Probationary Ode

Miss Flaxman

A Song of Sixpence!

Have you ne’er read in story old
Of birds two dozen (as ’tis told)
Who from the midst of pastry cold
Began to sing?
Like such a pie is yonder chest
Which all the summer like a nest
Has harbour’d may a timid guest
With untried wing.
Not blackbirds all, but birds more gay
The goldfinch and the well drest Jay,
And starling who can sing and say
In sportive mood.
The goddess with the eye of blue
Has sent her bird to sing too whoo!!
And gentle Philomela too
From the green-wood.
Just now they’re each as hoars as Daw
But come a little gently thaw
Then ope the Chest, the curtain draw
They’ll pipe with glee.
And this my neighbour Robin says
Shall be his son in Winter’s praise
While Ladies smile, and faggots blaze
And jokes go free!
Let others sing of vernal gales
Of Flowery meads and dewy vales
And tell their soft Arcadian tales
In grots and bowers.
Of other themes be mine the song
When days are short, and days long
And round the heart the merry throng
Beguile the hours
Then let the fire be trim and clear
Within that little circle dear
We’ll keep us warm
With us the Muse shall sit and sing,
And love perchance may stoop his wing
Our hearths to charm
Then open soon the Attic Pie
That some may sing and all may try
Do you not hear us doleful cry
“We can’t get out”
Oh give us liberty and light
And we will cheer each Attic Night
With sweetest song — ere yet our flight
We think about.
In hope that you will grant our pray’rs
We, late inhabitants of air
Wish health to every married fair
Of Attic Line.
And every single beau and belle
In sooth we wish them quite as well
Though Jenny Wren some tales will tell
Next Valentine!

Jenny Wren

Candidate for the Attic Laurel