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NO SORROW PECULIAR TO THE SUFFERER.
The lover, in melodious verses,
His singular distress rehearses.
Still closing with a rueful
" Was ever such a wretch as I!”
Yes! thousands have endured before
All thy distress; some, haply, more.
Unnumber'd Corydons complain,
And Strephons, of the like disdain ;
And if thy Chloe be of steel,
Too deaf to hear, too hard to feel ;
Not her alone that censure fits,
Nor thou alone hast lost thy wits.
To grass, or leaf, or fruit, or wall,
The Snail sticks close, nor fears to fall,
As if he grew there, house and all
Within that house secure he hides,
When danger imminent betides
Of storm, or other harm besides
Give but his horns the slightest touch,
His self-collecting power is such,
He shrinks into his house, with much
Where'er he dwells, he dwells alone,
Except himself has chattels none,
Well satisfied to be his own
Thus, hermitlike, his life be leads,
Nor partner of his banquet needs,
And if he meets one, only feeds
Who seeks him must be worse than blind,
(He and his house are so combined)
If, finding it, he fails to find
With two spurs or one, and no great matter which,
Boots bought, or boots borrow'd, a whip or a switch,
Five shillings or less for the hire of his beast,
Paid part into hand;—you must wait for the rest.
Thus equipt, Academicus climbs up his horse,
And out they both sally for better or worse;
His heart void of fear, and as light as a feather ;
And in violent haste to go not knowing whither :
TRANSLATIONS FROM VINCENT BOURNE.
Through the fields and the towns; (see!) he scam
pers along, And is look'd at and laugh'd at by old and by
Till at length overspent, and his sides smear’d with
Down tumbles his horse, man and all in the mud.
In a waggon or chaise, shall he finish his route ?
Oh! scandalous fate! he must do it on foot.
Young gentlemen, hear!—I am older than you !
The advice that I give I have proved to be true,
Wherever your journey may be, never doubt it,
The faster you ride, you're the longer about it.
ON THE PICTURE OF A SLEEPING CHILD.
Sweet babe! whose image here express'd
Does thy peaceful slumbers show; Guilt or fear, to break thy rest,
Never did thy spirit know.
Soothing slumbers ! soft repose !
Such as mock the painter's skill, Such as innocence bestows,
Harmless infant ! lull thee still!
VERSES WRITTEN AT BATH, ON FINDING
THE HEEL OF A SHOE.
Fortune! I thank thee: gentle goddess ! thanks!
Not that my muse, though 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-racking pains of emptiness,
Nor noontide feast, nor evening's cool repast,
Hopes she from this—presumptuous, tho', perhaps,
The cobbler, leather-carving artist! might.
Nathless she thanks thee, and accepts thy boon,
Whatever; not as erst the fabled cock,
Vainglorious fool! unknowing what he found,
Spurn'd the rich gem thou gavest him. Wherefore,
Why not on me that favour, (worthier sure!) [ah !
Conferr’dst thou, goddess! Thou art blind, thou
sayst: Enough!—thy blindness shall excuse the deed.
Nor does my muse no benefit exhale
From this thy scant indulgence !—even here
Hints worthy sage philosophy are found;
Illustrious hints, to moralize my song!
This ponderous 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,
Flattening the stubborn clod, till cruel time
(What will not cruel time) on a wry step
Sever'd the strict cohesion; when, alas!
He, who could erst, with even, equal pace,
Pursue his destined
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 prosperous 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 through the rest of life
Drags the dull load of disappointment on.