Mrs. (now Lady) Throckmorton's

Ye nymphs! if e'er your eyes were red
With tears of hapless favourites shed,

O share Maria's grief!
Her favourite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage ?)

Assassined by a thief.

Where Rhenus strays his vines among,
The egg was laid from which he sprung,

And though by nature mute,
Or only with a whistle blest,
Well-taught he all the sounds expressed


The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole,
His bosom of the hue

With •which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise
To sweep up all the dew.

Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike to bird and mouse,

No cat had leave to dwell;
And Bully's cage supported stood
On props of smoothest-shaven wood,

Large-built and latticed well.

Well-latticed—but the grate, alas!
Not rough with wire of steel or brass,

For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wands from Ouse's side,
With which, when neatly peeled and dried,

The swains their baskets make.

Night veiled the pole. All seemed secure
When led by instinct sharp and sure,

Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth sallied on the scout,
Long-backed, long-tailed, and whiskered snout,

And badger-coloured hide.

He, entering at the study-door,
Its ample area 'gan explore;

And something in the wind


Conjectured, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,
Food chiefly for the mind.

Just then, by adverse fate impressed,
A dream disturbed poor Bully's rest;

In sleep he seemed to view
A rat, fast-clinging to the cage,
And screaming at the sad presage,

Awoke and found it true.

For, aided both by ear and scent,
Right to his mark the monster went—

Ah, muse! forbear to speak
Minute the horrors that ensued;
Hb teeth were strong, the cage was wood—-

He left poor Bully's beak.

He left it—but he ..should have ta'en:
That beak, whence issued many a strain

Of such mellifluous tone,
Might have repaid him well, I wote,
For silencing so sweet a throat,

Fast set within his own.

Maria weeps—The Muses mourn—
So, when by Bacchanalians torn,
On Thracian Hebrus' side

The tree-enchanter Orpheus fell;
His head alone remained to tell
The cruel death he died.



Reasoning at every step he treads,

Man yet mistakes his way,
While meaner things, whom instinct leads,

Are rarely known to stray.

One silent eve I wandered late;

And heard the voice of love;
The turtle thus addressed her mate,

And soothed the listening dove;

Our mutual bond of faith and truth

No time shall disengage,
Those blessings of our early youth

Shall cheer our latest age:


While innocence without disguise,

And constancy sincere,
Shall fill the circles of those eyes,

And mine can read them there;


Those ills, that wait on all below,

Shall ne'er be felt by me, Or gently felt, and only so,

As being shared with thee.


When lightnings flash among the trees,

Or kites are hovering near,
I fear lest thee alone they seize,

And know no other fear. 4:


'Tis then I feel myself a wife,

And press thy wedded side, Resolved an union formed for life

Death never shall divide.

vIII. But oh! if fickle and unchaste,

(Forgive a transient thought) Thou could become unkind at last,

And scorn thy present lot,

No need of lightning from on high,

Or kites with cruel beak;
Denied the endearments of thine eye,

This widowed heart would break.


« ForrigeFortsett »