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Where, in his bed of wool and matted leaves,
He has outslept the winter, ventures forth
To frisk awhile, and bask in the warm sun :
He sees me, and at once, swift as a bird,
Ascends the neighbouring beech : there whisks

his brush,
And perks [1] his ears, and stamps, and cries aloud,
With all the prettiness of feigned alarm,
And anger insignificantly fierce.

. Cowper.

181.-INVITATION TO BIRDS.

Ye gentle warblers! hither fly,

And shun the noontide heat;
My shrubs a cooling shade supply,

My groves a safe retreat.
Here freely hop from spray to spray,

And weave the mossy nest;
Here rove and sing the live-long day,

At night here sweetly rest.

Amid this cool transparent rill,

That trickles down the glade,
Here bathe your plumes, here drink your fill,

And revel in the shade.
No school-boy rude, to mischief prone,

Here shews his ruddy face-
Or twangs his bow, or hurls a stone
In this sequester'd place.

[1] Perks-raises, tosses up.

Hither the vocal thrush repairs,

Secure the linnet sings;
The goldfinch dreads no slimy snare

To clog her painted wings.

Sweet nightingale! oh quit thy haunt,

Yon distant woods among,
And round my friendly grotto chant

Thy sadly-pleasing song.

Let not the harmless redbreast fear,

Domestic bird, to come, And seek a safe asylum here,

With one that loves his home.

My trees for you, ye artless tribe,

Shall store of fruit preserve ;
Oh ! let me thus your friendship bribe,

Come feed without reserve.

For you these cherries I protect,

To you these plums belong ;
Sweet is the fruit that you have peck’d,
But sweeter far your song.

Graves.

182.-CONTENTMENT.

: See the soft, green willow springing,

Where the waters gently pass, Every way her free arms flinging

O'er the moist and reedy grass.

Long ere winter blasts are fled,
See her tipp'd with vernal red,
And her kindly flower (1) display'd,
Ere her leaf can cast a shade.
Though the rudest hand assail her,

Patiently she droops awhile,
But when showers and breezes hail her,

Wears again her willing smile.
Thus I learn Contentment's power,
From the slighted willow bower,
Ready to give thanks, and live.
On the least that heaven may give.

Keble.

183.–THE ARAB TO HIS FAVOURITE

STEED.[2]

My beautiful ! my beautiful! that standest meekly

by, With thy proudly arch'd and glossy neck, and

dark and fiery eye, Fret not to roam' the desert now, with all thy

winged speed, I may not mount on thee again—thou’rt sold,

my Arab steed! Fret not with that impatient hoof-snuff not the

· breezy wind The farther that thou fliest now, so far am I behind :

[1] The Catkin—see note (1), p. 3.

[2] These lines represent the grief of an Arab, who had been induced by poverty to sell his favourite steed.

The stranger hath thy bridle-rein-ë thy master

hath his goldFleet-limb’d and beautiful, farewell! thou’rt sold,

my steed, thou’rt sold !. Farewell! those free, untired limbs full many a

mile must roam, To reach the chill and wintry sky which clouds

the stranger's home ; Some other hand, less fond, must now thy corn

and bed prepare, Thy silky mane, I braided once, must be another's - care ! The morning sun shall dawn again, but never

more with thee Shall I gallop through the desert paths, where

we were wont to be : Evening shall darken on the earth, and o'er the

sandy plain Some other steed, with slower step, shall bear me

home again. Yes, thou must go ! the wild, free breeze, the

brilliant sun and sky, Thy master's house--from all of these my exild

one must fly; Thy proud dark eye will grow less proud, thy

step become less fleet, And vainly shalt thou arch thy neck, thy master's

hand to meet. Only in sleep shall I behold that dark eye, glancing

bright; Only in sleep shall hear again that step so firm

and light;

And when I raise my dreaming arm to check or

cheer thy speed, Then must I, starting, wake to feel,—thou’rt sold,

my Arab steed!

Ah! rudely, then, unseen by me, some cruel hand

may chide, Till foam-wreaths lie, like crested waves, along

thy panting side : And the rich blood that's in thee swells, in thy

indignant pain, Till careless eyes, which rest on thee, may count

each starting vein. Will they ill-use thee? If I thought-but no, it

• cannot be Thou art so swift, yet easy curb’d; so gentle, yet . so free: And yet, if haply, when thou’rt gone, my lonely

heart should yearn Can the hand which casts thee from it now com

mand thee to return?

Return ! alas! my Arab steed! what shall thy

master do, When thou, who wast his all of joy, hast vanish'd

from his view ? When the dim distance cheats mine eye, and,

through the gathering tears, Thy bright form, for a moment, like the false

mirage [1] appears; . .

. (1) Mirage--a deception of the sight, by which objects on the earth or water appear raised into the air.

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