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1The stately moose, being mounted up the hill,
2And of the beauteous prospect taken her fill,
3Viewing the rivers in the
Flora’s3robe like silver lace;
5The next thing she considers is her diet:
6How she may eat the flowers and herbs in quiet.
politicly4she doth the fields survey
8To see if any cruel beasts of prey–
9As lion, tiger, leopard, or bear–
10Might her disturb; but to dispel all fear,
11Fawns, lambs, and kids did skip about and play
12Whilst their old weary dams, their
13Thus, being secure, she feeding down did go,
14For Nature placed her stag-like horns so low
15That she could never have of grass her fill.
16But when, in feeding, she went down the hill
17Which lay full south, the sun being
18Which made her envy those that fed
19His perpendicular beams did scald her so,
20That she resolved into the shade to go
21Of straight-armed cedars, firs, cypress, pine,
22About whose branches horrid serpents twine.
23One of the hugest slipped down from a bough
24And snatched the moose (poor beast!) she knew not how.
25Thus being by this monster overpowered
26(O her hard fate!), she was by him devoured.
27So have I seen a hawk a pheasant
28(Or partridges), so
surprise10, so foxes snatch up lambs
30As they lie playing by their
31By which example we may plainly see
32That on this orb there’s no felicity.
33For Death and Hell combine and watch, each hour
34Our sinful souls and bodies to devour;
35For we are in a sea of sorrows tossed,
36And when we’re most secure, we’re nearest lost.
Beauclerc’s children12did their wrack
38With greater grief being in the sight of shore.
39Then seeing our lives so frail and
40Let me depend (dear God) on none but Thee.