Imatges de pÓgina

Could any curtain lectures bring
To decency so fine a thing?

In short, by night, 't was fits or fretting;
By day, 'twas gadding or coquetting.
Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy

Of powder'd coxcombs at her levy;

The 'squire and captain took their stations, And twenty other near relations:

Jack suck'd his pipe, and often broke

A sigh in suffocating smoke;

While all their hours were pass'd between Insulting repartee and spleen.

Thus, as her faults each day were known,
He thinks her features coarser grown;
He fancies every vice she shows,
Or thins her lip, or points her nose:
Whenever rage or envy rise,

How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes!
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phiz;
And though her fops are wondrous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.

Now, to perplex the ravell'd noose,
As each a different way pursues,
While sullen or loquacious strife
Promised to hold them on for life,
That dire disease, whose ruthless power
Withers the beauty's transient flower,-
Lo! the small-pox, whose horrid glare
Levell❜d its terrors at the fair;
And, rifling every youthful grace,
Left but the remnant of a face.

The glass, grown hateful to her sight,
Reflected now a perfect fright:
Each former art she vainly tries
To bring back lustre to her eyes;

In vain she tries her paste and creams, To smooth her skin, or hide its seams; Her country beaux and city cousins, Lovers no more, flew off by dozens; The 'squire himself was seen to yield, And ev❜n the captain quit the field.

Poor madam, now condemn'd to hack
The rest of life with anxious Jack,
Perceiving others fairly flown,
Attempted pleasing him alone.
Jack soon was dazzl'd to behold
Her present face surpass the old:
With modesty her cheeks are dy'd,
Humility displaces pride;

For tawdry finery is seen
A person ever neatly clean;
No more presuming on her sway,
She learns good nature every day:
Serenely gay, and strict in duty,
Jack finds his wife-a perfect beauty.



Long had I sought in vain to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind—
The modern scribbling kind, who write
In wit, and sense, and nature's spite-
Till reading, I forget what day on-
A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon,
I think I met with something there
To suit my purpose to a hair.
But let us not proceed too furious;—
First please to turn to god Mercurius:
You'll find him pictured at full length,
In book the second, page the tenth:

The stress of all my proofs on him I lie, And now proceed we to our simile.

Imprimis; pray observe his hat, Wings upon either side-mark that. Well! what is it from thence we gather? Why, these denote a brain of feather. A brain of feather! very right, With wit that's flighty, learning light; Such as to modern bard's decreed: A just comparison-proceed.

In the next place, his feet peruse, Wings grow again from both his shoes; Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear, And waft his godship through the air: And here my simile unites;

For in a modern poet's flights,
I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet are useful as his head.

Lastly, vouchsafe t' observe his hand,
Fill'd with a snake-encircled wand,
By classic authors term'd caduceus,
And highly famed for several uses:
To wit,--most wond'rously endued,
No poppy water half so good;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue 's such,

Though ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore;
And, too, what certain writers tell,
With this he drives men's souls to hell.

Now to apply, begin we then:—
His wand's a modern author's pen;
The serpents round about it twined
Denote him of the reptile kind;

Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom'd bites:
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike, too, both conduce to sleep.
This diff'rence only, as the god
Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
With his goose-quill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others, damns himself.

And here my simile almost tript,
Yet grant a word by way of postscript.
Moreover Merc'ry had a failing:

Well! what of that? out with it—stealing;
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he.
But ev❜n this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance:
Our modern bards! why, what a pox
Are they but senseless stones and blocks?


When lovely Woman stoops to folly,
And finds, too late, that men betray,
What charm can soothe her melancholy,
What art can wash her guilt away?

The only art her guilt to cover,

To hide her shame from every eye,
To give repentance to her lover,

And wring his bosom, is-to die.


Good people all, of every sort,

Give ear unto my song,

And if you find it wond'rous short,

It cannot hold you long.

In Isling town there was a man,
Of whom the world might say,
That still a godly race he ran,—
Whene'er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had,
To comfort friends and foes:
The naked every day he clad,—
When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found,
As many dogs there be,

Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,
And curs of low degree.

This dog and man at first were friends;
But when a pique began,

The dog, to gain some private ends,
Went mad, and bit the man.

Around from all the neighb'uring streets
The wond'ring neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.

The wound it seem'd both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;

And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,

That show'd the rogues they lied:

The man recover'd of the bite

The dog it was that died.


Here lies poor Ned Purdon, from misery freed,
Who long was a bookseller's hack;

He led such a damnable life in this world,
I don't think he 'll wish to come back.

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