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A vicious object ftill is worse,
Successful there, he wins a curse;
But he, whom even in life's last stage
Endeavours laudable engage,
Is paid, at least in peace of mind,
And sense of having well design'd;
And if, ere he attain his end,
His fun precipitate descend,
A brighter prize than that he meant
Shall recompence his mere intent.
No virtuous wish can bear a date
Lither too early or too late.
The green-house is my summer seat;
My shrubs displac'd from that retreat
Enjoy'd the open air ;
Two goldfinches, whose sprightly song
Had been their mutual solace long,
Lip'd happy pris'ners there.
They fang, as blithe as finches fing
That flutter loose on golden wing,
And frolic where they lift;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,
And, therefore, never miss’d.
But nature works in ev'ry breast;
Instinct is never quite suppress'd ;
And Dick felt some defires,
Which, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain
A pass between his wires.
windows seem'd to invite The freeman to a farewell flight;
But Tom was still confin'd; And Dick, although his way was clear, Was much too gen'rous and sincere
To leave his friend behind.
For, settling on his grated roof,
He chirp'd and kiss'd him, giving proof
That he desir'd no more ;
Nor would forsake his cage at last,
Till gently seiz'd, I shut him fast,
A pris'ner as before.
Dh ye, who never koew the joys
Of friendhip, satisfied with noise,
Fandango, ball, and rout!
Blush, when I tell you how a bird,
A prison, with a friend, preferr'd
To liberty without.
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 moft 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 fweet St Valentine,
In many an orchard, copfe, and grove,
Assembled on affairs of love,
And with much twitter, and much chatter,
Began to agitate the matter.
* It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philofopher, that all fables which ascribe reason and speech to animal should be withheld from children, as being only vehicles deception. But what child was ever deceived by them, a can be, against the evidence of his senses?
At length a Bulfinch, who could boast
More years and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, op'ning wide his beak,
A moment's liberty to speak;
And, Glence 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 controul,
With golden wing and fattin pole,
A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried
What marriage means, thus pert replied.
Methinks the gentleman, quoth the,
Opposite in the apple-tree,
By his good-will would keep us fingle,
Till yonder heav'n and earth shall mingle,
Or (which is likelier to befall)
Till death exterminate us all.
marry without more ado,
My dear Dick Redcap, what fay you?
Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling, urning short round, ftrutting and fideling, ittested, glad, his approbation If an immediate conjugation.