The Lark and the Two Sparrows

I N age advanc'd, the Woodlark sweetly sung;
Time spar'd the songster, and his note was young;
Still with a gallant air his wings he shook,
And Cats arraign'd him for a Tarquin's look.
One day his youthful habits he deplor'd,
And pray'd or chaunted as to Heaven he soar'd;
The feather'd virgins, ravish'd by the note,
Bless'd a new convert's edifying throat;
Not the fam'd Parrot, by the Nuns improv'd,
Was more to vestal ears the bird they lov'd.
A dull Hen-sparrow, but of satire proud,
The Lark dissected: — " He was coarse, and loud;
He never sung, by chance, a note in tune;
She wish'd him fairly settled in the moon . "
He, by this chirping shrew in vain revil'd,
Would, in a human shape, have bow'd and smil'd;
She, whom the wits and bel-esprits annoy,
Fled unpursued, the bane of Attic joy;
Fled, where the mate of her imperial home
Presents her toilette with Xantippe's comb:
She had been once in feather'd beauties vain;
Pride linger'd still, and spleen was in her train.
To age a victim sacrific'd at first,
Her blessings kill'd the veteran they nurs'd:
A tame Cock-sparrow was her widow'd choice,
His fame a whistle, and a pipe his voice.
What other gifts prophetic she assum'd,
Birds have not whisper'd yet, or Cats presum'd.
Though pert or snapping as a village cur,
And self-important as Grimalkin's pur,
His " Job " she taught him in a living book ,
And read him curtain-lectures till he shook.
The Lark repair'd his wonderful machine,
Then upwards flew, and could no more be seen:
A bird of grace — a warbling methodist, —
No hen-peck'd Sparrows in his flight he miss'd;
Their vixen termagants he never blam'd;
By such detraction Larks are undefam'd.
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