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The open drawer was left, I see,
Merely to prove a nest for me,
For soon as I was well composed
Then came the maid and it was closed.
How smooth these 'kerchiefs and how sweet!
Oh what a delicate retreat !
I will resign myself to rest
Till Sol, declining in the west,
Shall call to supper, when, no doubt,
Susan will come and let me out."

The evening came, the sun descended, And puss remained still unattended. The night rollid tardily away (With her indeed, 'twas never day), The sprightly morn her course renew'd, The evening grey again ensued, And puss came into mind no more Than if entomb'd the day before. With hunger pinch’d, and pinch'd for room, She now presaged approaching doom, Nor slept a single wink, or purr'd, Conscious of jeopardy incurr'd.

That night, by chance, the poet watching Heard an inexplicable scratching ; His noble heart went pit-a-pat, And to himself he said "What's that?” He drew the curtain at his side, And forth he peep'd, but nothing spied ; Yet, by his ear directed, guess'd Something imprison'd in the chest, And doubtful what, with prudent care, Resolv'd it should continue there. At length, a voice which well he knew,

A long and melancholy mew,
Saluting his poetic ears,
Consoled him and dispell’d his fears ;
He left his bed, he trod the floor,
He 'gan in haste the draw'rs explore,
The lowest first, and without stop
The rest in order to the top.
For 'tis a truth well-known to most,
That whatsoever thing is lost,
We seek it, ere it come to light,
In ev'ry cranny but the right.
Forth skipp'd the cat, not now replete
As erst with airy self-conceit,
Nor in her own fond apprehension
A theme for all the world's attention ;
But modest, sober, cur'd of all
Her notions hyperbolical,
And wishing for a place of rest
Anything rather than a chest.
Then stepp'd the poet into bed
With this reflection in his head.



That once liv'd here, thy brethren, at my

birth (Since which I number threescore winters past), À shatter'd vet'ran, hollow-trunk'd perhaps, As now, and with excoriate forks deform, Relics of ages ! could a mind, imbued With truth from Heaven, created thing adore, I might with reverence kneel, and worship thee.

It seems idolatry with some excuse,
When our forefather Druids in their oaks
Imagined sanctity. The conscience, yet
Unpurified by an authentic act
Of amnesty, the meed of blood divine,
Lov'd not the light, but, gloomy, into gloom
Of thickest shades, like Adam after taste
Of fruit proscribed, as to a refuge, fled.

By thee I might correct, erroneous oft,
The clock of history, facts and events
Timing more punctual, unrecorded facts
Recov'ring, and misstated setting right,

Desp’rate attempt, till trees shall speak again ! [ Time made thee what thou wast, king of the woods ; And Time hath made thee what thou art-a cave For owls to roost in. Once thy spreading boughs O'erhung the champaign ; and the num'rous flocks That grazed it, stood beneath that ample cope Uncrowded, yet safe-shelter'd from the storm. No flock frequents thee now. Thou hast outlived Thy popularity, and art become (Unless verse rescue thee awhile) a thing Forgotten, as the foliage of thy youth.

While thus through all the stages thou hast push'd
Of treeship—first a seedling, hid in grass :
Then twig; then sapling; and, as cent'ry roll'd
Slow after century, a giant-bulk
Of girth enormous, with moss-cushion'd root
Upheaved above the soil, and sides emboss'd
With prominent wens globose—till at the last
The rottenness, which time is charged to inflict
On other mighty ones, found also thee.

What exhibitions various hath the world
Witness'd of mutability in all
That we account most durable below!

Change is the diet on which we subsist,
Created changeable, and change at last
Destroys them. Skies uncertain now the heat
Transmitting cloudless, and the solar beam
Now quenching in a boundless sea of clouds
Calm and alternate storm, moisture and drought,
Invigorate by turns the springs of life
In all that live, plant, animal, and man,
And in conclusion mar them. Nature's threads,
Fine passing thought e'en in her coarsest works,
Delight in agitation, yet sustain,
The force that agitates, not unimpair'd ;
But, worn by frequent impulse, to the cause
Of their best tone their dissolution owe.

Thought cannot spend itself, comparing still
The great and little of thy lot, thy growth
From almost nullity into a state
Of matchless grandeur, and declension thence,
Slow, into such magnificent decay.
Time was, when, settling on thy leaf, a fly
Could shake thee to thy root-and time has been
When tempests could not. At thy firmest age
Thou hadst within thy bole solid contents,
That might have ribb'd the sides and plank'd the

deck Of some flagg'd admiral ; and tortuous arms, The shipwright's darling treasure, didst present To the four-quarter'd winds, robust and bold, Warp'd into tough knee-timber, many a load ! But the axe spared thee. In those thriftier days Oaks fell not, hewn by thousands to supply The bottomless demands of contest, waged For senatorial honours. Thus to time The task was left to. whittle thee away With his sly scythe, whose ever nibbling edge,

Noiseless, an atom, and an atom more,
Disjoining from the rest, has, unobserved,
Achieved a labour, which had far and wide,
By_man perform'd, made all the forest ring.

Embowell’d now, and of thy ancient self
Possessing naught but the scoop'd rind, that seem'd
A huge throat calling to the clouds for drink,
Which it would give in rivulets to thy root,
Thou temptest none, but rather much forbidd'st
The feller's toil, which thou could'st ill requite.
Yet is thy root sincere, sound as the rock,
A quarry of stout spurs, and knotted fangs,
Which, crook'd into a thousand whimsies, clasp
The stubborn soil, and hold thee still erect.

So stands a kingdom whose foundation yet Fails not, in virtue and in wisdom laid. Though all the superstructure, by the tooth Pulverised of venality, a shell Stands now, and semblance only of itself! Thine arms have left thee. Winds have rent

them off Long since, the rovers of the forest wild, [left With bow and shaft, have burnt them. Some have A splinter'd stump, bleach'd to a snowy white; And some, memorial none where once they grew. But life still lingers in thee, and puts forth Proof not contemptible of what she can, Even where death predominates. The spring Finds thee not less alive to her sweet force, Than yonder upstarts of the neighb'ring wood, So much thy juniors, who their birth received Half a millennium since the date of thine.

But since, although well qualified by age To teach, no spirit dwells in thee, nor voice May be expected from thee, seated here

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