Obrázky stránek


Here lies, whom hound did ne’er pursue,

Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,

Nor ear heard huntsman's hallo'.

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,

Who, nurs'd with tender care, And to domestic bounds confin'd,

Was still a wild Jack-hare.

Though duly froin my hand he took

His pittance ev'ry night,
He did it with a jealous look,

And, when he could, would bite.

His diet was of wheaten bread,

And milk, and oats, and straw ; Thistles, or lettuces instead,

With sand to scour his maw.

On twigs of hawthorn he regal'd,

On pippins' russet peel,
And, when his juicy salads fail'd,

Slic'd carrot pleas'd him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,

Whereon he lov'd to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn,

And swing his rump around.

His frisking was at ev’ning hours,

For then he lost bis fear,
But most before approaching show'rs,

Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years :

round-rolling moons He thus saw steal away, Dozing out all his idle nouns,

And ev'ry night at play.

I kept him for his humour's sake,

For he would oft beguile My heart of thoughts, that made it ache,

And force me to a smile.

But now beneath his walnut shade

He finds his long last home,
And waits, in snug concealment laid,

Till gentler Puss shall come.

He, still more aged, feels the clocks,

From which no care can save, And, partner once of Tiney's box,

Must soon partake bis grave. ,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

The following Account of the Treatment of his

Hares, was inserted by Mr. Cowper in the Gentleman's Magazine, whence it is transcribed.

In the year 1774, being much indisposert both in mind and body, incapable of diverting myself either with coinpany or books, and yet in a condition that made some diversion necessary, I was glad of any thing, that would engage my attention without fatiguing it. The children of a neighbour of mine had a leveret given them for a plaything; it was at that time about three months old. Understanding better how to tease the poor creature than to feed it, and soon becoming weary of their charge, they readily cor sented that their father, who saw it pining and growing leaner every day, should offer it to my acceptance. I was willing enough to take the prisoner under my protection, perceiving that, in the management of such an animal, and in the attempt to tame it, I should find just that sort of employment, which my case required. It was soon known among the neighbours, that I was pleased with the present; and the consequence was, that in a short time I had as many leverets offered to me, as would have stocked a paddock. I undertook the care of three, which it is necessary that I should here distinguish by the names I gave them-Pass, Tiney, and Bess. Notwithstanding the two feminine appellatives, I must inform yon, that they were all males. Immediately commencing carpenter, 1 built them houses to sleep in ; each had a separate apartment, so contrived, that their ordure would pass through the bottom of it; an eatliern pan placed under each received whatsoever fell, which being duly emptied and washed, they were thins kept perfectly sweet and clean. In day-time they had the range of a hally and at night retired each to his own bed, never intruding into that of another.

33 34*

Puss grew presently familiar, would leap into my lap, raise himself upon bis hinder feet, and bite the hair from my temples. He would suffer me to take him up, and to carry him about in my arms, and has more than once fallen fast asleep upon my knee. He was ill three days, during which time I nursed him, kept him apart from his fellows, that they might not molest him (for, like many other wild animals, they persecute one of their own species that is siek), and by constant care, and trying him with a variety of herbs, restored him to perfect health. No creature could be more grateful than my patient after his recovery; a sentiment which he most significantly expressed by licking my hand, first the back of it, then the palm, then every finger separately, then between all the fingers, as if anxious to leave no part of it ansaluted; a ceremony which he never performed but once again apon a similar oceasion. Finding him extremely tractable, I made it my custom to carry him always after breakfast into the garden, z where he hid himself generally under the leaves of a cucumber vine, sleeping or chewing the cud till evening; in the leaves also

of that yiue he found a favourite repast. I had not long habituated him to this taste of liberty, before he began to be impatient for the return of the time when he might enjoy it. He would invite me to the garden by drumming upon my knee, and by a look of such expression, as it was not possible to misinterpret. If this

rhetoric did not immediately succeed, he would take the skirt of my coat between his teeth, and pull at it with all his force. Thus

Puss might be said to be perfectly tamed, the shyness of his nature was done away, and on the whole it was visible by many symp. toms, which I have not room to enumerate, that he was happier in human society, than when shut up with his natural companions.

Not so Tiney; oron him che kindest treatment had not the least etfeet. He too was sick, and in his sickness had an equal share of

my attention; but it, after his recovery, I took the liberty to stroke : him, he would grunt, strike with his fure feet, spring forward, and ebite. Ile was however very entertaining in his way; even his

surliness was matter of mirth, and in his play he preserved such an air of gravity, and performed his feats with such a solemnity of manner, that in him too. I lad an agreeable companion.

Bess, who died soon after he was full grown, and whose death was occasioned by his being turued into his box, which had been

« PředchozíPokračovat »