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Could you, though luminous your eye,
By looking on the bud descry,
Or guess, with a prophetic power,
The future splendour of the flower?
Just so, the Omnipotent, who turns
The system of a world's concerns,
From mere minutiæ can educe
Events of most important use,
And bid a dawning sky display
The blaze of a meridian day.
The works of man tend, one and all,
As needs they must, from great to small;
And vanity absorbs at length
The monuments of human strength.
But who can tell how vast the plan
Which this day's incident began?
Too small, perhaps, the slight occasion
For our dim-sighted observation;
It pass'd unnoticed, as the bird
That cleaves the yielding air unheard,
And yet may prove, when understood,
An harbinger of endless good.
Not that I deem, or mean to call
Friendship a blessing cheap or small;
But merely to remark, that ours,
Like some of nature's sweetest flowers,
Rose from a seed of tiny size,
That seem'd to promise no such prize;
A transient visit intervening,
And made almost without a meaning,
(Hardly the effect of inclination,
Much less of pleasing expectation,)
Produced a friendship, then begun,
That has cemented us in one;
And placed it in our power to prove,
By long fidelity and love,
That Solomon has wisely spoken,--
"A threefold cord is not soon broken."
TO THE REV. MR. NEWTON,
RECTOR OF ST. MARY WOOLNOTH,
MAY 28, 1782.
SAYS the Pipe to the Snuff-box, I can't understand
What the ladies and gentlemen see in your face,
That you are in fashion all over the land,
And I am so much fallen into disgrace.
Do but see what a pretty contemplative air
I give to the company,-pray do but note 'em,You would think that the wise men of Greece were all
Or, at least, would suppose them the wise men of Gotham.
My breath is as sweet as the breath of blown roses, While you are a nuisance where'er you appear; There is nothing but sniveling and blowing of noses, Such a noise as turns any man's stomach to hear. Then lifting his lid in a delicate way,
And opening his mouth with a smile quite engaging, The Box in reply was heard plainly to say,—
What a silly dispute is this we are waging!
have a little of merit to claim,
You may thank the sweet-smelling Virginian weed; And I, if I seem to deserve any blame,
The before-mentioned drug in apology plead.
Thus neither the praise nor the blame is our own,
No room for a sneer, much less a cachinnus;
We are vehicles, not of tobacco alone,
But of any thing else they may choose to put in us.
CLOSE by the threshold of a door nail'd fast
Three kittens sat; each kitten look'd aghast;
I passing swift and inattentive by,
At the three kittens cast a careless eye,
Not much concern'd to know what they did there,
Not deeming kittens worth a poet's care.
But presently a loud and furious hiss
Caused me to stop, and to exclaim "What's this?"
When lo! upon the threshold met my view,
With head erect, and eyes of fiery hue,
A viper, long as Count de Grasse's queue.
Forth from his head his forked tongue he throws,
Darting it full against a kitten's nose,
Who having never seen, in field or house,
The like, sat still and silent as a mouse;
Only projecting, with attention due,
Her whisker'd face, she ask'd him, "Who are you?"
On to the hall went I, with pace not slow,
But swift as lightning, for a long Dutch hoe,
With which well arm'd I hasten'd to the spot,
To find the viper,—but I found him not;
And turning up the leaves, and shrubs around,
Found only, that he was not to be found.
But still the kittens, sitting as before,
Sat watching close the bottom of the door.
"I hope," said I, "the villain I would kill
Has slipp'd between the door and the door sill;
And if I make dispatch, and follow hard,
No doubt but I shall find him in the yard;"
For long ere now it should have been rehearsed,
'Twas in the garden that I found him first.
Even there I found him, there the full-grown cat
His head, with velvet paw, did gently pat,
As curious as the kittens erst had been
To learn what this phenomenon might mean.
Fill'd with heroic ardour at the sight,
And fearing every moment he would bite,
And rob our household of our only cat
That was of age to combat with a rat,
With outstretch'd hoe I slew him at the door,
And taught him NEVER TO COME THERE NO More.
Amicitia nisi inter bonos esse non potest.
WHAT virtue can we name, or grace,
But men unqualified and base
Will boast it their possession?
Profusion apes the noble part
Of liberality of heart,
And dullness of discretion.
the gem of richest cost
Is ever counterfeited most,
So, always, imitation
Employs the utmost skill she can
To counterfeit the faithful man,
The friend of long duration.
Some will pronounce me too severe,
But long experience speaks me clear;
Therefore that censure scorning,
I will proceed to mark the shelves
On which so many dash themselves,
And give the simple warning.
Youth, unadmonish'd by a guide,
Will trust to any fair outside,—
An error soon corrected;
For who but learns with riper years,
That man, when smoothest he appears,
Is most to be suspected?