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My crime!This sick'ning child to feed,
I seized the food, your witness saw;
I knew your laws forbade the deed,
But yielded to a stronger law.

Knowst thou, to Nature's great command
All human laws are frail and weak?
Nay! frown not-stay his eager hand,
And hear me, or my heart will break.

In this, th' adopted babe I hold

With anxious fondness to my breast, My heart's sole comfort I behold, More dear than life, when life was blest; I saw her pining, fainting, cold,

I begg'd but vain was my request.

I saw the tempting food, and seized—
My infant-sufferer found relief;
And, in the pilfer'd treasure pleased,
Smiled on my guilt, and hush'd my grief.

But I have griefs of other kind,

Troubles and sorrows more severe;
Give me to ease my tortured mind,
Lend to my woes a patient ear;
And let me if I may not find
A friend to help-find one to hear.

Yet nameless let me plead-my name
Would only wake the cry of scorn;
A child of sin, conceived in shame,
Brought forth in wo, to misery born.

My mother dead, my father lost,

I wander'd with a vagrant crew; A common care, a common cost, Their sorrows and their sins I knew; With them, by want on error forced,

Like them, I base and guilty grew.

Few are my years, not so my crimes;
The age, which these sad looks declare,
Is Sorrow's work, it is not Time's,

And I am old in shame and care.

Taught to believe the world a place Where every stranger was a foe, Train'd in the arts that mark our race, To what new people could I go? Could I a better life embrace,

Or live as virtue dictates? No!

So through the land I wandering went,
And little found of grief or joy ;
But lost my bosom's sweet content
When first I loved-the Gipsy-Boy.

A sturdy youth he was and tall,

His looks would all his soul declare, His piercing eyes were deep and small,

And strongly curl'd his raven-hair.

Yes, Aaron had each manly charm,

All in the May of youthful pride,
He scarcely fear'd his father's arm,
And every other arm defied.-

Oft, when they grew in anger warm,
(Whom will not love and power divide?)
I rose, their wrathful souls to calm,
Not yet in sinful combat tried.

His father was our party's chief,

And dark and dreadful was his look; His presence fill'd my heart with grief, Although to me he kindly spoke.

With Aaron I delighted went,

His favour was my bliss and pride;
In growing hope our days we spent,
Love growing charms in either spied,
It saw them, all which Nature lent,
It lent them, all which she denied.

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To a Woman I never addressed myself in the language of decency and friendship, without receiving a decent and friendly answer. If I was hungry or thirsty, wet or sick, they did not hesitate, like Men, to perform a generous action: in so free and kind a manner did they contribute to my relief, that if I was dry, I drank the sweetest draught; and if hungry, I ate the coarsest morsel with a double relish.

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Seem they grave or learned? Why, so didst thou-Seem they religious? Why, so didst thou; or are they spare in diet, Free from gross passion, or of mirth or anger, Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood. Garnish'd and deck'd in modest compliment, Not working with the eye without the ear, And but with purged judgment trusting neither? Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem. SHAKSPEARE, King Henry V.

Better I were distract,

When EDWARD SHORE had reach'd his twentieth year,

He felt his bosom light, his conscience clear; Applause at school the youthful hero gain'd, And trials there with manly strength sustain'd:

With prospects bright upon the world he


Pure love of virtue, strong desire of fame: So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs, Men watch'd the way his lofty mind would And woes by strong imagination lose The knowledge of themselves.


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And breathe around her melancholy gloom; To life's low cares will thy proud thought confine,

And make her sufferings, her impatience, thine.

Evil and strong, seducing passions prey On soaring minds, and win them from their way;

Who then to Vice the subject spirits give, And in the service of the conqu'ror live; Like captive Samson making sport for all, Who fear'd their strength, and glory in their fall.

Genius, with virtue, still may lack the aid Implored by humble minds and hearts afraid; May leave to timid souls the shield and sword

Of the tried faith, and the resistless word; Amid a world of dangers venturing forth, Frail, but yet fearless, proud in conscious worth,

Till strong temptation, in some fatal time, Assails the heart and wins the soul to crime; When left by honour, and by sorrow spent, Unused to pray, unable to repent,

The nobler powers that once exalted high Th' aspiring man, shall then degraded lie: Reason, through anguish, shall her throne forsake,

And strength of mind but stronger madness make.


And all foretold the progress he would make. Boast of these friends, to older men a guide, Proud of his parts, but gracious in his pride; He bore a gay good-nature in his face, And in his air were dignity and grace; Dress that became his state and years he


And sense and spirit shone in Edward Shore. Thus while admiring friends the youth beheld,

His own disgust their forward hopes repell'd; For he unfix'd, unfixing, look'd around, And no employment but in seeking found; He gave his restless thoughts to views refined, And shrank from worldly cares with wounded mind.

Rejecting trade, awhile he dwelt on laws, But who could plead, if unapproved the cause?

A doubting, dismal tribe physicians seem'd; Divines o'er texts and disputations dream'd; War and its glory he perhaps could love, But there again he must the cause approve. Our hero thought no deed should gain applause,

Where timid virtue found support in laws;
He to all good would soar, would fly all sin,
By the pure prompting of the will within;
Who needs a law that binds him not to steal,
Ask'd the young teacher, can he rightly feel?
To curb the will, or arm in honour's cause,
Or aid the weak-are these enforced by

Should we a foul, ungenerous action dread,
Because a law condemns th' adulterous bed?
Or fly pollution, not for fear of stain,
But that some statute tells us to refrain?
The grosser herd in ties like these we bind,
In virtue's freedom moves th' enlighten'd

Man's heart deceives him, said a friend:
Of course,
Replied the youth, but has it power to force?

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