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THE HIND AND THE PANTHER.
PART. III. Much malice, mingled with a little wit, Perhaps may censure this mysterious writ: Because the Muse has peopled Caledon With panthers, bears, and wolves, and beasts
unknown; Asif wewere not stock’dwith monsters of our own.) Let Æsop answer, who has set to view Such kinds as Greece and Phrygia never knew; And Mother Hubbard, in her homely dress, Has sharply blam'd a British lioness; That queen, whose feast the factious rabble keep, 10 Expos'd, obscenely, naked and asleep. Led by those great examples, may not I The wanted organs of their words supply? If men transact like brutes, 'tis equal then For brutes to claim the privilege of men.
Others our Hind, of folly, will indite, To entertain a dang'rous guest by night : Let those remember that she cannot die, Till rolling time is lost in round eternity; Nor need she fear the Panther, though untam'd, 20 Because the Lion's peace was now proclaim'd; The wary savage would not give offence, To forfeit the protection of her prince ;
DRYDEN, VOL. .
But watch'd the time, her vengeance to complete,
For now the Hind, whose noble nature strove 30
Nor fail'd she then a full review to make, Of what the Panther suffer'd for her sake: , 40 Her lost esteem, her truth, her loyal care, Her faith unshaken to an exil'd heir, Her strength t'endure, her courage to defy ; Her choice of honorable infamy. On these, prolixly thankful, she enlarg’d; Then with acknowledgment herself she charg'd : For friendship, of itself an holy tie, Is made more sacred by adversity, Now, should they part, malicious tongues would say They met, like chance companions, on the way, 50 Whom mutual fear of robbers had possess'd; While danger lasted, kindness was profess'd;