Once in each revolving year,
Gentle bird! we find thee here.
When Nature wears her summer-vest,
Thou comest to weave thy simple nest;
But when the chilling winter lowers,
Again thou seek’st the genial bowers
Of Memphis, or the shores of Nile,
Where sunny hours for ever smile.
And thus thy pinion rests and roves, —
Alas! unlike the swarm of Loves
That brood within this hapless breast,
And never, never change their nest.
Still every year, and all the year,
They fix their fated dwelling here;
And some their infant plumage try,
And on the tender winglet fly;
While in the shell, impregn’d with fires,
Still lurk a thousand more desires;
Some from their tiny prisons peeping,
And some in formless embryo sleeping.
Thus peopled, like the vernal groves,
My breast resounds with warbling Loves;
One urchin imps the other’s feather,
Then twin-desires they wing together,
And fast as they thus take their flight,
Still other urchins spring to light.
But is there then no kindly art,
To chase these Cupids from my heart;
Ah, no! I fear, in sadness fear,
They will for ever nestle here!