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A TALE.*

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In Scotland's realms, where trees are few,

Nor even shrubs abount. ;
But where, however bleak the view,

Some better things are found;

For husband there and wife may boast

Their union undefiled,
And false ones are as rare almost

As hedgerows in the wild —

* This tale is founded on an article which appeared in the Buckinghamshire Herald, Saturday, June 1793: "Glasgow, May 23. In a block, or pulley, near the head of the mast of a gabert, now lying at the Broomielaw, there is a chaffinch's nest and four eggs. The nest was built while the vessel lay at Greenock, and was followed hither by both birds. Though the block is occasionally lowered for the inspection of the curious, the birds have not forsaken the nest.

The cock, however, visits the nest but seldom, while the hen never leaves it, but when she descends to the hull for food.”

VOL. VIII.

B

In Scotland's realm forlorn and bare

The history chanced of lateThe history of a wedded pair,

A chaffinch and his mate.

The spring drew near, each felt a breast

With genial instinct fillid ; They pair'd, and would have built a nest,

But found not where to build.

The heaths uncover'd and the moors

Except with snow and sleet, Sea-beaten rocks and naked shores

Could yield them no retreat.

Long time a breeding-place they sought,

Till both grew vex'd and tired; At length a ship arriving brought

The good so long desired.

A ship?—could such a restless thing

Afford them place of rest ? Or was the merchant charged to bring

The homeless birds a nest ?

Hush-silent hearers profit most

This racer of the sea Proved kinder to them than the coast,

It served them with a tree.

But such a tree ! 'twas shaven deal,

The tree they call a mast, And had a hollow with a wheel

Through which the tackle pass'c..

Within that cavity aloft

Their roofless home they fix’d, Form'd with materials neat and soft,

Bents, wool, and feathers mix'd.

Four ivory eggs soon pave its floor

With russet specks bedightThe vessel weighs, forsakes the shore,

And lessens to the sight.

The mother-bird is gone to sea,

As she had changed her kind ; But goes the male ? Far wiser, he

Is doubtless left behind.

No-soon as from ashore he saw

The winged mansion move, He flew to reach it, by a law

Of never failing love;

Then perching at his consort's side,

Was briskly borne along, The billows and the blast defied,

And cheer'd her with a song.

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