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ON THE DEATH OF MRS. THROCKMORTON'S BULLFINCH. YE Nymphs, if e'er your eyes were red With tears o'er hapless favorites shed,

Oh share Maria's grief! Her favorite, even in his cage (What will not hunger's cruel rage?)

Assassined by a thief. 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 honors 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.

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.
Oh, had he made that too his prey !
That beak, whence issued many 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.

Well latticed, — but the grate, alas! Not rough with wire of steel or brass,

For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wands from Quse's side,
With which, when neatly peeled and

The swains their baskets make.


GEORGE. (Written when the news arrived.] Toll for the brave !

The brave that are no more! All sunk beneath the wave,

Fast by their native shore !

Eight hundred of the brave,

Whose courage well was tried, Had made the vessel heel,

And laid her on her side.

Night veiled the pole; all seemed secure; When, led by instinct sharp and sure,

Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth sallied on the scout,
Long backed, long tailed, with whiskered

And badger-colored 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.

A land-breeze shook the shrouds,

And she was overset;
Down went the Royal George,

With all her crew complete.
Toll for the brave !

Brave Kempenfelt is gone; His last sea-fight is fought;

His work of glory done.

It was not in the battle;

One Good she covets, and that Good No tempest gave the shock;

alone; She sprang no fatal leak;

To choose Thy will, from selfish bias She ran upon no rock.


And to prefer a cottage to a throne, His sword was in its sheath;

And grief to comfort, if it pleases His fingers held the pen,

When Kempenfelt went down
With twice four hundred men.

That we should bear the cross is Thy

command, Weigh the vessel up,

Die to the world, and live to self no Once dreaded by our foes !

more; And mingle with our cup.

Suffer, unmoved, beneath the rudest The tears that England owes.


As pleased when shipwrecked as when Her timbers yet are sound,

safe on shore. And she may float again Full charged with England's thunder,

And plough the distant main. But Kempenfelt is gone,

ON THE RECEIPT OF MY MOTHHis victories are o'er;

ER'S PICTURE. And he and his eight hundred

Oh, that those lips had language ! Life Shall plough the wave no more.

has passed With me but roughly since I heard thee

last. Those lips are thine — thy own sweet


The same that oft in childhood solaced

me; [From the French of Madame Guyon.)

Voice only fails, else how distinct they LOVE! if Thy destined sacrifice am I,

say, Come, slay thy victim, and prepare “Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears

Thy fires; Plunged in the depths of mercy, let me The meek intelligence of those dear eyes die

(Blessed be the art that can immortalThe death which every soul that lives ize, desires !

The art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim

To quench it) here shines on me still the I watch my hours, and see them fleet away;

Faithful remembrancer of one so dear, The time is long that I have languished O welcome guest, though unexpected here;

here! Yet all my thoughts Thy purposes obey, Who bidst me honor with an artless song, With no reluctance, cheerful and sin- | Affectionate, a mother lost so long,

I will obey, not willingly alone,

But gladly, as the precept were her own: To me 'tis equal, whether Love ordain And, while that face renews my filial My life or death, appoint me pain or grief,

Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief, My soul perceives no real ill in pain; Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,

In ease or health no real good she sees. A momentary dream that thou art she.





our own.

art gone

My mother! when I learnt that thou That once we called the pastoral house

wast dead, Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I Short-lived possession! but the record shed?

fair Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing That memory keeps, of all thy kindness son,

there, Wretch even then life's journey just Still outlives many a storm that has begun?

effaced Perhaps thou gavest me, though un- A thousand other themes less deeply felt, a kiss :

traced. Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in Thy nightly visits to my chamber made, bliss

That thou mightst know me safe and Ah, that maternal smile! It answers — warmly laid; Yes.

Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day, The biscuit, or confectionary plum; I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away, The fragrant waters on my cheek be. And, turning from my nursery window, stowed drew

By thy own hand, till fresh they shone A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu ! and glowed; But was it such? It was. — Where thou All this, and more endearing still than

all, Adieus and farewells are a sound un- Thy constant flow of love, that knew no known.

fall, May I but meet thee on that peaceful | Ne’er roughened by those cataracts and shore,

brakes The parting word shall pass my lips no That humor interposed too often makes; more!

All this still legible in memory's page, Thy maidens, grieved themselves at my And still to be so to my latest age, concern,

Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay Oft gave me promise of thy quick return. Such honors to thee as my numbers What ardently I wished I long believed, may; And, disappointed still, was still deceived. Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere, By expectation every day beguiled, Not scorned in heaven, though little Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.

noticed here. Thus many a sad to-morrow came and Could Time, his flight reversed, rewent,

store the hours, Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent, When, playing with thy vesture's tissued I learned at last submission to my lot; flowers, But, though I less deplored thee, ne'er The violet, the pink, and jessamine, forgot.

I pricked them into paper with a pin Where once we dwelt our name is (And thou wast happier than myself heard no more,

the while, Children not thine have trod my nursery Wouldst softly speak, and stroke my floor;

head and smile), And where the gardener Robin, day by Could those few pleasant days again day,

appear, Drew me to school along the public way, Might one wish bring them, would I Delighted with my bauble coach, and wish them here? wrapped

I would not trust my heart -the dear In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet delight capped,

Seems so to be desired, perhaps I 'Tis now become a history little known, might. —

me left.

But no = what here we call our life is His wonted course, yet what I wished is such

done. So little to be loved, and thou so much, By contemplation's help, not sought in That I should ill requite thee to constrain vain, Thy unbound spirit into bonds again. I seem to have lived my childhood o'er Thou, as a gallant bark from Albion's again; coast

To have renewed the joys that once were (The storms all weathered and the ocean mine, crossed)

Without the sin of violating thine: Shoots into port at some well-havened | And, while the wings of Fancy still are isle,

free, Where spices breathe, and brighter And I can view this mimic show of thee, seasons smile,

Time has but half succeeded in his There sits quiescent on the floods that theft show

Thyself removed, thy power to soothe Her beauteous form reflected clear

below, While airs impregnated with incense play

THE POPLAR FIELD. Around her, fanning light her streamers THE poplars are felled; farewell to the gay;

shade, So thou, with sails how swift! hast And the whispering sound of the cool reached the shore,

colonnade; “Where tempests never beat nor billows The winds play no longer and sing in roar.

the leaves, And thy loved consort on the dangerous Nor Ouse on his bosom their image retide

ceives. Of life long since has anchored by thy side.

Twelve years have elapsed since I first But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, took a view Always from port withheld, always dis- Of my favorite field, and the bank where tressed

they grew; Me howling blasts drive devious, tem- And now in the grass behold they are pest tost,

laid, Sails ripped, seams opening wide, and And the tree is 'my seat that once lent compass lost,

me a shade! And day by day some current's thwarting force

The blackbird has fled to another reSets me more distant from a prosperous treat,

Where the hazels afford him a screen Yet, oh, the thought that thou art safe, from the heat, and he!

And the scene where his melody charmed That thought is joy, arrive what may to

me before

Resounds with his sweet-flowing ditty no My boast is not, that I deduce my birth more. From loins enthroned and rulers of the earth;

My fugitive years are all hasting away, But higher far my proud pretensions And I must ere long lie as lowly as they, rise

With a turf on my breast, and a stone The son of parents passed into the skies ! at my head, And now, farewell — Time unrevoked Ere another such grove shall arise in its




has run

'Tis a sight to engage me, if anything For, could I view nor them nor thee, can,

What sight worth seeing could I see? To muse on the perishing pleasures of The sun would rise in vain for me, man;

My Mary! Though his life be a dream, his enjoyments, I see,

Partakers of thy sad decline,
Have a being less durable even than he.'

Thy hands their little force resign;
Yet, gently prest, press gently mine,

My Mary!
Such feebleness of limbs thou provest,

That now at every step thou movest
Upheld by two, yet still thou lovest,

My Mary. The twentieth year is well nigh past,

And still to love, though prest with ill, Since first our sky was overcast;

In wintry age to feel no chill,
Ah, would that this might be the last !

With me is to be lovely still,
My Mary!

My Mary!
Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
I see thee daily weaker grow;

But ah! by constant heed I know,

How oft the sadness that I show 'Twas my distress that brought thee low,

Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe, My Mary!

My Mary! Thy needles, once a shining store, For my sake restless heretofore,

And should my future lot be cast Now rust disused, and shine no more,

With much resemblance of the past, My Mary! Thy worn-out heart will break at last,

My Mary! For though thou gladly wouldst fulfil The same kind office for me still, Thy sight now seconds not thy will,

My Mary!

THE CASTAWAY. But well thou playedst the housewife's part,

OBSCUREST night involved the sky, And all thy threads with magic art

The Atlantic billows roared,
Have wound themselves about this heart,

When such a destined wretch as I,
My Mary!

Washed headlong from on board, Thy indistinct expressions seem

Of friends, of hope, of all bereft, Like language uttered in a dream; His floating home for ever left. Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,

My Mary!

No braver chief could Albion boast

Than he with whom he went,
Thy silver locks, once auburn bright,
Are still more lovely in my sight

Nor ever ship left Albion's coast

With warmer wishes sent. Than golden beams of orient light,

He loved them both, but both in vain, My Mary!

Nor him beheld, nor her again.

1 Note to Ed. of 1803. Mr. Cowper afterwards altered the last stanza in the following manner: “ The change both my heart and my fancy em

ploys, reflect on the frailty of man and his joys; Short-lived as we are, yet our pleasures, we see, Have a still shorter date, and die sooner than we.'

Not long beneath the whelming brine,

Expert to swim, he lay;
Nor soon he felt his strength decline,

Or courage die away;
But waged with death a lasting strife,
Supported by despair of life.

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