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Let firm, well-hammer'd soles protect thy feet,
Thro' freezing snows, and rains, and soaking sleet.
Should the big last extend the shoe too wide,
Each stone will wrench th' unwary step aside;
The sudden turn may stretch the swelling vein,
Thy cracking joint unhinge, or ancle sprain;
And, when too short the modish shoes are worn,
You'll judge the seasons by your shooting corn.
Nor should it prove thy less important care,
To choose a proper coat for winter's wear.
Now in thy trunk thy D'Oily habit fold,
The silken drugget ill can fence the cold;
The frieze's spongy nap is soak'd with rain,
And showers soon drench the camlet's cockled grain;
True Witney* broad-cloth, with its shag unshorn,
Unpierc'd is in the lasting tempest worn:
Be this the horseman's fence, for who would wear
Amid the town the spoils of Russia's bear?
Within the roquelaure's clasp thy hands are pent,
Hands, that, stretch'd forth, invading harms prevent.
Let the loop'd bavaroy the fop embrace,
Or his deep cloak bespatter'd o'er with lace.
That garment best the winter's rage defends,
Whose ample form without one plait depends;
By various namest in various counties known,
Yet held in all the true surtout alone;
Be thine of kersey firm, though small the cost,
Then brave unwet the rain, unchill'd the frost.
If the strong cane support thy walking hand,
Chairmen no longer shall the wall command;
Ev'n sturdy carmen shall thy nod obey,
And rattling coaches stop to make thee way:
This shall direct thy cautious tread aright,
Though not one glaring lamp enliven night.
Let beaux their canes, with amber tipt, produce;
Be theirs for empty show, but thine for use.
In gilded chariots while they loll at ease,
And lazily insure a life's disease;
While softer chairs the tawdry load convey
To court, to White's, assemblies, or the play;
Rosy-complexion'd Health thy steps attends,
And exercise thy lasting youth defends.
Imprudent men Heaven's choicest gifts profane:
Thus some beneath their arm support the cane;
The dirty point oft checks the careless pace,
And miry spots the clean cravat disgrace.
Oh! may I never such misfortune meet!
May no such vicious walkers crowd the street!
May Providence o'ershade me with her wings,
While the bold Muse experienc'd danger sings!
Not that I wander from my native home,
And (tempting perils) foreign cities roam.
Let Paris be the theme of Gallia's Muse,
O happy streets! to rumbling wheels unknown,
No carts, no coaches, shake the floating town!
Thus was of old Britannia's city bless'd,
Ere pride and luxury her sons possess'd;
Coaches and chariots yet unfashion'd lay,
Nor late-invented chairs perplex'd the way:
Then the proud lady tripp'd along the town,
And tuck'd-up petticoats secur'd her gown;
Her rosy cheek with distant visits glow'd,
And exercise unartful charms bestow'd:
But since in braided gold her foot is bound,
And a long training mantua sweeps the ground,
Her shoe disdains the street; the lazy fair,
With narrow step, affects a limping air.
Now gaudy pride corrupts the lavish age,
And the streets flame with glaring equipage;
The tricking gamester insolently rides,
With Loves and Graces on his chariot sides;
In saucy state the griping broker sits,
And laughs at honesty and trudging wits.
For you, O honest men! these useful lays
The Muse prepares; I seek no other praise.
When sleep is first disturb'd by morning cries,
From sure prognostics learn to know the skies,
Lest you of rheums and coughs at night complain;
Surpris'd in dreary fogs, or driving rain.
When suffocating mists obscure the morn,
Let thy worst wig, long us'd to storms, be worn;
This knows the powder'd footman, and with care
Beneath his flapping hat secures his hair.
Be thou for every season justly drest,
Nor brave the piercing frost with open breast;
And, when the bursting clouds a deluge pour,
Let thy surtout defend the drenching shower.
The changing weather certain signs reveal.
Ere Winter sheds her snow, or frosts congeal,
You'll see the coals in brighter flame aspire,
And sulphur tinge with blue the rising fire;
Your tender shins the scorching heat decline,
And at the dearth of coals the poor repine;
Before her kitchen hearth, the nodding dame,
In flannel mantle wrapt, enjoys the flame;
Hovering, upon her feeble knees she bends,
And all around the grateful warmth ascends.
Nor do less certain signs the town advise
Of milder weather and serener skies.
The ladies, gaily dress'd, the Mall adorn
With various dyes, and paint the sunny morn :
The wanton fawns with frisking pleasure range,
And chirping sparrows greet the welcome change,
Not that their minds with greater skill are fraught,*
Endued by instinct, or by reason taught:
The seasons operate on every breast;
Where slavery treads the streets in wooden shoes. 'Tis hence the fawns are brisk, and ladies drest.
Nor do I rove in Belgia's frozen clime,
And teach the clumsy boor to skate in rhyme ;
Where, if the warmer clouds in rain descend,
No miry ways industrious steps offend;
The rushing flood from sloping pavements pours,
And blackens the canals with dirty showers.
Let others Naples' smoother streets rehearse,
And with proud Roman structures grace their verse,
Where frequent murders wake the night with groans,
And blood in purple torrents dyes the stones.
Nor shall the Muse through narrow Venice stray,
Where gondolas their painted oars display.
*A town in Oxfordshire.
† A Joseph, wrap-rascal, &c.
A chocolate-house in St. James's street.
When on his box the nodding coachman snores,
And dreams of fancied fares; when tavern doors
The chairmen idly crowd; then ne'er refuse
To trust thy busy steps in thinner shoes.
But when the swinging signs your ears offend
With creaking noise, then rainy floods impend;
Soon shall the kennels swell with rapid streams,
And rush in muddy torrents to the Thames.
The bookseller, whose shop's an open square,
Foresees the tempest, and with early care,
Of learning strips the rails; the rowing crew,
To tempt a fare, clothe all their tilts in blue;
*Haud equidem credo, quia sit divinitus illis,
Ingenium, aut rerum fato prudentia major.
On hosiers' poles depending stockings tied, Flag with the slacken'd gale from side to side; Church-monuments foretell the changing air, Then Niobe dissolves into a tear,
[sounds And sweats with sacred grief; you'll hear the Of whistling winds, ere kennels break their bounds; Ungrateful odors common shores diffuse, And dropping vaults distil unwholesome dews, Ere the tiles rattle with the smoking shower, And spouts on heedless men their torrents pour. All superstition from thy breast repel : Let credulous boys and prattling nurses tell, How, if the festival of Paul be clear, Plenty from liberal horn shall strew the year; When the dark skies dissolve in snow or rain, The laboring hind shall yoke the steer in vain; But, if the threatening winds in tempests roar, Then War shall bathe her wasteful sword in gore. How, if on Swithin's feast the welkin lours, And every penthouse streams with hasty showers, Twice twenty days shall clouds their fleeces drain, And wash the pavements with incessant rain. Let not such vulgar tales debase thy mind; Nor Paul nor Swithin rule the clouds and wind. If you the precepts of the Muse despise, And slight the faithful warning of the skies, Others you'll see, when all the town's afloat, Wrapt in th' embraces of a kersey coat, Or double-bottom'd frieze; their guarded feet Defy the muddy dangers of the street; While you, with hat unloop'd, the fury dread Of spouts high streaming, and with cautious tread Shun every dashing pool, or idly stop, To seek the kind protection of a shop. But business summons; now with hasty scud You jostle for the wall; the spatter'd mud Hides all thy hose behind; in vain you scour, Thy wig, alas! uncurl'd, admits the shower. So fierce Alecto's snaky tresses fell, When Orpheus charm'd the rigorous powers of Hell; Or thus hung Glaucus' beard, with briny dew Clotted and straight, when first his amorous view Surpris'd the bathing fair; the frighted maid Now stands a rock, transform'd by Circe's aid. Good housewives all the winter's rage despise, Defended by the riding-hood's disguise; Or, underneath th' umbrella's oily shed, Safe through the wet on clinking pattens tread. Let Persian dames th' umbrella's ribs display, To guard their beauties from the sunny ray; Or sweating slaves support the shady load, When eastern monarchs show their state abroad: Britain in winter only knows its aid,
To guard from chilly showers the walking maid.
But, O! forget not, Muse, the patten's praise,
That female implement shall grace thy lays;
Say from what art divine th' invention came,
And from its origin deduce its name.
Where Lincoln wide extends her fenny soil,
A goodly yeoman liv'd, grown white with toil;
One only daughter bless'd his nuptial bed,
Who from her infant hand the poultry fed:
Martha (her careful mother's name) she bore,
But now her careful mother was no more.
Whilst on her father's knee the damsel play'd,
Patty he fondly call'd the smiling maid;
As years increas'd, her ruddy beauty grew,
And Patty's fame o'er all the village flew.
Soon as the grey-ey'd morning streaks the
And in the doubtful day the woodcock flies,
Her cleanly pail the pretty housewife bears,
And singing to the distant field repairs;
And, when the plains with evening dews are spread,
The milky burthen smokes upon her head,
Deep through a miry lane she pick'd her way,
Above her ancle rose the chalky clay.
Vulcan by chance the bloomy maiden spies,
With innocence and beauty in her eyes:
He saw, he lov'd; for yet he ne'er had known
Sweet innocence and beauty meet in one.
Ah, Mulciber! recall thy nuptial vows,
Think on the graces of thy Paphian spouse;
Think how her eyes dart inexhausted charms,
And canst thou leave her bed for Patty's arms?
The Lemnian power forsakes the realms above,
His bosom glowing with terrestrial love :
Far in the lane a lonely hut he found;
No tenant ventur'd on th' unwholesome ground.
Here smokes his forge, he bares his sinewy arm,
And early strokes the sounding anvil warm:
Around his shop the steely sparkles flew,
As for the steed he shap'd the bending shoe.
When blue-ey'd Patty near his window came,
His anvil rests, his forge forgets to flame.
To hear his soothing tales, she feigns delays;
What woman can resist the force of praise?
At first she coyly every kiss withstood, And all her cheek was flush'd with modest blood; With headless nails he now surrounds her shoes, To save her steps from rains and piercing dews. She lik'd his soothing tales, his presents wore, And granted kisses, but would grant no more. Yet Winter chill'd her feet, with cold she pincs, And on her cheek the fading rose declines; No more her humid eyes their lustre boast, And in hoarse sounds her melting voice is lost.
Thus Vulcan saw, and in his heavenly thought A new machine mechanic fancy wrought, Above the mire her shelter'd steps to raise, And bear her safely through the wintery ways. Straight the new engine on his anvil glows, And the pale virgin on the patten rose. No more her lungs are shook with dropping rheums, And on her cheek reviving beauty blooms. The god obtain'd his suit: though flattery fail, Presents with female virtue must prevail. The patten now supports each frugal dame, Which from the blue-ey'd Patty takes the name.
Of walking the Streets by Day.
THUS far the Muse has trac'd, in useful lays,
The proper implements for wintery ways;
Has taught the walker, with judicious eyes,
To read the various warnings of the skies:
Now venture, Muse, from home to range the town,
And for the public safety risk thy own.
For ease and for dispatch, the morning's best;
No tides of passengers the streets molest.
You'll see a draggled damsel here and there,
From Billingsgate her fishy traffic bear;
On doors the sallow milk-maid chalks her gains;
Ah! how unlike the milk-maid of the plains!
Before proud gates attending asses bray,
Or arrogate with solemn pace the way;
skies,These grave physicians with their milky cheer
The love-sick maid and dwindling beau repair;
Here rows of drummers stand in martial file,
And with their vellum thunder shake the pile,
To greet the new-made bride. Are sounds like these
The proper prelude to a state of peace?
Now Industry awakes her busy sons;
Full-charg'd with news the breathless hawker runs:
Shops open, coaches roll, carts shake the ground,
And all the streets with passing cries resound.
If cloth'd in black you tread the busy town,
Or if distinguish'd by the reverend gown,
Three trades avoid: oft in the mingling press
The barber's apron soils the sable dress;
Shun the perfumer's touch with cautious eye,
Nor let the baker's step advance too nigh.
Ye walkers too, that youthful colors wear,
Three sullying trades avoid with equal care :
The little chimney-sweeper skulks along,
And marks with sooty stains the heedless throng;
When small-coal murmurs in the hoarser throat,
From smutty dangers guard thy threaten'd coat;
The dustman's cart offends thy clothes and eyes,
When through the street a cloud of ashes flies;
But, whether black or lighter dyes are worn,
The chandler's basket, on his shoulder borne,
With tallow spots thy coat; resign the way,
To shun the surly butcher's greasy tray,
Butchers, whose hands are dyed with blood's foul
And always foremost in the hangman's train.
Let due civilities be strictly paid:
The wall surrender to the hooded maid;
Nor let thy sturdy elbow's hasty rage
Jostle the feeble steps of trembling age:
And when the porter bends beneath his load,
And pants for breath, clear thou the crowded road.
But, above all, the groping blind direct;
And from the pressing throng the lame protect.
You'll sometimes meet a fop, of nicest tread,
Whose mantling peruke veils his empty head;
At every step he dreads the wall to lose,
And risks, to save a coach, his red-heel'd shoes;
Him, like the miller, pass with caution by,
Lest from his shoulder clouds of powder fly.
But, when the bully, with assuming pace,
Cocks his broad hat, edg'd round with tarnish'd
Yield not the way, defy his strutting pride,
And thrust him to the muddy kennel's side;
He never turns again, nor dares oppose,
But mutters coward curses as he goes.
If drawn by business to a street unknown,
Let the sworn porter point thee through the town;
Be sure observe the signs, for signs remain,
Like faithful landmarks, to the walking train.
Seek not from prentices to learn the way,
Those fabling boys will turn thy steps astray;
Ask the grave tradesman to direct thee right,
He ne'er deceives-but when he profits by 't.
Where fam'd St. Giles's ancient limits spread,
An enrail'd column rears its lofty head;
Here to seven streets seven dials count the day,
And from each other catch the circling ray.
Here oft the peasant, with inquiring face,
Bewilder'd, trudges on from place to place;
He dwells on every sign with stupid gaze,
Enters the narrow alley's doubtful maze,
Tries every winding court and street in vain,
And doubles o'er his weary steps again.
Thus hardly Theseus with intrepid feet
Travers'd the dangerous labyrinth of Crete;
But still the wandering passes forc'd his stay,
Till Ariadne's clue unwinds the way.
But do not thou, like that bold chief, confide
Thy venturous footsteps to a female guide:
She'll lead thee with delusive smiles along,
Dive in thy fob, and drop thee in the throng.
When waggish boys the stunted besom ply,
To rid the slabby pavement, pass not by
Ere thou hast held their hands; some heedless flirt
Will overspread thy calves with spattering dirt.
Where porters' hogsheads roll from carts aslope,
Or brewers down steep cellars stretch the rope,
Where counted billets are by carmen tost,
Stay thy rash step, and walk without the post.
What though the gathering mire thy feet be-
The voice of Industry is always near.
Hark! the boy calls thee to his destin'd stand,
And the shoe shines beneath his oily hand.
Here let the Muse, fatigued amid the throng,
Adorn her precepts with digressive song;
Of shirtless youths the secret rise to trace,
And show the parent of the sable race.
Like mortal man, great Jove (grown fond of
Of old was wont this nether world to range,
To seek amours; the vice the monarch lov'd,
Soon through the wide ethereal court improv'd:
And ev'n the proudest goddess, now and then,
Would lodge a night among the sons of men;
To vulgar deities descends the fashion,
Each, like her betters, had her earthly passion.
Then Cloacina* (goddess of the tide,
Whose sable streams beneath the city glide,)
Indulg'd the modish flame; the town she rov'd,
A mortal scavenger she saw, she lov'd;
The muddy spots that dried upon his face,
Like female patches, heighten'd every grace:
She gaz'd; she sigh'd; (for love can beauties spy
In what seem faults to every common eye.)
Now had the watchman walk'd his second round,
When Cloacina hears the rumbling sound
Of her brown lover's cart (for well she knows
That pleasing thunder): swift the goddess rose,
And through the streets pursu'd the distant noise,
Her bosom panting with expected joys.
With the night-wandering harlot's airs she past,
Brush'd near his side, and wanton glances cast;
In the black form of cinder-wench she came,
When love, the hour, the place, had banish'd shame;
To the dark alley arm in arm they move:
O may no link-boy interrupt their love!
When the pale Moon had nine times fill'd her
The pregnant goddess (cautious of disgrace)
Descends to Earth; but sought no midwife's aid,
Nor 'midst her anguish to Lucina pray'd;
No cheerful gossip wish'd the mother joy,
Alone, beneath a bulk, she dropt the boy. [prov'd,
The child, through various risks in years im-
At first, a beggar's brat, compassion mov'd;
His infant tongue soon learnt the canting art,
Knew all the prayers and whines to touch the
* Cloacina was a goddess, whose image Tatius (a king of the Sabines) found in the common sewer; and, not knowing what goddess it was, he called it Cloacina, from the place in which it was found, and paid to it divine honors.-Lactant. 1. 20, Minuc. Fel. Oct. p. 232
Oh, happy unown'd youths! your limbs can bear
The scorching dog-star, and the winter's air;
While the rich infant, nurs'd with care and pain,
Thirsts with each heat, and coughs with every rain!
The goddess long had mark'd the child's distress,
And long had sought his sufferings to redress.
She prays the gods to take the fondling's part,
To teach his hands some beneficial art
Practis'd in streets: the gods her suit allow'd,
And made him useful to the walking crowd;
To cleanse the miry feet, and o'er the shoe,
With nimble skill, the glossy black renew.
Each power contributes to relieve the poor:
With the strong bristles of the mighty boar
Diana forms his brush; the god of day
A tripod gives, amid the crowded way
To raise the dirty foot, and ease his toil;
Kind Neptune fills his vase with fetid oil
Prest from th' enormous whale; the god of fire,
From whose dominions smoky clouds aspire,
Among these generous presents joins his part,
And aids with soot the new japanning art.
Pleas'd she receives the gifts; she downward glides,
Lights in Fleet-ditch, and shoots beneath the tides.
Now dawns the morn, the sturdy lad awakes,
Leaps from his stall, his tangled hair he shakes;
Then, leaning o'er the rails, he musing stood,
And view'd below the black canal of mud,
Where common shores a lulling murmur keep,
Whose torrents rush from Holborn's fatal steep:
Pensive through idleness, tears flow'd apace,
Which eas'd his loaded heart, and wash'd his face!
At length he sighing cried, "That boy was blest,
Whose infant lips have drain'd a mother's breast;
But happier far are those (if such be known)
Whom both a father and a mother own:
But I, alas! hard Fortune's utmost scorn,
Who ne'er knew parent, was an orphan born!
Some boys are rich by birth beyond all wants,
Belov'd by uncles, and kind good old aunts;
When time comes round, a Christmas-box they bear,
And one day makes them rich for all the year.
Had I the precepts of a father learn'd,
Perhaps I then the coachman's fare had earn'd,
For lesser boys can drive; I thirsty stand,
And see the double flagon charge their hand,
See them puff off the froth, and gulp amain,
While with dry tongue I lick my lips in vain."
While thus he fervent prays, the heaving tide,
In widen'd circles, beats on either side;
The goddess rose amid the inmost round,
With wither'd turnip-tops her temples crown'd;
Low reach'd her dripping tresses, lank, and black
As the smooth jet, or glossy raven's back;
Around her waist a circling eel was twin'd,
Which bound her robe that hung in rags behind.
Now, beckoning to the boy, she thus begun :
"Thy prayers are granted; weep no more, my son:
Go thrive. At some frequented corner stand;
This brush I give thee, grasp it in thy hand;
Temper the soot within this vase of oil,
And let the little tripod aid thy toil.
On this, methinks, I see the walking crew,
At thy request, support the miry shoe;
The foot grows black that was with dirt embrown'd,
And in thy pocket gingling half-pence sound."
The goddess plunges swift beneath the flood,
And dashes all around her showers of mud:
The youth straight chose his post; the labor plied
Where branching streets from Charing-Cross divide;}
His treble voice resounds along the Meuse,
And Whitehall echoes-"Clean your honor's
Like the sweet ballad, this amusing lay
Too long detains the walker on his way;
While he attends, new dangers round him throng;
The busy city asks instructive song.
Where, elevated o'er the gaping crowd,
Clasp'd in the board the perjur'd head is bow'd,
Betimes retreat; here, thick as hailstones pour,
Turnips and half-hatch'd eggs (a mingled shower)
Among the rabble rain: some random throw
May with the trickling yolk thy cheek o'erflow.
Though expedition bids, yet never stray
Where no rang'd posts defend the rugged way.
Here laden carts with thundering wagons meet,
Wheels clash with wheels, and bar the narrow
The lashing whip resounds, the horses strain,
And blood in anguish bursts the swellingvein.
O barbarous men! your cruel breasts assuage;
Why vent ye on the generous steed your rage?
Does not his service earn your daily bread?
Your wives, your children, by his labors fed!
If, as the Samian taught, the soul revives,
And, shifting seats, in other bodies lives;
Severe shall be the brutal coachman's change,
Doom'd in a hackney-horse the town to range;
Carmen, transform'd, the groaning load shall draw,
Whom other tyrants with the lash shall awe.
Who would of Watling-street the dangers share,
When the broad pavement of Cheapside is near?
Or who that rugged street* would traverse o'er,
That stretches, O Fleet-ditch, from thy black shore
To the Tower's moated walls? Here steams ascend
That, in mix'd fumes, the wrinkled nose offend.
Where chandlers' caldrons boil; where fishy prey
Hide the wet stall, long absent from the sea;
And where the cleaver chops the heifer's spoil,
And where huge hogsheads sweat with trainy oil;
Thy breathing nostril hold: but how shall I
Pass, where in piles Carnaviant cheeses lie;
Cheese, that the table's closing rites denies,
And bids me with th' unwilling chaplain rise?
O bear me to the paths of fair Pall-Mall!
Safe are thy pavements, grateful is thy smell!
At distance rolls along the gilded coach,
Nor sturdy carmen on thy walks encroach;
No lets would bar thy ways were chairs denied,
The soft supports of laziness and pride:
Shops breathe perfumes, through sashes ribbons glow,
The mutual arms of ladies and the beau.
Yet still ev'n here, when rains the passage hide,
Oft the loose stone spirts up a muddy tide
Beneath thy careless foot; and from on high,
Where masons mount the ladder, fragments fly,
Mortar and crumbled lime in showers descend,
And o'er thy head destructive tiles impend.
But sometimes let me leave the noisy roads,
And silent wander in the close abodes,
Where wheels ne'er shake the ground; there pensive
In studious thought, the long uncrowded way.
Here I remark each walker's different face,
And in their look their various business trace.
The broker here his spacious beaver wears,
Upon his brow sit jealousies and cares;
† Cheshire, anciently so called.
Bent on some mortgage (to avoid reproach)
He seeks by-streets, and saves th' expensive coach.
Soft, at low doors, old lechers tap their cane,
For fair recluse, who travels Drury-lane;
Here roams uncomb'd the lavish rake, to shun
His Fleet-street draper's everlasting dun.
Careful observers, studious of the town,
Shun the misfortunes that disgrace the clown;
Untempted, they contemn the juggler's feats,
Pass by the Meuse, nor try the thimble's cheats ;*
When drays bound high, they never cross behind,
Where bubbling yest is blown by gusts of wind:
And when up Ludgate-hill huge carts move slow,
Far from the straining steeds securely go,
Whose dashing hoofs behind them fling the mire,
And mark with muddy blots the gazing 'squire.
The Parthian thus his javelin backward throws,
And as he flies infests pursuing foes.
The thoughtless wits shall frequent forfeits pay, Who 'gainst the sentry's box discharge their tea. Do thou some court or secret corner seek, Nor flush with shame the passing virgin's cheek. Yet let me not descend to trivial song, Nor vulgar circumstance my verse prolong. Why should I teach the maid, when torrents pour, Her head to shelter from the sudden shower? Nature will best her ready hand inform, With her spread petticoat to fence the storm. Does not each walker know the warning sign, When wisps of straw depend upon the twine Cross the close street, that then the paver's art Renews the ways, denied to coach and cart? Who knows not that the coachman lashing by Oft with his flourish cuts the heedless eye; And when he takes his stand, to wait a fare, His horses' foreheads shun the Winter's air? Nor will I roam where Summer's sultry rays Parch the dry ground, and spread with dust the
With whirling gusts the rapid atoms rise,
Smoke o'er the pavement, and involve the skies.
Winter my theme confines; whose nitry wind
Shall crust the slabby mire, and kennels bind;
She bids the snow descend in flaky sheets,
And in her hoary mantle clothe the streets.
Let not the virgin tread these slippery roads,
The gathering fleece the hollow patten loads;
But if thy footsteps slide with clotted frost,
Strike off the breaking balls against the post.
On silent wheels the passing coaches roll;
Oft look behind, and ward the threatening pole.
In harden'd orbs the school-boy moulds the snow,
To mark the coachman with a dext'rous throw.
Why do ye, boys, the kennel's surface spread,
To tempt with faithless path the matron's tread?
How can you laugh to see the damsel spurn,
Sink in your frauds, and her green stocking mourn?
At White's the harness'd chairman idly stands,
And swings around his waist his tingling hands;
The sempstress speeds to Change with red-tipt nose;
The Belgian stove beneath her footstool glows;
In half-whipt muslin needles useless lie,
And shuttle-cocks across the counter fly.
These sports warm harmless; why then will ye
Deluded maids, the dangerous flame of love?
Where Covent-garden's famous temple stands, That boasts the work of Jones' immortal hands;
Columns with plain magnificence appear,
And graceful porches lead along the square:
Here oft my course I bend; when, lo! from far
I spy the furies of the foot-ball war:
The prentice quits his shop, to join the crew,
Increasing crowds the flying game pursue.
Thus, as you roll the ball o'er snowy ground,
The gathering globe augments with every round.
But whither shall I run? the throng draws nigh,
The ball now skims the street, now soars on high;
The dext'rous glazier strong returns the bound,
And jingling sashes on the penthouse sound.
O, roving Muse! recall that wondrous year,
When Winter reign'd in bleak Britannia's air;
When hoary Thames, with frosted osiers crown'd,
Was three long moons in icy fetters bound.
The waterman, forlorn, along the shore,
Pensive reclines upon his useless oar;
See harness'd steeds desert the stony town,
And wander roads unstable, not their own;
Wheels o'er the harden'd waters smoothly glide,
And rase with whiten'd tracks the slippery tide;
Here the fat cook piles high the blazing fire,
And scarce the spit can turn the steer entire ;
Booths sudden hide the Thames, long streets appear,
And numerous games proclaim the crowded fair.
So, when a general bids the martial train
Spread their encampment o'er the spacious plain;
Thick rising tents a canvas city build,
And the loud dice resound through all the field.
"Twas here the matron found a doleful fate:
Let elegiac lay the woe relate,
Soft as the breath of distant flutes, at hours
When silent evening closes up the flowers;
Lulling as falling water's hollow noise;
Indulging grief, like Philomela's voice.
Doll every day had walk'd these treacherous
Her neck grew warpt beneath autumnal loads
Of various fruit: she now a basket bore;
That head, alas! shall basket bear no more.
Each booth she frequent past, in quest of gain.
And boys with pleasure heard her shrilling strain.
Ah, Doll! all mortals must resign their breath,
And industry itself submit to death!
The cracking crystal yields; she sinks, she dies,
Her head, chopt off, from her lost shoulders flies;
Pippins she cried; but death her voice confounds;
And pip-pip-pip along the ice resounds.
So, when the Thracian furies Orpheus tore,
And left his bleeding trunk deform'd with gore,
His sever'd head floats down the silver tide,
His yet warm tongue for his lost consort cried;
Euridice with quivering voice he mourn'd,
And Heber's banks Euridice return'd.
But now the western gale the flood unbinds,
And blackening clouds move on with warmer winds;
The wooden town its frail foundation leaves,
And Thames' full urn rolls down his plenteous
From every penthouse streams the fleeting snow,
And with dissolving frost the pavements flow.
Experienc'd men, inur'd to city ways,
Need not the calendar to count their days.
When through the town, with slow and solemn air,
Led by the nostril, walks the muzzled bear;
Behind him moves, majestically dull,
The pride of Hockley-hole, the surly bull.
* A cheat commonly practised in the streets with three Learn hence the periods of the week to name. thimbles and a little ball.
Mondays and Thursdays are the days of game.