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The Cambrians form’d, and bade their fiery breats
Burst into sudden flame-that men would deem
Their souls were with their fingers sulphur-ting'd.
It is decreed-Rage prompts them to revenge
Unsated but with blood-Yet by what means,
What art the cautious felon to ensnare,
They doubt: for, Cambria, thy Grimalkin race
Nor to the house defence, nor in distress
So imminent, cou'd aught of succour bring.
Oft had the Cat plac'd at the cavern's mouth
The various ambuscade; as oft with
Soft-filent creeping, near the hollow cell
Kept wary watch-In vain-The tittle Mouse
In little bulk fecure, (advantage great
Over a Giant Foe!) if chance he spy
Her watching at his door intent on prey,
Inward he flies, his serpentine recess
Pursues, and caves impervious to Cat :
Nor dares again thrust out his head in air,
Nor form new sallies, till the fiege be rais'd,
And danger with the watchful foe withdrawn.
The Cambrians thus, (if Cambrians with the Mouse
We may compare,) when Roman Julius fought
To join the Britons to the world subdu'd,
Eluded his vain toil.
To their retreat
At once a nation vanilh'd; in their rocks,
Rampires impregnable, lay safe obfcur'd
Mid circling ruin; and of conqueft though
Despairing, to be conquerable scorn'd.
Their long, unbroken lineage hence they boast,
Their country unsubdued, and ancient tongue.
Thus did the Mouse, by custom tutor'd, oft
Evade the hostile paw; nor Cambria’s fons
Had hope from their confederate of the war :
When strait, on th' utmost frontiers of their Land,
Where now Menevia the shrunk honours mourn's
Of her divided mitre, of whose walls
Half-buried but an empty name remains,
Behold a Council fummons'd. From each side
See Nobles, Fathers, and the vulgar throng
Of stench sulphureous, mix.
An ancient Sage,
Whose length of beard oft from his native hills
The goat with envy ey'd; his hands, his face
With scurf of ancient growth encrusted o'er;
Broken with years, against a poft reclin'd,
(By Cambrian backs still shaken) in the midit
Stood visible to all, and with deep tone
These words precipitating, gutt'ral spake.
· Of open war we treat not, but fly theft
“ No foreign foe, but a too inmate guest
“ (That heavler evil) fummons us to meet.
1. Still shall the bold insulter lord it thús,
• The tyrant Mouse ? Rouse, aweful Fathers, rouse;
is Ye, to whose breasts your country's good is dear,
á By counsel end these horrors; and if aught
ct or hope remain, now lend propitious aid :
«« So shall your glory grow, your names be known
66 Immortal as CADWAL ADER's in fame.”
He fpake, and strait the fragments, mouldy scraps,
Reliques of rapine, monuments of theft,
High in their fight uprearing, rous'd their rage.
Now thirst of dire revenge, now luft of fame
Burns emulous, and fires each Patriot breast;
Each meditates to Mouse unheard-of fate,
And ev'ry brain is hamm'ring on a Trap.
But one 'bove all by th' honour-added name Of Taffy fam'd, far more for wit renown'd: Cambria ne'er bred his peer, whether at forge, Or council; Senator and Blacksmith He. Thus 'gan the Sage-" Should Cheese, our Nation's boast, « In Cambria be extinct, I fear our hinds “ Wou'd mourn their whole meals funk, and Nobles grieve “ The honours loft, that crown'd the second course. “ Since then nor Cambria's courage, nor her Cats
Against the monsters can prevail, we'll try
" If this mechanic hand, if craft, deceit,
“ Can aught advantage : in a foe none asks
“ If force prevail, or fraud.”
Strait at this boast,
All fix on Taffy their expecting eyes,
All in glad murmurs speak their promis'd joy,
Wait whence the bliss ; question, and burn to know.
Scratching his head, (as British heads demand,)
He ghaftly smil'd, and strait with freer air
Proceeded thus-_" When wearied, at the close
“ Of yester fun I gave my limbs to rest,
“ And slumber deep my eyes had quench'd ; a Moufo
“ Bold and pursuing, as I guess, the trail,
" Which unconnected Cheese recent exhal'd
From out my viscous jaws, stole down my mouth « Then discontinuous; and reaching now
My very entrails, strait their crude contents “ 'Gan' gnaw, and through my throat ill-fortified
My yefter's meal, alas! triumphant drags. “ When sudden rous'd from sleep, in his retreat “ I’twixt my teeth the felon snap'd, and bound “ Vainly rebellious in the biting chain. “ Instructed thus that Mouse might be enthrall’d,' “ New vifionary prison-houses rife “ In my revolving mind, and sŲch restraints, “ As the late captive of my jaws fuggefts. “ By what mysterious laws the hand of JOVE
i “ Moves sublunary things! By what hid rules “ The chain of causes acts! the Mouse himself “ To us involuntary succóúr brings, " And for the wounds he
gave himself prescribes. “ Blush not by such a matter to improve; “ From foes to learn, honour nor right forbids."
These faid, homeward he his. Th' applauding throng Accompany his route, and to his toil Propitious omens beg. Each to his house Bends his swift course; cach to his Lares flics,
Glad harbinger of this expected birth
From Taffy's brain: and whilst they tell the tale,
Whilst to the Gods for glad event they bend
Of the great enterprize, the Mousing Kind
(Prophetic inflinct!) few unwonted joy
Gamesome; and (if we credit Fame) beneath
The matron's hand dances the embryo cheese.
Taffy mean while with head, and hand, and heart,
Plies his great work, with Pallas' aid divine
The MOUSE-TRAP builds., A wonderful machine
Now stood confess’d; and form 'till then unknown
The Tragi-comic edifice indu’d.
Now smile, sweet Muse, and to our fight disclose
The infant fabric; each particular
Dilate, and join them in the finish'd pile.
Of oblong form twin planks of wood compose
The base and roof; a wiry palisade
Fences each fide, on whose small columns'rais'd
The fabric stands : th' insidious
With friendly-seeming welcome; but on high,
Depending from a flender thread, the yast
Portcullis threats, to thoughtless Mice sure death.
(Such is the thread of life, spun by the FATES
To Mouse and Man---All on a thread depend.)
Amidst the level roof foots up a mast
Erect, in whose cleft head a fender beam
Transverse inserted plays, and on each side
Extends its poised arms; whose one extrenie