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The lads and laffes trudge the street along,
And all the fair is crouded in his fong.

The mountebank now treads the stage, and fells
His pills, his balfams and his ague-spells ;
Now o'er and o'er the nimble tumbler springs,
And on the rope the vent'rous maiden swings;
Jack Pudding, in his party-colour'd jacket,
Toffes the glove, and jokes at every packet.
Of Raree-shows he fung, and Punch's feats,
Of pockets pick'd in crowds, and various cheats.
Then fad he fung, The Children in the Wood.
Ah barb'rous uncle, ftain'd with infant blood;
How blackberries they pluck'd in defarts wild,
And, fearless, at the glittering fauchion smil'd;
'Their little corps the robin-red-breasts found,
And ftrew'd, with pious bill, the leaves around,
Ah gentle birds! if this verse lasts so long,
Your names hall live for ever in my fong.

For buxom Joan he fung the doubtful strife,
How the fly failor made the maid a wife.
To louder ftrains he rais'd his voice, to tell
What woeful wars in Chevy-chace befel,
When "Piercy drove the deer with hound and horn,
Wars to be wept by children yet unborn!"
Ah With'rington, more years thy life had crown'd,
If thou hadft never heard the horn or hound!
Yet fhall the 'fquire who fought on bloody ftumps,
By future bards be wail'd in doleful dumps.
All in the land of Effex next he chaunts,

How to fleek mares ftarch Quakers turn gallants:


How the grave brother stood on bank so green.
Happy for him if mares had never been!

Then he was feiz'd with a religious qualm,
And, on a fudden, fung the hundredth pfalm.
He fung of Taffey Welch, and Sawney Scot,
Lilly-bullero, and the Irish Trot.

Why should I tell of Bateman or of Shore,
Or Wantley's dragon flain by valiant Moore,
The bower of Rosamond, or Robin Hood,

And how the grass now grows where Troy town flood?
His carrols ceas'd: the list'ning maids and swains
Seem still to hear fome foft imperfect strains.
Sudden he rofe; and, as he reels along,

Swears kiffes sweet should well reward his fong.
The damfels laughing fly: the giddy clown
Again upon a wheatsheaf drops adown ;

The pow'r that guards the drunk his fleep attends,
Till, ruddy, like his face, the fun defcends.



The feverity of this fatire, and the excellence of its versification, give it a diftinguished rank in this fpecies of compofition. At prefent, an ordinary reader would fcarce fuppofe that Shadwell, who is here meant by Mac Flecknoe, was worth being chaftifed, and that Dryden's defcending to fuch game was like an eagle's itooping to catch flies. The truth, however, is, Shadwell, at one time, held divided reputation with this great poet. Every age produces its fafhionable dunces, who, by following the tranfient topic, or humour, of the day, fupply talkative ignorance with materials for converfation.


LL human things are fubject to decay,

And, when Fate fummons, monarchs must obey. This Flecknoe found, who, like Auguftus, young Was call'd to empire, and had govern'd long; In profe and verfe was own'd, without difpute, Through all the realms of Nonfenfe, abfolute. This aged prince, now flourishing in peace, And blefs'd with iffue of a large increase; Worn out with business, did, at length debate To fettle the fucceffion of the ftate: And pond'ring which, of all his fons, was fit To reign, and wage immortal war with Wit,


Cry'd, 'Tis refolv'd; for Nature pleads, that he
Should only rule, who most resembles me.
Sh, alone, my perfect image bears,
Mature in dulnefs from his tender


Sh, alone, of all my fons, was he,
Who ftands confirm'd in full ftupidity.

The reft, to fome faint meaning make pretence;
But Sh- — never deviates into sense.

Some beams of wit on other fouls may fall,
Strike through, and make a lucid interval;
But Sh's genuine night admits no ray ;
His rifing fogs prevail upon the day.
Befides, his goodly fabric fills the eye,
And feems defign'd for thoughtless majesty :
Thoughtless as monarch oaks, that shade the plain,
And, fpread in folemn ftate, fupinely reign.
Heywood and Shirley were but types of thee,
Thou laft great prophet of Tautology.
Ev'n I, a dunce of more renown than they,
Was fent before but to prepare thy way ;
And, coarsely clad in Norwich drugget, came
To teach the nations in thy greater name.
My warbling lute, the lute I whilom ftrung,
When to king John of Portugal I fung,
Was but the prelude to that glorious day,
When thou on filver Thames didft cut thy way,
With well-tim'd oars, before the royal barge,
Swell'd with the pride of thy celestial charge;
And, big with hymn, commander of an hoft,
The like was ne'er in Epfom blankets toft.


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