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Thy hopes shall animate my drooping soul,
Then, when the last, the closing hour draws nigh,
The Three Warnings. Mrs. TARALE.
The tree of deepest root is found
That love of life increased with years
The greatest love of life appears.
This great affection to believe,
When sports went round, and all were gay,
Death called aside the jocund groom
“With you! and quit my Susan's side!
Young as I am ? 'Tis monstrous hard !
What more he urged I have not heard ;
Yet, calling up a serious look,
Neighbor," he said, “ farewell ! no more
And grant a kind reprieve,
Well pleased, the world will leave."
What next the hero of our tale befell,
The willing muse shall tell.
Nor thought of Death as near ;
He passed his hours in peace.
Brought on his eightieth year.
And now, one night, in musing mood,
When all alone he sate, Th' unwelcome messenger of fate Once more before him stood. Half killed with anger and surprise, “ So soon returned !” old Dobson cries. “So soon, d’ye call it ?” Death replies : “Surely, my friend, you're but in jest!.
Since I was here before 'Tis six-and-thirty years, at least,
And you are now fourscore."
“ So much the worse!” the clown rejoined: "To spare the aged would be kind : Besides, you promised me three warnings, Which I have looked for nights and mornings." “I know," cries Death, “ that, at the best, I seldom am a welcome guest; But don't be captious, friend, at least.
I little thought you'd still be able
“ Hold !” says the farmer, not so fast : I have been lame these four years past.” “And no great wonder," Death replies : “However, you still keep your eyes; And sure, to see one's loves and friends, For legs and arms would make amends." “Perhaps," says Dobson, “so it might; But latterly I've lost my sight.” “ This is a shocking story, faith; Yet there's some comfort, still,” says Death: “ Each strives your sadness to amuse : I warrant you hear all the news.”
“ There's none;" cries he;
" and if there were, I'm grown so deaf I could not hear." • Nay, then,” the spectre stern rejoined,
“ These are unwarrantable yearnings. If you are lame, and deaf, and blind,
You've had your three sufficient warnings. So come along; no more we'll part !" He said, and touched him with his dart : And now old Dobson, turning pale, Yields to his fate so ends my tale.
Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note,
As his corse to the ramparts we hurried ;
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our hero we buried.
We buried him darkly at dead of night,
The sods with our bayonets turning;
And the lantern dimly burning.
No useless coffin enclosed his breast,
Nor in sheet nor in shroud we wound him ; But he lay like a warrior taking his rest,
With his martial cloak around him.
Few and short were the prayers we said,
And we spoke not a word of sorrow;
And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought, as we hollowed his narrow bed,
And smoothed down his lonely pillow, That the foe and the stranger would tread o'er his head,
And we far away on the billow.
Lightly they'll talk of the spirit that's gone,
And o'er his cold ashes upbraid him ;
In the grave where a Briton has laid him.
But half of our heavy task was done,
When the clock struck the hour for retiring ; And we heard the distant and random gun
Of the enemy, suddenly firing,
Slowly and sadly we laid him down,
From the field of his fame fresh and gory:
But we left him alone with his glory.