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Little inmate, full of mirth,
Chirping on my kitchen hearth,
Wheresoe'er be thine abode,
Always harbinger of good,
Pay me for thy warm retreat
With a song more soft and sweet;
In return thou shalt receive
Such a strain as I can give.
Thus thy praise shall be express'd,
Inoffensive, welcome guest!
While the rat is on the scout,
And the mouse with curious snout,
With what vermin else infest
Every dish, and spoil the best;
Frisking thus before the fire,
Thou hast all fyine heart's desire.
Though in voice and shape they be
Form'd as if akin to thee,
Thou surpassest, happier far,
Happiest grasshoppers that are;
Theirs is but a summer's song,
Thine endures the winter long,
Unimpair'd, and shrill, and clear,
Melody throughout the year.
Neither night nor dawn of day
Puts a period to thy play:
Sing, then—and extend thy span
Far beyond the date of man.
Wretched man, whose years are spent
In repining discontent,
Lives not, aged though he be,
Half a span, compared with thee.
IV. THE PARROT.
In painted plumes superbly dress'd,
A native of the gorgeous east,
By many a billow toss'd;
Poll gains at length the British shore,
Part of the captain's precious store,
A present to his toast.
Belinda's maids are soon preferr'd,
To teach him now and then a word,
As Poll can master it;
But 'tis her own important charge,
To qualify him more at large,
And make him quite a wit.
Sweet Poll! his doting mistress cries, Sweet Poll! the mimic bird replies, And calls aloud for sack.
She next instructs him in the kiss;
Tis now a little one, like Miss,
And now a hearty smack.
At first he aims at what he hears;
And, listening close with both his ears,
Just catches at the sound; But soon articulates aloud, Much to the amusement of the crowd,
And stuns the neighbours round.
A querulous' old woman's voice
His humorous talent next employs,
He scolds, and gives the lie.
And now he sings, and now is sick,
Here, Sally, Susan, come, come quick,
Poor Poll is like to die!
Belinda and her bird! 'tis rare
To meet with such a well match'd pair,
The language and the tone, Each character in every part Sustain'd with so much grace and art,
And both in unison.
When children first begin to spell,
And stammer out a syllable,
We think them tedious creatures;
But difficulties soon abate,
When birds are to be taught to prate,
And women are the teachers.
TRANSLATION OF PRIOR'S CHLOE AND
Mercator, vigiles oculos ut fallere possit,
Nomine sub ficto trans mare mittit opes;
Lene sonat liquidumque meis Euphelia chordis,
Sed solam exoptant te, mea vota, Chide.
Ad speculum ornabat nitidos Euphelia crines, Cum dixit mea lux, heus, cane, sume lyram.
Namque lyram juxta positam cum carmine vidit,
Suave quidem carmen dulcisonamque lyram.
Fila lyrse vocemque paro, suspiria surgunt,
Et miscent numeris murmura maesta meis,
Dumque tuse memoro laudes, Euphelia, formse,
Tota anima interea pendet ab ore Chloes.
Subrubet ilia pudore, et contrahit altera frontem,
Me torquet mea mens conscia, psallo, tremo;
Atque Cupidinea dixit Dea cincta corona,
Heu! fallendi artem quam didicere parum.
FOR THE TOMB OF MR. HAMILTON.
Pause here, and think: a monitory rhyme
Demands one moment of thy fleeting time.
Consult life's silent clock, thy bounding vein;
Seems it to say—" Health here has long to reign?"
Hast thou the vigour of thy youth? an eye
That beams delight? a heart untaught to sigh?
Yet fear. Youth, ofttimes healthful and at ease,
Anticipates a day it never sees;
And many a tomb, like Hamilton's, aloud
Exclaims "Prepare thee for an early shroud."
EPITAPH ON A HARE.
Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,
Nor e'er heard huntsman's halloo;
Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild Jack hare.