Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Abroad, at home, the Spectre's there : The waves in spreading circles ran,
In vain we leek to fly from Care.

Proteus arose, and thus began :
At length he thus the Ghost addrest :

Came you from court? for in your mien Since thou must be my constant guest,

A self-important air is seen. Bc kind, and follow me no more ;

He frankly own'd his friends had trick'd him, For Care by right should go before.

And how he fell his party's victim.

Know, says the God, by matchless skill, 8:167. Fable XXXII. The Two. Owls and the I change to ey’ry shape at will; Spurrow.

But yet I'm told, at court you see
WO formal Owls together fat,

Those who presume to rival me.
TW
Conferring thus in civil chat:

Thus faid—a snake, with hideous trail,
How is the modern taste decay'd !

Proteus extends his scaly mail. Where's the respect to wisdoin paid ?

Know, says the man, though proud in place, Our worth the Grecian sages knew;

All courtiers are of reprile race. They gave our fires the honour due ;

Like you, they take that dreadful form, They weigh'd the dignity of fowls,

Balk in the sun, and fly the storm; And pryd into the depth of Owls.

With malice hiss, with envy glote, Athens, the seat of learned fame,

And for convenience change their coat.; With gen’ral voice rever'd our name;

With new-got luftre rear their head, On merit title was conferr'd,

Though on a dunghill born and bred. And all ador'd th’Athenian bird.

Sudden the God a lion stands;
Brother, you reason well, replies

He shakes his mane, he spurns the sands;
The folemn mate, with half-fhur eyes ; Now a fierce lynx, with fiery glare,
Right. Athens was the seat of learning;

A wolf, an ass, a fox, a bear.
And truly wisdom is discerning.
Besides, on Pallas' heln we fit,

Had I ne'er liv'd at court, he cries,

Such transformation might surprize ;
The type and ornament of wit ;
But now, alas ! we're quite neglected;

But there, in quest of daily game,

Each abler courtier acts the fame.
And a pert Sparrow's more refpected !
A Sparrow, who was lodg'd beside,

Wolves, lions, lynxes, while in place,
O’erhears them sooth cach other's pride,

Their friends and fellows are their chace. And thus he nimbly vents his heat :

They play the bear's and fox's part ; Who meets a fool must find conceit.

Now rob by force, now steal with art, I grant, you were at Athens grac’d,

They sometimes in the fenate bray ; And on Minerva’s helm were plac’d;

Or chang'd again to beasts of

prey ;

Down from the lion to the ape
But ev'ry bird that wings the sky,
Except an Owl, can tell you why.

Practise the frauds of ev'ry shape.
From hence they taught their schools to know So said, upon the God he lies;
How false we judge by outward show ; In cords the truggling captive tics.
That we should never looks eftcem,

Now, Proteus, now (to truth compelld) Since fools as wise as you might teem.

Speak, and confess thy art excell'd. Would ye contempt and scorn avoid,

Ule strength, furprize, or what you will, Let your vainglory he destroy'd :

The courtier finds evasions ftill: Humble your arrogance of thought;

Not to be bound by any tics,
Pursue the ways by nature taught :

And nover forc’d to leave his lyes.
So Thall you find delicious fare,
And grateful farmers praite your care;
So fall seek mice your chace reward,

§ 169. Fable XXXIV. The Mastifs. And no keen cat find inore regard.

THOSE who in quarrels

interpose,

Must often wipe a bloody nose. $ 168. Fable XXXIII. The Courtier and Proteus.

A Mastiff, of true English blood,

Lov'd fighting better than his food. WHENE’ER a courtier's out of place, When dogs were snarling for a bone,

The country thclters his disgrace; He long'd to make the war his own; Whcre, doom'd to exercise and hcalth,

And often, found (when two contend) His house and gardens own his wealth,

To interpose obtain'd his end;
He builds new schemcs, in hope to gain He glory'd in his limping pace;
The plunder of another reign :

The scars of honour fcam'd his face ;
Like Philip's son, would fain be doing, In ev'ry limb a gafh appears,
And sighs for other rcalms to ruin.

And frequent fights retrench'd his ears.
As one of these (without his wand)

As on a time he heard from far Pensive, along the winding strand

Two dogs engag'd in noify war, Finploy'd the solitary hour,

Away hc (cours, and lays about him, projects to regain his pow'r ;

Resolv'd no fray thould be without him.

Forth

Forth from his yard a tanner Aics,

But upstarts, to support their station,
And to the bold intruder cries,

Cancel at once all obligation.
A cudgel ihall correct your manners ;
Whence (prung this cursed hate to tanners ?
While on my Dog you vent your fpite,

§ 171. Fable. XXXVI.

Pythagoras and the Sirrah ! 'tis me you dare not bite.

Countryman. To see the battle thus perplex'd,

PYTHAG'RAS rofe at early dawn, With equal rage a butcher vex'd ;

By foaring medication drawn, Hoarse screaming from the circld crowd, To breathe the fragrance of the day. To the cursid Mastiff cries aloud :

Through flow'ry fields he took his way. Both Hockley-hole and Marybone

In muling contemplation warm, The combats of my Dog have known. His steps misled him to a farm, He ne'er, like bullies coward-hearted,

Where, on the ladder's topmost round, Attacks in public, to be parted.

A peasant stood : the hammer's found
Think not, rath fool, to Thare his fame ;, Shook the weak barn. Say, friend, what care
Be his the honour or the shame.

Calls for thy honest labour, there :
Thus faid, they swore, and rav'd like thunder; The Clown, with furly voice, replies,
Then dragg'd their fasten'd Dogs afunder; Vengeance aloud for justice cries.
While clubs and kicks from ev'ry side This kite, by daily rapine fed,
Rebounded from the Mastiff's hide.

My heps annoy, my turkies dread,
All reeking now with sweat and blood, At length his forfeit life hath paid;
A while the parted warriors stood,

See on the wall his wings display'd; Then pour'd upon the meddling foe;

Here nail'd, a terror to his kind, Who, worry'd, howlid and sprawl'd below. My fowls: fhall future safety find ; He rose, and, limping from the fray,

My yard the thriving poultry feed; By both sides mangld, sneak'd away.

And my barns refufe fat the breed.

Friend, says the Sage, the doom is wisu; $ 170. Fable XXXV. The Barley Moro and But if these tyrants of the air

For public good the murd'rer dies. the Dungshill.

Demand a fontence so severe,

Think how the glutton man devours; How many faucy airs we meet

From Temple-bar to Aldgate-street ? What bloody feasts regale his hours ! Proud rogues, who shar'd the South-sca prey, O, impudence of pow'r and might, And spring like mushrooms in a day!

Thus to condemn a hawk or kite, They think it mean to condescend

When thou perhaps, carniv'rous sinner, To know a brother or a friend ;

Hadft pullets yesterday for dinner! They blul to hear their mother's name ; Hold, cry'd the Clown, with passion heated, And by their pride expose their shame.

Shall kites and men alike be treated ? As cross his yard, at carly day,

When Heav'n the world with creatures stord, A careful farmer took his way,

Man was ordain’d their sov’reign lord. He stopp'd, and leaning on his fork,

Thus tyrants boast, the Sage reply'd, Obsery'd the flail's inceffant work.

Whofe murders spring from power and pride. In thought he measur'd all his store ;

Own then, this manlike kite is slain His gcefe, his hogs, he number'd o'er :

Thy greater lux’ry to fuftain; In fancy weigh'd the feeces fhorn,

For *“ Petty rogues submit to fate,
And multiply'd the next year's corn.

“ That great ones may enjoy their state."
A Barley-mow, which stood befide,
Thus to its muling master cry'd :
Say, good Sir, is it fit or right

$ 172. Fable XXXVII. The Farmer's Wife and

the Kaven. To treat me with neglect and slight? Me, who contribute to your cheer,

WHY are those tears: why droops your head? And raise your mirth with ale and beer,

Is then your other husband dead?
Why thus insulted, thus disgrac'd,

Or docs a worse disgrace heride ;
And that vile Dunghill near me plac'd ? Hath no one fince his death apply'd ?
Arc those poor fweepings of a groom,

Alas! you know the cause too well :
That filthy right, that nauseous fume,

The salt is fpilt ; to me it fell. Meet objects here? Command it hence : Then, to contribute to my loss, A thing so mean must give offence.

My knife and fork were laid across; The humble Dunghill thus reply'd,

On Friday too! the day I dread! Thy master hears, and mocks thy pride : Would I were safe at home in bed ! Insúlt not thus the meek and low;

Last night (I vow to Heav'n 'tis true) In me thy benefactor know;

Bounce from the fire a coffin fiew, My warm assistance gave thee birth,

Next post some fatal news Arall tell : Or thou hadft perifli'd low in carth;

God send my Cornish friends be well!

Unharry * Garth's Difpenfatory.

Make my

Unhappy widow, ceasc thy tears,

Controul thy more voracious bill,
Nor feel affliction in thy fears :

Nor for a breakfast nations kill.
Let not thy stomach be sufpended;
Eat now, and weep when dinner's ended;
And when the butler clears the table,

§ 174. Fable XXXIX. The Frother and Jupiter. For thy defcrt I'll read my fable. Betwixt her swagging panniers load

THE Man to Jove his fuit preferred;

He begg'd a wife. His pray'r was heard. A farmer's wife to market rode,

Jove wonderd at his hold addresling : And jogging on, with thoughtful care,

For how precarious is the blefling! Suinm'd up the profits of her ware;

A wife he takes. And now for heirs When starting from her silver dream,

Again he worries Heav'n with prayers. Thus far and wide was heard her scrcam:

Jove nods affent. Two hopeful boys 'That raven on yon left-hand oak

And a fine girl reward his joys. (Curse on his ill betiding croak)

Now more solicitous he grew, Bodes me no good. No more the said.

And set their future lives in view; When poor blind Ball, with stumbling tread,

He saw that all respect and duty Fell prone ; o'erturn'd the pannier lay;

Were paid to wealth, to pow'r, and beauty, And her malh'd eggs bestrew'd the way.

Once more, he cries, accept my pray'r ; She, sprawling in the yellow road,

lov'd Rail'd, fivore, and curs'd: Thou croaking toad,

progeny thy care.

Let my first hope, my fav’rite boy,
A murrain take thy whoreson throat !

All fortune's richest gifts enjoy.
I knew misfortune in the note.
Dame, quoth the Raven, spare your oaths,

My next with strong ambition fire:
your fift, and wipe your cloaths.

May favour teach him to aspire ; Unclench

Till he the step of pow'r afcend,
But why on me those curfes thrown?

And courtiers to their idol bend.
Goody, the fault was all your own:
For had you laid this brittle ware

With ev'ry grace, with ev'ry charın,
On Dun, the old sure-footed mare,

My daughter's perfect features arm. Though all the Ravens of the hundred

If Heav'n approve, a father's bleft. With croaking had your tongue out-thunderd, Jove fimiles, and grants his full request. Sure-footed Dun had kept his legs,

The first, a miser at the heart,
And you, good woman, sav'd your eggs.

Studious of ev'ry griping art,
Heaps hoards on hoards with anxious pain ;
And all his life devotes to gain.

He feels no joy, his cares increase,
§ 173. Fable XXXVIII.' The Turkey and Ant. He neither wakes nor 1leeps in peace;
IN other men wc faults can spy,

In fancy'd want (a wretch complete) And blame the mote that dims their eye; He starves, and yet he darcs not cat. Each little speck and blemish find;

The next to sudden honours grew : To our own stronger crrors blind.

The thriving art of courts he knew;
A Turkey, tir'd of coinmon food,

He reach'd the height of pow'r and place,
Forlook the barn, and fought the wood; Then fell, the victim of disgrace.
Behind her ran her infant train,

Bcauty with early bloom supplies,
Collecting here and there a grain.

His daughter's cheek, and points her eyes. Draw near, my birds, the mother cries,

The vain coquette cach suit didains, This delicious fare fupplies;

And glories in her loyer's pains. Behold, the bufy Negro race :

With age the fades, cach lover Hics;
Sce, millions blacken all the place!

Contemn'd, forlorn, the pines and dies.
Fcar not. Like me, with freedom eat;
An Ant is most delightful meat. -

When Jove the father's grief survev'd,
How bless’d, how envy'd were our life,

And heard him Hear'n and Fate upbraid, Could we but 'scape the poultrer's knife !

Thus spoke the God :- By outward show But man, curs'd man, on Turkey preys,

Men judge of happinets and woe : And Christmas Thortens all our days :

Shall ignorance of good and ill

Dare to dircet ib'Eternal Will?
Sometimes with oysters we combine,
Sometimes allist the fav'ry chine.

Scek virtue; and, of that pofleft,
From the low peasant to the lord,

To Providence resign the rest.
The Turkey smokes on ev'ry board.
Sure, men for gluttony are curft :
Of the fev'n dcadly sins the worst.

§ 175. Fable XL. The Tavo Monkies.
An Ant, who climb'd beyond his reach, HE learned, full of inward pride,
Thus antiver'd from the neighb’ring becch ; The Fops of outward show deride :
Ele vou remark another's sin,

The fop, with learning at defiance, Bid thy own co.science look within;

Scuffs at the pedant and the science:

Tho

TH

The Don, a formal, solemn strutter,

Upon a beam aloft he fits,
Despises Monfieur's airs and Autter;

And nods, and seems to think by fits.
While Monsieur mocks the formal fool, So have I seen a man of news
Who looks, and speaks, and walks by rule. Or Post-boy o'er Gazette peruse;
Britain, a medley of the twain,

Smoke, nod, and talk with voice profound,
As pert as France, as grave as Spain,

And fix the fate of Europe round.
In fancy wiser than the rest,

Sheaves pil'd on Theaves hid all the floor.
Laughs at them both, of both the jest.

At dawn of morn, to view his store,
Is not the poet's chiming close

The Farmer came. The hooting guest
Censur'd by all the Sons of prose ?

His self-importance thus expreft :
While bards of quick imagination

Reason in man is mere pretence :
Defpife the sleepy profe narration.

How weak, how thallow is his sense!
Men laugh at apes, they men contemn; To treat with scorn the Bird of Night,
For what are we, but apes to them ?

Declares his folly, or his fpite.
Two monkies went to Southwark fair; Then, too, how partial is his praise !
No critics had a fourer air :

The lark's, the linnet's chirping lays,
They forc'd their way through draggl'd folks, To his ill-judging ears are fine,
Who gap'd to catch Jack-pudding's jokes : And nightingales are all divine.
Then took their tickets for the show,

But the more knowing feather'd race
And got by chance the foremost row.

See wisdom stamp'd upon my face,
To see their grave, observing face,

Whene'er to visit light I deign,
Provok'd a laugh through all the place. What flocks of fowl compote my train !
Brother, says Pug, and turn’d his head,

Like Naves, they crowd my flight behind,
The rabble's monstrously ill-bred!

And own ine of superior kind.
Now through the booth loud hisses ran;

The Farmer laugh'd, and thus reply'd :
Nor ended till the show bogan.

Thou dull important lump of pride,
The tumbler whirls the flip-flap round,

Dar'st thou, with that harsh grating tongue,
With somersets he thakes the ground;

Depreciate birds of warbling long?
The cord beneath the dancer springs;

Indulge thy spleen. Know, men and fowl
Aloft in air the vaulter swings;

Regard thee as thou art, an Owl.
Distorted now, now prone depends,

Belides, proud blockhead, be not vain
Now through his twisted arms afcends :

Of what thou call'At thy slaves and train.
The crowd, in wonder and delight,

Few follow wisdom, or her rules;
With clapping hands applaud the fight.

Fools in derision follow fools.
With smiles, quoth Pug, If pranks like these
The giant apes of reason please,

§ 177. Fable XLII. The Jugglers.
How would they wonder at our arts !
They must adore us for our parts.

A JUGGLER long through all the town

Had rais'd his fortune and renown;
High on the twig I've seen you cling,
Play, twist, and turn in airy ring :

You'd think (to far his art transcends)
How can those clumsy things, like me,

The devil at his fingers ends
Fly with a bound from tree to tree?

Vice heard his fame, the read his bill;

Convinc'd of his inferior skill,
But yet, by this applause, we find
These emulators of our kind

She fought his booth, and froin the crowd
Discern our worth, aur parts regard,

Defy'd the man of art aloud :
Who our mean mimics thus reward.

Is this then he to fam'd for sight?
Brother, the grinning mate replies,

Can this flow bungler cheat your sight?
In this I grant that man is wise.

Dares he with me dispute the prizc?
While good example they pursue,

I leave it to impartial eyes.
We mult allow some praise is due;

Provok'd, the Juggler cry'd, 'Tis done;

In science I fubinit to none.
But when they strain beyond their guide,
I laugh to scorn the mimic pride ;

Thus faid, the cups and balls he plav'd;
For how fantastic is the fight,

By tums, this here, that there convey'd.
To meet men always bolt upright,

The carus, obedient to his words,
Because we sometimes walk on tuo! X

Are by a fillip turn’d to birds.
I hate the initating crew.

His little boxcs change the grain :
Trick after trick deludes the train,

He shakes his bag, he fhcws all fait;
$ 176. Fable XLI. The Owl and the Farmer,

His fingers spread, and nothing there;
AN Owl, of grave deport and mien, Then bids it rain with show'rs of gold :

Who (like the Turk) was seldom scen, And now his iv'ry eggs are told :
Within a barn had chose his station,

But when from thence the hen he douws,
As fit for prey and contemplation.

Amaz'd spectators hum applause.

Vice

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

He opes

Vice now stept forth, and took the place Shall we our servitude retain, With all the forms of his grimace.

Because our fires have borne the chain? This magic looking-glass, the cries, Consider, friends, your strength and might! (There, hand it round) will charm your eyes. 'Tis conquest to assert your right. Each eager eye the fight defir'd,

How cumbrous is the gilded coach! And ev'ry man himself adınir'd.

The pride of man is our reproach. Next, to a fenator addrefling,

Were we design'd for daily toil, See this bank-note; obfcrve the blessing ; To drag the ploughshare through the foil, Breathe on the bill. Heigh, pass! 'Tis gone. To sweat in harness through the idad, Upon his lips a padlock thone.

To groan beneath the carrier's load ? A second puff the magic broke :

How feeble are the two-legg'd kind!
The padlock vanish’d, and he spoke.

What force is in our nerves combin'd!
Twelve bottles rang'd upon the board, Shall then our nobler jaws submit
All full, with heady liquor stor'd,

To foam and champ the galling bit ?
By clean conveyance disappear ;

Shall haughty man my back bestride? And now two bloody swords are there! Shall the sharp spur provoke my fide ? A purse she to a thief expos’d:

Forbid it, Heav'ns ! Reject the rein; At once his ready fingers clos'd.

Your Name, your infamý disdain. his fift, the treasure's fled;

Let him the Lion first controul, He sees a halter in its stead.

And still the tyger's fainish'd growl. She bids ambition hold a wand;

Let us, like them, our freedom claim, He grasps a hatchet in his hand.

! | And make him tremble at our name. A box of charity the fhows :

A gen'ral nod approv'd the cause, Blow here (and a churchwarden blows); And all the circle neigh'd applause. Tis vanih'd with conveyance neat,

When lo! with grave and folemn pace, And on the table smokes a treat.

A Steed advanc'd before the race; She thakes the dice, the board the knocks, With age and long experience wise, And from all pockets fills her box.

Around he cast his thoughtful eves; She next a meagre rake addrest :

And, to the murmurs of the train, This picture fee; her shape, her breaft! Thus spoke the Neftor of the plain: What youth, and what inviting cycs !

When I had health and strength, like you Hold her, and have her. With surprise The toils of servitude I knew ; His hand expos'd a box of pills,

Now grateful man rewards my pains, And a loud laugh proclaim'd his ills.

And gives me all these wide domains. A counter, in a miser's hand,

At will I crop the year's increase ; Grew twenty guincas at command.

My latter life is rett and peace, She bids his heir the fum retain,

I grant, to man we lend our pains, And 'tis a counter now again.

And aid him to correct the plains : A quinca with her touch, you see,

But doth not he divide the care Takes ev'ry shape but Charity ;

Through all the labours of the year! And not one thing you saw or drew,

How many thousand structures, rise, But chang'd from what was first in view. To fence us from inclement skies ! The Juggler now, in grief of heart,

For us he bears the fultry day, With this subiniffion own'd her art :

And stores up all our winter's hay. Can I fuch matchless flight withstand! He fows, he reaps the harvest's grain ; How practice hath improv'd your hand ! We share the toil, and thare the gain. But now and then I'cheat the throng;

Since ev'ry creature was decreed
You ev'ry day, and all day long.

To aid each other's mutual need,
Appease your difcontented mind,

And act the part by Heav'n affign'd. $ 178. Fuble XLIII. The Council of Horses. The tumult ceas'd. The Colt lubritted,

And, like his ancestors, was bitted. UPON a time, a neighing Steed

\Vho graz’d among a num'rous breed, With muliny had fir'd the train,

$179. Fable XLIV. The Hound and she Huntsman And spread diffention through the plain. On matters that concern'd the state

MPERTINENCE at firft is borne The council met, in grand debate.

With heedless fight or smiles of scorn ; A Colt, whose eye-bails Alam'd with ire, Teaź'd into wrath, what patience bears Elate with strength and youthful fire,

The noify fool who perfeveres ! In hafte ftept forth before the rest,

The morning wakes, the Huntsman sounds, And thus the list’ning throng addrest:

At once ruth forth the joyful hounds. Good gods! how abject is our race, They seek the wood with cager pace ; Condemn'd to flav'ry and difgrace !

Through buth, through brier,cxplore the chace.

Now,

« PreviousContinue »