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Or in the glass was pleas'd to find
Another cat, and peep'd behind.
A courteous neighbour at the door
Was deem'd intrusive noise no more.
For rural visits, now and then,
Are right, as men must live with men. -
Then cousin Jenny, fresh from town,
A new recruit, a dear delight!
Made many a heavy hour go down,
At morn, at noon, at eve, at night: Sure they could hear her jokes for ever, She was so sprightly, and so clever!
Yet neighbours were not quite the thing; What joy, alas ! could converse bring With awkward creatures bred at home The dog grew dull, or troublesome. The cat had spoild the kitten’s merit, And, with her youth, had lost her spirit. And jokes repeated o’er and o'er, Had quite exhausted Jenny's store.
" And then, my dear, I can't abide This always saunt'ring side by side.” “ Enough!” he cries, “ the reason's plain : For causes never rack your brain.. Our neighbours are like other folks, Skip's playful tricks, and Jenny's jokes, Are still delightful, still would please, Were we, my dear, ourselves at ease. Look round, with an impartial eye,, On yonder fields, on yonder sky;
The azure cope, the flow'rs below,
With all their wonted colours glow,
The rill still murmurs; and the moon
Shines, as she did, a softer sun.
No change has made the seasons fail,
No comet brush'd us with his tail.
The scene's the same, the same the weather-
We live, my dear, too much together.”
Agreed. A rich old uncle dies,
And added wealth the means supplies.
With eager haste to town they few,
Where all must please, for all was new.
But here, by strict poetic laws,
Description claims its proper pause.
· The rosy morn had rais'd her head
From old Tithonus' saffron bed;
And embryo sunbeams from the east,
Half chok’d, were struggling through the mist,
When forth advanc'd the gilded chaise,
The village crowded round to gaze.
The pert postillion, now promoted
From driving plough, and neatly booted,
His jacket, cap, and baldric on,
(As greater folks than he have done)
Look'd round; and, with a coxcomb air,
Smack'd loud his lash. The happy pair
Bow'd graceful, from a sep’rate door,
And Jenny, from the stool before.
Roll swift, ye wheels! to willing eyes New objects ev'ry moment rise.
Each carriage passing on the road,
From the broad waggon's pond'rous load
To the light car, where mounted high
The giddy driver seems to fly,
Were themes for harmless satire fit,
And gave fresh force to Jenny's wit.
Whate'er occurr'd, 'twas all delightful,
No noise was harsh, no danger frightful.
The dash and splash through thick and thin,
The hair-breadth 'scapes, the bustling inn,
(Where well-bred landlords were so ready
To welcome in the 'squire and lady.)
Dirt, dust, and sun, they bore with ease,
Determin'd to be pleas'd, and please.
Now nearer town and all agog
They know dear London by its fog.
Bridges they cross, through lanes they wind,
Leave Hounslow's dang’rous heath behind,
Through Brentford win a passage free
By roaring, “ Wilkes and Liberty!"
At Knightsbridge bless the short’ning way,
(Where Bays's troops in ambush lay)
O’er Piccadilly's pavement glide,
(With palaces to grace its side).
Till Bond-street with its lamps a-blaze
Concludes the journey of three days.
Why should we paint, in tedious song, How ev'ry day, and all day long, They drove at first with curious haste Through Lud's vast town; or, as they pass'd
Midst risings, fallings, and repairs
Of streets on streets, and squares on squares,
Describe how strong their wonder grew
At buildings and at builders too?
Scarce less astonishment arose
At architects more fair than those
Who built as high, as widely spread
Th' enormous loads that cloth'd their head.
For British dames new follies love, ,
And, if they can't invent, improve.
Some with erect pagodas vie,
Some nod, like Pisa's tow'r, awry,
Medusa's snakes, with Pallas' crest,
Convolv’d, contorted, and compress'd ;
With intermingling trees, and flow?rs,
And corn, and grass, and shepherds' bow'rs,
Stage above stage the turrets run,
Like pendent groves of Babylon,
Till nodding from the topmost wall
Otranto's plumes envelope all!
Whilst the black ewes, who own'd the hair,
Feed harmless on, in pastures fair,
Unconscious that their tails perfume,
In scented curls, the drawing-room.
When Night her murky pinions spread, And sober folks retire to bed, To ev'ry public place they flew, Where Jenny told them who was who. Money was always at command, And tripp'd with pleasure hand in hand.
Money was equipage, was show,
Gallini's, Almack's, and Soho ;
The passe par tout through ev'ry vein
Of dissipation's hydra reign.
O London, thou prolific source,
Parent of vice, and folly's nurse!
Fruitful as Nile thy copious springs
Spawn hourly births,—and all with stings:
But happiest far the he, or she,
I know not which, that livelier dunce
Who first contriv'd the coterie,
To crush domestic bliss at once.
Then grinn’d, no doubt, amidst the dames,
As Nero fiddled to the flames.
Of thee, Pantheon, let me speak
With rev'rence, though in numbers weak;
Thy beauties satire's frown beguile,
We spare the follies for the pile.
Flounc'd, furbelow'd, and trick'd for show,
With lamps above, and lamps below,
Thy charms even modern taste defied,
They could not spoil thee, though they tried.
Ah, pity that Time's hasty wings Must sweep thee off with vulgar things! Let architects of humbler name On frail materials build their fame, Their noblest works the world might want, Wyatt should build in adamant.
But what are these to scenes which lie Secreted from the vulgar eye,