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So very like a painter drew,
Sat proudly perking on a rose, That every eye the picture knew;
With pert conceit his bosom glows; He hit complexion, feature, air,
His wings (all glorious to behold) So just, the life itself was there.
Bedropt with azure, jet, and gold,
Wide he displays; the spangled dew
Reflects his eyes and various hue.
His now-forgotten friend a snail, The mouth, the chin, the nose's length;
Beneath his house, with slimy trail, His honest pencil touch'd with truth,
Crawls o'er the grass; whom when he spies, And mark'd the date of age and youth.
In wrath he to the gardener cries :
“ What means yon peasant's daily toil, Truth should not always be reveal'd:
From choking weeds to rid the soil ? In dusty piles his pictures lay,
Why wake you to the morning's care ? For no one sent the second pay.
Why with new arts correct the year? Two bustos, fraught with every grace,
Why grows the peach with crimson hue ? A Venus' and Apollo's face,
And why the plum's inviting blue? He plac'd in view ; resolv'd to please,
Were they to feast his taste design'd, Whoever sat he drew from these ;
That vermin of voracious kind! From these corrected every feature,
Crush then the slow, the pilfering race, And spirited each aukward creature.
So purge thy garden from disgrace." All things were set; the hour was come,
" What arrogance !” the snail reply'd; His pallet ready o'er his thumb.
“ How insolent is upstart pride ! My lord appear'd ; and seated right,
Hadst thou not thus, with insult vain, In proper attitude and light,
Provok'd my patience to complain, The painter look'd, he sketch'd the piece,
I had conceal'd thy meaner birth, Then dipt his pencil, talk'd of Greece,
Nor trac'd thee to the scum of earth: Of Titian's tints, of Guido's air:
For scarce nine suns have wak'd the hours, Those eyes, my lord, the spirit there,
To swell the fruit, and paint the flowers, Might well a Raphael's hand require,
Since I thy humbler life survey'd, To give them all the native fire;
In base, in sordid guise array’d; The features, fraught with sense and wit,
A hideous insect, vile, unclean, You'll grant, are very hard to hit;
You dragg'd a slow and noisome train ; But yet with patience you shall view
And from your spider bowels drew
Foul film, and spun the dirty clue.
I own my humble life, good friend; “ Till now I thought my mouth was wide;
Snail was I born, and snail shall end. Besides, my nose is somewhat long:
And what's a butterfly? at best Dear sir, for me, 'tis far too young."
He's but a caterpillar drest; “Oh! pardon me,” the artist cry'd;
And all thy race (a numerous seed) " In this we painters must decide.
Shall prove of caterpillar breed.” The piece ev’n common eyes must strike,
THE FOX AT THE POINT OF DEATH, I warrant it extremely like.” My lord examin'd it anew ;
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. Her lover prais'd the painter's art;
His numerous race around him stand, So like the picture in his heart!
To learn their dying sire's command:
He rais'd his head with whining moan, To every age some charm he lent; Ev'n beauties were almost content.
And thus was heard the feeble tone:
“ Ah! sons! from evil ways depart; Through all the town his art they prais'd ;
My crimes lie heavy on my heart.
Why are those bleeding turkeys there? Would any man the picture own ?
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? All upstarts, insolent in place,
Nor turkey, goose, nor hen, is here. Remind us of their vulgar race.
These are the phantoms of your brain; As in the sunshine of the morn
And your sons lick their lips in vain.”. A butterfly (but newly born)
THE TWO MONKIES,
The learned, full of inward pride,
Men laugh at apes: they men contemn;
Who our mean mimics thus reward.”
“ Ogluttons !" says the drooping sire,
Insult not thus the meek and low; “ Restrain inordinate desire.
In me thy benefactor know; Your liquorish taste you shall deplore,
My warm assistance gave thee birth, When peace of conscience is no more.
Or thou hadst perish'd low in earth; Does not the hound betray our pace,
But upstarts, to support their station,
Cancel at once all obligation.”
“ The counsel's good," a fox replies,
Despise the sleepy prose narration.
For what are we but apes to them?
Two monkies went to Southwark fair, “ (But, lark! I hear a hen that clucks),
No critics had a sourer air; Go; but be moderate in your food;
They forc'd their way through draggled folks, A chicken, too, might do me good."
Who gap'd to catch Jack Pudding's jokes ;
Then took their tickets for the show, THE BARLEY-MOW AND THE DUNGHILL.
And got by chance the foremost row. How many saucy airs we meet
To see their grave observing face, From Temple-bar to Aldgate-street!
Provok'd a laugh through all the place. Proud rogues, who shared the South-sea prey, “ Brother," says Pug, and turn'd his head, And sprung like mushrooms in a day!
“ The rabble's monstrously ill-bred.” They think it mean to condescend
Now through the booth loud hisses ran, To know a brother or a friend ;
Nor ended till the show began. They blush to hear their mother's name,
The tumbler whirls the flip-Aap round, And by their pride expose their shame.
With somersets he shakes the ground; As cross his yard, at early day,
The cord beneath the dancer springs ; A careful farmer took his way,
Aloft in air the vaulter swings; He stopp'd; and, leaning on his fork,
Distorted now, now prone depends, Observ'd the flail's incessant work.
Now through his twisted arm ascends. In thought he measur'd all his store,
The crowd, in wonder and delight,
With clapping hands applaud the sight.
The giant apes of reason please,
Say, good sir, is it fit or right
The humble dunghill thus reply'd:
With smiles, quoth Pug, “ If pranks like these
How would they wonder at our arts!
“ Brother," the grinning mate replies,
But, when they strain beyond their guide,
Comply'd with every thing, like Gay, I laugh to scorn the mimic pride;
Was known by all the bestial train For how fantastic is the sight,
Who haunt the wood or graze the plain ; To meet men always bolt upright,
Her care was never to offend; Because we sometimes walk on two!
And every creature was her friend. I hate the imitating crew.”
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. On ruins of another's fame.
She starts, she stops, she pants for breath ; Thus prudes, by characters o'erthrown,
She hears the near advance of death ; Imagine that they raise their own.
She doubles to mislead the hound, Thus scribblers, covetous of praise,
And measures back her maży round; Think slander can transplant the bays.
Till, fainting in the public way, i Beauties and bards have equal pride,
Half dead with fear she gasping lay. With both all rivals are decry’d.
What transport in her bosom grew, Who praises Lesbia's eyes and feature,
When first the horse appear'd in view ! Must call her sister aukward creature;
“ Let me,” says she, “ your back ascend, For the kind flattery's sure to charm,
And owe my safety to a friend. When we some other nymph disarm.
You know my feet betray my flight; As in the cool of early day
To friendship every burden's light." A poet sought the sweets of May,
The horse reply'd,“ Poor honest puss, The garden's fragrant breath ascends,
It grieves my heart to see thee thus : And every stalk with odour bends ;
Be comforted, relief is near; A rose he pluck’d, he gaz'd, admir'd,
For all your friends are in the rear." Thus singing, as the Muse inspir’d:
She next the stately bull implor'd; “Go, rose, my Chloe's bosom grace;
And thus reply'd the mighty lord : How happy shall I prove,
“ Since every beast alive can tell Might I supply that envy'd place
That I sincerely wish you well, With never fading love!
I may, without offence, pretend There, phenix-like, beneath her eye,
To take the freedom of a friend. Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die.
Love calls me hence; a favourite cow Know, hapless flower! that thou shalt find
Expects me near yon barley-mow; More fragrant roses there !
And, when a lady's in the case, I see thy withering head reclin'd
You know, all other things give place. With envy and despair !
To leave you thus might seem unkind; One common fate we both must prove ;
But see, the goat is just behind." You die with envy, I with love.”
The goat remark'd“ her pulse was high, “ Spare your comparisons,” reply'd
Her languid head, her heavy eye: An angry rose, who grew beside.
My back, says he, may do you harm; * Of all mankind you should not flout us;
The sheep's at hand, and wool is warm." What can a poet do without us?
The sheep was feeble, and complain'd In every love-song roses bloom;
“ His sides a load of wool sustain'd;" We lend you colour and perfume.
Said, he was slow, confess'd his fears; Does it to Chloe's charms conduce,
“ For hounds eat sheep as well as hares.” To found her praise on our abuse ?
She now the trotting calf address'd, Must we, to flatter her, be made
To save from death a friend distress'd. To wither, envy, pine, and fade ?”
“ Shall I,” says he, “ of tender age, In this important care engage?
Older and abler pass’d you by ; Friendship, like love, is but a name,
How strong are those ! how weak am I; Unless to one you stint the flame.
Should I presume to bear you hence, The child, whom many fathers share,
Those friends of mine may take offence. Hath seldom known a father's care,
Excuse me, then ; you know my heart; Tis thus in friendships; who depend
But dearest friends, alas! must part. On many, rarely find a friend.
How shall we all lament! Adieu ; A hare who, in a civil way,
For see the hounds are just in view."
THE HARE AND MANY FRIENDS.
See yonder hallow'd fane !—the pious work
Quite round the pile, a row of reverend elms,
Oft, in the lone church-yard at night I've seen,
Invidious grave! how dost thou rend in sunder
some thick wood have wander'd heedless on,
The eglantine smellid sweeter, and the rose
Of conquerors, and coronation-pomps,
Retard th' unwieldy show; whilst from the case-
Hang bellying o'er. But tell us, why this waste?
Why this ado in earthing up a carcass
Midst all the gorgeous figures you exhibit,
You make this mighty stir ?—'Tis wisely done:
Proud lineage, now how little thou appear’st!
Below the envy of the private man!
Honor, that meddlesome officious ill,
Strange persecution! when the grave itself
Is no protection from rude sufferance.
Absurd ! to think to over-reach the grave,
And from the wreck of names to rescue ours ! The Roman Cæsars, and the Grecian chiefs,
The best concerted schemes men lay for fame The boast of story? Where the hot-brain's youth Die fast away: only themselves die faster. Who the tiara at his pleasure tore
The far-fam'd sculptor, and the laureld bard,
Those bold insurers of eternal fame,
The tapering pyramid, the Egyptian's pride,
And wonder of the world! whose spiky top
Has wounded the thick cloud, and long ontliv'd
The angry shaking of the winter's storm;
Yet spent at last by th' injuries of heav’n,
Shatter'd with age, and furrow'd o'er with years,
The mystic cone with bieroglyphics crusted,
Gives way. O lamentable sight! at once
The labor of whole ages lumbers down ;
A hideous and mis-shapen length of ruins.
Sepulchral columns wrestle but in vain
With all-subduing Time; his cankering hand
With calm deliberate malice wasteth them:
Worn on the edge of days, the brass consumes,
The busto moulders, and the deep cut marble,
Unsteady to the steel, gives up its charge.
Ambition, half convicted of her folly,
Hangs down the head and reddens at the tale.
Here all the mighty troublers of the earth, In mode and form, ev'n to a very scruple ;
Who swam to sov'reign rule thro' seas of blood; Oh cruel irony! these come too late;
The oppressive, sturdy man-destroying villains,
And in a cruel wantomess of power
Thinn'd states of half their people, and gave up
To want the rest; now, like a storm that's spent, But lies as soft, and sleeps as sound as he.
Lie hush'd, and meanly sneak behind thy covert. Sorry pre-eminence of high descent,
Vain thought! to hide them from the general scorn Above the baser-born, to rot in state.
That haunts and dogs them like an injur'd ghost
Implacable. Here too the petty tyrant,
Whose scant domains geographer ne'er notic'd,
And, well for neighb'ring grounds, of arm as short, The sick man's door, and live upon the dead,
Who fix'd his iron talons on the poor,
prey, By letting out their persons by the hour,
And grip'd thein like some lordly beast of
To mimic sorrow, when the heart's not sad.