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Crown'd with roses, we contemn
On flowery beds supinely laid,
THE GRASSHOPPER. HAPPY insect! what can be
In happiness compar'd to thee? Fed with nourishment divine, The dewy morning's gentle wine! Nature waits upon thee still, And thy verdant cup does fill; 'T is fill'd wherever thou dost tread, Nature's self 's thy Ganymede. Thou dost drink, and dance, and sing; Happier than the happiest king ! All the fields which thou dost see, All the plants, belong to thee; All that summer-hours produce, Fertile made with early juice. Man for thee does sow and plow; Farmer he, and landlord thou ! Thou dost innocently joy; Nor does thy luxury destroy; The shepherd gladly heareth thee, More harmonious than he. Thee country hinds with gladness hear, Prophet of the ripen'd year! Thee Phæbus loves, and does inspire; Phoebus is himself thy sire. To thee, of all things upon earth, Life is no longer than thy mirth. Happy insect, happy thou ! Dost neither age nor winter know; But, when thou'st drunk, and danc'd, and sung Thy fill, the flowery leaves among (Voluptuous, and wise withal, Epicurean animal!) Sated with thy summer feast, Thou retir'st to endless rest.
THE SWALLOW. FOOLISH prater, what dost thou
So early at my window do, With thy tuneless serenade? Well 't had been had Tereus made Thee as dumb as Philomel; There his knife had done but well. In thy undiscover'd nest Thou dost all the winter rest, And dreamest o'er thy summer joys, Free from the stormy seasons' noise : Free from th' ill thou'st done to me; Who disturbs or seeks-out thee? Hadst thou all the charming notes Of the wood's poetic throats, All thy art could never pay What thou'st ta'en from me away. Cruel bird ! thou'st ta'en away A dream out of my arms to-day; A dream, that ne'er must equall'd be By all that waking eyes may see. Thou, this damage to repair, Nothing half so sweet or fair, Nothing half so good, canst bring, Though men say thou bring'st the spring.
SIR JOHN DENHAM.
COOPER'S HILL. SURE there are poets which did never dream
Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream Of Helicon; we therefore may suppose Those made pot poets, but the poets those. And as courts make not kings, but kings the court, So where the Muses and their train resort Parnassus stands; if I can be to thee A poet, thou Parnassus art to me. Nor wonder if (advantag'd in my flight, By taking wing from thy auspicious height) Through untrac'd ways and airy paths I fly, More boundless in my fancy than my eye; My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space That lies between, and first salutes the place Crown'd with that sacred pile, sa vast, so high, That whether 'tis a part of earth or sky Uncertain seems, and may be thought a proud Aspiring mountain, or descending cloud; Paul's, the late theme of such a Muse,* whose flight Has bravely reach'd and soar'd above thy height; Now shalt thou stand, though sword, or time, or fire, Or zeal, more fierce than they, thy fall conspire; Secure, whilst thee the best of poets sings, Preserv'd from ruin by the best of kings. Under his proud survey the City lies, And like a mist beneath a hill doth rise, Whose state and wealth, the business and the crowd, Seems at this distance but a darker cloud, And is, to him who rightly things esteems, No other in effect than what it seems; Where with like haste, though several ways, they run, Some to undo, and some to be undone ; While luxury and wealth, like war and peace, Are each the other's ruin and increase;
* Mr. Waller
As rivers lost in seas, some secret vein Thence reconveys, there to be lost again. Oh! happiness of sweet retir'd content! To be at once secure and innocent. · Windsor the next (where Mars with Venus dwells, Beauty with strength) above the valley swells Into my eye, and doth itself present With such an easy and unforc'd ascent, That no stupendous precipice denies Access, no horror turns away our eyes; But such a rise as doth at once invite A pleasure and a reverence from the sight : Thy mighty master's emblem, in whose face Sat meekness, heighten'd with majestic grace ; Such seems thy gentle height, made only proud To be the basis of that pompous load. Than which a nobler weight no mountain bears, But Atlas only, which supports the spheres. When Nature's hand this ground did thus advance 'Twas guided by a wiser power than Chance ; Mark'd out for such an use, as if't were meant To' invite the builder, and his choice prevent. Nor can we call it choice, when what we choose Folly or blindness only could refuse. A crown of such majestic towers doth grace The gods' great mother, when her heavenly race Do homage to her ; yet she cannot boast, Among that numerous and celestial host, More heroes than can Windsor, nor doth Fame's Immortal book record more noble names. Not to look back so far, to whom this isle Owes the first glory of so brave a pile, Whether to Cæsar, Albanact, or Brute, The British Arthur, or the Danish C'nute ; (Though this of old no less contest did move Than when for Homer's birth seven cities strove) (Like him in birth, thou should'st be like in fame, As thine his fate, if mine had been his flame) But whosoe'er it was, Nature design'd First a brave place, and then as brave a mind.