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I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
Has broken nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion

Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor earth-born companion

And fellow-mortal,

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may

thieve : What then ? poor beastie, thou maun live; A daimen icker in a thrave 9

's a sma' request: I'll get a blessing wi' the lave, 10

And never miss 't.

Thy wee bit housie too, in ruin!
Its silly wa’s the win's are strewin'!
And naething now to big 11 a new ane

O foggage 12 green!
And bleak December's winds ensuin' 13

Baith snell 14 and keen !

Thou saw the fields laid bare and waste,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozie 15 here, beneath the blast,

Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash ! the cruel coulter 16 passed

Out through thy cell.17
That wee bit heap o' leaves and stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble !18
Now thou 's turned out, for athy trouble,

But house or hald,19
To thole 20 the winter's sleety dribble, 21

And cranreuch cauld ! 22

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,23
In proving foresight may be vain :
The best-laid schemes o'mice and men

Gang aft a-gley, 4
And lea’e us nought but grief and pain,

For promised joy.

25

Still thou art blest, compared wi' me:
The present only toucheth thee;
But, oh! I backward cast my ee

On prospects drear !
And forward, though I canna see,

I
I guess

and fear.

1 Sleekit, sleek; soft and smooth. 2 Hastie, hastily. 3 Bickering brattle, fluttering haste. 4 I wad be laith, I would be loath. 5 Pattle, ploughstaf. 6 Man's dominion, the power given to

man to rule over the other crea

tures, 7 Whyles, at times. 8 Maun, must. 9 A daimen icker in a thrave, an ear

of corn now and then in two shocks--that is, in twenty-four

sheaves. 10 The lave, the rest. 11 Big, build. 12 Foggage, long rank grass left for

pasturage in winter.

Burns.

18 Ensuin', coming on. 14 Snell, cold and piercing. 15 Cozie, comfortable. 16 Coulter, the piece of iron which

cuts the soil in front of the plough

share. 17 Cell, nest. 18 Nibble, the act of gnawing or eat

ing away little by little. 19 But house or hald, without house or

dwelling-place. 20 Thole, suffer. 21 Sleety dribble, the falling of hail or

snow mixed with rain. 22 Cranreuch cauld, cold hoar-frost. 23 No thy lane, not alone. 24 Gang aft &-gloy, often miscarry.

25 Ee, eye.

THE KANGAROOS.

A FABLE.

A pair of married kangaroos

(The case is oft a human one too) Were greatly puzzled once to choose

A trade to put their eldest son to : A little brisk and busy chap,

As all the little K.'s just then areAbout some two months off the lap

They 're not so long in arms as men are.

A twist in each parental muzzle
Betrayed the hardship of the puzzle-

So much the flavour of life's cup

96

THE KANGAROOS.

Is framed by early wrong or right,
And kangaroos we know are quite

Dependent on their rearing up.'
The question, with its ins and outs,
Was intricate and full of doubts ;

And yet they had no squeamish carings
For trades unfit or fit for gentry,
Such notion never had an entry,

For they had no armorial bearings.
Howbeit they're not the last on earth
That might indulge in pride of birth ;

Whoe'er has seen their infant young
Bob in and out their mother's pokes,

Would own, with very ready tongue,
They are not born like common folks.
Well, thus the serious subject stood,

It kept the old pair watchful nightly,
Debating for young hopeful's good,
That he might earn his livelihood,

And go through life (like them) uprightly.
Arms would not do at all ; no, marry,
In that line all his race miscarry ;

And agriculture was not proper,
Unless they meant the lad to tarry

For ever as a mere clod-hopper.
He was not well cut out for preaching,

At least in any striking style ;

And as for being mercantile-
He was not formed for over-reaching.
The law—while there still fate ill-starred him,
And plainly from the bar debarred him;
A doctor-who would ever fee him ?

In music he could scarce engage ;

And as for going on the stage,
In tragic socks ? I think I see him !
He would not make a rigging-mounter ;

A haberdasher 3 had some merit,
But there the counter still ran counter,

1

For just suppose

A lady chose
To ask him for a yard of ferret ! 4
A gardener digging up his beds?
The puzzled parents shook their heads.

"A tailor would not do because'.
They paused and glanced upon his paws.
Some parish post—though fate should place it
Before him, how could he embrace it ?
In short, each anxious kangaroo
Discussed the matter through and through ;
By day they seemed to get no nearer,

'Twas posing quite

And in the night
Of course they saw their way no clearer!
At last thus musing on their knees-
Or hinder elbows if you please-

It came—no thought was ever brighter !
In weighing every why and whether,
They jumped upon it both together-

• Let's make the imp5 a shorthand writer !'

MORAL.

I wish all human parents so

Would argue what their sons are fit for ; Some would-be critics that I know Would be in trades they have more wit for.

Hood.

1 Marry, an interjection, here nearly

equal to indeed. 2 Tragic socks. Greek tragic actors

wore high-heeled shoes, as distin-
guished from the low-heeled socks
of the comic actors.

3 Haberdasher, a seller of small-wares.
4 Ferret, a kind of ribbon or tape spun

from silk. Also the name of an ani-
mal of the weasel kind, the terror

of creatures like the kangaroo. 5 Imp, urchin.

98

THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN.

THE SEVEN AGES OF MAN.

(From As You Like It.)

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players :
They have their exits and their entrances ; 2
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then, the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then, the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woful ballad
Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then, the soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard ;2
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws 3 and modern instances ; 4
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slippered pantaloon ; 6
With spectacles on nose, and pouch on side ;
His youthful hose well saved, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness, and mere oblivion ;
Sans 6 teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Shakspeare.

1 Their exits and their entrances, going | 4 Instances, examples. out and coming in.

5 Pantaloon, a ridiculous figure in a 2 Pard, leopard.

play. 3 Saws, sayings or maxims.

6 Sans, without

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