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Recumbent at her ease ere long,
And lull'd by her own humdrum song,
She left the cares of life behind,
And slept as she would sleep her last,
When in came, housewifely inclined,
The chambermaid, and shut it fast,
By no malignity impelld,
But all unconscious whom it held.
Awaken’d by the shock (cried Puss),
• Was ever cat attended thus !
The open drawer was left, I see, :
Merely to prove a nest for me,
For soon as I was well composed,
Then came the maid, and it was closed.
How smooth these 'kerchiefs and how sweet!
Oh what a delicate retreat!
I will resign myself to rest,
Till Sol declining in the west
Shall call to supper, when, no doubt,
Susan will come and let me out.'
The evening came, the sun descended, And puss remain'd still unattended. The night rollid tardily away (With her indeed 'twas never day), The sprightly morn her course renew'd, The evening gray again ensued, And puss came into mind no more Than if entomb’d the day before. With hunger pinch’d, and pinch’d for room, She now presaged approaching doom, Nor slept a single wink or purrid, Conscious of jeopardy incurr’d.
That night, by chance, the poet watching, Heard an inexplicable scratching;
His noble heart went pit-a-pat,
And to himself he said — What's that?'
He drew the curtain at his side,
And forth he peep'd, but nothing spied;
Yet, by his ear directed, guess'd
Something imprison'd in the chest,
And, doubtful what, with prudent care
Resolved it should continue there.
At length, a voice which well he knew,
A long and melancholy mew,
Saluting his poetic ears,
Consoled him, and dispellid his fears;
He left his bed, he trod the floor,
He 'gan in haste the drawers explore,
The lowest first, and without stop
The rest in order to the top.
For 'tis a truth well known to most,
That whatsoever thing is lost,
We seek it, ere it come to light,
In every cranny but the right.
Forth skipp'd the cat, not now replete
As erst with airy self-conceit,
Nor in her own fond apprehension
A theme for all the world's attention,
But modest, sober, cured of all
Her notions hyperbolical,
And wishing for a place of rest
Any thing rather than a chest.
Then stepp'd the poet into bed
With this reflection in his head:
MORAL. Beware of too sublime a sense Of your own worth and consequence.
LOVE OF THE WORLD REPROVED.
The man who dreams himself so great,
And his importance of such weight,
That all around in all that's done
Must move and act for him alone,
Will learn in school of tribulation
The folly of his expectation.
Thus says the prophet of the Turk,
• Good mussulman, abstain from pork;
There is a part in every swine
No friend or follower of mine
May taste, whate'er his inclination,
On pain of excommunication.'
Such Mahomet’s mysterious charge,
And thus he left the point at large.
Had he the sinful part express’d,
They might with safety eat the rest;
But for one piece they thought it hard
From the whole hog to be debarr’d:
And set their wit at work to find
What joint the prophet had in mind.
Much controversy straight arose,
These choose the back, the belly those;
By some 'tis confidently said
He meant not to forbid the head;
While others at that doctrine rail,
And piously prefer the tail.
Thus, conscience freed from every clog,
Mahometans eat up the hog.
You laugh—'tis well—The tale applied
May make you laugh on the’other side.
Renounce the world—the preacher cries.
We do- a multitude replies.
While one as innocent regards
A snug and friendly game at cards;
And one, whatever you may say,
Can see no evil in a play ;
Some love a concert, or a race;
And others shooting and the chase.
Reviled and loved, renounced and follow'd;
Thus, bit by bit, the world is swallow’d:
Each thinks his neighbour makes too free,
Yet likes a slice as well as he:
With sophistry their sauce they sweeten,
Till quite from tail to snout 'tis eaten.
NECESSARY TO THE HAPPINESS of
The Married State.
The lady thus address'd her spouse-
What a mere dungeon is this house!
By no means large enough; and was it,
Yet this dull room, and that dark closet,
Those hangings with their worn-out graces,
Long beards, long noses, and pale faces,
Are such an antiquated scene,
They overwhelm me with the spleen.
Sir Humphry, shooting in the dark,
Makes answer quite beside the mark:
No doubt, my dear, I bade him come,
Engaged myself to be at home,
And shall expect him at the door
Precisely when the clock strikes four,
You are so deaf, the lady cried
(And raised her voice, and frown'd beside),
You are so sadly deaf, my dear,
What shall I do to make you hear?
Dismiss poor Harry! he replies;
Some people are more nice than wise,
For one slight trespass all this stir ?
What if he did ride whip and spur?
'Twas but a mile-your favourite horse
Will never look one hair the worse.
Well, I protest 'tis past all bearing-
Child; I am rather hard of hearing-
Yes, truly—one must scream and bawl;
I tell you, you can't hear at all!
Then, with a voice exceeding low,
No matter if you hear or no.
Alas! and is domestic strife,
That sorest ill of human life,
A plague so little to be fear'd
As to be wantonly incurr'd,
To gratify a fretful passion,
On every trivial provocation ?
The kindest and the happiest pair
Will find occasion to forbear;
And something, every day they live,
To pity, and perhaps forgive.
But if infirmities, that fall
In common to the lot of all,