« AnteriorContinuar »
The man who dreams himself so great,
And his importance of such weight,
That all around, in all that's done,
Must move and act for him alone,
Will learn in school of tribulation
The folly of his expectation.
186.—THE BIRD'S NEST.
It wins my admiration To view the structure of that little work, A bird's nest. Mark it well within, without, No tool had he that wrought, no knife to cut, No nail to fix, no bodkin to insert, No glue to join : his little beak was allAnd yet how neatly finished! what nice hand, With every implement and means of art, And twenty years' apprenticeship to boot, Could make me such another ? Vainly, then, We boast of excellence, whose noblest skill Instinctive genius foils.
187.—THE CICADA ;(1) OR, TREEHOPPER.
FROM THE GREEK OF ANACREON.
Happy insect! what can be
In happiness compared to thee?  The cicada is sometimes confounded with the grasshopper, to which family, however, it does not belong.
Fed with nourishment divine,
The dewy morning's gentle wine. 
Nature waits upon thee still,
And thy verdant cup does fill.
Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing,
Happier than the happiest king!
All the fields which thou dost see,
All the plants belong to thee, ,,
All that summer hours produce,
Fertile made with early juice,
Man for thee does sow and plough;
Farmer he, and landlord thou!
Thou dost innocently enjoy.
Nor does thy luxury destroy :
Thee country hinds with gladness hear,
Prophet of the ripened year!
To thee, of all things upon earth,
Life is no longer than thy mirth...
Happy insect! happy thou
Dost neither age nor winter know;
But when thou'st drunk, and danced and sung
Thy fill, the flowery leaves among,
Sated with thy summer feast
Thou retir'st to endless rest. Cowley.
FROM THE LATIN OF VINCENT BOURNE.
Little inmate, full of mirth,
Chirping on my kitchen hearth,  The notion of the cicada's feeding on dew, and enjoying perpetual youth, it is needless to say, is a mere fancy of the poet. - The Greeks seem to have manifested an extraordinary attachment to this insect.
Wheresoe'er be thine abode
Always harbinger of good, 
Pay me for thy warm retreat
With a song more soft and sweet;
In return thou shalt receive
Such a strain as I can give.
Thus thy praise shall be expressid
Inoffensive, welcome guest !
While the rat is on the scout,
And the mouse with curious snout,
With what vermin else infest
Every dish and spoil the best ;
Frisking thus before the fire
Thou hast all thy heart's desire.
Though in voice and shape they be
Form’d as if akin to thee,
Thou surpassest, happier far,
Happiest grasshoppers  that are ;
Theirs is but a summer song,
Thine endures the winter long,
Unimpair’d, and shrill, and clear, i
Melody throughout the year.
 The cricket being attracted by the warmth and comfort of the hearth, is to be regarded rather as the attendant, than as the harbinger, of plenty and abundance.
 In allusion to the insect which is the subject of the preceding poem.
189.-THE ENTAIL; OR, THE LORDLY
One summer's morn, a butterfly
Of high and noble ancestry,
Whose lineage dated from the mud
At least of old Deucalion's flood (2]
Long hovering round a spacious lawn,
By various gusts of odours drawn,
At last established his repose
On the rich bosom of a rose.
The palace pleas'd the lordly guest ;
What insect own'd a prouder nest ?
The dewy leaves luxuriant shed
Their balmy odours o'er his head,
And with their silken tapestry fold
His limbs enthron’d on central gold.
He thinks the thorns embattled [s] round,
To guard his castle's lovely mound,
And all the bush's wide domain
Subservient to his fancied reign.
Such ample blessings swell’d the fly,
Yet in his mind's capacious eye
He scann'd the change of mortal things,
The common fate of flies and kings;
With grief he saw how land and honours
Are apt to slide to various owners ;
 Entail-An estate so settled, that it cannot be sold, or in any way disposed of at pleasure by a subsequent possessor, but must descend in a direct line from heir to heir.
 Deucalion's flood took place in the year 1548 B.C.  Embattled-indented like a battlement.
Where Mowbrays  dwelt, here grocers dwell,
And now cits (2) buy what barons sell. ..,'
“ Great Phoebus !  patriarch of my line,
Avert such shame from sons of thine;
To them confirm these roofs,” he said ;
And then he swore an oath so dread,
The stoutest wasp that wears a sword
Had trembled to have heard the word,
“ If law can rivet down entails,
These mansions ne'er shall pass to snails,
I swear"—and then he smote his ermine-
“ These towers were never built for vermin.”
A caterpillar grovell’d near
A subtle, slow conveyancer, 
Who, summon’d, waddles with his quill
To draw the haughty insect's will;
None but his heirs must own the spot,
No other creatures share the lot-
Each leaf he binds, each bud he ties
To eggs of eggs of butterflies—
When lo! how fortune loves to teaze
Those who would dictate her decrees ;
A playful boy was passing by,
The wanton child beheld the fly,
And eager ran to seize the prey;
But, too impetuous in his play,
 Mowbray—the name of a noble English family, here put generally for any noble family.
 Phæbus—in ancient mythology, the sun, or the sungod, Apollo.
 Conveyancer--a lawyer who draws up writings by which property is transferred.