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Thus as her faults each day were known,
He thinks her features coarser grown;
He fancies every vice she shows,
Or thins her lip, or points her nose :
Whenever rage or envy rise,
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes !
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phiz ;
And, though her fops are wondrous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.
Now, to perplex the ravelld noose,
As each a different way pursues,
While sullen or loquacious strife
Promised to hold them on for life,
That dire disease, whose ruthless power
Withers the beauty's transient flower,
Lo! the small-pox, with horrid glare
Levell’d its terror at the fair;
And, rifling every youthful grace,
Left but the remnant of a face.
The glass, grown hateful to her sight,
Reflected now a perfect fright;
Each former art she vainly tries,
To bring back lustre to her eyes.
In vain she tries her pastes and creams,
To smooth her skin, or hide its seams;
Her country beaux and city cousins,
Lovers no more, flew off by dozens ;
The squire himself was seen to yield,
And even the captain quit the field.
Poor madam, now condemn'd to hack
The rest of life with anxious Jack,
Perceiving others fairly flown,
Attempted pleasing him alone.
Jack soon was dazzled to behold
Her present face surpass the old ;
With modesty her cheeks are dyed,
Humility displaces pride;
For tawdry finery, is seen
A person ever neatly clean ;
No more presuming on her sway,
She learns good-nature every day :
Serenely gay, and strict in duty,
Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.
TO IRIS, IN BOW STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
1 Say, cruel Iris, pretty rake,
Dear mercenary beauty,
What annual off'ring shall I make,
Expressive of my duty ?
2 My heart, a victim to thine eyes,
Should I at once deliver,
Say, would the angry fair one prize
The gift, who slights the giver ?
3 A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy,
My rivals give—and let 'em :
gems or gold impart a joy,
I'll give them—when I get 'em. * This poem is translated from "Menagiana'-a collection of French verses.
4 I'll give—but not the full-blown rose,
Or rosebud more in fashion ;
Such short-lived offrings but disclose
A transitory passion.
5 I'll give thee something yet unpaid,
Not less sincere than civil :
I'll give thee—ah! too charming maid,
I'll give thee—to the devil.
(IN IMITATION OF DEAN SWIFT.)
LOGICIANS have but ill defined
As rational the human mind :
Reason, they say, belongs to man;
But let them prove it if they can.
Wise Aristotle and Smiglesius,
By ratiocinations specious,
Have strove to prove with great precision,
With definition and division,
Homo est ratione præditum ;
But for my soul I cannot credit 'em,
And must in spite of them maintain
That man and all his ways are vain ;
And that this boasted lord of nature
Is both a weak and erring creature ;
That instinct is a surer guide,
Than reason, boasting mortals' pride ;
And that brute beasts are far before 'em,
Deus est anima brutorum.
Who ever knew an honest brute
At law his neighbour prosecute,
Bring action for assault and battery,
Or friend beguile with lies and flattery?
O’er plains they ramble unconfined,
No politics disturb their mind;
They eat their meals, and take their sport,
Nor know who's in or out at court.
They never to the levee go,
To treat as dearest friend a foe;
They never importune his grace,
Nor ever cringe to men in place;
Nor undertake a dirty job,
Nor draw the quill to write for Bob.1
Fraught with invective they ne'er go
To folks at Paternoster Row;
No judges, fiddlers, dancing-masters,
No pickpockets, or poetasters,
Are known to honest quadrupeds ;
No single brute his fellow leads.
Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
Nor cut each other's throats for pay.
Of beasts, it is confess'd, the ape
Comes nearest us in human shape ;
Like man, he imitates each fashion,
And malice is his ruling passion;
But both in malice and grimaces,
A courtier any ape surpasses.
Behold him, humbly cringing, wait
Upon the minister of state :
1. Bub:' Sir R. Walpole.
View him soon after to inferiors
Aping the conduct of superiors :
He promises with equal air,
And to perform takes equal care.
He in his turn finds imitators;
At court, the porters, lacqueys, waiters,
Their masters' manners still contract,
And footmen, lords and dukes can act.
Thus at the court, both great and small
Behaye alike—for all ape all.
ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTH STRUCK BLIND
(IMITATED FROM THE SPANISH.)
SURE 'twas by Providence design'd,
Rather in pity than in hate,
That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
To save him from Narcissus' fate.
(IN THE MANNER OF SWIFT.)
Long had I sought in vain to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind ;
The modern scribbling kind, who write,
In Wit, and Sense, and Nature's spite :