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But thou, beneath the random bield
Mistake me not: no figures I exclude,
And but forbid intemperance, not food.
Who would with care some happy fiction frame,
So mimics truth, it looks the very same;
Not rais'd to force, or feign’d in Nature's scorn,
But meant to grace, illustrate, and adorn.
Important truths still let your fables hold,
And moral mysteries with art unfold :
Ladies and beaux to please is all the task;
But the sharp critic will instruction ask.
As veils transparent cover, but not hide, Such is the fate of artless maid,
Such metaphors appear, when right applied; Sweet flowret of the rural shade,
When thro’ the phrase we plainly see the sense,
Truth with such obvious meanings will dispense.
The reader what is reason's due believes,
Nor can we call that false which not deceives:
Hyperboles, so daring and so bold,
Disdaining bounds, are yet by rules controlld; On life's rough ocean luckless starrid !
Above the clouds, but yet within our sight, Unskilful he to note the card
They mount with Truth, and make a tow'ring
They wander through incredible to true.
Falsehoods thus mix'd like metals are refin'd; Such fate to suffering Worth is giv'n,
And Truth, like silver, leaves the dross behind. Who long with wants and woes has striv'n,
Thus Poetry has ample space to soar, By human pride or cunning driv'n
Nor needs forbidden regions to explore; 'To Mis’ry's brink,
Such vaunts as his, who can with patience read, Till wrench'd of ev'ry stay but Heaven, Who thus describes his hero when he's deadHe ruin'd sink!
“ In heat of action slain, yet scorns to fall, E'en thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate, But still maintains the war, and fights atThat fate is thine~no distant date:
The noisy culverin, o'ercharg'd, lets fly,
And bursts, unaiming, in the rended sky;
And nature suffers in the wild extreme.
Yet braves his foes, reviles, provokes, disdains; $ 170. An Essay upon unnatural Flights in of nature fierce, untameable, and proud, Poetry.
LANDSDOWNE. He bids defiance to the gaping crowd;
And spent at last, and speechless, as he lies,
The Roman wit, who impiously divides
The admiring world still stands in his defence :
The gods permitting traitors to succeed, Words are the paint by which their thoughts Become not parties in an impious deed; are shown,
And by the tyrant's murder, we may find
praise, Who, driven with ungovernable fire,
Our characters we lessen when we'd raise :
As on a rock they shall for ages stand.
On the crack'd stage the Bedlam heroes roard,
Deem then the people's, not the writer's sin, A strict integrity, devoid of art ;
Be still yourself; the world can ask no more.
AMONGST the myrtles as I walk'd,
this ? Abandon'd Truth seeks shelter in the
In every thing that's good, she is ; Cherish, ye Muses, the forsaken fair,
In yonder tulip go and seek, And take into your train this beauteous wan. There thou mayst find her lip, her cheek; derer.
In yon enameli'd pansy by,
There wave ihe streamers of her blood ;
The emblems of her whiter hand; 'Tis done-restor’d by thy immortal pen,
In yonder rising hill there smell
Such sweets as in her bosom dwell: The critic's noble name revives again :
'Tis true," said he. And thereupon Once more that great, that injur'd name we see
I went to pluck them one by one, Shine forth alike in Addison and thec.
To make of parts an union; Like curs, our critics haunt the poet's feast,
But on a sudden all was gone. And feed on scraps refus’d by every guest; From the old Thracian* dog they learu'd the With that I stoppid. Said Love, “These be,
man, resemblances of thee; way To snarl in want, and grumble o'er their prey: Een in the twinkling of an eye ;
And as these fow'rs thy joy shall die, As though they grudg’d themselves the joys And all thy hopes of her shall wither, they feel,
Like these short sweets that knit together.” Vex'd to be charm’d, and pleas'd against their
will. Such their inverted taste, that we expect For faults their thanks, for beauties their neglect. $ 173. The Diverting History of John Gilpin; So the fell snake rejects the fragrant flow'rs,
showing how he went farther than he intended, And every poison of the field devours.
and came safe home again. Cowper. Like bold Longinus of immortal fame, You read your poet with a poet's flame;
JOHN GILPIN was a citizen
Of credit and renown,
Of famous London town.
John Gilpin's spouse said to her dear,
Though wedded we have been
No holiday have seen.
All in a chaise and pair,
To point out faults, yet never to offend; My sister and my sister's child,
On horseback after we.
He soon replied, I do admire
Now see him mounted once again Of woman kind but one;
Upon his nimble steed, And you are she, my dearest dear,
Full 'slowly pacing o'er the stones Therefore it shall be done.
With caution and good heed. I am a linen-draper bold,
But finding soon a smoother road As all the world doth know,
Beneath his well-shod feet, And my good friend the calender
The snorting beast began to trot, Will lend his horse to go.
Which gall'd him in his seat. Quoth Mistress Gilpin, That's well said; So, fair and softly, John he cried, And, for that wine dear,
But John he cried in vain; We will be furnish'd with our own,
That trot became a gallop soon, Which is both bright and clear.
In spite of curb and rein. John Gilpin kiss'd his loving wise ;
So stooping down, as needs he must O'erjoy'd was he to find
Who cannot sit upright, That, though on pleasure she was bent, He grasp'd the mane with both his hands, She had a frugal mind.
And eke with all his might. The morning came, the chaise was brought, His horse, who never in that sort But yet was not allow'd
Had handled been before, To drive up to the door, lest all
What thing upon his back had got
Did wonder more and more.
Away went hat and wig;
He little dreamt, when he set out, To dash through thick and thin.
Of running such a rig. Smack went the whip, round went the wheels, The wind did blow, the cloak did fly, Were never folk so glad;
Like streamer long and gay, The stones did rattle underneath
Till, loop and button failing both, As if Cheapside were mad.
At last it flew away. John Gilpin at his horse's side
Then might all people well discern Seiz'd fast the flowing mane :
The bottles he had slung; And ар he got in haste to ride,
A bottle swinging at each side, But soon came down again :
As hath been said or sung. For saddle-tree scarce reach'd had he,
The dogs did bark, the children scream'd, His journey to begin,
Up flew the windows all: When turning round his head, he saw And ev'ry soul cried out, Well done! Three customers come in.
As loud as he could bawl. So down he came; for loss of time,
Away went Gilpin—who but he ; Although it griev'd him sore,
His fame soon spread aroundYet loss of pence, full well he knew, He carries weighi! he rides a race! Would trouble him much more.
'Tis for a thousand pound. 'Twas long before the customers
And still as fast as he drew near Were suited to their mind;
'Twas wonderful to view When Betty screaming came down stairs, How in a trice the turnpike-men “ The wine is left behind !"
Their gates wide open threw. Good lack! quoth he-yet bring it me, And now as he went bowing down My leathern belt likewise,
His reeking head full low, In which I bear my trusty sword
The bottles twain behind his back When I do exercise.
Were shatter'd at a blow. Now Mistress Gilpin, careful soul!
Down ran the wine into the road, Had two stone bottles found,
Most piteous to be seen, To hold the liquor that she lov'd,
Which made his horse's fanks to smoke And keep it safe and sound.
As they had basted been. Each bottle had a curling ear,
But still he seem'd to carry weight, Through which the belt he drew,
With leathern girdle brac'd ; And hung a bottle on each side,
For all might see the bottles' necks To make his balance true;
Still dangling at his waist. Then over all, that he might be
Thus all through merry Islington Equipp'd from top to toe,
These gambols he did play, His long red cloak, well brush'd and neat, And till he came unto the Wash He manfully did throw.
Of Edmonton so gay.
And there he threw the wash about
If wife should dine at Edmonton,
And I should dine at Ware.
So turning to his horse, he said,
I am in haste to dine: At Edmonton his loving wife
'Twas for your pleasure you came here, From balcony espied
You shall go back for mine. Her tender husband, wond'ring much
Ah, luckless speech, and bootless boast ! To see how he did ride.
For which he paid full dear; Stop, stop, John Gilpin! here's the house For while he spake, a braying ass They all at once did cry:
Did sing most loud and clear: The dinner waits, and we are tird:
Whereat his horse did snort, as he Said Gilpin-So am I.
Had heard a lion roar; But yet his horse was not a whit
And gallop'd off with all his might, Inclin'd to tarry there;
As he had done before. For why? his owner had a house
Away went Gilpin, and away Full ten miles off, at Ware.
Went Gilpin's hat and wig; So like an arrow swift he few,
He lost them sooner than at first, Shot by an archer strong;
For why? they were too big. So did he fly--which brings me to
Now Mistress Gilpin, when she saw The middle of my song:
Her husband posting down Away went Gilpin, out of breath,
Into the country far away, And sore against his will,
She pull'd out half a crown : Till at his friend's the calender's
And thus unto the youth she said His horse at last stood still.
That drove them to the Bell, The calender, amaz'd to see
This shall be yours when you bring back His neighbour in such trim,
My husband safe and well. Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,
The youth did ride, and soon did meet And thus accosted him:
John coming back amain, What news? what news? your tidings tell,
Whom in a trice he tried to stop
By catching at his rein;
But not performing what he meant,
And gladly would have done, Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,
The frighted steed he frighted more, And lov’d a timely joke;
And made him faster run. Aud thus unto the calender
Away went Gilpin, and away In merry guise he spoke:
Went post-boy at his heels,
The lumb'ring of the wheels.
Six gentlemen upon the road
Thus seeing Gilpin fly, The calender, right glad to find
With post-boy scamp'ring in the rear, His friend in merry pin,
They rais'd the hue and cry: Return'd him not a single word,
Stop thief! stop thief!-a highwayman ! But to the house went in.
Not one of them was mute; When straight he came with hat and wig, And all and each that pass'd that way A wig that flow'd behind,
Did join in the pursuit. A hat not much the worse for wear,
And now the turnpike gates again Each comely in its kind.
Flew open in short space; He held them up, aud in his turn
The toll-men thinking, as before, Thus show'd his ready wit:
That Gilpin rode a race. My head is twice as big as yours,
And so he did, and won it too, They therefore needs must fit.
For he got first to town, But let me scrape the dirt away
Nor stopp'd till where he first got up That hangs upon your face;
He did again get down. And stop and cat, for well you may
Now let us sing, Long live the king, Be in a hungry case.
And Gilpin, long live he; Said John, It is my wedding day;
And when he next doth ride abroad, And all the world would stare,
May I be there to see!
$ 174. An Evening Contemplation in a College, But Science now has fill'd their vacant mind
in Imitation of Gray's Elegy in a Country With Rome's rich spoils and truth's exalted Church-yard.
Fir'd them with transports of a nobler kind, The curfew tolls the hour of closing gates ;
And bade them slight all females—but the With jarring sounds the porter turps the key; Then in his dreary mansion slumb’ring waits, And slowly, sternly, quits it though for me. Full many a lark, high towering to the sky,
Unheard, unheeded, greets th' approach of Now shine the spires beneath the paly moon, light; And through the cloisters peace and silence Full inany a star, unseen by mortal eye, reign ;
With twinkling lustre, glimmers through Save where some fidler scrapes a drowsy tune, the night. Or copious bowls inspire a jovial strain;
Some future Herring, who, with dauntless Save that in yonder cobweb-mantled room,
breast, Where sleeps a student in profound repose, Rebellion's torrent shall like him oppose ; Oppress’d with ale, wide echoes thro' the gloom Some mute, unconscious Hardwicke here may The droning music of his vocal nose.
rest, Within those walls, where through the glim
Some Pelham, dreadful to his country's foes. mering shade
From prince and people to command applause, Appear the pamphlets in a mouldering heap,
'Midst ermind peers to guide the high deEnch in his narrow bed till morning laid,
bate, The peaceful fellows of the college sleep. To shield Britannia's and Religion's laws, The tinkling bell proclaiming early pray’rs,
And steer with steady course the helm of
state The noisy servants rattling o'er their head, The calls of business, and domestic cares, Fate yet forbids ; nor circumscribes alone Neer rouse these sleepers from their downy Their growing virtues, but their crimes bed.
Forbids in Freedom's veil t'insult the throne; No chattering females crowd their social fire,
Beneath her mask to hide the worst designs ; No dread have they of discord and of strife; Unknown the names of husband and of sire, To fill the madding crowd's perverted mind Unfelt the plagues of matrimonial life. With “pensions, taxes, marriages, and
Jews; Oft have they bask'd beneath the sunny walls, Or shut the gates of heaven on lost mankind, Oft have ihe benches bow'd beneath their
And wrest their darling hopes, their future weight,
views. How jocund are their looks when dinner calls! How smoke the cutlets on their crowded Far from the giddy town's tumultuous strife, plate!
Their wishes yet have never leam'd to stray;
Content and happy in a single life, ()! let not temperance, too disdainful, hear They keep the noiseless tenor of their way. How long their feasts, how long their dinners last:
E'en now their books from cobwebs to proNor let the fair, with a contemptuous sneer,
tect, On these unmarried men reflections cast!
Enclos 'd by doors of glass in Doric style,
On polish'd pillars rais'd with bronzes deck'd, The splendid fortune and the beauteous face
They claim the passing tribute of a smile. (Themselves confess it, and their sires be
Oft are the authors' names, tho' richly bound, moan) Too soon are caught by scarlet and by lace;
Mis-spelt by blundering binders want of These sons of science shine in black alone. And many a catalogue is strew'd around, (care,
To tell the admiring guest what books are Forgive, ye fair, th' involuntary fault,
there. If these no feats of gaiety display, Where through proud Ranelagh's wide-echoing For who, to thoughtless ignorance a prey, vault
Neglects to hold short dalliance with a book?
Who there but wislies to prolong his stay, Melodious Frasi trills her quavering lay.
And on those cases casts a lingering look? Say, is the sword well suited to the band ?
Reports attract the lawyer's parting eyes; Does broider'd coat agree with sable gown? Can Mechlin laces shade a churchman's hand? For songs and plays the voice of Beauty eries,
Novels Lord Fopling and Sir Plume require; Or learning's votaries ape the beaux of town?
And Sense and Nature Grandison desire. Perhaps in these time-tottering walls reside For thee, who, mindful of thy lov'd com peers,
Some who were once the darling of the fair, Dost in these lines their artless tale relate, Some who ofold could tastes and fashionsguide, If chance, with prying search, in future years
Control the manager, and awe the player. Some antiquarian should inquire thy fate ;