« ForrigeFortsett »
Upborne into the viewless air,
It floats a vapour now,
Impelled through regions dense and rare,
By all the winds that blow.
Ordained perhaps ere summer flies,
Combined with millions more,
To form an Iris in the skies,
Though black and foul before.
Illustrious drop! and happy then
Beyond the happiest lot, Of all that ever past my pen,
So soon to be forgot!
Phoebus, if such be thy design,
To place it in thy bow,
Give wit, that what is left may shine
With equal grace below.
PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
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 e'en 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 chanced 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,
Assembled on affairs of love,
And with much twitter and much chatter
Began to agitate the matter.
At length a Bulfinch, who could boast
More years and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, opening wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And, silence publicly enjoined,
Delivered 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 poll,
A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried
What marriage means, thus pert replied.
Methinks the gentleman, quoth she, Opposite in the apple-tree,
By his good will would keep us single
Till yonder Heaven and earth shall mingle,
Or (which is likelier to befall)
Till death exterminate us all.
I marry without more ado,
My dear Dick Redcap, what say you?
Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling,
Turning short round, strutting and sideling,
Attested, glad, his approbation
Of an immediate conjugation.
Their sentiments so well expressed
Influenced mightily the rest,
All paired, and each pair built a nest.
But though the birds were thus in haste,
The leaves came on not quite so fast,
And destiny, that sometimes bears
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 chilled, their eggs were addled;
Soon every father bird and mother
Grew quarrelsome, and pecked 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.
Misses! the tale that I relate
This lesson seems to carry-
Choose not alone a proper mate
But proper time to marry