The savage tribes him king confess
Throughout the howling wilderness.
Woe to the hapless neighbourhood,
When he is press’d by want of food!
Of man, or child, of bull, or horse,
He makes his prey; such is his force.
A waste behind him he creates,
Whole villages depopulates.
Yet here within appointed lines
How small a grate his rage confines!
This place methinks resembleth well
The world itself in which we dwell.
Perils and snares on every ground
Like these wild beasts beset us round.
But Providence their rage restrains,
Our heavenly Keeper sets them chains;
His goodness saveth every hour
His darlings from the Lion’s power.
Anna was always full of thought
As if she’d many sorrows known,
Yet mostly her full heart was fraught
With troubles that were not her own;
For the whole school to Anna us’d to tell
Whatever small misfortunes unto them befell.
And being so by all belov’d,
That all into her bosom pour’d
Their dearest secrets, she was mov’d
To pity all—her heart a hoard,
Or storehouse, by this means became for all
The sorrows can to girls of tender age befall.
Though individually not much
Distress throughout the school prevail’d,
Yet as she shar’d it all, ’twas such
A weight of woe that her assail’d,
She lost her colour, loath’d her food, and grew
So dull, that all their confidence from her withdrew.
Released from her daily care,
No longer list’ning to complaint,
She seems to breathe a different air,
And health once more her cheek does paint.
Still Anna loves her friends, but will not hear
Again their list of grievances which cost so dear.
There, Robert, you have kill’d that
And should you thousand ages try
The life you’ve taken to supply,
You could not do it.
You surely must have been devoid
Of thought and sense, to have destroy’d
A thing which no way you annoy’d—
You’ll one day rue it.
’Twas but a fly perhaps you’ll
That’s born in April, dies in May;
That does but just learn to display
His wings one minute,
And in the next is vanish’d quite.
A bird devours it in his flight—
Or come a cold blast in the night,
There’s no breath in it.
The bird but seeks his proper food—
And Providence, whose power endu’d
That fly with life, when it thinks good,
May justly take it.
But you have no excuses for’t—
A life by Nature made so short,
Less reason is that you for sport
Should shorter make it.