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|Yoetical (Ulorkg of Cowper,
VERSES WRITTEN AT BATH, ON FINDING THE HEEL OF A SHOE, IN 1748.
ORTUNE! I thank thee: gentle Goddess, thanks! F Not that my Muse, tho' bashful, shall deny, She would have thank'd thee rather, hadst thou cast A treasure in her way; for neither meed Of early breakfast, to dispel the fumes, And bowel-raking pains of emptiness, Nor noontide feast, nor ev'ning's cool repast, Hopes she from this—presumptuous, tho', perhaps, The cobbler, leather-carving artist I might. Nathless she thanks thee, and accepts thy boon, Whatever; not as erst the fabled cock, Wainglorious fool! unknowing what he found, Spurn'd the rich gem thougav'st him. Wherefore, ah! Why not on me that favour (worthier sure 1) Conferrist thou, Goddess I Thou art blind, thou
say'st: Enough —thy blindness shall excuse the deed.
Nor does my Muse no benefit exhale From this thy scant indulgence l—even here, Hints, worthy sage philosophy, are found; Illustrious hints, to moralise my song ! This pond’rous heel of perforated hide Compact, with pegs indented, many a row, Haply (for such its massy form bespeaks), The weighty tread of some rude peasant clown Upbore : on this supported oft, he stretch'd, With uncouth strides, along the furrow'd glebe, Flatt'ning the stubborn clod, till cruel time (What will not cruel time?), or a wry step, Sever'd the strict cohesion ; when, alas ! He, who could erst, with even, equal pace, Pursue his destin'd way with symmetry, And some proportion form'd, now, on one side, Curtail'd and maim'd, the sport of vagrant boys, Cursing his frail supporter, treacherous prop ! With toilsome steps, and difficult, moves on: Thus fares it oft with other than the feet Of humble villager—the statesman thus, Up the steep road, where proud ambition leads, Aspiring, first uninterrupted winds His prosp'rous way; nor fears miscarriage foul, While policy prevails, and friends prove true; But that support soon failing, by him left, On whom he most depended, basely left, Betray'd, deserted; from his airy height Headlong he falls; and thro' the rest of life, Drags the dull load of disappointment on.
AY, ye apostate and profane,
Would you the race of glory run,
To arm against repeated ill
To rescue from the tyrant's sword
These, these distinguish from the crowd,
Whose bosoms with these virtues heave,
Then ask ye, from what cause on earth
Such is that heart;-but while the Muse
ADDRESSED TO MISS MACARTNEY,
oN READING THE PRAYER FOR INDIFFERENCE. 1762.
ND dwells there in a female heart,
Dwells there a wish in such a breast
To smother in ignoble rest