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THE lapse of time and rivers is the same,
Both speed their journey with a restless stream;
The silent pace, with which they steal away,
No wealth can bribe, nor prayers persuade to stay ;
Alike irrevocable both when past,
And a wide ocean swallows both at last.
Though each resemble each in every part,
A difference strikes at length the inusing 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 weary waste behind.
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.
SWEET stream, that winds through 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,
Intent upon her destined course;
Graceful and useful all she does,
Blessing and bless'd where'er she goes,
Pure-bosom'd as that watery glass,
And heaven reflected in her face.
THE POET'S NEW-YEAR'S GIFT. TO MRS. (now LADY) THROCKMORTON.
MARIA! I have every good
For thee wish'd many a time,
Both sad, and in a cheerful mood,
But never yet in rhyme.
To wish thee fairer is no need,
More prudent, or more sprightly,
Or more ingenious, or more freed
From temper-flaws unsightly.
What favour then, not yet possess'd,
Can I for thee require,
In wedded love already bless'd
To thy whole heart's desire?
None here is happy but in part;
Full bliss is bliss divine:
There dwells some wish in every heart,
And doubtless one in thine.
That wish, on some fair future day,
Which Fate shall brightly gild,
(Tis blameless, be it what it may,)
I wish it all fulfili'd.
ON AN INKGLASS ALMOST DRIED IN THE SUX.
PATRON of all those luckless brains,
That, to the wrong side leaning,
Indite much metre with much pains,
And little or no meaning:
Ah why, since oceans, rivers, streams,
That water all the nations,
Pay tribute to thy glorious beams,
In constant exhalations,
Why, stooping from the noon of day,
Too covetous of drink,
Apollo, hast thou stolen away
A poet's drop of ink?
Upborne into the viewless air,
It floats a vapour now, .
Impeli'd through regions dense and rare,
By all the winds that blow. .
Ordain'd perhaps, ere summer flies,
Combined with millions more,
To form an Iris in the skies,
Though black and foul before.
Illustrious drop! and happy then
Beyond the happiest lot,
Of all that ever pass'd my pen,
So soon to be forgot!
Phoebus, if such be thy design,
To place it in thy bow,
Give wit, that what is left may shine
With equal grace below.
PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
I SHALL not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau,*
If birds confabulate or no;
'Tis clear, that they were always able
To hold discourse, at least in fable;
And e'en the child, who knows no better
Than to interpret by the letter,
A story of a cock and bull,
Must bave a most uncommon skull.
It chanced then on a winter's day,
But warm, and bright, and calm as May,
The birds, conceiving a design
To forestall sweet St. Valentine,
Jo many an orchard, copse, and grove,
Assembled on affairs of love,
And with much twitter and much chatter,
Began to agitate the matter.
At length a Bulfinch, who could boast
More years and wisdom than the inost,
Entreated, opening wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And, silence publicly enjoin'd,
Deliver'd briefly thus his mind:
My friends! be cautious how ye treat
The subject upon which we meet;
I fear we shall have winter yet.
A Finch, whose tongue knew no control,
With golden wing, and satin poll,
• It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philosopher, that all fables which ascribe reason and speech to animals should be withheld from children, as being only vehicles of deception. But what child was ever deceived by them, or can be, against the evidence of his seoses?