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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;
And sooth'd the listening dove:
Our mutual bond of faith and truth
No time shall disengage;
Shall cheer our latest age:
While innocence without disguise,
And constancy sincere,
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,
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;
Or kites with cruel beak;
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.
And frolic where they list;
And therefore never miss'd.
But Nature works in every breast
And Dick felt some desires,
A pass between his wires.
The open’d windows seem'd to’ invite
But Tom was still contined;
To leave his friend behind.
So settling on his cage, by play,
You must not live alone.
Return'd him to his own.
O ye, who never taste the joys
Fandango, ball, and rout!
To liberty without.
THE LILY AND THE ROSE. The nymph must lose her female friend,
If more admired than she-
If flowers can disagree?
Appear'd two lovely foes
The Lily and the Rose.
And, swelling with disdain,
To prove her right to reign.
A fair imperial flower;
The sceptre of her power.
The goddess chanced to hear,
The pride of the parterre;
And yours the statelier mien!
Let each be deem'd a queen.
The fairest British fair :
They reign united there.
ON A GOLDFINCH,
STARVED TO DEATH IN HIS CAGE.
TIME was when I was free as air,
My drink the morning dew;
My strains for ever new.
But gaudy plumage, sprightly strain,
And of a transient date;
Soon pass'd the wiry grate.
Thanks, gentle swain, for all my woes,
And cure of every ill!
Had been your prisoner still.