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Again, before thy sparkling eyes,
The flourish'd stick enticing flies :
And now with twisting, doubling pace,
Thou urgest true the giddy chase,
Till caught once more, 'twixt tooth and nail,
The prize is held, with waggling tail.
I home return; close, side by side,
Thou trottest on with social pride.
Then to my study we repair;
But scarce I'm fixt in elbow chair,
To read or write one line scarce able,
Ere thou art perch'd upon the table;
As if, an owl since Pallas chuses,
A cat must needs attend the Muses.
And now, what purrings to express,
And sooth thy cherish'd love's excess!
What hasty struttings to and fro,
Thy joy's ecstatic height to show!
What urgent fits of fond caressing,
With nustling nose my face close pressing!
What pride display'd with back infected,
And swelling tail in state erected!
I stroke thee now, sweet Puss, and prove
Myself infected with thy love:
Submitting with compliance bland,
Thou glidest smooth beneath my hand;
Returning quick, I stroke again,
But strive to satisfy in vain ;
For thou again, these coaxings o’er,
Wilt still solicit more and more.
Finding thyself, at length, neglected, And my thoughts fixt where first directed ; Demure and grave thou canst retreat, And, near my, elbow, take thy seat.
But though on folded paws tuck'd in,
And knuckled close beneath thy chin,
Yet still thy eyes, whate'er I do,
With active glance my hands pursue,
And hark! my scribbling pen, with scratches,
Thy quick, attentive ear now catches.
Impatient quite, yet slowly rising,
Because intent upon surprising,
With gentle step, and cautious fear,
Thou creepest on-till station'd near,
With eager wrigglings to express
and secure success,
Quick as at mouse in rustling straw,
Thou dartest underneath thy paw;
Then rais'd erect, up goes my paper,
With gamesome cuff, and noddling caper.
But this rude trick, though far from pleasing,
Is yet so comically teazing,
That, quite unable to resent,
I laugh, and take it as 'twas meant,
And having plac'd all matters right,
Calmly proceed again to write.
And now each letter that I trace
Thou dost inspect with serious face;
Musing, as if at loss to know
What such marks mean, and whence they flow:
But still perplext, and longing much
To feel, if palpable to touch,
Thy curious foot, to clear the doubt,
Whips in, and blots my writing out.
More teazing this; but love prevailing,
I overlook this second failing.
But thou more bold, the more excus'd,
(And kindness thus is oft abus'd)
Some fresh assault hast soon devis'd,
And ere of thy intent appris'd,
Snatch'd from my hand, with flippant paw,
My mumbled pen
Rous'd at a frolic so provoking,
And much too angry grown for joking,
I snatch my pen, and loudly scold,
Mynx, Hussy, Slut, let go thy hold!
What tug? Take heed, for, if I catch thee
Once more at this, I vow I'll match thee.
These threats despis’d, I then repress,
With flip on nose, thy sauciness.
At this rebuff, thy neck close shrinking,
Thy whiskers flat, and eyelids blinking,
Thou sneakest back, with sad dismay,
And looks that conscious guilt betray;
Looks sweetly aw'd, such looks as prove
Thy pertness lost, but not thy love.
And now, as griev'd for insults past,
On me thy pleading eyes are cast:
But, soon dispellid each gloomy fear,
Fair gleams of hope thy aspect cheer.
Aud well, sweet puss, mayst thou believe
That, like thyself, I can forgive;
For 'tis a doubt which most repents,
Or which most willingly relents.
And yet, methinks, I wish thee gone ;
I'm busy; we'll be friends anon.
Come, Puss, march down, and if this blow
Should fret and vex thee, when below
Then show it, or on rat, or mouse,
Our common foes, within this house :
Thus may thy vented spleen be eas'd,
And thus my anger best appeas'd.
All hail! rosy bowers, beneath whose soft shake
The passion I felt for my swain was betray'd;
Dear spot! where I first had occasion to prove
A match how unequal was prudence and love.'
My hand when he touch'd, like the electrical flame,
The charm, swift as thought, shot and kindled my frame,
With a kiss yet I thought it no danger to part;
So distant I fancied my lips from my heart.
But th' effect of the magic my eyes soon confest,
And, more than my tongue could, my blushes exprest.
Ye traitors ! ah ! why to the youth make it known,
That each outline was gain'd, and the fortress his own.
Ye trees ! did ye not with the zephyrs conspire,
To hide my confusion, and fan the soft fire ?
I saw each fond branch with its neighbour entwine,
And leaf press to leaf, with an ardour like mine,
With sweet hymencals the birds fill’d the grove,
In each look and each sound there was nothing but
From nature thus rapt the infection was caught,
And I only practis'd the lesson she taught.
ON THE MARRIAGE OF COL, ELLIOT AND MISS
Strike! loudly strike the lyric string,
To bridal Love devote the song; Let every Muse a garland bring, ,
And joy the festive note prolong. To beauteous LETTSOM
Soft as her manners pour the warbled lay;
A nobler, bolder strain prepare,
To hail brave Elliot + on his nuptial day!
Mirth! airy child of young Delight,
And Fancy, eldest born of Jove,
Haste at the Syren call of Love ;
And now, while Health and Youth unite,
And Nature wears her loveliest smile,
With dance and song the hours beguile:
To Beauty in its loveliest prime,
To Worth in radiant armour bright,
That burns in Britain's cause to fight, Swell the loud symphonies sublime! In Camberwell's delightful Grove proclaim That Love and Valour blend their spotless fame. Ye blooming Nymphs and happy Swains
Haste to yon bower where Pleasure reigns, * Of Grove-hill, Camberwell. + Colonel of the Westminster Volunteer Cavalry.