Sidor som bilder

That God and nature, and your int'rest too,
Seem with one voice to delegate to you?
Why hire a lodging in a house unknown,
For one whose tend'rest thoughts all hover round


your own?

This second weaning, needless as it is,
How does it lac'rate both your heart and his !
Th’ indented stick, that loses day by day
Notch after notch, till all are smooth'd away,
Bears witness, long ere his dismission come,
With what intense desire he wants his home.
But, though the joys he hopes beneath your roof
Bid fair enough to answer in the proof,
Harmless, and safe, and nat'ral, as they are,
A disappointment waits him even there:
Arriv'd, he feels an unexpected change;
He blushes, hangs his head, is shy and strange,
No longer takes, as once, with fearless ease,
His fav’rite stand between his father's knees,
But seeks the corner of some distant seat,

eyes the door, and watches a retreat, And, least familiar where he should be most, Feels all kis happiest privileges lost.

Alas, poor boy!—the natural effect
Of love by absence chill'd into respect.
Say, what accomplishments, at school acquir’d,
Brings he, to sweeten fruits so undesir'd?
Thou well deserv'st an alienated son,
Unless thy conscious heart acknowledge-none;
None that, in thy domestic snug recess,
He had not made his own with more address,
Though some perhaps that shock thy feeling mind,
And better never learn'd, or left behind.
Add too, that, thus estrang’d, thou can’st obtain
By no kind arts his confidence again;
That here begins with most that long complaint
Of filial frankness lost, and love grown faint,
Which, oft neglected in life's waning years,
A parent pours into regardless ears.

Now look on him, whose very voice in tone Just echoes thine, whose features are thine own, And stroke his polish'd cheek of purest red, And lay thine hand upon his faxen head, And say-My bay, th' unwelcome hour is come, When thou, transplanted from thy genial home,

Must find a colder soil and bleaker air,
And trust for fafety to a stranger's care;
What character, what turn thou wilt assume
From constant converse with I know not whom;
Who there will court thy friendship, with what

And, artless as thou art, whom thou wilt choose;
Though much depends on what thy choice shall be,
Is all chance-medley, and unknown to me.-
Can'st thou, the tear just trembling on thy lids,
And while the dreadful risque foreseen forbids;
Free, too, and under no constraining force,
Unless the sway of custom warp thy course;
Lay such a stake upon the losing side,
Merely to gratify so blind a guide ?
Thou can'st not! Nature, pulling at thine heart,
Condemns th' unfatherly, th' imprudent part.



I SHALL not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau, *
If birds confabulate or no;
”Tis clear that they were always able
To hold discourse, at least, in fable;
And ev'n the child, who knows no better,
Than to interpret by the letter,
A story of a cock and bull,
Must have a most uncommon skull.'

It chanc'd then, on a winter's day,
But warm and bright, and calm as May,
The birds, conceiving a design
To forestal sweet St. Valentine,
In many an orchard, copse, and grove,
Assembled on affairs of love,

* It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philosopher, that all fables which ascribe reason and speech to animals should be withheld from children, as being only vehicles of deception. But what child was ever deceived by them, or can be, against the evidence of his senses?

And with much twitter and much chátter,
Began to agitate the matter.
At length a Bulfinch, who could boast

and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, op'ning wide his beak,
A moment’s liberty to speak;
And, silence publicly enjoin'd,
Deliver'd briefly thus his mind.

My friends! be cautious how ye treat The subject upon

which we meet; I fear we shall have winter yet.

A Finch, whose tongue knew no control, With golden 'wing and satin poll, A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried What marriage' means, thus pert replied.

Methinks the gentleman, quoth she, Opposite in the apple-tree, By his goud will, would keep us single Till yonder heav'n and earth shall mingle, Or (which is likelier to befall) Till death exterminate us all. I

marry without more ado, My dear Dick Redcap, what say you ?

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