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How the grave brother stood on bank so greenHappy for him if mares had never been!
Then he was seiz'd with a religious qualm, And on a sudden sung the hundredth psalm.
He sung 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, slain by valiant Moor, The Bower of Rosamond, or Robin Hood, And how the grass now grows where Troy town stood?
His carols ceas'd: the listening maids and swains Seem still to hear some soft imperfect strains. Sudden he rose; and, as he reels along, Swears kisses sweet should well reward his song. The damsels laughing fly: the giddy clown Again upon a wheat-sheaf drops adown; The power that guards the drunk, his sleep attends, Till ruddy, like his face, the Sun descends.
THE FARMER'S WIFE AND THE RAVEN.
"WHY are those tears? why droops your head?
"Alas! you know the cause too well;
"Unhappy Widow, cease thy tears,
Betwixt her swagging panniers' load
When, starting from her silver dream, Thus far and wide was heard her scream.
"That Raven on yon left-hand oak (Curse on his ill-betiding croak!) Bodes me no good." No more she said, When poor blind Ball, with stumbling tread, Fell prone; o'erturn'd the pannier lay, And her mash'd eggs bestrow'd the way. She, sprawling in the yellow road, Rail'd, swore, and curs'd: "Thou croaking toad, A murrain take thy whoreson throat! I knew misfortune in the note."
"Dame," quoth the Raven, "spare your oaths Unclench your fist, and wipe your clothes. But why on me those curses thrown? Goody, the fault was all your own; For, had you laid this brittle ware On Dun, the old sure-footed mare, Though all the Ravens of the hundred With croaking had your tongue out-thunder'd Sure-footed Dun had kept her legs, And you, good woman, sav'd your eggs."
THE TURKEY AND THE ANT.
In other men we faults can spy,
A Turkey, tir'd of common food,
"Draw near, my birds! the mother cries, This hill delicious fare supplies; Behold the busy negro race, See millions blacken all the place! Fear not; like me, with freedom eat; An Ant is most delightful meat. How bless'd, how envied, were our life, Could we but 'scape the poulterer's knife; But man, curs'd man, on Turkeys preys, And Christmas shortens all our days. Sometimes with oysters we combine, Sometimes assist the savory chine; From the low peasant to the lord, The Turkey smokes on every board. Sure men for gluttony are curs'd, Of the seven deadly sins the worst."
An Ant, who climb'd beyond his reach, Thus answer'd from the neighboring beech: "Ere you remark another's sin, Bid thy own conscience look within; Control thy more voracious bill, Nor for a breakfast nations kill."
MATTHEW GREEN, a truly original poet, was born, is further attested, that he was a man of great probably at London, in 1696. His parents were re- probity and sweetness of disposition, and that his spectable Dissenters, who brought him up within conversation abounded with wit, but of the most inthe limits of the sect. His learning was confined to offensive kind. He seems to have been subject to a little Latin; but, from the frequency of his clas- low-spirits, as a relief from which he composed his sical allusions, it may be concluded that what he principal poem, "The Spleen." He passed his read when young, he did not forget. The austerity life in celibacy, and died in 1737, at the early age in which he was educated had the effect of inspiring of forty-one, in lodgings in Gracechurch-street. him with settled disgust; and he fled from the The poems of Green, which were not made pubgloom of dissenting worship when he was no longer lic till after his death, consist of "The Spleen;" compelled to attend it. Thus set loose from the "The Grotto;" "Verses on Barclay's Apology;" opinions of his youth, he speculated very freely "The Seeker," and some smaller pieces, all comon religious topics, and at length adopted the sys-prised in a small volume. In manner and subject tem of outward compliance with established forms, they are some of the most original in our language. and inward laxity of belief. He seems at one They rank among the easy and familiar, but are time to have been much inclined to the principles replete with uncommon thoughts, new and striking of Quakerism; but he found that its practice would images, and those associations of remote ideas by not agree with one who lived "by pulling off the some unexpected similitudes, in which wit prinhat." We find that he had obtained a place in the cipally consists. Few poems will bear more reCustom-house, the duties of which he is said to have peated perusals; and, with those who can fully enter discharged with great diligence and fidelity. It into them, they do not fail to become favorites.
AN EPISTLE TO MR. CUTHBERT JACKSON.
THIS motley piece to you I send,
The want of method pray excuse,
The child is genuine, you may trace
+ Gildon's Art of Poetry.
"In this poem," Mr. Melmoth says, "there are more original thoughts thrown together than he had ever read in the same compass of lines."
School-helps I want, to climb on high,
First know, my friend, I do not mean
† A painted vest Prince Vortiger had on,
§ James More Smith, Esq. See Dunciad, B. ii. 1. 50. and FITZOSBORNE'S Letters, p. 114. the notes, where the circumstances of the transaction here alluded to are very fully explained.
Nor to prescribe when nerves convulse;
The day-mare, Spleen, by whose false pleas
When by its magic-lantern Spleen With frightful figures spreads life's scene, And threat'ning prospects urg'd my fears, A stranger to the luck of heirs;
Reason, some quiet to restore,
In life's rough tide I sunk not down,
I always choose the plainest food
To thee I fly, by thee dilute-
I never sick by drinking grow,
Hunting I reckon very good,
To brace the nerves, and stir the blood:
To cure the mind's wrong bias, Spleen, Some recommend the bowling-green; Some, hilly walks; all, exercise; Fling but a stone, the giant dies; Laugh and be well. Monkeys have been Extreme good doctors for the Spleen, And kitten, if the humor hit, Has harlequin'd away the fit.
Since mirth is good in this behalf, At some partic'lars let us laugh. Witlings, brisk fools, curst with half sense, That stimulates their impotence; Who buzz in rhyme, and, like blind flies, Err with their wings for want of eyes. Poor authors worshipping a calf, Deep tragedies that make us laugh,
A strict dissenter saying grace,
A coquet's April-weather face,
A Queenb'rough mayor behind his mace,
If spleen-fogs rise at close of day,
Life's moving pictures, well-wrought plays,
To others' grief attention raise :
In rainy days keep double guard,
I dress my face with studious looks,
And on the drowning world remark:
Or with the merry fellows quaff,
And laugh aloud with them that laugh;
Or drink a joco-serious cup
With souls who've took their freedom up,
Who thought it Heav'n to be serene; Pain, Hell, and Purgatory, Spleen.
Sometimes I dress, with women sit, And chat away the gloomy fit; Quit the stiff garb of serious sense, And wear a gay impertinence, Nor think nor speak with any pains, But lay on Fancy's neck the reins; Talk of unusual swell of waist In maid of honor loosely lac'd, And beauty borr'wing Spanish red, And loving pair with sep'rate bed, And jewels pawn'd for loss of game, And then redeem'd by loss of fame; Of Kitty (aunt left in the lurch By grave pretence to go to church) Perceiv'd in hack with lover fine, Like Will and Mary on the coin: And thus in modish manner we, In aid of sugar, sweeten tea.
Permit, ye fair, your idol form, Which e'en the coldest heart can warm, May with its beauties grace my line, While I bow down before its shrine, And your throng'd altars with my lays Perfume, and get by giving praise. With speech so sweet, so sweet a mien You excommunicate the Spleen, Which, fiend-like, flies the magic ring You form with sound, when pleas'd to sing; Whate'er you say, howe'er you move, We look, we listen, and approve. Your touch, which gives to feeling bliss, Our nerves officious throng to kiss; By Celia's pat, on their report, The grave-air'd soul, inclin'd to sport, Renounces wisdom's sullen pomp, And loves the floral game, to romp. But who can view the pointed rays, That from black eyes scintillant blaze? Love on his throne of glory seems Encompass'd with satellite beams. But when blue eyes, more softly bright, Diffuse benignly humid light, We gaze, and see the smiling loves, And Cytherea's gentle doves, And raptur'd fix in such a face Love's mercy-seat, and throne of grace. Shine but on age, you melt its snow; Again fires long-extinguish'd glow, And, charm'd by witchery of eyes, Blood long congealed liquefies! True miracle, and fairly done By heads which are ador'd while on. But oh, what pity 'tis to find Such beauties both of form and mind, By modern breeding much debas'd, In half the female world at least! Hence I with care such lott'ries shun, Where, a prize miss'd, I'm quite undone; And han't, by vent'ring on a wife, Yet run the greatest risk in life.
Mothers, and guardian aunts, forbear Your impious pains to form the fair,
Nor lay out so much cost and art,
By quick'ning heat of custom bred.
And charge them not to break the fence.
I never am at meeting seen,
Law, licens'd breaking of the peace,
And wand'rers tire, and tear their skin,
I never game, and rarely bet,
This view, profusely when inclin'd,
Passion, as frequently is seen,
On half-pint drinkers for a friend,
I rail not with mock-patriot grace
Reforming schemes are none of mine; To mend the world's a vast design: Like theirs, who tug in little boat, To pull to them the ship afloat, While to defeat their labor'd end, At once both wind and stream contend: Success herein is seldom seen, And zeal, when baffled, turns to Spleen
Happy the man, who innocent, Grieves not at ills he can't prevent; His skiff does with the current glide, Not puffing pull'd against the tide. He, paddling by the scuffling crowd, Sees unconcern'd life's wager row'd, And when he can't prevent foul play, Enjoys the folly of the fray.
By these reflections I repeal Each hasty promise made in zeal. When Gospel propagators say, We're bound our great light to display, And Indian darkness drive away, Yet none but drunken watchmen send, And scoundrel link-boys for that end; When they cry up this holy war, Which every Christian should be for; Yet such as owe the law their ears, We find employ'd as engineers:
This view my forward zeal so shocks,
Yet philosophic love of ease
I suffer not to prove disease,
Since disappointment galls within, And subjugates the soul to Spleen, Most schemes, as money-snares, I hate, And bite not at projectors' bait, Sufficient wrecks appear each day, And yet fresh fools are cast away. Ere well the bubbled can turn round, Their painted vessel runs aground; Or in deep seas it oversets By a fierce hurricane of debts; Or helm directors in one trip, Freight first embezzled, sink the ship. Such was of late a corporation,* The brazen serpent of the nation, Which, when hard accidents distress'd, The poor must look at to be blest, And thence expect, with paper seal'd By fraud and us'ry, to be heal'd.
I in no soul-consumption wait Whole years at levees of the great,
The Charitable Corporation, instituted for the relief of the industrious poor, by assisting them with small sums upon pledges at legal interest. By the villany of those who had the management of this scheme, the proprietors were defrauded of very considerable sums of money. In 1732 the conduct of the directors of this body became the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, and some of them, who were members of the house of commons, were expelled for their concern in this iniquitous transaction.