On the odious offenders enraged she flew;
But she presently found to her cost
A tingling unlook’d for, a pain that was new,
And rage was in agony lost.
To her father she hastily fled for relief,
And told him her pain and her smart;
With kindly caresses he soothed her grief,
Then smiling he took the weed’s part.
“The world, my Aurelia, this garden
Resembles: too apt we’re to deem
In the world’s larger garden ourselves as the flow’rs,
And the poor but as weeds to esteem.
“But them if we rate, or with rudeness
Though some will be passive enough,
From others who’re more independent ’tis well
If we meet not a stinging rebuff.”
A child’s a plaything for an hour;
Its pretty tricks we try
For that or for a longer space;
Then tire, and lay it by.
But I knew one, that to itself
All seasons could controul;
That would have mock’d the sense of pain
Out of a grieved soul.
Thou, straggler into loving arms,
Young climber up of knees,
When I forget thy thousand ways,
Then life and all shall cease.
THE TWO BOYS
I saw a boy with eager eye
Open a book upon a stall,
And read as he’d devour it all:
Which when the stall-man did espy,
Soon to the boy I heard him call,
“You, Sir, you never buy a book,
Therefore in one you shall not look.”
The boy pass’d slowly on, and with a sigh
He wish’d he never had been taught to read,
Then of the old churl’s books he should have had no need.
Of sufferings the poor have
Which never can the rich annoy.
I soon perceiv’d another boy
Who look’d as if he’d not had any
Food for that day at least, enjoy
The sight of cold meat in a tavern larder.
This boy’s case, thought I, is surely harder,
Thus hungry longing, thus without a penny,
Beholding choice of dainty dressed meat:
No wonder if he wish he ne’er had learn’d to eat.
“Tell me, would you
Chang’d by a fairy to the fine
Young orphan heiress Geraldine,
Or still be Emily?
“Consider, ere you answer
How many blessings are procur’d
By riches, and how much endur’d
By chilling poverty.”
After a pause, said Emily:
“In the words orphan heiress I
Find many a solid reason why
I would not changed be.
“What though I live
And have of sisters eight—so many,
That few indulgences, if any,
Fall to the share of me;
“Think you that for
wealth I’d be
Of ev’n the least of them bereft,
Or lose my parent, and be left
An orphan’d Emily?