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ON

THE DEATH

OF

MRS. THROCKMORTON'S BULFINCH.

Ye nymphs! if e'er your eyes were red
With tears o'er hapless favourites shed,

O share Maria's grief!
Her favourite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage ?)

Assassin'd by a thief.

Where Rhenus strays his vine among,
The egg was laid from which he sprung,

And though by nature mute,
Or only with a whistle bless'd,
Well-taught he all the sounds express'd

Of flagelet or flute.

The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole,

His bosom of the hue
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise,

To sweep away the dew.

Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike of bird and mouse,

No cat had leave to dwell;
And Bully's cage supported stood
On props of smoothest-shaven wood,

Large-built and latticed well.

Well-latticed—but the grate, alas!
Not rough with wire of steel or brass,

For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wands from Ouse's side,
With which, when neatly peeld and dried,

The swains their baskets make.

Night veild the pole: all seem'd secure:
When led by instinct sharp and sure,

Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth sallied on the scout,
Long-back'd, long-tail'el, with whiker'd snout,

And badger-colourd hide.

He, entering at the study-door,
Its ample area ’gan explore;

And something in the wind
Conjectured, sniffing ronnd and round,
Better than all the books he found,

Food chiefly for the mind.

Just then, by adverse fate impress’d,
A dream disturb'd poor Bully's rest;

In sleep he seem'd to view
A rat fast-clinging to the cage,
And, screaming at the sad presage,

Awoke and found it true.

For, aided both by ear and scent,
Right to his mark the monster went-

Ah, muse! forbear to speak
Minute the horrours that ensued;
His teeth were strong, the cage was wood-

He left poor Bully's beak.

O had he made that too his prey !
That beak, whence issued many a lay

Of such mellifluous tone,
Might have repaid him well, I wote,
For silencing so sweet a throat,

Fast stuck within his own.

Maria weeps—the Muses, mourn-
So, when by Bacchanalians torn,

On Tbracian Hebrus' side
The tree-enchanter Orpheus fell,
His head alone remain'd to tell

The cruel death he died.

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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 every heart,

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.

TO

MRS. THROCKMORTON.

ON HER BEAUTIFUL TRANSCRIPT OF HORACE'S ODE

AD LIBRUM SUUM,

FEBRUARY, 1790.

MARIA, could Horace have guess'd

What honour awaited his ode, To his own little volume address'd,

The honour which you have bestow'd :
Who have traced it in characters here,

So elegant, even, and neat,
He had laugh'd at the critical sneer

Which he seems to have trembled to meet.

And sneer,

if

you please, he had said, A nymph shall hereafter arise, Who shall give me, when you are all dead,

The glory your malice denies; Shall dignity give to my lay,

Although but a mere bagatelle; And even a poet shall say,

Nothing ever was written so well.

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