Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Spring:-The Mouso's Petition.

23

SPRING.

Now the glad earth her frozen zone unbinds,
And o'er her bosom breathe the western winds;
Already now the snow-drop dares appear,
The first pale blossom of th’unripen’d year;
As Flora's breath, by some transforming power,
Had chang’d an icicle into a flower:
Its name and hue the scentless plant retains,
And winter lingers in its icy veins.
To these succeed ihe violet's gloffy blue,

And each inferior flower of fainter hue ;
· Till riper months the perfect year disclose,
· And Flora cries exulting, “ See my rose !"

MRS. BARBAULD.

THE MOUSE'S PETITION.
Found in the trap where be bad been confined all night.
O HEAR a penfive prisoner's prayer,

For liberty that fighs;
A:ld never let thine heart be Mut

Against the wretch's cries !

For

The Mouse's Petition.

For here forlorn and sad I lit

Within the wiry grate ;
And tremble at th’approaching morn,

Which brings impending fate.

If e'er thy breast with freedom glowed,

And spurn’d a tyrant's chain, Let not thy strong oppressive forcę

A free-born-mouse detain,

O do not stain with guildless blood
· Thy hospitable hearth,
Nor triumph that thy wiles betray'd

A prize so little worth!

The scatter'd gleanings of a feast

My frugal meals supply: But if thine unrelenting heart

That flender boon deny,

The cheerful light, the vital air,

Are blessings widely given; Let nature's commoners enjoy

The common gifts of heaven.

The Birds,

The well-taught philosophic mind

To all compatsion gives,
Casts round the world an equal eye,
And feels for all that lives.

MRS. BARBAULD,

BIRDS,

Say, who the various nations can declare
That plow with busy wing the peopled air ?
These cleave the crumbling bark for infect food,
Those dip their crooked beak in kindred blood;
Some haunt the rushy inoor, the lonely woods ;
Some bathe their silver plumage in the floods;
Some fly to man, his household gods implore,
And gather round his hospitable door ;
Wait the known call, and find protection there
From all the lesser tyrants of the air,
The tawny eagle seats his callow brood
High on the cliff, and feasts his young with blood.
On Snowdon's rocks, or Orkney's wide domain,
Whose beetling cliffs o'erhang the western main,

The

[blocks in formation]

The royal bird his lonely kingdom forms
Amidst the gathering clouds and sullen storms;
Through the wide waste of air he darts his fight,
And holds his sounding pinions pois'd for flight;
With cruel eye premeditates the war,
And marks'his destined victim from afar:
Descending in a whirlwind to the ground,
His pinions like the rush of waters sound;
The fairest of the fold he bears away,
And to his nest compels the struggling prey.
He scorns the game by meaner hunters tore,
And dips his talons in no vulgar gore.
With lovelier pomp along the graffy plain
The filver pheasant draws his shining train : -
Once on the painted banks of Ganges' stream
He spread his plumage to the sunny gleam;
But now the wiry net his flight confines,
He lowers his purple crest, and inly pines.

To claim the verse unnumber'd tribes appear That swell the music of the vernal year: Seiz’d with the spirit of the kindly spring, They tune the voice and fleek the glofly wing,

With

Insects.

27 With emulative strife the notes prolong, And pour out all their little souls in song. When Winter bites upon the naked plain, Nor food nor shelter in the groves remain, By instinct led, a firm united band,

As marshall’d by some skilful general's hand, - The congregated nations wing their way

In dusky columns o'er the trackless sea; * In clouds unnumber'd annual hover o'er

The craggy Bass, or Kilda's utmost fhore; Thence spread their fails to meet the southern

wind, And leave the gathering tempest far behind; Pursue the circling sun's indulgent ray, Course the swift seasons, and o’ertake the day.

MRS. BARBAULR.

INSECTS.

Observe the insect race, ordain'd to keep
The lazy sabbath of a half-year's sleep.
Entomb'd beneath the filmy web they lie,
And wait the influence of a kinder sky.

D2

When

« ПредишнаНапред »