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My hairs are now but turning gray,
I am not sixty, sir, till May.
Grant me the common date of men,
I ask but threescore years and ten.'

• Darest thou, prevaricating knave,
Insult the monarch of the grave?
I claim thy solemn contract pass’d-
Wherefore, this moment is thy last.'

Thus having said, he speeds his dart,
And cleaves the hoary dotard's heart.

IX.

THE OWL.

It seems, an Owl, in days of yore,
Had turn’d a thousand volumes o’er:
His fame for literature extends,
And strikes the ears of partial friends.
They weigh’d the learning of the fowl,
And thought him a prodigious Owl!
From such applause what could betide ?
It only cocker'd him in pride.

Extoll'd for sciences and arts,
His bosom burn’d to show his parts
(No wonder that an Owl of spirit
Mistook his vanity for merit);
He shows insatiate thirst of praise,
Ambitious of the poet's bays:
Perch'd on Parnassus all night long,
He hoots a sonnet or a song;
And while the village hear his note,
They curse the screaming whoreson's throat,

Amidst the darkness of the night, Our feather'd poet wings his flight; And, as capricious fate ordains, A chimney's treacherous summit gains; Which much impair'd by wind and weather, Down fall the bricks and bird together.

The Owl expands his azure eyes, And sees a Non-con’s study rise: The walls were deck'd with hallow'd bands Of worthies, by the engraver's hands; All champions for the good old cause ! Whose conscience interfered with laws; But yet no foes to king or people, Though mortal foes to church and steeple. Baxter, with apostolic grace, Display'd his mezzotinto face; While here and there some luckier saint Attain'd to dignity of paint.

Ranged in proportion to their size,
The books by due gradations rise.
Here the good Fathers lodged their trust;
There zealous Calvin slept in dust:
Here Poole his learned treasures keeps;
There Fox o'er dying martyrs weeps;
While reams on reams insatiate drink
Whole deluges of Henry's ink.

Columns of sermons piled on high
Attract the bird's admiring eye.
Those works a good old age acquired,
Which had in manuscript expired;
For manuscripts, of fleeting date,
Seldom survive their infant state.
The healthiest live not half their days,
But die a thousand various ways;

Sometimes ingloriously applied
To purposes the Muse shall hide.
Or, should they meet no fate below,
How oft tobacco proves their foe!
Or else some cook purloins a leaf
To singe her fowl or save her beef:
But sermons scape both fate and fire
By congregational desire.

Display'd at large upon the table
Was Bunyan's much admired fable;
And as his Pilgrim sprawling lay,
It chanced the Owl advanced that way,

The bird explores the pious dream,
And plays a visionary scheme;
Determined, as he read the sage,
To
copy
from the tinker's

page. The thief now quits his learn'd abode, And scales aloft the sooty road; Flies to Parnassus' top once more, Resolved to dream as well as snore; And what he dream'd by day, the wight, In writing o'er, consumes the night.

Plumed with conceit he calls aloud, And thus bespeaks the purblind crowd

Say not, that man alone's a poet, Poets are Owls-my verse shall show it.” And while he read his labour'd lays, His blue-eyed brothers hooted praise. But now his female mate by turns With pity and with choler burns; When thus her consort she address'd, And all her various thoughts express'd

Why, prithee, husband, rant no more, 'Tis time to give these follies o'er,

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Be wise, and follow my advice-
Go-catch your family some mice.
"Twere better to resume your trade,
And spend your nights in ambuscade.
What! if you fatten by your schemes,
And fare luxuriously in dreams!
While

you

ideal mice are carving,
I and my family are starving.
Reflect upon our nuptial hours,
Where will you find a brood like ours?
Our offspring might become a queen,
For finer owlets ne'er were seen!'

• 'Ods-blue! (the surly hob replied)
I'll amply for my heirs provide.
Why, Madge! when Colley Cibber dies,
Thou’lt see thy mate a laureat rise;
For never poets held this place,
Except descendants of our race.'

• But soft (the female sage rejoin'd);
Say you abjured the purring kind;
And nobly left inglorious rats
To vulgar owls or sordid cats.
Say, you the healing art essay'd,
And piddled in the doctor's trade;
At least you'd earn us good provisions,
And better this than scribbling visions.
A due regard to me, or self,
Would always make you dream of pelf;
And when you dream'd your nights away,
You'd realize your dreams by day.
Hence, far superior gains would rise,
And I be fat, and be wise.'

· But, Madge, though I applaud your scheme, You'd wish my patients still to dream!

you

Waking they'd laugh at my vocation,
Or disapprove my education;
And they detest your solemn hob,
Or take me for professor L-

Equipp'd with powder and with pill,
He takes his licence out—to kill.
Practised in all a doctor's airs,
To Batson's senate he repairs,
Dress'd in his flowing wig of knowledge
To greet his brethren of the college;
Takes up the papers of the day,
Perhaps for want of what to say;
Through every column he pursues
Alike advertisements and news;
O'er lists of cures with rapture runs,
Wrought by Apollo's natural sons;
Admires the rich Hibernian stock
Of doctors Henry, Ward, and Rock.
He dwells on each illustrious name,
And sighs at once for fees and fame.
Now, like the doctors of to-day,
Retains his puffers too in pay.
Around his reputation flew,
His practice with his credit grew.
At length the court receives the sage,
And lordlings in his cause engage.
He dupes, beside plebeian fowls,
The whole nobility of owls.
Thus
every

where he gains renown, And fills his purse and thins the town.

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