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THE POET, THE OYSTER, AND SENSITIVE PLANT.
AN Oyster, cast upon the shore,
Ah, hapless wretch! condemn'd to dwell
Ordain'd to move when others please,
I envy that unfeeling shrub,
The plant he meant grew not far off,
Was hurt, disgusted, mortified,
And with asperity replied.
When, cry the botanists, and stare,
You that are but almost a fish,
If I can feel as well as he;
And when I bend, retire, and shrink,
Thus life is spent (oh fie upon't!)
In being touch'd, and crying-Don't!
O'erheard and check'd this idle talk.
And your fine he said, and yours,
Whatever evil it endures,
Deserves not, if so soon offended,
You, in your grotto-work enclos'd,
And as for you, my Lady Squeamish,
Should droop and wither where they grow,
The noblest minds their virtue prove
His censure reach'd them as he dealt it, And each by shrinking show'd he felt it.
WRITTEN IN A TIME OF AFFLICTION,
Oн, happy shades-to me unblest!
How ill the scene, that offers rest,
This glassy stream, that spreading pine,
Might sooth a soul less hurt than mine,
But fix'd unalterable Care
Foregoes not what she feels within, Shows the same sadness ev'ry where, And slights the season and the scene.
For all that pleas'd in wood or lawn,
While Peace possess'd these silent bow'rs, Her animating smile withdrawn,
Has lost it's beauties and it's pow'rs.
The saint or moralist should tread
This moss-grown alley musing, slow; They seek like me the secret shade, But not like me to nourish wo!
Me fruitful scenes and prospects waste
These tell me of enjoyments past,
And those of sorrows yet to come.