ページの画像
PDF
ePub

ON AN INK-GLASS ALMOST DRIED IN THE SUN.

ODE TO APOLLO.

|In many an orchard, copse, and

grove, Assernbled on affairs of love,

And with much twitter and much chatter,
PATRON of all those luckless brains,

Began to agitate the matter.
That, to the wrong side leaning, At length a Bulfinch, who could boast
Indite much metre with much pains, More years and wisdom than the most,
And little or no meaning:

Entreated, opening wide his beak,

A moment's liberty to speak;
Ah why, since oceans, rivers, streams, And, silence publicly enjoined,
That water all the nations,

Delivered briefly thus his mind:
Pay tribute to thy glorious beams,
In constant exhalations;

My friends! be cautious how ye treat

The subject upon which we meet:
Why, stooping from the noon of day,

I fear we shall have winter yet.
Too covetous of drink,
Apollo, hast thou stolen away

A Finch, whose tongue knew no control,
A poet's drop of ink ?.

With golden wing, and satin poll,

A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried
Upborne into the viewless air

What marriage means, thus pert replied:
It floats a vapour now,
Impelled through regions dense and rare, Methinks the gentleman, quoth she,
By all the winds that blow.

Opposite in the apple-tree,

By his good will would keep us single Ordained perhaps ere summer Nies, Till yonder heaven and earth shall mingle, Combined with millions more,

Or (which is likelier to befall) To form an Iris in the skies,

Till death exterminate us all. Though black and foul before.

I'll marry without more ado,

My dear Dick Redcap, what say you?
Ilustrious drop! and happy then
Beyond the happiest lot,

Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling, Of all that ever past my pen,

Turning short round, strutting and sideling, So soon to be forgot!

Attested, glad, his approbation

Of an immediate conjugation. Phæbus, if such be thy design,

Their sentiments, so well expressed, To place it in thy bow,

Influenced mightily the rest; Give wit, that what is left may shine

All paired, and cach pair built a nest. With equal grace below.

But though the birds were thus in haste,

The leaves came on not quite so fast, PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.

And Destiny, that sometimes bears

An aspect stern on man's atlairs,
A FABLE.

Not altogether smiled on theirs.

The wind, of late breathed gently forth,
I SHALL not ask Jean Jacques Rosseau,*
If birds confabulate or no;

Now shifted east, and east by north; 'Tis clear, that they were always able

Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know,

Could shelter them from rain or snow;
To hold discourse, at least in fable;
And e'en the child, that knows no better

Stepping into their nests, they paddled,

Themselves were chilled, their eggs were addled; Than to interpret by the letter A story of a cock and bull,

Soon every father bird and mother Must have a most uncommon scull.

Grew quarrelsome and pecked each other,

Parted without the least regret, It chanced then on a winter's day,

Except that they had ever met,
But warm, and bright, and calm as May,

And learned in future to be wiser,
The birds, conceiving a design
To forestall sweet St. Valentine,

Than to neglect a good adviser.

MORAL. * It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philoso.

Misses! the tale that I relato pher, that all fables which ascribe reason and speech to animals should be withheld from children, as being only vehicles of

This lesson seems to carrydeception. But what child was ever deceived by them, or can

Choose not alone a proper mate, be, against the evidence of his sensea ?

But proper time to marry.

THE DOG AND THE WATER-LILY. THE POET, THE OYSTER, AND SEN.

SITIVE PLANT.

NO FABLE.

The noon was shady, and soft airs

Swept Ouse's silent tide, When, 'scaped from literary cares,

I wandered on his side.

My spaniel, prettiest of his race,

And high in pedigree,
(Two nymphs* adorned with every grace

That spaniel found for me.)
Now wantoned lost in flags and reeds,

Now starting into sight,
Pursued the swallows o'er the meads

With scarce a slower flight.
It was the time when Ouse di played

Ilis lilies newly blown;
Their beauties I intent surveyed,

And one I wished my own.
With cane extended far I sought

To steer it close to land;
But still the prize, though nearly caught,

Escaped my cager hand.
Beau marked my unsuccessful pains

With fixed considerate face,
And puzzling set his puppy brains

To comprehend the case.
But with a cherup clear and strong,

Dispersing all his dream,
I thence withdrew, and followed long

The windings of the stream.
My ramble ended, I returned;

Beau, trotting far before,
The floating wreath again discerned,

And plunging left the shore.
I saw him with that lily cropped

Impatient swim to meet
My quick approach, and soon he dropped

The treasure at my fect.
Charmed with the sight, the world, I cried,

Shall hear of this thy deed :
My dog shall mortify the pride

Of man's superior breed
But chief myself I will enjoin,

Awake at duty's call,
To show a love as prompt as thine

To Him who gives me all.

An Oyster, cast upon the shore,
Was heard, though never heard before,
Complaining in a speech well worded
And worthy thus to be recorded :-

Ah, hapless wretch, condemned to dwell
For ever in my native shell;
Ordained to move when others please,
Not for my own content or ease;
But tossed and buffeted about,
Now in the water and now out.
'Twere better to be born a stone,
Of ruder shape, and feeling none,
Than with a tenderness like mine,
And sensibilities so fine!
I envy that unfeeling shrub,
Fast-rooted against every rub.

The plant he meant, grew not far off,
And felt the sneer with scorn enough;
Was hurt, disgusted, mortified,
And with asperity replied.

When, cry the botanists, and stare,
Did plants called sensitive grow there?
No matter when—a poet's muse is
To make them grow just where she chooses.

You shapeless nothing in a dish,
You that are but almost a fish,
I scorn your coarse insinuation,
And Irave most plentiful occasion
To wish myself the rock I view,
Or such another dolt as you:
For many a grave and learned clerk,
And many a gay unlettered spark,
With curious touch examines me,
If I can feel as well as he;
And when I bend, retire and shrink,
Says- Well, 'tis more than one would think!
Thus life is spent (oh fie upon 't!)
In being touched, and crying--Don't!

A poet, in his evening walk,
O'erheard and checked this idle talk.
And your fine sense, he said, and yours,
Whatever evil it endures,
Deserves not, if so soon offended,
Much to be pitied or commended.
Disputes, though short, are far too long,
Where both alike are in the wrong;
Your feelings in their full amount,
Are all upon your own account.

You, in your grotto-work enclosed,
Complain of being thus exposed;
Yet nothing feel in that rough coat,
Save when the knife is at your throat,
Wherever driven by wind or lide,
Exempt from every ill beside.

* Sir Robert Gunning's daughters.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

'Tis a bower of Arcadian sweets,

Where Flora is still in her prime, A fortress to which she retreats

From the cruel assaults of the clime. While Earth wears a mantle of snow,

These pinks are as fresh and as gay As the fairest and sweetest that blow

On the beautiful bosom of May. See how they have safely survived

The frowns of a sky so severe; Such Mary's true love, that has lived

Through many a turbulent year. The charms of the late blowing rose

Seemed graced with a livelier hue, And the winter of sorrow best shows

The truth of a friend such as you.

or ease;

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

1

na

stone, ling none,

Like mue, ! rub,

WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION.

MUTUAL FORBEARANCE

[ocr errors]

On, happy shades—to me unblest!

Friendly to peace, but not to me! How ill the scene that offers rest,

And heart that can not rest, agree!

NECESSARY TO THE HAPPINESS OF THE MARRIED

[ocr errors]

STATE.

ortified,

[ocr errors]

This glassy stream, that spreading pine,

Those alders quivering to the breeze, Might soothe a soul less hurt than mine,

And please, if any thing could please.

The grow thr! !

But fixed unalterable Care

Foregoes not what she feels within, Shows the same sadness every where,

And slights the season and the scene.

t's muze is
ist where she chosen
ng in a dish
ta fish,
inuation,
al occasioa
k I view,
s you:

learned der
tered spark,
camines me,
he;

For all that pleased in wood or lawn,

While Peace possessed these silent bowers, Her animating smile withdrawn,

Has lost its beauties and its powers

The saint or moralist should tread

This moss-grown alley musing, slow; They seek like me the secret shade,

But not like me to nourish wo!

ir and shrink than one would tie upon 1. crying-Dat ng walk, 1 this idle til be sud, and rout

The lady thus addressed her spouse:
What a mere dungeon is this house!
By no means large enough: and was it,
Yet this dull room, and that dark closet,
Those hangings with their worn out graces,
Long beards, long noses, and pale faces,
Are such an antiquated scene,
They overwhelm me with the spleen.

Sir Humphrey, shooting in the dark,
Makes answer quite beside the mark:
No doubt, my dear, I bade him come,
Engaged myself to be at home,
And shall expect him at the door
Precisely when the clock strikes four.

You are so deaf, the lady cried,
(And raised her voice, and frowned beside,)
You are soʻsadly deaf, my dear,
What shall I do to make you hear ?

Dismiss poor Harry! he replies;
Some people are more nice than wise :
For one slight trespass all this stir ?
What if he did ride whip and spur,
'Twas but a mile-your favourite horse
Will never look one hair the worse.

Well, I protest 'tis past all bearing-
Child! I am rather hard of hearing-
Yes, truly; one must scream and hawl:
I tell you, you can't hear at all!
Then, with a voice exceeding low,
No matter if you hear or no.

Alas! and is domestic strife,
That sorest ill of human life,
A plague so little to be feared,
As to be wantonly incurred,
To gratify a fretful passion,
On every trivial provocation

Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste

Alike admonish not to roam; These tell me of enjoyments past,

And those of sorrows yet to come.

THE WINTER NOSEGAY.

z offende onimenkul are far w live in the wrong full amount 1 account -pork enkele s expued; at rough ant at your thouse

, ind or tik, besiki

What Nature, alas! has denied

To the delicate growth of our isle, Art has in a measure supplied,

And winter is decked with a smile. See, Mary, what beauties I bring

From the shelter of that sunny shed, Where the flowers have the charms of the spring, Though abroad they are frozen and dead.

The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasion to forbear:
And something, every day they live,
To pity, and perhaps forgive.
But if infirmities, that fall
In common to the lot of all,
A blemish or a sense impaired,
Are crimes so little to be spared,
Then farewell all that must create
The comfort of the wedded state;
Instead of harmony, 'tis jar,
And tumult, and intestine war.

· The love that cheers life's latest stage,
Proof against sickness and old age,
Preserved by virtue from declension,
Becomes not weary of attention;
But lives, when that exterior grace,
Which first inspired the flame, decays.
'Tis gentle, delicate, and kind,
To faults compassionate or blind,
And will with sympathy endure
Those evils it would gladly cure:
But angry, coarse, and harsh expression,
Shows love to be a mere profession;
Proves that the heart is none of his,
Or soon expels him if it is.

Ask him, if your knotted scourges,

Matches, blood-extorting screws,
Are the means that duty urges

Agents of his will to use?
Hark! he answers-wild tornadoes,

Strewing yonder sea with wrecks; Wasting towns, plantations, meadows,

Are the voice with which he speaks. He, foreseeing what vexations

Afric's sons should undergo, Fixed their tyrant's habitations

Where his whirlwinds answer-no. By our blood in Afric wasted,

Ere our necks received the chain; By the miseries that we tasted,

Crossing in your barks the main; By our suffering since ye brought us

To the man-degrading mart;
All, sustained by patience, taught us

Only by a broken heart:
Deem our nation brutes no longer,

Till some reason ye shall find
Worthier of regard, and stronger

Than the colour of our kind. Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings

Tarnish all your boasted powers, Prove that you have human feelings,

Ere you proudly question ours!

THE NEGRO'S COMPLAINT. Forced from home and all its pleasures,

Afric's coast I left forlorn;
To increase a stranger's treasures,

O’er the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,

Paid my price in paltry gold; But, though slave they have enrolled me

Minds are never to be sold. Still in thought as free as ever,

What are England's rights, I ask, Me from my delights to sever,

Me to torture, me to task ? Fleecy locks and black complexion

Can not forfeit Nature's claim; Skins may differ, but affection

Dwells in white and black the same. Why did all creating Nature

Make the plant for which we toil ? Sighs must fan it, tears must water,

Sweat of ours must dress the soil. Think, ye masters, iron-hearted,

Lolling at your jovial boards; Think how many backs have smarted

For the sweets your cane affords. Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,

Is there one who reigns on high ? Has he bid you buy and sell us,

Speaking from his thronc the sky?

PITY FOR POOR AFRICANS.

Video meliora proboque,

Deteriora sequor.'I own I am shocked at the purchase of slaves, And fear those who buy them and sell them are

knaves; What I hear of their hardships, their tortures, and

groans,
Is almost enough to draw pity from stones.
I pity them greatly, but I must be mum,
For how could we do without sugar and rum?
Especially sugar, so needful we see?
What, give up our desserts, our coffee, and tea?

Besides, if we do, the French, Dutch, and Danes,
Will heartily thank us, no doubt, for our pains;
If we do not buy the poor creatures, they will,
And tortures and groans will be multiplied still.
If foreigners likewise would give up the trade,
Much more in behalf of your wish might be said;
But, while they get riches by purchasing blacks,
Pray tell me why we may not also go snacks?
Your scruples and arguments bring to my mind
A story so pat, you may think it is coined,

On purpose to answer you, out of my mint; Some clouds which had over us hung,
But I can assure you I saw it in print.

Fled, chased by her melody clear,

And methought while she liberty sung, A youngster at school, more sedate than the rest,

'Twas liberty only to hear. Had once his integrity put to the test; His comrades had plotted an orchard to rob,

Thus swiftly dividing the flood, And asked him to go and assist in the job.

To a slave-cultured island we came, He was shocked, sir, like you, and answered—On Where a demon, her enemy, stood— no!

Oppression his terrible name. What! rob our good neighbour! I pray you don't In his hand, as the sign of his sway, go;

A scourge hung with lashes he bore, Besides, the man's poor, his orchard's his bread,

And stood looking out for his prey
Then think of his children, for they must be fed.'

From Africa's sorrowful shore.
"You speak very fine, and you look very grave, But soon as approaching the land
But apples we want, and apples we'll have; That goddess-like woman he viewed,
If you will go with us, you shall have a share, The scourge he let fall from his hand,
If not, you shall have neither apple nor pear.' With the blood of his subjects imbrued.

I saw him both sicken and die,
They spoke, and Tom pondered— I see they will

And the moment the monster expircd, go:

Heard shouts that ascended the sky,
Poor man! what a pity to injure him so!

From thousands with rapture inspireel.
Poor man! I would save him his fruit if I could,
But staying behind would do him no good.

Awaking how could I but muso 'If the matter depended alone upon me,

At what such a dream should betide? His apples might hang, till they dropped from the But soon my ear caught the glad news, tree;

Which served my weak thought for a guide But, since they will take them, I think I'll go too, That Britannia, renowned o'er the waves He will lose none by me, though I get a few.'

For the hatred she cver has shown,

To the black-sceptered rulers of slaves,
His scruples thus silenced, Tom felt more at case, Resolves to have none of her own.
And went with his comrades the apples to seize;
He blamed and protested, but joined in the plan;
He shared in the plunder, but pitied the man.

THE

NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM.

THE MORNING DREAM. 'Twas in the glad season of spring,

Asleep at the dawn of the day,
I dreamed what I can not but sing,

So pleasant it seemed as I lay.
I dreamed, that, on ocean afloat,

Far hence to the westward I sailed, While the billows high-listed the boat,

And the fresh-blowing breeze never failed. In the steerage a woman I saw,

Such at least was the form that she wore, Whose beauty impressed me with awe,

Ne'er taught me by woman before. She sat, and a shield at her side

Shed light, like a sun on the waves And, siniling divinely, she cried

'I go to make freemen of slaves.' Then raising her voice to a strain

The sweetest that ear ever heard, She song of the slave's broken chain,

Wherever her glory appeared.

A NIGHTINGALE, that all day long
Had cheered the village with a song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied far off, upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And know the glow-worm by his spark;
So, stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop.
The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus, right eloquent :
Did you adınire my lamp, quoth he,
As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song;
For 'twas the selfsame.power divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night.

« 前へ次へ »