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Now murmuring soft, now roaring in cascades,
Even as he bids. The enraptured owner smiles. 780
'Tis finish'd 27 ! And yet finish'd as it seems,
Still wants a grace, the loveliest it could show,
A mine to satisfy the enormous cost.
Drain'd to the last poor item of his wealth,
He sighs, departs, and leaves the accomplish'd plan 785
That he has touch’d, retouch'd, many a long day
Labour'd, and many a night pursued in dreams,
Just when it meets his hopes, and proves the heaven
He wanted, for a wealthier to enjoy 28.
And now perhaps the glorious hour is come, 790
When having no stake left, no pledge to endear
Her interests, or that gives her sacred cause
A moment's operation on his love,
He burns with most intense and flagrant zeal
To serve his country. Ministerial grace
Deals him out money from the public chest;
Or if that mine be shut, some private purse
Supplies his need with an usurious loan,
To be refunded duly, when his vote 29,
Well-managed, shall have earn'd its worthy price. 800
27 The pile is finish’d; every toil is past,
And full perfection is arrived at last ;
When lo! my Lord to some small corner runs,
And leaves state rooms to strangers and to duns. 28 The man who builds, and wants therewith to pay, Provides a home from which to run away.
Young. Satire i. 29 When men grow great from their revenue spent, And fly from bailiffs into parliament.
Young. Satire i.
Oh innocent compared with arts like these,
Crape and cock'd pistol and the whistling ball
Sent through the traveller's temples ! He that finds
One drop of heaven's sweet mercy in his cup,
Can dig, beg, rot, and perish well-content, 805
So he may wrap himself in honest rags
At his last gasp; but could not for a world
Fish up his dirty and dependent bread
From pools and ditches of the commonwealth,
Sordid and sickening at his own success.
Ambition, avarice, penury incurr'd
By endless riot, vanity, the lust
Of pleasure and variety, dispatch,
As duly as the swallows disappear,
The world of wandering knights and 'squires to town.
London ingulfs them all. The shark is there
And the shark's prey; the spendthrift and the leech
That sucks him : there the sycophant and he
That with bare-headed and obsequious bows
Begs a warm office, doom'd to a cold jail
And groat per diem if his patron frown.
The levee swarms, as if in golden pomp
Were character'd on every statesman's door,
6 BATTER'D AND BANKRUPT FORTUNES MENDED
HERE." These are the charms that sully and eclipse 825 The charms of nature. 'Tis the cruel gripe That lean hard-handed poverty inflicts, The hope of better things, the chance to win, The wish to shine, the thirst to be amused, That at the sound of Winter's hoary wing, Unpeople all our counties, of such herds
Of fluttering, loitering, cringing, begging, loose
And wanton vagrants, as make London, vast
And boundless as it is, a crowded coop.
Oh thou resort and mart of all the earth,
Checquer'd with all complexions of mankind,
And spotted with all crimes; in whom I see
Much that I love, and more that I admire,
And all that I abhor; thou freckled fair
That pleases and yet shocks me, I can laugh 8.10
And I can weep, can hope, and can despond,
Feel wrath and pity, when I think on thee!
Ten righteous would have saved a city once,
And thou hast many righteous.—Well for thee,-
That salt preserves thee; more corrupted else, 845
And therefore more obnoxious at this hour,
Than Sodom in her day had power to be,
For whom God heard his Abraham plead in vain.