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Hence sprung the fatal plague that thinn'd thy His numerous lowing herd; his herds he sold, reign,
And his deep leathern'd pocket bagg'd with gold. Thy cursed incest! and thy children slain! Drawn by a fraudful nymph, he gaz'd, he sigh'd: Hence wert thou doom'd in endless night to stray Unmindful of his home, and distant bride, Thro' Theban streets, and cheerless grope thy way. She leads the willing victim to his doom,
Contemplate, mortal, on thy fleeting years ; Through winding alleys, to her cobweb room. See, with black train the funeral pomp appears! Thence thro' the streets he reels from post to post, Whether some heir attends in sable state,
Valiant with wine, nor knows his treasure lost. And mourns, with outward grief, a parent's fate; The vagrant wretch th' assenibled watchmen spies, Or the fair virgin, nipt in beauty's bloom, He waves his hanger, and their poles defies; A crowd of lovers follow to her tomb:
Deep in the round-house pent, all night he snores, Why is the hearse with 'scutcheons blazon'd round, And the next morn in vain his fate deplores. And with the nodding plume of ostrich crown'd ? Ah, hapless swain! unus'd to pains and ills! No: the dead know it not, nor profit gain; Canst thou forego roast-beef for nauseous pills! It only serves to prove the living vain.
How wilt thou lift to Heaven thy eyes and hands, How short is life! how frail is human trust! When the long scroll the surgeon's fees demands! Is all this pomp for laying dust to dust?
Or else (ye gods, avert that worst disgrace!)
Yet there are watchmen, who with friendly light
Who can the various city frauds* recite, Should chance to wander with the scouring crew; With all the petty rapines of the night?
Though Fortune yield thee captive, ne'er despair, Who now the guinea-dropper's bait regards, But seek the constable's considerate ear; Trick'd by the sharper's dice, or juggler's cards ? He will reverse the watchman's harsh decree, Why should I warn thee ne'er to join the fray, Mov'd by the rhetoric of a silver fee. Where the sham quarrel interrupts the way? Thus, would you gain some favorite courtier's word, Lives there in these our days so soft a clown, Fee not the petty clerks, but bribe my lord. Brav'd by the bully's oaths, or threatening frown? Now is the time that rakes their revels keep; I need not strict enjoin the pocket's care,
Kindlers of riot, enemies of sleep.
"Tis she who nightly strolls with sauntering pace, So Regulus, to save his country, died.
Or the dark caves to common shores descend,
Ere Night has half rollid round her ebon throne;
And from the crackling axle flies the spoke. With empty band box she delights to range,
So, when fam'd Eddystone's far-shooting ray,
That led the sailor through the stormy way,
And pitchy ruins blacken'd all the strand.
steed ? I knew a yeoman, who, for thirst of gain, And who would choose the rattling wheel for speed! To the great city drove, from Devon's plain,
* Gentlemen who delighted to break windows with * Various cheats formerly in practice.
But hark! Distress, with screaming voice, draws
SWEET WILLIAM'S FAREWELL TO nigher, And wakes the slumbering street with cries of fire.
All in the Downs the fleet was moor'd,
The streamers waving in the wind, The spiry flames now lift aloft their heads ;
When Black-ey'd Susan came aboard. Through the burst sash a blazing deluge pours,
“Oh! where shall I my true-love find ? And splitting tiles descend in rattling showers.
Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true, Now with thick crowds th' enlighten'd pavement
If my sweet William sails among the crew.” swarms, The fireman sweats beneath his crooked arms;
William, who high upon the yard
Rock'd with the billow to and fro,
Soon as her well-known voice he heard,
He sigh'd, and cast his eyes below:
And (quick as lightning) on the deck he stands.
So the sweet lark, high pois'd in air, To quench the blaze that runs along the beams;
Shuts close his pinions to his breast,
(If chance his mate's shrill call he hear) The grappling hook plucks rafters from the walls,
And drops at once into her rest.
The noblest captain in the British fleet
Might envy William's lip those kisses sweet.
“O Susan, Susan, lovely dear, 'Twas such a light involv'd thy towers, 0 Rome!
My vows shall ever true remain;
Let me kiss off that falling tear;
We only part to meet again.
Change, as ye list, ye winds; my heart shall be Hark! the drum thunders! far, ye crowds, retire :
The faithful compass that still points to thee. Behold! the ready match is tipt with fire, The nitrous store is laid, the smutty train,
"Believe not what the landmen say
Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind. With running blaze, awakes the barrel'd grain;
They'll tell thee, sailors, when away,
In every port a mistress find :
Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so, Th' inevitable hour of Naples' fate,
For thou art present wheresoe'er I go. Her sapp'd foundations shall with thunders shake,
“If to fair India's coast we sail, And heave and toss upon the sulphurous lake ; Earth's womb at once the fiery flood shall rend;
Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright; And in th' abyss her plunging towers descend.
Thy breath is Afric's spicy gale,
Thy skin is ivory so white.
Thus every beauteous object that I view,
Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue. How oft I cross'd where carts and coaches roar;
“ Though battle call me from thy arms, Yet shall I bless my labors, if mankind
Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
Though cannons roar, yet, safe from harms,
William shall to his dear return.
Love turns aside the balls that round me fly,
Lest precious tears should drop from Susan's eye." Whom Providence, in length of years, restores To the wish'd harbor of his native shores)
The boatswain gave the dreadful word, Sets forth his journals to the public view,
The sails their swelling bosom spread; To caution, by his woes, the wandering crew.
No longer must she stay aboard : And now complete my generous labors lie,
They kiss'd, she sigh’d, he hung kis head. Finish'd, and ripe for immortality.
Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land : Death shall entomb in dust this mouldering frame,
“ Adieu !" she cries; and wav'd her lily hand.
FROM THE WHAT-D'YE-CALL-IT.
"Twas when the seas were roaring
With hollow blasts of wind,
A damsel lay deploring, * Probably Ward and Gildon.-N.
All on a rock reclin'd. 39
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Wide o'er the foaming billows
She cast a wistful look ; Her head was crown'd with willows,
That trembled o'er the brook.
“Twelve months are gone and over,
And nine long tedious days; Why didst thou, venturous lover,
Why didst thou trust the seas?
And let my lover rest :
To that within my breast?
"The merchant, robb'd of pleasure,
Sees tempests in despair;
To losing of my dear?
Where gold and diamonds grow, You'd find a richer maiden,
But none that loves you so.
Rang'd cups, that in the window stood,
The Goat he welcomes with an air,
“ I hope your custom, sir," says Pug. “Sure never face was half so smug!"
The Goat, impatient for applause, Swift to the neighboring hill withdraws. The shaggy people grinn'd and star'd. “Heigh-day! what's here? without a beard ! Say, brother, whence the dire disgrace? What envious hand hath robb’d your face ?" When thus the fop, with smiles of scorn, “Are beards by civil nations worn ? Evin Muscovites have mow'd their chins. Shall we, like formal Capuchins, Stubborn in pride, retain the mode, And bear about the hairy load ? Whene'er we through the village stray, Are we not mock'd along the way, Insulted with loud shouts of scorn, By boys our beards disgrac'd and torn ?"
“Were you no more with Goats to dwell, Brother, I grant you reason well,” Replies a bearded chief. Beside, If boys can mortify thy pride, How wilt thou stand the ridicule Of our whole flock? Affected fool!"
Coscombs, distinguish'd from the rest, To all but coxcombs are a jest.
“How can they say that Nature
Has nothing made in vain ? Why then bencath the water
Should hideous rocks remain ? No eyes the rocks discover,
That lurk beneath the deep, To wreck the wandering lover,
And leave the maid to weep."
All melancholy lying,
Thus wail'd she for her dear; Repaid each blast with sighing,
Each billow with a tear; When o'er the white wave stooping,
His floating corpse she spied ; Then, like a lily drooping,
She bow'd her head, and died.
'Tis certain that the modish passions
A Goat (as vain as Goat can be)
“ I hate my frowzy beard,” he cries,
Resolv'd to smooth his shaggy face,
As, twing’d with pain, he pensive sits,
• My name, perhaps, hath reach'd your ear;
Thus said, the Phantom disappears.
But now again the Sprite ascends,
Increasing debts, perplexing duns,
Straight all his thought to gain he turns,
The court he quits, to fly from Care,
At length he thus the Ghost addrest :
Next, to a senator addressing,
Twelve bottles rang'd upon the board,
A purse she to a thief expos’d;
She bids Ambition hold a wand; He grasps a hatchet in his hand.
A box of charity she shows. “ Blow here ;” and a church-warden blows. 'Tis vanish'd with conveyance neat, And on the table smokes a treat.
She shakes the dice, the board she knocks, And from all pockets fills her box.
She next a meagre rake addrest.
A counter, in a miser's hand,
A guinea with her touch you see,
The Juggler now, in grief of heart,
“Can I such matchless sleight withstand ? How practice hath improv'd your hand! But now and then I cheat the throng; You every day, and all day long."
THE HARE AND MANY FRIENDS.
Vice heard his fame, she read his bill ;
" Is this then he so fam'd for sleight?
Provok’d, the Juggler cried, “ 'Tis done ;
Thus said, the cups and balls he play'd;
Vice now stept forth, and took the place,
“ This magic looking-glass," she cries, " (There, hand it round) will charm your eyes." Each eager eye the sight desir’d, And every man himself admir'd.
FRIENDSHIP, like love, is but a name, Unless to one you stint the flame. The child, whom many fathers share, Hath seldom known a father's care. 'Tis thus in friendship; who depend On many, rarely find a friend.
A Hare who, in a civil way, Complied with every thing, like Gay, Was known by all the bestial train Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain ; Her care was never to offend ; And every creature was her friend.
As forth she went at early dawn, To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn, Behind she hears the hunter's cries, And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies. She starts, she stops, she pants for breath ; She hears the near advance of death ; She doubles, to mislead the hound, And measures back her mazy round; Till, fainting in the public way, Half-dead with fear she gasping lay.
What transport in her bosom grew, When first the Horse appear'd in view!
“Let me," says she, “ your back ascend, And owe my safety to a friend. You know my feet betray my flight: To friendship every burthen's light.”
The Horse replied, “ Poor honest Puss,
She next the stately Bull implor'd;
The Goat remark’d, her pulse was high, Her languid head, her heavy eye:
My back," says he, “may do you harm; The Sheep's at hand, and wool is warm."
The Sheep was feeble, and complain'd, His sides a load of wool sustain'd; Said he was slow, confess'd his fears ; For Hounds eat Sheep as well as Hares.
She now the trotting Calf address'd, To save from Death a friend distress'd.
“Shall I," says he, “ of tender age, In this important care engage ? Older and abler pass'd you by ; How strong are those ! how weak am I! Should I presume to bear you hence, Those friends of mine may take offence. Excuse me, then ; you know my heart; But dearest friends, alas! must part. How shall we all lament! Adieu ; For, see, the Hounds are just in view."
“That queen," he said, “ to whom we owe
At this, in tears was Cicely seen,
For me, when as I heard that Death
While thus we stood as in a stound, And wet with tears, like dew, the ground, Full soon by bonfire and by bell We learnt our liege was passing well. A skilful leach (so God him speed) They said, had wrought this blessed deed. This leach Arbuthnot was yclept, Who many a night not once had slept ; But watch'd our gracious sovereign still ; For who could rest when she was ill? Oh, may'st thou henceforth sweetly sleep! Shear, swains, oh! shear your softest sheep, To swell his couch ; for, well I ween, He sav'd the realm, who sav'd the queen.
Quoth I, “ Please God, I'll hie with glee To court, this Arbuthnot to see." I sold my sheep, and lambkins too, For silver loops and garment blue ; My boxen hautboy, sweet of sound, For hace that edg'd mine hat around; For Lightfoot, and my scrip, I got A gorgeous sword, and eke a knot.
So forth I far'd to court with speed,
There saw I ladies all a-row,
There many a worthy wight I've seen,
There saw I St. John, sweet of mien Full stedfast both to church and queen ; With whose fair name I'll deck my strain ; St. John, right courteous to the swain.
For thus he told me on a day, " Trim are thy sonnets, gentle Gay: