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. My light, indeed, I must confess,
On some occasions will be less; . But spite itself will hardly say • I'm debtor for a single ray; • 'Tis all my own, and on the score. • Of merit, mounts to ten times more • Than any planet can demand • For light dispens’d at second hand.'
To hear the paltry insect boast The Grasshopper some patience lost. Quoth he, ‘My friend, it may be so, « The moon with borrow'd light, may glow: . That your faint glimm’ring is your own, • I think is question'd yet by none: * But sure the office to collect • The solar brightness and reflect, • To catch those rays that would be spent
Quite useless in the firmament, * And turn them downwards on the shade • Which absence of the sun has made, * Amounts to more, in point of merit, • Than all your tribe did e'er inherit:
Oft by that planet's friendly ray • The midnight trav'ler finds his way;
Safe by the favour of her beams • 'Midst precipices, lakes and streams ; • Whilst you mislead him, and your light,
Seen like a cottage-lamp by night, • With hopes to find a safe retreat, • Allures and tempts him to his fate :
• As this is so, I needs must call
IMITATED FROM THEOCRITUS.
By all the Sages 'tis confest
A Tale an ancient Bard has told Of two poor Fishermen of old, Their names were (lest I should forget And put the reader in a pet, . Lest critics too should make a pother) The one Asphelio, Gripus t other. The men were very poor, their trade Could scarce afford them daily bread: Tho'ply'd with industry and care Thro' the whole season, foul and fair. Upon a rock their cottage stood, '; On all sides bounded by the flood : It was a miserable seat,, Like Cold and Hunger's worst retreat: And yet it serv'd them both for life, As neither could maintain a wife; Two walls were rocks, and two were sand, Ramm'd up with stakes and made to stand. A roof hung threat'ning o'er their heads Of boards half-rotten, thatch'd with reeds. And, as no thief e'er touch'd their store, A hurdle serv'd them for a door. : Their beds were leaves ; against the wall A sail hung drying, yard and all. On one side baskets and a net,... With sea-weed foul and always wet. These sorry instruments of trade Were all the furniture they had ::: For they had neither spit nor pot, ... Unless my author has forgot.
Some few hours, once, ere break of day,
• Friend,' quoth the drowsy swain, and swore, • What you have done has hurt me more
Than all your service can repay. .. * For years to come by night and day;
You've broke the thought on't makes me mad ; • The finest dream that e'er I had.'
Quoth Gripus: 'Friend, your speech would prove
You mad indeed, or else in love; . • For dreams should weighobutilight on those • Who feel the want of food and clothes: • I guess, tho? simple and untaught; • You dream about a lucky draught,
Or money found by chance: they say, . That hungry foxes dream of prey.'
"You're wond'rous shrewd, my friend; in troth,'. Asphelio cried, and right in both: .. • My dream had gold in't, as you said, * And fishing too, our constant trade; . And, since your guess has hit so near; . In short, the whole on't you shall hear:
• Upon the shore I seem'd to stand, • My rod and tackle in my hand; • The baited hook full oft I threw,
And still in vain, I nothing drew :
A fish at last appear'd to bite,
The cork div'd quickly out of sight, * And soon the dipping rod I found • With something weighty bent half round:
Quoth I, good luck has come at last,
Each passing billow caught the blaze,
Of hope and expectation full,
Like creatures of amphibious nature • One hour on land and three in water; • We live 'midst danger toil and care,
Yet never have a groat to spare: • While others not expos'd to harm,
Grow rich, tho' always dry and warm;