« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
On thee she calls, on thee her parent dear!
(Ah! too remote to ward the shameful blow!)
She sees no kind domestic visage near,
And soon a flood of tears begins to flow;
And gives a loose at last to unavailing woe.
But ah! what pen his piteous plight may trace?
Or what device his loud laments explain?
The form uncouth of his disguised face?
The pallid hue that dyes his looks amain?
The plenteous shower that does his cheek distain?
When he, in abject wise, implores the dame,
Ne hopeth aught of sweet reprieve to gain;
Or when from high she levels well her aim,
And, through the thatch, his cries each falling stroke proclaim.
The other tribe, aghast, with sore dismay,
Attend and con their tasks with mickle care:
By turns, astonied, every twig survey,
And, from their fellow's hateful wounds, beware;
Knowing, I wis, how each the same may share;
Till fear has taught them a performance meet,
And to the well-known chest the dame repair,
Whence oft with sugared cates she doth them greet,
And gingerbread y-rare, now, certes, doubly sweet.
See to their seats they hie with merry glee;
And in beseemly order sitten there;
All but the wight of skin y-galled, he
Abhorreth bench, and stool, and form, and chair;
(This hand in mouth y-fixed, that rends his hair ;)
And eke with snubs profound, and heaving breast,
Convulsions intermitting, does declare
His grievous wrong; his dame's unjust behest;
And scorns her offered love, and shuns to be caressed.
His face besprent with liquid crystal shines,
His blooming face that seems a purple flower,
Which low to earth its dropping head declines,
All smeared and sullied by a vernal shower.
O! the hard bosoms of despotic power!
All, all but she, the author of his shame,
All, all but she, regret this mournful hour:
Yet hence the youth, and hence the flower, shall claim, If so I deem aright, transcending worth and fame.
Behind some door, in melancholy thought,
Mindless of food, he, dreary caitiff! pines;
Ne for his fellows' joyance careth aught,
But to the wind all merriment resigns;
And deems it shame if he to peace inclines;
And many a sullen look askance is sent,
Which for his dame's annoyance he designs;
And still the more to pleasure him she's bent,
The more doth he, perverse, her 'haviour past resent.
Ah me! how much I fear lest pride it be!
But if that pride it be, which thus inspires,
Beware, ye dames, with nice discernment see,
Ye quench not too the sparks of nobler fires:
Ah! better far than all the Muses' lyres,
All coward arts, is valour's generous heat;
The firm fixed breast which fit and right requires,
Like Vernon's patriot soul, more justly great
Than craft that pimps for ill, or flowery false deceit.
Yet, nursed with skill, what dazzling fruits appear!
Even now, sagacious foresight points to show
A little bench of heedless bishops here,
And there a chancellor in embryo,
Or bard sublime, (if bard may e'er be so,)
As Milton, Shakspeare, names that ne'er shall die! Though now he crawl along the ground so low, Nor weeting how the Muse should soar on high, Wisheth, poor starveling elf! his paper kite may fly.
And this perhaps, who, censuring the design,
Low lays the house which that of cards doth build,
Shall Dennis be! if rigid fate incline,
And many an epic to his rage shall yield;
And many a poet quit the Aonian field;
And, soured by age, profound he shall appear,
As he who now with 'sdainful fury thrilled
Surveys mine work; and levels many a sneer,
And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, "What stuff is here!"
But now Dan Phoebus gains the middle skie,
And liberty unbars her prison-door;
And like a rushing torrent out they fly,
And now the grassy cirque han covered o'er
With boisterous revel-rout and wild uproar; A thousand ways in wanton rings they run, Heaven shield their short-lived pastimes, I implore! For well may Freedom, erst so dearly won, Appear to British elf more gladsome than the sun.
Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade,
And chase gay flies, and cull the fairest flowers;
For when my bones in grass-green sods are laid;
For never may ye taste more careless hours
In knightly castles or in ladies' bowers.
O vain to seek delight in earthly thing!
But most in courts where proud ambition towers; Deluded wight! who weens fair peace can spring Beneath the pompous dome of kaiser or of king.
See in each sprite some various bent appear!
These rudely carol most incondite lay;
Those sauntering on the green, with jocund leer
Salute the stranger passing on his way;
Some builden fragile tenements of clay;
Some to the standing lake their courses bend,
With pebbles smooth at duck and drake to play;
Thilk to the huxter's savoury cottage tend,
In pastry kings and queens th' allotted mite to spend.
Here as each season yields a different store,
Each season's stores in order ranged been;
Apples with cabbage-net y-covered o'er,
Galling full sore the unmoneyed wight, are seen;
And gooseb'rie clad in livery red or green;
And here of lovely dye, the catherine pear,
Fine pear! as lovely for thy juice, I ween:
O, may no wight e'er pennyless come there,
Lest smit with ardent love he pine with hopeless care!
See! Cherries here, ere Cherries yet abound,
With thread so white in tempting posies tied,
Scattering like blooming maid their glances round,
With pampered look draw little eyes aside,
And must be bought, though penury betide.
The plum all azure, and the nut all brown,
And here each season do those cakes abide,
Whose honoured names th' inventive city own, Rendering through Britain's isle Salopia's praises known.
Admired Salopia, that with venial pride
Eyes her bright form in Severn's ambient wave,
Famed for her loyal cares in perils tried,
Her daughters lovely, and her striplings brave:
Ah! midst the rest may flowers adorn his grave,
Whose art did first these dulcet cates display!
A motive fair to Learning's imps he gave,
Who cheerless o'er her darkling region stray;
Till Reason's morn arise, and light them on the way.