« AnteriorContinuar »
As folks, tho' inly vex'd and teaz'd,
Will oft seem satisfy'd and pleas'd;
The Ape approv'd of ev'ry word
At this time utter'd by the bird:
But, nothing in opinion chang'd,
Thought only how to be reveng'd.
It happen'd when the day was fair,
That Poll was set to take the air,
Just where the Monkey oft sat poring
About experiments in soaring:
Dissembling his contempt and rage,
He stept up softly to the cage,
And with a sly malicious grin,
Accosted thus the bird within:
You say I am not form'd for flight; In this you certainly are right: 'Tis very plain upon reflection, But to yourself there's no objection, Since flying is the very trade For which the winged race is made; And therefore, for our mutual sport, I'll make you fly, you can't be hurt. With that he slily slipt the string Which held the cage up by the ring. In vain the Parrot begg'd and pray'd, No word was minded that she said; Down went the cage, and on the ground Bruis'd and half-dead poor Poll was found. Pug, who for some time had attended To that alone which now was ended, Again had leisure to pursue The project he had first in view.
Quoth he, a person, if he's wise, Will only with his friends advise, They know his temper and his parts, And have his int'rest near their hearts. In matters, which he should forbear, They'll hold him back with prudent care, But never, from an envious spirit, Forbid him to display his merit; Or judging wrong, from spleen and hate, His talents slight or under-rate. I acted sure with small reflection In asking counsel and direction
From a sly minion, whom I know
To be my rival and my foe;
One who will constantly endeavour
To hurt me in our lady's favour,
And watch and plot to keep me down,
From obvious int'rests of her own.
But on the top of that old tow'r
An honest Daw has made his bow'r;
A faithful friend whom one may trust,
My debtor too for many a crust ;·
Which in the window oft I lay
For him to come and take away :
From gratitude no doubt he'll give
Such counsel as I may receive,
Well back'd with reasons strong and plain
To push me forward or restrain.
One morning, when the Daw appear'd, The project was propos'd and heard: And, tho' the bird was much surpriz'd To find friend Pug so ill-advis'd, He rather chose that he should try At his own proper risk to fly, Than hazard, in a case so nice, To shock him by too free advice.
Quoth he, I'm certain that you'll find The project answer to your mind; Without suspicion, dread or care, At once commit you to the air You'll soar aloft, or, if you please,. Proceed straight forwards at your ease : The whole depends on resolution, Which you possess from constitution; And if you follow as I lead, 'Tis past a doubt you must succeed.
So saying, from the turret's height; The Jackdaw shot with downward flight, And on the edge of a canal, Some fifty paces from the wall, 'Lighted obsequious to attend The Monkey, when he should descend. But he, although he had believ'd The flatterer, and was deceiv'd, Felt some misgivings at his heart In vent'ring on so new an art:
But yet at last, 'tween hope and fear,
Himself he trusted to the air,
But far'd like him whom poets mention
With Dædalus's old invention:
Directly downwards on his head
He fell, and lay an hour for dead.
The various creatures in the place
Had different thoughts upon the case;
From some his fate compassion drew,
But those, I must confess, were few;
The rest esteem'd him rightly serv'd,
And in the manner he deserv'd,
For playing tricks beyond his sphere,
Nor thought the punishment severe.
They gather'd round him as he lay,
And jeer'd him when he limp'd away.
Pug, disappointed thus and hurt,
And grown besides the public sport,
Found all his diff'rent passions change
At once to fury and revenge.
The Daw 'twas useless to pursue;
His helpless brood, as next in view,
With unrelenting paws he seiz'd,
One's neck he wrung, another squeez'd,
Till, of the number four or five,
No single bird was left alive.
Thus counsellors, in all regards
Tho' diff'rent, meet with like rewards:
The story shews the certain fate
Of every mortal soon or late,
Whose evil genius, for his crimes,
Connects with any fop that rhimes.
The YOUTH and the PHILOSOPHER.
A FABLE.--(W. WHITEHEAD.)
A GRECIAN youth, of talents rare,
Whom Plato's philosophic care
Had form'd for virtue's nobler view,
By precept and example too,
Would often boast his matchless skill,
To curb the steed, and guide the wheel;
And as he pass'd the gazing throng,
With graceful ease, and smack'd the thong,
The idiot wonder they express'd
Was praise and transport to his breast.
At length quite vain, he needs would shew
His master what his art could do;
And bade his slaves the chariot lead
To Academus' sacred shade.
The trembling grove confess'd its fright,
The wood-nymphs started at the sight;
The Muses drop the learned lyre,
And to their inmost shades retire.
Howe'er the youth, with forward air,
Bows to the sage, and mounts the car,
The lash resounds, the coursers spring,
The chariot marks the rolling ring,
And gath'ring crowds with eager eyes,
And shouts, pursue him as he flies.
Triumphant to the goal return'd,
With nobler thirst his bosom burn'd;
And now along th' indented plain,
The self-same track he marks again,
Pursues with care the nice design,
Nor ever deviates from the line.
Amazement seiz❜d the circling crowd;
The youths with emulation glow'd;
Ev'n bearded sages hail'd the boy,
And all, but Plato, gaz'd with joy.
For he, deep judging sage, beheld
With pain the triumphs of the field :
And when the charioteer drew nigh,
And, flush'd with hope, had caught his eye,
Alas! unhappy youth, he cry'd,
Expect no praise from me (and sigh'd).
With indignation I survey
Such skill and judgment thrown away.
The time profusely squander'd there,
On vulgar arts beneath thy care,
If well employ'd, at less expence,
Had taught thee honour, virtue, sense,
And rais'd thee from a coachman's fate
govern men, and guide the state.
The BEE, the ANT, and the SPARROW.
ADDRESSED TO PHEBE AND KITTY C.AT BOARDING-SCHOOL.
My dears, 'tis said, in days of old,
That beasts could talk, and birds could scold.
But now it seems the human race
Alone engross the speaker's place.
Yet lately, if report be true,
(And much the tale relates to you)
There met a Sparrow, Ant, and Bee,
Which reason'd and convers'd as we.
Who reads my page will doubtless grant
That Phe's the wise industrious Ant;
And all with half an eye may see
That Kitty is the busy Bee.
Here then are two-but where's the third ?
Go search your school, you'll find the bird.
Your school! I ask your pardon fair,
I'm sure you'll find no Sparrow there.
Now to my tale-One summer's morn
A Bee rang'd o'er the verdant lawn;
Studious to husband every hour,
And make the most of every flow'r.
Nimble from stalk to stalk she flies,
And loads with yellow wax her thighs;
With which the artist builds her comb,
And keeps all tight and warm at home:
Or from the cowslip's golden bells
Sucks honey to enrich her cells;
Or every tempting rose pursues,
Or sips the lily's fragrant dews;
Yet never robs the shining bloom
Or of its beauty or perfume.
Thus she discharg'd in every way
The various duties of the day.
It chanc'd a frugal Ant was near,
Whose brow was wrinkled o'er with care
A great economist was she,
Nor less laborious than the Bee;
By pensive parents often taught
What ills arise from want of thought;