The Phoenix Sent Cards

The Phoenix sent cards to the whole feather’d race
Inviting them all her assembly to grace
But Phoebus, well pleas’d such a bevy to win
Sent Mercury’s birdcage and lock’d them all in.

The soft Tuscan nightingale, blackbird and dove
Sat all in one corner like minstrels of love;
The porcupine could not find room for a quill,
But one little humming-bird push’d in her bill.

The fam’d Grecian pigeon, once Venus’s care,
And three sister-swans from Castalia were there,
With them in the conclave an eagle’s eye shone
Whose nest is where Phidias placed Jove on his throne.

Apollo exclaim’d — “Such a prize, I protest,
No bird fancier ever yet found in a chest;
Their pinions may furnish new plumes for Love’s wing
But who brought them all in one concert to sing?”

The Blackbird replied — “We are captives and dumb
Till Joy opes our cage and the Phoenix is come;
If now you would hear us our music write
Whisper three magic words — Attic Readings Tonight!

Dec 3d 1815