ELEGY ON A HUMMING-BIRD.
WRITTEN IN A FLOWER-GARDEN.
1 A Humming-Bird, by Nature led,
2 On Nature's bounteous honey fed;
3 In every flower beheld a feast,
4 And every sip her charms increas'd:
5 Her plumage various, gaudy, bright,
6 Surpass'd Aurora's radiant light;
7 Tho' burnish'd o'er with golden rays,
8 As drest in Ariosto's lays.
9 O had you seen her glowing breast,
10 Which every tint by turns exprest,
11 Succeeding tints the past renewing,
12 You had wish'd to be for ever viewing.
13 But, sweet inconstant! she would fly
14 From flower to flower, and foil the eye;
15 Each motion giving something new,
16 No sooner seen than vanish'd too.
17 One morn on murmuring wing suspended,
18 She to those well-known pinks descended;
19 Here hung a moment, sipt the dew,
20 And elsewhere, gaily wanton, flew.
21 Her little crimson pinions play'd,
22 As thro' th' enamell'd plain she stray'd;
23 By every fragrant flower invited;
24 Which to delight her seem'd delighted.
25 I saw her, in an evil-hour,
26 Approach a deep-mouth trumpet-flower,
27 Within whose fatal tube, O me!
28 With mortal dagger, lurk'd a bee.
29 Deceitful weed! for ever may
30 Your silthy flower avoid the day,
31 Your nauseous odours taint the morn,
32 Yourself the direk
k Thorny Apple of Peru, call'd in Virginia The James-Town Weed. Peruvian Thorn!
33 May you, compell'd, pernicious bees!
34 Supply your murmuring hives from these;
35 By day restrain your busy flight,
36 Condemn'd to labour in the night.
37 Within her breast, secure of harm,
38 The feather'd Venus rais'd alarm,
39 Enrag'd the little, jealous thing,
40 And in her neck he plung'd his sting.
41 Say, hast thou seen a courser start —
42 An arrow fly — the lightning dart?
43 Far swifter, wrung with raging pain,
44 The Beauty cleft the airy plain;
45 Her course unsteady, high and low,
46 Too well explain'd her inward woe;
47 Her strength decreasing, and her speed,
48 Her feeble wings refusing aid,
49 Her tender frame with fevers burn'd,
50 Her little brain to frenzy turn'd,
51 The charm of Nature, and the pride,
52 In many circles, sunk and died.
53 Her purest nectar erst she drew
54 From hence, here lie her beauties too;
55 Where never flower the wandering eye
56 Hath since rejoic'd. (All bards will lie).
57 "The ways of Pleasure promise fair,
58 " But Mischief oft conceal'd lies there. "