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...wish, She stretched, in vain, to reach the prize. What female heart can gold despise? What Cat's averse to fish?
Presumptous Maid! with looks intent Again she stretched, again she bent, Nor knew the gulf between. (Malignant Fate sat by, and smiled.) The slippery verge her feet beguiled, She tumbled headlong in.
Eight times emerging from the flood She mewed to every watery god, Some speedy aid to send. No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirred: Nor cruel Tom nor Susan heard, -A favorite has no friend!
From hence, ye Beauties, undeceived, Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved, And be with caution bold. Not all that tempts your wandering eyes And heedless hearts, is lawful prize; Nor all that glisters, gold.
Thomas Gray [1716-1771]
VERSES ON A CAT
Clubby! thou surely art, I ween, A Puss of most majestic mien, So stately all thy paces! With such a philosophic air Thou seek'st thy professorial chair, And so demure thy face is!
And as thou sit'st, thine eye seems... Gray, Thomas
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