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THE DOG AND THE WATER-LILY.
THE noon was shady, and soft airs
Swept Ouse's silent tide,
When, 'scaped from literary cares,
I wandered on his side.
My spaniel, prettiest of his race,
And high in pedigree,
(Two nymphs adorned with every grace,
That spaniel found for me)
Now wantoned lost in flags and reeds,
Now starting into sight,
Pursued the swallow o'er the meads
With scarce a slower flight.
It was the time when Ouse displayed
His lilies newly blown;
Their beauties I intent surveyed,
And one I wished my own.
With cane extended far, I sought
To steer it close to land;
But still the prize, though nearly caught,
Escaped my eager hand.
Beau marked my unsuccessful pains
With fixed considerate face,
And puzzling set his puppy brains
To comprehend the case.
But with a cherup clear and strong
Dispersing all his dream,
I thence withdrew, and followed long
The windings of the stream.
My ramble ended, I returned,
Beau trotting far before,
The floating wreath again discerned,
And plunging left the shore.
I saw him, with that lily cropped,
Impatient swim to meet
My quick approach, and soon he dropped
The treasure at my feet.
Charmed with the sight, “The world, I cried,
'Shall hear of this thy deed : My dog shall mortify the pride
Of man's superior breed:
But chief, myself I will enjoin,
Awake at Duty's call,
To show a love as prompt as thine
To Him who gives me all.'
ON THE DEATH OF MRS. THROCK
YE nymphs! if e'er your eyes were red
With tears o'er hapless favourites shed,
Oh! share Maria's grief:
Her favourite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage ?)
Assassined by a thief!
Where Rhenus strays his vines among,
The egg was laid from which he sprung:
And though by nature mute,
Or only with a whistle blessed,
Well taught, he all the sounds expressed
Of flageolet or flute.
The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole;
His bosom of the hue
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise,
To sweep away the dew.
Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike of bird and mouse,
No cat had leave to dwell;
And Bully's cage supported stood
On props of smoothest shaven wood,
Large built and latticed well.
Well latticed-but the grate, alas !
Not rough with wire of steel or brass,
For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wands from Ouse's side,
With which, when neatly peeled and dried,
The swains their baskets make.
Night veiled the pole; all seemed secure;
When, led by instinct sharp and sure,
Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth sallied on the scout,
Long backed, long tailed, with whiskered snout, 35
And badger-coloured hide.
He, entering at the study door,
Its ample area 'gan explore;
And something in the wind
Conjectured, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,
Food chiefly for the mind.
Just then, by adverse fate impressed,
A dream disturbed poor Bully's rest;
In sleep he seemed to view
A rat fast clinging to the cage,
And screaming at the sad presage,
Awoke and found it true.
For aided both by ear and scent,
Right to his mark the monster went-
Ah, Muse! forbear to speak
Minute the horrors that ensued;
His teeth were strong, the cage was wood-
He left poor Bully's beak.
Oh that those lips had language! Life has passed
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine—thy own sweet smile I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me;
Voice only fails, else how distinct they say,
‘Grieve not, my child, chasé all thy fears away!'
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes
(Blest be the Art that can immortalize,-
The Art that baffles Time's tyrannic claim
To quench it) here shines on me still the same.
Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
O welcome guest, though unexpected, here!
Who bidst me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long.
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own :
And while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief,-
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream, that thou art she.
My mother! when I learned that thou wast dead,
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ?
Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,
Wretch even then, life's journey just begun?
Perhaps thou gavest me, though unfelt, a kiss ;
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss-
Ah, that maternal smile! it answers—Yes.'
I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nursery window, drew
A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu !
But was it such ?-It was.- Where thou art gone
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown;
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting word shall pass my lips no more!
Thy maidens grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of thy quick return.
What ardently I wished, I long believed,
And, disappointed still, was still deceived ;
By expectation every day beguiled,
Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,