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The basket and the bin of bread,
Wherewith so many souls were fed,

Stand empty here for ever ;

And, ah, the poor

At thy worn door
Shall be relieved never !

Woe-worth the time! woe-worth the day,
That reav'd us of thce, Tabitha !
For we have lost, with thee, the meal,
The bits, the morsels, and the deal
Of gentle paste, and yielding dough,
That thou on widows didst bestow.

All's gone, and death hath taken

Away from us*

Our maundy; thus
Thy widows stand forsaken.

Ah, Dorcas, Dorcas ! now adieu
We bid the cruse, and pannier too;
Aye, and the flesh, tfor and the fish
Dol'd to us in that lordly dish.
We take our leaves now of the loom,
From whence the housewives' cloth did come :

* Or mand, figuratively put for bounty, from the maund, or basket, which contained it. See the dictionary definitions of Maundy-Thursday, a day on which our poten. tates of yore washed the poor's feet, and distributed gifts among them from the royal almsbasket.

For and may perhaps be intended for 'forehand, i. e. beforehand; heretofore. Shakspeare has “ 'foreband sin." See Mucb ada about Nothing ; Act 4, Sc. 1,

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The web affords now nothing ;

Thou being dead,

The worsted thread
Is cut, that made us clothing.

Farewell the flax, and reaming| wool,
With which thy house was plentiful;
Farewell the coats, the garments, and
The sheets, the rugs, made by thy hand;
Farewell thy fire, and thy light,
That ne'er went out by day, or night:

No; or thy zeal so speedy,

That found a way,

By peep of day,
To feed, and clothe the needy.

But ah, alas ! the almond bough,
And olive branch is wither'd now;
The wine-press now, is ta’en from us,
The saffron, and the calamus ;
The spice, and spikenard hence is gone,
The storax, and the cinnamon.

The carol of our gladness

Has taken wing;

And our late spring
Of mirth is turn’d to sadness.

Stretching into cloth by spinning and weaving. To ream, in the West-country Exmore dialect, is to stretcle. See Grose's Provincial Glossary.

How wise wast thou in all thy ways !
How worthy of respect and praise !
How matron-like didst thou go drest,
How soberly, above the rest
Of those, that prank it with their plumes,
And jet it with their choice perfumes !

Thy vestures were not flowing;

Nor did the street

Accuse thy feet
Of mincing in their going.


Sleep with thy beauties here, while we
Will shew these garments made by thee;
These were the coats; in these are read
The monuments of Dorcas dead:
These were thy acts; and thou shalt have
These hung, as honours, o'er thy grave :

And, after us distressed,

Should fame be dumb;

Thy very tomb
Would cry out, thou art blessed !



Have, have ye no regard, all ye
Who pass


to pity me,
Who am a man of misery?

A man both bruis'd, and broke ; and one
Who suffers not here for mine own,
But for my friends' transgression !

Ah, Sion's daughters ! do not fear
The cross, the cords, the nails, the spear,
The myrrh, the gall, the vinegar ;

For Christ, your loving saviour, hath
Drunk up the wine of God's fierce wrath ;
Only there's left a little froth,

Less for to taste, than for to shew
What bitter cups had been your due,
Had he not drunk them up for you.

When the present sheet of this volume was at the press, I was favoured with a letter from the Rev. Mr. Samuel Herrick, of Brampton, near Market Harborough, to whom, as a descendant of the family, I had applied for any anecdotes he might be in possession of respecting our poet; but he could furnish nothing beyond what his relatives had before communicated to Mr. Nichols, for his History of Leicestershire. His letter was however accompanied with a copy of a very elegant little collection of Poems, entitled First Flights, written by his elder brother John, a lieutenant in the 15th dragoons, and printed 4to. 1797;

the author died in his 35th year during their publication. This proves, that the poetic spark has been kept alive in the Herrick fafamily even to the present times. See note to poem 84.


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