“Ode to her Bullfinch: By the Same,” (1785)

“Ode to her Bullfinch: By the Same,” The Universal Magazine 77 (1785), 329.


Little wanton flutt’rer, say

Whither wou’dst thou wing thy way?

Why those airy circles make,

All untry’d the thorny brake?

Various dangers lurking lie

In the guise of liberty;

See the wily fowler laid

Close beneath the hawthorn shade;

Mark his tyrannous intent,

Full on schemes of murder bent;

For within that rugged breast

Meek-eye’d Pity ne’er wou’d rest,

Nor the softer powers of Love

E’er that stoick heart could move.

Little trembler, hither fly,

In my bosom safely lie;

Sympathy and tenderness

Doth that bosom still possess;

There thy glossy plumes unfold

Plumes of azure and of gold;

While secure from every harm,

Pining want and rude alarm,

A willing captive still remain,

Nor wish thy liberty to gain.


Whisp’ring Nature prompts to fly,

Seeking sweet society;

Or the gentler voice of Love

Bids thee range the mazy grove;

Ah! thy fond intent forbear,

Transient joys which end in care;

All a parents’ anxious woe

Soon thy downy breast would know,

Lest the school-boy’s truant eye

Shou’d thy tender young descry;

Lest the ruder vernal storm

Shou’d thy little nest deform,

Hither then, thou wanton, fly,

Bless thy soft captivity;

And lull with notes of soothing sound

The pangs which do my bosom wound.