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He saw, but blasted with excess of light,
Clos'd his eyes in endless night.
Behold where Dryden's less presumptuous car
Wide o'er the fields of glory bear
Two coursers of etherial race,
With necks in thunder cloth'd and long resounding
Hark! his hands the lyre explore !
Bright-ey'd Fancy, hov'ring o'er,
Scatters from her pictur'd urn
Thoughts that breathe and words that burn;
But ah! 'tis heard no more-
Oh ! lyre divine! what daring spirit
Wakes thee now; tho' he inherit
Nor the pride nor ample pinion
That the Theban eagle bear,
Sailing with supreme dominion
Thro' the azure deep of air,
Yet oft before his infant eyes would run
Such forms as glitter in the Muses' ray
With orient hues, unborrow'd of the sun; .
Yet shall he mount and keep his distant way
Beyond the limits of a vulgar fate,
Beneath the good how far-but far above the great.
On the Spring. TO! where the rosy-bosom'd hours,
Fair Venus' train, appear,
Disclose the long expecting flowers
And wake the purple year,
The attic warbler pours her throat
Responsive to the cuckoo's note,
The untaught harmony of spring,
While, whisp'ring pleasure as they fly,
Cool zephyrs thro' the clear blue sky
Their gather'd fragrance fling.
Where'er the oak's thick branches stretch
A broader, browner shade,
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech
O'er-canopies the glade,
Beside some water's rushy brink
With me the Muse shall sit, and think
(At ease reclin'd in rustic state) How vain the ardor of the crowd, How low, how little are the proud !
How indigent the great!
Still is the toiling hand of Care,
The panting herds repose,
Yet hark ! how thro' the peopled air
The busy murmur glows !
The insect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taste the honey'd spring,
And float amid the liquid noon;
Some lightly o'er the current skim,
Some shew their gaily gilded trim,
Quick-glancing to the sun.
To Contemplation's sober eye,
Such is the race of man,
And they that creep and they that fly
Shall end where they began.
Alike the busy and the gay
But flutter thro' life's little day,
In Fortune's varying colours drest ! Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance. Or chill'd by Age, their airy dance
They leave, in dust to rest.
Methinks I hear, in accents low,
The sportive kind reply,
Poor Moralist! and what art thou ?
A solitary fly!
Thy joys no glittring female meets,
No hive hast thou of hoarded sweets.
No painted plumage to display : On hasty wings thy youth is flown, Thy sun is set, thy spring is goneWe frolic while 'tis May.
ODE. On the Death of a favorite Cat, drowned in a Tub of
TWAS on a lofty vase's side,
Where China's gayest art had dy'd
The azure flow'rs that blow,
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima reclin'd,
Gaz'd on the lake below.
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd:
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and em'rald eyes,
She saw, and purr'd applause.
Still had she gaz’d, but, 'midst the tide,
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The Genii of the stream;
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
Thro' richest purple, to the view
Betray'd a golden gleam.
The hapless nymph with wonder saw:
A whisker first, and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretch'd in vain to reach the prize!
What female heart can gold despise :
What Cat's averse to tish?
Presumptuous maid! with looks intent,
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between:
(Malignant Fate sat by and smild,)
The slipp'ry verge her feet beguild;
She tumbled headlong in..
From hence, ye Beauties! undeceiv'd,
Know one false step is ne'er retriev'd,
And be with caution bold:
Not all that tempts your wand'ring eyes,
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize,
Nor all that glisters gold.
CONTAINING SELECTIONS FROM THE POETS
GEORGE II. and GEORGE III.
LONDON: Published by W. SUTTABY, CROSBY and Co. and SCATCHERD and LETTERMAN,
Corrall, Printer, Charing Crows