« הקודםהמשך »
“Yes, thy own bowels, hung thee there,
“A felon out of Nature's care,
“”Twixt heaven and earth, abhorred of both,
“ Emblem of selfishness and sloth.” -
Ye coterieans ! who profess
No business but to dance and dress;
Pantheists who no GoD adore;
Housewives, that stay at home no more ;
Wives without husbands, mothers too,
Whom your own children never knew ;
Who less the blessed sun esteem -
Than lamps' and tapers' greasy gleam;
Ye morning gamesters, walkers, riders,
Say, are ye pelicans or spiders?
Oft has it been my lot to mark
A proud conceited talking spark,
With eyes that hardly served, at most,
To guard their master 'gainst a post;
Yet round the world the blade has been,
To see whatever could be seen :
Returning from his finished tour,
Grown ten times perter than before,
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travell'd fool your mouth will stop:
“Sir, if my judgment you'll allow—
“I’ve seen—and sure I ought to know—”.
So begs you’d pay a due submission,
And acquiesce in his decision.
Two travellers of such a cast,
As o'er Arabia's wilds they pass'd
And on their way, in friendly chat,
Now talked of this, and then of that,
Discoursed awhile, 'mongst other matter,
Of the cameleon's form and nature.
“A stranger animal,” cries one,
“Sure never lived beneath the sun :
“A lizard's body, lean and long,
“A fish's head, a serpent's tongue;
“Its tooth, with triple claw disjoin'd,
“And what a length of tail behind
“How slow its pace and then its hue—
“Who ever saw so fine a blue *"
“Hold there,” the other quick replies,
“'Tis green,--I saw it with these eyes,
“As late with open mouth it lay,
“And warmed it in the sunny ray:
“Stretched at its ease the beast I view’d,
“And saw it eat the air for food.”
“I’ve seen it, sir, as well as you,
“And must again affirm it blue.
“At leisure I the beast survey'd,
“Extended in the cooling shade.”
So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows:
When luckily came by a third—
To him the question they referr'd;
And begged he'd tell them, if he knew,
Whether the thing was green or blue *
“Well, then, at once to cease the doubt,”
Replies the man, “I’ll turn him out;
“And, when before your eyes I've set him,
“If you don't find him black, I'll eat him.”
He said; then full before their sight
Produced the beast, and lo—'twas white
Both stared; the man looked wond'rous wise-
“My children,” the cameleon-cries, -
(Then first the creature found a tongue,)
“You all are right, and all are wrong:
“When next you talk of what you view,
“Think others see as well as you ;
“Nor wonder, if you find that none
“Prefers your eye-sight to his own.”
THE HARE AND THE TORTOISE.
GENIUS, blest term of meaning wide :
(For sure no term so misapplied:)
How many bear the sacred name,
That never felt a real flame!
Proud of the specious appellation,
Thus fools have christened Inclination.
But yet suppose a genius true;
As for example, me or you;
Some genial spark of Phoebus' rays,
Perhaps within our bosom plays.
O ! how the purer rays aspire, -
If Application fans the fire s
Without it genius vainly tries,
Howe'er sometimes it seem to rise;
Nay, Application will prevail,
When braggart parts and genius fail. .
And now, to lay my proof before ye,
I here present you with a story.
In days of yore, when Time was young,
When birds convers'd as well as sung, .
And use of speech was not confined
Merely to brutes of human-kind;
A forward hare, of swiftness vain,
The genius of the neighboring plain
Would oft deride the drudging crowd; .
For geniuses are ever proud.
His flight, he'd boast, 'twere vain to follow ; For horse and dog, he'd beat them hollow : Nay, if he put forth all his strength, Outstrip his brethren half a length.
A tortoise heard his vain oration,
And vented thus his indignation:
“O puss it bodes thee dire disgrace,
“When I defy thee to the race.
“Come, ’tis a match,-nay, no denial:
“I lay my shell upon the trial.”
'Twas done and done—all fair—a bet—
Judges prepared, and distance set.
The scamp'ring hare outstript the wind:
The creeping tortoise lagged behind;.
And scarce had past a single pole,.
When puss had almost reach'd the goal.
“Friend tortoise,” cries the jeering hare,
“Your burden's more than you can bear;
“To help your speed it were as well
“That I should ease you of your shell.
“Jog on a little faster, prithee:
“I’ll take a nap, and then be with thee.”
So said, so done—and safely sure!
For say, what conquest more secure ?
Whene'er he waked (that's all that's in it).
He could o'ertake him in a minute.
The tortoise heard the taunting jeer,
But still resolved to persevere;
Still drawled along, as who should say,
1 win, like Fabius, by delay;