The yellow-hammer, and the finch as well,
The sparrow asked the tit, who could n't tell,
The jay, the pie, but all were in the dark,
Till out of patience with the common doubt,
The Rook at last resolved to worm it out,
And thus accosted the mysterious Lark:

“Friend, prithee, tell me why
You keep this constant hovering so high,
As if you had some castle in the air,
That you are always poising there,

A speck against the sky,
Neglectful of each old familiar feature
Of Earth that nursed you in your callow state,
You think you're only soaring at heaven's gate,
Whereas you 're flying in the face of Nature !”

“ Friend,” said the Lark, with melancholy tone,
And in each little eye a dewdrop shone,
“No creature of my kind was ever fonder

Of that dear spot of earth


it birth, And I was nestled in the furrow yonder ! Sweet is the twinkle of the dewy heath, And sweet that thymy down I watch beneath, Saluted often with a loving sonnet; But Men, vile Men, have spread so thick a scurf Of dirt and infamy about the Turf,

I do not like to settle on it!”


Alas! how nobles of another race Appointed to the bright and lofty way, Too willingly descend to haunt a place Polluted by the deeds of Birds of Prey !


The attempt and not the deed.”



IF I were used to writing verse,
And had a Muse not so perverse,
But prompt at Fancy's call to spring
And carol like a bird in Spring ;
Or like a Bee, in summer time,
That hums about a bed of thyme,
And gathers honey and delights
From ev'ry blossom where it ’lights ;
If I, alas ! had such a Muse,
To touch the Reader or amuse,
And breathe the true poetic vein,

should not be filled in vain !
But ab! the power was never mine
To dig for gems in Fancy's mine;
Or wander over land and main
To seek the Fairies' old domain, -

To watch Apollo while he climbs
His throne in oriental climes ;
Or mark the "gradual dusky veil”
Drawn over Tempé's tuneful vale,
In classic lays remembered long, -
Such flights to bolder wings belong;
To Bards who on that glorious height
Of sun and song, Parnassus hight,
Partake the fire divine that burns
In Milton, Pope, and Scottish Burns,
Who sang his native braes and burns.
For me, a novice strange and new,
Who ne'er such inspiration knew,
But weave a verse with travail sore,
Ordained to creep and not to soar,
A few poor lines alone I write,
Fulfilling thus a friendly rite,
Not meant to meet the Critic's eye,
For O, to hope from such as I,
For anything that's fit to read,
Were trusting to a broken reed !

E. M. G.



“Water, water, everywhere,
But not a drop to drink.” - COLERIDGE.

It is a jolly Mariner
As ever knew the billows' stir,
Or battled with the gale;
His face is brown, his hair is black,
And down his broad gigantic back
There hangs a platted tail.

In clusters, as he rolls along,
His tarry mates around him throng,
Who know his budget well;
Betwixt Canton and Trinidad
No Sea-Romancer ever had
Such wondrous tales to tell !

Against the mast he leans a-slope, And thence upon a coil of rope Slides down his pitchy “starn;" Heaves up a lusty hem or two, And then at once without ado Begins to spin his yarn :

66 As from Jamaica we did come, Laden with sugar, fruit, and rum,

It blew a heavy gale:
A storm that scared the oldest men
For three long days and nights, and then
The wind began to fail.

“ Still less and less, till on the mast
The sails began to flap at last,
The breezes blew so soft;
Just only now and then a puff,
Till soon there was not wind enough
To stir the vane aloft.

“No, not a cat's paw anywhere:
Hold up your finger in the air
You could n't feel a breath;
For why, in yonder storm that burst,
The wind that blew so hard at first
Had blown itself to death.

“ No cloud aloft to throw a shade;
No distant breezy ripple made
The ocean dark below.
No cheering sign of any kind ;
The more we whistled for the wind
The more it did not blow.

“ The hands were idle, one and all ;
No sail to reef against a squall ;
No wheel, no steering now!
Nothing to do for man or mate,

« ForrigeFortsett »