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Of nature's laws his carols first begun, Why the
grave owl can never face the sun. For owls, as swains observe, detest the light, And only sing and seek their prey by night. How turnips hide their swelling heads below; And how the closing coleworts upwards grow; How will-a-wisp misleads night-faring clowns O'er hills, and sinking bogs, and pathless downs. Of stars he told, that shoot with shining trail, And of the glow-worm's light that gilds his tail. He sung where woodcocks in the summer feed, And in what climates they renew their breed. (Some think to northern coasts their flight they tend, Or to the moon in midnight hours ascend); Where swallows in the winter's season keep, And how the drowsy bat and dormouse sleep; How nature does the puppy's eyelid close, Till the bright sun has nine times set and rose; (For huntsmen by their long experience find, That puppies still nine rolling suns are blind).
Now he goes on, and sings of fairs and shows, For still new fairs before his eyes arose. How pedlars' stalls with glittering toys are laid, The various fairings of the country-maid. Long silken laces hang upon the twine, And rows of pins and amber bracelets shine; How the tight lass, knives, combs, and scissars spies, And looks on thimbles with desiring eyes. Of lotteries next with tuneful note he told, Where silver spoons are won, and rings of gold
The lads and lasses trudge the street along, And all the fair is crowded in his song. 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 the venturous maiden swings ; Jack Pudding, in his party-colour'd jacket, Tosses the glove, and jokes at every packet. Of raree-shows he sung, and Punch's feats, Of pockets pick'd in crowds, and various cheats.
Then sad he sung, “the Children in the Wood :" (Ah, barbarous uncle, stain'd with infant blood !) How blackberries they pluck'd in desarts wild, And fearless at the glittering faulchion smil'd; Their little corpse the robin red-breasts found, And strew'd with pious bill the leaves around. (Ah, gentle birds ! if this verse lasts so long, Your names shall live for ever in my song.)
For “Buxom Joan” he sung the doubtful strife, How the sly tailor made the maid a wife.
To louder strains he rais'd his voice, to tell What woeful wars in “ Chevy-chace" befel, When “ Percy drove the deer with hound and horn, Wars to be wept by children yet unborn!" Ah, Witherington, more years thy life had crown'd, If thou hadst never heard the horn or hound ! Yet shall the squire, who fought on bloody stumps, By future bards be wail'd in doleful dumps.
“ All in the land of Essex” next he chants, How to sleek mares starch quakers turn gallants :
How the grave brother stood on bank so green-
Then he was seiz'd with a religious qualm,
He sung of “ Taffey Welsh,” 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 Rosamond,” or “ Robin Hood," And how the "
grass now grows where Troy town stood ?" His carols ceas'd: the listening maids and swains Seem still to hear some soft imperfect strains. 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 wheat-sheaf drops adown; The power that guards the drunk his sleep attends, Till, ruddy, like his face, the şun descends.
THE BIRTH OF THE SQUIRE.
IN IMITATION OF THE POLLIO OF VIRGIL.
Ye sylvan Muses, loftier strains recite :
What sudden news alarms the waking morn?
His sire's exploits he now with wonder hears,
veins, He rode the mighty Nimrod of the plains. He leads the staring infant through the hall, Points out the horny spoils that grace the wall; Tells how this stag through three whole counties
fled, Whạt rivers swam, where hay'd, and where he bled. Now he the wonders of the fox repeats, Describes the desperate chase, and all his cheats;
How in one day, beneath his furious speed,
Ah, too fond mother, think the time draws nigh,
incites to sin ; The milk-maid (thoughtless of her future shame) With smacking lip shall raise his guilty flame; The dairy, barn, the hay-loft, and the grove, Shall oft be conscious of their stolen love. But think, Priscilla, on that dreadful time, When pangs and watery qualms shall own thy
crime. How wilt thou tremble when thy nipple’s prest, To see the white drops bathe thy swelling breast ! Nine moons shall publicly divulge thy shame, And the young squire forestall a father's name. When twice 'twelve times the reaper's sweeping
hand With levell’d harvests has bestrown the land;