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IMITATIONS OF ENGLISH POETS. Done by the Author in his Youth.
WOMEN ben full of ragerie,
Yet swinken nat sans secresie.
Thilka moral shall ye understond,
From schoole-boy's tale of fayre Irelond:
Which to the fennes hath him betake,
To filch the gray ducke fro the lake.
Right then, there passen by the way
His aunt, and eke her daughters tway,
Ducke in his trowsers hath he hent,
Not to be spied of ladies gent.
'But ho! our nephew,' crieth one,
'Ho!' quoth another, 'cozen John;'
And stoppen, and lough, and callen out,-
This silly clerke full low doth lout:
They asken that, and talken this,
'Lo! here is coz, and here is miss.'
But as he glozeth with speeches soote,
The ducke sore tickleth his erse roote;
Fore-piece and buttons all to-brest,
Forth thrust a white neck, and red crest.
'Te-he,' cried ladies; clerke nought spake;
Miss stared, and gray ducke cryeth, 'Quaake.'
'O moder, moder,' quoth the daughter,
'Be thilke same thing maids longen a'ter?
Bette is to pine on coals and chalke,
Then trust on mon, whose yerde can talke.'
Is every town where Thamis rolls his tyde,
A narrow pass there is with houses low;
Where, ever and anon, the stream is eyed,
And many a boat, soft sliding to and fro.
There oft are heard the notes of infant woe,
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
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 every 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.
he snappish cur (the passenger's annoy) Close at my heel with yelping treble flies;
The whimpering 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
Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch,
Dwelt Obloquy, who in her early days
Baskets of fish at Billingsgate did watch,
Cod, whiting, oyster, mackrel, sprat, or plaice;
There learn'd she speech from tongues that never
Slander beside her, like a magpie, chatters,
With Envy (spitting cat,) dread foe to peace;
Like a cursed cur, Malice before her clatters,
And, vexing every wight, tears clothes and all
Her dugs were mark'd by every collier's hand,
Her mouth was black as bull dog's at the stall;
She scratch'd, bit, and spared ne lace ne band,
And bitch and rogue her answer was to all;
Nay, e'en the parts of shame by name would call;
Yea, when she passed 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.
Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town,
Woolwich and Wapping, smelling strong of pitch:
Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown;
And Twickenham 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:
Ne Richmond's self, from whose tall front are eyed Vales, spires, meandering streams, and Windsor's towery pride.
OF 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 threaten'd vessel fail,
Which winds and lightning both at once assail.
We were too bless'd with these exchanting lays,
Which must be heavenly when an angel plays;
But killing charms your lover's death contrive,
Lest heavenly 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.
ON A FAN OF THE AUTHOR'S DESIGN.
In which was painted the Story of Cephalus and
Procris, with the Molto, 'Aura veni.'
'COME, gentle air!' the Eolian shepherd said,
While Procris panted in the secret shade;
Come, gentle air,' the fairer Delia cries,
While at her feet her swain expiring lies.
Lo, the glad gales o'er all her beauties stray,
Breathe on her lips, and in her bosom play!
In Delia's hand this toy is fatal found,
Nor could that fatal dart more surely wound
Both gifts destructive to the givers prove;
Alike both lovers fall by those they love.
Yet guiltless too the bright destroyer lives,
At random wounds, nor knows the wound she gives
She views the story with attentive eyes,
And pities Procris, while her lover dies.
FAIN would my muse the flowery treasure sing,
And humble glories of the youthful spring:
Where opening roses breathing sweets diffuse,
And soft carnations shower their balmy dews
Where lilies smile in virgin robes of white,
The thin undress of superficial light,
And varied tulips show so dazzling gay,
Blushing in bright diversities of day.
Each painted floweret in the lake below
Surveys its beauties, whence its beauties grow;
And pale Narcissus, on the bank, in vain
Transformed, gazes on himself again,
Here aged trees cathedral walks compose,
And mount the hill in venerable rows;
There the green infants in their beds are laid.
The garden's hope, and its expected shade,
Here orange trees with blooms and pendants shiną
And vernal honours to their autumn join;
Exceed their promise in their ripen'd store,
Yet in the rising blossom promise more.
There in bright drops the crystal fountains play,
By laurels shielded from the piercing day;
Where Daphne, now a tree, as once a maid,
Still from Apollo vindicates her shade,
Still turns her beauties from the invading beam,
Nor seeks in vain for succour to the stream;
The stream at once preserves her virgin leaves,
At once a shelter from her boughs receives,
Where summer's beauty midst of winter stays,
And winter's coolness spite of summer's rays.
WHILE Celia's tears make sorrow bright,
Proud grief sits swelling in her eyes:
The sun, next those the fairest light,
Thus from the ocean first did rise;
And thus through mists we sce the sun,
Which else we durst not gaze upon.
Lese silver drops, like morning dew,
Foretell the fervour of the day:
So from one cloud soft showers we view
And blasting lightnings burst away.
The stars that fall from Celia's eye,
Declare our doom is drawing nigh.
The baby in that sunny sphere
So like a Phaeton appears,
That heaven, the threaten'd world to spare,
Thought fit to drown him in her tears:
Else might the ambitious nymph aspire
To set, like him. heaven too on fire.