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.



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 enterpret by the letter,

* It was one of the whimsical speculations of this ilosopher, that all fables which ascribe reason and

ech to animals should be withheld from children, as being only vehicles of deception. But -what child was ever deceived by them, of can be, agajust the evidence, of his senses?

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, and grove,
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, C

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 \vithout the least regret, Except that they had ever met,

And learned 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 noon was shady, and soft airs

Swept Ouse's silent tide,
When, Scaped from literary cares,

I wandered on his tide.

My spaniel, prettiest of his race,

And high in pedigree,
(Two nymphs* adorned with every grace

That spaniel found for me)

Now wantoned lost in flags and reeds,
Now starting into sight

* Sir Robert Gunning's daughters.

Pursued the swallow o'er the meads
With scarce a slower flight.

It was the time when Ouse displayed

His lilies newly blown;
Their beauties I intent surveyed,

And one I wished 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.

Beau marked my unsuccessful pains

With fixt considerate face,
And puzzling sat his puppy brains

To comprehend the case.
But with a chirrup clear and strong,

Dispersing all his dream,
I thence withdrew, and followed long

The windings of the stream.

My ramble finished, I returned.

Beau trotting far before
The floating wreath again discerned,

And plunging left the shore.
I saw him with that lily cropped

Impatient swim to meet
My quick approach, and soon he dropped

The treasure at my feet..

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