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Must be decided by the worth
Of that which call'd his ardour forth.

Trifles pursu'd, whate'er th' event, Must cause him shame or discontent;

A vicious object still is worse,
Successful there, he wins a curse ;

But he, whom ev'n in life's last stage Endeavours laudable

engage, Is paid, at least in peace of mind, And sense of having well design'd; And if, ere he attain his end, His sun precipitate descend, A brighter prize than that he meant Shall recompense his mere intent. No virtuous wish can bear a date

Either too early or too late,


The green-house is my

summer seat; My shrubs displac'd from that retreat

Enjoy'd the open air;
Two goldfinches, whofe sprightly song
Had been their mutual folace long,

Liv'd happy pris’ners there:

They sang, as bliche as finches sing
That flutter loose on golden wing,

And frolic where they list;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,

And, therefore, never miss’d.

But nature works in ev'ry breast;
Instinct is never quite suppress’d;

And Dick felt some desires,

Which, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain

A pass between his wires.

The open windows seem'd to invite
The freeman to a farewell Aight;

But Tom was still confin'd;

And Dick, although his way was clear, Was much too gen'rous and sincere

To leave his friend behind.

For, settling on his grated roof;
He chirp'd and kiss'd him, giving proof

That he desir'd no more; Nor would forsake his cage at last, 'Till gently seiz'd, I shut him fast,

A pris’ner as before.

Oh ye, who never knew the joys
Of Friendship, satisfied with noise,

Fandango, ball and rout!

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Blush, when I tell you how a bird,
A prison, with a friend, preferr’d

To liberty without.




I SHALL not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau*,
If birds confabulate or no;
'Tis clear that they were always able
To hold discourse, at least, in fable ;
And ev’n the child, who knows no better,
Than to interpret by the letter,
A story of a cock and bull,
Must have a most uncommon skull.

* It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philosopher, that all fab!cs which ascribe reason and speech to animals should be withheld from children, as being only vehicles of deception. But what child was ever deceived by them, or can be, against the evidence of his senses

It chanc'd then, on a winter's day,
But warm and bright, and calm as May,
The birds, conceiving a design
To forestal sweet St. Valentine,
In many an orchard, copse, and grove,
Affembled on affairs of love,
And with much twitter and much chatter,
Began to agitate the matter.
At length a Bulfinch, who could boast

and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, op’ning wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And, silence publicly enjoin'd,
Deliver'd briefly thus his mind.

My friends! be cautious how ye treat
The subject upon which we meet;
I fear we shall have winter yet.

A Finch, whose tongue knew no control, With golden wing and satin pole,

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