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And thus abandoning their skill,
They give the ship to drive at will.
Straight enter'd with majestic grace
A form of more than human race,
The god an azure mantle wore,
His hand a forked sceptre bore;
When thus the monarch of the main-
· How dare
labours vain ?
Shall man exert himself the less,
Because superior dangers press?
How can I think your hearts sincere,
Unless you bravely persevere?
Know, mortals, that when perils rise,
Perils enhance the glorious prize.
But who deserts himself shall be
Deserted by the gods and me.
Hence to your charge, and do your best,
My trident shall do all the rest.'
The mariners their task renew,
All to their destined province flew.
The winds are hush'd—the sea subsides,
The gallant George in safety rides.
The folly of passing a hasty and derogatory judgment upon
the noxious animals of the creation.
THE BEAU AND THE VIPER.
All wise philosophers maintain
Nature created nought in vain.
Yet some with supercilious brow
Deny the truth asserted now,
What if I show that only man
Appears defective in the plan!
Say, will the sceptic lay aside
arrogance, and pride? A Beau, imported fresh from France, Whose study was to dress and dance; Who had betimes, in Gallia's school, Grafted the coxcomb on the fool; Approach'd a wood one summer's day, To screen him from the scorching ray. And as he traversed through the grove, Scheming of gallantry and love, A Viper's spiry folds were seen Sparkling with azure, gold, and green; The Beau, indignant, weak, and proud, With transport thus exclaim'd aloud
Avaunt, detested fiend of night!
Thou torture to the human sight!
To every reptile a disgrace,
And fatal to our godlike race.
Why were such creatures form'd as you,
Unless to prove my doctrine true;
That when we view this nether sphere,
Nor wisdom nor design appear?
The Serpent raised his angry crest;
An honest zeal inflamed his breast:
His hissings struck the fopling's ear,
And shook his very soul with fear.
• Inglorious wretch! (the Viper cries),
broach infernal lies?
Is there in all creation's chain
A link so worthless and so vain ?
dress were truly thine, How can your gold compare with mine?
Your vestments are of garter hue,
Mine boasts a far superior blue.
• You style me reptile, in contempt; .
You are that very reptile meant;
A two-legg'd thing which crawls on earth,
Void of utility and worth.
- You call me fatal to your race-
Was ever charge so false and base ?
You can't in all annals find,
That unprovoked we hurt mankind.
Uninjured, men in mischief deal,
We only bite the hostile heel.
• Do not we yield our lives to feed,
And save your vile distemper'd breed?
When leprosy pollutes your veins,
Do not we purge the loathsome stains ?
When riot and excess prevail,
And health and strength and spirits fail ;
Doctors from us their aid derive,
Hence penitential rakes revive.
We bleed to make the caitiffs dine,
Or drown to medicate their wine.
• You ask, my poison to what end?
Minute philosopher, attend.
Nature, munificent and wise,
To all our wants adapts supplies.
Our frames are fitted to our need,
Hence greyhounds are endued with speed:
Lions by force their prey subdue,
By force maintain their empire too:
But power, although the lion's fame,
Was never known the Viper's claim.
Upon some occasions vipers are dressed, and served to table as eels.
Observe, when I unroll my length
Say, is my structure form'd for strength ?
Doth not celerity imply
Or legs to run or wings to fly?
My jaws are constituted weak,
Hence poison lurks behind my cheek.
As lightning quick my fangs convey
This liquid to my wounded prey.
The venom thus insures my bite,
For wounds preclude the victim's flight.
• But why this deadly juice, you cry,
To make the wretched captive die?
Why not possess'd of stronger jaws,
Or arm'd like savage brutes with claws?
• Can such weak arguments persuade ? Ask rather, why were vipers made? To me my poison's more than wealth, And to ungrateful mortals health. In this benevolent design My various organs all combine. Strike out the poison from my frame, My system were no more the same. I then should want my comforts due, Nay, lose my very being too. And you'd, as doctors all agree, A sovereign medicine lose in me.
· Now learn, 'tis arrogance To censure what he cannot scan. Nor dare to charge God's works with ill, Since vipers kind designs fulfil: But give injurious scruples o'er, Be still, be humble, and adore !'
That happiness is much more equally distributed than the
generality of mankind are apprized of.
THE SNAIL AND THE GARDENER.
When sons of fortune ride on high,
How do we point the’ admiring eye!
With foolish face of wonder gaze,
And often covet what we praise.
How do we partial Nature chide,
As deaf to every son beside!
Or censure the mistaken dame,
As if her optics were to blame !
Thus we deem Nature most unkind,
Or what's as bad, we deem her blind.
But when inferior ranks we see,
Who move in humbler/spheres than we;
Men by comparisons are taught,
Nature is not so much in fault.
Yet mark my tale—the poet's pen
Shall vindicate her ways to men.
Within a garden, far from town,
There dwelt a Snail of high renown;
Who, by tradition as appears,
Had been a tenant several years.
She spent her youth in wisdom's page-
Hence honour'd and revered in age.
Do snails at any time contend,
Insult a neighbour or a friend;