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Receive her with extended arms,

“I'll soon with Jenny's pride quit score, Seem more delighted with her charms:

Make all her lovers fall : Wait on her to the Park and play ;

They 'll grieve I was not loos'd before ;
Put on good-humor; make her gay ;

She, I was loos'd at all."
Be to her virtues very kind;
Be to her faults a little blind;

Fondness prevail'd, mamma gave way;
Let all her ways be unconfin'd;

Kitty, at heart's desire, And clap your padlock-on her mind.”

Obtain'd the chariot for a day,

And set the world on fire.

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My softest verse, my darling lyre,

Upon Euphelia's toilet lay;
When Chloe noted her desire,
That I should sing, that I should play.

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In imitation of a Greek Idyllium.
Celia and I, the other day,
Walk'd o'er the sand-hills to the sea:
The setting Sun adorn’d the coast,
His beams entire, his fierceness lost :
And, on the surface of the deep,
The winds lay only not asleep:
The nymph did like the scene appear,
Serenely pleasant, calmly fair :
Soft fell her words, as flew the air.
With secret joy I heard her say,
That she would never miss one day
A walk so fine, a sight so gay.

But, oh the change! the winds grow high ; Impending tempests charge the sky;

The lightning flies, the thunder roars,
And big waves lash the frighten'd shores.
Struck with the horror of the sight,
She turns her head, and wings her flight:
And, trembling, vows she'll ne'er again
Approach the shore, or view the main.

“Once more, at least, look back," said I,
Thyself in that large glass descry:
When thou art in good-humor drest ;
When gentle reason rules thy breast;
The Sun upon the calmest sea
Appears not half so bright as thee :
"Tis then that with delight I rove
Upon the boundless depth of Love :
I bless my chain; I hand my oar;
Nor think on all I left on shore.

“ But when vain doubt and groundless fear
Do that dear foolish bosom tear;
When the big lip and watery eye
Tell me the rising storm is nigh;
'Tis then, thou art yon angry main,
Deform'd by winds, and dash'd by rain;
And the poor sailor, that must try
Its fury, labors less than I.

“ Shipwreck’d, in vain to land I make, While Love and Fate still drive me back : Forc'd to dote on thee thy own way, I chide thee first, and then obey. Wretched when from thee, vex'd when nigh, I with thee, or without thee, die."



JOHN Gay, a well-known poet, was born at or nearsome South-sea stock presented to him by secretary Barnstaple, in Devonshire, in 1688. After an edu- Craggs, raised his hopes of fortune at one time to a cation at the free-school of Barnstaple, he was sent considerable height; but the loss of the whole of to London, where he was put apprentice to a silk- this stock affected him so deeply as to throw him

A few years of negligent attendance on into a dangerous degree of languor, for his recovery the duties of such a station procured him a separa- from which he made trial of the air of Hampstead. tion by agreement from his master; and he not long He then wrote a tragedy called “The Captives," afterwards addicted himself to poetical composition, of which was acted with applause ; and in 1726, he which the first-fruits were his “Rural Sports,” pub- composed the work by which he is best known, his lished in 1711, and dedicated to Pope, then first rising |“ Fables,” written professedly for the young Duke to fame. In the following year, Gay, who possessed of Cumberland, and dedicated to him. In the manmuch sweetness of disposition, but was indolent and ner of narration there is considerable ease, together improvident, accepted an offer from the Duchess of with much lively and natural painting, but they will Monmouth to reside with her as her secretary. He hardly stand in competition with the French fables had leisure enough in this employment to produce of La Fontaine. Gay naturally expected a handin the same year his poem of “Trivia, or the Art of some reward for his trouble; but upon the accession Walking the Streets of London," which proved one of George II. nothing better was offered him than of the most entertaining of its class. It was much the post of gentleman-usher to the young Princess admired ; and displayed in a striking manner that Louisa, which he regarded rather as an indignity talent for the description of external objects which than a favor, and accordingly declined. peculiarly characterized the author.

The time, however, arrived when he had little In 1714, he made his appearance from the press occasion for the arts of a courtier to acquire a degree on a singular occasion. Pope and Ambrose Philips of public applause greater than he had hitherto exhad a dispute about the respective merits of their perienced. In 1727, his famous “ Beggar's Opera" pastorals ; upon which, Gay, in order to serve the was acted at Lincolns-inn-fields, after having been cause of his friend, undertook to compose a set of refused at Drury-lane. To the plan of burlesquing pastorals, in which the manners of the country should the Italian operas by songs adapted to the most be exhibited in their natural coarseness, with a view familiar tunes, he added much political satire de. of proving, by a sort of caricature, the absurdity of rived from his former disappointments; and the rePhilips's system. The offer was accepted; and sult was a composition unique in its kind, of which Gay, who entitled his work “The Shepherd's the success could not with any certainty be foreseen. Week,” went through the usual topics of a set of “ It will either (said Congreve) take greatly, or be pastorals in a parody, which is often extremely damned confoundedly.” Its fate was for some time humorous. But the effect was in one respect dif- in suspense; at length it struck the nerve of public ferent from his intended purpose ; for his pictures taste, and received unbounded applause. It ran of rural life were so extremely natural and amusing, through six three successive representations in the and intermixed with circumstances so beautiful and metropolis, and was performed a proportional numtouching, that his pastorals proved the most popular ber of times at all the provincial theatres. Its songs works of the kind in the language. This perform- were all learned by heart, and its actors were raised ance was dedicated to Lord Boling broke; and at to the summit of theatric fame. This success, inthis period Gay seems to have obtained a large share deed, seems to indicate a coarseness in the national of the favor of the Tory party then in power. He taste, which could be delighted with the repetition was afterwards nominated secretary to the Earl of of popular ballad-tunes, as well as a fondness for the Clarendon, in his embassy to the court of Hanover; delineation of scenes of vice and vulgarity. Gay but the death of Queen Anne recalled him from his himself was charged with the mischiefs he had thus, situation, and he was advised by his friends not to perhaps unintentionally, occasioned; and if the neglect the opportunity afforded him to ingratiate Beggar's Opera delighted the stage, it encountered himself with the new family. He accordingly wrote more serious censure in graver places than has been a poetical epistle upon the arrival of the Princess of bestowed on almost any other dramatic piece. By Wales, which compliment procured him the honor making a highwayman the hero, he has incurred the of the attendance of the prince and princess at the odium of rendering the character of a freebooter an exhibition of a new dramatic piece.

ohject of popular ambition; and, by furnishing his Gay had now many friends, as well among per- personages with a plea for their dishonesty drawn song of rank, as among his brother-poets ; but little from the universal depravity of mankind, he has was yet done to raise him to a state of independence. been accused of sapping the foundations of all A subscription to a collection of his poems pub- social morality. The author wrote a second part lished in 1720, cleared him a thousand pounds; and of this work, entitled “ Polly," but the Lord Cham

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berlain refused to suffer it to be performed ; and time he employed such intervals of health and spirits though the party in opposition so far encouraged it as he enjoyed, in writing his “ Acis and Galatea," by their subscriptions that it proved more profitable an opera called “ Achilles," and a “Serenata." to him than even the first part, it was a very feeble His death took place in 1732, at the early age of performance, and has sunk into total neglect. forty-four, in consequence of an inflammation of

Gay, in the latter part of his life, received the the bowels. He was sincerely lamented by his kind patronage of the Duke and Duchess of Queens- friends; and his memory was honored by a mono. berry, who took him into their house, and conde- ment in Westminster Abbey, and an epitaph in a scended to manage his pecuniary concerns. At this strain of uncommon sensibility by Pope.


Here blooming Health exerts her gentle reign,

And strings the sinews of th' industrious swain.
Soon as the morning lark salutes the day,
Through dewy fields I take my frequent way,
Where I behold the farmer's early care

In the revolving labors of the year.

When the fresh Spring in all her state is crown'd,

And high luxuriant grass o'erspreads the ground,
-Securi prælia ruris


The laborer with a bending scythe is seen,

Shaving the surface of the waving green;

Of all her native pride disrobes the land,

And meads lays waste before his sweeping hand; You, who the sweets of rural life have known, While with the mounting Sun the meadow glows, Despise th' ungrateful hurry of the town; The fading herbage round he loosely throws: In Windsor groves your easy hours employ, But, if some sign portend a lasting shower, And, undisturb'd, yourself and Muse enjoy. Th'experienc'd swain foresees the coming hour; Thames listens to thy strains, and silent flows, His sun-burnt hands the scattering fork forsake, And no rude wind through rustling osiers blows, And ruddy damsels ply the saving rake; While all his wondering nymphs around thee In rising hills the fragrant harvest grows, throng,

And spreads along the field in equal rows. (gains, To hear the Syrens warble in thy song.

Now when the height of Heaven bright Phæbus But I, who ne'er was blest by Fortune's hand, And level rays cleave wide the thirsty plains, Nor brighten'd plowshares in paternal land, When heifers seek the shade and cooling lake, Long in the noisy town have been immur'd, And in the middle path-way basks the snake : Respir'd its smoke, and all its cares endur'd; O lead me, guard me, from the sultry hours, Where news and politics divide mankind,

Hide me, ye forests, in your closest bowers, And schemes of state involve th' uneasy mind: Where the tall oak his spreading arms entwines, Faction embroils the world ; and every tongue And with the beach a mutual shade combines; Is mov'd by flattery, or with scandal hung: Where flows the murmuring brook, inviting dreams, Friendship, for sylvan shades, the palace flies, Where bordering hazel overhangs the streams, Where all must yield to interest's dearer ties : Whose rolling current, winding round and round, Each rival Machiavel with envy burns,

With frequent falls makes all the woods resound, And honesty forsakes them all by turns;

Upon the mossy couch my limbs I cast, While calumny upon each party's thrown, And e'en at noon the sweets of evening taste. Which both promote, and both alike disown. Here I peruse the Mantuan's Georgic strains, Fatigu'd at last, a calm retreat I chose,

And learn the labors of Italian swains; And sooth'd my harass'd mind with sweet repose,


every page I see new landscapes rise, Where fields and shades, and the refreshing clime, And all Hesperia opens to my eyes ; Inspire the sylvan song, and prompt my rhyme. I wander o'er the various rural toil, My Muse shall rove through Aowery meads and And know the nature of each different soil : plains,

This waving field is gilded o'er with corn, And deck with rural sports her native strains ; That spreading trees with blushing fruit adorn : And the same road ambitiously pursue,

Here I survey the purple vintage grow, Frequented by the Mantuan swain and you. Climb round the poles, and rise in graceful row: "Tis not that rural sports alone invite,

Now I behold the steed curvet and bound, But all the grateful country breathes delight; And paw with restless hoof the smoking ground:

The dewlap'd bull now chafes along the plain,

While burning love ferments in every vein ; * This poem received many material corrections from His well-arm'd front against his rival aims, the author, after it was first published.

And by the dint of war his mistress claims :

The careful insect 'midst his works I view, He greedily sucks in the twining bait,
Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew; And tugs and nibbles the fallacious meat:
With golden treasures load his little thighs, Now, happy fisherman, now twitch the line!
And steer his distant journey through the skies; How thy rod bends! behold, the prize is thine!
Some against hostile drones the hive defend, Cast on the bank, he dies with gasping pains,
Others with sweets the waxen cells distend, And trickling blood his silver mail distains.
Each in the toil his destin'd office bears,

You must not every worm promiscuous use, And in the little bulk a mighty soul appears. Judgment will tell the proper bait to choose :

Or when the plowman leaves the task of day, The worm that draws a long immoderate size, And trudging homeward, whistles on the way; The trout abhors, and the rank morsel flies; When the big-udder'd cows with patience stand, And, if too small, the naked fraud 's in sight, Waiting the strokings of the damsel's hand; And fear forbids, while hunger does invite. No warbling cheers the woods; the feather'd choir, Those baits will best reward the fisher's pains, To court kind slumbers, to the sprays retire ; Whose polish'd tails a shining yellow stains : When no rude gale disturbs the sleeping trees, Cleanse them from filth, to give a tempting gloss, Nor aspen leaves confess the gentlest breeze; Cherish the sullied reptile race with moss ; Engag'd in thought, to Neptune's bounds I stray, Amid the verdant bed they twine, they toil, To take my farewell of the parting day; And from their bodies wipe their native soil. Far in the deep the Sun his glory hides,

But when the Sun displays his glorious beams, A streak of gold the sea and sky divides : And shallow rivers flow with silver streams, The purple clouds their amber linings show, Then the deceit the scaly breed survey, And, edg'd with flame, rolls every wave below: Bask in the sun, and look into the day : Here pensive I behold the fading light,

You now a more delusive art must try, And o'er the distant billow lose my sight.

And tempt their hunger with the curious fly. Now Night in silent state begins to rise,

To frame the little animal, provide And twinkling orbs bestrow th' uncloudy skies; All the gay hues that wait on female pride; Her borrow'd lustre growing Cynthia lends, Let Nature guide thee! sometimes golden wire And on the main a glittering path extends; The shining bellies of the fly require ; Millions of worlds hang in the spacious air, The peacock's plumes thy tackle must not fail, Which round their suns their annual circles steer; Nor the dear purchase of the sable's tail. Sweet contemplation elevates my sense,

Each gaudy bird some slender tribute brings,
While I survey the works of Providence.

And lends the growing insect proper wings;
O could the Muse in loftier strains rehearse Silks of all colors must their aid impart,
The glorious Author of the universe,

And every fur promote the fisher's art.
Who reins the winds, gives the vast ocean bounds, So the gay lady, with excessive care,
And circumscribes the floating worlds their rounds; Borrows the pride of land, of sea, and air ; (plays,
My soul should overflow in songs of praise, Furs, pearls, and plumes, the glittering thing dis-
And my Creator's name inspire my lays !

Dazzles our eyes, and easy hearts betrays. As in successive course the seasons roll,

Mark well the various seasons of the year, So circling pleasures recreate the soul.

How the succeeding insect race appear : When genial Spring a living warmth bestows, In this revolving Moon one color reigns, And o'er the year her verdant mantle throws, Which in the next the fickle trout disdains. No swelling inundation hides the grounds, Oft have I seen the skilful angler try But crystal currents glide within their bounds : The various colors of the treacherous fly; The finny brood their wonted haunts forsake, When he with fruitless pain hath skimm'd the brook, Float in the sun, and skim along the lake; And the coy fish rejects the skipping hook, With frequent leap they range the shallow streams, He shakes the boughs that on the margin grow, Their silver coats reflect the dazzling beams. Which o'er the stream a waving forest throw; Now let the fisherman his toils prepare,

When, if an insect fall, (his certain guide,) And arm himself with every watery snare; He gently takes him from the whirling tide; His hooks, his lines, peruse with careful eye, Examines well his form with curious eyes, Increase his tackle, and his rod re-tie.

His gaudy vest, his wings, his horns, and size, When floating clouds their spongy fleeces drain, Then round his hook the chosen fur he winds, Troubling the streams with swift-descending rain; And on the back a speckled feather binds; And waters tumbling down the mountain's side, So just the colors shine through every part, Bear the loose soil into the swelling tide;

That Nature seems again to live in Art. Then soon as vernal gales begin to rise,

Let not thy wary step advance too near, And drive the liquid burthen through the skies, While all thy hopes hang on a single hair ; The fisher to the neighboring current speeds, The new-form'd insect on the water moves, Whose rapid surface purls unknown to weeds: The speckled trout the curious snare approves; l'pon a rising border of the brook

Upon the curling surface let it glide, He sits him down, and ties the treacherous hook; With natural motion from thy hand supplied ; Now expectation cheers his eager thought, Against the stream now gently let it play, His bosom glows with treasures yet uncaught; Now in the rapid eddy roll away. Before his eyes a banquet seems to stand,

The scaly shoals Noat by, and, seiz'd with fear, Where every guest applauds his skilful hand. Behold their fellows tost in thinner air:

Far up the stream the twisted hair he throws, But soon they leap, and catch the swimming bait, Which down the murmuring current gently flows; Plunge on the hook, and share an equal fate. When, if or chance or hunger's powerful sway When a brisk gale against the current blows, Directs the roving trout his fatal way,

And all the watery plain in wrinkles flows,


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