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322 THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM.
Fastiditque alios, et nata videtur in usus
Imperii, sceptram, Flora quod ipsa gerat.
Nee Dea non sensit civilis murmura rixae,
Cui cura? est pictas pandere ruris opes.
Deliciasque suas nunquam non prompta tueri,
Dum licet et locus est, ut tueatur, adest.
Et tibi forma datur procerior omnibus, inquit,
Et tibi, principibus qui solet esse, color,
Et donee vincat quaedam formosior ambas,
Et tibi reginae nomen, et esto tibi.
His ubi sedatus furor est, petit utraque nympham
Qualem inter Veneres Anglia sola parit;
Hanc penes imperium est, nihil optant amplius, hujus
Regnant in nitidis, et sine lite, genis.
THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM.
A NIGHTINGALE that all day long
Had cheered the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When looking eagerly around,
He spied, far off upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spatk;
So stooping down from hawthorn top.
He thought to put him in his crop;
The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus right eloquent:
"Did you admire my lamp,"quoth he,
"As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song, -
For 'twas the self-same power divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine,
That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night."
The songster heard his short oration,
And warbling out his approbation,
Released him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
Hence jarring sectaries may learn,
Their real interest to discern:
That brother should not war with brother,
And worry and devour each other,
But sing and shine by sweet consent,
Till life's poor transient night is spent,
Respecting in each other's case
The gifts of nature and of grace.
Those Christians best deserve the name,
Who studiously make peace their aim;
Peace, both the duty and the prize
Of him that creeps and him that flies.
ON A GOLDFINCH STARVED TO DEATH IN HIS CAGE.
Time was when I was free an air,
The thistle's downy seed my fare,
My drink the morning dew;
I perched 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 passed 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 PINE-APPLE AND THE BEE.
The pine-apples in triple row
Were basking hot and all in blow,
A bee of most discerning taste
Perceived the fragrance as he passed;
On eager wing the spoiler came,
And searched 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 trimmed 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 Pine Apple, and he
The silly unsuccessful Bee.
The maid who views with pensive air
The show-glass 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 pine-apples 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.
BOOK II. ODE X.
Receive, dear friend, the truths I teach,
So shalt thou live beyond the reach
Of adverse fortune's power;
Not always tempt the distant deep,
Nor always timorously creep
Along the treacherous shore.
He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man's door,
Imbittering all his state.
The tallest pines feels most the power
Of wintry blast, the loftiest tower
Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts that spare the mountain's side,
His cloud-clapt eminence divide
And spread the ruin round.
The well-informed philosopher
Rejoices with a wholesome fear,
And hopes in spite of pain;
If winter bellow from the north,
Soon the sweet spring comes dancing forth,
And nature laughs again.
What if thine heaven be overcast,
The dark appearance will not last,
Expect a brighter sky;
The God that strings the silver bow,
Awakes sometimes the muses too,
And lays his arrows by.
If hindrances obstruct thy way,
Thy magnanimity display,
And let thy strength be seen;
But oh! if Fortune fill thy sail
With more than a propitious gale,
Take half thy canvas in!
A REFLECTION ON THE FOREGOING ODE.
And is this all? Can reason do no more
Than bid me shun the deep and dread the shore?
Sweet moralist! afloat on life's rough sea
The Christian has an art unknown to thee;
He holds no parley with unmanly fears,
Where duty bids he confidently steers,
Faces a thousand dangers at her call,
And trusting in his God, surmounts them all.
WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION.
Oh happy shades! to me unblest,
Friendly to peace, but not to me,
How ill the scene that offers rest,
And heart that cannot rest, agree!
This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Those alders quivering to the breeze,
Might soothe a soul less hurt than mine,
And please, if anything could please.
But fixt unalterable care
Foregoes not what she feels within,
Shows the same sadness everywhere,
And slights the season and the scene.
For all that pleased in wood or lawn,
While peace possessed these silent bowers,
Her animating smile withdrawn,
Has lost its beauties and its powers.
The saint or moralist should tread
This moss-grown alley, musing slow •
They seek like me the secret shade,
But not like me, to nourish woe.
Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste,
Alike admonish not to roam;
These tell me of enjoyments past,
And those of sorrows yet to come.
THE WINTER NOSEGAY.
What nature, alas! has denied
To the delicate growth of our isle,
Art has in a measure supplied,
And winter is decked with a smile.
See, Mary, what beauties I bring
From the shelter of that sunny shed,
Where the flowers have the charms of the spring,
Though abroad they are frozen and dead.
'Tis a bower of Arcadian sweets,
Where Flora is still in her prime;
A fortress to which she retreats,
From the cruel assaults of the clime.
While earth wears a mantle of snow,
These pinks are as fresh and as gay,
As the fairest and sweetest that blow
On the beautiful bosom of May.
See how they have safely survived
The frowns of a sky so severe!
Such Mary's true love that has lived
Through many a turbulent year.
The charms of the late-blowing rose,
Seem graced with a livelier hue,
And the winter of sorrow best shows
The truth of a friend, such as you.
NECESSARY TO THE HAPPINESS OF THE MARRIED STATE.
The lady thus addressed her spouse ;—
What a mere dungeon is this house!
By no means large enough, and was it,
Yet this dull room and that dark closet,
Those hangings with their wom-out graces,
Long beards, long noses, and pale faces,
Are such an antiquated scene,
They overwhelm me with the spleen.
—Sir Humphrey shooting in the dark,
Makes answer quite beside the mark.
No doubt, my dear, I bade him come,
Engaged myself to be at home,
And shall expect him at the door
Precisely when the clock strikes four.
You are so deaf, the lady cried,
(And raised her voice and frowned beside,)
You are so sadly deaf, my dear,
What shall I do to make you hear?
Dismiss poor Harry? he replies,
Some people are more nice than wise;