Imágenes de páginas

Lest the rude blast should snap the bough,
And spread her golden hopes below.
But just at eve the blowing weather
And all her fears were hush'd together.
And now,” quoth poor unthinking Ralph,
'Tis over and the brood is safe;"
(For ravens, though as birds of omen
They teach both conj'rers and old women,
To tell us what is to befall,
Can't prophesy themselves at all.)
The morning came, when neighbour Hodge,
Who long had mark'd her airy lodge
And destin'd all the treasure there
A gift to his expecting fair,
Climb'd like a squirrel to his spray,
And bore the worthless prize away.

'Tis Providence alone secures
In ev'ry change both mine and yours:
Safety consists not in escape
From dangers of a frightful shape:
An earthquake may be bid to spare
The man, that's strangled by a hair.
Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oft'nest in what least we dread;
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The lapse of time and rivers is the same,
Both speed their journey with a restless stream;
The silent pace, with which they steal away,
No wealth can bribe, no pray’rs persuade to stay;
Alike irrevocable both when past,
And a wide ocean swallows both at last.

Though each resemble each in ev'ry part,
A diff'rence strikes at length the musing heart:
Streams never flow in vain; where streams abound,
How laughs the land with various plenty crown'd!
But time, that should enrich the nobler mind,
Neglected leaves a weary waste behind.

[ocr errors]

ANOTHER. ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY. SWEET stream, that winds through yonder glade, Apt emblem of a virtuous maid Silent and chaste she steals along, Far from the world's gay busy throng; With gentle yet prevailing force, Intent upon her destin'd course; Graceful and useful all she does, Blessing and blest where'er she goes,' . Pure-bosom'd as that wat'ry glass, And heav'n reflected in her face.


MARIA! I have ev'ry good

For thee wish'd many a time,
Both sad, and in a cheerful mood,

But never yet in rhyme.
To wish thee fairer is no need,

More prudent, or more sprightly,
Or more ingenious, or more freed

From temper-flaws unsightly.
What favour then not yet possess'd,

Can I for thee require,
In wedded love already blest,

To thy whole heart's desire ?

None here is happy but in part:

Full bliss is bliss divine;
There dwells some wish in ev'ry heart,

And doubtless one in thine.
That wish, on some fair future day,

Which Fate shall brightly gild, ('Tis blameless, be it what it may)

I wish it all fulfill'd.

PATRON of all those luckless brains,

That, to the wrong side leaning,
Indite much'metre with much pains,

And little or no meaning :
Ah why, since oceans, rivers, streams,

That water all the nations,
Pay tribute to thy glorious beams,

In constant exhalations.
Why, stooping from the noon of day,

Too covetous of drink,
Apollo, hast thou stol'n

away A poet's drop of ink ? Upborne into the viewless air

It floats a vapour now,
Impell’d through regions dense and rare,

By all the winds that blow.
Ordain'd perhaps ere summer flies,

Combin'd with millions more, To form an Iris in the skies,

Though black and foul before.
Illustrious drop! and happy then

Beyond the happiest lot,
Of all that ever pass'd my pen,
So soon to be forgot!

[ocr errors]

2 H 2


Phoebus, if such be thy design,

To place it in thy bow, Give wit, that what is left


shine With equal grace below.


A FABLE. I SHALL not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau* If birds confabulate or no; 'Tis clear, that they were always able To hold discourse, at least in fable; 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..

It chanc'd then on a winter's day, But warm, and bright, and calm as May, The birds, conceiving a design To forestal sweet St.

Valentine, In many an orchard, copse, and grove, Assembled on affairs of love, And with much twitter and much chatter, Began to agitate the matter. At length a Bulfinch, who could boast More years and wisdom than the most, Entreated, op'ning wide his beak, A moment's liberty to speak; And, silence publicly enjoin'd, Deliver'd briefly thus his mind:

“My friends! be cautious how ye treat The subject upon which we meet;

I fear we shall have winter yet.” * It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philosopher, that all fables which ascribe reason and speech to animals should be with held from children, as being only vehicles of deception. But what child was ever deceived by them, or can be, against the evidence of

his senses?

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 heav'n 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 express'd
Influenc'd mightily the rest,
All pair'd, 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 smild on theirs. The wind, of late breath'd 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 chill'd, their eggs were addled; Soon ev'ry father, bird, and mother Grew quarrelsome, and peck'd each other, Parted without the least regret, Except that they had ever met, And learn'd in future to be wiser, Than to neglect a good adviser.

« AnteriorContinuar »