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FABLES.

THE

ANT AND CATERPILLAR.

As an Ant, of his talents superiorly vain,
Was trotting, with consequence, over the plain,
A Worm, in his progress remarkably slow, [go;
Cried— Bless your good worship wherever you
I hope your great mightiness won't take it ill,
I pay my respects with a hearty good will.'
With a look of contempt and impertinent pride,
• Begone, you vile reptile (his Antship replied);
Go-go and lament your contemptible state,
But first-look at me-see my limbs how com-

plete; I guide all my motions with freedom and ease, Run backward and forward, and turn when I

please: Of nature (grown weary), you shocking essay ! I spurn you thus from me-crawl out of my way.'

The reptile insulted, and vex'd to the soul, Crept onwards, and hid himself close in his hole; But nature, determined to end his distress, Soon sent him abroad in a Butterfly's dress.

Ere long the proud Ant, as repassing the road (Fatigued from the harvest, and tugging bis load), The beau on a violet bank he beheld, Whose vesture, in glory, a monarch's excell'd;

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His plumage expanded—'twas rare to behold
So lovely a mixture of purple and gold.

The Ant quite amazed at a figure so gay, Bow'd low with respect and was trudging away: • Stop, friend (says the Butterfly)—don't be sur

prised, I once was the reptile you spurn’d and despised; But now I can mount, in the sunbeams I play, While you must, for ever, drudge on in your way.'

MORAL. A wretch, though to-day he's o’erloaded with sorrow,

[morrow. May soar above those that oppress'd him--to

THE ROSE AND BUTTERFLY. At day's early dawn a gay Butterfly spied A budding young Rose, and he wish'd her his bride :

[clare, She blush'd when she heard him his passion deAnd tenderly told him he need not despair.

Their faith was soon plighted; as lovers will do, He swore to be constant, she vow'd to be true.

It had not been prudent to deal with delay, The bloom of a rose passes quickly away, And the pride of a butterfly dies in a day.

When wedded,away the wing'd gentleman hies, From floweret to floweret he wantonly flies; Nor did he revisit his bride, till the sun Had less than one fourth of his journey to run.

I

[told !

The Rose thus reproach'd him—Already so

cold! How feign’d, O you false one! the passion you 'Tis an age since you left me:' she meant a few hours;

[flovers : But such we'll suppose the fond language of • I saw when you gave the base violet a kiss: How-how could you stoop to a meanness like this?

[spise, Shall a low little wretch, whom we Roses deFind favour, O love! in my Butterfly's eyes? On a tulip quite tawdry I saw your fond rape, Nor yet could the pitifut primrose escape : Dull daffodils tog mete fitty Ardour address’d, And poppies il scented you kindly caress’d.' The coxcomb was piqued, band replied with a sneer,

(my dear; • That you're frst to complain/I commend you, But know, from your conduct my maxims I drew, And if I'm inconstant, T copy

from

you. • I saw the boy Zephyrus rifle your charms, I saw how you simper'd and smiled in his arms; The honey-bee kiss'd you, you cannot disown, You favour'd besides-0 dishonour!-a drone; Yet worse- —'tis a crime that you must not deny, Your sweets were made common, false Rose !

to a fly.'

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MORAL.

This law, long ago, did Love's Providence make, That every Coquette should be cursed with a

Rake.

THE

SHEEP AND THE BRAMBLE BUSH.

A THICK-TWISTED brake, in the time of a storm,

Seem'd kindly to cover a sheep: So snug,

for a while, he lay shelter'd and warm, It quietly sooth'd him asleep. The clouds are now scatter'd—the winds are at

The sheep to his pasture inclined : [peace; But ah! the fell thicket lays hold of his fleece,

His coat is left forfeit behind. My friend! who the thicket of law never tried, Consider before you get in;

side, Though judgment and sentence are passid on your

By Jove, you'll be fleeced to the skin.

6

THE FOX AND THE CAT. The Fox and the Cat, as they travel'd one day, With moral discourses cut shorter the way: 'Tis great (says the Fox) to make justice our

guide! How godlike is mercy! Grimalkin replied. Whilst thus they proceeded, a Wolf from the

wood, Impatient of hunger, and thirsting for blood, Rush'd forth, as he saw the dull shepherd asleep, And seized for his supper an innocent sheep. • In vain, wretched victim, for mercy you bleat, When mutton's at hand (says the Wolf), I must Grimalkin's astonish'd—the Fox stood aghast, To see the fell beast at his bloody repast. • What a wretch (says the Cat)—'tis the vilest

eat.'

of brutes ! Does he feed upon flesh, when there's herbage and roots?

(so good, Cries the Fox— While our oaks give us acorns What a tyrant is this, to spill innocent blood!' Well, onward they march’d, and they moralized still,

[by a mill;
Till they came where some poultry pick'd chaff
Sly Reynard survey'd them with gluttonous eyes,
And made (spite of morals) a pullet his prize.
A Mouse too, that chanced from her covert to

stray,
The greedy Grimalkin secured as her prey.

A Spider that sat in her web on the wall, Perceived the poor victims, and pitied their fall; She cried. Of such murders how guiltless am I!' So ran to regale on a new-taken fly.

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MORAL.

The faults of our neighbours with freedom we

blame, But tax not ourselves, though we practise the

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