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Poor Pug was caught; to town convey'd ;
There sold. (How envy'd was his doom,
Made captive in a lady's room!)
Proud, as a lover, of his chains,
He day by day her favour gains.
Whene'er the duty of the day
The toilette calls, with mimic play
He twirls her knots, he cracks her fan,
Like any other gentleman.
In visits too, his parts and wit,
When jests grew dull, were sure to hit.
Proud with applause he thought his mind
In every courtly art refin'd;
Like Orpheus, burnt with public zeal,
To civilize the monkey-weal;
So watch'd occasion, broke his chain,
And sought his native woods again.
The hairy sylvans round him press, Astonish'd at his strut and dress. Some praise his sleeve, and others gloat Upon his rich embroider'd coat; His dapper perriwig commending, With the black tail behind depending; His powder'd back, above, below, Like hoary frosts, or fleecy snow; But all, with envy and desire, His fluttering shoulder-knot admire.
"Hear and improve," he pertly cries: I come to make a nation wise.
Weigh your own worth; support your place,
The next in rank to human race.
In cities long I pass'd my days,
Convers'd with men, and learn'd their ways.
Their dress, their courtly manners see;
Reform your state, and copy me.
Seek ye to thrive? In flattery deal;
Your scorn, your hate, with that conceal.
Seem only to regard your friends,
But use them for your private ends.
Stint not to truth the flow of wit;
Be prompt to lie whene'er 'tis fit.
Bend all your force to spatter merit;
Scandal is conversation's spirit.
Boldly to every thing pretend,
And men your talents shall commend.
I knew the great. Observe me right;
So shall you grow, like man, polite."
He spoke, and bow'd. With muttering jaws The wondering circle grinn'd applause.
Now, warm'd with malice, envy, spite,
Their most obliging friends they bite;
And, fond to copy human ways,
Practise new mischiefs all their days.
Thus the dull lad, too tall for school,
With travel finishes the fool;
Studious of every coxcomb's airs,
He drinks, games, dresses, whores, and swears;
O'erlooks with scorn all virtuous arts,
For vice is fitted to his parts.
THE PIN AND THE NEEDLE.
A pin, who long had serv'd a beauty,
Proficient in the toilette's duty;
Had form'd her sleeve, confin'd her hair,
Or given her knot a smarter air;
Now nearest to her heart was plac'd,
Now in her mantua's tail disgrac'd:
But could she partial fortune blame,
Who saw her lovers serv'd the same?
At length from all her honours cast, Through various turns of life she past; Now glitter'd on a taylor's arm, Now kept a beggar's infant warm; Now, rang'd within a miser's coat, Contributes to his yearly groat; Now rais'd again from low approach, She visits in the doctor's coach: Here, there, by various fortune tost, At last in Gresham hall was lost. Charm'd with the wonders of the show, On every side, above, below, She now of this or that inquires,
What least was understood admires.
"Tis plain, each thing so struck her mind, Her head's of virtuoso kind.
"And pray what's this, and this, dear sir ?" "A needle," says th' interpreter.
She knew the name; and thus the fool
Address'd her as a taylor's tool.
"A needle with that filthy stone,
Quite idle, all with rust o'ergrown ;
You better might employ your parts,
And aid the sempstress in her arts;
But tell me how the friendship grew
Between that paltry flint and you."
"Friend," says the needle," cease to blame;
I follow real worth and fame.
Know'st thou the loadstone's power and art,
That virtue virtues can impart?
Of all his talents I partake:
Who then can such a friend forsake?
'Tis I direct the pilot's hand
To shun the rocks and treacherous sand:
By me the distant world is known,
And either India is our own.
Had I with milliners been bred,
What had I been? the guide of thread;
And drudg'd as vulgar needles do,
Of no more consequence than you."
THE PAINTER WHO PLEASED NOBODY AND EVERY BODY.
Lest men suspect your tale untrue,
Keep probability in view.
The traveller leaping o'er those bounds,
The credit of his book confounds.
Who with his tongue hath armies routed,
Makes even his real courage doubted.
But flattery never seems absurd;
The flatter'd always takes your word:
Impossibilities seem just;
They take the strongest praise on trust.
Hyperboles, though ne'er so great,
Will still come short of self-conceit.
So very like a painter drew,
That every eye the picture knew;
He hit complexion, feature, air,
So just, the life itself was there.
No flattery, with his colours laid,
To bloom restor'd the faded maid;
He gave each muscle all its strength;
The mouth, the chin, the nose's length;
His honest pencil touch'd with truth,
And mark'd the date of age and youth.
He lost his friends, his practice fail'd;
Truth should not always be reveal'd:
In dusty piles his pictures lay,
For no one sent the second pay.
Two bustos, fraught with every grace,
A Venus' and Apollo's face,
He plac'd in view; resolv'd to please,
Whoever sat he drew from these ;
From these corrected every feature,
And spirited each aukward creature.
All things were set; the hour was come,
His pallet ready o'er his thumb.
My lord appear'd; and seated right,
In proper attitude and light,
The painter look'd, he sketch'd the piece,
Then dipt his pencil, talk'd of Greece,
Of Titian's tints, of Guido's air:
"Those eyes, my lord, the spirit there,
Might well a Raphael's hand require,
To give them all the native fire;
The features, fraught with sense and wit,
You'll grant, are very hard to hit ;
But yet with patience you shall view
As much as paint and art can do."
Observe the work. My lord replied, "Till now I thought my mouth was wide; Besides, my nose is somewhat long: Dear sir, for me, 'tis far too young." "Oh! pardon me," the artist cry'd; "In this we painters must decide. The piece ev'n common eyes must strike, I warrant it extremely like.”
My lord examin'd it anew;
No looking-glass seem'd half so true.
A lady came; with borrow'd grace
He from his Venus form'd her face.
Her lover prais'd the painter's art;
So like the picture in his heart!
To every age some charm he lent;
Ev'n beauties were almost content.
Through all the town his art they prais'd;
His custom grew, his price was rais'd.
Had he the real likeness shown,
Would any man the picture own?
But, when thus happily he wrought,
Each found the likeness in his thought.
THE BUTTERFLY AND THE SNAIL.
All upstarts, insolent in place,
Remind us of their vulgar race.
As in the sunshine of the morn
A butterfly (but newly born)
Sat proudly perking on a rose,
With pert conceit his bosom glows;
His wings (all glorious to behold)
Bedropt with azure, jet, and gold,
Wide he displays; the spangled dew
Reflects his eyes and various hue.
His now-forgotten friend a snail,
Beneath his house, with slimy trail,
Crawls o'er the grass; whom when he spies,
In wrath he to the gardener cries:
"What means yon peasant's daily toil,
From choking weeds to rid the soil?
Why wake you to the morning's care?
Why with new arts correct the year?
Why grows the peach with crimson hue?
And why the plum's inviting blue?
Were they to feast his taste design'd,
That vermin of voracious kind!
Crush then the slow, the pilfering race,
So purge thy garden from disgrace."
"What arrogance!" the snail reply'd;
"How insolent is upstart pride!
Hadst thou not thus, with insult vain,
Provok'd my patience to complain,
I had conceal'd thy meaner birth,
Nor trac'd thee to the scum of earth:
For scarce nine suns have wak'd the hours,
To swell the fruit, and paint the flowers,
Since I thy humbler life survey'd,
In base, in sordid guise array'd;
A hideous insect, vile, unclean,
You dragg'd a slow and noisome train
And from your spider bowels drew
Foul film, and spun the dirty clue.
I own my humble life, good friend;
Snail was I born, and snail shall end.
And what's a butterfly? at best
He's but a caterpillar drest;
And all thy race (a numerous seed)
Shall prove of caterpillar breed.”
THE FOX AT THE POINT OF DEATH.
A fox, in life's extreme decay,
Weak, sick, and faint, expiring lay:
All appetite had left his maw,
And age disarm'd his mumbling jaw.
His numerous race around him stand,
To learn their dying sire's command:
He rais'd his head with whining moan,
And thus was heard the feeble tone:
"Ah! sons! from evil ways depart;
My crimes lie heavy on my heart.
See, see, the murder'd geese appear!
Why are those bleeding turkeys there?
Why all around this cackling train,
Who haunt my ears for chickens slain ?"
The hungry foxes round them star'd,
And for the promis'd feast prepar'd.
"Where, sir, is all this dainty cheer?
Nor turkey, goose, nor hen, is here.
These are the phantoms of your brain;
And your sons lick their lips in vain.”.
"O gluttons!" says the drooping sire,
"Restrain inordinate desire.
Your liquorish taste you shall deplore,
When peace of conscience is no more.
Does not the hound betray our pace,
And gins and guns destroy our race?
Thieves dread the searching eye of power,
And never feel the quiet hour.
Old age (which few of us shall know)
Now puts a period to my woe.
Would you true happiness attain,
Let honesty your passions rein;
So live in credit and esteem,
And the good name you lost redeem."
"The counsel's good," a fox replies,
"Could we perform what you advise.
Think what our ancestors have done;
A line of thieves from son to son.
To us descends the long disgrace,
And infamy hath mark'd our race.
Though we, like harmless sheep, should feed,
Honest in thought, in word, and deed,
Whatever hen-roost is decreas'd,
We shall be thought to share the feast.
The change shall never be believ'd.
A lost good name is ne'er retriev'd."
"Nay, then," replies the feeble fox,
"(But, hark! I hear a hen that clucks),
Go; but be moderate in your food;
A chicken, too, might do me good."
THE BARLEY-MOW AND THE DUNGHILL.
How many saucy airs we meet
From Temple-bar to Aldgate-street!
Proud rogues, who shared the South-sea prey,
And sprung like mushrooms in a day!
They think it mean to condescend
To know a brother or a friend;
They blush to hear their mother's name,
And by their pride expose their shame.
As cross his yard, at early day,
A careful farmer took his way,
He stopp'd; and, leaning on his fork,
Observ'd the flail's incessant work.
In thought he measur'd all his store,
His geese, his hogs, he number'd o'er;
In fancy weigh'd the fleeces shorn,
And multiply'd the next year's corn.
A barley-mow, which stood beside,
Thus to its musing master cry'd:
"Say, good sir, is it fit or right
To treat me with neglect and slight?
Me, who contribute to your cheer,
And raise your mirth with ale and beer?
Why thus insulted, thus disgrac❜d,
And that vile dunghill near me plac'd?
Are those poor sweepings of a groom,
That filthy sight, that nauseous fume,
Meet objects here? Command it hence;
A thing so mean must give offence."
The humble dunghill thus reply'd:
"Thy master hears, and mocks thy pride:
Insult not thus the meek and low;
In me thy benefactor know;
My warm assistance gave thee birth,
Or thou hadst perish'd low in earth;
But upstarts, to support their station,
Cancel at once all obligation."
The learned, full of inward pride,
The fops of outward show deride;
The fop, with learning at defiance,
Scoffs at the pedant and the science:
The Don, a formal solemn strutter,
Despises Monsieur's airs and flutter;
While Monsieur mocks the formal fool,
Who looks, and speaks, and walks, by rule.
Britain, a medley of the twain,
As pert as France, as grave as Spain,
In fancy wiser than the rest,
Laughs at them both, of both the jest.
Is not the poet's chiming close
Censur'd by all the sons of prose ?
While bards of quick imagination
Despise the sleepy prose narration.
Men laugh at apes: they men contemn;
For what are we but apes to them?
Two monkies went to Southwark fair,
No critics had a sourer air;
They forc'd their way through 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 wonder 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."
THE POET AND THE ROSE.
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.
Beauties and bards have equal pride,
With both all rivals are decry'd.
Who praises Lesbia's eyes and feature,
Must call her sister aukward creature ;
For the kind flattery's sure to charm,
When we some other nymph disarm.
As in the cool of early day
A poet sought the sweets of May,
The garden's fragrant breath ascends,
And every stalk with odour bends;
A rose he pluck'd, he gaz'd, admir'd,
Thus singing, as the Muse inspir'd:
"Go, rose, my Chloe's bosom grace;
How happy shall I prove,
Might I supply 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 roses there!
I see thy withering 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 rose, who grew beside.
"Of all mankind you should not flout us;
What can a poet do without us?
In every love-song roses bloom;
We lend you colour 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 ?"
THE HARE AND MANY FRIENDS.
Friendship, like love, is but a name,
Unless to one you stint the flame.
The child, whom many fathers share,
Hath seldom known a father's care.
'Tis thus in friendships; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.
A hare who, in a civil way,
Comply'd with every 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 every 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 every burden's light." The horse reply'd," 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 stately bull implor'd;
And thus reply'd 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 favourite cow
Expects me near yon barley-mow;
And, when a lady's in the case,
You 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."
Whilst some affect the sun, and some the shade,
Some flee the city, some the hermitage;
Their aims as various, as the roads they take
In journeying through life;-the task be mine
To paint the gloomy horrors of the tomb;
Th' appointed place of rendezvous, where all
These travellers meet.-Thy succours I implore,
Eternal king! whose potent arm sustains [thing!
The keys of hell and death.-The grave, dread
Men shiver when thou'rt nam'd: Nature appall'd,
Shakes off her wonted firmness.-Ah! how dark
Thy long-extended realms, and rueful wastes!
Where nought but silence reigns, and night, dark
Dark as was chaos, ere the infant sun [night,
Was roll'd together, or had try'd his beams
Athwart the gloom profound.-The sickly taper,
By glimm'ring through thy low-brow'd misty vaults,
Furr'd round with mouldy damps, and ropy slime,
Lets fall a supernumerary horror,
And only serves to make thy night more irksome.
Well do I know thee by thy trusty yew,
Cheerless, unsocial plant! that loves to dwell
Midst skulls and coffins, epitaphs, and worms;
Where light-heel'd ghosts, and visionary shades,
Beneath the wan cold moon (as fame reports)
Embody'd, thick, perform their mystic rounds.
No other merriment, dull tree! is thine.
See yonder hallow'd fane !—the pious work Of names once fam'd, now dubious or forgot, And bury'd midst the wreck of things which were; There lie interr'd the more illustrious dead. The wind is up: hark! how it howls! Methinks Till now I never heard a sound so dreary: [bird, Doors creak, and windows clap, and night's foul Rook'd in the spire, screams loud: the gloomy aisles Black plaster'd, and hung round with shreds of scutcheons
And tatter'd coats of arms, send back the sound
Laden with heavier airs, from the low vaults,
The mansions of the dead.-Rous'd from their
In grim array the grisly spectres rise,
Grin horrible, and obstinately sullen
Pass and repass, hush'd as the foot of night.
Again the screech-owl shrieks: ungracious sound!
I'll hear no more; it makes one's blood run chill.
Quite round the pile, a row of reverend elms,
(Coeval near with that) all ragged show,
Long lash'd by the rude winds: some rift half down
Their branchless trunks; others so thin a-top,
That scarce two crows could lodge in the same tree.
Strange things, the neighbours say, have happen'd
Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow tombs:
Dead men have come again, and walk'd about;
And the great bell has toll'd, unrung, untouch'd.
Such tales their cheer, at wake or gossiping,
When it draws near to witching time of night.
Oft, in the lone church-yard at night I've seen,
By glimpse of moonshine cheq'ring through the
The school-boy with his satchel in his hand, [trees,
Whistling aloud to bear his courage up,
And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones
(With nettles skirted, and with moss o'ergrown)
That tell in homely phrase who lie below.
Sudden he starts! and hears, or thinks he hears,
The sound of something purring at his heels;
Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him,
Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows;
Who gather round, and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly,
That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand
O'er some new open'd grave; and (strange to tell!)
Evanishes at crowing of the cock.
The new-made widow, too, I've sometimes spied, Sad sight! slow moving o'er the prostrate dead; Listless, she crawls along in doleful black, Whilst bursts of sorrow gush from either eye, Fast falling down her now untasted cheek. Prone on the lowly grave of the dear man She drops; whilst busy meddling memory In barbarous succession musters up The past endearments of their softer hours, Tenacious of its theme. Still, still she thinks She sees him, and indulging the fond thought, Clings yet more closely to the senseless turf, Nor heeds the passenger who looks that way.
Invidious grave! how dost thou rend in sunder
Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one!
A tie more stubborn far than nature's band.
Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul;
Sweet'ner of life, and solder of society,
I owe thee much. Thou hast deserv'd from me,
Far, far beyond what I can ever pay.
Oft have I prov'd the labours of thy love,
And the warm efforts of the gentle heart,
Anxious to please.-O! when my friend and I
In some thick wood have wander'd heedless on,
Hid from the vulgar eye, and sat us down
Upon the sloping cowslip-cover'd bank,
Where the pure limpid stream has slid along
In grateful errors through the underwood
Sweet murm'ring; methought the shrill-tongu'd
Mended his song of love; the sooty blackbird Mellow'd his pipe, and soften'd every note: