningsby harangues ;
The Court forsake him, and Sir Balaam hangs.
Wife, son, and daughter, Satan! are thy own,
His wealth , yet dearer, forfeit to the Crown:
The Devil and the King divide the prize,
And sad Sir Balaam curses God and dies.
Pope. CH A P. X V.
I AR in the windings of a vale,
Fast by a sheltering wood,
The safe retreat of health and peace,
A humble cotta ge stood.
There beauteous Emma flourish'd fair
Beneath her mother's eye,
Whose only wish on earth was now
To see her blest, and die.
The softest blush that nature spreads,
Gave colour to her cheek;
Such orient colour smiles thro' heav'n
When May's sweet mornings break.
Nor let the pride of great ones scorn
The charmers of the plains ;
That sun which bids their diamond blaze,
To deck our lily deigns.
Long had she fired each youth with love,
Each maiden with despair ;
And though by all a wonder own'd,
Yet knew not she was fair ; 'Till Edwin came, the pride of swains ,
A soul that knew no art,
And from whose eyes serenely mild,
Shone forth the feeling heart.
A mutual Dame was quickly caught,
Was quickly too reveal'd;
For neither bosom lodg'd a wish
Which virtue kept conceald.
What happy hours of heartfelt bliss
Did love on both bestow !
But bliss too mighty long to last,
Where fortune proves a foe.
His sister who like envy form'd, ..
Like her in mischief joy'd ,
To work them harm, with wicked skill
Each darker art employ'd. The father too, a sordid man,
Who love nor pity knew , Was all unfeeling as the rock
From whence his riches grew.
Long had he seen their mutual flame,
And seen it long unmov'd;
Then with a father's frown at last,
He sternly disapprov'd.
In Edwin's gentle heart a war
Of differing passions strove;
His heart which durst not disobey,
Yet could not cease to love.
Deny'd her sight, he oft behind
The spreading hawthorn crept,
To snatch a glance, to mark the spot
Where Emma walk'd and wept.
Oft too in Stanemore's wintry waste,
Beneath the moonlight shade,.
In sighs to pour his soften'd soul,
The midnight mourner stray'd.
His cheeks, where love with beauty glow'd,
· A deadly pale o'ercast;
So fades the fresh rose in its prime,
Before the northern blast.
The parents now, with late remorse,
Hung o'er his dying bed,
And weary'd Heaven with fruitless pray’rs,
And fruitless sorrows shed.
'Tis past, he cry'd , but if your souls
Sweet mercy yet can move,
Let these dim eyes once more behold
What they must ever love.
She came; his cold hand softly touch'd ,
And bath'd with many a tear;
First falling o'er the primrose pale ,
So morning dews appear.
But oh ! his sister's jealous care
(A cruel sister she !)
Forbad wbat EMMA came to say:
My Edwin, live for me.
Now homeward as she hopeless went,
The church-yard path along,
The blast blew cold, the dark owl scream'd
Her lover's fun'ral song.
Amid the falling gloom of night,
Her startling fancy found
In ev'ry bush his hovering shade,
His groan in every sound.
Alone , appall'd thus had she pass'd
The visionary vale,
When lo! the death-bell smote her ear,
Sad sounding in the gale.
Just then she reach'd, with trembling steps,
Her aged mother's door :
He's gone, she cried, and I must see
That angel face no more.
Chap. xvj. NARRATIVE PIECES.
I feel, I feel, this breaking heart
Beat high against my side :
From her white arm down sunk her head,
She shiver'd , sigh'd , and died. MALLET.
CH A P. X V I.
Celadon and Amelia.
I is listening fear and dumb amazement all,
When to the startled eye the sudden glance
Appears far south, eruptive through the cloud;
And following slower , in explosion vast,
The Thunder raises his tremendous voice.
At first, heard solemn o'er the verge of heaven,
The tempest growls ; but as it nearer comes
And rolls its aweful burden on the wind,
The lightnings flash a larger curve, and more
The noise astounds : till over head a sheet
Of livid flame discloses wide; then shuts,
And opens wider ; shuts and opens still
Expansive wrapping, æther in a blaze.
Follows the loosen'd aggravated roar,
Enlarging, deep'ning, mangling ; peal on peal
Crush'd horrible, convulsing heaven and earth.
Guilt hears appallid , with deeply troubled.
And yet not always on the guilty head
Descends the fated flash. Young CeLADON
And his AMELIA were a niatchless pair;
With equal virtue forin'd, and equal grace;
The same, distinguish'd by the sex alone :
Her's the mild lustre of the blooming morn,
And his the radiance of the risen day.
They lov'd; but such their guiltless passion was,
As in the dawn of time inform'd the heart
Of innocence, and undissembling truth.
'Twas friendship heightend by the mutual wish.
Th’ enchanting hope, and sympathetic glow,
Beam'd from the mutual eye. Devoting all
To lore, each was to each a dearer selt;