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Every ruder gust of passion
Lulled with music dies away,
Till within the charmed bosom
None but soft affections play:
Soft as when the evening breezes
Gently stir the poplar grove;
Not the maid who crowned with cypress
Sweeps along in sceptred pall,
And in sad and solemn accents
Mourns the crested hero's fall;
But that other smiling sister,
With the blue and laughing eye,
Singing, in a lighter measure,
Strains of woodland harmony :
All unknown to fame and glory,
Easy, blithe and debonair,
Crowned with flowers, her careless tresses
Loosely floating on the air.
Then when next the star of evening
Softly sheds the silent dew,
Let me in this rustic temple,
Lissy! meet the Muse and you.
THE MOUSE'S PETITION*.
O HEAR a pensive prisoner's prayer,
For liberty that sighs;
And never let thine heart be shut
Against the wretch's cries !
For here forlorn and sad I sit,
Within the wiry grate;
And tremble at the' approaching morn,
Which brings impending fate.
* Found in the trap where he had been confined all night by Dr. Priestley, for the sake of making experiments with different kinds of air.
If e'er thy breast with freedom glowed,
And spurned a tyrant's chain, Let not thy strong oppressive force
A free-born mouse detain !
O do not stain with guiltless blood
Thy hospitable hearth!
A prize so little worth.
The scattered gleanings of a feast
My frugal meals supply ; But if thine unrelenting heart
That slender boon deny,
The cheerful light, the vital air,
Are blessings widely given; Let Nature's commoners enjoy
The common gifts of Heaven.
The well-taught philosophic mind
To all compassion gives;
And feels for all that lives.
If mind, -as ancient sages taught,
A never dying flame, Still shifts through matter's varying forms,
form the same;
Beware, lest in the worm you crush,
A brother's soul
And tremble lest thy luckless hand
Dislodge a kindred mind.
Or, if this transient gleam of day
Be all of life we share,
Let pity plead within thy breast
That little all to spare.