Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LINNET; A FABLE, by HELEN LEIGH

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THE LINNET; A FABLE, by            
First Line: Young celia was beauteous, and blithe as the morn
Last Line: By false notions of freedom betray'd!
Subject(s): Linnets; Pets

Young Celia was beauteous, and blithe as the morn,
On her cheek bloom'd the lilly and rose,
And sweet was her breath as the blossoming thorn,
When, to hail spring returning it blows.

Her bosom, with love, and with tenderness glow'd,
But her Linnet was all her delight;
On the sweet little warbler that love she bestow'd,
And carest him from morning to night.

How oft wou'd she open the door of his cage,
From which he enraptur'd wou'd fly,
And, perch'd on her hand, her attention engage,
While her lover unheeded stood by!

Yet oft, the ingrate wou'd for Liberty pine,
As he saw from her window the grove;
And oft wou'd he wish his companions to join,
Again thro' the woodlands to rove.

Unrestrain'd by his Mistress, one Midsummer morn,
When Phoebus illumin'd the east,
He flew to some birds, who were perch'd on a thorn,
And forsook his wont seat on her breast.

"Ungrateful deserter!" cry'd Celia, "away,
"And meet the reward of your crime;
"For shou'd you escape the keen sportsman's survey,
"You'll die of Repentance in time.

"But ah! his departure I ever shall mourn,
"He was all that was charming and sweet;
"And shou'd the dear fugitive once more return,
"He shall still greater tenderness meet:

"But vain the suggestion!—for tho' he may fly,
"More quick from a gun flies the shot;
"And, so num'rous the engines, prepar'd to destroy,
"That death is most surely his lot."

Thus, with direful forebodings, was Celia opprest,
His loss often cost her a tear;
While he, far away from his mistress and rest,
Silly bird!—found destruction was near.

From a net, which was artfully spread to ensnare,
He saw a poor bird get away,
And, at some little distance, a kite in the air,
Apparently, eager of prey:

In deep consternation, his monstrous beak,
With wonder a while he survey'd,
Rejoic'd to escape it;—but found his mistake,
By his former vain notions betray'd.

Said he to himself, in disconsolate strain,
"How happy, the state I regret!
"Cou'd I my fair mistress's fondness regain—
"That fondness I ne'er can forget:

"I again shou'd be fed by her delicate hand,
"As three times I was yesterday,
"When she strok'd my smooth feathers—and now here I stand,
"Neglected—to hunger a prey.

"Ah! Celia, your bosom with kindness replete,
"Has been cruelly stung by my flight,
"But I'll haste to return, and abjure at your feet
"My crime, and be blest with your sight."

He spoke—and, like light'ning, flew back to the spot,
Where his mistress receiv'd him with joy;
He is faithful, she loves him—thus happy his lot,
He'll never more venture to fly.

Like this simple Linnet, how oft may we see,
The fond youth, and the love-stricken maid,
From their parents embraces imprudently flee,
By false notions of freedom betray'd!

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