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The greenhouse is my summer seat,
My shrubs displaced from that retreat,
Enjoyed the open air;
Two goldfinches, whose sprightly song
Had been their mutual solace long,
Lived happy prisoners there.
They sang as blithe as finches sing
That flutter loose on golden wing,
And frolic where they list.
Strangers to liberty! 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,
And therefore never missed.
But nature works in every breast,
Instinct is never quite suppressed,
And Dick felt some desires;
Which, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain
A pass between his wires.
The open windows seemed t invite
The freeman to a farewell flight;
But Tom was still confined ;
And Dick, although his way was clear,
Was much too generous and sincere
To leave his friend behind.
For, settling on his grated roof,
He chirped and kissed him, giving proof
That he desired no more;
Nor would forsake his cage at last,
Till, gently seized, I shut him fast
A prisoner as before.
O ye who never knew the joys
Of friendship, satisfied with noise,
Fandango,* ball, and rout;
Blush, when I tell you how a bird
A prison with a friend preferred
To liberty without.
WM, COWPER, 1731-1800.
SEE, see how the ices are melting away,
The rivers have burst from their chain!
The woods and the hedges with verdure look gay,
And daisies enamel the plain.
The sun rises high and shines warm o'er the dale,
The orchards with blossoms are white;
The voice of the woodlark is heard in the vale,
And the cuckoo returns from her flight.
Young lambs sport and frisk on the side of the hill ;
The honey-bee wakes from her sleep;
The turtle-dove opens her soft-cooing bill,
And snowdrops and primroses peep.
All nature looks active, delightful, and gay,
The creatures begin their employ ;
Ah ! let me not be less industrious than they,
An idle, an indolent boy.
Now, while in the spring of my vigour and bloom,
In the paths of fair learning I'll run ;
Nor let the best part of my being consume,
With nothing of consequence done. Thus, if to my lessons with care I attend,
And store up the knowledge I gain, When the winter of age shall upon me descend, 'Twill cheer the dark season of pain.
JANE TAYLOR, 1783— 1824. * The name of a lively dance.
A FORWARD hare of swiftness vain,
The genius of the neighb’ring plain,
Would oft deride the drudging crowd :
For geniuses are ever proud.
He'd boast his flight 'twere vain to follow,
For dog and horse he'd beat them hollow ;-
Nay, if he put forth all his strength,
Outstrip his brethren half a length,
A tortoise heard his vain oration,
And vented thus his indignation :
“O puss ! it bodes thee dire disgrace
When I defy thee to the race.
Come, 'tis a match : nay, no denial,
I lay my shell upon the trial.”
'Twas “done ” and “done,” all fair, "a bet,"
Judges prepared, and distance set.
The scampering hare outstripped the wind;
The creeping tortoise lagged behind,
And scarce had passed a single pole
When puss had almost reached the goal.
“Friend tortoise," quoth the jeering hare,
“ Your burden's more than you can bear;
To help your speed it were as well
That I should ease you of your shell :
Jog on a little faster, prithee :
I'll take a nap, and then be with thee.”
The tortoise heard his taunting jeer,
But still resolved to persevere;
On to the goal securely crept,
While puss unknowing soundly slept,
The bets were won, the hare awoke,
When thus the victor tortoise spoke :-
Puss, though I own thy quicker parts,
Things are not always done by starts,
But slow and steady wins the race.”
I THINK, when I read that sweet story of old,
When Jesus was here among men,
How He called little children as lambs to His fold,
I should like to have been with them then.
I wish that His hand had been placed on my head,
That His arms had been thrown around me,
And that I might have seen his kind look when He
Let the little ones come unto Me."
But still to His footstool in prayer I may go,
And ask for a share in his love ;
And if I thus earnestly seek Him below,
I shall see Him and hear Him above,
In that beautiful place He has gone
For all that are washed* and forgiven;
And many dear children are gathering there,
“For of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
pure from sin.
OFT has it been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
With eyes that hardly ved at most
To guard their master 'gainst a post;
Yet round the world the blade has been,
To see whatever could be seen.
Returning from his finished tour,
Grown ten times perter than before,
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travelled fool your mouth will stop :
“Sir, if my judgment you'll allow-
I've seen-and sure I ought to know."
So begs you'd pay a due submission,
And acquiesce in his decision.
Two travellers of such a cast,
As o'er Arabia’s wilds they passed,
And on their way, in friendly chat,
Now talked of this, and then of that ;
Discoursed awhile, 'mongst other matter,
Of the Chameleon's form and nature.
A stranger animal,” cries one, “ Sure never lived beneath the sun : A lizard's body lean and long, A fish's head, a serpent's tongue, Its foot with triple claw disjoined; And what a length of tail behind ! How slow its pace! and then its hueWho ever saw so fine a blue?”
“Hold there," the other quick replies,
I saw it with these eyes,
As late with open mouth it lay,
in the sunny ray;