[Page 329]

On a GOLDFINCH starved to Death in his Cage.

1 TIME was when I was free as air,
2 The thistles downy seed my fare,
3 My drink the morning dew;
4 I perch'd at will on ev'ry spray,
5 My form genteel, my plumage gay,
6 My strains for ever new.
7 But gawdy plumage, sprightly strain,
8 And form genteel were all in vain
9 And of a transient date,
10 For caught and caged and starved to death,
11 In dying sighs my little breath
12 Soon pass'd the wiry grate.
[Page 330]
13 Thanks, gentle swain, for all my woes,
14 And thanks for this effectual close
15 And cure of ev'ry ill!
16 More cruelty could none express,
17 And I, if you had shewn me less
18 Had been your pris'ner still.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): On a GOLDFINCH starved to Death in his Cage.
Themes: imprisonment; death
Genres: fable

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Source edition

Cowper, William, 1731-1800. Poems: by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. London: printed for J. Johnson, 1782, pp. 329-330. [4],367,[1]p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T14895; OTA K027775.000)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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