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I ask'd—'twas whisper'd, the device
To each or all might well belong;
It is the spirit of paradise
That prompts such work, a spirit strong,
That gives to all the self-fame bent
Where life is wise and innocent.


“Begone, thou fond presumptuous elf,"

Exclaimed a thundering voice,
“ Nor dare to thrust thy foolish felf

Between me and my choice!”
A falling Water, swollen with snows,
Thus spake to a poor Briar-rose,

That, all bespattered with his foam,
And dancing high and dancing low,
Was living, as a child might know,

In an unhappy home.

“ Dost thou presume my course to block?

Off, off! or, puny thing!
I'll hurl thee headlong with the rock

To which thy fibres cling."

The food was tyrannuus and strong ;
The patient Briar suffered long,

Nor did he utter groan or sigh,
Hoping the danger would be past :
But, seeing no relief, at last

He ventured to reply.

“ Ah !” said the Briar, “ blame me not;

Why should we dwell in strife ? We who in this, our natal spot,

Once lived a happy life! You stirred me on my rocky bed What pleasure through my veins you spread !

The Summer long, from day to day, My leaves you freshened and bedewed ; Nor was it common gratitude

That did your cares repay.

“ When Spring came on with bud and bell,

Among these rocks did I
Before you hang my wreaths, to tell

That gentle days were nigh!
And in the sultry Summer hours,
I sheltered you with leaves and flowers ;

And in my leaves—now shed and goneThe linnet lodged, and for us two Chaunted his pretty songs, when you

Had little voice, or none.

“But now proud thoughts are in your breast

What grief is mine you see.
Ah! would you think, even yet, how blest

Together we might be!
Though of both leaf and flower bereft,
Some ornaments to me are left-

Rich store of scarlet hips is mine,
With which I, in my humble way,
Would deck you many a Winter's day,

A happy Eglantine !”

What more he said I cannot tell,
The Torrent thundered down the dell

With unabating haste;
I listened, nor aught else could hear ;
The Briar quaked—and much I fear

Those accents were his last.

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