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TALES.

THE THRUSH AND PYE.

CONCEAL'D within a hawthorn bush,
We're told, that an experienced Thrush
Instructed, in the prime of Spring,
Many a neighbouring bird to sing.
She carold, and her various song
Gave lessons to the listening throng:
But, the' entangling boughs between,
''Twas her delight to teach unseen.

At length the little wondering race
Would see their favourite face to face;
They thought it hard to be denied,
And begg'd that she'd no longer hide.
O'ermodest, worth's peculiar fault,
Another shade the tutoress sought;
And loath to be too much admired,
In secret from the bush retired.

An impudent, presuming Pye,
Malicious, ignorant, and sly,
Stole to the matron's vacant seat,
And in her arrogance elate,
Rush'd forward-with— My friends, you see
The mistress of the choir in me:

Here be your due devotion paid,
I am the songstress of the shade.'

A Linnet, that sat listening nigh,
Made the impostor this reply-
• I fancy, friend, that vulgar throats
Were never form’d for warbling notes:
But if these lessons came from you,
Repeat them in the public view;
That your assertions may be clear,
Let us behold as well as hear.'

The lengthening song, the softening strain,
Our chattering Pye attempts in vain,
For, to the fool's eternal shame,
All she could compass was a scream.

The birds, enraged, around her fly,
Nor shelter nor defence is nigh :
The caitiff wretch, distress’d, forlorn!
On

every side is peck'd and torn! Till, for her vile atrocious lies, Under their angry beaks she dies.

Such be his fate, whose scoundrel claim
Obtrudes upon a neighbour's fame.

Friend E- -n', the tale apply,
You are, yourself, the chattering Pye:
Repent, and with a conscious blush,
Go make atonement to the Thrush ?.

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An Ayrshire Bookseller, who pirated an edition of The Pleasing Instructor.'

2 The Compiler and repated Authoress of the Original Essays in that book.

H

THE PICTURE.

A PORTRAIT, at my lord's command,
Completed by a curious hand:
For dabblers in the nice vertû
His lordship set the piece to view,
Bidding their connoisseurships tell,
Whether the work was finish'd well.
• Why (says the loudest), on my word,
"Tis not a likeness, good my lord;
Nor, to be plain, for speak I must,
Can I pronounce one feature just.'
Another effort straight was made,
Another portraiture essay'd;
The judges were again besought,
Each to deliver what he thought.
• Worse than the first-(the critics bawl);
0, what a mouth! how monstrous small!
Look at the cheeks, how lank and thin!
See, what a most preposterous chin!'
After remonstrance made in vain,
• I'll (says the painter) once again
(If my good lord vouchsafes to sit),
Try for a more successful hit:
If you'll to-morrow deign to call,
We'll have a piece to please you all.'
To-morrow comes—a picture's placed
Before those spurious sons of taste-
In their opinions all agree,
This is the vilest of the three.

• Know—to confute your envious pride
(His lordship from the canvass cried),
Know—that it is my real face,
Where

you

could no resemblance trace:
I've tried you by a lucky trick,
And proved your genius to the quick.
Void of all judgment, justice, sense,
Out-ye pretending varlets– hence.'

The connoisseurs depart in haste,
Despised-detected—and disgraced.

THE WITCH.

A WITCH, that from her ebon chair
Could hurl destruction through the air,
Or, at her all commanding will,
Make the tumultuous ocean still :
Once, by an incantation fell
(As the recording druids tell),
Pluck'd the round Moon, whose radiant light
Silver'd the sober noon of night,
From the domain she held above,
Down to a dark infernal grove.
• Give me (the goddess cried), a cause
disturb

my sacred laws ?
Look at my train, yon wandering host,
See how the trembling stars are lost!
Through the celestial regions wide,
Why do they range without a guide ?

Why you

Chaos, from our confusion, may
Hope for his old detested sway.'

• I'm (says the Witch) severely cross'd,
Know that my favourite squirrel's lost:
Search for I'll have creation torn,
If he's not found before the morn.'

Soon as the impious charge was givenFrom the tremendous stores of heaven, Jove with a bolt-revengeful ! red ! Struck the detested monster dead.

If there are slaves to pity blind,
With power enough to plague mankind,
That for their own nefarious ends,
Tread
upon

Freedom and her friends,
Let them beware the Witch's fate!
When their presumption's at the height,
Jove will his angry powers assume,
And the cursed miscreants meet their doom.

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