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So catch the triflers of the time,
And tell them truths divine and clear,
Which, couch'd in prose, they will not hear
Who labour hard to allure and draw
The loiterers I never saw,
Should feel that itching, and that tingling
With all my purpose intermingling,
To your intrinsic merit true,
When call'd t address myself to you.
Mysterious are his ways, whose power
Brings forth that unexpected hour,
When minds, that never met before,
Shall meet, unite, and part no more :
It is the allotment of the skies,
The hand of the Supremely. Wise,
That guides and governs our affections,
And plans and orders our connexions :
Directs us in our distant road,
And marks the bounds of our abode.
Thus we were settled when you found us,
Peasants and children all around us,
Not dreaming of so dear a friend,
Deep in the abyss of Silver-End.*
Thus Martha, e'en against her will,
Perch'd on the top of yonder hill;
And you, though you must needs prefer
The fairest scenes of sweet Sancerre, t
* An obscure part of Olney, adjoining to the residence of Cowper, which faced the market-place.
+ Lady Austen's residence in France.
Are conie from distant Loire, to choose A cottage on the banks of Ouse. This page of Providence quite new, And now just op'ning to our view, Employs our present thoughts and pains To guess, and spell, what it contains : But day by day, and year by year, Will make the dark enigma clear ; And furnish us, perhaps, at last, Like other scenes already past, With proof, that we, and our affairs, Are part of a Jehovah's cares : For God unfolds, by slow degrees, The purport of his deep decrees ; Sheds every hour a clearer light In aid of our defective sight; And spreads at length before the soul A beautiful and perfect whole, Which busy man's inventive brain Toils to anticipate, in vain.
Say, Anna, had you never known
The beauties of a rose full blown,
Could you, tho' luminous your eye,
By looking on the bud, descry,
Or guess, with a prophetic power,
The future splendour of the flowers
Just so, the Omnipotent who turns
The system of a world's concerns,
From mere minutiæ can educe
Events of most important use ;
And bid a dawning sky display
T'he blaze of a meridian day.
The works of man tend, one and all,
As needs they must, from great to smal,
And vanity absorbs at length
The monuments of human strength.
But who can tell how vast the plan
Which this day's incident began !
Too small, perhaps, the slight occasion,
For our dim-sighted observation ;
It pass'd unnotic'd, as the bird
That cleaves the yielding air unheard,
And yet may prove, when understood,
An harbinger of endless good.
Not that I deem, or mean to call Friendship a blessing cheap or small. But merely to remark, that ours, Like some of nature's sweetest flowers, Rose from a seed of tiny size, That seem'd to promise no such prize ; A transient visit intervening, And made almost without a meaning, (Hardly the effect of inclination, Much less of pleasing expectation,) Produc'd a friendship, then begun, That has cemented us in one; And placed it in our pow'r to prove, By long fidelity and love, That Soloniɔn has wisely spoken: “A threefold cord is not soon broken."
PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
I shall nc: ask Jean Jaques Rosscar:, *
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,
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 the senses ?
PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
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 trcat
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.
( 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 hasto, The leaves came on not quite so fast,