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REASONING at every step he treads,

Man yet mistakes his way, While meaner things, whom instinct leads,

Are rarely known to stray.

One silent eve I wander'd late,

And heard the voice of love;
The turtle thus address’d her mate,

And sooth'd the listening dove:

Our mutual bond of faith and truth

No time shall disengage;
Those blessings of our early youth

Shall cheer our latest age:

While innocence without disguise,

And constancy sincere,
Shall fill the circles of those eyes,

And mine can read them there;

Those ills that'wait on all below

Shall ne'er be felt by me, Or gently felt, and only so,

As being shared with thee.

When lightnings flash among the trees,

Or kites are hovering near,
I fear lest thee alonethey seize,

And know no other fear.

'Tis then I feel myself a wife,

And press thy wedded side, Resolved a union form'd for life

Death never shall divide. But oh! if, fickle and unchaste

(Forgive a transient thought), Thou could become unkind at last,

And scorn thy present lot;
No need of lightning from on high,

Or kites with cruel beak;
Denied the’ endearments of thine eye,

This widow'd heart would break. Thus sang the sweet sequester'd bird,

Soft as the passing wind, And I recorded what I heard,

A lesson for mankind.

THE FAITHFUL BIRD. The greenhouse is my summer seat; My shrubs displaced from that retreat

Enjoy'd the open air ; Two goldfinches, whose sprightly song Had been their mutual solace long,

Lived happy prisoners there.
They sang as blithe as finches sing
That futter loose on golden wing,

And frolic where they list;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,

And therefore never miss'd.

But Nature works in every breast
With force not easily suppress'd;

And Dick felt some desires,
That, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain

A pass between his wires.

The open’d windows seem'd to’ invite
The freeman to a farewell flight;

But Tom was still contined;
And Dick, although his way was clear,
Was much too generous and sincere

To leave his friend behind.

So settling on his cage, by play,
And chirp and kiss, he seem'd to say,

You must not live alone.
Nor would he quit that chosen stand
Till I, with slow and cautious hand,

Return'd him to his own.

O ye, who never taste the joys
Of friendship, satisfied with noise,

Fandango, ball, and rout!
Blush, when I tell you how a bird
A prison with a friend preferr'd

To liberty without.

THE LILY AND THE ROSE. The nymph must lose her female friend,

If more admired than she-
But where will fierce contention end

If flowers can disagree?
Within the garden's peaceful scene

Appear'd two lovely foes
Aspiring to the rank of queen,

The Lily and the Rose.
The Rose soon redden'd into rage,

And, swelling with disdain,
Appeald to many a poet's page,

To prove her right to reign.
The Lily's height bespoke command,

A fair imperial flower;
She seem'd design'd for Flora's hand,

The sceptre of her power.
This civil bickering and debate

The goddess chanced to hear,
And flew to save, ere yet too late,

The pride of the parterre;
Yours is, she said, the nobler hue,

And yours the statelier mien!
And, till a third surpasses you,

Let each be deem'd a queen.
Thus, sooth'd and reconciled, each seeks

The fairest British fair :
The seat of empire is her cheeks,

They reign united there.



TIME was when I was free as air,
The thistle's downy seed my fare,

My drink the morning dew;
I perch'd at will on every spray,
My form genteel, my plumage gay,

My strains for ever new.

But gaudy plumage, sprightly strain,
And form genteel were all in vain,

And of a transient date;
For caught, and caged, and starved to death,
In dying sighs my little breath

Soon pass'd the wiry grate.

Thanks, gentle swain, for all my woes,
And thanks for this effectual close

And cure of every ill!
More cruelty could none express;
And I, if you had shown me less,

Had been your prisoner still.

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