Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. III. Addison to Blake
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. III. The Eighteenth Century: Addison to Blake
Suffering and Sympathy (from The Schoolmistress)
By William Shenstone (1714–1763)
  O RUTHFUL scene! when from a nook obscure
  His little sister doth his peril see:
  All playful as she sate, she grows demure;
  She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee,
  She meditates a prayer to set him free:        5
  Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny
  (If gentle pardon could with dames agree)
  To her sad grief that swells in either eye
And wrings her so that all for pity she could dye.
  No longer can she now her shrieks command,        10
  And hardly she forbears, through awful fear
  To rushen forth, and with presumptuous hand
  To stay harsh Justice in its mid career.
  On thee she calls, on thee her parent dear!
  (Ah! too remote to ward the shameful blow!)        15
  She sees no kind domestic visage near,
  And soon a flood of tears begins to flow
And gives a loose at last to unavailing woe.
  But ah! what pen his piteous plight may trace?
  Or what device his loud laments explain?        20
  The form uncouth of his disguised face?
  The pallid hue that dyes his looks amain?
  The plenteous shower that does his cheek distain
  When he in abject wise implores the dame,
  Ne hopeth aught of sweet reprieve to gain,        25
  Or when from high she levels well her aim
And through the thatch his cries, each falling stroke proclaim.

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