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An aspect stern on man's affairs,
Not altogether smiled on theirs.
The wind, of late breathed gently forth,
Now shifted east, and east by north;
Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know,
Could shelter them from rain or snow,
Stepping into their nests, they paddled,
Themselves were chill'd, their eggs were addled;
Soon every father bird and mother
Grew quarrelsome, and peck'd each other,
Parted without the least regret,
Except that they had ever met,
And learn'd in future to be wiser,
Than to neglect a good adviser.
PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
Misses! the tale that I relate
This lesson seems to carry—
Choose not alone a proper mate,
But proper time to marry.
THE DOG AND THE WATER LILY.
THE noon was shady, and soft airs
Swept Ouse's silent tide,
When, 'scaped from literary cares,
I wander'd on his side.
My spaniel, prettiest of his race,
And high in pedigree,
(Two nymphs* adorn'd with every grace That spaniel found for me)
Now wanton'd lost in flags and reeds,
Now starting into sight,
Pursued the swallow o'er the meads
With scarce a slower flight.
It was the time when Ouse display'd
His lilies newly blown ;
Their beauties I intent survey'd,
And one I wish'd my own.
With cane extended far I sought
To steer it close to land;
But still the prize, though nearly caught,
Escaped my eager hand.
* Sir Robert Gunning's daughters.
Beau mark'd my unsuccessful pains
With fix'd considerate face,
And puzzling set his puppy brains
To comprehend the case.
But with a cherup clear and strong
Dispersing all his dream,
I thence withdrew, and follow'd long
The windings of the stream.
My ramble ended, I return'd;
Beau, trotting far before,
The floating wreath again discern'd,
And plunging, left the shore.
I saw him with that lily cropp'd
Impatient swim to meet
My quick approach, and soon he dropp'd
The treasure at my feet.
Charm'd with the sight, the world, I cried,
Shall hear of this thy deed:
My dog shall mortify the pride
Of man's superior breed:
But chief myself I will enjoin,
Awake at duty's call,
To show a love as prompt as thine
To Him who gives me all.
WHAT nature, alas! has denied
To the delicate growth of our isle,
Art has in a measure supplied,
And winter is deck'd with a smile.
See, Mary, what beauties I bring
From the shelter of that sunny shed, Where the flowers have the charms of the spring, Though abroad they are frozen and dead.
"Tis a bower of Arcadian sweets, Where Flora is still in her prime, A fortress to which she retreats
From the cruel assaults of the clime. While earth wears a mantle of snow,
These pinks are as fresh and as gay As the fairest and sweetest that blow On the beautiful bosom of May.
See how they have safely survived
The frowns of a sky so severe; Such Mary's true love, that has lived Through many a turbulent year. The charms of the late blowing rose
Seem'd graced with a livelier hue, And the winter of sorrow best shows The truth of a friend such as you.
THE POET, THE OYSTER, AND SENSITIVE PLANT.
AN oyster, cast upon the shore,
Was heard, though never heard before,
Complaining in a speech well worded,
And worthy thus to be recorded-
Ah, hapless wretch! condemn'd to dwell
For ever in my native shell;
Ordain'd to move when others please,
Not for my own content or ease;
But toss'd and buffeted about,
Now in the water and now out.
"Twere better to be born a stone,
Of ruder shape, and feeling none,
Than with a tenderness like mine,
And sensibilities so fine!
I envy that unfeeling shrub,
Fast rooted against every rub.
The plant he meant grew not far off,
And felt the sneer with scorn enough :
Was hurt, disgusted, mortified,
And with asperity replied:
When, cry the botanists, and stare,
Did plants call'd sensitive grow there?
No matter when—a poet's muse is
To make them grow just where she chooses.
You shapeless nothing in a dish,
You that are but almost a fish,