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"TWAS in the glad season of spring.
Asleep at the dawn of the day,
I dreamed what I cannot but sing,
So pleasant it seemed as I lay;
I dreamed that on ocean afloat,
Far hence to the westward I sailed,
While the billows high-lifted the boat,
And the fresh blowing breeze never failed.
In the steerage a woman I saw,
Such at least was the form that she wore, Whose beauty impressed me with awe, Ne'er taught me by woman before. She sat, and a shield at her side
Shed light, like a sun on the waves, And smiling divinely, she cried--
"I go to make freemen of slaves."
Then raising her voice to a strain
The sweetest that ear ever heard,
She sung of the slave's broken chain,
Wherever her glory appeared.
Some clouds which had over us hung,
Fled, chased by her melody clear,
And methought while she liberty sung,
"Twas liberty only to hear.
Thus swiftly dividing the flood,
To a slave-cultured island we came,
Where a demon, her enemy, stood---
Oppression his terrible name.
In his hand, as the sign of his sway,
A scourge hung with lashes he bore,
And stood looking out for his prey
From Africa's sorrowful shore.
But soon as approaching the land
That goddess-like woman he viewed,
The scourge he let fall from his hand,
With blood of his subjects imbrued.
I saw him both sicken and die,
And the moment the monster expired, Heard shouts, that ascended the sky, From thousands with rapture inspired.
Awaking how could I but muse
At what such a dream should betide? But soon my ear caught the glad news, Which served my weak thought for a guide--That Britannia, renowned o'er the waves For the hatred, she ever has shown, To the black-sceptred rulers of slaves, Resolves to have none of her own,
NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM.
A NIGHTINGALE, that all day long
Had cheered the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied far off, upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spark,
So stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop.
The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus, right eloquent---
Did you admire my lamp, quoth he---
As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song;
For 'twas the self-same power divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night.
The songster heard his short oration,
And warbling out his approbation,
Released him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
Hence jarring sectaries may learn
Their real interest to discern;
That brother should not war with brother,
And worry and devour each other;
But sing and shine by sweet consent,
Till life's poor transient night is spent,
Respecting in each other's case
The gifts of nature and of grace.
Those Christians best deserve the name
Who studiously make peace their aim;
Peace, both the duty and the prize
Of him that creeps and him that flies.
STARVED TO DEATH IN HIS CAGE.
TIME was when I was free as air,
The thistle's downy seed my fare,
My drink the morning dew;
I perched 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 passed 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.
PINE-APPLE AND THE BEE.
THE pine-apples, in triple row,
Were basking hot, and all in blow;
A bee of most discerning taste
Perceived the fragrance as he passed;
On eager wing the spoiler came,
And searched for crannies in the frame,
Urged his attempt on every side,
To every pane his trunk applied;
But still in vain, the frame was tight,
And only pervious to the light:
Thus having wasted half the day,
He trimmed his flight another way.
Methinks, I said, in thee I find
The sin and madness of mankind.
To joys forbidden man aspires,
Consumes his soul with vain desires;
Folly the spring of his pursuit,
And disappointment all the fruit,
While Cynthio ogles, as she passes,
The nymph between two chariot glasses,
She is the pine-apple, and he
The silly unsuccessful bee.
The maid, who views with pensive air
The show-glass fraught with glittering ware,
Sees watches, bracelets, rings, and lockets,
But sighs at thought of empty pockets;
Like thine, her appetite is keen,
But ah, the cruel glass between!
Our dear delights are often such,
Exposed to view, but not to touch;
The sight our foolish heart inflames,
We long for pine-apples in frames;
With hopeless wish one looks and lingers;
One breaks the glass, and cuts his fingers;
But they whom truth and wisdom lead,
Can gather honey from a weed.
RECEIVE, dear friend, the truths I teach,
So shalt thou live beyond the reach
Of adverse Fortune's power;
Not always tempt the distant deep,
Nor always timorously creep
Along the treacherous shore.
He, that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants, that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues, that haunt the rich man's door,
Imbittering all his state.
The tallest pines feel most the power
Of wintry blasts; the loftiest tower
Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts, that spare the mountain's side,
His cloud-capt eminence divide,
And spread the ruin round.
The well-informed philosopher
Rejoices with an wholesome fear,
And hopes, in spite of pain;
If winter bellow from the north,
Soon the sweet spring comes dancing forth,
And nature laughs again.
What if thine heaven be overcast,
The dark appearance will not last;
Expect a brighter sky.
The God, that strings the silver bow,
Awakes sometimes the muses too,
And lays his arrows by.
If hindrances obstruct thy way
Thy magnanimity display,
And let thy strength be seen;
But oh! if Fortune fill thy sail
With more than a propitious gale,
Take half thy canvass in.