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"Nay, in his verses, as a friend,
“I still found fomething to commend. "Sir, I excus'd his Nut-brown Maid, "Whate'er feverer critics faid:
"Too far, I own, the girl was try'd:
"The women all were on my
"For Alma I return'd him thanks;
"I lik'd her with her little pranks:
"Indeed, poor Solomon in rhyme
"Was much too grave to be sublime."
Pindar and Damon scorn tranfition,
So on he ran a new divifion;
Till, out of breath, he turn'd to spit;
(Chance often helps us more than wit.)
T'other that lucky moment took,
Juft nick'd the time, broke in, and spoke.
"Of all the gifts the gods afford
(If we may take old Tully's word)
The greatest is a friend; whofe love
Knows how to praise, and when reprove ;
From fuch a treasure never part,
But hang the jewel on your heart:
And, pray, Sir, (it delights me) tell;
You know this Author mighty well?
"Know him! d'ye queftion it? Ods-fish!
"Sir, does a beggar know his dish?
"I lov'd him; as I told you, I
"Advis'd him" Here a ftander-by
Twich'd Damon gently by the cloke,
And thus, unwilling, filence broke:
Damon, 'tis time we fhould retire:
The man you talk with is Mat Prior."
Patron through life, and from thy birth my friend,
Dorfet! to thee, this Fable let me fend:
With Damon's lightnefs weigh thy folid worth:
The foil is known to fet the diamond forth:
Let the feign'd tale this real moral give,
HOW MANY Damons, how FEW Dorfets, live!
REMOTE from cities liv'd a swain,
Unvex'd with all the cares of gain;
His head was filver'd o'er with age,
And long experience made him fage:
In fummer's heat, and winter's cold,
He fed his flock, and penn'd the fold;
His hours in cheerful labour flew,
Nor envy nor ambition knew:
His wifdom and his honeft fame
Through all the country rais'd his name.
A deep Philofopher (whofe rules
Of moral life were drawn from fchools)
The Shepherd's homely cottage fought,
And thus explor'd his reach of thought:
Whence is thy learning? Hath thy toil
O'er books confum'd the midnight oil?
Haft thou old Greece, and Rome furvey'd?
And the vaft fenfe of Plato weigh'd?
Hath Socrates thy foul refin'd;
And haft thou fathom'd Tully's mind?
Or, like the wife Ulyffes, thrown
By various fates on realms unknown ?
Haft thou through many cities ftray'd,
Their customs, laws, and manners weigh'd?
The Shepherd modeftly reply'd:
I ne'er the paths of learning try'd ;
Nor have I roam'd in foreign parts,
To read mankind, their laws, and arts;
For man is practis'd in disguise,
He cheats the most discerning eyes;
Who by that fearch fhall wifer grow,
When we ourselves can never know?
The little knowledge I have gain'd,
Was all from fimple Nature drain'd;
Hence my life's maxims took their rise,
Hence grew my fettled hate to vice.
The daily labours of the Bee
Awake my foul to industry.
Who can obferve the careful Ant,
And not provide for future want?
My Dog (the truftiest of his kind)
With gratitude inflames my mind:
Į mark his true, his faithful way,
And in my service copy Tray.
In conftancy and nuptial love,
I learn my duty from the Dove.
The Hen, who from the chilly air,
With pious wing protects her care;
And ev'ry fowl that flies at large
Inftructs me in a parent's charge.
From Nature too I take my rule,
To fhun contempt and ridicule :
never, with important air,
In converfation over-bear,
Can grave and formal pafs for wife,
When men the folemn Owl defpife?
My tongue within my lips I rein,
For who talks much mutt talk in vain :
We from the wordy torrent fly;
Who liftens to the chatt'ring Pye?
Nor would I with felonious flight,
By fealth invade my neighbour's right,
Rapacious animals we hate:
Kites, hawkes, and wolves deferve their fate.
Do not we just abhorrence find
Against the toad and ferpent kind?
But envy, calumny, and spite,
Bear stronger venom in their bite.
Thus ev'ry object of creation
Can furnish hints to contemplation;
And from the most minute and mean,
A virtuous mind can morals glean.
Thy fame is juft, the fage replies;
Thy virtue proves thee truly wife.
Pride often guides the author's pen;
Books as affected are as men :
But he who ftudies Nature's laws,
From certain truth his maxims draws;
And thofe, without our schools, fuffice
To make men moral, good, and wife.
CONTEMPLATION ON NIGHT. WHETHER amid the gloom of Night I firay,
Or my glad eyes enjoy revolving day,
Still Nature's various face informs my fenfe
Of an all-wife, all-powerful Providence.
When the gay fun first breaks the fhades of Night,
And ftrikes the diftant eastern hills with light,
Colour returns, the plains their liv'ry wear,
And a bright verdure clothes the fmiling year;
The blooming flow'rs with op'ning beauties glow,
And grazing flocks their milky fleeces fhow;
The barren cliffs with chalky fronts arise,
And a pure azure arches o'er the skies.
But when the gloomy reign of Night returns,
Stript of her fading pride, all nature mourns:
The trees no more their wonted verdure boast,
But weep, in dewy tears their beauty loft;
No diftant landscapes draw our curious eyes,
Wrapt in Night's robe the whole creation lies:
Yet ftill, e'en now, while darkness clothes the land,
We view the traces of th' Almighty hand;
Millions of stars in heav'n's wide vault appear,
And with new glories hang the boundlefs fphere:
The filver Moon her western couch forfakes,
And o'er the fkies her nightly circle makes ;
Her folid globe beats back the funny rays,
And to the world her borrow'd light repays.
Whether thofe ftars, that twinkling luftre fend, Are funs, and rolling worlds those funs attend,