Page images

"This pippin shall another trial make, See from the core two kernels brown I take; This on my cheek for Lubberkin is worn; And Boobyclod on t' other side is borne. But Boobyclod soon drops upon the ground, A certain token that his love's unsound; While Lubberkin sticks firmly to the last; Oh, were his lips to mine but join'd so fast!

From the tall elm a shower of leaves is borne, 100 And their lost beauty riven beeches mourn.

With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,

And turn me thrice around, around, around.'

"As Lubberkin once slept beneath a tree,
I twitch'd his dangling garter from his knee.
He wist not when the hempen string I drew,
Now mine I quickly doff, of inkle blue.
Together fast I tye the garters twain ;
And while I knit the knot repeat this strain:
'Three times a true-love's knot I tye secure,
Firm be the knot, firm may his love endure!'


With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,

And turn me thrice around, around, around.'


"As I was wont, I trudg'd last market-day To town, with new-laid eggs preserv'd in hay, I made my market long before 'twas night, My purse grew heavy, and my basket light. Straight to the 'pothecary's shop I went, And in love-powder all my money spent. Behap what will, next Sunday, after prayers, When to the alehouse Lubberkin repairs, These golden flies into his mug I'll throw, And soon the swain with fervent love shall glow. With my sharp heel I three times mark the ground,

And turn me thrice around, around, around.'


"But hold!-our Lightfoot barks, and cocks his ears,

O'er yonder stile see Lubberkin appears.
He comes! he comes! Hobnelia's not bewray'd,
Nor shall she, crown'd with willow, die a maid.
He vows, he swears, he'll give me a green gown:
Oh dear! I fall adown, adown, adown!"




WHY, Grubbinol, dost thou so wistful seem? There's sorrow in thy look, if right I deem. 'Tis true yon oaks with yellow tops appear, And chilly blasts begin to nip the year;

Ver. 109.

Necte tribus nodis ternos, Amarylli, colores:

Yet ev'n this season pleasance blithe affords,
Now the squeez'd press foams with our apple hoards.
Come, let us hie, and quaff a cheery bowl,
Let cyder new "wash sorrow from thy soul." 10


Ah, Bumkinet! since thou from hence wert gone, From these sad plains all merriment is flown; Should I reveal my grief, 'twould spoil thy cheer, And make thine eye o'erflow with many a tear.


"Hang sorrow!" Let's to yonder hut repair, And with trim sonnets "cast away our care. "Gillian of Croydon" well thy pipe can play: Thou sing'st most sweet, "O'er hills and far away." Of" Patient Grissel" I devise to sing, And catches quaint shall make the valleys ring. 20 Come, Grubbinol, beneath this shelter, come; From hence we view our flocks securely roam.


Yes, blithsome lad, a tale I mean to sing, But with my woe shall distant valleys ring, The tale shall make our kidlings droop their head, For, woe is me! - our Blouzelind is dead!


[merged small][ocr errors]

Henceforth the morn shall dewy sorrow shed, And evening tears upon the grass be spread; The rolling streams with watery grief shall flow, And winds shall moan aloud-when loud they blow. Henceforth, as oft as Autumn shall return, The drooping trees, whene'er it rains, shall mourn; The season quite shall strip the country's pride, For 'twas in Autumn Blouzelinda dy'd.

Where'er I gad, I Blouzelind shall view, Woods, dairy, barn, and mows, our passion knew, When I direct my eyes to yonder wood, Fresh rising sorrow curdles in my blood. Thither I've often been the damsel's guide, When rotten sticks our fuel have supply'd; There I remember how her faggots large Were frequently these happy shoulders' charge. Sometimes this crook drew hazel-boughs adown, And stuff'd her apron wide with nuts so brown; Or when her feeding hogs had miss'd their way, Or wallowing 'mid a feast of acorns lay;

Necte, Amarylli, modo; et Veneris dic vincula Latin dirige in the popish hymn, dirige gressus me

[blocks in formation]

Th' untoward creatures to the stye I drove,
And whistled all the way or told my love.
If by the dairy's hatch I chance to hie,
I shall her goodly countenance espy;
For there her goodly countenance I've seen,
Set off with kerchief starch'd and pinners clean,
Sometimes, like wax, she rolls the butter round
Or with the wooden lily prints the pound.
Whilom I've seen her skim the clouted cream,
And press from spungy curds the milky stream:
腹。 But now, alas! these ears shall hear no more
The whining swine surround the dairy door;
No more her care shall fill the hollow tray,
To fat the guzzling hogs with floods of whey.
Lament, ye swine, in grunting spend your grief,
For you, like me, have lost your sole relief.

When in the barn the sounding flail I ply,
Where from her sieve the chaff was wont to fly;
The poultry there will seem around to stand,
Waiting upon her charitable hand.

[blocks in formation]

"Mother," quoth she, "let not the poultry need,
And give the goose wherewith to raise her breed:
Be these my sister's care-and every morn
Amid the ducklings let her scatter corn;

The sickly calf that's hous'd be sure to tend,

[ocr errors]


Feed him with milk, and from bleak colds defend.
Yet ere I die-see, mother, yonder shelf,
There secretly I've hid my worldly pelf.
Twenty good shillings in a rag I laid;
70 Be ten the parson's, for my sermon paid.
The rest is yours
my spinning-wheel and rake
Let Susan keep for her dear sister's sake;
My new straw hat, that's trimly lin'd with green,
Let Peggy wear, for she's a damsel clean.
My leathern bottle, long in harvests try'd,
Be Grubbinol's- this silver ring beside:
Three silver pennies, and a nine-pence bent,
A token kind to Bumkinet is sent.
Thus spoke the maiden, while the mother cry'd;
And peaceful, like the harmless lamb, she dy'd.
To show their love, the neighbours far and near
Follow'd with wistful look the damsel's bier.
Sprig'd rosemary the lads and lasses bore,
While dismally the parson walk'd before.
Upon her grave the rosemary they threw,
The daisy, butter-flower, and endive blue.

No succour meet the poultry now can find,
For they, like me, have lost their Blouzelind.
Whenever by yon barley-mow I pass,
Before my eyes will trip the tidy lass.
pitch'd the sheaves, (oh, could I do so now!)
Which she in rows pil'd on the growing mow.
There every deale my heart by love was gain'd,
here the sweet kiss my courtship has explain'd. 80
Ah, Blouzelind! that mow I ne'er shall see,
But thy memorial will revive in me.

Lament, ye fields, and rueful symptoms show;
Henceforth let not the smelling primrose grow;
et weeds, instead of butter-flowers, appear,
and meads, instead of daisies, hemlock bear;
or cowslips sweet let dandelions spread;
or Blouzelinda, blithsome maid, is dead!
ament, ye swains, and o'er her grave bemoan,
nd spell ye right this verse upon her stone:
Here Blouzelinda lies- Alas, alas!
eep shepherds — and remember flesh is grass."


Albeit thy songs are sweeter to mine ear, han to the thirsty cattle rivers clear; r winter porridge to the labouring youth, r buns and sugar to the damsel's tooth; et Blouzelinda's name shall tune my lay, f her I'll sing for ever and for aye.


[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]


After the good man warn'd us from his text, 139
That none could tell whose turn would be the next;
He said, that Heaven would take her soul, no

And spoke the hour-glass in her praise- quite out.
To her sweet memory, flowery garlands strung,
O'er her now empty seat aloft were hung.
With wicker rods we fenc'd her tomb around,
To ward from man and beast the hallow'd ground;
Lest her new grave the parson's cattle raze,
For both his horse and cow the church-yard graze.

Now we trudg'd homeward to her mother's farm,
To drink new cyder mull'd, with ginger warm. 150
For Gaffer Treadwell told us, by the by,
"Excessive sorrow is exceeding dry."

While bulls bear horns upon their curled brow,
Or lasses with soft stroakings milk the cow;
While paddling ducks the standing lake desire,
Or battening hogs roll in the sinking mire;
While moles the crumbled earth in hillocks raise;
So long shall swains tell Blouzelinda's praise.

Thus wail'd the louts in melancholy strain,
Till bonny Susan sped across the plain.
They seized the lass in apron clean array'd,
And to the ale-house forc'd the willing maid;
In ale and kisses they forget their cares,
And Susan Blouzelinda's loss repairs.

[blocks in formation]


[blocks in formation]



SUBLIMER strains, O rustic Muse! prepare ;
Forget awhile the barn and dairy's care;
Thy homely voice to loftier numbers raise,
The drunkard's flights require sonorous lays;
With Bowzybeus' songs exalt thy verse,

For owls, as swains observe, detest the light,
And only sing and seek their prey by night.
How turnips hide their swelling heads below:
And how the closing coleworts upwards grow;
How Will-o-wisp misleads night-faring clowns
O'er hills, and sinking bogs, and pathless downs.
Of stars he told, that shoot with shining trail,
And of the glow-worm's light that gilds his tail. 60
He sung where woodcocks in the Summer feed,
And in what climates they renew their breed, [tend,
(Some think to northern coasts their flight they
Or to the Moon in midnight hours ascend);
Where swallows in the Winter's season keep,
And how the drowsy bat and dormouse sleep,
How Nature does the puppy's eyelid close
Till the bright Sun has nine times set and rose;
(For huntsmen by their long experience find,
That puppies still nine rolling suns are blind.) 70

Now he goes on, and sings of fairs and shows,
For still new fairs before his eyes arose.
How pedlars' stalls with glittering toys are laid,
The various fairings of the country maid.
Long silken laces hang upon the twine,
And rows of pins and amber bracelets shine;
20 How the tight lass knives, combs, and scissars spies,
And looks on thimbles with desiring eyes.

While rocks and woods the various notes rehearse.
'Twas in the season when the reapers' toil
Of the ripe harvest 'gan to rid the soil;
Wide through the field was seen a goodly rout,
Clean damsels bound the gather'd sheaves about; 10
The lads, with sharpen'd hook and sweating brow,
Cut down the labours of the winter plough.
To the near hedge young Susan steps aside,
She feign'd her coat or garter was unty'd;
Whate'er she did, she stoop'd adown unseen,
And merry reapers what they list will ween.
Soon she rose up, and cry'd with voice so shrill,
That Echo answer'd from the distant hill;
The youths and damsels ran to Susan's aid,
Who thought some adder had the lass dismay'd.
When fast asleep they Bowzybeus spy'd,
His hat and oaken staff lay close beside;
That Bowzybeus who could sweetly sing,
Or with the rosin'd bow torment the string;
That Bowzybeus who, with fingers speed,
Could call soft warblings from the breathing reed;
That Bowzybeus who, with jocund tongue,
Ballads and roundelays and catches sung:
They loudly laugh to see the damsel's fright,
And in disport surround the drunken wight.


"Ah, Bowzybee, why didst thou stay so long? The mugs were large, the drink was wondrous strong!

Thou should'st have left the fair before 'twas night;
But thou sat'st toping till the morning light."


[spoke :

Cicely, brisk maid, steps forth before the rout,
And kiss'd with smacking lip the snoaring lout:
(For custom says, "Whoe'er this venture proves,
For such a kiss demands a pair of gloves.")
By her example Dorcas bolder grows,
And plays a tickling straw within his nose.
He rubs his nostril, and in wonted joke
The sneering swains with stammering speech be-
"To you, my lads, I'll sing my carols o'er,
As for the maids - I've something else in store."
No sooner 'gan he raise his tuneful song,
But lads and lasses round about him throng.
Not ballad-singer plac'd above the crowd
Sings with a note so shrilling sweet and loud;
Nor parish-clerk, who calls the psalm so clear,
Like Bowzybeus soothes th' attentive ear.
Of Nature's laws his carols first begun,
Why the grave owl can never face the Sun.

Ver. 22.


[blocks in formation]

Of lotteries next with tuneful note he told,
Where silver spoons are won, and rings of gold. 80
The lads and lasses trudge the street along,
And all the fair is crowded in his song.
The mountebank now treads the stage, and sells
His pills, his balsams, and his ague-spells;
Now o'er and o'er the nimble tumbler springs,
And on the rope the venturous maiden swings;
Jack Pudding in his party-colour'd jacket
Tosses the glove, and jokes at every packet.
Of raree-shows he sung, and Punch's feats,
Of pockets pick'd in crowds, and various cheats. 90

Then sad he sung the Children in the Wood:
(Ah, barbarous uncle, stain'd with infant blood!)
How blackberries they pluck'd in deserts wild,
And fearless at the glittering falchion smil'd;
Their little corpse the robin-red-breasts found,
And strow'd with pious bill the leaves around.
(Ah, gentle birds! if this verse lasts so long,
Your names shall live for ever in my song.)

For Buxom Joan he sung the doubtful strife,
How the sly sailor made the maid a wife.


To louder strains he rais'd his voice, to tell
What woeful wars in Chevy-chace befell,
When Percy drove the deer with hound and horn,
Wars to be wept by children yet unborn!
Ah, Witherington! more years thy life had crown'd,
If thou hadst never heard the horn or hound!
Yet shall the 'squire, who fought on bloody stumps,
By future bards be wail'd in doleful dumps.
All in the land of Essex next he chants,
How to sleek mares starch quakers turn gallants:


[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

When, starting from her silver dream,
Thus far and wide was heard her scream.

"That Raven on yon left-hand oak (Curse on his ill-betiding croak !) Bodes me no good." No more she said, When poor blind Ball, with stumbling tread, Fell prone; o'erturn'd the pannier lay, And her mash'd eggs bestrow'd the way.

She, sprawling in the yellow road, Rail'd, swore, and curs'd: "Thou croaking toad, A murrain take thy whoreson throat! I knew misfortune in the note."

"Dame," quoth the Raven," spare your oaths, Unclench your fist, and wipe your clothes. But why on me those curses thrown? Goody, the fault was all your own; For, had you laid this brittle ware On Dun, the old sure-footed mare, Though all the Ravens of the hundred With croaking had your tongue out-thundered, Sure-footed Dun had kept her legs,

And you, good woman, sav'd your eggs."



"WHY are those tears? why droops your head? Is then your other husband dead?

Or does a worse disgrace betide?
Hath no one since his death apply'd ?"

"Alas! you know the cause too well;
The salt is spilt, to me it fell;
Then, to contribute to my loss,
My knife and fork were laid across;
On Friday too! the day I dread!
Would I were safe at home in bed!
Last night (I vow to Heaven 'tis true)
Bounce from the fire a coffin flew.
Next post some fatal news shall tell :
God send my Cornish friends be well!"
"Unhappy Widow, cease thy tears,
Nor feel affliction in thy fears;
Let not thy stomach be suspended;
Eat now, and weep when dinner's ended;
And, when the butler clears the table,
For thy desert I'll read my Fable."

Betwixt her swagging panniers' load
A Farmer's Wife to market rode,
And, jogging on, with thoughtful care,
Summ'd up the profits of her ware;

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]



In other men we faults can spy,
And blame the mote that dims their eye,
Each little speck and blemish find;
To our own stronger errours blind.

A Turkey, tir'd of common food,
Forsook the barn, and sought the wood;
Behind her ran an infant train,
Collecting here and there a grain.
"Draw near, my birds! the mother cries,
This hill delicious fare supplies;
Behold the busy negro race,

See millions blacken all the place!
Fear not; like me, with freedom eat;
An Ant is most delightful meat.
How bless'd, how envy'd, were our life,
Could we but 'scape the poulterer's knife;
But man, curs'd man, on Turkeys preys,
And Christmas shortens all our days.
Sometimes with oysters we combine,
Sometimes assist the savoury chine;
From the low peasant to the lord,
The Turkey smokes on every board,
Sure men for gluttony are curs'd,
Of the seven deadly sins the worst."

An Ant, who climb'd beyond his reach, Thus answer'd from the neighbouring beech: "Ere you remark another's sin,

Bid thy own conscience look within;

Control thy more voracious bill,

Nor for a breakfast nations kill."


MATTHEW GREEN, a truly original poet, was born, is further attested, that he was a man of grea

probity and sweetness of disposition, and that is conversation abounded with wit, but of the most is offensive kind. He seems to have been subject to

principal poem, "The Spleen." He passed his life in celibacy, and died in 1737, at the early age of forty-one, in lodgings in Gracechurch-street.

probably at London, in 1696. His parents were respectable Dissenters, who brought him up within the limits of the sect. His learning was confined to a little Latin; but, from the frequency of his clas-low-spirits, as a relief from which he composed his sical allusions, it may be concluded that what he read when young, he did not forget. The austerity in which he was educated had the effect of inspiring him with settled disgust; and he fled from the gloom of dissenting worship when he was no longer compelled to attend it. Thus set loose from the opinions of his youth, he speculated very freely on religious topics, and at length adopted the system of outward compliance with established forms and inward laxity of belief. He seems at one time to have been much inclined to the principles of Quakerism; but he found that its practice would not agree with one who lived "by pulling off the hat."

We find that he had obtained a place in the Custom house, the duties of which he is said to have discharged with great diligence and fidelity. It

The poems of Green, which were not made pub lic till after his death, consist of "The Spleen;" "The Grotto;"" Verses on Barclay's Apology;" "The Seeker," and some smaller pieces, all co prised in a small volume. In manner and subject they are some of the most original in our language. They rank among the easy and familiar, but are replete with uncommon thoughts, new and striking images, and those associations of remote ideas by some unexpected similitudes, in which wit pri cipally consists. Few poems will bear more r peated perusals; and, with those who can fully enter into them, they do not fail to become favourites.



THIS motley piece to you I send,
Who always were a faithful friend;
Who, if disputes should happen hence,
Can best explain the author's sense;
And, anxious for the public weal,
Do, what I sing, so often feel.

The want of method pray excuse,
Allowing for a vapour'd Muse:
Nor to a narrow path confin'd,
Hedge in by rules a roving mind.

The child is genuine, you may trace
Throughout the sire's transmitted face.
Nothing is stol'n: my Muse, though mean,
Draws from the spring she finds within;
Nor vainly buys what Gildon + sells,
Poetic buckets for dry wells.

"In this poem," Mr. Melmoth says, "there are more original thoughts thrown together than he had ever read in the same compass of lines." FITZOSBORNE'S Letters, p. 114.

↑ Gildon's Art of Poetry.

School-helps I want, to climb on high,
Where all the ancient treasures lie,
And there unseen commit a theft
On wealth in Greek exchequers left.
Then where? from whom? what can I stes!,
Who only with the moderns deal?
This were attempting to put on
Raiment from naked bodies wont:
They safely sing before a thief,
They cannot give who want relief;
Some few excepted, names well known,
And justly laurel'd with renown,
Whose stamp of genius marks their ware,
And theft detects of theft beware;
From More so lash'd, example fit,
Shun petty larceny in wit.

First know, my friend, I do not mean
To write a treatise on the spleen;

A painted vest Prince Vortiger had on,
Which from a naked Pict his grandsire won
HOWARD'S British Princes

See Dunciad, B.

James More Smith, esq. 1. 50. and the notes, where the circumstances d the transaction here alluded to are very explained.


« EelmineJätka »