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THE rose had been wash'd, just wash'd in a shower, Which Mary to Anna convey'd;
The plentiful moisture encumber'd the flower,
And weigh'd down its beautiful head.
The cup was all fill'd, and the leaves were all wet, And it seem'd, to a fanciful view,
To weep for the buds it had left with regret
On the flourishing bush where it grew.
I hastily seized it, unfit as it was
For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd,
And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!
I snapp'd it; it fell to the ground.
And such, I exclaim'd, is the pitiless part
Some act by the delicate mind,
Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart
Already to sorrow resign'd.
This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
Might have bloom'd with its owner awhile; And the tear that is wiped with a little address, May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.
ODE TO APOLLO.
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 stolen 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,
Combined 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.
THE POET'S NEW-YEAR'S GIFT. TO MRS. (AFTERWARDS LADY) THROCKMORTON. MARIA! I have every good
For thee wish'd many a time, Both sad and in a cheerful mood, But never yet in rhyme.
To wish thee fairer is no need,
More prudent, or more sprightly,
Or more ingenious, or more freed
From temper-flaws unsightly.
What favour then not yet possess'd
Can I for thee require,
In wedded love already bless'd,
To thy whole heart's desire?
None here is happy but in part;
Full bliss is bliss divine;
There dwells some wish in
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.
PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
I SHALL not ask Jean Jaques 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 chanced then on a winter's day,
But warm and bright and calm as May,
The birds, conceiving a design
To forestall 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 Bullfinch, who could boast
More years and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, opening wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And silence publicly enjoin'd,
Delivered briefly thus his mind:
My friends! be cautious how ye
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 withheld 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,
Opposite in the apple-tree,
By his good will would keep us single
Till yonder heaven and earth shall mingle;
Or (which is likelier to befall)
Till death exterminate us all.
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
Influenced 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 smiled on theirs.
The wind, of late breathed 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;
every father bird and mother.
Grew quarrelsome, and peck'd each other,