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Beside some water's rushy brink
With me the Muse shall sit, and think
(At ease reclin’d in rustic state)
How vain the ardour 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 honied 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 futter thro’ life's little day,
In fortune’s varying colours drest:
Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance,
Or chilld 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 glittering 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.
DEATH OF A FAVOURITE 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 flowers, that blow;
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima reclin'd,
Gazed on the lake below.
Her conscious tail her joy declard;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald 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, nor 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.