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THE green-house is my summer seat; My shrubs, displaced from that retreat,
Enjoyed 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
And frolic where they list;
And therefore never missed.
But nature works in every breast?
And Dick felt some desires,
A pass between the wires.
But Tom was still confined;
To leave his friend behind.
For, settling on his grated roof,
That he desired no more;
A prisoner as before.
Fandango, ball, and rout,
To liberty without,
THE NEEDLESS ALARM.
THERE is a field, through which I often pass, Thick overspread with moss and silky grass, Adjoining close to Kilwick's echoing wood, Where oft the bitch-fox hides her hapless brood, Resolved to solace many a neighbouring 'squire, That he may follow them through brake and briar, Contusion hazarding of neck and spine, Which rural gentlemen call sport divine. A narrow brook, by rushy banks concealed, Runs in a bottom, and divides the field; Oaks intersperse it, that had once a head, But now wear crests of oven-wood instead; And where the land slopes to its watery bourn, Wide yawns a gulf beside a ragged thorn; Bricks line the sides, but shivered long ago, And horrid brambles intertwine below; A hollow scooped, I judge in ancient time, For baking earth, or burning rock to lime.
Not yet the hawthorn bore her berries red, With wbich the fieldfare, wintry guest, is fed; Nor autumn yet had brushed from every spray, With her chill hand, the mellow leaves away; But coru was housed, and beans were in the stack, Now therefore issued forth the spotted pack, With tails high mounted, ears hung low, and throats With a whole gamut filled of heavenly notes, For which, alas! my destiny severe, Though ears she gave me two, gave me no ear. · The sun, accomplishing his early march, His lamp now planted on heaven's topmost arch, When, exercise and air my only aim, And heedless whither, to that field I came, Ere yet with ruthless joy the happy hound Told hill and dale that Reynard's track was found, Or with the high-raised horn's melodious clang All Kilwick* and all Dingle-derry* rang.
• Two woods belonging to John Throckmorton, Esq.
Sheep grazed the field; some with soft bosom pressed The herb as soft, while nibbling strayed the rest; Nor noise was heard but of the hasty brook, Struggling, detained in many a petty nook. All seemed so peaceful, that from them conveyed To me, their peace by kind contagion spread.
But when the huntsman, with distended cheek,
The man to solitude accustomed long,
This truth premised was needful as a text,
Awhile they mused; surveying every face, Thou hadst supposed them of superior race: Their perriwigs of wool, and fears combined,' Stamped on each countenance such marks of mind, That sage they seemed, as lawyers o'er a doubt, Which, puzzling long, at last they puzzle out;
Or academic tutors, teaching youths,
“ Friends! we have lived too long. I never heard “ Sounds such as these, so worthy to be feared. “ Could I believe that winds for ages pent “ In earth's dark womb have found at last a vent, “ And from their prison-house below arise, “ With all these hideous howlings to the skies, “ I could be much composed, nor should appear “ For such a cause to feel the slightest fear.
Yourselves have seen, what time the thunders rolled " All night, we resting quiet in the fold; “ Or heard we that tremendous bray alone, “ I could expound the melancholy tone; “ Should deem it by our old companion made, “ The ass; for he, we know, has lately strayed, " And being lost perhaps, and wandering wide, “Might be supposed to clamour for a guide. 6 But ah! those dreadful yells what soul can bear, “ That owns a carcase, and not quake for fear? “ Dæmons produce them, doubtless, brazen-clawed “ And fanged with brass the dæmons are abroad; “ I hold it therefore wisest and most fit, That, life to save, we leap into the pit.”
Him answered then his loving mate and true, But more discreet than he, a Cambrian ewe.
“ How? leap into the pit our life to save? 6 To save our life leap all into the grave? “ For can we find it less ? Contemplate first 6 The depth how awful ;---falling there, we burst; “ Or should the brambles, interposed, our fall “ In part abate, that happiness were small; “ For with a race like theirs, no chance I see “ Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we. “ Meantime, noise kills not. Be it Dapple's bray, “ Or be it not, or be it whose it may, “ And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues 6 Of dæmons uttered, from whatever lungs, 66 Sounds are but sounds, and till the cause appear ** We have at least commodious standing here.
“ Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals,
Beware of desperate steps. The darkest day,
THERE was a time when Ætna's silent fire