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iv

worthy of permanently occupying a place among the productions of the Poet. The Translations are omitted for a different reason; as belonging, together with the Homer, to a distinct portion of Cowper's Works. An exception has, however, been made in favour of the elegant Versions of VINCENT BOURNE's Poems, of which the entire collection will be found in the present volume.

MINOR POEMS.

PART I.

YARDLEY OAK.

[1791.]

SURVIVOR sole, and hardly such, of all
That once liv'd here, thy brethren, at my birth,
(Since which I number threescore winters past)
A shatter'd vet'ran, hollow-trunk'd perhaps,
As now, and with excoriate forks deform,
Relics of ages! Could a mind, imbued
With truth from Heaven, created thing adore,
I might with rev'rence kneel, and worship thee.

It seems idolatry with some excuse,
When our forefather Druids in their oaks
Imagined sanctity. The conscience, yet
Unpurified by an authentic act
Of amnesty, the meed of blood divine,
Lov'd not the light, but, gloomy, into gloom
Of thickest shades, like Adam after taste
Of fruit proscrib'd, as to a refuge, fled.

Thou wast a bauble once; a cup and ball,
Which babes might play with ; and the thievish jay,
Seeking her food, with ease might have purloin'd
The auburn nut that held thee, swallowing down
Thy yet close-folded latitude of boughs
And all thine embryo vastness at a gulp.
But Fate thy growth decreed ; autumnal rains
Beneath thy parent tree mellow'd the soil
Design'd thy cradle; and a skipping deer,
With pointed hoof dibbling the glebe, prepar'd
The soft receptacle, in which, secure,
Thy rudiments should sleep the winter through.

So Fancy dreams. Disprove it, if ye can,
Ye reasʼners broad awake, whose busy search
Of argument, employ'd too oft amiss,
Sifts half the pleasures of short life away!

Thou fell’st mature; and in the loamy clod
Swelling with vegatative force instinct
Didst burst thine egg, as theirs the fabled Twins,
Now stars; two lobes, protruding, pair'd exact;
A leaf succeeded, and another leaf,
And, all the elements thy puny growth
Fost'ring propitious, thou becam’st a twig.

Who liv'd, when thou wast such? Oh, couldst thou As in Dodona once thy kindred trees [speak, Oracular, I would not curious ask The future, best unknown, but at thy mouth Inquisitive, the less ambiguous past.

By thee I might correct, erroneous oft, The clock of history, facts and events

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