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THE

T A SK,

A PO E M.

I N SI X BO O K S.

ARGUMENT OF THE FIRST BOOK.

Historical deduktion of seats, from the stool to the Sofa.

A School-boy's ramble. A walk in the country.-The scene described.---Rural sounds as well as fights delightful.- Another walk.-- Mitoke concerning the charms of solitude correčied.---Colonnades commended.- Alcove, and the view from it.The wilderness.— The grove.-- The ihreßer.- The necelfity and the benefits of exercise.—'The works of nature fuperior to, end in some instances inimitable by, art.--The wearifomeness of what is commonly called e life of plecfiure. Change of scene sometimes expedient.-- A common described, cud the character of crazy Kate introduced. --Gipfies. The blessings of civilized life. That siate mojt favourable to virtue --The South Sea islanders compaffionated, but chiefly Omai.--His present state of mind supposed.Civilized life friendly to virtue, but not great cities,

Great cities, and London in particular, allowed their die praise, but cenfured.--- Fete champetre.The book concludes with a reficerion on the fatal effests of disipation and effeminacy upon our public mecfures.

THE

TA S K.

BOOK I.

THE SO F A.

I sing the Sofa, I, who lately sang Truth, Hope, and Charity *, and touch'd with awe The folemn chords, and with a trembling hand, Escap'd with pain from that advent'rous flight, Now seek repose upon an humbler theme; The theme though humble, yet august and proud Th' occasion--for the Fair commands the song.

Time was, when clothing sumptuous or for use, Save their own painted skins, our fires had none. As yet black breeches were not; sátin smooth,

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Or velvet soft, or plush with shaggy pile;
The hardy chief upon the rugged rock
Wash'd by the sea, or on the grav’ly bank
Thrown up by wintry torrents roaring loud,
Fearless of wrong, repos'd his weary strength.
Those barb'rous ages paft, succeeded next
The birth-day of invention; weak at first,
Dull in design, and clumsy to perform.
Joint-stools were then created ; on three legs
Upborn they stood. Three legs upholding firm
A mafly Nab, in fashion square or round.
On such a stool immortal Alfred fat,
· And fway'd the fceptre of his infant realms :
And such in ancient halls and mansions drear
May still be seen ; but perforated fore,
And drill'd in holes, the solid oak is found,
By worms voracious eating through and through.

At length a generation more refin's Improv'd the simple plan; made three legs four,

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