A MAN whose house had taken fire.
Which did the engines help require,
Ran to the corner where it stood,
And thus besought the useful wood.
I beg you'd use your utmost sped,
To help a neighbour at his need.
My timber crackles in the flames,
Tho' it to yours relation claims:
In the same forrest it was bred,
From the same rot too, as 'tis said.
Then let a brother aid a brother,
Tho' fortune difers one from t'other
And justly you the foremost stand,
Who can two elements command.
Whilst my poor rafters lay supine,
In common use, nor wisht to shine.
But pray consider what I feel,
And quickly ply each spring and wheel.
In this tough leather and these ropes
And your good will lie all my hopes.
The engine this discourse endur'd,
But still unactive and immur'd.
And tho' petition'd, stirr'd no more,
From the church porch than the church-door.
Whilst in a rage the man went on,
And cry'd, I shall be quite undone!
Through your neglect must beg for life
My self, my chidren, and my wife.
I'le give you half of what you save --
The engine still was mute and grave.
And seem'd as haughty to distress
As men of rank who wealth possess
When all despairing now, the wretch
Fell into more reviling speech:
And told it, he the time could trace
When it had no such power or place,
But lay ev'n in his yard a log,
The scrubbing post of every hog:
Nor cou'd relieve or shield a friend,
No more than he who did depend.
And now implor'd it once for all,
To jog before his house should fall.
A passenger who heard him prate,
And found such help would come too late,
Told him, to end his noisy jear,
He must go bribe the Engineer.
Great men do our misfortunes see,
No more than this unsoftned tree.
Then lose not, on himself, a word,
But gain the man that sways my Lord.