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Twas in the glad season of spring,
Asleep at the dawn of the day,
I dream'd what I cannot but sing,
So pleasant it seem'd as I lay.
I dream'd, that, on ocean afloat,
Far hence to the westward I sail'd, While the billows high-lifted the boat,
And the fresh-blowing breeze never fail'd. In the steerage a woman I saw,
Such at least was the form that she wore, Whose beauty impress’d me with awe,
Ne'er taught me hy woman before. She sat, and a shield at her side
Shed light, like a sun on the waves, And, smiling divinely, she cried
“ Í go to make freemen of slaves.”_ Then raising her voice to a strain
The sweetest that ear ever heard,
She sung of the slave's broken chain,
Wherever her glory appear'd.
Some clouds, which had over us hung,
Fled, chas'd by her melody clear,
And methought while she liberty sung,
'Twas liberty only to hear. Thus swiftly dividing the flood,
To a slave-cultur’d island we came,
Where, a demon, her enemy, stood-
Oppression his terrible name.
In his hand, as the sign of his sway,
A scourge hung with lashes he bore,
And stood looking out for his prey
From Africa's sorrowful shore.
But soon as approaching the land
That goddess-like woman he view'd, The scourge he let fall from his hand,
With blood of his subjects imbru’d. I saw him both sicken and die,
And the moment the monster expir'd, Heard shouts that ascended the sky,
From thousands with rapture inspir’d. Awaking, how could I but muse
At what such a dream should betide ? But soon my ear caught the glad news,
Which serv'd my weak thought for a guideThat Britannia, renown'd o'er the waves
For the hatred she ever has shown To the black-sceptred rulers of slaves,
Resolves to have none of her own.
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song ;
For 'twas the self-same pow'r divine
Taught you to sing and me to shine ;
That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night.”
The songster heard his short oration,
And warbling out his approbation,
Releas'd him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
Hence jarring sectaries may learn
Their real int'rest to discern;
That brother should not war with brother,
And worry and devour each other:
But sing and shine by sweet consent,
Till life's poor transient night is spent,
Respecting in each other's case
The gifts of nature and of grace.
Those Christians best deserve the name,
Who studiously make peace their aim ;
Peace both the duty and the prize
Of him that creeps and him that flies.
ON A GOLDFINCH,
STARVED TO DEATH IN HIS CAGE.
TIME was when I was free as air,
The thistle's downy seed my fare,
My drink the morning dew;
I perch'd at will on ev'ry spray,
My form genteel, my plumage gay,
My strains for ever new.
But gaudy plumage, sprightly strain,
And form genteel, were all in vain,
And of a transient date;
For caught, and cag'd, and starv'd to death,
In dying sighs my little breath
Soon pass'd the wiry grate.
Thanks, gentle swain, for all my woes,
And thanks for this effectual close
And cure of ev'ry ill;
More cruelty could none express ;
And I, if you had shown me less,
Had been your pris'ner still.
PINE-APPLE AND THE BEE.
The pine-apples, in triple row,
Were basking hot, and all in blow;
A bee of most discerning taste,
Perceiv'd the fragrance as he pass’d.
On eager wing the spoiler came,
And search'd for crannies in the frame,
Urg'd his attempt on ev'ry side,
To ev'ry pane his trunk applied;
But still in vain, the frame was tight,
And only pervious to the light:
Thus having wasted half the day,
He trimm'd his flight another way.
“ Methinks," I said, “ in thee I find
The sin and madness of mankind.
To joys forbidden man aspires,
Consumes his soul with vain desires :
Folly the spring of his pursuit,
And disappointment all the fruit.
While Cynthio ogles, as she passes,
The nymph between two chariot glasses,
She is the pine-apple, and he
The silly, unsuccessful bee.
The maid, who views with pensive air
The show-glass fraught with glitt'ring ware,
Sees watches, bracelets, rings, and lockets,
But sighs at thought of empty pockets ;
Like thine, her appetite is keen,
But, ah, the cruel glass between!
Our dear delights are often such,
Expos’d to yiew, but not to touch;
The sight our foolish heart inflames,
We long for pine-apples in frames;
With hopeless wish one looks and lingers;
One breaks the glass, and cuts his fingers ;
But, they whom truth and wisdom lead,
Can gather honey from a weed.
Book II. Ode X.
RECEIVE, dear friend, the truths I teach,
So shalt thou live beyond the reach
Of adverse Fortune's pow'r;
Not always tempt the distant deep,
Nor always timorously creep
Along the treach'rous shore.
He, that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man's door,
Imbitt ring all his state.
The tallest pines feel most the pow'r
Of wintry blasts ; the loftiest tow'r
Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts that spare the mountain's side,
His cloud-capt eminence divide,
And spread the ruin round.
The well-informed philosopher
Rejoices with a wholesome fear,
Ănd hopes, in spite of pain ; If Winter bellow from the north, Soon the sweet Spring comes dancing forth,
And Nature laughs again.