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Eddying round and round they sink
Softly, slowly one might think,

From the motions that are made,
Every little leaf convey'd

Sylph or Faery hither tending,
To this lower world descending,

Each invisible and mute,

In his wavering parachute.

But the Kitten, how she starts,

Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts;

First at one and then it's fellow

Just as light and just as yellow;

There are many now-now one—

Now they stop; and there are none

What intenseness of desire

In her upward eye of fire!

With a tiger-leap half way

Now she meets the coming prey,

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Lets it go as fast, and then

Has it in her power again:

Now she works with three or four,

Like an Indian Conjuror;

Quick as he in feats of art,

Far beyond in joy of heart.

Were her antics play'd in the eye
Of a thousand Standers-by,

Clapping hands with shout and stare,

What would little Tabby care

For the plaudits of the Crowd?

Over happy to be proud,

Over wealthy in the treasure

Of her own exceeding pleasure!

'Tis a pretty Baby-treat;

Nor, I deem, for me unmeet:
Here, for neither Babe or me,

Other Play-mate can I see.

Of the countless living things,
That with stir of feet and wings,

(In the sun or under shade

Upon bough or grassy blade)
And with busy revellings,

Chirp and song, and murmurings,

Made this Orchard's narrow space,

And this Vale so blithe a place;

Multitudes are swept away

Never more to breathe the day:
Some are sleeping; some in Bands
Travell'd into distant Lands;

Others slunk to moor and wood,
Far from human neighbourhood,

And, among the Kinds that keep
With us closer fellowship,

With us openly abide,

All have laid their mirth aside.

-Where is he that giddy Sprite,

Blue-cap, with his colours bright,

Who was blest as bird could be,

Feeding in the apple-tree,

Made such wanton spoil and rout,

Turning blossoms inside out,

Hung with head towards the ground,
Flutter'd, perch'd; into a round

Bound himself, and then unbound;

Lithest, gaudiest Harlequin,

Prettiest Tumbler ever seen,

Light of heart, and light of limb,

What is now become of Him?

Lambs, that through the mountains went

Frisking, bleating merriment,

When the year was in it's prime,

They are sober'd by this time.

If you look to vale or hill,
If you listen, all is still,

Save a little neighbouring Rill;
That from out the rocky ground

Strikes a solitary sound.

Vainly glitters hill and plain,
And the air is calm in vain;
Vainly Morning spreads the lure
Of a sky serene and pure;
Creature none can she decoy
Into open sign of joy:
Is it that they have a fear
Of the dreary season near?
Or that other pleasures be
Sweeter even than gaiety?

Yet, whate'er enjoyments dwell In the impenetrable cell

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