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Withered to mummy, steeled against distress;
No :-free as Severn's waves, that spring to bless
Their parent hills, but as they roll expand
In argent beauty through a lovelier land,
And widening, brightening to the western sun,
In floods of glory through thy channel run;
Thence, mingling with the boundless tide, are hurled
In Ocean's chariot round the utmost world ;
Thus flow thine heart-streams, warm and unconfined,
At home, abroad, to woe of every kind.
Worthy wert thou of Reynolds ;--- worthy he
To rank the first of Britons even in thee.
Reynolds is dead ;--thy lap receives his dust
Until the resurrection of the just :
Reynolds is dead; but while thy rivers roll,
Immortal in thy bosom live his soul !
Go, build his monument; and let it be
Firm as the land, but open as the sea;
Low in his grave the strong foundations lie,
Yet be the dome expansive as the sky,
On crystal pillars resting from above,
Its sole supporters-works of faith and love;
So clear, so pure, that to the keenest sight
They cast no shadow ; all within be light:
No walls divide the area, nor enclose;
Charter the whole to every wind that blows;
Then rage the tempest, flash the lightnings blue,
And thunders roll, --they pass unharming through.
One simple altar in the midst be placed,
With this, and only this, inscription graced,
The song of angels at Immanuel's birth,-
Glory to God! good will and peace on earth.”
There be thy duteous sons a tribe of priests,
Not offering incense, nor the blood of beasts,
But with their gifts upon that altar spread ;
-Health to the sick, and to the hungry bread,
Beneficence to all, their hands shall deal,
With Reynolds' single eye and hallowed zeal.
Pain, want, misfortune, thither shall repair;
Folly and vice reclaimed shall worship there ;
The God of him in whose transcendent mind
Stood such a temple, free to all mankind :
Thy God, thrice-honoured city! bids thee raise
That fallen temple, to the end of days:
Obey His voice; fulfil thine high intent;
Yea, be thyself the Good Man's Monument!
WRITTEN FOR A JUVENILE ANNUAL.
“Thrice happy bird, I, too, have seen
Much of the vanities of men;
And, sick of having seen 'em,
Would cheerfully these limbs resign
For such a pair of wings as thine,
And such a head between 'em.'
Cowper-To the Jackdaw.
SWALLOW, why homeward turned thy joyful wing?
- In a far land I heard the voice of spring;
I found myself that moment on the way;
My wings, my wings, they had not power to stay.
What hand lets fly the Sky-lark from his rest?
-That which detains his mate upon the nest :
Love sends him soaring to the fields above,
She broods below, all bound with cords of love.
Why art thou always welcome, lonely bird ?
-The heart grows young again when I am heard;
Nor in my double note the magic lies,
But in the fields and woods, the streams and skies.
Familiar warbler, wherefore art thou come ?
-To sing to thee when all beside are dumb;
Pray let your little children drop a crumb.
Sparrow, the gun is levelled; quit that wall.
- Without the will of Heaven, I cannot fall.
The Ringdove. Art thou the bird that saw the waters cease? - Yes, and brought home the olive-branch of peace, Thenceforth I haunt the woods of thickest green, Pleased to be often heard and seldom seen.
Minstrel, what makes thy song so sad, yet swect?
-Love, love, where agony and rapture meet;
Oh! 't is the dream of happiness, to feign
Sorrow in joy, and court a thorn for pain.*
What art thou made of,—air, or light, or dew?
-I have not time to tell you, if I knew;
My tail -ask that-perhaps may solve the matter;
I've missed three flies already by this chatter.
Wren, canst thou squeeze into a hole so small ?
-Ay, with nine young ones too, and room for all :
Go, compass sea and land, in search of bliss;
Find, if you can, a happier home than this.
Thrush, Thrush, have mercy on thy little bill !
-“I play to please myself, albeit ill;” of
And yet,-though how it comes I cannot tell,—
My singing pleases all the world as well.
Well done! they're noble notes, distinct and strong;
Yet more variety might mend the song !
- Is there another bird that sings like me?
My pipe gives all the grove variety.
Bully, what fairy warbles in thy throat ?
-Oh for the freedom of my own wild note !
Art hath enthralled my voice; I strive in vain
To break the “linkéd sweetness" of my chain;
Love, joy, rage, grief, ring one melodious strain.
It is an ancient, but of course a figurative saying, that the nightingale leans his breast on the point of a thorn while singing. † Spenser's "Shepherd's Calendar.' June.
Live with me, love me, pretty Goldfinch, do !
-Ay, pretty maid, and be a slave to you;
Wear chains, fire squibs, draw water, -nay, not I,
While I've a bill to peck, or wing to fly.
Why art thou ever flitting to and fro?
--Plunge through these whins, their thorns will let thee know;
There are five secrets brooding here in night,
Which my good mate will duly bring to light:
Meanwhile, she sees the ants around her throng,
And hears the grasshopper chirp all day long.
The Grey Linnet.
Linnet, canst thou not change that humble coat?
Linnet, canst thou not mellow that sharp note?
-If rude my song and mean my garb appear,
Have you, sir, eyes to see, and ears to hear?
Sweet is thy warble, beautiful thy plume!
-Catch me, and cage me, then behold my doom;
My throat will fail, my colour wear away,
And the Red Linnet soon become a Gray.*
Stand still one moment !
-Spare your idle words;
I'm the perpetual mobile of birds;
My days are running, rippling, twittering streams;
When fast asleep, I'm broad awake in dreams.
Dost thou not languish for thy native land,
Madeira's fragrant woods and billowy strand ?
-My cage is fatherland enough for me;
Your parlour all the world---heaven, earth, and sea.
Naturalists say that this actually happens.
Least, nimblest, merriest bird of Albion's isle,
I cannot look on thee without a smile !
-I envy thee the sight, for all my glee
Could never yet extort a smile from me;
Think what a tiresome thing my life must be !
The Kingfisher. Why dost thou hide thy beauty from the sun ? -The eye of man, but not of Heaven, I shun; Beneath the mossy bank, with alders crowned, I build and brood where running waters sound; There, there the halcyon, peace, may still be found.
Why ever on the wing, or perched elate ?
-Because I fell not from my first estate;
This is my charter to the boundless skies,
“Stoop not to earth, on pain no more to rise."
The Wood-lark. Thy notes are silenced, and thy pinions mewed; Say, drooping minstrel, both shall be renewed ! -Voice will return, I cannot choose but sing; Yet liberty alone can plume my wing : Oh! give me that:- I cannot, will not, fly Within a cage less ample than the sky; Then shalt thou hear, as if an angel sung, Unseen in air, heaven's music from my tongue. Oh! give me that :- I cannot rest at ease On meaner perches than the forest trees; There, in thy walk, while evening shadows roil, My song shall melt into thy very soul ; But, till thou let thy captive bird depart, The sweetness of my strains shall wring thy heart.
Who taught thee, Chanticleer, to count the clock? -Nay, who taught man that lesson but the Cock ? Long before wheels and bells had learned to chime, I told the steps, unseen, unheard, of Time.