Page images
PDF
EPUB

Not that their pleasures caus'd her discontent; She sigh'd not that they stay'd, but that she went.

She went to plain work, and to purling brooks, Old fashion'd halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks: She went from opera, park, assembly, play, To morning walks, and prayers three hours a day; To part her time 'twixt reading and bohea, To muse, and spill her solitary tea, Or o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon, Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon; Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire, Hum half a tune, tell stories to the squire ; Up to her godly garret after seven, There starve and pray, for that's the way to heaven.

Some squire, perhaps, you take delight to rack, Whose

game is whisk, whose treat a toast in sack; Who visits with a gun, presents you birds, Then gives a smacking buss, and cries—no words; Or with his hounds comes hallooing from the

stable, Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table ; Whose laughs are hearty, though his jests are

coarse, And loves you best of all things—but his horse.

In some fair evening, on your elbow laid, You dream of triumphs in the rural shade ; In pensive thought recall the fancied scene, See coronations rise on every green: Before you pass th' imaginary sights Of lords, and earls, and dukes, and garter'd knights,

While the spread fan o'ershades your closing eyes;
Then give one flirt, and all the vision flies.
Thus vanish sceptres, coronets, and balls,
And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls !

So when your slave, at some dear idle time,
(Not plagued with headachs or the want of rhyme)
Stands in the streets, abstracted from the crew,
And while he seems to study, thinks of you ;
Just when his fancy points your sprightly eyes,
Or sees the blush of soft Parthenia rise,
Gay pats my shoulder, and you vanish quite,
Streets, chairs, and coxcombs rush upon my sight;
Vext to be still in town, I knit my brow,
Look sour, and hum a tune, as you may now.

TO MR. JOHN MOORE,

AUTHOR OF THE CELEBRATED WORM-POWDER.

How much, egregious Moore! are we
Deceiv'd by shows and forms !
Whate'er we think, whate'er we see,
All humankind are worms.

Man is a very worm by birth,
Vile reptile, weak, and vain !
A while he crawls upon the earth,
Then shrinks to earth again.

That woman is a worm we find,
E'er since our grandam's evil ;
She first convers'd with her own kind,
That ancient worm, the devil.
The learn'd themselves we bookworms name,
The blockhead is a slowworm ;
The nymph whose tail is all on flame,
Is aptly term’d a glowworm.
The fops are painted butterflies,
That Autter for a day;
First from a worm they take their rise,
And in a worm decay.
The flatterer an earwig grows;
Thus worms suit all conditions ;
Misers are muckworms; silkworms, beaux ;
And deathwatches, physicians.
That statesmen have the worm,
By all their winding play;
Their conscience is a worm within,
That gnaws them night and day.
Ah, Moore; thy skill were well employ'd,
And greater gain would rise,
If thou couldst make the courtier void
The worm that never dies !
Oh learned friend of Abchurch-lane,
Who sett'st our entrails free;
Vain is thy art, thy powder vain,
Since worms shall eat e'en thee.

is seen

Our fate thou only canst adjourn
Some few short years, no more!
E'en Button's wits to worms shall turn,
Who maggots were before.

EPISTLE TO MRS. MARTHA BLOUNT,

ON HER BIRTHDAY.

Ou be thou bless'd with all that heaven can send,
Long health, long youth, long pleasure,and a friend :
Not with those toys the female world admire,
Riches that vex, and vanities that tire.
With added years if life bring nothing new,
But like a sieve let every blessing through,
Some joy still lost, as each vain year runs o'er,
And all we gain some sad reflection more;
Is that a birthday? 'tis, alas ! too clear,
'Tis but the funeral of the former year.

Let joy or ease, let affluence or content,
And the gay conscience of a life well spent,
Calm every thought, inspirit every grace,
Glow in thy heart, and smile upon thy face.
Let day improve on day, and year on year,
Without a pain, a trouble, or a fear;
Till death, unfelt, that tender frame destroy,
In some soft dream, or ecstasy of joy,
Peaceful sleep out the sabbath of the tomb,
And wake to raptures in a life to come.

TO MR. THOMAS SOUTHERNE,

ON HIS BIRTHDAY, 1742.

Resign'd to live, prepar'd to die,

With not one sin but poetry,
: This day Tom's fair account has run

(Without a blot) to eighty-one.
Kind Boyle, 1 before his poet, lays
A table with a cloth of bays;
And Ireland, mother of sweet singers,
Presents her harp still to his fingers.
The feast, his towering genius marks
In yonder wildgoose and the larks !
The mushrooms show his wit was sudden!
And for his judgment, lo, a pudden !
Roast beef, though old, proclaims him stout,
And grace, although a bard, devout.
May Tom, whom Heaven sent down to raise
The price of prologues and of plays,
Be every birthday more a winner,
Digest his thirty-thousandth dinner;
Walk to his grave without reproach,
And scorn a rascal in a coach.

1 Southerne was invited to dine on his birthday with Lord Orrery, who had prepared the entertainment, of which the bill of fare is here set down.

The Harp generally woven on Irish linen, such as tablecloths, &c.

• The usual price given to Dryden for a prologue was four

3

« EelmineJätka »