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Is there a cherished bird (I venture now To snatch a sprig from Chaucer's reverend brow) – Is there a brilliant fondling of the cage, Though sure of plaudits on his costly stage, Though fed with dainties from the snow-white hand Of a kind mistress, fairest of the land, But gladly would escape ; and, if need were, Scatter the colours from the plumes that bear The emancipated captive through blithe air Into strange woods, where he at large may live On best or worst which they and Nature give 7 The beetle loves his unpretending track, The snail the house he carries on his back: The far-fetched worm with pleasure would disown The bed we give him, though of softest down; A noble instinct; in all kinds the same, All ranks! What Sovereign, worthy of the name, If doomed to breathe against his lawful will An element that flatters him—to kill, But would rejoice to barter outward show For the least boon that freedom can bestow
But most the Bard is true to inborn right, Lark of the dawn, and Philomel of night,
Exults in freedom, can with rapture vouch
stealthWhich Horace needed for his spirit's health ; Sighed for, in heart and genius, overcome By noise, and strife, and questions wearisome, And the vain splendours of Imperial Rome? Let easy mirth his social hours inspire, And fiction animate his sportive lyre, Attuned to verse, that crowning light Distress With garlands cheats her into happiness; Give me the humblest note of those sad strains Drawn forth by pressure of his gilded chains, As a chance sunbeam from his memory fell Upon the Sabine Farm he loved so well; Or when the pratile of Blandusia's spring llaunted his ear-he only listeningHe proud to please, above all rivals, fit To win the palm of gaiety and wit; He, doubt not, with involuntary dread, Shrinking from each new favour to be shed, By the world's Ruler, on his honoured head!
In a deep vision's intellectual scene, Such earnest longings and regrets as keen Depressed the melancholy Cowley, laid Under a fancied yew-tree's luckless shade; A doleful bower for penitential song, Where Man and Muse complained of mutual
wrong; While Cam's ideal current glided by, And antique towers nodded their foreheads high, Citadels dear to studious privacy. But Fortune, who had long been used to sport With this tried Servant of a thankless Court, Relenting met his wishes; and to you The remnant of his days at least was true; You, whom, though long deserted, he loved best; You, Muses, books, fields, liberty, and rest !
Far happier they who, fixing hope and aim On the humanities of peaceful fame, Enter betimes with more than martial fire The generous course, aspire, and still aspire; Upheld by warnings heeded not too late Stifle the contradictions of their fate, And to one purpose cleave, their Being's godlike
mate! Thus, gifted Friend, but with the placid brow That Woman ne'er should forfeit, keep thy
vow; With modest scorn reject whate'er would blind The ethereal evesight, cramp the ngèd mind!
Then, with a blessing granted from above
* There is now, alas! no possibility of the anticipation, with which the above Epistle concludes, being realized : nor were the verses ever seen by the Individual for whom they were intended. She accompanied her husband, the Rev. Wm. Fletcher, to India, and died of cholera, at the age of thirty-two or thirty-three years, on her way from Shalapore to Bombay, deeply lamented by all who knew her.
Her enthusiasm was ardent, her piety steadfast; and her great talents would have enabled her to be eminently useful in the difficult path of life to which she had been called. The opinion she entertained of her own performances, given to the world under her maiden name, Jewsbury, was modest and humble, and, indeed, far below their inerits; as is often the case with those who are making trial of their powers with a hope to discover what they are best fitted for. In one quality, viz., quickness in the motions of her mind, she had within the range of the Author's acquaintance, no equal.
INCIDENT AT BRUGÈS.
In Brugès town is many a street
Whence busy life bath fled ;
The grass-grown pavement tread.
halting in the shade Flung from a Convent-tower, A harp that tuneful prelude made
To a voice of thrilling power.
The measure, simple truth to tell,
Was fit for some gay throng; Though from the same grim turret fell
The shadow and the song. When silent were both voice and chords
The strain seemed doubly dear, Yet sad as sweet,-for English words
Had fallen upon the ear.