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THE POET'S NEW YEAR'S GIFT.

TO MRS. (NOW LADY) THROCKMORTON.

Maria! I have every good

For thee wish'd many a time, Both sad, and in a cheerful mood,

But never yet in rhyme..

To wish thee fairer is no need,

More prudent, or more sprightly, Or more ingenious, or more freed:

From temper-flaws unsightly.

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What favour then not yet possess'

d Can I for thee require, In wedded love already blest,

To thy whole heart's desire ?

None here is happy but in part:

Full bliss is bliss divine;
There dwells some wish in every heart,

And doubtless one in thine.

That wish on some fair future day,

Which fate shall brightly gild, ('Tis blameless, be it what it may,)

I wish it all fulfill'd.

PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.

A PABLE.

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I shall not ask Jean Jaques 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 forestall sweet St. Valentine,
In many an orchard, copse, and grove,
Assembled on affairs of love,
And with much twitter and much chatter
Began to agitate the matter.
At length a Bullfinch, who could boast
More years and wisdom than the most,

* It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philosopher, that all fables 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 ?

Entreated, opening 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 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 express'd
Influenced mightily the rest,
All pair'd, 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, i
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 chilld, 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.

MORAL.

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. .

NO FABLE.

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.

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