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The trembling surface, by the motion stirr'd,
Spread in a second circle, then a third;,
Wide, and more wide, the floating rings ad.
Fill all the watry plain, and to the margin
Thus ev'ry voice and sound, when first they
On neighb'ring air a soft impression make;
Another ambicut circle then they mové; ·
That in its turn impels the next above;
Thro' undulated air the sounds are sent,
And spread o'er all the fluid element.
There various news i heard of love and strife, Of peace and war, health, sickuess, death and life;
Of loss and gain, of famine and of store;
Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore;
Of prodigies, and portents seen in air-;-
Of fires, and plagues, and stars with blazing
Of turns of fortune, changes in the state;
be fall of favourites, projects of the great;
fold mismanagements, taxations new:
A neither wholly false, nor wholly true.
Above, below, without, within, around, Confus'd, unnumber'd multitudes are found, Who pass, repass, advance, and glide away; Hosts rais'd by fear, and phantoms of a day; Astrologers, that future fates foreshew; Projectors, quacks, and lawyers not a few; And priests, and party zealots, numerous bands,
With home-born lies, or tales from foreign lands;
Each talk'd aloud, or in some secret place ;
And wild impatience star'd in ev'ry face.
The flying rumours gather'd as they roll'd,
Scarce any tale was sooner heard than told;
And all who told it added something new,
And all who heard it made enlargements too;
In ev'ry ear it spread, on ev'ry tongue it grew.
Thus flying east and west, and north and south,
News travell'd with increase from mouth to
So from a spark that kindled first by chance, With gathering force the quick'ning flames advance;
Thro' thousand vents impatient, forth they flow,
And rush in millions on the world below;
Fame sits aloft, and points them out their
Their date determines, and prescribes their
Some to retain, and some to perish soon;
Or wane and wax alternate like the moon.
Around a thousand winged wonders fly,
Borne by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd
thro' the sky.
There, at one passage, oft you may survey
A lie and truth contending for the way;
And long 'twas doubtful, both so closely pent,
Which first should issue thro' the narrow vent.
At last agreed, together out they fly,
Inseparable now the truth and lie;
The strict companions are for ever join'd,
And this or that unmix'd no mortal e'er shall
Till to the clouds their curling heads aspire, And tow'rs and temples sink in floods of fire. When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung, Full grown, and fit to grace a mortal tongue,
While thus I stood, intent to see and hear, One came, methought, and whisper'd in wy
What could thus high thy rash ambition raise? Art thou, foud youth, a candidate for praise?
'Tis true, said I, not void of hopes I came, For who so fond as youthful bards of faine? But few, alas! the casual blessing boast, So hard to gain, so easy to be lost. How vain that second life in others' breath, Th' estate which wits inherit after death! Ease, health, and life, for this they must resign, Uusure the tenure, but how vast the fine! The great man's curse, without the gains, endure;
Be envied, wretched—and be flatter`d, poor;
All luckless wits their enemies profest,
And all successful, jealous friends at best.
Nor Fame I slight, nor for her favours call;
She comes unlook'd for, if she comes at all.
But if the purchase costs so dear a price,
As soothing folly, or exalting vice ;
Oh! if the Muse must flatter lawless sway,
And follow still where Fortune leads the way;
Or if no basis bear my rising name
But the fallen ruins of another's fame-
Then teach me, Heaven! to scorn the guilty
Drive from my breast that wretched lust of
Unblemish'd let me live, or die unknown;
Oh grant an honest fame, or grant me noue!
A NEW BALLAD.
Written by MISS DODS.
Set to Music by
WILL KITCHINER. Med Doc..
In vain my serious air you chide, In
how should I be blithe and gay,when my sweet Love is
The flow'ry Vale, the shady Grove,
To my sad heart give no delight;
I think of thee, my absent Love,
And each fair Shrub becomes a Blight:
And while the greensward path I stray,
I sigh my Love is far away!'
The laughing Crowd, the festive Board,
The sprightly Dance un moved I see;
To Me such Scenes no mirth afford,
They cannot raise one Smile in me:
Ah no to Thee my Vows I pay,
My own true Love, far far away.