Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

and Melancholy, having tortured þer prisoner for a time consigas him at last to the cruelty of Despair. · While I was pusing on this miserable scene, my protector called out to me, “ Remember, Theodore, and be wise, and let pot Habit prevail against thee." I started, and be. held myself surrounded by the rocks of Teneriffe; the birds of light were singing in the trees, and the glances of the morning darted upon me.

DR. JOHNSON.

I

[ocr errors]

PIECES IN POETRY

CHAPTER I.
NARRATIVE PIECES.

SECTION 1.
The chameleon ; or pertinacity exposed
OFT has it been my lot to mark,
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
With eyes that hardly serv'd at, most
To guard their master 'gainst a post;
Yet round the world the blade has been,
To see whatever could be seen :
Returning from his finish'd tour,
Grown ten times perter than before ;
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travell’d fool your mouth will stop :
“ But, if my judgment you'll allow-
I've seen-and sure I ought to know"
So begs you'd pay a due submission,
And acquiesce in his decision.

Two travellers of such a cast,
As o'er Arabia's wilds they pass'd,
And on their way, in friendly chat,
Now talk'd of this, and then of that,
Discours'd a while, 'mongst other matter,
Of the chameleon's form and nature,
A stranger animal,” cries one,
« Sure never liv'd beneath the sun !
A lizard's body, lean and long,
A fish's head, a serpent's tongue,
Its foot with triple claw disjoin'd;
And what a length of tail behind !
How slow its pace! and then its hue-
Whoever saw so fine a blue ?

* Hold there," the other quick replies,
“ 'Tis green-I saw it with these 'eyes,
As late with open mouth it lay,
And warm'd it in the sunny ray;
Stretch'd at its ease the beast I view'd,
And saw it eat the air for food.”

“I've seen it, friend, as well as you
And must again affirm it blue.
At leisure I the beast survey'd,
Extended in the cooling shade.”

“ 'Tis green, 'tis green, I can assure ye."
6 Green !" cries the other in a fury-
" Why, do you think I've lost my eyes ?
“'Twere no great loss,” the friend replies,
“For if they always serve you thus,
You'll find them but of little use."

So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows :
When luckily came by a third
To bim the question they referr'd; s
And begg'd he'd tell 'em, if he knew,
Whether the thing was green or blue.

“Come,” cries the umpire, “ cease your pother,
The creature's neither one nor t’other:
I caught the animal last night, si
And view'd it o'er by candle light:
I mark'd it well-'twas black as jet-'
You stare-but I have got it yet,
And can produce it.” “Pray then do :
For I am sure the thing is blue." ..."
And I'll engage that when you've seen
The reptile, you'll pronounce him green.”

- Well then, at once to ease the doubt,"
Replies the man, “ I'll turn him out:
And when before your eyes I've set him,
If you don't find him black, I'll eat him.”

He said ; then full before their sight
Produc'd the beast, and lo-'twas white !
Both star'd : the man look'd wondrous wise
My children," the chameleon cries,
(Then first the creature found a tongue, . .
. You all are right, and all are wrong :
When next you talk of what you view, :
Think others see as well as you:

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

FRIENDSHIP, in truth, is but a name,
Unless to few we stint the flame.
The child, who many fathers share,
Hath seldom known a father's care.
'Tis thus in friendship ; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.

A hare, who, in a civil way,
Complied 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 ev'ry 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 lies.
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 ev'ry burthen's light.”

non
The horse replied, “ 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 replied the mighty lord;
“ Since er'ry beast alive can tell
That I sincerely wish you well,

[ocr errors]

I may, without offence, pretend
To take the freedom of a friend. ;
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.
5. 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 1!.
Should I presume to bear you hence,
Those friends of mine might 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."

SECTION III.

The three warnings.

The tree of deepest root is found i
Least willing still to quit the ground : -
Twas therefore said by ancient sages,

That love of life increas'd with years
So much, that in our latter stages,
When pains grow sharp, and sickness rages,

The greatest love of life appears.
This great affection to believe,
Which all confess, but few perceive,
If old assertions can't prevail,
Be pleas’d to hear a modern tale.

When sports went round, and all were gay, On neighbour Dodson's wedding-day,

« AnteriorContinuar »