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THE DOG AND THE WATER LILY.

NO FABLE.

THE noon was shady, and soft ain's

Swept Ouse's silent tide,
When, 'scap'd from literary cares,

I wander'd on his side.

My spaniel, prettiest of his race,

And high in pedigree, (Two nymphs * adorn’d with ev'ry grace

That spaniel found for me,)

Now wanton'd lost in flags and reeds,

Now starting into sight,
Pursued the swallow o'er the meads

With scarce a slower flight.

It was the time when Ouse display'd

His lilies newly blown;
Their beauties I intent survey'd,

And one I wish'd my own.

With cane extended far I sought

To steer it close to land;

* Sir Robert Gunning's daughters.

But still the prize, though nearly caught,

Escap'd my eager hand.

Beau mark'd my unsuccessful pains

With fix'd consid’rate face,
And puzzling set his puppy brains

To comprehend the case.

But with a cherup clear and strong,

Dispersing all his dream,
I thence withdrew, and follow'd long

The windings of the stream.

My ramble ended, I return'd;

Beau, trotting far before,
The floating wreath again discern'd

And plunging left the shore.

I saw him with that lily cropp'd

Impatient swim to meet
My quick approach, and soon he dropp'd

The treasure at my feet.

Charm’d with the sight, the world, I cried,

Shall hear of this thy deed : My dog shall mortify the pride

Of mau's superiour breed:

But chief myself I will enjoin,

Awake at duty's call,
To show a love as prompt as thine
To Him who gives me all.

21

VOL. I.

THE POET, THE OYSTER, AND

SENSITIVE PLANT.

AN Oyster, cast upon the shore,
Was heard, though never heard before,
Complaining in a speech well worded
And worthy thus to be recorded :-

Ah, hapless wretch, condemned to dwell
For ever in my native shell;
Ordain'd to move when others please,
Not for my own content or ease;
But toss'd and buffeted about,
Now in the water and now out.
"Twere better to be born a stone,
Of ruder shape, and feeling none,
Than with a tenderness like mine,
And sensibilities so fine!
I envy that unfeeling shrub,
Fast-rooted against every rub.
The plant he meant, grew not far off,
And felt the sneer with scorn enough;
Was hurt, disgusted, mortified,
And with asperity replied.

When, cry the botanists, and stare,
Did plants call'd sensitive grow there?
No matter when-a poet's muse is
To make them grow just where she chooses.

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THE POET, THE OYSTER, &c.

231
You shapeless nothing in a dish,
You that are but almost a fish,
I scorn your coarse insinuation,
And have most plentiful occasion,
To wish myself the rock I view,
Or such another dolt as you:
For many a grave and learned clerk,
And many a gay unletter'd spark,
With curious touch examines me,
If I can feel as well as he ;
And when I bend, retire, and shrink,
Says—Well, 'tis more than one would think!
Thus life is spent (oh fie upon’t!)
In being touch'd, and erying-Don't!

A poet, in his ev’ning walk,
O'erheard and check'd this idle talk.
And your fine sense, he said, and yours,
Whatever evil it endures,
Deserves not if so soon offended,
Much to be pitied or commended,
Disputes, though short, are far too long,
Where both alike are in the wrong;
Your feelings in their full amount,
Are all upon your own account.

You, in your grotto-work enclos’d,
Complain of being thus expos’d ;
Yet nothing feel in that rough coat,
Save when the knife is at your throat,
Wherever driv'n by wind or tide,
Exempt from ev'ry ill beside.

And as for you, my Lady Squeamish,
Who reckon every touch a blemish,

232

THE POET, THE OYSTER, &e.

If all the plants, that can be found
Embellishing the scene around,
Should droop and wither where they grow,
You would not feel at all-not you.
The noblest minds their virtue prove
By pity, sympathy, and love:
These, these are feelings truly fine,
And prove their owner half divine.

His censure reach'd them as he dealt it,
And each by shrinking show'd he felt it.

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