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The cuckoo’s constitution’s cold1, she knows,
2Therefore unto a sparrow’s nest she goes,
Sucks up three eggs and in their room lays one,2
the indulgent bird3keeps as her own;
5And when the
gaping cuckoo4was grown great,
6I have seen the sparrow, trembling, bring her meat;
7But yet she nourished him still to her power
8’Til he, ungratefully, did her devour.
viper’s birth5makes their own
never see their sire8.
phalangies9gives three hundred birth
12Who instantly join all and stop her breath.
13But man is worse ’cause he should better be:
14Look back to former ages and you’ll see
15Children their old, sick parents have neglected;
Some Nero-like their mothers have dissected.10
17But why should we look back to former age
18When such impieties on this our stage
19Have acted been? All nations in
20For our deserved, expected vengeance gaze.
crimes12to such a magnitude do swell,
22They are (O horrid!) the forlorn of Hell.
23Then, O my gracious God, give me Thy grace
Although my sins Thy image do deface.13
25Yet from such horrid crimes preserve me so
26That love and gratefulness from me may flow.
27And ’til above Thy glorious face I see,
28Give me, dear God, eternal