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And Puss observing it stand there,
She boldly puts in for a share.
Sir Poet on th' invading Cat
Bestows at once a good round pat-
Not of the butter—but the hand
Struck on the head-you understand ;--
And Puss, not liking this same blow,
Thinks it is wisest to forego
Her purpos'd treat-it is a trial,
But see her practise self-denial.
When, afterwards, the butter's there,
Not e'en her notice will it share ;
She knows her Master's watchful eye
Her ev'ry movement can espy,
And, tho' temptation may be pressing,
His presence keeps her from transgressing.
And is there not o'er Man AN EYE
That ev'ry action can espy?
Thoughout all space, O tell me where
God's scrutinizing eye's not there?
He hears each word, beholds each thought
Before it is in action brought.
Our Master has declar'd his will,
And bids us ev'ry law fulfil,
And each transgression of his laws
His judgment on the sinner draws.
O let my Cat, then, in each trial,
Teach me to practise self-denial,
Or I more brutish far shall prove,
Less worthy of my MASTER's love.
THE ROBIN, THE SPARROW AND THE POET.
OUTSIDE a Poet's window stood
A stand turn'd out of plum-tree wood,
On which his breakfast crumbs he plac'd,
That Robin might his bounty taste ;
For Robin all the winter long
Regal'd him with his simple song,
And was as social and as free
As if one of the family;
For, when the casement stood ope' wide,
Within the study oft he hied,
And having ta'en a transient look
Upon his papers or his book ;
And felt the study's warmer air,
Which, but for Puss, he'd gladly share,
To the Acacia back he flew
Which near the study window grew;
Then on the grass-plot would he hop
And on the troublous earthworm pop,
And eat the insects which abound
Within the garden's ample round,
And spoil the flowers and the fruits,
The leaves, the buds, and e'en the roots.
Thus Robin duly did attend,
And was the Poet's favour'd friend. .
But a young Sparrow, pert and vain, : Who fed in summer upon grain, And in the garden at his ease, Purloin'd the currants and the peas, And, now, whene'er the poultry fed, Flew down, and had some in their stead, He, pertest of the Sparrow crew, Down upon Robin's table flew; Nor suffer'd him his claims to speak, But drove him off by force of beak ; Then eat and wriggl’d, eat and chirp'd, And Robin's portion quite usurp'd. .
The Poet saw th' obtrusive wight, . And drove him from the table quite :
• Hence, thou voracious, forward bird, * Know Robin is by me preferr'd; * His modest merit claims my care, : • He of my daily bread shall share'; . * And, lest thy rude intruding bill , • Should dare to'work him any ill,' ..'
I'll daily watch his simple meal,' ... Nor suffer thee a crumb to steal,
And, henceforth, if thou dare infest • My garden, I'll destroy thy nest'; . . • And, if thou still maintain'st the strife, * A trap, or gun, shall end thy life.' :
THE DOG ON THE BACKWARD SCENT.
My Rover, of the Spaniel race,
Sagacious, ardent in the chase,
When Rabbit or when Hare he scents,
He tells aloud his great intents;
Declares, magnanimous, the feat,
Assuredly he'll kill and eat.
One day, as usual, on our walk,
He hunted over land and baulk,
When, lo! from her accustom'd lair,
Upstarted madam Puss the Hare;
She gain'd the spinney, nothing slack,
When Rover turn'd into her track ;
He scented, run, and loud gave tongue,
But, ah! his course was wholly wrong,
The scent was backward, and his bark, More follow'd, farther from the mark : At length, bewilder'd, tir'd, and cast, Compell’d-he gave it up at last.
My sapient controversial Sir, To Rover I would you refer. Think, when you hunt with grave intent, If it be not the backward scent : Each argument as on you trace, Is but in fact a counter-chase ;
You have the scent, you're in the track,
But 'stead of forward you run back,
And, e'en the more you hasten on,
The farther from your game you're gone;
And, tho' pursuit of Truth you boast,
You're in the wilds of Error lost.
THE DOG AND THE HEDGEHOG.
Riding in meadow-close one day,
When Tom and Ned were shaking hay,
And William, with a dextrous knack,
With rake turn’d o'er the fresher hack,
Rover set up a fiercish bark,
Which made all instantly to hark,
When Thomas to the hedge did hie,
And there a Hedgehog did espy
. Wrapped up in his integrity.'
From out the covert him he drew,
And Rover furious at him flew,
But instant found, that, sure enough,
He'd got a mouthful monstrous rough.
No sooner seiz'd it was than freed,
And how poor Rover's mouth did bleed !