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REASONING at every step he treads,
Man yet mistakes his way;
While meaner things, whom instinct leads,
Are rarely known to stray.
One silent eve I wander'd late,
And heard the voice of love;
The turtle thus address'd her mate,
And soothed the listening dove:
Our mutual bond of faith and truth
No time shall disengage,
Those blessings of our early youth
Shall cheer our latest age:
While innocence without disguise,
And constancy sincere,
Shall fill the circles of those eyes,
And mine can read them there;
Those ills, that wait on all below,
Shall ne'er be felt by me,
Or gently felt, and only so,
As being shared with thee.
When lightnings flash among the trees,
Or kites are hovering near,
I fear lest thee alone they seize,
And know no other fear.
*Tis then I feel myself a wife,
And press thy wedded side,
Resolved a union form'd for life
Death never shall divide.
But oh if, fickle and unchaste
(Forgive a transient thought),
Thou couldst become j at last,
And scorn thy present lot;
No need of lightnings from on high,
Or kites with cruel beak;
Denied the endearments of thine eye,
This widow’d heart would break.
Thus sang the sweet sequester'd bird,
Soft as the passing wind;
And I recorded what I heard,
A lesson for mankind.
A RAven, while with #. breast
Her new-laid eggs she fondly press'd,
And, on her wicker-work high mounted,
Her chickens prematurely counted
(A fault philosophers might blame,
If quite exempted from the same),
Enjoy'd at ease the i. day;
'Twas April, as the bumpkins say,
The legislature call'd it May.
But suddenly a wind, as high
As ever swept a winter sky,
Shook the young leaves about her ears,
And fill'd her with a thousand fears,
Lest the rude blast should snap the bough,
And spread her golden hopes below.
But just at eve the blowing weather
And all her fears were hush'd together:
And now, quoth poor unthinking Ralph,
'Tis over, and the brood is safe;
For ravens, though, as birds of omen,
hey teach both conjurors and old women
To tell us what is to befall,
Can't prophesy themselves at all.)
The morning came, when neighbour Hodge,
Who long had mark'd her airy lodge,
And destined all the treasure there
A gift to his expecting fair,
Climb'd like a squirrel to his dray,
And bore the worthless prize away.
'Tis Providence alone secures
In every change both mine and yours:
Safety consists not in escape
From dangers of a frightful shape;
An earthquake may be bid to spare
The man that's strangled by a hair.
Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oft'nest in what least we dread,
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the biow.
ODE TO APOLLO.
ON AN INEGLASS ALMOST DRIED IN THE suito,
PATRON of all those luckless brains,
That, to the wrong side leaning,
Indite much metre with much pains,
And little or no meaning;
Ah why, since oceans, rivers, streams,
That water all the nations,
*... to thy glorious beams,
constant .#: ;
Why, stooping from the noon of day,
Too covetous of drink,
Apollo, hast thou stolen away
A poet's drop of ink 2
Upborne into the viewless air,
t floats a vapour now,
Impell'd through regions dense and rare,
y all the winds that blow.
Ordain'd perhaps, ere summer flies,
Combined with millions more,
To form an iris in the skies,
Though black and foul before.
Illustrious drop ! and happy then
#. the happiest lot,
Of all that ever pass'd my pen,
So soon to be forgot |
Phoebus, if such be thy design,
To place it in thy bow,
Give wit, that what is left may shine
With equal grace below.
A COMPARISON. THE lapse of time and rivers is the same, Both speed their o with a restless stream; The silent pace, with which they steal away, No wealth can bribe, no prayers persuade to stay; Alike irrevocable both when past, And a wide ocean swallows both at last. Though each resemble each in every part, A difference strikes at length the musing heart; Streams never flow in vain; where streams abound, How laughs the land with various plenty crown'd 1 But time, that should enrich the nobler mind, Neglected, leaves a dreary waste behind.
Aldudressed To A YOUNG LADY.
SweeT stream that winds through yonder glade,
Apt emblem of a virtuous maid—
Silent and chaste she steals along,
Far from the world's gay busy throng;
With gentle . prevailing force,
Intent upon her destined course;
Graceful and useful all she does,
Blessing and blest where'er she goes.
Pure-bosom'd as that watery glass,
And heaven reflected in her face.
THE POET'S NEW YEAR'S GIFT.
To MRs (AFTERwards LADY) THRockMonron,
MARIA! I have every good
For thee wish'd many a time,
Both sad, and in a cheerful mood,
But never yet in rhyme.
To wish thee fairer is no need,
More prudent, or more sprightly,
Or more ingenious, or more freed
From temper flaws unsightly.
What favour then not yet possess'd
Can I for thee require,
In wedded love already blest,
To thy whole heart's desire?
None here is happy but in part;
full his is blo divine;”
There dwells some wish in every heart,
And doubtless one in thine.
That wish on some fair future day,
Which fate shall brightly gild
('Tis blameless, be it what it may),
I wish it all fulfill’d.
PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
I shall not ask Jean Jaques Rousseau" If birds confabulate or no; 'Tis clear, that they were always able To hold discourse, at least in fable; And e'en the child who knows no better Than to interpret, by the letter, A story of a cock and bull, Must have a most uncommon skull. It chanced then on a winter's day, But warm, and bright, and calm as May, The birds, conceiving a design To forestall sweet St Walentine In many an orchard, copse, and grove, Assembled on affairs of love, And with much twitter and much chatter Began to agitate the matter. At length a Bullfinch, who could boast More years and wisdom than the most, Entreated, o: wide his beak, A moment's liberty, to speak; And, silence publicly enjoin'd, Deliver'd briefly thus his mind: My friends ! be cautious how ye treat The subject upon which we meet; I fear we shall have winter yet. A Finch, whose tongue knew no control, With golden wing and satin poll, A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried What marriage means, thus pert replied: so
vehicles of deception. But what child was ever deceived by them the evidence of his senses? y y , or can be, against
Methinks the gentleman, quoth she,
Opposite in the apple-tree,
By his good will would keep us single
Till yonder heaven and earth shall mingle,
Or (which is likelier to befall)
Till death exterminate us all.
I marry without more ado,
My dear Dick Redcap, what say you?
Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling,
Turning short round, strutting and sideling,
Attested, glad, his approbation
Of an immediate conjugation.
Their sentiments so well express'd
Influenced mightily the rest;
All pair'd, and each pair built a nest.
But, though the birds were thus in haste, -
The leaves came on not quite so fast,
And destiny, that sometimes bears
An aspect stern on man's affairs,
Not altogether smiled on theirs.
The wind, of late breathed gently forth,
Now shifted east, and east by north ;
..Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know,
Could shelter them from rain or snow,
Stepping into their nests, they paddled,
Themselves were chill'd, their eggs were addled;
Soon every father bird and mother
Grew quarrelsome, and peck'd each other,
Parted without the least regret,
Except that they had ever met,
And learn'd in future to be wiser,
Than to neglect a good adviser.
Misses the tale that Irelate
This lesson seems to carry—
Choose not alone a proper mate,
But proper time to marry.
THE DOG AND THE WATER LILY.
THE noon was shady, and soft airs
Swept Ouse's silent tide,
When, 'scaped from literary cares,
I wander'd on his side.
My spaniel, prettiest of his race,
And high H. pedigree
(Two nymphs” adorn'd with every graco
That spaniel found for me),