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De sacris autem hæc sit una sententia, ut conserventur.
CIC. DE LEG. But let us all concur in this one sentiment, that things sacred be inviolate.
He lives who lives to God alone,
And all are dead beside ;
For other source than God is none
Whence life can be supplied.
To live to God is to requite
His love as best we may:
To make his precepts our delight,
His promises our stay.
But life, within a narrow ring
Of giddy joys comprised,
Is falsely named, and no such thing,
But rather death disguised.
Can life in them deserve the name,
Who only live to prove
For what poor toys they can disclaim
An endless life above ?
Who, much diseased, yet nothing feel;
Much menaced, nothing dread; Have wounds, which only God can heal,
Yet never ask his aid ?
Who deem his house a useless place,
Faith, want of common sense ; And ardour in the Christian race,
A hypocrite's pretence ?
Who trample order ; and the day
Which God asserts his own Dishonour with unhallow'd play,
And worship chance alone ?
If scorn of God's commands, impress'd
On word and deed, imply, The better part of man unbless'd
With life that cannot die;
Such want it, and that want uncured
Till man resigns his breath, Speaks him a criminal, assured
Of everlasting death.
Sad period to a pleasant course!
Yet so will God repay
Sabbaths profaned without remorse,
And mercy cast away.
STARTED TO DEATH IN HIS CAGE.
Time was when I was free as air,
The thistle's downy seed my fare,
My drink the morning dew;
I perch'd at will on every spray,
My form genteel, my plumage gay,
My strains for ever new.
But gaudy plumage, sprightly strain,
And form genteel were all in vain, .
And of a transient date;
For, caught and caged, and starved to death,
In dying sighs my little breath
Soon pass d the wiry grate.
Thanks, gentle swain, for all my woes,
And thanks for this effectual close
And cure of every ill !
More cruelty could none express;
And I, if you had shown me less,
Had been your prisoner still.
THE PINEAPPLE AND THE BEE.
The pineapples, in triple row,
Were basking hot, and all in blow;
A bee of most discerning taste
Perceived the fragrance as he pass’d,
On eager wing the spoiler came,
And search'd for crannies in the frame,
Urged his attempt on every side,
To every pane his trunk applied ;
But still in vain, the frame was tight,
And only pervious to the light:
Thus having wasted half the day,
He trimm'd his flight another way.
Methinks, I said, in thee I find
The sin and madness of mankind.
To joys forbidden man aspires,
Consumes his soul with vain desires ;
Folly the spring of his pursuit,
And disappointment all the fruit.
While Cynthio ogles, as she passes,
The nymph between two chariot glasses,
She is the pineapple, and he
The silly unsuccessful bee.'
The maid who views with pensive air
The showglass fraught with glittering ware,
Sees watches, bracelets, rings, and lockets,
But sighs at thought of empty pockets ;
Like thine, her appetite is keen,
But ah, the cruel glass between!
Our dear delights are often such,
Exposed to view, but not to touch ;
The sight our foolish heart inflames,
We long for pineapples in frames ;
With hopeless wish one looks and lingers ;
One breaks the glass, and cuts his fingers ;
But they whom truth and wisdom lead
Can gather honey from a weed.
VERSES WRITTEN AT BATH, ON FINDING THE
HEEL OF A SHOE.
FORTUNE! I thank thee: gentle goddess ! thanks!
Not that my muse, though bashful, shall deny
She would have thank'd thee rather hadst thou cast
A treasure in her way; for neither meed
Of early breakfast, to dispel the fumes, .
And bowel-racking pains of emptiness,
Nor noontide feast, nor evening's cool repast,
Hopes she from this—presumptuous, though, perhaps
The cobbler, leather-carving artist! might.
Nathless she thanks thee, and accepts thy boon,
Whatever; not as erst the fabled cock,
Vainglorious fool! unknowing what he found,