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Yet haply there will come a weary day,
When overtask'd at length Both Love and Hope beneath the load give way. Then with a statue's smile, a statue's strength, Stands the mute sister, Patience, nothing loth, And both supporting does the work of both.
A BIRD, who for his other sins
Had lived amongst the Jacobins ;
Though like a kitten amid rats,
Or callow tit in nest of bats,
He much abhorr'd all democrats;
Yet nathless stood in ill report
Of wishing ill to Church and Court,
Though he'd nor claw, nor tooth, nor sting,
And learnt to pipe God save the King;
Though each day did new feathers bring,
All swore he had a leathern wing ;
Nor polish'd wing, nor feather'd tail,
Nor down-clad thigh would aught avail ;
And though-his tongue devoid of gall —
He civilly assured them all :-
“A bird am I of Phoebus' breed,
And on the sunflower cling and feed ;
My name, good sirs, is Thomas Tit !"
The bats would hail him brother cit,
Or, at the furthest, cousin-german.
At length the matter to determine,
He publicly denounced the vermin;
He spared the mouse, he praised the owl ;
But bats were neither flesh nor fowl.
Blood-sucker, vampire, harpy, goul,
Came in full clatter from his throat,
Till his old nest-mates changed their note
To hireling, traitor, and turncoat,
A base apostate who had sold
very teeth and claws for gold;-
And then his feathers sharp the jest-
No doubt he feather'd well his nest !
A Tit indeed! ay, tit for tat-
With place and title, brother Bat,
We soon shall see how well he'll play
Count Goldfinch, or Sir Joseph Jay !"
Alas, poor Bird ! and ill-bestarr'd-
Or rather let us say, poor Bard !
And henceforth quit the allegoric,
With metaphor and simile,
For simple facts and style historic :-
Alas, poor Bard ! no gold had he.
Behind another's team he stept,
And plough'd and sow'd, while others reapt;
The work was his, but theirs the glory,
Sic vos non vobis, his whole story.
Besides, whate'er he wrote or said
Came from his heart as well as head ;
And though he never left in lurch
His king, his country, or his church,
'Twas but to humour his own cynical
Contempt of doctrines Jacobinical ;
To his own conscience only hearty,
'Twas but by chance he served the party ;-
The self-same things had said and writ,
Had Pitt been Fox, and Fox been Pitt;
Content his own applause to win,
Would never dash through thick and thin,
And he can make, so say the wise,
No claim who makes no sacrifice;-
And Bard still less :—what claim had he,
Who swore it vex'd his soul to see
So grand a cause, so proud a realm,
With Goose and Goody at the helm ;
Who long ago had fallin asunder
But for their rivals' baser blunder,
The coward whine and Frenchified
Slaver and slang of the other side !--
Thus, his own whim his only bribe, Our Bard pursued his old A. B. C. Contented if he could subscribe In fullest sense his name "Eotnde; ('Tis Punic Greek for 'he hath stood !') Whate'er the men, the cause was good; And therefore with a right good will, Poor fool, he fights their battles still. Tush ! squeak’d the Bats ;-a mere bravado To whitewash that base renegado; 'Tis plain unless you're blind or mad, His conscience for the bays he barters ;And true it is—as true as sad
These circlets of green baize he had-
But then, alas ! they were his garters !
Ah! silly Bard, unfed, untended,
His lamp but glimmer'd in its socket;
He lived unhonour'd and unfriended
With scarce a penny in his pocket ;-
Nay-tho' he hid it from the many-
With scarce a pocket for his penny !
THE REPROOF AND REPLY. FIE, Mr. Coleridge !—and can this be you ?
Break two commandments ? and in church
time too! Have you not heard, or have you heard in vain, The birth and parentage-recording strain ? Confessions shrill, that out-shrill'd mackarel drownFresh from the drop, the youth not yet cut down. Letter to sweet-heart—the last dying speechAnd didn't all this begin in Sabbath-breach? You, that knew better ! In broad open day, Steal in, steal out, and steal our flowers away? What could possess you? Ah! sweet youth, I fear The chap with horns and tail was at your ear !"
Such sounds of late, accusing fancy brought
From fair - to the Poet's thought.
Now hear the meek Parnassian youth's reply
A bow, a pleading look, a downcast eye,--
And then :
“Fair dame ! a visionary wight,
Hard by your hill-side mansion sparkling white,
His thoughts all hovering round the Muses' home,
Long hath it been your poet's wont to roam,
And many ą morn, on his becharmed sense
So rich a stream of music issued thence,
He deem'd himself, as it flow'd warbling on,
Beside the vocal fount of Helicon !
But when, as if to settle the concern,
A nymph too he beheld, in many a turn,
Guiding the sweet rill from its fontal urn,-
Say, can you blame? — No! none that saw and
Could blame a bard, that he thus inly stirr'd ;
A muse beholding in each fervent trait,
Took Mary for Polly Hymnia !
Or haply as there stood beside the maid
One loftier form in sable stole array'd,
If with regretful thought he hail'd in thee
-, his long-lost friend, Mol Pomene!
But most of you, soft warblings, I complain!
'Twas ye that from the bee-hive of
brain Lured the wild fancies forth, a freakish rout, And witch'd the air with dreams turn’d inside out.
Thus all conspired-each power of eye and ear,
And this gay month, th' enchantress of the year,
To cheat poor me (no conjuror, God wot!)
And —'s self accomplice in the plot.
then wonder if I went astray ?
Not bards alone, nor lovers mad as they ;-
All Nature day-dreams in the month of May.