« ZurückWeiter »
“ To lie content beneath our peaceful dome,
“ Ne ever more to quit our quiet glade; .
“ Yet when at last thy toils but ill apaid
« Shall dead thy fire, and damp its heavenly spark,
" Thou wilt be glad to seek the rural shade,
“ There to indulge the muse, and nature mark : “We then a lodge for thee will rear in Hagley Park.”
Here whilom ligg'd th' Esopus * of the age;
But call'd by Fame, in soul ypricked deep,
A noble pride restor'd him to the stage,
And rous'd him like a giant from his sleep.
Ev'n from his slumbers we advantage reap:
With double force th' enliven'd scene he wakes,
Yet quits not nature's bounda. He knows to keep
Each due decorum: now the heart he shakes,
And now with well-urg'd sense th’enlighten'd judgment
A bard here dwelt, more fat than bard beseems;
+ Who, void of envy, guile, and just of gain,
On virtue still, and nature's pleasing themes,
Pour'd forth his unpremeditated strain:
The world forsaking with a calm disdain
Here laugh'd he careless in his easy seat;
Here quaffd encircled with the joyous train,
Oft moralizing sage ; his ditty sweet,
He loathed much to write, ne cared to repeat.
Full oft by holy feet our ground was trod,
Of clerks good plenty here you mote espy.
A litile, round, fat, oily man of God,
Was one I chiefly mark'd among the fry :
He had a roguish twinkle in his eye,
And shone all glittering with ungodly dew,
If a tight damsel claunc'd to trippen by;
Which when observ'd, he shrunk into his mew,
And straight would recollect his piety anew.
Nor be forgot a tribe, who minded nought
(Old inmates of the place) but state affairs :
* Mr. Quin.
+ This character of Mr. Thomson was written by Lord Lyttel ton.
They look'd, perdie, as if they deeply thought;
And on their brow sat every nation's cares.
The world by them is parcell'd out in shares,
When in the hall of smoke they congress hold,
And the sage berry sun-burnt Mocha bears
Has clear’d their inward eye: then, smoke-enroll’d,
Their oracles break forth mysterious, as of old.
Here languid beauty kept her pale-fac'd court:
Bevies of dainty dames, of high degree,
From every quarter hither made resort;
Where, from gross mortal care and business free,
They lay, pour'd out in ease and luxury.
Or should they a vain show of work assume,
Alas! and well-a-day! what can it be?
To knot, to twist, to range the vernal bloom ; Bat far is cast the distaff, spinning-wheel, and loom.
Their only labour was to kill the time; And labour, dire it is, and weary woe. They sit, they loll, turn o'er some idle rhyme; Then, rising sudden, to the glass they go, Or sannter forth, with tottering step and slow. This soon too rude an exercise they find; Straight on the couch their limbs again they throw. Where hours and hours they sighing lie reclin'd, And court the vapoury god soft-breathing in the wind.
Now must I mark the villainy we found,
But ah! too late, as shall eftsoons be shewn.
A place here was, deep, dreary, under ground;
Where still our inmates, when unpleasing grown,
Diseas'd, and loathsome, privily were thrown:
Far from the light of heaven, they languish'd there,
Unpity'd uttering many a bitter groan;
For of these wretches taken was no care :
Fierce fiends, and hags of hell, their only nurses were,
Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest,
To this dark den, where sickness toss'd alway.
Here lethargy, with deadly sleep opprest,
Stretch'd on his back, a mighty lubbard, lay,
Heaving his sides, and snored night and day ;
To stir him from his traunce it was not eath,
And his half-open'd eyne he shut straightway:
He led, I wot, the softest way to death,
And taught withouten pain and strife to yield the
Of limbs enormous, but withal unsound,
Soft, swoln, and pale, here lay the hydropsy:
Unwieldly man; with belly monstrous round,
For ever fed with watery supply:
For still he drank, and yet he still was dry,
And moping here did Hypochondria sit,
Mother of spleen, in robes of various dye,
Who vexed was full oft with ugly fit;
And some her frantic deem'd, and some her deem'd a
A lady proud she was, of ancient blood,
Yet oft her fear, her pride made crouchen low:
She felt, or fancy'd in her futtering mood,
All the diseases which the spittles know,
And sought all physic which the shops bestow,
And still new leeches and new drugs would try,
Her humour ever wavering to and fro;
For sometimes she would laugh, and sometimes cry, Then sudden waxed wroth, and all she knew not why.
Fast by her side a listless maiden pin'd,
With aching head, and squeamish heart-burnings;
Pale, bloated, cold, she seem'd to hate mankind,
Yet lov'd in secret all forbidden things.
And here the tertian shakes his chilling wings;
The sleepless gout here counts the crowing cocks,
A wolf now gnaws him, now a serpent stings;
Whilst apoplexy cramm'd intemperance knocks
Down to the ground at once, as butcher felleth ox.
The knight of arts and industry,
And his atchievements fair ;
That by his castle's overthrow,
Secur'd and crowned were.
Escap'o the castle of the sire of sin,
Ah! where shall I so sweet a dwelling find?
For all around, without, and all within,
Nothing save what delightful was and kind,
Of goodness savouring and a tender mind,
E’er rose to view. But now another strain,
Of doleful note, alas! remains behind:
I pow must sing of pleasure turn'd to pain,
And of the false enchanter Indolence complain.
Is there no patron to protect the muse,
And fence for her Parnassus' barren soil ?
To every labour its reward accrues,
And they are sure of bread who swink and moil;
But a fell tribe th’ Aonian hive despoil,
As ruthless wasps oft rob the painful bee :
Thus while that laws not guard the noblest toil,
Ne for the other Muses meed decree,
They praised are alone, and starve right merrily.
I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace;
You cannot shut the windows of the sky,
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face,
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream at eve:
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave:
Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can nie bereave.
Come then, my muse, and raise a bolder song:
Come, lig no more upon the bed of sloth,
Dragging the lazy languid line along,
Fond te begin, but still to finish loth,
Thy half-wit scrolls all eaten by the moth:
Arise, and sing that generous imp of fame,
Who with the sons of softness nobly wroth,
To sweep away this human lumber came,
Or in a chosen few to rouse the slumbering flame.
In Fairy-land there liv'd a knight of old,
Of feature stern, Selvaggio well yclep'd,
A rough unpolish'd man, robust and bold,
But wondrous poor: he neither sow'd nor reap'd,
Ne stores in summer for cold winter heap'd ;
In hunting all his days away he wore ;
Now scorch'd by June, now in November steep'd,
Now pinch'd by biting January sore,
He still in woods pursued the libbard and the boar.
As he one morning, long before the dawn,
Prick'd through the forest to dislodge his prey,
Deep in the winding bosom of a lawn,
With wood wild-fring’d, he mark'd a taper's ray,
That from the beating rain, and wintery fray,
Did to a lonely cot his steps decoy;
There, up to earn the needments of the day,
He found dame poverty, nor fair nor coy: ·
Her he compress'd, and fill’d her with a lusty boy.
Amid the greenwood shade this boy was bred,
And grew at last a knight of muchel fame, .
Of active mind and vigorous lustyhed,
The Knight of Arts and Industry by name.
Earth was his bed, the boughs his roof did frame;
He knew no beverage but the flowing stream;
His tasteful well-earn'd food the sylvan game,
Or the brown fruit with which the woodlands teem: The same to him glad summer, or the winter breme,
So pass’d his youthly inorning, void of care,
Wild as the colts that through the commons run;
For him no tender parents troubled were,
He of the forest seem'd to be the son,
And certes had been utterly undone;
But that Minerva pity of him took,
With all the gods that love the rural wonne,