Liberty, and Love; or, the Two Sparrows

by William Somervile

William Somervile

A SPARROW and his mate,
(Believe me, gentle Kate!)
Once lov'd like I and you;
With mutual ardour join'd,
No turtles e'er so kind,
So constant and so true.

They hopp'd from spray to spray;
They bill'd, they chirp'd all day,
They cuddled close all night;
To bliss they wak'd each morn,
In every bush and thorn
Gay scenes of new delight.

At length the fowler came,
(The knave was much to blame)
And this dear pair trepann'd;
Both in one cage confin'd:
Why, faith and troth, 'twas kind;
Nay, hold—that must be scann'd.

Fair liberty thus gone,
And one coop'd up with one,
'Twas ankward, new, and strange;
For better and for worse,
O dismal, fatal curse!
No more abroad to range.

No carols now they sing,
Each droops his little wing,
And mourns his cruel fate:
Clouds on each brow appear;
My Honey and my Dear
Is now quite out of date.

They pine, lament, and moan;
'Twould melt an heart of stone
To hear their sad complaint:
Nor he supplied her wants,
Nor she refrain'd from taunts
That might provoke a saint.

Hard words improve to blows,
For now, grown mortal foes,
They peck, they scratch, they scream:
The cage lies on the floor,
The wires are stain'd with gore,
It swells into a stream.

Dear Kitty! would you know
The cause of all this woe,
It is not hard to guess;
Whatever does constrain
Turns pleasure into pain;
'Tis choice alone can bless.

When both no more are free,
Insipid I must be,
And you lose all your charms;
My smother'd passion dies,
A d even your bright eyes
Necessity disarms.

Then let us love, my fair!
But unconstrain'd as air
Each join a willing heart
Let free-born souls disdain
To wear a tyrant's chain,
And act a nobler part.

Last updated October 28, 2017