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"Tis clear that they were always able
A story of a cock and bull,
Must have a most uncommon skull.
It chanc'd then on a winter's day,
To forestall sweet St. Valentine,
In many an orchard, copse, and grove,
And with much twitter and much chatter,
Began to agitate the matter.
At length a Bulfinch, who could boast
My friends be cautious how ye treat
I fear we shall have winter yet.
A Finch, whose tongue knew no control,
With golden wing, and satin poll,
A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried
By his good will would keep us single
Or, (which is likelier to befall,)
Till death exterminate us all.
I marry without more ado,
My dear Dick Redcap, what say you?
Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling, Turning short round, strutting, and sideling,
Attested, glad, his approbation
Of an immediate conjugation.
All pair'd, and each pair built a nest.
But though the birds were thus in haste, The leaves came on not quite so fast, And destiny, that sometimes bears An aspect stern on man's affairs, Not altogether smil'd on theirs. The wind of late breath'd gently forth, Now shifted east, and east by north; Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know. Could shelter them from rain or snow. Stepping into their nests, they paddled, Themselves were chill'd, their eggs were addled; Soon ev'ry father bird and mother Grew quarrelsome, and peck'd each other, Parted without the least regret, Except that they had never met; And learn'd, in future, to be wiser Than to neglect a good adviser.
Misses the tale that I relate
This lesson seems to carry-
THE noon was shady, and soft airs
My spaniel, prettiest of his race,
(Two nymphs* adorn'd with ev'ry grace That spaniel found for me.)
Now wanton'd lost in flags and reeds,
It was the time when Ouse display'd
With cane extended far I sought
To steer it close to land;
But still the prize, though nearly caught, Escap'd iny eager hand.
* Sir Robert Gunning's daughters.
Beau mark'd my unsuccessful pains
But with a cherup clear and strong,
I thence withdrew, and follow'd long
My ramble ended, I return'd;
The floating wreath again discern'd,
I saw him with that lily cropp'd,
My quick approach, and soon he dropp'd
Charm'd with the sight, the world, I cried
But chief myself I will enjoin,
To show a love as prompt as thine,
THE POET, THE OYSTER,
AN Oyster, cast upon the shore, Was heard, though never heard before,
Complaining in a speech well worded.
Ah, hapless wretch condemned to dwell For ever in my native shell;
Ordain'd to move when others please,
Not for my own content or ease:
I envy that unfeeling shrub,
The plant he meant grew not far off,
Wher, cry the botanists, and stare,
To make them grow just where she chooses
You shapeless nothing in a dish,
You that are but almost a fish,
If I can feel as well as he;
And when I bend, retire, and shrink,
Says Well, 'tis more than one would think!
This life is spent, (oh fie upon't!)
In being touch'd, and crying-Don't!