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Her father he did tell, and then
He stared like an affrighted man:
Down stairs he ran, and when he see her,
Cried out, 'My child, how cam'st thou here ?'
'Pray, sir, did you not send for me
By such a messenger ?' said she:
Which made his hair stand on his head,
As knowing well that he was dead.
"Where is he?' then to her he said ;
'He's in the stable,' quoth the maid.
'Go in,' said he, 'and go to bed ;
I'll see the horse well littered.'
He stared about, and there could he
No shape of any mankind see,
But found his horse all on a sweat;
Which made him in a deadly fret.
His daughter he said nothing to,
Nor none else, (though full well they knew
That he was dead a month before,)
For fear of grieving her full sore.
Her father to the father went
Of the deceased, with full intent
To tell him what his daughter said ;
So both came back unto this maid.
They asked her, and she still did say
'Twas he that then brought her away;
Which when they heard, they were amazed,
And on each other strangely gazed.
A handkerchief she said she tied
About his head, and that they tried ;
The sexton they did speak unto
That he the grave would then undo.
Affrighted then they did behold
His body turning into mould,
And though he had a month been dead
This handkerchief was about his head.
This thing unto her then they told,
And the whole truth they did unfold ;
She was thereat so terrified
And grieved, that she quickly died.
As it fell upon a day
. In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made,
Beasts did leap and birds did sing,
Trees did grow and plants did spring,
Everything did banish moan,
Save the Nightingale alone.
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast against a thorn,
And there sung the dolefullest ditty
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie, now would she cry;
Tereu, Tereu, by and by:
That to hear her so complain
Scarce I could from tears refrain;
For her griefs so lively shewn
Made me think upon mine own.
-Ah, thought I, thou mourn'st in vain,
None takes pity on thy pain:
Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee,
Ruthless beasts, they will not cheer thee;
King Pandion, he is dead,
All thy friends are lapp'd in lead.
All thy fellow birds do sing
Careless of thy sorrowing.
Even so, poor bird, like thee
None alive will pity me.
ON A FAVOURITE CAT DROWNED IN
A TUB OF GOLDFISHES
'Twas on a lofty vase's side
Where China's gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow,
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima, reclined,
Gazed on the lake below.
Her conscious tail her joy declared:
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw, and purr'd applause.
Still had she gazed, but midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The genii of the stream:
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue,
Through richest purple, to the view
Betray'd a golden gleam.
The hapless Nymph with wonder saw:
A whisker first, and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretch'd in vain to reach the prize ;
What female heart can gold despise?
What cat's averse to fish?
Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between-
Malignant fate sat by and smiled
The slippery verge her feet beguiled;
She tumbled headlong in!
Eight times emerging from the flood
She mewd to every watery god
Some speedy aid to send:
No dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd,
Nor cruel Tom nor Susan heard-
A favourite has no friend!
THE FOX AT THE POINT OF DEATH
A fox, in life's extreme decay,
Weak, sick and faint, expiring lay;
All appetite had left his maw,
And age disarm'd his mumbling jaw.
His numerous race around him stand
To learn their dying sire's command:
He rais'd his head with whining moan,
And thus was heard the feeble tone:
' Ah, sons, from evil ways depart;
My crimes lie heavy on my heart.
See, see, the murder'd geese appear!
Why are those bleeding turkeys there?
Why all around this cackling train
Who haunt my ears for chickens slain ?'
The hungry foxes round them stard, And for the promised feast prepar’d.
* Where, sir, is all this dainty cheer? Nor turkey, goose, nor hen is here. These are the phantoms of your brain; And your sons lick their lips in vain.'
‘O, gluttons,' says the drooping sire, "Restrain inordinate desire, Your liquorish taste you shall deplore, When peace of conscience is no more. Does not the hound betray our pace, And gins and guns destroy our race? Thieves dread the searching eye of power And never feel the quiet hour. Old age (which few of us shall know) Now puts a period to my woe. Would you true happiness attain, Let honesty your passions rein; So live in credit and esteem, And the good name you lost, redeem.'
'The counsel's good,' a son replies, Could we perform what you advise.