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Within his humble cell,
The cavern wild with tangling roots,
Sits o'er his newly-gather'd fruits,
Beside his crystal well!
Or, haply, to his evening thought,
By unfrequented stream,
The ways of men are distant brought,
A faint collected dream:
While praising, and raising
His thoughts to Heav'n on high,
As wandering, meandering,
He views the solemn sky.
Than I, no lonely hermit plac'd
Where never human footstep trac'd,
Less fit to play the part:
The lucky moment to improve,
And just to stop, and just to move,
With self-respecting art:
But ah! those pleasures, loves and joys,
Which I too keenly taste,
The solitary can despise,
Can want, and yet be bless'd!
He needs not, he heeds not,
Or human love or hate,
Whilst I here must cry here,
At perfidy ingrate !
Oh! enviable, early days,
When dancing thoughless pleasure's maze,
To care, to guilt unknown!
How ill exchang'd for riper times,
To feel the follies, or the crimes,
Of others, or my own!
Ye tiny elves, that guiltless sport,
Like linnets in the bush,
Ye little know the ills ye court,
When manhood is your wish!
The losses, the crosses,
That active man engage!
The fears all, the tears all,
Of dim-declining age!
HORACE, BOOK II. ODE X.
RECEIVE, dear friend, the truths I teach,
So shalt thou live beyond the reach
Of adverse Fortune's pow'r ;
Not always tempt the distant deep,
Nor always timorously creep
Along the treach'rous 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,
Imbitt'ring all his state.
The tallest pines feel most the pow'r
Of wintry blasts; the loftiest tow'r
Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts, that spare the mountain's side,
His cloudcapt eminence divide,
And spread the ruin round.
The well inform'd 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 Heav'n 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.
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 alk
ON THE 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,
Gaz'd on the lake below.
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd;
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
Through 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 smil'd)
The slippery verge her feet beguil❜d,
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 Toм, 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.
FALSE FRIENDS AND TRUE.*
As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made:
Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
Trees did grow, and plants did spring;
Every thing did banish moan,
Save the nightingale alone.
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn;
*This poem, from its excellence, has been attributed to Shakspeare.