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Deem our nation brutes no longer,
Till some reason ye shall find
Worthier of regard and stronger
Than the colour of our kind.
Slaves of gold, whose sordid dealings
Tarnish all your boasted powers,
Prove that you have human feelings,
Ere you proudly question ours I
THE DOG AND THE WATER LILY,
Th; noon was shady, and soft airs
Swept Ouse's silent tide,
When 'scaped from literary cares,
I wandered on his side.
My spaniel, prettiest of his race,
And high in pedigree
(Two nymphs adorned with every grace
That spaniel found for me),
Now wantoned lost in flags and reeds,
Now starting into sight,
Pursued the swallow o'er the meads,
With scarce a slower flight.
It was the time when Ouse displayed
His lilies newly blown;
Their beauties I intent surveyed,
And one I wished my own.
With cane extended far I sought
To steer it close to land;
But still the prize, though nearly caught,
Escaped my eager hand.
Beau marked my unsuccessful pains
With fixed considerate face,
And puzzling set his puppy brains
To comprehend the case.
But with a chirrup clear and strong,
Dispersing all his dream,
I thence withdrew, and followed long
The windings of the stream.
My ramble ended, I returned;
Beau, trotting far before,
The floating wreath again discerned,
And plunging, left the shore.
I saw him, with that lily cropped,
Impatient swim to meet
My quick approach, and soon he dropped
The treasure at my feet.
Charmed with the sight, the world I cried,
Shall hear of this thy deed :
My dog shall mortify the pride
Of man's superior breed :
But chief myself I will enjoin,
Awake at duty's call,
To show a love as prompt as thine
To Him who gives me all.
Where Rhenus strays his vines among,
The egg was laid from which he sprung,
And though by Nature mute,
Or only with a whistle blessed,
Well taught he all the sounds expressed
Of flageolet or flute.
The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole,
His bosom of the hue
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise
To sweep away the dew.
Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike of bird and mouse,
No cat had leave to dwell;
And Bully's cage supported stood
On props of smoothest shaven wood,
Large-built and latticed well,
Well-latticed—but the grate, alas !
Not rough with wire of steel or brass,
For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wands from Ouse's side,
With which, when neatly peeled and dried,
The swains their baskets make.
Night veiled the pole : all seemed secure :
When, led by instinct sharp and sure,
Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth o on the scout,
Long backed, long tailed, with whiskered snout, And badger-coloured hide.
He, entering at the study door,
Its ample area 'gan explore;
And something in the wind
Conjectured, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,
Food chiefly for the mind.
Just then, by adverse fate impressed,
A dream disturbed poor Bully's rest:
In sleep he seemed to view
A rat fast clinging to the cage,
And, screaming at the sad presage,
Awoke and found it true.
For, aided both by ear and scent,
Right to his mark the monster went,-
Ah, Muse, forbear to speak,
Minute the horrors that ensued;
His teeth were strong, the cage was wood,—
He left poor Bully's beak.
O, had he made that too his prey !
That beak whence issued Inany a lay,
Of such mellifluous tone,
Might have repaid him well, I wote
For silencing so sweet a throat,
Fast stuck within his own.
Maria weeps—the Muses mourn—
So when by Bacchanalians torn,
On Thracian Hebrus' side
The tree-enchanter Orpheus fell,
His head alone remained to tell
The cruel death he died.
THE NEEDIESS ALARM.
This is a field through which I often pass,
Thick overspread with moss and silky grass,
Adjoining close to Kilwick's echoing wood,
Where oft the bitch-fox hides her hapless brood,
Reserved to solace many a neighbouring Squire,
That he may follow them through brake and brier,
Contusion hazarding of neck or spine,
Which rural gentlemen call sport divine.
A narrow brook, by rushy banks concealed,
Runs in a bottom, and divides the field ;
Oaks intersperse it, that had once a head,
But now wear crests of oven-wood instead :
And where the land slopes to its watery bourn
Wide yawns a gulf beside a ragged thorn;
Bricks line the sides, but shivered long ago;
And horrid brambles intertwine below ;
A hollow scooped, I judge, in ancient time,
For baking earth, or burning rock to lime.