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VERSES TO A ROBIN REDBREAST,
WHO VISITS THE WINDOW OP MY PRISON EVERY DAT.
Welcome, pretty little strauger!
Welcome to my lone retreat!
Now though tyrant Winter, howling,
Shakes the world with tempests round,
Though yon fair majestic river*
Mourns in solid icy chains;
Hunger never shall distress thee,
While my cates one crumb afford;
Soon shall Spring, in smiles and blushes,
Steal upon the blooming year;
* TI.e Close.
Gentle Moon ! a captive calls:
Gild the prison's sullen walls;
Throw thy veil of clouds aside;
Let those smiles, that light the pole,
Glide into the mourner's soul.
Cheer his melancholy mind;
Soothe his sorrows, heal his smart:
Cool the fever of his heart.
Chase despondency and care,
Fiends that haunt the guilty breast.
Triumphs most when most oppress'd.
Now I feel thy power benign
As thy beams the brightest shine
Say, fair shepherdess of night!
Who thy starry flock dost lead
On the blue ethereal mead;
At this moment, dost thou see,
On a brilliant beam convey
"Wipe that generous drop away;
"Blest with freedom, unconfmed,
Who can chain the immortal mind !—
Fancy, too, the nimble fairy,
In romantic visions airy
On her moonlight pinions borne,
Never, never to be torn
Stay, thou dear delusion! stay;
Beauteous bubble! do not break. Ih! the pageant flits away:
Who from such a dream would wake?
His grief in soothing slumbers
No balmy power could steep;
The music seem'd to weep
To you the mourner sung;
Inspired his plaintive tongue:
'Now reigns the Moon in splendour
Amid the heaven serene;
And glitter round their queen:
When I, the still night long,
And breathe my soul in song.
"But now, delicious season!
In vain thy charms invite:
I sicken at the sight.
The happiest bird was I,
Or swam the liquid sky.
"In yonder breezy bowel's,
Among the foliage green,
In solitude serene:
First fired my ravish'd eye;
She look'd—half kind, half shy!
"My plumes with ardour trembling,
The fair one, still dissembling,
A thousand tricks inventing,
A thousand arts I tried:
Confess'd herself my bride.
"Deep in the grove retiring
To choose our secret seat, We found an oak aspiring,
Beneath whose mossy feet, Where the tall herbage swelling
Had formed a sweet' alcove, We built our humble dwelling,
And hallow'd it with love.
"Sweet scene of vanish'd pleasure .
This day, this fatal day, My little ones, my treasure,
My spouse, were stolen away!
All in a napkin bound:
I flutter'd on the ground!
"O Man! beneath whose vengeance
All Nature bleeding lies!
With lightning from the skies;
Does it thine heart enchain, As these cold bars environ,
And, captive, me detain?
"Where are my offspring tender1
Where is my widcVd mate 1— Thou guardian Moon! defend her!
Ye Stars! avert their fate!—
In iron cage, forlorn,
I bear their mother mourn!