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A FABLE.

COWPER

A beast forth-sallied on the scout,

THE POET'S NEW-YEAR'S GIFT Long-backed, long-tailed, with whisker'd snout,

TO MRS. (NOW LADY) THROCKMORTON. And badger-coloured hide.

Maria! I have every good He, entering at the study-door,

For thee wished many a time,
Its ample area 'gan explore;

Both sad, and in a cheerful mood,
And something in the wind

But never yet in rhyme.
Conjectured, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,

To wish thee fairer is no need,
Food chiefly for the mind.

More prudent, or more sprightly, Just then, by adverse fate imprest,

Or more ingenious, or more freed
A dream disturbed poor Bully's rest;

From temper-flaws unsightly.
In sleep he seemed to view

What favour then not yet possest
A rat, fast-clinging to the cage,

Can I for thee require,
And screaming at the sad presage,

In wedded love already blest,
Awoke and found it true.

To thy whole heart's desire?
For, aided both by ear and scent,

None here is happy but in part:
Right to his mark the monster went-

Full bliss is bliss divine;
Ah, Muse! forbear to speak

There dwells some wish in every heart, Minute the horrors that ensued;

And doubtless one in thine.
His teeth were strong, the cage was wood-
He left poor Bully's beak.

That wish on some fair future day,
He left it--but he should have ta'en;

Which fate shall brightly gild, That beak, whence issued many a strain

('Tis blameless, be it what it may)
Of such mellifluous tone,

I wish it all fulfilled.
Might have repaid him well, I wote,
For silencing so sweet a throat,
Fast set within his own.'

PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
Maria weeps the Muses mourn-
So, when by Bacchanalians torn,

I sliall not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau,
On Thracian Hebrus' side

If birds confabulate or no;
The tree-enchanter Orpheus fell;

'Tis clear that they were always able His head alone remained to tell

To hold discourse, at least in fable;
The cruel death he died.

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.
THE ROSE.

It chanced then on a winter's day,
The rose had been washed, just washed in a shower,

But warm, and bright, and calm as May, to Anna conveyed,

The birds, conceiving a design The plentiful moisture incumbered the flower,

To forestall sweet St. Valentine, And weighed down its beautiful head.

In many an orchard, copse, and grove,

Assembled on affairs of love,
The cup was all filled, and the leaves were all wet; And with niuch twitter and much chatter,
And it seemed, to a fanciful view,

Began to agitate the matter.
To weep for the buds it had left with regret, At length a Bulfinch, who could boast
On the flourishing bush where it grew.

More years and wisdom than the most,

Entreated, opening wide his beak, I hastily seized it, unfit as it was

A moment's liberty to speak; For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd,

And, silence publicly enjoined, And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!

Delivered briefly tbus his mind. I snapped it, it feil to the ground.

My friends! be cautious how ye treat

The subject upon which we meet; And such, I exclaimed, is the pitiless part

I fear we shall have winter yet. Some act by the delicate mind,

A Finch, whose tongue knew no control, Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart

With golden wing, and satin pole, Already to sorrow resigned.

A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried

What marriage means, thus pert replied. This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,

Methinks the gentleman, quoth she, Might have bloomed with its owner a while,

Opposite in the apple-tree, And the tear, that is wiped with a little address,

By his good will would keep us single, May be followed perhaps by a smile.

Which Mary

Till yonder heaven and earth shall mingle,

Beau marked my unsuccessful pains Or (which is likelier to befal)

With fixt considerate face, Till death exterminate us all.

And puzzling sat his puppy brains
I marry without more ado.

To comprehend the case.
My dear Dick Redcap, what say you ?
Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling,

But with a chirrup clear and strong,

Dispersing all his dream,
Turning short round, strutting and sideling,
Attested, glad, his approbation

I thence withdrew, and followed long
Of an immediate conjugation,

The windings of the stream. Their sentiments so well exprest

My ramble finished, I returned, Influenced mightily the rest,

Beau trotting far before All paired, and each pair built a nest.

The floating wreath again discerned,
But though the birds were thus in haste,

And plunging left the shore.
The leaves came on not quite so fast;
And destiny, that sometimes bears

I saw him with that lily cropped
An aspect stern on man's affairs,

Impatient swim to meet Not altogether smiled on theirs.

My quick approach, and soon he dropped The wind, of late breathed gently forth,

The treasure at my feet.
Now shifted east and east by north ;
Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know,

Charmed with the sight, the world, I cried, Could shelter them from rain or snow;

Shall hear of this thy deed: Stepping into their nests, they paddled,

My dog shall mortify the pride
Themselves were chilled, their eggs were addled,

Of man's superior breed :
Soon every father bird and mother
Grew quarrelsome, and pecked each other,

But chief myself I will enjoin,
Parted without the least regret,

Awake at duty's call, Except that they had ever met,

To shew a love as prompt as thine And learned in future to be wiser,

To Him who gives me all. Than to neglect a good adviser.

INSTRUCTION.

THE POET, THE OYSTER, AND SEVSH

TIVE PLANT.

Misses! the tale that I relate

This lesson seems to carry-
Choose not alone a proper mate,
But
proper

time to marry

THE DOG AND THE WATER-LILY.

NO FABLE.

The noon was shady, and soft airs

Swept Ouse's silent tide,
When, 'scaped from literary cares,

I wandered on his side.
My spaniel, prettiest of his race,

And high in pedigree,
(Two nymphs adorned with every grace

That spaniel found for me)
Now wantoned, lost in flags and reeds,

Now starting into sight,
Pursued the swallow o'er the meads

With scarce a slower flight.
It was the time when Ouse displayed

His lilies newly blown;
Their beauties I intent surveyed,

And one I wished my own.
With cane extended far I sought

To steer it close to land;
But still the prize, though nearly caught,

Escaped my eager hand.

An Oyster, cast upon the shore,
Was heard, though never heard before,
Complaining in a speech well worded,
And worthy thus to be recorded -

Ah, hapless wretch! condemned to dwell
For ever in my native shell;
Ordained to move when others please,
Not for my own content or ease;
But tossed and buffeted about,
Now in the water and now out.
"Twere better to be born a stone,
Of ruder shape, and feeling none,
Than with a tenderness like mine,
And sensibilities so fine!
I envy that unfeeling shrub,
Fast-rooted against every rub.
The plant he meant grew not far off,
And felt the sneer with scorn enough ;
Was hurt, disgusted, mortified,
And with asperity replied.

When, cry the botanists, and stare,
Did plants called sensitive grow there?
No matter when—a poet's Muse is
To make them grow just where she chooses.

You shapeless nothing in a dish,
You that are but almost a fish,
I scorn your coarse insinuation,
And have most plentiful occasion
To wish myself the rock I view,

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TRANSLATIONS FROM V, BOURNE.
Or such another dolt as you:

THE GLOW-WORM.
For many a grave and learned clerk,
And many a gay unlettered spark,

Beneath the hedge, or near the stream,
With curious touch examines me,

A worm is known to stray ;
If I can feel as well as he;

That shews by night a lucid beam, 2 And when I bend, retire, and shrink,

Which disappears by day.
Says-Well, 'tis more than one would think!
Thus life is spent (oh fie upon't!)

Disputes have been, and still prevail,
In being touched, and crying-Don't.

From whence his rays proceed;
A poet, in his evening walk,

Some give that honour to his tail,
O'erheard and checked this idle talk.

And others to his head.
And your fine sense, he said, and your's,
* Whatever evil it endures,

But this is sure—the hand of might,
Deserves not, if so soon offended,

That kindles up the skies,
Much to be pitied or commended.

Gives him a modicum of light
Serge Disputes, though short, are far too long,

Proportioned to his size.
Where both alike are in the wrong;
nike Your feelings in their full amount,

Perhaps indulgent nature meant,
Are all upon your own account.

By such a lamp bestowed,

To bid the traveller, as he went, You, in your grotto-work enclosed, he we Complain of being thus exposed;

Be careful where he trod : ted:

Yet nothing feel in that rough coat, pride Save when the knife is at your throat,

Nor crush a worm, whose useful light

Might serve, however small, Wherever driven by wind or tide,

To shew a stumbling stone by night,
Exempt from every ill beside.

And save him from a fall.
And as for you, my Lady Squeamish,
Who reckon every touch a blemish,

Whate'er she meant, this truth divine
If all the plants, that can be found

Is legible and plain, Embellishing the scene around,

'Tis

power almighty bids him shine, Should droop and wither where they grow,

Nor bids him shine in vain.
You would not feel at all-not you.,
ER 11 The noblest minds their virtue prove

Ye proud and wealthy, let this theme
By pity, sympathy, and love:

Teach humbler thoughts to you,
These, these are feelings truly fine,

Since such a reptile has its gem,
And
prove their owner half divine.

And boasts its splendour too.
His censure reached them as he dealt it,
And each by shrinking showed he felt it.

There is a bird who by his coat,
And by the hoarseness of his note,

Might be supposed a crow;
ON A GOLDFINCH STARVED TO DEATH A great frequenter of the church,
IN HIS CAGE.

Where bishop-like he finds a perch,

And dormitory too.
Time was when I was free as air,
The thistle's downy seed my fare,

Above the steeple shines a plate,
My drink the morning dew;

That turns and turns, to indicate
I perched at will on every spray,

From what point biows the weather.

Look
My form genteel, my plumage gay,

up-your brains begin to swim;

'Tis in the clouds--that pleases him, My strains for ever new.

He chooses it the rather. But gaudy plumage, sprightly strain,

Fond of the speculative height,
And form genteel, were all in

Thither he wings his airy flight,
And of a transient date;

And thence securely sees
For caught and caged, and starved to death,

The bustle and the raree-show,
In dying sighs my little breath

That occupy mankind below,
Soon passed the wiry grate.

Secure and at his ease.

You think, no doubt, he sits and muses Thanks, gentle swain, for all my woes,

On future broken bones and bruises,
And thanks for this effectual close,

If he should chance to fall.
And cure of every ill!
More cruelty could none express ;

No; not a single thought like that

Employs his philosophic pate,
And I, if you had shown me less,

Or troubles it at all.
Had been your prisoner still.

THE JACK DAW.

THE CRICKET.

He sees that this great roundabout

But 'tis her own important charge The world, with all its motley rout,

To qualify him more at large, Church, army, physic, law,

And make him quite a wit. Its customs, and its businesses,

Sweet Poll! his doating mistress cries, Is no concern at all of his,

Sweet Poll! the mimic bird replies; And says—what says he ?-Caw.

And calls aloud for sack. Thrice happy bird! I too have seen

She next instructs him in the kiss; Much of the vanities of men;

'Tis now a little one, like Miss, And, sick of having seen 'em,

And now a hearty smack. Would cheerfully these limbs resign

At first he aims at what he hears; For such a pair of wings as thine,

And, listening close with both his ears,
And such a head between 'em.

Just catches at the sound;
But soon articulates aloud,

Much to the amusement of the crowd,
Little inmate, full of mirth,

And stuns the neighbours round.
Chirping on my kitchen hearth,
Wheresoe'er be thine abode,

A querulous old woman's voice

His humorous talent next employs,
Always harbinger of good.
Pay me for thy warm retreat

He scolds and gives the lie.
With a song more soft and sweet;

And now he sings, and now is sick, In return thou shalt receive

Here Sally, Susan, come, come quick, Such a strain as I can give.

Poor Poll is like to die! Thus thy praise shall be exprest,

Belinda and her bird! 'tis rare Inoffensive, welcome guest !

To meet with such a well-matched pair, While the rat is on the scout,

The language and the tone, And the mouse with curious snout,

Each character in every part With what vermin else infest

Sustained with so much grace and art, Every dish, and spoil the best;

And both in unison. Frisking thus before the fire,

When children first begin to spell, Thou hast all thine heart's desire.

And stammer out a syllable,

We think them tedious creatures; Though in voice and shape they be

But difficulties soon abate, Formed as if akin to thee,

When birds are to be taught to prate,
Thou surpassest, happier far,

And women are the teachers.
Happiest grasshoppers that are;
Theirs is but a summer's song,
Thine endures the winter long,
Unimpaired, and shrill, and clear,
Melody throughout the year.

HISTORY OF JOAN GILPIN,

THE DIVERTING

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COWPER

He soon replied, I do admire

Then over all, that he might be Of womankind but one,

Equipped from top to toe, And you are she, my dearest dear,

His long red cloak, well brushed and neat, Therefore it shall be done.

He manfully did throw. I am a linen-draper bold,

Now see him mounted once again As all the world doth know,

Upon his nimble steed, And my good friend the calender

Full slowly pacing o'er the stones, Will lend his horse to go.

With caution and good heed. Quoth Mrs. Gilpin, That's well said;

But finding soon a smoother road And, for that wine is dear,

Beneath his well-shod feet, We will be furnished with our own,

The snorting beast began to trot, Which is both bright and clear.

Which galled him in his seat. John Gilpin kissed his loving wife;

So, fair and softly, John he cried, O'erjoyed was he to find

But John he cried in vain ; That, though on pleasure she was bent,

That trot became a gallop soon, She had a frugal mind.

In spite of curb and rein. The morning came, the chaise was brought,

So stooping down, as needs he must But yet was not allowed

Who cannot sit upright, To drive up to the door, lest all

He grasped the mane with both his hands, Should say that she was proud.

And eke with all his might. So three doors off the chaise was stayed,

His horse, who never in that sort Where they did all get in;

Had handled been before, Six precious souls, and all agog

What thing upon his back had got
To dash through thick and thin.

Did wonder more and more.
Smack went the whip, round went the wheels, Away went Gilpin, neck or nought;
Were never folk so glad,

Away went hat and wig;
The stones did rattle underneath,

He little dreamt when he set out, As if Cheapside were mad.

Of running such a rig. John Gilpin at his horse's side

The wind did blow, the cloak did fly Seized fast the flowing mane,

Like streamer long and gay, And up he got, in haste to ride,

Till, loop and button failing both, But soon came down again;

At last it flew away. For saddle-tree scarce reached had he,

Then might all people well discern His journey to begin,

The bottles he had slung; When, turning round his head, he saw

A bottle swinging at each side, Three customers come in.

As hath been said or sung. So down he came; for loss of time,

The dogs did bark, the children screamed, Although it grieved him sore;

Up flew the windows all; Yet loss of pence, full well he knew,

And every soul cried out, Well done! Would trouble him much more.

As loud as he could bawl. 'Twas long before the customers

Away went Gilpin-who but he? Were suited to their mind,

His fame soon spread around, When Betty screaming came down stairs,

He carries weight! he rides a race! “ The wine is left behind !"

'Tis for a thousand pound! Good lack ! quoth he-yet bring it me,

And still, as fast as he drew near,

'Twas wonderful to view My leathern belt likewise, In which I bear my trusty sword

How in a trice the turnpike men When I do exercise.

Their gates wide open threw.
Now mistress Gilpin (careful soul!)

And now, as he went bowing down
Had two stone bottles found,

His reeking head full low,

The bottles twain behind his back
To hold the liquor that she loved,

Were shattered at a blow.
And keep it safe and sound.
Each bottle had a curling ear,

Down ran the wine into the road,

Most piteous to be seen,
Through which the belt he drew,

Which made his horse's flanks to smoke,
And hung a bottle on each side,
To make his balance true.

As they had basted been.

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