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See, to their seats they hye with merry glee,
And in beseemly order sitten there,
All but the wight of bum' y-galled, he
Abhorreth bench, and stool, and form, and chair,
(This hand in mouth y-fix'd, that rends his hair,)
And eke with snubs profound, and heaving breaft,
Convulsions intermitting, does declare
His grjevous wrong, his dame's unjust behest,
And scorns her offer'd love, and shuns to be caress'd.
His face besprent, with liquid crystal shines ;
His blooming face, that seems a purple flow'r,
Which low to earth its drooping head declines,
All smear'd and fully'd by a vernal show'r.
O the hard bofoms of despotic pow'r !
All, all, but the, the author of his shame ;
All, all, but she, regret this mournful hour:
Yet hence the youth, and hence the flow'r shall claim, If so I deem aright, transcending worth and fame.
Behind some door, in melancholy thought,
Mindless of food, he, dreary caitiff! pines ;
Ne for his fellows' joyaunce careth aught,
But to the wind all merriment resigns,
And deems it shame if he to
inclines : And many a sullen look askaunce is sent, Which for his dame's annoyance he delgus ;
And still the more to pleasure him The's berit, The more doth he, perverse, her 'haviour past relent,
Ah me! how much I fear, left pride it be !
But if that pride it be, which thus inspires,
Beware, ye dames, with nice discernment see
Ye quench not too the sparks of nobler fires :
Ah! better far than all the Muses' lyres,
All coward arts, is valour's gen'rous heat ;
The firm fix'd breast which fit and right requires,
Like Vernon's patriot soul; more juftly great
Than craft that pimps for ill, or flow'ry false deceit!
Yet, nurs’d with skill, what dazzling fruits appear !
E'en now sagacious foresight points to show
A little bench of heedless bishops here,
And there a chancellor in embryo,
Or bard sublime, if bard may e'er be so ;
As Milton, Shakespeare, names that ne'er shall die!
Though now he crawl along the ground so low;
Nor weeting how the Muse should soar on high, Wilheth, poor starv’ling elf ! his paper-kite may ily.
And this perhaps, who, cens’ring the design,
Low lays the house which that of cards doth build,
Shall Dennis be! if rigid Fates incline;
And many an epick to his rage thall yield,
And many a poet quit th’ Aonian field :
And, sour'd by age, profound he shall appear,
As he who now,
with 'sdainful fury thrill’d, Surveys mine work, and levels many a sneer, And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, “ What stuff
" is here ?”
But now Dan Phæbus gains the middle sky,
And Liberty unbars her prison door;
And, like a rushing torrent, out they dy,
And now the graffy cirque han cover'd o'er
With boift'rous revel-rout and wild uproar.
A thousand ways in wanton rings they run ;
Heav'n fhield their short-livd pastimes, I implore !
For well may Freedom, erst so dearly won,
Appear to British elf more gladsome than the sun.
Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade,
And chase gay flies, and cull the fairest flow'rs ;
For when my bones in grass-green fods are laid,
For never may ye taste more careless hours
In knightly castles, or in ladies' bow'rs.
O vain! to seek delight in earthly thing !
But most in courts, where proud Ambition tow'rs;
Deluded wight! who weens fair peace can spring
Beneath the pompous dome of Kesar or of King.
See in each sprite some various bent appear!
These rudely carol most incondite lay ;
Those faunt'ring on the green with jocund leer!
Salute the stranger pafling on his way:
Some builden fragile tenements of clay ;
Some to the standing lake their courfes bend,
With pebbles foon at duck-and-drake to play:
Thilk to the huxter's fav'ry cottage tend,
In pastry kings and queens th' allotted mite to spend.
Here, as each season yields a diff'rent store,
Each season's stores in order ranged been,
Apples with cabbage-net y-cover'd o'er,
Galling full sore the unmoney wight are seen ;
And gooseb’rie clad in liv'ry red or green:
And here of lovely die the Cath’rine pear:
Fine pear! as lovely for thy juice, I ween:
O may no wight e'er pennyless come there,
Left, (mit with ardent love, he pine with hopeless card
See! cherries here, e'er cherries yet abound,
With thread so white in tempting posies ty'd,
Scatt'ring like blooming maid their glances round,
With pamper'd look draw little eyes afide,
And must be bought, though penury betide :
The plum all azure, and the nut all brown;
And here, each season, do those cakes abide,
Whose honour'd names th' inventive city own, Rend'ring thro' Britain's ille Salopia's praises known.
Admir'd Salopia ! that with venial pride
Eyes her bright form in Severn's ambient wave,
Fam'd for her loyal cares in perils try'd ;
Her daughters lovely, and her striplings brave :
Ah! midst the rest, may flow'rs adorn his grave,
Whose art did first those dulcet cates display!
A motive fair to Learning's imps he gave,
Who cheerless o'er her darkling region Aray,
Till Reason's morn arise, and light them on their way.
THE PARISH CLERK.
Ler courtly bards, in polith'd phrase, indite
Soft madrigals, to celebrate the fair;
Or paint the splendour of a birthday night,
Where peers and dames in thining robes appear: The task be mine, neglected worth to praise, Alas! too often found, in these degen’rate days.
O gentle Shenstone! could the self-taught Muse,
Who joys, like thine, in rural shades to stray, Could she like thine, while she her theme pursues,
With native beauties deck the pleasing lay ; Then should the humble Clerk, of Barton-Dean, An equal meed of praise with thy School-mistress gain. Ent’ring the village in a deep-worn way,
Hard by an aged oak, his dwelling stands ;
The lowly roof is thatch, the walls are clay ;
All rudely rais'd by his forefathers' hands:
Observe the homely hut, as you pass by,
And pity the good man that lives so wretchedly.
Vulcanian artists here, with oily brow,
And naked arm, he at his anvil plies,
What time Aurora in the east does glow,
And eke when Vesper gilds the western skies : The bellows roar, the hammers loud resound, And from the tortur'd mass the sparkles fly around. Hither the truant school-boy frequent wends,
And Nily, peeping o'er the hatch, is seen To note the bick'ring workman, while he bends
The steed's strong shoe, or forms the fickle keen, Unthinking, little elf, what ills betide, Of breech begalled fore, and cruel task beside! A deep historian, well I wot, is he;
And many tomes, of ancient lore, has read Of England's George, the flow'r of chivalry,
Of Merlin's Mirror, and the Brazen Head ; With hundred legends more, which to recite, Would tire the wiseft nurse and spend the longest night.