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THE PINE-APPLE AND THE BEE.
THE pine-apples, in triple row,
Were basking hot, and all in blow;
A bee of most discerning taste
Perceived the fragrance as he pass'd,
On eager wing the spoiler came,
And search'd for crannies in the frame,
Urged his attempt on every side,
To every pane his trunk applied;
But still in vain, the frame was tight,
And only pervious to the light;
Thus having wasted half the day,
He trimm'd his flight another way.
Methinks, I said, in thee I fin
The sin and madness of mankind.
To joys forbidden man aspires
Consumes his soul with vain desires;
Folly the spring of his F.
And disappointment all the fruit.
While Cynthio ogles as he passes,
The nymph between two chariot glasses,
She is the pine-apple, and he
The silly unsuccessful bee.
The maid who views with pensive air
The show-glass fraught with glittering ware,
Sees watches, bracelets, rings, and lockets,
But sighs at thought ofem ty pockets;
Like thine, her appetite is keen,
But ah, the cruel glass between!
Our dear delights are often such,
Exposed to view but not to touch;
The sight our foolish heart inflames,
We long for pine-apples in frames;
With hopeless wish one looks and lingers;
One to: the glass, and cuts his fingers;
But o whom truth and wisdom lead
Can gather honey from a weed.
VERSES WRITTEN AT BATH, ON FINDING THE HEEL OF A
ForTunE! I thank thee: gentle goddess! thanks!
Not that my muse, though bashful, shall deny
She would have thank'd thee rather hadst thou cast
A treasure in her way; for neither meed
Of early breakfast, to dispel the fumes,
And bowel-racking pains of emptiness,
Nor noontide feast, nor evening's cool repast,
Hopes she from this—presumptuous, though, perhaps,
The cobbler, leather-carving artists might.
Nathless she thanks thee and accepts thy boon,
Whatever; not as erst the fabled cock,
Wain-glorious fool! unknowing what he found,
§o. the rich gem thou gavest him. Wherefore, ah!
hy not on me that favour (worthier sure!) Conferr'dst thou, goddess! Thou art blind thou Say'st: Enough!—thy blindness shall excuse the deed.
Nor does my muse no benefit exhale
From this thy scant indulgence!—even here
Hints worthy sage philosophy are found;
Illustrious hints, to moralize my song!
This ponderous heel of perforated ;
§ with pegs indented, many a row,
Haply (for such its massy form bespeaks)
The weighty tread of some rude peasant clown
§. : on this, supported oft, he stretch'd,
ith uncouth strides, along the furrow'd glebe,
Flattening the stubborn clod, till cruel time
What will not cruel time?) on a wry step
ever'd the strict cohesion; when, alas!
He, who could erst, with even, equal pace,
Pursue his destined way with symmetry,
And some proportion form’d, now on one side
Curtail'd and maim'd, the sport of vagrant boys,
Cursing his frail supporter, treacherous prop!
With toilsome steps, and difficult, moves On.
Thus fares it oft with other than the feet
Of humble villager—the statesman thus,
Up the steep road where proud ambition leads,
Aspiring, first uninterrupted winds
His prosperous way; nor fears miscarriage foul,
While policy prevails, and friends #. true;
But, that support soon failing, by him left
On whom he most depended, basely left,
Betray'd, deserted; from his airy height
Headlong he falls; and through the rest of life
Drags the dull load of disappointment on.
AN ODE, on READING RICHARDSON'S HISTORY OF SIR CHARLES GRANDISON,
SAY, ye apostate and profane,
Wretches, who blush not to disdain
Allegiance to your God,
Did e'er your idly wasted love
Of virtue for her sake remove
And lift you from the crowd!
Would you the race of glory run,
Know, the devout, and they alone,
Are equal to the task:
The labours of the illustrious course
Far other than the unaided force
Of human vigour ask,
To arm against reputed ill
The patient heart too brave to feel
The tortures of despair:
Nor ... high-crested pride,
When wealth flows in with every tide
To gain admittance there. |
To rescue from the tyrant's sword
The oppress'd; unseen and unimplored,
To cheer the face of woe;
From lawless insult to defend
An o: right—a fallen friend,
And a forgiven foe;
These, these distinguish from the crowd,
And these alone, the great and good,
The guardians of mankind;
Whose bosoms with these virtues heave,
O with what matchless speed they leave
The multitude i.”
Then ask ye, from what cause on earth
Wirtues like these derive their birth?
Derived from Heaven alone
Full on that favour’d breast they shine,
Where faith and resignation join
To call the blessing down.
Such is that heart:—but while the muse
To theme, O Richardson, pursues,
er feeble spirits faint;
She cannot reach, and would not wrong,
The subject for an angel's song,
The hero, and the saint!
AN EPISTLE TO ROBERT LLOYD, ESQ.
"Tis not that I design to rob
Thee of thy birthright, gentle Bob,
For thou art born sole heir, and single,
Qf dear Mat Prior's easy jingle;
Not that I mean, while thus I knit
My threadbare sentiments together,
To show my genius or my wit,
When God and you know I have neither;
Or such as might be better shown
By letting poetry alone.
'Tis not with either of these views
That I presumed to address the muse:
But to divert a fierce banditti
Sworn foes to everything that's witty!)
hat, with a black, infernal train,
Make cruel inroads in my brain,
And daily threaten to drive thence t
My little garrison of sense;
The fierce banditti which I mean
Are gloomy thoughts led on by spleen.
Then there's another reason yet,
Which is, that I may fairly quit
The debt, which justly became due
The moment when I heard from you;
And you might grumble, crony mine,
If paid in any other coin;
Since twenty sheets of lead, God knows
§ would say twenty sheets of prose),
an ne'er be deem'd worth half so much
As one of gold, and yours was such.
Thus, the preliminaries settled,
I fairly find myself pitchkettled,”
And cannot see, though few see better,
How I shall hammer out a letter.
First, for a thought—since all agree—
A thought—I have it—let me see—
'Tis gone again—plague on't! I thought
I had it—but I have it not.
Dame Gurton thus, and Hodge her son,
That useful thing, her needle, gone!
Rake well the cinders—sweep the floor,
And sift the dust behind the door;
While eager Hodge beholds the prize
In old grimalkin's glaring eyes;
And Gammer finds it, on her knees,
In every shining straw she sees.
This simile were apt enough;
But I've another, critic-proof I
The virtuoso thus, at noon,
Broiling beneath a July sun,
The gilded butterfly pursues,
O'er hedge and ditch, through gaps and mews;
And, after many a vain essay,
To captivate the tempting prey,
Gives him at length the lucky pat,
And has him safe beneath his hat:
Then lifts it o: from the ground;
But, ah! 'tis lost as soon as found;
Culprit his liberty regains,
Flits out of sight, and mocks his pains.
The sense was dark; ’twas therefore fit
With simile to illustrate it;
But as too much obscures the sight,
As often as too little light,
We have our similes cut short,
For matters of more grave import.
That Matthew's numbers run with ease,
Each man of common sense agrees!
All men of common sense allow
That Robert's lines are easy too:
Where then the preference shall we place,
Or how do justice in this case?
Matthew (says Fame), with endless pains
Smooth'd and refined the meanest strains,
Nor suffer'd one ill-chosen rhyme
To escape him at the idlest time;
And thus o'er all a lustre cast,
That, while the language lives shall last.
An't please your ladyship (quoth I),
For 'tis my business to reply;
Sure so much labour, so much toil,
Bespeak at least a stubborn soil:
Theirs be the laurel-wreath decreed,
Who both write well, and write full speed!
Who throw their Helicon about
As freely as a conduit spout !
Friend Robert, thus like chien savant
Lets fall a F. en passant,
Nor needs his genuine ore refine—
'Tis ready polish'd from the mine.
A TALE, FOUNDED ON A FACT,
WHICH HAPPENED IN JANUARY 1779,
WHERE Humber pours his rich commercial stream
There dwelt a wretch, who breathed but to blaspheme;
In subterraneous caves his life he led,
Black as the mine in which he wrought for bread.
When on a day, j from the deep,
A Sabbath-day (such Sabbaths thousands keep!),
The wages of his weekly toil he bore
To buy a cock—whose blood might win him more;
As if the noblest of the feather'd kind
Were but for battle and for death design'd;
As if the consecrated hours were meant
For sport, to minds on cruelty intent;
It chanced (such chances Providence obey)
He met a fellow-labourer on the way,
Whose heart the same desires had once inflamed;
But now the savage temper was reclaim’d,
Persuasion on his lips had taken place;
For all plead well who plead the cause of grace.
His iron heart with Scripture he assail'd,
Woo'd him to hear a sermon, and prevail’d.
His faithful bow the mighty p er drew,
Swift as the lightning-glimpse the arrow flew.
He wept; he trembled; cast his eyes around,
To find a worse than he ; but none he found.
He felt his sins, and wonder'd he should feel.
Grace made the wound, and grace alone could heal,
Now farewell oaths, and blasphemies, and lies!
He quits the sinner's for the martyr's prize.