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Title: Poems
Author: Crabbe, George
Language: English
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                     THE REV. GEORGE CRABBE, LL.B.

    Ipse per Ausonias Æneïa carmina gentes
    Qui sonat, ingenti qui nomine pulsat Olympum;
    Mæöniumque senem Romano provocat ore:
    Forsitan illius nemoris latuisset in umbrâ
    Quod canit, et sterili tantum cantâsset avenâ
    Ignotus populi; si Mæcenate careret.
              Paneg. ad Pisones, LUCAN.

                            THIRD EDITION.


                       PRINTED FOR J. HATCHARD,



                       _Brettell & Co. Printers,
                   Marshall-Street, Golden-Square._



                         THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

                          HENRY-RICHARD FOX,

                             LORD HOLLAND,

                     OF HOLLAND, IN LINCOLNSHIRE;

                       LORD HOLLAND, OF FOXLEY;




That the longest Poem in this Collection was honoured by the notice of
your Lordship’s Right Honourable and ever-valued Relation, Mr. Fox; that
it should be the last which engaged his attention; and that some parts
of it were marked with his approbation; are circumstances productive of
better hopes of ultimate success, than I had dared to entertain before
I was gratified with a knowledge of them: And the hope thus raised,
leads me to ask permission that I may dedicate this Book to your
Lordship, to whom that truly great and greatly lamented Personage was so
nearly allied in family, so closely bound in affection, and in whose
mind presides the same critical taste which he exerted to the delight of
all who heard him. He doubtless united with his unequalled abilities, a
fund of good-nature; and this possibly led him to speak favourably of,
and give satisfaction to writers, with whose productions he might not be
entirely satisfied; nor must I allow myself to suppose his desire of
obliging was withholden, when he honoured any effort of mine with his
approbation: But, my Lord, as there was discrimination in the opinion he
gave; as he did not veil indifference for insipid mediocrity of
composition under any general expression of cool approval; I allow
myself to draw a favourable conclusion from the verdict of One who had
the superiority of intellect few would dispute, which he made manifest
by a force of eloquence peculiar to himself; whose excellent judgement,
no one of his friends found cause to distrust, and whose acknowledged
candour no enemy had the temerity to deny.

With such encouragement, I present my Book to your Lordship: the Account
of the _Life and Writings of Lopez de Vega_, has taught me what I am to
expect; I there perceive how your Lordship can write, and am there
taught how you can judge of writers: my faults, however numerous, I know
will none of them escape through inattention, nor will any merit be lost
for want of discernment: My verses are before him who has written
elegantly, who has judged with accuracy, and who has given unequivocal
proof of abilities in a work of difficulty;--a translation of poetry,
which few persons in this kingdom are able to read, and in the
estimation of talents not hitherto justly appreciated: In this view, I
cannot but feel some apprehension: but I know also, that your Lordship
is apprised of the great difficulty of writing well; that you will make
much allowance for failures, if not too frequently repeated; and, as
you can accurately discern, so you will readily approve, all the better
and more happy efforts of one, who places the highest value upon your
Lordship’s approbation; and who has the honour to be,

                               MY LORD,

                    Your Lordship’s most faithful,


                        obliged humble Servant,

                             GEO. CRABBE.


About twenty-five years since, was published a Poem called _The
Library_; which, in no long time, was followed by two others, _The
Village_, and _The Newspaper_: These, with a few alterations and
additions, are here reprinted; and are accompanied by a Poem of greater
length, and several shorter attempts, now, for the first time, before
the Public; whose reception of them creates in their Author, something
more than common solicitude, because he conceives that, with the
judgement to be formed of these latter productions, upon whatever may be
found intrinsically meritorious or defective, there will be united an
enquiry into the relative degree of praise or blame, which they may be
thought to deserve, when compared with the more early attempts of the
same Writer.

And certainly, were it the principal employment of a man’s life, to
compose Verses, it might seem reasonable to expect, that he would
continue to improve as long as he continued to live; though, even then,
there is some doubt whether such improvement would follow, and perhaps
proof might be adduced to shew, it would not: but when to this “_idle
trade_,” is added some “_calling_,” with superior claims upon his time
and attention, his progress in the art of Versification will probably be
in proportion neither to the years he has lived, nor even to the
attempts he has made.

While composing the first-published of these Poems, the Author was
honoured with the notice and assisted by the advice of the _Right
Honourable_ EDMUND BURKE: Part of it was written in his presence, and
the whole submitted to his judgement; receiving, in its progress, the
benefit of his correction: I hope therefore to obtain pardon of the
reader, if I eagerly seize the occasion, and, after so long a silence,
endeavour to express a grateful sense of the benefits I have received
from this Gentleman, who was solicitous for my more essential interests,
as well as benevolently anxious for my credit as a writer.

I will not enter upon the subject of his extraordinary abilities; it
would be vanity, it would be weakness in me to believe that I could
make them better known or more admired than they now are; but of his
private worth, of his wishes to do good, of his affability and
condescension; his readiness to lend assistance when he knew it was
wanted, and his delight to give praise where he thought it was deserved;
of these I may write with some propriety: all know that his powers were
vast, his acquirements various, and I take leave to add, that he applied
them, with unremitted attention, to those objects which he believed
tended to the honour and welfare of his country; but it may not be so
generally understood that he was ever assiduous in the more private
duties of a benevolent nature, that he delighted to give encouragement
to any promise of ability and assistance to any appearance of desert; to
what purposes he employed his pen, and with what eloquence he spake in
the senate, will be told by many, who yet may be ignorant of the solid
instruction as well as the fascinating pleasantry found in his common
conversation, among his friends, and his affectionate manners, amiable
disposition, and zeal for their happiness, which he manifested in the
hours of retirement with his family.

To this Gentleman I was indebted for my knowledge of _Sir_ JOSHUA
REYNOLDS, who was as well known to his friends, for his perpetual fund
of good-humour, and his unceasing wishes to oblige, as he was to the
public, for the extraordinary productions of his pencil and his pen: By
him I was favoured with an introduction to _Doctor_ JOHNSON, who
honoured me with his notice and assisted me, as Mr. BOSWELL has told,
with Remarks and Emendations for a Poem I was about to publish[1]: The
_Doctor_ had been often wearied by applications, and did not readily
comply with requests, for his opinion; not from any unwillingness to
oblige, but from a painful contention in his mind, between a desire of
giving pleasure and a determination to speak truth. No man can, I think,
publish a work without some expectation of satisfying those who are to
judge of its merit: but I can, with the utmost regard to veracity, speak
my fears, as predominating over every pre-indulged thought of a more
favourable nature, when I was told that a judge so discerning, had
consented to read and give his opinion of the VILLAGE, the poem I had
prepared for publication. The time of suspence was not long protracted;
I was soon favoured with a few words from _Sir_ JOSHUA, who
observed,--‘If I knew how cautious _Doctor_ JOHNSON was in giving
commendation, I should be well satisfied with the portion dealt to me in
his letter.’--Of that letter the following is a copy:


     “I have sent you back Mr. CRABBE’s Poem; which I read with great
     delight. It is original, vigorous, and elegant.--The alterations
     which I have made, I do not require him to adopt; for, my lines
     are, perhaps, not often better [than] his own: but he may take mine
     and his own together, and perhaps, between them, produce something
     better than either.--He is not to think his copy wantonly defaced:
     A wet sponge will wash all the red lines away, and leave the pages
     clean.--His Dedication[2] will be least liked: it were better to
     contract it into a short sprightly Address.--I do not doubt of Mr.
     CRABBE’s success.

                “I am, SIR, your most humble servant,

     “_March 4 1783._”                           “SAM: JOHNSON.”

That I was fully satisfied, my readers will do me the justice to
believe; and I hope they will pardon me, if there should appear to them
any impropriety in publishing the favourable opinion expressed in a
private letter; they will judge, and truly, that by so doing I wish to
bespeak their good opinion, but have no design of extorting their
applause: I would not hazard an appearance so ostentatious, to gratify
my vanity, but, I venture to do it, in compliance with my fears.

After these was published the NEWSPAPER: it had not the advantage of
such previous criticism from my friends, nor perhaps so much of my own
attention as I ought to have given to it; but the impression was
disposed of, and I will not pay so little respect to the judgement of my
readers, as now to suppress, what they then approved.

Since the publication of this Poem, more than twenty years have elapsed,
and I am not without apprehension, lest so long a silence should be
construed into a blameable neglect of my own interest which those
excellent friends were desirous of promoting; or what is yet worse, into
a want of gratitude for their assistance; since it becomes me to
suppose, they considered these first attempts as promises of better
things, and their favours as stimulants to future exertion; and here,
be the construction put upon my apparent negligence what it _may_, let
me not suppress my testimony to the liberality of those who are looked
up to, as patrons and encouragers of literary merit, or indeed of merit
of any kind: their patronage has never been refused, I conceive, when it
has been reasonably expected or modestly required, and it would be
difficult, probably, to instance, in these times and in this country,
any one who merited or was supposed to merit assistance, but who
nevertheless languished in obscurity or necessity for want of it; unless
in those cases, where it was prevented by the resolution of impatient
pride, or wearied by the solicitations of determined profligacy.--And
while the subject is before me, I am unwilling to pass silently over the
debt of gratitude which I owe to the memory of two deceased noblemen,
_His Grace the late Duke of_ RUTLAND, and _The Right Honourable the
Lord_ THURLOW: sensible of the honour done me by their notice and the
benefits received from them, I trust this acknowledgement will be
imputed to its only motive, a grateful sense of their favours.

Upon this subject I could dwell with much pleasure; but to give a reason
for that appearance of neglect, as it is more difficult, so happily it
is less required: In truth I have, for many years, intended a
republication of these Poems, as soon as I should be able to join with
them, such other of later date, as might not deprive me of the little
credit, the former had obtained. Long indeed has this purpose been
procrastinated: and if the duties of a profession, not before pressing
upon me; if the claims of a situation, at that time untried; if
diffidence of my own judgement, and the loss of my earliest friends,
will not sufficiently account for my delay, I must rely upon the
good-nature of my reader, that he will let them avail as far as he can,
and find an additional apology in my fears of his censure.

These fears being so prevalent with me, I determined not to publish any
thing more, unless I could first obtain the sanction of such opinion, as
I might with some confidence rely upon: I looked for a friend who,
having the discerning taste of _Mr._ BURKE, and the critical sagacity of
_Doctor_ JOHNSON, would bestow upon my MS. the attention requisite to
form his opinion, and would then favour me with the result of his
observations: and it was my singular good fortune to gain such
assistance; the opinion of a critic so qualified, and a friend so
disposed to favour me. I had been honoured by an introduction to the
_Right Honourable_ CHARLES-JAMES FOX, some years before, at the seat of
_Mr._ BURKE; and being again with him, I received a promise that he
would peruse any work I might send to him previous to its publication,
and would give me his opinion. At that time, I did not think myself
sufficiently prepared; and when, afterwards, I had collected some Poems
for his inspection, I found my Right Honourable Friend engaged by the
affairs of a great empire, and struggling with the inveteracy of a fatal
disease: at such time, upon such mind, ever disposed to oblige as that
mind was, I could not obtrude the petty business of criticizing verses:
but he remembered the promise he had kindly given, and repeated an
offer, which though I had not presumed to expect, I was happy to
receive. A copy of the Poems, now first published, was immediately sent
to him, and (as I have the information from _Lord_ HOLLAND, and his
Lordship’s permission to inform my Readers) the Poem which I have named
THE PARISH REGISTER, was heard by Mr. FOX, and it excited interest
enough, by some of its parts, to gain for me the benefit of his
judgement upon the whole: Whatever he approved, the Reader will readily
believe, I have carefully retained; the parts he disliked are totally
expunged, and others are substituted, which I hope resemble those, more
conformable to the taste of so admirable a judge; nor can I deny myself
the melancholy satisfaction of adding that this Poem, (and more
especially the story of _Phœbe Dawson_[3], with some parts of the second
book) were the last compositions of their kind, that engaged and amused
the capacious, the candid, the benevolent mind of this great Man.

The above information I owe to the favour of _The Right Honourable Lord_
HOLLAND; nor this only, but to his Lordship I am indebted for some
excellent remarks upon other parts of my MS. It was not indeed my good
fortune then to know that my verses were in the hands of a Nobleman who
had given proof of his accurate judgement as a critic, and his elegance
as a writer, by favouring the public with an easy and spirited
translation of some interesting scenes of a dramatic poet, not often
read in this kingdom: The Life of Lope de Vega was then unknown to me; I
had, in common with many English readers, heard of him, but could not
judge whether his far-extended reputation was caused by the sublime
efforts of a mighty genius, or the unequalled facility of a rapid
composer, aided by peculiar and fortunate circumstances.--That any part
of my MS. was honoured by the remarks of _Lord_ HOLLAND, yields me an
high degree of satisfaction, and his Lordship will perceive the use I
have made of them, but I must feel some regret when I know to what
small portion they were limited; and discerning as I do, the taste and
judgement bestowed upon the verses of Lope de Vega, I must perceive how
much my own needed the assistance afforded to one, who cannot be
sensible of the benefit he has received.

But how much soever I may lament the advantages lost, let me remember
with gratitude the helps I have obtained: With a single exception, every
poem in the ensuing collection has been submitted to the critical
sagacity of a gentleman, upon whose skill and candour their Author could
rely: to publish by advice of friends, has been severely ridiculed, and
that too by a poet, who probably without such advice, never made public
any verses of his own; in fact, it may not be easily determined who acts
with less discretion, the writer who is encouraged to publish his works,
merely by the advice of friends whom he consulted, or he who against
advice publishes from the sole encouragement of his own opinion: these
are deceptions to be carefully avoided, and I was happy to escape the
latter, by the friendly attentions of the _Reverend_ RICHARD TURNER,
Minister of Great Yarmouth. To this gentleman I am indebted, more than I
am able to describe, or than he is willing to allow, for the time he
has bestowed upon the attempts I have made. He is indeed, the kind of
critic for whom every poet should devoutly wish, and the friend whom
every man would be happy to acquire; he has taste to discern all that is
meritorious, and sagacity to detect whatsoever should be discarded; he
gives just the opinion an author’s wisdom should covet, however his
vanity might prompt him to reject it; what altogether to expunge and
what to improve he has repeatedly taught me, and, could I have obeyed
him in the latter direction as I invariably have in the former, the
public would have found this collection more worthy its attention, and I
should have sought the opinion of the critic more void of apprehension.

But whatever I may hope or fear, whatever assistance I have had or have
needed, it becomes me to leave my verses to the judgement of the reader,
without my endeavour to point out their merit or an apology for their
defects: yet as, among the poetical attempts of one who has been for
many years a priest, it may seem a want of respect for the legitimate
objects of his study, that nothing occurs, unless it be incidentally, of
the great subjects of Religion; so it may appear a kind of ingratitude
in a beneficed clergyman, that he has not employed his talent (be it
estimated as it may) to some patriotic purpose; as in celebrating the
unsubdued spirit of his countrymen in their glorious resistance of
those enemies, who would have no peace throughout the world, except that
which is dictated to the drooping spirit of suffering humanity by the
triumphant insolence of military success.

Credit will be given to me I hope, when I affirm that subjects so
interesting have the due weight with me, which the sacred nature of the
one and the national importance of the other must impress upon every
mind, not seduced into carelessness for religion, by the lethargic
influence of a perverted philosophy, nor into indifference for the cause
of our country, by hyperbolical or hypocritical professions of universal
philanthropy; but after many efforts to satisfy myself by various trials
on these subjects, I declined all further attempt, from a conviction
that I should not be able to give satisfaction to my readers: poetry of
religious nature must indeed ever be clogged with almost insuperable
difficulty: but there are doubtless to be found, poets who are well
qualified to celebrate the unanimous and heroic spirit of our
countrymen, and to describe in appropriate colours some of those
extraordinary scenes, which have been and are shifting in the face of
Europe, with such dreadful celerity; and to such I relinquish the duty.

It remains for me to give the reader, a brief view of those articles in
the following collection, which for the first time solicit his

In the PARISH-REGISTER, he will find an endeavour once more to describe
Village-Manners, not by adopting the notion of pastoral simplicity or
assuming ideas of rustic barbarity, but by more natural views of the
peasantry, considered as a mixed body of persons sober or profligate,
and from hence, in a great measure, contented or miserable. To this more
general description are added, the various characters which occur in the
three parts of a Register; Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials.

If the BIRTH OF FLATTERY offer no moral, as an appendage to the fable,
it is hoped, that nothing of an immoral, nothing of improper tendency
will be imputed to a piece of poetical playfulness; in fact, genuine
praise, like all other species of truth, is known by its bearing full
investigation: it is what the giver is happy that he can justly bestow,
and the receiver conscious that he may boldly accept; but adulation must
ever be afraid of enquiry, and must, in proportion to their degrees of
moral sensibility,

    Be shame “to him that gives and him that takes.”

The verses in p. 211, want a title, nor does the motto, although it gave
occasion to them, altogether express the sense of the writer, who meant
to observe that some of our best acquisitions, and some of our nobler
conquests are rendered ineffectual, by the passing away of opportunity
and the changes made by time; an argument that such acquirements and
moral habits are reserved for a state of being, in which they may have
the uses here denied them.

In the story of SIR EUSTACE GREY, an attempt is made to describe the
wanderings of a mind first irritated by the consequences of error and
misfortune, and afterwards soothed by a species of enthusiastic
conversion, still keeping him insane: a task very difficult, and if the
presumption of the attempt may find pardon, it will not be refused to
the failure of the poet. It is said of our Shakespeare, respecting

    “In that circle none dare walk but he:”--

yet be it granted to one, who dares not to pass the boundary fixed for
common minds, at least to step near to the tremendous verge and form
some idea of the terrors that are stalking in the interdicted space.

“When first I had written AARON, or THE GIPSEY; I had no unfavourable
opinion of it; and had I been collecting my verses at that time for
publication, I should certainly have included this tale. Nine years have
since elapsed, and I continue to judge the same of it, thus literally
obeying one of the directions given by the prudence of criticism to the
eagerness of the poet: but how far I may have conformed to rules of
more importance, must be left to the less partial judgement of the

The concluding poem, intitled WOMAN!, was written at the time when the
quotation from Mr. LEDYARD was first made public; the expression has
since become hackneyed; but the sentiment is congenial with our
feelings, and though somewhat amplified in these verses, it is hoped
they are not so far extended as to become tedious.

After this brief account of his subjects, the Author leaves them to
their fate, not presuming to make any remarks upon the kinds of
versification he has chosen, or the merit of the execution; he has
indeed brought forward the favourable opinion of his friends, and for
that he earnestly hopes his motives will be rightly understood; it was a
step of which he felt the advantage while he foresaw the danger; he was
aware of the benefit, if his readers would consider him as one who puts
on a defensive armour against hasty and determined severity; but he
feels also the hazard, lest they should suppose be looks upon himself to
be guarded by his friends and so secure in the defence, that he may defy
the fair judgement of legal criticism: it will probably be said, ‘he has
brought with him his testimonials to the bar of the public;’ and he
must admit the truth of the remark: but he begs leave to observe in
reply, that, of those who bear testimonials of any kind, the greater
numbers feel apprehension, and not security; they are indeed so far from
the enjoyment of victory or the exultation of triumph, that, with all
they can do for themselves, with all their friends have done for them,
they are, like him, in dread of examination and in fear of

Muston, Leicestershire,

  September 1807.

[Illustration: text decoration]




In this Edition of his Poems, the Author has endeavoured to avail
himself of such Remarks as have been communicated to him since the
publication of his Work; and so far as the time allowed, he has sought
to make the Improvements suggested: he is nevertheless conscious that
much remains to be done, and must intreat the Indulgence of his Readers,
if they still perceive many Places to which he ought to have directed
his Attention; some which required Retrenchment; and not a few, which
(with advantage to the Book) might have been altogether expunged.

     July 26, 1808.


  _The Village_                                                        1

  _Book I._                                                            3
  _Book II._                                                          19

  _The Parish Register_                                               31

  _Part I.--Baptisms_                                                 33
  _Part II.--Marriages_                                               69
  _Part III.--Burials_                                                95

  _The Library_                                                      137

  _The Newspaper_                                                    167

  _The Birth of Flattery_                                            191

  _Reflections upon the Subject_--                  }

  “Quid juvat errores, mersâ jam puppe, fateri?     }                209
  “Quid lacrymæ delicta juvant commissa secutæ?”    }

  _Sir Eustace Grey_                                                 217

  _The Hall of Justice_                                              239

  _Part I._                                                          241
  _Part II._                                                         247

  _Woman!_                                                           255


A Poem.




     The Subject proposed.--Remarks upon Pastoral Poetry.--A Tract of
     Country near the Coast described.--An Impoverished
     Borough.--Smugglers and their Assistants.--Rude Manners of the
     Inhabitants.--Ruinous Effects of an high Tide.--The Village Life
     more generally considered: Evils of it--The youthful Labourer.--The
     Old Man: his Soliloquy.--The Parish Workhouse: its
     Inhabitants.--The Sick Poor: their Apothecary.--The dying
     Pauper.--The Village Priest.




    The Village Life and every care that reigns
    O’er youthful Peasants and declining Swains;
    What labour yields and what, that labour past,
    Age, in its hour of languor, finds at last;
    What form the real picture of the Poor,
    Demand a Song--the Muse can give no more.
      Fled are those times, when, in harmonious strains,
    The rustic Poet prais’d his native Plains;
    No Shepherds now in smooth alternate verse,
    Their Country’s beauty or their Nymphs’ rehearse;
    Yet still for these we frame the tender strain,
    Still in our lays fond CORYDONS complain,
    And Shepherds’ boys, their amorous pains reveal,
    The only pains, alas! they never feel.
      On MINCIO’s banks, in CÆSAR’s bounteous reign,
    If TITYRUS found the Golden Age again,
    Must sleepy bards the flattering dream prolong,
    Mechanic echoes of the Mantuan song?
    From Truth and Nature shall we widely stray,
    Where VIRGIL, not where Fancy, leads the way?
      Yes, thus the Muses sing of happy Swains,
    Because the Muses never knew their pains:
    They boast their Peasants’ pipes: but Peasants now
    Resign their pipes and plod behind the plough;
    And few amid the Rural-tribe have time,
    To number syllables and play with rhyme;
    Save honest DUCK, what son of Verse could share
    The Poet’s rapture and the Peasant’s care?
    Or the great labours of the Field degrade,
    With the new peril of a poorer trade?
      From this chief cause these idle praises spring,
    That themes so easy, few forbear to sing;
    For no deep thought the trifling subjects ask,
    To sing of Shepherds is an easy task;
    The happy youth assumes the common strain,
    A Nymph his mistress and himself a Swain;
    With no sad scenes he clouds his tuneful prayer,
    But all, to look like her, is painted fair.
      I grant indeed that Fields and Flocks have charms,
    For him that gazes or for him that farms;
    But when amid such pleasing scenes I trace
    The poor laborious natives of the place,
    And see the mid-day sun, with fervid ray,
    On their bare heads and dewy temples play;
    While some, with feebler heads and fainter hearts,
    Deplore their fortune, yet sustain their parts;
    Then shall I dare these real ills to hide,
    In tinsel trappings of poetic pride?
      No; cast by Fortune on a frowning coast,
    Which neither Groves nor happy Valleys boast;
    Where other cares than those the Muse relates,
    And other Shepherds dwell with other mates;
    By such examples taught, I paint the Cot,
    As Truth will paint it and as Bards will not:
    For you, ye Poor, of letter’d scorn complain,
    To you the smoothest song is smooth in vain;
    O’ercome by labour and bow’d down by time,
    Feel you the barren flattery of a Rhyme?
    Can Poets sooth you, when you pine for bread,
    By winding myrtles round your ruin’d shed?
    Can their light tales your weighty griefs o’erpower,
    Or glad with airy mirth the toilsome hour?
      Lo! where the heath, with withering brake grown o’er,
    Lends the light turf that warms the neighbouring poor;
    From thence a length of burning sand appears,
    Where the thin harvest waves its wither’d ears;
    Rank weeds, that every art and care defy,
    Reign o’er the land and rob the blighted rye:
    There Thistles stretch their prickly arms afar,
    And to the ragged infant threaten war;
    There Poppies nodding, mock the hope of toil;
    There the blue Bugloss paints the sterile soil;
    Hardy and high, above the slender sheaf,
    The slimy Mallow waves her silky leaf;
    O’er the young shoot the Charlock throws a shade,
    And clasping Tares cling round the sickly blade;
    With mingled tints the rocky coasts abound,
    And a sad splendour vainly shines around.
      So looks the Nymph whom wretched arts adorn,
    Betray’d by Man, then left for Man to scorn;
    Whose cheek in vain assumes the mimic rose,
    While her sad eyes the troubled breast disclose;
    Whose outward splendour is but folly’s dress,
    Exposing most, when most it gilds distress.
      Here joyless roam a wild amphibious race,
    With sullen woe display’d in every face;
    Who, far from civil arts and social fly,
    And scowl at strangers with suspicious eye.
      Here too the lawless Merchant of the main
    Draws from his plough th’ intoxicated Swain;
    Want only claim’d the labour of the day,
    But vice now steals his nightly rest away.
      Where are the Swains, who, daily labour done,
    With rural games play’d down the setting sun;
    Who struck with matchless force the bounding ball,
    Or made the pond’rous quoit obliquely fall;
    While some huge Ajax, terrible and strong,
    Engag’d some artful stripling of the throng,
    And fell beneath him, foil’d, while far around,
    Hoarse triumph rose and rocks return’d the sound?
    Where now are these?--Beneath yon cliff they stand,
    To show the freighted pinnace where to land;
    To load the ready steed with guilty haste,
    To fly in terror o’er the pathless waste,
    Or when detected, in their straggling course,
    To foil their foes by cunning or by force;
    Or yielding part (which equal knaves demand)
    To gain a lawless passport through the land.
      Here wand’ring long, amid these frowning fields,
    I sought the simple life that Nature yields;
    Rapine and Wrong and Fear usurp’d her place,
    And a bold, artful, surly, savage race;
    Who, only skill’d to take the finny tribe,
    The yearly dinner, or septennial bribe,
    Wait on the shore, and as the waves run high,
    On the tost vessel bend their eager eye;
    Which to their coast directs its vent’rous way,
    Their’s, or the ocean’s miserable prey.
      As on their neighbouring beach yon swallows stand,
    And wait for favouring winds to leave the land;
    While still for flight the ready wing is spread:
    So waited I the favouring hour, and fled;
    Fled from these shores where guilt and famine reign,
    And cry’d, Ah! hapless they who still remain;
    Who still remain to hear the ocean roar,
    Whose greedy waves devour the lessening shore;
    Till some fierce tide, with more imperious sway,
    Sweeps the low hut and all it holds away;
    When the sad tenant weeps from door to door,
    And begs a poor protection from the poor!
      But these are scenes where Nature’s niggard hand
    Gave a spare portion to the famish’d land;
    Her’s is the fault, if here mankind complain
    Of fruitless toil and labour spent in vain;
    But yet in other scenes more fair in view,
    Where Plenty smiles--alas! she smiles for few,
    And those who taste not, yet behold her store,}
    Are as the slaves that dig the golden ore,    }
    The wealth around them makes them doubly poor.}
      Or will you deem them amply paid in health,
    Labour’s fair child, that languishes with Wealth?
    Go then! and see them rising with the sun,
    Through a long course of daily toil to run;
    See them beneath the Dog-star’s raging heat,
    When the knees tremble and the temples beat;
    Behold them, leaning on their scythes, look o’er
    The labour past, and toils to come explore;
    See them alternate suns and showers engage,
    And hoard up aches and anguish for their age;
    Thro’ fens and marshy moors their steps pursue,
    When their warm pores imbibe the evening dew;
    Then own that labour may as fatal be
    To these thy slaves, as thine excess to thee.
      Amid this tribe too oft a manly pride
    Strives in strong toil the fainting heart to hide;
    There may you see the youth of slender frame
    Contend with weakness, weariness, and shame;
    Yet urg’d along, and proudly loth to yield,
    He strives to join his fellows of the field;
    Till long-contending nature droops at last,
    Declining health rejects his poor repast,
    His cheerless Spouse the coming danger sees,
    And mutual murmurs urge the slow disease.
      Yet grant them health, ’tis not for us to tell,
    Though the head droops not, that the heart is well;
    Or will you praise that, homely, healthy fare,
    Plenteous and plain, that happy Peasants share?
    Oh! trifle not with wants you cannot feel,
    Nor mock the misery of a stinted meal;
    Homely not wholesome, plain not plenteous, such
    As you who praise would never deign to touch.
      Ye gentle souls, who dream of Rural ease,
    Whom the smooth Stream and smoother Sonnet please;
    Go! if the peaceful Cot your praises share,
    Go look within, and ask if Peace be there;
    If Peace be his--that drooping weary Sire,
    Or their’s, that Offspring round their feeble fire;
    Or her’s, that Matron pale, whose trembling hand
    Turns on the wretched hearth th’ expiring brand!
      Nor yet can Time itself obtain for these
    Life’s latest comforts, due respect and ease;
    For yonder see that hoary Swain, whose age,
    Can with no cares except its own engage;
    Who, propt on that rude staff, looks up to see
    The bare arms broken from the withering tree;
    On which, a boy, he climb’d the loftiest bough,
    Then his first joy, but his sad emblem now.
      He once was chief in all the Rustic-trade,
    His steady hand the straightest furrow made;
    Full many a prize he won, and still is proud
    To find the triumphs of his youth allow’d;
    A transient pleasure sparkles in his eyes,
    He hears and smiles, then thinks again and sighs:
    For now he journeys to his grave in pain;
    The rich disdain him; nay, the poor disdain;
    Alternate masters now their slave command,
    Urge the weak efforts of his feeble hand,
    And, when his age attempts its task in vain,
    With ruthless taunts, of lazy poor complain[4].
      Oft may you see him when he tends the sheep,
    His winter-charge, beneath the hillock weep;
    Oft hear him murmur to the winds that blow
    O’er his white locks and bury them in snow;
    When rous’d by rage and muttering in the morn,
    He mends the broken hedge with icy thorn.
      “Why do I live, when I desire to be
    “At once from life and life’s long labour free?
    “Like leaves in spring, the young are blown away,
    “Without the sorrows of a slow decay;
    “I, like yon wither’d leaf, remain behind,
    “Nipt by the frost and shivering in the wind;
    “There it abides till younger buds come on,
    “As I, now all my fellow swains are gone;
    “Then, from the rising generation thrust,
    “It falls, like me, unnotic’d to the dust.
      “These fruitful Fields, these numerous Flocks I see,
    “Are others’ gain, but killing cares to me;
    “To me the children of my youth are lords,
    “Cool in their looks, but hasty in their words:
    “Wants of their own demand their care; and who
    “Feels his own want and succours others too?
    “A lonely, wretched man, in pain I go,
    “None need my help and none relieve my woe;
    “Then let my bones beneath the turf be laid,
    “And men forget the wretch they would not aid.”
      Thus groan the Old, till, by disease opprest,
    They taste a final woe, and then they rest.
      Their’s is yon House that holds the Parish Poor,
    Whose walls of mud scarce bear the broken door;
    There, where the putrid vapours flagging, play,
    And the dull wheel hums doleful through the day;--
    There Children dwell who know no Parents’ care;
    Parents, who know no Children’s love, dwell there;
    Heart-broken Matrons on their joyless bed,
    Forsaken Wives and Mothers never wed;
    Dejected Widows with unheeded tears,
    And crippled Age with more than childhood-fears;
    The Lame, the Blind, and, far the happiest they!
    The moping Idiot and the Madman gay.
      Here too the Sick their final doom receive,
    Here brought amid the scenes of grief, to grieve,
    Where the loud groans from some sad chamber flow,
    Mixt with the clamours of the crowd below;
    Here sorrowing, they each kindred sorrow scan,
    And the cold charities of man to man:
    Whose laws indeed for ruin’d Age provide,
    And strong compulsion plucks the scrap from pride;
    But still that scrap is bought with many a sigh,
    And pride imbitters what it can’t deny.
      Say ye, opprest by some fantastic woes,
    Some jarring nerve that baffles your repose;
    Who press the downy couch, while slaves advance
    With timid eye, to read the distant glance;
    Who with sad prayers the weary Doctor tease,
    To name the nameless ever-new disease;
    Who with mock patience dire complaints endure,
    Which real pain and that alone can cure;
    How would ye bear in real pain to lie,
    Despis’d, neglected, left alone to die?
    How would ye bear to draw your latest breath,
    Where all that’s wretched pave the way for death?
      Such is that room which one rude beam divides,
    And naked rafters from the sloping sides;
    Where the vile bands that bind the thatch are seen,
    And lath and mud are all that lie between;
    Save one dull pane, that, coarsely patch’d, gives way
    To the rude tempest, yet excludes the day:
    Here, on a matted flock, with dust o’erspread,
    The drooping wretch reclines his languid head;
    For him no hand the cordial cup applies,
    Or wipes the tear that stagnates in his eyes;
    No friends with soft discourse his pain beguile,
    Or promise hope till sickness wears a smile.
      But soon a loud and hasty summons calls,
    Shakes the thin roof, and echoes round the walls;
    Anon, a Figure enters, quaintly neat,
    All pride and business, bustle and conceit;
    With looks unalter’d by these scenes of woe,
    With speed that, entering, speaks his haste to go;
    He bids the gazing throng around him fly,
    And carries Fate and Physic in his eye;
    A potent Quack, long vers’d in human ills,
    Who first insults the victim whom he kills;
    Whose murd’rous hand a drowsy Bench protect,
    And whose most tender mercy is neglect.
      Paid by the Parish for attendance here,
    He wears contempt upon his sapient sneer;
    In haste he seeks the bed where Misery lies,
    Impatience mark’d in his averted eyes;
    And, some habitual queries hurried o’er,
    Without reply, he rushes on the door;
    His drooping Patient, long inur’d to pain,
    And long unheeded, knows remonstrance vain;
    He ceases now the feeble help to crave
    Of Man; and silent sinks into the grave.
      But ere his death some pious doubts arise,
    Some simple fears which “bold bad” men despise:
    Fain would he ask the Parish Priest to prove
    His title certain to the Joys above;
    For this he sends the murmuring Nurse, who calls
    The holy Stranger to these dismal walls;
    And doth not he, the pious man, appear,
    He, “passing rich with forty pounds a year?”
    Ah! no, a Shepherd of a different stock,
    And far unlike him, feeds this little Flock;
    A jovial youth, who thinks his Sunday’s task,
    As much as God or Man can fairly ask;
    The rest he gives to Loves and Labours light,
    To Fields the morning and to Feasts the night;
    None better skill’d the noisy Pack to guide,
    To urge their chace, to cheer them or to chide;
    A Sportsman keen, he shoots through half the day,
    And skill’d at Whist, devotes the night to play;
    Then, while such honours bloom around his head,
    Shall he sit sadly by the Sick Man’s bed,
    To raise the hope he feels not, or with zeal
    To combat fears that ev’n the pious feel?
      Now once again the gloomy scene explore,}
    Less gloomy now; the bitter hour is o’er, }
    The Man of many Sorrows sighs no more.--  }
    Up yonder hill, behold how sadly slow
    The Bier moves winding from the vale below;
    There lie the happy Dead from trouble free,
    And the glad Parish pays the frugal fee:
    No more, O Death! thy victim starts to hear
    Churchwarden stern, or kingly Overseer;
    No more the Farmer claims his humble bow,
    Thou art his lord, the best of tyrants thou!
      Now to the Church behold the Mourners come,
    Sedately torpid and devoutly dumb;
    The Village Children now their games suspend,
    To see the Bier that bears their ancient Friend;
    For he was one in all their idle sport,
    And like a Monarch rul’d their little Court;
    The pliant Bow he form’d, the flying Ball,
    The Bat, the Wicket, were his labours all;
    Him now they follow to his grave, and stand
    Silent and sad, and gazing, hand in hand;
    While bending low, their eager eyes explore
    The mingled relicks of the Parish Poor:
    The bell tolls late, the moping owl flies round,
    Fear marks the flight and magnifies the sound;
    The busy Priest, detain’d by weightier care,
    Defers his duty till the day of prayer;
    And waiting long, the crowd retire distrest,
    To think a Poor Man’s bones should lie unblest[5].



     There are found amid the Evils of a Laborious Life, some Views of
     Tranquillity and Happiness.--The Repose and Pleasure of a Summer
     Sabbath: interrupted by Intoxication and Dispute.--Village
     Detraction.--Complaints of the Squire.--The Evening
     Riots.--Justice.--Reasons for this unpleasant View of Rustic Life:
     the Effect it should have upon the Lower Classes; and the
     Higher.--These last have their peculiar Distresses: Exemplified in
     the Life and heroic Death of Lord Robert Manners.--Concluding
     Address to his Grace the Duke of Rutland.



    No longer Truth, though shewn in Verse, disdain,
    But own the Village Life a life of pain;
    I too must yield, that oft amid these woes
    Are gleams of transient Mirth and hours of sweet Repose,
    Such as you find on yonder sportive Green,
    The ‘Squire’s tall gate and Churchway-walk between;
    Where loitering stray a little tribe of friends,
    On a fair Sunday when the Sermon ends:
    Then Rural Beaux their best attire put on,
    To win their Nymphs, as other Nymphs are won;
    While those long wed go plain, and by degrees,
    Like other Husbands quit their care to please.
    Some of the Sermon talk, a sober crowd,
    And loudly praise, if it were preach’d aloud;
    Some on the Labours of the Week look round,
    Feel their own worth, and think their toil renown’d;
    While some, whose hopes to no renown extend,
    Are only pleas’d to find their Labours end.
      Thus, as their hours glide on with pleasure fraught,
    Their careful Masters brood the painful thought;
    Much in their mind they murmur and lament,
    That one fair day should be so idly spent;
    And think that Heaven deals hard, to tithe their store
    And tax their Time for Preachers and the Poor.
      Yet still, ye humbler friends, enjoy your Hour,
    This is your Portion, yet unclaim’d of Power;
    This is Heaven’s gift to weary men opprest,
    And seems the type of their expected Rest:
    But yours, alas! are joys that soon decay;
    Frail joys, begun and ended with the Day;
    Or yet, while day permits those joys to reign,
    The Village vices drive them from the plain.
      See the stout Churl, in drunken fury great,
    Strike the bare bosom of his teeming mate!
    His naked vices, rude and unrefin’d,
    Exert their open empire o’er the mind;
    But can we less the senseless rage despise,
    Because the savage acts without disguise?
      Yet here Disguise, the City’s vice, is seen,
    And Slander steals along and taints the Green.
    At her approach domestic Peace is gone,
    Domestic Broils at her approach come on;
    She to the Wife the Husband’s crime conveys,
    She tells the Husband when his Consort strays;
    Her busy tongue, through all the little state,
    Diffuses doubt, suspicion, and debate;
    Peace, tim’rous Goddess! quits her old domain,
    In Sentiment and Song content to reign.
      Nor are the Nymphs that breathe the Rural air
    So fair as Cynthia’s, nor so chaste as fair;
    These to the Town afford each fresher face,
    And the Clown’s trull receives the Peer’s embrace;
    From whom, should chance again convey her down,
    The Peer’s disease in turn attacks the Clown.
      Here too the ’Squire, or ’squire-like Farmer, talk,
    How round their regions nightly pilferers walk;
    How from their ponds the fish are borne, and all
    The rip’ning treasures from their lofty wall;
    How meaner rivals in their sports delight,
    Just rich enough to claim a doubtful right;
    Who take a licence round their fields to stray,
    A mongrel race! the Poachers of the day.
      And hark! the riots of the Green begin,
    That sprang at first from yonder noisy Inn;
    What time the weekly pay was vanish’d all,
    And the slow Hostess scor’d the threat’ning wall;
    What time they ask’d, their friendly feast to close,
    A final cup, and that will make them foes;
    When blows ensue that break the arm of Toil,
    And rustic battle ends the boobies’ broil.
      Save when to yonder Hall they bend their way;
    Where the grave Justice ends the grievous fray;
    He who recites, to keep the Poor in awe,
    The Law’s vast volume--for he knows the Law.--
    To him with anger or with shame repair
    The injur’d Peasant and deluded Fair.
      Lo! at his throne the silent Nymph appears,
    Frail by her shape, but modest in her tears;
    And while she stands abash’d, with conscious eye,
    Some favourite Female of her Judge glides by:
    Who views with scornful glance the strumpet’s fate,
    And thanks the stars that made her Keeper great:
    Near her the Swain, about to bear for life
    One certain evil, doubts ’twixt War and Wife;
    But, while the faultering Damsel takes her oath,
    Consents to wed, and so secures them both.
        Yet why, you ask, these humble crimes relate,
      Why make the Poor as guilty as the Great?
      To shew the Great, those mightier sons of Pride,
      How near in vice the lowest are allied;
      Such are their natures and their passions such,
      But these disguise too little, those too much:
      So shall the man of Power and Pleasure see
      In his own Slave as vile a wretch as he;
      In his luxurious Lord the Servant find
      His own low pleasures and degenerate mind:
      And each in all the kindred vices trace,
      Of a poor, blind, bewilder’d, erring Race;
      Who, a short time in varied fortune past,
      Die, and are equal in the dust at last.
    And you, ye Poor, who still lament your fate,
    Forbear to envy those you call the Great;
    And know, amid those blessings they possess,
    They are, like you, the victims of distress;
    While Sloth with many a pang torments her slave,
    Fear waits on Guilt, and Danger shakes the brave.
      Oh! if in life one noble Chief appears,
    Great in his name, while blooming in his years;
    Born to enjoy whate’er delights Mankind,
    And yet to all you feel or fear resign’d;
    Who gave up joys and hopes to you unknown,
    For pains and dangers greater than your own;
    If such there be, then let your murmurs cease,
    Think, think of him, and take your lot in peace.
      And such there was:--Oh! grief, that checks our pride,
    Weeping we say there was,--for MANNERS died;
    Beloved of Heav’n, these humble lines forgive,
    That sing of Thee[6], and thus aspire to live.
    As the tall Oak, whose vigorous branches form
    An ample shade and brave the wildest storm,
    High o’er the subject Wood is seen to grow,
    The guard and glory of the Trees below;
    Till on its head the fiery bolt descends,
    And o’er the plain the shatter’d trunk extends;
    Yet then it lies, all wond’rous as before,
    And still the Glory, though the Guard no more.
      So THOU, when every virtue, every grace,
    Rose in thy soul, or shone within thy face;
    When, though the Son of GRANBY, Thou wert known
    Less by thy Father’s glory than thy own;
    When Honour lov’d and gave Thee every charm,
    Fire to thy eye and vigour to thy arm;
    Then from our lofty hopes and longing eyes,
    Fate and thy Virtues call’d Thee to the Skies;
    Yet still we wonder at thy tow’ring fame,
    And losing Thee, still dwell upon thy Name.
      Oh! ever honour’d, ever valued! say,
    What Verse can praise Thee, or what Work repay?
    Yet Verse (in all we can) thy worth repays,
    Nor trusts the tardy zeal of future days;--
    Honours for Thee thy Country shall prepare,
    Thee in their hearts, the Good, the Brave shall bear;
    To deeds like thine shall noblest Chiefs aspire,
    The Muse shall mourn Thee, and the World admire.
      In future times, when smit with Glory’s charms,
    The untry’d youth first quits a Father’s arms;--
    “Oh! be like him,” the weeping Sire shall say;
    “Like MANNERS walk, who walk’d in Honour’s way;
    “In Danger foremost, yet in Death sedate,
    “Oh! be like Him in all things, but his fate!”
      If for that Fate such public Tears be shed,
    That Victory seems to die now THOU art dead;
    How shall a Friend his nearer hope resign,
    That Friend a Brother, and whose soul was thine;
    By what bold lines shall we his grief express,
    Or by what soothing numbers make it less?
      ’Tis not, I know, the chiming of a song,
    Nor all the powers that to the Muse belong,
    Words aptly cull’d and Meanings well exprest,
    Can calm the sorrows of a wounded breast;
    But Virtue, soother of the fiercest pains,
    Shall heal that bosom, RUTLAND, where she reigns.
      Yet hard the task to heal the bleeding heart,
    To bid the still-recurring thoughts depart;
    Tame the fierce grief and stem the rising sigh,
    And curb rebellious passion, with reply;--
    Calmly to dwell on all that pleas’d before,
    And yet to know that all shall please no more;--
    Oh! glorious labour of the soul to save
    Her captive powers, and bravely mourn the Brave.
      To such, these thoughts will lasting comfort give--
    Life is not measur’d by the time we live;
    ’Tis not an even course of threescore years,
    A life of narrow views and paltry fears,
    Grey-hairs and wrinkles and the cares they bring,
    That take from Death, the terrors or the sting;
    But ’tis the gen’rous Spirit, mounting high
    Above the world, that native of the Sky;
    The noble Spirit, that, in dangers brave,
    Calmly looks on, or looks beyond the grave:--
    Such MANNERS was, so he resign’d his breath,
    If in a glorious, then a timely death.
      Cease then that grief and let those tears subside;
    If Passion rule us, be that passion Pride;
    If Reason, Reason bids us strive to raise
    Our fallen hearts and be like Him we praise!
    Or if Affection still the soul subdue,       }
    Bring all his virtues, all his worth in view,}
    And let Affection find its comfort too:      }
    For how can Grief so deeply wound the heart,
    When Admiration claims so large a part?
      Grief is a foe, expel him then thy soul,
    Let nobler thoughts the nearer views controul!
    Oh! make the Age to come thy better care,
    See other RUTLANDS, other GRANBYS there!
    And as thy thoughts through streaming ages glide,
    See other Heroes die as MANNERS died:
    And from their fate, thy Race shall nobler grow,
    As trees shoot upwards that are prun’d below;
    Or as Old THAMES borne down with decent pride,
    Sees his young Streams run warbling at his side;
    Though some, by art cut off, no longer run,
    And some are lost beneath the Summer’s Sun--
    Yet the pure Stream moves on, and as it moves,
    Its power increases and its use improves;
    While Plenty round its spacious waves bestow,
    Still it flows on, and shall for ever flow.

[Illustration: text decoration]


A Poem.




     The Village Register considered, as containing principally the
     Annals of the Poor.--State of the Peasantry as meliorated by
     Frugality and Industry.--The Cottage of an industrious Peasant; its
     Ornaments.--Prints and Books.--The Garden; its Satisfactions.--The
     state of the Poor when improvident and vicious.--The Row or Street,
     and its Inhabitants.--The Dwelling of One of these.--A
     Public-House.--Garden and its Appendages.--Gamesters; rustic
     Sharpers, &c.--Conclusion of the Introductory Part.




     _The Child of the Miller’s Daughter, and relation of her
     Misfortune.--A frugal Couple: their kind of Frugality.--Plea of the
     Mother of a natural Child: her Churching.--Large Family of Gerard
     Ablett: his Apprehensions: Comparison between his State and that of
     the wealthy Farmer his Master: his Consolation.--An Old Man’s
     Anxiety for an Heir: the Jealousy of another on having
     many.--Characters of the Grocer Dawkins and his Friend: their
     different kinds of Disappointment.--Three Infants named.--An Orphan
     Girl and Village School-mistress.--Gardener’s Child: Pedantry and
     Conceit of the Father: his Botanical Discourse: Method of fixing
     the Embryo-fruit of Cucumbers.--Absurd effects of Rustic Vanity:
     observed in the Names of their Children.--Relation of the Vestry
     Debate on a Foundling: Sir Richard Monday.--Children of various
     Inhabitants.--The poor Farmer.--Children of a Profligate: his
     Character and Fate.--Conclusion._

    Tum porro puer (ut sævis projectus ab undis,
    Navita) nudus humi jacet infans indigus omni
    Vitali auxilio,----
    Vagituque locum lugubri complet, ut æquum est,
    Cui tantum in vitâ restat transire malorum.
              Lucret. de Nat. Rerum, lib. 5.

    The Year revolves, and I again explore
    The simple Annals of my Parish-poor;
    What Infant-members in my flock appear,
    What Pairs I blest in the departed year;
    And who, of Old or Young, or Nymphs or Swains,
    Are lost to Life, its Pleasures and its pains.
      No Muse I ask, before my view to bring
    The humble actions of the Swains I sing.--
    How pass’d the Youthful, how the Old their days,
    Who sank in sloth and who aspir’d to praise;
    Their Tempers, Manners, Morals, Customs, Arts,
    What parts they had, and how they ’employed their parts;
    By what elated, sooth’d, seduc’d, deprest,
    Full well I know--these Records give the rest.
      Is there a place, save one the Poet sees,
    A Land of Love, of Liberty and Ease;
    Where labour wearies not nor cares suppress
    Th’ eternal flow of Rustic Happiness;
    Where no proud Mansion frowns in aweful State,
    Or keeps the Sunshine from the Cottage-gate;
    Where Young and Old, intent on pleasure throng,
    And half man’s life, is Holiday and Song?
    Vain search for scenes like these! no view appears,
    By sighs unruffled or unstain’d by tears;
    Since Vice the world subdued and Waters drown’d,
    _Auburn_ and _Eden_ can no more be found.
      Hence good and evil mix’d, but Man has skill
    And power to part them, when he feels the will;
    Toil, care, and patience bless th’ abstemious few,
    Fear, shame, and want the thoughtless herd pursue.
      Behold the Cot! where thrives th’ industrious Swain,
    Source of his pride, his pleasure and his gain;
    Screen’d from the Winter’s wind, the Sun’s last ray
    Smiles on the window and prolongs the day;
    Projecting thatch the woodbine’s branches stop,
    And turn their blossoms to the casement’s top:--
    All need requires is in that Cot contain’d,
    And much that taste untaught and unrestrain’d
    Surveys delighted; there she loves to trace,
    In one gay picture all the Royal Race;
    Around the walls are Heroes, Lovers, Kings;
    The print that shews them and the verse that sings.
      Here the last _Lewis_ on his throne is seen,
    And there he stands imprison’d and his Queen;
    To these the Mother takes her Child and shows
    What grateful Duty to his God he owes;
    Who gives to him, an happy Home and free,
    With life’s ennobling comfort, Liberty;
    When Kings and Queens, dethron’d, insulted, tried,
    Are all these Comforts of the Poor denied.
      There is _King Charles_, and all his Golden Rules,
    Who prov’d Misfortune’s was the best of schools;
    And there his Son, who, tried by years of pain,
    Prov’d that misfortunes may be sent in vain.
      The Magic-mill that grinds the gran’nams young,
    Close at the side of kind _Godiva_ hung;
    She, of her favourite place the pride and joy,
    Of charms at once most lavish and most coy;
    By wanton act, the purest fame could raise,
    And give the boldest deed, the chastest praise.
      There stands the stoutest _Ox_ in England fed;
    There fights the boldest _Jew_, Whitechapel-bred;
    And here _Saint Monday_’s worthy votaries live,
    In all the joys that Ale and Skittles give.
      Now lo! in Egypt’s coast that hostile Fleet,
    By nations dreaded and by NELSON beat;
    And here shall soon another Triumph come,
    A deed of Glory in a day of Gloom;
    Distressing glory! grievous boon of fate!
    The proudest Conquest, at the dearest rate.
      On shelf of deal beside the cuckoo-clock,
    Of Cottage-reading rests the chosen stock;
    Learning we lack, not Books, but have a kind
    For all our wants, a meat for every mind:
    The Tale for wonder and the Joke for whim,
    The half-sung Sermon and the half-groan’d Hymn.
      No need of classing; each within its place,
    The feeling finger in the dark can trace;
    “First from the corner, farthest from the wall,”
    Such all the rules and they suffice for all.
      There pious works for Sunday’s use are found,
    Companions for that Bible newly bound;
    That Bible, bought by sixpence weekly sav’d,
    Has choicest prints by famous Hands engrav’d;
    Has choicest notes by many a famous Head,
    Such as to doubt, have rustic readers led;
    Have made them stop to reason _why?_ and _how?_
    And where they once agreed, to cavil now.
        Oh! rather give me Commentators plain,
        Who with no deep researches vex the brain;
        Who from the dark and doubtful love to run,
        And hold their glimmering tapers to the sun;
        Who simple Truth with nine-fold reasons back,
        And guard the point, no enemies attack.
      _Bunyan_’s fam’d _Pilgrim_ rests that shelf upon,
    A genius rare but rude was honest _John_;
    Not one who, early by the Muse beguil’d,
    Drank from her well, the waters undefil’d;
    Not one who slowly gain’d the Hill sublime,
    Then often sipp’d and little at a time;
    But one who dabbled in the sacred Springs,
    And drank them muddy, mix’d with baser things.
      Here to _interpret Dreams_ we read the rules,
    Science our own! and never taught in schools;
    In Moles and Specks we Fortune’s gifts discern,
    And Fate’s fix’d will from Nature’s wanderings learn.
      Of Hermit _Quarle_ we read in island rare,
    Far from Mankind and seeming far from Care;
    Safe from all want and sound in every limb;
    Yes! there was he and there was Care with him.
      Unbound and heap’d these valued works beside,
    Laid humbler works, the pedler’s pack supplied;
    Yet these, long since, have all acquir’d a name;
    The _Wandering Jew_ has found his way to fame:
    And fame, denied to many a labour’d song,
    Crowns _Thumb_ the great and _Hickerthrift_ the strong.
      There too is he, by wizard-power upheld,
    _Jack_, by whose arm the giant-brood were quell’d;
    His shoes of swiftness on his feet he plac’d;
    His coat of darkness on his loins he brac’d;
    His sword of sharpness in his hand he took,
    And off the heads of doughty Giants stroke;
    Their glaring eyes beheld no mortal near;
    No sound of feet alarm’d the drowsy ear;
    No English blood their pagan sense could smell,
    But heads dropt headlong, wondering why they fell.
      These are the Peasant’s joy, when, plac’d at ease,
    Half his delighted Offspring mount his knees.
      To every Cot the Lord’s indulgent mind,
    Has a small space for Garden-ground assign’d;
    Here--till return of morn dismiss’d the farm--
    The careful Peasant plies the sinewy arm,
    Warm’d as he works and casts his look around
    On every foot of that improving ground:
    It is his own he sees; his Master’s eye,
    Peers not about, some secret fault to spy;
    Nor voice severe is there, nor censure known;--
    Hope, profit, pleasure,--they are all his own.
        Here grow the humble _Cives_ and hard by them,
        The tall _Leek_, tapering with his rushy stem;
        High climb his Pulse in many an even row,
        Deep strike the ponderous roots in soil below,
        And herbs of potent smell and pungent taste,
        Give a warm relish to the Night’s repast.
      Apples and Cherries grafted by his hand,
    And cluster’d Nuts for neighbouring market stand.
      Nor thus concludes his labour; near the Cot,
    The Reed-fence rises round some favourite spot;
    Where rich Carnations, Pinks with purple eyes,  }
    Proud Hyacinths, the least some Florist’s prize,}
    Tulips tall-stemm’d and pounc’d Auricula’s rise.}
      Here on a Sunday-eve, when Service ends,
    Meet and rejoice a Family of Friends;
    All speak aloud, are happy and are free,
    And glad they seem and gaily they agree.
      What, though fastidious ears may shun the speech,
    Where all are talkers and where none can teach;
    Where still the Welcome and the Words are old,
    And the same Stories are for ever told;
    Yet their’s is joy that bursting from the heart,
    Prompts the glad tongue these nothings to impart;
    That forms these tones of gladness we despise,
    That lifts their steps, that sparkles in their eyes;
    That talks or laughs or runs or shouts or plays,
    And speaks in all their looks and all their ways.
      Fair scenes of peace! ye might detain us long,
    But Vice and Misery now demand the song;
    And turn our view from Dwellings simply neat,
    To this infected Row, we term our Street.
      Here, in cabal, a disputatious crew
    Each evening meet; the Sot, the Cheat, the Shrew;
    Riots are nightly heard;--the curse, the cries
    Of beaten Wife, perverse in her replies;
    While shrieking Children hold each threat’ning hand.
    And sometimes life, and sometimes food demand:
    Boys in their first stol’n rags, to swear begin,
    And girls, who heed not dress, are skill’d in gin:
    Snarers and Smugglers here their gains divide,
    Ensnaring females here their victims hide;
    And here is one, the Sybil of the Row,
    Who knows all secrets, or affects to know.
    Seeking their fate, to her the simple run,
    To her the guilty, theirs awhile to shun;
    Mistress of worthless arts, deprav’d in will,
    Her care unblest and unrepaid her skill,
    Slave to the tribe, to whose command she stoops,
    And poorer than the poorest maid she dupes.
      Between the road-way and the walls, offence
    Invades all eyes and strikes on every sense;
    There lie, obscene, at every open door,
    Heaps from the hearth and sweepings from the floor;
    And day by day the mingled masses grow,
    As sinks are disembogu’d and kennels flow.
      There hungry dogs from hungry children steal,
    There pigs and chickens quarrel for a meal;
    There dropsied infants wail without redress,
    And all is want and woe and wretchedness:
    Yet should these boys, with bodies bronz’d and bare,
    High-swoln and hard, outlive that lack of care--
    Forc’d on some farm, the unexerted strength,
    Though loth to action, is compell’d at length,
    When warm’d by health, as serpents in the spring,
    Aside their slough of indolence they fling.
      Yet ere they go, a greater evil comes--
    See! crowded beds in those contiguous rooms;
    Beds but ill parted, by a paltry screen,
    Of paper’d lath or curtain dropt between;
    Daughters and Sons to yon compartments creep,
    And Parents here beside their Children sleep:
    Ye who have power, these thoughtless people part,
    Nor let the Ear be first to taint the Heart.
      Come! search within, nor sight nor smell regard;
    The true Physician walks the foulest ward.
    See! on the floor, what frowzy patches rest!
    What nauseous fragments on yon fractur’d chest!
    What downy-dust beneath yon window-seat!
    And round these posts that serve this bed for feet;
    This bed where all those tatter’d garments lie,
    Worn by each sex, and now perforce thrown by!
      See! as we gaze, an Infant lifts its head,
    Left by neglect and burrow’d in that bed;
    The Mother-gossip has the love supprest,
    An Infant’s cry once waken’d in her breast;
    And daily prattles, as her round she takes,
    (With strong resentment) of the want she makes.
      Whence all these woes?--From want of virtuous will,
    Of honest shame, of time-improving skill;
    From want of care t’ employ the vacant hour,
    And want of ev’ry kind but want of power.
      Here are no Wheels for either Wool or Flax,
    But packs of Cards--made up of sundry packs;
    Here is no Clock, nor will they turn the Glass,
    And see how swift th’ important moments pass;
    Here are no Books, but ballads on the wall,
    Are some abusive, and indecent all;
    Pistols are here, unpair’d; with Nets and Hooks,
    Of every kind, for rivers, ponds, and brooks;
    An ample flask that nightly rovers fill,
    With recent poison from the Dutchman’s still;
    A Box of Tools with wires of various size,        }
    Frocks, Wigs, and Hats, for night or day disguise,}
    And Bludgeons stout to gain or guard a prize.     }
      To every House belongs a space of Ground,
    Of equal size, once fenc’d with Paling round;
    That Paling now by slothful waste destroy’d,
    Dead Gorse and stumps of Elder fill the void;
    Save in the centre-spot, whose walls of clay,
    Hide Sots and Striplings at their drink and play;
    Within, a board, beneath a til’d retreat,
    Allures the bubble and maintains the cheat;
    Where heavy Ale in spots like varnish shows,
    Where chalky tallies yet remain in rows;
    Black Pipes and broken Jugs the seats defile,
    The walls and windows, Rhymes and Reck’nings vile;
    Prints of the meanest kind disgrace the door,
    And cards in curses torn, lie fragments on the floor.
      Here his poor Bird th’ inhuman Cocker brings,
    Arms his hard heel and clips his golden wings;
    With spicy food th’ impatient spirit feeds,
    And shouts and curses as the battle bleeds;
    Struck through the brain, depriv’d of both his eyes,
    The vanquish’d bird must combat till he dies;
    Must faintly peck at his victorious foe,
    And reel and stagger at each feeble blow;
    When fall’n, the savage grasps his dabbled plumes,
    His blood-stain’d arms, for other deaths assumes;
    And damns the craven-fowl, that lost his stake,
    And only bled and perish’d for his sake.
      Such are our Peasants, those to whom we yield
    Glories unsought, the Fathers of the Field;
    And these who take from our reluctant hands,
    What _Burn_ advises or the Bench commands.
      Our Farmers round, well pleas’d with constant gain,
    Like other farmers, flourish and complain.--
    These are our Groups; our Portraits next appear,
    And close our Exhibition for the Year.

           *       *       *       *       *

    With evil omen, we that Year begin:
    A Child of Shame,--stern Justice adds, of Sin,
    Is first recorded;--I would hide the deed,
    But vain the wish; I sigh and I proceed:
    And could I well th’ instructive truth convey,
    ’Twould warn the Giddy and awake the Gay.
      Of all the Nymphs, who gave our Village grace,
    The _Miller_’s Daughter had the fairest Face;
    Proud was the Miller; Money was his pride,
    He rode to Market, as our Farmers ride,
    And ’twas his boast, inspir’d by spirits, there,
    His favourite _Lucy_ should be rich as fair;
    But she must meek and still obedient prove,
    And not presume, without his leave, to love.
    A youthful _Sailor_ heard him;--“Ha!” quoth he,
    “This _Miller_’s Maiden is a prize for me;
    “Her Charms I love, his Riches I desire,
    “And all his threats but fan the kindling fire;
    “My ebbing purse, no more the Foe shall fill,
    “But Love’s kind act and _Lucy_ at the Mill.”
      Thus thought the Youth, and soon the chace began,
    Stretch’d all his sail, nor thought of pause or plan:
    His trusty staff, in his bold hand, he took,
    Like him and like his Frigate, _Heart of Oak_;
    Fresh were his features, his attire was new;
    Clean was his linen and his jacket blue;
    Of finest _jean_ his trowsers tight and trim,
    Brush’d the large buckle at the silver rim.
      He soon arriv’d, he trac’d the Village-green,
    There saw the Maid, and was with pleasure seen;
    Then talk’d of Love, till _Lucy_’s yielding heart
    Confess’d ’twas painful, though ’twas right to part.
      “For ah! my Father has an haughty soul,
    “Whom best he loves, he loves but to controul;
    “Me to some churl in bargain he’ll consign,
    “And make some tyrant of the Parish, mine;
    “Cold is his heart, and he with looks severe,
    “Has often forc’d, but never shed the tear;
    “Save when my Mother died, some drops express’d
    “A kind of sorrow for a Wife at rest:--
    “To me a Master’s stern regard is shown,
    “I’m like his steed, priz’d highly as his own;
    “Stroak’d but corrected, threaten’d when supplied,
    “His slave and boast, his victim and his pride.”
      ‘Cheer up, my Lass! I’ll to thy Father go,
    ‘The _Miller_ cannot be the Sailor’s foe;
    ‘Both live by Heaven’s free gale that plays aloud
    ‘In the stretch’d canvass and the piping shroud;
    ‘The rush of winds, the flapping sails above,
    ‘And rattling planks within, are sounds we love;
    ‘Calms are our dread; when Tempests plough the Deep.
    ‘We take a Reef, and to the rocking, sleep.’
      “Ha!” quoth the _Miller_, mov’d at speech so rash,
    “Art thou like me? Then where thy Notes and Cash?
    “Away to _Wapping_, and a Wife command,
    “With all thy wealth, a Guinea, in thine hand;
    “There with thy messmates quaff the muddy cheer,
    “And leave my _Lucy_ for thy Betters here.”
      ‘Revenge! Revenge!’ the angry Lover cried,
    Then sought the Nymph, and ‘Be thou now my Bride.’
    Bride had she been, but they no Priest could move
    To bind in Law, the Couple bound by Love.
      What sought these Lovers then by day, by night?
    But stolen moments of disturb’d delight;
    Soft trembling tumults, terrors dearly priz’d,
    Transports that pain’d and joys that agoniz’d:
    Till, the fond Damsel, pleas’d with Lad so trim,
    Aw’d by her Parent and entic’d by him;
    Her lovely form from savage power to save,
    Gave--not her Hand--but ALL she could, she gave.
      Then came the Day of shame, the grievous Night,
    The varying Look, the wandering Appetite;
    The Joy assum’d, while Sorrow dimm’d the eyes,
    The forc’d sad Smiles that follow’d sudden Sighs;
    And every art, long us’d, but us’d in vain,
    To hide thy progress, Nature, and thy pain.
      Too eager caution shews some danger’s near,
    The Bully’s bluster proves the Coward’s fear;
    His sober step, the Drunkard vainly tries,
    And Nymphs expose the failings they disguise.
      First, whispering _Gossips_ were in parties seen;
    Then louder _Scandal_ walk’d the Village-green;
    Next babbling _Folly_ told the growing ill,
    And busy _Malice_ dropt it at the Mill.
      “Go! to thy curse and mine,” the Father said,
    “Strife and confusion stalk around thy bed;
    “Want and a wailing Brat thy Portion be,
    “Plague to thy fondness, as thy fault to me,
    “Where skulks the villain?”----
                        --‘On the Ocean wide,
    ‘My _William_ seeks a portion for his Bride.’--
      “Vain be his search! But till the traitor come,
    “The Higler’s Cottage be thy future home;
    “There with his antient Shrew and Care abide,
    “And hide thy Head, thy Shame thou canst not hide.”
      Day after day were past in grief and pain,
    Week after week,--nor came the Youth again;
    Her Boy was born--no Lads nor Lasses came
    To grace the Rite or give the Child a name;
    Nor grave conceited Nurse of office proud,
    Bore the young Christian roaring through the crowd;
    In a small chamber was my office done,
    Where blinks through paper’d panes the setting Sun;
    Where noisy Sparrows perch’d on penthouse near,
    Chirp tuneless joy and mock the frequent tear;
    Bats on their webby wings in darkness move,
    And feebly shriek their melancholy love.
      No Sailor came; the months in terror fled!
    Then news arriv’d; He fought, and he was DEAD!
      At the lone Cottage _Lucy_ lives, and still
    Walks, for her weekly pittance, to the Mill;
    A mean seraglio there her Father keeps,
    Whose mirth insults her, as she stands and weeps:
    And sees the plenty, while compell’d to stay,
    Her Father’s pride, become his Harlot’s prey.
      Throughout the lanes, she glides at evening’s close,
    And softly lulls her Infant to repose;
    Then sits and gazes but with viewless look,
    As gilds the Moon the rimpling of the brook;
    And sings her vespers, but in voice so low,
    She hears their murmurs as the waters flow;
    And she too murmurs and begins to find
    The solemn wanderings of a wounded mind;
    Visions of terror, views of woe succeed,
    The mind’s impatience, to the body’s need;
    By turns to that, by turns to this a prey,
    She knows what Reason yields and dreads what Madness may.

      Next with their Boy, a decent Couple came,
    And call’d him _Robert_, ’twas his Father’s name;
    Three Girls preceded, all by time endear’d,
    And future Births were neither hop’d nor fear’d;
    Blest in each other, but to no excess;
    Health, quiet, comfort, form’d their happiness;
    Love all made up of torture and delight,
    Was but mere madness in this Couple’s sight:
    _Susan_ could think, though not without a sigh,
    If she were gone, who should her place supply?
    And _Robert_ half in earnest, half in jest,
    Talk of her Spouse when he should be at rest;
    Yet strange would either think it to be told,
    Their love was cooling or their hearts were cold;
    Few were their Acres,--but they, well content,
    Were on each pay-day, ready with their rent;
    And few their wishes--what their Farm denied,
    The neighbouring town, at trifling cost, supplied;
    If at the Draper’s window, _Susan_ cast
    A longing look, as with her goods she pass’d;
    And with the produce of the wheel and churn,
    Bought her a Sunday-robe on her return;
    True to her maxim, she would take no rest,
    Till care repay’d that portion to the Chest:
    Or if, when loitering at the Whitsun-fair,
    Her _Robert_ spent some idle shillings there;
    Up at the Barn, before the break of day,
    He made his labour for th’ indulgence pay;
    Thus both--that Waste itself might work in vain--
    Wrought double tides, and all was well again.
      Yet though so prudent, there were times of joy,
    (The Day they wed, the Christening of the Boy,)
    When to the wealthier Farmers there was shown,
    Welcome unfeign’d, and plenty like their own;
    For _Susan_ serv’d the Great and had some pride,
    Among our topmost people to preside;
    Yet in that plenty, in that welcome free,
    There was the guiding nice Frugality;
    That in the festal as the frugal day,
    Has in a different mode, a sovereign sway:
    As tides the same attractive influence know
    In the least ebb and in their proudest flow;
    The wise Frugality that does not give,
    A life to saving but that saves to live,
    Sparing not pinching, mindful though not mean,
    O’er all presiding, yet in nothing seen.

      Recorded next a Babe of Love I trace!
    Of many Loves, the Mother’s fresh disgrace;--
    “Again, thou Harlot! could not all thy pain,
    “All my reproof, thy wanton thoughts restrain?”
      ‘Alas! your Reverence, wanton thoughts, I grant,
    ‘Were once my motive, now the thoughts of want;
    ‘Women like me, as ducks in a decoy,
    ‘Swim down a stream and seem to swim in joy;
    ‘Your Sex pursue us and our own disdain,
    ‘Return is dreadful and escape is vain.
    ‘Would Men forsake us and would Women strive
    ‘To help the fall’n, their Virtue might revive.’
      For Rite of Churching soon she made her way,
    In dread of Scandal, should she miss the day:--
    Two Matrons came! with them she humbly knelt,
    Their action copied and their comforts felt,
    From that great pain and peril to be free,
    Though still in peril of that pain to be;
    Alas! what numbers like this amorous Dame,
    Are quick to censure but are dead to shame!

      Twin-Infants then appear, a Girl, a Boy,
    Th’ o’erflowing cup of _Gerard Ablett_’s joy:
    Seven have I nam’d, and but six years have past
    By him and _Judith_ since I bound them fast;
    Well pleas’d, the Bridegroom smil’d to hear--“A Vine
    “Fruitful and spreading round the walls be thine,
    “And branch-like be thine Offspring!”--_Gerard_ then
    Look’d joyful love, and softly said, ‘Amen.’
    Now of that Vine he would no more increase,
    Those playful Branches now disturb his peace;
    Them he beholds around his table spread,
    But finds, the more the Branch, the less the Bread;
    And while they run his humble walls about,
    They keep the sunshine of good-humour out.
      Cease, man, to grieve! thy Master’s lot survey,
    Whom Wife and Children, thou and thine obey;
    A Farmer proud, beyond a Farmer’s pride,
    Of all around the envy or the guide;
    Who trots to market on a steed so fine,
    That when I meet him, I’m asham’d of mine;
    Whose board is high up-heap’d with generous fare,    }
    Which five stout Sons and three tall Daughters share:}
    Cease, man, to grieve, and listen to his care.       }
      A few years fled, and all thy Boys shall be
    Lords of a Cot, and labourers like thee;
    Thy Girls unportioned neighbouring youths shall lead,
    Brides from my Church, and thenceforth thou art freed:
    But then thy Master shall of cares complain,
    Care after care, a long connected train;
    His Sons for Farms shall ask a large supply,
    For Farmer’s sons each gentle Miss shall sigh;
    Thy Mistress reasoning well of life’s decay,
    Shall ask a chaise and hardly brook delay;
    The smart young Cornet who, with so much grace,
    Rode in the ranks and betted at the Race,
    While the vext parent rails at deed so rash,
    Shall d--n his luck, and stretch his hand for cash.
    Sad troubles, _Gerard!_ now pertain to thee,
    When thy rich Master seems from trouble free;
    But ’tis one fate at different times assign’d,
    And cares from thee departing, he must find.

      “Ah!” quoth our village Grocer, rich and old,
    “Would! I might one such cause for care, behold!”
    To whom his Friend, ‘Mine greater bliss would be,
    ‘Would Heav’n take those, my Spouse assigns to me.’

      Aged were both, that _Dawkins_, _Ditchem_ this,
    Who much of Marriage thought and much amiss;
    Both would delay, the One, till--riches gain’d,
    The Son he wish’d might be to honour train’d;
    His Friend--lest fierce intruding Heirs should come,
    To waste his Hoard and vex his quiet Home.
      _Dawkins_, a dealer once on burthen’d back,
    Bore his whole substance in a pedlar’s pack;
    To dames discreet, the duties yet unpaid,
    His stores of Lace and Hyson he convey’d:
    When thus enrich’d, he chose at home to stop
    And fleece his neighbours in a new-built shop;
    Then woo’d a Spinster blithe and hop’d, when wed,
    For Love’s fair favours and a fruitful bed.
      Not so his Friend;--on Widow fair and staid,
    He fix’d his eye, but he was much afraid;
    Yet woo’d; while she, his hair of silver hue
    Demurely notic’d and her eye withdrew;
    Doubtful he paus’d--“Ah! were I sure,” he cried,
    “No craving Children would my gains divide;
    “Fair as she is, I would my Widow take,
    “And live more largely for my Partner’s sake.”
      With such their views, some thoughtful years they pass’d,
    And hoping, dreading, they were bound at last.
    And what their fate! Observe them as they go,
    Comparing fear with fear and woe with woe.
      “Ah! Humphrey! Humphrey! Envy in my breast,
    “Sickens to see thee in thy Children blest;
    “They are thy joys, while I go grieving home,
    “To a sad Spouse and our eternal gloom;
    “We look Despondency; no Infant near,
    “To bless the eye or win the Parent’s ear;
    “Our sudden heats and quarrels to allay,
    “And soothe the petty sufferings of the day:
    “Alike our want, yet both the want reprove,
    “Where are, I cry, these Pledges of our Love?
    “When she like Jacob’s wife makes fierce reply,
    “Yet fond--Oh! give me Children or I die;
    “And I return--still childless doom’d to live,
    “Like the vex’d Patriarch,--Are they mine to give?
    “Ah! much I envy thee, thy Boys who ride
    “On poplar branch and canter at thy side;
    “And Girls, whose cheeks thy chin’s fierce fondness know,
    “And with fresh beauty at the contact, glow.”
      ‘Oh simple friend,’ said Humphrey, ’wouldst thou gain,
    ‘A Father’s pleasure, by an Husband’s pain?
    ‘Alas! what pleasure--when some vig’rous Boy
    ‘Should swell thy pride, some rosy Girl thy joy?
    ‘Is it to doubt, who grafted this sweet flower,
    ‘Or whence arose that spirit and that power?
      ‘Four years I’ve wed; not one has past in vain:
    ‘Behold the fifth! Behold, a Babe again!
    ‘My Wife’s gay friends th’ unwelcome imp admire,
    ‘And fill the room with gratulation dire;
    ‘While I in silence sate, revolving all!
    ‘That influence antient men, or that befall;
    ‘A gay pert guest--Heav’n knows his business--came;
    ‘A glorious Boy, he cried, and what the name?
    ‘Angry I growl’d; My spirit cease to tease,
    ‘Name it yourselves,--_Cain_, _Judas_, if you please,
    ‘His father’s give him, should you that explore,
    ‘The Devil’s or your’s:--I said, and sought the door.
    ‘My tender Partner not a word or sigh
    ‘Gives to my wrath, nor to my speech reply;
    ‘But takes her comforts, triumphs in my pain,
    ‘And looks undaunted for a Birth again.’--
      Heirs thus denied afflict the pining heart,
    And thus afforded, jealous pangs impart;
    To prove these arrows of the giant’s hand,
    Are not for Man to stay or to command.

      Then with their Infants three, the Parents came,
    And each assign’d--‘twas all they had--a Name:
    Names of no mark or price; of them not one
    Shall court our view on the sepulchral stone;
    Or stop the Clerk, th’ engraven scrolls to spell,
    Or keep the Sexton from the sermon-bell.

      An Orphan Girl succeeds: ere she was born,
    Her Father died, her Mother on that morn;
    The pious Mistress of the School sustains
    Her Parents’ part, nor their affection feigns,
    But pitying feels: with due respect and joy,
    I trace the Matron at her lov’d employ;
    What time the striplings wearied ev’n with play,       }
    Part at the closing of the Summer’s day,               }
    And each by different path, returns the well-known way.}
    Then I behold her at her cottage-door,
    Frugal of light:--her Bible laid before,
    When on her double duty she proceeds,
    Of Time as frugal;--knitting as she reads:
    Her idle neighbours who approach to tell
    Of news or nothing, her grave looks compel,
    To hear reluctant,--while the lads who pass,
    In pure respect, walk silent on the grass;
    Then sinks the day, but not to rest she goes,
    Till solemn prayers the daily duties close.

      But I digress, and lo! an Infant-train
    Appear, and call me to my task again.
      ‘Why _Lonicera_ wilt thou name thy child?’
    I ask’d the _Gardener_’s Wife, in accents mild:
    “We have a right,” replied the sturdy dame;--
    And _Lonicera_ was the Infant’s name.
    If next a Son shall yield our Gardener joy,
    Then _Hyacinthus_ shall be that fair boy;
    And if a Girl, they will at length agree,
    That _Belladonna_ that fair maid shall be.
      High-sounding words our worthy Gardener gets,
    And at his Club to wondering Swains repeats;
    He then of _Rhus_ and _Rhododendron_ speaks,
    And _Allium_ calls his Onions and his Leeks;
    Nor Weeds are now, for whence arose the Weed,
    Scarce Plants, fair Herbs and curious Flowers proceed;
    Where _Cuckoo-pints_ and _Dandelions_ sprung,
    (Gross names had they our plainer sires among;)
    There _Arums_, there _Leontodons_ we view,
    And _Artimisia_ grows, where _Wormwood_ grew.
      But though no weed exists, his Garden round,
    From _Rumex_ strong our Gardener frees his ground,
    Takes soft _Senicio_ from the yielding land,
    And grasps the arm’d _Urtica_ in his hand.
      Not DARWIN’s self had more delight to sing
    Of Floral Courtship, in th’ awaken’d spring;
    Than _Peter Pratt_, who simpering loves to tell,
    How rise the _Stamens_, as the _Pistils_ swell;
    How bend and curl the moist-top to the spouse,
    And give and take the vegetable vows;
    How those esteem’d of old, but tips and chives,
    Are tender husbands and obedient wives;
    Who live and love within the sacred bower,--
    That bridal bed, the vulgar term a Flower.
      Hear _Peter_ proudly, to some humble friend,
    A wondrous secret, in his science lend;--
    “Would you advance the nuptial hour, and bring
    “The fruit of Autumn, with the flowers of Spring;
    “View that light frame where _Cucumis_ lies spread,
    “And trace the husbands in their golden bed,
    “Three powder’d _Anthers_;--then no more delay,
    “But to the _Stigma_’s top, their dust convey;
    “Then by thyself, from prying glance secure,
    “Twirl the full tip and make your purpose sure;
    “A long-abiding race the deed shall pay,
    “Nor one unblest abortion pine away.”
    T’ admire their friend’s discourse our Swains agree,
    And call it Science and Philosophy.
      ’Tis good, ’tis pleasant, through th’ advancing year,
    To see unnumber’d growing Forms appear;
    What leafy-life from Earth’s broad bosom rise!
    What insect-myriads seek the summer skies!
    What scaly tribes in every streamlet move!          }
    What plumy people sing in every grove!              }
    All with the year awak’d, to life, delight and love.}
    Then Names are good, for how, without their aid
    Is knowledge, gain’d by man, to man convey’d?
    But from that source shall all our pleasure flow?
    Shall all our knowledge be those Names to know?
    Then He, with memory blest, shall bear away
    The palm from GREW, and MIDDLETON, and RAY;
    No! let us rather seek in Grove and Field,
    What food for Wonder, what for Use they yield;
    Some just remark from Nature’s people bring,
    And some new source of homage for her _King_.

      Pride lives with all; strange Names our Rustics give
    To helpless Infants, that their own may live;
    Pleas’d to be known, some notice they will claim,
    And find some bye-way to the house of Fame.
      The straightest Furrow lifts the Ploughman’s heart,
    The Hat he gain’d has warmth for head and heart;
    The Bowl that beats the greater number down,
    Of tottering Nine-pins, gives to fame the Clown;
    Or foil’d in these, he opes his ample jaws,
    And lets a Frog leap down to gain applause;
    Or grins for hours, or tipples for a week,
    Or challenges a well-pinch’d pig, to squeak;
    Some idle deed, some child’s preposterous Name,
    Shall make him known and give his folly, fame.

      To name an Infant met our Village-sires,
    Assembled all, as such event requires;
    Frequent and full, the rural Sages sate,
    And Speakers many urg’d the long debate,--
    Some harden’d knaves, who rov’d the country round,
    Had left a Babe within the Parish-bound.--
    First, of the fact they question’d--“Was it true?”
    The Child was brought--“What then remain’d to do?
    “Was’t dead or living?” This was fairly prov’d,
    ’Twas pinch’d, it roar’d, and every doubt remov’d;
    Then by what Name th’ unwelcome guest to call,
    Was long a question and it pos’d them all:
    For he who lent a Name to Babe unknown,
    Censorious men might take it for his own;
    They look’d about, they ask’d the name of all,
    And not one _Richard_ answer’d to the call;
    Next they enquir’d the day, when passing by,
    Th’ _unlucky_ peasant heard the stranger’s cry;
    This known; how Food and Raiment they might give,
    Was next debated--for the rogue would live;
    At last with all their words and work content,}
    Back to their homes, the prudent Vestry went, }
    And _Richard Monday_ to the Workhouse sent.   }
    There was he pinch’d and pitied, thump’d and fed,
    And duly took his beatings and his bread;
    Patient in all controul, in all abuse,
    He found contempt and kicking have their use:
    Sad, silent, supple; bending to the blow,
    A slave of slaves, the lowest of the low;
    His pliant soul gave way to all things base,
    He knew no shame, he dreaded no disgrace:
    It seem’d, so well his passions he suppress’d,
    No feeling stirr’d his ever-torpid breast;
    Him might the meanest pauper bruise and cheat,
    He was a footstool for the beggar’s feet;
    His were the legs that ran at all commands;
    They us’d on all occasions, _Richard_’s hands;
    His very soul was not his own; he stole
    As others order’d, and without a dole;
    In all disputes, on either part he lied,
    And freely pledg’d his oath on either side,
    In all rebellions _Richard_ join’d the rest,
    In all detections _Richard_ first confess’d;
    Yet though disgrac’d, he watch’d his time so well,
    He rose in favour, when in fame he fell;
    Base was his usage, vile his whole employ,
    And all despis’d and fed the pliant boy:
    At length, “‘tis time he should abroad be sent,”
    Was whisper’d near him,--and abroad he went;
    One morn they call’d him, _Richard_ answer’d not,
    They doom’d him hanging and in time forgot,--
    Yet miss’d him long, as each, throughout the clan,
    Found he “had better spar’d a better man.”
      Now _Richard_’s talents for the world were fit,
    He’d no small cunning and had some small wit;
    Had that calm look which seem’d to all assent,
    And that complacent speech which nothing meant;
    He’d but one care and that he strove to hide,
    How best for _Richard Monday_ to provide;
    Steel, through opposing plates the Magnet draws,
    And steelly atoms culls from dust and straws;
    And thus our Hero, to his interest true,
    Gold through all bars and from each trifle drew;
    But still more surely round the world to go,
    This Fortune’s Child, had neither friend nor foe.
      Long lost to us, at last our man we trace,
    Sir _Richard Monday_ died at _Monday-place_;
    His Lady’s worth, his Daughter’s we peruse;
    And find his Grandsons all as rich as Jews;
    He gave reforming Charities a sum,
    And bought the blessings of the Blind and Dumb;
    Bequeath’d to Missions money from the Stocks,
    And Bibles issu’d from his private box;
    But to his native place severely just,
    He left a pittance bound in rigid trust;
    Two paltry pounds, on every quarter’s-day,
    (At church produc’d) for forty loaves should pay;
    A stinted gift, that to the Parish shows,
    He kept in mind their bounty and their blows!

      To Farmers three, the Year has giv’n a Son,
    _Finch_ on the Moor, and _French_ and _Middleton_;
    Twice in this year a female _Giles_ I see,
    A _Spalding_ once, and once a _Barnaby_;
    An humble man is he and when they meet,
    Our Farmers find him on a distant seat;
    There for their wit he serves a constant theme,
    “They praise his Dairy, they extol his Team,
    “They ask the price of each unrivall’d Steed,
    “And whence his Sheep, that admirable breed;
    “His thriving arts they beg he would explain,
    “And where he puts the Money he must gain:--
    “They have their Daughters, but they fear their friend
    “Would think his Sons too much would condescend;--
    “They have their Sons who would their fortunes try,
    “But fear his Daughters will their suit deny.”
    So runs the joke, while _James_ with sigh profound,
    And face of care, keeps looking on the ground;
    These looks and sighs provoke the insult more,
    And point the jest--for _Barnaby_ is poor.

      Last in my List, five untaught Lads appear;
    Their Father dead, Compassion sent them here,
    For still that rustic Infidel denied,
    To have their Names with solemn Rite applied:
    His, a lone House, by Dead-man’s Dyke-way stood;
    And his, a nightly Haunt, in Lonely-wood;
    Each Village Inn has heard the ruffian boast,
    That he believ’d ‘in neither God nor Ghost;
    ‘That when the sod upon the Sinner press’d,
    ‘He, like the Saint, had everlasting rest;
    ‘That never Priest believ’d his Doctrines true,  }
    ‘But would, for profit, own himself a Jew,       }
    ‘Or worship Wood and Stone, as honest Heathen do;}
    ‘That fools alone on future Worlds rely,
    ‘And all who die for Faith, deserve to die.’
      These Maxims,--part th’ Attorney’s Clerk profess’d,
    His own transcendant genius found the rest.
    Our pious Matrons heard and much amaz’d,
    Gaz’d on the Man and trembled as they gaz’d;
    And now his Face explor’d and now his Feet,
    Man’s dreaded Foe, in this Bad Man, to meet:
    But him our Drunkards as their Champion rais’d,
    Their Bishop call’d, and as their Hero prais’d;
    Though most when sober, and the rest, when sick,
    Had little question, whence his Bishoprick.
      But he, triumphant Spirit! all things dar’d,
    He poach’d the Wood and on the Warren snar’d;
    ’Twas his, at Cards, each Novice to trepan,
    And call the Wants of Rogues the Rights of Man;
    Wild as the Winds, he let his Offspring rove,
    And deem’d the Marriage-Bond the Bane of Love.
      What Age and Sickness for a Man so bold,
    Had done, we know not;--none beheld him old:
    By night as business urg’d, he sought the Wood,
    The ditch was deep, the rain had caus’d a flood;
    The foot-bridge fail’d, he plung’d beneath the Deep,
    And slept, if truth were his, th’ eternal sleep.

      These have we nam’d; on Life’s rough Sea they sail,
    With many a prosperous, many an adverse gale!
    Where Passion soon, like powerful Winds, will rage,
    While wearied Prudence with their Strength engage;
    Then each, in aid, shall some Companion ask,
    For Help or Comfort in the tedious task;
    And what that Help--what Joys from Union flow,
    What Good or Ill, we next prepare to show;
    And row, meantime, our weary Bark ashore,
    As SPENCER his--but not with SPENCER’S OAR[7].




     _Previous Consideration necessary: yet not too long
     Delay.--Imprudent Marriage of Old Kirk and his Servant.--Comparison
     between an antient and youthful Partner to a Young Man.--Prudence
     of Donald the Gardener.--Parish Wedding: the compelled Bridegroom:
     Day of Marriage, how spent.--Relation of the Accomplishments of
     Phœbe Dawson, a Rustic Beauty: her Lover: his Courtship: their
     Marriage.--Misery of Precipitation.--The Wealthy Couple: Reluctance
     in the Husband; why?--Unusually fair Signatures in the Register:
     the common Kind.--Seduction of Bridget Dawdle by Footman Daniel:
     her Rustic Lover: her Return to him.--An Antient Couple;
     Comparisons on the occasion.--More pleasant View of Village
     Matrimony: Farmers celebrating the Day of Marriage; their
     Wives.--Reuben and Rachel an happy Pair: an Example of Prudent
     Delay.--Reflections on their State who were not so prudent, and its
     Improvement towards the Termination of Life: an Old Man so
     circumstanced.--Attempt to seduce a Village Beauty: Persuasion and
     Reply: the Event._





    Nubere si quà voles, quamvis properabitis ambo,
    Differ; habent parvæ commoda magna moræ.

    Ovid. Fast. lib. 3.

    Dispos’d to wed, ev’n while you hasten, stay;
    There’s great Advantage in a small Delay:
    Thus OVID sang, and much the Wise approve
    This prudent Maxim of the Priest of Love:
    If Poor, Delay for future Want prepares
    And eases humble Life of half its Cares;
    If Rich, Delay shall brace the thoughtful Mind,
    T’ endure the Ills that ev’n the happiest find:
    Delay shall Knowledge yield on either part,
    And shew the Value of the vanquish’d Heart:
    The Humours, Passions, Merits, Failings prove,
    And gently raise the Veil that’s worn by Love;
    Love, that impatient Guide!--too proud to think
    Of vulgar Wants, of Clothing, Meat and Drink,
    Urges our amorous Swains their Joys to seize,
    And then at Rags and Hunger, frighten’d flees:
    Yet not too long in cold Debate remain,
    Till Age, refrain not--but if Old, refrain.

      By no such Rule, would Gaffer _Kirk_ be tied;}
    First in the Year he led a blooming Bride,     }
    And stood a wither’d Elder at her side.        }
    Oh! _Nathan! Nathan!_ at thy years, trepann’d,
    To take a wanton Harlot by the hand!
    Thou, who wert us’d so tartly to express
    Thy sense of Matrimonial Happiness,
    Till every Youth, whose Banns at Church were read,
    Strove not to meet, or meeting, hung his head;
    And every Lass forbore at thee to look,
    A sly old Fish, too cunning for the Hook;--
    And now at Sixty, that pert Dame to see,
    Of all thy Savings Mistress, and of Thee;
    Now will the Lads, rememb’ring insults past,
    Cry, “What, the Wise-one in the trap at last!”
      Fie! _Nathan_, fie! to let an artful Jade,
    The close recesses of thine Heart invade;
    What grievous pangs! what suffering she’ll impart,
    And fill with anguish that rebellious Heart;
    For thou wilt strive incessantly, in vain,
    By threat’ning Speech, thy Freedom to regain;
    But she for Conquest married, nor will prove
    A Dupe to Thee, thine Anger or thy Love;
    Clamorous her Tongue will be;--of either Sex,
    She’ll gather friends around thee and perplex
    Thy doubtful Soul;--thy Money she will waste,
    In costly Frippery cull’d with vulgar taste;
    And will be happy to exert her power,
    In every Eye, in thine, at every hour.
      Then wilt thou bluster--“No! thou wilt not rest,
    “And see consum’d each Shilling of thy Chest:”
    Thou wilt be valiant,--“when her Cousins call,
    “Thou wilt abuse and shut thy door on all:”
    Thou wilt be cruel!--“what the Law allows,
    “That be thy Portion, my ungrateful Spouse!
    “Nor other Shillings shalt thou then receive,            }
    “And when I die”----“what! may I this believe?           }
    “Are these true tender tears? and does my _Kitty_ grieve?}
    “Ah! _crafty vixen_, thine Old Man has fears;
    “But weep no more! I’m melted by thy tears;
    “Spare but my Money, thou shall rule ME still,
    “And see thy Cousins---- there! I burn the Will.”--
      Thus with Example sad, our Year began,
    A wanton Vixen and a weary Man;
    “But had this Tale in other guise been told,”
    Young let the Lover be, the Lady old,
    And that Disparity of Years shall prove
    No bane of Peace, although some bar to Love:
    ’Tis not the worst, our Nuptial Ties among,
    That joins the Antient Bride and Bridegroom Young;--
    Young Wives, like changing Winds, their power display,
    By shifting Points and varying day by day;
    Now Zephyrs mild, now Whirlwinds in their force,
    They sometimes speed, but often thwart our Course:
    And much experienc’d should that Pilot be,
    Who sails with them on Life’s tempestuous Sea:
    But like a Trade-Wind is the Antient Dame,
    Mild to your wish and every day the same;
    Steady as Time, no sudden Squalls you fear,
    But set full-sail and with assurance steer;
    Till every Danger in your way be past,
    And then she gently, mildly breathes her last;
    Rich you arrive, in Port awhile remain,
    And for a second Venture sail again.

      For this, blithe _Donald_ southward made his way,
    And left the Lasses on the Banks of _Tay_;
    Him to a neighbouring Garden Fortune sent,
    Whom we beheld, aspiringly content:
    Patient and mild he sought the Dame to please,
    Who rul’d the Kitchen and who bore the Keys;
    Fair _Lucy_ first, the Laundry’s Grace and Pride,
    With smiles and gracious looks, her Fortune tried;
    But all in vain she prais’d his “pawky Eyne,”
    Where never fondness was for _Lucy_ seen;
    Him the mild _Susan_, boast of Dairies, lov’d,
    And found him civil, cautious, and unmov’d;
    From many a fragrant Simple, _Catharine_’s skill,
    Drew Oil, and Essence from the boiling Still;
    But not her Warmth, nor all her winning Ways,
    From his cool phlegm could _Donald_’s spirit raise;
    Of Beauty heedless, with the Merry mute,
    To Mistress _Dobson_ he preferr’d his suit;
    There prov’d his Service, there address’d his Vows,
    And saw her Mistress,--Friend,--Protectress,--Spouse:
    A Butler now, he thanks his powerful Bride,
    And like her Keys keeps constant at her side.

      Next at our Altar stood a luckless Pair,
    Brought by strong Passions and a Warrant there;
    By long rent cloak, hung loosely, strove the Bride,
    From ev’ry eye, what all perceiv’d, to hide.
    While the Boy-Bridegroom, shuffling in his pace,
    Now hid awhile and then expos’d his Face;
    As Shame alternately with Anger strove,
    The Brain, confus’d with muddy Ale, to move;
    In haste and stammering he perform’d his part,
    And look’d the Rage that rankled in his heart;
    (So will each Lover inly curse his fate,
    Too soon made happy and made wise too late;)
    I saw his Features take a savage gloom,
    And deeply threaten for the days to come;
    Low spake the Lass, and lisp’d and minc’d the while,
    Look’d on the Lad and faintly try’d to smile;
    With soft’ned speech and humbled tone she strove,
    To stir the embers of departed Love;
    While he a Tyrant, frowning walk’d before,
    Felt the poor Purse and sought the Public-door,
    She sadly following in submission went,
    And saw the final Shilling foully spent;
    Then to her Father’s hut the Pair withdrew,
    And bade to Love and Comfort long adieu!
        Ah! fly temptation, Youth, refrain! refrain!
        I preach for ever; but I preach in vain!

      Two summers since, I saw at Lammas Fair,
    The sweetest Flower that ever blossom’d there;
    When _Phœbe Dawson_ gaily cross’d the Green,
    In haste to see and happy to be seen;
    Her Air, her Manners, all who saw, admir’d;
    Courteous though coy and gentle though retir’d;
    The Joy of Youth and Health her Eyes display’d,
    And Ease of Heart her every Look convey’d;
    A native Skill her simple Robes express’d,
    As with untutor’d elegance she dress’d;
    The Lads around admir’d so fair a sight,
    And _Phœbe_ felt, and felt she gave, Delight.
    Admirers soon of every Age she gain’d,
    Her Beauty won them and her Worth retain’d;
    Envy itself could no Contempt display,
    They wish’d her well, whom yet they wish’d away;
    Correct in thought, she judg’d a Servant’s Place
    Preserv’d a Rustic Beauty from disgrace;
    But yet on Sunday-eve in Freedom’s hour,
    With secret joy she felt that Beauty’s power;
    When some proud bliss upon the Heart would steal,
    That, poor or rich, a Beauty still must feel.--
      At length, the Youth, ordain’d to move her breast,
    Before the Swains with bolder spirit press’d;
    With looks less timid made his Passion known,
    And pleas’d by Manners, most unlike her own;
    Loud though in Love and confident though young;
    Fierce in his air and voluble of tongue;
    By trade a Tailor, though, in scorn of trade,
    He serv’d the Squire, and brush’d the Coat he made;
    Yet now, would _Phœbe_ her Consent afford,
    Her slave alone, again he’d mount the Board;
    With her should years of growing Love be spent,
    And growing Wealth:--She sigh’d and look’d consent.
      Now, through the lane, up hill, and cross the Green,
    (Seen by but few and blushing to be seen--
    Dejected, thoughtful, anxious, and afraid,)
    Led by the Lover, walk’d the silent Maid:
    Slow through the meadows rov’d they, many a mile,
    Toy’d by each bank and trifled at each stile;
    Where, as he painted every blissful view,
    And highly colour’d what he strongly drew,
    The pensive Damsel, prone to tender fears,
    Dimm’d the false prospect with prophetic tears:
    Thus pass’d th’ allotted Hours, till lingering late,
    The Lover loiter’d at the Master’s gate;
    There he pronounc’d adieu! and yet would stay,
    Till chidden--sooth’d--intreated--forc’d away;
    He would of coldness, though indulg’d, complain,
    And oft retire and oft return again;
    When, if his teasing vex’d her gentle mind,
    The Grief assum’d, compell’d her to be kind!
    For he would proof of plighted Kindness crave,
    That she resented first and then forgave,
    And to his Grief and Penance yielded more,
    Than his Presumption had requir’d before:--
        Ah! fly temptation, Youth, refrain! refrain,
        Each yielding Maid and each presuming Swain!

      Lo! now with red rent Cloak and Bonnet black,
    And torn green Gown loose hanging at her back,
    One who an Infant in her arm sustains,
    And seems in patience, striving with her pains;
    Pinch’d are her Looks, as one who pines for Bread,
    Whose Cares are growing and whose Hopes are fled;
    Pale her parch’d Lips, her heavy Eyes sunk low,
    And Tears unnotic’d from their Channels flow;
    Serene her manner, till some sudden Pain,
    Frets the meek soul and then she’s calm again--
    Her broken Pitcher to the Pool she takes,
    And every step with cautious terror makes;
    For not alone that Infant in her arms,
    But nearer Cause, her anxious Soul alarms;
    With Water burthen’d, then she picks her way,
    Slowly and cautious, in the clinging clay;
    Till, in Mid-Green, she trusts a place unsound,
    And deeply plunges in th’ adhesive ground;
    Thence, but with pain, her slender foot she takes,
    While Hope the Mind as Strength the Frame forsakes:
    For when so full the Cup of Sorrow grows,
    Add but a drop, it instantly o’erflows.--
    And now her Path but not her Peace she gains,
    Safe from her Task, but shivering with her pains;
    Her Home she reaches, open leaves the door,
    And placing first her Infant on the floor,
    She bares her Bosom to the Wind and sits,
    And sobbing struggles with the rising Fits;
    In vain, they come, she feels th’ inflating grief,
    That shuts the swelling Bosom from relief;
    That speaks in feeble cries a Soul distrest,
    Or the sad laugh that cannot be represt;
    The Neighbour-Matron leaves her Wheel and flies
    With all the aid her Poverty supplies;
    Unfee’d, the Calls of Nature she obeys,
    Not led by profit, not allur’d by praise;
    And waiting long, till these Contentions cease,
    She speaks of Comfort and departs in peace.
      Friend of Distress! the Mourner feels thy Aid,
    She cannot pay thee, but thou wilt be paid.

      But who this Child of Weakness, Want, and Care?
    ’Tis _Phœbe Dawson_, Pride of _Lammas-Fair_;
    Who took her Lover for his sparkling Eyes,
    Expressions warm, and love-inspiring Lies:
    Compassion first assail’d her gentle Heart,
    For all his suffering, all his bosom’s smart:
    “And then his Prayers! they would a Savage move,
    “And win the coldest of the Sex to Love:”--
    But ah! too soon his Looks Success declar’d,
    Too late her Loss the Marriage-rite repair’d;
    The faithless Flatterer then his Vows forgot,
    A captious Tyrant or a noisy Sot:
    If present, railing, till he saw her pain’d;
    If absent, spending what their Labours gain’d;
    Till that fair Form in want and sickness pin’d,
    And Hope and Comfort fled that gentle Mind.
        Then fly temptation, Youth; resist, refrain!
        Nor let me preach for ever and in vain!

      Next came a well-drest Pair, who left their Coach,
    And made, in long procession, slow approach:
    For, this gay Bride had many a Female Friend,
    And Youths were there, this favour’d Youth t’ attend:
    Silent, nor wanting due respect, the Crowd
    Stood humbly round and Gratulation bow’d;
    But not that silent Crowd, in wonder fixt,
    Not numerous Friends, who praise and envy mix’d,
    Nor Nymphs attending near to swell the pride
    Of one more fair, the ever-smiling Bride;
    Nor that gay Bride adorn’d with every Grace,      }
    Nor Love nor Joy triumphant in her Face,          }
    Could from the Youth’s, sad signs of Sorrow chase:}
    Why didst thou grieve? Wealth, Pleasure, Freedom thine;
    Vex’d it thy soul, that Freedom to resign?
    Spake Scandle truth? “Thou didst not then intend,
    So soon to bring thy wooing to an end?”
    Or was it, as our prating Rustics say,
    To end as soon, but in a different way?
    ’Tis told thy _Phyllis_ is a skilful Dame,
    Who play’d uninjur’d with the dangerous Flame:
    That while like _Lovelace_ thou thy Coat display’d
    And hid the Snare, prepar’d to catch the Maid,
    Thee with her Net, she found the means to catch,
    And at the amorous See-saw, won the Match[8];
    Yet others tell, the Captain fix’d thy doubt,
    He’d call thee Brother, or he’d call thee out:--
    But rest the Motive--all Retreat too late,
    Joy like thy Bride’s should on thy brow have sate;
    The deed had then appear’d thine own intent,  }
    A glorious day, by gracious fortune sent,     }
    In each revolving Year to be in triumph spent.}
    Then in few weeks that cloudy Brow had been,
    Without a wonder or a whisper seen;
    And none had been so weak as to enquire,
    “Why pouts my Lady?” or “why frowns the Squire?”

      How fair these Names, how much unlike they look
    To all the blurr’d Subscriptions in my Book;
    The Bridegroom’s Letters stand in row above,
    Tapering yet stout, like Pine-trees in his Grove;
    While free and fine the Bride’s appear below,
    As light and slender as her Jasmines grow;
    Mark now in what confusion, stoop or stand,
    The crooked Scrawls of many a clownish Hand,
    Now out, now in, they droop, they fall, they rise,
    Like raw Recruits drawn forth for Exercise;
    Ere yet reform’d and modell’d by the Drill,
    The free-born Legs stand striding as they will.
      Much have I tried to guide the Fist along,
    But still the Blunderers plac’d their Blottings wrong:
    Behold these Marks uncouth! how strange that men,
    Who guide the Plough, should fail to guide the Pen;
    For half a mile, the Furrows even lie;
    For half an inch the Letters stand awry;--
    Is it that, strong and sturdy in the Field,
    They scorn the Arms of idle men to wield;
    Or give that Hand to guide the Goosequill-tip,
    That rules a Team and brandishes a Whip?
    The Lions they, whom conscious powers forbid,
    To play the Ape and “dandle with the Kid.”
      But yet, small Arts have charms for Female Eyes;
    Our Rustic Nymphs, the Beau and Scholar prize;
    Unletter’d Swains and Plough-men coarse, they slight.
    For those who dress and Amorous Scrolls indite.

      For _Bridget Dawdle_ happier Days had been,
    Had Footman _Daniel_ scorn’d his native Green;
    Or when he came an idle Coxcomb down,
    Had he his Love reserv’d for Lass in Town;
    To _Roger Pluck_ she then had pledg’d her Truth,--
    A sturdy, sober, kind, unpolish’d Youth;
    But from the day, that fatal day she spied
    The Pride of _Daniel_, _Daniel_ was her Pride.
    In all Concerns was _Roger_ just and true,            }
    But coarse his Doublet was and patch’d in view,       }
    And Felt his Stockings were and blacker than his Shoe;}
    While _Daniel_’s Linen all was fine and fair,--
    His Master wore it and he deign’d to wear;--
    (To wear his Livery, some Respect might prove;
    To wear his Linen, must be sign of Love;)
    Blue was his Coat, unsoil’d by spot or stain;
    His Hose were Silk, his Shoes of Spanish-grain;
    A Silver Knot, his breadth of Shoulder bore;       }
    A Diamond Buckle blaz’d his Breast before;         }
    Diamond he swore it was! and shew’d it as he swore:}
    Rings on his Fingers shone; his milk-white Hand,
    Could Pick-tooth Case and Box for Snuff command:
    And thus, with clouded Cane, a Fop complete,
    He stalk’d, the jest and glory of the Street:
    Join’d with these powers, he could so sweetly sing,
    Talk with such toss and saunter with such swing;
    Laugh with such Glee and trifle with such Art,
    That _Bridget_’s Promise, fail’d to shield her Heart.
      _Roger_, meantime, to ease his amorous Cares,
    Fix’d his full mind upon his Farm’s Affairs;
    Two Pigs, a Cow, and Wethers half a Score,
    Increas’d his Stock and still he look’d for more;
    He, for his Acres few, so duly paid,
    That yet more Acres to his lot were laid;
    Till our chaste Nymphs no longer felt disdain,
    And prudent Matrons prais’d the frugal Swain;
    Who thriving well, through many a fruitful Year,
    Now cloth’d himself anew, and acted Overseer.
      Just then poor _Bridget_ from her Friend in Town,
    Fled in pure fear, and came a beggar down;
    Trembling at _Roger_’s door, she knock’d for Bread,--     }
    Was chidden first, next pitied, and then fed;             }
    Then sat at _Roger_’s Board, then shar’d in _Roger_’s Bed:}
    All Hope of Marriage lost in her Disgrace,
    He mourns a Flame reviv’d, and she a love of Lace.

      Now to be wed, a well-match’d Couple came;
    Twice had old _Lodge_ been tied, and twice the Dame:
    Tottering they came and toying, (odious scene!)
    And fond and simple, as they’d always been.
    Children, from Wedlock we by Laws restrain;
    Why not prevent them, when they’re such again?
    Why not forbid the doating Souls, to prove,
    Th’ indecent Fondling of preposterous Love?
    In spite of Prudence, uncontroll’d by Shame,
    The amorous Senior wooes the toothless Dame,
    Relating idly, at the closing eye,
    The youthful Follies he disdains to leave;
    Till youthful Follies wake a transient Fire,
    When arm in arm, they totter and retire.
      So a fond Pair of solemn Birds, all day,
    Blink in their seat and doze the hours away;
    Then by the Moon awaken’d, forth they move,
    And fright the Songsters, with their cheerless Love.
      So two sear Trees, dry, stunted, and unsound,
    Each other catch, when dropping to the ground;
    Entwine their wither’d Arms ’gainst wind and weather,
    And shake their leafless Heads and drop together.
      So two dead Limbs, touch’d by Galvani’s Wire,
    Move with new life and feel awaken’d fire;
    Quivering awhile, their flaccid Forms remain,
    Then turn to cold torpidity again.

      “But ever frowns your Hymen? Man and Maid,
    “Are all repenting, suffering or betray’d?”
    Forbid it Love! we have our Couples here,
    Who hail the Day in each revolving Year:
    These are with us, as in the World around;
    They are not frequent, but they may be found.
      Our Farmers too, what though they fail to prove,
    In Hymen’s Bonds, the tenderest Slaves of Love,
    (Nor, like those Pairs whom Sentiment unites,
    Feel they the fervour of the Mind’s Delights;)
    Yet coarsely kind and comfortably gay,
    They heap the Board and hail the happy Day;
    And though the Bride, now freed from School, admits
    Of Pride implanted there, some transient fits;
    Yet soon she casts her girlish Flights aside,
    And in substantial Blessings rests her Pride.
      No more she plays, no more attempts to fit
    Her steps responsive to the squeaking Kit;
    No more recites her French, the Hinds among,
    But chides her Maidens in her mother-tongue;
    Her Tambour-frame she leaves and Diet spare,
    Plain-work and Plenty with her House to share;
    Till, all her Varnish lost, in few short years,
    In all her Worth, the Farmer’s Wife appears.
      Yet not the ancient Kind; nor she who gave
    Her soul to gain--a Mistress and a Slave;
    Who not to Sleep allow’d the needful Time!
    To whom Repose was loss, and Sport a crime;
    Who in her meanest Room, (and all were mean,)
    A noisy Drudge, from morn till night was seen;--
    But she, the Daughter, boasts a decent Room,
    Adorn’d with Carpet, form’d in Wilton’s loom;
    Fair Prints along the paper’d wall are spread; }
    There, _Werter_ sees the sportive Children fed,}
    And _Charlotte_ here, bewails her Lover dead.  }
      ’Tis here, assembled, while in room apart
    Their Husbands drinking warm the opening heart,
    Our neighbouring Dames, on Festal Days, unite
    With tongues more fluent and with hearts as light;
    Their’s is that Art, which English Wives alone,
    Profess--a boast and privilege their own;
    An Art it is, where each at once attends
    To all, and claims attention from her Friends,
    When they engage the Tongue, the Eye, the Ear;
    Reply when list’ning, and when speaking hear:
    The ready Converse knows no dull delays,
    “But double are the Pains, and double be the Praise[9].”
      Yet not to those alone who bear Command,
    Heav’n gives a Heart to hail the Marriage Band;
    Among their servants, we the Pairs can show,
    Who much to Love and more to Prudence owe:
    _Reuben_ and _Rachel_, though as fond as Doves,
    Were yet discreet and cautious in their Loves;
    Nor would attend to _Cupid_’s wild Commands,
    Till cool Reflection bade them join their Hands;
    When both were poor, they thought it argued ill
    Of hasty Love to make them poorer still;
    Year after year, with Savings long laid by,
    They bought the future Dwelling’s full Supply:
    Her frugal Fancy cull’d the smaller Ware,
    The weightier Purchase ask’d her _Reuben_’s Care;
    Together then their last Year’s Gain they threw,
    And lo! an auction’d Bed, with Curtains neat and new.
      Thus both, as Prudence counsell’d, wisely stay’d,
    And cheerful then the Calls of Love obey’d:
    What if, when _Rachel_ gave her Hand, ’twas one
    Embrown’d by Winter’s Ice and Summer’s Sun;
    What if, in _Reuben_’s Hair, the female Eye
    Usurping Grey among the Black could spy;
    What if in both, Life’s bloomy Flush was lost,
    And their full Autumn felt the mellowing Frost;
    Yet Time, who blow’d the Rose of Youth away,
    Had left the vigorous Stem without decay;
    Like those tall Elms, in Farmer _Frankford_’s Ground,
    They’ll grow no more,--but all their Growth is sound;
    By time confirm’d and rooted in the Land,
    The storms they’ve stood, still promise they shall stand.

      These are the happier Pairs, their Life has rest,
    Their Hopes are strong, their humble Portion blest;
    While those more rash to hasty Marriage led,
    Lament th’ impatience which now stints their Bread;
    When such their Union, years of Pain they know,
    Their Joys come seldom and their Pains pass slow;
    In Health just fed, in Sickness just reliev’d;
    By Hardships harass’d and by Children griev’d;
    In petty Quarrels and in peevish Strife,
    The once fond Couple waste the Spring of Life;
    But when to Age mature those Children grown,
    Find Hopes and Homes and Hardships of their own;
    The harass’d Couple feel their lingering Woes
    Then passing off and find, at length, Repose.
    Complaints and Murmurs then are laid aside,
    (By Reason these subdued and those by Pride,)
    And calm in Cares with Patience Man and Wife,
    Agree to share the Bitter-sweet of Life;
    (Life that has Sorrow much and Sorrow’s Cure,
    Where they who most enjoy shall much endure;)
    Their Rest, their Labour, Duties, Sufferings, Prayers,
    Compose the Soul and fit it for its Cares;
    Their Graves before them and their Griefs behind,
    Have each a Med’cine for the Rustic Mind;
    Nor has he care to whom his Wealth shall go,
    Or who shall labour with his Spade and Hoe;
    But as he lends the Strength that yet remains,
    And some dead Neighbour on his Bier sustains,
    (One with whom oft he whirl’d the bounding Flail,
    Toss’d the broad Coite or took th’ inspiring Ale):
    “For me,” (he meditates,) “shall soon be done,
    “This friendly Duty, when my Race be run;
    “‘Twas first in Trouble as in Error past,            }
    “Dark Clouds and stormy Cares whole Years o’ercast,  }
    “But calm my setting Day and Sunshine smiles at last:}
    “My Vices punish’d and my Follies spent,
    “Not loth to die but yet to live content,
    “I rest:”--then casting on the Grave his eye,
    His Friend compels a Tear and his own Griefs a Sigh.

      Last on my List appears a Match of Love,
    And one of Virtue;--happy may it prove!--
    Sir _Edward Archer_ is an amorous Knight,
    And Maidens chaste and lovely shun his sight;
    His Bailiff’s Daughter suited much his taste,
    For _Fanny Price_ was lovely and was chaste;
    To her the Knight with gentle looks drew near,
    And timid voice, assum’d to banish Fear.--
      “Hope of my Life, dear Sovereign of my Breast,
    “Which, since I knew thee, knows not Joy nor Rest;
    “Know thou art all that my delighted Eyes,
    “My fondest Thoughts, my proudest Wishes prize;
    “And is that Bosom--(what on earth so fair?)
    “To cradle some coarse Peasant’s sprawling Heir?
    “To be that Pillow which some surly Swain,
    “May treat with scorn and agonize with pain?
    “Art thou, sweet Maid, a Ploughman’s Wants to share,
    “To dread his Insult, to support his Care;
    “To hear his Follies, his Contempt to prove,
    “And (oh! the torment!) to endure his Love;
    “Till Want and deep Regret, those Charms destroy,
    “That Time would spare, if Time were pass’d in joy?
      “With him in varied Pains from morn till night,
    “Your Hours shall pass; yourself a Ruffian’s right;
    “Your softest Bed shall be the knotted Wool;
    “Your purest Drink, the Waters of the Pool!
    “Your sweetest Food will but your Life sustain;
    “And your best Pleasure be a Rest from Pain;
    “While thro’ each Year, as Health and Strength abate,
    “You’ll weep your Woes and wonder at your Fate;
    “And cry, ‘Behold, as Life’s last Cares come on,
    “‘My Burthens growing when my Strength is gone.’
      “Now turn with me and all the Young desire,
    “That Taste can form, that Fancy can require;
    “All that excites Enjoyment or procures,
    “Wealth, Health, Respect, Delight, and Love are yours:
    “Sparkling, in Cups of Gold, your Wines shall flow,
    “Grace that fair Hand, in that clear Bosom glow;
    “Fruits of each Clime and Flowers through all the Year,
    “Shall on your Walls and in your Walks appear:
    “Where all beholding, shall your Praise repeat,
    “No Fruit so tempting and no Flower so sweet;--
    “The softest Carpets in your Rooms shall lie,
    “Pictures of happiest Loves shall meet your Eye,
    “And tallest Mirrors reaching to the Floor,
    “Shall shew you all the Object I adore;
    “Who, by the Hands of Wealth and Fashion drest,
    “By Slaves attended and by Friends carest,
    “Shall move, a Wonder, through the public ways,
    “And hear the Whispers of adoring Praise.
    “Your Female Friends, though gayest of the Gay,
    “Shall see you happy and shall, sighing, say,
    “While smother’d Envy rises in the Breast,--
    “‘Oh! that we liv’d so beauteous and so blest!’
      “Come then, my Mistress and my Wife; for she
    “Who trusts my Honour is the Wife for me;
    “Your Slave, your Husband, and your Friend employ,
    “In search of Pleasures we may both enjoy.”--
    To this the Damsel, meekly firm, replied:
    ‘My Mother lov’d, was married, toil’d and died;
    ‘With Joys, she’d Griefs, had Troubles in her course,
    ‘But not one Grief was pointed by Remorse;
    ‘My Mind is fix’d, to Heav’n I resign,
    ‘And be her Love, her Life, her Comforts mine.’
      Tyrants have wept; and those with hearts of steel,
    Who caus’d the Anguish they disdain’d to heal,
    Have at some time, the Power of Virtue known,
    And found the Joy they gave promote their own.
      Our Knight relenting, now befriends the Youth,
    Who took the Maid, with Innocence and Truth;
    And finds in that fair deed a sacred Joy,
    That will not perish and that cannot cloy;--
    A living Joy, that shall its vigour keep,
    When Beauty all decays, and all the Passions sleep.




     _True Christian Resignation not frequently to be seen.--The
     Register a melancholy Record.--A dying Man, who at length sends for
     a Priest: for what Purpose? answered.--Old Collett, of the Inn, an
     instance of Dr. Young’s slow-sudden Death: his Character and
     Conduct.--The Manners and Management of the Widow Goe: her
     successful Attention to Business: her Decease unexpected.--The
     Infant-Boy of Gerard Ablett dies: Reflections on his Death, and the
     Survivor his Sister-Twin.--The Funeral of the Deceased Lady of the
     Manor described: her neglected Mansion: Undertaker and Train: the
     Character which her Monument will hereafter display.--Burial of an
     antient Maiden: some former Drawback on her Virgin-fame:
     Description of her House and Household: Her Manners, Apprehensions,
     Death.--Isaac Ashford, a virtuous Peasant, dies: his manly
     Character: Reluctance to enter the Poor-House; and why.--Misfortune
     and Derangement of Intellect in Robin Dingley: whence they
     proceeded: He is not restrained by Misery from a wandering Life:
     his various Returns to his Parish: his final Return.--Wife of
     Farmer Frankford, dies in prime of Life: Affliction in consequence
     of such Death: melancholy View of her House, &c. on her Family’s
     Return from her Funeral: Address to Sorrow.--Leah Cousins, a
     Midwife: her Character; and successful Practice: at length opposed
     by Doctor Glib: Opposition in the Parish: Argument of the Doctor;
     of Leah; her Failure and Decease.--Burial of Roger Cuff, a Sailor:
     his Enmity to his Family; how it originated: his Experiment, and
     its consequence.--The Register terminates.--A Bell heard: Inquiry
     for whom? The Sexton.--Character of Old Dibble, and the five
     Rectors whom he served.--Reflections.--Conclusion._




    Qui vultus Acherontis atri,
    Qui Stygia tristem, non tristis, videt,--
    Par ille Regi, par Superis erit.
              Seneca in Agamem.

    There was, ’tis said, and I believe, a Time,
    When humble Christians died with views sublime;
    When all were ready for their Faith to bleed,
    But few to write or wrangle for their Creed;
    When lively Faith upheld the sinking Heart,
    And Friends, assur’d to meet, prepar’d to part;
    When Love felt Hope, when Sorrow grew serene,
    And all was comfort in the Death-bed scene.
      Alas! when now the gloomy King they wait,
    ’Tis Weakness yielding to resistless Fate;
    Like wretched Men upon the Ocean cast,
    They labour hard and struggle to the last;
    “Hope against Hope,” and wildly gaze around,
    In search of Help that never shall be found;
    Nor, till the last strong Billow stops the Breath,
    Will they believe them in the jaws of Death!

      When these my Records I reflecting read,
    And find what Ills these numerous Births succeed;
    What powerful Griefs these Nuptial Ties attend,
    With what regret these painful Journeys end;
    When from the Cradle to the Grave I look,
    Mine I conceive a melancholy Book.
      Where now is perfect Resignation seen?
    Alas! it is not on the Village-Green;----
    I’ve seldom known, though I have often read
    Of, happy Peasants on their Dying-bed;
    Whose Looks proclaim’d that Sunshine of the Breast,
    That more than Hope, that Heav’n itself express’d.
      What I behold are feverish fits of Strife,
    ’Twixt fears of Dying and desire of Life;
    Those earthly Hopes, that to the last endure;
    Those Fears, that Hopes superior fail to cure;
    At best a sad submission to the Doom,
    Which, turning from the Danger, lets it come.
      Sick lies the Man, bewilder’d, lost, afraid,
    His Spirits vanquish’d and his Strength decay’d;
    No Hope the Friend, the Nurse, the Doctor lend--
    “Call then a Priest and fit him for his End.”
    A Priest is call’d, ’tis now, alas! too late,
    Death enters with him at the Cottage-gate;
    Or Time allow’d--he goes, assur’d to find,
    The self-commending, all-confiding Mind;
    And sighs to hear what we may justly call,
    Death’s _Common-Place_, the Train of Thought in all.
      “True, I’m a Sinner,” feebly he begins,--
    “But trust in Mercy to forgive my Sins:”
    (Such cool Confession no past Crimes excite!
    Such Claim on Mercy, as a Sinner’s Right!)
    “I know, Mankind are frail, that GOD is just,
    “And pardons those who in his Mercy trust;
    “We’re sorely tempted in a World like this,
    “All Men have done, and I like all, amiss;
    “But now, if spar’d, it is my full intent,
    “On all the past to ponder and repent;
    “Wrongs against me I pardon great and small,
    “And if I die, I die in peace with all.”
        His Merits thus and not his Sins confest,
        He speaks his Hopes and leaves to Heav’n the rest.
    Alas! are these the Prospects, dull and cold,
    That dying Christians to their Priests unfold?
    Or mends the Prospect when th’ Enthusiast cries,
    “I die assur’d!” and in a Rapture dies?
      Ah, where that humble, self-abasing Mind,
    With that confiding Spirit shall we find;
    The Mind that feeling what Repentance brings,
    Dejection’s terrors and Contrition’s stings,
    Has then the hope that Heav’n its grief approve
    And the pure joy that flows from Pardoning Love?
      Such have I seen in Death, and much deplore,
    So many dying--that I see no more:
    Lo! now my Records, where I grieve to trace,
    How Death has triumph’d in so short a space;
    Who are the Dead, how died they, I relate,
    And snatch some portion of their Acts from Fate.

    With _Andrew Collet_ we the Year begin,
    The blind, fat Landlord of the Old Crown-Inn:
    Big as his Butt and for the self-same use,
    To take in stores of strong fermenting Juice.
    On his huge Chair beside the Fire he sate,
    In Revel Chief, and Umpire in Debate;
    Each night his string of vulgar Tales he told;
    When Ale was cheap and Bachelors were bold;
    His Heroes all were famous in their Days,
    Cheats were his boast and Drunkards had his praise;
    “One in three Draughts, three Mugs of Ale took down,
    “As Mugs were then--the Champion of the Crown;
    “For thrice three days another liv’d on Ale,
    “And knew no Change but that of Mild and Stale;
    “Two thirsty Soakers watch’d a Vessel’s side,
    “When he the Tap, with dextrous hand, applied;
    “Nor from their seats departed, till they found,
    “That Butt was out and heard the mournful Sound.”
      He prais’d a Poacher, precious child of Fun!
    Who shot the Keeper with his own Spring-gun;
    Nor less the Smuggler who the Exciseman tied,
    And left him hanging at the Birch-wood side,
    There to expire;--but one who saw him hang,
    Cut the good Cord--a Traitor of the Gang.
      His own Exploits, with boastful glee, he told,
    What Ponds he empty’d and what Pikes he sold;
    And how, when blest with sight alert and gay,
    The Night’s Amusements kept him through the Day.
      He sang the Praises of those Times, when all
    “For Cards and Dice, as for their Drink, might call;
    “When Justice wink’d on every jovial Crew,
    “And Ten-pins tumbled in the Parson’s view.”
      He told, when angry Wives, provok’d to rail,
    Or drive a third-day Drunkard from his Ale;
    What were his Triumphs and how great the Skill,
    That won the vex’d Virago to his Will;
    Who raving came;--then talk’d in milder strain,--
    Then wept,--then drank and pledg’d her Spouse again.
      Such were his Themes: how Knaves o’er Laws prevail,
    Or when made captives, how they fly from Jail;
    The Young how brave, how subtle were the Old:
    And Oaths attested all that Folly told.
      On Death like his what name shall we bestow,
    So very sudden! yet so very slow?
    ’Twas slow:--Disease augmenting year by year,
    Show’d the grim King by gradual steps brought near:
    ’Twas not less sudden;--in the night he died,
    He drank, he swore, he jested and he lied;
    Thus aiding Folly with departing Breath:----
    “Beware, _Lorenzo_, the slow-sudden Death.”

    Next died the Widow _Goe_, an active Dame,
    Fam’d, ten miles round, and worthy all her Fame;
    She lost her Husband when their Loves were young,
    But kept her Farm, her Credit and her Tongue:
    Full thirty years, she rul’d with matchless Skill,
    With guiding Judgment and resistless Will;
    Advice she scorn’d, Rebellions she suppress’d,
    And Sons and Servants bow’d at her behest.
    Like that great man’s, who to his SAVIOUR came,
    Were the strong Words of this commanding Dame;--
    “Come,” if she said, they came; if “go,” were gone;
    And if “do this,”--that instant it was done:
    Her Maidens told she was all Eye and Ear,
    In Darkness saw and could at distance hear;--
    No Parish-Business in the Place could stir,
    Without Direction or Assent from her;
    In turn she took each Office as it fell;
    Knew all their Duties and discharg’d them well;
    The lazy Vagrants in her presence shook,
    And pregnant Damsels fear’d her stern Rebuke;
    She look’d on Want, with Judgment, clear and cool,
    And felt with Reason and bestow’d by Rule:
    She match’d both Sons and Daughters to her mind,
    And lent them Eyes, for Love, she heard, was blind;
    Yet ceaseless still she throve, alert, alive,
    The working Bee, in full or empty Hive;
    Busy and careful, like that working Bee,
    No time for Love nor tender Cares had she;
    But when our Farmers made their amorous Vows,
    She talk’d of Market-Steeds and Patent-Ploughs.
    Not unemploy’d her Evenings pass’d away,
    Amusement clos’d, as Business wak’d the Day;
    When to her Toilet’s brief Concern she ran,
    And conversation with her Friends, began;
    Who all were welcome at her Board to share,
    And joyous Neighbours prais’d her Christmas Fare;
    That none around might, in their scorn, complain
    Of Gossip _Goe_ as greedy in her Gain.
      Thus long she reign’d, admir’d, if not approv’d;
    Prais’d, if not honour’d; fear’d, if not belov’d;--
    When, as the busy Days of Spring drew near,
    That call’d for all the Forecast of the Year;
    When lively Hope the rising Crops survey’d,
    And April promis’d what September pay’d;
    When stray’d her Lambs where _Gorse_ and _Greenweed_ grow;
    When rose her Grass in richer Vales below;
    When pleas’d she look’d on all the smiling Land, }
    And view’d the Hinds, who wrought at her command,}
    As _Bridget_ churn’d the Butter for her Hand;    }
    (Geese, Hens, and Turkeys following where she went;)
    Then, Dread o’ercame her,--that her Days were spent.
      “Bless me! I die and not a Warning giv’n,--
    “With _much_ to do on Earth and ALL for Heav’n!
    “No Reparation for my Soul’s Affairs,
    “No Leave petition’d for the Barn’s Repairs;
    “Accounts perplex’d, my Interest yet unpaid,
    “My Mind unsettled and my Will unmade;--
    “A Lawyer haste, and in your way, a Priest;
    “And let me die in one good Work at least.”
    She spake and, trembling, dropp’d upon her knees,
    Heaven in her Eye and in her Hand her Keys:
    And still the more she found her Life decay,
    With greater force she grasp’d those Signs of Sway:
    Then fell and died!... In haste her Sons drew near,
    And dropp’d, in haste, the tributary Tear,
    Then from th’ adhering Clasp the Keys unbound,
    And Consolation for their Sorrows, found.

      DEATH has his Infant-train; his bony Arm
    Strikes from the Baby-cheek the rosy Charm;
    The brightest Eye his glazing Film makes dim,
    And his cold Touch sets fast the lithest limb:
    He seiz’d the sick’ning Boy to _Gerard_ lent,[10]
    When three Days’ Life, in feeble Cries, were spent;
    In Pain brought forth, those painful Hours to stay,
    To breathe in Pain and sigh its Soul away!
      “But why thus lent, if thus recall’d again,
    “To cause and feel, to live and die in, Pain?”
    Or rather say, Why grievous these appear,
    If all it pays for Heaven’s eternal Year;
    If these sad Sobs and piteous Sighs secure
    Delights that live, when Worlds no more endure?
      The Sister-spirit long may lodge below,
    And Pains from Nature, Pains from Reason, know;
    Through all the common Ills of Life may run,
    By Hope perverted and by Love undone;
    A Wife’s Distress, a Mother’s Pangs, may dread,
    And Widow-tears, in bitter Anguish, shed;
    May at Old Age arrive through numerous Harms,
    With Children’s Children in those feeble Arms;
    Nor till by Years of Want and Grief opprest,
    Shall the sad Spirit flee and be at rest!
      Yet happier therefore shall we deem the Boy,
    Secur’d from anxious Care and dangerous Joy?
      Not so! for then would Love Divine, in vain
    Send all the Burthens, weary Men sustain;
    All that now curb the Passions when they rage,
    The Checks of Youth and the Regrets of Age;
    All that now bid us hope, believe, endure,
    Our Sorrow’s Comfort and our Vice’s Cure;
    All that for Heaven’s high Joys the Spirits train,
    And Charity, the Crown of all, were vain.
      Blest is the Nurseling never taught to sing,
    But thrust untimely from its Mother’s Wing;
    Or the grown Warbler, who, with grateful Voice,
    Sings its own Joy and makes the Grove rejoice;
    Because, ere yet he charm’d th’ attentive Ear,
    Hard were his Trials and his Pains severe!

      Next died the LADY who yon Hall possess’d;
    And here they brought her noble Bones to rest.
    In Town she dwelt;--forsaken stood the Hall.
    Worms ate the Floors, the Tap’stry fled the Wall:
    No Fire the Kitchen’s cheerless Grate display’d;
    No cheerful Light the long-clos’d Sash convey’d!
    The crawling Worm that turns a Summer-fly,
    Here spun his Shroud and laid him up to die
    The Winter-death:--upon the Bed of State,
    The Batt shrill-shrieking woo’d his flickering Mate:
    To empty Rooms the Curious came no more,      }
    From empty Cellars turn’d the angry Poor,     }
    And surly Beggars curs’d the ever-bolted Door.}
    To one small Room the Steward found his way,
    Where Tenants follow’d to complain and pay;
    Yet no complaint before the _Lady_ came,
    The feeling Servant spar’d the feeble Dame;
    Who saw her Farms with his observing Eyes,
    And answer’d all Requests with his Replies:--
    She came not down, her falling Groves to view;
    Why should she know, what One so faithful knew?
    Why come, from many clamorous Tongues to hear,
    What One so just might whisper in her Ear?
    Her Oaks or Acres, why with care explore;
    Why learn the Wants, the Sufferings of the Poor;
    When One so knowing all their Worth could trace,
    And One so piteous govern’d in her Place?
      Lo! now, what dismal Sons of Darkness come,
    To bear this Daughter of Indulgence home;
    Tragedians all and well arrang’d in Black!
    Who Nature, Feeling, Force, Expression lack;--
    Who cause no Tear, but gloomily pass by,
    And shake their Sables in the wearied Eye,
    That turns disgusted from the pompous Scene,
    Proud without Grandeur, with Profusion, mean!
    The Tear for Kindness past Affection owes;
    For Worth deceas’d the Sigh from Reason flows;
    E’en well-feign’d Passion for our Sorrows call,
    And real Tears for mimic Miseries fall:--
    But this poor Farce has neither Truth nor Art,
    To please the Fancy or to touch the Heart;
    Unlike the Darkness of the Sky, that pours
    On the dry Ground its fertilizing Showers!
    Unlike to that which strikes the Soul with dread,
    When Thunders roar and forky Fires are shed;
    Dark but not aweful, dismal but yet mean,
    With anxious Bustle moves the cumbrous Scene;
    Presents no Objects, tender or profound,
    But spreads its cold unmeaning Gloom around.
      When Woes are feign’d, how ill such forms appear,
    And oh! how needless, when the Woe’s sincere.
      Slow to the Vault they come with heavy tread,
    Bending beneath the _Lady_ and her Lead;
    A Case of Elm surrounds that ponderous Chest,
    Close on that Case the Crimson Velvet’s press’d;
    Ungenerous this, that to the Worm denies,
    With niggard-caution his appointed Prize;
    For now, ere yet he works his tedious way,
    Through Cloth and Wood and Metal to his Prey;
    That Prey dissolving shall a Mass remain,
    That Fancy loaths and Worms themselves disdain.
      But see! the Master-Mourner makes his way,
    To end his Office for the coffin’d Clay;
    Pleas’d that our Rustic Men and Maids behold
    His Plate like Silver, and his Studds like Gold;
    As they approach to spell the Age, the Name,
    And all the Titles of th’ illustrious Dame.--
    This as (my Duty done) some Scholar read,
    A Village-Father look’d disdain and said:
    “Away, my Friends! why take such pains to know,
    “What some brave Marble soon in Church shall show:
    “Where not alone her gracious Name shall stand,
    “But how she liv’d the Blessing of the Land;
    “How much we all deplor’d the noble Dead,
    “What Groans we utter’d and what Tears we shed;
    “Tears, true as those, which in the sleepy Eyes
    “Of weeping Cherubs on the Stone shall rise:
    “Tears, true as those, which, ere she found her Grave,
    “The noble _Lady_ to our Sorrows gave.”--
      Down by the Church-way-Walk and where the Brook
    Winds round the Chancel like a Shepherd’s Crook;
    In that small House, with those green Pales before,
    Where Jasmine trails on either side the Door;
    Where those dark Shrubs that now grow wild at will,
    Were clipt in form and tantaliz’d with skill;
    Where Cockles blanch’d and Pebbles neatly spread,
    Form’d shining Borders for the Larkspurs’ Bed;--
    There liv’d a _Lady_, wise, austere and nice,
    Who shew’d her Virtue by her Scorn of Vice;
    In the dear Fashions of her Youth she dress’d,
    A pea-green _Joseph_ was her favourite Vest;
    Erect she stood, she walk’d with stately Mien,
    Tight was her length of Stays and she was tall and lean.
      There long she liv’d in Maiden-state immur’d,
    From Looks of Love and treacherous Man secur’d:
    Though Evil-fame--(but that was long before)
    Had blown her dubious Blast at _Catharine_’s Door:
    A Captain thither, rich from _India_ came,
    And though a Cousin call’d, it touch’d her Fame;
    Her annual Stipend rose from his Behest,
    And all the long-priz’d Treasures, she possess’d:--
    If aught like Joy a while appear’d to stay,
    In that stern Face and chase those Frowns away;
    ’Twas when her Treasures she dispos’d for view,
    And heard the Praises, to their Splendour due;
    Silks beyond Price, so rich they’d stand alone,
    And Diamonds blazing on the buckled Zone;
    Rows of rare Pearls by curious Workmen set,
    And Bracelets fair in Box of glossy Jet;
    Bright polish’d Amber precious from its Size,
    Or forms, the fairest Fancy could devise;
    Her Drawers of Cedar shut with secret Springs,
    Conceal’d the Watch of Gold and rubied Rings;
    Letters, long Proofs of Love and Verses fine
    Round the pink’d Rims of crisped Valentine.
    Her China-Closet, cause of daily Care,
    For Woman’s Wonder held her pencill’d Ware;
    That pictur’d Wealth of _China_ and _Japan_,
    Like its cold Mistress, shunn’d the Eye of Man.
      Her neat small Room, adorn’d with Maiden-taste,
    A clipt French-Puppey first of Favourites grac’d.
    A Parrot next, but dead and stuff’d with Art;
    (For Poll, when living, lost the Lady’s Heart,
    And then his Life; for he was heard to speak
    Such frightful Words as tinge’d his Lady’s Cheek;)
    Unhappy Bird! who had no power to prove,
    Save by such Speech, his Gratitude and Love.
    A grey old Cat his Whiskers lick’d beside;
    A type of Sadness in the House of Pride.
    The polish’d Surface of an India-Chest,
    A glassy Globe, in Frame of Ivory, prest;
    Where swam two finny Creatures; one of Gold,
    Of Silver one; both beauteous to behold:
    All these were form’d the guiding Taste to suit;
    The Beasts well-manner’d and the Fishes mute.
    A widow’d _Aunt_ was there, compell’d by Need,
    The Nymph to flatter and her Tribe to feed;
    Who, veiling well her Scorn, endur’d the Clog,
    Mute as the Fish and fawning as the Dog.
    As Years increas’d, these Treasures her Delight,
    Arose in Value in their Owner’s sight:--
    A Miser knows that, view it as he will,
    A Guinea kept is but a Guinea still:
    And so he puts it to its proper Use,
    That something more this Guinea may produce:
    But Silks and Rings in the Possessor’s Eyes,
    The oft’ner seen, the more in Value rise,
    And thus are wisely hoarded to bestow,
    On Pride that governs, Pleasure that will grow.
    But what avail’d their Worth,--if Worth had they,--
    In the sad Summer of her slow Decay?
      Then we beheld her turn an anxious Look
    From Trunks and Chests, and fix it on her Book;
    A rich-bound Book of Prayer the Captain gave,
    (Some Princess had it, or was said to have,)
    And then once more on all her Stores, look round
    And draw a sigh so piteous and profound,
    That told, “Alas! how hard from these to part,
    “And for new Hopes and Habits form the Heart!
    “What shall I do (she cried) my Peace of Mind,
    “To gain in dying and to die resign’d?”
      ‘Hear,’ we return’d;--‘these Bawbles cast aside,
    ‘Nor give thy GOD a Rival in thy Pride;
    ‘Thy Closets shut and ope thy Kitchen’s Door;
    ‘_There_ own thy Failings, _here_ invite the Poor;
    ‘A friend of _Mammon_ let thy Bounty make, }
    ‘For Widow’s Prayers, thy Vanities forsake;}
    ‘And let the Hungry of thy Pride, partake: }
    ‘Then shall thy inward Eye with joy survey,
    ‘The Angel _Mercy_ tempering _Death_’s Delay!’
      Alas! ’twas hard; the Treasures still had Charms,
    Hope still its Flattery, Sickness its Alarms;
    Still was the same unsettled, clouded View,
    And the same plaintive Cry, “What shall I do?”
      Nor Change appear’d: for, when her Race was run
    Doubtful we all exclaim’d, “What has been done?”
      Apart she liv’d and still she lies alone;
    Yon earthly Heap awaits the flattering Stone,
    On which Invention shall be long employ’d
    To shew the various Worth of _Catharine Lloyd_.

      Next to these Ladies, but in nought allied,
    A noble Peasant, _Isaac Ashford_, died.
    Noble he was, contemning all things mean,
    His Truth unquestion’d and his Soul serene:
    Of no man’s presence _Isaac_ felt afraid;
    At no Man’s question, _Isaac_ look’d dismay’d:
    Shame knew him not, he dreaded no Disgrace;
    Truth, simple Truth, was written in his Face;
    Yet while the serious Thought his Soul approv’d,
    Cheerful he seem’d and Gentleness he lov’d:
    To Bliss domestic he his Heart resign’d,
    And with the firmest, had the fondest Mind:
    Were others joyful, he look’d smiling on,
    And gave Allowance where he needed none;
    Good he refus’d with future Ill to buy,
    Nor knew a Joy that caus’d Reflection’s Sigh;
    A Friend to Virtue, his unclouded Breast
    No Envy stung, no Jealousy distress’d;
    (Bane of the Poor! it wounds their weaker Mind,
    To miss one Favour, which their Neighbours find:)
    Yet far was he from Stoic-pride remov’d;
    He felt humanely, and he warmly lov’d:
    I mark’d his Action, when his Infant died,
    And his old Neighbour for Offence was tried;
    The still Tears, stealing down that furrow’d Cheek,
    Spoke Pity, plainer than the Tongue can speak.
    If Pride were his, ’twas not their Vulgar Pride,
    Who, in their base Contempt, the Great deride;
    Nor Pride in Learning, though my Clerk agreed,
    If Fate should call him, _Ashford_ might succeed;
    Nor Pride in Rustic-skill, although we knew,
    None his Superior, and his Equals, few:
    But if that Spirit in his Soul had place,
    It was the jealous Pride that shuns Disgrace;
    A Pride in honest Fame, by Virtue gain’d,
    In sturdy Boys to virtuous Labours train’d;
    Pride, in the Power that guards his Country’s Coast,
    And all that Englishmen enjoy and boast;
    Pride, in a Life that Slander’s Tongue defy’d,
    In fact, a noble Passion, misnam’d _Pride_.
      He had no party’s Rage, no Sect’ry’s Whim;
    Christian and Countryman was _all_ with him:
    True to his Church he came; no Sunday-Shower,
    Kept him at home in that important Hour;
    Nor his firm Feet could one persuading Sect,
    By the strong glare of their new Light direct;
    “On hope, in mine own sober Light, I gaze,
    “But should be blind and lose it, in your Blaze.”
      In Times severe, when many a sturdy Swain,
    Felt it his Pride, his Comfort, to complain;
    _Isaac_ their Wants would soothe, his own would hide,
    And feel in _that_, his Comfort and his Pride.
      At length, he found, when Seventy Years were run,
    His Strength departed and his Labour done;
    When, save his honest Fame, he kept no more;
    But lost his Wife and saw his Children poor;
    ’Twas then, a Spark of--say not Discontent--
    Struck on his Mind and thus he gave it vent:--
      “Kind are your Laws, (’tis not to be denied,)
    “That in yon House, for ruin’d Age, provide,
    “And they are just;--when young, we give you all,
    “And then for Comforts in our Weakness call.--
    “Why then this proud Reluctance to be fed,
    “To join your Poor and eat the Parish-Bread?
    “But yet I linger, loath with him to feed,
    “Who gains his Plenty by the Sons of Need;
    “He who, by Contract, all your Paupers took,
    “And guages Stomachs with an anxious Look:
    “On some old Master I could well depend;
    “See him with joy and thank him as a Friend;
    “But ill on him, who doles the Day’s Supply,
    “And counts our Chances, who at Night may die:
    “Yet help me Heav’n! and let me not complain
    “Of what befalls me, but the fate sustain.”
      Such were his Thoughts, and so resign’d he grew;
    Daily he plac’d the Workhouse in his view!
    But came not there, for sudden was his Fate,
    He dropp’d expiring, at his Cottage-gate.
      I feel his Absence in the Hours of Prayer,
    And view his Seat and sigh for _Isaac_ there;
    I see no more those white Locks thinly spread,
    Round the bald Polish of that honour’d Head;
    No more that aweful Glance on playful Wight
    Compell’d to kneel and tremble at the sight;
    To fold his Fingers all in dread the while,
    Till Mister _Ashford_ soften’d to a Smile;
    No more that meek and suppliant Look in Prayer,
    Nor the pure Faith (to give it force) are there:--
    But he is blest and I lament no more,
    A wise good Man contented to be poor.

      Then died a Rambler; not the One who sails
    And trucks, for Female Favours, Beads and Nails;
    Not One, who posts from place to place--of Men
    And Manners treating with a flying Pen:
    Not he, who climbs, for Prospects, _Snowden_’s Height,
    And chides the Clouds that intercept the Sight;
    No curious Shell, rare Plant or brilliant Spar,
    Intic’d our Traveller, from his Home, so far;
    But all the Reason, by himself assign’d
    For so much Rambling, was, a restless Mind;
    As on, from place to place, without intent,
    Without Reflection, _Robin Dingley_ went.
      Not thus by Nature:--never Man was found
    Less prone to wander from his Parish-bound;
    _Claudian_’s old Man, to whom all Scenes were new,
    Save those where he and where his Apples grew,
    Resembled _Robin_, who around would look,
    And his Horizon, for the Earth’s mistook.
      To this poor Swain a keen Attorney came;--
    “I give thee joy, good Fellow! on thy Name;
    “The rich old _Dingley_’s dead;--no Child has he,
    “Nor Wife nor Will; his ALL is left for thee;
    “To be his Fortune’s Heir thy Claim is good;
    “Thou hast the Name and we will prove the Blood.”
      The Claim was made; ’twas tried, it would not stand;
    They prov’d the Blood, but were refus’d the Land.
      Assur’d of Wealth, this Man of simple Heart,
    To every Friend had predispos’d a Part;
    His Wife, had Hopes indulg’d of various kind;
    The three Miss _Dingley’s_ had their School assign’d,
    Masters were sought for what each Miss requir’d,
    And Books were bought and Harpsichords were hir’d;
    So high was Hope:--the Failure touch’d his Brain,
    And _Robin_ never was himself again:
    Yet he no wrath, no angry wish express’d,
    But tried in vain, to labour or to rest;
    Then cast his Bundle on his back, and went
    He knew not whither nor for what Intent.
      Years fled;--of _Robin_ all Remembrance past,
    When home he wander’d in his Rags at last:
    A Sailor’s Jacket on his Limbs was thrown,
    A Sailor’s Story he had made his own;
    Had suffer’d Battles, Prisons, Tempests, Storms,
    Encountering Death in all his ugliest forms;
    His Cheeks were haggard, hollow was his Eye,
    Where Madness lurk’d, conceal’d in Misery;
    Want, and th’ ungentle World, had taught a part,
    And prompted Cunning to that simple Heart:
    “He now bethought him, he would roam no more,
    “But live at Home and labour as before.”
      Here cloth’d and fed, no sooner he began
    To round and redden, than away he ran:
    His Wife was dead, their Children past his aid;
    So, unmolested from his Home he stray’d:
    Six Years elasp’d, when, worn with Want and Pain,
    Came _Robin_, wrapt in all his Rags, again:--
    We chide, we pity;--plac’d among our Poor,
    He fed again and was a Man once more.
      As when a gaunt and hungry Fox is found,
    Entrapp’d alive in some rich Hunter’s ground;
    Fed for the Field, although each Day’s a Feast,
    _Fatten_ you may, but never _tame_ the Beast;
    An House protects him, savoury Viands sustain;
    But loose his neck and off he goes again:
    So stole our Vagrant from his warm Retreat,
    To rove a Prowler and be deem’d a Cheat.
      Hard was his Fare: for, him at length we saw,
    In Cart convey’d and laid supine on Straw:
    His feeble Voice now spoke a sinking Heart;
    His Groans now told the Motions of the Cart:
    And thus he rose, but tried in vain to stand;
    Clos’d was his Eye and clench’d his clammy Hand;
    Life ebb’d apace and our best Aid, no more,
    Could his weak Sense or dying Heart restore:--
    But now he fell, a Victim to the Snare,
    That vile Attorneys for the Weak prepare;--
    They who, when Profit or Resentment call,
    Heed not the groaning Victim they enthrall.

      Then died lamented, in the Strength of Life,
    A valued _Mother_ and a faithful _Wife_;
    Call’d not away, when Time had loos’d each Hold
    On the fond Heart and each Desire grew cold;
    But when, to all that knit us to our Kind,
    She felt fast-bound, as Charity can bind;--
    Not when the Ills of Age, its Pain, its Care,
    The drooping Spirit for its Fate prepare;
    And, each Affection failing, leaves the Heart
    Loos’d from Life’s Charm and willing to depart;--
    But ALL her Ties the strong Invader broke,
    In all their Strength, by one tremendous Stroke!
    Sudden and swift the eager Pest came on,
    And all was Terror, till all Hope was gone;
    Was silent Terror, where that Hope grew weak,
    Look’d on the Sick and was asham’d to speak.--
      Slowly they bore, with solemn Step, the Dead;
    When Grief grew loud and bitter Tears were shed:
    My Part began; a Crowd drew near the Place,
    Awe in each Eye, Alarm in every Face:
    So swift the Ill! and of so fierce a kind,
    That Fear with Pity, mingled in each Mind;
    Friends with the Husband came their Griefs to blend;
    For Good-man _Frankford_ was to all a Friend.
    The last-born Boy they held above the Bier,
    He knew not Grief, but Cries express’d his Fear;
    Each different Age and Sex reveal’d its pain,
    In now a louder, now a lower Strain;
    While the meek Father, listening to their Tones,
    Swell’d the full Cadence of the Grief by Groans.
      The elder Sister strove her Pangs to hide,
    And soothing Words to younger Minds applied:--
    “Be still, be patient,” oft she strove to say;
    But fail’d as oft and weeping turn’d away.
      Curious and sad, upon the fresh-dug Hill,
    The Village-Lads stood melancholy still;
    And idle Children, wandering to-and-fro,
    As Nature guided, took the tone of Woe.
      Arriv’d at Home, how then they gaz’d around,
    In ev’ry place, where she--no more, was found;--
    The Seat at Table, she was wont to fill;
    The Fire-side Chair, still set, but vacant still;
    The Garden-walks, a Labour all her own;
    The lattic’d Bower, with trailing Shrubs o’ergrown;
    The Sunday-pew, she fill’d with all her Race,
    Each Place of hers, was now a sacred Place;
    That, while it call’d up Sorrows in the Eyes,
    Pierc’d the full Heart, and forc’d them still to rise.
      Oh sacred Sorrow! by whom Souls are tried,
    Sent not to punish Mortals but to guide;
    If Thou art mine, (and who shall proudly dare
    To tell his MAKER, he has had his Share?)
    Still let me feel for what thy Pangs are sent,
    And be my Guide and not my Punishment!

      Of _Leah Cousins_ next the Name appears,
    With Honours crown’d and blest with Length of Years,
    Save, that she liv’d to feel, in Life’s Decay,
    The Pleasure die, the Honours drop away:
    A Matron she, whom every Village-Wife,
    View’d as the Help and Guardian of her Life;
    Fathers and Sons indebted to her Aid,
    Respect to her and her Profession pay’d;
    Who in the House of Plenty largely fed,
    Yet took her Station at the Pauper’s Bed;
    Nor from that Duty could be brib’d again,
    While fear or Danger urg’d her to remain;
    In her Experience all her Friends relied,
    Heaven was her Help and Nature was her Guide.
      Thus _Leah_ liv’d; long trusted, much caress’d,
    Till a Town-Dame a youthful Farmer bless’d;
    A gay vain Bride, who would Example give,
    To that poor Village where she deign’d to live:
    Some few Months past, she sent in hour of Need,
    For Doctor _Glib_, who came with wondrous speed;
    Two days he waited, all his Art applied,
    To save the Mother when her Infant died;--
    “’Twas well I came,” at last he deign’d to say;
    “’Twas wondrous well;”--and proudly rode away.
      The News ran round;--“How vast the Doctor’s pow’r!
    “He sav’d the Lady in the trying Hour;
    “Sav’d her from Death, when she was dead to Hope,
    “And her fond Husband had resign’d her up:
    “So all, like her, may evil Fate defy,
    “If Doctor _Glib_, with saving Hand, be nigh.”
      Fame (now his Friend), Fear, Novelty, and Whim,
    And Fashion, sent the varying Sex to Him:
    From this, Contention in the Village rose;
    And _these_, the Dame espous’d; the Doctor _those_:
    The wealthier Part, to Him and Science went;
    With Luck and _Leah_ the Poor remain’d content.
      The Matron sigh’d; for she was vex’d at heart,
    With so much Profit, so much Fame to part;--
    “So long successful in my Art,” she cried,
    “And this proud Man, so young and so untried!”
      “Nay, but,” he said, “and dare you trust your Wives,
    “The Joy, the Pride, the Solace of your Lives,
    “To One who acts and knows no Reason why,
    “But trusts, poor Hag!, to Luck for an Ally?--
    “Who, on Experience, can her Claims advance,
    “And own the Powers of Accident and Chance?
    “A whining Dame, who prays in Danger’s view,
    “(A Proof she knows not, what beside to do;)
    “What’s her Experience? In the Time that’s gone,
    “Blundering she wrought and still she blunders on:--
    “And what is Nature? One who acts in aid
    “Of Gossips half asleep, and half afraid:
    “With such Allies I scorn my Fame to blend,
    “Skill is my Luck and Courage is my Friend:
    “No Slave to Nature, ’tis my chief delight,
    “To win my way and act in her despite:--
    “Trust then my Art, that, in itself complete,
    “Needs no Assistance and fears no Defeat.”
      Warm’d by her well-spic’d Ale and aiding Pipe,
    The angry Matron grew for Contest ripe.
      “Can you,” she said, “ungrateful and unjust,
    “Before Experience, Ostentation trust?
    “What is your Hazard, foolish Daughters, tell?
    “If safe, you’re certain; if secure, you’re well:
    “That I have Luck must Friend and Foe confess,
    “And what’s good Judgement but a lucky Guess?
    “_He_ boasts but what he _can_ do:--will you run
    “From me, your Friend! who all _he_ boasts, _have_ done?
    “By proud and learned Words his Powers are known;
    “By healthy Boys and handsome Girls my own:
    “Wives! Fathers! Children!, by my Help, you live;
    “Has this pale Doctor more than Life to give?
    “No stunted Cripple hops, the Village round;
    “Your Hands are active and your Heads are sound;
    “My Lads are all your Fields and Flocks require;
    “My Lasses all those sturdy Lads admire:
    “Can this proud Leech, with all his boasted Skill,
    “Amend the Soul or Body, Wit or Will?
    “Does he, for Courts the Sons of Farmers frame,
    “Or make the Daughter differ from the Dame?
    “Or, whom he brings into this World of Woe,
    “Prepares he them their Part to undergo?
    “If not, this Stranger from your Doors repel,
    “And be content to _be_ and to be _well_.”
      She spake: but, ah! with Words too strong and plain;
    Her Warmth offended and her Truth was vain.
    The _many_ left her and the friendly _few_,
    If never colder, yet they older grew;
    Till, unemploy’d, she felt her Spirits droop,
    And took, insidious Aid!, th’ inspiring Cup;
    Grew poor and peevish as her Powers decay’d,
    And propp’d the tottering Frame with stronger Aid,--
    Then died!--I saw our careful Swains convey,
    From this our changeful World the Matron’s Clay,
    Who to this World, at least, with equal Care,
    Brought them its Changes, Good and Ill to share.

      Now to his Grave, was _Roger Cuff_ convey’d,
    And strong Resentment’s lingering Spirit laid.
    Shipwreck’d in Youth, he home return’d and found,
    His Brethren three,--and thrice they wish’d him drown’d.
    “Is this a Landman’s Love? Be certain then,
    “We part for ever!”--and they cried, ‘Amen!’
      His Words were Truth’s:--Some forty Summers fled,
    His Brethren died; his Kin suppos’d him dead:
    Three Nephews these, one sprightly Niece, and one,
    Less near in Blood; they call’d him _surly John_;
    He work’d in Woods apart from all his Kind,
    Fierce were his Looks and moody was his Mind.
      For Home, the _Sailor_ now began to sigh;--
    “The Dogs are dead and I’ll return and die;
    “When all I have, my Gains, in Years of Care,
    “The younger _Cuffs_ with kinder Souls shall share;--
    “Yet hold! I’m rich;--with one consent they’ll say,
    “‘You’re welcome, Uncle, as the Flowers in May.’
    “No; I’ll disguise me, be in Tatters dress’d,
    “And best befriend the Lads who treat me best.”
      Now all his Kindred,--neither rich nor poor,
    Kept the Wolf Want some distance from the Door.
      In piteous plight he knock’d at _George_’s Gate,
    And begg’d for Aid, as he describ’d his State:--
    But stern was _George_:--‘Let them who had thee Strong,
    ‘Help thee to drag thy weaken’d Frame along;
    ‘To us a Stranger, while your Limbs would move;
    ‘From us depart and try a Stranger’s Love:”--
    ‘Ha! do’st thou murmur?’--for, in _Roger_’s throat,
    Was “_Rascal!_” rising with disdainful note.
      To pious _James_ he then his Prayer address’d;--
    ‘Good-lack,’ quoth _James_, ‘thy Sorrows pierce my breast;
    ‘And, had I Wealth, as have my Brethren twain,
    ‘One Board should feed us and one Roof contain:
    ‘But plead I will thy Cause and I will pray:
    ‘And so farewell! Heaven help thee on thy Way!’
      “Scoundrel!” said _Roger_, (but apart);--and told
    His Case to _Peter_;--_Peter_ too was cold:--
    ‘The Rates are high; we have a-many Poor;
    ‘But I will think,----’ he said, and shut the Door.
      Then the gay _Niece_, the seeming Pauper press’d;--
    “Turn, _Nancy_, turn, and view this Form distrest;
    “Akin to thine is this declining Frame,
    “And this poor Beggar claims an _Uncle_’s Name.”
      ‘Avaunt! begone! (the courteous Maiden said,)
    ‘Thou vile Impostor! Uncle _Roger_’s dead;
    ‘I hate thee. Beast! thy Look, my spirit shocks;
    ‘Oh! that I saw thee starving in the Stocks!’
      “My gentle Niece!” he said;--and sought the Wood.--
    “I hunger, fellow; prithee, give me Food!”
      ‘Give! am I rich? This Hatchet take and try
    ‘Thy proper Strength, nor give those Limbs the lie;
    ‘Work, feed thyself, to thine own Powers appeal,
    ‘Nor whine out Woes, thine own Right-hand can heal:
    ‘And while that Hand is thine and thine a Leg,
    ‘Scorn, of the Proud or of the Base to beg.’
      “Come, surly _John_, thy wealthy Kinsman view;”
    (Old _Roger_ said:)--“thy Words are brave and true;
    “Come, live with me; we’ll vex those Scoundrel-Boys:
    “And that prim Shrew shall, envying, hear our Joys.”--
    “Tobacco’s glorious Fume, all Day we’ll share,
    “With Beef and Brandy kill all kinds of Care,
    “We’ll Beer and Biscuit on our Table heap,
    “And rail at Rascals, till we fall asleep.”
      Such was their Life: but when the Woodman died,
    His grieving Kin for _Roger_’s Smiles applied;--
    In vain; he shut, with stern Rebuke, the Door,
    And dying, built a Refuge for the Poor;
    With this Restriction, That no _Cuff_ should share
    One Meal or shelter for one Moment there.

      My Record ends:--But hark! ev’n now I hear
    The Bell of Death and know not whose to fear:
    Our Farmers all and all our Hinds were well;
    In no Man’s Cottage, Danger seem’d to dwell:--
    Yet Death of Man proclaim these heavy Chimes,
    For thrice they sound, with pausing space, three times.
      “Go; of my Sexton seek, Whose Days are sped?”----
      “What! he, himself!--and is old _Dibble_ dead?”
    His Eightieth Year he reach’d, still undecay’d,
    And Rectors five to one close Vault convey’d:--
    But he is gone; his Care and Skill I lose,
    And gain a mournful Subject for my Muse:
    His Masters lost, he’d oft in turn deplore,
    And kindly add,--‘Heaven grant, I lose no more!’
    Yet while he spake, a sly and pleasant Glance
    Appear’d at variance with his Complaisance:
    For, as he told their Fate and varying Worth,
    He archly look’d,--‘I yet may bear thee forth.’
      “When first”--(he so began)--“my Trade I ply’d,
    “Good Master _Addle_ was the Parish-Guide;
    “His Clerk and Sexton, I beheld with fear
    “His Stride majestic and his Frown severe;
    “A noble Pillar of the Church he stood,
    “Adorn’d with College-gown and Parish-hood;
    “Then, as he pac’d the hallow’d Aisles about,
    “He fill’d the sevenfold Surplice fairly out:
    “But in his Pulpit wearied down with Prayer,
    “He sat and seem’d as in his Study’s Chair;
    “For while the Anthem swell’d and when it ceas’d,
    “Th’ expecting People view’d their slumbering Priest;--
    “Who dozing, died.---- Our Parson _Peele_ was next;
    “‘_I_ will not spare you,’ was his favourite Text:
    “Nor did he spare, but rais’d them many a Pound;
    “Ev’n me he mulct for my poor Rood of Ground;
    “Yet car’d he nought, but with a gibing Speech,
    “‘What should I do,’ quoth he, ‘but what _I_ preach?’
    “His piercing Jokes (and he’d a plenteous store)
    “Were daily offer’d both to Rich and Poor;
    “His Scorn, his Love, in playful Words he spoke:
    “His Pity, Praise, and Promise, were a Joke:
    “But though so young and blest with spirits high,
    “He died as grave as any Judge could die:
    “The strong Attack subdu’d his lively Powers,--
    “His was the Grave and Doctor _Grandspear_ ours.”
      “Then were there golden Times the Village round;
    “In his Abundance all appear’d t’ abound;
    “Liberal and rich, a plenteous Board he spread,
    “Ev’n cool Dissenters at his Table fed;
    “Who wish’d,--and hop’d,--and thought a Man so kind,
    “A Way to Heaven, though not their own, might find;
    “To them, to all, he was polite and free,
    “Kind to the Poor, and, ah! most kind to me:--
    “‘_Ralph_,’ would he say, ‘_Ralph Dibble_, thou art old;
    “‘That Doublet fit, ’twill keep thee from the Cold:
    “‘How does my Sexton?--What! the Times are hard;
    “‘Drive that stout Pig and pen him in thy Yard.’
    “But most, his Reverence lov’d a mirthful Jest;--
    “‘Thy Coat is thin; why, Man, thou’rt _barely_ drest;
    “‘It’s worn to th’ Thread! but I have nappy Beer;
    “‘Clap that within and see how they will wear.’
      “Gay Days were these; but they were quickly past:
    “When first he came, we found he cou’dn’t last:
    “An whoreson Cough (and at the Fall of Leaf)
    “Upset him quite:--but what’s the Gain of Grief?
      “Then came the _Author-Rector_; his Delight
    “Was all in Books; to read them, or to write:
    “Women and Men, he strove alike to shun,
    “And hurried homeward, when his Tasks were done;
    “Courteous enough, but careless what he said,
    “For Points of Learning he reserv’d his Head;
    “And when addressing either Poor or Rich,
    “He knew no better than his Cassock which:
    “He, like an Osier, was of pliant kind,
    “Erect by Nature, but to bend inclin’d;
    “Not like a Creeper falling to the ground,
    “Or meanly catching on the Neighbours round;--
    “Careless was he of Surplice, Hood, and Band,--
    “And kindly took them as they came to hand;
    “Nor, like the Doctor, wore a World of Hat,
    “As if he sought for Dignity in that:
    “He talk’d, he gave, but not with cautious Rules:
    “Nor turn’d from Gypsies, Vagabonds, or Fools;
    “It was his Nature, but they thought it Whim,
    “And so our Beaux and Beauties turn’d from him:
    “Of Questions, much he wrote, profound and dark,--
    “How spake the Serpent, and where stopp’d the Ark;
    “From what far Land the Queen of Sheba came;
    “Who Salem’s Priest and what his Father’s Name;
    “He made the Song of Songs its Mysteries yield,
    “And Revelations to the Word, reveal’d.
    “He sleeps i’ the Aisle,--but not a Stone records
    “His Name or Fame, his Actions or his Words:----
    “And truth, your Reverence, when I look around,
    “And mark the Tombs in our Sepulchral Ground,
    “(Though dare I not of one Man’s Hope to doubt,)
    “I’d join the Party who repose without.
      “Next came a _Youth_ from _Cambridge_, and, in truth,
    “He was a sober and a comely Youth;
    “He blush’d in Meekness as a modest Man,
    “And gain’d Attention ere his Task began;
    “When preaching, seldom ventur’d on Reproof,
    “But touch’d his Neighbours tenderly enough.
      “Him, in his youth, a clamorous Sect assail’d,
    “Advis’d and censur’d, flatter’d,--and prevail’d.--
    “Then did he much his sober Hearers vex,
    “Confound the Simple and the Sad perplex;
    “To a new Style his Reverence rashly took;
    “Loud grew his Voice, to Threat’ning swell’d his Look;
    “Above, below, on either side, he gaz’d,
    “Amazing all and most himself amaz’d:
    “No more he read his Preachments pure and plain,
    “But launch’d outright and rose and sank again:
    “At times he smil’d in Scorn, at times he wept, }
    “And such sad Coil with Words of Vengeance kept,}
    “That our best Sleepers started as they slept.  }
      “‘Conviction comes like Lightning,’ he would cry;
    “‘In vain you seek it and in vain you fly;
    “‘’Tis like the rushing of the mighty Wind,
    “‘Unseen its Progress, but its Power you find;
    “‘It strikes the Child ere yet its Reason wakes;
    “‘His Reason fled, the antient Sire it shakes;
    “‘The proud, learn’d Man, and him who loves to know
    “‘How and from whence these Gusts of Grace will blow,
    “‘It shuns,--but Sinners in their Way impedes,
    “‘And Sots and Harlots visits in their Deeds;
    “‘Of Faith and Penance it supplies the place;    }
    “‘Assures the vilest that they live by Grace,    }
    “‘And, without running, makes them win the Race.’}
      “Such was the Doctrine our young Prophet taught;
    “And here Conviction, there Confusion wrought:
    “When his thin Cheek assum’d a deadly Hue,
    “And all the Rose to one small Spot withdrew:
    “They call’d it hectic; ’twas a fiery Flush,
    “More fix’d and deeper than the maiden Blush;
    “His paler Lips the pearly Teeth disclos’d,
    “And lab’ring Lungs the length’ning Speech oppos’d.
    “No more his span-girth Shanks and quiv’ring Thighs,
    “Upheld a Body of the smaller Size;
    “But down he sank upon his Dying-Bed,
    “And gloomy Crotchets fill’d his wandering Head.--
      “‘Spite of my Faith, all-saving Faith, he cried,
    “‘I fear of worldly works, the wicked Pride;
    “‘Poor as I am, degraded, abject, blind,
    “‘The good I’ve wrought still rankles in my Mind;
    “‘My Alms-deeds all and every Deed I’ve done,
    “‘My Moral-rags defile me every one;
    “‘It should not be:--what say’st thou? tell me, Ralph.’
    “Quoth I, ‘Your Reverence, I believe, you’re safe;
    “‘Your Faith’s your Prop, nor have you pass’d such Time,
    “‘In Life’s Good-works as swell them to a Crime.--
    “‘If I of Pardon for my Sins were sure,
    “‘About my Goodness I would rest secure.’
      “Such was his End; and mine approaches fast;
    “I’ve seen my best of Preachers,--and my last.”--
      He bow’d, and archly smil’d at what he said,
    Civil but sly:---- ‘And is old _Dibble_ dead?’
      Yes! he is gone: and WE are going all;
    Like Flowers we wither and like Leaves we fall:--
    Here, with an Infant, joyful Sponsors come,
    Then bear the new-made Christian to its Home:
    A few short Years and we behold him stand
    To ask a Blessing, with his Bride in hand:
    A few, still seeming shorter, and we hear
    His Widow weeping at her Husband’s Bier:--
    Thus, as the Months succeed, shall Infants take
    Their Names, while Parents them and us forsake;
    Thus Brides again and Bridegrooms blithe shall kneel,
    By Love or Law compell’d their Vows to seal,
    Ere I again or one like me, explore
    These simple Annals of the VILLAGE POOR.

[Illustration: text decoration]



A Poem.


     Books afford Consolation to the troubled Mind, by substituting a
     lighter kind of Distress for its own.--They are productive of other
     Advantages:--An Author’s hope of being known in distant Times.----
     Arrangement of the Library.--Size and Form of the Volumes.--The
     antient Folio, clasped and chained.--Fashion prevalent even in this
     Place.--The Mode of publishing in Numbers, Pamphlets, &c.--Subjects
     of the different Classes.---- Divinity.--Controversy.--The Friends
     of Religion often more dangerous than her Foes.--Sceptical
     Authors.--Reason too much rejected by the former Converts;
     exclusively relied upon by the latter.---- Philosophy ascending
     through the Scale of Being to Moral Subjects.---- Books of
     Medicine: Their Variety, Variance, and proneness to System: The
     Evil of this, and the Difficulty it causes:--Farewell to this
     Study.---- Law:--The increasing Number of its Volumes.--Supposed
     happy State of Man without Laws.--Progress of Society.----
     Historians; their Subjects.--Dramatic Authors, Tragic and
     Comic.--Antient Romances.--The Captive Heroine.--Happiness in the
     perusal of such Books: why.---- Criticism.--Apprehensions of the
     Author: Removed by the Appearance of the Genius of the Place; whose
     Reasoning and Admonition conclude the Subject.



    When the sad Soul, by Care and Grief opprest,
    Looks round the World, but looks in vain, for Rest;
    When every Object that appears in view,
    Partakes her Gloom and seems dejected too;
    Where shall Affliction from itself retire?
    Where fade away and placidly expire?
    Alas! we fly to silent Scenes in vain,
    Care blasts the Honours of the flow’ry Plain:
    Care veils in Clouds the Sun’s meridian Beam,
    Sighs through the Grove and murmurs in the Stream;
    For when the Soul is labouring in Despair,
    In vain the Body breathes a purer Air:
    No storm-tost Sailor sighs for slumbering Seas,
    He dreads the Tempest, but invokes the Breeze;
    On the smooth Mirror of the Deep resides}
    Reflected Woe, and o’er unruffled Tides }
    The Ghost of every former Danger glides.}
    Thus in the Calms of Life, we only see
    A steadier Image of our Misery;
    But lively Gales and gently-clouded Skies,
    Disperse the sad Reflections as they rise;
    And busy Thoughts and little Cares avail
    To ease the Mind, when Rest and Reason fail.
    When the dull Thought, by no Designs employ’d,
    Dwells on the past, or suffer’d or enjoy’d,
    We bleed anew in every former Grief,
    And Joys departed furnish no Relief.
      Not Hope herself, with all her flattering Art,
    Can cure this stubborn Sickness of the Heart;
    The Soul disdains each Comfort she prepares,
    And anxious searches for congenial Cares;
    Those lenient Cares, which, with our own combin’d,  }
    By mixt Sensations ease th’ afflicted Mind,         }
    And steal our Grief away and leave their own behind;}
    A lighter Grief! which feeling Hearts endure
    Without regret, nor ev’n demand a Cure.
      But what strange Art, what Magic can dispose
    The troubled Mind to change its native Woes?
    Or lead us willing from ourselves, to see
    Others more wretched, more undone than we?
    This, Books can do;--nor this alone; they give
    New Views to Life and teach us how to live;
    They soothe the Griev’d, the Stubborn they chastise,
    Fools they admonish and confirm the Wise:
    Their aid they yield to all; they never shun
    The Man of Sorrow, nor the Wretch undone:
    Unlike the Hard, the Selfish, and the Proud,
    They fly not sullen from the suppliant Crowd;
    Nor tell to various People various Things,
    But shew to Subjects, what they shew to Kings.
      Come, Child of Care! to make thy Soul serene,
    Approach the Treasures of this tranquil Scene!
    Survey the Dome and as the Doors unfold,
    The Soul’s best Cure in all her Cares, behold!
    Where mental Wealth the poor in Thought may find,
    And mental Physic the deceas’d in Mind;
    See here the Balms that Passion’s Wounds assuage,
    See Coolers here, that damp the Fire of Rage;
    Here Alt’ratives, by slow degrees controul
    The Cronic Habits of the sickly Soul;
    And round the Heart and o’er the aching Head,
    Mild Opiates here, their sober Influence shed.
    Now bid thy Soul, Man’s busy Scenes exclude,
    And view compos’d this silent Multitude:--
    Silent they are, but, though depriv’d of Sound,
    Here all the living Languages abound;
    Here all that live no more; preserv’d they lie,
    In Tombs that open to the curious Eye.
      Blest be the gracious Power, who taught Mankind,
    To stamp a lasting Image of the Mind!--
    Beasts may convey, and tuneful Birds may sing,
    Their mutual Feelings, in the opening Spring;
    But Man alone has Skill and Power to send,
    The Heart’s warm Dictates to the distant Friend:
    ’Tis his alone to please, instruct, advise,
    Ages remote and Nations yet to rise.
      In sweet Repose, when Labour’s Children sleep,
    When Joy forgets to smile and Care to weep,
    When Passion slumbers in the Lover’s Breast,
    And Fear and Guilt partake the Balm of Rest,
    Why then denies the studious Man to share
    Man’s common Good, who feels his common Care?
      Because the Hope is his, that bids him fly
    Night’s soft Repose and Sleep’s mild Power defy;
    That After-ages may repeat his Praise,
    And Fame’s fair Meed be his, for length of days.
    Delightful Prospect! when we leave behind,
    A worthy Offspring of the fruitful Mind!
    Which, born and nurst through many an anxious day,
    Shall all our Labour, all our Cares repay.
      Yet all are not these Births of noble Kind,
    Not all the Children of a vigorous Mind;
    But where the Wisest should alone preside,
    The Weak would rule us and the Blind would guide;
    Nay, Man’s best Efforts taste of Man, and show,
    The poor and troubled Source from which they flow;
    Where most he triumphs, we his Wants perceive,
    And for his Weakness in his Wisdom grieve.
    But though imperfect all; yet Wisdom loves
    This Seat serene, and Virtue’s self approves:--
    Here come the Griev’d, a Change of Thought to find;
    The Curious here, to feed a craving Mind;
    Here the Devout, their peaceful Temple choose;
    And here, the Poet meets his favouring Muse.
      With awe, around these silent Walks I tread;
    These are the lasting Mansions of the Dead:--
    ‘The Dead!’, methinks a thousand Tongues reply;
    ‘These are the Tombs of such as cannot die!
    ‘Crown’d with eternal Fame, they sit sublime,
    ‘And laugh at all the little Strife of Time’.
      Hail, then, Immortals! ye who shine above,
    Each in his Sphere, the literary Jove;
    And ye the common People of these Skies,
    An humbler crowd of nameless Deities;
    Whether ’tis yours to lead the willing Mind
    Through History’s Mazes, and the Turnings find;
    Or whether, led by Science, ye retire,
    Lost and bewilder’d in the vast Desire;
    Whether the Muse invites you to her Bowers,
    And crowns your placid Brows with living Flowers;
    Or godlike Wisdom teaches you to show
    The noblest Road to Happiness below;
    Or Men and Manners prompt the easy Page
    To mark the flying Follies of the Age:
    Whatever Good ye boast, that Good impart;
    Inform the Head and rectify the Heart.

      Lo! all in Silence, all in Order stand,
    And mighty Folio’s first, a lordly Band;
    Then Quarto’s their well-order’d Ranks maintain,
    And light Octavo’s fill a spacious Plain;
    See yonder, rang’d in more frequented Rows,
    An humbler Band of Duodecimo’s;
    While undistinguish’d Trifles swell the Scene,
    The last new Play and fritter’d Magazine:
    Thus ’tis in Life, where first the Proud, the Great,
    In leagu’d Assembly keep their cumbrous State;
    Heavy and huge, they fill the World with dread,
    Are much admir’d and are but little read:
    The Commons next, a middle Rank are found;
    Professions fruitful pour their Offspring round;
    Reasoners and Wits are next their Place allow’d,
    And last, of vulgar Tribes, a countless Crowd.
      First let us view the Form, the Size, the Dress;
    For, these the Manners, nay the Mind express;
    That Weight of Wood, with leathern Coat o’erlaid,
    Those ample Clasps, of solid Metal made;
    The close-prest Leaves, unclos’d for many an Age,
    The dull red Edging of the well-fill’d Page;
    On the broad Back the stubborn Ridges roll’d,
    Where yet the Title stands in tarnish’d Gold:
    These all a sage and labour’d Work proclaim,
    A painful Candidate for lasting Fame:
    No idle Wit, no trifling Verse can lurk,
    In the deep Bosom of that weighty Work;
    No playful Thoughts degrade the solemn Style,
    Nor one light Sentence claims a transient Smile.
        Hence, in these Times, untouch’d the Pages lie,
      And slumber out their Immortality;
      They _had_ their Day, when, after all his Toil,
      His Morning Study, and his Midnight Oil,
      At length an Author’s ONE great Work appear’d,
      By patient Hope and Length of Days, endear’d;
      Expecting Nations hail’d it from the Press,
      Poëtic Friends prefix’d each kind Address;
      Princes and Kings receiv’d the pond’rous Gift,
      And Ladies read the Work, they could not lift.
    Fashion, though Folly’s Child, and Guide of Fools,
    Rules e’en the Wisest, and in Learning rules;
    From Crowds and Courts to Wisdom’s Seat she goes,
    And reigns triumphant o’er her Mother’s Foes.
      For lo! these Fav’rites of the ancient Mode
      Lie all neglected like the _Birth-day Ode_;
      Ah! needless now this weight of massy Chain[11];
      Safe in themselves, the once-lov’d Works remain;
      No Readers now invade their still Retreat,
      None try to steal them from their Parent-seat;
      Like antient Beauties, they may now discard
      Chains, Bolts, and Locks, and lie without a Guard.
    Our patient Fathers, trifling Themes laid by,
    And roll’d, o’er labour’d Works, th’ attentive Eye;
    Page after Page, the much-enduring Men
    Explor’d, the Deeps and Shallows of the Pen;
    Till, every former Note and Comment known,
    They mark’d the spacious Margin with their own:
    Minute Corrections prov’d their studious Care;
    The little Index pointing, told us where;
    And many an Emendation show’d, the Age
    Look’d far beyond the Rubric Title-page.
      Our nicer Palates lighter Labours seek,
    Cloy’d with a Folio-_Number_ once a Week;
    Bibles with Cuts and Comments, thus go down;
    Ev’n light Voltaire is _Number’d_ through the Town:
    Thus Physic flies abroad and thus the Law,
    From men of Study and from men of Straw;
    Abstracts, Abridgements, please the fickle Times,
    Pamphlets and Plays and Politics and Rhymes:
    But though, to write be now a Task of Ease,
    The Task is hard by manly Arts to please;
    When all our Weakness is expos’d to view,
    And half our Judges are our Rivals too.

      Amid these Works, on which the eager Eye
    Delights to fix, or glides reluctant by;
    When all combin’d, their decent Pomp display,
    Where shall we first our early Off’ring pay?

      To thee, DIVINITY! to thee, the Light
    And Guide of Mortals, through their mental Night;
    By whom we learn, our Hopes and Fears to guide,
    To bear with Pain and to contend with Pride;
    When griev’d, to pray; when injur’d, to forgive;
    And with the World in Charity to live.
        Not Truths like these, inspir’d that numerous Race,
      Whose pious Labours fill this ample Space;
      But Questions nice, where Doubt on Doubt arose,
      Awak’d to War the long-contending Foes.
      For dubious Meanings, learn’d Polemics strove,
      And Wars on Faith prevented Works of Love;
      The Brands of Discord far around were hurl’d,
      And holy Wrath inflam’d a sinful World.--
      Dull though impatient, peevish though devout,
      With Wit disgusting and despis’d without;
      Saints in Design, in Execution, Men,
      Peace in their Looks and Vengeance in their Pen.

      Methinks I see, and sicken at the Sight,
    Spirits of Spleen from yonder Pile alight;
    Spirits who prompted every damning Page,
    With Pontiff Pride and still-increasing Rage:
    Lo! how they stretch their gloomy Wings around,
    And lash with furious strokes the trembling Ground!
    They prey, they fight, they murder, and they weep,
    Wolves in their Vengeance, in their Manners Sheep.
    Too well they act the Prophet’s fatal Part,
    Denouncing Evil with a zealous Heart;
    And each, like Jonas, is displeas’d if God
    Repent His Anger, or withhold His Rod.
      But here, the dormant Fury rests unsought,
    And Zeal sleeps soundly by the Foes she fought;
    Here all the Rage of Controversy ends,
    And rival Zealots rest like Bosom-Friends;
    An Athanasian here in deep repose,
    Sleeps with the fiercest of his Arian Foes;
    Socinians here with Calvinists abide,
    And thin Partitions angry Chiefs divide;
    Here wily Jesuits simple Quakers meet,
    And _Bellarmine_ has rest at _Luther_’s feet.
    Great Authors for the Church’s glory fir’d,
    Are for the Church’s peace, to rest retir’d;
    And close beside, a mystic, maudlin Race,
    Lie, “Crumbs of Comfort, for the Babes of Grace.”
      Against her Foes, Religion well defends
    Her sacred Truths, but often fears her Friends;
    If learn’d, their Pride, if weak, their Zeal she dreads,
    And their Hearts’ weakness, who have soundest Heads;
    But most she fears the controversial Pen,
    The holy Strife of disputatious Men;
    Who the blest Gospel’s peaceful Page explore,
    Only to fight against its Precepts more.
      Near to these Seats, behold yon slender Frames,
    All closely fill’d and mark’d with modern Names;
    Where no fair Science ever shews her Face,
    Few sparks of Genius and no spark of Grace;
    There Sceptics rest, a still-increasing Throng,
    And stretch their widening Wings ten-thousand strong;
    Some in close fight their dubious Claims maintain;
    Some skirmish lightly, fly and fight again;
    Coldly profane and impiously gay,
    Their End the same, though various in their Way.
      When first Religion came to bless the Land,
    Her Friends were then a firm believing Band;
    To doubt was, then, to plunge in Guilt extreme,
    And all was Gospel that a Monk could dream;
    Insulted Reason fled the grov’ling Soul,
    For Fear to guide and Visions to controul:
    But now, when Reason has assum’d her Throne,
    She, in her turn, demands to reign alone;
    Rejecting all that lies beyond her View,
    And, being Judge, will be a Witness too;
    Insulted Faith then leaves the doubtful Mind,
    To seek for Truth, without a power to find:
    Ah! when will both in friendly Beams unite,
    And pour on erring Man resistless Light?

      Next to the Seats, well stor’d with Works Divine,
    An ample Space, PHILOSOPHY!, is thine;
    Our Reason’s Guide, by whose assisting Light,
    We trace the moral Bounds of Wrong and Right;
    Our Guide through Nature, from the sterile Clay,
    To the bright Orbs of yon Celestial Way!
    ’Tis thine, the great, the golden Chain to trace,
    Which runs through all, connecting Race with Race;
    Save where those puzzling, stubborn Links remain,
    Which thy inferior Light pursues in vain:--
        How Vice and Virtue in the Soul contend;
      How widely differ, yet how nearly blend!
      What various Passions war on either part,
      And now confirm, now melt the yielding Heart;
      How Fancy loves around the World to stray,
      While Judgment slowly picks his sober way;
      The Stores of Memory and the Flights sublime
      Of Genius, bound by neither Space nor Time;--
      All these, divine Philosophy explores,
      Till, lost in awe, she wonders and adores.
    From these descending to the Earth she turns,
    And Matter, in its various Form, discerns;
    She parts the beamy Light with skill profound,
    Metes the thin Air and weighs the flying Sound;
    ’Tis her’s, the Lightning from the Clouds to call,
    And teach the fiery Mischief where to fall.
      Yet more her Volumes teach,--on these we look
    As Abstracts drawn from Nature’s larger Book:
    Here first describ’d, the torpid Earth appears,
    And next, the Vegetable-robe it wears;
    Where flow’ry Tribes, in Valleys, Fields and Groves,
    Nurse the still Flame, and feed the silent Loves;
    Loves, where no Grief, nor Joy, nor Bliss, nor Pain,
    Warm the glad Heart or vex the labouring Brain;
    But as the green Blood moves along the Blade,
    The Bed of Flora on the Branch is made;
    Where without Passion, Love instinctive lives,
    And gives new Life, unconscious that it gives.
    Advancing still in Nature’s maze, we trace,
    In Dens and burning Plains, her Savage-race;
    With those Tame-tribes who on their Lord attend,
    And find, in Man, a Master and a Friend:
    Man crowns the Scene, a World of Wonders new,
    A Moral World, that well demands our view,
      This World is here; for, of more lofty kind,
    These neighbouring Volumes reason on the Mind;
    They paint the State of Man ere yet endu’d
    With Knowledge;--Man, poor, ignorant, and rude;
    Then, as his State improves, their Pages swell,
    And all its Cares and all its Comforts, tell:
    Here we behold how Inexperience buys,
    At little price, the Wisdom of the Wise;
    Without the Troubles of an active State,
    Without the Cares and Dangers of the Great,
    Without the Miseries of the Poor, we know
    What Wisdom, Wealth, and Poverty bestow;
    We see how Reason calms the raging Mind,
    And how contending Passions urge Mankind:
    Some, won by Virtue, glow with sacred fire;
    Some, lur’d by Vice, indulge the low desire;
    Whilst others, won by either, now pursue
    The guilty Chace, now keep the good in view;
    For ever wretched, with themselves at strife,
    They lead a puzzled, vext, uncertain Life;
    For, transient Vice bequeaths a lingering Pain,
    Which transient Virtue seeks to cure in vain.

      Whilst thus engag’d, high Views enlarge the Soul,
    New Interests draw, new Principles controul;
    Nor thus the Soul alone resigns her Grief,
    But here the tortur’d Body finds Relief;
    For see where yonder sage Arachnè shapes
    Her subtile Gin, that not a Fly escapes!
    There PHYSIC fills the Space, and far around,
    Pile above pile, her learned Works abound;
    Glorious their Aim--to ease the labouring Heart,
    To war with Death and stop his flying Dart;
    To trace the Source whence the fierce Contest grew,
    And Life’s short Lease on easier Terms renew;
    To calm the Frenzy of the burning Brain,
    To heal the Tortures of imploring Pain,
    Or, when more powerful Ills all Efforts brave,}
    To ease the Victim no Device can save,        }
    And smooth the stormy Passage to the Grave.   }
      But Man, who knows no Good unmix’d and pure,
    Oft finds a Poison where he sought a Cure:
    For, grave Deceivers lodge their Labours here,
    And cloud the Science they pretend to clear:
    Scourges for Sin, the solemn Tribe are sent;
    Like Fire and Storms, they call us to repent:
    But Storms subside, and Fires forget to rage:
    _These_ are eternal Scourges of the Age:
    ’Tis not enough that each terrific Hand
    Spreads Desolation round a guilty Land;
    But, train’d to ill, and harden’d by its Crimes,
    Their Pen relentless kills through future Times.
      Say ye, who search these Records of the Dead,
    Who read huge Works, to boast what ye have read;
    Can all the real Knowledge ye possess,
    Or those (if such there are), who more than guess,
    Atone for each Impostor’s wild Mistakes,
    And mend the Blunders Pride or Folly makes?
      What Thought so wild, what airy Dream so light,
    That will not prompt a Theorist to write?
    What Art so prevalent, what Proof so strong,
    That will convince him his Attempt is wrong?
    One in the Solids finds each lurking Ill,
    Nor grants the passive Fluids power to kill;
    A learned Friend some subtler Reason brings,
    Absolves the Channels, but condemns their Springs;
    The subtile Nerves, that shun the Doctor’s Eye,
    Escape no more his subtler Theory;
    The vital Heat, that warms the labouring Heart,
    Lends a fair System to these Sons of Art;
    The vital Air, a pure and subtle Stream,   }
    Serves a Foundation for an airy Scheme,    }
    Assists the Doctor, and supports his Dream.}
    Some have their favourite Ills, and each Disease
    Is but a younger Branch that kills from these:
    One to the Gout contracts all human Pain,
    He views it raging in the frantic Brain;
    Finds it in Fevers all his efforts mar,
    And sees it lurking in the cold Catarrh:
    Bilious by some, by others nervous seen,
    Rage the fantastic Dæmons of the Spleen;
    And every Symptom of the strange Disease
    With every System of the Sage agrees.
      Ye frigid Tribe, on whom I wasted long
    The tedious Hours and ne’er indulg’d in Song;
    Ye first Seducers of my easy Heart,
    Who promis’d Knowledge, ye could not impart;
    Ye dull Deluders, Truth’s destructive Foes;
    Ye Sons of Fiction, clad in stupid Prose;
    Ye treacherous Leaders, who, yourselves in doubt,
    Light up false Fires and send us far about;--
    Still may yon Spider round your Pages spin,
    Subtle and slow, her emblematic Gin!
    Buried in Dust and lost in Silence, dwell,
    Most potent, grave, and reverend Friends--Farewell!

      Near these, and where the setting Sun displays,
    Through the dim Window, his departing Rays,
    And gilds yon Columns, there on either side,
    The huge Abridgements of the LAW abide;
    Fruitful as Vice the dread Correctors stand,
    And spread their guardian Terrors round the Land;
    Yet, as the best that human Care can do,
    Is mixt with Error, oft with Evil too;
    Skill’d in Deceit, and practis’d to evade,
    Knaves stand secure, for whom these Laws were made:
    And Justice vainly each expedient tries,
    While Art eludes it, or while Power defies.
    “Ah! happy Age,” the youthful Poet sings,
    “When the free Nations knew not Laws nor Kings;
    When all were blest to share a common Store,
    And none were proud of Wealth, for none were poor;
    No Wars, nor Tumults vex’d each still Domain,
    No thirst of Empire, no desire of Gain;
    No proud Great Man, nor one who would be great,
    Drove modest Merit from its proper State;
    Nor into distant Climes would Avarice roam,
    To fetch Delights for Luxury at Home.
    Bound by no ties which kept the Soul in awe,
    They dwelt at liberty, and Love was Law!”
      “Mistaken Youth! each Nation first was rude,
    Each Man a cheerless Son of Solitude,
    To whom no Joys of Social life were known,
    None felt a Care that was not all his own;
    Or in some languid Clime his abject Soul
    Bow’d to a little Tyrant’s stern controul;
    A Slave, with Slaves his Monarch’s Throne he rais’d,
    And in rude Song his ruder Idol prais’d;
    The meaner Cares of Life were all he knew,
    Bounded his Pleasures, and his Wishes few:
    But when by slow degrees the Arts arose,
    And Science waken’d from her long Repose;
    When Commerce, rising from the Red of Ease,
    Ran round the Land and pointed to the Seas;
    When Emulation, born with jealous Eye,
    And Avarice, lent their Spurs to industry;
    Then one by one the numerous Laws were made,
    Those to controul, and these to succour Trade;
    To curb the Insolence of rude Command,
    To snatch the Victim from the Usurer’s hand;
    To awe the Bold, to yield the Wrong’d redress,
    And feed the Poor with Luxury’s excess.”
      Like some vast Flood, unbounded, fierce, and strong,
    His Nature leads ungovern’d Man along;
    Like mighty Bulwarks made to stem that Tide,
    The Laws are form’d and plac’d on ev’ry side;
    Whene’er it breaks the Bounds by these decreed,
    New Statutes rise, and stronger Laws succeed;
    More and more gentle grows the dying Stream,
    More and more strong the rising Bulwarks seem;
    Till, like a Miner working sure and slow,
    Luxury creeps on, and ruins all below;
    The Basis sinks, the ample Piles decay,
    The stately Fabric shakes and falls away;
    Primæval Want and Ignorance come on,
    But Freedom, that exalts the Savage State, is gone.

      Next, HISTORY ranks;--there full in front she lies,
    And every Nation her dread Tale supplies;
    Yet History has her Doubts, and every Age
    With sceptic Queries marks the passing Page;
    Records of old nor later Date are clear,
    Too distant those and these are plac’d too near;
    There Time conceals the Objects from our view,
    Here our own Passions and a Writer’s too:
    Yet in these Volumes see how States arose!
    Guarded by Virtue from surrounding Foes;
    Their Virtue lost, and of their Triumphs vain,
    Lo! how they sunk to Slavery again!
    Satiate with Power, of Fame and Wealth possest,
    A Nation grows too glorious to be blest;
    Conspicuous made, she stands the Mark of all,
    And Foes join Foes to triumph in her Fall.
      Thus speaks the Page that paints Ambition’s Race,
    The Monarch’s Pride, his Glory, his Disgrace;
    The headlong Course, that madd’ning Heroes run,
    How soon triumphant, and how soon undone;
    How Slaves, turn’d Tyrants, offer Crowns to sale,
    And each fall’n Nation’s melancholy Tale.

      Lo! where of late the Book of Martyrs stood,
    Old pious Tracts, and Bibles bound in Wood;
    There, such the Taste of our degenerate Age,
    Stand the profane Delusions of the STAGE:
    Yet Virtue owns the TRAGIC MUSE a Friend,
    Fable her Means, Morality her End;
    For this she rules all Passions in their turns,
    And now the Bosom bleeds, and now it burns;
    Pity with weeping Eye surveys her Bowl,
    Her Anger swells, her Terror chills the Soul;
    She makes the Vile to Virtue yield Applause,
    And own her Sceptre while they break her Laws;
    For Vice in others is abhorr’d of all,
    And Villains triumph when the Worthless fall.

      Not thus her Sister COMEDY prevails,
    Who shoots at Folly, for her Arrow fails
    Folly, by Dulness arm’d, eludes the Wound,
    And harmless sees the feather’d Shafts rebound;
    Unhurt she stands, applauds the Archer’s Skill,
    Laughs at her Malice, and is Folly still.
    Yet well the Muse pourtrays in fancied Scenes,
    What Pride will stoop to, what Profession means;
    How formal Fools the Farce of State applaud,
    How Caution watches at the Lips of Fraud;
    The wordy Variance of Domestic Life,
    The tyrant Husband, the retorting Wife;
    The Snares for Innocence, the Lie of Trade,
    And the smooth Tongue’s habitual Masquerade.
      With her the Virtues too obtain a Place,
    Each gentle Passion, each becoming Grace;
    The social Joy in Life’s securer Road,
    Its easy Pleasure, its substantial Good;
      The happy Thought that conscious Virtue gives,
    And all that ought to live, and all that lives.

      But who are these? Methinks a noble Mien,
    And awful Grandeur in their Form are seen,
    Now in disgrace: what tho’ by Time is spread,
    Polluting Dust o’er every reverend Head;
    What though beneath yon gilded Tribe they lie,
    And dull Observers pass insulting by:
    Forbid it Shame, forbid it decent Awe,
    What seems so grave, should no Attention draw!
    Come, let us then with reverend step advance,
    And greet--the ancient Worthies of ROMANCE.
      Hence, ye profane! I feel a former dread,
    A thousand Visions float around my head:
    Hark! hollow Blasts through empty Courts resound,
    And shadowy Forms with staring Eyes stalk round;
    See! Moats and Bridges, Walls and Castles rise,
    Ghosts, Fairies, Dæmons, dance before our eyes;
    Lo! Magic Verse inscrib’d on golden Gate,
    And bloody Hand that beckons on to Fate;--
    “And who art thou, thou little Page, unfold?
    “Say, Doth thy Lord my _Claribel_ with-hold;
    “Go tell him straight, Sir Knight, thou must resign
    “The captive Queen:--for, _Claribel_ is mine.”
    Away he flies; and now for bloody Deeds,
    Black Suits of Armour, Masks, and foaming Steeds;
    The Giant falls; his recreant Throat I seize,
    And from his Corslet take the massy Keys:--
    Dukes, Lords, and Knights in long procession move,
    Releas’d from bondage with my virgin Love;--
    She comes! she comes! in all the Charms of Youth,
    Unequall’d Love and unsuspected Truth!
      Ah! happy he who thus in magic Themes,
    O’er Worlds bewitch’d, in early rapture dreams,
    Where wild Enchantment waves her potent Wand,
    And Fancy’s Beauties fill her Fairy Land;
    Where doubtful Objects strange Desires excite,
    And Fear and Ignorance afford Delight.
      But lost, for ever lost, to me these Joys,
    Which Reason scatters and which Time destroys,
    Too dearly bought; maturer Judgment calls
    My busied Mind, from Tales and Madrigals;
    My doughty Giants all are slain or fled,
    And all my Knights, Blue, Green, and Yellow, dead;
    No more the midnight Fairy Tribe I view,
    All in the merry Moonshine tippling Dew;
    Ev’n the last lingering Fiction of the Brain,
    The church-yard Ghost, is now at rest again:
    And all these wayward Wanderings of my Youth,
    Fly Reason’s Power and shun the Light of Truth.
      With Fiction then does real Joy reside,
    And is our Reason the delusive Guide?
    Is it then right to dream the Syrens sing?
    Or mount enraptur’d on the Dragon’s Wing?
    No, ’tis the infant Mind, to Care unknown,
    That makes th’ imagin’d Paradise its own;
    Soon as Reflections in the Bosom rise,
    Light Slumbers vanish from the clouded Eyes:
    The Tear and Smile, that once together rose,
    Are then divorc’d; the Head and Heart are foes;
    Enchantment bows to Wisdom’s serious Plan,
    And Pain and Prudence make and mar the Man.

      While thus, of Power and fancy’d Empire vain,
    With various Thoughts my Mind I entertain;
    While Books my Slaves, with tyrant hand I seize,
    Pleas’d with the Pride that will not let them please;
    Sudden I find terrific Thoughts arise,
    And sympathetic Sorrow fills my Eyes;
    For, lo! while yet my Heart admits the Wound,
    I see the CRITIC Army rang’d around.
      Foes to our Race! if ever ye have known
    A Father’s fears for Offspring of your own;--
    If ever, smiling o’er a lucky Line,
    Ye thought the sudden Sentiment divine,
    Then paus’d and doubted, and then, tir’d of doubt,
    With rage as sudden dash’d the Stanza out;--
    If, after fearing much and pausing long,
    Ye ventur’d on the World your labour’d Song,
    And from the crusty Critics of those Days,
    Implor’d the feeble Tribute of their Praise;
    Remember now, the Fears that mov’d you then,
    And, spite of Truth, let Mercy guide your Pen.
      What vent’rous Race are ours! what mighty Foes,
    Lie waiting all around them to oppose!
    What treacherous Friends betray them to the Fight!
    What Dangers threaten them!; yet still they write:
    A hapless Tribe! to every Evil born,
    Whom Villains hate and Fools affect to scorn:
    Strangers they come, amid a world of Woe,
    And taste the largest Portion ere they go.

      Pensive I spoke, and cast mine eyes around;
    The Roof, methought, return’d a solemn Sound;
    Each Column seem’d to shake, and Clouds, like Smoke,
    From dusty Piles and ancient Volumes broke;
    Gathering above, like Mists condens’d they seem,
    Exhal’d in Summer from the rushy Stream;
    Like flowing Robes they now appear, and twine
    Round the large Members of a Form divine;
    His Silver Beard, that swept his aged Breast,       }
    His piercing Eye, that inward Light express’d,      }
    Were seen,--but Clouds and Darkness veil’d the rest.}
    Fear chill’d my Heart; to one of mortal Race,
    How awful seem’d the Genius of the Place!
    So in Cimmerian shores, Ulysses saw
    His Parent-shade, and shrunk in pious awe;
    Like him I stood, and wrapt in thought profound,
    When from the pitying Power broke forth a solemn Sound:--

      “Care lives with all; no Rules, no Precepts save}
    The Wise from Woe, no Fortitude the Brave:        }
    Grief is to Man as certain as the Grave;          }
    Tempests and Storms in Life’s whole progress rise,
    And Hope shines dimly through o’erclouded skies;
    Some drops of Comfort on the favour’d fall,
    But showers of Sorrow are the Lot of _all_:
    Partial to Talents, then, shall Heav’n withdraw
    Th’ afflicting Rod, or break the general Law?
    Shall he who soars, inspir’d by loftier Views,
    Life’s little Cares and little Pains refuse?
    Shall he not rather feel a double Share
    Of mortal Woe, when doubly arm’d to bear?
      “Hard is his Fate who builds his Peace of Mind
    On the precarious Mercy of Mankind;
    Who hopes for wild and visionary things,
    And mounts o’er unknown Seas with vent’rous Wings:
    But as, of various Evils that befall
    The human Race, some Portion goes to all;
    To him perhaps the milder Lot’s assign’d,
    Who feels his Consolation in his Mind;
    And lock’d within his Bosom, bears about
    A mental Charm for every Care, without.
    Ev’n in the Pangs of each domestic Grief,
    Or Health or vigorous Hope affords Relief;
    And every Wound the tortur’d Bosom feels,
    Or Virtue bears, or some Preserver heals;
    Some generous Friend, of ample Power possest;
    Some feeling Heart, that bleeds for the distrest;
    Some Breast that glows with Virtues all divine;
    Some noble RUTLAND, Misery’s Friend and thine.
      “Nor say, the Muses’ Song, the Poet’s Pen,
    Merit the Scorn they meet from little men.
    With cautious freedom if the Numbers flow,
    Not wildly high, not pitifully low;
    If Vice alone their honest Aims oppose,
    Why so asham’d their Friends, so loud their Foes?
    Happy for Men in every Age and Clime,
    If all the Sons of Vision dealt in Rhyme.
    Go on then, Son of Vision! still pursue
    The airy Dreams; the World is dreaming too.
    Ambition’s lofty Views, the Pomp of State,
    The Pride of Wealth, the Splendour of the Great,
    Stript of their Mask, their Cares and Troubles known,
    Are Visions far less happy than thy own:
    Go on! and, while the Sons of Care complain,
    Be wisely gay and innocently vain;
    While serious Souls are by their Fears undone,
    Blow sportive Bladders in the beamy Sun,
    And call them Worlds!, and bid the greatest show
    More radiant Colours in their World below:
    Then, as they break, the Slaves of Care reprove,
    And tell them, Such are all the Toys they love.”

[Illustration: text decoration]



A Poem.


     This not a Time favourable to Poetical Composition: and
     why.--Newspapers enemies to Literature, and their general
     Influence:--their Numbers.--The Sunday Monitor.--Their general
     Character.--Their Effect upon Individuals;--upon Society,--in the
     Country.--The Village-Freeholder.--What kind of Composition a
     Newspaper is; and the Amusement it affords.--Of what Parts it is
     chiefly composed.--Articles of Intelligence:--Advertisements:--The
     Stage:--Quacks:--Puffing.--The Correspondents to a Newspaper,
     Political and Poetical:--Advice to the latter.--Conclusion.



    E quibus, hi vacuas implent sermonibus aures,
    Hi narrata ferunt aliò; mensuráque ficti
    Crescit, et auditis aliquid novus adjicit auctor:
    Illìc credulitas, illìc temerarius error,
    Vanáque lætitia est, consternatique timores,
    Seditióque repens, dubióque auctore susurri.
              OVID. Metamorph. Lib. xii.

    A time like this, a busy, bustling time,
    Suits ill with Writers, very ill with Rhyme;
    Unheard we sing when Party-rage runs strong,
    And mightier Madness checks the flowing Song:
    Or should we force the peaceful Muse to wield
    Her feeble Arms amid the furious Field;
    Where Party-Pens a wordy War maintain,
    Poor is her Anger and her Friendship vain;
    And oft the Foes who feel her Sting, combine,
    Till serious Vengeance pays an idle Line;
    For Party-Poets are like Wasps, who dart
    Death to themselves and to their Foes but Smart.
      Hard then our Fate: if general Themes we choose,
    Neglect awaits the Song, and chills the Muse;
    Or should we sing the Subject of the Day,
    To-morrow’s Wonder puffs our Praise away.
    More blest the Bards of that Poetic Time,
    When all found Readers who could find a Rhyme;
    Green grew the Bays on every teeming Head,
    And _Cibber_ was enthron’d and _Settle_ read.
    Sing, drooping Muse, the Cause of thy Decline;
    Why reign no more the once-triumphant Nine?
    Alas! new Charms the wavering Many gain,
    And rival Sheets the Reader’s Eye detain;
    A daily Swarm, that banish every Muse,
    Come flying forth, and Mortals call them NEWS:
    For these, unread the noblest Volumes lie;
    For these, in Sheets unsoil’d the Muses die;
    Unbought, unblest, the virgin Copies wait,
    In vain for Fame, and sink, unseen, to fate.
      Since, then, the Town forsakes us for our Foes,
    The smoothest Numbers for the harshest Prose;
    Let us, with generous scorn, the Taste deride,
    And sing our Rivals with a Rival’s Pride.
      Ye gentle Poets, who so oft complain
    That foul Neglect is all your Labours gain;
    That Pity only checks your growing Spite
    To erring Man and prompts you still to write;
    That your choice Works on humble Stalls are laid,
    Or vainly grace the Windows of the Trade;
    Be ye my Friends, if Friendship e’er can warm
    Those rival Bosoms whom the Muses charm:
    Think of the common Cause, wherein we go,
    Like gallant Greeks against the Trojan foe;
    Nor let one peevish Chief his Leader blame,
    Till crown’d with Conquest we regain our Fame;
    And let us join our Forces to subdue
    This bold assuming but successful Crew.

      I sing of NEWS, and all those vapid Sheets
    The rattling Hawker vends thro’ gaping Streets;
    Whate’er their Name, whate’er the Time they fly,
    Damp from the Press, to charm the Reader’s Eye:
    For, soon as Morning dawns with roseate hue,
    The HERALD of the Morn arises too;
    POST after POST succeeds, and all day long,
    GAZETTES and LEDGERS swarm, a noisy throng.
    When Evening comes, she comes with all her train
    Like Bats appearing when the Sun goes down,
    From Holes obscure and Corners of the Town.
    Of all these Triflers, all like these, I write;
    Oh! like my Subject could my Song delight,
    The Crowd at _Lloyd_’s one Poet’s Name should raise,
    And all the _Alley_ echo to his praise.
      In shoals the Hours their constant Numbers bring,
    Like Insects waking to th’ advancing Spring;
    Which take their rise from Grubs obscene that lie,
    In shallow Pools, or thence ascend the Sky;
    Such are these base Ephemeras, so born
    To die before the next revolving Morn.
      Yet thus they differ: Insect-tribes are lost
    In the first Visit of a Winter’s Frost;
    While these remain, a base but constant Breed,
    Whose swarming Sons their short-liv’d Sires succeed;
    No changing Season makes their Number less,
    Nor Sunday shines a Sabbath on the Press!!

      Then lo! the sainted MONITOR is born,
    Whose pious Face some sacred Texts adorn:
    As artful Sinners cloak the secret Sin,
    To veil with seeming Grace the Guile within;
    So Moral Essays on his Front appear,
    But all is Carnal Business in the Rear;
    The fresh-coin’d Lie, the Secret whisper’d last,
    And all the Gleanings of the six Days past.
      With these retir’d, thro’ half the Sabbath-day,
    The London-lounger yawns his Hours away:
    Not so, my little Flock!, your Preacher fly,
    Nor waste the Time no worldly Wealth can buy;
    But let the decent Maid and sober Clown,
    Pray for these Idlers of the sinful Town:
    This Day at least, on nobler Themes bestow,
    Nor give to _Woodfall_, or the World below.

      But, Sunday past, what Numbers flourish then,
    What wond’rous Labours of the Press and Pen!
    Diurnal most, some thrice each Week affords,
    Some only once, O Avarice of Words!
    When thousand starving Minds such Manna seek[12],
    To drop the precious Food but once a Week.
      Endless it were to sing the Powers of all,
    Their Names, their Numbers; how they rise and fall;
    Like baneful Herbs the Gazer’s eye they seize,
    Rush to the head and poison where they please;
    Like idle Flies, a busy, buzzing train,
    They drop their Maggots in the Trifler’s Brain:
    That genial Soil receives the fruitful Store,
    And there they grow, and breed a thousand more.

      Now be their Arts display’d, how first they choose
    A Cause and Party, as the Bard his Muse;
    Inspir’d by these, with clamorous zeal they cry,
    And thro’ the Town their Dreams and Omens fly:
    So the Sibylline[13] Leaves were blown about,
    Disjointed scraps of Fate involv’d in doubt:
    So idle Dreams, the Journals of the Night,
    Are right and wrong by turns, and mingle Wrong with Right.
    Some Champions for the Rights that prop the Crown,
    Some sturdy Patriots, sworn to pull them down;
    Some neutral Powers, with secret Forces fraught,
    Wishing for War, but willing to be bought;
    While some to every Side and Party go,
    Shift every Friend and join with every Foe;
    Like sturdy Rogues in Privateers they strike
    This side and that, the Foes of both alike;
    A Traitor-crew, who thrive in troubled Times,
    Fear’d for their Force and courted for their Crimes.
      Chief to the prosperous side the Numbers sail,
    Fickle and false, they veer with every Gale;
    As Birds that migrate from a freezing Shore,
    In search of warmer Climes, come skimming o’er,
    Some bold Adventurers first prepare to try
    The doubtful Sunshine of the distant Sky;
    But soon the growing Summer’s certain Sun
    Wins more and more, till all at last are won;
    So, on the early Prospect of Disgrace,
    Fly in vast Troops this apprehensive Race;
    Instinctive Tribes! their failing Food they dread,
    And buy, with timely Change, their future Bread.

      Such are our Guides; how many a peaceful Head,
    Born to be still, have they to wrangling led!
    How many an honest Zealot, stol’n from Trade,
    And factious Tools of pious Pastors made!
    With Clews like these they tread the Maze of State,
    These Oracles explore, to learn our Fate;
    Pleas’d with the Guides who can so well deceive,
    Who cannot lie so fast as they believe.

      Oft lend I, loth, to some sage Friend an ear,
    (For we who will not speak are doom’d to hear);
    While he, bewilder’d tells his anxious Thought,
    Infectious Fear from tainted Scribblers caught,
    Or idiot Hope; for each his Mind assails,
    As LLOYD’s Court-light or STOCKDALE’s Gloom prevails.
    Yet stand I patient while but one declaims,
    Or gives dull Comments on the Speech he maims;
    But oh! ye Muses, keep your Votary’s feet
    From Tavern-haunts where Politicians meet;
    Where Rector, Doctor, and Attorney pause,
    First on each Parish then each public Cause:
    Indited Roads and Rates that still increase;
    The murmuring Poor, who will not fast in peace;
    Election-zeal and Friendship, since declin’d;
    A Tax commuted, or a Tithe in Kind;
    The Dutch and Germans kindling into strife,
    Dull Port and Poachers vile! the serious Ills of Life.
      Here comes the neighbouring Justice, pleas’d to guide
    His little Club and in the Chair preside.
    In private Business his Commands prevail,
    On public Themes his Reasoning turns the scale;
    Assenting Silence soothes his happy Ear,
    And, in or out, his Party triumphs here.

      Nor here th’ infectious rage for Party stops,
    But flits along from Palaces to Shops;
    Our weekly Journals o’er the Land abound,
    And spread their Plagues and Influenzas round;
    The Village too, the peaceful, pleasant Plain,
    Breeds the Whig-farmer and the Tory-swain;
    Brooks’ and St. Alban’s boasts not, but instead,
    Stares the Red Ram, and swings the _Rodney_’s Head:--
    Hither, with all a Patriot’s care, comes he
    Who owns the little Hut that makes him free;
    Whose yearly Forty Shillings buy the Smile
    Of mightier Men, and never waste the while;
    Who feels his Freehold’s Worth and looks elate,
    A little Prop and Pillar of the State.
      Here he delights the weekly News to con,
    And mingle Comments as he blunders on;
    To swallow all their varying Authors teach,
    To spell a Title and confound a Speech:
    Till with a muddled Mind he quits the News,
    And claims his Nation’s Licence to abuse;
    Then joins the Cry, “That all the Courtly Race,
    “Are venal Candidates for Power and Place;”
    Yet feels some joy amid the general Vice,
    That his own Vote will bring its wonted Price.
      These are the Ills the teeming Press supplies,
    These pois’nous Springs from Learning’s Fountain rise;
    Not there the Wise alone their Entrance find,
    Imparting useful Light to Mortals blind;
    But, blind themselves, these erring Guides hold out
    Alluring Lights, to lead us far about;
    Screen’d by such Means, here Scandal whets her Quill,
    Here Slander shoots unseen, whene’er she will;
    Here Fraud and Falsehood labour to deceive,
    And Folly aids them both, impatient to believe.

      Such, Sons of BRITAIN!, are the Guides ye trust;
    So wise their Counsel, their Reports so just:--
    Yet, though we cannot call their Morals pure,
    Their Judgment nice, or their Decisions sure;
    Merit they have to mightier Works unknown,
    A Style, a Manner, and a Fate their own.
      We, who for longer Fame with labour strive,
    Are pain’d to keep our sickly Works alive;
    Studious we toil, with patient Care refine,
    Nor let our Love protect one languid Line.
    Severe ourselves, at last our Works appear,
    When, ah! we find our Readers more severe;
    For after all our Care and Pains, how few
    Acquire Applause, or keep it if they do!--
        Not so these Sheets, ordain’d to happier fate,
      Prais’d thro’ their Day, and but that Day their Date;
      Their careless Authors only strive to join
      As many Words, as make an even Line[14];
      As many Lines, as fill a Row complete;
      As many Rows, as furnish up a Sheet:
      From side to side, with ready Types they run,
      The Measure’s ended, and the Work is done;
      Oh, born with Ease, how envy’d and how blest!
      Your Fate to-day and your to-morrow’s Rest.
      To you all Readers turn, and they can look
    Pleas’d on a Paper, who abhor a Book;
    Those who ne’er deign’d their Bible to peruse,
    Would think it hard to be deny’d their News;
    Sinners and Saints, the wisest with the weak,
    Here mingle Tastes and one Amusement seek:
    This, like the Public Inn, provides a Treat,
    Where each promiscuous Guest sits down to eat;
    And such this mental Food, as we may call,
    Something to all Men and to some Men all.

      Next, in what rare Production shall we trace,
    Such various Subjects in so small a Space?
    As the first Ship upon the Waters bore
    Incongruous Kinds who never met before;
    Or as some curious Virtuoso joins,
    In one small room, Moths, Minerals, and Coins,
    Birds, Beasts, and Fishes; nor refuses place
    To Serpents, Toads, and all the Reptile-race;
    So here, compress’d within a single Sheet,
    Great things and small, the mean and mighty meet;
    ’Tis this which makes all Europe’s Business known,
    Yet here a private Man may place his own;
    And where he reads of Lords and Commons, he
    May tell their Honours that he sells Rappee.
      Add next th’ Amusement which the motley Page
    Affords to either Sex and every Age:
    Lo! where it comes before the cheerful Fire,
    Damps from the Press in smoky Curls aspire,
    (As from the Earth the Sun exhales the Dew,)
    Ere we can read the Wonders that ensue:
    Then eager every Eye surveys the Part,
    That brings its favourite Subject to the Heart;
    Grave Politicians look for Facts alone,
    And gravely add Conjectures of their own:
    The sprightly Nymph, who never broke her rest
    For tottering Crowns, or mighty Lands opprest,
    Finds Broils and Battles, but neglects them all
    For Songs and Suits, a Birth-day, or a Ball:
    The keen warm Man o’erlooks each idle Tale
    For “Moneys wanted,” and “Estates on Sale;”
    While some with equal Minds to all attend,
    Pleas’d with each Part and griev’d to find an End.

      So charm the News; but we, who, far from Town,
    Wait till the Post-man brings the Packet down,
    Once in the Week, a vacant Day behold,
    And stay for Tidings, till they’re three Days old:
    That Day arrives; no welcome Post appears,
    But the dull Morn a sullen Aspect wears;
    We meet, but ah! without our wonted Smile,
    To talk of Headaches, and complain of Bile;
    Sullen we ponder o’er a dull Repast,
    Nor feast the Body while the Mind must fast.
      A master Passion is the Love of News,
    Not Music so commands, nor so the Muse;
    Give Poets Claret, they grow idle soon;
    Feed the Musician and he’s out of tune;
    But the sick Mind of this Disease possest,
    Flies from all Cure and sickens when at rest.

      Now sing, my Muse, what various Parts compose
    These rival Sheets of Politicks and Prose.
      First, from each Brother’s Hoard a Part they draw,
    A mutual Theft that never fear’d a Law;
    Whate’er they gain, to each man’s Portion fall,
    And read it once, you read it through them all:
    For this their Runners ramble day and night,
    To drag each lurking Deed to open Light;
    For daily Bread the dirty Trade they ply,
    Coin their fresh Tales and live upon the Lie:
    Like Bees for Honey, forth for News they spring,
    Industrious Creatures! ever on the Wing;
    Home to their several Cells they bear the Store,
    Cull’d of all Kinds, then roam abroad for more.
        No anxious Virgin flies to “fair Tweed-side;”
      No injur’d Husband mourns his faithless Bride;
      No Duel dooms the fiery Youth to bleed;
      But thro’ the Town transpires each vent’rous Deed.

      Should some fair Frail-one drive her prancing Pair,
    Where rival Peers contend to please the Fair;
    When with new force, she aids her conquering Eyes,
    And Beauty decks, with all that Beauty buys;
    Quickly we learn whose Heart her Influence feels,
    Whose Acres melt, before her glowing Wheels.
      To these a thousand idle Themes succeed,
    Deeds of all kinds and Comments to each Deed.
    Here Stocks, the State-Barometers we view,
    That rise or fall, by Causes known to few;
    Promotion’s Ladder who goes up or down,
    Who wed, or who seduc’d, amuse the Town;
    What new’-born Heir has made his Father blest,
    What Heir exults, his Father now at rest;
    That ample List the Tyburn-herald gives,
    And each known Knave, who still for Tyburn lives.

      So grows the Work, and now the Printer tries
    His Powers no more, but leans on his Allies.

        When lo! the advertising Tribe succeed,
      Pay to be read, yet find but few will read;
      And chief th’ illustrious Race, whose Drops and Pills
      Have patent Powers to vanquish human Ills:
      These, with their Cures, a constant Aid remain,
      To bless the pale Composer’s fertile Brain:
      Fertile it is, but still the noblest Soil
      Requires some pause, some intervals from Toil;
      And they at least a certain Ease obtain
      From _Katterfelto_’s Skill, and _Graham_’s glowing Strain.

      I too must aid, and pay to see my Name
    Hung in these dirty Avenues to Fame;
    Nor pay in vain, if aught the Muse has seen
    And sung, could make those Avenues more clean;
    Could stop one Slander ere it found its way,
    And gave to public Scorn its helpless Prey.
    By the same Aid, the Stage invites her Friends,
    And kindly tells the Banquet she intends;
    Thither from real Life the Many run,
    With SIDDONS weep, or laugh with ABINGDON;
    Pleas’d in fictitious Joy or Grief, to see
    The mimic Passion with their own agree;
    To steal a few enchanted Hours away
    From Care and drop the Curtain on the Day.
      But who can steal from Self that wretched Wight,
    Whose darling Work is try’d, some fatal Night?
    Most wretched Man! when, bane to every Bliss,
    He hears the Serpent-Critic’s rising Hiss;
    Then Groans succeed: not Traitors on the Wheel,
    Can feel like him, or have such Pangs to feel.
      Nor end they here; next day he reads his Fall,
    In every Paper; Critics are they all;
    He sees his branded Name, with wild affright,
    And hears again the Cat-calls of the Night.

      Such Help the STAGE affords; a larger Space,
    Is fill’d by PUFFS and all the Puffing Race.
    Physic had once alone the lofty Style,
    The well-known Boast, that ceas’d to raise a smile:
    Now all the Province of that Tribe invade,
    And we abound in Quacks of every Trade.

      The simple Barber, once an honest Name,
    CERVANTES founded, FIELDING rais’d his Fame:
    Barber no more; a gay Perfumer comes,
    On whose soft Cheek his own Cosmetic blooms;
    Here he appears, each simple Mind to move,
    And advertises Beauty, Grace, and Love.--
      “Come, faded Belles, who would your Youth renew,
    And learn the Wonders of Olympian Dew;
    Restore the Roses that begin to faint,
    Nor think celestial Washes, vulgar Paint:
    Your former Features, Airs, and Arts assume,
    Circassian Virtues, with Circassian Bloom,
      “Come, batter’d Beaux, whose Locks are turn’d to gray,
    And crop Discretion’s lying Badge away;
    Read where they vend these smart engaging Things,
    These flaxen Frontlets with elastic Springs;
    No Female Eye the fair Deception sees,
    Not Nature’s self so natural as these.”
      Such are their Arts, but not confin’d to them,
    The Muse impartial must her Sons condemn:
    For they, degenerate! join the venal Throng,
    And puff a lazy Pegasus along:
    More guilty these, by Nature less design’d
    For little Arts that suit the Vulgar-kind.
      That Barber’s Boys, who would to Trade advance,
    Wish us to call them, smart Frisseurs from France;
    That he who builds a Chop-house, on his Door
    Paints “The true old original Blue Boar!”
      These are the Arts by which a thousand live,
    Where Truth may smile and Justice may forgive;
    But when amid this Rabble-rout we find
    A puffing Poet to his Honour blind;
    Who silly drops Quotations all about
    Packet or Post and points their Merit out;
    Who advertises what Reviewers say,
    With sham Editions every second day;
    Who dares not trust his Praises out of Sight,
    But hurries into Fame with all his might;
    Although the Verse some transient Praise obtains,
    Contempt is all the anxious Poet gains.
      Now Puffs exhausted, Advertisements past,
    Their Correspondents stand expos’d at last:
    These are a numerous Tribe to Fame unknown,
    Who for the public Good forego their own;
    Who Volunteers in Paper-war engage,
    With double Portion of their Party’s Rage:
    Such are the BRUTI, DECII, who appear
    Wooing the Printer for Admission here;
    Whose generous Souls can condescend to pray
    For leave to throw their precious Time away.

        Oh! cruel WOODFALL! when a Patriot draws
      His grey-goose Quill in his dear Country’s Cause,
      To vex and maul a Ministerial Race,
      Can thy stern Soul refuse the Champion place?
      Alas! thou know’st not with what anxious heart
      He longs his best-lov’d Labours to impart;
      How he has sent them to thy Brethren round,
      And still the same unkind Reception found:
      At length indignant will he damn the State,
      Turn to his Trade and leave us to our Fate.

      These Roman Souls, like Rome’s great Sons, are known
    To live in Cells on Labours of their own.
    Thus MILO, could we see the noble Chief,
    Feeds, for his Country’s good, on Legs of Beef:
    CAMILLUS copies Deeds for sordid Pay,
    Yet fights the public Battles twice a day:
    Ev’n now the godlike BRUTUS views his Score
    Scroll’d on the Bar-board, swinging with the Door;
    Where, tippling Punch, grave CATO’s self you’ll see,
    And _Amor Patriæ_ vending smuggled Tea.

      Last in these Ranks and least, their Art’s Disgrace,
    Neglected stand the Muses’ meanest Race;
    Scribblers who court Contempt, whose Verse the Eye
    Disdainful views, and glances swiftly by:
    This Poet’s Corner is the place they choose,
    A fatal Nursery for an infant Muse;
    Unlike that Corner where true Poets lie,
    These cannot live and they shall never die;
    Hapless the Lad whose Mind such Dreams invade,
    And win to Verse the Talents due to Trade.

      Curb then, O Youth! these Raptures as they rise,
    Keep down the Evil Spirit and be wise;
    Follow your Calling, think the Muses foes,
    Nor lean upon the Pestle, and compose.

      I know your Day-dreams, and I know the Snare
    Hid in your flow’ry path, and cry “Beware.”
        Thoughtless of Ill, and to the future blind,
      A sudden Couplet rushes in your Mind;
      Here you may nameless print your idle Rhymes,
      And read your first-born Work a thousand times;
      Th’ Infection spreads, your Couplet grows apace,
      Stanzas to Delia’s Dog or Celia’s Face;
      You take a Name; Philander’s Odes are seen,
      Printed, and prais’d, in every Magazine;
      Diarian Sages greet their brother Sage,
      And your dark Pages please th’ enlighten’d Age.--
      Alas! what Years you thus consume in vain,
      Rul’d by this wretched Bias of the Brain!

      Go! to your Desks and Counters all return;
    Your Sonnets scatter, your Acrostics burn;
    Trade, and be rich; or should your careful Sires
    Bequeath you Wealth! indulge the nobler Fires;
    Should Love of Fame your youthful Heart betray,  }
    Pursue fair Fame, but in a glorious Way,         }
    Nor in the idle Scenes of Fancy’s Painting stray.}

      Of all the good that mortal Men pursue,
    The Muse has least to give and gives to few;
    Like some coquettish Fair, she leads us on,
    With Smiles and Hopes, till Youth and Peace are gone;
    Then, wed for Life, the restless wrangling Pair,
    Forget how constant one and one how fair:
    Meanwhile Ambition, like a blooming Bride,
    Brings Power and Wealth to grace her Lover’s Side;
    And tho’ she smiles not with such flattering Charms,
    The Brave will sooner win her to their Arms.
      Then wed to her, if Virtue tie the Bands,
    Go spread your Country’s Fame in hostile Lands;
    Her Court, her Senate, or her Arms adorn,
    And let her Foes lament that you were born:
    Or weigh her Laws, their ancient Rights defend,
    Tho’ Hosts oppose, be theirs and Reason’s Friend;
    Arm’d with strong Powers, in their Defence engage,
    And rise the THURLOW of the future Age.

[Illustration: text decoration]




     The Subject:--Poverty and Cunning described:--When united, a
     jarring Couple.--Mutual Reproof.--The Wife consoled by a
     Dream.--Birth of a Daughter.--Description and Prediction of
     Envy:--How to be rendered ineffectual, explained in a
     Vision.--Simulation foretells the future Success and Triumphs of
     Flattery.--Her Power over various Characters and different
     Minds;--over certain Classes of Men;--over Envy himself.--Her
     successful Art of softening the Evils of Life;--of changing
     Characters;--of meliorating Prospects, and affixing Value to
     Possessions, Pictures, &c.--Conclusion.



    Omnia habeo, nec quicquam habeo;
    Quidquid dicunt, laudo; id rursum si negant, laudo id quoque:
    Negat quis, nego; ait, aio:
    Postremò imperavi egomet mihi
    Omnia assentari.
              TERENT, in Eunuch.

    It has been held in antient Rules,
    That Flattery is the Food of Fools;
    Yet now and then your Men of Wit
    Will condescend to taste a Bit.

    Muse of my _Spencer_, who so well could sing,
      The Passions all, their Bearings and their Ties;
    Who could in View those shadowy Beings bring,
      And with bold Hand, remove each dark Disguise,
    Wherein Love, Hatred, Scorn, or Anger lies:
      Guide him to _Fairy Land_, who now intends
    That Way his Flight; assist him as he flies,
      To mark those Passions, Virtue’s Foes and Friends,
    By whom when led she droops, when leading she ascends.
    Yes! they appear, I see the Fairy-Train!
      And who that modest Nymph of meek Address?
    Not _Vanity_, though lov’d by all the Vain;
      Not _Hope_, though promising to all, Success;
      Nor _Mirth_, nor _Joy_, though Foe to all Distress;
    Thee, sprightly Siren, from this Train I choose,
      Thy Birth relate, thy soothing Arts confess,
    ’Tis not in thy mild Nature to refuse,
    When Poets ask thine Aid, so oft their Meed and Muse.

           *       *       *       *       *

      In Fairy-Land, on wide and cheerless Plain,
    Dwelt, in the House of _Care_, a sturdy Swain;
    An hireling he, who when he till’d the Soil,
    Look’d to the Pittance, that repay’d his Toil;
    And to a Master left the mingled Joy,
    And anxious Care that follow’d his Employ:
    Sullen and patient he at once appear’d,
    As one who murmur’d, yet as one who fear’d;
    Th’ Attire was coarse that cloth’d his sinewy Frame,
    Rude his Address and _Poverty_ his Name.

      In that same Plain a Nymph of curious Taste,
    A Cottage (plann’d with all her Skill) had plac’d:
    Strange the Materials and for what design’d
    The various Parts, no simple Man might find;
    What seem’d the Door, each entering Guest withstood,
    What seem’d a Window was but painted Wood;
    But by a secret Spring the Wall would move,
    And Day-light drop through glassy Door above;
    ’Twas all her Pride, new Traps for Praise to lay,
    And all her Wisdom was to hide her Way;
    In small Attempts incessant were her Pains,
    And _Cunning_ was her Name among the Swains.

      Now, whether Fate decreed this Pair should wed,
    And blindly drove them to the Marriage-Bed;
    Or whether Love in some soft Hour inclin’d
    The Damsel’s Heart and won her to be kind,
    Is yet unsung: they were an ill-match’d Pair,
    But both dispos’d to wed and wed they were.

      Yet though united in their Fortune, still
    Their Ways were diverse, varying was their Will,
    Nor long the Maid had blest the simple Man,
    Before Dissentions rose and she began:--

      “Wretch that I am! since to thy Fortune bound,
    “What plan, what project with success is crown’d?
    “I, who a thousand secret Arts possess,
    “Who every Rank approach with right Address;
    “Who’ve loos’d a Guinea from a Miser’s Chest,
    “And worm’d his Secret from a Traitor’s Breast;
    “Thence Gifts and Gains collecting, great and small,
    “Have brought to thee and thou consum’st them all;
    “For Want like thine, a Bog without a Base,
    “Ingulph’st all gains, I gather for the Place;
    “Feeding, unfill’d; destroying, undestroy’d;
    “It craves for ever and is ever void:--
    “Wretch that I am! what Misery have I found,
    “Since my sure Craft was to thy Calling bound?”

      ‘Oh! vaunt of worthless Arts,’ the Swain replied,
    Scowling Contempt, ‘how pitiful this Pride!
    ‘What are these specious Gifts, these paltry Gains,
    ‘But base Rewards for ignominious Pains?
    ‘With all thy Tricking, still for Bread we strive,
    ‘Thine is, proud Wretch! the Care that cannot thrive,
    ‘By all thy boasted Skill and baffled Hooks,
    ‘Thou gain’st no more than Students by their Books;
    ‘No more than I for my poor Deeds am paid,
    ‘Whom none can blame, will help, or dare upbraid.
      ‘Call this our Need, a Bog that all devours;
    ‘Then what thy petty Arts, but Summer-Flowers,
    ‘Gaudy and mean and serving to betray
    ‘The Place, they make unprofitably gay?
    ‘Who know it not, some useless Beauties see;
    ‘But ah! to prove it was reserv’d for me.’
      Unhappy State! that, in Decay of Love,
    Permits harsh Truth his Errors to disprove:
    While he remains, to wrangle and to jar,
    Is friendly Tournament not fatal War;
    Love in his Play will borrow Arms of Hate,
    Anger and Rage, Upbraiding and Debate;
    And by his Power the desperate Weapons thrown,
    Become as safe and pleasant as his own;
    But left by him, their Natures they assume,
    And fatal, in their poisoning Force, become.

      Time fled, and now the Swain compell’d to see
    New Cause for Fear--‘Is this thy Thrift?’ quoth he.
    To whom the Wife with cheerful voice replied:--
      “Thou moody Man, lay all thy Fears aside,
    “I’ve seen a Vision;--they from whom I came,
    “A Daughter promise, promise Wealth and Fame;
    “Born with my Features, with my Arts, yet she}
    “Shall patient, pliant, persevering be,      }
    “And in thy better Ways resemble thee.       }
    “The Fairies round shall at her Birth attend,
    “The Friend of all in all shall find a Friend,
    “And save that one sad Star that Hour must gleam
    “On our fair Child, how glorious were my Dream!”

      This heard the Husband and in surly smile,
    Aim’d at Contempt, but yet he hop’d the while;
    For as when sinking, wretched Men are found,
    To catch at Rushes rather than be drown’d;
    So on a Dream our Peasant plac’d his Hope,
    And found that Rush as valid as a Rope.

      Swift fled the Days, for now in Hope they fled;
    When a fair Daughter bless’d the Nuptial Bed;
    Her Infant-face the Mother’s Pains beguil’d,
    She look’d so pleasing and so softly smil’d;
    Those Smiles, those Looks, with sweet Sensations mov’d
    The Gazer’s Soul, and as he look’d, he lov’d.

      And now the Fairies came with Gifts to grace,
    So mild a Nature and so fair a Face.
      They gave, with Beauty, that bewitching Art,
    That holds in easy Chains the human Heart;
    They gave her Skill to win the stubborn Mind,
    To make the Suffering to their Sorrows blind,
    To bring on pensive Looks the pleasing Smile,
    And Care’s stern Brow of every Frown beguile.
      These magic Favours grac’d the Infant-maid,
    Whose more enlivening Smile, the charming Gifts repaid.

      Now Fortune chang’d, who, were she constant long,
    Would leave us few Adventures for our Song.
      A wicked Elfin rov’d this Land around,
    Whose Joys proceeded from the Griefs he found;
    _Envy_ his Name:--his fascinating Eye,
    From the light Bosom drew the sudden Sigh;
    Unsocial he, but with malignant Mind,
    He dwelt with Man, that he might curse Mankind;
    Like the first Foe he sought th’ Abode of Joy,
    Griev’d to behold but eager to destroy;
    Round blooming Beauty, like the Wasp, he flew,
    Soil’d the fresh Sweet and chang’d the rosy Hue;
    The Wise, the Good, with anxious Heart, he saw,
    And here a Failing found and there a Flaw;
    Discord in Families ’twas his to move,
    Distrust in Friendship, Jealousy in Love;
    He told the Poor, what Joys the Great possess’d,
    The Great--what calm Content the Cottage bless’d;
    To part the Learned and the Rich he tried,
    Till their slow Friendship perish’d in their Pride.
    Such was the Fiend, and so secure of Prey,
    That only Misery pass’d unstung away.

      Soon as he heard the Fairy-babe was born,
    Scornful he smil’d, but felt no more than Scorn;
    For why, when Fortune plac’d her State so low,
    In useless Spite his lofty Malice show?
    Why in a Mischief of the meaner Kind,
    Exhaust the Vigour of a rancorous Mind?
    But soon as Fame the Fairy-gifts proclaim’d,
    Quick-rising Wrath his ready Soul inflam’d;
    To swear by Vows, that ev’n the Wicked tie,
    The Nymph should weep her varied Destiny;
    That every Gift, that now appear’d to shine
    In her fair Face and make her Smiles divine,
    Should all, the Poison of his Magic prove,
    And they should scorn her, whom she sought for Love.

      His Spell prepar’d, in Form an antient Dame,
    A Fiend in Spirit, to the Cot he came;
    There gain’d Admittance and the Infant press’d,
    (Muttering his wicked Magic) to his Breast;
    And thus he said:--“Of all the Powers, who wait
    “On _Jove_’s Decrees and do the Work of Fate,
    “Was I alone, despis’d or worthless, found,
    “Weak to protect or impotent to wound?
    “See then thy Foe, regret the Friendship lost,
    “And learn my Skill but learn it at your Cost.
      “Know then, O Child! devote to Fates severe,
    “The Good shall hate thy Name, the Wise shall fear;
    “Wit shall deride and no protecting Friend
    “Thy Shame shall cover or thy Name defend.
    “Thy gentle Sex, who, more than ours, should spare
    “An humble Foe, will greater Scorn declare;
    “The Base alone thy Advocates shall be,
    “Or boast Alliance with a Wretch like thee.”
      He spake and vanish’d, other Prey to find,
    And waste in slow Disease the conquer’d Mind.

      Aw’d by the Elfin’s Threats, and fill’d with dread,
    The Parents wept and sought their Infant’s Bed;
    Despair alone the Father’s Soul possess’d;
    But Hope rose gently in the Mother’s Breast;
    For well she knew that neither Grief nor Joy,
    Pain’d without Hope or pleas’d without Alloy;
    And while these Hopes and Fears her Heart divide,
    A cheerful Vision bade the Fears subside.

      She saw descending to the World below,
    An antient Form with solemn Pace and slow.

      “Daughter, no more be sad,” (the Phantom cried,)
    “Success is seldom to the Wise denied;
    “In idle Wishes Fools supinely stay,
    “Be there a Will and Wisdom finds a Way;
    “Why art thou griev’d? Be rather glad, that he,
    “Who hates the happy aims his Darts at thee;
    “But aims in vain; thy favour’d Daughter lies,
    “Serenely blest and shall to Joy arise.
    “For, grant that Curses on her Name shall wait,
    “(So Envy wills and such the voice of Fate,)
    “Yet if that Name be prudently suppress’d,
    “She shall be courted, favour’d, and caress’d.
      “For what are Names? and where agree Mankind,
    “In those to Persons or to Acts assign’d?
    “Brave, learn’d or wise, if some their Favourites call,
    “Have they the Titles or the Praise from all?
    “Not so, but others will the Brave disdain
    “As rash, and deem the Sons of Wisdom, vain;
    “The self-same Mind shall Scorn or Kindness move,
    “And the same Deed attract Contempt and Love.
      “So all the Powers, who move the human Soul,
    “With all the Passions, who the Will controul,
    “Have various Names.--One giv’n by Truth divine,
    “(As _Simulation_ thus was fix’d for mine,)
    “The rest by Man, who now as Wisdom’s prize
    “My secret Counsels, now as Art despise;
    “One hour as just, those Counsels they embrace,
    “And spurn, the next, as pitiful and base.
      “Thee too, my Child, those Fools as _Cunning_ fly,
    “Who on thy Counsel and thy Craft rely,
    “That worthy Craft in others they condemn:
    “But ’tis their Prudence, while conducting them.
      “Be FLATTERY, then, thy happy Infant’s Name,
    “Let _Honour_ scorn her and let _Wit_ defame;
    “Let all be true that Envy dooms, yet all,
    “Not on herself, but on her Name, shall fall;
    “While she thy Fortune and her own shall raise,
    “And decent _Truth_ be call’d and lov’d, as modest _Praise_.
      “O happy Child! the glorious Day shall shine,}
    “When every Ear shall to thy Speech incline,   }
    “Thy Words alluring and the Voice divine:      }
    “The sullen Pedant and the sprightly Wit,
    “To hear thy soothing Eloquence, shall sit;
    “And both, abjuring Flattery, will agree,
    “That Truth inspires and they must honour thee.
      “_Envy_ himself shall to thy Accents bend,
    “Force a faint smile and sullenly attend,
    “When thou shalt call him _Virtue’s jealous Friend_,
    “Whose Bosom glows with generous rage to find,
    “How Fools and Knaves are flatter’d by Mankind.
      “The Sage retir’d, who spends alone his Days,
    “And flies th’ obstreperous Voice of public Praise;
    “The vain, the vulgar Cry,--shall gladly meet,
    “And bid thee welcome to his still Retreat;
    “Much will he wonder, how thou cam’st to find
    “A Man to Glory dead, to Peace consign’d.
    “O Fame! he’ll cry, (for he will call thee Fame,)
    “From thee I fly, from thee conceal my Name;
    “But thou shalt say, Though Genius takes his Flight,
    “He leaves behind a glorious Train of Light,
    “And hides in vain:--yet prudent he that flies
    “The Flatterer’s Art, and for himself is wise.
      “Yes, happy Child! I mark th’ approaching Day,
    “When warring Natures will confess thy Sway;
    “When thou shalt Saturn’s golden Reign restore,
    “And Vice and Folly shall be known no more.
      “_Pride_ shall not then in Human-kind have place,
    “Chang’d by thy Skill, to _Dignity_ and _Grace_;
    “While _Shame_, who now betrays the inward Sense
    “Of secret Ill, shall be thy _Diffidence_;
    “_Avarice_ shall thenceforth prudent _Forecast_ be,
    “And bloody _Vengeance_, _Magnanimity_;
    “The lavish Tongue shall honest Truths impart, }
    “The lavish Hand shall show the generous Heart,}
    “And _Indiscretion_ be, Contempt of Art:       }
    “Folly and Vice shall then, no longer known,
    “Be, this as Virtue, that as Wisdom, shown.
      “Then shall the _Robber_, as the Hero rise
    “To seize the Good, that churlish Law denies;
    “Throughout the World shall rove the generous Band,
    “And deal the Gifts of Heaven from hand to hand.
      “In thy blest Days no Tyrants shall be seen,
    “Thy gracious Kings shall rule contented Men;
    “In thy blest Days shall not a Rebel be,
    “But Patriots all and well approv’d of thee.
      “Such Powers are thine, that Man, by thee, shall wrest
    “The gainful Secret from the cautious Breast;
    “Nor then, with all his care, the Good retain,
    “But yield to thee the Secret and the Gain.
    “In vain, shall much Experience guard the Heart,
    “Against the Charm of thy prevailing Art;
    “Admitted once, so soothing is thy Strain,
    “It comes the sweeter, when it comes again;
    “And when confest as thine, what Mind so strong,
    “Forbears the Pleasure it indulg’d so long?
      “Soft’ner of every Ill! of all our Woes
    “The balmy Solace! Friend of fiercest Foes!
    “Begin thy Reign and like the Morning rise;
    “Bring Joy, bring Beauty, to our eager Eyes;
    “Break on the drowsy World like opening Day,           }
    “While Grace and Gladness join thy flow’ry Way;        }
    “While every Voice is Praise, while every Heart is gay.}
      “From thee, all Prospects shall new Beauties take,
    “‘Tis thine to seek them and ’tis thine to make;
    “On the cold Fen, I see thee turn thine Eyes,
    “Its Mists recede, its chilling Vapour flies;
    “Th’ enraptur’d Lord th’ improving Ground surveys,
    “And for his Eden, asks the Traveller’s Praise,
    “Which yet, unview’d of thee, a Bog had been,
    “Where spungy Rushes hide the plashy Green.
      “I see thee breathing on the barren Moor,
    “That seems to bloom although so bleak before;
    “There if beneath the _Gorze_ the Primrose spring,
    “Or the pied _Daisy_ smile below the _Ling_,
    “They shall new Charms, at thy Command, disclose,
    “And none shall miss the _Myrtle_ or the _Rose_.
    “The wiry _Moss_, that whitens all the Hill,
    “Shall live a Beauty by thy matchless Skill;
    “_Gale_[15] from the Bog shall yield Arabian Balm,
    “And the _Grey Willow_ wave a golden _Palm_.
      “I see thee smiling in the pictur’d Room,
    “Now breathing Beauty, now reviving Bloom;
    “There, each immortal Name, ’tis thine to give,
    “To graceless Forms, and bid the Lumber live.
    “Should’st thou coarse Boors or gloomy Martyrs see,
    “These shall thy _Guidos_, those thy _Tenniers_ be;
    “There shalt thou, _Raphaël_’s Saints and Angels trace,}
    “There make for _Reubens_ and for _Reynolds_ place,    }
    “And all the Pride of Art shall find in her, Disgrace. }
      “Delight of either Sex! thy Reign commence;        }
    “With balmy Sweetness, soothe the weary Sense,       }
    “And to the sickening Soul thy cheering Aid dispense.}
    “Queen of the Mind! thy golden Age begin;         }
    “In mortal Bosoms varnish Shame and Sin,          }
    “Let all be fair without, let all be calm within.”}

      The Vision fled, the happy Mother rose,
    Kiss’d the fair Infant, smil’d at all her Foes,
    And FLATTERY made her Name:--Her Reign began,
    Her own dear Sex she rul’d, then vanquish’d Man;
    A smiling Friend, to every Class, she spoke,
    Assum’d their Manners and their Habits took;
    Her, for her humble Mien, the Modest lov’d;
    Her cheerful Looks, the Light and Gay approv’d;
    The Just beheld her, firm; the Valiant, brave;
    Her Mirth the Free, her Silence pleas’d the Grave;
    Zeal heard her Voice, and as he preach’d aloud,
    Well-pleas’d he caught her Whispers from the Crowd,
    (Those Whispers soothing-sweet to every Ear,
    Which some refuse to pay, but none to hear):
    Shame fled her Presence; at her gentle Strain,
    Care softly smil’d and Guilt forgot its Pain;
    The Wretched thought, the Happy found her true,
    The Learn’d confess’d, that she their Merits knew;
    The Rich--could they a constant Friend condemn?
    The Poor believ’d--for who should flatter them?

      Thus on her Name, while all Disgrace attend,
    In every Creature she beholds a Friend.

[Illustration: text decoration]



    _Quid juvat errores, mersâ jam puppe, fateri?
    Quid lacrymæ delicta juvant commissa secutæ?_
              CLAUDIAN. in Eutropium, lib. ii. lin. 7.

    What avails it when shipwreck’d, that error appears?
    Are the crimes we commit, wash’d away by our tears?


    “Quid juvat errores, mersâ jam puppe, fateri?
    “Quid lacrymæ delicta juvant commissa secutæ?”
              CLAUDIAN. in Eutrop. lib. ii. lin. 7.

    When all the fiercer Passions cease,
      (The Glory and Disgrace of Youth,)
    When the deluded Soul in peace,
      Can listen to the Voice of Truth;
    When we are taught in whom to trust,
      And how to spare, to spend, to give;
    (Our Prudence kind, our Pity just,)
      ’Tis then we rightly learn to live.

    Its Weakness when the Body feels,
      Nor Danger in Contempt defies;
    To Reason, when Desire appeals,
      When on Experience, Hope relies;
    When every passing Hour we prize,
      Nor rashly on our Follies spend;
    But use it as it quickly flies,
      With sober Aim, to serious End:
    When Prudence bounds our utmost Views,
      And bids us Wrath and Wrong forgive;
    When we can calmly gain or lose,
      ’Tis then we rightly learn to live.

    Yet thus when we our Way discern,
      And can upon our Care depend,
    To travel safely, when we learn,
      Behold! we’re near our Journey’s End.
    We’ve trod the Maze of Error round,
      Long wand’ring in the winding Glade;
    And now the Torch of Truth is found,
      It only shews us where we stray’d:
    Light for ourselves, what is it worth
      When we no more our Way can choose?
    For others when we hold it forth,
      They in their pride, the Boon refuse.

    By long Experience taught, we now
      Can rightly judge of Friends and Foes,
    Can all the Worth of these allow,
      And all their Faults discern in those;
    Relentless Hatred, erring Love,
      We can for sacred Truth forego;
    We can the warmest Friend reprove,
      And bear to praise the fiercest Foe:
    To what effect? our Friends are gone,
      Beyond Reproof, Regard, or Care;
    And of our Foes remains there one,
      The mild relenting Thoughts to share?

    Now ’tis our boast that we can quell
      The wildest Passions in their Rage;
    Can their destructive Force repel,
      And their impetuous Wrath assuage:
    Ah! Virtue, dost thou arm when now,
      This bold rebellious Race are fled;
    When all these Tyrants rest, and thou
      Art warring with the mighty Dead?
    Revenge, Ambition, Scorn, and Pride,
      And strong Desire and fierce Disdain,
    The Giant-brood by thee defied,
      Lo! Time’s resistless Strokes have slain.

    Yet Time, who could that Race subdue,
      (O’erpow’ring Strength, appeasing Rage,)
    Leaves yet a persevering Crew,
      To try the failing Powers of Age;
    Vex’d by the constant Call of these,
      Virtue awhile for Conquest tries,
    But weary grown and fond of Ease,
      She makes with them a Compromise;
    Av’rice himself she gives to Rest,
      But rules him with her strict Commands;
    Bids Pity touch his torpid Breast,
      And Justice hold his eager Hands.

    Yet is there nothing Men can do,
      When chilling Age comes creeping on?
    Cannot we yet some Good pursue?
      Are Talents buried? Genius gone?
    If Passions slumber in the Breast,
      If Follies from the Heart be fled;
    Of Laurels let us go in quest,
      And place them on the Poet’s Head.

    Yes, we’ll redeem the wasted Time,
      And to neglected Studies flee;
    We’ll build again the lofty Rhyme
      Or live, Philosophy, with Thee;
    For Reasoning clear, for Flight sublime,
      Eternal Fame Reward shall be;
    And to what glorious Heights we’ll climb,
      Th’ admiring Crowd shall envying see.

    Begin the Song! begin the Theme!--
        Alas! and is Invention dead?
    Dream we no more the golden Dream?
        Is Mem’ry with her Treasures fled?
    Yes! ’tis too late,--now Reason guides
      The Mind, sole Judge in all Debate;
    And thus th’ important Point decides,
      For Laurels, ’tis, alas! too late.
        What is possest, we may retain,
        But for new Conquests strive in vain.

    Beware then Age, that what was won,
      In Life’s past Labours, Studies, Views,
    Be lost not, now the Labour’s done,
      When all thy Part is,--not to lose:
    When thou canst toil or gain no more,
      Destroy not what was gain’d before.

    For, all that’s gain’d of all that’s Good,
      When Time shall his weak Frame destroy,
    (Their Use then rightly understood,)
      Shall Man, in happier State, enjoy.
    Oh! Argument for Truth divine,
      For Study’s Cares, for Virtue’s Strife;
    To know th’ Enjoyment will be thine,
      In that renew’d, that endless Life!

[Illustration: text decoration]


A Poem.


_Scene._--A MADHOUSE.



    Veris miscens falsa.--
              SENECA in Herc. furente.


    I’ll know no more;--the Heart is torn
      By Views of Woe, we cannot heal;
    Long shall I see these Things forlorn,
      And oft again their Griefs shall feel,
      As each upon the Mind shall steal;
    That wan Projector’s mystic Style,
      That lumpish Idiot leering by,
    That peevish Idler’s ceaseless Wile,
      And that poor Maiden’s half-form’d Smile,
    While struggling for the full-drawn Sigh!---
      I’ll know no more.


                 --- Yes, turn again;
    Then speed to happier Scenes thy Way,
      When thou hast view’d, what yet remain,
    The Ruins of Sir _Eustace Grey_,
      The Sport of Madness, Misery’s Prey:
    But he will no Historian need,
      His Cares, his Crimes will he display,
    And shew (as one from Frenzy freed)
      The proud-lost Mind, the rash-done Deed.

    That Cell, to him is _Greyling Hall_:--
      Approach; he’ll bid thee welcome there;
    Will sometimes for his Servant call,
      And sometimes point the vacant Chair:
    He can, with free and easy air,
      Appear attentive and polite;
    Can veil his Woes in Manners fair,
      And Pity with Respect excite.


    Who comes?--Approach!--‘Tis kindly done:--
      My learn’d Physician, and a Friend,
    Their Pleasures quit, to visit One,
      Who cannot to their Ease attend,
    Nor Joys bestow, nor Comforts lend,
      As when I liv’d so blest, so well,
    And dream’d not, I must soon contend
      With those malignant Powers of Hell.


    “Less warmth, Sir Eustace, or we go.”--


      See! I am calm as Infant-Love,
    A very Child, but one of Woe,
      Whom you should pity, not reprove:--
    But Men at ease, who never strove
      With Passions wild, will calmly show,
    How soon we may their Ills remove,
      And Masters of their Madness grow.

    Some twenty Years I think are gone,--
      (Time flies, I know not how, away,)
    The Sun upon no happier shone,
      Nor prouder Man, than _Eustace Grey_.
    Ask where you would, and all would say,
      The Man admir’d and prais’d of all,
    By Rich and Poor, by Grave and Gay,
      Was the young Lord of _Greyling Hall_.
    Yes! I had Youth and rosy Health;
      Was nobly form’d, as Man might be;
    For Sickness then, of all my Wealth,
      I never gave a single Fee:
    The Ladies fair, the Maidens free,
      Were all accustom’d then to say,
    Who would an handsome Figure see,
      Should look upon Sir _Eustace Grey_.

    He had a frank and pleasant Look,
      A cheerful Eye and Accent bland;
    His very Speech and Manner spoke
      The generous Heart, the open Hand;
    About him all was gay or grand,
      He had the Praise of Great and Small;
    He bought, improv’d, projected, plann’d,
      And reign’d a Prince at _Greyling Hall_.

    My Lady!--she was all we love;
      All Praise (to speak her Worth) is faint;
    Her Manners shew’d the yielding Dove,
      Her Morals, the seraphic Saint;
    She never breath’d nor look’d Complaint,
      No Equal upon Earth had she:---
    Now, what is this fair Thing I paint?
      Alas! as all that live, shall be.
    There was beside, a gallant Youth,
      And him my Bosom’s Friend, I had:---
    Oh!I was rich--in very truth,
      It made me proud--it made me mad!--
    Yes I was lost--but there was Cause!----
      Where stood my Tale?--I cannot find--
    But I had all Mankind’s Applause,
      And all the Smiles of Womankind.

    There were two Cherub-things beside,
      A gracious Girl, a glorious Boy;
    Yet more to swell my full-blown Pride,
      To varnish higher my fading Joy,
    Pleasures were ours without alloy,
      Nay Paradise,--- till my frail Eve
    Our Bliss was tempted to destroy;
      Deceiv’d and fated to deceive.

    But I deserv’d; for all that time,
      When I was lov’d, admir’d, caress’d,
    There was within, each secret Crime,
      Unfelt, uncancell’d, unconfess’d;
    I never then my God address’d,
      In grateful Praise or humble Prayer;
    And if His Word was not my Jest!
      (Dread thought!) it never was my Care.

    I doubted:--Fool I was to doubt!
      If that all-piercing Eye could see,--
    If He who looks all Worlds throughout,
      Would so minute and careful be,
    As to perceive and punish me:--
      With Man I would be great and high,
    But with my GOD so lost, that He,
      In his large View, should pass me by.

    Thus blest with Children, Friend, and Wife,
      Blest far beyond the vulgar Lot;
    Of all that gladdens human Life,
      Where was the Good, that I had not?
    But my vile Heart had sinful Spot,
      And Heaven beheld its deep’ning Stain,
    Eternal Justice I forgot,
      And Mercy, sought not to obtain.

    Come near,--- I’ll softly speak the rest!--
      Alas! ’tis known to all the Crowd,
    Her guilty Love was all confest;
      And his, who so much Truth avow’d,
    My faithless Friends.--In Pleasure proud
      I sat, when these curs’d Tidings came;
    Their Guilt, their Flight was told aloud,
      And Envy smil’d to hear my shame!

    I call’d on Vengeance; at the Word
      She came:--Can I the Deed forget?
    I held the Sword, th’ accursed Sword,
      The Blood of his false Heart made wet;
    And that fair Victim paid her Debt,
      She pin’d, she died, she loath’d to live;--
    I saw her dying--see her yet:
      Fair fallen Thing! my Rage forgive!

    Those Cherubs still, my Life to bless,
      Were left; could I my Fears remove,
    Sad Fears that check’d each fond Caress,
      And poison’d all parental Love:
    Yet that, with jealous Feelings strove,
      And would at last have won my Will,
    Had I not, Wretch! been doom’d to prove
      Th’ Extremes of mortal Good and Ill.

    In Youth! Health! Joy! in Beauty’s Pride!
      They droop’d: As Flowers when blighted bow,
    The dire Infection came:--They died,
      And I was curs’d--as I am now----
    Nay frown not, angry Friend,--allow,
      That I was deeply, sorely tried;
    Hear then, and you must wonder how
      I could such Storms and Strifes abide.

    Storms!--not that Clouds embattled make,
      When they afflict this earthly Globe;
    But such as with their Terrors shake
      Man’s Breast, and to the bottom probe;
    They make the Hypocrite disrobe,
      They try us all, if false or true;
    For this, one Devil had pow’r on _Job_;
      And I was long the Slave of two.


    Peace, peace, my Friend; these Subjects fly;
      Collect thy Thoughts--go calmly on.--


    And shall I then the Fact deny?
      I was,--thou know’st,--I was begone,
    Like him who fill’d the Eastern Throne,
      To whom the WATCHER cried aloud[16];
    That royal Wretch of _Babylon_,
      Who was so guilty and so proud.

    Like him with haughty, stubborn Mind,
      I, in my State, my Comforts sought;
    Delight and Praise I hop’d to find,
      In what I builded, planted, bought!
    Oh! Arrogance! by Misery taught--
      Soon came a Voice! I felt it come;
    “Full be his Cup, with Evil fraught,
      “Dæmons his Guides, and Death his Doom!”

    Then was I cast from out my State;
      Two Fiends of Darkness led my Way;
    They wak’d me early, watch’d me late,
      My Dread by Night, my Plague by Day!
    Oh! I was made their Sport, their Play,
      Through many a stormy troubled Year,
    And how they us’d their passive Prey,
      Is sad to tell: but you shall hear.

    And first, before they sent me forth,
      Through this unpitying World to run,
    They robb’d _Sir Eustace_ of his Worth,
      Lands, Manors, Lordships, every one;
    So was that gracious Man undone,
      Was spurn’d as vile, was scorn’d as poor,
    Whom every former Friend would shun,
      And Menials drove from every Door.

    Then those ill-favour’d Ones[17], whom none
      But my unhappy Eyes could view,
    Led me, with wild Emotion on,
      And, with resistless Terror, drew.
    Through Lands we fled, o’er Seas we flew,
      And halted on a boundless Plain;
    Where nothing fed, nor breath’d nor grew,
      But Silence rul’d the still Domain.

    Upon that boundless Plain, below,
      The setting Sun’s last Rays were shed,
    And gave a mild and sober Glow,
      Where all were still, asleep or dead;
    Vast Ruins in the midst were spread,
      Pillars and Pediments sublime,
    Where the grey Moss had form’d a Bed,
      And cloth’d the crumbling Spoils of Time.

    There was I fix’d, I know not how,
      Condemn’d for untold Years to stay;
    Yet Years were not;--one dreadful _Now_,
      Endur’d no Change of Night or Day;
    The same mild Evening’s sleeping Ray,
      Shone softly-solemn and serene.
    And all that time, I gaz’d away,
      The setting Sun’s sad Rays were seen.

    At length a Moment’s Sleep stole on,--
      Again came my commission’d Foes;
    Again through Sea and Land we’re gone,
      No Peace, no Respite, no Repose;
    Above the dark broad Sea we rose,
      We ran through bleak and frozen Land;
    I had no Strength, their Strength t’ oppose,
      An Infant in a Giant’s hand.

    They plac’d me where those Streamers play,
      Those nimble Beams of brilliant Light;
    It would the stoutest Heart dismay,
      To see, to feel, that dreadful Sight:
    So swift, so pure, so cold, so bright,
      They pierc’d my Frame with icy Wound,
    And all that half-year’s polar Night,
      Those dancing Streamers wrapt me round.

    Slowly that Darkness pass’d away,
      When down upon the Earth I fell,--
    Some hurried Sleep, was mine by day;
      But soon as toll’d the Evening Bell,
    They forc’d me on, where-ever dwell
      Far-distant Men in Cities fair,
    Cities of whom no Travellers tell,
      Nor Feet but mine were Wanderers there.

    Their Watchmen stare, and stand aghast,
      As on we hurry through the dark;
    The Watch-light blinks, as we go past,
      The Watch-dog shrinks and fears to bark;
    The Watch-tower’s Bell sounds shrill; and, hark!
      The free Wind blows--we’ve left the Town--
    A wide Sepulchral Ground I mark,
      And on a Tomb-stone place me down.

    What Monuments of mighty Dead!
      What Tombs of various kinds are found!
    And Stones erect, their Shadows shed,
      On humble Graves, with Wickers bound;
    Some risen fresh, above the Ground,
      Some level with the native Clay,
    What sleeping Millions wait the Sound,
      “Arise, ye Dead, and come away!”

    Alas! they stay not for that Call;
      Spare me this Woe! ye Dæmons, spare!--
    They come! the shrowded Shadows all,--
      ’Tis more than mortal Brain can bear!
    Rustling they rise, they sternly glare
      At Man upheld by vital Breath;
    Who led by wicked Fiends should dare
      To join the shadowy Troops of Death!

    Yes! I have felt all Man can feel,
      Till he shall pay his Nature’s Debt;
    Ills that no Hope has Strength to heal,
      No Mind the Comfort to forget:
    Whatever Cares the Heart can fret,
      The Spirits wear, the Temper gall;
    Woe, Want, Dread, Anguish, all beset
      My sinful Soul!--together all!

    Those Fiends, upon a shaking Fen,
      Fix’d me, in dark tempestuous Night;
    There never trod the Foot of Men,
      There flock’d the Fowl in wint’ry Flight;
    There danc’d the Moor’s deceitful Light,
      Above the Pool where Sedges grow;
    And when the Morning-Sun shone bright,
      It shone upon a Field of Snow.

    They hung me on a Bough, so small,
      The Rook could build her Nest no higher;
    They fix’d me on the trembling Ball,
      That crowns the Steeple’s quiv’ring Spire;
    They set me where the Seas retire,
      But drown with their returning Tide;
    And made me flee the Mountain’s Fire,
      When rolling from its burning Side.

    I’ve hung upon the ridgy Steep
      Of Cliffs, and held the rambling Brier;
    I’ve plung’d below the billowy Deep,
      Where Air was sent me to respire;
    I’ve been where hungry Wolves retire;
      And (to complete my Woes) I’ve ran,
    Where Bedlam’s crazy Crew conspire
      Against the Life of reasoning Man.

    I’ve furl’d in Storms the flapping Sail,
      By banging from the Top-mast-head;
    I’ve serv’d the vilest Slaves in Jail,
      And pick’d the Dunghill’s Spoil for Bread;
    I’ve made the Badger’s Hole my Bed,
      I’ve wander’d with a Gipsey Crew,
    I’ve dreaded all the Guilty dread,
      And done what they would fear to do.

    On Sand where ebbs and flows the Flood,
      Midway they plac’d and bade me die;
    Propt on my Staff, I stoutly stood
      When the swift Waves came rolling by;
    And high they rose, and still more high,
      Till my Lips drank the bitter Brine;
    I sobb’d convuls’d, then cast mine Eye
      And saw the Tide’s re-flowing Sign.

    And then, my Dreams were such as nought
      Could yield but my unhappy Case;
    I’ve been of thousand Devils caught,
      And thrust into that horrid Place,
    Where reign Dismay, Despair, Disgrace;
      Furies with iron Fangs were there,
    To torture that accursed Race,
      Doom’d to Dismay, Disgrace, Despair.

    Harmless I was; yet hunted down
      For Treasons, to my Soul unfit;
    I’ve been pursued through many a Town,
      For Crimes that petty Knaves commit:
    I’ve been adjudg’d t’ have lost my Wit,
      Because I preach’d so loud and well,
    And thrown into the Dungeon’s Pit,
      For trampling on the Pit of Hell.

    Such were the Evils, Man of Sin,
      That I was fated to sustain;
    And add to all, without--within,
      A Soul defil’d with every Stain,
    That Man’s reflecting Mind can pain;
      That Pride, Wrong, Rage, Despair can make;
    In fact, they’d nearly touch’d my Brain,
      And Reason on her Throne would shake.

    But Pity will the vilest seek,
      If punish’d Guilt will not repine,--
    I heard an heavenly Teacher speak,
      And felt the SUN of MERCY shine:
    I hail’d the Light! the Birth divine!
      And then was seal’d among the few;
    Those angry Fiends beheld the Sign;
      And from me in an instant flew.

    Come hear how thus, the Charmers cry,
      To wandering Sheep the Strays of Sin;
    While some the Wicket-gate pass by,
      And some will knock and enter in;
    Full joyful ’tis a Soul to win,
      For he that winneth Souls is wise;
    Now hark! the holy Strains begin,
      And thus the sainted Preacher cries[18]:--

    “Pilgrim burthen’d with thy Sin,
    “Come the way to Zion’s Gate,
    “There, till Mercy lets thee in,
    “Knock and weep and watch and wait.
      “Knock!--He knows the Sinner’s Cry;
      “Weep!--He loves the Mourner’s Tears:
      “Watch!--for, saving Grace is nigh:
      “Wait,--till heavenly Light appears.”

    “Hark! it is the Bridegroom’s Voice:
    “Welcome, Pilgrim, to thy Rest;
    “Now within the Gate rejoice,
    “Safe and seal’d and bought and blest!
      “Safe--from all the Lures of Vice,
      “Seal’d--by Signs the Chosen know,
      “Bought by Love and Life the Price,
      “Blest--the mighty Debt to owe.

    “Holy Pilgrim! what for thee,
    “In a World like this remain?
    “From thy guarded Breast shall flee,
    “Fear and Shame, and Doubt and Pain.
      “Fear--the Hope of Heaven shall fly,
      “Shame--from Glory’s View retire,
      “Doubt--in certain Rapture die,
      “Pain--in endless Bliss expire.”

    But though my Day of Grace was come,
      Yet still my Days of Grief I find;
    The former Clouds’ collected Gloom,
      Still sadden the reflecting Mind;
    The Soul to evil Things consign’d,
      Will of their Evil some retain;
    The Man will seem to Earth inclin’d,
      And will not look erect again.

    Thus, though elect, I feel it hard,
      To lose what I possess’d before,
    To be from all my Wealth debarr’d,--
      The brave _Sir Eustace_ is no more;
    But old I wax and passing poor,
      Stern, rugged Men my Conduct view;
    They chide my Wish, they bar my Door,
      ’Tis hard--I weep--you see I do.--

    Must you, my Friends, no longer stay?
      Thus quickly all my Pleasures end?
    But I’ll remember, when I pray,
      My kind Physician and his Friend;
    And those sad Hours, you deign to spend
      With me, I shall requite them all;
    _Sir Eustace_ for his Friends shall send,
      And thank their Love at _Greyling Hall_.


    The poor Sir Eustace!--Yet his Hope,
      Leads him to think of Joys again;
    And when his Earthly Visions droop,
      His Views of Heavenly Kind remain:--
    But whence that meek and humbled Strain,
      That Spirit wounded, lost, resign’d;
    Would not so proud a Soul disdain
      The Madness of the poorest Mind?


    No! for the more he swell’d with Pride,
      The more he felt Misfortune’s Blow;
    Disgrace and Grief he could not hide,
      And Poverty had laid him low:
    Thus Shame and Sorrow working slow,
      At length this humble Spirit gave;
    Madness on these began to grow,
      And bound him to his Fiends a Slave.

    Though the wild Thoughts had touch’d his Brain,
      Then was he free:--So, forth he ran;
    To soothe or threat, alike were vain;
      He spake of Fiends; look’d wild and wan;
    Year after year, the hurried Man
      Obey’d those Fiends from place to place;
    Till his religious Change began
      To form a frenzied Child of Grace.

    For, as the Fury lost its Strength,
      The Mind repos’d; by slow Degrees,
    Came lingering Hope, and brought at length,
      To the tormented Spirit, Ease:
    This Slave of Sin, whom Fiends could seize,
      Felt or believ’d their Power had end;--
    “‘Tis faith,” he cried, “my Bosom frees,
      “And now my SAVIOUR is my Friend.”

    But ah! though Time can yield Relief,
      And soften Woes it cannot cure;
    Would we not suffer Pain and Grief,
      To have our Reason sound and sure?
    Then let us keep our Bosoms pure,
      Our Fancy’s favourite Flights suppress;
    Prepare the Body to endure,
      And bend the Mind to meet Distress;
    And then His Guardian Care implore,
      Whom Dæmons dread and Men adore.

[Illustration: text decoration]



Part the First.

    Confiteor facere hoc annos; sed et altera causa est,
    Anxietas animi, continuusque dolor.



    Take, take away thy barbarous Hand,
      And let me to thy Master speak;
    Remit awhile the harsh Command,
      And hear me, or my Heart will break.


    Fond Wretch! and what canst thou relate,
      But Deeds of Sorrow, Shame, and Sin?
    Thy Crime is prov’d, thou know’st thy Fate;
      But come, thy Tale! begin, begin!--


    My Crime!---- This sick’ning Child to feed,
      I seiz’d the Food, your Witness saw;
    I knew your Laws forbad the Deed,
      But yielded to a stronger Law.

    Know’st thou, to Nature’s great Command,
      All human Laws are frail and weak?
    Nay! frown not--stay his eager Hand,
      And hear me, or my Heart will break.

    In this, th’ adopted Babe I hold,
      With anxious Fondness to my Breast,
    My Heart’s sole Comfort, I behold,
      More dear than Life, when Life was blest,
    I saw her pining, fainting, cold,
      I begg’d--but vain was my Request.

    I saw the tempting Food, and seiz’d--
      My Infant-Sufferer found Relief;
    And, in the pilfer’d Treasure pleas’d,
      Smil’d on my Guilt and hush’d my Grief.

    But I have Griefs of other Kind,
      Troubles and Sorrows more severe;
    Give me to ease my tortur’d Mind,
      Lend to my Woes a patient ear;
    And let me--if I may not find
      A Friend to help--find one to hear.

    Yet nameless let me plead--my Name
      Would only wake the Cry of Scorn;
    A Child of Sin, conceiv’d in Shame,
      Brought forth in Woe, to Misery born.

    My Mother dead, my Father lost,
      I wander’d with a vagrant Crew;
    A common Care, a common Cost,
      Their Sorrows and their Sins I knew;
    With them, on Want and Error forc’d,
      Like them, I base and guilty grew.

    Few are my Years, not so my Crimes;
      The Age, which these sad Looks declare,
    Is Sorrow’s Work, it is not Time’s,
      And I am old in Shame and Care.

    Taught to believe the World a place,
      Where every Stranger was a Foe,
    Train’d in the Arts that mark our Race,
      To what new People could I go?
    Could I a better Life embrace,
      Or live as Virtue dictates? No!--

    So through the Land, I wandering went,
      And little found of Grief or Joy;
    But lost my Bosom’s sweet Content,
      When first I lov’d, the Gipsey-Boy.

    A sturdy Youth he was and tall,
      His Looks would all his Soul declare,
    His piercing Eyes were deep and small,
      And strongly curl’d his Raven-Hair.

    Yes, Aaron had each manly Charm,
      All in the May of youthful Pride,
    He scarcely fear’d his Father’s Arm,
      And every other Arm defied.--
    Oft when they grew in Anger warm,
      (Whom will not Love and Power divide?)
    I rose, their wrathful Souls to calm,
      Not yet in sinful Combat tried.

    His Father was our Party’s Chief,
      And dark and dreadful was his Look,
    His Presence fill’d my Heart with Grief,
      Although to me, he kindly spoke.

    With Aaron I delighted went,
      His Favour was my Bliss and Pride;
    In growing Hope our Days we spent,
      Love, growing Charms in either spied,
    It saw them, all which Nature lent,
      It lent them, all which she denied.

    Could I the Father’s Kindness prize,
      Or grateful Looks on him bestow;
    Whom I beheld in wrath arise,
      When Aaron sank beneath his Blow?

    He drove him down with wicked Hand,
      It was a dreadful Sight to see;
    Then vex’d him, till he left the Land,
      And told his cruel Love to me;--
    The Clan were all at his Command,
      Whatever his Command might be.

    The Night was dark, the Lanes were deep,
      And one by one, they took their way;
    He bade me lay me down and sleep,
      I only wept and wish’d for Day.

    Accursed be the Love he bore,--
      Accursed was the Force he us’d,--
    So let him of his GOD implore
      For Mercy, and be so refus’d!

    You frown again,--to show my Wrong,
      Can I in gentle Language speak?
    My Woes are deep, my Words are strong,--
      And hear me, or my Heart will break.


    I hear thy Words, I feel thy Pain;
      Forbear awhile to speak thy Woes;
    Receive our Aid, and then again,
      The Story of thy Life disclose.

    For, though seduc’d and led astray,
      Thou’st traveil’d far and wander’d long;
    Thy GOD hath seen thee all the way,
      And all the Turns that led thee wrong.



Part the Second.

    Quondam ridentes oculi, nunc fonte perenni
    Deplorant pœnas nocte dieque suas.
              CORN. Galli Eleg.


    Come, now again thy Woes impart,
      Tell all thy Sorrows, all thy Sin;
    We cannot heal the throbbing Heart,
      Till we discern the Wounds within.

    Compunction weeps our Guilt away,
      The Sinner’s Safety is his Pain;
    Such Pangs for our Offences pay,
      And these severer Griefs are Gain.


    The Son came back--he found us wed,
      Then dreadful was the Oath he swore;--
    His Way through _Blackburn_ Forest led,--
      His Father we beheld no more.

    Of all our daring Clan, not one,
      Would on the doubtful Subject dwell;
    For all esteem’d the injur’d Son,
      And fear’d the Tale, which he could tell.

    But I had mightier Cause for Fear,
      For slow and mournful round my Bed,
    I saw a dreadful Form appear,--
      It came when I and Aaron wed.

    (Yes! we were wed, I know my Crime,--
      We slept beneath the Elmin Tree;
    But I was grieving all the time,
      And Aaron frown’d my Tears to see.

    For he not yet had felt the Pain,
      That rankles in a wounded Breast;
    He wak’d to Sin, then slept again,
      Forsook his GOD, yet took his Rest.--

    But I was forc’d to feign Delight,
      And Joy in Mirth and Music sought,--
    And Mem’ry now recalls the Night,
      With such Surprise and Horror fraught,
    That Reason felt a moment’s Flight,
      And left a Mind, to Madness wrought.)

    When waking, on my heaving Breast,
      I felt a Hand as cold as Death;
    A sudden Fear my Voice suppress’d,
      A chilling Terror stopp’d my Breath.--

    I seem’d--no Words can utter how!
      For there my Father-Husband stood,--
    And thus he said:--“Will GOD allow,
      “The great Avenger, just and good,
    “A Wife, to break her Marriage Vow?
      “A Son, to shed his Father’s Blood?”

    I trembled at the dismal Sounds,
      But vainly strove a Word to say;
    So, pointing to his bleeding Wounds,
    [19]The threat’ning Spectre stalk’d away.

    I brought a lovely Daughter forth,
      His Father’s Child, in Aaron’s Bed;
    He took her from me in his wrath,
      “Where is my Child?”--‘Thy Child is dead.’

    ’Twas false--we wander’d far and wide,
      Through Town and Country, Field and Fen,
    Till Aaron fighting, fell and died,
      And I became a Wife again.

    I then was young:--my Husband sold
      My fancied Charms, for wicked Price;
    He gave me oft, for sinful Gold,
      The Slave, but not the Friend of Vice:--
    Behold me Heav’n! my Pains behold,
      And let them for my Sins suffice!

    The Wretch who lent me thus for Gain,
      Despis’d me when my Youth was fled;
    Then came Disease and brought me Pain:--
      Come, Death, and bear me to the Dead!
    For though I grieve, my Grief is vain,
      And fruitless all the Tears I shed.

    True, I was not to Virtue train’d,
      Yet well I knew my Deeds were ill;
    By each Offence my Heart was pain’d,
      I wept, but I offended still;
    My better Thoughts my Life disdain’d,
      But yet the viler led my Will.

    My Husband died, and now no more,
      My Smile was sought or ask’d my Hand,
    A widow’d Vagrant, vile and poor,
      Beneath a Vagrant’s vile command.

    Ceaseless I rov’d the Country round,
      To win my Bread by fraudful Arts,
    And long a poor Subsistence found,
      By spreading Nets for simple Hearts.

    Though poor, and abject, and despis’d,
      Their Fortunes to the Crowd I told;
    I gave the Young the Love they priz’d,
      And promis’d Wealth to bless the Old;
    Schemes for the Doubtful I devis’d,
      And Charms for the Forsaken sold.

    At length for Arts like these confin’d,
      In Prison with a lawless Crew;
    I soon perceiv’d a kindred Mind,
      And there my long-lost Daughter knew.

    His Father’s Child, whom Aaron gave
      To wander with a distant Clan,
    The Miseries of the World to brave,
      And be the Slave of Vice and Man.

    She knew my Name--we met in Pain,
      Our parting Pangs, can I express?
    She sail’d a Convict o’er the Main,
      And left an Heir to her Distress.

    This is that Heir to Shame and Pain,
      For whom I only could descry
    A World of Trouble and Disdain:
      Yet, could I bear to see her die,
    Or stretch her feeble Hands in vain,
      And weeping, beg of me Supply?

    No! though the Fate thy Mother knew,
      Was shameful! shameful though thy Race
    Have wander’d all, a lawless Crew,
      Outcasts, despis’d in every Place;

    Yet as the dark and muddy Tide,
      When far from its polluted Source,
    Becomes more pure, and purified,
      Flows in a clear and happy Course;--
    In thee, dear Infant! so may end
      Our Shame, in thee our Sorrows cease!
    And thy pure Course will then extend,
      In Floods of Joy, o’er Vales of Peace.

    Oh! by the God who loves to spare,
      Deny me not the Boon I crave;
    Let this lov’d Child your Mercy share,
      And let me find a peaceful Grave;
    Make her yet spotless Soul your Care,
      And let my Sins their Portion have,
    Her for a better Fate prepare,
      And punish whom ’twere Sin to save!


    Recall the Word, renounce the Thought,
      Command thy Heart and bend thy Knee,
    There is to all a Pardon brought,
      A Ransom rich, assur’d and free;
    ’Tis full when found, ’tis found if sought,
      Oh! seek it, till ’tis seal’d to Thee.


    But how my Pardon shall I know?


    By feeling Dread that ’tis not sent,
      By Tears for Sin that freely flow,
    By Grief, that all thy Tears are spent,
      By Thoughts on that great Debt we owe,
    With all the Mercy GOD has lent,
      By suffering what thou canst not show,
    Yet showing how thine Heart is rent,
      Till thou canst feel thy Bosom glow,
    And say, “MY SAVIOUR, I REPENT!”

[Illustration: text decoration]


              MR. LEDYARD, as quoted by M. PARKE, in his
                        _Travels into Africk_.

     “To a Woman I never addressed myself in the language of decency and
     friendship, without receiving a decent and friendly answer. If I
     was hungry or thirsty, wet or sick, they did not hesitate, like
     Men, to perform a generous action: In so free and kind a manner did
     they contribute to my relief, that if I was dry, I drank the
     sweetest draught; and if hungry, I ate the coarsest morsel with a
     double relish.”

    Place the White-Man on Africk’s Coast,
      Whose swarthy Sons in Blood delight,
    Who of their Scorn to Europe boast,
      And paint their very Dæmons white:
    There while the sterner Sex disdains
      To soothe the Woes, they cannot feel;
    Woman will strive to heal his Pains,
      And weep for those, she cannot heal:
    Hers is warm Pity’s sacred Glow;
      From all her Stores, she bears a Part,
    And bids the Spring of Hope re-flow,
      That languish’d in the fainting Heart.

    “What though so pale his haggard Face,
      “So sunk and sad his Looks,”--she cries;
    “And far unlike our nobler Race,
      “With crisped Locks and rolling Eyes;
        “Yet Misery marks him of our Kind,
          “We see him lost, alone, afraid;
        “And Pangs of Body, Griefs in Mind,
          “Pronounce him Man and ask our Aid.

    “Perhaps in some far distant Shore,
      “There are who in these Forms delight;
    “Whose milky Features please them more,
      “Than ours of Jet thus burnish’d bright;
        “Of such may be his weeping Wife,
          “Such Children for their Sire may call,
        “And if we spare his ebbing Life,
          “Our Kindness may preserve them all.”

    Thus her Compassion Woman shows,
      Beneath the Line her Acts are these;
    Nor the wide Waste of Lapland-Snows,
      Can her warm Flow of Pity freeze:--
        “From some sad Land the Stranger comes,
          “Where Joys, like ours, are never found;
        “Let’s soothe him in our happy Homes,
          “Where Freedom sits, with Plenty crown’d.

    “‘Tis good the fainting Soul to cheer,
      “To see the famish’d Stranger fed;
    “To milk for him the Mother-Deer,
      “To smooth for him the furry Bed.
        “The Powers above, our Lapland bless,
          “With Good no other People know;
        “T’ enlarge the Joys that we possess,
          “By feeling those that we bestow!”

    Thus in Extremes of Cold and Heat,
      Where wandering Man may trace his Kind;
    Where-ever Grief and Want retreat,
      In Woman they Compassion find;
    She makes the Female Breast her Seat,
      And dictates Mercy to the Mind.

    Man may the sterner Virtues know,
      Determin’d Justice, Truth severe:
    But Female Hearts with Pity glow,
      And Woman holds Affliction dear;
    For guiltless Woes her Sorrows flow,
      And suffering Vice compels her Tear;
    ’Tis her’s to soothe the Ills below,
      And bid Life’s fairer Views appear;
    To Woman’s gentle Kind we owe,
      What comforts and delights us here;
    They its gay Hopes on Youth bestow,
      And Care they soothe and Age they cheer.

[Illustration: FINIS.]

                     _Printed by Brettell and Co.
                   Marshall-Street, Golden-Square._


[1] See the Life of S. Johnson, by Boswell, vol. iv. p. 185 8vo. edit.

[2] Neither of these were adopted; the Author had written, about that
time, some Verses to the memory of Lord ROBERT MANNERS, Brother to the
late Duke of RUTLAND; and these, by a junction, it is presumed, not
forced or unnatural, form the concluding part of the _Village_.

[3] See Page 77.

[4] A pauper who, being nearly past his labour, is employed by
different masters, for a length of time proportioned to their

[5] Some apology is due for the insertion of a circumstance by no
means common: That it has been a subject for complaint in any place,
is a sufficient reason for its being reckoned among the evils which
may happen to the Poor, and which must happen to them exclusively;
nevertheless, it is just to remark, that such neglect is very rare in
any part of the kingdom, and in many parts is totally unknown.

[6] Lord ROBERT MANNERS, the youngest son of the Marquis of Granby and
the Lady Frances Seymour, daughter of Charles Duke of Somerset, was
born the 5th of February, 1758; and was placed with his brother, the
late Duke of Rutland, at Eton-School, where he acquired, and ever after
retained, a considerable knowledge of the classical authors.

Lord ROBERT, after going through the duties of his profession on-board
different ships, was made Captain of the RESOLUTION, and commanded her
in nine different actions, besides that last memorable one on the 2d of
April, 1782, when, in breaking the French Line of Battle, he received
the wounds which terminated his life, in the 24th year of his age.

                _See the Annual Register, printed for Mr. Dodsley._

[7] Allusions of this kind are to be found in the Fairy-Queen. See the
end of the first book, and other places.

[8] Clarissa, vol. vii. Lovelace’s Letter.

[9] Spencer.

[10] See page 52.

[11] In the more antient Libraries, Works of value and importance were
fastened to their places by a length of chain; and might so be perused,
but not taken away.

[12] The Manna of the Day. Green’s Spleen.


    ---- in foliis descripsit carmina Virgo;--
    ---- et teneres turbavit janua frondes.
               VIRG. Æneid. lib. iii.


    How many hours bring about the day.
    How many days will furnish up the year,
    How many years a mortal Man may live; &c.
              SHAKSPEARE’s Henry VI.

[15] “Myrica Gale,” a shrub growing in boggy and fenny grounds.

[16] Prophecy of Daniel, chap. iv. 22.

[17] Vide Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

[18] It has been suggested to me, that this change from restlessness to
repose, in the mind of Sir EUSTACE, is wrought by a methodistic call;
and it is admitted to be such: a sober and rational conversion, could
not have happened while the disorder of the brain continued: Yet the
verses which follow, in a different measure, are not intended to make
any religious Persuasion appear ridiculous; they are to be supposed as
the effect of memory in the disordered mind of the speaker, and though
evidently enthusiastic, in respect to language, are not meant to convey
any impropriety of sentiment.

[19] The state of mind here described, will account for a vision of
this nature, without having recourse to any supernatural appearance.

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