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Your fchool! I ask your pardon, Fair;
I'm fure you'll find no fparrow there.
Now to my tale-One fummer's morn
A Bee rang'd o'er the verdant lawn ;
Studious to husband ev'ry hour,
And make the most of ev'ry How'r.
Nimble from ftalk to talk the flies,
And loads with yellow wax her thighs;
With which the artift builds her comb,
And keeps all tight and warm at home:
Or from the cowflip's golden bells
Sucks honey, to enrich her cells:
Or ev'ry tempting role pursues,
Or fips the lily's fragrant dews;
Yet never robs the thining bloom
Or of its beauty or perfume.
Thus fhe difcharg'd in ev'ry way
The various duties of the day.
It chanc'd a frugal Ant was near,
Whofe brow was wrinkled o'er by care:
A great œconomist was the,
Nor lefs laborious than the Bee;
By penfive parents often taught
What ills arife from want of thought;
That poverty on floth depends;
On poverty the lofs of friends;
Hence ev'ry day the Ant is found
With anxious iteps to tread the ground;
With curious fearch to trace the grain,
And drag the heavy load with pain.
The active Bee with pleafure faw
The Ant fulfil her parent's law.
Ah! fifter labourer, fays the,
How very fortunate are we !
Who, taught in infancy to know
The comforts which from labour flow,
Are independent of the great,
Nor know the wants of pride and state.
Why is our food so very sweet?
Because we earn before we cat.
Why are our wants fo very few?
Because we nature's calls purfue.
Whence our complacency of mind?
Because we act our parts affign'd.
Have we inceffant tasks to do?
Is not all nature busy too?
Doth not the fun, with conftant pace,
Perfift to run his annual race?
Do not the ftars, which thine fo bright,
Renew their courfes ev'ry night?
Doth not the ox obedient bow
His patient neck, and draw the plough?
Or when did e'er the gen'rous steed
Withhold his labour or his fpced?
If you all nature's fyftem fcan,
The only idle thing is man.
A wanton Sparrow long'd to hear
Their fage difcourfe, and ftraight drew near.
The bird was talkative and loud,
And very pert and very proud;
As worthlefs and as vain a thing,
Perhaps, as ever wore a wing.
She found, as on a fpray the fat,
The little friends were deep in chat;
That virtue was their fav'rite theme,
And toil and probity their scheme :
Such talk was hateful to her breast;
She thought them arrant prudes at best.
When to display her naughty mind,
Hunger with cruelty combin'd,
She view'd the Ant with favage eyes,
And hopp'd and hopp'd to snatch her prize.
The Bee, who watch'd her op'ning bill,
And guefs'd her fell defign to kill,
Alk'd her from what her anger rose,
And why the treated Ants as foes?
The Sparrow her reply began,
And thus the converfation ran :
Whenever I'm difpos'd to dine,
I think the whole creation mine;
That I'm a bird of high degree,
And ev'ry infect made for me.
Hence oft I fearch the emmet-brood
(For emmets are delicious food),
And oft, in wantonnefs and play,
I flay ten thousand in a day.
For truth it is, without difguife,
That I love mifchief as my eyes.
Oh! fie! the honeft Bee replied,
I fear you make bafe men your guide;
Of ev'ry creature fure the worst,
Though in creation's fcale the first!
Ungrateful man! 'tis ftrange he thrives,
Who burns the Bees to rob their hives!
I hate his vile administration,
And fo do all the emmet nation.
What fatal fees to birds are men,
Quite to the Eagle from the Wren !
O do not men's example take,
Who mifchief do for mischief's fake;
But fpare the Ant-her worth demands
Efteen and friendship at your hands.
A mind with ev'ry virtue bleft,
Muft raife compaffion in your breast.
Virtue! rejoin'd the fneering bird,
Where did you learn that Gothic word?
Since I was hatch'd, I never hear'd
That virtue was at all rever'd.
But fay it was the ancients' claim,
Yet moderns difavow the name;
Unlefs, my dear, you read romances,
I cannot reconcile your fancies.
Virtue in fairy tales is feen
To play the goddess or the queen;
But what's a queen without the pow'r
Or beauty, child, without a dow'r?
Yet this is all that virtue brags,
At beft 'tis only worth in rags.
Such whims my very heart derides:
Indeed you make me burft my fides.
Truft me, Mifs Bee-to speak the truth,
I've copied men from earliest youth;
The fame our tafte, the fame our school,
Paffion and appetite our rule;
And call me bird, or call me finner,
I'll ne'er forego my fport or dinner.
A prowling cat the mifcreant fpies,
And wide expands her amber eyes:
Near and more near Grimalkin draws; She wags her tail, protends her paws; Then, fpringing on her thoughtless prey, She bore the vicious bird away.
Thus, in her cruelty and pride, The wicked wanton Sparrow died.
8331. The Bears and Bees. MERRICK. AS two young Bears in wanton mood,
Forth fluing from a neighb'ring wood,
Came where th' induftrious Bees had ftor'd
In artful cells their lufcious hoard;
O'erjoy'd they feiz'd with eager hafte
Luxurious on the rich repaft.
Alarm'd at this, the little, crew
About their ears vindictive flew.
The beafts, unable to sustain
Th' unequal combat, quit the plain;
Half blind with rage, and mad with pain,
Their native shelter they regain;
There fit, and now, difcreeter grown,
Too late their rafhnefs they bemoan;
And this by dear experience gain,
That plea fure 's ever bought with pain.
So when the gilded baits of vice
Are plac'd before our longing eyes,
With greedy hafte we fnatch our fill,
And fwallow down the latent ill;
But when experience opes our eyes,
Away the fancy'd pleasure flies:
It flies, but oh! too late we find
It leaves a real fting behind.
$332. The Camelion. MERRICK, FT has it been my lot to mark A proud conceited talking fpark, With eyes, that hardly ferv'd at most To guard their master 'gainst a post; Yet round the world the blade has been, To fee whatever could be feen: Returning from his finish'd tour, Grown ten times perter than before; Whatever word you chance to drop, The travell'd fool your mouth will stop: "Sir, if my judgment you'll allow"I've feen-and fure I ought to know"So begs you'd pay a due fubmiffion, And acquiefce in his decifion.
Two travellers of fuch a cast, As o'er Arabia's wilds they país'd, And on their way in friendly chat Now talk'd of this, and then of that, Difcours'd a while, morgft other matter, Of the Camelion's form and nature. "A ftranger animal," cries one, "Sure never liv'd beneath the fun : "A lizard's body, lean and long, "A fifh's head, a ferpent's tongue; "Its foot with triple claw disjoin'd; "And what a length of tail behind! "How flow its pace! and then its hue→ "Who ever faw fo fine a blue?"
'Hold there,' the other quick replies, ''Tis green,-I faw it with thefe eyes,
As late with open mouth it lay, And warm'd it in the funny ray; Stretch'd at its cafe the beaft I view'd, And faw it eat the air for food.' "I've feen it, Sir, as well as you, "And muft again affirm it blue. "At leifure I the beaft furvey'd, "Extended in the cooling fhade."
'Tis green, 'tis green, Sir, I affure ye.'"Green!" cries the other in a fury
Why, Sir, d' ye think I've loft my eyes?"
'Twere no great lofs,' the friend replies,
For, if they always ferve you thus,
You'll find them but of little ufe.'
So high at last the conteft rofe,
From words they almoft came to blows:
When luckily came by a third-
To him the question they referr'd;
And begg'd he 'd tell 'em, if he knew
Whether the thing was green or blue.
"Sirs," cries the umpire, "ceafe your pother, "The creature 's neither one nor t'other: "I caught the animal last night, "And view'd it o'er by candle-light: "I mark'd it well-twas black as jet"You ftare-but, Sirs, I 've got it yet, "And can produce it." 'Pray, Sir, do: I'll lay my life, the thing is blue.' "And I'll be fworn, that when you 've seen "The reptile, you'll pronounce him green." 6 Well then, at once, to eafe the doubt,' Replies the man, I'll turn him out: And when before your eyes I've fet him, If you don't find him black, I'll eat him." He faid; then full before their fight Produc'd the beaft, and lo-'twas white. Both ftar'd; the man look'd wondrous wifeMy children," the Camelion cries (Then firft the creature found a tongue), You all are right, and all are wrong: "When next you talk of what you view, "Think others fee as well as you : "Nor wonder, if you find that none "Prefers your eye-fight to his own."
§ 333 The Monkeys. A Tale. MERRICK,
WHOE'ER, with curious eye, has rang'd
Through Ovid's tales, has seen
How Jove, incens'd, to Monkeys chang'd
A tribe of worthless men.
Repentant foon, th' offending race
Entreat the injur'd pow'r
To give them back the human face,
And reaton's aid reftore.
Jove, footh'd at length, his ear inclin'd,
And granted half their pray'r;
But t'other half he bade the wind
Difperfe in empty air.
Scarce had the thund'rer giv'n the nod
That hook the vaulted fkies,
With haughtier air the creatures ftrode,
And ftretch'd their dwindled fize.
The hair in curls luxuriant now
Around their temples fpread;
The tail, that whilom hung below,
Now dangled from the head.
The head remains unchang'd within,
Nor alter'd much the face;
It still retains its native grin,
And all its old grimace.
Thus half transform'd, and half the fame,
Jove bade them take their place
(Reftoring them their ancient claim)
Among the human race.
Man with contempt the brute furvey'd,
Nor would a name bestow;
But woman lik'd the motley breed,
And call'd the thing a beau.
§ 334. Know Thyself. ARBUTHNOT. WHAT am I? how produc'd? and for what
Whence drew I being to what period tend?
Am I th' abandon'd orphan of blind chance,
Dropp'd by wild atoms in diforder'd dance?
Or from an endlefs chain of caufes wrought,
And of unthinking fubftance, born with thought?
By motion which began without a cause,
Supremely wife, without defign or laws?
Am I but what I feem, mere flesh and blood?
A branching channel, with a mazy flood?
The purple stream that through my veffels glides,
Dull and unconscious flows, like common tides;
The pipes through which the circling juices ftray,
Are not that thinking I, no more than they :
This frame, compacted with tranfcendant ikill
Of moving joints obedient to my will,
Nurs'd from the fruitful glebe, like yonder tree,
Waxes and waftes; I call it mine, not me.
New matter ftill the mould ring mafs fuftains;
The manfion chang'd, the tenant ftill remains,
And from the fleeting ftream, repair'd by food,
Diftinét, as is the fwimmer from the flood.
What am I then fure of a noble birth;
By parent's right, I own as mother, Earth;
But claim fuperior lineage by my fire,
Who warm'd th' unthinking clod with heavenly
Filence divine, with lifelefs clay allay'd, [fire,
By double nature, double instinct sway'd:
With look erect, I dart my longing eye,
Seem wing'd to part, and gain my native sky;
I ftrive to mount, but ftrive, alas! in vain,
Tied to this maffy globe with magic chain.
Now with fwift thought I range from pole to pole,
View worlds around their flaming centres roll:
What fteady pow'rs their endless motions guide
Through the fame tracklefs paths of boundless
I trace the blazing comet's fiery tail,
And weigh the whirling planets in a scale;
Thefe godlike thoughts while eager I pursue,
Some glitt ring trifle offer'd to my view,
A gnat, an infect of the meaneft kind,
Erafe the new-born image from my mind:
Some beaftly want, craving, importunate,
Vile as the grinning maftiff at my gate,
Calls off from heavenly truth this reas'ning me,
And tells me I'm a brute as much as he.
If, on fublimer wings of love and praife,
My foul above the ftarry vault I raife,
Lur'd by fome vain conceit, or fhameful luft,
I flag, I drop, and flutter in the duft.
The tow'ring lark thus, from her lofty strain,
Stoops to an emmet, or a barley grain.
By adverfe gulls of jarring inftincts toft,
I rove to one, now to the other coaft;
To blifs unknown my lofty foul afpires,
My lot unequal to my vaft defires.
As 'mongst the hinds a child of royal birth
Finds his high pedigree by confcious worth;
So man, amongst his fellow brutes expos'd,
Sees he 's a king, but 'tis a king depos'd.
Pity him, beafts! you by no law confin'd,
And barr'd from devious paths by being blind;
Whilft man, through op'ning views of various
Confounded, by the aid of knowledge ftrays;
Too weak to choofe, yet choofing ftill in hafte,
One moment gives the pleafure and distaste;
Bilk'd by paft minutes, while the prefent cloy,
The flatt'ring future ftill must give the joy :
Not happy, but amus'd upon the road,
And (like you) thoughtlefs of his laft abode,
Whether next fun his being shall restrain
To endless nothing, happincfs, or pain.
Around me, lo! the thinking thoughtless crew
(Bewilder'd each) their diff'rent paths pui fue;
Of them I afk the way; the first replies,
Thou art a god; and fends me to the skies:
Down on the turf, the next, two two-legg'd beaft,
There fix thy lot, thy blifs and endless reft:
Between thefe wide extremes the length is fuch,
I find I know too little or too much.
Alinighty Pow'r, by whose most wife command,
Helplefs, forlorn, uncertain here I ftand; Take this faint glimm'ring of thy felf away," Or break into my foul with perfect day!' This faid, expanded lay the facred text, The balm, the light, the guide of fouls perplex'd. Thus the benighted traveller, that strays Through doubtful paths, enjoys the morning
The nightly mift, and thick defcending dew,
Parting, unfold the fields and vaulted blue.
O Truth divine! enlighten'd by thy ray,
I grope and guefs no more, but fee my way;
Thou clear'dit the fecret of my high defcent,
And told 'ft me what thofe myftic tokens meant ;
Marks of my birth, which I had worn in vain,
Too hard for worldly fages to explain.
Zeno's were vain, vain Epicurus' fchemes,
Their fyftems falfe, delufive were their dreams;
Unfkill'd my twofold nature to divide,
One nurs'd my pleasure, and one nurs'd my pride; Thofe jarring truths which human art beguile, Thy facred page thus bids me reconcile.' Offspring of God, no lefs thy pedigree, [be, What thou once wert, art now, and ftill may Thy God alone can tell, alone decree ;
Fanliefs thou dropp'dft from his unerring fkill, With the bare pow'r to fin, fince free of will: Yet charge not with thy guilt his bounteous love, For who has pow'r to walk has pow'r to rove: Who acts by force impell'd can nought deferve; And wifdom fhort of infinite may fwerve. Borne on thy new-imp'd wings, thou took'st thy Left thy Creator, and the realms of light; [flight, Dildain'd his gentle precept to fulfil, And thought to grow a god by doing ill: Though by foul guilt thy heav'nly form defac'd, In nature chang'd, from happy mansions chas'd, Thou ftill retain ft fome fparks of heavenly fire, Too faint to mount, yet reftlefs to afpire; Angel enough to seek thy blifs again, And brute enough to make thy fearch in vain. The creatures now withdraw their kindly use, Some fly thee, fome torment, and fome feduce; Repaft ill-fuited to fuch diff'rent guests, For what thy fenfe defires, thy foul distastes; Thy luft, thy curiofity, thy pride, Curb'd or indulg'd, or baulk'd, or gratified, Rage on, and make thee equally unblefs'd [fefs'd. In what thou want it, and what thou haft pofIn vain thou hop'ft for blifs on this poor clod; Return and feek thy Father and thy God; Yet think not to regain thy native fky, Borne on the wings of vain philofophy! Mysterious paffage! hid from human eyes; Soaring you'll fink, and finking you will rife : Let humble thoughts thy wary footsteps guide; Repair by meeknefs what you loft by pride.
$335. Leons of Wisdom. ARMSTRONG, HOW to live happieft; how avoid the pains,
The difappointments, and difgufts of those Who would in pleafure all their hours employ; The precepts here of a divine old man
I could recite. Tho' old, he still retain'd
His manly fenfe, and energy of mind.
Virtuous and wife he was, but not fevere;
He ftill remember'd that he once was young;
His eafy prefence check'd no decent joy.
Him even the diffolute admir'd; for he
A graceful loofenefs when he pleas'd put on,
And laughing could inftruct. Much had he read,
Much more had feen; he ftudied from the life,
And in th' original perus'd mankind.
Vers'd in the woes and vanities of life,
He pitied man; and much he pitied thofe
Whom falfely-fmiling fate has curs'd with means
To diffipate their days in queft of joy.
Our aim is happinefs: 'tis yours, 'tis mine,
He faid, 'tis the purfuit of all that live;
Yet few attain it, if 'twas e'er attain'd.
But they the wideft wander from the mark,
Who thro' the flow'ry paths of faunt'ring Joy
Seek this coy goddefs; that from ftage to stage
Invites us ftill, but fhifts as we purfue.
For, not to name the pains that pleasure brings
To counterpoife itfelf, relentlefs Fate
Forbids that we thro' gay voluptuous wilds
Our narrow luxuries would foon be stale.
Were thefe exhauftlefs, Nature would grow fick,
And, cloy'd with pleafure, fqueamishly complain
That all was vanity, and life a dream.
Let nature reft: be buty for yourself,
And for your friend; be bufy even in vain,
Rather than tease her fated appetites.
Who never fafts, no banquet e'er enjoys;
Who never toils or watches, never fleeps.
Let nature reft: and when the taste of joy
Grows keen, indulge; but fhun fatiety.
'Tis not for mortals always to be bleft.
But him the leaft the dull or painful hours
Of life opprefs, whom fober Senfe conducts,
And Virtue, thro' this labyrinth we tread.
Virtue and Senfe I mean not to disjoin;
Virtue and Senfe are one: and, truft me, he
Who has not virtue, is not truly wife.
Virtue (for mere Good-nature is a fool)
Is fenfe and fpirit, with humanity:
'Tis fometimes angry, and its frown confounds;
'Tis ev'n vindictive, but in vengeance juft.
Knaves fain would laugh at it; fome great ones
But at his heart the moft undaunted fon [dare;
Of fortune dreads its name and awful charms.
To nobleft ufes this determines wealth:
This is the folid pomp of profperous days,
The peace and fhelter of adverfity.
And if you pant for glory, build your fame
On this foundation, which the fecret fhock
Defies of Envy and all-fapping Time.
The gaudy glofs of Fortune only ftrikes
The vulgar eye: the fuffrage of the wife,
The praife that 's worth ambition, is attain'd
By fenfe alone and dignity of mind.
Virtue, the ftrength and beauty of the foul,
Is the best gift of Heaven: a happiness
That even above the fmiles and frowns of fate
Exalts great Nature's favourites: a wealth
That ne'er encumbers, nor to baser hands
Can be transferr'd: it is the only good
Man juftly boafts of, or can call his own.
Riches are oft by guilt and bafenefs earn'd;
Or dealt by chance to fhield a lucky knave,
Or throw a cruel funfhine on a fool,
But for one end, one much-neglected use,
Are riches worth your care (for Nature's wants
Are few, and without opulence fupplied)→
This noble end is, to produce the Soul,
To fhew the virtues in their faireft light;
To make Humanity the minifter
Of bounteous Providence; and teach the breaft
That generous luxury the Gods enjoy.-
Thus, in his graver vein, the friendly Sage
Sometimes declaim'd. Of right and wrong he
Truths as refin'd as ever Athens heard; [taught
And (ftrange to tell!) he practis'd what he preach'd.
$336. The Pain arifing from virtuous Emotions attended with Pleafure. AKENSIDE. BEHOLD the ways
Of Heaven's eternal deftiny to man,
Should ever roam: and were the Fates more kind, For ever juft, benevolent and wife;
That Virtue's awful steps, howe'er pursued
By vexing Fortune and intrufive Pain,
Should never be divided from her chaste,
Her fair attendant, Pleafure. Need I urge
Thy tardy thought through all the various round
Of this exiftence, that thy foft'ning foul
At length may learn what energy the hand
Of Virtue mingles in the bitter tide
Of paffion fwelling with diftrefs and pain,
To mitigate the fharp with gracious drops
Of cordial Pleafure? Afk the faithful youth,
Why the cold urn of her whom long he lov'd
So often fills his arms; fo often draws
His lonely footsteps, at the filent hour,
To pay the mournful tribute of his tears?
O! he will tell thee, that the wealth of worlds
Should ne'er feduce his bofom to forego
That facred hour, when, ftealing from the noife
Of care and envy, fweet remembrance fooths
With virtue's kindeft looks his aching breaft,
And turns his tears to rapture.-Afk the crowd
Which flies impatient from the village-walk
To climb the neighb'ring cliffs, when far below
The cruel winds have hurl'd upon the coaft
Some hapless bark; while facred pity melts
The gen'ral eye, or terror's icy hand
Smites their diftorted limbs and horrent hair;
While every mother clofer to her breast
Of regal envy, ftrew the public way
With hallow'd ruins !-when the mufe's haunt,
The marble porch where wildom, wont to talk
With Socrates or Tully, hears no more,
Save the hoarfe jargon of contentious monks,
Or female fuperftition's midnight pray'r;-
When ruthless rapine from the hand of Time
Tears the deftroying fcythe, with furer blow
To fweep the works of glory from their base;
Till defolation o'er the grafs-grown street
Expands his raven-wings, and up the wall,
Where fenates once the pride of monarchs doom'd,
Hiffes the gliding fnake thro' hoary weeds
That clafp the mould'ring column;-thus defac'd,
Thus widely mournful when the prospect thrills
Thy beating bofom, when the patriot's tear
Starts from thine eye, and thy extended arm
In fancy hurls the thunderbolt of Jove
To fire the impious wreath on Philip's brow,
Or dash Octavius from the trophied car;-
Say, does thy fecret foul repine to tafte
The big diftrefs? Or wouldft thou then exchange
Thofe heart-ennobling forrows, for the lot
Of him who fits amid the gaudy herd
Of mute barbarians bending to his nod,
And bears aloft his gold-invefted front,
And fays within himfelf, "I am a king,
"And wherefore fhould the clam'rous voice of
Of thefe late ages, this inglorious draught
Of fervitude and folly, have not yet,
Blefs'd be th' Eternal Ruler of the world!
Defii'd to fuch a depth of fordid shame
The native honours of the human foul,
Nor fo effac'd the image of its fire.
$337. A Paraphrafe on Pfalm Ixxiv. 16, 17.
The day is thine, the night alfo is thine; thou haft prepared the light
Thou haft fet all the borders of the earth; thou halt made fummet
Y God! all nature owns thy fway,
Catches her child, and, pointing where the waves" Intrude upon mine ear?" The baleful dregs
Foam through the fhatter'd veffel, fhricks aloud,
As one poor wretch, that spreads his piteous arms
For fuccour, fwallow'd by the roaring furge,
As now another, dash'd against the rock,
Drops lifeless down. O deemeft thou indeed
No kind endearment here by nature giv'n
To mutual terror and compaffion's tears?
No fweetly-melting foftnefs which attracts,
O'er all that edge of pain, the focial pow'rs
To this their proper action and their end?—
Afk thy own heart; when at the midnight hour,
Slow through that ftudious gloom thy paufing eye
Led by the glimm'ring taper moves around
The facred volumes of the dead, the fongs
Of Grecian bards, and records writ by Fame
For Grecian heroes, where the prefent pow'r
Of heaven and earth furveys th' immortal page,
E'en as a father bleffing, while he reads
The praifes of his fon, if then thy foul,
Spurning the yoke of these inglorious days,
Mix in their deeds and kindle with their flame:
Say, when the prospect blackens on thy view;
When, rooted from the bafe, heroic states
Mourn in the duft and tremble at the frown
Of curs'd Ambition;-when the pious band
Of youths that fought for freedom and their fires,
Lie fide by fide in gore ;-when ruffian-pride
Ufurps the throne of juftice, turns the pomp
Of public pow'r, the majefty of rule,
The fword, the laurel, and the purple robe,
To flavish empty pageants, to adorn
A tyrant's walk, and glitter in the eyes
Thou giv'ft the night, and thou the day!
When all thy lov'd creation wakes,
When morning, rich in luftre, breaks,
And bathes in dew the op'ning flower,
To thee we owe her fragrant hour;
And when the pours her choral fong,
Her melodies to thee belong!
Or when, in paler tints array'd,
The evening flowly fpreads her fhade;
That foothing fhade, that grateful gloom,
Can more than day's eniiv'ning bloom
Still ev'ry fond and vain defire,
And calmer, purer thoughts infpire;
From earth the penfive fpirit free,
And lead the foften'd heart to Thee.
In ev'ry fcene thy hands have drefs'd,
In ev'ry form by thee imprefs'd,
Upon the mountain's awful head,
Of fuch as bow the knee;-when honour'd urns Or where the thelt'ring woods are spread;
Of patriots and of chiefs, the awful bust
And ftoried arch, to glut the coward race
in ev'ry note that fwells the gale,
Or tuneful ftream that cheers the vale,