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But oh! if, fickle and unchaste,
(Forgive a transient thought)
Thou could become unkind at last,
No need of lightning from on high,
Denied th' endearments of thine eye,
Thus sang the sweet sequester'd bird,
And I recorded what I heard,
A lesson for mankind.
A RAVEN, while with glossy breast
But suddenly a wind, as high
As ever swept a winter sky,
Shook the young leaves about her ears,
And fill'd her with a thousand fears,
Lest the rude blast should snap the bough,
And spread her golden hopes below.
But just at eve the blowing weather,
And all her fears were hush'd together:
And now, quoth poor unthinking Ralph, 'Tis over, and the brood is safe;
(For ravens, though as birds of omen
They teach both conj'rers and old women,
To tell us what is to befall,
Can't prophesy themselves at all.)
The morning came when neighbour Hodge, Who long had mark'd her airy lodge,
And destin'd all the treasure there
A gift to his expecting fair,
Climb'd like a squirrel to his dray,
And bore the worthless prize away.
"Tis Providence alone secures
In ev'ry change both mine and yours:
Safety consists not in escape
From dangers of a frightful shape;
An earthquake may be bid to spare
THE lapse of time and rivers is the same,
No wealth can bribe, no pray'rs persuade to stay;
And a wide ocean swallows both at last.
Though each resemble each in ev'ry part,
A diff'rence strikes at length the musing heart;
Streams never flow in vain; where streams abound How laughs the land with various plenty crown'd! But time, that should enrich the nobler mind, Neglected leaves a dreary waste behind.
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.
SWEET stream, that winds thro' yonder glade,
Apt emblem of a virtuous maid
Silent and chaste she steals along,
Far from the world's gay busy throng;
With gentle yet prevailing force,
her destin'd course;
Graceful and useful all she does,
Blessing and blest where'er she goes,
Pure-bosom'd as that wat'ry glass,
And Heav'n reflected in her face.