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No creeping flames your hives annoy,
Nor music lures you to destroy.

You too, ye feather'd tribes of air,
The same security shall share;
Here shall dread no secret net
Mid the thorny thicket set ;
Nor kites nor hawks, a bloody throng,
Nor griping vulture's talon strong,
Who, taught by man, with rage refined,
Devour their own devoted kind.
Say, silvan quire, what dire offence
Hath stain'd your native innocence,
That danger thus, with ceaseless course,
Pursues your flight, your haunts explores ?
Oft have I seen your callow care
Hard-struggling in the birdlime snare:
So the rash youth, in grief I said,
If once the path of vice he tread,
Caught in the toils of treachery,
In vain long labours to be free:
But ne'er hath pride your minds possess'd,
Harmless offspring of the nest,
Nor folly e'er your hearts beguiled,
Nor guilt disgraced your manners mild,
Which still to active instinct true
Kind Nature's simple paths pursue.

Nor these the only ills you bear,
Winged inhabitants of air :
From danger and from death you fly,
Alas! to loss of liberty ;
Condemn'd to leave your native groves,
Unfinish'd songs, and feather'd loves;
Condemn’d to change your airy downs
For busy streets of peopled towns :

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Long, long the drooping captive dwells
In cruel cages, grated cells;
Oft wishful views some distant tree,
And pants and flutters to be free;
With grief and rage would fain expire,
And leaves a plume on every wire.


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O thou, the daughter of the Vernal Dew,
That, glistering to the morn with pearly light,

The gentle Aura woo'd

Beside a dripping cave;
There, midst the blush of roses, won the nymph
To dalliance, as in sighs she whisper'd love ;

There saw thee born, as May

Unclosed her laughing eye;
Spirit of Freshness, hail! At this dim hour
While, streak'd with recent gray, the dawn ap-

Where sport thy humid steps, [pears,

Ambrosial essence, say?
Haply, thy slippers glance along my path
Where frosted lilies veil their silver bells

Beneath the lively green

Of their full-shading leaves.
Or dost thou wander in the hoary field
Where, overhead, I view the cautious hare

Nibbling, while stillness reigns,
The light-sprent barley blade?

Or dost thou hover o'er the hawthorn bloom,
Where, in his nest of clay, the blackbird opes

His golden lids, and tunes

A soft preluding strain; Or art thou soaring mid the fleeced air To meet the dayspring, where the plume-wet lark

Pours sudden his shrill note

Beneath a dusky cloud?
I see thee not-But lo! a vapoury shape
That oft belies thy form, emerging slow

From that deep central gloom,

Rests on the moon-tipp'd wood. Now, by a halo circled, sails along, As gleams with icicles his azure vest,

Now shivers on the trees,

And feebly sinks from sight. 'Tis cold! and lo! upon the whitening folds Of the dank mist that fills the hollow dell,

Chill Damp with drizzly locks

Glides in his lurid car, Where a lone fane o'er those broad rushes nods In slumberous torpor; save when flitting bat

Stirs the rank ivy brown

That clasps its oozing walls !
Yet, yet, descending from yon eastern tent
Whose amber seems to kiss the wavy plain,

A form, half viewless, spreads

A fush purpureal round.
I know thee, Freshness! Lo! delicious green
Sprinkles thy path. The bursting buds above

With vivid moisture glow,
To mark thy gradual way.

The florets, opening, from their young cups dart The carmine blush, the yellow lustre clear:

And now entranced I drink

Thy breath in living balms !
And not a ryegrass trembles, but it gives
A scent salubrious : not a flower exhales

Its odours, but it breathes
O’er all a cool repose.

Mild shadowy power! whilst now thy tresses,

bathed In primrose tints, the snowdrop's coldness shed

On skyblue hyacinths,
Thy chaste and simple wreath;

While flows to Zephyr thy transparent robe,
Stealing the colours of the lunar bow,

How short thy vestal reign
Amid the rosy lawn!

Yes! if thou mix the saffron hues that stream
From the bright orient with the roscid rays

Of yonder orb that hangs
A silvery drop on high ;

Or if thou love, along the lucent sod,
To catch the sparkles of thy modest star;

With all the mingled beams
Heightening some virgin's bloom;

Fleet as the shadow from the breded heaven
Brushing the gossamer, thy steps retire

Within the gelid gloom
Of thy green-vested oak.

There, as its ambient arch with airy sweep
Chequers the ground, thine eyes of dewy light

Pursue the turf that floats
In many a tremulous wave.

And now, retreating to the breezy marge
Of the pure stream, thy ruby fingers rear

The new-blown flowers that wake
To tinge its crystal tide :

Or gently on thine alabaster urn
Thy head reclines, beneath some aged beech

That mid the crisped brook

Steeps its long-wreathed roots. While from the cave where first thine essence sprung,

[spars, Where the chaste Naiads ranged their glittering

Rills, trickling through the moss,

Purl o'er the pebbled floor. There sleep till eve; as now the tyrant heat Kindles, with rapid strides, the extensive lawn,

And e'en thy favourite haunt,

The verdurous oak, invades.
And may no vapours from that osier'd bank
Annoy thee—thou, whose delicacy dreads,

Though shrinking from the sun,

The sallow's stagnant shade. There sleep till eve; unless the spring-loved

showers, Pattering among the foliage, bid thee rise

To taste those transient blooms

That with the rainbow live.

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