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Alike the Busy and the Gay
In Fortune's varying colours drest: Brush'd by the hand of rough Mischance, Or chill'd by Age, their airy dance They leave, in dust to rest.
Methinks I hear, in accents low,
The sportive kind reply:
Thy joys no glitt'ring female meets,
No painted plumage to display: On hasty wings thy youth is flown; Thy sun is set, thy spring is goneWe frolic while 'tis May.'
THE DEATH OF A FAVOURITE CAT,
DROWNED IN A TUB  OF GOLD FISHES.
"TWAS on a lofty vase's side,
The azure flowers, that blow ;
Her conscious tail her joy declar'd;
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
 Mr. Walpole, after the death of Mr. Gray, placed the China vase in question (for it was not a tub) on a pedestal at Strawberry-Hill, with a few lines of the Ode for its inscription.
'Twas on this Vase's lofty side, &c.
Still had she gaz'd; but 'midst the tide
The hapless Nymph with wonder saw: A whisker first, and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretch'd, in vain, to reach the prize, What female heart can gold despise?
What Cat's averse to fish?
Presumptuous Maid! with looks intent
Nor knew the gulf between.
 Var.-Two beauteous forms.
First edition in Dodsley's Misc.
Eight times emerging from the flood,
Some speedy aid to send.
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd:
From hence, ye Beauties, undeceiv'd, Know, one false step is ne'er retriev'd, And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wand'ring eyes
DISTANT PROSPECT OF ETON COLLEGE.
̔́Ανθρωπος” ἱκανὴ πρόφασις εἰς τὸ δυςυχειν.
[This was the first English production of Mr. Gray that appeared in print, and was published in folio, by Dodsley, in 1747. About the same time, at Mr. Walpole's request, Mr. Gray sat for his picture to Echart; in which, on a paper which he held in his hand, Mr. Walpole wrote the title of this Ode; and to intimate his own high and just opinion of it, as a first production, he added this line of Lucan by way of motto:
Nec licuit populis parvum te, Nile, videre.
YE distant spires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat❜ry glade,
Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey, Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among Wanders the hoary Thames along
His silver-winding way:
(e) King Henry the Sixth, founder of the College.