THE green-houfe is my fummer feat;
My fhrubs difplac'd from that retreat
Enjoy'd the open air;

Two goldfinches, whofe fprightly fong
Had been their mutual folace long,
Liv'd happy pris'ners there.

They fang, as blithe as finches fing
'That flutter loofe on golden wing,
And frolic where they lift;

Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,
And, therefore, never miss'd.

But nature works in ev'ry breast;
Inftinct is never quite fupprefs'd;
And Dick felt fome defires,
Which, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain

A pafs between his wires.

The open windows feem'd to invite The freeman to a farewell fight; But Tom was still confin'd; And Dick, although his way was clear, Was much too gen'rous and fincere To leave his friend behind.

For, fettling on his grated roof,
He chirp'd and kiss'd him, giving proof
That he defir'd no more;

Nor would forfake his cage at laft,
Till gently feiz'd, I fhut him faft,
A pris'ner as before.

Oh ye, who never knew the joys
Of friendship, fatisfied with noife,
Fandango, ball, and rout!

Blush, when I tell you how a bird,
A prison, with a friend, preferr'd
To liberty without.



I SHALL not afk Jean Jacques Rousseau *.
If birds confabulate or no;

"Tis clear that they were always able
To hold discourse, at least, in fable;

And ev❜n the child, who knows no better,
Than to interpret by the letter,

A ftory of a cock and bull,

Must have a moft uncommon fkull.

It chanc'd then, on a winter's day, But warm and bright, and calm as May, The birds, conceiving a defign

To foreftal fweet St Valentine,

In many an orchard, copfe, and grove,
Affembled on affairs of love,

And with much twitter, and much chatter,
Began to agitate the matter.

* It was one of the whimsical fpeculations of this philofopher, that all fables which ascribe reason and speech to animals fhould be withheld from children, as being only vehicles of deception. But what child was ever deceived by them, o can be, against the evidence of his fenfes ?

At length a Bulfinch, who could boaft
More years and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, op'ning wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And, filence publicly enjoin'd,
Deliver'd briefly thus his mind.

My friends! be cautious how ye treat
The fubject upon which we meet;

I fear we fhall have winter yet.

A finch, whofe tongue knew no controul,
With golden wing and fattin pole,
A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried
What marriage means, thus pert replied.
Methinks the gentleman, quoth fhe,
Oppofite in the apple-tree,

By his good-will would keep us fingle,
Till yonder heav'n 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 fay you?

Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling, Turning fhort round, ftrutting and fideling, Attefted, glad, his approbation Of an immediate conjugation.

Their fentiments fo well exprefs'd,
Influenc'd mightily the reft,

All pair'd, and each pair built a neft.

But though the birds were thus in haste,
The leaves came on not quite so fast,
And destiny, that sometimes bears

An aspect ftern on man's affairs,
Not altogether fmil'd on theirs.
The wind, of late breath'd gently forth,
Now shifted east and east by north.
Bare trees and fhrubs but ill, you know,
Could fhelter them from rain or snow;
Stepping into their nefts, they paddled,
Themselves were chill'd, their eggs were addled;
Soon ev'ry father bird and mother

Grew quarrelfome, and peck'd each other,

Parted without the least regret,

Except that they had ever met,
And learn'd, in future, to be wiser,
Than to neglect a good adviser.


Miffes! the tale that I relate

This leffon feems to carry

Choose not alone a proper mate,
But proper time to marry.

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