A Creole boy from the West Indies brought,
To be in European learning taught,
Some years before to Westminster he went,
To a Preparatory School was sent.
When from his artless tale the mistress found,
The child had not one friend on English ground,
She, ev’n as if she his own mother were,
Made the dark Indian her peculiar care.
Oft on her fav’rite’s future lot she thought;
To know the bent of his young mind she sought,
For much the kind preceptress wish’d to find
To what profession he was most inclin’d,
That where his genius led they might him train;
For nature’s kindly bent she held not vain.
But vain her efforts to explore his will;
The frequent question he evaded still:
Till on a day at length he to her came,
Joy sparkling in his eyes; and said, the same
Trade he would be those boys of colour were,
Who danc’d so happy in the open air.
It was a troop of chimney-sweeping boys,
With wooden music and obstrep’rous noise,
In tarnish’d finery and grotesque array,
Were dancing in the street the first of May.
A dinner party, coffee, tea, Sandwich, or supper, all may be In their way pleasant. But to me Not one of these deserves the praise That welcomer of new-born days, A breakfast, merits; ever giving Cheerful notice we are living Another day refresh’d by sleep, When its festival we keep. Now although I would not slight Those kindly words we use “Good night,” Yet parting words are words of sorrow, And may not vie with sweet “Good morrow,” With which again our friends we greet, When in the breakfast-room we meet, At the social table round, Listening to the lively sound Of those notes which never tire, Of urn, or kettle on the fire. Sleepy Robert never hears Or urn, or kettle; he appears When all have finish’d, one by one Dropping off, and breakfast done. Yet has he too his own pleasure, His breakfast hour’s his hour of leisure; And, left alone, he reads or muses, Or else in idle mood he uses To sit and watch the vent’rous fly, Where the sugar’s piled high, Clambering o’er the lumps so white, Rocky cliffs of sweet delight.
As busy Aurelia, ’twixt work and
Was lab’ring industriously hard
To cull the vile weeds from the flow’rets away,
Which grew in her father’s court-yard;
In her juvenile anger, wherever she found,
She pluck’d, and she pull’d, and she tore;
The poor passive suff’rers bestrew’d all the ground;
Not a weed of them all she forbore.
At length ’twas her chance on some
nettles to light
(Things, till then, she had scarcely heard nam’d);
The vulgar intruders call’d forth all her spite;
In a transport of rage she exclaim’d,
“Shall briars so unsightly and worthless
Their great sprawling leaves thus presume
To mix with the pink, the jonquil, and the rose,
And take up a flower’s sweet room?”