The Simple Delights

Much beautiful poetry has been written about the seemingly little things in life. Here is a small collection about small things.

Ode on the Death of a favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes

'twas on a lofty vase's side,
Where China's gayest art had dy'd
The azure flowers, that blow;
Demurest of the tabby kind,
meow! The pensive Selima reclin'd
Gazed on the lake below.

Her concious tail her joy declar'd;
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw; and purr'd applause.

Still had she gaz'd; but 'midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The Genii of the stream:
Their scaly armour's Tyrian hue
Thro' richest purple to the view
Betray'd a golden gleam.

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?


Presumptious Maid! with looks intent
Again she stretch'd, again she bent,
hiss! Nor knew the gulf between.
(Malignant Fate sat by, and smil'd)
The slipp'ry verge her feet beguil'd,
She tumbled headlong in.

Eight times emerging from the flood
She mew'd to ev'ry watry God,
Some speedy aid to send.
No dolphin came, no Nereid stirr'd:
Nor cruel Tom, nor Susan heard.
A Fav'rite has no friend!

From hence, ye beauties, undeciev'd,
Know, one false step is ne'er retriev'd,
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wand'ring eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;
Nor all, that glisters, gold.

By Thomas Gray (1716 - 1771)

Upon Julias Clothes

When as in silks my Julia goes,
Then, then (me thinks) how sweetly flowes
That liquefaction of her clothes.

Next, when I cast mine eyes and see
That brave Vibration each way free;
O how that glittering taketh me!

By Robert Herrick (1591 - 1674)

Upon a Spider Catching a Fly

Thou sorrow, venom Elfe:
Is this thy play,
To spin a web out of thyself and catch a fly?
For why?

I saw a pettish wasp
Fall foule therein:
Whom yet thy whorle pins did not hasp
Lest he should fling
His sting.

But as afraid, remote
Didst stand hereat,
And with thy little fingers stroke
And gently tap
His back

Thus gently him didst treate
Lest he should pet,
And in a froppish, apish heate
Should gently fret
Thy net.

Whereas the silly Fly,
Caught by its leg,
Thou by the throat took'st hastily,
And 'hinde the head
Bite dead.

This goes to pot, that not
Nature doth call.
Strive not above what strength hath got,
Lest in the brawle
Thou fall.

This Frey seems thus to us:
Hells Spider gets
His intrails spun to whip Cords thus,
And wove to nets,
And sets.

To tangle Adams race
In's stratagems
To their Destructions, Spoil'd made base
By venom things,
Damn'd Sins.

But mighty, Gracious Lord,
Thy Grace to breake the cord; afford
Us Glorys Gate
And State.

We'l Nightingale sing like,
When pearcht on high
In Glories Cage, thy glory, bright:
Yea thankfully,
For joy.

By Edward Taylor (1644 - 1729)

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