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They forc'd their way thro' draggled folks,
Who gap'd to catch jack-pudding's jokes;
Then took their tickets for the show,
And got by chance the foremost row.
To see their grave, observing face,
Provok'd a laugh through all the place.
Brother, says Pug, and turn'd his head,
The rabble 's monstrously ill-bred!
Now through the booth loud hisses ran;
Nor ended till the show began.
The tumbler whirls the flip-flap round,
With somersets he shakes the ground;
The cord beneath the dancer springs;
Aloft in air the vaulter swings;
Distorted now, now prone depends,
Now through his twisted arm ascends:
The crowd in wander and delight,
With clapping hands applaud the sight.
With smiles, quoth Pug, If pranks like these
The giant apes of reason please,
How would they wonder at our arts!
They must adore us for our parts.
High on the twig I 've seen you cling,
Play, twist, and turn in airy ring;
How can those clumsy things, like me,
Fly with a bound from tree to tree?
But yet, by this applause we find
These emulators of our kind
Discern our worth, our parts regard,
Who our mean mimics thus reward.
Brother, the grinning mate replies,
In this I grant that man is wise.
While good example they pursue,
We must allow some praise is due;
But when they strain beyond their guide,
I laugh to scorn the mimic pride;
For how fantastic is the sight,
To meet men always bolt upright,
Because we sometimes walk on two!
I hate the imitating crew.
§ 131. EABLE XLI. The Owl and the Farmer.
AN Owl of grave deport and mien,
Who (like the Turk) was seldom seen,
Within a barn had chose his station,
As fit for prey and contemplation.
Upon a beam aloft he sits,
And nods, and seems to think, by fits.
So have I seen a man of news
Or Post-boy or Gazette peruse;
Smoke, nod, and talk with voice profound,
And fix the fate of Europe round.
Sheaves pil'd on sheaves hid all the floor.
At dawn of niorn, to view his store,
The Farmer came. The hooting guest
His self-importance thus express'd:
Reason in man is mere pretence:
How weak, how shallow is his sense!
To treat with scorn the Bird of Night,
Declares his folly or his spite.
Then too, how partial is his praise!
The lark's, the linnet's chirping lays,
To his ill-judging ears are fine,"
And nightingales are all divine.
A JUGGLER long through all the town
§ 132 FABLE XLII. The Jugglers
Had rais'd his fortune and renown:
You'd think (so far his art transcends)
The devil at his fingers' ends.
Vice heard his fame, she read his bill;
Convinc'd of his inferior skill,
She sought his booth, and from the crowd
Defied the man of art aloud:
Is this then he so fam'd for slight?
Can this slow bungler cheat your sight?
Dares he with me dispute the prize?
I leave it to impartial eyes.
Provok'd, the Juggler cried, "Tis done;
In science I submit to none.
Thus said, the cups and balls he play'd,
By turns this here, that there, convey'd;
The cards, obedient to his words,
Are by a fillip turn'd to birds.
His little boxes change the grain;
Trick after trick deludes the train.
He shakes his bag, he shows all fair;
His fingers spread, and nothing there;.
Then bids it rain with showers of gold:
And now his iv'ry eggs are told;
But when from thence the hen he draws,
Amaz'd spectators hum applause.
Vice now stepp'd forth, and took the place With all the forms of his grimace.
This majic looking-glass she cries, (There, hand it round) will charm your eyes, Each eager eye the sight desir'd, And ev'ry man himself admir'd...
Next, to a senator addressing,
See this bank-note; observe the blessing,
Breathe on the bill. Heigh, pass! 'tis gone,
Upon his lips a padlock shone..
A second puff the magic broke;
The padlock vanish'd, and he spoke.
Twelve bottles rang'd upon the board,
All full, with heady liquor stor'd,
By clean conveyance disappear,
And now, two bloody swords are there.
A purse she to a thief expos'd;
At once his ready fingers clos'd.
opes his fist, the treasure 's fled; He sees a halter in its stead.
She bids ambition hold a wand;
He grasps a hatchet in his hand.
A box of charity she shows:
Blow here; and a churchwarden blows.
Tis vanish'd with conveyance neat,
And on the table sinokes a treat.
She shakes the dice, the board she knocks, And from all pockets fills her box.
She next a meagre rake address'd:
This picture see; her shape, her breast!
What youth, and what inviting eyes:
Hold her, and have her. With surprise.
His hand expos'd a box of pills,
And a loud laugh proclaim'd his ills.
A counter in a miser's hand
Grew twenty guineas at command.
She bids his heir the sum retain,
And 'tis a counter now again.
A guinea with her touch you see
Take ev'ry shape, but Charity:
And not one thing you saw, or drew,
But chang'd from what was first in view.
The Juggler now, in grief of heart,
With this submission own'd her art:
Can I such matchless slight withstand?
How practise hath improv'd your hand!
But now and then I cheat the throng;
You ev'ry day, and all day long.
$133. FABLE XLIII. The Council of Horses.
UPON a time, a neighing Steed,
Who graz'd among a num'rous breed,
With mutiny had fir'd the train,
And spread dissension through the plain.
On matters that concern'd the state
The council met in grand debate.
A Colt, whose eye-balls flam'd with ire,
Elate with strength and youthful fire,
In haste stepp'd forth before the rest,
And thus the list'ning throng address'd:
Good gods! how abject is our race,
Condemn'd to slav'ry and disgrace!
Shall we our servitude retain,
Because our sires have borne the chain?
Consider, friends, your strength and might;
Tis conquest to assert your right.
How cumbrous is the gilded coach!
The pride of man is our reproach.
Were we design'd for daily toil,
To drag the plough-share through the soil,
To sweat in harness through the road,
To groan beneath the carrier's load?
How feeble are the two-legg'd kind!
What force is in our nerves combin'd!
Shall then our nobler jaws submit -
To foam and champ the galling bit?
Shall haughty man my back bestride?
Shall the sharp spur provoke my side?
Forbid it, Heavens! Reject the rein;
Your shame, your infamy disdain,
Let him the lion first control,
And still the tiger's famish'd growl.
Let us, like them, our freedom claim,
And make his tremble at our name.
A gen'ral nod approv'd the cause, And all the circle neigh'd applause. When lo! with grave and solemn pace, A Steed advanc'd before the race; With age and long experience wise, Around he cast his thoughtful eyes; And to the murmurs of the train, Thus spoke the Nestor of the plain: When I had health and strength like you, The toils of servitude I knew; Now grateful man rewards my pains, And gives me all these wide domains. At will I crop the year's increase; My latter life is rest and peace. I graut, to man we lend our pains, And aid him to correct the plains: But doth not he divide the care, Through all the labors of the year How many thousand structures rise, To fence us from inclement skies! For us he bears the sultry day, And stores up all our winter's hay. He sows, he reaps the harvest's grain; We share the toil, and share the gain. Since ev'ry creature was decreed To aid each other's mutual need, Appease your discontented mind, And act the part by Heaven assign'd.
The tumult ceas'd. The Colt submitted; And, like his ancestors, was bitted.
$134. FABLE XLIV. The Hound and the Huntsman.
IMPERTINENCE at first is borne
With heedless slight, or smiles of scorn;
Teas'd into wrath, what patience bears
The noisy fool who perseveres??
The morning wakes, the Huntsman sounds,
At once rush forth the joyful hounds.
They seek the wood with eager pace;
Thro' bush, thro' brier, explore the chace.
Now, scatter'd wide, they try the plain,
And snuff the dewy turf in vain.
What care, what industry, what pains!
What universal silence reigns!
Ringwood, a dog of little fame, Young, pert, and ignorant of game, At once displays his babbling throat; The pack, regardless of the note, Pursue the scent; with louder strain He still persists to vex the train.
The Huntsman to the clamor flies;
The smacking lash he smartly plies.
His ribs all welk'd, with howling tone
The Puppy thus express'd his moan:
I know the music of my tongue “
Long since the pack with envy stung.
What will not spite? These bitter smarts
I owe to my superior parts.
When puppies prate, the Huntsman cried,
They show both ignorance and pride;
Fools may our scorn, not envy raise;
For envy is a kind of praise.
Had not thy forward noisy tongue
Proclaim'd thee always in the wrong,
Thou might'st have mingled with the rest,
And ne'er thy foolish noise confess'd.
But fools, to talking ever prone,
Are sure to make their follies known.
A village-cur, of snappish race,
The pertest Puppy of the place,
Imagin'd that his treble throat
Was blest with music's sweetest note;
In the mid road he basking lay,
The yelping nuisance of the way;
For not a creature pass'd along,
135. TABLE XLV. The Poet and the Rose. But had a sample of his song.
I HATE the man who builds his name
On ruins of another's fame.
Thus prudes by characters o'erthrown
Imagine that they raise their own.
Thus scribblers, covetous of praise,
Think slander can transplant the bays.
Beautics and bards have equal pride:
With both all rivals are decried.
Who praises Lesbia's eyes and feature,
Must call her sister awkward creature;
For the kind flattery's sure to charm,
When we some other nymph disarm..
As in the cool of early day
A Poct sought the sweets of May,
The garden's fragrant breath ascends,
And ev'ry stalk with odor bends.
A Rose he pluck'd, he gaz'd, admir'd,
Thus singing, as the Muse inspir'd:
Chloe's bosom grace a
How happy should I prove,
Might I supply that envied place
With never-fading love!
There, Phoenix-like, beneath her eye,
Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die!
Know, hapless flow'r, that thou shalt find
More fragrant roses there;
I see thy with'ring head reclin'd
With envy and despair!
One common fate we both must prove;
You die with envy, I with love.
Spare your comparisons, replied
An angry Rose who grew beside,
Of all mankind you should not flout us ;
What can a Poet do without us?
In ev'ry love-song roses bloom ;
We lend you color and perfume.
Does it to Chloe's charms conduce,
To found her praise on our abuse?
Must we, to flatter her, be made
To wither, envy, pine, and fade?
Soon as the trotting steed he hears,
He starts, he cocks his dapper ears;
Away he scours, assaults his hoof;
Now near him snarls, now barks aloof;
With shrill impertinence attends;
Nor leaves him till the village ends.
It chanc'd, upon his evil day,
A Pad came pacing down the way:
The cur, with never-ceasing tongue,
Upon the passing trav'ller sprung.
The Horse, from scorn provok'd to ire,
Flung backward: rolling in the mire
The Puppy howl'd, and bleeding lay;
The Pad in peace pursued his way.
A Shepherd's Dog, who saw the deed,
Detesting the vexatious breed,
Bespoke him thus: When coxcombs prate,
They kindle wrath, contempt, or hate;
Thy teasing tongue had judgement tied,
Thou had'st not like a Puppy died.
$137. FABLE XLVII. The Court of Death.
DEATH, on a solemn night of state,
In all his pomp of terror fate:
Th' attendants of his gloomy reign,
Diseases dire, a ghastly train!
Crowd the vast Court. With hollow tone,
A voice thus thunder'd from the throne;
This night our minister we name,
Let ev'ry servant speak his claim;
Merit shall bear this ebon wand. -
All, at the word, stretch'd forth their hand. ̧
Fever, with burning heat possest,
Advanc'd, and for the wand address'd:
I to the weekly bills appeal,
Let those express my fervent zeal ;
On ev'ry slight occasion near,
With violence I persevere.
Next Gout appears, with limping pace,
Pleads how he shifts from place to place;
From head to foot how swift he flies,
And ev'ry joint and sinew plies;
$136. FABLE XLVI. The Cur, the Horse, and Still working when he seems supprest—,
the Shepherd's Dog.
THE lad of all sufficient merit
With modesty ne'er damps his spirit;.
Presuming on his own deserts,
On all alike his tongue exerts;
His noisy jokes at random throws,
And pertly spatters friends and foes.
In wit and war the bully race
Contribute to their own disgrace.
Too late the forward youth shall find
That jokes are sometimes paid in kind;
Or, if they canker in the breast,
He makes a foe who makes a jest,
A most tenacious stubborn guest.
A haggard Spectre from the crew
Crawls forth, and thus asserts his due.
"Tis I who taint the sweetest joy,
And in the shape of Love destroy:
My shanks, sunk eyes, and noseless face,
Prove my pretention to the place.
Stone urg'd his ever-growing force;
And next Consumption's meagre corse,
With feeble voice that scarce was heard,
Broke with short coughs, his suit preferr'd:
Let none object my ling'ring way,
Again, like Fabius, by delay;
Fatigue and weaken ev'ry foe
By long attack secure, though slow.
Plague represents his rapid pow'r,
Who thinn'd a nation in an hour
it if t
All spoke their claim, and hop'd the wand.
Now expectation hush'd the band,
When thus the monarch from the throne:
Merit was ever modest known.
What, no Physician speaks his right?
None here! but fees their toils requite.
Let then Intemp'rance take the wand,
Who fills with gold their zealous hand.
You Fever, Gout, and all the rest,
Whom wary men as foes detest.
Forego your claim; no more pretend;
Intemp'rance is esteem'd a friend;
He shares their mirth, their social joys,
And as a courted guest destroys.
The charge on him inust justly fall,
Who finds employment for you all.
At this the Gard'ner's passion grows
From oaths and threats he fell to blows.
The stubborn brute the blows sustains,
Assaults his leg, and tears his veins..
Ah, foolish swain! too late you find,
That sties were for such friends design'd.
Homeward he limps with painful pace,
Reflecting thus on past disgrace.
Who cherishes a brutal mate
Shall mourn the folly soon or late.
§ 139. FABLE XLIX. The Man and the Flea.
WHETHER in earth, in air, or main,
Sure ev'ry thing alive is vain!
Does not the hawk all fowls surrey
As destin'd only for his prey?
And do not tyrants, prouder things,
Think men were born for slaves to kings?
When the crab views the pearly strands,
Or Tagus, bright with golden sands,
Or crawls beside the coral grove,
$138. FABLE XLVIII. The Gardener and the Hog. And hears the ocean roll above;
A GARDNER of peculiar tasteb
On a young Hog his favor plac'd, 10
Who fed not with the common herd;
His tray was to the hall preferr'd, boat
He wallow'd underneath the beard,
Or in his master's chamber snor'dal
Who fondly strok'd him ev'ry days quit
And taught him all the puppy's play..
Where'er he went, the grunting friend
Ne'er fail'd his pleasure to attend.
As on a time the loving pair
Walk'd forth to tend the garden's care,
The Master thus address'd the Swine:
My house, my garden, all is thine;
On turnips feast whene'er you please,
And riot in my beans and pease;
If the potatoe's taste delights,
Or the red carrot's sweet invites,
Indulge thy morn and ev'ning hours,
But let due care regard my flow'rs,
My tulips are my garden's pride,
What vast expence those beds supplied!
The Hog, by chance, one morning roam'd
Where with new ale the vessels foam'd:
He munches now the streaming grains;
Now with full swill the liquor drains..
Intoxicating fumes arise;
He reels, he rolls his winking eyes;
Then, stagg'ring, through the garden scours,
And treads down painted ranks of flow'rs.
With delving snout he turns the soil,
And cools his palate with the spoil.
The Master came, the ruin spied;
Villain, suspend thy rage! he cried:
Hast thou, thou most ungrateful sot!
My charge, my only charge forgot?
What, all my flow'rs! No more he said,
But gaz'd, and sigh'd, and hung his head.
The Hog with stutt'ring speech returns,
Explain, Sir, why your anger burns,
See there, untouch'd, your tulips strewn,
For I devour'd the roots alone.
Nature is too profuse, says he,
Who gave all these to pleasure me!
When bord'ring pinks and roses bloom,
And ev'ry garden breathes perfume;
When peaches glow with sunny dyes,
Like Laura's cheek when blushes rise;
When with huge figs the branches bend,
When clusters from the vine depend;
The snail looks round on flow'r and tree,
And cries, All these were made for me!
What dignity's in human nature!
Says Man, the most conceited creature,
As from a clift he cast his eyes,
And view'd the sea and arched skies:
The sun was sunk beneath the main ;
The moon and all the starry train,
Hung the vast vault of heaven. The Man
His contemplation thus began:
When I behold this glorious show,
Tis thus in friendship; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.
A Hare, who in a civil way
Complied with ev'ry thing, like GAY,
Was known by all the bestial train
Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain,
Her care was, never to offend;
And ev'ry creature was her friend.
As forth she went, at early dawn,
To taste the dew, besprinkled lawn,
Behind she hears the hunter's cries,
And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies:
She starts, she stops, she pants for breath;
She hears the near advance of death;
She doubles to mislead the hound,
And measures back her mazy round;
Till, fainting in the public way,
Half dead with fear she gasping lay.
What transport in her bosom grew,
When first the Horse appear'd in view!
Let me, says she, your back ascend,
And owe my safety to a friend.
You know my feet betray my flight:
To friendship ev'ry burthen's light.
The Horse replied, Poor honest Puss!
It grieves my heart to see thee thus:
Be comforted, relief is near;
For all your friends are in the rear,
She next the sately Bull implor'd,
And thus replied the mighty lord:
Since every beast alive can tell
That I sincerely wish you well,
I may, without offence, pretend
To take the freedom of a friend.
Love calls me hence; a fav'rite cow
Expects me near you barley-mow;
And when a lady's in the case,
Tou know all other things give place.
To leave you thus might seem unkind;
But see, the Goat is just behind.
The Goat remark'd her pulse was high,
Her languid head, her heavy eye;
My back, says he, may do you harm;
The Sheep 's at hand, and wool is warm.
The Sheep was feeble, and complain'd
His sides a load of wool sustain'd:
Said he was slow, confess'd his fears;
For hounds eat Sheep as well as Hares.
She now the trotting Calf address'd,
To save from death a friend distress'd.
Shall I, says he, of tender age,
In this important care engage?
Older and abler pass'd you by:
How strong are those! how weak am I!
Should I presume to bear you hence,
Those friends of mine may take offence.
Excuse me, then. You know my heart,
But dearest friends, alas! must part.
How shall we all lament! Adieu!
For, see, the hounds are just in view.
YOUNG'S NIGHT-THOUGHTS. $141. NIGHT I. Sleep. TIR'D Nature's sweet restorer, balmy Sleep! He, like the world, his ready visit pays
Where Fortune smiles; the wretched he for
Swift on his downy pinion flies from woe,
And lights on lids unsullied with a tear.
From short (as usual) and disturb'd repose
I wake: How happy they who wake no more!
Yet that were vain, if dreams infest the grave.
I wake, emerging from a sea of dreams
Tumultuous; where my wreck'd, desponding
From wave to wave of fancy'd misery
At random drove, her helm of reason lost :
Tho' now restor'd, 'tis only change of pain,
A bitter change; severer for severe :
The day too short for my distress! and night
Ev'n in the zenith of her dark domain,
Is sunshine, to the color of my fate.
NIGHT, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth
Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumb'ring world:
Silence, how dead! and darkness, how profound!
Norleye, nor list'ning ear an object finds;
Creation sleeps. "Tis as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and nature made a pause ;
An awful pause, prophetic of her end.
And let her prophecy be soon fulfill'd:
Fate! drop the curtain: I can lose no more.
$143. Invocation to Silence and Darkness. SILENCE and Darkness! solemn sisters! twins From antient Night, who nurse the tender thought
To reason, and on reason build resolve,
(That column of true majesty in man)
Assist me I will thank you in the grave;
The grave, your kingdom: There this frame
A victim sacred to your dreary shrine:
But what are ye? Thou who didst put to flight
Primeval Silence, when the morning stars
Exulting, shouted o'er the rising ball;
OThou! whose word from solid darkness struck
That spark, the sun; strike wisdom from my soul.
My soul which flies to thee, her trust, her treasure,
As misers to their gold, while others rest.
Thro' this opaque of nature, and of soul,
This double night, transmit one pitying ray,
To lighten and to chcer: O lead my mind,
(A mind that fain would wander from its woe)
Lead it thro' various scenes of Life and Death,
And from each scene, the noblest truths inspire
Nor less inspire my conduct than my song;
Nor let the vial of thy vengeance, pour'd
On this devoted head, be pour'd in vain.