« AnteriorContinua »
Bat for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wish'd for worlds beyond the grave.
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
The fond companion of his helpless years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover's for ber father's arms.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
And blest the cot where every pleasure rose;
And kiss'd her thoughtless babes with many a tear,
And clasp'd them close, in sorrow doubly dear;
Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief
In all the silent manliness of grief.
O luxury! thou curst by Heaven's decree,
How ill exchang'd are things like these for thee!
How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigour not their own:
At every draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank unwieldy woe;
Till sapp'd their strength, and every part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
E'en now the devastation is begun, And half tbe business of destruction done; E'en now, methinks, as pondering here I stand, I see the rural virtues leave the land. Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail, That idly waiting flaps with every gale, Downward they move, a melancholy band, Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand. Contented toil, and hospitable care, And kind connubial tenderness, are there; And piety with wishes plac'd above, And steady loyalty, and faithful love. And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid, Still first to fly where sensual joys invade;
Unfit in these degenerate times of shame,
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame;
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride.
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe,
That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
Thou guide, by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
Farewell, and 0! where'er thy voice be tried,
On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigours of th' inclement clime;
Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain;
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain;
Teach bim, that states of native strength possest,
Though very poor, may still be very blest;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the labour'd mole away;
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.
THANKS, my Lord, for your Ven'son; for finer or faller,
Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter:
The Haunch was a picture for painters to study,
The fat was so white, and the leap was so ruddy;
Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help regretling,
To spoil such a delicate picture by eating:
I had thoughts in my Chambers to place it in view,
To be shown to my friends as a piece of virtù ;
As in some Irish houses, where things are so-so,
One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show;
But, for eating a rasher of what they take pride in,
They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fry'd in.
But hold – let me pause Don't I hear you pronounce,
This tale of the bacon a damnable bounce ?
Well! suppose it a bounce sure a poet may try,
By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly.
But, my Lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my turn,
It's a truth - and your lordship may ask Mr. Burn.
To go on with my tale as I gaz'd on the Haunch,
I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch,
So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undrest,
To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best,
Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose;
"T was a neck and a breast that might rival Monroe's:
But in parting with these I was puzzled again,
With the how, and the who, and the where, and the when.
There's I-d, and C-y, and I-rth, and H-ff,
I think they love ven'son - I know they love beef.
There's my countryman, Higgins - Oh! let him alone,
For making a blunder, or picking a bone.
But hang it to poets, who seldom can eat,
Your very good mutton 's a very good treat;
Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt;
It's like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt.
While thus I debated, in reverie center'd,
An acquaintance, a friend as he call’d himself, enter'd :
An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he,
And he smil'd as he look'd at the Ven'son and me.
“What have we got here? – Why, this is good eating!
Your own I suppose or is it in waiting?"
“Why, whose should it be?” cried I, with a flounce,
"I get these things often" - but that was a bounce:
“Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation,
Are pleas'd to be kind - but I bate ostentation."
“If that be the case then,” cried he, very gay,
“I'm glad I have taken this house in my way.
To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me;
No words -I insist on't - precisely at three:
We'll have Johnson and Burke; all the wits will be there;
My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my Lord Clare.
And now that I think on't, as I am a sinner!
We wanted this Ven'son to make out a dinner.
a pasty? - it shall, and it must,
And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust.
Here, porteri - this Ven'son with me to Mile-end;
No stirring, - I beg, my dear friend,
my dear friend!" Thus spatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind, And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.
Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf,
And “nobody with me at sea but myself,”
Though I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty,
Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good Ven'son pasty,
Were things that I never dislik'd in my life,
Though clogged with a coscomb, and Kitty his wife.
So next day, in due splendour to make my approach,
I drove to his door in my own backney-coach.
When come to the place where we all were to dine,
(A chair-lumber'd closet, just twelve feet by nine);
My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb,
With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not come;
“For I knew it,” he cried, “both eternally fail,
The one with his speeches, and t'other with Thrale;
But no matter, I'll warrant we 'll make up the party,
With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty.
The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew,
They both of them merry, and authors like you :
The one writes the “Sparler ,' the other the 'Scourge :'
Sone thinks he writes “Ciona' – he owns to ‘Panurge.'
While thus he decrib'd them by trade and by name,
They enter'd, and dinner was serv'd as they came.
At the top a fried liver and bacon were seen, At the bottom was tripe, in a swingeing tureen; At the sides there was spinnage, and pudding made hot; In the middle, a place where the Pasty Now, my Lord, as for tripe, it's my utter aversion, And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian; So there I sat stuck like a borse in a pound, While the bacon and liver went merrily round: But what vex'd me most was that d-'d Scottish rogue, With his long-wiaded speeches, his smiles and his brogue, And, “Madam," quoth he, “may this bit be my poison, A prettier dinner I never set eyes on! Pray a slice of your liver, though may I be curst, But I've eat of your tripe till I'm ready to burst.