« PreviousContinue »
And even the child who knows no better
It chanced then on a winter's day,
“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 :
“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 expressed, Influenced mightily the rest ; All paired, 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 chilled, their eggs were addled ; Soon every father bird and mother Grew quarrelsome, and pecked each other, Parted without the least regret, Except that they had ever met, And learned in future to be wiser Than to neglect a good adviser.
Misses ! the tale that I relate
This lesson seems to carry
But proper time to marry.
EPITAPH ON A HARE.
Nor swifter greyhound follow, Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman's halloo. Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care, And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild Jack hare. Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance every night, He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite. His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw; Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scoar his maw.
On pippin's russet peel,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.
Whereon he loved to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.
For then he lost his fear,
Or when a storm drew near.
Eight years and five round rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
And every night at play.
For he would oft beguile
And force me to a smile.
But now beneath his walnut shade
He finds his long last home,
Till gentler Puss shall come.
From which no care can save,
Must soon partake his grave.
SONNET TO A YOUNG LADY ON HER
EEM not, sweet rose, that bloom'st 'midst many
To steer with nicest art betwixt the extreme
WRITTEN IN A QUARREL (THE DELIVERY OF IT PREVENTED BY A RECONCILIATION).
HINK, Delia, with what cruel haste
Nor heedless thus in sorrow waste
The moments due to love;
These few that are our friends;
Their speedy flight attends !
And wished so long to see,
Or anger aimed at me.
Should e'er provoke your hate ;
Still hoped a gentler fate.
Or oh ! we meet in vain !
Than suffer and complain ?