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As erst the bard * by Mulla's silver stream,
Oft, as he told of deadly dolorous plight,
Sigh’d as he sung, and did in tears indite.
For brandishing the rod, she doth begin
To loose the brogues, the stripling's late delight!
And down they drop; appears his dainty skin, Fair as the furry-coat of whitest ermilin.
O ruthful scene! when from a nook obscure,
His little sister doth his peril see:
All playful as she sate, she grows demure;
She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee:
She meditates a prayer to set him free:
Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny
(If gentle pardon could with dames agree)
To her sad grief that swells in either eye,
And wrings her so that all for pity she could die.
No longer can she now her shrieks comma
And hardly she forbears, through awful fear,
To rushen forth, and, with presumptuous hand,
To stay harsh Justice in its mid career.
On thee she calls, on thee her parent dear!
(Ahl too remote to ward the shameful blow !)
She sees no kind dornestic visage near,
And soon a flood of tears begins to flow;
And gives a loose at last to unavailing woe.
But ahl what pen his piteous plight may trace?
Or what device his loud laments explain ?
The form uncouth of his disguised face?
The pallid hue that dyes his looks amain ?
The plenteous shower that does his cheek distain ?
When he, in abject wise, implores the dame,
Ne hopeth aught of sweet reprieve to gain;
Or when from high she levels well her aim, And, through the thatch, his cries each falling stroke pro.
The other tribe, aghast, with sore dismay,
Attend, and con their tasks with mickle care:
By turns, astonied, every twig survey,
And, from their fellow's hateful wounds, beware,
Knowing, I wist, how each the same may share,
Till fear has taught them a performance meet,
And to the well-known chest the dame repair;
Whence oft with sugar'd cates she doth them greet,
And ginger-bread y-rare; now certes, doubly sweet.
See to their seats they hie 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 breast,
Convulsions intermitting! does declare
His grievous 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 flower,
Which low to earth its drooping head declines,
All smear'd and sullied by a vernal shower.
O the hard bosoms of despotic power!
All, all, but she, the author of his shame,
All, all, but she, regret this mournful hour;
Yet hence the youth and hence the flower 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 peace
inclines: And many a sullen look askance is sent, Which for his dame's annoyance he designs;
And still the more to pleasure him she's bent, The more doth he, perverse, her havior past resent.
Ah me! how much I fear lest 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:
Ahl better far than all the Muses' lyres,
All coward arts, is Valor's generous heat;
The firm fixt breast which fit and right requires,
Like Vernon's patriot soull more justly great
Than Craft that pimps for ill, or flowery 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,
Wisheth, poor starveling elf I his paper
And this perhaps, who, censuring the design,
Low lays the house which that of cards doth build,
Shall Dennis bel if rigid Fate incline,
And many an epic to his rage shall 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 thrilled
Surveys mine work; and levels many a sneer,
And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, “What stuff 19
But now Dan Phoebus gains the middle skie,
And Liberty unbars her prison-door;
And like a rushing torrent out they fly,
And now the grassy cirque had covered o'er,
With boisterous revel-rout and wild uproar;
A thousand ways in wanton rings they run,
Heaven shield their short-liv'd pastime, 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 flowers;
For when my bones in grass-green sods are laid,
O never may ye taste more careless hours
In knightly castles, or in ladies' bowers.
O vain to seek delight in earthly thing!
But most in courts where proud Ambition towers;
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 sauntering on the green, with jocund leer
Salute the stranger passing on his way;
Some builden fragile tenements of clay;
Some to the standing lake their courses bend,
With pebbles smooth at duck and drake to play;
Thilk to the huxter's savory cottage tend,
In pastry kings and queens th' allotted mite to spend,
Here, as each season yields a different store,
Each season's stores in order ranged been;
Apples with cabbage-net y-covered o'er,
Galling full sore th' unmoney'd wight, are seen;
And goose-b’rie clad in livery red or green;
And here cf lovely dye, the Catharine pear,
Fine pearl as lovely for thy juice, I ween:
O may no wight e'er penniless come there,
Lest smit with ardent love he pine with hopeless care !
Seel cherries here, ere cherries yet abound,
With thread so white in tempting posies tied,
Scattering like blooming maid their glances round,
With pamper'd look draw little eyes aside;
And must be bought, though penury betide.
The plume all azure, and the nut all brown,
And here each season do those cakes abide,
Whose honored names* th' inventive city own, Rendering through Britain's isle Salopia's praises known;
Admir'd Salopia! that with venial pride
Eyes her bright form in Severn's ambient wave,
Famed for her loyal cares in perils tried,
Her daughters lovely, and her striplings brave:
Ahl 'midst the rest, may flowers adorn his grave
Whose heart did first these dulcet cates display!
A motive fair to Learning's imps he gave,
Who cheerless o'er her darkling region stray;
Till Reason's morn arise, and light them on their way.
Oft has it been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
With eyes, that hardly served at most
To guard their master 'gainst a post,
Yet round the world the blade has been
To see whatever could be seen,
Returning from his finished tour,
Grown ten times perter than before ;
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The traveled fool your mouth will stop;