My Father was a good and pious man,
An honest man by honest parents bred ;
And I believe, that, soon as I began
To lisp, he made me kneel beside my bed,
And in his hearing there my prayers I said :
And afterwards, by my good Father taught,
I read, and loved the books in which I read;
For books in every neighbouring house I sought,
And nothing to my mind a sweeter pleasure brought.
The suns of twenty summers danced along,
Ah! little marked how fast they rolled away:
Then rose a stately Hall our woods among,
And cottage after cottage owned its sway.
No joy to see a neighbouring House, or stray
Through pastures not his own, the master took ;
My Father dared his greedy wish gainsay;
He loved his old hereditary nook,
And ill could I the thought of such sad parting brook.