The Swallow is a summer bird;
He in our chimneys, when the weather
Is fine and warm, may then be heard
Chirping his notes for weeks together.
Come there but one cold wintry day,
Away will fly our guest the Swallow:
And much like him we find the way
Which many a gay young friend will follow.
In dreary days of snow and frost
Closer to Man will cling the Sparrow:
Old friends, although in life we're crost,
Their hearts to us will never narrow.
Give me the bird—'give me the friend—
Will sing in frost—will love in sorrow—
Whate'er mischance to-day may send,
Will greet me with his sight to-morrow.
A BIRTH-DAY THOUGHT
Can I, all gracious Providence!
Can I deserve thy care:
Ah! no; I've not the least pretence
To bounties which I share.
Have I not been defended still
From dangers and from death;
Been safe preserv'd from ev'ry ill
E'er since thou gav'st me breath?
I live once more to see the day
That brought me first to light;
Oh! teach my willing heart the way
To take thy mercies right!
Tho' dazzling splendour, pomp, and show,
My fortune has denied,
Yet more than grandeur can bestow,
Content hath well supplied.
I envy no one's birth or fame,
Their titles, train, or dress;
Nor has my pride e'er stretched its aim
Beyond what I possess.
I ask and wish not to appear
More beauteous, rich, or gay:
Lord, make me wiser every year,
And better every day.
THE BOY, THE MOTHER, AND THE BUTTERFLY
Young William held the Butterfly in chase,
And it was pretty to observe the race
Betwixt the Fly and Child, who nigh had caught him
But for a merry jest his Mother taught him.
"My valiant Huntsman, fie!" she said, "for shame,
You are too big a match for so small game,
To catch the Hare, or nimble Squirrel try,
Remember, William, He is BUT A FLY."
Not always is Humanity imprest
By serious schooling; a light word or jest
Will sometimes leave a moral sting behind
When graver lessons vanish out of mind.