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Christian and countryman was all with | But came not there, for sudden was his
That in yon house for ruined age provide, And they are just; when young, we give you all,
And then for comforts in our weakness call.
Why then this proud reluctance to be fed,
To join your poor and eat the parishbread?
But yet I linger, loath with him to feed Who gains his plenty by the sons of need: He who, by contract, all your paupers took,
And gauges stomachs with an anxious look:
On some old master I could well depend; See him with joy and thank him as a friend;
But ill on him who doles the day's supply, And counts our chances who at night may die:
Yet help me, Heaven! and let me not
Of what befalls me, but the fate sustain." Such were his thoughts, and so resigned he grew ;
Daily he placed the work house in his view!
He dropt expiring at his cottage-gate.
Round the bald polish of that honored head;
No more that awful glance on playful wight
Compelled to kneel and tremble at the sight,
To fold his fingers all in dread the while, Till Mister Ashford softened to a smile; No more that meek and suppliant look in prayer,
Nor the pure faith (to give it force) are there: ..
But he is blest, and I lament no more, A wise good man contented to be poor.
MINE be a cot beside the hill;
The swallow, oft, beneath my thatch
Around my ivied porch shall spring
The village-church among the trees,
DEAR is my little native vale,