I’ve watch’d th’ autumnal foliage falling sear,
And misty morns that speak November near;
November! dreary month by moot confess’d,
Save those invited as the Lord Mayor’s guest.
No damsel won by splendid fête or cheer,
Anticipated thy charms November drear;
No city maid to share the pompous feast, the least,
One whom luxurious pleasures please.
I mark the nestling leaf and clouded skies
To paint the scenes that mem’ry supplies;
When oft fair Ellen’s honor’d, welcome guest,
I shar’d the evenings of the Attic Chest.
Its pleasures still my woe worn heart possess,
And seem to render grief’s oppression less:
For friendship reign’d, where Genius gave the treat,
And female excellence in virtue great!
Altho’ the Attic Chest be lost to view
And to its charms I’ve bade a long adieu,
The faded leaf by rustling breezes tossed,
Shall whisper still not all of pleasure’s lost,
Tho’ exiled far from what the heart holds dear
The bliss remains of friendship most sincere.
When early sinks the orb of day
And hoary mists appear,
The Robin from imprison’d spray,
Sings sweetly Eve to cheer.
Confin’d but not unhappy he,
On crumbs and dainties fed,
Now warbles cheerful as when free,
He sought the Cotter’s shed.
Cold was that morn and chill the air,
No berry could he find,
The ruffled plume that spoke his care
Claim’d pity from mankind.
Protection ask’d, nor sought in vain
The Bird to Anna flew;
Regardless of the drizzling rain
Or Winter’s hoary dew.
Allur’d within the shelt’ring wires,
To taste the scatter’d treat,
Hunger the courage then inspires
A pris’ner’s fate to meet.
And Robin flutt’ring tried to find
A passport to the grove;
Till reconcil’d by friendship kind
No more is urg’d to rove.
E’en though th’ open’d door invited
In Spring’s warm day to roam,
The garden bounds his roving flights
The cage his cherish’d home.
Nor e’er will leave this friend for long,
Who kind protection gave;
But pass the life in grateful song,
Her pity tried to save.
And man may he not blush to see
Fidelity so true
His gratitude surpass’d by thee,
Whose heart ne’er int’rest knew.
When the pale moonbeam’s silv’ry ray,
Speaks evening’s silent hour,
The Robin’s soft harmonious lay,
Re-echoes in the bow’r.
And when the shades of night appear,
The dulcet note is heard,
Robin his lonely friend can cheer
Her lov’d domestic bird.
On pleasures pass’d shall mem’ry dwell,
E’en tho’ the world’s unkind
The heart may whisper all is well,
And give the peaceful mind.
And such the boon that mercy gives —
To others sorrow known,
The heart that feels for all that lives,
Finds solace for its own.