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ON MRS. MONTAGU'S FEATHER HANGINGS.
The Birds put off their every hue,
To dress a room for Montagu.
The Peacock sends his heavenly dyes,
His rainbows and his starry eyes;
The Pheasant, plumes which round infold
His mantling neck with downy gold;
The Cock his arched tail's azure show;
An'd, river blanched, the Swan his snow.
All tribes beside of Indian name,
That glossy shine, or vivid flame,
Where rises and where sets the day,
Whate'er they boast of rich and gay,
Contribute to the gorgeous plan,
Proud to advance it all they can.
This plumage neither dashing shower,
Nor blasts that shake the dripping bower,
Shall drench again or discompose,
But, screened from every storm that blows,
It boasts a splendour ever new,
Safe with protecting Montagu.
To the same patroness resort,
Secure of favour at her court,
Strong Genius, from whose forge of thought
Forms rise, to quick perfection wrought,
Which, though new-born, with vigour move,
Like Pallas, springing armed from Jove;
Imagination scattering round
Wild roses over furrowed ground.
Which Labour of his frown beguile,
And teach Philosophy a smile;
Wit flashing on Religion's side,
Whose fires, to sacred truth applied,
The gem, though luminous before,
Obtrudes on human notice more,
Like sunbeams on the golden height
Of some tall temple playing bright;
Well-tutored Learning, from his books
Dismissed with grave, not haughty looks,
Their order on his shelves exact,
Not more harmonious or compact
Than that, to which he keeps confined
The various treasures of his mind;
All these to Montagu's repair,
Ambitious of a shelter there.
There Genius, Learning, Fancy, Wit,
Their ruffled plumage calm refit,
(For stormy troubles loudest roar
Around their flight who highest soar,)
And in her eye, and by her aid,
Shine safe without a fear to fade.
She thus maintains divided sway
ON THE DEATH OF MRS. THROCKMORTON'S BULLFINCH.
Ye Nymphs, if e'er your eyes were red
Oh, share Maria's grief!
Assassined by a thief.
Where Rhenus strays his vines among,
And though by nature mute
Of flageolet or flute.
The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole,
His bosom of the hue
To sweep away the dew.
Above, below, in all the house,
No cat had leave to dwell;
Large built and latticed well.
Well latticed,—but the grate, alas!
For Bully's plumage sake,
The swains their baskets make.
Night veiled the pole: all seemed secure:
Subsistence to provide,
And badger-coloured hide.
He, entering at the study door,
Just then, by adverse fate impressed,
In sleep he seemed to view
Awoke and found it true.
For, aided both by ear and scent,
Right to his mark the monster went,—
Minute the horrors that ensued;
His teeth were strong, the cage was wood-
Oh, had he made that too his prey!
Of such mellifluous tone,
Fast stuck within his own.
Maria weeps,—the Muses mourn;—
On Thracian Hebrus' side
The cruel death he died.
The rose had been washed, just washed in a shower
Which Mary to Anna conveyed;
And weighed down its beautiful head.
The cup was all filled, and the leaves were all wet,
And it seemed, to a fanciful view,
On the flourishing bush where it grew.
I hastily seized it, unfit as it was
For a nosegay, so dripping and drowned,
And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!
And such, I exclaimed, is the pitiless part
Some act by the delicate mind,
Already to sorrow resigned.
The Poets New-years Gift. 359
This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
Might have bloomed with its owner awhile;
And the tear that is wiped with a little address,
ODE TO APOLLO.
ON AN INK-GLASS ALMOST DRIED IN THE SUN.
Patron of all those luckless brains
Indite much metre with much pains,
Ay, why, since oceans, rivers, streams,
That water all the nations,
In constant exhalations;
Why, stooping from the noon of day,
Too covetous of drink,
A poet's drop of ink?
Upborne into the viewless air,
It floats a vapour now,
By all the winds that blow;
Ordained perhaps ere summer flies,
To form an Iris in the skies,
Illustrious drop! and happy then
Beyond the happiest lot,
So soon to be forgot!
Phcebus, if such be thy design,
To place it in thy bow,
With equal grace below.
THE POET'S NEW-YEAR'S GIFT.
TO MRS. (AFTERWARDS LADV) THROCKMORTON.
Maria! I have every good
Both sad and in a cheerful mood,
To wish thee fairer is no need,
360 PAIR IS G TIME ANTICIPATED.
Or more ingenuous, or more freed
What favour then not yet possessed
Can I for thee require,
To thy whole heart's desire?
None here is happy but in part;
Full bliss is bliss divine;
And doubtless one in thine.
That wish, on some fair future day
('Tis blameless, be it what it may,)
PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
I Shall not ask Jean Jaques Rousseau,1
If birds confabulate or no;
'Tis clear that they were always able
To hold discourse, at least in fable;
And e'en the child who knows no better
Than to interpret by the letter
A story of a cock and bull,
Must have a most uncommon skull.
It chanced then on a winter's day,
Assembled on affairs of love,
My friends! be cautious how ye creat
A finch, whose tongue knew no control,
1 It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philosopher, that all fames which ascribe reason and speech to animals, should be withheld from children, as bemg only vehicles of deception. But what child was ever deceived by . them, or can be, agamst the evidence of his senses?