Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][subsumed]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Should yielding charity the scrip supply,
Tho' hunger press'd, untouch'd the boon would lie ;
Eyes to the blind, he notes the passing thief,
And guards the good Samariian's relief;
A faithful steward, amidst unbounded power,
Patient he waits the home-returning hour;
Then reconducts his master to his shed,
And grateful banquets on the coarsest bread.
And were that cheerless shed, by fortune plac'd
In the chill cavern, or the naked waste,
The sport of every storm, unroofd and bare,
This faithful slave would find a palace there;
Would feel the labours of his love o'crpaid
Near to his monarch master's pillow laid;
Unchang’d by change of circumstance or place:
A sacred lesson to a prouder race!

But, reasoner, say, are these thy gifts of art,
Or, native graces of the canine heart ?
Say, does he owe this social change of state
To imitation of the fair and great ?
Copied from thee, and do his virtues rise
From man's example of the good and wise ?
If thou hast thus reclaimed from savage strife,
And made him thus a link of social life,
Ask thy own soul—that every harshness knows-
How oft his joys are follow'd by his woes ;
And if like thee, this slave could count his gains,
Say, would his pleasures balance to his pains ?

Reckon those scars, which thy unkindness gave,
A still-forgiving, still-insulted slave;
Reckon that wanton gash, that mangled limb,
From hateful vengeance this, and that from whim;
Reckon that stunning stroke, which to the ground
Brought thy true friend, to welter in his wound;
Count too, the anguish of those sounding blows,
And the deep stream, that blushes as it flows.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Wretch ! could'st thou see him when thy useless breath
At last shall give thee to the grasp of death,
When, haply, thy sole mourner, fix'd he stands,
Watches thy couch, and licks thy barbarous hands;
Those hands that long have tried their force to prove,
Thy heart was dead to pity, truth, and love.
Ah! could'st thou view him seem to look a pray’r,
Or heave the moan that seem'd to speak despair;
Then follow sad thy body to the grave,
There, each extremity of hunger brave;
Nor quit the spot, till ine, fraud, or force,
Drove him awhile to quit thy much-lov'd corse;
Soon to return-enamour'd of the spot-
Thy savage nature, rage, and stripes forgot ;
Could'st thou see this, perchance one tear would start,
One brief compunction stir thy stony heart;
Then might'st thou wish ingratitude forgiv'n,
And dread that crime of hell to show offended Heav'n!"

The Lower World. 1810.

[ocr errors][merged small]

CHAPTER II.

IN [N the ancient Metrical Romance of ‘Syr Tryamoure,' a

greyhound plays an important part. . King Aradas of Arragon and his lovely Queen Margarete—“ She was treue as steele, and sweete”

as

made grete mone
For chyldren together had they none.”

The king therefore vowed to take the cross; and departed for the “hethenlond.” The last night, his queen conceived, and on his return was great with child. During his absence, however, Sir Marrocke, the steward, made false and traitorous love to her, and being repulsed, revenge entered into his heart. He infused his rancorous venom into the weak mind of her husband, who, rashly believing her unfaithful, banished her, allowing only an aged knight and kinsman, Sir Roger, to accompany her.

“Forth they wente in nombre thre,

Syr Roger, the quene, and the grehounde truely." Sir Marrocke, with a company of his own men, waylaid thein in a wood. Sir Roger, powerfully aided by his dog, made a stout defence and slew many

“So sore he dede than smyte.
Truely his grehounde that was so good
Dyde helpe his maister and by bim stode
Full bytterly he gan byte."

« PreviousContinue »