Page images
PDF
EPUB

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;
Brighter than the smile of Summer,

[blocks in formation]

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!
Nor triumph that thy wiles betrayed

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;
Casts round the world an equal eye,

And feels for all that lives.

If mind, -as ancient sages taught,

A never dying flame, Still shifts through matter's varying forms,

In

every

form the same;

Beware, lest in the worm you crush,

A brother's soul

you find;

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.

« PreviousContinue »