תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

TO MARY.

AUTUMN OF 1793.

The twentieth year is well nigh pass’d,
Since first our sky was overcast,
Ah, would that this might be the last!

My Mary!

Thy spirits have a fainter flow,
I see thee daily weaker grow-
'Twas my distress that brought thee low,

My Mary!

Thy needles, once a shining store,
For
my

sake restless heretofore,
Now rust disused, and shine no more,

My Mary!

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

My Mary!

But well thou play’dst the housewife's part,
And all thy threads with magic art
Have wound themselves about this heart,

My Mary!
Thy indistinct expressions seem
Like language utter'd in a dream;
Yet me they charm, whate'er the theme,

My Mary!

Thy silver locks, once auburn bright,
Are still more lovely in my sight
Than golden beams of orient light,

My Mary!

For could I view nor them nor thee,
What sight worth seeing could I see?
The sun would rise in vain for me,

My Mary!

Partakers of thy sad decline,
Thy hands their little force resign;
Yet gently press’d, 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!

And still to love, though press'd with ill,
In wintry age to feel no chill,
With me is to be lovely still,

My Mary!

But, ah! by constant heed I know,
How oft the sadness that I show
Transforms thy smiles to looks of woe,

My Mary!

And should

my

future lot be cast With much resemblance of the past, Thy worn out heart will break at last,

My Mary!

ON

THE DEATH

OF

MRS. THROCKMORTON'S BULFINCH.

Ye nymphs! if e'er your eyes were red With tears o'er hapless favourites shed,

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

Assassin'd 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 bless’d, Well taught he all the sounds express'd

Of flagelet 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.

238 ON THE DEATH OF A BULFINCH.

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 peelid and dried,

The swains their baskets make.

Night veil'd the pole: all seem'd secure:
When led by instinct sharp and sure,

Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth sallied on the scout,
Long back'd, long tail'd, with whisker'd snout,

And badger-colour'd 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 impress’d,
A dream disturb’d poor Bully's rest;

In sleep he seem'd 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.

239

THE POET'S NEW-YEAR'S GIFT. 0, 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 remain’d to tell

The cruel death he died.

THE

POET'S NEW-YEAR'S GIFT.

To Mrs. Throckmorton.

MARIA! I have every good

For thee wish'd many a time,
Both sad and in a cheerful mood,

But never yet in rhyme.
To wish thee fairer is no need,

More prudent or more sprightly,
Or more ingenious, or more freed

From temper-flaws unsightly.
What favour then not yet possess'd

Can I for thee require,
In wedded love already bless'd,

To thy whole heart's desire?

« הקודםהמשך »