« PreviousContinue »
Translations from Vincent Bourne.
- THE GLOWWORM.
BENEATH the hedge, or near the stream,
A worm is known to stray,
Which disappears by day.
Disputes have been, and still prevail,
From whence his rays proceed; Some give that honour to his tail,
And others to his head.
But this is sure—the hand of Might,
That kindles up the skies, Gives him a modicum of light
Proportion'd to his size.
Perhaps indulgent Nature meant,
By such a lamp bestow'd,
Be careful where he trod:
Nor crush a worm, whose useful light
Might serve, however small,
And save him from a fall.
Whate'er she meant, this truth divine
Is legible and plain, 'Tis power Almighty bids him shine,
Nor bids him shine in vain. ' Ye proud and wealthy, let this theme
Teach humbler thoughts to you, Since such a reptile has its gem,
And boasts its splendour too.
Might be supposed a crow;
And dormitory too.
Above the steeple shines a plate,
From what point blows the weather. Look up-your brains begin to swim, 'Tis in the clouds--that pleases him, · He chooses it the rather.
Fond of the speculative height,
And thence securely sees
Secure and at his ease.
You think, no doubt, he sits and muses
If he should chance to fall.
Or troubles it at all.
He sees that this great roundabout,
Church, army, physic, law,
And says—what says he? --Caw.
Thrice happy bird! 1 too have seen Much of the vanities of men;
And, sick of having seen them, Would cheerfully these limbs resign For such a pair of wings as thine,
And such a head between them.
Thus thy praise shall be express'd,
Though in voice and shape they be,
Neither night nor dawn of day
In painted plumes superbly dress’d,
By many a billow toss’d;
A present to his toast.
Belinda's maids are soon preferr’d,
As Poll can master it;
And make him quite a wit.
Sweet Poll! his doting mistress cries, Sweet Poll! the mimic bird replies,
And calls aloud for sack. She next instructs him in the kiss; 'Tis now a little one, like Miss,
And now a hearty smack.
At first he aims at what he hears,
Just catches at the sound;
And stuns the neighbours round.