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Vis tu homines urbemque feris præponere sylvis ?'
Carpe viam (mihi crede) comes : terrestria quando
Mortales animas vivunt sortita, neque ulla est,
Aut magno aut parvo, lethi fuga. Quo, bone, circa
Dum licet, in rebus jucundis vive beatus :
Vive memor quàm sis ævi brevis. Hæc ubi dicta
Agrestem pepulêre, domo levis exsilit. Inde
Ambo propositum peragunt iter, urbis aventes
Monia nocturni subrepere. Jamque tenebat
Nox medium coeli spatium, cùm ponit uterque
In locuplete domo vestigia : rubro ubi cocco
Tincta super lectos canderet vestis eburnos;
Multaque de magnâ superessent fercula coena,
Quæ procul exstructis inerant hesterna canistris.
Ergo ubi purpureâ porrectum in veste locavit
Agrestem, veluti succinctus cursitat hospes,
Continuatque dapes: nec non verniliter ipsis
Fungitur officiis, prælibans omne quod affert.


Ver. 177. like men, must die,] The parody on Dryden's poem on the Hind and Panther, alluding to the City and Country Mouse, was the first of Prior's performances, in conjunction with his friend Montague.


Consider, mice, like men, must die,
Both small and great, both you and I:
Then spend your life in joy and sport:
This doctrine, friend, I learn'd at court." 180
The veriest hermit in the nation
May yield, God knows, to strong temptation.
Away they come, through thick and thin,
To a tall house near Lincoln's Inn ;
'Twas on the night of a debate,

185 When all their Lordships had sate late.

Behold the place, where, if a poet Shined in description, he might show it; Tell how the moonbeam trembling falls, And tips with silver all the walls ;

190 Palladian walls, Venetian doors, Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors : But let it, in a word, be said, The moon was up, and men a-bed, The napkins white, the carpet red; 195 The guests withdrawn had left the treat, And down the mice sat, téte à tête.

Our courtier walks from dish to dish, Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish; Tells all their names, lays down the law, 200

Que ça est bon! Ah, goutez ça! That jelly's rich, this Malmsey healing, Pray, dip your whiskers and your tail in.” Was ever such a happy swain ? He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again. 205 “ I'm quite ashamed—'tis mighty rude To eat so much-but all's so good.

Ille cubans gaudet mutatâ sorte, bonisque
Rebus agit lætum convivam: cùm subitò ingens
Valvarum strepitus lectis excussit utrumque.
Currere per totum pavidi conclave; magisqué
Exanimes trepidare, simul domus alta Molossis
Personuit canibus. Tum rusticus, Haud mihi vitâ
Est opus hâc, ait, et valeas : me sylva, cavusque
Tutus ab insidiis tenui solabitur ervo.

I have a thousand thanks to give-
My Lord alone knows how to live.”
No sooner said, but from the hall

210 Rush chaplain, butler, dogs, and all : “ A rat! a rat! clap to the door”The cat comes bouncing on the floor. O for the heart of Homer's mice, Or Gods to save them in a trice!

215 (It was by Providence, they think, For your damn'd

damn'd stucco has no chink.) “ An't please your honour,” quoth the peasant, “ This same dessert is not so pleasant: Give me again my hollow tree,

220 A crust of bread, and liberty!"




INTERMISSA, Venus, diu,

Rursus bella moves ? parce, precor, precor Non sum qualis eram bonæ

Sub regno Cynaræ. Desine, dulcium Mater sæva Cupidinum,

Circa lustra decem flectere mollibus Jam durum imperiis. Abi

Quð blandæ juvenum te revocant preces. Tempestiviùs in domum

Pauli, purpureis ales oloribus, Commissabere Maximi,

Si torrere jecur quæris idoneum. Namque et nobilis, et decens,

solicitis non tacitus reis,

Et pro

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