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"I've seen it, sir, as well as you,
"T is green, 't is green, sir, I assure
"Green" cries the other in a fury; "Why, sir, d'ye think I've lost my eyes?"
Both stared; the man looked wondrous wise
The reptile, you'll pronounce him green." "Well, then, at once to ease the doubt," Replies the man, "I'll turn him out; And when before your eyes I've set him, If you don't find him black, I 'll eat him." He said; and full before their sight Produced the beast, and lo!-'t was white.
"My children," the chameleon cries (Then first the creature found a tongue), "You all are right, and all are wrong: When next you talk of what you view, Think others see as well as you; Nor wonder if you find that none Prefers your eyesight to his own."
FROM "THE DESERTED VILLAGE."
SWEET was the sound, when oft, at evening's close
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose; There, as I passsed with careless steps and slow,
The mingling notes came softened from below;
The swain responsive as the milkmaid
The sober herd that lowed to meet their young;
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool, The playful children just let loose from school;
The watch-dog's voice that bayed the whispering wind,
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind, These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
And filled each pause the nightingale had made.
But now the sounds of population fail, No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,
No busy steps the grass-grown footway tread,
But all the bloomy flush of life is fled. All but yon widowed, solitary thing, That feebly bends beside the plashy
She, wretched matron, forced in age, for bread,
To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread,
To pick her wintry fagot from the thorn, To seek her nightly shed, and weep till
year; Remote from towns he ran his godly race, Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place;
Unpractised he to fawn, or seek for power, By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour; Far other aims his heart had learned to prize,
More skilled to raise the wretched than to rise.
His house was known to all the vagrant train,
He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain; The long-remembered beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;
The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud, Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed;
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay, Sat by his fire, and talked the night
And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile.
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed,
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs, were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.
As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form, Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm, Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread, Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay, There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, The village master taught his little school. A man severe he was, and stern to view ; I knew him well, and every truant knew: