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THE greenhouse is my summer seat; My shrubs displaced from that retreat
Enjoy'd the open air; Two goldfinches, whose sprightly song Had been their mutual solace long,
Lived happy prisoners there.
And frolic where they list;
And therefore never miss'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 seem'd to invite The freeman to a farewell fight;
But Tom was still confined; And Dick, although his way was clear, Was much too generous 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.
O ye, who never taste the joys
Fandango, ball, and rout! Blush, when I tell you how a bird, A prison with a friend preferr'd
To liberty without.
THERE is a field, through which I often pass, Thick overspread with moss aud silky grass, Adjoining close to Kilwick's echoing wood, Where oft the bitch-fox hides her hapless brood, Reserved to solace many a neighbouring '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 watery bourn, Wide yawns a gulf beside a sagged 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.
Not yet the hawthorn bore her berries red, With which the fieldfare, wintry guest, is fed; Nor Autumn yet had brush'd from every spray, With her chill hand, the mellow leaves away; But corn was housed, and beans were in the stack, Now therefore issued forth the spotted pack, With tails high mounted, ears hung low, and throats, With a whole gamut fillid of heavenly notes, For wbich, 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 Heaven's 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-raised horn's melodious clang All Kilwick* aud all Dinglederry* rang. Sheep grazed the field; some with soft bosom
press'd The herb as soft, while nibbling stray'd the rest; Nor poise 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 grazed, All huddling into phalanx, stood and gazed, Admiring, terrified, the novel strain, Then coursed the field around, and coursed it round
The man to solitude accustom'd long
• Two woods belonging to John Throckmorton, Esq.
Birds of all feather, beasts of every name,
This truth premised was needful as a text,
Awhile they mused; surveying every face, Thou hadst supposed them of superior race; Their periwigs of wool, and fears combined, Stamp'd on each countenance such marks of mind, That sage they seem'd, as lawyers o'er a doubt, Which, puzzling long, at last they puzzle out; Or academic tutors, teaching youths, Sure ne'er to want them, mathematic truths; When thus a mutton, statelier than the rest, A ram, the ewes and wethers sad address'd.
Friends! we have lived too long. I never heard Sounds such as these, so worthy to be fear'd. Could I believe, that winds for ages pent In earth's dark womb have found at last a vent, And from their prison-house below arise, With all these hideous howlings to the skies, I could be much composed, nor should appear, For such a cause, to feel the slightest fear. Yourselves have seen, what time the thunders rollid All night, me restiog quiet in the fold. Or heard we that tremendous bray alone, I could expound the melancholy tone; Should deem it by our old companion made, The ass; for he, we know, has lately stray'd, And being lost perhaps, and wandering wide, Might be supposed to clamour for a guide. But ah! those dreadful yells what soul can hear That owns a carcase, and not quake for fear? Dæmons produce them doubtless, brazen-claw'd And fang'd with brass the dæmons are abroad; I hold it therefore wisest and most fit, That, life to save, we leap into the pit.