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While yet an egg, and cover'd o'er with sand,
His parents left him, helpless on the strand,
What pow'r, but God's alone, could give him birth,
And raise the monster crawling from the earth ?
The WHALE to him owes that enormous size,
Which makes the seas in foaming mountains rise.
Urg'd on by him the billows brave the shore,
And from his jaws ejected rivers pour.
With his wide tail he drives the ocean round,
Whilst hollow rocks reverberate the sound.
High o'er the floods in state he proudly rides,
And with his bulk beats back the flowing tides :
Not him the roaring hurricane affrights;
He in the tempest plays, and in the storm delights,
Perfection and surprizing beauty shine,
And light our reason to an hand divine:
Their mighty maker's over-ruling care,
Wisdom, and power, his creatures all declare,
See, to the sun the BUTTERFLY displays
It's glittring wings, and wantons in his
In life exulting, o'er the meadow flies,
Sips from each dow'r, and breathes the vernal skies.
Its splendid plumes, in graceful order, show
The various glories of the painted bow.
Where love directs, a libertine it roves,
And courts the fair-ones thro' the verdant groves.
How glorious now! how chang'd since yesterday!
When on the ground, a crawling worm it lay,
Where ev'ry foot might tread its life away.
Who rais'd it thence ? and bid it range the skies?
Gave it's rich plumage, and it's brilliant dyes?
'Twas God—it's God and thine, O Man; and he,
In this thy fellow-creature, let's thee see
The wond'rous change which is ordain’d for thee.
Thou too shalt leave thy reptile form behind,
And mount the skies, a pure etherial mind, There range among the stars, all bright and un
[confin’d. From him alone the Spider learns to spread Her pendant snare, and twist the slender thread.*
Careful, she travels, 'till some place she finds
Safe from the rains, and shelter'd from the winds :
* Slender indeed! It has been calculated that thirty thousard spider threads are not so large as a thread of sewing silk. STURM, in his “ Reflections," tells us, the Spiders are furnished with six papilla for spinning their web; that each papilla is composed of a thousand pores, through which so many threads pass : so that each visible thread of a spider is composed of six thousand smaller ones.
There, with just skill, her future work designs,
Revolves the plan, and draws the destin'd lines.
Each part she labours with repeated pain,
And often walks the circle of her reign :
Compact yet fine the curious net-work weaves,
And forms her dark retreat behind the leaves.
On prey intent, in ambuscade she lies,
'Till, 'tangl'd in her snare, she rushes on the prize.
The lab'ring BEE, by him instructed, knows
Where op'ning flow'rs their balmy sweets disclose :
The rising sun her daily task renews;
Wide o'er the plains, she sips the pearly dews;
From mead to mead she wanders through the skies,
And yellow thyme distends her loaded thighs.
Each rifl'd flower rewards her painful toil,
And her full hive receives the golden spoil;
On flagging wings each load she thither bears,
And while the summer smiles, for winter's want
[prepares. Nor does the Ant with less sagacious care
Improve the bounteous seasons of the year.
Of want afraid, for what the harvest yields,
Thoughtful, she ranges through the distant fields : No toil she spares ; but labours o’er the plain,
And sweats beneath the burden of a grain :
Though much she has, she searches still for more,
And ev'ry day adds something to her store ;
With wholesome food her granaries abound,
Nor, unprepar’d, is she by freezing winter found.
How oft, O Man, by foolish pride betray'd,