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THE POPLAR FIELD.

HE poplars are felled; farewell to the shade,

And the whispering sound of the cool colonnade 1 The winds play no longer and sing in the leaves, Nor Ouse on his bosom their image receives.

Twelve years have elapsed since I first took a view
Of my favourite field, and the bank where they grew ;
And now in the grass behold they are laid,
And the tree is my seat that once lent me a shade 1

The blackbird has fled to another retreat,
Where the hazels afford him a screen from the heat,
And the scene where his melody charmed me before
Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no more.

My fugitive years are all hasting away,
And I must ere long lie as lowly as they,
With a turf on my breast, and a stone at my head,
Ere another such grove shall arise in its stead.

"Tis a sight to engage me, if anything can,
To muse on the perishing pleasures of man ;
Though his life be a dream, his enjoyments, I see,
Have a being less durable even than he.

ON THE HIGH PRICE OF FISH.

OCOA-NUT naught,
Fish too dear,
None must be bought
For us that are here:

No lobster on earth,
That ever I saw,

To me would be worth
Sixpence a claw.

So, dear Madam, wait
Till fish can be got

At a reasonable rate,
Whether lobster or not;

Till the French and the Dutch
Have quitted the seas,

And then send as much
And as oft as you please.

VERSES PRINTED BY HIMSELF, ON A FLOOD AT OLNEY, 12TH AUGUST 1782.

O watch the storms, and hear the sky

Give all our almanacks the lie :
To shake with cold, and see the plains
In autumn drowned with wintry rains;
'Tis thus I spend my moments here,
And wish myself a Dutch mynheer;
I then should have no need of wit,
For lumpish Hollander unfit
Nor should i then repine at mud,
Or meadows deluged with a flood;
But in a bog live well content,
And find it just my element:
Should be a clod, and not a man;
Nor wish in vain for Sister Ann,

With charitable aid to drag
My mind out of its proper quag;
Should have the genius of a boor,
And no ambition to have more,

MARY AND JOHN.

F John marries Mary, and Mary alone,

'Tis a very good match between Mary and John.

Should John wed a score, oh the claws and the scratches 1 It can't be a match :—'tis a bundle of matches.

TO SIR JOSHUA REYNOLDS,

EAR PRESIDENT, whose art sublime

Gives perpetuity to time,
And bids transactions of a day,
That fleeting hours would waft away
To dark futurity, survive,
And in unfading beauty live—
You cannot with a grace decline
A special mandate of the Nine—
Yourself, whatever task you choose,
So much indebted to the Muse.

Thus say the sisterhood: We come—
Fix well your pallet on your thumb,
Prepare the pencil and the tints—
We come to furnish you with hints.
French disappointments, British glory,
Must be the subject of the story.

First strike a curve, a graceful bow, Then slope it to a point below; Your outline easy, airy, light, Filled up becomes a paper kite. Let independence, sanguine, horrid, Blaze like a meteor in the forehead : Beneath (but lay aside your graces) Draw six-and-twenty rueful faces, Each with a staring, steadfast eye, Fixed on his great and good ally, France flies the kite—'tis on the wing— Britannia's lightning cuts the string. The wind that raised it, ere it ceases, Just rends it into thirteen pieces, Takes charge of every fluttering sheet, And lays them all at George's feet. Iberia, trembling from afar, Renounces the confederate war; Her efforts and her arts o'ercome, France calls her shatter'd navies home. Repenting Holland learns to mourn The Sacred treaties she has torn ; Astonishment and awe profound Are stamp'd upon the nations round ; Without one friend, above all foes, Britannia gives the world repose.

PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED,
A FABLE.

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 even 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, But warm and bright and calm as May, The birds conceiving a design To forestall sweet St. Valentine, In many an orchard, copse, and grove Assembled on affairs of love, And with much twitter and much chatter Began to agitate the matter. At length a Bullfinch, who could boast More years and wisdom than the most, Entreated, opening wide his beak, A moment's liberty to speak; And silence publicly enjoined, Delivered briefly thus his mind:

“My friends ! be cautious how ye treat The subject #. which we meet ; I fear we shall have winter yet.”

A Finch, whose tongue knew no control, With golden wing and satin *. A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried What marriage means, thus pert replied:

“Methinks the gentleman,” quoth she, “Opposite in the apple tree, By his good will would keep us single Till yonder heaven 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 say you?”

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