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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 fight 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 I might.
Nathless she thanks thee, and accepts thy boon,
Whatever; not as erst the fabled cock,
Vainglorious fool! unknowing what he found,
Spurn’d the rich gem thou gavest him. Wherefore,
Why not on me that favour, (worthier sure!) [ah!
Conferr'dst thou, goddess ! Thou art blind thou sayst:
Enough!—thy blindness shall excuse the deed.
Nor does my muse no benefit exhale
From this thy scant indulgence !-even here
Hints worthy sage philosophy are found;
Illustrious hints, to moralize my song!
This ponderous heel of perforated hide
Compact, with pegs indented, many a row,
Haply (for such its massy form bespeaks)
The weighty tread of some rude peasant clown
Upbore: on this, supported oft, he stretch'd,
With uncouth strides, along the furrow'd glebe,
Flattening the stubborn clod, till cruel time
(What will not cruel time) on a wry step
Sever'd the strict cohesion; when, alas !
He, who could erst, with even, equal pace,
Pursue his destined with symmetry,
And some proportion form’d, now on one side
Curtaild and maim'd, the sport of vagrant boys,
Cursing his frail supporter, treacherous prop!
With toilsome steps, and difficult, moves on.
Thus fares it oft with other than the feet
Of humble villager—the statesman thus,
Up the steep road where proud ambition leads,
Aspiring, first uninterrupted winds
His prosperous way; nor fears miscarriage foul,
While policy prevails, and friends prove true.
But, that support soon failing, by him left
On whom he most depended, basely left, Betray'd, deserted; from his airy height Headlong he falls; and through the rest of life Drags the dull load of disappointment on.
ON READING RICHARDSON'S HISTORY OF SIR CHARI.ES
SAY, ye apostate and profane,
Wretches, who blush not to disdain
Allegiance to your God,-
Did e'er your idly wasted love
Of virtue for her sake remove
from the crowd ?
Know, the devout, and they alone,
Are equal to the task:
The labours of the illustrious course
Far other than the unaided force
Of human vigour ask.
To arm against reputed ill
The patient heart too brave to feel
The tortures of despair:
Nor safer yet high-crested pride,
When wealth flows in with every tide
To gain admittance there.
To rescue from the tyrant's sword
The oppress'd;—unseen and unimplored,
To cheer the face of woe;
From lawless insult to defend
An orphan's right-a fallen friend,
And a forgiven foe;
These, these distinguish from the crowd, And these alone, the great and good,
The guardians of mankind; Whose bosoms with these virtues heave, O with what matchless speed they leave
The multitude behind!
Then ask ye, from what cause on earth Virtues like these derive their birth?
Derived from Heaven alone, Full on that favour'd breast they shine, Where faith and resignation join
To call the blessing down.
Such is that heart :--but while the muse Thy theme, 0 Richardson, pursues,
Her feeble spirits faint: She cannot reach, and would not wrong, The subject for an angel's song,
The hero, and the saint ! 1753.