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was but six years

age, he was apprenticed to a silk-mercer in London. Disliking the drudgery of a retail shop, he obtained the cancelling of his indentures, and devoted himself to literature. In 1708 he published a poem, in blank verse, called “Wine;'' and in 1711 " Rural Sports," a descriptive poem, which he dedicated to Pope, through life his admirer and friend. In Gay's time it was the fashion for the nobility to patronize men of letters, and he became domestic secretary to the Duchess of Monmouth. About this time he brought out a comedy, "The Wife of Bath,” which iled. In 1714 he published hi “Shepherd's Week,” a pastoral, and obtained the post of secretary to Lord Clarendon on his appointment of Envoy-extraordinary to Hanover;

but Gay was totally unfitted for public employment, and held the situation for two months only. On his return, he produced several dramatic pieces, with but slight success ; but in 1727 his “Beggars' Opera” came out, ran for sixty-two successive nights, and not only became the rage at the time, but has remained ever since one of the most popular pieces ever produced on the British stage. Gay cleared 6931. 13. 6d. for his share in the theatre, besides the profits of publication, and soon amassed 30001. by his writings. This he determined to keep "entire and sacred,” being at the same time received into the house of his early patrons the Duke and Duchess of Queensberry. Here he amused himself by adding to his "Fables." Had Gay written but his "Black-eyed Susan,' that one song would have fixed his name in English literature. He died, suddenly, of fever, Dec. 4, 1732, aged 44, and was buried in Westminster Abbey.]

I HATE the man who builds his name
On ruins of another's fame;
Thus prudes, by characters o'erthrown,
Imagine that they raise their own;
Thus scribblers, covetous of praise,
Think slander can transplant the bays.
Beauties and bards have equal pride,
With both all rivals are decried :
Who praises Lesbia's eyes and feature,
Must call her sister “awkward creature ;"
For the kind flattery's sure to charm,
When we some other nymph disarm.
As in the cool of early day,
A poet sought the sweets of May,
The garden's fragrant breath ascends,
And every stalk with odour bends,

A rose he pluck’d, he gazed, admired,
Thus singing as the muse inspired :
“Go, rose, my Chloe's bosom grace!
How happy should I

prove, Might I supply that envied place

With never-fading love!
There, phønix like, beneath her eye,
Involved in fragrance, burn and die !
Know, hapless flower, that thou shalt find

More fragrant roses there.
I see thy withering head reclined

With envy and despair :
One common fate we both must prove,
You die with envy, I with love."
“Spare your comparisons,” replied
An angry rose, who grew

“Of all mankind you should not flout us;
What can a poet do without us?
In every love-song roses bloom ;
We lend you colour and perfume.
Does it to Chloe's charms conduce
To found her praise on our abuse?
Must we, to flatter her, be made
To wither, envy, pine, and fade ?"



'Tis not because thy brilliant dye
Attracts and cheers my wandering eye
Above all flowers I hold so dear,
For others greater beauty wear,

But for thy latent power

I love thee, scarlet flower,
That shed'st the balmy dew of sleep

that only wake to weep.

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My sweet one, my sweet one, the tears were in my

eyes When first I clasped thee to my heart, and heard thy

feeble cries; For I thought of all that I had borne as I bent me

down to kiss Thy cherry lips and sunny brow, my first-born bud ot

bliss !

I turned to many a withered hope, to years of grief and

pain, And the cruel wrongs of a bitter world flashed o'er my

boding brain; I thought of friends, grown worse than cold-of per

secuting foes, And I asked of heaven if ills like these must mar thy

youth's repose !

I gazed upon thy quiet face, half-blinded by my tears, Till gleams of bliss, unfelt before, came brightening on

my fears; Sweet rays of hope that fairer shone 'mid the clouds of

gloom that bound them, As stars dart down their loveliest light when midnight

skies are 'round them.

My sweet one, my sweet one, thy life's brief hour is

o'er, And a father's anxious fears for thee can fever me no

more! And for the hopes, the sun-bright hopes, that blossomed

at thy birth, They, too, have fled, to prove how frail are cherished

things of earth!

'Tis true that thou wert young, my child ; but though

brief thy span below, To me it was a little age of



woe; For, from thy first faint dawn of life, thy cheek began

to fade, And my lips had scarce thy welcome breathed, ere my

hopes were wrapt in shade.

Oh! the child in its hours of health and bloom, that is

dear as thou wert then, Grows far more prized, more fondly loved, in sickness

and in pain! And thus 'twas thine to prove, dear babe, when every

hope was lost, Ten times more precious to my soul, for all that thou

hadst cost!

Cradled in thy fair mother's arms, we watched thee day

by day, Pale like the second bow of heaven, as gently waste

away; And, sick with dark foreboding fears, we dared not

breathe aloud, Sat, hand in hand, in speechless grief, to wait death's

coming cloud!

It came at length: o'er thy bright blue eye the film was

gathering fast, And an awful shade passed o'er thy brow, the deepest

and the last : In thicker gushes strove thy breath-we raised thy

drooping head: A moment more-the final pang--and thou wert of the


Thy gentle mother turned away to hide her face from

me, And murmured low of heaven's behests, and bliss

attained by thee;

She would have chid me that I mourned a doom so

blest as thine, Had not her own deep grief burst forth in tears as wild

as mine!

We laid thee down in thy sinless rest, and from thine

infant brow Culled one soft lock of radiant hair, our only solace

now; Then placed around thy beauteous corse flowers, not

more fair and sweetTwin rosebuds in thy little hands, and jasmine at thy


Though other offspring still be ours, as fair perchance

as thou, With all the beauty of thy cheek, the sunshine of thy

brow, They never can replace the bud our early fondness

nurst: They may be lovely and beloved, but not like thee, the


The first! How many a memory bright that one sweet

word can bring, Of hopes that blossom'd, droop'd, and died, in life's de

lightful springOf fervid feelings passed away--those early seeds of

bliss That germinate in hearts unseared by such a world as

this !

My sweet one, my sweet one, my fairest and


first! When I think of what thou mightst have been, my

heart is like to burst; But gleams of gladness through my gloom their sooth

ing radiance dart, And my sighs are hushed, my tears are dried, when I

turn to what thou art !

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