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On thy distorted root, with hearers none,
Or prompter, save the scene, I will perform
Myself the oracle, and will discourse
In my own ear such matter as I may,

One man alone, the father of us all,
Drew not his life from woman : never gazed,
With mute unconsciousness of what he saw,
On all around him ; learn'd not by degrees,
Nor owed articulation to his ear;
But, moulded by his Maker into man,
At once upstood intelligent, survey'd
All creatures, with precision understood
Their purport, uses, properties, assign'd
To each his name significant, and, fill'd
With love and wisdom, render'd back to Heav'n
In praise harmonious the first air he drew.
He was excused the penalties of dull
Minority. No tutor charged his hand
With the thought-tracing

quill, or tasked his mind
With problems. History, pot wanted yet,
Lean'd on her elbow watching Time, whose course,
Eventful, should supply her with a theme.




T For Mary and for me,

HRIVE, gentle plant ! and weave a bow'r And deck with many a splendid flow'r

Thy foliage large and free.
Thou cam'st from Eartham, and wilt shade

(If truly I divine)

Some future day th' illustrious head

Of him who made thee mine.

Should Daphne show a jealous frown,

And Envy seize the bay, Affirming none so fit to crown

Such honour'd brows as they, Thy cause with zeal we shall defend,

And with convincing pow'r; For why should not the Virgin's Friend

Be crown'd with Virgin's Bow'r ?


Blood himself, yet many slew;
Gave the gun its aim, and figure
Made in field, yet ne'er pulled trigger ;
Armèd men have gladly made
Him their guide, and him obey'd ;
At his signified desire,
Would advance, present, and fire-
Stout he was, and large of limb,
Scores have fled in spite of him :
And to all this fame he rose
Only following his nose.
Neptune was he call'd ; not be
Who controls the boist'rous sea,
But of happier command,
Neptune of the furrow'd land ;
And, your wonder vain to shorten,
Pointer to Sir John Throckmorton.



HERSELF, MAY 4, 1793.


Y gentle Anne, whom heretofore,
When I was young,

and thou no more
Than plaything for a nurse,
I danced and fondled on my knee,
A kitten both in size and glee,

I thank thee for my purse.

Gold pays the worth of all things here ;
But not of love :—that gem's too dear

For richest rogues to win it ;
I, therefore, as a proof of love,
Esteem thy present far above

The best things kept within it.


Such aid from Heav'n as some have feign’d they

An eloquence scarce given to mortals, new
And undebased by praise of meaner things,
That ere through age or woe I shed my wings,
I may record thy worth with honour due,
In verse as musical as thou art true,
And that immortalises whom it sings.
But thou hast little need. There is a book
By Seraphs writ with beams of heavenly light,

On which the eyes of God not rarely look,

A chronicle of actions just and bright; There all thy deeds, my faithful Mary, shine, And, since thou own'st that praise, I spare thee mine.



N Scotland's realm, where trees are few,

Nor even shrubs abound;
But where, however bleak the view,

Some better things are found ;

For husband there and wife may boast

Their union undefiled,
And false ones are as rare almost

As hedge-rows in the wild ;

In Scotland's realm, forlorn and bare,

The hist’ry chanced of late-
This hist'ry of a wedded pair,

A chaffinch and his mate.


The spring drew near, each felt a breast

With genial instinct fill'd :
They pair'd, and would have built a nest,

But found not where to build.

The heaths uncover'd and the moors,

Except with snow and sleet,
Sea-heaten rocks and naked shores,

Could yield them no retreat.

Long time a breeding-place they sought,

Till both grew vex'd and tired ; At length a ship arriving brought

The good so long desired.

A ship?—could such a restless thing

Afford them place of rest? Or was the merchant charged to bring

The homeless birds a nest ?

Hush-silent hearers profit most

This racer of the sea Proved kinder to them than the coast,

It served them with a tree.

But such a tree ! 'twas shaven deal,

The tree they call a mast, And had a hollow with a wheel

Through which the tackle pass'd.

Within that cavity aloft

Their roofless home they fixed, Form'd with materials neat and soft,

Bents, wool, and feathers mixt.

Four iv'ry eggs soon pave its floor,

With russet specks bedight-
The vessel weighs, forsakes the shore,

And lessens to the sight.

The mother-bird is gone to sea,

As she had changed her kind But goes the male ? Far wiser, he

Is doubtless left behind i

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