BETA

The Village Sabbath.

The Sabbath sun has mounted in the east,1
But still the Villagers are sunk in rest.2
This is the day of rest the slumberer knows3
A day of listless lounging and repose ;4
So, to begin the duties of the day,5
It best befits to sleep the morn away.6
The second * bell has rung. His breakfast o’er,7
Sam” takes his Sunday station at the door8
With idle comrade idler talk sustains9
Of king, or lord, or minister, complains.10
Whilst many a puff-narcotic bears along11
Some public grievance, or some private wrong,12
Ungartered stockings—buttonless array13
In tattered uniform—proclaim the day.14
Too late to dress, and far too late to shave,15
Soap, time, and trouble, Sam resolves to save.16
He care for Parson’s preaching ! —he can look17
With more advantage on a Sunday book,18
With Willison or Boston, he may see19
The marrow-marked of true divinity,20
E’en, standing where he stands, amidst his door-way,21
Obtain from Wellwood’s pen ‘ a glimpse of glory ; ’ 22
Of holy Ambrose, read the Gospel page,23
Or, with his ‘ Devils,’ doubtful combat wage ;24
With Bunyan’s ‘ Christian’ journey on his road,25
And reach at last the ‘ City of his God.’”26
Thus reasons he, whose Sabbath hours of prime27
Are lost in negligence, or spent in crime.28
Forth comes the Landlord of the village inn29
His breath still loaded with his breakfast gin30
On stoney settle thrown, the known retreat31
Of all the Sunday stragglers of the street,32
He sits, the centre of the gathering crowd,33
And swears his tale, and tells his jest aloud :34
God’s curse ! I cares not, or for Laird or Leddy,35
I pays my rent, and always ‘ has the ready36
When Gauger calls. It was but t’other day37
I paid a good two hundred pounds away38

* In country parishes the church bell is rung thrice, at 8, 10, and 12, when the con-
gregation meets.
These taxes are the devil—so come here,39
And we shall taste my Wife’s own bottle cheer.”40
Straight, in obedience to his kind desire,41
To Landlord’s glass these auditors retire ;42
And, hence resolved such kindness to repay,43
In sottish dissipation waste the day.44
Thus then are nursed, and nurtured into crimes,45
The lawless “ Ragamuffins of the Times †”—46
The Sergeant’s prey, who scours the crowded street,47
With which, to fill the Ranks, to man the Fleet ;48
The houseless Vagrant, eager to obtain,49
By stealth or force, by any method, gain ;50
He who in banishment is doomed to pine,51
Or to the injured laws his life resign ;52
A Christian Sabbath, early spent in sin,53
Here all the sufferers’ miseries begin.54
How sad the tale of sweet Eliza’s wrong55
The woeful burden of my closing song,56
Her image on my heart I still retain,57
And picture all her loveliness with pain.—58
A noted Laird of thirty acres good,59
Above the village rank, her Father stood ;60
One only daughter shared a Parent’s love,61
The beauteous semblance of a Saint above ;62
Full eighteen summers o’er her head had passed,63
And each had found her lovelier than the last,64
When William proferred, profligate and bold65
With seeming truth his artful passion told,66
Demanded leisure all his tale to say,67
And fixed his visit for the “ Sabbath-day.”68
There needs no lengthened phrase to paint the woe69
Which from one little slip may often flow,70
An absent Father, and a ruined Child71
A perjured Lover, and a Maniac wild72
Distraction’s Gorgon dream, and poisonous cup73
A Parent’s dying groan to sum it up !74

† We hereby disclaim all allusion to the Times newspaper.—Ed.