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William Hayley

The Grateful Snake

Ingratitude! of earth the shame!
Thou monster, at whose hated name,
The nerves of kindness ake;
Would I could drive thee from mankind,
By telling how a grateful mind,
Once dignified a snake.

The tale is antient, and is sweet,
To mortals, who with joy repeat,
What soothes the feeling heart;
The first of virtues, that may boast
The power to soothe, and please it most,
Sweet gratitude, thou art.

The reptile, whom thy beauties raise,
Has an unquestion'd claim to praise,
That justice will confirm!
The Muses, with a graceful pride,
May turn from thankless man aside,
To celebrate a worm!

[...] Read more

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