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A dinner of herbs, says the wise man, with quiet,
Is better than beef amid discord and riot.
If the thing could be help'd, I'm a foe to all strife,
And I pray for a peace every night of my
But in matters of state not an inch will I budge,
Because I conceive I'm no very good judge.
But though poor, I can work, my brave boy, with
Let the king and the parliament manage the rest ;
I lament both the war and the taxes together,
Though I verily think they don't alter the weather.
The king, as I take it, with very good reason,
May prevent a bad law, but can't help a bad season.
The parliament men, although great is their power,
Yet they cannot contrive us a bit of a shower;
And I never yet heard, though our rulers are wise,
That they know very well how to manage the skies ;
For the best of them all, as they found to their cost,
Were not able to hinder last winter's hard frost.
Besides, I must share in the wants of the times,
Because I have had my full share in its crimes ;
And I'm apt to believe the distress which is sent,
Is to punish and cure us of all discontent.
But harvest is coming-potatoes are come !
Our prospect clears up; ye complainers, be dumb!
And though I've no money, and though I've no lands,
I've head on my shoulders, and a pair of good hands;
So I'll work the whole day, and on Sundays I'll seek
At church how to bear all the wants of the week.
The gentlefolks too will afford us supplies,
They'll subscribe and they'll give up their puddings
Then before I'm induced to take part in a riot,
I'll ask this short question- What shall I get by it?
So I'll e'en wait a little, till cheaper the bread,
For a mittimus hangs o’er each rioter's head ;
And when of two evils I'm ask'd which is best
I'd rather be hungry than hang’d, I protest.
Quoth Tom, thou art right; if I rise, I'm a Turk;
So he threw down his pitchfork, and went to his work.
heard of a collier of honest renown, Who dwelt on the borders of Newcastle town? His name it was Joseph-you
know If I tell you he always was callid Patient Joe.
Whatever betided, he thought it was right,
And Providence still he kept ever in sight;
To those who love God, let things turn as they would,
He was certain that all work'd together for good.
He prais'd his Creator whatever befell;
How thankful was Joseph when matters went well !
How sincere were his carols of praise for good health,
And how grateful for any increase in his wealth !
In trouble he bow'd him to God's holy will ;
How contented was Joseph when matters went ill!
When rich and when poor, he alike understood,
That all things together were working for good.
If the land was afflicted with war, he declared.
Twas a needful correction for sins which he shared :
And when merciful heaven bade slaughter to cease,
How thankful was Joe for the blessing of peace !
When taxes ran high, and provisions were dear,
Still Joseph declar'd he had nothing to fear;
It was but a trial he well understood,
From Him who made all work together for good.
Though his wife was but sickly, his gettings but small,
Yet a mind so submissive prepared him for all ;
He lived on his gains, were they greater or less,
And the Giver he ceas'd not each moment to bless.
When another child came he receiv'd him with joy, And Providence bless'd, who had sent him the boy ; But when the child died, said poor Joe, I'm content, For God had a right to recall what he lent.
It was Joseph's ill-fortune to work in a pit
With some who believ'd that profaneness was wit;
When disasters befell him, much pleasure they shew'd,
And laugh’d and said, Joseph, will this work for good ?
But ever when these would profanely advance
That this happen'd by luck, and that happen'd by
Still Joseph insisted no chance could be found
Not a sparrow by accident falls to the ground.
Among his companions who work'd in the pit,
And made him the butt of their profligate wit,
Was idle Tim Jenkins, who drank and who gam'd,
Who mock'd at his bible, and was not asham'd.
One day at the pit his old comrades he found,
And they chatted, preparing to go under ground;
Tim Jenkins, as usual, was turning to jest,
Joe's notion—that all things which happen'd were best.
As Joe on the ground had unthinkingly laid
His provision for dinner, of bacon and bread,
A dog, on the watch, seiz'd the bread and the meat, And off with his prey ran with footsteps so fleet. Now to see the delight that Tim Jenkins exprest !
Is the loss of thy dinner too, Joe, for the best ?” “ No doubt on't,” said Joe ; “ but as I must eat, “ 'Tis my duty to try to recover my meat.” So saying, he followed the dog a long round, While Tim, laughing and swearing, went down
under ground. Poor Joe soon return'd, though his bacon was lost, For the dog a good dinner had made at his cost. When Joseph came back, he expected a sneer, But the face of each collier spoke horror and fear ; What a narrow escape hast thou had, they all said, The pit is fall’n in, and Tim Jenkins is dead ! How sincere was the gratitude Joseph express'd ! How warm the compassion which glow'd in his
breast ! Thus events great and small, if aright understood, Will be found to be working together for good. " When my meat," Joseph cried, “ was just now
“ And I had no prospect of eating to-day, “ How could it appear to a short-sighted sinner, s. That my life would be saved by the loss of my
66 dinner ?"