« EelmineJätka »
Tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus ut tencat so? Juv.
Tho'grief and fondness in my breast rebel,
When injur'd Thales bids the town farewel,
Yet still my calmer thoughts his choice commend,
I praise the hermit, but regret the friend,
Who now resolves, from vice and LONDON far, 5
To breathe in distant fields a purer air,
And, fix'd on Cambria's lolitary thore,
Give to St. David one true Briton more.
For who wou'd leave, unbrib'd, Hibernia's land,
Or change the rocks of Scotland for the Strand ? 10
There none are swept hy sudden fate away,
But all whom hunger sparcs, with age dec.y:
Here malice, rapine, accident conspire,
And now a rabble rages, now a fire;
Their ambush here relentless ruffians lay, 15
And here the fell attorney prowls for prey ;
Here falling houses thunder on your head,
And here a female atheist talks
dead. While THALES waits the wherry that contains Of dissipated wealth the small remains, On Thames's banks, in filent thought we stood, Where Greenwich (miles upon the silver food : Struck with the seat that gave
* Eliza birth, We kneel, and kiss the consecrated earth; In pleasing dreams the blissful age renew, And call Britannia’s glories back to view; Behold her cross triumphant on the main, The guard of commerce, and the dread of Spain. Ere masquerades debauch’d, excise oppress’d, Or English honour grew a standing jest. 39
A transient calm the happy scenes bestow, And for a moment luil the sense of woe. At length awaking, with contemptuous frown, Indignant Thales eyes the neighb'ring town.
Since worth, he cries, in these degen’rate days 35 Wants ev’n the cheap reward of empty praise ; In those curs’d walls, devote to vice and gain, Since unrewarded science toils in vain; Since hope but fooths to double my distress, And ev'ry moment leaves my little less ;
Queen Elizabeth born at Greenwich.
While yet my steady steps no staff sustains,
And life ftill vig'rous revels in my veins ;
Grant me, kind heaven, to find some happier place,
Where honesty and sense are no disgrace;
Some pleasing bank where verdant ofiers play, 45
Some peaceful vale with nature's painting gay ;
Where once the harrass’d Briton found repose,
And safe in poverty defy'd his foes;
Some secret cell, ye pow'rs, indulgent give.
Let live here, for has learn'd to live. 50
Here let those reign, whom pensions can incite
To vote a patriot black, a courtier white ;
Explain their country's dear-bought rights away,
And plead for pirates in the face of day;
With flavish tenets taint our poison'd youth, 55
And lend a lye the confidenee of truth.
Let such raise palaces, and manors buy,
Collect a tax, or farm a lottery,
With warbling eunuchs fill a licens'd stage,
And lull to servitude a thoughtless age. 60
Heroes, proceed! what bounds your pride shall
What check restrain your thirst of pow'r and gold ?
Behold rebellious virtue quite o’erthrown,
Behold our fame, our wealth, our lives your own.
To fuch, a groaning nation's spoils are giv'n, 65
When publick crimes inflame the wrath of heav’n :
But what, my friend, what hope remains for me,
Who start at theft, and blush at perjury?
Who scarce forbear, tho’Britain's court he fing.
To pluck a titled poet's borrow'd wing ;
A ftatesman's logick unconvinc'd can hear,
And dare to Number o'er the Gazetteer ;
Despise a fool in half his pension dress'd,
And strive in vain to laugh at H-Y's jest.
Others with sofrer smiles, and subtler art, 75
Can fap the principles, or taint the heart;
With more address a lover's note convey,
Or bribe a virgin's innocence away.
Well may they rise, while I, whose rustick tongue
Ne'er knew to puzzle right, or varnish wrong, 80
Spurn’d as a beggar, dreaded as a fpy,
Live unregarded, unlamented die.
For what but social guilt the friend endears ? Who Mares Orgilio's crimes, his fortune shares. But thou, should tempting villainy present, 85 All Marlb'rough hoarded, or all Villiers spent, Turn from the glitt'ring bribe thy scornful eye, Nor sell for gold, what gold could never buy, The peaceful Number, self-approving-day, Unsullied fame, and conscience ever gay, go
The chcated nation's happy fav’rites, fee! Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me! LONDON ! the needy villain's gen’ral home, The common shore of Paris, and of Rome; With eager thirst, by folly or by fate,
95 Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state.
Forgive my transports on a theme like this,
I cannot bear a French metropolis.
Illutrious EDWARO! from the realms of day,
The land of heroes and of saints survey ;
Nor hope the British lineaments to trace,
The rustick grandeur, or the surly grace,
Bat lot in thoughtless eafe, and empty show,
Behold the warrior dwindled to a beau ;
Since, freedom, piety, refio'd away,
105 Of France the mimick, and of Spain the prey.
All that at home no more can beg or steal,
Or like a gibbet better than a wheel ;
Hils'd from the stage, or hooted from the court,
Their air, their dress, their politicks import; 110
Obsequious, artful, voluble and gay,
On Britain's fond credulity they play.
No gainful trade their industry can ’scape,
They fing, they dance, clean shoes, and cure a clap;
All sciences a fafting Monsieur knows, 115
And bid him go to hell, to hell he goes.
Ah! what avails it, that, from slav'ry far,
I drew the breath of life in English air;
Was early taught a Briton's right to prize,
And lisp the tales of HENRY's victories ;
If the gulld conqueror receives the chain,
And flattcry subdues when arms are vain !
Studious to plea'e, and ready to submit,
The supple Gaul was born a parasite :