Page images
PDF
EPUB

Fore-piece and buttons all-to-brest,
Forth thrust a white neck, and red crest.
Te-he, cry'd ladies; clerke not spake :
Miss star'd; and gray ducke cried quaake.
"O moder, moder, (quoth the daughter)
"Be thilke same thing maids longer a'ter?
"Bette is to pyne on coals and chalke,

“Then trust on mon, whose yerde can talke."

20

25

SPENSER.

THE ALLEY.

I.

IN ev'ry town, where Thamis rolls his tyde,
A narrow pass there is, with houses low;
Where ever and anon, the stream is ey'd,
And many a boat soft sliding to and fro.
There oft are heard the notes of infant woe,

5

The short thick sob, loud scream, and shriller squall : How can ye, mothers, vex your children so?

Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall, And as they crouchen low, for bread and butter call.

II.

ΙΟ

And on the broken pavement, here and there,
Doth many a stinking sprat and herring lie;
A brandy and tobacco shop is near,
And hens, and dogs, and hogs are feeding by;
And here a sailor's jacket hangs to dry.
At ev'ry door are sun-burnt matrons seen,
Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry;
Now singing shrill, and scolding eft between;
Scolds answer foul-mouth'd scolds; bad neighbour-

hood I ween.

15

The

III.

20

The snappish cur (the passengers annoy)
Close at my heel with yelping treble flies;
The whimp'ring girl, and hoarser-screaming boy,
Join to the yelping treble, shrilling cries;
The scolding quean to louder notes doth rise,
And her full pipes those shrilling cries confound;
To her full pipes the grunting hog replies;
The grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round,
And curs, girls, boys, and scolds, in the deep base
are drown'd.

25

IV.

Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch,

Dwelt Obloquy, who in her early days

Baskets of fish at Billingsgate did watch,

30

Cod, whiting, oyster, mackrel, sprat, or plaice :
There learn'd she speech from tongues that never cease.
Slander beside her, like a magpie, chatters,
With Envy (spitting cat), dread foe to peace;
Like a curs'd cur, Malice before her clatters,
And vexing ev'ry wight, tears clothes and all to tatters.

ས.

Her dugs were mark'd by ev'ry collier's hand,
Her mouth was black as bull-dogs at the stall:
She scratched, bit, and spar'd ne lace ne band,
And bitch and rogue her answer was to all;

35

40

Nay,

Nay, e'en the parts of shame by name would call:
Yea, when she passes by or lane or nook,
Would greet the man who turn'd him to the wall,
And by his hand obscene the porter took,

Nor ever did askance like modest virgin look.

VI.

Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town,
Woolwich and Wapping, smelling strong of pitch;
Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown,

And Twick'nam such, which fairer scenes enrich,
Grots, statues, urns, and Jo-n's dog and bitch,
Ne village is without, on either side,

All up the silver Thames, or all adown;

45

51

Ne Richmond's self, from whose tall front are ey'd Vales, spires, meand'ring streams, and Windsor's tow'ry pride.

WALLE R.

ON A LADY SINGING TO HER LUTE.

FAIR charmer, cease, nor make your voice's prize
A heart resign'd the conquest of your eyes:
Well might, alas! that threat'ned vessel fail,
Which winds and lightning both at once assail.
We were too blest with these inchanting lays,
Which must be heav'nly when an angel plays:
But killing charms your lover's death contrive,
Lest heav'nly music should be heard alive.
Orpheus could charm the trees; but thus a tree,
Taught by your hand, can charm no less than he :
A poet made the silent wood pursue,

This vocal wood had drawn the poet too.

5

II

« EelmineJätka »