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1The ostrich, with her
gallant gaudy plumes1,
2In her great
wit2and courage so presumes
as with3wind and wing upright she’s borne,
and’s4valiant rider she doth scorn.
5But folly is
6For she her precious eggs in sand doth hide,
7Forgetting that the traveler’s foot may crush
Their tender shell6; nor doth she
care a rush7
9Though she her young do never see again.
10And thus she lays and labors all in vain,
11’Cause God hath understanding her denied.
12For love and wisdom never will reside
13With arrogance, for they are from above,
14From God, who is the fountain of all love.
15The ostrich than the cuckoo is far worse,
she doth only put her eggs to nurse8;
Hard is her meat9, but harder is her heart,
18That with her new laid
ovums10thus can part.
19Oh, my sad soul: this makes my heart e’en bleed!
20None but base English and
Ham’s curséd seed11
sell their children, ne’er to see them more12!
22Such barbarism all Christians must
23Cruel’s the ostrich: crueller their heart
24That with their
dear-bought14children thus can part,
Whenas15the stork her young do bear and feed,
Which they retaliate in age and need16—
27By which the noble reader plain may see
28That foolish creatures least indulgent be.
29Let parents then to
theirs17extend their love,
30Seeing natural affection’s from above.
31Then, gracious God, into my soul infuse
32Thy love and wisdom, that it may diffuse
33To all my children, great as well as less;
34Then, O my God, that love and wisdom bless.