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• Say, what Assurance canst thou give,
That I with Birds a Bird fhall live:
For cou'd I trust thy pleafing Tale,
No wanton Wish shou'd e'er prevail :
For what that Worms obtain, can vie
With Bliss of Birds that wing the Sky?'
-"Believe my Words, th' Adviser said,
Since not of private Int'rest bred;
Not on thy Life or Death depend
My Pleasure or my Pain
Like thee, to all the future blind,
I knew not Wings for Worms defign'd;
Till last yon Sun's afcending Light
Remov'd the dusky Shades of Night.
Soon as his Rays, from Heav'n fublime,
Shone on that Leaf you wish to climb;
That Leaf, which fhades, in earliest Hours,
This lefs confpicuous Spot of ours:
Surpriz'd, a lovely Form I faw,
That touch'd me with Delight and Awe;
'Twas near, and while my Looks betray'd
My Wonder, thus the Stranger faid:
"If view'd by thee, with wond'rous Eyes,
My graceful Shape and vary'd dies;
New Wonder ftill prepare to feel,
Amazing Truths my Words reveal:
For know, like thine my humble Birth;
Like thee, I crawl'd a Worm on Earth."
"Ah! mock me not, faid I, nor feek
A worthless Triumph o'er the Weak.
Canft thou, thy Form with Down o'erfpread,
By Nature crown'd thy regal Head?
Canft thou my reptile Shape have worn?
My reptile Shape, of all the Scorn!
Haft thou! whofe gorgeous Wings display
Each vary'd Tint that drinks the Day;
More bright than Drops of orient Dew,
More gay than Flow'rs of gaudieft Hue;
With Purple edg❜d, and fring'd with Gold,
Like Light, too fplendid to behold!
Haft thou, an abject Worm like me,
Crawl'd prone on Earth? it cannot be."
"O! cease thy Doubts, the Stranger cry'd,
To Faith thy Happiness ally'd-
Not thrice the Morn these Eyes have view'd,
Since genial Spring my Life renew'd:
From Death-like Slumbers wak'd, I found
A guardian Shell inveft me round.
The circling Shield I broke, nor knew
How long my Safety thence I drew;
But foon perceiv'd, and knew the Spot,
Where once, a Worm, I fix'd my Lot:
The past, with Wonder, touch'd my Breaft,
More Wonder ftill the now impreft;
With Pleasure mixt, the Pleasure grew,
At ev'ry Thought, at ev'ry View :
Transform'd, my unknown Pow'r I try,
I wave my Wings! I rife! I fly!
Enraptur'd with the blissful Change,
From Field to Field I wanton rage;
From Flow'r to Flow'r, from Tree to Tree,
And see whate'er I wish to see.
Now glide along the daify'd Ground,
Now wheel in wanton Circles round;
Now mount aloft, and sport in Air,
Transported, when I will, and where.
Still present to whate'er invites,
Each Moment brings me new Delights:
Nor Fear allays the Joy I know,
The Dangers fcorn'd that lurk below;
No trampling Hoof, my former Dread,
Can crush me, mangled, to the Dead.
Ev'n Man himself pursues, in vain,
My fportive Circuit o'er the Plain."
He said, and raptur'd with the Thought,
New Charms his bright'ning Plumage caught,
He clapp'd his Wings, his rapid Flight
I trac'd, with fond defiring Sight;
O! glorious State-referv'd to this,
I risk not Life for reptile Bliss :
O! catch the glowing Wish from me,
The fame the Blifs referv'd for thee:
Defift from ev'ry rash Design,
And Beauty, Plumes, and Wings are thine.
He ceas'd, th' Advent'rer thus reply'd ;
• By thee the fanfied Change be try'd,
The now is mine, the now alone,
The future Fate's-a dark unknown!
To Nature's Voice my Ears incline;
All lovely, loving, all divine!
To Joy The courts, he points the Way,
And chides this cold, this dull Delay.
Farewel-let Hope thy Bliss fupply,
And count thy Gains with Fancy's Eye.
Be thine the Wings that Time shall send,
Believing and obliging Friend-'
He said, and fneering fly Disdain,
The neighb'ring Leaf attempts to gain;
He falls all bruis'd on Earth he lies;
Too late repents, and groans, and dies.
His friendly Monitor, with Care,
Avoids each Pleasure-baited Snare;
Falfe Pleasure, false, and fatal too!
Superior Joys he keeps in View:
They come the genial Spring fupplies
The Wings he hop'd, and, lo! he flies!
Taftes all that Summer Suns prepare,
And all the Joys of Earth and Air!
To his Grace the Duke of MONTAGUE.
AY, fhall the Brave like common Mortals die,
And Acts of Virtue in Oblivion lie?
The Muse forbids, who, in recording Lays,
Gives ever to Desert the Song of Praise.
What, tho' the Tale is not to Anstis known?
Whate'er the Mufe recalls fhe makes her own;
Who, conscious of thy Worth, would give to
Thy Charms Matilda, and Carvilior's Flame.
Attend, my Lord, while I the Tale restore;
Protect the Poet, and he asks no more;
Refuse not to regard this humble Strain,
Thou just Prefider o'er th' illuftr'ous Train.
E're the first Cæfar did our Isle subdue,
When Britons nought but British Virtue knew,
Cingetorix, in his Domains content,
Confin'd his Empire to the Bounds of Kent.
No Luft of Pow'r drives him to Realms un-
To rob his Neighbours, and enlarge his own.