« EelmineJätka »
Then let the fisherman his art repeat,
Where bubbling eddies favor the deceit.
If an enormous salmon chance to spy
The wanton errors of the floating fly,
He lifts his silver gills above the flood,
And greedily sucks in th' unfaithful food;
Then downward plunges with the fraudful prey,
And bears with joy the little spoil away:
Soon in smart pain he feels the dire mistake,
Lashes the wave, and beats the foamy lake;
With sudden rage he now aloft appears,
And in his eye convulsive anguish bears;
And now again, impatient of the wound,
He rolls and wreathes his shining body round;
Then headlong shoots beneath the dashing tide,
The trembling fins the boiling wave divide.
Now hope exalts the fisher's beating heart,
Now he turns pale, and fears his dubious art;
He views the tumbling fish with longing eyes,
While the line stretches with th' unwieldy prize;
Each motion humors with his steady hands,
And one slight hair the mighty bulk commands;
Till, tir'd at last, despoil'd of all his strength,
The game athwart the stream unfolds his length.
He now, with pleasure, views the gasping prize
Gnash his sharp teeth, and roll his blood-shot eyes;
Then draws him to the shore, with artful care,
And lifts his nostrils in the sickening air:
Upon the burthen'd stream he floating lies,
Stretches his quivering fins, and gasping dies.
Would you preserve a numerous finny race;
Let your fierce dogs the ravenous otter chase
(Th' amphibious monster ranges all the shores,
Darts through the waves, and every haunt explores):
Or let the gin his roving steps betray,
And save from hostile jaws the scaly prey.
I never wander where the bordering reeds
O'erlook the muddy stream, whose tangling weeds
Perplex the fisher; I nor choose to bear
The thievish nightly net, nor barbed spear;
Nor drain I ponds, the golden carp to take,
Nor troll for pikes, dispeoplers of the lake;
Around the steel no tortur'd worm shall twine,
No blood of living insects stain my line.
Let me, less cruel, cast the feather'd hook
With pliant rod athwart the pebbled brook,
Silent along the mazy margin stray,
And with the fur-wrought fly delude the prey.
Now, sporting Muse, draw in the flowing reins, Leave the clear streams awhile for sunny plains. Should you the various arms and toils rehearse, And all the fisherman adorn thy verse; Should you the wide encircling net display, And in its spacious arch enclose the sea; Then haul the plunging load upon the land, And with the sole and turbot hide the sand; It would extend the growing theme too long, And tire the reader with the watery song.
Let the keen hunter from the chase refrain, Nor render all the plowman's labor vain, When Ceres pours out plenty from her horn, And clothes the fields with golden ears of corn. Now, now, ye reapers, to your task repair, Haste! save the product of the bounteous year: To the wide-gathering hook long furrows yield, And rising sheaves extend through all the field.
Yet, if for sylvan sports thy bosom glow, Let thy fleet greyhound urge his flying foe. With what delight the rapid course I view! How does my eye the circling race pursue! He snaps deceitful air with empty jaws; The subtle hare darts swift beneath his paws; She flies, he stretches, now with nimble bound Eager he presses on, but overshoots his ground; She turns, he winds, and soon regains the way, Then tears with gory mouth the screaming prey. What various sport does rural life afford! What unbought dainties heap the wholesome board! Nor less the spaniel, skilful to betray, Rewards the fowler with the feather'd prey. Soon as the laboring horse, with swelling veins, Hath safely hous'd the farmer's doubtful gains, To sweet repast th' unwary partridge flies, With joy amid the scatter'd harvest lies; Wandering in plenty, danger he forgets, Nor dreads the slavery of entangling nets. The subtle dog scours with sagacious nose Along the field, and snuffs each breeze that blows; Against the wind he takes his prudent way, While the strong gale directs him to the prey; Now the warm scent assures the covey near, He treads with caution, and he points with fear; Then (lest some sentry-fowl the fraud descry, And bid his fellows from the danger fly) Close to the ground in expectation lies, Till in the snare the fluttering covey rise. Soon as the blushing light begins to spread, And glancing Phoebus gilds the mountain's head. His early flight th' ill-fated partridge takes, And quits the friendly shelter of the brakes; Or, when the Sun casts a declining ray, And drives his chariot down the western way, Let your obsequious ranger search around, Where yellow stubble withers on the ground; Nor will the roving spy direct in vain, But numerous coveys gratify thy pain. When the meridian Sun contracts the shade, And frisking heifers seek the cooling glade; Or when the country floats with sudden rains, Or driving mists deface the moisten'd plains; In vain his toils th' unskilful fowler tries, While in thick woods the feeding partridge lies.
Nor must the sporting verse the gun forbear, But what's the fowler's be the Muse's care. See how the well-taught pointer leads the way The scent grows warm; he stops: he springs the
The fluttering coveys from the stubble rise,
And on swift wing divide the sounding skies;
The scattering lead pursues the certain sight,
And death in thunder overtakes their flight.
Cool breathes the morning air, and Winter's hand
Spreads wide her hoary mantle o'er the land;
Now to the copse thy lesser spaniel take.
Teach him to range the ditch, and force the brake,
Not closest coverts can protect the game:
Hark! the dog opens; take thy certain aim.
The woodcock flutters; how he wavering flies!
The wood resounds: he wheels, he drops, he dies.
The towering hawk let future poets sing,
Who terror bears upon his soaring wing:
Let them on high the frighted hern survey,
And lofty numbers point their airy fray.
Nor shall the mounting lark the Muse detain,
That greets the morning with his early strain;
When, 'midst his song, the twinkling glass betrays, No midnight masquerade her beauty wears,
While from each angle flash the glancing rays,
And in the Sun the transient colors blaze,
Pride lures the little warbler from the skies:
The light-enamour'd bird deluded dies.
But still the chase, a pleasing task, remains;
The hound must open in these rural strains.
Soon as Aurora drives away the night,
And edges eastern clouds with rosy light,
The healthy huntsman, with the cheerful horn,
Summons the dogs, and greets the dappled morn;
The jocund thunder wakes th' enliven'd hounds,
They rouse from sleep, and answer sounds for
Wide through the furzy field their route they take,
Their bleeding bosoms force the thorny brake:
The flying game their smoking nostrils trace,
No bounding hedge obstructs their eager pace;
The distant mountains echo from afar,
And hanging woods resound the flying war:
The tuneful noise the sprightly courser hears,
Paws the green turf, and pricks his trembling ears;
The slacken'd rein now gives him all his speed,
Back flies the rapid ground beneath the steed;
Hills, dales, and forests, far behind remain,
While the warm scent draws on the deep-mouth'd
Where shall the trembling hare a shelter find?
Hark! death advances in each gust of wind!
Now stratagems and doubling wiles she tries,
Now circling turns, and now at large she flies;
Till, spent at last, she pants, and heaves for breath,
Then lays her down, and waits devouring death.
But stay, adventurous Muse! hast thou the force
To wind the twisted horn, to guide the horse?
To keep thy seat unmov'd, hast thou the skill,
O'er the high gate, and down the headlong hill?
Canst thou the stag's laborious chase direct,
Or the strong fox through all his arts detect?
The theme demands a more experienc'd lay:
Ye mighty hunters! spare this weak essay.
O happy plains, remote from war's alarms,
And all the ravages of hostile arms!
And happy shepherds, who, secure from fear,
On open downs preserve your fleecy care!
Whose spacious barns groan with increasing store,
And whirling flails disjoint the cracking floor!
No barbarous soldier, bent on cruel spoil,
Spreads desolation o'er your fertile soil;
No trampling steed lays waste the ripen'd grain,
Nor crackling fires devour the promis'd gain;
No flaming beacons cast their blaze afar,
The dreadful signal of invasive war;
No trumpet's clangour wounds the mother's ear,
And calls the lover from his swooning fair.
What happiness the rural maid attends,
In cheerful labor while each day she spends!
She gratefully receives what Heaven has sent,
And, rich in poverty, enjoys content.
(Such happiness, and such unblemish'd fame,
Ne'er glad the bosom of the courtly dame):
She never feels the spleen's imagin'd pains,
Nor melancholy stagnates in her veins;
She never loses life in thoughtless ease,
Nor on the velvet couch invites disease;
Her home-spun dress in simple neatness lies,
And for no glaring equipage she sighs:
Her reputation, which is all her boast,
In a malicious visit ne'er was lost;
And health, not paint, the fading bloom repairs.
If love's soft passion in her bosom reign,
An equal passion warms her happy swain;
No homebred jars her quiet state control,
Nor watchful jealousy torments her soul;
With secret joy she sees her little race
Hang on her breast, and her small cottage grace;
The fleecy ball their busy fingers cull,
Or from the spindle draw the lengthening wool:
Thus flow her hours with constant peace of mind
Till age the latest thread of life unwind.
Ye happy fields, unknown to noise and strife,
The kind rewarders of industrious life;
Ye shady woods, where once I us'd to rove,
Alike indulgent to the Muse and Love;
Ye murmuring streams that in meanders roll,
The sweet composers of the pensive soul!
Farewell!-The city calls me from your bowers:
Farewell, amusing thoughts, and peaceful hours!
Of the Implements for Walking the Streets, and Signs of the Weather.
THROUGH Winter streets to steer your course aright,
How to walk clean by day, and safe by night;
How jostling crowds with prudence to decline,
When to assert the wall, and when resign,
I sing: thou, Trivia, goddess, aid my song,
Through spacious streets conduct thy bard along;
By thee transported, I securely stray
Where winding alleys lead the doubtful way,
The silent court and opening square explore,
And long perplexing lanes untrod before.
To pave thy realm, and sinooth the broken ways,
Earth from her womb a flinty tribute pays;
For thee the sturdy pavior thumps the ground,
Whilst every stroke his laboring lungs resound;
For thee the scavenger bids kennels glide
Within their bounds, and heaps of dirt subside.
My youthful bosom burns with thirst of fame,
From the great theme to build a glorious name,
To tread in paths to ancient bards unknown,
And bind my temples with a civic crown:
But more my country's love demands my lays;
My country's be the profit, mine the praise!
When the black youth at chosen stands rejoice,
And "clean your shoes" resounds from every voice
When late their miry sides stage-coaches show,
And their stiff horses through the town move slow,
When all the Mall in leafy ruin lies,
And damsels first renew their oyster-cries:
Then let the prudent walker shoes provide,
Not of the Spanish or Morocco hide;
The wooden heel may raise the dancer's bound,
And with the scallop'd top his step be crown d
Let firm, well-hammer'd soles protect thy feet,
Thro' freezing snows, and rains, and soaking sleet.
Should the big last extend the shoe too wide,
Each stone will wrench th' unwary step aside;
The sudden turn may stretch the swelling vein,
Thy cracking joint unhinge, or ancle sprain;
And, when too short the modish shoes are worn,
You'll judge the seasons by your shooting corn.
Nor should it prove thy less important care,
To choose a proper coat for winter's wear.
Now in thy trunk thy D'Oily habit fold,
The silken drugget ill can fence the cold;
The frieze's spongy nap is soak'd with rain,
And showers soon drench the camlet's cockled grain;
True Witney broad-cloth, with its shag unshorn,
Unpierc'd is in the lasting tempest worn:
Be this the horseman's fence, for who would wear
Amid the town the spoils of Russia's bear?
Within the roquelaure's clasp thy hands are pent,
Hands, that, stretch'd forth, invading harms prevent.
Let the loop'd bavaroy the fop embrace,
Or his deep cloak bespatter'd o'er with lace.
That garment best the winter's rage defends,
Whose ample form without one plait depends;
By various namest in various counties known,
Yet held in all the true surtout alone;
Be thine of kersey firm, though small the cost,
The brave unwet the rain, unchill'd the frost.
If the strong cane support thy walking hand,
Chairmen no longer shall the wall command;
Ev'n sturdy carmen shall thy nod obey,
And rattling coaches stop to make thee way:
This shall direct thy cautious tread aright,
Though not one glaring lamp enliven night.
Let beaux their canes, with amber tipt, produce;
Be theirs for empty show, but thine for use.
In gilded chariots while they loll at ease,
And lazily insure a life's disease;
While softer chairs the tawdry load convey
To court, to White's, assemblies, or the play;
Rosy-complexion'd Health thy steps attends,
And exercise thy lasting youth defends.
Imprudent men Heaven's choicest gifts profane:
Thus some beneath their arm support the cane;
The dirty point oft checks the careless pace,
And miry spots the clean cravat disgrace.
Oh! may I never such misfortune meet!
May no such vicious walkers crowd the street!
May Providence o'ershade me with her wings,
While the bold Muse experienc'd danger sings!
Not that I wander from my native home,
And (tempting perils) foreign cities roam.
Let Paris be the theme of Gallia's Muse,
O happy streets! to rumbling wheels unknown,
No carts, no coaches, shake the floating town!
Thus was of old Britannia's city bless'd,
Ere pride and luxury her sons possess'd;
Coaches and chariots yet unfashion'd lay,
Nor late-invented chairs perplex'd the way:
Then the proud lady tripp'd along the town,
And tuck'd-up petticoats secur'd her gown;
Her rosy cheek with distant visits glow'd,
And exercise unartful charms bestow'd:
But since in braided gold her foot is bound,
And a long training mantua sweeps the ground,
Her shoe disdains the street; the lazy fair,
With narrow step, affects a limping air.
Now gaudy pride corrupts the lavish age,
And the streets flame with glaring equipage;
The tricking gamester insolently rides,
With Loves and Graces on his chariot sides;
In saucy state the griping broker sits,
And laughs at honesty and trudging wits.
For you, O honest men! these useful lays
The Muse prepares; I seck no other praise.
When sleep is first disturb'd by morning cries,
From sure prognostics learn to know the skies,
Lest you of rheums and coughs at night complain
Surpris'd in dreary fogs, or driving rain.
When suffocating mists obscure the morn,
Let thy worst wig, long us'd to storms, be worn;
This knows the powder'd footman, and with care
Beneath his flapping hat secures his hair.
Be thou for every season justly drest,
Nor brave the piercing frost with open breast;
And, when the bursting clouds a deluge pour,
Let thy surtout defend the drenching shower.
The changing weather certain signs reveal.
Ere Winter sheds her snow, or frosts congeal,
You'll see the coals in brighter flame aspire,
And sulphur tinge with blue the rising fire;
Your tender shins the scorching heat decline,
And at the dearth of coals the poor repine;
Before her kitchen hearth, the nodding dame,
In flannel mantle wrapt, enjoys the flame;
Hovering, upon her feeble knees she bends,
And all around the grateful warmth ascends.
Nor do less certain signs the town advise
Of milder weather and serener skies.
The ladies, gaily dress'd, the Mall adorn
With various dyes, and paint the sunny morn :
The wanton fawns with frisking pleasure range,
And chirping sparrows greet the welcome change,
Not that their minds with greater skill are fraught,
Endued by instinct, or by reason taught:
The seasons operate on every breast;
Where slavery treads the streets in wooden shoes. "Tis hence the fawns are brisk, and ladies drest.
Nor do I rove in Belgia's frozen clime,
And teach the clumsy boor to skate in rhyme;
Where, if the warmer clouds in rain descend,
No miry ways industrious steps offend;
The rushing flood from sloping pavements pours,
And blackens the canals with dirty showers.
Let others Naples' smoother streets rehearse,
And with proud Roman structures grace their verse,
Where frequent murders wake the night with groans,
And blood in purple torrents dyes the stones.
Nor shall the Muse through narrow Venice stray,
Where gondolas their painted oars display.
* A town in Oxfordshire.
† A Joseph, wrap rascal, &c.
A chocolate-house in St. James's street.
When on his box the nodding coachman snores,
And dreams of fancied fares; when tavern doors
The chairmen idly crowd; then ne'er refuse
To trust thy busy steps in thinner shoes.
But when the swinging signs your ears offend
With creaking noise, then rainy floods impend;
Soon shall the kennels swell with rapid streams,
And rush in'muddy torrents to the Thames.
The bookseller, whose shop's an open square,
Foresees the tempest, and with early care,
Of learning strips the rails; the rowing crew,
To tempt a fare, clothe all their tilts in blue;
* Haud equidem credo, quia sit divinitus illis,
Ingenium, aut rerum fato prudentia major.
VIRG. Georg. L
On hosiers' poles depending stockings tied,
Flag with the slacken'd gale from side to side;
Church-monuments foretell the changing air,
Then Niobe dissolves into a tear,
And sweats with sacred grief; you'll hear the
Of whistling winds, ere kennels break their bounds;
Ungrateful odors common shores diffuse,
And dropping vaults distil unwholesome dews,
Ere the tiles rattle with the smoking shower,
And spouts on heedless men their torrents pour.
All superstition from thy breast repel :
Let credulous boys and prattling nurses tell,
How, if the festival of Paul be clear,
Plenty from liberal horn shall strew the year;
When the dark skies dissolve in snow or rain,
The laboring hind shall yoke the steer in vain;
But, if the threatening winds in tempests roar,
Then War shall bathe her wasteful sword in gore.
How, if on Swithin's feast the welkin lours,
And every penthouse streams with hasty showers,
Twice twenty days shall clouds their fleeces drain,
And wash the pavements with incessant rain.
Let not such vulgar tales debase thy mind;
Nor Paul nor Swithin rule the clouds and wind.
If you the precepts of the Muse despise,
And slight the faithful warning of the skies,
Others you'll see, when all the town's afloat,
Wrapt in th' embraces of a kersey coat,
Or double-bottom'd frieze; their guarded feet
Defy the muddy dangers of the street;
While you, with hat unloop'd, the fury dread
Of spouts high streaming, and with cautious tread
Shun every dashing pool, or idly stop,
To seek the kind protection of a shop.
But business summons; now with hasty scud
You jostle for the wall; the spatter'd mud
Hides all thy hose behind; in vain you scour,
Thy wig, alas! uncurl'd, admits the shower.
So fierce Alecto's snaky tresses fell,
When Orpheus charm'd the rigorous powers of Hell;
Or thus hung Glaucus' beard, with briny dew
Clotted and straight, when first his amorous view
Surpris'd the bathing fair; the frighted maid
Now stands a rock, transform'd by Circe's aid.
Good housewives all the winter's rage despise,
Defended by the riding-hood's disguise;
Or, underneath th' umbrella's oily shed,
Safe through the wet on clinking pattens tread.
Let Persian dames th' umbrella's ribs display,
To guard their beauties from the sunny ray;
Or sweating slaves support the shady load,
When eastern monarchs show their state abroad:
Britain in winter only knows its aid,
To guard from chilly showers the walking maid.
But, O! forget not, Muse, the patten's praise,
That female implement shall grace thy lays;
Say from what art divine th' invention came,
And from its origin deduce its name.
Where Lincoln wide extends her fenny soil,
A goodly yeoman liv'd, grown white with toil;
One only daughter bless'd his nuptial bed,
Who from her infant hand the poultry fed:
Martha (her careful mother's name) she bore,
But now her careful mother was no more.
Whilst on her father's knee the damsel play'd,
Patty he fondly call'd the smiling maid;
As years increas'd, her ruddy beauty grew,
And Patty's fame o'er all the village flew.
Soon as the grey-ey'd morning streaks the skies,
And in the doubtful day the woodcock flies,
Her cleanly pail the pretty housewife bears,
And singing to the distant field repairs;
And, when the plains with evening dews are spread,
The milky burthen smokes upon her head,
Deep through a miry lane she pick'd her way,
Above her ancle rose the chalky clay.
Vulcan by chance the bloomy maiden spies,
With innocence and beauty in her eyes:
He saw, he lov'd; for yet he ne'er had known
Sweet innocence and beauty meet in one.
Ah, Mulciber! recall thy nuptial vows,
Think on the graces of thy Paphian spouse;
Think how her eyes dart inexhausted charms,
And canst thou leave her bed for Patty's arms?
The Lemnian power forsakes the realms above,
His bosom glowing with terrestrial love:
Far in the lane a lonely hut he found;
No tenant ventur'd on th' unwholesome ground.
Here smokes his forge, he bares his sinewy arm,
And early strokes the sounding anvil warm:
Around his shop the steely sparkles flew,
As for the steed he shap'd the bending shoe.
When blue-ey'd Patty near his window came,
His anvil rests, his forge forgets to flame.
To hear his soothing tales, she feigns delays;
What woman can resist the force of praise?
At first she coyly every kiss withstood, And all her cheek was flush'd with modest blood, With headless nails he now surrounds her shoes, To save her steps from rains and piercing dews. She lik'd his soothing tales, his presents wore, And granted kisses, but would grant no more. Yet Winter chill'd her feet, with cold she pines, And on her cheek the fading rose declines; No more her humid eyes their lustre boast, And in hoarse sounds her melting voice is lost.
Thus Vulcan saw, and in his heavenly thought
A new machine mechanic fancy wrought,
Above the mire her shelter'd steps to raise,
And bear her safely through the wintery ways.
Straight the new engine on his anvil glows,
And the pale virgin on the patten rose.
No more her lungs are shook with dropping rheums,
And on her cheek reviving beauty blooms.
The god obtain'd his suit: though flattery fail,
Presents with female virtue must prevail.
The patten now supports each frugal dame,
Which from the blue-ey'd Patty takes the name.
THUS far the Muse has trac'd, in useful lays, The proper implements for wintery ways; Has taught the walker, with judicious eyes To read the various warnings of the skies: Now venture, Muse, from home to range the town, And for the public safety risk thy own.
For ease and for dispatch, the morning's best; No tides of passengers the streets molest. You'll see a draggled damsel here and there, From Billingsgate her fishy traffic bear; On doors the sallow milk-maid chalks her gains; Ah! how unlike the milk-maid of the plains! Before proud gates attending asses bray, Or arrogate with solemn pace the way; These grave physicians with their milky cheer The love-sick maid and dwindling beau repair;
But still the wandering passes forc'd his stay,
Till Ariadne's clue unwinds the way.
But do not thou, like that bold chief, confide
Thy venturous footsteps to a female guide:
She'll lead thee with delusive smiles along,
Dive in thy fob, and drop thee in the throng.
When waggish boys the stunted besom ply,
To rid the slabby pavement, pass not by
Ere thou hast held their hands; some heedless flirt
Will overspread thy calves with spattering dirt.
Where porters' hogsheads roll from carts aslope,
Or brewers down steep cellars stretch the rope,
Where counted billets are by carmen tost,
Stay thy rash step, and walk without the post.
What though the gathering mire thy feet be-
Here rows of drummers stand in martial file,
And with their vellum thunder shake the pile,
To greet the new-made bride. Are sounds like these
The proper prelude to a state of peace?
Now Industry awakes her busy sons;
Full-charg'd with news the breathless hawker runs:
Shops open, coaches roll, carts shake the ground,
And all the streets with passing cries resound.
If cloth'd in black you tread the busy town,
Or if distinguish'd by the reverend gown,
Three trades avoid: oft in the mingling press
The barber's apron soils the sable dress;
Shun the perfumer's touch with cautious eye,
Nor let the baker's step advance too nigh.
Ye walkers too, that youthful colors wear,
Three sullying trades avoid with equal care:
The little chimney-sweeper skulks along,
And marks with sooty stains the heedless throng;
When small-coal murmurs in the hoarser throat,
From smutty dangers guard thy threaten'd coat;
The dustman's cart offends thy clothes and eyes,
When through the street a cloud of ashes flies;
But, whether black or lighter dyes are worn,
The chandler's basket, on his shoulder borne,
With tallow spots thy coat; resign the way,
To shun the surly butcher's greasy tray,
The voice of Industry is always near.
Hark! the boy calls thee to his destin'd stand,
And the shoe shines beneath his oily hand.
Here let the Muse, fatigued amid the throng,
Adorn her precepts with digressive song;
Of shirtless youths the secret rise to trace.
And show the parent of the sable race.
Like mortal man, great Jove (grown fond of change)
Of old was wont this nether world to range,
Butchers, whose hands are dyed with blood's foul To seek amours; the vice the monarch lov'd,
And always foremost in the hangman's train.
Let due civilities be strictly paid:
The wall surrender to the hooded maid;
Nor let thy sturdy elbow's hasty rage
Jostle the feeble steps of trembling age:
And when the porter bends beneath his load,
And pants for breath, clear thou the crowded road.
But, above all, the groping blind direct;
And from the pressing throng the lame protect.
You'll sometimes meet a fop, of nicest tread,
Whose mantling peruke veils his empty head;
At every step he dreads the wall to lose,
And risks, to save a coach, his red-heel'd shoes;
Him, like the miller, pass with caution by,
Lest from his shoulder clouds of powder fly.
But, when the bully, with assuming pace,
Cocks his broad hat, edg'd round with tarnish'd
Yield not the way, defy his strutting pride,
And thrust him to the muddy kennel's side;
He never turns again, nor dares oppose,
But mutters coward curses as he goes.
If drawn by business to a street unknown,
Let the sworn porter point thee through the town;
Be sure observe the signs, for signs remain,
Like faithful landmarks, to the walking train.
Seek not from prentices to learn the way,
Those fabling boys will turn thy steps astray;
Ask the grave tradesman to direct thee right,
He ne'er deceives-but when he profits by 't.
Where fam'd St. Giles's ancient limits spread,
An enrail'd column rears its lofty head;
Here to seven streets seven dials count the day,
And from each other catch the circling ray.
Here oft the peasant, with inquiring face,
Bewilder'd, trudges on from place to place;
He dwells on every sign with stupid gaze,
Enters the narrow alley's doubtful maze,
Tries every winding court and street in vain,
And doubles o'er his weary steps again.
Thus hardly Theseus with intrepid feet
Travers'd the dangerous labyrinth of Crete;
Soon through the wide ethereal court improv'd:
And ev'n the proudest goddess, now and then,
Would lodge a night among the sons of men;
To vulgar deities descends the fashion,
Each, like her betters, had her earthly passion.
Then Cloacina* (goddess of the tide,
Whose sable streams beneath the city glide,)
Indulg'd the modish flame; the town she rov'd,
A mortal scavenger she saw, she lov'd;
The muddy spots that dried upon his face,
Like female patches, heighten'd every grace:
She gaz'd; she sigh'd; (for love can beauties spy
In what seem faults to every common eye.)
Now had the watchman walk'd his second round
When Cloacina hears the rumbling sound
Of her brown lover's cart (for well she knows
That pleasing thunder): swift the goddess rose,
And through the streets pursu'd the distant noise,
Her bosom panting with expected joys.
With the night-wandering harlot's airs she past,
Brush'd near his side, and wanton glances cast;
In the black form of cinder-wench she came,
When love, the hour, the place, had banish'd shame,
To the dark alley arm in arm they move:
O may no link-boy interrupt their love!
When the pale Moon had nine times fill'd her
The pregnant goddess (cautious of disgrace)
Descends to Earth; but sought no midwife's aid,
Nor 'midst her anguish to Lucina pray'd ;
No cheerful gossip wish'd the mother joy,
Alone, beneath a bulk, she dropt the boy. [prov'd,
The child, through various risks in years im-
At first, a beggar's brat, compassion mov'd;
His infant tongue soon learnt the canting art.
Knew all the prayers and whines to touch the
*Cloacina was a goddess, whose image Tatius (a king of the Sabines) found in the common sewer; and, not knowing what goddess it was, he called it Cloacina, from the place in which it was found, and paid to it diving honors.-Lactant. 1. 20, Mique, Fel. Oct. p. 232.