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And now his tales the sailor feebly told,
His heart was heavy, and his limbs were cold:
The tender boy came often to entreat
His good kind friend would of his presents eat,
Purloined or purchased, for he saw, with shame,
The food untouched that to his uncle came;
Who, sick in body and in mind, received
The boy's indulgence, gratified and grieved.

“Uncle will die!” said George—the piteous wife
Exclaimed, “She saw no value in his life;
But sick or well, to my commands attend,
And go no more to your complaining friend.”
The boy was vexed; he felt his heart reprove
The stern decree.—What! punished for his love!
No! he would go, but softly to the room,
Stealing in silence—for he knew his doom.

Once in a week the father came to say, “George, are you ill?”—and hurried him away; Yet to his wife would on their duties dwell, And often cry, “Do use my brother well”: And something kind, no question, Isaac meant, Who took vast credit for the vague intent. But truly kind, the gentle boy essayed To cheer his uncle, firm, although afraid; But now the father caught him at the door, And, swearing-yes, the man in office swore, And cried, “Away! How! brother, I'm surprised, That one so old can be so ill advised: Let him not dare to visit you again, Your cursed stories will disturb his brain; Is it not vile to court a foolish boy, Your own absurd narrations to enjoy?

What! sullen!-ha! George Fletcher! you

shall

see, Proud as you are, your bread depends on me!”

He spoke, and, frowning, to his dinner went,
Then cooled and felt some qualms of discontent;
And thought on times when he compelled his son
To hear these stories, nay, to beg for one:
But the wife's wrath o'ercame the brother's pain,
And shame was felt, and conscience rose in vain.

George yet stole up, he saw his uncle lie
Sick on the bed, and heard his heavy sigh:
So he resolved, before he went to rest,
To comfort one so dear and so distressed;
Then watched his time, but with a childlike art,
Betrayed a something treasured at his heart:
Th' observant wife remarked, “The boy is grown
So like your brother, that he seems his own;
So close and sullen! and I still suspect
They often meet—do watch them and detect.”

George now remarked that all was still at night,
And hastened up with terror and delight;
“Uncle!” he cried, and softly tapped the door;
“Do let me in”—but he could add no more;
The careful father caught him in the fact,
And cried,—“You serpent! is it thus you act?
Back to your mother!”—and with hasty blow,
He sent th’ indignant boy to grieve below;
Then at the door an angry speech began-
"Is this your conduct?-is it thus you plan?
Seduce my child, and make my house a scene
Of vile dispute-What is it that you mean? -
George, are you dumb? do learn to know your friends,
And think a while on whom your bread depends:

What! not a word? be thankful I am cool-
But, sir, beware, no longer play the fool;
Come! brother, come! what is it that you seek
By this rebellion?-Speak, you villain, speak! -
Weeping! I warrant-sorrow makes

you

dumb: I'll ope your mouth, impostor! if I come: Let me approach-I'll shake you from the bed, You stubborn dog — God! my brother's dead!"

Timid was Isaac, and in all the past He felt a purpose to be kind at last; Nor did he mean his brother to depart, Till he had shown this kindness of his heart: But day by day he put the cause aside, Induced by avarice, peevishness, or pride. But now awakened, from this fatal time His conscience Isaac felt, and found his crime: He raised to George a monumental stone, And there retired to sigh and think alone; An ague seized him, he grew pale, and shook“So,” said his son, “would my poor uncle look.”“And so, my child, shall I like him expire.”“No! you have physic and a cheerful fire."“Unhappy sinner! yes, I'm well supplied

my cold heart denied.” He viewed his brother now, but not as one Who vexed his wife by fondness for her son; Not as with wooden limb, and seaman's tale, The odious pipe, vile grog, or humbler ale: He now the worth and grief alone can view Of one so mild, so generous, and so true; “The frank, kind brother, with such open heart, And I to break it—twas a demon's part!”

comfort

With every

So Isaac now, as led by conscience, feels,
Nor his unkindness palliates or conceals.
“This is your folly,” said his heartless wife.
“Alas! my folly cost my brother's life;
It suffered him to languish and decay,
My gentle brother, whom I could not pay,
And therefore left to pine, and fret his life away.”

He takes his son, and bids the boy unfold
All the good uncle of his feelings told,
All he lamented—and the ready tear
Falls as he listens, soothed, and grieved to hear.

“Did he not curse me, child?”—“He never cursed, But could not breathe, and said his heart would burst.”“And so will mine.”—“Then, father, you must pray; My uncle said it took his pains away.”

Repeating thus his sorrows, Isaac shows
That he, repenting, feels the debt he owes,
And from this source alone his every comfort flows.
He takes no joy in office, honors, gain;
They make him humble, nay, they give him pain;
“These from my heart," he cries, "all feeling drove;
They made me cold to nature, dead to love”:
He takes no joy in home, but sighing, sees
A son in sorrow, and a wife at ease:
He takes no joy in office- -see him now,
And Burgess Steel has but a passing bow;
Of one sad train of gloomy thoughts possessed,
He takes no joy in friends, in food, in rest-
Dark are the evil days, and void of peace the best,
As thus he lives, if living be to sigh,
And from all comforts of the world to fly,
Without a hope in life—without a wish to die.

George Crabbe

a

24

LOCKSLEY HALL

COME

,

OMRADES, leave me here a little, while as yet 'tis early

morn; Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle

horn.

'Tis the place and all around it, as of old, the curlews call, Dreary gleams about the moorland flying over Locksley Hall;

Locksley Hall, that in the distance overlooks the sandy tracks, And the hollow ocean-ridges roaring into cataracts.

Many a night from yonder ivied casement, ere I went to rest, Did I look on great Orion sloping slowly to the west.

Many a night I saw the Pleiads, rising thro' the mellow shade, Glitter like a swarm of fireflies tangled in a silver braid.

Here about the beach I wandered, nourishing a youth sublime With the fairy tales of science, and the long result of time;

When the centuries behind me like a fruitful land reposed; When I clung to all the present for the promise that it closed;

When I dipped into the future far as human eye could see, Saw the vision of the world and all the wonder that would be.

In the spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin's breast; In the spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;

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