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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 gone-

We frolic while 'tis May.

OD E.

On the Death of a favorite Cat, drowned in a Tub of

Gold Fishes.
'TWAS on a lofty vase's side,

Where China's gayest art had dy'd
The azure flow'ss 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 fish?

!

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.
Eight times emerging from the flood,
She mew'd to ev'ry wat'ry god

Some speedy aid to send.
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd,
Nor cruel Tom or Susan heard :

A fav'rite has no friend!

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.

OF THE

BRITISH POETS.

VOL. II. PART II.

CONTAINING

SELECTIONS FROM THE POETS

WHO

FLOURISHED IN THE REIGNS

OF

GEORGE II. and GEORGE III.

LONDON:

Published by W. SUTTABY, CROSBY and Co. and SCATCHERD and LETTERMAN,

Stationers Court.

1809.

- Corrall, Printer, Charing Cross

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