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A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried
Methinks the gentleman, quoth me,
Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling,
Influenc'd mightily the rest,
But though the birds were thus in haste,
And destiny, that sometimes bears
An aspect stern on man's affairs, . -. I
Not altogether smii'd on theirs.
The wind, of late breath'd 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 ev'ry 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.
Misses! the tale that I relate
This lesson seems to carry— Choose not alone a proper mate,
But proper time to marry.
THE NEEDLESS ALARM.
There is a field through which I often pass, Thick overspread with moss and silky grass, Adjoining close totKilwick's echoing wood, Where oft the bitch-fox hides her hapless brood, Rescrv'd to solace many a neighb'ring 'squire, That he may follow them through brake and briar, Contusion hazarding of neck or spine, Which rural gentlemen call sport divine. A narrow brook, by rushy banks conceal'd, 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 Hopes to its wat'ry bourn, Wide yawns a gulph beside a ragged thorn;
Bricks line the fides, but shiver'd long ago,
Not yet the hawthorn bore her berries red,
The fun, accomplishing his early march,
His lamp now planted on heav'n'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^rais'd horn's melodious clang v V All Kilwick* and all Dingle-derry * rang.
Sheep graz'd the field; some with soft bosom prefe'd The herb as soft,; while nibbling stray'd.the rests' Nor noise was heard but of the hasty brook, . .. Struggling, detain'd in many a petty nook. All seem'd so peaceful, that from them convey'd . To me, their peace by kind contagion spread.
But when the huntsman, with distended cheek, 'Gan make his instrument of music speak, . And from within the wood that crash was heard, Though not a hound from whom it burst appear'd, The sheep recumbent, and the sheep that graz'd, All huddling into phalanx, stood and gaz'd, Admiring, terrified, the novel strain, Then cours'd the field around, and cours'd it round
again; But, recollecting with a sudden thought, That flight in circles urg'd advanc'd them nought,
* Two woods belonging to John Throcktnorton, Esq.