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The Cock. The fallen Oak. 103
THE COCK. WITHIN a homestead lived, without a peer For crowing loud, the noble chanticleer. More certain was the crowing of this cock To number hours than is an abbey clock'; And sooner than the morning bell was rung He clapp'd his wings upon his rooft, and sung. High was his comb, and coral-red withal, In dents embattled like a castle wall: His bill was raven black, and shone like jet; Blue were his legs, and orient were his feet; White were his nails, like Gilver to behold; His body glitter'd like the burnish'd gold.
The lofty oak, whose vigorous branches form
An ample shade, and brave the wildest storm,
High o'er the subject wood is seen to grow,
The guard and glory of the trees below;
Till on its head the fiery bolt descends,
And on the plain the shatter'd trunk extends :
Yet then it lies majestic as before,
And still the glory, though the guard no more.
A Country Life.- A Grove.
O Let me in the country range !
'T is there we breathe, 't is there we live;
The beauteous scene of aged mountains,
Smiling valleys, murm'ring fountains;
Lambs in flow'ry pastures bleating,
Echo ev'ry note repeating ;
Bees with busy sounds delighting,
Groves to gentle sleep inviting ;
Whisp’ring winds the poplars courting,
Swains in rustic circles sporting ;
Birds in cheerful notes expressing
Nature's bounty and their blessing:
These afford a lasting pleasure
Without guilt, and without measure.
STRAIGHT as a line, in beauteous order stood,
Of caks unfhorn, a venerable wood:
Fresh was the grass beneath, and every tree
At distance planted in a due degree.
Their branching arms in air, with equal space, Stretch'd to their neighbours with a long embrace. And the new leaves on ev'ry bough were seen, Some ruddy-colour’d, some of lighter green. The painted birds, companions of the spring, Hopping from spray to spray, were heard to fing: Both eyes and ears receiv'd a like delight, Enchanting music, and a charming light.
CONTENT with poverty my soul I arm,
And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.
What is’t to me,
Who never fail on fortune's faithless fea,
If storms arise, and clouds grow black,
If the mast split and threaten wreck ?
Then let the greedy merchant fear
For his ill gotten gain,
While the debating winds and billows bear
His wealth into the main.
Innocence.-- A Winter Song.
For me, fecure of Fortune's blows,
Secure of what I cannot lofe,
In my small pinnace I can fail,
Contemning all the blust'ring roar;
And running with a merry gale,
With friendly stars my safety feek
Within fome little winding creek,
And see the storm ashore,
What stronger breast-plate than a heart une
Thrice is he arm’d that hath his quarrel just,
And he but naked, though lock'd up in iteel,
Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the fhepherd blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail ;
When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-whit to-whoo ;- a merry note!
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
When all aloud the wind doth blow,
And coughing drowns the parson's saw,
And birds sit brooding in the snow,
And Marian's nose looks red and raw ;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nightly fings the staring owl,
Tu-whit to-whoo ;--a merry note !
While greafy Joan doth keel the pot.
The glories of our birth and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and crown
Must tumble down,