On sportive pinions once I flew,
And rang'd the meadows round;
For me the peach and cherry grew,
No want, nor grief I found.
But short the date of pleasure is,
While sorrows long prevail.
Gone is the flattering scene of bliss--
Ah, hear my plaintive tale!
The fowler came with fatal art,
No friendly hand was nigh,
He pierc'd my bleeding lover's heart,
I saw him fall and die!
Deep in the bosom of a wood
I rear'd my chirping young;
For them I sought the sweetest food,
For them serenely sung.
A school boy saw the downy nest
Where all my treasure lay;
No pity touch'd his harden'd breast,
He stole my young away.
Of love and pleasure thus bereft
What can the wretched do?
What other refuge now is left?
For help I fly to you.
To you whose tender bosom knows
To feel for others' pain;
To whom the wretched tell their woes
Nor ever tell in vain.
By thy kind care and bounty fed
My griefs will lose their sting;
Again I'll raise my drooping head,
And plume my shatter'd wing.
Again I'll hail the rising day,
While pleasures round me throng;
And raise my sweetest notes, to pay
Thy bounties with my song.
New-York, Oct. 20, 1788.