« ForrigeFortsett »
A TALE. - MERRICK.) WHOE'ER, with curious eye, has rang'd
Through Ovid's tales, has seen How Jove, incens'd, to monkies chang'd
A tribe of worthless men.
Repentant soon, th' offending race
Întreat the injur'd pow'r
And reason's aid restore.
Jove, sooth'd at length, his ear inclin'd,
And granted half their pray'r; But t'other half he bade the wind
Disperse in empty air.
Scarce had the Thund'rer giv'n the nod
That shook the vaulted skies, With haughtier air the creatures strode,
And stretchd their dwindled size.
The hair in curls luxuriant now
Around their temples spread;
Now dangled from the head.
Nor alter'd much the face :
And all its old grimace.
Thus half transform'd and half the same,
Jove bade them take their place, (Restoring them their ancient claim)
Among the human race.
Man with contempt the brute survey'd,
Nor would a name bestow :
And callid the thing a Beau..
Emollit mores, nec sinit esse feros.
Who lend their artless notes a willing ear, To you, whom pity moves, and taste inspires,
The Doric strain belongs; O Shenstone, hear.
'Twas gentle spring, when all the tuneful race,
By nature taught, in nuptial leagues combine ; A Goldfinch joy'd to meet the warm embrace,
And hearts and fortunes with her mate to join.
Through nature's spacious walks at large they rang'd,
No settled haunts, no fix'd abode their aim ; As chance or fancy led, ther path they chang’d,
Themselves in ev'ry vary'd scene the same. 'Till on a day to weighty cares resign'd,
With mutual choice, alternate, they agreed On rambling thoughts no more to turu their mind,
But settle soberly, and raise a breed.. All in a garden, on a currant bush,
With wond'rous art they built their waving seat : In the next orchard liv'd a friendly thrush,
Nor distant far, a woodlark's soft retreat.
Here blest with ease, and in each other blest,
With early songs they wak’d the sprightly groves, Till time matur'd their bliss, and crown'd their nest
With infant pledges of their faithful loves.
And now what transport glow'd in either's eye
! What equal fondness dealt th' allotted food! What joy each other's likeness to descry,
And future sonnets in the chirping brood !
How does the fairest purpose often fail !
Their rising hopes, and leave them both to wail..
The most ungentle of his tribe was he;
No gen'rous precept ever touch'd his heart: With concords faise, and hideous prosody
He scrawl'd his task, and blunder'd o'er his part.
On barb'rous plunder bent, with savage eye
He mark'd where wrapt in down the younglings lay, Then rushing seiz'd the wretched family,
And bore them in his impious hands away.
But how shall I relate in numbers rude
The pangs for poor * Chrysomitris decreed! When from a neighb’ring spray aghast she view'd
The savage ruffian's inauspicious deed!
So wrapt in grief some heart-struck matron stands,
While horrid flames surround her children's room ! On heav'n she calls, and wrings her trembling hands;
Constrain’d to see, but not prevent their doom. “ O grief of griefs!" with shrieking voice she cry'd,
" What sight is this that I have liv'd to see? “ O that I had a maiden goldtinch dy'd,
“ From love's false joys and bitter sorrows free! “ Was it for this, alas! with weary bill,
“ Was it for this, I pois’d th' unwieldy straw? “. For this I pick'd the moss from yonder hill?
“ Nor shunn'd the pond'rous chat along to draw? ". Was it for this, I cull'd the wool with care;
“ And strove with all my skill our work to crown? . " For this, with pain I bent the stubborn hair;
“ And lin’d our cradle with the thistle's down?
“ Was it for this, my freedom I resign'd;
“ And ceas’d to rove from beauteous plain to plain ? : « For this, I sat at home whole days confin’d,
“ And bore the scorching heat and pealing rain?
“ Was it for this, my watchful eyes grew dim?
“ The crimson roses on my cheek turn'd pale ? « Pale is my golden plumage, once so trim; “ And all my wonted spirits 'gin to fail.
* Obrysomitris it seems, is the name for a a goldfinch,
" O plunderer vile! O more than weezel fell!
“ More treach’rous than the cat with prudish face! "More fierce than kites with whom the furies dwell!
“ More pilf’ring than the cuckow's prowling race!
“For thee may plum or goosb'ry never grow,
“ No juicy currant cool thy clammy throat: " But bloody birch-twigs work thee shameful woe,
" Nor ever goldfinch cheer thee with her note.” Thus sang
the mournful bird her piteous tale, The piteous tale her mournful mate return'd: Then side by side they sought the distant vale,
And there in silent sadness inly mourn'd.
An Ode on the HEAVENLY BODIES.
An HYMN OR GRATITUDE,
I. WHEN all thy mercies, O my God,
My rising soul surveys;
In wonder, love, and praise :
The gratitude declare
11. Thy providence my life sustain'd,
And all my wants redrest,
Thy mercy lent an ear,
To form themselves in pray'r.
Unnumber'd comforts to my soul
Thy tender care bestow'd,
With heedless steps I ran,
It gently clear'd my way,
With health renew'd my face ;
Reviv'd my soul with grace.