’Tis the voice of the Sluggard: I heard him complain,
‘You have waked me too soon! I must slumber again!’
As the door on its hinges, so he on his bed
Turns his sides, and his shoulders, and his heavy head.
‘A little more sleep, and a little more slumber!’
Thus he wastes half his days and his hours without number;
And when he gets up he sits folding his hands,
Or walks about sauntering, or trifling he stands.
I passed by his garden, and saw the wild brier,
The thorn, and the thistle grow broader and higher:
The clothes that hang on him are turning to rags;
And his money still wastes, till he starves or he begs.
I made him a visit, still hoping to find
He had took better care for improving his mind:
He told me his dreams, talk’d of eating and drinking;
But he scarce reads his Bible, and never loves thinking.
Said I then to my heart, ‘Here’s a lesson for me!
That man’s but a picture of what I might be;
But thanks to my friends for their care in my breeding,
Who have taught me betimes to love working and reading!’
Isaac Watts was the son of a schoolmaster, and was born in Southampton, July 17, 1674. He is said to have shown remarkable precocity in childhood, beginning the study of Latin, in his fourth year, and writing respectable verses at the age of seven. At the age of sixteen, he went to London to study in the Academy of the Rev. Thomas Rowe, an Independent minister. In 1698, he became assistant minister of the Independent Church, Berry St., London. In 1702, he became pastor. In 1712, he accepted an invitation to visit Sir Thomas Abney, at his residence of Abney Park, and at Sir Thomas' pressing request, made it his home for the remainder of his life. It was a residence most favourable for his health, and for the prosecution of his literary… Go to person page >