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And the steed it shall be shod All in silver, housed in azure,

And the mane shall swim the wind;

And the hoofs along the sod
Shall flash onward and keep measure,

Till the shepherds look behind. “He will kiss me on the mouth Then, and lead me as a lover,

Through the crowds that praise his deeds;

And, when soul-tired by one troth, Unto him I will discover

That swan's nest among the reeds.”

Little Ellie, with her smile Not yet ended, rose up gaily,---

Tied the bonnet, donn'd the shoe,

And went homeward round a mile, Just to see, as she did daily,

What more eggs were with the two.

Pushing through the elm-tree copse, Winding by the stream, light-hearted,

Where the osier pathway leads

Past the boughs she stoops and stops : Lo! the wild swan had deserted,

And a rat had gnaw'd the reeds.

Ellie went home sad and slow. If she found the lover ever,

With his red-roan steed of steeds,

Sooth I know not; but I know
She could never show him-never,
That swan's nest among the reeds.

E. B. Brovning.

THE WREN'S NEST. AMONG the dwellings framed by birds

In field or forest with nice care, Is none that with the little wren's

In snugness may compare. No door the tenement requires,

And seldom needs a labor'd roof; Yet is it to the fiercest sun

Impervious and storm-proof,

So warm, so beautiful withal,

In perfect fitness for its aim,
That to the kind* by special grace

Their instinct surely came.
And when from their abode they seek

An opportune recess,
The hermit has no finer eye

For shadowy quietness.
These find, 'mid ivied abbey walls,

A canopy in some still nook;
Others are penthousedt by a brae;

That overhangs a brook.
There to the brooding bird, her mate

Warbles by fits his low clear song;
And by the busy streamlet, both

Are sung to all day long.
Or in sequester'd lanes they build,

Where, till the flitting bird's return,
Her eggs within the nest repose

Like relics in an urn.
But still, where general choice is good,

There is a better and a best ;
And, among fairest objects, some

Are fairer than the rest.
This one of those small builders proved

In a green covert, where, from out
The forehead of a pollard oak, s

The leafy antlers sprout ;
For she who plann’d the mossy lodge,

- Mistrusting her evasive skill,
Had to a primrose look'd for aid

Her wishes to fulfil.
· High on the trunk's projecting brow

And fixʼd an infant's span above
The budding flowers, peep'd forth the nest,

The prettiest of the grove! * The kind, the species. + Penthoused, protected by. I Brae, the slope of a hill. ş Pollard, a tree with its head and branches lopped off. || Ęvasive skill, skill to escape discovery.

The treasure proudly did I show

To some whose minds without disdain Can turn to little things; but once

Look'd up for it in vain ; "Tis gone!-a ruthless spoiler's prey,

Who heeds not beauty, love, or song; 'Tis gone! (so seem'd it) and we grieved

Indignant at the wrong.
Just three days after, passing by,

In clearer light the moss-built cell
I saw, espied its shaded mouth,

And felt that all was well.
The primrose for a veil had spread

The largest of her upright leaves :
And thus, for purposes benign,

A simple flower deceives.
Conceal’d from friends who might disturb

Thy quiet with no ill intent,
Secure from evil eyes and hands,

On barbarous plunder bent,
Rest, mother-bird! and when thy young

Take flight, and thou art free to roam,
When wither'd is the guardian flower,

And empty thy late home,
Think how ye prosper’d, thou and thine,

Amid the unviolated grove,
Housed near the growing primrose tuft,
In foresight, or in love.


A Tear bedews my Delia's eye
To think yon playful kid must die ;
From crystal spring and flowery mead
Must, in his prime of life, recede.*
Erewhile, in sportive circles, round
She saw him wheel, and frisk, and bound;

* Recede, depart, die.

From rock to rock pursue his way,
And on the fearful margin play.

Pleased on his various freaks to dwell,
She saw him climb my rustic cell;
Thence eye my lawns with verdure bright,
And seem all ravish'd at the sight.

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“Sweet Poll !” his doating mistress cries,
“ Sweet Poll !” the mimic* bird replies,

And calls aloud for sack.t
She next instructs him in the kiss ;
"Tis now a little one, like Miss;

And now a hearty smack.

At first he aims at what he hears ;
And, listening close with both his ears,

Just catches at the sound;
But soon articulates; aloud,
Much to the amazement of the crowd,

And stuns the neighbours round.

A querulousg old woman's voice
His humorous talent next employs;

He scolds, and gives the lie.
And now he sings, and now is sick,
“Here Sally, Susan, come, come quick,

Poor Poll is like to die!”



A BARKING sound the shepherd hears,
A cry as of a dog or fox;
He halts, and searches with his eye
Among the scatter'd rocks :
And now at distance can discern
A stirring in a brake of fern!
And instantly a dog is seen,
Glancing through that covert green.

The dog is not of mountain breed ;
Its motions, too, are wild and shy;
With something, as the shepherd thinks,
Unusual in its cry:

* Mimic, imitative.

Articulate, utter.

t Sack, drink.
§ Querulous, quarrelsome.

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