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“Where are my offspring tender!

Where is my widow'd mate? -Thou Guardian Moon! defend her! Ye stars! avert their fate!

O'erwhelm'd with killing anguish,

In iron cage, forlorn,
I see my poor babes languish:

I hear their mother mourn! « Liberty! inspire me,

And eagle strength supply! Thou, Love almighty! fire me!

I'll burst my prison-or die!" He sung; and forward bounded :

He broke the yielding door! But, with the shock confounded,

Fell, lifeless, on the floor! Farewell, then, Philomela :

Poor martyr'd bird! adieu ! There's one, my charming fellow!

Who thinks, who feels, like you : The bard that pens thy story,

Amidst a prison's gloom,
Sighs,—not for wealth nor glory,

-But freedom, or thy tomb! Feb. 12, 1796.

Here reside no furies gaunt,
No tumultuous passions haunt;
Fell revenge, nor treachery base ;
Guilt, with bold unblushing face ;
Pale remorse, within whose breast
Scorpion horrors murder rest;
Coward malice, hatred dire ;
Lawless rapine, dark desire ;
Pining envy, frantic ire;
Never, never dare intrude
On this pensive solitude.
-But a sorely hunted deer
Finds a sad asylum here:
One, whose panting sides have been
Pierced with many an arrow keen;
One, whose deeply-wounded heart
Bears the scars of many a dart.
In the herd he vainly mingled;
From the herd when harshly singled,
Too proud to fly, he scorn'd to yield;
Too weak to fight, he lost the field :
Assail'd, and captive led away,
He fell, a poor inglorious prey.

Deign then, gentle Star! to shed Thy soft lustre round mine head; With cheering radiance gild the room, And melt the melancholy gloom. When I see thee, from thy sphere, Trembling like a brilliant tear, Shed a sympathizing ray On the pale expiring day, Then a welcome emanation Of reviving consolation, Swifter than the lightning's dart, Glances through my glowing heart; Soothes my sorrows, lulls my woes, In a soft, serene repose, Like the undulating motion Of the deep, majestic ocean, When the whispering billows glide Smooth along the tranquil tide; Calmly thus, prepared, resign'd, Swells the independent mind.


HAIL! resplendent Evening Star!
Brightly beaming from afar;
Fairest gem, of purest light,
In the diadem of night.

Now thy mild and modest ray
Lights to rest the weary day;
While the lustre of thine eye
Sweetly trembles through the sky;
As the closing shadows roll
Deep and deeper round the pole,
Lo! thy kindling legions bright
Steal insensibly to light,
Till, magnificent and clear,
Shines the spangled hemisphere.

In these calmly-pleasing hours,
When the soul expands her powers,
And, on wings of contemplation,
Ranges round the vast creation ;
When the mind's immortal eye
Bounds, with rapture, to the sky,
And, in one triumphant glance,
Comprehends the wide expanse,
Where stars, and suns, and systems shine,
Faint beams of MAJESTY DIVINE ;-
Now, when visionary sleep
Lulls the world in slumbers deep;
When silence, awfully profound,
Breathes solemn inspiration round;
Queen of beauty! queen of stars!
Srile upon these frowning bars :
Softly sliding from thy sphere,
Condescend to visit here.

In the circle of this cell
No tormenting demons dwell;
Round these walls, in wild despair,
No agonizing spectres glare :

But when, through clouds, thy beauteous light Streams, in splendor, on the night, Hope, like thee, my leading star, Through the sullen gloom of care, Sheds an animating ray On the dark, bewildering way. Starting, then, with sweet surprise, Tears of transport swell mine eyes ; Wildly through each throbbing vein, Rapture thrills with pleasing pain; All my fretful fears are banishid, All my dreams of anguish vanish'd : Energy my soul inspires, And wakes the muse's hallow'd fires ; Rich in melody, my tongue Warbles forth spontaneous song.

Thus my prison moments gay, Swiftly, sweetly, glide away; Till the last long day declining, O'er yon tower thy glory shining,

Shall the welcome signal be Of 10-morrow's liberty! Liberty, triumphant borne On the rosy wings of morn, Liberty shall then return! Rise, to set the captive free Rise, O Sun of Liberty!

Feb. 29, 1796.

Sun, moon, stars, the world, you see,
Sprung-exist—will fall with ME!"
Here the pretty prattler ending,

Spread his wings to soar away;
But a cruel Hawk, descending,

Pounced him up,-a helpless prey. - Couldst thou not, poor Wagtail! see, That the Hawk was made for THEE?

April 15, 1796.


ON THE WALLS OF YORK CASTLE. On the walls that guard my prison,

Swelling with fantastic pride, Brisk and merry as the season,

I a feather'd coxcomb spied : When the little hopping elf Gaily thus amused himself.

"Hear your sovereign's proclamation,

All good subjects, young and old ! I'm the Lord of the Creation ; * Ka Water-Wagtail bold! All around, and all you see, All the world, was made for me!


You ask, my friend, and well you may
You ask me how I spend the day:
I'll tell you, in unstudied rhyme,
How wisely I befool my time :
Expect not wit, nor fancy then,
In this effusjon of my pen;
These idle lines—they might be worse
Are simple prose, in simple verse.

Each morning, then, at five o'clock,
The adamantine doors unlock;
Bolts, bars, and portals, crash and thunder;
The gates of iron burst asunder;
Hinges that creak, and keys that jingle,
With clattering chains, in concert mingle:
So sweet the din, your dainty ear,
For joy, would break its drum to hear;
While my dull organs, at the sound,
Rest in tranquillity profound :
Fantastic dreams amuse my brain,
And waft my spirit home again:
Though captive all day long, 't is true,
At night I am as free as you;
Not ramparts high, nor dungeons deep,
Can hold me when I'm fast asleep

" Yonder sun, so proudly shining,

Rises— when I leave my nest; And, behind the hills declining,

Sets—when I retire to rest : Morn and evening, thus you see, Day and night, were made for ME!

“Vernal gales to love invite me:

Summer sheds for me her beams; Autumn's jovial scenes delight me;

Winter paves with ice my streams : All the year is mine, you see; Seasons change, like moons, for ME!

"On the heads of giant mountains,

Or beneath the shady trees;
By the banks of warbling fountains,

I enjoy myself at ease :
Hills and valleys, thus you see,
Groves and rivers, made for ME!

" Boundless are my vast dominions :

I can hop, or swim, or fly;
When I please, my towering pinions

Trace my empire through the sky:
Air and elements, you see,
Heaven and earth, were made for ME!

But every thing is good in season,
I dream at large, and wake in prison
Yet think not, sir, I lie too late,
I rise as early even as eight:
Ten hours of drowsiness are plenty,
For any man, in four-and-twenty.
You smile and yet 't is nobly done,
I'm but five hours behind the sun!

When dressid, I to the yard repair,
And breakfast on the pure, fresh air :
But though this choice Castalian cheer
Keeps both the head and stomach clear,
For reasons strong enough with me,
I mend the meal with toast and tea.
Now air and fame, as poets sing,
Are both the same, the self-same thing :
Yet bards are not chameleons quite,
And heavenly food is very light:
Who ever dined or supp'd on fame,
And went to bed upon a name?

Breakfast dispatch'd, I sometimes read, To clear the vapors from my head; For books are magic charms, I ween, Both for the crotchets and the spleen.

"Birds and insects, beasts and fishes,

All their humble distance keep; Man, subservient to my wishes,

Sows the harvest which I reap : Mighty man himself, you see, All that breathe, were made for ME.

"T was for my accommodation

Nature rose when I was born : Should I die-the whole creation

Back to nothing would return :

When genius, wisdom, wit abound,
Where sound is sense, and sense is sound;
When art and nature both combine,
And live, and breathe, in every line;
The reader glows along the page
With all the author's native rage!
But books there are with nothing fraught,
Ten thousand words, and ne'er a thought;
Where periods without period crawl,
Like caterpillars on a wall,
That fall to climb, and climb to fall;
While still their efforts only tend
To keep them from their journey's end.
The readers yawn with pure vexation,
And nod—but not with approbation.
In such a fog of dullness lost,
Poor Patience must give up the ghost;
Not Argus' eyes awake could keep,
Even Death might read himself to sleep.

Then by the enchantress Fancy led, On violet banks I lay my head; Legions of radiant forms arise, In fair array, before mine eyes ; Poetic visions gild my brain, And melt in liquid air again! As in a magic-lantern clear, Fantastic images appear, That beaming from the spectred glass, In beautiful succession pass, Yet steal the lustre of their light From the deep shadow of the night: Thus, in the darkness of my head, Ten thousand shining things are bred, That borrow splendor from the gloom, As glow-worms twinkle in a tomb.

But lest these glories should confound me, Kind Dullness draws her curtain round me; The visions vanish in a trice, And I awake as cold as ice; Nothing remains of all the vapor, Save—what I send you—ink and paper.

At half-past ten, or thereabout, My eyes are all upon the scout,

To see the lounging post-boy come, With letters or with news from home. Believe it, on a captive's word, Although the doctrine seem absurd, The paper-messengers of friends For absence almost make amends : But if you think I jest or lie, Come to York Castle, sir, and try.

Thus flow my morning hours along, Smooth as the numbers of my song : Yet let me wander as I will, I feel I am a prisoner still. Thus Robin, with the blushing breast, Is ravish'd from his little nest By barbarous boys, who bind his leg, To make him flutter round a peg: See, the glad captive spreads his wings, Mounts, in a moment, mounts and sings, When suddenly the cruel chain Twitches him back to earth again. -The clock strikes one I can't delay, For dinner comes but once a day. At present, worthy friend, farewell; But by to-morrow's post I'll tell, How, during these half-dozen moons, I cheat the lazy afternoons.

June 13, 1796.

Sometimes to fairy-land I rove:
Those iron rails become a grove;
These stately buildings fall away
To moss-grown cottages of clay;
Debtors are changed to jolly swains,
Who pipe and whistle on the plains;
Yon felons grim, with fetters bound,
Are satyrs wild, with garlands crown'd:
Their clanking chains are wreaths of flowers;
Their horrid cells ambrosial bowers :
The oaths, expiring on their tongues,
Are metamorphosed into songs;
While wretched female prisoners, lo!
Are Dian's nymphs of virgin snow.
Those hideous walls with verdure shoot;
These pillars bend with blushing fruit;
That dunghill swells into a mountain,
The pump becomes a purling fountain ;
The noisome smoke of yonder mills,
The circling air with fragrance fills;
This horse-pond spreads into a lake,
And swans of ducks and geese I make;
Sparrows are changed to turtle doves,

That bill and coo their pretty loves;
Wagtails, turn'd thrushes, charm the vales,
And tomtits sing like nightingales.
No more the wind through key holes whistles,
But sighs on beds of pinks and thistles ;
The rattling rain that beats without,
And gurgles down the leaden spout,
In light, delicious dew distils,
And melts away in amber rills ;
Elysium rises on the green,
And health and beauty crown the scene.

EPISTLE II. In this sweet place, where freedom reigns, Secured by bolts, and snug in chains ; Where innocence and guilt together Roost like two turtles of a feather; Where debtors safe at anchor lie From saucy duns and bailiffs sly; Where highwaymen and robbers stout Would, rather than break in, break out; Where all so guarded and recluse, That none his liberty can lose ; Here each may, as his means afford, Dine like a pauper or a lord, And those who can't the cost defray May live to dine another day.

Now let us ramble o'er the green, To see and hear what's heard and seen ; To breathe the air, enjoy the light, And hail yon sun, who shines as bright

And vet the fellow ne'er is safe From the tremendous beak of Ralph ; A raven grim, in black and blue, As arch a knave as e'er you knew; Who hops about with broken pinions, And thinks these walls his own dominions. This wag a mortal foe to Bill is, They fight like Hector and Achilles; Bold Billy runs with all his might, And conquers, Parthian-like, in flight; While Ralph his own importance feels, And wages endless war with heels : Horses and dogs, and geese and deer, He slily pinches in the rear; They start, surprised with sudden pain, While honest Ralph sheers off again.

Upon the dungeon and the gallows
As on York Minster or Kew Palace.
And here let us the 'scene review:
That's the old castle, this the new;
Yonder the felons' walk, and there
The lady-prisoners take the air;
Behind are solitary cells,
Where hermits live like snails in shells;
There stands the chapel for good people;
That black balcony is the steeple;
How gaily spins the weather-cock!
How proudly shines the crazy clock !
A clock, whose wheels eccentric run
More like my head than like the sun :
And yet it shows us, right or wrong,
The days are only twelve hours long;
Though captives often reckon here
Each day a month, each month a year.
There honest William stands in state,
The porter, at the horrid gate;
Yet no ill-natured soul is he,
Entrance to all the world is free;
One thing indeed is rather hard,
Egress is frequently debarr'd;
Of all the joys within that reign,
There's none like-getting out again!
Across the green, behold the court,
Where jargon reigns and wigs resort ;
Where bloody tongues fight bloodless battles,
For life and death, for straws and rattles ;
Where juries yawn their patience out,
And judges dream in spite of gout.
There, on the outside of the door
(As sang a wicked wag of yore),
Stands Mother Justice, tall and thin,
Who never yet hath ventured in.
The cause, my friend, may soon be shown:
The lady was a stepping-stone,
Till—though the metamorphose odd is-
A chisel made the block a goddess :
_"Odd!" did I say ?-I'm wrong this time;
But I was hamper'd for a rhyme :
Justice at-I could tell you where-
Is just the same as justice there.

A melancholy stag appears. With rueful look and flagging ears; A feeble, lean, consumptive elf, The very picture of myself! My ghost-like form, and new-moon phiz, Are just the counterparts of his : Blasted like me by fortune's frown; Like me, TWICE hunted, TWICE run down! Like me, pursued almost to death, He's come to gaol to save his breath! Still, on his painful limbs, are seen The scars where worrying dogs have been ; Still on his woe-imprinted face, I weep a broken heart to trace. Daily the mournful wretch I feed With crumbs of comfort and of bread; But man, false man! so well he knows, He deems the species all his foes : In vain I smile to soothe his fear, He will not dare to come too near; He lingers--looks-and fain he would Then strains his neck to reach the food. Oft as his plaintive looks I see, A brother's bowels yearn in me. What rocks and tempests yet await Both him and me, we leave to fate; We know, by past experience taught, That innocence availeth nought: I feel, and 't is my proudest boast, That conscience is itself a host : While this inspires my swelling breast, Let all forsake me I'm at rest; Ten thousand deaths, in every nerve, I'd rather SUFFER than DESERVE.

But lo! my frisking dog attends, The kindest of four-footed friends; Brim-full of giddiness and mirth, He is the prettiest fool on earth. The rogue is twice a squirrel's size, With short snub nose and big black eyes ; A cloud of brown adorns his tail, That curls and serves him for a sail ; The same deep auburn dyes his ears, That never were abridged by shears : While white around, as Lapland snows, His hair, in soft profusion, flows; Waves on his breast, and plumes his feet With glossy fringe, like feathers fleet. A thousand antic tricks he plays, And looks at once a thousand ways; His wit, if he has any, lies Somewhere between his tail and eyes ; Sooner the light those eyes will fail, Than Billy cease to wag that tail.

But yonder comes the victim's wife, A dappled doe, all fire and life: She trips along with gallant pace, Her limbs alert, her motion grace: Soft as the moon-light fairies bound, Her footsteps scarcely kiss the ground; Gently she lifts her fair brown head, And licks my hand, and begs for bread: I pat her forehead, stroke her neck, She starts, and gives a timid squeak: Then, while her eye with brilliance bume, The fawning animal returns ;

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