Part 2 out of 6
There, in his noisy mansion, skill'd to rule, 195
The village master taught his little school;
A man severe he was, and stern to view;
I knew him well, and every truant knew;
Well had the boding tremblers learn'd to trace
The day's disasters in his morning face; 200
Full well they laugh'd, with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Convey'd the dismal tidings when he frown'd;
Yet he was kind; or if severe in aught, 205
The love he bore to learning was in fault;
The village all declar'd how much he knew;
'Twas certain he could write, and cypher too;
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And e'en the story ran that he could gauge. 210
In arguing too, the parson own'd his skill,
For e'en though vanquish'd, he could argue still;
While words of learned length and thund'ring sound
Amazed the gazing rustics rang'd around,
And still they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew, 215
That one small head could carry all he knew.
But past is all his fame. The very spot
Where many a time he triumph'd, is forgot.
Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high, 219
Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspir'd,
Where grey-beard mirth and smiling toil retir'd,
Where village statesmen talk'd with looks profound,
And news much older than their ale went round.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace 225
The parlour splendours of that festive place;
The white-wash'd wall, the nicely sanded floor,
The varnish'd clock that click'd behind the door;
The chest contriv'd a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day; 230
The pictures plac'd for ornament and use,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose;
The hearth, except when winter chill'd the day,
With aspen boughs, and flowers, and fennel gay;
While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show, 135
Rang'd o'er the chimney, glisten'd in a row.
Vain, transitory splendours! Could not all
Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall!
Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart
An hour's importance to the poor man's heart; 240
Thither no more the peasant shall repair
To sweet oblivion of his daily care;
No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,
No more the wood-man's ballad shall prevail;
No more the smith his dusky brown shall clear, 245
Relax his pond'rous strength, and lean to hear;
The host himself no longer shall be found
Careful to see the mantling bliss go round;
Nor the coy maid, half willing to be press'd,
Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest. 250
Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
These simple blessings of the lowly train;
To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm, than all the gloss of art;
Spontaneous joys, where Nature has its play, 255
The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway;
Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind,
Unenvied, unmolested, unconfin'd:
But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade,
With all the freaks of wanton wealth array'd, 260
In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain,
The toiling pleasure sickens into pain;
And, e'en while fashion's brightest arts decoy,
The heart distrusting asks, if this be joy.
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen, who survey
The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay, 266
'Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits stand
Between a splendid and a happy land.
Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
And shouting Folly hails them from her shore; 270
Hoards, e'en beyond the miser's wish abound,
And rich men flock from all the world around.
Yet count our gains. This wealth is but a name
That leaves our useful products still the same.
Nor so the loss. The man of wealth and pride 275
Takes up a space that many poor supplied;
Space for his lake, his park's extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds;
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth
Has robb'd the neighbouring fields of half their growth,
His seat, where solitary sports are seen, 281
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green;
Around the world each needful product flies,
For all the luxuries the world supplies:
While thus the land adorn'd for pleasure, all 285
In barren splendour feebly waits the fall.
As some fair female unadorn'd and plain,
Secure to please while youth confirms her reign,
Slights every borrow'd charm that dress supplies,
Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes: 290
But when those charms are pass'd, for charms are frail,
When time advances, and when lovers fail,
She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,
In all the glaring impotence of dress.
Thus fares the land, by luxury betray'd, 295
In nature's simplest charms at first array'd;
But verging to decline, its splendours rise,
Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise;
While scourg'd by famine from the smiling land,
The mournful peasant leads his humble band; 300
And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
The country blooms--a garden, and a grave.
Where then, ah! where, shall poverty reside,
To 'scape the pressure of continuous pride?
If to some common's fenceless limits stray'd, 305
He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,
Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,
And e'en the bare-worn common is denied.
If to the city sped--What waits him there?
To see profusion that he must not share/ 310
To see ten thousand baneful arts combin'd
To pamper luxury, and thin mankind;
To see those joys the sons of pleasure know
Extorted from his fellow creature's woe.
Here, while the courtier glitters in brocade, 315
There the pale artist plies the sickly trade;
Here, while the proud their long-drawn pomps display,
There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.
The dome where Pleasure holds her midnight reign
Here, richly deck'd, admits the gorgeous train; 320
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare.
Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy!
Sure these denote one universal joy!
Are these thy serious thoughts?--Ah, turn thine eyes
Where the poor houseless shiv'ring female lies. 326
She once, perhaps, in village plenty bless'd,
Has wept at tales of innocence distress'd;
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn; 330
Now lost to all; her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer's door she lays her head,
And, pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the shower,
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,
When idly first, ambitious of the town, 335
She left her wheel and robes of country brown.
Do thine, sweet AUBURN, thine, the loveliest train,
Do thy fair tribes participate her pain?
E'en now, perhaps by cold and hunger led,
At proud men's doors they ask a little bread! 340
Ah, no. To distant climes, a dreary scene,
Where half the convex world intrudes between,
Through torrid tracts with fainting steps they go,
Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe.
Far different there from all that charm'd before, 345
The various terrors of that horrid shore;
Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray,
And fiercely shed intolerable day;
Those matted woods where birds forget to sing,
But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling; 350
Those pois'nous fields with rank luxuriance crown'd,
Where the dark scorpion gathers death around;
Where at each step the stranger fears to wake
The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake;
Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey, 355
And savage men more murd'rous still than they;
While oft in whirls the mad tornado flies,
Mingling the ravag'd landscape with the skies.
Far different these from every former scene,
The cooling brook, the grassy-vested green, 360
The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
That only shelter'd thefts of harmless love.
Good heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day,
That call'd them from their native walks away;
When the poor exiles, every pleasure pass'd, 365
Hung round their bowers, and fondly look'd their last,
And took a long farewell, and wish'd in vain
For seats like these beyond the western main;
And shudd'ring still to face the distant deep,
Return'd and wept, and still return'd to weep. 370
The good old sire, the first prepar'd to go
To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe;
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave.
His lovely daughter, lovlier in her tears, 375
The fond companion of his helpless years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover's for a father's arms.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
And bless'd the cot where every pleasure rose 380
And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear,
And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear;
Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief
In all the silent manliness of grief.
O Luxury! thou curs'd by Heaven's decree, 385
How ill exchang'd are things like these for thee!
How do thy potions, with insidious joy
Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
Kingdoms, by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigour not their own; 390
At every draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe;
Till sapp'd their strength, and every part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
E'en now the devastation is begun, 395
And half the business of destruction done;
E'en now, methinks, as pond'ring here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land:
Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail,
That idly waiting flaps with ev'ry gale, 500
Downward they move, a melancholy band,
Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand.
Contented toil, and hospitable care,
And kind connubial tenderness, are there;
And piety, with wishes plac'd above, 405
And steady loyalty, and faithful love.
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade;
Unfit in these degenerate times of shame,
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame; 410
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride;
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,
That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel, 415
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
Farewell, and Oh! where'er thy voice be tried,
On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow, 420
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigours of th' inclement clime;
Aid slighted truth; with thy persuasive strain
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain;
Teach him, that states of native strength possess'd,
Though very poor, may still be very bless'd; 426
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away;
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky. 430
LYRICAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PIECES
PART OF A PROLOGUE WRITTEN AND SPOKEN BY THE POET LABERIUS
A ROMAN KNIGHT, WHOM CAESAR FORCED UPON THE STAGE
PRESERVED BY MACROBIUS.
WHAT! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!
Scarce half alive, oppress'd with many a year,
What in the name of dotage drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide, 5
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
Unaw'd by pow'r, and unappall'd by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear;
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honour is no more. 10
For ah! too partial to my life's decline,
Caesar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclin'd to please.
Here then at once, I welcome every shame, 15
And cancel at threescore a life of fame;
No more my titles shall my children tell,
The old buffoon will fit my name as well;
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honour ends. 20
ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTH STRUCK BLIND WITH LIGHTNING
('Imitated from the Spanish'.)
SURE 'twas by Providence design'd,
Rather in pity, than in hate,
That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
To save him from Narcissus' fate.
TO IRIS, IN BOW STREET, CONVENT GARDEN
SAY, cruel IRIS, pretty rake,
Dear mercenary beauty,
What annual offering shall I make,
Expressive of my duty?
My heart, a victim to thine eyes, 5
Should I at once deliver,
Say, would the angry fair one prize
The gift, who slights the giver?
A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy,
My rivals give--and let 'em; 10
If gems, or gold, impart a joy,
I'll give them--when I get 'em.
I'll give--but not the full-blown rose,
Or rose-bud more in fashion;
Such short-liv'd offerings but disclose 15
A transitory passion.
I'll give thee something yet unpaid,
Not less sincere, than civil:
I'll give thee--Ah! too charming maid,
I'll give thee--To the devil. 20
THE LOGICIANS REFUTED
IN IMITATION OF DEAN SWIFT
LOGICIANS have but ill defin'd
As rational, the human kind;
Reason, they say, belongs to man,
But let them prove it if they can.
Wise Aristotle and Smiglecius, 5
By ratiocinations specious,
Have strove to prove with great precision,
With definition and division,
'Homo est ratione praeditum',--
But for my soul I cannot credit 'em; 10
And must in spite of them maintain,
That man and all his ways are vain;
And that this boasted lord of nature
Is both a weak and erring creature;
That instinct is a surer guide 15
Than reason-boasting mortals' pride;
And that brute beasts are far before 'em,
'Deus est anima brutorum'.
Who ever knew an honest brute
At law his neighbour prosecute, 20
Bring action for assault and battery,
Or friend beguile with lies and flattery?
O'er plains they ramble unconfin'd,
No politics disturb their mind;
They eat their meals, and take their sport, 25
Nor know who's in or out at court;
They never to the levee go
To treat as dearest friend, a foe;
They never importune his grace,
Nor ever cringe to men in place; 30
Nor undertake a dirty job,
Nor draw the quill to write for B--b.
Fraught with invective they ne'er go
To folks at Pater-Noster-Row;
No judges, fiddlers, dancing-masters, 35
No pick-pockets, or poetasters,
Are known to honest quadrupeds;
No single brute his fellow leads.
Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
Nor cut each others' throats, for pay. 40
Of beasts, it is confess'd, the ape
Comes nearest us in human shape;
Like man he imitates each fashion,
And malice is his ruling passion;
But both in malice and grimaces 45
A courtier any ape surpasses.
Behold him humbly cringing wait
Upon a minister of state;
View him soon after to inferiors,
Aping the conduct of superiors; 50
He promises with equal air,
And to perform takes equal care.
He in his turn finds imitators;
At court, the porters, lacqueys, waiters,
Their master's manners still contract, 55
And footmen, lords and dukes can act.
Thus at the court both great an small
Behave alike--for all ape all.
WEEPING, murmuring, complaining,
Lost to every gay delight;
MYRA, too sincere for feigning,
Fears th' approaching bridal night.
Yet, why impair thy bright perfection? 5
Or dim thy beauty with a tear?
Had MYRA followed my direction,
She long had wanted cause of fear.
STANZAS ON THE TAKING OF QUEBEC, AND DEATH OF
AMIDST the clamour of exulting joys,
Which triumph forces from the patriot heart,
Grief dares to mingle her soul-piercing voice,
And quells the raptures which from pleasures start.
O WOLFE! to thee a streaming flood of woe, 5
Sighing we pay, and think e'en conquest dear;
QUEBEC in vain shall teach our breast to glow,
Whilst thy sad fate extorts the heart-wrung tear.
Alive the foe thy dreadful vigour fled,
And saw thee fall with joy-pronouncing eyes: 10
Yet they shall know thou conquerest, though dead--
Since from thy tomb a thousand heroes rise!
AN ELEGY ON THAT GLORY OF HER SEX,
MRS. MARY BLAIZE
GOOD people all, with one accord,
Lament for Madam BLAIZE,
Who never wanted a good word--
'From those who spoke her praise'.
The needy seldom pass'd her door, 5
And always found her kind;
She freely lent to all the poor,--
'Who left a pledge behind'.
She strove the neighbourhood to please,
With manners wond'rous winning, 10
And never follow'd wicked ways,--
'Unless when she was sinning'.
At church, in silks and satins new,
With hoop of monstrous size,
She never slumber'd in her pew,-- 15
'But when she shut her eyes'.
Her love was sought, I do aver,
By twenty beaux and more;
The king himself has follow'd her,--
'When she has walk'd before'. 20
But now her wealth and finery fled,
Her hangers-on cut short all;
The doctors found, when she was dead,--
'Her last disorder mortal'.
Let us lament, in sorrow sore, 25
For Kent-street well may say,
That had she liv'd a twelve-month more,--
'She had not died to-day'.
DESCRIPTION OF AN AUTHOR'S BEDCHAMBER
WHERE the Red Lion flaring o'er the way,
Invites each passing stranger that can pay;
Where Calvert's butt, and Parsons' black champagne,
Regale the drabs and bloods of Drury-lane;
There in a lonely room, from bailiffs snug, 5
The Muse found Scroggen stretch'd beneath a rug;
A window, patch'd with paper, lent a ray,
That dimly show'd the state in which he lay;
The sanded floor that grits beneath the tread;
The humid wall with paltry pictures spread: 10
The royal game of goose was there in view,
And the twelve rules the royal martyr drew;
The seasons, fram'd with listing, found a place,
And brave prince William show'd his lamp-black face:
The morn was cold, he views with keen desire 15
The rusty grate unconscious of a fire;
With beer and milk arrears the frieze was scor'd,
And five crack'd teacups dress'd the chimney board;
A nightcap deck'd his brows instead of bay,
A cap by night--a stocking all the day! 20
ON SEEING MRS. ** PERFORM IN THE CHARACTER OF ****
FOR you, bright fair, the nine address their lays,
And tune my feeble voice to sing thy praise.
The heartfelt power of every charm divine,
Who can withstand their all-commanding shine?
See how she moves along with every grace, 5
While soul-brought tears steal down each shining face.
She speaks! 'tis rapture all, and nameless bliss,
Ye gods! what transport e'er compared to this.
As when in Paphian groves the Queen of Love
With fond complaint addressed the listening Jove, 10
'Twas joy, and endless blisses all around,
And rocks forgot their hardness at the sound.
Then first, at last even Jove was taken in,
And felt her charms, without disguise, within.
OF THE DEATH OF THE RIGHT HON. ***
YE Muses, pour the pitying tear
For Pollio snatch'd away;
O! had he liv'd another year!--
'He had not died to-day'.
O! were he born to bless mankind, 5
In virtuous times of yore,
Heroes themselves had fallen behind!--
'Whene'er he went before'.
How sad the groves and plains appear,
And sympathetic sheep; 10
Even pitying hills would drop a tear!--
'If hills could learn to weep'.
His bounty in exalted strain
Each bard might well display;
Since none implor'd relief in vain!-- 15
'That went reliev'd away'.
And hark! I hear the tuneful throng
His obsequies forbid,
He still shall live, shall live as long!--
'As ever dead man did'. 20
ADDRESSED TO THE GENTLEMEN REFLECTED ON IN THE ROSCIAD,
A POEM, BY THE AUTHOR
Worried with debts and past all hopes of bail,
His pen he prostitutes t' avoid a gaol.
LET not the 'hungry' Bavius' angry stroke
Awake resentment, or your rage provoke;
But pitying his distress, let virtue shine,
And giving each your bounty, 'let him dine';
For thus retain'd, as learned counsel can, 5
Each case, however bad, he'll new japan;
And by a quick transition, plainly show
'Twas no defect of yours, but 'pocket low',
That caused his 'putrid kennel' to o'erflow.
TO G. C. AND R. L.
'TWAS you, or I, or he, or all together,
'Twas one, both, three of them, they know not whether;
This, I believe, between us great or small,
You, I, he, wrote it not--'twas Churchill's all.
TRANSLATION OF A SOUTH AMERICAN ODE
IN all my Enna's beauties blest,
Amidst profusion still I pine;
For though she gives me up her breast,
Its panting tenant is not mine.
THE DOUBLE TRANSFORMATION
SECLUDED from domestic strife,
Jack Book-worm led a college life;
A fellowship at twenty-five
Made him the happiest man alive;
He drank his glass and crack'd his joke, 5
And freshmen wonder'd as he spoke.
Such pleasures, unalloy'd with care,
Could any accident impair?
Could Cupid's shaft at length transfix
Our swain, arriv'd at thirty-six? 10
O had the archer ne'er come down
To ravage in a country town!
Or Flavia been content to stop
At triumphs in a Fleet-street shop.
O had her eyes forgot to blaze! 15
Or Jack had wanted eyes to gaze.
O! -- But let exclamation cease,
Her presence banish'd all his peace.
So with decorum all things carried; 19
Miss frown'd, and blush'd, and then was -- married.
Need we expose to vulgar sight
The raptures of the bridal night?
Need we intrude on hallow'd ground,
Or draw the curtains clos'd around?
Let it suffice, that each had charms; 25
He clasp'd a goddess in his arms;
And though she felt his usage rough,
Yet in a man 'twas well enough.
The honey-moon like lightning flew,
The second brought its transports too. 30
A third, a fourth, were not amiss,
The fifth was friendship mix'd with bliss:
But when a twelvemonth pass'd away,
Jack found his goddess made of clay;
Found half the charms that deck'd her face 35
Arose from powder, shreds, or lace;
But still the worst remain'd behind,
That very face had robb'd her mind.
Skill'd in no other arts was she
But dressing, patching, repartee; 40
And, just as humour rose or fell,
By turns a slattern or a belle;
'Tis true she dress'd with modern grace,
Half naked at a ball or race;
But when at home, at board or bed, 45
Five greasy nightcaps wrapp'd her head.
Could so much beauty condescend
To be a dull domestic friend?
Could any curtain-lectures bring
To decency so fine a thing? 50
In short, by night, 'twas fits or fretting;
By day, 'twas gadding or coquetting.
Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy
Of powder'd coxcombs at her levy;
The 'squire and captain took their stations, 55
And twenty other near relations;
Jack suck'd his pipe, and often broke
A sigh in suffocating smoke;
While all their hours were pass'd between
Insulting repartee or spleen. 60
Thus as her faults each day were known,
He thinks her features coarser grown;
He fancies every vice she shows,
Or thins her lip, or points her nose:
Whenever rage or envy rise, 65
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes!
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phiz;
And, though her fops are wond'rous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil. 70
Now, to perplex the ravell'd noose,
As each a different way pursues,
While sullen or loquacious strife,
Promis'd to hold them on for life,
That dire disease, whose ruthless power 75
Withers the beauty's transient flower:
Lo! the small-pox, whose horrid glare
Levell'd its terrors at the fair;
And, rifling ev'ry youthful grace,
Left but the remnant of a face. 80
The glass, grown hateful to her sight,
Reflected now a perfect fright:
Each former art she vainly tries
To bring back lustre to her eyes.
In vain she tries her paste and creams, 85
To smooth her skin, or hide its seams;
Her country beaux and city cousins,
Lovers no more, flew off by dozens:
The 'squire himself was seen to yield,
And e'en the captain quit the field. 90
Poor Madam, now condemn'd to hack
The rest of life with anxious Jack,
Perceiving others fairly flown,
Attempted pleasing him alone.
Jack soon was dazzl'd to behold 95
Her present face surpass the old;
With modesty her cheeks are dy'd,
Humility displaces pride;
For tawdry finery is seen
A person ever neatly clean: 100
No more presuming on her sway,
She learns good-nature every day;
Serenely gay, and strict in duty,
Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.
A NEW SIMILE
IN THE MANNER OF SWIFT
LONG had I sought in vain to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind;
The modern scribbling kind, who write
In wit, and sense, and nature's spite:
Till reading, I forget what day on, 5
A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon,
I think I met with something there,
To suit my purpose to a hair;
But let us not proceed too furious,
First please to turn to god Mercurius; 10
You'll find him pictur'd at full length
In book the second, page the tenth:
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our simile.
Imprimis, pray observe his hat, 15
Wings upon either side--mark that.
Well! what is it from thence we gather?
Why these denote a brain of feather.
A brain of feather! very right,
With wit that's flighty, learning light; 20
Such as to modern bard's decreed:
A just comparison,--proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse,
Wings grow again from both his shoes;
Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear, 25
And waft his godship through the air;
And here my simile unites,
For in a modern poet's flights,
I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet are useful as his head. 30
Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand,
Filled with a snake-encircl'd wand;
By classic authors term'd caduceus,
And highly fam'd for several uses.
To wit--most wond'rously endu'd, 35
No poppy water half so good;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's such,
Though ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore. 40
Add too, what certain writers tell,
With this he drives men's souls to hell.
Now to apply, begin we then;
His wand's a modern author's pen;
The serpents round about it twin'd 45
Denote him of the reptile kind;
Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom'd bites;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike too both conduce to sleep. 50
This diff'rence only, as the god
Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
With his goosequill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others, damns himself.
And here my simile almost tript, 55
Yet grant a word by way of postscript.
Moreover, Merc'ry had a failing:
Well! what of that? out with it--stealing;
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he: 60
But ev'n this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance.
Our modern bards! why what a pox
Are they but senseless stones and blocks?
EDWIN AND ANGELA
'TURN, gentle hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way,
To where yon taper cheers the vale
With hospitable ray.
'For here, forlorn and lost I tread, 5
With fainting steps and slow;
Where wilds immeasurably spread,
Seem length'ning as I go.'
'Forbear, my son,' the hermit cries,
'To tempt the dangerous gloom; 10
For yonder faithless phantom flies
To lure thee to thy doom.
'Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open still;
And though my portion is but scant, 15
I give it with good will.
'Then turn to-night, and freely share
Whate'er my cell bestows;
My rushy couch, and frugal fare,
My blessing and repose. 20
'No flocks that range the valley free
To slaughter I condemn:
Taught by that power that pities me,
I learn to pity them.
'But from the mountain's grassy side 25
A guiltless feast I bring;
A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,
And water from the spring.
'Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forgo;
All earth-born cares are wrong: 30
Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.'
Soft as the dew from heav'n descends,
His gentle accents fell:
The modest stranger lowly bends, 35
And follows to the cell.
Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay;
A refuge to the neighbouring poor
And strangers led astray. 40
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care;
The wicket, opening with a latch,
Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now, when busy crowds retire 45
To take their evening rest,
The hermit trimm'd his little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest:
And spread his vegetable store,
And gaily press'd, and smil'd; 50
And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The lingering hours beguil'd.
Around in sympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries;
The cricket chirrups in the hearth; 55
The crackling faggot flies.
But nothing could a charm impart
To soothe the stranger's woe;
For grief was heavy at his heart,
And tears began to flow. 60
His rising cares the hermit spied,
With answ'ring care oppress'd;
'And whence, unhappy youth,' he cried,
'The sorrows of thy breast?
'From better habitations spurn'd, 65
Reluctant dost thou rove;
Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd,
Or unregarded love?
'Alas! the joys that fortune brings
Are trifling, and decay; 70
And those who prize the paltry things,
More trifling still than they.
'And what is friendship but a name,
A charm that lulls to sleep;
A shade that follows wealth or fame, 75
But leaves the wretch to weep?
'And love is still an emptier sound,
The modern fair one's jest:
On earth unseen, or only found
To warm the turtle's nest. 80
'For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
And spurn the sex,' he said:
But, while he spoke, a rising blush
His love-lorn guest betray'd.
Surpris'd, he sees new beauties rise, 85
Swift mantling to the view;
Like colours o'er the morning skies,
As bright, as transient too.
The bashful look, the rising breast,
Alternate spread alarms: 90
The lovely stranger stands confess'd
A maid in all her charms.
'And, ah! forgive a stranger rude,
A wretch forlorn,' she cried;
'Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude 95
Where heaven and you reside.
'But let a maid thy pity share,
Whom love has taught to stray;
Who seeks for rest, but finds despair
Companion of her way. 100
'My father liv'd beside the Tyne,
A wealthy lord was he;
And all his wealth was mark'd as mine,
He had but only me.
'To win me from his tender arms 105
Unnumber'd suitors came;
Who prais'd me for imputed charms,
And felt or feign'd a flame.
Each hour a mercenary crowd
With richest proffers strove: 110
Amongst the rest young Edwin bow'd,
But never talk'd of love.
'In humble, simplest habit clad,
No wealth nor power had he;
Wisdom and worth were all he had, 115
But these were all to me.
'And when beside me in the dale
He caroll'd lays of love;
His breath lent fragrance to the gale,
And music to the grove. 120
'The blossom opening to the day,
The dews of heaven refin'd,
Could nought of purity display,
To emulate his mind.
'The dew, the blossom on the tree, 125
With charms inconstant shine;
Their charms were his, but woe to me!
Their constancy was mine.
'For still I tried each fickle art,
Importunate and vain: 130
And while his passion touch'd my heart,
I triumph'd in his pain.
'Till quite dejected with my scorn,
He left me to my pride;
And sought a solitude forlorn, 135
In secret, where he died.
'But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
And well my life shall pay;
I'll seek the solitude he sought,
And stretch me where he lay. 140
'And there forlorn, despairing, hid,
I'll lay me down and die;
'Twas so for me that Edwin did,
And so for him will I.'
'Forbid it, heaven!' the hermit cried, 145
And clasp'd her to his breast:
The wondering fair one turn'd to chide,
'Twas Edwin's self that prest.
'Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see 150
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,
Restor'd to love and thee.
'Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And ev'ry care resign;
And shall we never, never part, 155
My life -- my all that's mine?
'No, never from this hour to part,
We'll live and love so true;
The sigh that rends thy constant heart
Shall break thy Edwin's too.' 160
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG
Good people all, of every sort,
Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wond'rous short,
It cannot hold you long.
In Islington there was a man, 5
Of whom the world might say,
That still a godly race he ran,
Whene'er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes; 10
The naked every day he clad,
When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound, 15
And curs of low degree.
This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad and bit the man. 20
Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wond'ring neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.
The wound it seem'd both sore and sad 25
To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,
That show'd the rogues they lied: 30
The man recover'd of the bite,
The dog it was that died.
FROM 'THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD'
WHEN lovely woman stoops to folly,
And finds too late that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?
The only art her guilt to cover, 5
To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,
And wring his bosom, is -- to die.
EPILOGUE TO 'THE GOOD NATUR'D MAN'
As puffing quacks some caitiff wretch procure
To swear the pill, or drop, has wrought a cure;
Thus on the stage, our play-wrights still depend
For Epilogues and Prologues on some friend,
Who knows each art of coaxing up the town, 5
And make full many a bitter pill go down.
Conscious of this, our bard has gone about,
And teas'd each rhyming friend to help him out.
'An Epilogue -- things can't go on without it;
It could not fail, would you but set about it.' 10
'Young man,' cries one -- a bard laid up in clover --
'Alas, young man, my writing days are over;
Let boys play tricks, and kick the straw; not I:
Your brother Doctor there, perhaps, may try.'
'What I? dear Sir,' the Doctor interposes 15
'What plant my thistle, Sir, among his roses!
No, no; I've other contests to maintain;
To-night I head our troops at Warwick Lane:
Go, ask your manager.' 'Who, me? Your pardon;
Those things are not our forte at Covent Garden.' 20
Our Author's friends, thus plac'd at happy distance,
Give him good words indeed, but no assistance.
As some unhappy wight, at some new play,
At the Pit door stands elbowing a way,
While oft, with many a smile, and many a shrug, 25
He eyes the centre, where his friends sit snug;
His simp'ring friends, with pleasure in their eyes,
Sink as he sinks, and as he rises rise;
He nods, they nod; he cringes, they grimace;
But not a soul will budge to give him place. 30
Since then, unhelp'd, our bard must now conform
'To 'bide the pelting of this pitiless storm' --
Blame where you must, be candid where you can;
And be each critic the 'Good Natur'd Man'.
EPILOGUE TO 'THE SISTER'
WHAT! five long acts -- and all to make us wiser!
Our authoress sure has wanted an adviser.
Had she consulted 'me', she should have made
Her moral play a speaking masquerade;
Warm'd up each bustling scene, and in her rage 5
Have emptied all the green-room on the stage.
My life on't, this had kept her play from sinking;
Have pleas'd our eyes, and sav'd the pain of thinking.
Well! since she thus has shown her want of skill,
What if I give a masquerade? -- I will. 10
But how? ay, there's the rub! ('pausing') -- I've got my cue:
The world's a masquerade! the maskers, you, you, you.
('To Boxes, Pit, and Gallery'.)
____, what a group the motley scene discloses!
False wits, false wives, false virgins, and false spouses!
Statesmen with bridles on; and, close beside 'em, 15
Patriots, in party-coloured suits, that ride 'em.
There Hebes, turn'd of fifty, try once more
To raise a flame in Cupids of threescore.
These in their turn, with appetites as keen,
Deserting fifty, fasten on fifteen, 20
Miss, not yet full fifteen, with fire uncommon,
Flings down her sampler, and takes up the woman:
The little urchin smiles, and spreads her lure,
And tries to kill, ere she's got power to cure.
Thus 'tis with all -- their chief and constant care 25
Is to seem everything but what they are.
Yon broad, bold, angry spark, I fix my eye on,
Who seems to have robb'd his vizor from the lion;
Who frowns, and talks, and swears, with round parade,
Looking as who should say, D__ __! who's afraid? 30
Strip but his vizor off, and sure I am
You'll find his lionship a very lamb.
Yon politician, famous in debate,
Perhaps, to vulgar eyes, bestrides the state;
Yet, when he deigns his real shape t' assume, 35
He turns old woman, and bestrides a broom.
Yon patriot, too, who presses on your sight,
And seems to every gazer all in white,
If with a bribe his candour you attack,
He bows, turns round, and whip -- the man's a black! 40
Yon critic, too -- but whither do I run?
If I proceed, our bard will be undone!
Well then a truce, since she requests it too:
Do you spare her, and I'll for once spare you.
PROLOGUE TO 'ZOBEIDE'
IN these bold times, when Learning's sons explore
The distant climate and the savage shore;
When wise Astronomers to India steer,
And quit for Venus, many a brighter here;
While Botanists, all cold to smiles and dimpling, 5
Forsake the fair, and patiently -- go simpling;
When every bosom swells with wond'rous scenes,
Priests, cannibals, and hoity-toity queens:
Our bard into the general spirit enters,
And fits his little frigate for adventures: 10
With Scythian stores, and trinkets deeply laden,
He this way steers his course, in hopes of trading --
Yet ere he lands he 'as ordered me before,
To make an observation on the shore.
Where are we driven? our reck'ning sure is lost! 15
This seems a barren and a dangerous coast.
____ what a sultry climate am I under!
Yon ill foreboding cloud seems big with thunder.
There Mangroves spread, and larger than I've seen 'em --
Here trees of stately size -- and turtles in 'em --
Here ill-condition'd oranges abound --
And apples ('takes up one and tastes it'),
bitter apples strew the ground.
The place is uninhabited, I fear!
I heard a hissing -- there are serpents here!
O there the natives are -- a dreadful race! 25
The men have tails, the women paint the face!
No doubt they're all barbarians. -- Yes, 'tis so,
I'll try to make palaver with them though;
'Tis best, however, keeping at a distance.
Good Savages, our Captain craves assistance; 30
Our ship's well stor'd; -- in yonder creek we've laid her;
His honour is no mercenary trader;
This is his first adventure; lend him aid,
Or you may chance to spoil a thriving trade.
His goods, he hopes are prime, and brought from far, 35
Equally fit for gallantry and war.
What! no reply to promises so ample?
I'd best step back -- and order up a sample.
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF HER LATE ROYAL HIGHNESS
THE PRINCESS DOWAGER OF WALES.
OVERTURE -- A SOLEMN DIRGE. AIR -- TRIO.
ARISE, ye sons of worth, arise,
And waken every note of woe;
When truth and virtue reach the skies,
'Tis ours to weep the want below!
When truth and virtue, etc. 5
The praise attending pomp and power,
The incense given to kings,
Are but the trappings of an hour --
Mere transitory things!
The base bestow them: but the good agree 10
To spurn the venal gifts as flattery.
But when to pomp and power are join'd
An equal dignity of mind --
When titles are the smallest claim --
When wealth and rank and noble blood, 15
But aid the power of doing good --
Then all their trophies last; and flattery turns to fame.
Bless'd spirit thou, whose fame, just born to bloom
Shall spread and flourish from the tomb,
How hast thou left mankind for heaven! 20
Even now reproach and faction mourn.
And, wondering how their rage was borne,
Request to be forgiven.
Alas! they never had thy hate:
Unmov'd in conscious rectitude, 25
Thy towering mind self-centred stood,
Nor wanted man's opinion to be great.
In vain, to charm thy ravish'd sight,
A thousand gifts would fortune send;
In vain, to drive thee from the right, 30
A thousand sorrows urg'd thy end:
Like some well-fashion'd arch thy patience stood,
And purchas'd strength from its increasing load.
Pain met thee like a friend that set thee free;
Affliction still is virtue's opportunity! 35
Virtue, on herself relying,
Ev'ry passion hush'd to rest,
Loses ev'ry pain of dying
In the hopes of being blest.
Ev'ry added pang she suffers 40
Some increasing good bestows,
Ev'ry shock that malice offers
Only rocks her to repose.
SONG. BY A MAN -- AFFETTUOSO.
Virtue, on herself relying,
Ev'ry passion hush'd to rest, 45
Loses ev'ry pain of dying
In the hopes of being blest.
Ev'ry added pang she suffers
Some increasing good bestows,
Ev'ry shock that malice offers, 50
Only rocks her to repose.
Yet, ah! what terrors frowned upon her fate --
Death, with its formidable band,
Fever and pain and pale consumptive care,
Determin'd took their stand: 55
Nor did the cruel ravagers design
To finish all their efforts at a blow;
But, mischievously slow,
They robb'd the relic and defac'd the shrine.
With unavailing grief, 60
Despairing of relief,
Her weeping children round
Beheld each hour
Death's growing power,
And trembled as he frown'd. 65
As helpless friends who view from shore
The labouring ship, and hear the tempest roar,
While winds and waves their wishes cross --
They stood, while hope and comfort fail,
Not to assist, but to bewail 70
The inevitable loss.
Relentless tyrant, at thy call
How do the good, the virtuous fall!
Truth, beauty, worth, and all that most engage,
But wake thy vengeance and provoke thy rage. 75
SONG. BY A MAN. -- BASSO. -- STACCATO. -- SPIRITOSO.
When vice my dart and scythe supply,
How great a king of terrors I!
If folly, fraud, your hearts engage,
Tremble, ye mortals, at my rage!
Fall, round me fall, ye little things, 80
Ye statesmen, warriors, poets, kings;
If virtue fail her counsel sage,
Tremble, ye mortals, at my rage!
Yet let that wisdom, urged by her example,
Teach us to estimate what all must suffer; 85
Let us prize death as the best gift of nature --
As a safe inn, where weary travellers,
When they have journeyed through a world of cares,
May put off life and be at rest for ever.
Groans, weeping friends, indeed, and gloomy sables,
May oft distract us with their sad solemnity: 91
The preparation is the executioner.
Death, when unmasked, shows me a friendly face,
And is a terror only at a distance;
For as the line of life conducts me on 95
To Death's great court, the prospect seems more fair.
'Tis Nature's kind retreat, that's always open
To take us in when we have drained the cup
Of life, or worn our days to wretchedness.
In that secure, serene retreat, 100
Where all the humble, all the great,
Where wildly huddled to the eye,
The beggar's pouch and prince's purple lie,
May every bliss be thine. 105
And ah! bless'd spirit, wheresoe'er thy flight,
Through rolling worlds, or fields of liquid light,
May cherubs welcome their expected guest;
May saints with songs receive thee to their rest;
May peace that claimed while here thy warmest love,
May blissful endless peace be thine above! 111
SONG. BY A WOMAN. -- AMOROSO.
Lovely, lasting Peace below,
Comforter of every woe,
Heav'nly born, and bred on high,
To crown the favourites of the sky -- 115
Lovely, lasting Peace, appear;
This world itself, if thou art here,
Is once again with Eden blest,
And man contains it in his breast.
Our vows are heard! Long, long to mortal eyes,
Her soul was fitting to its kindred skies: 121
Celestial-like her bounty fell,
Where modest want and patient sorrow dwell;
Want pass'd for merit at her door,
Unseen the modest were supplied, 125
Her constant pity fed the poor --
Then only poor, indeed, the day she died.
And oh! for this! while sculpture decks thy shrine,
And art exhausts profusion round,
The tribute of a tear be mine, 130
A simple song, a sigh profound.
There Faith shall come, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the tomb that wraps thy clay;
And calm Religion shall repair
To dwell a weeping hermit there. 135
Truth, Fortitude, and Friendship shall agree
To blend their virtues while they think of thee.
AIR. CHORUS. -- POMPOSO.
Let us, let all the world agree,
To profit by resembling thee.
OVERTURE -- PASTORALE
FAST by that shore where Thames' translucent stream
Reflects new glories on his breast,
Where, splendid as the youthful poet's dream,
He forms a scene beyond Elysium blest --
Where sculptur'd elegance and native grace
Unite to stamp the beauties of the place, 5
While sweetly blending still are seen
The wavy lawn, the sloping green --
While novelty, with cautious cunning,
Through ev'ry maze of fancy running,
From China borrows aid to deck the scene -- 10
There, sorrowing by the river's glassy bed,
Forlorn, a rural bard complain'd,
All whom Augusta's bounty fed,
All whom her clemency sustain'd;
The good old sire, unconscious of decay, 15
The modest matron, clad in homespun gray,
The military boy, the orphan'd maid,
The shatter'd veteran, now first dismay'd;
These sadly join beside the murmuring deep,
And, as they view 20
The towers of Kew,
Call on their mistress -- now no more -- and weep.
CHORUS. -- AFFETTUOSO. -- LARGO.
Ye shady walks, ye waving greens,
Ye nodding towers, ye fairy scenes --
Let all your echoes now deplore 25
That she who form'd your beauties is no more.
First of the train the patient rustic came,
Whose callous hand had form'd the scene,
Bending at once with sorrow and with age,
With many a tear and many a sigh between; 30
'And where,' he cried, 'shall now my babes have bread,
Or how shall age support its feeble fire?
No lord will take me now, my vigour fled,
Nor can my strength perform what they require; 34
Each grudging master keeps the labourer bare --
A sleek and idle race is all their care.
My noble mistress thought not so:
Her bounty, like the morning dew,
Unseen, though constant, used to flow;
And as my strength decay'd, her bounty grew.' 40
In decent dress, and coarsely clean,
The pious matron next was seen --
Clasp'd in her hand a godly book was borne,
By use and daily meditation worn;
That decent dress, this holy guide, 45
Augusta's care had well supplied.
'And ah!' she cries, all woe-begone,
'What now remains for me?
Oh! where shall weeping want repair,
To ask for charity? 50
Too late in life for me to ask,
And shame prevents the deed,
And tardy, tardy are the times
To succour, should I need.
But all my wants, before I spoke, 55
Were to my Mistress known;
She still reliev'd, nor sought my praise,
Contented with her own.
But ev'ry day her name I'll bless,
My morning prayer, my evening song, 60
I'll praise her while my life shall last,
A life that cannot last me long.'
SONG. BY A WOMAN.
Each day, each hour, her name I'll bless --
My morning and my evening song;
And when in death my vows shall cease, 65
My children shall the note prolong.
The hardy veteran after struck the sight,
Scarr'd, mangled, maim'd in every part,
Lopp'd of his limbs in many a gallant fight,
In nought entire -- except his heart. 70
Mute for a while, and sullenly distress'd,
At last the impetuous sorrow fir'd his breast.
'Wild is the whirlwind rolling
O'er Afric's sandy plain,
And wild the tempest howling 75
Along the billow'd main:
But every danger felt before --
The raging deep, the whirlwind's roar --
Less dreadful struck me with dismay,
Than what I feel this fatal day. 80
Oh, let me fly a land that spurns the brave,
Oswego's dreary shores shall be my grave;
I'll seek that less inhospitable coast,
And lay my body where my limbs were lost.'
SONG. BY A MAN. -- BASSO. SPIRITOSO.
Old Edward's sons, unknown to yield,
Shall crowd from Crecy's laurell'd field,
To do thy memory right;
For thine and Britain's wrongs they feel,
Again they snatch the gleamy steel,
And wish the avenging fight. 90
In innocence and youth complaining,
Next appear'd a lovely maid,
Affliction o'er each feature reigning,
Kindly came in beauty's aid;
Every grace that grief dispenses, 95
Every glance that warms the soul,
In sweet succession charmed the senses,
While pity harmonized the whole.
'The garland of beauty' -- 'tis thus she would say -- 99
'No more shall my crook or my temples adorn,
I'll not wear a garland -- Augusta's away,
I'll not wear a garland until she return;
But alas! that return I never shall see,
The echoes of Thames shall my sorrows proclaim, 104
There promised a lover to come -- but, O me!
'Twas death, -- 'twas the death of my mistress that came.
But ever, for ever, her image shall last,
I'll strip all the spring of its earliest bloom;
On her grave shall the cowslip and primrose be cast, 109
And the new-blossomed thorn shall whiten her tomb.'
SONG. BY A WOMAN. -- PASTORALE.
With garlands of beauty the queen of the May
No more will her crook or her temples adorn;
For who'd wear a garland when she is away,
When she is remov'd, and shall never return.
On the grave of Augusta these garlands be plac'd,
We'll rifle the spring of its earliest bloom,
And there shall the cowslip and primrose be cast,
And the new-blossom'd thorn shall whiten her tomb.
CHORUS. -- ALTRO MODO.
On the grave of Augusta this garland be plac'd,
We'll rifle the spring of its earliest bloom, 120
And there shall the cowslip and primrose be cast,
And the tears of her country shall water her tomb.
FROM 'SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER'
LET school-masters puzzle their brain,
With grammar, and nonsense, and learning;
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain,
Gives 'genus' a better discerning.
Let them brag of their heathenish gods, 5
Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians:
Their Quis, and their Quaes, and their Quods,
They're all but a parcel of Pigeons.
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.
When Methodist preachers come down
A-preaching that drinking is sinful, 10
I'll wager the rascals a crown
They always preach best with a skinful.
But when you come down with your pence,
For a slice of their scurvy religion,
I'll leave it to all men of sense, 15
But you, my good friend, are the pigeon.
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.
Then come, put the jorum about,
And let us be merry and clever;
Our hearts and our liquors are stout;
Here's the Three Jolly Pigeons for ever. 20
Let some cry up woodcock or hare,
Your bustards, your ducks, and your widgeons;
But of all the birds in the air,
Here's a health to the Three Jolly Pigeons.
Toroddle, toroddle, toroll.
EPILOGUE TO 'SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER'
WELL, having stoop'd to conquer with success,
And gain'd a husband without aid from dress,
Still, as a Bar-maid, I could wish it too,
As I have conquer'd him, to conquer you:
And let me say, for all your resolution, 5
That pretty Bar-maids have done execution.
Our life is all a play, compos'd to please,
'We have our exits and our entrances.'
The First Act shows the simple country maid,
Harmless and young, of ev'ry thing afraid; 10
Blushes when hir'd, and, with unmeaning action,
'I hopes as how to give you satisfaction.'
Her Second Act displays a livelier scene --
Th' unblushing Bar-maid of a country inn,
Who whisks about the house, at market caters, 15
Talks loud, coquets the guests, and scolds the waiters.
Next the scene shifts to town, and there she soars,
The chop-house toast of ogling connoisseurs.
On 'Squires and Cits she there displays her arts,
And on the gridiron broils her lovers' hearts: 20
And as she smiles, her triumphs to complete,
Even Common-Councilmen forget to eat.
The Fourth Act shows her wedded to the 'Squire,
And Madam now begins to hold it higher;
Pretends to taste, at Operas cries 'caro', 25
And quits her 'Nancy Dawson', for 'Che faro',
Doats upon dancing, and in all her pride,
Swims round the room, the Heinel of Cheapside;
Ogles and leers with artificial skill,
'Till having lost in age the power to kill, 30
She sits all night at cards, and ogles at spadille.
Such, through our lives, the eventful history --
The Fifth and Last Act still remains for me.
The Bar-maid now for your protection prays.
Turns Female Barrister, and pleads for Bayes. 35
OF old, when Scarron his companions invited,
Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united;
If our landlord supplies us with beef, and with fish,
Let each guest bring himself, and he brings the best dish:
Our Dean shall be venison, just fresh from the plains; 5
Our Burke shall be tongue, with a garnish of brains;
Our Will shall be wild-fowl, of excellent flavour,
And Dick with his pepper shall heighten their savour:
Our Cumberland's sweet-bread its place shall obtain,
And Douglas is pudding, substantial and plain: 10
Our Garrick's a salad; for in him we see
Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree:
To make out the dinner, full certain I am,
That Ridge is anchovy, and Reynolds is lamb;
That Hickey's a capon, and by the same rule, 15
Magnanimous Goldsmith a gooseberry fool.
At a dinner so various, at such a repast,
Who'd not be a glutton, and stick to the last?
Here, waiter! more wine, let me sit while I'm able,
Till all my companions sink under the table; 20
Then, with chaos and blunders encircling my head,
Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.
Here lies the good Dean, re-united to earth,
Who mix'd reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth:
If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt, 25
At least, in six weeks, I could not find 'em out;
Yet some have declar'd, and it can't be denied 'em,
That sly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em.
Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such,
We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much; 30
Who, born for the Universe, narrow'd his mind,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind.
Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat
To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote;
Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining, 35
And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining;
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit,
Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit:
For a patriot, too cool; for a drudge, disobedient;
And too fond of the 'right' to pursue the 'expedient'. 40
In short, 'twas his fate, unemploy'd, or in place, Sir,
To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
Here lies honest William, whose heart was a mint,
While the owner ne'er knew half the good that was in't;
The pupil of impulse, it forc'd him along, 45
His conduct still right, with his argument wrong;
Still aiming at honour, yet fearing to roam,
The coachman was tipsy, the chariot drove home;
Would you ask for his merits? alas! he had none;
What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his own. 50
Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh at;
Alas, that such frolic should now be so quiet!
What spirits were his! what wit and what whim!
Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb;
Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball, 55
Now teasing and vexing, yet laughing at all!
In short, so provoking a devil was Dick,
That we wish'd him full ten times a day at Old Nick;
But, missing his mirth and agreeable vein,
As often we wish'd to have Dick back again. 60
Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,
The Terence of England, the mender of hearts;
A flattering painter, who made it his care
To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are.
His gallants are all faultless, his women divine, 65
And comedy wonders at being so fine;
Like a tragedy queen he has dizen'd her out,
Or rather like tragedy giving a rout.
His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd
Of virtues and feelings, that folly grows proud; 70
And coxcombs, alike in their failings alone,
Adopting his portraits, are pleas'd with their own.
Say, where has our poet this malady caught?
Or, wherefore his characters thus without fault?
Say, was it that vainly directing his view 75
To find out men's virtues, and finding them few,
Quite sick of pursuing each troublesome elf,
He grew lazy at last, and drew from himself?
Here Douglas retires, from his toils to relax,
The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks: 80
Come, all ye quack bards, and ye quacking divines,
Come, and dance on the spot where your tyrant reclines:
When Satire and Censure encircl'd his throne,
I fear'd for your safety, I fear'd for my own;
But now he is gone, and we want a detector, 85
Our Dodds shall be pious, our Kenricks shall lecture;
Macpherson write bombast, and call it a style,
Our Townshend make speeches, and I shall compile;
New Lauders and Bowers the Tweed shall cross over,
No countryman living their tricks to discover; 90
Detection her taper shall quench to a spark,
And Scotchman meet Scotchman, and cheat in the dark.
Here lies David Garrick, describe me, who can,
An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man;
As an actor, confess'd without rival to shine: 95
As a wit, if not first, in the very first line:
Yet, with talents like these, and an excellent heart,
The man had his failings, a dupe to his art.
Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread,
And beplaster'd with rouge his own natural red. 100
On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting;
'Twas only that when he was off he was acting.
With no reason on earth to go out of his way,
He turn'd and he varied full ten times a day.
Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick 105
If they were not his own by finessing and trick,
He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack,
For he knew when he pleas'd he could whistle them back.
Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came,
And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame; 110
Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
Who pepper'd the highest was surest to please.
But let us be candid, and speak out our mind,
If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind.
Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, and Woodfalls so grave, 115
What a commerce was yours, while you got and you gave!
How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts you rais'd,
While he was be-Roscius'd, and you were be-prais'd!
But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,
To act as an angel, and mix with the skies: 120
Those poets, who owe their best fame to his skill,
Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will.
Old Shakespeare, receive him, with praise and with love,
And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.
Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt, pleasant creature,
And slander itself must allow him good nature: 126
He cherish'd his friend, and he relish'd a bumper;
Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper.
Perhaps you may ask if the man was a miser!
I answer, no, no, for he always was wiser: 130
Too courteous, perhaps, or obligingly flat?
His very worst foe can't accuse him of that:
Perhaps he confided in men as they go,
And so was too foolishly honest! Ah no! 134
Then what was his failing? come, tell it, and burn ye!
He was, could he help it? -- a special attorney.
Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind,
He has not left a better or wiser behind:
His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand;
His manners were gentle, complying, and bland; 140
Still born to improve us in every part,
His pencil our faces, his manners our heart:
To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering,
When they judg'd without skill he was still hard of hearing:
When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Correggios, and stuff, 145
He shifted his trumpet, and only took snuff.
After the Fourth Edition of this Poem was printed, the Publisher
received an Epitaph on Mr. Whitefoord, from a friend of the late Doctor
Goldsmith, inclosed in a letter, of which the following is an
'I have in my possession a sheet of paper, containing near forty lines
in the Doctor's own hand-writing: there are many scattered, broken
verses, on Sir Jos. Reynolds, Counsellor Ridge, Mr. Beauclerk, and Mr.
Whitefoord. The Epitaph on the last-mentioned gentleman is the only one
that is finished, and therefore I have copied it, that you may add it to
the next edition. It is a striking proof of Doctor Goldsmith's
good-nature. I saw this sheet of paper in the Doctor's room, five or six
days before he died; and, as I had got all the other Epitaphs, I asked
him if I might take it. "In truth you may, my Boy," (replied he,) "for
it will be of no use to me where I am going."'
HERE Whitefoord reclines, and deny it who can,
Though he 'merrily' liv'd, he is now a 'grave' man;
Rare compound of oddity, frolic, and fun!
Who relish'd a joke, and rejoic'd in a pun; 150
Whose temper was generous, open, sincere;
A stranger to flatt'ry, a stranger to fear;
Who scatter'd around wit and humour at will;
Whose daily 'bons mots' half a column might fill;
A Scotchman, from pride and from prejudice free; 155
A scholar, yet surely no pedant was he.
What pity, alas! that so lib'ral a mind
Should so long be to news-paper essays confin'd;
Who perhaps to the summit of science could soar,
Yet content 'if the table he set on a roar'; 160
Whose talents to fill any station were fit,
Yet happy if Woodfall confess'd him a wit.
Ye news-paper witlings! ye pert scribbling folks
Who copied his squibs, and re-echoed his jokes;
Ye tame imitators, ye servile herd, come, 165
Still follow your master, and visit his tomb:
To deck it, bring with you festoons of the vine,
And copious libations bestow on his shrine:
Then strew all around it (you can do no less)
'Cross-readings, Ship-news', and 'Mistakes of the Press'.
Merry Whitefoord, farewell! for 'thy' sake I admit 171
That a Scot may have humour, I had almost said wit:
This debt to thy mem'ry I cannot refuse,
'Thou best humour'd man with the worst humour'd muse.'
INTENDED TO HAVE BEEN SUNG IN 'SHE STOOPS
AH me! when shall I marry me?
Lovers are plenty; but fail to relieve me:
He, fond youth, that could carry me,
Offers to love, but means to deceive me.
But I will rally, and combat the ruiner: 5
Not a look, not a smile shall my passion discover:
She that gives all to the false one pursuing her,
Makes but a penitent, loses a lover.
CHASTE are their instincts, faithful is their fire,
No foreign beauty tempts to false desire;
The snow-white vesture, and the glittering crown,
The simple plumage, or the glossy down
Prompt not their loves:-- the patriot bird pursues 5
His well acquainted tints, and kindred hues.
Hence through their tribes no mix'd polluted flame,
No monster-breed to mark the groves with shame;
But the chaste blackbird, to its partner true,
Thinks black alone is beauty's favourite hue. 10
The nightingale, with mutual passion blest,
Sings to its mate, and nightly charms the nest;
While the dark owl to court its partner flies,
And owns its offspring in their yellow eyes.
THE HAUNCH OF VENISON
A POETICAL EPISTLE TO LORD CLARE
THANKS, my Lord, for your venison, for finer or fatter
Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter;
The haunch was a picture for painters to study,
The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy.
Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help regretting 5
To spoil such a delicate picture by eating;
I had thoughts, in my chambers, to place it in view,
To be shown to my friends as a piece of 'virtu';
As in some Irish houses, where things are so so,
One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show: 10
But for eating a rasher of what they take pride in,
They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fried in.
But hold -- let me pause -- Don't I hear you pronounce
This tale of the bacon a damnable bounce?
Well, suppose it a bounce -- sure a poet may try, 15
By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly.
But, my Lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my turn,
It's a truth -- and your Lordship may ask Mr. Byrne.
To go on with my tale -- as I gaz'd on the haunch,
I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch; 20
So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undress'd,
To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best.
Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose;
'Twas a neck and a breast -- that might rival M--r--'s:
But in parting with these I was puzzled again, 25
With the how, and the who, and the where, and the when.
There's H--d, and C--y, and H--rth, and H--ff,
I think they love venison -- I know they love beef;
There's my countryman H--gg--ns-- Oh! let him alone,
For making a blunder, or picking a bone. 30
But hang it -- to poets who seldom can eat,
Your very good mutton's a very good treat;
Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt,
It's like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt.
While thus I debated, in reverie centred, 35
An acquaintance, a friend as he call'd himself, enter'd;
An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he,
And he smil'd as he look'd at the venison and me.
'What have we got here? -- Why, this is good eating!
Your own, I suppose -- or is it in waiting?' 40
'Why, whose should it be?' cried I with a flounce,
'I get these things often;' -- but that was a bounce:
'Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation,
Are pleas'd to be kind -- but I hate ostentation.'
'If that be the case, then,' cried he, very gay, 45
'I'm glad I have taken this house in my way.
To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me;
No words -- I insist on't -- precisely at three:
We'll have Johnson, and Burke; all the wits will be there;
My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my Lord Clare. 50
And now that I think on't, as I am a sinner!
We wanted this venison to make out the dinner.
What say you -- a pasty? it shall, and it must,
And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust.
Here, porter! -- this venison with me to Mile-end; 55
No stirring -- I beg -- my dear friend -- my dear friend!
Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind,
And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.
Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf,
'And nobody with me at sea but myself'; 60
Though I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty,
Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good venison pasty,
Were things that I never dislik'd in my life,
Though clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife.
So next day, in due splendour to make my approach, 65
I drove to his door in my own hackney coach.
When come to the place where we all were to dine,
(A chair-lumber'd closet just twelve feet by nine:)
My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb,
With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not come; 70
'For I knew it,' he cried, 'both eternally fail,
The one with his speeches, and t'other with Thrale;
But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up the party
With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty.
The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew, 75
They['re] both of them merry and authors like you;
The one writes the 'Snarler', the other the 'Scourge';
Some think he writes 'Cinna' -- he own to 'Panurge'.'
While thus he describ'd them by trade, and by name,
They enter'd and dinner was serv'd as they came. 80
At the top a fried liver and bacon were seen,
At the bottom was tripe in a swinging tureen;
At the sides there was spinach and pudding made hot;
In the middle a place where the pasty -- was not.
Now, my Lord as for tripe, it's my utter aversion, 85
And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian;
So there I sat stuck, like a horse in a pound,
While the bacon and liver went merrily round.
But what vex'd me most was that d--'d Scottish rogue,
With his long-winded speeches, his smiles and his brogue; 90
And, 'Madam,' quoth he, 'may this bit be my poison,
A prettier dinner I never set eyes on;
Pray a slice of your liver, though may I be curs'd,
But I've eat of your tripe till I'm ready to burst.;
'The tripe,' quoth the Jew, with his chocolate cheek, 95
'I could dine on this tripe seven days in the week:
I like these here dinners so pretty and small;
But your friend there, the Doctor, eats nothing at all.'
'O--Oh!' quoth my friend, 'he'll come on in a trice,
He's keeping a corner for something that's nice: 100
There's a pasty' -- 'A pasty!' repeated the Jew,
'I don't care if I keep a corner for't too.'
'What the de'il, mon, a pasty!' re-echoed the Scot,
'Though splitting, I'll still keep a corner for thot.'
'We'll all keep a corner,' the lady cried out; 105
'We'll all keep a corner,' was echoed about.
While thus we resolv'd, and the pasty delay'd,
With look that quite petrified, enter'd the maid;
A visage so sad, and so pale with affright,
Wak'd Priam in drawing his curtains by night. 110
But we quickly found out, for who could mistake her?
That she came with some terrible news from the baker:
And so it fell out, for that negligent sloven
Had shut out the pasty on shutting his oven
Sad Philomel thus -- but let similes drop -- 115
And now that I think on't, the story may stop.
To be plain, my good Lord, it's but labour misplac'd
To send such good verses to one of your taste;
You've got an odd something -- a kind of discerning --
A relish -- a taste -- sicken'd over by learning; 120