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THË

BLACK BIRD.

A MAKARONY FABLE.

BY JOHN HALL STEPHENSON, ESQ.

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In concert with the curfew bell,
An Owl was chaunting Vespers in his cell ;
Upon the outside of the wall,
A Black Bird, famous in that age,
From a bow window in the hall,
Hung dangling in a wicker cage ;
Instead of psalmody and pray’rs,
Like those good children of St. Francis,
He secularized all his airs,
And took delight in Wanton Fancies.
Whilft the bell toll'd, and the Owl chaunted,
Every thing was calm and fill ;
All nature seem'd rapp'd and enchanted,
Except the querelous, unthankfull rill;
Unawed by this imposing scene,
Our Black Bird the enchantment broke ;
Flourish'd a sprightly air between,
And whistled the Black Joke.

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15

* Born 1718; dyed 1785.

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This lively unexpected motion
Set nature in a gayer light ;
Quite over-turn'd the Monks devotion,

And scatter'd all the gloom of night.
I have been taught in early youth,
By an expert Metaphysician,
That ridicule's the test of truth,
And only match for superstition.
Imposing rogues, with looks demure,
At Rome keep all the world in awe ;
Wit is profane, learning impure,
And reasoning against the Law.
Between two tapers and a book,
Upon a dresser clean and neat,
Behold a facerdotal Cook,
Cooking a dish of heavenly meat!
How fine he curtsies ! Make your bow ;
Thump your breast foundly, beat your poll;
Lo! he has toss'd up a Ragout,
To fill the belly of your soul.
Even here there are some holy men,
Would fain lead people by the nose ;
Did not a Black Bird, now and then,

Benevolently interpose.
My good Lord Bishop, Mr. Dean,
You shall get nothing by your spite ;
Tristram shall whistle at your spleen,
And put Hypocrisy to fight.

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Grazie a inganni tuoi,

Alfin respiro, O Nice;
Al find uno infedele

Ebber gli dei pietà.

Metastasio.

TO MISS

BY THE SAME.

THAN

HANKS to your wiles, deceitful fair, The gods, so long in vain implor'd, At last have heard a wretch's prayer ;

At last I find myself restor'd,

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From thy bewitching snares and thee :

I feel for once this is no dream; I feel my captive soul is free ;

And I am truly what I seem.

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I cannot now, as heretofore,

Put on indifference or disdain,
To smother flames, that burn no more,

To hide a passion void of pain.

Without a blush your name I hear,

No transient glow my bosom heats ; And, when I meet your eye, my dear,

My fluttering heart no longer beats.

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I dream, but I no longer find

Your form still present to my view ; I wake, but now my vacant mind

No longer waking dreams of you.

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Absent, for you, no more I pine,

But wander careless day or night; Present, no word, no look, no sign,

Argues disturbance or delight.

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I hear your praise, no tender flame

Now thrills responsive through my veins ;
No indignation, only shame,
For all

my
former
wrongs

remains.

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I meet you now without alarms,

Nor longer fearful to displease, I talk with ease about your

charms, E'en with

my

rival talk with ease.

you rise,

Whether in angry

mood Or sweetly fit with placid guile, Vain is the lightning of your eyes,

And vainer still your gilded smile.

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Loves, in your smiles, no longer play;

Your lips, your tongue, have lost their art; Those

eyes

have now forgot the way That led directly to my heart. Vol. II.

G

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Whether with grief the mind's diseased,

Or the unburthen'd spirits glad ;
No thanks to you, when I am pleased,

You have no blame, when I am sad.

Hills, woods, and lawns, and bleating flocks, 45

Without you, captivate me still,
But dreary moors and naked rocks,
Tho' with

you,
make

my

blood

run chill.

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Hear me ; and judge if I'm sincere ;

That you are beauteous still I swear; But oh! no longer you appear

The faireft, and the only fair.

Hear me; but let not truth offend,

In that fine form, in many places, I now spy faults, my lovely friend,

Which I mistook before for graces.

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And yet, tho' free, I thought at firft,

With shame my weakness I confess, My agonizing heart would burst,

The agonies of death are lefs.

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Who would not, when his foul's oppress'd,

Gladly possess himself again?
To pluck a ferpent from his breaft,

Who would not bear the sharpeft pain ?

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