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The friendly hint, ye list’ning fair,
Reflection bids the Muse apply: Let useful virtues be your care,
Nor boast your pow'r to please the eye.
THE FLY AND THE TROUT.
As near yon stream, the other day,
Soothed by the murm'ring current's play.
I thoughtless strolled along,
Behold ! of largest growth, a fly
Adown the stream came glistning by,
The smaller flies among.
In sportive air it spread the sail,
And, o'er the rest, the flying gale
It caught with seeming pride;
Swiftly it skims the crystal waves,
Now in the purling eddy laves,
Now smoother seems to glide. “ What joy," (it said or seemed to say) « Thus on the sparkling stream to play,
" And quit the fields of air! “ How dull, because on wings they rise, “ Is yonder crowd of vulgar flies,
to float for ever there ! • Still let the timid sordid crew The same old beaten track
pursue, “ Nor tempt one new delight: “ I dare to live, to live I know, “ And grasp at ev'ry joy below;
“ No fancied ills affright.”
While thus he tuned his idle song,
Borne by the crystal stream along,
A trout descried the prize;
And upward darting, swift as thought,
The vain, the boasting insect caught :
The boasting insect dies.
I mark'd his fate, I smote my breast;
Deep be the lesson there imprest,
Which thus my genius gave :
The wretch who quits the path assigned,
To taste forbidden joy, shall find
New ways to reach the grave.
THE BEARS AND BEES.-Merrick.
As two young bears, in wanton mood,
Forth issuing from a neighb'ring wood,
Came where th' industrious bees had stored,
In artful cells, their luscious hoard;
O'erjoyed, they seized with eager haste
Luxurious on the rich repast.
Alarmed at this, the little crew.
About their ears vindictive flew.
The beasts, unable to sustain
Th' unequal combat, quit the plain;
Half blind with rage, and mad with pain,
Their native shelter they regain:
There sit, and now, discreeter grown,
Too late their rashness they bemoan;
And this by dear experience gain,
That pleasure's ever bought with pain.
So, when the gilded baits of vice
Are placed before our longing eyes,
With greedy haste we snatch our fill,
And swallow down the latent ill;
But when experience opes our eyes,
Away the fancied pleasure flies :
It flies; but oh! too late we find
It leaves a real sting behind.
THE PELICAN AND THE SPIDER.
The sphere of mild domestic life,
A daughter, mother, mistress, wife,
Who fills approved, shall live in story,
And gain the height of female glory.
To you, believe an honest song,
The charities of life belong ;
Those gentler offices that bind
The social ties of human kind !
All praises, but for these, decry,
And fame is blasting infamy.
But chief o'er all, ye wiser fair,
The mother's sacred charge revere;
Pure, heart-ennobling, blest employ!
Which saints and angels lean with joy
To view from heaven; which can dispense
O'er all the soul their own benevolence
Hail, holy task :-'tis thine ť impart-
More virtues to the melting heart ;
Such heights of moral grace to teach,
As proud philosophy could never reach.
Maternal love! the iron-soul'd
Melt at thy touch; the coward, bold
Becomes at once; through rocks will force,
Nor flood nor fire can stop his course ;
Will brave the Libyan lion wild,
Should danger threat the favourite child.
Is there whom fashion, pride, or pleasure.
Tempts to forget the living treasure ?
Who to her own indulgence grants
That care, or cost, her infant wants ?
What wonder should the sage insist,
She yields in storge * to a beast,
The good abhor, the wit deride her,
And read her history in the spider!
Who trusts her nursling to another.
A parent she, but not a mother.
Beneath a venerable shade
The pious pelican had made
Her humble nest; with rapture there
Incessant plied the mother's care ;
From night to morn, from morn to night,
Not more her duty than delight
To watch the tender chirping brood,
Protect them, and provide their food.
At dewy eve, at morning's spring,
Soft-canopied beneath her wing
They slept secure ; herself sustains,
Patient, the cold and drenching rains,
Nor felt nor feared the furious storm,
Her callow nestlings dry and warm.
Whate'er her early search supplies,
Denied her own necessities,
She gave her young, and proved from thence
The luxury of abstinence.
In vain the concert in the grove,
In vain the winged assembly, strove
To tempt her from the nursery's care ;
Her music and her mirth were there,
Thus lived she, till one fatal day
Doomed all her virtues to display,
What time the morning's wished supply
Eludes her utmost industry;
She fished the brook, she dived the main,
Searched hill, and dale, and wood, in vain
Not one poor grain the world affords,
To feed her helpless hungry birds.
What should she do?-ah! see, they faint !
With unavailing weak complaint.
These, dearer than her vital breath,
Resign to Famine's lingering death!
The thought was frenzy ; no, she pressed
Her sharp beak on her own kind breast,
With cruel piety; and fed
Her wondering infants as she bled.
“ Accept," she cried," dear pretty crew ?
• This sacrifice to love and you.”
Mad fool, forbear,” exclaimed a spider, That indolently lounged beside her;
« This horrid act of thine evinces “ Your ignorance of courts and princes. “ Oh, what a creature; tear thy neck fast, “ To give thy peevish brats a breakfast!
Hadst thou among the great resided, or And marked their manners well, as I did, “ The mother's milk, much less her blood, “ Is ne'er the well-born' infant's food. “ Why, there's my Lady Ostrich, now, “ Who visits in the vale below, “ Knows all the fashion on this head : “ Soon as her la’ship's brought to bed,
She, else the birth would prove a curse, " Gives it the elements to nurse : “ 'Tis true, some accident may hurt it, • Its limbs be broken and distorted; “ Admit there's chance it does not live, “ Pleasure is a prerogative; “ And brooms and brushes be my ruin, “ Ere in a nest I'd sit a-stewing; “ Or, for my duty's sake, forsooth, “ To nursing sacrifice my youth ; “ Ere let my brats my flesh devour, “ I'd eat them up a score an hour." “ Foul fiend,” the lovely martyr cried, “ Avaunt! thy horrid person hide ; “ Folly and vice thy soul disgrace; “ 'Twas these, not Pallas, spoiled thy face, “ And sunk thee to the reptile race. “ Yes, thy own bowels, hung thee there, • A felon out of Nature's care, “ 'Twixt heaven and earth, abhorred of both, « Emblem of selfishness and sloth.” Ye coterieans! who profess No business but to dance and dress
; Pantheists! Who no God adore; Housewives, that stay at home no more ; Wives without husbands, mothers too,