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Increasing crowds the flying game pursue.
Learn hence the periods of the week to name, Thus, as you roll the ball o'er snowy ground, Mondays and Thursdays are the days of game. The gathering globe augments with every round. When fishy stalls with double store are laid; But whither shall I run! the throng draws nigh, The golden-belly'd carp, the broad-finn’d maid, The ball now skims the street, now soars on high ; Red speckled trouts, the salmon's silver jowl, The dext'rous glazier strong returns the bound, The jointed lobster, and unscaly sole, And jingling sashes on the pent-house sound. And luscious scallops to allure the tastes
O, roving Muse! recal that wondrous year, Of rigid zealots to delicious fasts ; When winter reign'd in bleak Britannia's air; Wednesdays and Fridays you'll observe from hence, When hoary Thames, with frosted oziers crown'd, Days when our sires where doom'd to abstinence. Was three long moons iu icy fetters bound.
When dirty waters from balconies drop, The waterman, forlorn, along the shore,
And dext'rous damsels twirl the sprinkling mop, Pensive reclines upon his useless oar:
And cleanse the spatter'd sash, and scrub the stairs; See harness'd steeds desert the stony town,
Know Saturday's conclusive morn appears. And wander roads unstable, not their own;
Successive cries the seasons' change declare, Wheels o'er the harden'd waters smoothly glide, And mark the monthly progress of the year. And rase with whiten'd tracks the slippery tide ; Hark! how the streets with treble voices ring, Here the fat cook piles high the blazing fire
To sell the bounteous product of the spring: And scarce the spit can turn the steer entire ; Sweet-smelling flowers, and alder's early bud, Booths sudden hide the Thames, long streets appear,
With nettle's tender shoots, to cleanse the blood; And numerous games proclaim the crowded fair. And, when June's thunder cools the sultry skies, So when a general bids the martial train
E'en Sundays are profan'd by mackrel cries. Spread their encampment o'er the spacious plain : Walnuts the fruiterer's hand in autumn stain, Thick rising tents a canvas city build,
Blue plumbs and juicy pears augment his gain; And the loud dice resound through all the field. Next oranges the longing boys entice,
'Twas here the matron found a doleful fate: To trust their copper fortunes to the dice. Let elegiac lay the woe relate,
When rosemary, and bays, the poet's crown, Soft as the breath of distant fiutes, at hours
Are bawl'd, in frequent cries, through all the town, When silent evening closes up the flowers;
Then judge the festival of Christmas near, Lulling as falling water's hollow noise ;
Christmas, the joyous period of the year. Indulging grief, like Philomela's voice. [roads; Now with bright holly all your temples strow,
Doll every day had walk'd these treacherous With laurel green, and sacred misletoe. Her neck grew warpt beneath autumnal loads Now, heaven-born Charity! thy blessing shed; Of various fruit: she now a basket bore ;
Bid meagre Want uprear her sickly head; That head, alas! shall basket bear no more.
Bid shivering limbs be warm; let Plenty's bowl Each booth she frequent past, in quest of gain,
In humble roofs make glad the needy soul !
Cloth'd are the naked, and the needy glad,
While charity still moves the walker's mind,
Nor let old age long stretch his palsy'd hand.
Those who give late are importun'd each day, But now the western gale the flood unbinds, And still are teas'd because they still delay. And blackening clouds move on with warmer winds;
If e'er the miser durst his farthings spare, The wooden town its frail foundation leaves, He thinly spreads them through the public square, And Thames' full urn rolls down his plenteous Where, all beside the rail, rang'd beggars lie, waves ;
And from each other catch the doleful cry; (score, From every pent-house streams the fleeting snow, With Heaven, for two-pence, cheaply wipes his And with dissolving frost the pavements flow. Lifts up his eyes, and hastes to beggar more. Experienc'd men, inur'd to city ways,
Where the brass-knocker, wrapt in flannel band, Need not the calendar to count their days.
Forbids the thunder of the footman's hand; When through the town with slow and solemn air, Th' upholder, rueful harbinger of death, Led by the nostril, walks the muzzled bear;
Waits with impatience for the dying breath ; Behind him moves majestically dull,
As vultures o'er a camp, with hovering flight. The pride of Hockley-hole, the surly bull.
Snuff up the future carnage of the fight.
Here canst thou pass, unmindful of a prayer, So, when dread Jove the son of Phæbus hurl'd, That Heaven in mercy may thy brother spare ? Scarr'd with dark thunder, to the nether world,
Come, Fortescue, sincere, experienc'd friend, The headstrong coursers tore the silver reins, Thy briefs, thy deeds, and ev'n thy fees suspend; And the sun's beamy ruin gilds the plains. Come let us leave the Temple's silent walls,
If the pale walker pant with weakening ills, Me business to my distant lodging calls;
His sickly hand is stor’d with friendly bills; Through the long Strand together let us stray ; From hence he learns the seventh-born doctor's fame, With thee conversing, I forget the way.
From hence he learns the cheapest tailor's name. Behold that narrow street which steep descends, Shall the large mutton smoke upon your boards? Whose building to the slimy shore extends,
Such Newgate's copious market best affords. Here Arundel's fam'd structure rear'd its frame, Wouldst thou with mighty beef augment thy meal? The street alone retains the empty name.
Seek Leadenhall; St. James's sends thee veal; Where Titian's glowing paint the canvas warm’d, Thames-street gives cheeses; Covent-garden fruits; And Raphael's fair design, with judgment, charm’d, Moorfields old books; and Monmouth-street old Now hangs the bellman's song, and pasted here
suits. The colour'd prints of Overton appear.
Hence mayst thou well supply the wants of life, Where statues breath'd, the works of Phidias' hands, Support thy family, and clothe thy wife. A wooden pump, or lonely watch-house, stands. Volumes on shelter'd stalls expanded lie, There Essex' stately pile adorn'd the shore,
And various science lures the learned eye: There Cecil's, Bedford's, Villiers', now no more. The bending shelves with ponderous scholiastsgroan, Yet Burlington's fair palace still remains;
And deep divines, to modern shops unknown; Beauty within, without proportion reigns.
Here, like the bee, that on industrious wing Beneath his eye declining art revives,
Collects the various odours of the spring, The wall with animated picture lives;
Walkers at leisure learning's flowers may spoil, There Handel strikes the strings, the melting strain Nor watch the wasting of the midnight oil; Transports the soul, and thrills through every vein ; May morals snatch from Plutarch's tatter'd page, There oft I enter (but with cleaner shoes),
A mildew'd Bacon, or Stagyra's sage: For Burlington's belov'd by every Muse.
Here sauntering 'prentices o'er Otway weep, Oye associate walkers, O my friends,
O'er Congreve smile, or over D'Urfey sleep; Upon your state what happiness attends!
Pleas'd sempstresses the Lock's fam'd Rape unfold; What though no coach to frequent visit rolls, And Squirts read Garth, till apozems grow cold. Nor for your shilling chairmen sling their poles; O Lintot ! let my labours obvious lie, Yet still your nerves rheumatic pains defy,
Rang'd on thy stall, for every curious eye! Nor lazy jaundice dulls your saffron eye;
So shall the poor these precepts gratis know, No wasting cough discharges sounds of death, And to my verse their future safeties owe. Nor wheezing asthma heaves in vain for breath; What walker shall his mean ambition fix Nor from your restless couch is heard the groan On the false lustre of a coach and six ? Of burning gout, or sedentary stone.
Let the vain virgin, lur'd by glaring show, Let others in the jolting coach confide,"
Sigh for the liveries of th' embroider'd beau. Or in the leaky boat the Thames divide ;
See yon bright chariot on its braces swing, Or, box'd within the chair, contemn the street, With Flanders mares, and on an arched spring. And trust their safety to another's feet :
That wretch, to gain an equipage and place, Still let me walk; for oft the sudden gale
Betray'd his sister to a lewd embrace. Ruffles the tide, and shifts the dangerous sail; This coach that with the blazon'd 'scutcheon glows, Then shall the passenger too late deplore
Vain of his unknown race, the coxcomb shows. The whelming billow, and the faithless oar; Here the brib'd lawyer, sunk in velvet, sleeps; The drunken chairman in the kennel spurns, The starving orphan, as he passes, weeps; The glasses shatters, and his charge o'erturns. There flames a fool, begirt with tinsel slaves, Who can recount the coach's various harms,
Who wastes the wealth of a whole race of knaves; The legs disjointed, and the broken arms ?
That other, with a clustering train behind, I've seen a beau, in some ill-fated hour, (shower, Owes his new honours to a sordid mind ! When o'er the stones choak'd kennels swell the
This next in court-fidelity excels, In gilded chariot loll; he with disdain
The public rifles, and his country sells. Views spatter'd passengers all drench'd in rain.
May the proud chariot never be my fate,
Wrapt in my virtue, and a good surtout !
Of Walking the Streets by Night. Black floo is of mire th' embroider'd coat disgrace, O Trivia, goddess ! leave these low abodes, A mud enwraps the honours of his face.
And traverse o'er the wide etherial roads;
Celestial queen! put on thy robes of light,
Swift from his prey the scudding lurcher flies; Now Cynthia nam’d, fair regent of the night. Dextrous he 'scapes the crowd with nimble bounds, At sight of thee, the villain sheathes his sword, Whilst every honest tongue “ stop thief” resounds. Nor scales the wall, to steal the wealthy hoard. So speeds the wily fox, alarm'd by fear, O may thy silver lamp from Heaven's high bower Who lately filch'd the turkey's callow care ; Direct my footsteps in the midnight hour!
Hounds following hounds grow louder as he flies, When night first bids the twinkling stars appear, And injur'd tenants join the hunter's cries. Or with her cloudy vest inwraps the air,
Breathless, he stumbling falls. Ill-fated boy! Then swarms the busy street; with caution tread, Why did not honest work thy youth employ? Where the shop-windows falling threat thy head; Seiz'd by rough hands, he's dragg'd amid the rout, Now labourers home return, and join their strength And stretch'd beneath the pump's incessant spout, To bear the tottering plank, or ladder's length ; Or, plung'd in miry ponds, he gasping lies, Still fix thy eyes intent upon the throng,
Mud choaks his mouth, and plaisters o'er his eyes. And, as the passes open, wind along.
Let not the ballad-singer's shrilling strain Where the fair columns of St. Clement stand, Amid the swarm thy listening ear detain; Whose straiten'd bounds encroach upon the Strand; Guard well thy pocket; for these syrens stand Where the low penthouse bows the walker’s head, To aid the labours of the diving hand; And the rough pavement wounds the yielding tread; Confederate in the cheat, they draw the throng, Where not a post protects the narrow space, And cambric handkerchiefs reward the song. And, strung in twines, combs dangle in thy face; But soon as coach or cart drives rattling on, Summon at once thy courage, rouse thy care, The rabble part, in shoals they backward run. Stand firm, look back, be resolute, beware.
So Jove's loud bolts the mingled war divide, Forth issuing from steep lanes, the collier's steeds And Greece and Troy retreat on either side. Drag the black load; another cart succeeds; (pear, If the rude throng pour on with furious pace, Team follows team, crowds heap'd on crowds ap- And hap to break thee from a friend's embrace, And wait impatient till the road grow clear. Stop short; nor struggle through the crowd in vain, Now all the pavement sounds with trampling feet, But watch with careful eye the passing train. And the mix'd hurry barricades the street.
Yet I (perhaps too fond), if chance the tide Entangled here, the waggon's lengthen'd team Tumultuous bear my partner from my side, Cracks the tough harness ; here a ponderous beam Impatient venture back; despising harm, Lies over-turn d athwart; for slaughter fed, I force my passage where the thickest swarm. Here lowing bullocks raise their horned head. Thus his lost bride the Trojan sought in vain Now oaths grow loud, with coaches, coaches jar, Through night, and arms, and flames, and hills of And the smart blow provokes the sturdy war;
slain. From the high box they whirl the thong around,
Thus Nisus wander'd o'er the pathless grove, And with the twining lash their shins resound: To find the brave companion of his love. Their rage ferments, more dangerous wounds they The pathless grove in vain he wanders o'er: And the blood gushes down their painful eye. (try, Euryalus, alas! is now no more. And now on foot the frowning warriors light,
That walker, who, regardless of his pace, And with their ponderous fists renew the fight; Turns oft to pore upon the damsel's face, Blow answers blow, their cheeks are smear'd with From side to side by thrusting elbows tost, blood,
Shall strike his aching breast against a post; Till down they fall, and grappling roll in mud. Or water, dash'd from fishy stalls, shall stain So when two boars, in wild Ytene bred,
His hapless coat with spirts of scaly rain.
But, if unwarily he chance to stray
The thwarting passenger shall force them round, In the black flood they wallow o'er and o'er, And beat the wretch half breathless to the ground. Till their arm'd jaws distil with foam and gore. Let constant vigilance thy footsteps guide,
Where the mob gathers, swiftly shoot along, And wary circumspection guard thy side; Nor idle mingle in the noisy throng:
Then shalt thou walk unharm’d the dangerous night, Lur'd by the silver hilt, amid the swarm,
Nor need th' officious linkboy's smoaky light. The subtle artist will thy side disarm.
Thou never wilt attempt to cross the road, Nor is the flaxen wig with safety worn;
Where ale-house benches rest the porter's load, High on the shoulder, in a basket borne,
Grievous to heedless shins; no barrow's wheel, Lurks the sly boy, whose hand, to rapine bred, That bruises oft the truant school-boy's heel, Plucks off the curling honours of thy head.
Behind thee rolling, with insidious pace, Here dives the skulking thief, with practis'd sleight, Shall mark thy stocking with a miry trace. And unfelt fingers make thy pocket light.
Let not thy venturous steps approach too nigh, Where's now the watch, with all its trinkets? flown: Where, gaping wide, low steepy cellars lie. And thy late snuff-box is no more thy own. Should thy shoe wrench aside, down, down you fall, But lo! his bolder thefts some tradesman spies, And overturn the scolding huckster's stall;
The scolding huckster shall not o'er thee moan, There mayst thou pass with safe unmiry feet,
Though you through cleanlier allies wind by day, If where Fleet-ditch with muddy current flows, To shun the hurries of the public way,
You chance to roam; where oyster-tubs in rows Yet ne'er to those dark paths by night retire; Are rang'd beside the posts; there stay thy haste, Mind only safety, and contemn the mire.
And with the savoury fish indulge thy taste: Then no impervious courts thy haste detain,
The damsel's knife the gaping shell commands, Nor sneering alewives bid thee turn again.
While the salt liquor streams between her hands. Where Lincoln's-jnn, wide space, is rail'd around, The man had sure a palate cover'd o'er Cross not with venturous step; there oft is found With brass or steel, that on the rocky shore The lurking thief, who while the daylight shone First broke the oozy oyster's pearly coat, Made the walls echo with his begging tone: (wound And risk'd the living morsel down his throat. That crutch, which late compassion mov’d, shall What will not luxury taste. Earth, sea, and air, Thy bleeding head, and fell thee to the ground. Are daily ransack'd for the bill of fare ! Though thou art tempted by the linkman's call, Blood stuffd in skins is British Christian's food; Yet trust him not along the lonely wall;
And France robs marshes of the croaking brood ! In the midway he'll quench the flaming brand, Spungy morels in strong ragouts are found, And share the booty with the pilfering band. And in the soup the slimy snail is drown'd. Still keep the public streets, where oily rays,
When from high spouts the dashing torrents fall, Shot from the crystal lamp, o'erspread the ways. Ever be watchful to maintain the wall; (throng Flappy Augusta! law-defended town!
For shouldst thou quit thy ground, the rushing Here no dark-lanterns shade the villain's frown; Will with impetuous fury drive along; No Spanish jealousies thy lanes infest,
press to gain those honours thou hast lost, Nor Roman vengeance stabs th' unwary breast; And rudely shove thee far without the post. Here tyranny ne'er lifts her purple hand,
Then to retrieve the shed you strive in vain, But liberty and justice guard the land;
Draggled all o'er, and soak'd in floods of rain. No bravos here profess the bloody trade,
Yet rather bear the shower, and toils of mud, Nor is the church the murderer's refuge made. Than in the doubtful quarrel risk thy blood.
Let not the chairman, with assuming stride, O think on Edipus' detested state, Press near the wall, and rudely thrust thy side: And by his woes be warn’d to shun thy fate. The laws have set him bounds; his servile feet Where three roads join'd, he met his sire unShould ne'er encroach where posts defend the street. (Unhappy sire, but more unhappy son !) [known; Yet who the footman's arrogance can quell, Each claim'd the way, their swords the strife decide, Whose flambeau gilds the sashes of Pall-mall, The hoary monarch fell, he groan'd, and died ! When in long rank a train of torches flame, Hence sprung the fatal plague that thin’d thy reign, To light the midnight visits of the dame ?
Thy cursed incest! and thy children slain! Others, perhaps, by happier guidance led,
Hence wert thou doom'd in endless night to stray, May where the chairman rests with safety tread; Through Theban streets, and cheerless grope thy Whene'er I pass, their poles (unseen below)
Contemplate, mortal, on thy fleeting years; (way. Make my knee tremble with a jarring blow.
See, with black train the funeral pomp appears! If wheels bar up the road, where streets are crost,
Whether some heir attends in sable state, With gentle words the coachman's ear accost: And mourns with outward grief a parent's fate; He ne'er the threat or harsh command obeys, Or the fair virgin, nipt in beauty's bloom, But with contempt the spatter'd shoe surveys.
A crowd of lovers follow to her tomb: Now man with utmost fortitude thy soul,
Why is the hearse with 'scutcheons blazon'd round, To cross the way where carts and coaches roll; And with the nodding plume of ostrich crowu’d? Yet do not in thy hardy skill confide,
No: the dead know it not, nor profit gain;
How short is life! how frail is human trust!
Is all this pomp for laying dust to dust? Thy foot will slide upon the miry stone,
Where the nail'd hoop defends the painted stall, And passing coaches crush thy tortur'd bone, Brush not thy sweeping skirt too near the wall: Or wheels inclose the road; on either hand Thy heedless sleeve will drink the colour'd oil, Pent round with perils, in the midst you stand, And spot indelible thy pocket soil. And call for aid in vain ; the coachman swears, Has not wise nature strung the legs and feet And carmen drive, unmindful of thy prayers. With firmest nerves, design'd to walk the street? Where wilt thou turn; ah! whither wilt thou fly? Has she not given us hands to grope aright, On every side the pressing spokes are nigh.
Amidst the frequent dangers of the night? So sailors, while Charybdis' gulf they shun, And think'st thou not the double nostril meant Amaz’d on Scylla's craggy dangers run.
To warn from oily woes by previous scent ? Be sure observe where brown Ostrea stands,
Who can the various city frauds recite, Who boasts her shelly ware from Walfleet sands; With all the petty rapines of the night?
Who now the guinea-dropper's bait regards, But, if they shake their lanterns, from afar
He will reverse the watchman's harsh decree,
Fee not the petty clerks, but bribe my lord. 0! may thy virtue guard thee through the roads Now is the time that rakes their revels keep; Of Drury's mazy courts, and dark abodes !
Kindiers of riot, enemies of sleep. The harlot's guileful paths, who nightly stand His scatter'd pence the flying nicker flings, Where Catherine-street descends into the Strand; And with the copper shower the casement rings. Say, vagrant Muse, their wiles and subtle arts, Who has not heard the Scowerer's midnight fame? To lure the strangers' unsuspecting hearts :
Who has not trembled at the Mohock's name? So shall our youth on healthful sinews tread, Was there a watchman took his hourly rounds, And city cheeks grow warm with rural red. Safe from their blows, or new-invented wounds? 'Tis she who nightly strolls with sauntering pace,
pass their desperate deeds, and mischiefs done, No stubborn stays her yielding shape embrace; Where from Snowhill black steepy torrents run; Beneath the lamp her tawdry ribbons glare, How matrons, hoop'd within the hogshead's womb, The new-scour'd manteau, and the slattern air ; Were tumbled furious thence; the rolling tomb High-draggled petticoats her travels show,
O'er the stones thunders, bounds from side to side: And hollow cheeks with artful blushes glow; So Regulus to save his country dy'd. With flattering sounds she soothes the credulous ear, Where a dim gleam the paly lantern throws ** My noble captain! charmer! love!
dear!” O'er the mid pavement, heapy rubbish grows; In riding-hood, near tavern-doors she plies, Or arched vaults their gaping jaws extend, Or muffled pinners bide her livid eyes.
Or the dark caves to common-shores descend; With empty bandbox she delights to range, Oft by the winds extinct the signal lies, And feigns a distant errand from the 'Change; Or smother'd in the glimmering socket dies, Nay, she will oft the Quaker's hood profane, Ere night has half rollid round her ebon throne ; And trudge demure the rounds of Drury-lane. In the wide gulph the shatter'd coach o'erthrown She darts from sarsenet ambush wily leers,
Sinks with the snorting steeds; the reins are broke, Twitches thy sleeve, or with familiar airs
And from the cracking axle flies the spoke. Her fan will pat thy cheek; these snares disdain, So, when fam'd Eddystone's far-shooting ray, Nor gaze behind thee, when she turns again. That led the sailor through the stormy way, I knew a yeoman, who, for thirst of gain,
Was from its rocky roots by billows torn, To the great city drove, from Devon's plain, And the high turret in the whirlwind borne ; His numerous lowing herd; his herds he sold, Fleets bulg'd their sides against the craggy land, And his deep leathern pocket bagg’d with gold. And pitchy ruins blacken’d all the strand. (steed? Drawn by a fraudsul nymph, he gaz'd, he sigh’d: Who then through night would hire the harness'd Unmindful of his home, and distant bride,
And who would choose the rattling wheel for speed ? She leads the willing victim to his doom,
But hark! distress with screaming voice draws Through winding alleys to her cobweb room.
nigher, Thence through the street he reels from post to post, And wakes the slumbering street with cries of fire. Valiant with wine, nor knows his treasure lost.
At first a glowing red inwraps the skies, The vagrant wretch th' assembled watchmen spies, And borne by winds the scattering sparks arise ; He waves his hanger, and their poles defies; From beam to beam the fierce contagion spreads; Deep in the round-house pent, all night he snores, The spiry flames now lift aloft their heads; And the next morn in vain his fate deplores.
Through the burst sash a blazing deluge pours, Ah, hapless swain! unus'd to pains and ills ! And splitting tiles descend in rattling showers; Canst thou forego roast-beef for nauseous pills ? Now with thick crowds th’ enlighten'd pavement How wilt thou lift to Heaven thy eyes and hands,
swarms, When the long scroll the surgeon's fees demands ! The fireman sweats beneath his crooked arms; Or else (ye gods avert that worst disgrace !)
A leathern casque his venturous head defends, Thy ruin'd nose falls level with thy face!
Boldly he climbs where thickest smoke ascends; Then shall thy wife thy loathsome kiss disdain, Mov’d by the mother's streaming eyes and prayers, And wholesome neighbours from thy mug refrain. The helpless infant through the flame he bears,
Yet there are watchmen, who with friendly light, With no less virtue, than through hostile fire Will teach thy reeling steps to tread aright; The Dardan hero bore his aged sire. For sixpence will oport thy helpless arm,
See forceful engines spout their levellid streams, And home conduct thee, safe from nightly harm. To quench the blaze that runs along the beams;