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But, being old, continued just
As threadbare, and as full of dust.
His talk was now of tithes and dues :
He smoked his pipe and read the news ;
Knew how to preach old sermons next,
Vamp'd in the preface and the text :
At christenings well could act his part,
And had the service all by heart ;
Wisb’d women might have children fast,
And thought whose sow had farrow'd last;
Against dissenters would repine,
And stood up firm for right divine ;
Found his head fill'd with many a system :
But classic authors,- he ne'er miss'd 'em.
Thus having furnish'd up a parson,
Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on.
Instead of homespun coifs, were seen
Good pinners edged with colberteen ;
Her petticoat, transform'd apace,
Became black satin flounced with lace.
Plain Goody would no longer down;
'Twas Madam in her grogram gown.
Philemon was in great surprise,
And hardly could believe his eyes,
Amazed to see her look so prim,
And she admired as much at him.
Thus happy in their change of life
Were several years this man and wife;
When on a day, which proved their last,
Discoursing o'er old stories past,
They went by chance, amidst their talk,
To the churchyard to take a walk;
When Baucis hastily cried out,
My dear, I see your forehead sprout!”
Sprout !” quoth the man ; “what's this you tell
J hope you don't believe me jealous !
[us ? But yet, methinks, I feel it true; And really your's is budding too-Nay,-now I cannot stir my foot; It feels as if 'twere taking root."
Description would but tire my Muse;
In short they both were turn’d to yews.
Old Goodman Dobson of the green
Remembers, he the trees hath seen;
He'll talk of them from noon till night,
with folks to show the sight:
On Sundays, after evening prayer,
He gathers all the parish there ;
Points out the place of either yew ;
Here Baucis, there Philemon grew :
Till once a parson of our town,
To mend his barn, cut Baucis down:
At which 'tis hard to be believed
How much the other tree was grieved,
Grew scrubbed, died a-top, was stunted;
So the next parson stubbed and burnt it.
2. RAIN IN THE CITY.
Careful observers may foretell the hour
(By sure prognostics) when to dread a shower.
While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er
Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more ;
Returning home at night, you'll find the sink
Strike your offended sense with double stink.
If you be wise, then go not far to dine;
You'll spend in coach-hire more than save in wine.
A coming shower your shooting corns presage,
Old aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage.
Sauntering in coffee-house is Dulman seen ;
He damps the climate, and complains of spleen.
Meanwhile the south, rising with dabbled wings, A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings, That swill’d more liquor than it could contain, And, like a drunkard, gives it up again. Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope, When the first drizzling shower is borne aslope : Such is that sprinkling which some careless quean Flirts on you from her mop, but not so clean : You fly, invoke the gods; then turning, stop To rail: she singing, still whirls on her mop.
Not yet the dust had shunn'd th' unequal strife,
But, aided by the wind, fought still for life :
And, waited with its foe by violent gust,
'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was dust.
Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid,
When dust and rain his coat at once invade?
Sole coat! where dust cemented by the rain
Erects the nap, and leaves a cloudy stain!
Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down
Threatening with deluge this devoted town.
To shops in crowds the draggled females ily,
Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy,
The Templar spruce, while every spout's abroach,
Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a coach.
The tuck'd-up sempstress walks with hasty strides,
While streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides.
Here various kinds, by various fortunes led,
Commence acquaintance underneath
Triumphant Tories and desponding Whigs
Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs.
Box'd in a chair the beau impatient sits,
While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits,
And ever and anon with frightful din
The leather sounds, he trembles from within.
So when Troy chairmen bore the wooden steed,
Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed,
(Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do,
Instead of paying chairmen, ran them through)
Laocoon struck the outside with his spear,
And each imprison'd hero quaked with fear.
Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow,
And bear their trophies with them as they go:
Filths of all hues and odours seem to tell
What street they sail'd from, by their sight and smell.
They, as each torrent drives, with rapid force,
From Smithfield or S't 'Pulchre's, shape their course,
And in huge confluence join'd at Snow-hill ridge,
Fall from the Conduit prone to Holborn bridge.
Sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, and blood,
Drown'd puppies, stinking sprats all drench'd in mud, Dead cats,and turnip-tops,come tumbling down the flood C. GEORGE GRANVILLE LORD LANSDOWN,
1. THE CAPTIVE CANNIBAL.
The captive cannibal, weigh'd down with chains,
Yet braves his foes, reviles, provokes, disdains ;
Of nature fierce, untameable, and proud,
He grins defiance at the gaping crowd,
And spent at last and speechless as he lies,
With looks still threatening, mocks their rage and dies
Good unexpected, evil unforeseen,
Appear by turns, as fortune shifts the scene :
Some rais'd aloft come tumbling down amain,
And fall so hard, they bound and rise again.
Why, lovely charmer, tell me why
kind and yet so shy :
Why does the cold forbidding air
Give damps of sorrow and despair ?
Or why that smile my soul subdue,
And kindle up my flames anew ?
In vain you strive with all your
By turns to freeze and fire
When I behold a face so fair,
So sweet a look so soft an air,
My ravished soul is charmed all o'er,
I cannot love thee less nor inore.
CII. WILLIAM CONGREVE.
Music has charms to soothe the savage breast,
To soften rocks and bend a knotted oak :
I've read that things inanimate have moved,
And, as with living souls, have been inform'd
By magic numbers and persuasive sound.
Defer not till tomorrow to be wise :
Tomorrow's sun to thee may never rise;
Or should tomorrow chance to cheer thy sight
With her enlivening and unlook'd for light,
How grateful will appear her dawning rays!
Its favours unexpected doubly please.
CIII. SAMUEL GARTH.
1. THE GOD OF SLOTH.
This place so fit for undisturbed repose
The god of sloth for his asylum chose.
Upon a couch of down in these abodes,
Supine with folded arms he thoughtless nods:
Indulging dreams his godhead lull to ease,
With murmurs of soft rills and whispering trees.
The poppy and each numbing plant dispense
Their drowsy virtue and dull indolence.
A careless deity.
No passions interrupt his easy reign,
No problems puzzle his lethargic brain :
But dull oblivion guards his peaceful bed ;
And lazy fogs bedew his gracious head.
Thus at full length the pamper’d monarch lay,
Batt’ning in ease, and slumbering life away
2. THE ASTROLOGER.
An inner room receives the num’rous shoals
Ofsuch as pay to be reputed fools :
Globes stand on globes, volumes on volumes lie,
And planetary schemes amuse the eye.
in velvet chair here lolls at ease,
To promise future health for present fees,
Then, as from tripod, solemn shams reveals,
And what the stars know nothing of, fortells
One asks how soon Panthea may be
won, And longs to feel the marriage fetters on.