Page images
PDF
EPUB

And if, ere he attain his end,
His sun precipitate descend,
A brighter prize than that he meant
Shall recompense his mere intent.
No virtuous wish can bear a date
Either too early or too late.

THE

FAITHFUL BIRD.

The green-house is my summer seat; My shrubs displac'd from that retreat

Enjoy'd the open air; Two goldfinches, whose sprightly song, Had been their mútúal solace long,

Liv'd happy pris'ners there.

They sang, as blithe as finches sing,
That Autter loose on golden wing,

And frolic where they list ;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,

And therefore never miss'd.

But nature works in ev'ry breast,
With force not easily suppress'd ;

And Dick felt some desires,
That, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain

A pass between his wires.

The open windows scem'd to’invite
The freeman to a farewell Aight;

But Tom was still confin'd;
And Dick, although his way was clear,
Was much too gen'rous and sincere,

To leave his friend behind.

So settling on his cage, by play,
And chirp, and kiss, he seem'd to say,

You must not live alone
Nor would he quit that chosen stand,
Till I, with slow and cautious hand,

Return'd him to his own.

Oh ye, who never taste the joys
Of Friendship, satisfied with noise,

Fandango, ball, and rout!
Blush, when I tell you how a bird,
A prison with a friend preferr'd

To liberty without.

THE NEEDLESS ALARM.

A TALE.

a

THERE is a field, through which I often pass,
Thick overspread with moss and silky grass,
Adjoining close to Kilwick's echoing wood,
Where oft the bitch-fox hides her hapless brood,
Reserv'd to solace many a neigb’ring squire,
That he may follow them through brake and brier,
Contusion hazarding of neck, or spine,
Which rural gentlemen call sport divine.
A narrow brook, by rushy banks conceal'd,
Runs in a bottom, and divides the field;
Oaks intersperse it, that had once a head,
But now wear crests of oven-wood instead;
And where the land slopes to its wat’ry bourn,
Wide yawns a gulf beside a ragged thorn;
Bricks line the sides, but shiver'd long ago,
And horrid brambles intertwine below;
A hollow scoop'd, I judge, in ancient time,
For baking earth, or burning rock to lime.

Nor yet the hawthorn bore her berries red, With which the fieldfare, wintry guest, is fed ; Nor Autumn yet had brush'd from ev'ry spray, With her chill hand, the mellow leaves away ;

But corn was hous'd, and beans were in the stack,
Now therefore issu'd forth the spotted pack,
With tails high mounted, ears hung low, and throats,
With a whole gamut filld of heav'nly notes,
For which, alas ! my destiny severe,
Though ears she gave me two, gave me no ear.

The Sun, accomplishing his early march, His lamp now planted on Heav'ns topmost arch, When, exercise and air my only aim, And heedless whither, to that field I came, Ere yet with ruthless joy the happy hound Told hill and dale that Reynard's track was found, Or with the high-rais'd horn's melodious clang All Kilwick* and all Dinglederry* rang.

Sheep graz’d the field; some with soft bosom

press'd The herb as soft, while nibbling stray'd the rest ; Nor noise was heard but of the hasty brook, Struggling, detain’d in many a petty nook. All seem'd so peaceful, that, from them convey'd, To me their peace by kind contagion spread.

But when the huntsman, with distended cheek, 'Gan make his instrument of music speak, And from within the wood that crash was heard, Though not a hound from whom it burst appear’d, The sheep recumbent, and the sheep that graz’d, All huddling into phalanx, stood and gaz'd,

Two woods belonging to John Throckmorton, Esq.

« PreviousContinue »