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Now, fcatter'd wide, they try the plain,
And fnuff the dewy turf in vain.
What care, what induftry, what pains!
What univerfal filence reigns!
Ringwood, a Dog of little fame,
Young, pert, and ignorant of game,
At once difplays his babbling throat;
The pack, regardless of the note,
Purfue the fcent; with louder ftrain
He still perfifts to vex the train.
The Huntinan to the clamour flies; The finacking lafh he fmartly plies. His ribs all welk'd, with howling tone The Puppy thus exprefs'd his moan:
I know the music of my tongue Long fince the pack with envy ftung. What will not fpite? Thefe bitter fmarts I owe to my fuperior parts.
When puppies prate, the Huntfinan cry'd,
They fhew both ignorance and pride :
Fools may our fcorn, not envy raife;
For envy is a kind of praise.
Had not thy forward noify tongue
Proclaim'd thee always in the wrong,
Thou might'ft have mingl'd with the reft,
And ne'er thy foolish noise confeft:
But fools, to talking ever prone,
Are fure to make their follies known.
§ 180. Fable XLV. The Poet and the Rofe. 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 fcribblers, covetous of praife,
Think flander can tranfplant the bays.
Beauties and bards have equal pride;
With both all rivals are decry'd.
Who praises Lefbia's eyes and feature,
Muft call her fifter awkward creature ;
For the kind flatt'ry's fure to charm,
When we fome other nymph difarm,
As in the cool of early day
A Poet fought the fweets of May,
The garden's fragrant breath ascends,
And ev'ry stalk with odour bends.
A Rofe he pluck'd, he gaz'd, admir'd,
Thus finging, as the mufe infpir'd:
Go, Rofe, my Chloe's bofom grace!
How happy fhould I prove,
Might I fupply that envy'd place
With never-fading love!
There, Phoenix-like, beneath her eye,
Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die!
Know, hapless flower, that thou shalt find
More fragrant rofes there:
I fee 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, reply'd
An angry Rofe, who grew befide.
Of all mankind, you should not flout us :
What can a Poet do without us?
In ev'ry love-fong roses bloom; We lend you colour and perfume. Does it to Chloe's charms conduce, To found her praise on our abuse? Muft we, to flatter her, be made To wither, envy, pine, and fade ?
§ 181. Fable XLVI. The Cur, the Horfe, and the Shepherd's Dog.
HE lad of all fufficient merit,
With modefty ne'er damps his fpirit;· Prefuming on his own deferts,
On all alike his tongue exerts;
His noify jokes at random throws,
And pertly fpatters friends and foes;
In wit and war the bully race
Contribute to their own difgrace.
Too late the forward youth shall find
That jokes are fometimes paid in kind;
Or if they canker in the breast,
He makes a foe who makes a jeft.
A Village-cur, of finappifh race,
The perteft Puppy of the place,
Imagin'd that his treble throat
Was bleft with mufic's fwectest note;
In the mid road he barking lay,
The yelping nuifance of the way;
For not a creature pafs'd along,
But had a fample of his fong.
Soon as the trotting steed he hears,
He starts, he cocks his dapper ears;
Away he fcow'rs, affaults his hoof;
Now near him fnarls, now barks aloof;
With fhrill 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-ceafing tongue,
Upon the pafling trav'ler fprung.
The Horfe, from scorn, provok'd to ire,
:-rolling in the mire,
The Puppy howl'd, and bleeding lay
The Pad in peace purfu'd his way.
A Shepherd's Dog, who faw the deed,
Detefting the vexatious breed,
Bespoke him thus: When coxcombs prate
They kindle wrath, contempt, or hate:
Thy teazing tongue had judgment ty'd,
Thou hadst not, like a Puppy, dy'd.
§ 182. Fable XLVII. The Court of Death.
DEATH, on a folemn night of state,
In all his pomp of terror fate;
Th'attendants of his gloomy reign,
Difcafes dire, of ghastly train !
Croud the vast court. With hollow to ne,
A voice thus thunder'd from the throne:
This night our minifter we name,
Let ev'ry fervant fpeak his claim;
Merit fhall bear this ebon wand.-
All, at the word, stretch'd forth their hand.
Fever, with burning heat poffeft,
Advanc'd, and for the wand addrest:
I to the weekly bills appeal,
Let thofe exprefs my fervent zeal :
On ev'ry flight occafion near,
With violence I perfevere.
Next Gout appears, with limping pace,
Pleads how he thifts from place to place :
From head to foot how swift he flies,
And ev'ry joint and finew plies;
Still working when he feems fuppreft,
A moft tenacious ftubborn gueft.
A haggard Spectre from the crew
Crawls forth, and thus, afferts his due :
'Tis I who taint the fweeteft joy,
And in the fhape of love deftroy:
My thanks, funk eyes, and nofelefs face,
Prove my pretenfion to the place.
Stone urg'd his ever-growing force;
And, next, Confumption's meagre corse,
With feeble voice, that fcarce was heard,
Broke with fhort coughs, his fuit preferr'd:
Let none object my ling'ring way,
I gain, like Fabius, by delay;
Fatigue and weaken ev'ry foe
By long attack, fecure, though flow.
Plague reprefents his rapid pow'r,
Who thinn'd a nation in an hour.
All spoke their claim, and hop'd the wand:
Now expectation hufh'd the band,
When thus the monarch from the throne:
Merit was ever modeft known..
What, no Phyfician fpeak 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 reft
(Whom wary men, as foes, deteft)
Forego your claim; no more pretend ;
Intemp'rance is esteem'd a friend;
He fhares their mirth, their focial joys,
And, as a courted guest, deftroys.
The charge on him muft juftly fall,
Who finds employment for you all.
Indulge thy morn and ev'ning hours;
But let due care regard my flow'rs;
My tulips are my garden's pride:
What vaft expence thofe beds fupply'd !
The Hog by chance one morning roam'd,
Where with new ale the veffels foam'd:
He munches now the fteaming grains;
Now with full fwill the liquor drains.
Intoxicating fumes arife;
He reels, he rolls his winking eyes!
Then stagg'ring, through the garden fcours,
And treads down painted ranks of flow’rs.
With delving fnout he turns the foil,
And cools his palate with the spoil.
The Mafter came, the ruin fpy'd;
Villain, fufpend thy rage, he cry 'd ;
Haft thou, thou most ungrateful fot,
My charge, my only charge forgot?
What, all my flow'rs! No more he said,
But gaz'd, and figh'd, and hung his head.
The Hog with ftutt'ring fpeech returns : Explain, Sir, why your anger burns. See there, untouch'd your tulips ftrown; For I devour'd the roots alone.
At this the Gard'ner's paffion grows; From oaths and threats he fell to blows. The ftubborn brute the blows fuftains, Affaults his leg, and tears his veins.
Ah! foolish fwain, too late you find, That fties were for fuch friends design'd! Homeward he limps with painful pace, Reflecting thus on paft difgrace: Who cherishes a brutal mate
Shall mourn the folly, foon or late.
§ 184. 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 furvey,
As deftin'd only for his prey?
And do not tyrants, prouder things,
Think men were born for flaves to kings?
When the crab views the pearly ftrands,
Or Tagus, bright with golden fands;
Or crawls befide the coral grove,
§ 183. Fable XLVIII. The Gardener and Hog. And hears the ocean roll above,
GARD'NER, of peculiar tafte,
On a young Hog his favour plac'd; . TVho fed not with the coinmon herd; His tray was to the hall preferr'd. He wallow'd underneath the board, Or in his mafter's chamber fnor'd; Who fondly ftrok'd him ev'ry day, 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 Mafter thus addrefs'd the Swine:
My houfe, my garden, all is thine.
On turnips feaft whene'er you please,
And riot in my beans and peafe;
If the potatoe's tafte delights,
Or the red carrot's fwect invites,
Nature is too profufe, fays he,
Who gave all thefe to pleafure me!
When bord'ring pinks and rofes bloom, And ev'ry garden breathes perfume; When peaches glow with funny dyes, Like Laura's cheek when blushes rife; When with huge figs the branchies bend; When clusters from the vine depend,The fnail looks round on flow'r and tree, And cries, All thefe were made for me!
What dignity's in human nature! Says Man, the most conceited creature, As from a cliff he caft his eyes, And view'd the fea and arched fkies; The fun was funk beneath the main; The moon, and all the ftarry train, Hung the vaft vault of heav'n. The Man His contemplation thus began :
When I behold this glorious fhow, And the wide wat'ry world below, The fcaly people of the main, The beafts that range the wood or plain, The wing'd inhabitants of air, The day, the night, the various year, And know all thefe by Heav'n defign'd As gifts to pleasure human kind, I cannot raife my worth too high; Of what vaft confequence am I! Not of th'importance you fuppofe, Replies a Flea upon his nofe: Be humble, learn thyself to fcan; Know, pride was never made for Man. 'Tis vanity that fwells thy mind. What heav'n and earth for thee defign'd! For thee! made only for our need, That more important Fleas might feed.
§ 185. Fable L. The Hare and many Friends.
FRIENDSHIP, like love, is but a name,
Unless to one you ftint the flame.
The child, who many fathers fhare,
Hath feldom known a father's care.
'Tis thus in friendship; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.
A Hare, who in a civil way
Comply'd 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 fhe went, at early dawn,
To tafte the dew-befprinkled lawn,
Behind the hears the hunter's cries,
And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies:
She ftarts, fhe ftops, the 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 the gafping lay.
What tranfport in her bofom grew
When first the horse appear'd in view!
Let me, fays the, your back afcend,
And owe my fafety to a friend.
You know my feet betray my flight;
To friendship ev'ry burthen's light.
The Horfe reply'd, Poor honeft Pufs,
It grieves my heart to fee thee thus:
Be comforted, relief is near;
For all your friends are in the rear.
She next the stately Bull implor'd;
And thus reply'd the mighty lord:
Since ev'ry beaft alive can tell
That I fincerely with 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 yon barley-mow;
And when a lady's in the cafe,
You know, all other things give place.
To leave you thus might feem unkind;
But fee, the Goat is just behind.
The Goat remark'd her pulle was high,
Her languid head, her heavy eye;
My back, fays he, may do you harm;
The Sheep's at hand, and wool is warm.
The Sheep was feeble, and complain'd His fides a load of wool fuftain'd: Said he was flow, confefs'd his fears; For hounds eat Sheep as well as Hares. She now the trotting Calf addreft, To fave from death a friend diftreft.
Shall I, fays he, of tender age, In this important care engage? Older and abler pafs'd you by; How ftrong are thofe ! how weak am I! Should I prefume to bear you hence, Thofe friends of mine may take offence. Excufe me, then. You know my heart: But dearest friends, alas! muft part. How fhall we all lament! Adieu; For, fee, the hounds are juft in view.
Fables for the Female Sex. MOORE.
§ 186. Fable I. The Eagle and the Affembly of Birds.
To her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales.
THE moral lay, to beauty due,
I write, Fair Excellence, to you;
Well pleas'd to hope my vacant hours
Have been employ'd to fweeten yours.
Truth under fiction I impart,
To weed out folly from the heart,
And fhew the paths that lead aftray
The wand'ring nymph from wifdom's way.
I flatter none. The great and good
Are by their actions understood;
Your monument, if actions raife,
Shall I deface by idle praife?
I echo not the voice of Fame,
That dwells delighted on your name;
Her friendly tale, however true,
Were flatt'ry, if I told it you.
The proud, the envious, and the vain,
The jilt, the prude, demand my ftrain;
To thefe, detefting praife, I write,
And vent, in charity, my fpite :
With friendly hand I hold the glafs
To all, promifcuous as they pafs;
Should Folly there her likeness view,
I fret not that the mirror's true;
If the fantaftic form offend,
I made it not, but would amend.
Virtue, in ev'ry clime and age,
Spurns at the folly-foothing page,
While Satire, that offends the car
Of Vice and Paffion, pleafes her.
Premifing this, your anger fpare,
And claim the fable
you who dare.
The birds in place, by fictions profs'd,
To Jupiter their pray'rs addrefs'd;
By fpecious lyes the ftate was vex'd;
Their counfels libellers perplex'd;
They begg'd (to stop feditious tongues)
A gracious hearing of their wrongs.
Jove grants the fuit. The Eagle fate
Decider of the grand debate.
The Pye, to truft and pow'r preferr'd,
Demands permiffion to be heard.
Says he, Prolixity of phrafe
You know I hate. This libel fays,
"Some birds there are, who, prone to noife,
"Are hir'd to filence wifdom's voice;
"And, fkill'd to chatter out the hour,
"Rife by their emptiness to pow'r."
That this is aim'd direct at me,
No doubt you'll readily agree,
Yet well this fage affembly knows,
By parts to government I rofe;
My prudent counfels prop the ftate;
Magpies were never known to prate.
The Kite rofe up. His honeft heart
In virtue's fuff'rings bore a part.
That there were birds of prey he knew
So far the libelter faid true;
"Voracious, bold, to rapine prone,
"Who knew no int'reft but their own;
"Who, hov'ring o'er the farmer's yard,
"Nor pigeon, chick, nor duckling (par'd."
This might be true; but if apply'd
To him, in troth the fland'rer lv'd.
Since ign'rance then might be misled,
Such things, he thought, were beft unfaid.
The Crow was vex'd. As yefter-morn
He flew across the new-fown corn,
A fcreaming boy was fet for pay,
He knew, to drive the crows away;
Scandal had found him out in turn,
And buzz'd abroad that crows love corn.
The Owl arofe, with folemn face,
And thus harangu'd upon the cafe :
That magpies prate, it may be true;
A kite may be voracious too;
Crows fometimes deal in new-fown peafe;
He libels not who ftrikes at thefe;
The flander's here-" But there are birds,
"Whofe wifdom lies in looks, not words;
"lund'rers, who level in the dark,
"And always fhoot befide the mark."
He names not me; but these are hints,
Which manifeft at whom he fquints;
I were indeed that blund'ring fowl,
To queftion if he meant an owl.
Ye wretches, hence! the Eagle cries,
'Tis confcience, confcience that applies;
The virtuous mind takes no aların,
Secur'd by Innocence from harm;
While Guilt, and his affociate Fear,
Are ftartl'd at the paffing air.
Muft fawn and flatter, cringe and lye,
And raise the goddels to the sky:
For truth is hateful to her ear;
A rudenefs which fhe cannot bear.
A rudeness! Yes. I fpeak my thoughts;
For truth upbraids her with her faults.
How wretched, Chloe, then am I,
Who love you, and yet cannot lye!
And ftill, to make you lefs my friend,
I ftrive your errors to amend!
But fhall the fenfelefs fop impart
The fofteft paffion to your heart,
While he, who tells you honest truth,
And points to happiness your youth,
Determines, by his care, his lot,
And lives neglected and forgot?
Truft me, my dear, with greater eafe,
Your tafte for flatt'ry I could pleafe,
And fimilies in each dull line,
Like glow-worms, in the dark should shine.
What if I fay your lips difclofe
The freshness of the op'ning rofe?
Or that your cheeks are beds of flow'rs,
Enripen'd by refrething thow'rs?
Yet certain as thefe flow'rs fhall fade,
Time ev'ry beauty fhall invade.
The butterfly, of various hue,
More than the flow'r refembles you;
Fair, flutt'ring, fickle, bufy thing,
To pleasure ever on the wing;
Gaily coquetting for an hour,
To die, and ne'er be thought of more.
Would you the bloom of youth should laft?
'Tis virtue that mutt bind it faft;
An cafy carriage, wholly free
From four referve or levity;
Good-natur'd mirth, an open heart,
And looks unfkill'd in any art;
Humility, enough to own
The frailties which a friend makes known,
And decent pride, enough to know
The worth that virtue can bestow.
These are the charms which ne'er decay,
Tho' youth and beauty fade away;
And time, which all things elfe removes,
Still heightens virtue, and improves.
You'll frown, and afk, To what intent
This blunt addrefs to you is fent?
I'll spare the question, and confefs
I'd praife you, if I lov'd you lefs;
But rail, be angry, or complain,
I will be rude while you are vain.
Beneath a lion's peaceful reign,
When beafts met friendly on the plain,
A panther of majestic port,
(The vaineft female of the court)
With fpotted fkin, and eyes of fire,
Fill'd ev'ry bofom with defire.
Where'er the mov'd, a fervile crowd
The Panther, the Horfe, Of fawning creatures cring'd and bow'd:
and other Beafts.
man who fecks to win the fair
(So custom fays) must truth forbear;
Affemblies ev'ry week the held
(Like modern belles) with coxcombs fill'd
Where noife, nonfenfe, and grimace,
And yes and feandal fill'd the place.
Behold the gay fantastic thing, Encircl'd by the fpacious ring. Low-bowing, with important look, As firft in rank, the Monkey spoke: "Gad take me, madam, but I fwear, "No angel ever look'd fo fair: "Forgive my rudeness; but I vow, "You were not quite divine till now; "Thofe limbs! that shape! and then thofe eyes! "O, close them, or the gazer dies!"
Nay, Gentle Pug, for goodness hush,
I vow and fwear you make me blush;
I fhall be angry at this rate;
'Tis fo like flatt'ry, which I hate.
The Fox, in deeper cunning vers'd,
The beauties of her mind rehears'd,
And talk'd of knowledge, tafte, and sense,
To which the fair have vaft pretence !
Yet well he knew them always vain
Of what they strive not to attain ;
And play'd to cunningly his part,
That Pug was rivall'd in his art.
The Goat avow'd his am'rous flame,
And burnt-for what he durft not name;
Yet hop'd a meeting in the wood
Might make his meaning underftood.
Half angry at the bold addrefs,
She frown'd; but yet he must confefs
Such beauties might inflame his blood,
But ftill his phrafe was fomewhat rude.
The Hog her neatnefs much admir'd;
The formal Afs her swiftnefs fir'd;
While all to feed her folly ftrove,
And by their praifes fhar'd her love.
The Horfe, whofe gen'rous heart disdain'd
Applaufe, by fervile flatt'ry gain'd,
With graceful courage filence broke,
And thus with indignation spoke:
When flatt'ring monkies fawn and prate,
They justly raise contempt or hate;
For merit's turn'd to ridicule,
Applauded by the grinning fool.
The artful Fox your wit commends,
To lure you to his felfish ends;
From the vile flatt'rer turn away,
For knaves make friendships to betray.
Difmifs the train of fops and fools,
And learn to live by wifdom's rules;
Such beauties might the lion warm,
Did not your folly break the charm;
For who would court that lovely fhape,
To be the rival of an ape?
He faid, and fnorting with disdain,
Spurn'd at the crowd, and sought the plain.
One night, a Glow-worm, proud and vain,
Contemplating her glitt'ring train,
Cry'd, Sure there never was in nature
So elegant, fo fine a creature.
All other infects that I fee,
The frugal ant, induftrious bee,
Or filk-worm, with contempt I view;
With all that low, mechanic crew,
Who fervilely their lives employ
In bus'nefs, enemy to joy.
Mean, vulgar herd! ye are my fcorn;
For grandeur only I was born;
Or fure am fprung from race divine,
And plac'd on earth to live and fhine.
Thofe lights that sparkle fo on high,
Are but the glow-worms of the sky;
And kings on earth their gems admire,
Because they imitate my fire.
She fpoke. Attentive on a spray,
A Nightingale forbore his lay;
He faw the fhining morfel near,
And flew, directed by the glare;
A while he gaz'd with fober look,
And thus the trembling prey befpoke:
Deluded fool, with pride elate,
Know, 'tis thy beauty brings thy fate:
Lefs dazzling, long thou might'ft have lain
Unheeded on the velvet plain :
Pride, foon or late, degraded mourns,
And Beauty wrecks whom the adorns.
$189. Fable IV. Hymen and Death. SIXTEEN, d'ye fay? Nay then 'tis time, Another year deftroys your prime.
But ftay-the fettlement ! That's made."
Why then's my fimple girl afraid?
Yet hold a moment, if you can,
And heedfully the fable fean.
The fhades were fled, the morning blush'd,
The winds were in their caverns hush'd,
When Hymen, penfive and fedate,
Held o'er the fields his mufing gait.
Behind him, through the green-wood shade,
Death's meagre form the god furvey'd;
Who quickly, with gigantic ftride,
Out-went his pace, and join'd his fide.
The chat on various fubjects ran,
Till angry Hymen thus began:
Relentlefs Death, whofe iron fway
Mortal reluctant must obey,
Still of thy pow'r fhall I complain,
And thy too partial hand arraign?
When Cupid brings a pair of hearts,
All over ftruck with equal darts,
Thy cruel fhafts my hopes deride,
§ 188. Fable III. The Nightingale and Glow- And cut the knot that Hymen ty❜d.
THE prudent nymph, whofe checks disclose
The lily and the blushing rofe,
From public view her charms will fcreen,
And rarely in the crowd be feen ;
This fimple truth fhall keep her wife,
"The faireft fruits attract the flies."
Shall not the bloody and the bold,
The mifer, hoarding up his gold,
The harlot, recking from the ftew,
Alone thy fell revenge purfue?
But muft the gentle and the kind
Thy fury, undiftinguish'd, find?
The monarch calmly thus reply'd, Weigh well the caufe, and then decide. H 2