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214 THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM When looking eagerly around,
He spied far off upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spark;
So stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop.
The worm aware of his intent,
Harangu'd him thus right eloquent.
Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song;
For 'twas the self-same pow'r divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
That you with musick, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the nignt
The songster heard his short oration,
And warbling out his approbation,
Releas'd him as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
Hence jarring sectaries may learn
Their real int'rest to discern;
That brother should not war with brother,
And worry and devour each other;
But sing and shine by sweet consent,
Till life's poor transient night is spent,
Respecting in each other's case
The gifts of nature and of grace.
Those Christians best deserve the name,
Who studiously make peace their aim;
Peace both the duty and the prize
Of him that creeps, and him that flies.
STARVED TO DEATH IN HIS CAGE
TIME was when I was free as air,
The thistle's downy seed my fare,
My drink the morning dew;
I perch'd at will on ev'ry spray,
My form genteel, my plumago ga
My strains for ever new.
But gaudy plumage, sprigl.tly stra
And form genteel, were all in vain,
And of a transient date;
For caught, and cag'd, and starv'd i deuch,
In dying sighs my little breath
Soon pass'd the wiry grate.
Thanks gentle swain, for all iny woes,
And thanks for this efectual close
And cure of ev'ry ill!
More cruelty could none express;
And I, if you had shown me less,
Had been your pris'ner still.
THE pine-apples in triple row,
Were basking hot, and all in blow;
A bee of most discerning taste
Perceiv'd the fragrance as he pass'd,
On oager wing the spoiler came,
And search'd for crannies in the frame,
Urg'd his attempt on ev'ry side,
To ev'ry pane his trunk applied;
But still in vain, the frame was tight,
And only pervious to the light;
Thus having wasted half the day,
He trimm'd his flight another way.
Methinks, I said, in thee I find
The sin and madness of mankind.
To joys forbidden man aspires,
Consumes his soul with vain desires ;
Folly the spring of his pursuit,
And disappointment all the fruit.
While Cynthio ogles, as she passes,
The nymph between two chariot glasses,
She is the pine-apple, and he
The silly unsuccessful bee.
The maid, who views with pensive air
The show-glass fraught with glitt'ring ware,
Sees watches, bracelets, rings, and lockets,
But sighs at thought of empty pockets;
Like thine, her appetite is keen,
But ah the cruel glass between.
Our dear delights are often such,
Expos'd to view but not to touch;
The sight our foolish heart inflames,
We long for pine-apples in frames;
With hopeless wish one looks and lingers;
One breaks the glass, and cuts his fingers;
But they whom truth and wisdom lead,
Can gather honey from a weed.
RECEIVE, dear friend, the truths I teach,
So shalt thou live beyond the roach
Of adverse Fortune's pow'r ;
Not always tempt the distant deep,
Nor always timorously creep
Along the treach'rous shore.
He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues, that haunt the rich man's door,
Imbitt'ring all his state.
The tallest pine feels most the pow'r
Of wintry blasts; the loftiest tower
Comes heaviest to the ground;
The bolts that spare the mountain's side,
His cloud-capt eminence divide,
And spread the ruin round.
The well-inform'd philosopher
Rejoices with a wholesome fear,
And hopes in spite of pain;
If winter bellow from the north,
Soon the sweet spring comes dancing forth,
And nature laughs again.
What if thine Heav'n e overcast,
The dark appearance will not last;
Expect a brighter sky.
The God that strings the silver bow,
Awakes sometimes the muses too,
And lays his arrows by.
If hindrances obstruct thy way,
Thy magnanimity display,
And let thy strength be seen;
But oh! if Fortune fill thy sail
With more than a propitious gale,
Take half thy canvass in.
A REFLECTION ON THE FOREGOING ODE.
AND is this all? Can reason do no more,
Than bid me shun the deep, and dread the shore,
Sweet moralist? afloat on life's rough sea,
The Christian has an art unknown to thee.
He holds no parley with unmanly fears;
Where duty bids, he confidently steers,
Faces a thousand dangers at her call,
And, trusting in his God, surmounts them all.