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SUB sepe exiguum est, nec raro in margine ripæ,

Reptile, quod lucet nocte, dieque latet. Vermis habet speciem, sed habet de lumine nomen;

At priscâ a famâ non liguet, unde micet. Plerique a caudâ credunt procedere lumen;

Nec desunt, credunt qui rutilare caput. Nam superas stellas quæ nox accendit, et illi

Parcam eadem lucem dat, moduloque parem. Forsitan hoc prudens voluit Natura caveri,

Ne pede quis duro reptile contereret: Exiguam, in tenebris ne gressum offenderet ullus,

Prætendi voluit forsitan illa facem. Sive usum hunc Natura parens, seu maluit illum,

Haud frustra accensa est lux, radiique dati. Ponite vos fastus, humiles nec spernite, magni;

Quando habet et minimum reptile, quod niteat.


Translation of the Foregoing.

BENEATH the hedge, or near the stream,

A worm is known to stray;
That shows by night a lucid beam,

Which disappears by day.

Disputes have been, and still prevail,

From whence his rays proceed;
Some give that honour to his tail,

And others to his head.

But this is sure—the hand of night,

That kindles up the skies,
Gives him a modicum of light

Proportion'd to his size.


Perhaps indulgent Nature meant,

By such a lamp bestow'd,
To bid the traveller, as he went,

Be careful where he trod:

Nor crush a worm, whose useful light

Might serve, however small,
To show a stumbling-stone by night,

And save him from a fall.

VI. Whate'er she meant, this truth divine

Is legible and plain, 'Tis power almighty bids him shine,

Nor bids him shine in vain.

VII. Ye proud and wealthy, let this theme

Teach humbler thoughts to you, Since such a reptile has its gem,

And boasts its splendour too.

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NIGRAS inter aves avis est, quæ plurima turres,

Antiquas ædes, celsaque fana colit.
Nil tam sublime est, quod non audace volatu,

Aëriis spernens inferiora, petit.
Quo nemo ascendat, cui non vertigo cerebrum

Corripiat, certe hunc seligit illa locum.
Quo vix a terrâ tu suspicis absque tremore,

Illa metûs expers incolumisque sedet.
Lamina delubri supra fastigia, ventus

Quà cæli spiret de regione, docet;
Hanc ea præ reliquis mavult, secura pericli,

Nec curat, nedum cogitat, unde cadat.
Res inde humanas, sed summa per otia, spectat,

Et nihil ad sese, quas videt, esse videt. Concursus spectat, plateâque negotia in omni,

Omnia pro nugis at sapienter habet. Clamores, quas infra audit, si forsitan audit,

Pro rebus nihili negligit, et crocitat. Ille tibi invideat, felix Cornicula, pennas,

Qui sic humanis rebus abesse velit.


Translation of the Foregoing.

THERE is a bird, wlio by his coat,
And by the hoarseness of his note,

Might be supposed a crow;
A great frequenter of the church,
Where bishop-like he finds a perch,
And dormitory too.

Above the steeple shines a plate,
That turns and turns, to indicate

From what point blows the weather; Look up your brains begin to swim, 'Tis in the clouds—that pleases him,

He chooses it the rather.

Fond of the speculative height,
Thither he wings his airy flight,

And thence securely sees
The bustle and the raree-show,
That occupy mankind below,
Secure and at his ease.

You think, no doubt, he sits and muses
On future broken bones and bruises,

If he should chance to fall.
No; not a single thought like that
Employs his philosophic pate,

Or troubles it at all,

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