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Not closest coverts can protect the game:
Hark! the dog opens; take thy certain aim;
The woodcock flutters; how he wav'ring flies!
The wood refounds: he wheels, he drops, he dies.
The tow'ring hawk let future poets fing,
Who terror bears upon his foaring wing:
Let them on high the frighted hern furvey,
And lofty numbers paint their airy fray.
Nor fhall the mountain lark the mufe detain,
That greets the morning with his early ftrain
When, 'midst his fong, the twinkling glass betrays,
While from each angle flash the glancing rays,
And in the fun the tranfient colours blaze :
Pride lures the little warbler from the skies,
The light enamour'd bird deluded dies.
But ftill the chafe, a pleafing task, remains; The hound muft open in thefe rural ftrains. Soon as Aurora drives away the night, And edges eastern clouds with rofy light, The healthy huntsman, with a chearful horn, Summons the dogs, and greets the dappled morn; The jocund thunder wakes th' enliven'd hounds, They roufe from sleep, and answer founds for founds; Wide through the furzy field their route they take, Their bleeding bofoms force the thorny brake: The flying game their smoaking noftrils trace, No bounding hedge obftructs their eager pace; The diftant mountains echo from afar, And hanging woods refound the flying war : The tuneful noise the sprightly courfer hears, Paws the green turf, and pricks his trembling ears; The flacken'd rein now gives him all his speed, Back flies the rapid ground beneath the fteed; Hills, dales, and forests far behind remain, While the warm fcent draws on the deep-mouth'd train Where shall the trembling hair a fhelter find? Hark! death advances in each gust of wind! New ftratagems and doubling wiles fhe tries, Now circling turns, and now at large fhe flies; Till fpent at laft, fhe pants and heaves for breath, Then lays her down, and waits devouring death,
We cannot part from Mr. Gay without taking fome notice of his Trivia, or Art of Walking the Streets; a didactic poem of the burlesque kind, which he has heighten'd and made entertaining, by many diverting fictions, fimilies, digreffions and defcriptions, very poetically and artfully introduced. Of these the following fable, by which he accounts for the rife of the Patten, is finely conceived.
Good housewives all the winter's rage despise,
Defended by the riding-hood's difguife:
Or underneath th' umbrella's oily shed,
Safe through the wet on clinking pattens tread.
Let Perfian dames th' umbrella's ribs display,
To guard their beauties from the funny ray;
Or fweating flaves fupport the fhady load,
When eastern monarchs fhow their state abroad;
Britain in winter only knows its aid,
To guard from chilly fhow'rs the walking maid.
But, O! forget not, mufe, the patten's praise,
That female implement fhall grace thy lays;
Say from what art divine th' invention came,
And from its origin deduce its name.
Where Lincoln wide extends her fenny foil,
A goodly yeoman liv'd grown white with toil:
One only daughter bleft his nuptial bed,
Who from her infant hand the poultry fed:
Martha (her careful mother's name) she bore,
But now her careful mother was no more.
Whilst on her father's knee the damfel play'd,
Patty he fondly called the fmiling maid;
As years increas'd, her ruddy beauty grew,
And Patty's fame o'er all the village flew.
Soon as the grey-ey'd morning streaks the skies,
And in the doubtful day the woodcock flies,
Her cleanly pail the pretty housewife bears,
And finging to the distant field repairs:
And when the plains with ev'ning dews are spread,
The milky burden fmokes upon her head,
Deep, thro' a miry-lane fhe pick'd her way,
Above her ancle rose the chalky clay.
Vulcan by chance the blooming maiden fpies,
With innocence and beauty in her eyes,
He faw, he lov'd, for yet he ne'er had known
Sweet innocence and beauty meet in one.
Ah Mulciber! recal thy nuptial vows,
Think on the graces of thy Papbian spouse,
Think how her eyes dart inexhausted charms,
And canft thou leave her bed for Patty's arms?
The Lemnian power forfakes the realms above,
His bofom glowing with terrestrial love :
Far in the lane a lonely hut he found,
No tenant ventur'd on th' unwholesome ground.
Here fmokes his forge, he bares his finewy arm,
And early strokes the founding anvil warm:
Around his fhop the steely sparkles flew,
As for the fleed he shap'd the bending shoe.
When blue-ey'd Patty near his window came,
His anvil refts, his forge forgets to flame.
To hear his foothing tales fhe feigns delays;
What woman can refift the force of praise ?
At first she coyly ev'ry kiss withstood,
And all her cheek was flufh'd with modeft blood:
With headless nails he now furrounds her shoes,
To fave her steps from rains and piercing dews;
She lik'd his foothing tales, his presents wore,
And granted kiffes, but would grant no more:
Yet winter chill'd her feet, with cold the pines,
And on her cheek the fading rose declines
No more her humid eyes their luftre boast,
And in hoarfe founds her melting voice is loft.
This Vulcan faw, and in his heav'nly thought,
A new machine mechanic fancy wrought,
Above the mire her shelter'd steps to raise,
And bear her fafely through the wintry ways;
Straight the new engine on the anvil glows,
And the pale virgin on the patten rofe.
No more her lungs are shook with dropping rheums,
And on her cheek reviving beauty blooms.
The God obtain'd his fuit; though flatt'ry fail,
Prefents with female virtue muft prevail.
The patten now supports each frugal dame,
Which from the blue ey'd Patty takes the name.
Another fable, or rather episode, he has inferted, in which, with great humour he employs the heathen Gods and Goddeffes in making materials to fet up a black-fhoebcy, who was fon to the Goddefs Cloacina, whence the poet derives the origin of that trade; and what makes it yet more droll and diverting, he has gravely introduced it with a ridicule on one of the rules laid down to render thefe fort of poems the more agreeable.
What though the gath'ring mire thy feet besmear,
The voice of industry is always near.
Hark, the boy calls thee to his destin'd stand,
And the shoe shines beneath his oily hand.
Here let the mufe, fatigu'd amid the throng,
Adorn her precepts with digreffive fong;
Of fhirtless youths the fecret rife to trace,
And show the parent of the fable race.
Like mortal man, great Jove (grown fond of change)
Of old was wont this nether world to range
To feek amours; the vice the monarch lov'd
Soon through the wide ethereal court improv'd,
And e'en the proudest Goddess now and then
Would lodge a night among the fons of men;
To vulgar deities defcends the fashion,
Each, like her betters, had her earthly paffion.
Then Cloacina (Goddess of the tide
Whose fable streams beneath the city glide)
Indulg'd the modifh flame; the town the rov'd;
A mortal fcavenger the faw, the lov'd;
The muddy fpots that dry'd upon his face,
Like female patches, heighten'd ev'ry grace :
She gaz'd, the figh'd. For love can beauties spy
In what feems faults to every common eye.
Now had the watchman walk'd his fecond round;
When Cloacina hears the rumbling found
Of her brown lover's cart, for well the knows
That pleafing thunder: fwift the Goddefs rofe,
And through the ftreets purfu'd the diftant noife,
Her bofom panting with expected joys.
With the night-wandring harlot's airs the paft,
Brush'd near his fide, and wanton glances cast;
In the black form of cinder-wench fhe came,
When love, the hour, the place, had banish'd shame;
To the dark alley arm in arm they move :
O may no link-boy interrupt their love.
When the pale moon had nine times fill'd her space,
The pregnant Goddefs (cautious of difgrace)
Defcends to earth; but fought no midwife's aid,
Nor midst her anguish to Lucinda pray'd ;
No cheerful goffip wifh'd the mother joy,
Alone, beneath a bulk fhe dropt the boy.
The child through various rifques in years improv'd, At first a beggar's brat, compaffion mov'd; His infant tongue foon learnt the canting art, Knew all the pray'rs and whines to touch the heart. Oh happy unown'd youths, your limbs can bear The fcorching dog-star, and the winter's air, While the rich infant, nurs'd with care and pain, Thirts with each heat, and coughs with ev'ry rain!
The Goddess long had mark'd the child's distress, And long had fought his fuff'rings to redress; She prays the Gods to take the fondling's part, To teach his hands fome beneficial art Practis'd in streets: the Gods her fuit allow'd, And made him ufeful to the walking croud, To cleanse the miry feet, and o'er the fhoe With nimble skill the gloffy black renew, Each power contributes to relieve the poor: With the ftrong briftles of the mighty boar Diana forms his brush; the God of day A tripod gives, amid the crouded way To raise the dirty foot, and ease his toil; Kind Neptune fills his vase with fetid oil Preft from th' enormous whale : the God of fire, From whofe dominions fmoky clouds afpire, Among thefe gen'rous prefents joins his part, And aids with foot the new japanning art; Pleas'd fhe-receives the gifts; the downward glides, Lights in Fleet-ditch, and fhoots beneath the tides. Now dawns the morn, the fturdy lad awakes, Leaps from his ftall, his tangled hair he fakes, Then leaning o'er the rails, he musing stood, And view'd below the black canal of mud,