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Their food its insects, and its moss their nests.
Others apart far in the grassy 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 soothe 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 slimy 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 complete, their habitation grows.

As thus the patient dam assiduous sits,
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 sympathizing lover takes his stand
High on the opponent bank, and ceaseless sings
The tedious time away; or else supplies

D'autres , dans les vallons, au bord des précipices,
Elèvent sur le roc leurs frèles édifices;
D'autres , sur un rivage aride , infréquenté,
Aiment que, dans les soins de la paternité,
Le bruit des eaux amuse et l'amant et l'amante.
De rameaux desséchés que la glaise cimente,
Tous forment avec art leurs légers bâtimens :
L'hirondelle choisit la fange des étangs ;
Du fermier quelquefois l'oiseau franchit l'asile ,
Et va, de ses larcins, orner son domicile.
Tout est propre, commode; et, fier de ses succès,
Le petit architecte admire son palais.

Cependant sur le nid , la femelle assidue, Dédaigne du printemps, qui sourit à sa vue , Les séduisans plaisirs; la faim même souvent Ne saurait l'arracher à ce devoir charmant. Sur un rameau voisin, le mâle, amant fidèle , Par des chants variés amuse la femelle , Prend quelquefois sa place , et la laisse un instant

Her place a moment, while she sudden flits
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 passions 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 sunk, but form'd of generous mould,
And charm'd with cares beyond the vulgar breast,
In some lone cot amid the distant woods,
Sustain'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, By 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,

A la hâte chercher un frugal aliment.

D'un amour si touchant l'objet se développe, Et brise de son auf la fragile enveloppe. Les petits sont éclos; encor faibles et nus, Ils s'agitent déjà ; déjà leurs cris aigus Expriment leurs besoins, demandent leur pâture. Momens délicieux! ici, de la nature Commence le triomphe; oh! quels doux sentimens S'élèvent dans le cæeur de ces heureux parens! S'oubliant l'un et l'autre, et tout à leur tendresse, Voyez-les s'éloigner et revenir sans cesse A tous ces petits becs distribuer le grain, Et revoler encor vers un nouveau butin. Tel, perdant sa fortune et non pas son courage, Retiré dans les bois, un modeste ménage Oppose à ses malheurs de nobles sentimens, Se console , s'il peut consoler ses enfans : Dans ses privations il trouve encor des charmes. A ces êtres chéris , en essuyant leurs larmes, Il donne sans regrets jusqu'à son dernier pain; Et, fier de les nourrir , aime à braver la faim.

Ces rejetons chéris, objets d'un soin si tendre, C'est peu de les nourrir, l'oiseau sait les défendre. Faible, il devient hardi; simple, il devient rusé. Par un malin vouloir si quelque enfant poussé Vient troubler son séjour, la femelle en silence

Amid a neighbouring bush they silent drop,
And whirling thence, as if alarm'd, deceive
Th’ unfeeling school-boy. Hence around the head
Of wand’ring swain, the white-wing'd plover wheels
Her sounding flight and then directly on
In long excursion 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 slaves, 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 piety persuade.

But let not chief the nightingale lament Her ruin'd care, too delicately fram'd

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