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RED-BREAST. A VERY EARLY
WHEN the winter wind whistles around my lone
cot, And my holiday friends have my mansion forgot, Though a lonely poor being, still do not I pine, While my poor Robin Red-breast forsakes not my
He comes with the morning, he hops on my arm,
For he knows 't is too gentle to do him a harm:
And in gratitude ever beguiles with a lay
The soul-sick’ning thoughts of a bleak winter's day.
What, though he may leave me, when spring
again smiles, To waste the sweet summer in love's little wiles, Yet will he remember his fosterer long, And greet her each morning with one little song.
And when the rude blast shall again strip the trees,
And plenty no longer shall fly on the breeze,
Oh! then he 'll return to his Helena kind, [wind.
And repose in her breast from the rude northern
My sweet little Robin's no holiday guest,
He 'll never forget his poor Helena's breast;
But will strive to repay, by his generous song,
Her love, and her cares, in the winter day long.
Rouse the blazing midnight fire,
Heap the crackling fagots higher;
Stern December reigns without,
With old Winter's blust'ring rout.
Let the jocund timbrels sound,
Push the jolly goblet round;
Care avaunt, with all thy crew,
Goblins dire, and devils blue.
Hark! without the tempest growls :
And the affrighted watch-dog howls;
Witches on their broomsticks sail,
Death upon the whistling gale.
Heap the crackling fagots higher,
Draw your easy chairs still nigher ;
And to guard from wizards hoar,
Nail the horse-shoe on the door.
Now repeat the freezing story,
Of the murder'd traveller gory,
Found beneath the yew-tree sear,
Cut, his throat, from ear to ear.
Tell, too, how his ghost, all bloody,
Frighten'd once a neighb'ring goody;
And how, still at twelve he stalks,
Groaning o'er the wild-wood walks.
Then, when fear usurps her sway,
Let us creep to bed away;
Each for ghosts, but little bolder,
Fearfully peeping o'er his shoulder.
SWEET Jessy! I would fain caress
That lovely cheek divine;
Sweet Jessy, I'd give worlds to press
That rising breast to mine.
Sweet Jessy! I with passion burn
Thy soft blue eyes to see ;
Sweet Jessy, I would die to turn
Those melting eyes on me.
Yet, Jessy, lovely as ***
Thy form and face appear,
I'd perish ere I would consent
To buy them with a tear.
Oh, that I were the fragrant flower that kisses
My Arabella's breast that heaves on high; Pleased should I be to taste the transient blisses,
And on the melting throne to faint, and die.
Oh, that I were the robe that loosely covers
Her taper limbs, and Grecian form divine; Or the entwisted zones, like meeting lovers,
That clasp her waist in many an aery twine
Oh, that my soul might take its lasting station
In her waved hair, her perfumed breath to sip; Or catch, by chance, her blue eyes' fascination !
Or meet, by stealth, her soft vermillion lip.
But chain'd to this dull being, I must ever
Lament the doom by which I'm hither placed; Must pant for moments I must meet with never,
And dream of beauties I must never taste.
When wandering, thoughtful, my stray steps at eve
(Released from toil and careless of their way,)
Have reach'd, unwittingly, some rural spot
Where Quiet dwells in cluster'd cottages,
Fast by a wood, or on the river's marge,
I have sat down upon the shady stile,
Half wearied with the long and lonesome walk,
And felt strange sadness steal upon the heart,
unaccountable. The rural smells
And sounds speak all of peacefulness and home;
The lazy mastiff, who my coming eyed,
Half balancing 'twixt fondness and distrust,
Recall'd some images, now half forgot,
Of the warm hearth at eve, when flocks are penn'd
And cattle housed, and every labor done.
And as the twilight's peaceful hour closed in,
The spiral smoke ascending from the thatch,
And the eve sparrow's last retiring chirp,
Have brought a busy train of hov'ring thoughts
To recollection,-rural offices,
In younger days and happier times perform'd;
And rural friends, now with their grave-stones
And tales which wore away the winter's night
Yet fresh in memory.—Then my thoughts assume
A different turn, and I am e'en at home.
That hut is mine; that cottage half-embower'd
With modest jessamine, and that sweet spot
Of garden-ground, where, ranged in meet array,
Grow countless sweets, the wall-flower and the pink
And the thick thyme-bush-even that is mine:
And that old mulberry that shades the court,
Has been my joy from very childhood up.
In hollow music sighing through the glade,
The breeze of autumn strikes the startled ear, And fancy, pacing through the woodland shade,
Hears in the gust the requiem of the year. As with lone tread along the whisp’ring grove I list the moan of the capricious wind,