Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Charmed with the sight, the world, I cried,

Shall hear of this thy deed: My dog shall mortify the pride

Of man's superior breed:

But chief myself I will enjoin,

Awake at duty's call,
To shew a love as prompt as thine

To Him who gives me all.

THE POET, THE OYSTER, AND
SENSITIVE PLANT.

An Oyster, cast upon the shore,
Was heard, though never heard before,
Complaining in a speech well worded,
And worthy thus to be recorded—

Ah, hapless wretch! condemned to dwell
For ever in my native shell;
Ordained to move when others please,
Not for my own content or ease;
But tossed and buffeted about,
Now in the water and now out.
'Twere better to be born a stone,
Of ruder shape, and feeling none,
Than with a tenderness like mine,
And sensibilities so fine!

I envy that unfeeling shrnb,
Fast-rooted against every rub.
The plant he meant grew not far off,
And felt the sneer with scorn enough;
Was hurt, disgusted, mortified,
And with asperity replied.

When, cry the botanists, and stare,
Did plants called sensitive grow there?
No matter when—a poet's muse is
To make them grow just where she chooses.

You shapeless nothing in a dish, You that are but almost a fish, I scorn your coarse insinuation, And have most plentiful occasion To wish myself the rock I view, Or such another dolt as you: For many a grave and learned clerk, And many a gay unlettered spark, With curious touch examines me, If I can feel as well as he; And when I bend, retire, and shrink, Says—Well, 'tis more than one would think! Thus life is spent (oh fie upon't!) In being touched, and crying—Don't!

A poet, in his evening walk, O'evheard and checked this idle talk,

VOL. III. I

And your fine sense, he said, and your's,
Whatever evil it endures,
Deserves not, if so soon offended,
Much to be pitied or commended.
Disputes, though short, are far too long,
Where both alike are in the wrong;
Your feelings, in their full amount,
Are all upon your own account.

You, in your grotto-work enclosed,
Complain of being thus exposed;
Yet nothing feel in that rough coat,
Save when the knife is at your throat,
Wherever driven by wind or tide,
Exempt from every ill beside.

And as for you, my Lady Squeamish,
Who reckon every touch a blemish,
If all the plants, that can be found
Embellishing the scene around,
Should droop and wither where they grow,
You would not feel at all—not you.
The noblest minds their virtue prove
By pity, sympathy, and love:
These, these are feelings truly fine,
And prove their owner half divine.

His censure reached them as he dealt it, And each by shrinking showed he felt it.

THE SHRUBBERY.

WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION.
I.

Oh, happy shades—to me unblest!

Friendly to peace, but not to me I How ill the scene that offers rest,

And heart, that cannot rest, agree!

II.

This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Those alders quivering to the breeze,

Might sooth a soul less hurt than mine,
And please, if any thing could please.

ill.

But fix'd unalterable care

Foregoes not what she feels within, Shows the same sadness every where,

And slights the season and the scene.

Iv.

For all that pleased in wood or lawn,
While peace possessed these silent bowers,

Her animating smile withdrawn,
Has lost its beauties and its powers.

[ocr errors]

v.

The safnt or moralist should tread
This moss-grown alley musing slow; .

They seek like me the secret shade,
But not like me to nourish woe!

VI.

Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste

Alike admonish not to roam; These tell me of enjoyments past,

And those of sorrows yet to come.

THE WINTER NOSEGAY.

I.

What nature, alas! has denied

To the delicate growth of our isle, Art has in a measure supplied,

And winter is decked with a smile. See, Mary, what beauties I bring

From the shelter of that sunny shed, Where the flowers have the charms of the spring,

Though abroad they art frozen and dead.

II.

Tis a bower of Arcadian sweets,
Where Flora is still in her prime,

« ForrigeFortsett »