Soft as the hand which guides the quill,
Is true affection’s magic skill;
With mingled touches, light and strong
The swift inscriber glides along:
Time may the fairest strokes efface,
But ever leaves a soften’d trace!
Soon bruis’d, neglected, and decay’d,
The Pen denies its ready aid;
But tho’ to silent dust consign’d,
It leaves its graceful print behind:
And thus tho’ buried Friendship sleeps,
The faithful heart its record keeps!
The Crow, to lovers constant still,
Lent from her wing this tender quill:
For once, as ancient tales proclaim,
Coronis was a tell-tale dame;
And oft her busy feathers prove
Too apt interpreters of love!
Ah! let my name remain untold!
The tell-tale would too much unfold!
For still, perhaps, with jealous care,
Apollo guards his fav’rite fair;
The Crow may yet his pow’r discover,
And once again betray your lover!
’Tis not a mighty change of nature
To give a crow’s shape to a prater;
And therefore ’twould no greatness show
To change a Lover to a Crow:
But ’tis of pow’r a wondrous use,
To lend a Crow’s quill to a Goose!