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Death's delicious banquet, we

Perish even from the womb, Swifter than a shadow flee,

Nourished but to feed the tomb.

Seeds of merciless disease

Lurk in all that we enjoy; Some that waste us by degrees,

Some that suddenly destroy.

And, if life o'erleap the bourn

Common to the sons of men, What remains, but that we mourn,

Dream, and dote, and drivel then ?

Fast as moons can wax and wane,

Sorrow comes; and while we groan, Pant with anguish and complain,

Half our years are fled and gone.

If a few (to few 'tis given),

Lingering on this earthly stage, Creep and halt with steps uneven

To the period of an age,

Wherefore live they, but to see

Cunning, arrogance, and force, Sights lamented much by thee,

Holding their accustomed course?

Oft was seen, in ages past,

All that we with wonder view; Often shall be to the last;

Earth produces nothing new. Thee we gratulate; content

Should propitious Heaven design Life for us as calmly spent,

Though but half the length of thine.

The Cause Won

Two neighbours furiously dispute;
A field the subject of the suit.
Trivial the spot, yet such the rage
With which the combatants engage,

'Twere hard to tell who covets most
The prize—at whatsoever cost.
The pleadings swell. Words still suffice
No single word but has its price :
No term but yields some fair pretence
For novel and increased expense.

Defendant thus becomes a name
Which he that bore it may disclaim;
Since both, in one description blended,
Are plaintiffs—when the suit is ended.

The SilkWORM

The beams of April, ere it goes, A worm, scarce visible, disclose; All winter long content to dwell The tenant of his native shell. The same prolific season gives The sustenance by which he lives, The mulberry-leaf, a simple store, That serves him—till he needs no more ! For, his dimensions once complete, Thenceforth none ever sees him eat; Though, till his growing time be past, Scarce ever is he seen to fast. That hour arrived, his work begins ; He spins and weaves, and weaves and spins Till circle upon circle wound Careless around him and around Conceals him with a veil, though slight, Impervious to the keenest sight. Thus self-inclosed, as in a cask, At length he finishes his task : And, though a worm when he was lost, Or caterpillar at the most, When next we see him, wings he wears, And in papilio-pomp appears; Becomes oviparous; supplies With future worms and future flies The next ensuing year-and dies ! Well were it for the world, if all Who creep about this earthly ball, Though shorter-lived than most he be, Were useful in their kind as he,

THE INNOCENT THIEF

Not a flower can be found in the fields,

Or the spot that we till for our pleasure, From the largest to least, but it yields

The Bee, never wearied, a treasure.

Scarce any she quits unexplored

With a diligence duly exact;
Yet, steal what she may for her hoard,

Leaves evidence none of the fact.

Her lucrative task she pursues,

And pilfers with so much address, That none of their odour they lose,

Nor charm by their beauty the less.

Not thus inoffensively preys

The canker-worm, indwelling foe! His voracity not thus allays

The sparrow, the finch, or the crow.

The worm, more expensively fed,

The pride of the garden devours ; And birds peck the seed from the bed,

Still less to be spared than the flowers.

But she, with such delicate skill,

Her pillage so fits for her use
That the chemist in vain with his still

Would labour the like to produce.

Then grudge not her temperate meals,

Nor a benefit blame as a theft; Since, stole she not all that she steals,

Neither honey nor wax would be left.

DENNER's Old WOMAN

In this mimic form of a matron in years
How plainly the pencil of Denner appears !
The matron herself, in whose old age we see
Not a trace of decline, what a wonder is she !
No dimness of eye, and no cheek hanging low,
No wrinkle, or deep-furrowed frown on the brow!
Her forehead indeed is here circled around
With locks like the riband with which they ate bound;
While glossy and smooth, and as soft as the skin
Of a delicate peach, is the down of her chin;
But nothing unpleasant, or sad, or severe,
Or that indicates life in its winter, is here.
Yet all is expressed, with fidelity due,
Nor a pimple or freckle concealed from the view.

Many, fond of new sights, or who cherish a taste
For the labours of art, to the spectacle haste;
The youths all agree that, could old age inspire
The passion of love, hers would kindle the fire,
And the matrons with pleasure confess that they see
Ridiculous nothing or hideous in thee.
The nymphs for themselves scarcely hope a decline,
O wonderful woman ! as placid as thine.

Strange magic of art! which the youth can engage To peruse, half-enamoured, the features of age ; And force from the virgin a sigh of despair, That she, when as old, shall be equally fair ! How great is the glory that Denner has gained, Since Apelles not more for his Venus obtained !

THE TEARS OF A PAINTER

APELLES, hearing that his boy
Had just expired, his only joy,
Although the sight with anguish tore him,
Bade place his dear remains before him,
He seized his brush, his colours spread;
And—“Oh! my child, accept,” he said,
('Tis all that I can now bestow,)
« This tribute of a father's woe!”
Then, faithful to the twofold part,
Both of his feelings and his art,
He closed his eyes with tender care,
And formed at once a fellow pair.
His brow with amber locks beset
And lips he drew, not livid yet;
And shaded all that he had done
To the just image of his son.

Thus far is well. But view again
The cause of thy paternal pain !

Thy melancholy task fulfil !
It needs the last, last touches still.
Again his pencil's powers he tries,
For on his lips a smile he spies :
And still his cheek unfaded shows
The deepest damask of the rose.
Then, heedful to the finished whole,
With fondest eagerness he stole,
Till scarce himself distinctly knew
The cherub copied from the true.

Now, painter, cease! Thy task is done.
Long lives this image of thy son ;
Nor short-lived shall the glory prove,
Or of thy labour or thy love.

THE MAZE

From right to left, and to and fro,
Caught in a labyrinth, you go,
And turn, and turn, and turn again,
To solve the mystery, but in vain;
Stand still and breathe, and take from me
A clue that soon shall set you free!
Not Ariadne, if you met her,
Herself could serve you with a better.
You entered easily-find where-
And make, with ease, your exit there !

The Snail

To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall,
The Snail sticks close, nor fears to fall,
As if he grew there, house and all

Together.
Within that house secure he hides,
When danger imminent betides
Of storm, or other harm besides

Of weather.
Give but his horns the slightest touch,
His self-collecting power is such,
He shrinks into his house with much

Displeasure.

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