While one as innocent regards
A snug and friendly game at cards;
And one, whatever you may say,
Can see no evil in a play:
Some love a concert, or a race;
And others shooting, and the chase.
Reviled and loved, renounced and followed,
Thus, bit by bit, the world is swallowed;
Each thinks his neighbour makes too free,
Yet likes a slice as well as he:
With sophistry their sauce they sweeten,
Till quite from tail to snout 'tis eaten.





Ye nymphs! if e'er your eyes were red With tears o'er hapless favourites shed,

O share Maria's grief! Her favourite, even in his cage, (What will not hunger's cruel rage ?)

Assassined by a thief.

Where Rhenus strays his vines among, The egg was laid from which he sprung,

And though by nature mute, Or only with a whistle blest, Well-taught he all the sounds express’d

Of flagelet or flute.

The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole,

His bosom of the hue
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise

To sweep away the dew.

Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike of bird and mouse,

No cat had leave to dwell;
And Bully's cage supported stood
On props of smoothest-shaven wood,

Large-built and latticed well.

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Well-latticed-but the grate, alas!
Not rough with wire of steel or brass,

For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wands from Ouse's side,
With which, when neatly peeled and dried,

The swains their baskets make.



Night veiled the pole: all seemed secure-
When led by instinct sharp and sure,

Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth-sallied on the scout,
Long-backed, long-tailed, with whiskered snout,

And badger-coloured hide.

He, entering at the study-door,
Its ample area 'gan explore;

And something in the wind
Conjectured, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,

Food chiefly for the mind.

Just then, by adverse fate impressed,
A dream disturbed poor Bully's rest,

In sleep he seemed to view
A rat, fast-clinging to the cage,
And screaming at the sad presage,

Awoke and found it true.

For, aided both by ear and scent,
Right to his mark the monster went-

Ah, muse! forbear to speak
Minute the horrours that ensued;
His teeth were strong, the cage was wood-

He left poor Bully's beak.

Oh had he made that too his prey,
That beak, whence issued many a lay

Of such mellifluous tone,
Might have repaid him well, I wote,
For silencing so sweet a throat,

Fast stuck within his own.

Maria weeps the Muses mourn
So, when by Bacchanalians torn,

On Thracian Hebrus’ side
The tree enchanter Orpheus fell;
His head alone remained to tell

The cruel death he died.

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