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Imagination to his view

Presents it deck'd with ev'ry hue
That can seduce him not to spare

His pow'rs of best exertion there,
But youth, health, vigour, to expend

On so desirable an end.

Ere long, approach life's evening shades,
The glow that fancy gave it fades;
And, earn'd too late, it wants the grace
Which first engag'd him in the chase.

True, answer'd an angelic guide,

Attendant at the senior's side

But whether all the time it cost

To urge the fruitless chase be lost,

Must be decided by the worth

Of that which call'd his ardour forth.

Trifles pursu'd, whate'er th' event,
Must cause him shame or discontent;

A vicious object still is worse,
Successful there, he wins a curse;

But he, whom e'en in life's last stage

Endeavours laudable engage,

Is paid, at least in peace of mind,
And sense of having well design'd;
And if, ere he attain his end,
His sun precipitate descend,
A brighter prize than that he meant
Shall recompense his mere intent.

No virtuous wish can bear a date

Either too early or too late.



The green-house is my summer seat; My shrubs displac'd from that retreat

Enjoy'd the open air;

Two goldfinches, whose sprightly song Had been their mutual solace long,

Liv'd happy pris'ners there.

They sang, as blithe as finches sing
That flutter loose on golden wing,

And frolic where they list;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,

And, therefore, never miss'd.

But nature works in ev'ry breast;
Instinct is never quite suppress’d;

And Dick felt some desires,
Which, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain


between his wires.

The open windows seem'd to invite

The freeman to a farewell flight;

But Tom was still confin'd;

And Dick, although his way was clear, Was much too gen'rous and sincere

To leave his friend behind.

For, settling on his.grated roof,
He chirp'd and kiss'd him, giving proof

That he desir'd no more;

Nor would.forsake his cage at last,

Till gently seiz’d I shut him fast,

A pris'ner as before.

Oh ye,

who never knew the joys 1 Of Friendship, satisfied with noise,

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 ask 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 story of a cock and bull,

Must have a most uncommon skull.

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

* It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philosopher, that all fables which ascribe reason and speech to animals, should be withheld from children, 'as being only vehicles of deception. But what child was ever deceived by them, or can be, against the evidence of his senses?

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