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When dogs were snarling for a bone,
He long'd to make the war his own,
And often found (when two contend)
To interpose obtain’d his end;
He glory'd in his limping pace;
The scars of honour seam'd his face;
In ev'ry limb a gash appears,
And frequent fights retrench'd his ears.
As on a time he heard from far
Two dogs engag'd in noisy war,
Away he scours, and lays about him,
Resolv'd no fray should be without him.
Forth from his yard a tanner flies,
And to the bold intruder cries,
A cudgel shall correct your manners :
Whence sprung this cursed hate to tanners?
While on my dog you vent your spite,
Sirrah! 'tis me you dare not bite.
To see the battle thus perplex’d,
With equal rage a butcher vex'd,
Hoar.e-screaming from the circled crowd,
To the curs’d Mastiff cries aloud :
Both Hockleyhole and Marybone
The combats of my dog have known:
He ne'er, like bullies, coward-hearted,
Attacks in public to be parted.
Think not, rash fool, to share his fame;
Be his the honour or the shame,
Thus said, they swore and rav'd like thunder,
Then dragg'd their fasten'd dogs asunder;
While clubs and kicks from ev'ry side
Rebounded from the Mastiff's hide.
All reeking now with sweat and blood,
A while the parted warriors stood,
Then pour’d upon the meddling foe,
Who, worry'd, howl'd, and sprawl'd below.
He rose, and, limping from the fray,
By both sides mangled, sneak’d away.
THE BARLEY-MOW AND THE DUNGHILL.
How many saucy airs we meet
From Temple-bar to Aldgate-street?
Proud rogues, who share the South-sea prey,
And sprung like mushrooms in a day!
They think it mean to condescend
To know a brother or a friend;
They blush to hear their mother's name,
And by their pride expose their shame.
As cross his yard, at early day,
A careful farmer took his way,
He stopp'd, and leaning on his fork,
Observ'd the flail's incessant work.
In thought he measur'd all his store,
His geese, his hogs, he number'd o'er;
In fancy weigh'd the fleeces shorn,
And multiply'd the next year's corn.
A Barley-mow, which stood beside,
Thus to its musing master cry'd;
Say, good Sir, is it fit or right
To treat me with neglect and slight?
Me, who contribute to your cheer,
And raise your mirth with ale and beer?
Why thus insulted, thus disgrac’d,
And that vile Dunghill near me plac'd ?
Are those poor sweepings of a groom,
That filthy sight, that nauseous fume,
Meet objects here? command it hence;
A thing so mean must give offence.
The humble Dunghill thus reply'd:
Thy master hears and mocks thy pride :
Insult not thus the meek and low ;
In me thy benefactor know;
My warm assistance gave thee birth,
Or thou hadst perish'd low in earth;
But upstarts, to support their station,
Cancel at once all obligation.
PYTHAGORAS AND THE COUNTRYMAN.
Pythag'ras rose at early dawn,
By soaring meditation drawn;
To breathe the fragrance of the day,
Thro' flow'ry fields he took his way.
In musing contemplation warm,
His steps misled him to a farm,
Where on a ladder's topmost round
A peasant stood; the hammer's sound
Shook the weak barn. Say, Friend, what care
Calls for thy honest labour there?
The Clown, with surly voice, replies,
Vengeance aloud for justice cries.
This kite, by daily rapine fed,
My hens' annoy, my turkeys' dread,
At length his forfeit life hath paid;
See on the wall his wings display'd,
Here nail'd, a terror to his kind,
My fowls shall future safety find :
My yard the thriving poultry feed,
And my barn’s refuse fat the breed.
Friend, says the Sage, the doom is wise ;
For public good the murd'rer dies :
But if these tyrants of the air
Demand a sentence so severe,
Think how the gluiton, man, devours ;
What bloody feasts regale his hours !
O impudence of pow'r and might,
Thus to condemn a hawk or kite,
When thou, perhaps, carniv'rous sinner,
Hadst pullets yesterday for dinner!
Hold, cry'd the Clown, with passion heated,
Shall kites and men alike be treated ?
When Heav'n the world with creatures storld,
Man was ordain’d their sov’reign lord.
Thus tyrants boast, the Sage reply'd,
Whose murders spring from pow'r and pride.
Own then this manlike kite is slain
Thy greater lux’ry to sustain;
For “ Petty rogues submit to Fate,
" That great ones may enjoy their state." *
THE FARMER's wife AND THE RAVEN.
Why are those tears ? why droops your head ?
Is then your other husband dead ?
Or does a worse disgrace betide ?
Has no one since his death apply'd ?
Alas! you know the cause too well;
The salt is spilt, to me it fell;
Then to contribute to my loss,
My knife and fork were laid across :
On Friday, too! the day I dread!
Would I were safe at home in bed!
Last night (I vow to Heav'n 'tis true)
Bounce from the fire a coffin few.