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Short-lived likings may be bred
By a glance from fickle eyes ;
But true love is like the thread
Which the kindly wool supplies,
When the flocks are all at rest
Sleeping on the mountain's breast.

THE REDBREAST AND BUTTERFLY. Art thou the Bird whom Man loves best, The pious Bird with the scarlet breast,

Our little English Robin;
The Bird that comes about our doors
When Autumn winds are sobbing?
Art thou the Peter of Norway Boors ?

Their Thomas in Fioland,

And Russia far inland ? The Bird, who by some name or other All men who know thee call their Brother, The Darling of Children and men ? Could Father Adam open


eyes,' And see this sight beneath the skies, lied wish to close them again.

Eddying round and round they sink
Softly, slowly: one might think,
From the motions that are made,
Every little leaf conveyed
Sylph or Faery hither tending, -
To this lower world descending,
Each invisible and mute,
In his wavering parachute.
--But the Kitten, how she starts,
Crouches, stretches, paws, and daris?
First at one, and then its fellow
Just as light and just as yellow;
There are many now-now one-
Now they stop; and there are none-
What intenseness of desire
In her upward eye of fire!
With a tiger-leap balf way
Now she meets the coming prey,
Lets it go as fast, and then
Has it in her power again :
Now she works with three or four,
Like an Indian Conjuror;
Quick as he in feats of art,
Far beyond in joy of heart.
Were her antics played in the eye
Of a thousand Standers-by,
Clapping hands with shout and stare,
What would little Tabby care
For the plaudits of the Crowd?
Over happy to be proud,
Over wealthy in the treasure
Of her own exceeding pleasure!

If the Butterfly knew but his friend,
Hither bis flight he would bend;
And find his way to me
Under the branches of the tree :
In and out, he darts about;
Can this be the Bird, to man so good,
That, after their bewildering,
Did cover with leaves the little children,

So painfully in the wood ?

What ailed thee, Robin, that thou couldst pursue

A beautiful Creature,
That is gentle by nature?
Beneath the summer sky
From flower to flower let him fly;
"T is all that be wishes to do.
The Cheerer Thou of our in-door sadness,
He is the friend of our summer gladness :
What hinders, then, that ye sliould be
Playmates in the sunny weather,
And fly about in the air together!
His beautiful wings in crimson are drest,
A crimson as bright as thine own:
If thou wouldst be happy in thy nest,
O pious Bird! whom Man loves best,
Love him, or leave him alone!

'T is a pretty Baby-treat; Nor, I deem, for me unmeet; Here, for neither Babe por me, Other Play-mate can I see. Of the couutless living things, That with stir of feet and wings, (In the sun or under shade, Upon bough or grassy blade) And with busy revelbugs, Chirp and song, aud murmurings, Made this Orchard's narrow space, And this Vale so blithe a place; Multitudes are swept away Never more to breathe the day: Some are sleeping; some in Bands Travelled into distant Lands; Others slunk to moor and wood, Far from human neighbourhood; And, among the Kinds that keep With us closer fellowship, With us openly abide, All have laid their mirth aside.

- Where is he that giddy Sprite, Blue-cap, with his colours bright, Who was blest as bird could be, Feeding in the apple-tree; Made such wavion spoil and rout, Turning blossoins inside out; Hung with head towards the ground, Fluttered, perclied, into a round Bound himself, and then unbound ? Litest, gaudiest Darlequin! Prettiest Tumbler ever seen!


That way look, my Infant, lo!
What a pretty baby show!
See the Kitten on the Wall,
Sporting with the leaves that fall,
Withered leaves-one-two-and three-
From the lofty Elder-cree!
Through the calm and frosty air
Of this morning bright and fair

• Seo Paradise Lost, Book XI, where Adam points out to Eve ibe ominous sign of the Eagle chasing - two Birds of gayest plume, and the gentle Hort and Hind pursued by their enemy.

Say, when the moving Creatures saw
All kinds commiogled without fear,
Prevailed a like indulgent law
For the still Growihs that prosper here !
Did wanton Fawn and Kid forbear
The half-blown Rose, the Lily spare?

Light of heart, and light of limb,
What is now become of llim?
Lambs, that through the mountains went
Frisking, bleating merriment,
When the year was in its prime,
They are sobered by this time.
If you look to vale or hill,
If you listen, all is still,
Save a little neighbouring Rill,
That from out the rocky ground
Strikes a solitary sound.
Vaidly glitters hill and plain,
And the air is calm in vain;
Vainly Morning spreads the lure
Of a sky serene and pure;
Creature none can she decoy
Into open sign of joy:
Is it that they have a fear
Of the dreary season near?
Or that other pleasures be
Sweeter even than gaiety?

Or peeped they often from their beds
And prematurely disappeared,
Devoured like pleasure ere it spreads
A bosom to the Sun endeared ?
Jf such their barsh untimely doom,
It falls not here on bud or bloom.

All Summer long the happy Eve
Of this fair Spot her flowers may bind,
Nor e'er, with ruffled fancy, grieve,
From the next glance she casts, to find
That love for little Things by Fate
Is rendered vain as love for great.

Yet, where the guardian Fence is wound,
So subtly is the eye beguiled
It sees not nor suspects a Bound,
No more than in some forest wild;
Free as the light in semblance-crost
Only by art in nature lost.

And, though the jealous turf refuse
By random footsteps to be prest,
And feeds on never-sullied dews,
Ye, Gentle breezes from the West,
With all the ministers of Hope,
Are tempted to this sunny slope!

Yet, whate'er enjoyments dwell In the impenetrable cell Of the sileot heart which Nature Furnishes to every Creature; Whatsoe'er we feel and know Too sedate for outward show, Such a light of gladness breaks, Pretty Kitten! from thy freaks,Spreads with such a living grace O'er my little Laura's face; Yes, the sight so stirs and charms Thee, Baby, laughing in my arms, That almost I could repine That your transports are not mine, That I do not wholly fare Even as ye do, thoughtless Pair! And I will have my careless season Spite of melancholy reason; Will walk through life in such a way That, when time brings on decay, Now and then I may possess Hours of perfect gladsomeness. - Pleased by any random toy; By a kitten's busy joy, Or an lofant's laughing eye Sharing in the ecstasy; I would fare like that or this, Find my wisdom in my bliss; Keep the sprightly soul awake, And have faculties to take, Even from things by sorrow wrought, Matter for a jocund thought, Spite of care, and spite of grief, To gambol with Life's falling Leaf.

And hither throngs of Birds resort; Some, inmates lodged in shady nests, Some, perched on stems of stately port That nod to welcome transient guests; While flare and Leveret, seen at play, Appear not more shut out than they.

Apt emblem (for reproof of pride)
This delicate Enclosure shows
Of modest kindness, that would hide
The firm protection she bestows;
Of manners, like its viewless fence,
Ensuring peace to innocence.

Thus spake the moral Muse—her wing
Abruptly spreading to depart,
She left that farewell offering,
Memento for some docile heart;
That may respect the good old Age
When Fancy was Truth's willing Page;
And Truth would skim the flowery glade,
Though entering but as Fancy's Shade.



Tell me, ye Zephyrs ! that unfold,
While fluttering o'er this gay Recess,
Pinions that fanned the teeming mould
Of Eden's blissful wilderness,
Did only softly-stealing Hours
There close the peaceful lives of flowers ?

With little here to do or see
Of things that in the great world be,
Sweet Daisy! oft I talk to thee,

For thou art worthy,

Up with me! up with me into the clouds!

For thy song, Lark, is strong;
Up with me, up with me into the clouds !

Singing, singing,
With clouds and sky about thee ringing,

Lift me, guide me till I find
That spot which seems so to thy mind!
Alas! my journey, rugged and uneven,
Through prickly moors or dusty ways must wind;
But hearing thee, or others of thy kind,
As full of gladness and as free of heaven,
1, with my fate contented, will plod on,
And hope for higher raptures, when Life's day is done.

TO A SEXTON. Let thy wheel-barrow aloneWherefore, Sexton, piling still In thy Bone-house bone on bone? 'T is already like a hill Jo a field of battle made, Where three thousand skulls are laid; -These died in peace each with the other, Father, Sister, Friend, and Brother. Mark the spot to which I point! From this platform, eight feet square, Take not even a finger-joint : Andrew's whole fire-side is there. Here, alone, before thine eyes, Simon's sickly Daughter lies, From weakness now, and pain defended, Whom he twenty winters tended. Look but at the gardener's prideHow he glories, when he sees Roses, Lilies, side by side, Violets in families ! By the heart of Man, his tears, By his hopes and by his fears, Thou, old Grey-beard! art the Warden Of a far superior garden. Thus then, each to other dear, Let them all in quiet lie, Andrew there, and Susan here, Neighbours in mortality. And, should I live through sun and rain Seven widowed years without my Jane, O Sexton, do not then remove her, Let one grave hold the Loved and Lover!

Thou unassuming Common-place
Of Nature, with that homely face,
And yet with something of a grace,

Which Love makes for thee!
Oft on the dappled turf at ease
I sit, and play with similies,
Loose types of Things through all degrees,

Thoughts of thy raising :
And many a fond and idle name
I give to thee, for praise or blame,
As is the humour of the game,

While I am gazing.
A Nun demure, of lowly port;
Or sprightly Maiden, of Love's Court,
In thy simplicity the sport

Of all temptations;
A Queen in crown of rubies drest;
A Starveling in a scanty vest;
Are all, as seems to suit thee best,

Thy appellations.
A little Cyclops, with one eye
Staring to threaten and defy,
That thought comes next-and instantly

The freak is over,
The shape will vanish, and behold
A silver Shield with boss of gold,
That spreads itself, some Faery bold

lo fight to cover!
I see thee glittering from afar;-
And then thou art a pretty Star;
Not quite so fair as many are

In heaven above thee!
Yet like a star, with glittering crest,
Self-poised in air thou seem'st to rest ;-
May peace come never to his nest,
Who shall reprove

Sweet Flower! for by that name at last,
When all my reveries are past,
I call thee, and to that cleave fast,

Sweet silent Creature!
That breath'st with me in sun and air,
Do thou, as thou art wont, repair
My heart with gladness, and a share

Of thy meek nature!

TO THE SAME FLOWER. Bright flower, whose home is


where! A Pilgrim bold in Nature's care, And oft, the long year through, the heir

Of joy or sorrow,
Methinks that there abides in thee
Some concord with humanity,
Given to no other Flower I see

The forest thorough!
And wherefore? Man is soon deprest;
A thoughtless Thing! who, once uoblest,
Does little on his memory rest,

Or on his reason;
But thou wouldst teach him how to find
A shelter under every wind,
A hope for times that are unkind

And every season.

Who fancied what a pretty sight
This Rock would be if edged around
With living Snowdrops ? circlet bright!
How glorious to this Orchard-ground!
Who loved the little Rock, and set
Upon its head this Coronet ?
Was it the humour of a Child?
Or rather of some love-sick Maid,
Whose brows, the day that she was styled
The Shepherd Queen, were thus arrayed?
Of Man mature, or Matron sage?
Or Old-man toying with his age?

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