To see a commentary note, click on a blue square. To see the Latin text, click on a green square.    

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ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD, RENDERED IN LATIN

TO THE POET

spacerLove drives me too through tombs and friendly silences. Let me travel with you, divine poet, and strum my lyre in the silent shade. Your muse does not disdain dwelling in carefree houses, humble cottages, and lowly fields, albeit she would not shrink from making her way through the lofty blue welkin on the wings of a Pindar. If you do not regret lending an ear to the measures of my Latin muse, and if you have the leisure to indulge me my effort, perhaps it will come to pass that a glade, the rills, and a shepherd reclining by the waters of the Aniene blue will teach you to make music, and Tiberinus, blue residing in his blue urn, will learn your songs as he glides by rustic tombs. And when you are numbered among the pallid shades, at a time when neither a vocl tune, nor the conversation of a sweet friend, nor nature’s wonderful order blue can recall you from your humble grave, although no signs mark your tomb, nevertheless the pious muse will always keep guard above you, having no need of my praise, and with her perpetual weeping will water the ambrosial flowers in the fragrant turf.

THE ELEGY

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
spacerThe lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
spacerAnd leaves the world to darkness and to me

Now fades the glimmring landscape on the sight, spacer5
spacerAnd all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
spacerAnd drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled towr
spacerThe moping owl does to the moon complain spacer10
Of such, as wand’ring near her secret bowr,
spacerMolest her ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
spacerWhere heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, spacer15
spacerThe rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
spacerThe swallow twittring from the straw-built shed,
The cocks shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
spacerNo more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. spacer20

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
spacerOr busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
spacerOr climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, spacer25
spacerTheir furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
spacerHow bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
spacerTheir homely joys, and destiny obscure; spacer30
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
spacerThe short and simple annals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of powr,
spacerAnd all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’inevitable hour. spacer35
spacerThe paths of glory lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
spacerIf Mem’ry o’er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro’ the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
spacerThe pealing anthem swells the note of praise. spacer40

Can storied urn or animated bust
spacerBack to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,
spacerOr Flattry soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid spacer45
spacerSome heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands that the rod of empire might have swayd,
spacerOr wak’d to ecstasy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
spacerRich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll; spacer50
Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,
spacerAnd froze the genial current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
spacerThe dark unfathomd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen, spacer55
spacerAnd waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
spacerThe little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
spacerSome Cromwell guiltless of his country’s blood. spacer60

Th applause of listning senates to command,
spacerThe threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,
spacerAnd read their hist’ry in a nation’s eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib’d alone spacer65
spacerTheir growing virtues, but their crimes confin’d;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
spacerAnd shut the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
spacerTo quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, spacer70
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
spacerWith incense kindled at the Muse’s flame.

Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
spacerTheir sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life spacer75
spacerThey kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect,
spacerSome frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
spacerImplores the passing tribute of a sigh. spacer80

Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletter’d Muse,
spacerThe place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
spacerThat teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey, spacer85
spacerThis pleasing anxious being e’er resign’d,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
spacerNor cast one longing, ling’ring look behind?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
spacerSome pious drops the closing eye requires; spacer90
Ev’n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
spacerEv’n in our ashes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who mindful of th’ unhonou’d Dead
spacerDost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led, spacer95
spacerSome kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
spacer“Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
spacerTo meet the sun upon the upland lawn. spacer100

“There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
spacerThat wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
spacerAnd pore upon the brook that babbles by.

“Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, spacer105
spacerMutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
spacerOr craz’d with care, or cross’d in hopeless love.

“One morn I miss’d him on the custom'd hill,
spacerAlong the heath and near his fav’rite tree; spacer110
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
spacerNor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;

“The next with dirges due in sad array
spacerSlow thro’ the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay, spacer115
spacerGrav’d on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”

THE EPITAPH

Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
spacerA youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frown’d not on his humble birth,
spacerAnd Melancholy mark’d him for her own. spacer120

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav’n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear,
He gain'd from Heav’n (’twas all he wish’d) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose, spacer125
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
The bosom of his Father and his God.

bar

SELECTED FABLES

TO THE READER

ANY years ago, the editor made a Latin translation of John Gay’s English fables for the use of his sons, whom he educated at home, and then set them aside, not holding them in any esteem until this very day. But since he has been spending his leisure time in reading over his trifling works before dying, he took them out and polished them, trusting that they will not be displeasing or useless for his descendants. And if the educated reader cherishes some pleasant nostalgia for the studies of his schoolboy days, or if this simple, straightforward translation can be of any utility or delight for lads learning how to versify in Latin, the editor will be so far from regretting having undertaken this work that even the praise of these junior poets will prove to be no slight consolation and reward for the efforts of an octogenarian author.

spacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerA. C.
spacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerspacerBATH, 1805

INTRODUCTION
THE SHEPHERD AND THE PHILOSOPHER

Remote from cities lived a swain,
Unvexed with all the cares of gain;
His head was silvered o’er with age,
And long experience made him sage;
In summer’s heat, and winter’s cold, spacer5
He fed his flock and penned the fold;
His hours in cheerful labour flew,
Nor envy nor ambition knew:
His wisdom and his honest fame
Through all the country raised his name. spacer10

A deep philosopher (whose rules
Of moral life were drawn from schools)
The shepherd's homely cottage sought
And thus explored his reach of thought:
“Whence is thy learning? Hath thy toil spacer15
O’er books consumed the midnight oil?
Hast thou old Greece and Rome surveyed,
And the vast sense of Plato weighed?
Hath Socrates thy soul refined,
And hast thou fathomed Tully's mind? spacer20

Or like the wise Ulysses, thrown
By various fates, on realms unknown,
Hast thou through many cities strayed,
Their customs, laws, and manners weighed?”
The shepherd modestly replied, spacer25
“I ne’er the paths of learning tried;
Nor have I roamed in foreign parts
To read mankind, their laws and arts;
For man is practised in disguise,
He cheats the most discerning eyes; spacer30

Who by that search shall wiser grow,
When we ourselves can never know?
The little knowledge I have gained,
Was all from simple nature drained;
Hence my life’s maxims took their rise, spacer35
Hence grew my settled hate to vice.
The daily labours of the bee
Awake my soul to industry.
Who can observe the careful ant,
And not provide for future want? spacer40

My dog (the trustiest of his kind)
With gratitude inflames my mind.
I mark his true, his faithful way,
And in my service copy Tray. blue
In constancy and nuptial love, spacer45
I learn my duty from the dove.
The hen, who from the chilly air,
With pious wing protects her care;
And every fowl that flies at large,
Instructs me in a parent’s charge. spacer50

From nature too I take my rule,
To shun contempt and ridicule.
I never, with important air,
In conversation overbear.
Can grave and formal pass for wise, spacer55
When men the solemn owl despise?
My tongue within my lips I rein;
For who talks much, must talk in vain.
We from the wordy torrent fly:
Who listens to the chattering pye? {magpie] spacer60

Nor would I, with felonious flight,
By stealth invade my neighbour's right;
Rapacious animals we hate:
Kites, hawks, and wolves deserve their fate.
Do not we just abhorrence find spacer65
Against the toad and serpent kind?
But envy, calumny, and spite,
Bear stronger venom in their bite.
Thus every object of creation
Can furnish hints to contemplation; spacer70

And from the most minute and mean,
A virtuous mind can morals glean.”
“Thy fame is just,” the sage replies;
“Thy virtue proves thee truly wise.
Pride often guides the author’s pen, spacer75
Books as affected are as men:
But he who studies nature’ laws,
From certain truth his maxims draws;
And those, without our schools, suffice
To make men moral, good, and wise.” spacer80

FABLE I
THE LION, THE TIGER, AND THE TRAVELLER

Accept, young Prince, the moral lay
And in these tales mankind survey;
With early virtues plant your breast,
The specious arts of vice detest.
Princes, like beauties, from their youth spacer5
Are strangers to the voice of truth;
Learn to contemn all praise betimes;
For flattery’s the nurse of crimes;
Friendship by sweet reproof is shown,
(A virtue never near a throne); spacer10

In courts such freedom must offend,
There none presumes to be a friend.
To those of your exalted station
Each courtier is a dedication.
Must I too flatter like the rest, spacer15
And turn my morals to a jest?
The Muse disdains to steal from those
Who thrive in courts by fulsome prose.
But shall I hide your real praise,
Or tell you what a nation says? spacer20

They in your infant bosom trace
The virtues of your royal race;
In the fair dawning of your mind
Discern you generous, mild, and kind;
They see you grieve to hear distress, spacer25
And pant already to redress.
Go on, the height of good attain,
Nor let a nation hope in vain.
For hence we justly may presage
The virtues of a riper age. spacer30

True courage shall your bosom fire,
And future actions own you sire.
Cowards are cruel, but the brave
Love mercy, and delight to save.
A tiger roaming for his prey, spacer35
Sprung on a traveller in the way;
The prostrate game a lion spies,
And on the greedy tyrant flies;
With mingled roar resounds the wood,
Their teeth, their claws distil with blood; spacer40

Till vanquished by the lion’s strength,
The spotted foe extends his length.
The man besought the shaggy lord,
And on his knees for life implored.
His life the generous hero gave, spacer45
Together walking to his cave,
The lion thus bespoke his guest:
“What hardy beast shall dare contest
My matchless strength! you saw the fight,
And must attest my power and right. spacer50

Forced to forego their native home,
My starving slaves at distance roam.
Within these woods I reign alone,
The boundless forest is my own.
Bears, wolves, and all the savage brood, spacer55
Have dyed the regal den with blood.
These carcases on either hand,
Those bones that whiten all the land,
My former deeds and triumphs tell,
Beneath these jaws what numbers fell.” spacer60

“True,” says the man, 'the strength I saw
Might well the brutal nation awe:
But shall a monarch, brave like you,
Place glory in so false a view?
Robbers invade their neighbours’ right, spacer65
Be loved: let justice bound your might.
Mean are ambitious heroes' boasts
Of wasted lands and slaughtered hosts.
Pirates their power by murders gain,
Wise kings by love and mercy reign. spacer70

To me your clemency hath shown
The virtue worthy of a throne.
Heaven gives you power above the rest,
Like Heaven to succour the distress'd.”
“The case is plain,” the monarch said; spacer75
“False glory hath my youth misled;
For beasts of prey, a servile train,
Have been the flatterers of my reign.
You reason well: yet tell me, friend,
Did ever you in courts attend? spacer80

For all my fawning rogues agree,
That human heroes rule like me.”

FABLE III
THE MOTHER, THE NURSE, AND THE FAIRY

Give me a son! The blessing sent,
Were ever parents more content?
How partial are their doting eyes!
No child is half so fair and wise.
Waked to the morning’s pleasing care, spacer5
The mother rose, and sought her heir.
She saw the nurse, like one possess’d,
With wringing hands, and sobbing breast.
“Sure some disaster hath befell:
Speak, nurse; I hope the boy is well.” spacer10

“Dear madam, think not me to blame;
Invisible the fairy came:
Your precious babe is hence conveyed,
And in the place a changeling laid.
Where are the father's mouth and nose, spacer15
The mother’s eyes, as black as sloes?
See here a shocking awkward creature,
That speaks a fool in every feature.”
“The woman’s blind,” the mother cries;
“I see wit sparkle in his eyes.” spacer20

“Lord! madam, what a squinting leer;
No doubt the fairy hath been here.”
Just as she spoke, a pigmy sprite
Pops through the key-hole, swift as light;
Perched on the cradle’s top he stands, spacer25
And thus her folly reprimands:
“Whence sprung the vain conceited lie,
That we the world with fools supply?
What! give our sprightly race away,
For the dull helpless sons of clay! spacer30

Besides, by partial fondness shown,
Like you we doat upon our own.
Where yet was ever found a mother,
Who'd give her booby for another?
And should we change for human breed, spacer35
Well might we pass for fools indeed.”

FABLE VIII
THE LADY AND THE WASP

What whispers must the beauty bear!
What hourly nonsense haunts her ear!
Where'er her eyes dispense their charms,
Impertinence around her swarms.
Did not the tender nonsense strike, spacer5
Contempt and scorn might soon dislike.
Forbidding airs might thin the place,
The slightest flap a fly can chase.
But who can drive the numerous breed?
Chase one, another will succeed. spacer10

Who knows a fool, must know his brother;
One fop will recommend another:
And with this plague she’s rightly curs’d,
Because she listened to the first.
As Doris, at her toilet’s duty, spacer15
Sat meditating on her beauty,
She now was pensive, now was gay,
And lolled the sultry hours away.
As thus in indolence she lies,
A giddy wasp around her flies. spacer20

He now advances, now retires,
Now to her neck and cheek aspires.
Her fan in vain defends her charms;
Swift he returns, again alarms;
For by repulse he bolder grew, spacer25
Perched on her lip, and sipp’d the dew.
She frowns, she frets. “Good God!” she cries,
“Protect me from these teasing flies!
Of all the plagues that heaven hath sent,
A wasp is most impertinent.” spacer30

The hovering insect thus complained:
“Am I then slighted, scorned, disdained?
Can such offence your anger wake?
’Twas beauty caused the bold mistake.
Those cherry lips that breathe perfume, spacer35
That cheek so ripe with youthful bloom,
Made me with strong desire pursue
The fairest peach that ever grew.”'
“Strike him not, Jenny,” Doris cries,
“Nor murder wasps like vulgar flies: spacer40

For though he’s free (to do him right)
The creature's civil and polite.”
In ecstacies away he posts;
’er he came, the favour boasts;
Brags how her sweetest tea he sips, spacer45
And shows the sugar on his lips.
The hint alarmed the forward crew;
Sure of success, away they flew.
They share the dainties of the day,
Round her with airy music play; spacer50

And now they flutter, now they rest,
Now soar again, and skim her breast.
Nor were they banished, till she found
That wasps have stings, and felt the wound.

FABLE XI
THE PEACOCK, THE TURKEY, AND THE GOOSE

In beauty faults conspicuous grow;
The smallest speck is seen on snow.
As near a barn, by hunger led,
A peacock with the poultry fed;
All viewed him with an envious eye, spacer5
And mocked his gaudy pageantry.
He, conscious of superior merit,
Contemns their base reviling spirit;
His state and dignity assumes,
And to the sun displays his plumes; spacer10

Which, like the hea’'er-arching skies,
Are spangled with a thousand eyes.
The circling rays, and varied light,
At once confound their dazzled sight:
On every tongue detraction burns, spacer15
And malice prompts their spleen by turns.
“Mark, with what insolence and pride
The creature takes his haughty stride!”
The turkey cries. “Can spleen contain?
Sure never bird was half so vain! spacer20

But were intrinsic merit seen,
We turkeys have the whiter skin.”
From tongue to tongue they caught abuse;
And next was heard the hissing goose:
“What hideous legs! what filthy claws! spacer25
I scorn to censure little flaws!
Then what a horrid squalling throat!
Even owls are frighted at the note.”
“True; those are faults,” the peacock cries;
“My scream, my shanks you may despise: spacer30

But such blind critics rail in vain:
What, overlook my radiant train!
Know, did my legs (your scorn and sport)
The turkey or the goose support,
And did ye scream with harsher sound, spacer35
Those faults in you had ne’er been found!
To all apparent beauties blind,
Each blemish strikes an envious mind.”
Thus in assemblies have I seen
A nymph of brightest charms and mien spacer40

Wake envy in each ugly face,
And buzzing scandal fills the place.

FABLE XIII
THE TAME STAG

As a young stag the thicket pass’d,
The branches held his antlers fast;
A clown, who saw the captive hung,
Across the horns his halter flung.
Now safely hampered in the cord, spacer5
He bore the present to his lord.
His lord was pleased; as was the clown,
When he was tipp’d with half-a-crown.
The stag was brought before his wife;
The tender lady begged his life. spacer10

“How sleek’s the skin! how speck’d like ermine!
Sure never creature was so charming!”
At first within the yard confined,
He flies and hides from all mankind;
Now bolder grown, with fixed amaze, spacer15
And distant awe, presumes to gaze;
Munches the linen on the lines,
And on a hood or apron dines:
He steals my little master’s bread,
Follows the servants to be fed: spacer20

Nearer and nearer now he stands,
To feel the praise of patting hands;
Examines every fist for meat,
And though repulsed, disdains retreat:
Attacks again with levelled horns; spacer25
And man, that was his terror, scorns.
Such is the country maiden’s fright,
When first a red-coat is in sight;
Behind the door she hides her face;
Next time at distance eyes the lace; spacer30

She now can all his terrors stand,
Nor from his squeeze withdraws her hand.
She plays familiar in his arms,
And every soldier hath his charms.
From tent to tent she spreads her flame; spacer35
For custom conquers fear and shame.

—  

FABLE XIV
THE MONKEY WHO HAD SEEN THE WORLD

Who observed the ways and the cities of many men. Horace. blue

A Monkey, to reform the times,
Resolved to visit foreign climes:
For men in distant regions roam
To bring politer manners home,
So forth he fares, all toil defies: spacer5
Misfortune serves to make us wise.
At length the treach’rous snare was laid;
Poor Pug was caught, to town conveyed,
There sold. How envied was his doom,
Made captive in a lady’s room! spacer10

Proud as a lover of his chains,
He day by day her favour gains.
Whene’er the duty of the day
The toilet calls; with mimic play
He twirls her knot, he cracks her fan, spacer15
Like any other gentleman.
In visits too his parts and wit,
When jests grew dull, were sure to hit.
Proud with applause, he thought his mind
In every courtly art refined; spacer20

Like Orpheus burnt with public zeal,
To civilise the monkey weal:
So watched occasion, broke his chain,
And sought his native woods again.
The hairy sylvans round him press, spacer25
Astonished at his strut and dress.
Some praise his sleeve; and others gloat
Upon his rich embroidered coat;
His dapper periwig commending,
With the black tail behind depending; spacer30

His powdered back, above, below,
Like hoary frost, or fleecy snow;
But all with envy and desire,
His fluttering shoulder-knot admire.
“Hear and improve,” he pertly cries; spacer35
“I come to make a nation wise.
Weigh your own words; support your place,
The next in rank to human race.
In cities long I passed my days,
Conversed with men, and learnt their ways. spacer40

Their dress, their courtly manners see;
Reform your state and copy me.
Seek ye to thrive? in flattery deal;
Your scorn, your hate, with that conceal.
Seem only to regard your friends, spacer45
But use them for your private ends.
Stint not to truth the flow of wit;
Be prompt to lie whene’er ’tis fit.
Bend all your force to spatter merit;
Scandal is conversation’s spirit. spacer50

Boldly to everything attend,
And men your talents shall commend.
I knew the great. Observe me right;
So shall you grow like man polite.”
He spoke and bowed. With muttering jaws spacer55
The wondering circle grinned applause.
Now, warm with malice, envy, spite,
Their most obliging friends they bite;
And fond to copy human ways,
Practise new mischiefs all their days. spacer60

Thus the dull lad, too tall for school, spacer
With travel finishes the fool;
Studious of every coxcomb's airs,
He drinks, games, dresses, whores, and swears;
O’erlooks with scorn all virtuous arts, spacer65
For vice is fitted to his parts.

FABLE XIX
THE LION AND THE CUB

How fond are men of rule and place,
Who court it from the mean and base!
These cannot bear an equal nigh,
But from superior merit fly.
They love the cellares vulgar joke,spacer5
And lose their hours in ale and smoke.
There oeer some petty club preside;
So poor, so paltry is their pride!
Nay, even with fools whole nights will sit,
In hopes to be supreme in wit. spacer10

If these can read, to these I write,
To set their worth in truest light.
A lion-cub, of sordid mind,
Avoided all the lion kind;
Fond of applause, he sought the feasts spacer15
Of vulgar and ignoble beasts;
With asses all his time he spent,
Their clubes perpetual president.
He caught their manners, looks, and airs;
An ass in every thing, but ears! spacer20


If e’er his highness meant a joke,
They grinned applause before he spoke;
But at each word what shouts of praise!
Good gods! how natural he brays!
Elate with flattery and conceit, spacer25
He seeks his royal sirees retreat;
Forward, and fond to show his parts,
His highness brays; the lion starts.
“Puppy, that cursed vociferation
Betrays thy life and conversation: spacer30

Coxcombs, an ever-noisy race,
Are trumpets of their own disgrace.”
“Why so severe?” the cub replies;
“Our senate always held me wise.”
“How weak is pride!” returns the sire; spacer35
“All fools are vain, when fools admire!
But know what stupid asses prize,
Lions and noble beasts despise.”

FABLE XXIV
THE BUTTERFLY AND THE SNAIL

All upstarts insolent in place,
Remind us of their vulgar race.
As in the sunshine of the morn
A Butterfly, but newly born,
Sat proudly perking on a rose, spacer5
With pert conceit his bosom glows;
His wings, all glorious to behold,
Bedropt with azure, jet, and gold,
Wide he displays; the spangled dew
Reflects his eyes and various hue. spacer10

His now-forgotten friend, a snail,
Beneath his house, with slimy trail
Crawls o’er the grass, whom when he spies,
In wroth he to the gardener cries
“What means yon peasant’s daily toil, spacer15
From choking weeds to rid the soil ?
Why wake you to the morning's care ?
Why with new arts correct the year ?
Why grows the peach with crimson hue
And why the plum’s inviting blue ? spacer20

Were they to feast his taste design’d,
That vermin of voracious kind ?
Crush then the slow, the pilfering race,
So purge thy garden from disgrace.”
“What arrogance!” the snail replied. spacer25
“How insolent is upstart pride !
Hadst thou not thus, with insult vain,
Provoked my patience to complain,
I had conceal’d thy meaner birth,
Nor traced thee to the scum of earth: spacer30

For scarce nine suns have waked the hours,
To swell the fruit, and paint the flowers,
Since I thy humbler life survey’d,
In base, in sordid guise array’d.
A hideous insect, vile, unclean, spacer35
You dragged a slow and noisome train,
And from your spider-bowels drew
Foul film, and spun the dirty clue,
I own my humble life, good friend;
Snail was I born, and snail shall end. spacer40

And, what’s a butterfly? At best,
He’s but a caterpillar dress’d,
And all thy race, a numerous seed,
Shall prove of caterpillar breed.”

FABLE XXVIII
THE PERSIAN, THE SUN, AND THE CLOUD

Is there a bard whom genius fires,
Whose every thought the god inspires?
When Envy reads the nervous lines,
She frets, she rails, she raves, she pines;
Her hissing snakes with venom swell; spacer5
She calls her venal train from hell:
The servile fiends her nod obey,
And all Curl’s authors are in pay, blue
Fame calls up calumny and spite.
Thus shadow owes its birth to light. spacer10

As prostrate to the god of day,
With heart devout, a Persian lay,
His invocation thus begun:
“Parent of light, all-seeing Sun,
Prolific beam, whose rays dispense spacer15
The various gifts of providence,
Accept our praise, our daily prayer,
Smile on our fields, and bless the year.”
A cloud, who mocked his grateful tongue,
The day with sudden darkness hung; spacer20

With pride and envy swelled, aloud
A voice thus thundered from the cloud:
“Weak is this gaudy god of thine,
Whom I at will forbid to shine.
Shall I nor vows, nor incense know? spacer25
Where praise is due, the praise bestow.”
With fervent zeal the Persian moved,
Thus the proud calumny reproved:
“It was that god, who claims my prayer,
Who gave thee birth, and raised thee there; spacer30

When o’er his beams the veil is thrown,
Thy substance is but plainer shown.
A passing gale, a puff of wind
Dispels thy thickest troops combined.”
The gale arose; the vapour toss’d spacer35
(The sport of winds) in air was lost;
The glorious orb the day refines.
Thus envy breaks, thus merit shines.

FABLE XXXVIII
THE TURKEY AND THE ANT

In other men we faults can spy,
And blame the mote that dims their eye,
Each little speck and blemish find,
To our own stronger errors blind.
A turkey, tired of common food,spacer5
Forsook the barn, and sought the wood;
Behind her ran her infant train,
Collecting here and there a grain.
“Draw near, my birds,” the mother cries,
”This hill delicious fare supplies; spacer10

Behold, the busy negro race,
See, millions blacken all the place!
Fear not. Like me with freedom eat;
An ant is most delightful meat.
How bless’d, how envied were our life, spacer15
Could we but ’scape the poulterer’s knife!
But man, cursed man, on turkeys preys,
And Christmas shortens all our days:
Sometimes with oysters we combine,
Sometimes assist the savoury chine. spacer20

“From the low peasant to the lord,
The turkey smokes on every board.
Sure men for gluttony are cursed,
Of the seven deadly sins the worst.”
An ant, who climbed beyond his reach, spacer25
Thus answered from the neighbouring beech:
’Ere you remark another's sin,
Bid thy own conscience look within;
Control thy more voracious bill,
Nor for a breakfast nations kill.” spacer30

FABLE XLV
THE POET AND THE ROSE

I hate the man who builds his name
On ruins of another’s fame.
Thus prudes, by characters o’erthrown,
Imagine that they raise their own.
Thus scribblers, covetous of praise,
Think slander can transplant the bays.
Beauties and bards have equal pride,
With both all rivals are decried.
Who praises Lesbia’s eyes and feature,
Must call her sister, awkward creature;

For the kind flattery’s sure to charm,
When we some other nymph disarm.
As in the cool of early day
A poet sought the sweets of May,
The garden’s fragrant breath ascends,
And every stalk with odour bends.
A rose he plucked, he gazed, admired,
Thus singing as the muse inspired:
“Go, rose, my Chloe’s bosom grace;
How happy should I prove,

“Might I supply that envied place
With never fading love!
There, phoenix-like, beneath her eye,
Involved in fragrance, burn and die!
Know, hapless flower, that thou shalt find
More fragrant roses there;
I see thy withering head reclined
With envy and despair!
One common fate we both must prove;
You die with envy, I with love.”

“Spare your comparisons,” replied
An angry rose who grew beside.
“Of all mankind, you should not flout us;
What can a poet do without us!
In every love-song roses bloom;
We lend you colour and perfume.
Does it to Chloe's charms conduce,
To found her praise on our abuse?
Must we, to flatter her, be made
To wither, envy, pine and fade?”

FABLE L
THE HARE AND MANY FRIENDS

Friendship, like love, is but a name,
Unless to one you stint the flame.
The child, whom many fathers share,
Hath seldom known a father’s care.
’Tis thus in friendships; who depend spacer5
On many, rarely find a friend.
A hare, who in a civil way,
Complied with everything, like Gay,
Was known by all the bestial train
Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain. spacer10

Her care was never to offend,
And every creature was her friend.
As forth she went at early dawn,
To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn,
Behind she hears the hunter’s cries, spacer15
And from the deep-mouthed thunder flies.
She starts, she stops, she pants for breath;
She hears the near advance of death;
She doubles to mislead the hound,
And measures back her mazy round; spacer20

Till fainting in the public way,
Half-dead with fear, she gasping lay.
What transport in her bosom grew,
When first the horse appeared in view!
“Let me,” says she, “your back ascend, spacer25
And owe my safety to a friend.
You know my feet betray my flight;
To friendship every burden's light.”
The horse replied : “Poor honest puss,
It grieves my heart to see thee thus; spacer30

Be comforted, relief is near;
For all your friends are in the rear.”
She next the stately bull implored;
And thus replied the mighty lord:
“Since every beast alive can tell spacer35
That I sincerely wish you well,
I may, without offence, pretend
To take the freedom of a friend.
Love calls me hence; a favourite cow
Expects me near yon barley mow: spacer40

“And when a lady’s in the case,
You know all other things give place.
To leave you thus might seem unkind;
But see, the goat is just behind.”
The goat remarked her pulse was high, spacer45
Her languid head, her heavy eye;
”My back,”says she, “may do you harm;
The sheep’s at hand, and wool is warm.”
The sheep was feeble, and complained
His sides a load of wool sustained: spacer50

Said he was slow, confessed his fears;
For hounds cat sheep, as well as hares.
She now the trotting calf addressed,
To save from death a friend distressed.
“Shall I,“ says he, "of tender age, spacer55
In this important care engage?
Older and abler passed you by;
How strong are those! how weak am I!
Should I presume to bear you hence,
Those friends of mine may take offence. spacer60

“Excuse me then. You know my heart,
But dearest friends, alas! must part.
How shall we all lament! Adieu!
For see the hounds are just in view.”

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APPENDIX .
AN ALCAIC ODE TO EDWARD JENNER

spacerOh Jenner, you who devote yourself to the healing arts, second only to Apollo, you ward off a deadly pox by previously unheard-of methods,

spacerShould I hold my tongue about your praises, while I roam the pleasant countryside of Cheltenham, blue sound of mind, not without my lyre or succumbing to shabby old age?

spacerWhen I frequently brood here, surrounded by the deaths of kinsmen I have long outlived, who were taken off in their prime of life by that fever, inimical to their strength and

spacerTeeming with its poison and foul pustules, my tongue fails to express how indebted you are to the Almighty and what great praise you should give to God,

spacerThat this pox, which previously had worked such evils, being unmanageable because of its fury, has been defeated and yielded, to the relief of humanity, with you acting as its physician.

spacerFor, thanks to that wonderful art which is yours, a beneficial drop from a cow’s udder, deposited into clean arms, pervades the inner byways of the body,

spacerAnd, erupting in a short-lived pustule where the innoculation has been made, drives out the enemy and does not permit it to continue inflicting its countless legions of diseases and its companion, death.

spacer Oh, with what thanks our nation will requite you! Oh, with what just reward the diligence of our British Parliament will recompense you! What yearly pensions it will bestow on you!

spacerFor Machaon blue visits you as a frequent guest. The pauper and the wealthy landlord alike seek you out, rejoicing at having received your advice with an unharmed hand.

spacerThe mother seeks you, careful for her little boy, that his body might be safe from the black bane. The unmarried maiden is anxious that her pretty cheeks are unmarked by enduring disfigurement.

spacerEvery nation which begrudges us our praises grants you your well-deserved thanks. The Frenchman lauds you and humbly worships your art.

spacerBut alas, what profits the safety of a little boy, the prayers of a mother, the comeliness of a maiden, or your fame for having slowed the swift wings of Fate a little while,

spacerif the French enemy, garnering glory by the shedding of innocent blood, gains infamous triumphs and lords it here?

spacerFor now, assembling a fleet with forces drawn from every quarter, he is preparing to cross the intervening waters, and threatens destruction for our English shores,

spacer a madman who with his vain assault seeks to gain a scepter defended by the loyalty of our people, our honor, and our Augustus’ fatherly good disposition towards the British.

spacer Surrounded by all his barbaric soldiery, should he entrust himself to the waves, just as his ships ought to entrust themselves to the northerlies and our martial prowess, and be a plaything for the sea.?

spacerNow I seem to be hearing faraway guns dreadfully thundering over all the sea and the loud crash of bombshells. I seem to be seeing

spacerFrenchmen overwhelmed by the currents of a blood-red sea, and their commanders caught in their crimes red-handed and sent to greet their brothers, destined to give new laws to the realms of Hell.

spacerI see the bodies of Spaniards waging wars unwillingly, bodies that were standing upright just a little while ago, lying outstretched, and crows flocked together over the fat corpse of a Dutchman.

spacerI see musical Italians (a womanish race) swimming, their strength shattered, and singing funeral dirges without the help of any Dauphin — blue

spacerBut my Muse should take no pleasure in forecasting these tragedies even for our very enemies, tragedies created by rash anger and the ill-advised ambition of a Consul. blue

spacerNor shall I detain you with a longer song or distract your mind from more useful concerns, Jenner. Farewell. I pray that with His kindly spirit God may prosper you and your labors,

spacerand that, as long as the glory of lasting laurel distinguishes British heroes, a civic crown blue may adorn you.

Finis

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