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THE PINE-APPLE AND THE BEE. 111
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-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;
112 THE PINE-APPLE AND THE BEE.
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.
HORACE. Book the 2d. Ode the 10th.
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 contenteilly 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 feel most the power
Of wintry blasts; the loftiest tower
Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts, that spare the mountain's side,
His cloud-capt eminence divide,
And spread the ruin round.
IV. . The well informed philosopher Rejoices with an wholesome fear,
And hopes, in spite of pain ;
If winter bellow from the north,
Soon the sweet spring comes dancing fortha,
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 canvass in.
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.
The nymph must lose her female friend,
If more admired than she
But where will fierce contention end,
If flowers can disagree?
Within the garden's peaceful scene
Appeared two lovely foes,
Aspiring to the rank of queen,
The Lily and the Rose.