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With thy acknowledged glories ; - No!
When this in modest guise was said,
Fire raged: and, when the spangled floor
This knowledge, from an Angel's voice
Was to the Pilgrim's soul endeared,
THE POET AND THE CAGED TURTLEDOVE.
As often as I murmur here
My half-formed melodies,
The Turtledove replies :
The captive promptly coos ;
Or second my weak Muse ?
I rather think, the gentle Dove
Is murmuring a reproof,
Have dared to keep aloof;
Have carolled, fancy free,
Had heart or voice for me.
If such thy meaning, O forbear,
Sweet Bird ! to do me wrong;
Love, blessed Love, is everywhere
The spirit of my song :
Love animates my lyre ; -
I feel, but to inspire.
A WREN'S NEST.
Among the dwellings framed by birds
In field or forest with nice care, Is none that with the little Wren's
In snugness may compare.
No door the tenement requires,
And seldom needs a labored roof; Yet is it to the fiercest sun
Impervious, and storm-proof.
So warm, so beautiful withal,
In perfect fitness for its aim, That to the Kind by special grace
Their instinct surely came.
And when for their abodes they seek
An opportune recess,
The hermit has no finer eye
For shadowy quietness.
These find, 'mid ivied abbey-walls,
A canopy in some still nook ; Others are pent-housed by a brae
That overhangs a brook.
There to the brooding bird her mate
Warbles by fits his low, clear song ; And by the busy streamlet both
Are sung to all day long.
Or in sequestered lanes they build,
Where, till the flitting bird's return, Her eggs within the nest repose,
Like relics in an urn.
But still, where general choice is good,
There is a better and a best ; And, among fairest objects, some
Are fairer than the rest ;
This, one of those small builders proved
In a green covert, where, from out The forehead of a pollard oak,
The leafy antlers sprout;
For she who planned the mossy lodge,
Mistrusting her evasive skill,
Had to a Primrose looked for aid
Her wishes to fulfil.
High on the trunk’s projecting brow,
And fixed an infant's span above The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest,
The prettiest of the grove!
The treasure proudly did I show
To some whose minds without disdain Can turn to little things ; but once
Looked up for it in vain :
'T is gone, - a ruthless spoiler's prey,
Who heeds not beauty, love, or song! 'T is gone! (so seemed it,) and we grieved,
Indignant at the wrong.
Just three days after, passing by
In clearer light, the moss-built cell I saw, espied its shaded mouth ;
And felt that all was well.
The Primrose for a veil had spread
The largest of her upright leaves ; And thus, for purposes benign,
A simple flower deceives.
Concealed from friends who might disturb
Thy quiet with no ill intent