BAD LAMBING-TIME

April, 1782.

THIS April Eighty-two, I think,
On most Moor Farmers does not blink;
It's cold doth make frail sheep to shrink:
it stops the growth,
And makes the Ewes, with their young Lambs,
Sing a poor south!

Though it be hard to have such weather,
Men must own they deserve no better:
Should charity and mercy haters
Claim seasons good?
No - while they're so, the wife CREATOR
May pinch their food.

How thankful ought Mankind to be,
Ev'n high and low in each degree,
That peace and plenty still they see
In all our borders?
Yet still how much do men despise
The Scripture orders?

Since men will not act with discretion,
They'll punish'd be for their transgression:
Should each of us wish for a nation,
And think that we
Will cause our fellow-mortals kneel,
And homage gie?

To him wha nat'rally is a clown,
With greed and pride he can't sleep sound,
But plagues his neighbours up and down
With's luck and thrift,
And chides the poor for poverty,
And purses light.

Sure Nature's laws should be obey'd
And youth for old age should provide;
Therefore that can't be laid aside,
Use lawful means:
For sloth will never gain the bread
Of wife and weans.

If prosp'rous ways man's heart would tame,
He then would certainly think shame;
And he his neighbours ne'er would blame
For their hard fate:
The fame distress may fall on him,
Though it be late!

But if men treasures up would lay,
It should be what will with him stay:
It is not self and mould'ring clay,
Those they can't move,
And carry hence, where they should gae;
I mean above.

His earthly-minded man can't get up
To soar aloft like Lark or Kite;
Their passions reason do out-wit,
And them do fetter,
And when their days wear near an end,
They scarce grow better.

But were they like a Sportsman's tyke,
When wipt, they would their master like;
Though, for the present, they may fike,
And cry aloud;
Yet, if they read the riddle right,
'Tis for their good.

For ev'ry son that GOD doth love,
With chastisements he will him prove;
If sanctifi'd, it will him move
To thank his GOD,
Who did reclaim him, in his love,
By such a rod.

All chastisements, each man will own,
Are grievous for the present time:
If they improve, like salt and lime,
They bring a crop;
Repentance' fruits
they may be call'd,
By grace begot.

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