Away, and now observe it hides
Half of its perfect arch—now we
Scarce any part of it can see.
What is colour? If I were
A natural philosopher,
I would tell you what does make
This meteor every colour take:
But an unlearned eye may view
Nature’s rare sights, and love them too.
Whenever I a Rainbow see,
Each precious tint is dear to me;
For every colour find I there,
Which flowers, which fields, which ladies wear;
My favourite green, the grass’s hue,
And the fine deep violet-blue,
And the pretty pale blue-bell,
And the rose I love so well,
All the wondrous variations
Of the tulip, pinks, carnations,
This woodbine here both flower and leaf;—
’Tis a truth that’s past belief,
That every flower and every tree,
And every living thing we see,
Every face which we espy,
Every cheek and every eye,
In all their tints, in every shade,
Are from the Rainbow’s colours made.
THE FORCE OF HABIT
A little child, who had desired
To go and see the Park guns fired,
Was taken by his maid that way
Upon the next rejoicing day.
Soon as the unexpected stroke
Upon his tender organs broke,
Confus’d and stunn’d at the report,
He to her arms fled for support,
And begg’d to be convey’d at once
Out of the noise of those great guns,
Those naughty guns, whose only sound
Would kill (he said) without a wound:
So much of horror and offence
The shock had giv’n his infant sense.
Yet this was He in after days
Who fill’d the world with martial praise,
When from the English quarter-deck
His steady courage sway’d the wreck
Of hostile fleets, disturb’d no more
By all that vast conflicting roar,
That sky and sea did seem to tear,
When vessels whole blew up in air,
Than at the smallest breath that heaves,
When Zephyr hardly stirs the leaves.
Did I hear the church-clock a few minutes
I was ask’d, and I answer’d, I hardly did know,
But I thought that I heard it strike three.
Said my friend then, “The blessings we always possess
We know not the want of, and prize them the less;
The church-clock was no new sound to thee.
“A young woman, afflicted with deafness
By that sound you scarce heard, first perceiv’d she could hear;
I was near her, and saw the girl start
With such exquisite wonder, such feelings of pride,
A happiness almost to terror allied,
She shew’d the sound went to her heart.”
WHY NOT DO IT, SIR, TO-DAY?
“Why so I will, you
This very day I’ll advertise you,
Perhaps some busy ones may prize you.
A fine-tongu’d parrot as was ever heard,
I’ll word it thus—set forth all charms about you,
And say no family should be without you.”