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In vain, recorded in historic page,
They court the notice of a future age:
Those twinkling, tiny lustres of the land
Drop one by one from Fame's neglecting hand;
Lethæan gulfs receive them as they fall,
And dark oblivion soon absorbs them all.
So when a child, as playful children use,
Has burnt to tinder a stale last year's news,
The flame extinct, he views the roving fire-
There goes my lady, and there goes the squire,
There goes the parson, oh, illustrious spark!
And there, scarce less illustrious, goes the clerk !
OF AN ADJUDGED CASE, NOT TO BE FOUND IN ANY
OF THE BOOKS.
BETWEEN Nose and Eyes a strange contest arose,
The spectacles set them unhappily wrong;
The point in dispute was, as all the world knows,
To which the said spectacles ought to belong.
So Tongue was the lawyer, and argued the cause
With a great deal of skill, and a wig full of learning;
While chief baron Ear, sat to balance the laws,
So fam'd for his talent in nicely discerning. "In behalf of the Nose it will quickly appear, And your lordship," he said," will undoubtedly find,
That the Nose has had spectacles always in wear,
Which amounts to possession time out of mind.'
Then holding the spectacles up to the court-
"Your lordship observes they are made with a
As wide as the ridge of the Nose is; in short,
Design'd to sit close to it, just like a saddle.
"Again, would your lordship a moment suppose ("Tis a case that has happen'd, and may be again) That the visage or countenance had not a Nose, Pray who would, or who could, wear spectacles then?
"On the whole it appears, and my argument shows,
With a reasoning the court will never condemn,
That the spectacles plainly were made for the Nose,
And the Nose was as plainly intended for them."
Then shifting his side (as a lawyer knows how),
He pleaded again in behalf of the Eyes:
But what were his arguments few people know,
For the court did not think they were equally wise.
So his lordship decreed, with a grave, solemn tone,
Decisive and clear, without one if or but-
"That, whenever the Nose put his spectacles on,
By daylight or candlelight-Eyes should be shut!"
ON THE BURNING OF
LORD MANSFIELD'S LIBRARY,
TOGETHER WITH HIS MSS.,
By the Mob, in the month of June, 1780.
So then the Vandals of our isle,
Sworn foes to sense and law,
Have burnt to dust a nobler pile
Than ever Roman saw!
And MURRAY sighs o'er Pope and Swift,
And many a treasure more,
The well-judg'd purchase, and the gift,
That grac'd his letter'd store.
Their pages mangled, burnt and torn,
The loss was his alone;
But ages yet to come shall mourn
The burning of his own.
WHEN wit and genius meet their doom
In all-devouring flame,
They tell us of the fate of Rome,
And bid us fear the same.
O'er MURRAY's loss the Muses wept,
They felt the rude alarm,
Yet bless'd the guardian care that kept
His sacred head from harm.
There Mem'ry, like the bee, that's fed
From Flora's balmy store,
The quintessence of all he read
Had treasur'd up before.
The lawless herd, with fury blind,
Have done him cruel wrong;
The flow'rs are gone-but still we find
The honey on his tongue.*
THE LOVE OF THE WORLD REPROVED ;
OR, HYPOCRISY DETECTED.
THUS says the prophet of the Turk,
"Good Mussulman, abstain from pork;
There is a part in ev'ry swine
No friend or follower of mine
May taste, whate'er his inclination,
On pain of excommunication."
Such Mahomet's mysterious charge,
And thus he left the point at large.
Had he the sinful part express'd,
They might with safety eat the rest;
But for one piece they thought it hard
From the whole hog to be debarr'd;
* Lord Mansfield bore the loss of his library with great calmness, and once, in the House of Lords, made the following pathetic allusion to it, when giving his opinion on a legal question; from books, for books I have pone."---Ed.
And set their wit at work to find
What joint the prophet had in mind.
Much controversy straight arose,
These choose the back, the belly those :
By some 'tis confidently said,
He meant not to forbid the head;
While others at that doctrine rail,
And piously prefer the tail.
Thus, conscience freed from ev'ry clog,
Mahometans eat up the hog.
You laugh-'tis well-The tale applied May make you laugh on t'other side. "Renounce the world"-the preacher cries. 66 We do"-a multitude replies.
While one as innocent regards
A snug and friendly game at cards;
And one, whatever you may say,
Can see no evil in a play;
Some love a concert, or a race;
And others shooting, and the chase.
Revil'd and lov'd, renounc'd and follow'd,
Thus, bit by bit, the world is swallow'd;
Each thinks his neighbour makes too free,
Yet likes a slice as well as he;
With sophistry their sauce they sweeten,
Till quite from tail to snout 'tis eaten.
ON THE DEATH
OF MRS. (NOW LADY) THROCKMORTON'S
YE nymphs! if e'er your eyes were red
With tears o'er hapless fav'rites shed,
O, share Maria's grief!
Her favʼrite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage?)
Assassin'd by a thief.
Where Rhenus strays his vines among,
The egg was laid from which he sprung;
And, though by nature mute,
Or only with a whistle blest,
Well-taught he all the sounds express'd
Of flagelet or flute.
The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole;
His bosom of the hue
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise,
To sweep away the dew.
Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike of bird and mouse,
No cat had leave to dwell;
And Bully's cage supported stood
props of smoothest-shaven wood,
Large-built, and lattic'd well.
Well-latticed-but the grate, alas!
Not rough with wire of steel or brass,
For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wands from Ouse's side,
With which, when neatly peel'd and dried,
The swains their baskets make.
Night veil'd the pole, all seem'd secure :
When led by instinct sharp and sure,
Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth sallied on the scout,
Long-back'd, long-tail'd, with whisker'd snout,
And badger-colour'd hide.
He, ent'ring at the study door,
Its ample area 'gan explore;
And something in the wind
Conjectur'd, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,
Food chiefly for the mind.