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PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.

A FABLE.

I shall not ask Jean Jaques Rosseau, *
If birds confabulate or no;
'Tis clear that they were always able
To hold discourse--at least in fable ;
And e'en 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 forestall sweet St. Valentine,
In many an orchard, copse, and grove,
Assembled on affairs of love,

• It was one of the whimsical speculations of this philo sopher, 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 the senses ?

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PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.

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And with much twitter and much chatter,
Began to agitate the matter.
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, 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 good 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?

Dick heard, and tweedling, ogling, bridling,
Turning short round, strutting, and sideling,
Attested, glad, his approbation
Of an immediate conjugation.
Their sentiments so well express'd,
Influenc'd mightily the rest,
All pair'd and each pair built a nest.

But though the birds were thus in haste,
The leaves came on not quite so fast,

PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.

261

An aspect stern on man's affairs,
Not altogether smil'd on theirs.
The wind of late breath'd gently forth,
Now shifted east, and east by north ;
Bare trees and shrubs but ill, you know,
Could shelter them from rain or snow.
Stepping into their nests they paddled,
Themselves were chill'd, their eggs were addled;
Soon ev'ry father bird and mother
Grew quarrelsome, and peck'd each other,
Parted without the least regret,
Except that they had never met;
And learn'd, in future, to be wiser
Than to neglect a good adviser.

MORAL.
Misses! the tale that I relate

This lesson seems to carry
Choose not alone a proper mate,

But proper time, to marry.

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The Rose had been wash'd, just wash'd in a

show'r, Which Mary to Anna convey'd, The plentiful moisture encumber'd the flow'r,

And weigh'd down its beautiful head.

The cup was all fill'd, and the leaves were all wet,

And it seem'd to a fanciful view,
To weep for the buds it had left with regret,

On the flourishing bush where it grew.

I hastily seized it, unfit as it was

For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd, And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!

I snapp'd it-it fell to the ground.

And such, I exclaimd, is the pitiless part

Some act by the delicate mind,
Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart

Already to sorrow resign'd.
This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,

Might have bloom'd with its owner a while ;
And the tear that is wip'd with a little address,
May be follow'd perhaps by a smile.

THE NEGRO'S COMPLAINT.

FoRc'd from home and all its pleasures,

Afric's coast I left forlorn;
To increase a stranger's treasures,

O'er the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,

Paid my price in paltry gold; But though slave they have enroll'd me,

Minds are never to be sold.

Still in thought as free as ever,

What are England's rights I ask,
Me from my delights to sever,

Me to torture, me to task ?
Fleecy locks and black complexion,

Cannot forfeit Nature's claim ;
Skins may differ, but affection

Dwells in white and black the same.

Why did all-creating Nature

Make the plant for which we toilSighs must fan it, tears must water, Sweat of ours must dress the soil.

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