William Cowper

26 November 1731 – 25 April 1800 / Hertfordshire

Epitaph On A Free But Tame Redbreast, A Favourite Of Miss Sally Hurdis

These are not dew-drops, these are tears,
And tears by Sally shed
For absent Robin, who she fears
With too much cause, is dead.

One morn he came not to her hand
As he was wont to come,
And, on her finger perched, to stand
Picking his breakfast-crumb.

Alarmed she called him, and perplext
She sought him, but in vain;
That day he came not, nor the next,
Nor ever came again.

She therefore raised him here a tomb,
Though where he fell, or how,
None knows, so secret was his doom,
Nor where he moulders now.

Had half a score of coxcombs died
In social Robin's stead,
Poor Sally's tears had soon been dried,
Or haply never shed.

But Bob was neither rudely bold
Nor spiritlessly tame,
Nor was, like theirs, his bosom cold,
But always in a flame.
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