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Vis tu homines urbemque feris præponere sylvis ?'
Ver. 177. like men, must die,] The parody on Dryden's poem on the Hind and Panther, alluding to the City and Country Mouse, was the first of Prior's performances, in conjunction with his friend Montague.
Consider, mice, like men, must die,
185 When all their Lordships had sate late.
Behold the place, where, if a poet Shined in description, he might show it; Tell how the moonbeam trembling falls, And tips with silver all the walls ;
190 Palladian walls, Venetian doors, Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors : But let it, in a word, be said, The moon was up, and men a-bed, The napkins white, the carpet red; 195 The guests withdrawn had left the treat, And down the mice sat, téte à tête.
Our courtier walks from dish to dish, Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish; Tells all their names, lays down the law, 200
Que ça est bon! Ah, goutez ça! That jelly's rich, this Malmsey healing, Pray, dip your whiskers and your tail in.” Was ever such a happy swain ? He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again. 205 “ I'm quite ashamed—'tis mighty rude To eat so much-but all's so good.
Ille cubans gaudet mutatâ sorte, bonisque
I have a thousand thanks to give-
210 Rush chaplain, butler, dogs, and all : “ A rat! a rat! clap to the door”The cat comes bouncing on the floor. O for the heart of Homer's mice, Or Gods to save them in a trice!
215 (It was by Providence, they think, For your damn'd
damn'd stucco has no chink.) “ An't please your honour,” quoth the peasant, “ This same dessert is not so pleasant: Give me again my hollow tree,
220 A crust of bread, and liberty!"
INTERMISSA, Venus, diu,
Rursus bella moves ? parce, precor, precor Non sum qualis eram bonæ
Sub regno Cynaræ. Desine, dulcium Mater sæva Cupidinum,
Circa lustra decem flectere mollibus Jam durum imperiis. Abi
Quð blandæ juvenum te revocant preces. Tempestiviùs in domum
Pauli, purpureis ales oloribus, Commissabere Maximi,
Si torrere jecur quæris idoneum. Namque et nobilis, et decens,
solicitis non tacitus reis,