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Because she wanted an unerring guide,
And then the dew-drops on her silken hide
Her tender constitution did declare,
Too lady-like a long fatigue to bear,
And rough inclemencies of raw nocturnal air:
But most she fear'd that, travelling so late,
Some evil-minded beasts might lie in wait,
And without witness wreak the hidden hate.
The Panther, though she lent a listening ear,
Had more of lion in her than to fear;
Yet wisely weighing, since she had to deal
With many foes, their numbers might prevail,
Return'd her all the thanks she could afford,
And took her friendly hostess at her word;
Who entering first her lowly roof,—a shed
With hoary moss, and winding ivy spread,
Honest enough to hide an humble hermit's head,
Thus graciously bespoke her welcome guest;
“So might these walls, with your fair presence
blest, Become your dwelling-place of everlasting rest; Not for a night, or quick revolving year, Welcome an owner, not a sojourner; This peaceful seat my poverty secures; War seldom enters but where wealth allures : Nor yet despise it; for this poor abode Has oft receiv'd, and yet receives a god; A god victorious, of a Stygian race, Here laid his sacred limbs, and sanctified the place. This mean retreat did mighty Pan contain; Be emulous of him, and pomp disdain, And dare not to debase your soul to gain.”
The silent stranger stood amaz'd to see Contempt of wealth, and wilful poverty;
And, though ill habits are not soon control'd,
Awhile suspended her desire of gold:
But civilly drew in her sharpen'd paws,
Not violating hospitable laws,
And pacified her tail, and lick'd her frothy jaws.
The Hind did first her country cates provide, Then couch'd herself securely by her side.
PART III. Much malice, mingled with a little wit, Perhaps may censure this mysterious writ; Because the muse has peopled Caledon With panthers, bears, and wolves, and beasts unknown,
[own. As if we were not stock'd with monsters of our Let Æsop answer, who has set to view Such kinds as Greece and Phrygia never knew; And Mother Hubbard, in her homely dress, 'Has sharply blam'd a British lioness; That queen, whose feast the factious rabble keep, Expos’d obscenely naked and asleep. Led by those great examples, may not I The wanted organs of their words supply? If men transact like brutes, 'tis equal then For brutes to claim the privilege of men.
Others our Hind of folly will indite, To entertain a dangerous guest by night: Let those remember that she cannot die Till rolling time is lost in round eternity; Nor need she fear the Panther, though untam’d, Because the Lion's peace was now proclaim'd:*
* The declaration of Indulgence.
The wary savage would not give offence,
To forfeit the protection of her prince;
But watch'd the time her vengeance to complete,
When all her furry sons in frequent senate met.*
Mean while she quench’d her fury at the flood,
And with a lenten sallad cool'd her blood. (scant,
Their commons, though but coarse, were nothing
Nor did their minds an equal banquet want.
For now the Hind, whose noble nature strove
To' express her plain simplicity of love,
Did all the honours of her house so well,
No sharp debates disturb’d the friendly meal.
She turn'd the talk, avoiding that extreme,
To common dangers past,--a sadly-pleasing theme;
Remembering every storm which toss'd the state,
When both were objects of the public hate,
And dropt a tear betwixt, for her own children's
fate. Nor fail'd she then a full review to make Of what the Panther suffer'd for her sake: Her lost esteem, her truth, her loyal care, Her faith unshaken to an exild heir, Her strength to' endure, her courage to defy : Her choice of honourable infamy. On these, prolixly thankful, she enlard, Then with acknowledgment herself she charg'd: For friendship, of itself an holy tie, Is made more sacred by adversity. Now should they part, malicious tongues would say They met like chance-companions on the way, Whom mutual fear of robbers had possess'd; While danger lasted, kindness was profess'd;
But that once o'er, the short-liv'd union ends :
The road divides, and there divide the friends.
The Panther nodded, when her speech was done,
And thank'd her coldly, in a hollow tone;
But said, her gratitude had gone too far
For common offices of Christian care.
If to the lawful heir she had been true,
She paid but Cæsar what was Cæsar's due.
“I might (she added) with like praise describe
Your suffering sons, and so return your bribe;
But incense from my hands is poorly priz'd;
For gifts are scorn’d where givers are despis’d.
I serv'd a turn, and then was cast away;
You, like the gaudy Ay, your wings display,
And sip the sweets, and bask in your great pa-
This heard, the Matron was not slow to find
What sort of malady had seiz'd her mind:
Disdain, with gnawing Envy, fell Despight,
And canker'd Malice stood in open sight:
Ambition, Interest, Pride without control,
And Jealousy, the jaundice of the soul;
Revenge, the bloody minister of ill,
With all the lean tormentors of the will.
'Twas easy now to guess from whence arose
Her new-made union with her ancient foes;
Her forc'd civilities, her faint embrace,
Affected kindness, with an alter'd face:
Yet durst she not too deeply probe the wound,
As hoping still the nobler parts were sound;
But strove with anodynes to' assuage the smart,
And mildly thus her med'cine did impart:
Complaints of lovers help to ease their pain; It shows a rest of kindness to complain;
A friendship loth to quit its former hold;
And conscious merit may be justly bold:
But much more just your jealousy would shew,
If other's good were injury to you:
Witness, ye Heavens, how I rejoice to see
Rewarded worth, and rising loyalty !
Your warrior-offspring that upheld the crown,
The scarlet honour of your peaceful gown,
Are the most pleasing objects I can find,
Charms to my sight, and cordials to my mind:
When Virtue spooms* before a prosperous gale,
My heaving wishes help to fill the sail;
And if my prayers for all the brave were heard,
Cæsar should still have such, and such should still
reward. “ The labour'd earth your pains have sow'd and
'Tis just you reap the product of the field:
Yours be the harvest, 'tis the beggar's gain
To glean the fallings of the loaded wain.
Such scatter'd ears as are not worth your care,
Your charity for alms may safely spare,
For alms are but the vehicles of pray’r.
My daily bread is literally implor'd;
I have no barns nor granaries to hoard.
If Cæsar to his own his hand extends,
Say, which of yours his charity offends:
You know he largely gives to more than are his
Are you defrauded when he feeds the poor?
Our mite decreases nothing of your store.
I am but few, and by your fare you see
My crying sins are not of luxury,
* To scud briskly. A sea term.