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ON THE DEATH OF A FAVOURITE CAT, DROWNED
IN A TUB OF GOLD FISHES,
'Twas on a lofty vase's side,
Where China's gayest art had dy'd
The azure flowers, that blow;
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima, reclin’d,
Gaz'd on the lake below.
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd ;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw; and purr'd applause.
Still had she gaz'd ; but ’midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The genii of the stream:
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
Through richest purple to the view
Betray'd a golden gleam.
The hapless nymph with wonder saw;
A whisker first, and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretch'd, in vain, to reach the prize,
What female heart can gold despise ?
What cat's averse, to fish?
Presumptuous maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between :
(Malignant Fate sat by, and smil'd)
The slippery verge her feet beguild,
She tumbled headlong in.
Eight times emerging from the flood,
She ew'd to ev'ry wat’ry god,
Some speedy aid to send.
No dolphin came, no Nereid stirrid:
Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard,
A fav'rite has no friend!
From hence, ye beauties, undeceiv'd,
Know, one false step is ne'er retriev'd,
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wand'ring eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize ;
Nor all that glisters gold.
FALSE FRIENDS AND TRUE.*
As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made:
Beasts did leap, and birds did sing,
Trees did grow, and plants did spring;
Every thing did banish moan,
Save the nightingale alone.
She, poor bird, as all forlorn,
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn;
* This poem, from its excellence, has been attributed to Shakspeare.
And there sung the doleful'st ditty,
That to hear it was great pity.
Fie, fie, fie, nor would she cry;
Teru, teru, by and by ;
That to hear her so complain,
Scarce I could from tears refrain ;
For her griefs, so lively shown,
Made me think upon mine own.
Ah! (thought I) thou mourn'st in vain ;
None takes pity on thy pain :
Senseless trees, they cannot hear thee,
Ruthless bears, they will not cheer thee.
King Pandion, he is dead;
All thy friends are lapp'd in lead ;
All thy fellow-birds do sing,
Careless of thy sorrowing !
Whilst, as fickle Fortune smil'd,
Thou and I were both beguild,
Every one that flatters thee
Is no friend in misery.
Words are easy like the wind;
Faithful friends are hard to find,
Every man will be thy friend
Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend ;
But if store of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.
If that one be prodigal,
Bountiful they will him call ;
And with such like flattering,
• Pity but he were a king.'
If he be addict to vice,
Quickly him they will entice;
If to women he be bent,
They have at commandement;
But if fortune once do frown,
Then farewell his great renown;
They that fawn'd on him before
Use his company no more.
He that is thy friend indeed,
He will help thee in thy need;
If thou sorrow, he will weep,
If thou wake, he cannot sleep:
Thus, of every grief in heart
He with thee doth bear a part.
These are certain signs to know
Faithful friend from flattering foe.
Thou silent Moon, that look'st so pale,
So much exhausted, and so faint, Wandering over hill and dale,
Watching oft the kneeling saintHearing his groans float on the galeNo wonder thou art tir'd and pale.
Yet have I often seen thee bring
Thy beams o'er yon bare mountain's steep; Then, with a smile, their lustre fling
Full on the dark and roaring deep ; When the pilgrim's heart did fail, And when near lost the tossing sail.
Sure, that passing blush deceives;
For thou, fair nymph, art chaste and cold! Love our bosoms seldom leaves;
But thou art of a different mould.
Hail, chaste queen! for ever hail!
And, prithee, look not quite so pale !
Yet stay-perhaps thou'st travell’d far,
Exulting in thy conscious light;
Till, as I fear, some youthful star,
Hath spread his charms before thy sight:
And when he found his arts prevail
He left thee, sickening, faint, and pale.
Miss Scott, of Ancram.
WHILE the Moon, with sudden gleam,
Through the clouds that cover her,
Darts her light upon the stream,
And the poplars gently stir,
Pleas'd I hear thy boding cry!
Owl, that lov'st the cloudy sky,
Sure, thy notes are harmony!
While the maiden, pale with care,
Wanders to the lonely shade,
Sighs her sorrows to the air,
While the flowerets round her fade,
Shrinks to hear thy boding cry,--
Owl, that lov'st the cloudy sky,
To her it is not harmony !
While the wretch, with mournful dole,
Wrings his hands in agony,
Praying for his brother's soul,
Whom he pierced suddenly,