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Lo! where the rosy-bosom’d hours,
Fair Venus' train appear,
Disclose the long-expecting flowers,
And wake the purple year!
The attic warbler
her throat, Responsive to the cuckoo's note, The untaught harmony of spring : While whisp’ring pleasure as they fly, Cool zephyrs through the clear blue sky Their gather'd fragrance fling.
Where'er the oak’s thick branches stretch
A broader browner shade;
Where'er the rude and moss-grown beech
O’er-canopies the glade,
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 through 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 flutter through life's little day,
In fortune's varying colours drest :
Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance,
Or chill'd 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.
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,
Gazed 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 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.
A DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE.
"Ανθρωπος ικανή πρόφασις εις το δυστυχείν.
that from the stately brow Of Windsor's heights th' expanse below
grove, of lawn, of mead survey, Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among Wanders the hoary Thames along His silver-winding way.
Ah happy hills, ah pleasing shade,
Ah fields belov'd in vain,
Where once my careless childhood stray'd,
A stranger yet to pain !
I feel the gales, that from ye blow,
A momentary bliss bestow,
As waving fresh their gladsome wing,
My weary soul they seem to sooth,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a second spring.
Say, Father THAMES, for thou hast seen
Full many a sprightly race
Disporting on thy margent green
The paths of pleasure trace,
Who foremost now delight to cleave
With pliant arm thy glassy wave?
The captive linnet which enthrall ?
What idle progeny succeed
To chase the rolling circle's speed,
Or urge the flying ball?
While some on earnest business bent
Their murm'ring labours ply
'Gainst graver hours, that bring constraint
To sweeten liberty :
Some bold adventurers disdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare descry:
Still as they run they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.