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But hark! Distress, with screaming voice, draws
And wakes the slumbering street with cries of fire.
The fireman sweats beneath his crooked arms;
See, forceful engines spout their levell'd streams, To quench the blaze that runs along the beams; The grappling hook plucks rafters from the walls, And heaps on heaps the smoky ruin falls; Blown by strong winds, the fiery tempest roars, Bears down new walls, and pours along the floors; The Heavens are all a-blaze, the face of Night Is cover'd with a sanguine dreadful light. "Twas such a light involv'd thy towers, O Rome! The dire presage of mighty Caesar's doom, When the Sun veil'd in rust his mourning head, And frightful prodigies the skies o'erspread. Hark! the drum thunders! far, ye crowds, retire: Behold! the ready match is tipt with fire, The nitrous store is laid, the smutty train, With running blaze, awakes the barrel'd grain; Flames sudden wrap the walls; with sullen sound. The shatter'd pile sinks on the smoky ground. So, when the years shall have revolv'd the date, Th' inevitable hour of Naples' fate, Her sapp'd foundations shall with thunders shake, And heave and toss upon the sulphurous lake; Earth's womb at once the fiery flood shall rend; And in th' abyss her plunging towers descend.
Consider, reader, what fatigues I've known, The toils, the perils, of the wintery town; What riots seen, what bustling crowds I bore, How oft I cross'd where carts and coaches roar; Yet shall I bless my labors, if mankind 'Their future safety from my dangers find. Thus the bold traveller (inur'd to toil, Whose steps have printed Asia's desert soil, The barbarous Arabs' haunt; or shivering crost Dark Greenland's mountains of eternal frost; Whom Providence, in length of years, restores To the wish'd harbor of his native shores) Sets forth his journals to the public view, To caution, by his woes, the wandering crew.
And now complete my generous labors lie, Finish'd, and ripe for immortality. Death shall entomb in dust this mouldering frame, But never reach th' eternal part, my fame. When W- and G-, mighty names!* are dead; Or but at Chelsea under custards read; When critics crazy band boxes repair; And tragedies, turn'd rockets, bounce in air; High rais'd on Fleet-street posts, consign'd to Fame, This work shall shine, and walkers bless my name.
• Probably Ward and Gildon.-N.
SWEET WILLIAM'S FAREWELL TO BLACK-EYED SUSAN.
ALL in the Downs the fleet was moor'd,
"Oh! where shall I my true-love find Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true, If my sweet William sails among the crew."
William, who high upon the yard
Rock'd with the billow to and fro, Soon as her well-known voice he heard, The cord slides swiftly through his growing hands, He sigh'd, and cast his eyes below: And (quick as lightning) on the deck he stands.
So the sweet lark, high pois'd in air,
Shuts close his pinions to his breast,
"O Susan, Susan, lovely dear,
My vows shall ever true remain;
Change, as ye list, ye winds; 'my heart shall be
"Believe not what the landmen say
Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind.
Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
"If to fair India's coast we sail,
Thy eyes are seen in diamonds bright;
"Though battle call me from thy arms,
Let not my pretty Susan mourn; Though cannons roar, yet, safe from harms, William shall to his dear return. Love turns aside the balls that round me fly, Lest precious tears should drop from Susan's eye."
The boatswain gave the dreadful word,
The sails their swelling bosom spread; No longer must she stay aboard :
They kiss'd, she sigh'd, he hung his head. Her lessening boat unwilling rows to land: "Adieu!" she cries; and wav'd her lily hand.
FROM THE WHAT-D'YE-CALL-IT.
"Twas when the seas were roaring With hollow blasts of wind,
A damsel lay deploring,
All on a rock reclin'd.
Wide o'er the foaming billows
Her head was crown'd with willows,
"Twelve months are gone and over,
Why didst thou trust the seas?
"The merchant, robb'd of pleasure,
Sould you some coast be laid on,
But none that loves you so.
"How can they say that Nature
Has nothing made in vain?
Should hideous rocks remain ?
That lurk beneath the deep,
And leave the maid to weep."
All melancholy lying,
Thus wail'd she for her dear;
She bow'd her head, and died.
Rang'd cups, that in the window stood,
The Goat he welcomes with an air,
"I hope your custom, sir," says Pug.
The Goat, impatient for applause,
Increasing debts, perplexing duns,
Straight all his thought to gain he turns,
The court he quits, to fly from Care,
At length he thus the Ghost addrest:
A JUGGLER long through all the town Had rais'd his fortune and renown; You'd think (so far his art transcends) The devil at his fingers' ends.
Vice heard his fame, she read his bill; Convinc'd of his inferior skill, She sought his booth, and from the crowd Defied the man of art aloud.
"Is this then he so fam'd for sleight? Can this slow bungler cheat your sight? Dares he with me dispute the prize? I leave it to impartial eyes."
Provok'd, the Juggler cried, ""Tis done; In science I submit to none."
Thus said, the cups and balls he play'd;
Vice now stept forth, and took the place,
"This magic looking-glass," she cries, "(There, hand it round) will charm your eyes." Each eager eye the sight desir'd, And every man himself admir'd.
A box of charity she shows. "Blow here;" and a church-warden blows. "Tis vanish'd with conveyance neat, And on the table smokes a treat.
She shakes the dice, the board she knocks, And from all pockets fills her box.
She next a meagre rake addrest. "This picture see; her shape, her breast! What youth, and what inviting eyes! Hold her, and have her." With surprise, His hand expos'd a box of pills, And a loud laugh proclaim'd his ills. A counter, in a miser's hand, Grew twenty guineas at command. She bids his heir the sum retain, And 'tis a counter now again.
A guinea with her touch you see, Take every shape but Charity; And not one thing you saw, or drew, But chang'd from what was first in view. The Juggler now, in grief of heart, With this submission own'd her art.
"Can I such matchless sleight withstand? How practice hath improv'd your hand! But now and then I cheat the throng; You every day, and all day long."
THE HARE AND MANY FRIENDS. FRIENDSHIP, like love, is but a name, Unless to one you stint the flame. The child, whom many fathers share, Hath seldom known a father's care. "Tis thus in friendship; who depend On many, rarely find a friend.
A Hare who, in a civil way, Complied with every thing, like Gay, Was known by all the bestial train Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain; Her care was never to offend; And every creature was her friend.
As forth she went at early dawn, To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn, Behind she hears the hunter's cries, And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies. She starts, she stops, she pants for breath; She hears the near advance of death; She doubles, to mislead the hound, And measures back her mazy round; Till, fainting in the public way, Half-dead with fear she gasping lay.
What transport in her bosom grew, When first the Horse appear'd in view! "Let me," says she, "your back ascend, And owe my safety to a friend. You know my feet betray my flight: To friendship every burthen's light."
The Horse replied, "Poor honest Puss,
She next the stately Bull implor'd;
The Goat remark'd, her pulse was high, Her languid head, her heavy eye:
'My back," says he, "may do you harm; The Sheep's at hand, and wool is warm."
The Sheep was feeble, and complain'd, His sides a load of wool sustain'd; Said he was slow, confess'd his fears; For Hounds eat Sheep as well as Hares.
She now the trotting Calf address'd, To save from Death a friend distress'd. "Shall I," says he, " of tender age, In this important care engage? Older and abler pass'd you by; How strong are those! how weak am I! Should I presume to bear you hence, Those friends of mine may take offence. Excuse me, then; you know my heart; But dearest friends, alas! must part. How shall we all lament! Adieu; For, see, the Hounds are just in view."
"That queen," he said, "to whom we owe
At this, in tears was Cicely seen,
For me, when as I heard that Death
While thus we stood as in a stound, And wet with tears, like dew, the ground, Full soon by bonfire and by bell We learnt our liege was passing well. A skilful leach (so God him speed) They said, had wrought this blessed deed. This leach Arbuthnot was yclept, Who many a night not once had slept; But watch'd our gracious sovereign still; For who could rest when she was ill? Oh, may'st thou henceforth sweetly sleep! Shear, swains, oh! shear your softest sheep, To swell his couch; for, well I ween, He sav'd the realm, who sav'd the queen.
Quoth I, "Please God, I'll hie with glee To court, this Arbuthnot to see."
I sold my sheep, and lambkins too,
So forth I far'd to court with speed,
There saw I ladies all a-row,
There many a worthy wight I've seen, In ribbon blue and ribbon green : As Oxford, who a wand doth bear, Like Moses, in our Bibles fair; Who for our traffic forms designs, And gives to Britain Indian mines. Now, shepherds, clip your fleecy care; Ye maids, your spinning-wheels prepare ; Ye weavers, all your shuttles throw, And bid broad-cloths and serges grow; For trading free shall thrive again, Nor leasings lewd affright the swain.
There saw I St. John, sweet of mien Full stedfast both to church and queen; With whose fair name I'll deck my strain; St. John, right courteous to the swain. For thus he told me on a day, "Trim are thy sonnets, gentle Gay;
And, certes, mirth it were to see
Ver. 6. Rear, an expression, in several counties of Eng. land, for early in the morning.
Lo, yonder, Cloddipole, the blithesome swain,
That pricking corns foretold the gathering rain.
See this tobacco-pouch, that's lin'd with hair, Made of the skin of sleekest fallow-deer. This pouch, that's tied with tape of reddest hue, I'll wager, that the prize shall be my due.
Begin thy carols then, thou vaunting slouch! Be thine the oaken staff, or mine the pouch.
My Blouzelinda is the blithest lass, Than primrose sweeter, or the clover-grass. Fair is the king-cup that in meadow blows, Fair is the daisy that beside her grows; Fair is the gilliflower, of gardens sweet, Fair is the marigold, for pottage meet: But Blouzelind 's than gilliflower more fair, Than daisy, marigold, or king-cup rare.
Sweet is my toil when Blouzelind is near;
My brown Buxoma is the featest maid, That e'er at wake delightsome gambol play'd. 50 Clean as young lambkins or the goose's down, And like the goldfinch in her Sunday gown. The witless lamb may sport upon the plain, The frisking kid delight the gaping swain, The wanton calf may skip with many a bound, And my cur Tray play deftest feats around; But neither lamb, nor kid, nor calf, nor Tray, Dance like Buxoma on the first of May.
As with Buxoma once I work'd at hay, Ev'n noontide labor seem'd an holiday; And holidays, if haply she were gone, Like worky-days I wish'd would soon be done.
Ver. 7. To ween, derived from the Saxon, to think, or sometime ago, or formerly.
Ver. 25. Erst; a contraction of ere this: it signifies
Ver. 56. Deft, an old word, signifying brisk, or nimble.