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The lads and laffes trudge the ftreet along,
And all the fair is crouded in his fong.
The mountebank now treads the stage, and sells
His pills, his balsams and his ague-spells ;
Now o'er and o'er the nimble tumbler springs,
And on the rope the vent'rous maiden swings;
Jack Pudding, in his party-colour'd jacket,
Toffes the glove, and jokes at every packet.
Of Raree-shows he fung, and Punch's feats,
Of pockets pick'd in crowds, and various cheats.

Then sad he fung, The Children in the Wood.
Ah barb'rous uncle, ftain'd with infant blood ;
How blackberries they pluck'd in defarts wild,
And, fearless, at the glittering fauchion smil'de;
'Their little corps the robin-red-breasts found,
And strew'd, with pious bill, the leaves around,
Ah gentle birds! if this verse lafts so long,
Your names fhall live for ever in my fong.

For buxom Joan he sung the doubtful frife,
How the fly failor made the maid a wife.
To louder strains he rais'd his voice, to tell
What woeful wars in Chevy-chace befel,
When “ Piercy drove the deer with hound and horn,
Wars to be wept by children yet unborn !"
Ah With’rington, more years thy life had' crown’d,
If thou hadīt never heard the horn or hound !
Yet hall the 'squire who fought on blaody stumps,
By future bards be wail'd in doleful dumps.

All in the land of Effex next he chaunts,
How to fleek mares ftarch Quakers turn gallants :


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How the grave brother stood on bank so green.
Happy for him if mares had never been !

Then he was seiz’d with a religious qualm,
And, on a sudden, sung the hundredth psalm.

He sung of Taffey Welch, and Sawney Scot,
Lilly-bullero, and the Irish Trot.
Why should I tell of Bateman or of Shore,
Or Wantley's dragon slain by valiant Moore,
The bower of Rofamond, or Robin Hood,
And how the grass now grows where Troy town stood ?

His carrols ceas'd: the lift'ning maids and swains
Seem ftill to hear some soft imperfect ftrains.
Sudden he rose; and, as he reels along,
Swears kisses sweet should well reward his song.
The damsels laughing fly: the giddy clown
Again upon a wheatsheaf drops adown ;
The pow'r that guards the drunk his sleep attends,
Till, ruddy, like his face, the sun descends.


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The severity of this satire, and the excellence of its

versification, give it a distinguished rank in this species of composition. At present, an ordinary reader would scarce suppose that Shadwell, who is here meant by Mac Flecknoe, was worth being chastised, and that Dryden's descending to such game was like an eagle's itooping to catch flies. The truth, however, is, Shadwell, at one time, held divided reputation with this great poet. Every age produces its fashionable durces, who, by following the transient topic, or humour, of the day, supply talkative ignorance with materials for conversation.


LL human things are subject to decay,

And, when Fate summons, monarchs muft obey. This Flecknoe found, who, like Auguftus, young Was cail'd to empire, and had govern'd long; In profe and verse was own’d, without dispute, Through all the realms of Nonsense, absolute. This aged prince, now flourishing in peace, And bless’d with issue of a large increase ; Worn out with business, did, at length debate To settle the succession of the state : And pond'ring which, of all his sons, was fit To reign, and wage immortal war with Wit,


Cry'd, 'Tis resolvid; for Nature pleads, that he
Should only rule, who most resembles me.
Sh-, alone, my perfect image bears,
Mature in dulness from his tender years :
Sh--, alone, of all my sons, was he,
Who ftands confirm'd in full stupidity.
The reft, to some faint meaning make pretence;
But Sh- never deviates into sense.
Some beams of wit on other souls may fall,
Strike through, and make a lucid interval ;
But Sh's genuine night admits no ray ;
His rising fogs prevail upon the day.
Besides, his goodly fabric fills the eye,
And seems design'd for thoughtless majesty :
Thoughtless as monarch oaks, that shade the plain,
And, spread in folemn state, supinely reign.
Heywood and Shirley were but types of thee,
Thou last great prophet of Tautology,
Ev'n I, a dunce of more renown than they,
Was sent before but to prepare thy way;
And, coarsely clad in Norwich drugget, came
To teach the nations in thy greater name.
My warbling lute, the lute I whilom strung,
When to king John of Portugal I sung,
Was but the prelude to that glorious day,
When thou on silver Thames didst cut thy way,
With well-tim'd oars, before the royal barge,
Swell’d with the pride of thy celestial charge ;
And, big with hymn, commander of an hoft,
The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets toft.


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