« PreviousContinue »
He goes, and doom'd to perish on the sands
Of the full theatre unpitied stands:
When lo! the selfsame lion from his cage
Flies to devour him, famish'd into rage.
He flies, but viewing in his purposed prey
The man, his healer, pauses on his way,
And, soften’d by remembrance into sweet
And kind composure, crouches at his feet.
Mute with astonishment, the assembly gaze:
But why, ye Romans? hence your mute amaze?
All this is natural: nature bade him rend
An enemy; she bids him spare a friend.
MoRE ANCIENT THAN THE ART of PRINTING, AND Not To Be Fouro In anx catalogue.
THERE is a book, which we may call
(Its excellence is such)
Alone a library, though small;
The ladies thumb it much.
Words none, things numerous it contains:
And things with words compared,
Who needs i. told, that has his brains,
Which merits most regard?
Ofttimes its leaves of scarlet hue
A golden edging boast;
And open'd, it displays to view
Twelve pages at the most.
Nor name, nor title, stamp'd behind,
Adorns its outer part;
But all within 'tis richly lined,
A magazine of art.
The whitest hands that secret hoard
Oft visit: and the fair
Preserve it in their bosoms stored,
As with a miser's care.
Thence implements of every size,
And form'd for various use
(They need but to consult their eyes),
They readily produce.
The largest and the longest kind
Possess the foremost page;
A sort most needed by the blind,
Or nearly such, from age.
The full charged leaf which next ensues,
Presents in bright array *
The smaller sort, which matrons use,
Not quite so blind as they.
The third, the fourth, the fifth supply
What their occasions ask,
Who with a more discerning eye
Perform a nicer task.
But still with regular decrease,
From size to size they fall,
In every leaf grow less and less;
The last are least of all.
Oh! what a fund of genius, pent
In narrow space is here!
This volume's method and intent
How luminous and clear !
It leaves no reader at a loss
Or posed, whoever reads:
No commentator's tedious gloss,
Nor even index needs.
Search Bodley's many thousands o'er!
No book is treasured there,
Nor yet in Granta's numerous store,
That may with this compare.
No!—rival none in either host
Of this was ever seen,
Or, that contents could justly boast,
So brilliant and so keen.
A NEEDLE, small as small can be,
In bulk and use surpasses me,
Nor is my purchase dear;
For little, and almost for nought
As many of my kind are bought
As days are in the year.
Yet though but little use we boast,
And are procured at little cost,
The labour is not light;
Norfew artificers it asks,
All skilful in their several tasks,
To fashion us aright,
One fuses metal o'er the fire,
A second draws it into wire,
The shears another plies;
Who clips in length the brazen thread
From him who, chafing every shred,
Gives all an equal size.
A fifth prepares, exact and round,
The knob with which it must be crown'd:
His follower makes it fast;
And with his mallet and his file
To shape the point, o awhile
The seventh and the last.
Now, therefore, GEdipus! declare
What creature, wonderful, and rare,
A process that obtains
Its purpose with so much ado
At last produces!—tell me true,
And take me for your pains!
SPARROWs SELF-DOMESTICATED IN TRINITY COLLEGE,
NoNE ever shared the social feast,
Or as an inmate or a guest,
Beneath the celebrated dome
Where once Sir Isaac had his home,
Who saw not (and with some delight
Perhaps he view'd the novel sight
How numerous, at the tables there,
The sparrows beg their daily fare.
For there, in every nook and cell
Where such a family may dwell,
Sure as the vernal season comes
Their nest they weave in hope of crumbs,
Which kindly given, may serve with food
Convenient their unfeather'd brood;
And oft as with its summons clear
The warning bell salutes their ear,
Sagacious listeners to the sound,
They flock from all the fields around;
To reach the hospitable hall,
None more attentive to the call.
Arrived, the pensionary band,
Hopping and chirping, close at hand,
Solicit what they soon receive:
The sprinkled, plenteous donative,
Thus is a multitude, though large,
Supported at a trivial charge;
A single doit would overpay
The ol. of every o
And who can grudge so small a grace
To suppliants, natives of the place,
As in her ancient mistress' lap
The youthful tabby lay,
They §. each other many a tap,
Alike disposed to play.
But strife ensues. Puss waxes warm,
And with protruded claws
Ploughs all the length of Lydia's arm,
ere wantonness the cause.
At once, resentful of the deed,
She shakes her to the ground
With many a threat that she shall bleed
With still a deeper wound.
But, Lydia, bid thy fury rest:
It was a venial stroke:
For she that will with kittens jest
Should bear a kitten's joke.
In WITATION TO THE REDBREAST.
SWEET bird, whom the winter constrains-
And seldom another it can—
To seek a retreat while he rei
In the well-shelter'd dwellings of man,
Who never can seem to intrude,
Though in all places equally free,
Come oft as the season is rude,
Thou art sure to be welcome to me.
At #: of the first feeble ray
hat pierces the clouds of the east,
To inveigle thee every day
My windows shall show thee a feast.
For, taught by experience, I know, i
Thee mindful of benefit long; |
And that, thankful for all I bestow, |
Thou wilt pay me with many a song.
Then, soon as the swell of the buds
Bespeaks the renewal of spring,
Fly hence, if thou wilt to the woods,
Or where it shall please thee to sing:
And shouldst thou, compell’d by a frost, -
Come again to my window or door, . i
Doubt not an affectionate host, -
Only pay as thou paid'st me before.
This music must needs be confess'd
To flow from a fountain above;
Else how should it work in the breast |
Unchangeable friendship and love? -
And who on the globe can be found,
Save your generation and ours,
That can be delighted by sound,
Or boasts any musical powers? |
THE shepherd touch'd his reed; sweet Philomel
Essay’d, and oft essay'd to catch the strain,
And treasuring, as on her ear they fell,
The numbers, echo'd note for note again.
The peevish youth, who ne'er had found before
A rival of his skill, indignant heard,
And soon (for various was his tuneful store)
In loftier tones defied the simple bird.
She dared the task, and, rising as he rose,
With all the force that *. gives inspired,
Return'd the sounds awhile, but in the close
Exhausted fell, and at his feet expired.
Thus strength, not skill prevail'd... O fatal strife,
By thee, poor songstress, o begun;
And, O sad victory, which cost thy life,
And he may wish that he had never won 1
ODE ON THE DEATH OF A LADY,
who Livso one HUNDRED reaRs, AND DIED on HER BIRTHDAY, 1728
ANCIENT dame, how wide and vast
To a race like ours appears,
Rounded to an orb at last,
All thy multitude of years!
We, the herd of human kind,
Frailer and offeebler powers;
We, to narrow bounds confined,
Soon exhaust the sum of ours.
Death's delicious banquet—we
Perish even from the womb,
Swifter than a shadow flee,
Nourish’d but to feed the tomb.
Seeds of merciless disease
Lurk in all that we enjoy;
Some that waste us by degrees,
Some that suddenly destroy.
And, if life o'erleap the bourn
Common to the sons of men,
What remains, but that we mourn,
Dream, and dote, and drivel then?
Fast as moons can wax and wane
Sorrow comes; and, while we groan,
Pant with anguish, and complain,
Half our years are fled and gone.
If a few (to few 'tis given),
Lingering on this earthly stage,
Creep and halt with steps uneven
To the period of an age,
Wherefore live they, but to see
Gunning, arrogance, and force,
so lamented much by thee,
olding their accustom'd course?