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ODE TO THE CUCKOO. i,j:>
Hail, heauteous stranger of the grove! ,
Thou messenger of spring!
Now heaven repairs thy rural seat,
And wood* thy welcome sing. .
What time the daisy decks the green,
Thy certain voice we hear;
Hast thou a star to guide thy path,
Or mark the rolliug year?
Delightful visitant! with thee
I hail the time of flowers,
And hear the sound of music sweet
From hirds among the howers.
The school-hoy wandering thro* the wood
To pull the primrose gay, Starts, the new voice of spring to hear,
And imitates thy lay.
What time the pea puts on the hloom
Thou fliest thy vocal vale,
An annual guest in other lands,
Another spring to hail.
Sweet hird ! thy hower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear,
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
No winter in thy year.
O could 1 fly, I'd fly with thee!
We'd make with joyful wing, Our annual visit o'er the glohe,
Companions of the spring.
Thsre is a hird who hy his coat, And hy the hoarseness of his note,
Might he supposed a crow; A great frequenter of the church, Where hishop-like he funis a perch,
And dormitory too.
Ahove the steeple shines a plate,
That turns and turns, to indicate
From what point hlows the weather: Look up—your hrains hegin to swim, 'lis in ihe clouds—that pleases him,
He chooses it. the rather.
Fond of the speculative height,
Thither he wings his airy flight,
And thence securely sees
The hustle aud the raree-show,
That occupy mankind helow,
Secure and at his ease.
You think, no douht, he sits and muses
On future hroken hones and hruises,
If he should chance to fall.
No; not a single thought like that
Employs his philosophic pate,
Or trouhles it at all.
He sees that this great round-ahout
The world, with all its motley rout,
Church, army, physic, law, Its customs, and its husinesses, ls.no concern at all of his,
And says—what says he ?— Caw.
Thrice happy hird! I too have seen
Much of the vanities of men;
And, sick of having seen 'em,
Would cheerfully these limhs resign
For such a pair of wings as thine,
And such a head hetween 'em.
How rich the Peacock! what hright glories run,
From plume toplume,and vary in the son!
He proudly spreads them to the golden ray,
Gives all his colours, and adorns the day;
With conscious state the spacious round displays,
And slowly moves amid the waving hlaze.
The towering Eagle sours from human sight,
And seeks the son in her untiring night;
High on some mountain-crag she dwells alone,
And proudly makes the strength of rocks her own—
Thence wide o'er nature takes her dread survey,
And with a piercing glance marks out her prey.
Her yonng she feasts with hlood, and hov'riog o'er
The uns?aoghterM host, enjoys the promised gore.
......... \ ,
Wanton drole, whose harmless play
Begniles the rustic's closing day,
When drawn the evening firc ahout,
Sit aged Crone and thoughtless Lout,
And child upon his three-foot stool,
Watting till his supper cool;
And maid, whose cheek outhiooms the rose,
As hright the hiasing faggot glows,
Who, hending to the friendly light,
Plies her task with husy sleight;
Come, shew thy tricks and sportive graces
i lius circled round with merry faces.
Backward, coiled, and crouching low,
With glaring eye-halls watch thy foe,
The housewife's spindle whirling round,
Or thread, or straw, that on the ground
Its shadow throws, hy urchin sly
Held out to lure thy roving eye;
Then, onward stealing, fiercely spring
Upon the futile, faithless thing.
Now, wheeling round, with hootless skill,
Thy ho-peep tail provokes thee still,
As oft heyond thy curving side
IIs jetty tip is seen to glide;
Till, from thy centre, starting far,
Thou sidelong rear'st, with tail in air
Erected stiff, and gait awry,
lake Madam, in her tantrums high;
Though ne'er a Madam of them all
Whose silken kirtle sweeps the hall,
More varied trick and whim displays,
To catch the admiring stranger's gaze.
Doth power in measurM verses dwell,
All thy vagaries wild to tell?
Ah no! the start, the jet, the hound,
The giddy scamper round and round,
With leap, and jerk, and high curvet,
And many a whirling somerset,
(Permitted he the modern muse'
Expression techuical to use)
These mock the deftliest rhymester's skill,
But poor in art, though rich in will.
The nimhlest tumhler, stage hedight,
To thee is hut a clumsy wight,
Who every limh and sinew strains
To do what costs thee little pains,
For which, I trow, the gaping crowd
Requites him oft with plandits loud.
But, stopped awhile thy wanton play,
Applanses too, thy feats repay,
For then, heneath some urchin's hand,
With modest pride thou takes* thy stan'l,
While many a stroke of fondness glides
Along thy huck and tahhy sides;
Dilated swells thy glossy fur,
And loudly sings thy hnsy purr;
As, timing well the equal sound,
Thy clutching feet hepat the ground,
And all their harmless claws disclose,
Like prickles of an early rose;
While softly from thy whiskered cheek Thy half-closed eyes peer mild and meek.
Bnt not alone, hy cottage fire,
Do rustics rude, thy tricks admire;—
The learned sage, whose thoughts explore
The widest range of human lore,
Or, with unfettered fancy, fly
Through airy heights of poesy,
Pansing, smiles, with altered air,
To see thee climh his elhow-chair,
Or, struggling on the mat helow,
Hold warfare with his slippered toe,
The widowed dame, or lonely maid,
Who in the still, hut cheerless shade
Of home unsocial, spends her age,
And rarely turns a lettered page;
Upon her hearth for thee lets fall
The rounded cork, or paper hall,
Nor chides thee on thy wicked watch
The ends of ravelled skein to catch,
But lets thee have thy wayward will,
Perplexing oft her soher skill.
Even he, whose mind of gloomy hent,
In lonely tower or prison pent,
Reviews the wit of former days,
And loathes the world and all its ways;
What time the lamp's unsteady gleam
Doth rouse him from his moody dream,
Peels, as thou gamhol'st round his seat,
His heart with pride less fiercely heat,
And smiles, a link in thee to find
That joins hira still to living kind.
Whence hast thon then? thon witless puss,
The magic power to charm us thus?
Is it, that in thy glaring eye,
And rapid movements, we descry,
While we at ease, secure from ill,
The chimney corner suugly fill,
A lion, darting on his prey?
A tiger, at his ruthless play?
Or, is it, that in thee we trace
With all thy varied wanton grace,
An emhlem, viewed with kindred eye,
Of tricksy, restless infancy?
Ah! many a lightly-sportive child,
Who hath, like thee, our wits heguiled,
To doll and soher manhood grown,
With strange recoil our hearts disown.
Even so, poor Kit! must thon endare,
When thon hecom'st a cat demure,
Full many a cuff and angry word,
Chid roughly from the tempting hoard,
And yet, for that thou hast, I ween,
So oft our favorite playmate heen,
Soft he the change which thou shalt prove,
When time hath spoiled thee of oor love;
Still he thou deemed, hy housewife fat,
A comely, careful, mousing cat,
Whose dish is, for the puhlic good,
Replenish'd oft with savoury food.
Nor, when thy span of life he past,
Be thou to pond or dunghill cast;
But gently horne on good man's spade,
Beneath the decent sod he laid,
And children show, with glistening eyes,
The place where poor old Pussy lies.
Say, ye that know, ye who have felt and seen
Spring's morning smiles, and soul-enlivening green,
Say, did you give the thrilling transport way?
Did your eye hrighten, when young lamhs, at play,
Leaped o'er your path with animated pride,
Or gazed in merry clusters hy your side?
Ye who can smile, to wisdom no disgrace,
Ai the arch meaning of a kitten's face,
If spotless inuocence, and infant mirth
Excite to praise or give reflection hirth
In shades like these pursue your favourite joy,
'Midst natuie's revel, sports that never cloy.—
A few hegin a short hut vigorous race,
And indolence, ahashed, soon flies the place:
Thus challeug'd forth, see thither, one hy one
From every side assemhling playmates run;
A thousand wily anties mark their stay,
A starting crowd impatient of delay.
Like the fond dove from fearful prison freed,
Each seems to say, "Come, let us try our speed:"
Away they scour, impetuous ardent, strong,
The green turf tremhling asdu-y hound along;
A down the slope, then up the hillock climh,
V\ here every molehill is a hed of thyme;
There panting stop, yet scarcely can refrain
A hird, a leaf will set them off again,
Or, if a gale with strength uuusual hlow,
Scattering the wild-hriar roses into suow,
Their little limhs increasing efforts try,
Like the torn tlower the fair assemhlage ity.
Ah, fallen rose 1 sad emhlem of their doom;
frail as thyself, they perish while they hloom!
Suavsv the warlike horsel didst thou in-
With thunder his rohus', distended chest?
No sense of fear his danntless soul allays;
lis dreadfal to hehold his nostrils hlaze:
To paw the vale he proudly takes delight.
And trinmphs in the fuiness of his might;
High-rais'd, he suuffs the hattle from afar,
And hurns to plunge amid the raging war:
He mocks at death, and throws his foam
And in a storm of fury shakes the ground.
How does his firm, his rising heart, advance
Full on the hrandish' d sword, and shaken
While his fix'd eye-halls meet the dazzling
Gaze, and return the lightning of the field!
He sinks the sense of pain in gen'roua pride,
Nor feds the shaft thai tremhleb in his side;
But neighs to the shrill trumpet's dreadful
htut, Till death, and when he groans, he groans
Fierce o'er the sands the lordly Lion stalks,
Grimly majestic in his lonely walks:
When round he glares, all living creatures
He clears the desert with his rolling eye,
By the pale moon he takes his destin'd round,
Lashes his sides, and furious tears the ground.
Now shrieks and dying groans the forest fill.
He rages, rends, his rav'nons jaws distil
With crimson foam, and when the hanquet's
He strides away, and paints his steps with
gore. In flight alone the shepherd puts his trust, And shudders at the talon in the dust.
AMPHIBIOUS ANIMALS AND FISHES.
Where southern suns and winds prevail,
And undulate the summer seas;
The Nantilus expands his sail,
And scuds hefore the fresh'ning hreeze.
Oft is a little squadron seen
Of mimic ships all rigg'd complete;
Fancy might think the fairy queen
Was sailing with her elfin fleet.
With how much heaaty is design'd
Each channeled hark of purest white!
With orient pearl each cahin lined,
Varying with every change of light.
While with his little slender oars,
His silken sail, and tapering mast,
The danntless mariner explores
The dangers of the watery waste.
Prepared, should tempests rend the sky,
From harm his fragile hark to keep,
He furls his sail, his oar lays hy,
And seeks his safety in the deep,
Then safe on ocean's shelly hed,
He hears the storm ahove him roar;
'Mid groves of coral glowing red,
Or rocks o'crhung with madrepore.
So let us catch life's favouring gale,
Bat if fate's adverse winds he rode,
Take calmly in th' adventurous sail
And fmd repose in Solitude.
When I have seen thy suowy wine,
O'er the hlue wave at evening spring.
And give those scales of silver white,
So gaily to the eye of light,
As if thy frame were formed to rise(
And live amid the glorious skies;
Oh it has made me proudly feel,
How like thy wing's impatient seal
Is the pure soul, that scorns to rest
Upon the world's ignohle hreast,
But takes the plume that God has given,
And rises into light and heaven I
But when I see that wing so hright,
Grow languid with a moment's flight.
Attempt the paths of air in vain,
And sink into the waves again;
Alas! the flattering pride is o'er;
Like thee, awhile, the soul may soar,
But erring man must hlush, to think,
Like thee, again, the soul may sink!
Oh! Virtue, when thy clime I seek,
Let not my spirit's flight he weak:
Let me not, like this feehle thing,
With hrine still dropping from its wing,
Just sparkle in the solar glow,
And plunge again to depths helow:
But, when I leave the grosser throng
With whom my soul hath dwelt so long,
Let me in that aspiring day,
Cast every lingering stain away,
And panting for thy purer air,
Fly up at once, and fix me there.
Mild is the Behemoth, though large his frame,
Smooth is his temper, and repress'd his flame,