網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

But still he seemed to carry weight,

He held them up, and in his turn With leathern girdle braced ;

Thus showed his ready wit, For all might see the bottle-necks

My head is twice as big as yours, Still dangling at his waist.

They therefore needs must fit. Thus all through merry Islington

But let me scrape the dirt away, These gambols he did play,

That hangs upon your face; Until he came unto the Wash

And stop and eat, for well you may Of Edmonton so gay:

Be in a hungry case. And there he threw the wash about

Said John, it is my wedding-day, On both sides of the way,

And all the world would stare Just like unto a trundling mop,

If wife should dine at Edmonton, Or a wild goose at play.

And I should dine at Ware. At Edmonton his loving wife

So turning to his horse, he said, From the balcony spied

I am in haste to dine; Her tender husband, wondering much

'Twas for your pleasure you came here, To see how he did ride.

You shall go back for mine. Stop, stop, John Gilpin!-Here's the house- Ah luckless speech, and bootless boast? They all at once did cry;

For which be paid full dear; The dinner waits, and we are tired:

For, while he spake, a braying ass Said Gilpin-So am I!

Did sing most loud and clear; But yet his horse was not a whit

Whereat his horse did snort, as he Inclined to tarry there;

Had heard a lion roar, For why :-his owner had a house

And galloped off with all his might, Full ten miles off, at Ware.

As he had done before, So like an arrow swift he flew,

Away went Gilpin, and away Shot by an archer strong;

Went Gilpin's hat and wig. So did he fly-which brings me to

He lost them sooner than at first, The middle of my song.

For why?—they were too big. Away went Gilpin out of breath,

Now mistress Gilpin, when she saw And sore against his will,

Her husband posting down Till at his friend the calender's

Into the country far away, His horse at last stood still.

She pulled out half a crown; The calender, amazed to see

And thus unto the youth she said, His neighbour in such trim,

That drove them to the Bell, Laid down his pipe, flew to the gate,

This shall be yours when you bring back And thus accosted him.

My husband safe and well. What news? what news: your tidings tell;

The youth did ride, and soon did meet Tell me you must and shall

John coming back amain ; Say why bare-headed you are come,

Whom in a trice he tried to stop, Or why you come at all?

By catching at his rein; Now Gilpin had a pleasant wit,

But not performing what he meant, And loved a timely joke!

And gladly would have done, And thus unto the calender

The frighted steed he frighted more, In merry guise he spoke:

And made him faster run. I came because your horse would come;

Away went Gilpin, and away And, if I well forbode,

Went post-boy at his heels, My hat and wig will soon be here,

The post-boy's horse right glad to miss They are upon the road.

The lumbering of the wheels. The calender, right glad to find

Six gentlemen upon the road His friend in merry pin,

Thus seeing Gilpin fly, Returned him not a single word,

With post-boy scampering in the rear, But to the house went in;

They raised the hue and cry: Whence straight he came with hat and wig; Stop thief! stop thief!-a highwayman! A wig that flowed behind,

Not one of them was mute; A hat not much the worse for wear,

And all and each that passed that way Each comely in its kind.

Did join in the pursuit.

[ocr errors]

And now the turnpike gates again

Their length and colour from the locks they spare; Flew open in short space;

The elastic spring of an unwearied foot, The toll-men thinking as before

That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the fence, That Gilpin rode a race.

That play of lungs, inhaling and again

Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes
And so he did, and won it too,

Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me,
For he got first to town;

Mine have not pilfered yet; nor yet impaired Nor stopped till where he had got up

My relish of fair prospect; scenes that soothed He did again get down.

Or charmed me young, no longer young, I find Now let us sing, long live the king,

Still soothing, and of power to charm me still. And Gilpin long live he;

And witness, dear companiou of my walks, And, when he next doth ride abroad,

Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive

Fast locked in mine, with pleasure such as love, May I be there to see!

Confirmed by long experience of thy worth

And well-tried virtues, could alone inspire-
ON RURAL SIGHTS AND SOUNDS.

Witness a joy that thou hast doubled long.

Thou knowest my praise of nature most sincere, The nurse sleeps sweetly, hired to watch the sick, And that my raptures are not conjured up Whom snoring she disturbs. As sweetly he, To serve occasions of poetic pomp, Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour But genuine, and art partner of them all. To sleep within the carriage more secure,

How oft upon yon eminence our pace His legs depending at the open door.

Has slackened to a pause, and we have borne Sweet sleep enjoys the curate in his desk,

The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew, The tedious rector drawling over his head;

While admiration, feeding at the eye, And sweet the clerk below. But neither sleep And still unsated, dwelt upon the scene. Of lazy nurse, who snores the sick man dead, Thence with what pleasure have we just discerned Nor his, who quits the box at midnight hour The distant plough still moving, and beside To slumber in the carriage more secure,

His labouring team, that swerved not from the track, Nor sleep enjoyed by curate in his desk,

The sturdy swain diminished to a boy! Nor yet the dozings of the clerk, are sweet,

Here Ouse, slow winding through a level plain Compared with the repose the sofa yields.

Of spacious meads with cattle sprinkled o'er, Oh may I live exempted (while I live

Conducts the eye along his sinuous course Guiltless of pampered appetite obscene)

Delighted. There, fast rooted in their bank, From pangs arthritic, that infest the toe

Stand, never overlooked, our favourite elms, Of libertine excess. The sofa suits

That screen the herdsman's solitary hut; The gouty limb, 'tis true; but gouty limb,

While far beyond, and overthwart the stream Though on a sofa, may I never feel :

That, as with molten glass, inlays the vale, For I have loved the rural walk through lanes The sloping land recedes into the clouds; Of grassy swarth, close cropt by nibbling sheep, Displaying on its varied side the grace And skirted thick with intertexture firm

Of hedge-row beauties numberless, square tower, Of thorny boughs; have loved the rural walk Tall spire, from which the sound of cheerful bells O'er hills, through vallies, and by rivers' brink, Just undulates upon the listening ear, E'er since a truant boy I passed my bounds

Groves, heaths, and smoking villages, remote. To enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames; Scenes must be beautiful, which daily viewed And still remember, nor without regret

Please daily, and whose novelty survives Of hours, that sorrow since has much endeared : Long knowledge and the scrutiny of years; How oft, my slice of pocket store consumed, Praise justly due to those that I describe. Still hungering, pennyless, and far from home, Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds, I fed on scarlet hips and stony haws,

Exhilirate the spirit, and restore Or blushing crabs, or berries, that imboss

The tone of languid Nature. Mighty winds, The bramble, black as jet, or sloes austere.

That sweep the skirt of some far-spreading wood Hard fare! but such as boyish appetite

Of ancient growth, make music not unlike Disdains not; nor the palate, undepraved

The dash of ocean on his winding shore, By culinary arts, unsavory deems.

And lull the spirit while they fill the mind; No sofa then awaited my return;

Unnumbered branches waving in the blast, Nor sofa then I needed. Youth repairs

And all their leaves fast fluttering, all at once. His wasted spirits quickly, by long toil

Nor less composure waits upon the roar Incurring short fatigue; and, though our years, Of distant floods, or on the softer voice As life declines, speed rapidly away,

Of neighbouring fountain, or of rills that slip And not a year but pilfers as he goes

Through the cleft rock, and, chiming as

they fall Some youthful grace,

that
age

would gladly keep, Upon loose pebbles, lose themselves at length A tooth or auburn lock; and by degrees

In matted grass, that with a livelier green

TO THE RIVER LODON.

Old Arthur's board: on the capacious round

“ These fellowships are pretty things, Some British pen bas sketch'd the names renown'd,

We live indeed like petty kings: In marks obscure, of his immortal peers.

But who can bear to waste his whole age Though join'd by magic skill with many a rhyme,

Amid the dullness of a college, The Druid frame unhonour'd falls a prey

Debarr'd the common joys of life, To the slow vengeance of the wizard time,

And that prime bliss-a loving wise ! And fade the British characters away ;

O! what's a table richly spread Yet Spenser's page, that chaunts in verse sublime

Without a woman at its head! Those chiefs, shall live unconscious of decay.

Would some snug benefice but fall,

Ye feasts, ye dinners! farewell all!
IX.

To officers I'd bid adieu,
Of Dean, Vice Pres.—of Bursar too;

Come joys, that rural quiet yields,
Ah! what a weary race my feet have run,

Come, tithes, and house, and fruitful fields!" Since first I trod thy banks with alders crown'd, Too fond of freedom and of ease And thought my way was all through fairy ground,

A patron's vanity to please, Beneath thy azure sky and golden sun :

Long time he watches, and by stealth, Where first my Muse to lisp her notes begun ! Each frail incumbent's doubtful health ; While pensive memory traces back the round, At length-and in his fortieth year, Which fills the varied interval between ;

A living drops-two hundred clear ! Much pleasure, more of sorrow, marks the scene. With breast elate beyond expression, Sweet native stream! those skies and suns so pure He hurries down to take possession, No more return, to cheer my evening road!

With rapture views the sweet retreatYet still one joy remains, that not obscure,

“ What a convenient house! how neat! Nor useless, all my vacant days have flow'd,

For fuel here's sufficient wood:
From youth's gay dawn to manhood's prime mature; Pray God the cellars may be good!
Nor with the Muse's laurel unbestow'd.

The garden—that must be new plano'd-
Shall these old-fashion'd yew-trees stand?

O'er yonder vacant plot shall rise
THE PROGRESS OF DISCONTENT. 1746. The flow'ry shrub of thousand dyes:-

Yon wall, that feels the southern ray,
When now mature in classic knowledge,

Shall blush with ruddy fruitage gay:
The joyful youth is sent to college,
His father comes, a vicar plain,

While thick beneath its aspect warm
At Oxford bred-in Anna's reign,

O'er-well-rang'd hives the bees shall swarm,

From which, ere long, of golden gleam And thus, in form of humble suitor,

Metheglin's luscious juice shall stream: Bowing accosts a reverend tutor.

This awkward hut, o'ergrown with ivy, “ Sir, I'm a Glo'stershire divine,

We'll alter to a modern privy:
And this my eldest son of vine ;
My wife's ambition and my own

Up yon green slope, of hazels trim,
Was that this child should wear a gown ;

An avenue so cool and dim,

Shall to an arbour, at the end,
I'll warrant that his good behaviour
Will justify your future favour;

In spite of gout, entice a friend.
And for his parts, to tell the truth,

My predecessor lov'd devotionMy son's a very forward youth ;

But of a garden had no notion." Has Horace all by heart-you'd wonder

Continuing this fantastic farce on, And mouths out Homer's Greek like thunder.

He now commences country parson.

To make his character entire,
If you'd examine—and admit him,

He weds--a cousin of the 'squire;
A scholarship would nicely fit him:
That he succeeds 'tis ten to one;

Not over weighty in the purse,
Your vote and interest, Sir!"- 'Tis done.

But many doctors have done worse: Our pupil's hopes, though twice defeated,

And though she boasts no charms divine,

Yet she can carve and make birch wine. Are with a scholarship completed:

Thus fixt, content he taps his barrel,
A scholarship but half maintains,
And college rules are heavy chains:

Exhorts his neighbours not to quarrel;

Finds his church-wardens have disceruing In garret dark he smokes and puns,

Both in good liquor and good learning; A prey to discipline and duns;

With tithes his barns replete he sees,
And now intent on new designs,

And chuckles o'er luis surplice fees;
Sighs for a fellowship—and fines.
When nine full tedious winters past,

Studies to find out latent dues,
That utmost wish is crown'd at last :

And regulates the state of pews; But the rich prize no sooner got,

Rides a sleek mare with purple housing, Again he quarrels with his lot:

To share the monthly club's carousing;

Or Oxford pranks facetious tells,

When calm around the common room And—but on Sundays-hears no bells;

puff’d my daily pipe's perfume! Sends presents of his choicest fruit,

Rode for a stomach, and inspected, And prunes himself each sapless shoot;

At annual botilings, corks selected : Plants cauliflow’rs, and boasts to rear

And din'd untax'd, untroubled, under The earliest melons of the year;

The portrait of our pious founder! Thinks alteration charming work is,

When impositions were supply'd Keeps bantam cocks, and feeds his turkies;

To light my pipe-or soothe my prideBuilds in his copse a fav’rite bench,

No cares were then for forward peas, And stores the pond with carp and tench.

A yearly-longing wife to please; But ah! too soon his thoughtless breast

My thoughts no christ'ning dinners crost, By cares domestic is opprest;

No children cry'd for butter'd toast; And a third butcher's bill, and brewing,

And ev'ry night I went to bed, Threaten inevitable ruin:

Without a modus in my head!” For children fresh expenses yet,

Oh! trilling head, and fickle heart ! And Dicky now for school is fit.

Chagrin'd at whatsoe'er thou art; Why did I sell my college life

A dupe to follies yet untry'd, (He cries) for benefice and wife?

And sick of pleasures scarce enjoy'd ! Return, ye days! when endless pleasure

Each prize possess'd, thy transport ceases, I found in reading, or in leisure !

And in pursuit alone it pleases.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

I am out of humanity's reach,

I must finish my journey alone, Never hear the sweet music of speech,

I start at the sound of my own. The beasts, that roam over the plain,

My form with indifference see; They are so unacquainted with man,

Their tameness is shocking to me.

Society, friendship, and love,

Divinely bestowed upon man, Oh, had I the wings of a dove,

How soon would I taste you again! My sorrows I then might assuage

In the ways of religion and truth; Might learn from the wisdom of age,

And be cheered by the sallies of youth.

Religion! what treasure untold

Resides in that heavenly word! More precious than silver and gold,

Or all that this earth can afford. But the sound of the church-going bell

These vallies and rocks never heard, Never sighed at the sound of a knell,

Or smiled when a sabbath appeared.

ON THE DEATH OF MRS. THROCK

MORTON'S BULFINCH. Ye nymphs! if e'er your eyes were red With tears o'er hapless favourites shed,

O share Maria's gries!
Her favourite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage :)

Assassined by a thief.
Where Rhenus strays his vines among,
The egg was laid from which he sprung,

And though by nature mute,
Or only with a whistle blest,
Well-taught he all the sounds exprest

Of flagelet or flute.
The honours of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole;

His bosom of the hue,
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise

To sweep up all the dew.
Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike to bird and mouse,

No cat had leave to dwell; And Bully's cage supported stood On props of smoothest-shaven wood,

Large-built and latticed well. Well-latticed--but the grate, alas! Not rough with wire of steel or brass,

For Bully's plumage sake, But smooth withi wands from Ouse's side, With which, when neatly peeled and dried,

The swains their baskets make. Night veiled the pole. All seemed secure. When led by instinct sharp and sure,

Subsistence to provide,

[ocr errors]

Ye winds, that have made me your sport,

Convey to this desolate shore Some cordial endearing report

Of a land, I shall visit no more. My friends, do they now and then send

A wish or a thought after me? O tell me I yet have a friend,

Though a friend I am never to see.

How fleet is a glance of the mind !

Compared with the speed of its flight, The tempest itself lags behind,

And the swift-winged arrows of light.

« 上一頁繼續 »