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Than yonder upstarts of the neighbouring wood,
So much thy juniors, who their birth received
Half a millenium since the date of thine.

But since, although well qualified by age
To teach, no spirit dwells in thee, nor voice
May be expected from thee, seated here
On thy distorted root, with hearers none,
Or prompter, save the scene, I will perform
Myself the oracle, and will discourse
In my own ear such matter as I may.

One man alone, the father of us all,
Drew not his life from woman ; never gazed,
With mute unconsciousness of what he saw,
On all around him; learn'd not by degrees,
Nor owed articulation to his ear;
But, moulded by his Maker into man
At once, upstood intelligent, survey'd
All creatures, with precision understood
Their purport, uses, properties, assign'd
To each his name significant, and fill’d
With love and wisdom, render'd back to Heaven
In praise harmonious the first air he drew.
He was excused the penalties of dull
Minority. No tutor charged his hand
With the thought-tracing quill, or task'd his mind
With problems. History, not wanted yet,
Lean'd on her elbow, watching Time, whose course,
Eventful, should supply her with a theme.

*

TO THE NIGHTINGALE,

WHICH THE AUTHOR HEARD SING ON NEW YEAR'S DAY, 1792,

WHENCE is it, that amazed I hear

From yonder wither'd spray,
This foremost morn of all the year,

The melody of May ?

And why, since thousands would be proud

Of such a favour shown,
Am I selected from the crowd,

To witness it alone ?

Sing’st thou, sweet Philomel, to me,

For that I also long
Have practised in the groves like thee,

Though not like thee in song?
Or sing’st thou rather under force

Of some divine command,
Commission'd to presage a course

Of happier days at hand ?
Thrice welcome then ! for many a long

And joyless year have I,
As thou to day, put forth my song

Beneath a wintry sky.

But Thee no wintry skies can harm,

Who only need'st to sing,
To make even January charm,

And every season Spring.

LINES

WRITTEN FOR INSERTION IN A COLLECTION OF HANDWRITINGS

AND SIGNATURES MADE BY MISS PATTY, SISTER OF HANNAH MORE.

MARCH 6, 1792.

In vain to live from age to age

While modern bards endeavour,
I write my name in Patty's page,
And gain my point for ever.

W. COWPER.

EPITAPH

ON A FREE BUT TAME REDBREAST, A FAVOURITE OF

MISS SALLY HURDIS.

MARCH, 1792.

These are not dew-drops, these are tears,

And tears by Sally shed
For absent Robin, who she fears

With too much cause, is dead.

One morn he came not to her hand

As he was wont to come,
And, on her finger perch'd, to stand

Picking his breakfast-crumb.

Alarm’d she call’d him, and perplext

She sought him, but in vain ;
That day he came not, nor the next,

Nor ever came again.

She therefore raised him here a tomb,

Though where he fell, or how,
None knows, so secret was his doom,

Nor where he moulders now.
Had half a score of coxcombs died,

In social Robin's stead,
Poor Sally's tears had soon been dried,

Or haply never shed.
But Bob was neither rudely bold

Nor spiritlessly tame,
Nor
was,

like theirs, his bosom cold,
But always in a flame.

SONNET TO WILLIAM WILBERFORCE, ESQ.

APRIL 16, 1792.

The country, Wilberforce, with just disdain,

Hears thee by cruel men and impious callid

Fanatic, for thy zeal to loose the enthrall’d From exile, public sale, and slavery's chain.

Friend of the poor, the wrong'd, the fetter-gall’d, Fear not lest labour such as thine be vain.

Thou hast achieved a part; hast gain'd the ear Of Britain's senate to thy glorious cause; Hope smiles, joy springs, and though cold caution pause

And weave delay, the better hour is near

That shall remunerate thy toils severe By peace for Afric, fenced with British laws. Enjoy what thou hast won, esteem and love From all the just on earth, and all the blest above.

EPIGRAM.

(PRINTED IN THE NORTHAMPTON MERCURY.)
To purify their wine some people bleed
A lamb into the barrel, and succeed;
No nostrum, planters say, is half so good
To make fine sugar, as a negro's blood.
Now lambs and negroes both are harmless things,
And thence perhaps this wonderous virtue springs.
'Tis in the blood of innocence alone-
Good cause why planters never try their own.

TO DR. AUSTIN,

OF CECIL STREET, LONDON,

MAY 26, 1792.

Austin! accept a grateful verse from me,
The poet's treasure, no inglorious fee.
Loved by the Muses, thy ingenuous mind
Pleasing requital in my verse may find;
Verse oft has dash'd the scythe of Time aside,
Immortalizing names which else had died.
And oh! could I command the glittering wealth
With which sick kings are glad to purchase health;
Yet, if extensive fame, and sure to live,
Were in the power of verse like mine to give,
I would not recompense his art with less,
Who, giving Mary health, heals my distress.

Friend of my friend'! I love thee, though unknown, And boldly call thee, being his, my own.

1 Hayley.

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