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Or with the high-rais'd horn's melodious clang
All Kilwick and all Dinglederry * rang.
Sheep graz'd the field; some with soft bosom press'd
The herb as soft, while nibbling stray'd the rest;
Nor noise was heard but of the hasty brook,
Struggling, detain'd in many a pretty nook.
All seem'd so peaceful, that from them convey'd
To me their peace by kind contagion spread.
But when the huntsman, with distended cheek,
Gan make his instrument of music speak,
And from within the wood that crash was heard,
Though not a hound from whom it burst appear'd,
The sheep recumbent, and the sheep that graz'd,
All huddling into phalanx, stood and gaz'd,
Admiring terrified the novel strain,
Then cours'd the field around, and cours'd it round again;
But, recollecting with a sudden thought,
That flight in circles urg'd advanc'd them nought,
They gather'd close around the old pit's brink,
And thought again-but knew not what to think.
The man to solitude accustom'd long
Perceives in ev'ry thing that lives a tongue;
Not animals alone, but shrubs and trees,
Have speech for him, and understood with ease;
After long drought, when rains abundant fall,
He hears the herbs and flow'rs rejoicing all;
Knows what the freshness of their hue implies,
How glad they catch the largess of the skies;
But, with precision nicer still, the mind
He scans of ev'ry locomotive kind ;
Birds of all feather, beasts of ev'ry name,
That serve mankind or shun them, wild or tame;
The looks and gestures of their griefs and fears
Have, all, articulation in his ears :
He spells them true by intuition's light,
And needs no glossary to set him right.
This truth premis'd was needful as a text,
To win due credence to what follows next.
Awhile they mus'd; surveying ev'ry face,.
Thou hadst suppos'd them of superior race;
* Two woods belonging to John Throckmorton, Esq.
Their periwigs of wool, and fears combin'd,
Stamp'd on each countenance such marks of mind,
That sage they seem'd, as lawyers o'er a doubt,
Which, puzzling long, at last they puzzle out;
Or academic tutors teaching youths,
Sure ne'er to want them, mathematic truths;
When thus a mutton, statelier than the rest,
A ram, the ewes and wethers sad address'd.
"Friends! we have liv'd too long. I never heard
"Sounds such as these, so worthy to be fear'd.
"Could I believe, that winds for ages pent
"In earth's dark womb have found at last a vent,
"And from their prisonhouse below arise
"With all these hideous howlings to the skies,
"I could be much compos'd, nor should appear
"For such a cause to feel the slightest fear.
"Yourselves have seen, what time the thunder roll'd
"All night, me resting quiet in the fold.
"Or heard we that tremendous bray alone,
"I should expound the melancholy tone;
"Should deem it by our old companion made,
"The ass; for he, we know, has lately stray'd,
"And being lost, perhaps, and wand'ring wide,
Might be suppos'd to clamour for a guide.
"But ah! those dreadful yells what soul can hear,
"That owns a carcase, and not quake for fear?
"Demons produce them, doubtless; brazen-claw'd
"And fang'd with brass the demons are abroad;
"I hold it, therefore, wisest and most fit,
That, life to save, we leap into the pit." Him answer'd then his loving mate and true, But more discreet than he, a Cambrian ewe. "How! leap into the pit our life to save? "To save our life leap all into the grave? "For can we find it less? Contemplate first "The depth how awful! falling there, we burst; "Or should the brambles, interpos'd, our fall' "In part abate, that happiness were small; "For with a race like theirs no chance I see "Of peace or ease to creatures clad as we.
"Mean time, noise kills not. Be it dapple's bray, “Or be it not, or be it whose it may,
"And rush those other sounds, that seem by tongues "Of demons utter'd, from whatever lungs,
Sounds are but sounds, and till the cause appear,
"We have at least commodious standing here;
"Come fiend, come fury, giant, monster, blast
"From earth or hell, we can but plunge at last."
While thus she spake, I fainter heard the peals,
For reynard, close attended at his heels
By panting dog, tir'd man, and spatter'd horse,
Through mere good fortune took a diff'rent course :
The flock grew calm again, and I, the road
Foll'wing that led me to my own abode,
Much wonder'd that the silly sheep had found
Such cause of terrour in an empty sound,
So sweet to huntsman, gentleman, and hound.
Beware of desp'rate steps. The darkest day (Live till to morrow) will have pass'd away.
THE MODERN RAKE'S PROGRESS.
THE Young Tobias was his father's joy;
He train❜d him, as he thought, to deeds of praise,
He taught him virtue, and he taught him truth,
And sent him early to a public school.
Here as it seem'd (but he had none to blame)
Virtue forsook him, and habitual vice
Grew in her stead. He laugh'd at honesty,
Became a sceptic, and could raise a doubt
E'en of his father's truth. "Twas idly done
To tell him of another world, for wits
Knew better; and the only good on earth
Was pleasure; not to follow that was sin.
"Sure he that made us, made us to enjoy;
"And why," said he, " should my fond father prate "Of virtue and religion? They afford
"No joys, and would abridge the scanty few Nature be my deity,
"Her let me worship, as herself enjoins,
"At the full board of plenty." Thoughtless boy!
So to a libertine he grew, a wit,
A man of honour, boastful empty names
That dignify the villain. Seldom seen,
And when at home under a cautious mask
Concealing the lewd soul, his father thought
He grew in wisdom, as he grew in years.
He fondly deem'd he could perceive the growth
Of goodness and of learning shooting up,
Like the young offspring of the shelter'd hop,
Unusual progress in a summer's night.
He call'd him home, with great applause dismiss'd
By his glad tutors-gave him good advice-
Bless'd him, and bade him prosper. With warm heart
He drew his purse-strings, and the utmost doit
Pour'd in the youngster's palm. "Away," he cries,
"Go to the seat of learning, boy. Be good,
"Be wise, be frugal, for 'tis all I can.'
"I will," said Toby, as he bang'd the door,
And wink'd, and snapp'd his finger, "Sir, I will."
So joyful he to Alma Mater went
A sturdy freshman. See him just arriv'd,
Receiv'd, matriculated, and resolv'd
To drown his freshness in a pipe of port.
Quick, Mr. Vintner, twenty dozen more;
"Some claret, too. Here's to our friends at home.
"There let them dose. Be it our nobler aim
"To live where stands the bottle?" Then to town
Hies the gay spark for futile purposes,
And deeds my bashful muse disclaims to name.
From town to college, till a fresh supply
Sends him again from college up to town.
The tedious interval the mace and cue,
The tennis-court and racket, the slow lounge
From street to street, the badger-hunt, the race,
The raffle, the excursion, and the dance,
Ices and soups, and dice, the bet at whist,
Serve well enough to fill. Grievous accounts
The weekly post to the vex'd parent brings
Of college impositions, heavy dues,
Demands enormous, which the wicked son
Declares he does his utmost to prevent.
So, blaming with good cause the vast expense,
Bill after bill he sends, and pens
With grateful heart
Till the full inkhorn fails.
Toby receives, short leave of absence begs,
Obtains it by a lie, gallops away,
And no one knows what charming things are doing,
Till the gull'd boy returns without his pence,
And prates of deeds unworthy of a brute:
Vile deeds, but such as in these polish'd days
None blames or hides.
Till terms are wasted, and the proud degree,
Soon purchas'd, comes his learned toils to crown.
He swears, and swears he knows not what, nor cares,
Becomes a perjur'd graduate, and thinks soon
To be a candidate for orders.
Vain was the hope. Though many a wolf as fell
Deceive the shepherd, and devour the flock,
Thou none shalt injure. On a luckless day,
Withdrawn to taste the pleasures of the town,
Heated with wine, a vehement dispute
With a detested rival shook the roof:
He penn'd a challenge, sent it, fought, and fell.