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The wind is rustling in the oak;
They seem to hear the tread of feet; They start, they rise, look round the rock;
Again they smile, again they meet,
But see ! the grey mist from the lake
Ascends upon the shady hills; Dark storms the murmuring forests shake,
Rain beats,—resound a hundred rills.
To Damon's homely hut I fly;
I see it smoking o'er the plain: "When storms are past,—and fair the sky, I'll often seek my Cave again.
Keate resided some years at Geneva, and published an Account of its History, Government, and Laws; which Voltaire, who was his friend and correspondent, once designed to translate. He is best known by his entertaining account of the Pelew Islands. His collected poems were published in two small 4to vols. 1781; he afterwards printed an Epistle to Angelica Kauffman, and the Distressed Poet, a Serio-Comic Poem in three Cantos.
THE TWO FLIES.
Written in 1757.
The usual hour when dinner ends,
And people toast their absent friends.
In a large hall of antique state
The family assembled sat,
Round which was seen on ev'ry side,
Of Birth and Heraldry the pride;
Old ancestors in order hung,
And coats of arms between them strung,
With branching horns from space to space,
The spoils of many a weary chace.
The cloth was mov'd, the grace was said
And on the old oak table spread
Such fruits as Summer-months produce,
With sweet-meats both for show and use:
Or, to describe, in terms of art,
Was cover'd with a nice dessert:
While all in chat the time beguile,
The 'Squire roars, the Ladies smile,
The joke goes round, the glasses ring
To Liberty, and Church, and King.
Two Flies extravagantly gay,
The idle beings of a day,
A false philosophy pursu'd,
That pleasure was the sov'reign Good,
A doctrine which in days of yore
A certain Greek had taught before.
Each hour their scene of life they changed,
Now gardens, fields, and meadows ranged,
Of every flower enjoy'd the bloom,
And wanton'd in the rich perfume.
Luxurious oft they would repose
On the soft foliage of the rose,
Or in the morn the dew-drops sup
From the sweet lily's silver cup;
Nay, dared the fragrant odour seek
Of Stella's lip, or Stella's cheek:
Nor would one single wish restrain
Their summum lonum to attain.
Fortune, or Fate decreed, this way
Our young adventurers should stray;
Who marking such delicious cheer,
Resolved to fix their quarters here;
Down on the table they alight,
Indulge their taste, and feast their sight;
With hasty step they walk about
The scented melon's rugged coat,
Each glass they sipp'd, each plate they try'd.
Then pierced the peach's velvet side;
Nor cherry, fig, or juicy grape
Could their insatiate touch escape.
VOL. III. F F
At length upon a little jar Of floating sweetmeats, from afar Their eyes they threw, and round the rim In many a circling eddy skim: Now bolder on the border dance, And spite of danger still advance: 'The occasion was not to be lost,' The foremost cry'd, 'whate'er it cost And letting every passion loose, He plunged into the tempting juice. — The mortal Muse must tell the rest. The tempting juice received its guest With glew'd embraces—such as prove The force of falshood— not of love! — There is a time when all things cloy! There's e'en satiety in joy ! — Kow fully gorged with his repast, He found his feet were fetter'd fast, He strove the margin to regain, But every wish and hope was vain; With new collected strength he springs — The clammy matter binds his wings, Till suffocated, clogg'd, and prest, His wanton friend he thus addrest: 'Withdraw, my brother, e'er too late, * And happier thou, remark my fate;