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« Nay, in his verses, as a friend,
“ I still found something to commend.
“ Sir, I excus'd his Nut-brown Maid,
“ Whate'er severer critics said :
“ Too far, I own, the girl was try'd :
“ The women all were on my side.
“ For Alnia I return'd him thanks ;
“ I lik'd her with her little pranks :
“ Indeed, poor Solomon in rhyme
“ Was much too grave to be sublime.”
Pindar and Damon scorn transition,
So on he ran a new division; .
Till, out of breath, he turn'd to spit;
(Chance often helps us more than wit.)
T'other that lucky moment took,
Juft nick'd the time, broke in, and spoke,
• Of all the gifts the gods afford
• (If we may take old Tully's word)
• The greatest is a friend ; whose love
• Knows how to praise, and when reprove ;
• From such a treasure never part,
But hang the jewel on your heart : • And, pray, Sir, (it delights me) tell; • You know this Author mighty well ?
“ Know him! d'ye question it? Ods-fish I “ Sir, does a beggar know his dish ? “ I lov'd him ; as I told you, I " Advis'd him~" Here a stander-by Twich'd Damon gently by the cloke, And ihus, unwilling, filence broke:
• Damon, 'tis time we Mould retire :
• The man you talk with is Mat Prior."
Patron tlırough life, and froin thy birth my friend, Dorset ! to thee, this Fable let me send: With Damon's lightness weigh thy folid worth : The foil is known to set the diamond forth: Let the feign'd tale this real moral give, HOW MANY Damons, how Few Dorsets, live!
REMOTE from cities liv'd a swain,
Unvex'd with all the cares of gain ;
His head was filver'd o'er with age,
And long experience made him fage :
In summer's heat, and winter's cold,
He fed his flock, and penn'd the fold;
His hours in cheerful labour few,
Nor envy nor ambition knew :
His wisdom and his honest fame
Through all the country rais'd his name,
A deep Philosopher (whose rules
Of moral life were drawn from schools)
The Shepherd's homely cottage fought,
And thus explor'd his reach of thought :
Whence is thy learning ? Hath thy toil
O'er books consum’d the midnight oil ?
Haft thou old Greece, and Rome survey'd ?
And the vast sense of Plalo weigh'd ?
Hath Socrates thy foul refin'd;
And haft thou fathom’d Tully's mind ?
Or, like the wise Ulysses, thrown
By various fates on realms unknown ?
Hast thou through many cities stray'd,
Their customs, laws, and manners weigh'd ?
The Shepherd modestly reply'd :
I ne'er the paths of learning try'd ;
Nor have I rgam'd in foreign parts,
To read mankind, their laws, and arts ;
For man is practis'd in disguise,
He cheats the most discerning eyes ;
Who by that search shall wiser grow,
When we ourselves can never know?
The little knowledge I have gain'd,
Was.all from simple Nature drain'd;
Hence my life's mạxims took their rife,
Hence grew my settled hate to vice,
The daily labours of the Bee
Awake my soul to inclustry.
Who can observe the careful Ant,
And not provide for future want?
My Dog (the trustiest of his kind)
With gratitude inflames my mind :
I mark his true, his faithful way,
And in my service copy Tray.
In constancy and nuptial love,
I learn my duty from the Dove.
The Hen, who from the chilly air,
With pious wing protects her care ;
And ev'ry fowl that flies at large
Instructs me in a parent's charge.
From Nature too s take my rule,
To thun contempt and ridicule :
I never, with important air,
la conversation over-bear,
Can grave and formal pafs for wise,
When men the folemn Owl despise ?
My tongue within my lips I rein,
For who talks much muit talk in vain :
We from the wordy torrent fly;
Who listens to the chatt’ring Pye?
Nor would I with felonious flight,
By fealth invade my neighbour's right,
Rapacious animals we hate:
Kites, hawkes, and wolves deserve their fate,
Do not we just abhorrence find
Against the toad and serpent kind ?
But envy, calumny, and spite,
Bear stronger venom in their bite.
Thus ev'ry object of creation
Can furnish hints to contemplation ;
And from the most minute and mean,
A virtuous mind can morals glean.
Thy fame is just, the lage replies ;
Thy virtue proves thee truly wise.
Pride often guides the author's pen ;
Books as affected are as men :
But he who studies Nature's laws,
"From certain truth his maxims draws;
And those, without our schools, fuffice
To make men moral, good, and wise.
CONTEMPLATION ON NIGHT. W HETHER amid the gloom of Night I ftray, Or my glad eyes enjoy revolving day, Still Nature's various face informs my sense Of an all-wise, all-powerful Providence.
When the gay sun first breaks the shades of Night, And strikes the diftant eastern hills with light, Colour returns, the plains their liv'ry wear, And a bright verdure clothes the smiling year; The blooming flow’rs with op’ning beauties glow, And grazing flocks their milky fleeces show; The barren cliffs with chalky fronts arise, And a pure azure arches o'er the skies. But when the gloomy reign of Night returns, Stript of her fading pride, all nature mourns: The trees no more their wonted verdure boaft, But weep, in dewy tears their beauty loft ; No distant landscapes draw our curious eyes, Wrapt in Night's robe the whole creation lies : Yet fill, e'en now, while darkness clothes the land, We view the traces of th’ Almighty hand; Millions of stars in heav'n's wide vault appear, And with new glories hang the boundless fphere : The filver Moon her western couch forsakes, And o'er the skies her nightly circle makes ;
Her solid globe beats back the funny rays, And to the world her borrow'd light repays.
Whether those stars, that twinkling luftre fend, Are suns, and rolling worlds those suns attend,