[Page 335]

[Translation] 1. THE GLOW-WORM,

1 BENEATH the hedge, or near the stream,
2 A worm is known to stray;
3 That shews by night a lucid beam,
4 Which disappears by day.
5 Disputes have been and still prevail
6 From whence his rays proceed;
7 Some give that honour to his tail,
8 And others to his head.
[Page 336]
9 But this is sure the hand of might
10 That kindles up the skies,
11 Gives him a modicum of light,
12 Proportion'd to his size.
13 Perhaps indulgent nature meant
14 By such a lamp bestow'd,
15 To bid the trav'ler, as he went,
16 Be careful where he trod:
17 Nor crush a worm, whose useful light
18 Might serve, however small,
19 To shew a stumbling stone by night,
20 And save him from a fall.
21 Whate'er she meant, this truth divine
22 Is legible and plain,
23 'Tis power almighty bids him shine,
24 Nor bids him shine in vain.
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25 Ye proud and wealthy, let this theme
26 Teach humbler thoughts to you,
27 Since such a reptile has its gem,
28 And boasts its splendour too.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): [Translation] 1. THE GLOW-WORM,
Author: Vincent Bourne; William Cowper (translator)
Themes: animals
Genres: translation

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Source edition

Cowper, William, 1731-1800. Poems: by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. London: printed for J. Johnson, 1782, pp. 335-337. [4],367,[1]p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T14895; OTA K027775.000) (Page images digitized by the University of California Libraries.)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

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