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THE BEGGAR'S PETITION.
1TY the forrows of a poor old man, Whofe trembling limbs have borne him to your 'loor. Whofe days arc dwindled tii the fhortest fpan;
Oh, give relief, and Heaven will blefs your store!
Thefe tatter'd clothes my poverty befpeak,
Thefe hoary locks proclaim my lengthen'd years;
And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek
Yon houfe, erected on the rising ground,
With tempting afpect drew me from my road;
For Plenty there a residence has found,
Hard is the fate of the insirm and poor 1
A pamper'd menial drove me from the door,
Oh, take me to your hofpitable dome!
Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold i Short is my pasfage to the friendly tomb,
For I am poor and miferably old.
Should I reveal the fources of my grief,
Your hands would not withhold the kind relief,
Heaven fends misfortunes; why lhould we repine?
'Tis Heaven has brought me to the state you fee; And your condition may be foon like mine,
The Child of Sorrow and of Mifery. A little farm was my paternal lot,
Then, like the lark, t fprightly hail'd the morn; But, ah! Oppression forc'd me from my cot;
My cattle died, and blighted was my corn.
My daughter, once the comfort of my age,
Is cast abandon'd on the world's wide stage,
My tender wife, fweet foother of my care!
Struck with fad anguilh at the stern decree, Fell, ling'ring fell, a victim to defpair,
And left the world to wretchednefs and me*
Pity the forrows of a poor old man,
Whofe trembling limbs have borne him to your door, Whofe days are dwindled to the lhortest fpan!
Oh, give relief, and heaven will blefs jour store!
! RIEND to the wretch whofe bofom knows no joy!
When pains torment and care* annoy,
And gild the gloom which lhades this mortal state.
Yet still my fecret foul shall own thy pow'r,
In forrow's bitterest pang, in pleafure's gayest hour.
That wond'rous power was given,
Nor pain nor pleafure can its force destroy,
la every varied fcene it points to future joy.
Fancy, wave thy airy pinions,
Bid the foft ideas rife,
Vernal fweets and cloudlefs fkies.
A lovely youthful Train appear,
Their guiltlefs bofoms know no fear:
Must Wifdom teach the soul to mourn f
Return, ye days of ignorance, return!
Hark! the fprightly voice of pleafure
There lhe fcatters all her treafure,
Listen to the pleafmg call,
Follow, mortals, follow all;
l^ad the dance, and fpread the feast,
Crown with rofes every guest:
Now the fprightly minstrels found,
Pleafure's voice is heard around, And Pleafure's fprightly voice the hills and dales refound* Whence arofe that fecret sigh—
What fudden gloom o'erclouds thy cheerful brow?
Say, does not every pleafure wait thee now, That e'er could charm the ear, or court the e\'e? In vain does Nature lavilh all her store;
The confcious fpirit still afpires,
Still purfues fome new desires, And, every with obtain'd, it sighs and pants for more*
Are thefe, O Hope! the glories of thy reign?
The airy dreams of fancy and of youth! Must all thy boasted pleafures lead to pain;
Thy }oys all vanilh at the light of truth? Mast wretched man, led by a meteor sire,
To distant blessmgs still afpire;
Still with ardour strive to gain
Joys he oft purfues in vain,
Rife, heavenly vilions, rife!
And every vain delusive fear controul; Let real glory charm my wond'ring eyes,
And real happinefs enchant my foul 1 Hail, glorious dawn of everlasting day,
Though faintly feen ! ——
Thy beams the sinking heart can cheer, And light the weary pilgrim on his way:
For not in vain did Heav'n infpire
That active fpark of sacred sire
The foul, for perfect blifs design'd,
Strives in vain that blifs to sind, 'Till wing'd by Hope, at length it flies Beyond the narrow bounds of earth, and air, and flues.
Still unmov'd, let Hope remain
Fix'd -on true fubstantial joy; Dangers then fhall threat in vain,
Pains torment, or cares annoy;