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"digence, but the pride of greatnefs; your labour was sport, and your reward was triumph, ease, plen66 ty and attendance."
"It is true," replied the Steed, "I was a fa"vourite; but what avails it to be the favourite of "caprice, avarice and barbarity? My tyrant was a "wretch, who had gained a confiderable fortune by
play, particularly by racing. I had won him many "large fums; but being at length excepted out of every match, as having no equal, he regarded even 66 my excellence with malignity, when it was no lon66 gee fubfervient to his intereft. Yet I ftill lived in "ease and plenty; and as he was able to fell even my pleasures, though my labour was become useless, "I had a feraglio in which there was a perpetual fuc"ceffion of new beauties. At last, however, another "competitor appeared: I enjoyed a new triumph by "anticipation; I rushed into the field, panting for the 66 conqueft; and the first heat I put my master in pof"feffion of the stakes, which amounted to ten thousand "pounds. The proprietor of the mare that I had dif"tanced, notwithstanding the difgrace, declared with great zeal, that she should run the next day against
any gelding in the world for double the fum: my "mafter immediately accepted the challenge, and told "him, that he would the next day produce a gelding "that should beat her: but what was my astonishment "and indignation, when I discovered that he most "cruelly and fraudulently intended to qualify me for "this match upon the spot; and to facrifice
at the very moment in which every nerve should be
* ftrained in his service!
"As I knew it would be in vain to refift, I suffered "myself to be bound: the operation was performed, "and I was inflantly mounted and spurred on to the goal. "Injured as I was, the love of glory was ftill fuperior 66 to the defire of revenge: I determined to die as I "had lived, without an equal; and having again won "the race, I funk down at a poft in an agony, which "foon after put an end to my life.""
When I had heard this horrid narrative, which indeed. I remembered to be true, I turned about in honest confufion, and blushed that I was a man. But my reflections were interrupted by the notes of a blackbird, who was finging the ftcry of his own fate with a melody that irrefiftably compelled my attention. By this gentle and harmonious being, I was not treated with equal contempt; he perceived that I liftened with curiofity, and interrupting his fong, "Stranger," fays he, "though I am, as thou feeft, in the fields of Elyfium,
yet my happiness is not complete; my mate is still "expofed to the miferies of mortality, and I am still "vulnerable in her. O! ftranger, to bribe thy friend"fhip, if peradventure it may reach my love, I will gratify the curiofity with which thy looks inquire "after me. I fell by the unprovoked enmity of man, "in that feafon when the dictates of nature are love. "But let not my cenfure be univerfal; for as the elegy which I fing, was written by a human being, evehuman being, is not deftitute of compaffion, nor "deaf to the language in which our joys and fears are "expreffed.” He then, after a fweet though fhort prelude, made the grove again echo with his fong.
The fun had chac'd the winter's fnow,
And kindly loos'd the froft-bound foil; The melting ftreams began to flow,
And plowmen urg'd their annual toif.
"Twas then amid the vernal throng,
O! fairest of the feather'd train, "For whom I fing, for whom I burn; "Attend with pity to my ftrain,
"And grant my love a kind return.
"See, fee, the winter's ftorms are flown, "And Zephyrs gently fan the air!
"Let us the genial influence own,
"Let us the vernal paftime share,
"The raven plumes his jetty wing,
"But trust me, love, the raven's wing
"With thee I'll prove the fweets of love,
"With thee divide the cares of life;
"No fonder husband in the grove,
"Nor none than thee a happier wife.
"I'll lead thee to the cleareft rill,
"Whofe ftreams among the pebbles stray; "There will we fit and fip our fill, "Or on the flow'ry border play.
"I'll guide thee to the thickest brake, Impervious to the school-boy's eyé : "For thee the plaster'd neft I'll make, "And on thy downy pinions lie,
"To get thee food I'll range the fields,
"And when my lovely mate would stray,
"When prompted by a mother's care
Thy warmth shall form th'imprison'd young,
"With thee the task I'll fondly fhare,
He ceas'd his fong. The melting dame
She felt, fhe own'd a mutual flame,
He led her to the nuptial bower,
And neftled closely to her fide,
Next morn he wak'd her with a fong"Arife! behold the new-born day! "The lark his martin peal has
rung; "Arife, my love, and come away!"
Togother through the fields they ftray'd,
But O! my muse with pain relates
A gunner met them in the vale.
Alarm'd, the lover cry'd," My dear,
At him the gunner took his aim ;
The aim he took was much too true;
O! had he chofe fome other game,
Divided pair! forgive the wrong,