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But, Lydia, bid thy fury rest :
It was a venial stroke:
Should bear a kitten's joke.
INVITATION TO THE REDBREAST.
Sweet bird, whom the winter constrains
And seldom another it canTo seek a retreat while he reigns
In the well shelter'd dwellings of man, Who never can seem to intrude,
Though in all places equally free, Come, oft as the season is rude,
Thou art sure to be welcome to me.
At sight of the first feeble
ray That pierces the clouds of the east, To inveigle thee every day
My windows shall show thee a feast. For, taught by experience, I know
Thee mindful of benefit long; And that, thankful for all 1 bestow,
Thou wilt pay me with many a song. Then, soon as the swell of the buds
Bespeaks the renewal of spring, Fly hence, if thou wilt, to the woods,
Or where it shall please thee to sing :
And shouldst thou, compellid by a frost,
Come again to my window or door,
Only pay as thou paid'st me before.
Thus music must needs be confess'd
To flow from a fountain above;
Unchangeable friendship and love?
Save your generation and ours,
Or boasts any musical powers ?
The shepherd touch'd his reed; sweet Philomel
Essay’d, and oft essay'd to catch the strain, And treasuring, as on her ear they fell,
The numbers, echo'd note for note again. The peevish youth, who ne'er had found before
A rival of his skill, indignant heard,
In loftier tones defied the simple bird.
She dared the task, and, rising as he rose,
With all the force that passion gives inspired, Return'd the sounds awhile, but in the close
Exhausted fell, and at his feet expired.
Thus strength, not skill prevail’d. O fatal strife,
By thee, poor songstress, playfully begun;
wish that he had never won !
ODE ON THE DEATH OF A LADY,
WHO LIVED ONE HUNDRED YEARS, AND DIED ON HER
ANCIENT dame, how wide and vast
To a race like ours appears,
All thy multitude of years !
We, the herd of human kind,
Frailer and of feebler powers ;
Soon exhaust the sum of ours.
Death's delicious banquet-we
Perish even from the womb,
Nourish'd but to feed the tomb.
Seeds of merciless disease
Lurk in all that we enjoy ;
Some that suddenly destroy.
And, if life o'erleap the bourn
Common to the sons of men, What remains, but that we mourn,
Dream, and dote, and drivel then ?
Fast as moons can wax and wane
Sorrow comes; and while we groan, Pant with anguish, and complain,
Half our years are fled and gone.
If a few (to few 'tis given),
Lingering on this earthly stage, Creep and halt with steps uneven
To the period of an age,
Wherefore live they, but to see
Cunning, arrogance, and force, Sights lamented much by thee,
Holding their accustom'd course?
Oft was seen,
ages past, All that we with wonder view; Often shall be to the last;
Earth produces nothing new.
Thee we gratulate, content
Should propitious heaven design Life for us as calmly spent,
Though but half the length of thine.
THĘ CAUSE WON.
Two neighbours furiously dispute ;
Defendant thus becomes a name,
The beams of April, ere it goes,