[Page 337]

[Translation] 2. THE JACK DAW.

1 THERE is a bird who by his coat,
2 And by the hoarseness of his note,
3 Might be suppós'd a crow;
4 A great frequenter of the church,
5 Where bishop-like he finds a perch,
6 And dormitory too.
7 Above the steeple shines a plate,
8 That turns and turns, to indicate
9 From what point blows the weather;
10 Look up your brains begin to swim,
11 'Tis in the clouds that pleases him,
12 He chooses it the rather.
[Page 338]
13 Fond of the speculative height,
14 Thither he wings his airy flight,
15 And thence securely sees
16 The bustle and the raree-show
17 That occupy mankind below,
18 Secure and at his ease.
19 You think no doubt he sits and muses
20 On future broken bones and bruises,
21 If he should chance to fall;
22 No not a single thought like that
23 Employs his philosophic pate,
24 Or troubles it at all.
25 He sees that this great roundabout
26 The world, with all its motley rout,
27 Church, army, physic, law,
28 Its customs and its businesses
29 Are no concern at all of his,
30 And says, what says he? Caw.
[Page 339]
31 Thrice happy bird! I too have seen
32 Much of the vanities of men,
33 And sick of having seen e'm,
34 Would chearfully these limbs resign
35 For such a pair of wings as thine,
36 And such a head between 'em.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): [Translation] 2. THE JACK DAW.
Author: Vincent Bourne; William Cowper (translator)
Themes: animals
Genres: translation

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Source edition

Cowper, William, 1731-1800. Poems: by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. London: printed for J. Johnson, 1782, pp. 337-339. [4],367,[1]p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T14895; OTA K027775.000) (Page images digitized by the University of California Libraries.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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