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What the hammer, what the chain,
I am a willow-wren:
The aimless wind is still
Apples and plums I know
But past my well-kept trees
Has planted little bushes
At first I thought with spite
Yet over all there sways
Though I alight and swing
EPITAPH ON A HARE
Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Nor ear heard huntsman's halloo;
Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care, And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild Jack hare.
Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance every night,
EPITAPH ON A HARE
He did it with a jealous look,
And when he could, would bite.
His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw; Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.
On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,
On pippin's russet peel,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.
A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.
His frisking was at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear,
Or when a storm drew near.
Eight years and five round-rolling moons
He thus saw steal away, Dozing out all his idle noons,
And every night at play.
I kept him for his humour's sake,
For he would oft beguile
And force me to a smile.
But now beneath this walnut shade
He finds his long last home,
Till gentler Puss shall come.
He, still more agèd, feels the shocks
From which no care can save, And, partner once of Tiney's box, Must soon partake his grave.
TO THE LARK
Good speed, for I this day
Because I do
CHRISTMAS Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees," An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen, Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
“Come; see the oxen kneel
“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,"
Who is Sylvia? what is she,
That all our swains commend her?
The heaven such grace did lend her,