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FABLE XLV.

THE POET AND THE ROSE,

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I hate the man who builds his name
On ruins of another's fame,
Thus prudes, by characters o’erthrown,
Imagine that they raise their own.
Thus scribblers, covetous of praise,
Think slander can transplant the bays.
Beauties and bards have equal pride,
With both all rivals are decry'd.
Who praises Lesbia's eyes and feature
Must call her sister awkward creature;
For the kind flatt'ry's sure to charm
When we some other nymph disarm.

As in the cool of early day
A Poet sought the sweets of May,
The garden's fragrant breath ascends,
And ev'ry stalk with odour bends :
A rose he pluck’d, he gaz'd, admir'd,
Thus singing, as the Muse inspir’d,
“ Go, Rose, my Chloe's bosom grace;
“ How happy shall I prove,
Might I supply that envy'd place
“ With never-fading love!
“ There, Phænix-like, beneath her eye,
Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die,

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“Know, hapless Flow'r! that thou shalt-find
“ More fragrant Roses there;
“ I see thy with’ring head reclin'd
". With envy and despair !
" One common fate we both must prove;
" You die with envy, I with love."

Spare your comparisons, reply'd
An angry Rose, who grew beside.
Of all mankind you should not flout us;
What can a Poet do without us!
In ev'ry love-song Roses bloom!
We lend you colour and perfume:
Does it to Chloe's charms conduce
To found her praise on our abuse ?
Must we, to flatter her, be made
To wither, envy, pine, and fade ?

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FABLE XLVI.
THE CUR, THE HORSE, AND THE SHEPHERD'S DOG.

The lad of all sufficient merit
With modesty ne'er damps his spirit;
Presuming on his owu deserts,
On all alike his tongue exerts :
His noisy jokes at random throws,
And pertly spatters friends and foes.
In wit and war the bully race
Contribute to their own disgrace:

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Too late the forward youth shall find
That jokes are sometimes paid in kind;
Or if they canker in the breast,
He makes a foe who makes a jest.

A village Cur, of snappish race,
The pertest puppy of the place,
Imagin'd that his treble throat
Was blest with Music's sweetest note;
In the mid road he basking lay,
The yelping nuisance of the way ;
For not a creature pass’d along
But had a sample of his song.
Soon as the trotting Steed he hears,
He starts, he cocks his dapper ears ;
Away he scours, assaults his hoof;
Now near him snarls, now barks aloof;
With shrill impertinence attends,
Nor leaves him till the village ends.
It chanc'd upon his evil day,
A Pad came pacing down the way;
The Cur, with never-ceasing tongue,
Upon the passing trav’ller sprung.
The Horse, from scorn provok'd to ire,
Flung backward; rolling in the mire,
The Puppy howl'd, and bleeding lay;
The Pad in peace pursu'd his way.

A Shepherd's Dog, who saw the deed,
Detesting the vexatious breed,

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Bespoke him thus : When coxcombs prate,
They kindle wrath, contempt, or hate;
Thy teasing tongue had judgment ty'd,
Thou hast not like a puppy dy'd.

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FABLE XLVII.

THE COURT OF DEATH.

Death, on a solemn night of state,
In all his pomp of terror sat:
Th'attendants of his gloomy reign,
Diseases dire, a ghastly train !
Crowd the vast court. With hollow tone
A voice thus thunder'd from the throne:
This night our minister we name,
Let every servant speak his claim;
Merit shall bear this ebon wand.
All at the word stretch'd forth their hand.

Fever, with burning heat possest,
Advanc'd, and for the wand addrest.

I to the weekly bills appeal,
Let those express my fervent zeal;
On ev'ry slight occasion near,
With violence I persevere.

Next Gout appears with limping pace,
Pleads how he shifts from place to place;
From head to foot how swift he flies,
And ev'ry joint and sinew plies;

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Still working when he seems supprest,
A most tenacious stubborn guest.

A haggard Spectre from the crew
Crawls forth, and thus asserts his due :
'Tis I who taint the sweetest joy,
And in the shape of love destroy :
My shanks, sunk eyes, and noselessface,
Prove my pretensions to the place.

Stone urg'd his ever-growing force;
And, next, Consumption's meagre corse,
With feeble voice that scarce was heard,
Broke with short coughs, his suite preferr'd;
Let none object my ling’ring way,
I gain, like Fabius, by delay;
Fatigue and weaken ev'ry foe
By long attack, secure, tho' slow.

Plague represents his rapid pow'r,
Who thinn'd a nation in an hour.

All spoke their claim, and hop'd the ward.
Now expectation hush'd the band,
When thus the Monarch from the throne :

Merit was ever modest known.
What, no Physician speak his right!
None here! But' fees their toils requite.
Let then Intemp'rance take the wand,
Who fills with gold their zealous hand.
You, Fever, Gout, and all the rest,
(Whom wary men, as foes, detest)

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