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Two travellers of such a cast, As o'er Arabia's wilds they passed, And on their way, in friendly chat, Now talked of this, and then of that, Discoursed awhile, 'mongst other matter,
Of the chameleon's form and nature.
"Hold there," the other quick replies; "T is green, I saw it with these eyes, As late with open mouth it lay, And warmed it in the sunny ray; Stretched at its ease the beast I viewed, And saw it eat the air for food."
"I've seen it, sir, as well as you, And must again affirm it blue; At leisure I the beast surveyed Extended in the cooling shade." "'T is green, 't is green, sir, I assure ye.
"Green!" cries the other in a fury; "Why, sir, d'ye think I've lost my eyes?"
"'T were no great loss," the friend replies; "For if they always serve you thus, You'll find them but of little use.'
She only left of all the harmless train, The sad historian of the pensive plain.
Near yonder copse, where once the garden smiled,
And still where many a garden flower grows wild,
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
The village preacher's modest mansion
A man he was to all the country dear, And passing rich with forty pounds a year; Remote from towns he ran his godly race, Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place;
Unpractised he to fawn, or seek for power, By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learned to prize,
More skilled to raise the wretched than to rise.
His house was known to all the vagrant train, He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain; The long-remembered beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;
The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud, Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed;
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay, Sat by his fire, and talked the night
Wept o'er his wounds, or tales of sorrow done, Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won. Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their woe; Careless their merits or their faults to
And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile.
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed,
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed;
To them his heart, his love, his griefs, were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.
As some tall cliff, that lifts its awful form, Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm, Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread, Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay, There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, The village master taught his little school. A man severe he was, and stern to view; I knew him well, and every truant knew: