On a Thrush

BOLD as the gallant air of Youth,
And simple as the voice of Truth;
Sweet minstrel of the tuneful grove,
The amorous Thrush proclaims his love;
Nor dreams — proud enemy to Fear,
That his captivity is near.

But, ere the Summer days are past,
The subtle Fowler holds him fast;
Imprison'd at the cottage-door,
Love, and its hope, he chants no more;
Submits in durance to be fed,
And, like a Courtier, sings for bread.

Alas! an emblem is the Bird
Of careless Joy, and Pain deferr'd;
The Boy at school; the Youth caress'd;
The love betray'd; the heart oppress'd;
Before a Winter's night is come,
The melodies of life are dumb.

The Morning smiles; the Zephyrs play;
And Flora consecrates the day;
A thousand Loves their treasures bring;
You 'd think 'twould be for ever Spring;
But soon the joys their tune forget;
And Fortune is the Fowler's net .
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