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THE PINE-APPLE AND THE BEE.
The pine-apples, in triple row,
Were basking hot, and all in blow;
A bee of most discerning taste
Perceiv'd the fragrance as he pass’d,
On eager wing the spoiler came,
And search'd for crannies in the frame,
Urg'd his attempt on ev'ry side,
To ev'ry pane his trunk applied;
But still in vain, the frame was tight,
And only pervious to the light;
Thus having wasted half the day,
He trimm'd his flight another way.
Methinks, I said, in thee I find
The sin and madness of mankind.
To joys forbidden man aspires,
Consumes his soul with vain desires;
Folly the spring of his pursuit,
And disappointment all the fruit.
While Cynthio ogles as she passes
The nymph between two chariot glasses,
She is the pine-apple, and he
The silly unsuccessful bee.
The maid, who views with pensive air
The show-glass fraught with glitt'ring ware,
Sees watches, bracelets, rings, and lockets,
But sighs at thought of empty pockets ;
Like thine, her appetite is keen,
But ah, the cruel glass between!
Our dear delights are often such,
Expos'd to view, but not to touch:
The sight our foolish heart inflames,
We long for pine-apples in frames :
With hopeless wish one looks and lingers;
One breaks the glass, and cuts his fingers;
But they whom truth and wisdom lead,
Can gather honey from a weed.
HORACE. BOOK THE 2d. ODE THE 10th.
RECEIVE, dear friend, the truths I teach,
So shalt thou live beyond the reach
Of adverse Fortune's pow'r;
Not always tempt the distant deep,
Nor always timorously creep
Along the treach'rous shore.
He, that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man's door,
Imbittring all his state.
The tallest pines feel most the pow'r
Of wintry blasts; the loftiest tow'r
Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts, that spare the mountain's side,
His cloud-capt eminence divide,
And spread the ruin round.
The well-inform'd philosopher
Rejoices with an wholesome fear,
And hopes, in spite of pain;
If winter bellow from the north,
Soon the sweet spring comes dancing forth,
And nature laughs again.
What if thine heav'n be overcast,
The dark appearance will not last;
Expect a brighter sky.
The god that strings the silver bow
Awakes sometimes the muses too,
And lays his arrows by.
If hindrances obstruct thy way,
Thy magnanimity display,
And let thy strength be seen;
But oh! if Fortune fill thy sail
With more than a propitious gale,
Take half thy canvass in.
And is this all? Can reason do no more
Than bid me shun the deep and dread the shore ?
Sweet moralist! afloat on life's rough sea,
The Christian has an art unknown to thee:
He holds no parley with unmanly fears;
Where duty bids he confidently steers,
Faces a thousand dangers at her call,
And, trusting in his God, surmounts them all.
TRANSLATIONS FROM VINCENT BOURNE.
BENEATH the hedge, or near the stream,
A worm is known to stray; That shows by night a lucid beam,
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,
To bid the trav’ller, as he went,
Be careful where he trod:
Nor crush a worm, whose useful light
Might serve, however small, To shew a stumbling stone by night,
And save him from a fall.
Whate’er she meant, this truth divine
Is legible and plain, 'Tis pow'r 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.