« EelmineJätka »
A MOUSE, the sleekest of the train
That ever stole the farmer's grain,
Grew tir'd of acorns, wheat, and peas,
And long'd to feed on savoury cheese.
A travell'd sir, a mouse of spirit,
Endow'd with wit, but little merit,
In evil hour a visit paid,
And turn'd his inexperienc'd head
With stories of I know not what
The comforts of the shepherd's cot;
The plenty of the farmer's barn,
And granaries replete with corn;
But most the luxury and waste
Of houses own'd by men of taste,
Where a man-cook consumes the meat,
Yet leaves enough for mice to eat;
And in whose pantry, cheese and ham
Invite a colony to cram.
The longing mouse the story hears;
He feels alternate hopes and fears:
His friend's advice he dares pursue,
And bids his rural friends adieu.
When night her sable curtain spread,
And all was silent as the dead,
Our hero crept along the way
His friend had pointed out by day;
And ent'ring at the cellar-door,
Ascended to the pantry-floor.
Behind a table there he lies,
And thinks himself secure and wise.
At morn a plenteous scene appears,
Enough to serve him many years;
(The relics of a sumptuous dinner
Are tempting to a young beginner ;)
He peeps, and thinks he may come out,
To taste a bit, and look about :
No foe appears, and bolder grown,
He views the treasure as his own;
Then sallying forth in open day,
Eats all that comes within his way.
But soon the greasy cook is seen
The mouse looks pitiful and mean;
Scouts from the dresser in a fright,
Yet does not 'scape his watchful sight.
The gnaw'd remains of viands rare
Are taken from the shelf with care;
And in their place a trap is set,
To make the thief repay the debt.
The mouse at ev'ning dares to peep,
And thinks his foe is fast asleep.
The savoury cheese his fancy draws:
Within the trap's unfeeling jaws
He finds too late his error there,
And dies within the fatal snare;
A victim unto bad advice,
A lesson to imprudent mice,
Who, discontented with their home,
To gayer scenes desire to roam.
The Goldfinch and the Cricket.
In a fair valley stood a cot
Who liv'd within it matters not;
Their cheer was good, and good their fire,
As any cricket could desire :
Of these there rose a num'rous race,
And flourish'd in that peaceful place.
At length a cricket did arise,
In voice and beauty, strength and size,
So very much above the rest,
All his superior grace confess'd.
Thus daily flatter'd, prais'd, admir'd,
His little soul with pride was fir'd;
He vain and self-conceited grew,
Nor thought they gave him half his due ;
Fancied no bird could sing so fine,
Nor yet in beauty brighter shine.
In the same cot a goldfinch hung,
Which ev'ry day melodious sung;
By nature's hand all gaily drest
In parti-colour'd, shining vest :
The reptile, with keen envy stung,
Oft gaz'd and listen'd while he sung.
One day the cot deserted lay,
Both family and dog away;
No sound was heard but Dickey's note,
Who sweetly swell'd his downy throat.
The cricket heard, and up he peep'd -
The coast seem'd clear, so out he leap'd:
THE GOLDFINCH AND THE CRICKET.
Vainly puff'd up with pamper'd pride,
Thus to the beauteous bird he cried :-
"Proud thing! thy noise, I prithee, cease,
And let the house remain in peace.
Perhaps because aloft thou 'rt rais'd,
'Cause daily fed and daily prais'd,
Thou think'st thy voice more sweet than mine,
And that thy beauties brighter shine.
But know, I am so wond'rous fair,
No cricket can with me compare :
In strength and size superior found,
No cricket half so high can bound.
Thy frightful legs and hideous claws
Are quite unlike my pretty paws.
And know, thou monstrous painted thing,
I sweet and loud as thou can sing."
With that he rais'd his hideous note,
And almost rent his shrieking throat;
Then leap'd so high at ev'ry stroke,
His slender legs he almost broke.
The crickets heard, with great surprise,
Their comrade's voice tremendous rise;
So, young and old came peeping out,
And saw him wildly frisk about;
Admir'd the monstrous leaps he made,
And one and all pronounc'd him mad.
The lovely bird, devoid of pride,
With placid air, unmov'd, replied:
"Poor, silly, self-conceited thing!
Like me thou canst not look nor sing.
Know, fool, all who from nature stray,
Resolv'd to shine a diff'rent way,
Attempt to force what she denies,
And, spite of her, be fair or wise,—
Her counsel with disdain reject,
And what she never meant, affect,—
Ne'er fail to make themselves a jest:
To follow Nature's always best.
Folly were rare, did she but rule;
"Tis affectation makes the fool.
The lowest creatures ever seen,
Though poor in parts, in person mean,
If close they follow Nature's rules,
Are ne'er despis'd, except by fools.
Then, prithee, poor conceited elf,
Retire, and learn to know thyself;
Contented rest with Nature's will,
And be a shrieking cricket still."
Thus spoke the bird, but spoke in vain ;
The reptile heard him with disdain :
And no surprise; for wisdom's rules
Are always thrown away on fools.
The cricket with these truths was stung, Rage chok'd his words and tied his tongue; Madly he leap'd, with pride elate, Regardless of impending fate;
Nor once observ'd a watchful cat,
Who in a corner slyly sat.
Puss ey'd him as he madly hopp'd,
And soon as in her reach he dropp'd,