Page images
PDF

The Moneies.

A TALE (MF.RR1CK.J

WliOE'EH, with curious eye, has rang'd Through Ovid's tales, has seen

How Jove, incens'd, to monkies chang'd A tribe of worthless men.

Repentant soon, th' offending race

Jntreat the injur'd pow'r
To give them back the human face,

And reason's aid restore.

Jove, sooth'd at length, his ear inclin'd,
And granted half their pray'r;

But t'other half he bade the wind
Disperse in empty air.

Scarce had the Thund'rer giv'n the nod
That shook the vaulted skies,

With haughtier air the creatures strode,
And stretched their dwindled stee.

The hair in curls luxuriant now
Around their temples spread;
'The tail that whilom hung below,
Now dangled from the head.

The head remains unchang'd within,

Nor alter'd much the face: It still retains its native grin,

And all its old grimace.

Thus half transform'd and half the same,
Jove bade them take their place,

(Restoring them their ancient claim)
Among the human race.

Man with contempt the brute survey'd,

Nor would a name bestow:
But woman lik'd the motley breed,

And cali'd the thing a Beau.

The Goldfinches.

AN ELEGY. (JAGO.)

Ivirenuas didicUxejideliter artes
Emollit mores, nee sinit esse ferou

To you, whose groves protect the feather'd quires*

Who lend their artless notes a willing ear, To you, whom pity moves, and taste inspires,

The Doric strain belongs; O Shenstone, hear.

Twas gentle spring, when all the tuneful race,
By nature taught, in nuptial leagues combine;

A Goldfinch joy'd to meet the warm embrace,
And hearts and fortunes with her mate to join.

Through nature's spacious walks at large they rang'd,
No settled haunts, no fix'd abode their aim;

As chance or fancy led, the'r path they chang'd,
Themselves in ev'ry vary'd scene the same.

'Till on a day to weighty cafes resign'd,

With mutual choice, alternate, they agreed On rambling thoughts no more to turn their mind.

But settle soberly, and raise a breed.

All in a garden, on a currant bush,

With wond'rous art they built their waving seat: In the next orchard liv'd a friendly thrush*

Nor distant far, a woodlark's soft retreat.

Here blest with ease, and in each other blest,
With early songs they wak'd the sprightly groves,.

Till time matur'd their bliss, and crown'd their nest
With infant pledges of their faithful loves.

And now what transport glow'd in either's eye!

What equal fondness dealt th' allotted food! What joy each other's likeness to descry,

And future sonnets in the chirping brood!

But ah! what earthly happiness can last?

How does the fairest purpose often fail!
A truant school-boy's wantonness could blast

Their rising hopes, and leave, them both to wail. .

The most ungentle of his tribe was he;

No gen'rous precept ever touch'd his heart: With concords false, and hideous prosody

He scrawl'd his task, and blunder'd o'er his part. ,

On barb'rous plunder bent, with savage eye

He mark'd where. wrapt in down the younglings lay,

Then rushing seiz'd the wretched family,
And bore them in his impious hands away.

But how shall I relate in numbers rude

The pangs for poor * Chrysomitris decreed!

When from a neighb'ring spray aghast she view'd
The savage ruffian's inauspicious deed!

So wrapt in grief some heart.struck matron stands,
While horrid flames surround her children's room 1

On heav'n she calls, and wrings her trembling hands; Constrain'd to see, but not prevent their doom.

"O grief of griefs!" with shrieking voice she cry'd, "What sight is this that I have liv'd to see?'

"O that I had a maiden goldfinch dy'd,

"From love's false joys and bitter sorrows free!

"Was it for this, alas! with weary bill,

"Was it for this, I pois'd th' unwieldy straw?

"■ For this I pick'd the moss from yonder hill? "Nor shunn'd the pond'rous chat along to draw?

"Was it for this, I cull'd the wool with care;

"And strove with all my skill our work to crown? "For.this, with pain I bent the stubborn hair;

"And lin'd our cradle with the thistle!s down?

"Was it for this, my freedom I resign'd;

"And ceas'd to rove from beauteous plain to plain? "For this, 1 sat at home whole days confin'd,

"And bore the scorching heat and pealing rain?

"Was it for this, my watchful eyes grew dim?

"The crimson roses on my cheek turn'd pale? *' Pale is my golden plumage, once so trim;

"And all my wonted spirits 'gin to fail.

Clrjscmiiiis it tttms, iithtnami fir a'goldfinch'

41

"0 plunderer vile! O more than weezel fell!

"More treach'rous than the eat with prudish face! "More fierce than kites with whom the furies dwell!

"More pilf'ring than the cuckow's prowling race!

"For thee may plum or goosb'ry never grow, "No juicy currant cool thy clammy throat:

"But bloody birch-twigs work thee shameful woe,
"Nor ever goldfinch cheer thee with her note."

Thus sang the mournful bird her piteous tale,
The piteous tale her mournful mate return'd:

Then side by side they sought the distant vale,
And there in silent sadness inly mouru'd.

An Ode on Hhe Heavenly Bodies.

CADDISON.J
I.

The spacious firmament on high,

With all the blue ethereal sky,

And spangled heavens, a shining frame,

Their great Original proclaim:

Th' unwearied sun, from day to day,

Does his Creator's pow'r display,

And publishes to every land

The work of an Almighty hand,

II.
Soon as the evening shades prevail,
The moon takes up the wond'rous tale,
And nightly to the list'ning earth
Repeats the story of her birth:
Whilst all the stars that round her burn,
And all the planets, in their turn,
Confirm the tidings as they roll,
And spread the truth from pole to pole.

III.
What though, in solemn silence, all
Move round the dark; terrestrial ball!
What tho' nor real voice nor sound
Amid their radiant orbs be found!
In reason's car they all rejoice,
And utter forth a glorious voice,
For ever singing as they shine,
"The hand that made us is Divine."

An Hymn on Gratitude.

CADDISON.J

I. When all thy mercies, O my God,

My rising soul surveys;
Transported with the view, I'm lost

In wonder, love, and praise:
II.
O how shall words, with equal warmth,

The gratitude declare
That glows within my ravish'd heart?

But thou canst read it there.
:n.
Thy providence my life sustain'd, .

And all my wants redrest, When in the silent womb I lay,

And hung upon the breast.

IV.

To all my weak complaints and cries

Thy mercy lent an ear,
Ere yet my feeble thoughts had learnt
To form themselves in pray'r.
v.
'Unnumber'd comforts to my soul
Thy tender care bestow'd,
Before my infant heart conceiv'd
From whom those comforts flow'd.

VI.

When in the slipp'ry paths of youth

With heedless steps I ran,
Thine arm unseen convey'd me safe,

And led me up to man.

VII.

Through hidden dangers, toils, and deaths,

. It gently clear'd my way, And through the pleasing snares of vice, More to be fear'd than they.

VIII.

When worn with sickness, oft hast thou
With health renew'd my face;

And when in sins and sorrows sunk,
Reviv'd my soul with grace.

« PreviousContinue »