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In this chapter we wish to direct the student's footsteps into those by-paths of the garden of poesy where grow innumerable wild flowers with pretty blossoms and polished berries., which, for want of a more suitable name, are known as Social or Occasional verses* It may be said that they stand in the same relation to the higher forms of poetry that a pyrotechnic display does to " the immortal Jove's dread clamours." Poets and scholars in all ages and countries have taken delight, in their leisure moments, in throwing off these metrical playthings, as momentary thought or passing incident suggested the occasion. Here, for instance, are some verses tossed off " in the ten minutes before dinner:"
Fast falls the snow, 0 lady mine ! Sprinkling the lawn with crystals fine : But, by the gods, we won't repine.
While we're together We'll chat and rhyme, and kiss and dine,
• It would be next to sacrilege to class Pope's Rape of the Lock under this heading, but it is undoubtedly the most brilliant Occasional poem in the language.