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ON THE DEATH OF MRS. (now LAUT)
Ye nymphs ! if e'er your eyes were red
With tears o'er hapless fav’rites shed,
O share Maria's grief'
Her fav’rite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage?)
Assassin'd by a thief.
Where Rhenus strays his vines among,
The egg was laid from which he sprung ;
And, though by nature mute,
Or only with a whistle blest,
Well-taught, he all the sounds expressid
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 lattic'd well,
LADY THROCKMORTON'S BULFINCH.
Well-lattic'd—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, with whisker'd snout,
And badger-colourd hide.
He, ent’ring at the study-door,
Its'ample area 'gan explore;
And something in the wind
Conjectur'd, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,
Food chiefly for the mind.
Just then, by adverse fate impressid,
A dream disturb'd poor Bully's rest;
In sleep he seemd 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 horrors that ensu'd;
His teeth were strong, the cage was wood-
He left poor Bully's beak.
LADY THROCKMORTON'S BULPINCE,
O had he made that too his prey ;
That beak, whence issu'd 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 Thracian Hebrus' side
The tree-enchanter Orpbeus fell,
His head alone remaind to tell
The cruel death he died.
The rose had been wash’d, just wash'd in a show'r,
Whicb Mary to Anna convey'd,
The plentiful moisture encumber'd the flow'r,
And weigh'd down its beautiful head.
The cup was all fill'd, and the leaves were all wet,
And it seem'd, to a fanciful view,
To weep for the buds it had left with regret,
On the flourishing bush where it grew.
I hastily seiz'd it, unfit as it was
For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd, And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!
I snapp'd it ; it fell to the ground.
And such, I exclaim'd, is the pitiless part
Some act by the delicate mind,
Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart
Already to sorrow resign'd.
This elegant rose,
had I shaken it less, Might have bloom'd with its owner a while; And the tear, that is wip'd with a little address,
May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.
A RAVEN, while with glossy breast
Her new-laid eggs she fondly press'd,
And, on her wickerwork high mounted,
Her chickens prematurely counted,
(A fault philosophers might blame,
If quite exempted from the same)
Enjoy'd at ease the genial day;
'Twas April, as the bumpkins say,
The legislature call'd it May.
But suddenly a wind, as high
As ever swept a winter sky,
Shook the young leaves about her ears,
And fill'd her with a thousand fears,
Lest the rude blast should snap the bough,
And spread her golden hopes below.
But just at eve the blowing weather,
And all her fears were hush'd together :
And now, quoth poor unthinking Ralph,
'Tis over, and the brood is safe ;
(For ravens, though as birds of omen
They teach both conjërors and old women,
To tell us what is to befal,
Can't prophesy themselves at all.)
The morning came, when neighbour Hodge,
Who long had mark'd her airy lodge,
And destin'd all the treasure there
A gift to his expecting fair,
Climb'd like a squirrel to his dray,
And bore the worthless prize away.