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There, he wheels in downward mazes ;
Sunward now his flight he raises,
Catches fire, as seems, and blazes

With uninjured plumes !”

ANSWER.

“ Stranger, 't is no act of courage
Which aloft thou dost discern;
No bold bird gone forth to forage

'Mid the tempest stern;
But such mockery as the nations
See, when public perturbations
Lift men from their native stations

Like yon TUFT OF FERN;

“Such it is; the aspiring creature
Soaring on undaunted wing,
(So you fancied,) is by nature

A dull, helpless thing,
Dry and withered, light and yellow; –
That to be the tempest's fellow!
Wait, — and you shall see how hollow
Its endeavoring !”

1817.

XVIII.

ON SEEING A NEEDLE-CASE IN THE FORM

OF A HARP.

THE WORK OF E. M. S.

FROWNs are on every Muse's face,

Reproaches from their lips are sent,
That mimicry should thus disgrace

The noble Instrument.

A very Harp in all but size !

Needles for strings in apt gradation !
Minerva's self would stigmatize

The unclassic profanation.

Even her own needle, that subdued

Arachne's rival spirit,
Though wrought in Vulcan’s happiest mood,

Such honor could not merit.

And this, too, from the Laureate's Child,

A living lord of melody!
How will her Sire be reconciled

To the refined indignity ?

I spake, when whispered a low voice:

“ Bard ! moderate your ire ;

Spirits of all degrees rejoice

In presence of the lyre.

“ The Minstrels of Pygmean bands,

Dwarf Genii, moonlight-loving Fays, Have shells to fit their tiny hands

And suit their slender lays.

“Some, still more delicate of ear,

Have lutes (believe my words) Whose framework is of gossamer,

While sunbeams are the chords.

“ Gay Sylphs this miniature will court,

Made vocal by their brushing wings, And sullen Gnomes will learn to sport

Around its polished strings ;

6 Whence strains to lovesick maiden dear,

While in her lonely bower she tries To cheat the thought she cannot cheer,

By fanciful embroideries.

“ Trust, angry Bard! a knowing Sprite,

Nor think the Harp her lot deplores ; Though 'mid the stars the Lyre shine bright, Love stoops as fondly as he soars.”

1827.

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IN ANSWER TO A REQUEST THAT I WOULD WRITE HER A

POEM UPON SOME DRAWINGS THAT SHE HAD MADE OF FLOWERS IN THE ISLAND OF MADEIRA.

Fair Lady! can I sing of flowers

That in Madeira bloom and fade, I who ne'er sat within their bowers,

Nor through their sunny lawns have strayed ? How they in sprightly dance are worn

By shepherd groom or May-day queen, Or holy festal pomps adorn,

These eyes have never seen.

Yet though to me the pencil's art

No like remembrances can give,
Your portraits still may reach the heart,

And there for gentle pleasure live ;
While Fancy raging with free scope

Shall on some lovely Alien set
A name with us endeared to hope,

To peace, or fond regret.

Still as we look with nicer care,

Some new resemblance we may trace: A Hearts-ease will perhaps be there,

A Speedwell may not want its place.

And so may we, with charmed mind

Beholding what your skill has wrought, Another Star-of-Bethlehem find,

A new Forget-me-not.

From earth to heaven with motion fleet,

From heaven to earth, our thoughts will pass, A Holy-Thistle here we meet

And there a Shepherd's Weather-glass ; And haply some familiar name

Shall grace the fairest, sweetest plant, Whose presence cheers the drooping frame

Of English Emigrant.

Gazing, she feels its power beguile

Sad thoughts, and breathes with easier breath ; Alas! that meek, that tender smile

Is but a harbinger of death: And pointing with a feeble hand,

She says, in faint words by sighs broken, Bear for me to my native land

This precious Flower, true love's last token.

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