« ZurückWeiter »
(The joys above are understood
In summer's heat, and winter's cold, “ And relish'd only by the good.)
He fed his flock, and penn'd the fold; “ Who shall assunie this guardian care? His hours in cheerful labor flew, “ Who shall secure their birthright there? Nor envy nor ambition knew; “ Souls are my charge-to me 'tis given His wisdom and his honest fame " To train them for their native heaven. Through all the country rais’d his name.
“ Know, then-Who bow the early knee, A deep Philosopher (whose rules “ And give the willing heart to me ;
Of moral life were drawn from schools) “ Who wisely, when temptation waits, The shepherd's homely cottage sought, “ Elude her frauds, and spurn her baits ; And thus explor’d his reach of thought :“ Who dare to own my injur'd cause,
Whence is thy learning? Hath thy toil “ Though fools deride my sacred laws; O'er books consum'd the midnight oil? “ Or scorn to deviate to the wrong,
Hast thou old Greece and Rome survey'd, Though Persecution lifts her thong; And the rast sense of Plato weigh'd ?
Though all the sons of hell conspire Hath Socrates thy soul refin'd? “ To raise the stake, and light the fire- And hast thou falhom’d Tully's mind ? “ Know, that for such superior souls
Or, like the wise Ulysses, thrown “ There lies a bliss beyond the poles ;
By various fates on realms unknown, “ Where spirits shine with purer ray,
Hast thoa through many cities stray'd, “ And brighten to meridian day;
Their customs, laws, and manners weigh'd ? “ Where love, where boundless friendship rules, The Shepherd modestly replied :“ (No friends that change, no love that cools!) I ne'er the path of learning tried : “ Where rising foods of knowledge roll, Nor have I'roam'd in foreign parts “ And pour, and pour upon the soul ! To read mankind, their laws, and arts ;
But where's the passage to the skies?-- For man is practis'd in disguise, “ The road through Death's black valley lies. He cheats the most discerning eyes : “ Nay, do not shudder at my tale ;
Who by that search shall wiser grow, Though dark the shades, yet safe the vale. When we ourselves can never know? “ This path the best of men have trod, The little knowledge I have gain'd, “ And who'd decline the road to God? Was all from simple nature draind; “Oh! 'tis a glorious boon to die !
Hence my life's maxims took their rise, “ This favor can't be priz'd 100 high."
grew my settled hate to vice. While thus she spake, my looks express'd The daily labors of the bee The raptures kindling in my breast :
Awake my soul to industry. My soal a fix'd attention gave;
Who can observe the careful ant, When the steru monarch of the grave
And not provide for future want? With haughty strides approach'd-amaz’d My dog (the trustiest of his kind) I stood, and trembled as I gaz'd.
With gratitude inflames my mind : The seraph calm'd each anxious fear,
I mark his true, his faithful way, And kindly wip'd the falling tear;
And in my service copy Tray. Then hastend with expanded wing
In constancy and nuptial love, To meet the pale, terrific king.
1 learn my duty from the dove. But now what milder scenes arise !
The hen, who from the chilly air The tyrant drops his hostile guise :
With pious wing protects her care, He seems a youth divinely fair ;
And ev'ry fowl that flies at large, In graceful ringlets waves his hair ;
Instructs me in a parent's charge. His wings their whit'ning plumes display, From nature too I take my rule, His burnish'd plumes reflect the day;
To shun contempt and ridicule : Light flows his shining azure vest,
I never, with important air,
In conversation overbear :
When men the solemn hour despise ?
We from the wordy torrent fly;
Who listens to the chatt'ring pie?
Nor would I, with felonious flight, Introduction to the Fables. Part the First. By stealth invade my neighbour's right:
Rapacious animals we hate; § 77. The Shepherd and the Philosopher.
Kites, hawks, and wolves, deserve their fate. REMOTE from cities liv'd a swain,
Do not we just abhorrence find Unvex'd with all the cares of gain ;
Against the toad and serpent kind ? His head was silver'd o'er with age,
But envy, calumny, and spite And long experience made him sage ;
Bear stronger venom in their bite.
Thus ev'ry object of creation
The lion thus bespoke his guest : Can furnish hints to contemplation ;
What hardy beast shall dare contest And from the most minute and mean
My matchless strength ? You saw the fight, A virtuous mind can morals glean.
And must attest my pow'r and right.
Forc'd to forego their native home,
My starving slaves at distance roam; Pride often guides the author's pen;
Within these woods I reign alone, Books as affected are as men :
The boundless forest is
my own. But he who studies nature's laws,
Bears, wolves, and all the savage brood,
Those bones that whiten all the land.
My former deeds and triumphs tell, To his Highness William Duke of Cumberland. Beneath these jaws what numbers fell
True, says the man, the strength I saw § 78. PABLE 1. The Lion, the Tiger, and
Might well the brutal nation awe:
But shall a monarch, brave like you,
Place glory in so false a view?
Be lov’d; let justice bound your might.
Mean are ambitious heroes' boasts The specious arts of vice detest.
Of wasted lands and slaughtered hosts : Princes, like beauties, from their youth Pirates their pow'r by murders gain; Are strangers to the voice of truth :
Wise kings by love and mercy reign. Learn to contemn all praise betimes ; To me your clemency hath shown For flattery's the nurse of crimes.
The virtue worthy of a throne. Friendship by sweet reproof is shown Heaven gives you pow'r above the rest, (A virtue never near a throne);
Like Heaven to succour the distrest. În courts such freedom must offend,
The case is plain, the monarch said ; There none presumes to be a friend.
False glory hath my youth misled; To those of your exalted station,
For beasts of prey, a servile train, Each courtier is a dedication.
Have been the fatt'rers of my reign. Must I too flatter like the rest,
You reason well. Yet tell me, friend, And turn my morals to a jest?
in courts attend ? The Muse disdains to steal from those
For all my fawning rogues agree,
$ 79. FABLE 11. The Spaniel and the Cameleon. They in your infant bosom trace
A SPANIEI, bred with all the care The virtues of your royal race,
That waits upon a fav’rite heir ; In the fair dawning of your mind
Ne'er felt correction's rigid hand : Discern you gen'rous, mild, and kind. Indulgd to disobey command, They see you grieve to hear distress,
In pamper'd ease his hours were spent; And pant already to redress.
He never knew what learning meant. Go on, the height of good attain,
Such forward airs, so pert, so smart, Nor let a nation hope in vain :
W'ere sure to win his lady's heart : For hence we justly may presage
Each little mischief gain'd him praise ; The virtues of a riper age.
How pretty were his fawning ways ! True courage shall your bosom fire,
The wind was south, the morning fair, And future actions own your sire.
He ventures forth to take the air : Cowards are cruel, but the brave
He ranges all the meadow round, Love mercy, and delight to save.
And rolls upon the softest ground; A Tiger, roaming for his prey,
When near him a Cameleon seen Sprung on a Trav’ller in the way;
Was scarce distinguish'd from the green. The prostrate game a Lion spies,
Dear emblem of the flatt'ring host,
What, live with clowns ? a genius lost!
Believe me, friend; I know the town.
Sir, says the sycophant, like you, And on his knees for life explor'd ;
Of old, politer life I knew : His life the gen'rous hero gave :
Like you, a courtier born and bred, Together walking to his care,
Kings lean'd an ear to what I said.
Did ever you!
My whisper always met success ;
For ev'ry thing alive complain'd The ladies prais'd ine for address.
That he the hardest life sustain'l. I knew to hit each courtier's passion,
Jove calls his Eagle. At the word And flatter'd ev'ry vice in fashion.
Before him stands the royal bird.
The bird, obedient, from heaven's height
Then cited ev'ry living thing,
Ungrateful creatures ! whence arise I wander in this sylvan scene.
These murmurs which offend the skies? For Jove the heart alone regards;
Why this disorder ? say the cause ; He punishes what man rewards.
For just are Jove's eterval laws. How different is thy case and mine!
Let each his discontent reveal; With men at least you sup and dine ;
To yon sour Dog I first appeal. While I, condemned to thinnest fare,
Hard is my lot, the Hound replies: Like those I flatter'd, feed on air.
On what feet nerves the Greyhound Aies !
While I, with weary step and slow, § 80. FABLE IIr. The Mother, the Nurse,
O’er plains, and vales, and mountains go. and the Fairy.
The morning sees my chace begun,
Nor ends it till the setting sun.
When (says the Greyhound) I pursue,
My game is lost, or caught in view; How partial are their doating eyes !
Beyond my sight the prey's secure: No child is half so fair and wise.
The Hound is slow, but always sure !
And had I his sagacious scent,
The Lion cray'd the Fox's art;
The Cock implor'd the Pigeon's flight, Speak, nurse! I hope the boy is well ? Whose wings were rapid, strong, and light;
Dear Madam, think not me to blame; The Pigeon strength of wing despis’d,
And the Cock's matchless valor priz'd;
The Fishes wish'd to graze the plain;
The beasts to skim beneath the main.
Each blam'd the partial hand of Fate.
The Bird of Heaven then cried aloud :
Jove bids disperse the murm’ring crowd;
Would rebellious mutineers,
And be the very envied creature?
What! silent all, and none consent ? Pops through the key-hole, swift as light; Be happy then, and learn content: Perch'd on the cradle's top he stands,
Nor imitate the restless mind,
And proud ambition of mankind.
§ 82. Falle v. The wild Boar and the Ran. What! give our sprightly race away,
Against an elm a sheep was tied, For the dull helpless sons of clay!
The butcher's knife in blood was dyed; Besides, by partial fondness shown,
The patient flock, in silent fright, Like you, we doat upon our own.
From far beheld the horrid sight: Where yet was ever found a mother,
A savage Boar, who near them stood, Who'd give her boohy for another?
Thus mock'd to scorn the fleecy brood : And should we change with human breed,
All cowards should be serv'd like you; Well might we pass for fools indeed.
See, see, your murd'rer is in view!
With purple hands, and reeking knife, $ 81. PABLE IV. The Eagle and the
He strips the skin yet warm with life:
Your quarter'd sires, your bleeding dams,
The dying bleat of harmless lambs, As Jupiter's all-seeing eye
Call for revenge. O stupid race ! Survey'd the worlds beneath the sky,
The heart that wants revenge is base. From this small speck of earth were sent I grant, an ancient Ram replies, Murmurs and sounds of discontent;
We bear no terror in our eyes :
Yet think us not of soul so tame,
Let bravoes then (when blood is spilt)
Upbraid the passive sword with guilt.
$ 84. FABLE VII. The Lion, the Fox, Know, those who violence pursue,
and the Geese. Give to themselves the vengeance due; For in these massacres they find
A LION, tir'd with state affairs, The two chief plagues that waste mankind.
Quite sick of pomp, and worn with cares ;
Resolv'd (remote from noise and strife)
In peace to pass his latter life.
It was proclaim'd: the day was set :
Behold the gen'ral council met.
The Fox was viceroy nam'd. The crowed $ 83. FABLE VI. The Miser and Plutus. To the new regent humbly bow'd. The wind was high, the window shakes ;
Wolves, bears, and mighty tigers bend, With sudden start the Miser wakes;
And strive who most shall condescend. Along the silent room he stalks ;
He straight assumes a solemn grace,
Collects his wisdom in his face. Looks back, and trembles as he walks !
The crowd admire his wit, his sense ; Each lock and ev'ry bolt he tries,
Each word hath weight and consequence. And ev'ry creek and corner pries ;
The Aati’rer all his art displays,
He who hath pow'r is sure of praise.
A fox stepp'd forth before the rest, He wrings his hands, he beats his breast;
And thus the servile throng address'd :By conscience stung, he wildly stares,
How vast his talents, born to rule, And thus his guilty soul declares :
And train'd in virtue's honest school : Had the deep earth her stores confin'd,
What clemency his temper sways ! This heart had known sweet peace of mind.
How uncorrupt are all his ways! But virtue's sold! Good gods ) what price
Beneath his conduct and command Can recompense the pangs of vice ?
Rapine shall cease to waste the land;
His brain hath stratagem and art;
Prudence and mercy rule his heart.
What blessings must attend the nation And only left the name behind;
Under this good administration ! Gold sow'd the world with ev'ry ill ;
He said. A Goose who distant stood, Gold taught the murderer's sword to kill :
Harangu'd apart the cackling brood :'Twas gold instructed coward hearts
Whene'er I hear a knave commend, In treachery's more pernicious arts.
He bids me shun his worthy friend. Who can recount the mischiefs o'er?
What praise ! what mighly commendation! Virtue resides on earth no more!
But 'twas a Fox who spoke th' oration. He spoke, and sigli'd. In angry mood,
Foxes this government may prize, Plutus, his god, before him stood.
As gentle, plentiful, and wise ; The Miser, trembling, lock'd his chest;
If they enjoy the sweets, 'tis plain,
We Geese must feel a tyrant reign.
What havock now shall thin our race,
When ev'ry petty clerk in place,
To prove his taste and seem polite,
Will feed on Geese both noon and night! The fault's in thy rapacious mind. Because my blessings are abus'd, Must I be censur'd, curs’d, accus'd ?
$ 85. PABLE VIII. The Lady and the Wasp E'en virtue's self by knaves is made
What whispers must the beauty bear !
What hourly nonsense haunts her ear !
Contempt and scorn might soon dislike : "Tis av'rice, insolence, and pride,
Forbidding airs might thin the place; And ev'ry shocking vice beside:
The slightest flap a Ay can chase. But when to virtuous hands 'tis given,
But who can drive the num'rous breed ! It blesses like the dews of heaven;
Chase one, another will succeed; Like heaven, it hears the orphan's cries, Who knows a fool, must know his brother, And wipes the tears from widows' eyes. One fop will recommend another : Their crimes on gold shall misers lay,
And with this plague she's rightly curst, Who pawn'd their sordid souls for pay? Because she listend to the first.
As Doris, at her toilet's duty,
Like heroes of eternal name, Sat meditating on her beauty,
Whom poets sing, I fight for fame, She now was pensive, now was gay,
The butcher's spirit-stirring mind And lollid the sultry hours away.
To daily war-my youth inclin'd; As thus in indolence she lies,
He train'd me to heroic deed; A giddy Wasp around her flies.
Taught me to conquer or to bleed. He now advances, now retires,
Curs'd Dog! the Bull replied ; no more Now to her neck and cheek aspires.
I wonder at thy thirst of gore; Her fan in vain defends her charms;
For thou (beneath a butcher train'd, Swift he returns, again alarms :
Whose hands with cruelty are stain'd, For by repulse he bolder grew,
His daily murders in thy view) Perch'd on her lip, and sipp'd the dew. Must, like the tutor, blood pursue.
She frowns, she frets. Good gods! she cries, Take then thy fate. With goring wound, Protect me from these teasing fies!
At once he lifts him from the ground:
Mangled he falls, he howls, and dies.
$ 87. FABLE X. The Elephant and the Can such offence your anger wake?
With various wonders feasts his sight:
What stranger wonders does he write!
Creatures which Adam never knew :
It prompts the tongue to deal in fiction ; In ecstasies away he posts;
Those things that startle me or you, Where'er he came the favor boasts ;
I grant are strange, yet may be true. Brags how her sweetest tea he sips,
Who doubts that Elephants are found And shows the sugar on his lips.
For science and for sense renown'd? The hint alarm'd the forward crew :
Borri records their strength of parts, Sure of success, away they few.
Extent of thought, and skill in arts ; They share the dainties of the day,
How they perform the law's decrees, Round her with airy music play;
And save the state the hangman's fees : And now they flutter, now they rest,
And how by travel understand Now soar again, and skim her breast.
The language of another land. Nor were they banish'd till she found
Let those who question this report, That Wasps have stings, and felt the wound. To Pliny's ancient page resort ;
How learn'd was that sagacious breed ! $ 86. FABLE IX. The Bull and the Mastiff. Who now like them the Greek can read ! SBek you to train your fav’rite Boy?
As one of these, in days of yore, Each caution, ev'ry care employ:
Rummag'd a shop of learning o'er ; And ere you venture to confide,
Not, like our modern dealers, minding Let his preceptor's heart be tried :
Only the margin's breadth and binding; Weigh well his manners, life, and scope ;
A book his curious eye detains, On these depends thy future hope.
Where with exactest care and pains As on a time, in peaceful reign,
Were ev'ry beast and bird pourtray'd, A Bull enjoy'd the flow'ry plain,
That e'er the search of man survey'd. A Mastiff pass'd; inflam'd with ire,
Their natures and their pow'rs were writ His eye-balls shot indignant fire;
With all the pride of human wit.
Man with strong reason is endow'd;
A beast scarce instinct is allow'd. Or tell me, ere the battle rage,
But let this author's work be tried : What wrongs provoke thee to engage ? 'Tis plain that neither was his guide. Is it ambition fires thy breast,
Can he discern the different natures, Or avarice, that ne'er can rest ?
And weigh the pow'r of other creatures, From these alone unjustly springs
Who by the partial work hath shown The world-destroying wrath of kings.
He knows so little of his own? The surly Mastiff thus returns ;
How falsely is the spaniel drawn! Within my bosom glory burns.
Did man from him first learn to fawn?