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A passing gale, a puff of wind,
Dispels thy thickest troops combin'd.

The gale arose; the vapour, tost
(The sport of winds) in air, was lost;
The glorious orb the day refineş.
Thus envy breaks, thus merit shines.

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FABLE XXIX.

THE FOX AT THE POINT OF DEATH.

A Fox, in life's extreme decay,
Weak, sick, and faint, expiring lay;
All appetite had left his maw,
And Age disarm’d his mumbling jaw.
His num'rous race around him stand,
To learn their dying sire's command :
He rais'd his head with whining moan,
And thus was heard the feeble tone:

Ah! Sons ! from evil ways depart:
My crimes lie heavy on my heart.
See, see, the murder'd geese appear!
Why are those bleeding turkeys there?
Why all around this cackling train,
Who haunt my ears for chicken slain?

The hungry Foxes round them star'd,
And for the promis'd feast prepar'd.

Where, Sir, is all this dainty cheer; Nor turkey, goose, nor hen, is here. Volume Ill.

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These are the phantoms of your brain,
And your Sons lick their lips in vain.

O Gluttons! says the drooping sire,
Restrain inordinate desire.
Your liq'rish taste you shall deplore,
When peace of conscience is no more.
Does not the hound betray our pace,
And gins and guns destroy our race ?
Thieves dread the searching eye of pow'r,
And never feel the quiet hour.
Old age, (which few of us shall know)
Now puts a period to my woe.
Would you true happiness attain,
Let honesty your passions rein;
So live in credit and esteem,
And the good name you lost redeem.

The counsel's good, a Fox replies,
Could we perform what you advise.
Think what our ancestors have done;
A line of thieves from son to son:
To us descends the long disgrace,
And infamy hath mark'd our race.
Tho'we, like harmless sheep, should feed,
Honest in thought, in word, and deed,
Whatever hen-roost is decreas'd,
We shall be thought to share the feast,
The change shall never be believ'd,
A lost good name is ne'er retriev d.

Nay, then, replies the feeble Fox,
(But hark! I hear a hen that clocks)
Go, but be mod’rate in your food;
A chicken, too, might do me good.

50

FABLE XXX.

THE SETTING-DOG AND THE PARTRIDGE.

10

The ranging Dog the stubble tries,
And searches every breeze that flies,
The scent grows warm; with cautious fear
He creeps, and points the covey near;
The men, in silence, far behind,
Conscious of game, the net unbind.

A Partridge, with experience wise,
The fraudful preparation spies;
She mocks their toiis, alarms her brood,
The covey springs, and seeks the wood;
But ere her certain wing she tries,
Thus to the creeping Spaniel cries :
Thou fawning slave to man's deceit,
Thou pimp of lux’ry, sneaking cheat,
Of thy whole species thou disgrace,
Dogs should disown thee of their race!
For if I judge their native parts,
They're born with honest open hearts;
And ere they serv'd man's wicked ends,
Were gen'rous foes, or real friends.

Gay.)

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When thus the Dog, with scornful smile:
Secure of wing, thou dar’st revile.
Clowns are to polish'd manners blind;
How ign’rant is the rustic mind !
My worth sagacious courtiers see,
And to preferment rise like me.
The thriving pimp who beauty sets,
Hath oft enhanc'd a nation's debts :
Friend sets his friend, without regard,
And ministers his skill reward:
Thus train'd by man, I learn'd his ways,
And growing favour feasts my days.

I might have guess’d, the Partridge said,
The place where you were train's and fed ;
Servants are apt, and in a trice
Ape to a hair their masters' vice.
You came from court, you say. Adieu,
She said, and to the covey flew.

38

FABLE XXXI.
THE UNIVERSAL APPARITION.

A

RAKE, by ev'ry passion rul’d,
With ev'ry vice his youth had coolid;
Disease his tainted blood assails;
His spirits droop, his vigour fails :
With secret ills at home he pines,
And, like infirm old age, declines.

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As, twing'd with pain, he pensive sits,
And raves, and prays, and swears, by fits,
A ghastly Phantom, lean and wan,
Before him rose, and thus began :

My name, perhaps, hath reach'd your ear;
Attend, and be advis'd by Care.
Nor love, nor honour, wealth, nor pow'r,
Can give the heart a cheerful hour
When health is lost. Be timely wise :
With health all taste of pleasure flies.

Thus said, the Phantom disappears.
The wary counsel wak'd his fears :
He now from all excess abstains,
With physic purifies his veins;
And, to procure a sober life,
Resolves to venture on a wife.

But now again the Sprite ascends,
Where'er he walks his ear altends;
Insinuates that beauty's frail,
That perseverance must prevail ;
With jealousies his brain infiames,
And whispers all her lovers' names.
In other hours she represents
His household charge, his annual rents,
Increasing debts, perplexing duns,
And nothing for his younger sons.

Straight all his thought to gain he turns,
And with the thirst of lucre burns,

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