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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.
ON AN INK GLASS ALMOST DRIED IN THE SUN.
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!
Phoebus, if such be thy design,
To place it in thy bow,
Give wit, that what is left
With equal grace below.
PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
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,
66 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 smil'd 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.
Misses! the tale that I relate
This lesson seems to carry—
Choose not alone a proper mate,
But proper time to marry.
THE DOG AND THE WATER-LILY.
THE noon was shady, and soft airs
Swept Ouse's silent tide,
When, 'scap'd from literary cares,
I wander'd on his side.
My spaniel, prettiest of the race,
And high in pedigree,
(Two nymphs, adorn'd with ev'ry grace, That spaniel found for me)
Now wanton'd lost in flags and reeds,
Now starting into sight,
Pursued the swallow o'er the meads
With scarce a slower flight.
It was the time when Ouse display'd
His lilies newly blown,
Their beauties I intent survey'd,
And one I wish'd my own.
With cane extended far I sought
To steer it close to land;
But still the prize, though nearly caught,
Escap'd my eager hand.
Beau mark'd my unsuccessful pains
With fixed, consid❜rate face,
And puzzling set his puppy brains
To comprehend the case.
[* Sir Robert Gunning's daughters.