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EXPLANATION OF AN ANTIQUE GEM

by
 A YOUNG fig-tree its form lifts high

Within a beauteous garden;
And see, a goat is sitting by.
As if he were its warden.
But oh, Quirites, how one errs! The tree is guarded badly; For round the other side there whirrs And hums a beetle madly.
The hero with his well-mail'd coat Nibbles the branches tall so; A mighty longing feels the goat Gently to climb up also.
And so, my friends, ere long ye see The tree all leafless standing; It looks a type of misery, Help of the gods demanding.
Then listen, ye ingenuous youth, Who hold wise saws respected: From he-goat and from beetles-tooth A tree should be protected! 1815.

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