eagle
Note from 'Visits Sheffield' chapter from 'Memoirs Of My Life And Writing' by Gibbon

A CARD OF INVITATION TO MR. GIBBON AT BRIGHT-HELMSTONE, 1781.

An English sparrow, pert and free,
Who chirps beneath his native tree,
Hearing the Roman eagle a near,
And feeling more respect than fear,
Thus, with united love and awe,
Invites him to his shed of straw.

Tho' he is but a twittering sparrow,
The field he hops in rather narrow,
When nobler plumes attract his view
He over pays them homage due,
He looks with reverential wonder,
On him whose talons bear the thunder;
Nor could the Jackdaws e'er inveigle
His voice to vilify the eagle,
Tho' issuing from the holy towers,
In which they build their warmest bowers,
Their sovereign's haunt they slyly search,
In hopes to catch him on his perch
(For Pindar says, beside his God
The thunder-bearing bird will nod),
Then, peeping round his still retreat,
They pick from underneath his feet
Some molted feather he lets fall,
And swear he cannot fly at all. —

Lord of the sky! whose pounce can tear
These croakers, that infest the air,
Trust him! the sparrow loves to sing
The praise of thy imperial wing!
He thinks thou'lt deem him, on his word,
An honest, though familiar bird;
And hopes thou soon wilt condescend
To look upon thy little friend;
That he may boast around his grove
A visit from the bird of Jove.

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