Puslapio vaizdai

To let them joy, and purposes, in thought
Elate, to make her night excel their day.
The black-bird whistles from the thorny brake;
The mellow bullfinch answers from the grove:
Nor are the linnets, o'er the flowering furze
Pour'd out profusely, filent. Join'd to these,
Innumerous songsters, in the freshening lhade
Of new-sprung leaves, their modulations mix
Mellifluous. The jay, the rook, the daw,
And each harsh pipe, discordant heard alone,
Aid the full concert: while the stock-dove breathes
A melancholy murmur thro' the whole.

'Tis love creates their melody, and all
This waste of music is the voice of love;
That even to birds, and beasts, the tenderarts
Of pleasing teaches. Hence the glossy kind
Try every winning way inventive love
Can dictate, and in courtship to their mates
Pour forth their little souls. First, wide around,
With distant awe, in airy rings they rove,
Endeavouring by a thousand tricks to catch
The cunning, conscious, half-averted glance
Of their regardless charmer. Should the seem
Softening the least approvance to bestow
Their colours burnish, and by hope inspir'd,
They brisk advance; then, on a sudden struck,
Retire disorder'd; then again approach;
In fond rotation spread the spotted wing,
And shiver every feather with desire.

Connubial leagues agreed, to the deep woods
They hafte away, all as their fancy leads,
Pleasure, or food, or secret safety prompts;
That Nature's great command may be obey’d:
Nor all the sweet sensations they perceive
Indulg'd in vain. Some to the holly-hedge
Nestling repair, and to the thicket some;
Some to the rude protection of the thorn
Commit their feeble off-spring: the cleft tree
Offers its kind concealment to a few,
Their food its insects, and its moss their nests.
Others apart far in the graffy dale,
Or roughening waste, their humble texture weave.
But most in woodland solitudes delight,
In unfrequented glooms, or shaggy banks,



Steep, and divided by a babbling brook,
Whose murmurs foothe them all the live-long day,
When by kind duty fix'd. Among the roots
Of hazel, pendant o'er the plaintive stream,
They frame the first foundation of their domes;
Dry sprigs of trees, in artful fabric laid,
And bound with clay together. Now ’tis nought
But restless hurry thro' the busy air,
Beat by unnumber'd wings. The swallow sweeps
The flimy pool, to build his hanging house
Intent. And often, from the careless back
Of herds and flocks, a thousand tugging bills
Pluck hair and wool ; and oft, when unobserv'd,
Steal from the barn a straw : till soft and warm,
Clean, and compleat, their habitation grows.

As thus the patient dam afliduous fits,
Not to be tempted from her tender task,
Or by sharp hunger, or by smooth delight,
Tho' the whole loosen'd spring around her blows,
Her fympathizing lover takes his stand
High on th' opponent bank, and ceaseless fings
The tedious time away; or else supplies
Her place a moment, while she sudden Aits
To pick the scanty meal. Th' appointed time
With pious toil fulfill'd, the callow young,
Warm'd and expanded into perfect life,
Their brittle bondage break, and come to light,

A helpless family, demanding food
With constant clamour: O what paffions then,
What melting sentiments of kindly care,
On the new parents seize! Away they fly
Affectionate, and undesiring bear
The most delicious morsel to their young;
Which equally distributed, again
The search begins. Even so a gentle pair,
By fortune funk, but form'd of generous mold,
And charm'd with cares beyond the vulgar breast,
In some lone cott amid the distant woods,
Suttain'd alone by providential heaven,
Oft, as they weeping eye their infant train,
Check their own appetites and give them all.

Nor toil alone they scorn; exalting love,
Ry the great Father of the Spring inspir’d,
Gives instant courage to the fearful race,


And to the simple art. With stealthy wing,
Should some rude foot their woody haunts molest,
Amid a neighbouring bush they filent drop,
And whirring thence, as if alarm'd, deceive
Th' unfeeling school-boy. Hence, around the head
Of wandering swain, the white-wing'd plover wheels
Her founding Aight, and then directly on
In long excursions skims the level lawn,
To tempt him from her nest. The wild duck, hence,
O'er the rough moss, and o'er the trackless waste
The heath-hen flutters, (pious fraud !) to lead
The hot pursuing spaniel far astray.

Be not the Muse asham'd, here to bemoan
Her brothers of the grove, by tyrant man
Inhuman caught, and in the narrow cage
From liberty confin'd, and boundless air.
Dull are the pretty flaves, their plumage dull,
Ragged, and all its brightening lustre lost;
Nor is that sprightly wildness in their notes,
Which, clear and vigorous, warbles from the beech,
O then, ye friends of love and love-taught song,
Spare the soft tribes, this barbarous art forbear;
If on your bosom innocence can win,
Music engage, or picty persuade.

But let not chief the nightingale lament
Her ruin'd care, too delicately fram'd
To brook the harsh confinement of the cage.
Oft, when returning with her loaded bill,
Th' astonish'd mother finds a vacant nest,
By the hard hand of unrelenting clowns
Robb'd, to the ground the vain provision falls;
Her pinions ruffle, and low-drooping scarce
Can bear the mourner to the poplar ihade;
Where, all abandon'd to despair, she sings
Her sorrows thro' the night; and, on the bough,
Sole-fitting, still at ev'ry dying fall
Takes up again her lamentable strain
Of winding woe ; till, wide around, the woods
Sigh to her song, and with her wail resound.

But now the feather'd youth their former bounds,
Ardent, disdain ; and, weighing oft their wings,
Demand the free poffeffion of the sky:
This one glad office more, and then dissolves
Parental love at once, now needless grown.


Unlavish wisdom never works in vain.
'Tis on some evening, funny, grateful, mild,
When nought but balm is breathing thro' the woods,
With yellow lustre bright, that the new tribes
Visit the spacious heavens, and look abroad
On Nature's common, far as they can see,
Or wing, their range, and pasture. O'er the boughs
Dancing about, still at the giddy verge
Their resolution fails; their pinions Itill,
In loose libration stretch'd, to trust the void
Trembling refuse: till down before them fly
The parent-guides, and chide, exhort, command,
Or push them off. The surging air receives
The plumy burden; and their felf-taught wings
Winnow the waving element. On ground
Alighted, bolder up again they lead,
Farther and farther on the lengthening flight;
Till vanish'd every fear, and every power
Rouz'd into life and action, light in air
Th' acquitted parents see their soaring race,
And once rejoicing never know them more.

UT happy they ! the happiest of their kind!

Whom gentler stars unite, and in one fate
Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend.
'Tis not the coarser tie of human laws,
Unnatural oft, and foreign to the mind,
That binds their peace, but harmony itself,
Attuning all their pasions into love;
Where friendship full exerts her softest power,
Perfect esteem enliven'd by desire
Ineffable, and sympathy of soul;
Thought meeting thought, and will preventing will,
With boundless confidence: for nought but love
Can answer love, and render bliss fecure.
Let him, ungenerous, who, alone intent
To bless himself, from fordid parents buys

The loathing virgin, in eternal care,
Well merited, consume his nights and days :
Let barbarous nations, whose inhuman love
Is wild desire, fierce as the suns they feel ;


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Let eastern tyrants from the light of Heaven
Seclude their bosom slaves, meanly possess’d
Of a meer, lifeless, violated form:
While those whom love cements in holy faith,
And equal transport, free as nature live,
Disdaining fear. What is the world to them,
Its.pomp, its pleasure, and its nonsense all !
Who in each other clasp whatever fair
High fancy forms, and lavish hearts can with;
Something than beauty dearer, should they look
Or on the mind, or mind-illumin'd face;
Truth, goodness, honour, harmony and love,
The richest bounty of indulgent Heaven.
Mean-time a smiling off-spring rises round,
And mingles both their graces. By degrees,
The human blossom blows; and every day,
Soft as it rolls along, shews some new charm,
The father's lustre, and the mother's bloom,
The infant reason grows apace, and calls
For the kind hand of an assiduous care.
Delightful talk ! to rear the tender thought,
To teach the young idea how to shoot,
To pour the fresh instruction o'er the mind,
*To breathe th' enlivening spirit, and to fix
The generous purpose in the glowing breast.
Oh speak the joy ! ye, whom the sudden tear
Surprizes often, while you look around,
And nothing strikes your eye but fights of bliss,
All various nature pressing on the heart :
An elegant sufficiency, content,
Retirement, rural quiet, friendship, books,
Ease and alternate labour, useful life,
Progreffive virtue, and approving Heaven.
These are the matchless joys of virtuous love;
And thus their inoments Aly. The Seasons thus,
As ceaseless round a jarring world they roll,
Still find them happy and consenting Spring
Sheds her own rosy garland on their heads :
Till evening comes at last, ferene and mild ;
When after the long vernal day of life,

more, as more remembrance swells With many a proof of recollected love,

Together down they fink in social fleep;
Together freed their gentle spirits fly
To scenes where love and bliss immortal reign.



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