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Then let the fisherman his art repeat,
Yet, if for sylvan sports thy bosom glow, Where bubbling eddies favor the deceit.
Let thy fleet greyhound urge his flying foe. If an enormous salmon chance to spy
With what delight the rapid course I view! The wanton errors of the floating fly,
How does my eye the circling race pursue! He lifts his silver gills above the flood,
He snaps deceitful air with empty jaws; And greedily sucks in th' unfaithful food ; The subtle hare darts swift beneath his paws; Then downward plunges with the fraudful prey, She fies, he stretches, now with nimble bound And bears with joy the little spoil away:
Eager he presses on, but overshoots his ground; Soon in smart pain he feels the dire mistake, She turns, he winds, and soon regains the way, Lashes the wave, and beats the foamy lake; Then tears with gory mouth the screaming prey. With sudden rage he now aloft appears,
What various sport does rural life afford! And in his eye convulsive anguish bears;
What unbought dainties heap the wholesome board' And now again, impatient of the wound,
Nor less the spaniel, skilful to betray, He rolls and wreathes his shining body round; Rewards the fowler with the feather'd prey. Then headlong shoots beneath the dashing tide, Soon as the laboring horse, with swelling veins, The trembling fins the boiling wave divide. Hath safely hous'd the farmer's doubtful gains, Now hope exalts the fisher's beating heart, To sweet repast th' unwary partridge flies, Now he turns pale, and fears his dubious art; With joy amid the scatter'd harvest lies; He views the tumbling fish with longing eyes, Wandering in plenty, danger he forgets, While the line stretches with th' unwieldy prize ; Nor dreads the slavery of entangling nets. Each motion humors with his steady hands, The subtle dog scours with sagacious nose And one slight hair the mighty bulk commands; Along the field, and snuffs each breeze that blows; Till, tir'd at last, despoil'd of all his strength, Against the wind he takes his prudent way, The game athwart the stream unfolds his length. While the strong gale directs him to the prey; He now, with pleasure, views the gasping prize Now the warm scent assures the covey near, Gnash his sharp teeth, and roll his blood-shot eyes; He treads with caution, and he points with fear; Then draws him to the shore, with artful care, Then (lest some sentry-fowl the fraud descry, And lifts his nostrils in the sickening air :
And bid his fellows from the danger fly) Upon the burthen'd stream he floating lies, Close to the ground in expectation lies, Stretches his quivering fins, and gasping dies. Till in the snare the fluttering covey rise.
Would you preserve a numerous finny race; Soon as the blushing light begins to spread, Let your fierce dogs the ravenous otter chase And glancing Phæbus gilds the mountain's head, (Th’ amphibious monster ranges all the shores, His early flight th' ill-fated partridge takes, Darts through the waves, and every haunt explores): And quits the friendly shelter of the brakes ; Or let the gin his roving steps betray,
Or, when the Sun casts a declining ray, And save from hostile jaws the scaly prey. And drives his chariot down the western way,
I never wander where the bordering reeds Let your obsequious ranger search around, O'erlook the muddy stream, whose tangling weeds Where yellow stubble withers on the ground; Perplex the fisher; I nor choose to bear
Nor will the roving spy direct in vain, The thievish nightly net, nor barbed spear; But numerous coveys gratify thy pain. Nor drain I ponds, the golden carp to take, When the meridian Sun contracts the shade, Nor troll for pikes, dispeoplers of the lake; And frisking heifers seek the cooling glade ; Around the steel no tortur'd worm shall twine, Or when the country floats with sudden rains, No blood of living insects stain my line.
Or driving mists deface the moisten'd plains; Let mc, less cruel, cast the feather'd hook In vain his toils th’unskilful fowler tries, With pliant rod athwart the pebbled brook, While in thick woods the feeding partridge lies. Silent along the mazy margin stray,
Nor must the sporting verse the gun forbear, And with the fur-wrought fly delude the prey. But what's the fowler's be the Muse's care.
See how the well-taught pointer leads the way; CANTO IL
The scent grows warm; he stops : he springs the
prey ; Now, sporting Muse, draw in the flowing reins, The futtering coveys from the stubble rise, Leave the clear streams awhile for sunny plains. And on swift wing divide the sounding skies; Should you the various arms and toils rehearse, The scattering lead pursues the certain sight, And all the fisherman adorn thy verse;
And death in thunder overtakes their flight Should you the wide encircling net display, Cool breathes the morning air, and Winter's hard And in its spacious arch enclose the sea; Spreads wide her hoary mantle o'er the land ; Then haul the plunging load upon the land, Now to the copse thy lesser spaniel take, And with the sole and turbot hide the sand ; Teach him to range the ditch, and force the brake; It would extend the growing theme too long, Not closest coverts can protect the game : And tire the reader with the watery song. Hark! the dog opens ; take thy certain aim.
Let the keen hunter from the chase refrain, The woodcock flutters ; how he wavering flies! Nor render all the plowman's labor vain, The wood resounds : he wheels, he drops, he dies. When Ceres pours out plenty from her horn, The towering hawk let future poets sing, And clothes the fields with golden ears of corn. Who terror bears upon his soaring wing: Now, now, ye reapers, to your task repair, Let them on high the frighted her survey, Hasto! save the product of the bounteous year: And lofty numbers point their airy fray. To the wide-gathering hook long furrows yield, Nor shall the mounting lark the Muse detain, And rising sheaves extend through all the field. That greets the morning with his early strain ;
IN THREE BOOKS.
When, 'midst his song, the twinkling glass betrays, No midnight masquerade her beauty wears,
No homebred jars her quiet state control,
Hang on her breast, and her small cottage grace ;
The kind rewarders of industrious life;
Farewell !—The city calls me from your bowers :
Quo te Moeri podes? an, quo via ducit, in urbem ?
Of the Implements for Walking the Streets, and Signs
of the Weather. O'er the high gate, and down the headlong hill? Canst thou the stag's laborious chase direct, Through winter streets to steer your course aright, Or the strong fox through all his arts detect? How to walk clean by day, and safe by night; The theme demands a more experienc'd lay : How jostling crowds with prudence to decline, Ye mighty hunters! spare this weak essay. When to assert the wall, and when resign,
O happy plains, remote from war’s alarms, I sing : thou, Trivia, goddess, aid my song, And all the ravages of hostile arms!
Through spacious streets conduct thy bard along; And happy shepherds, who, secure from fear, By thee transported, I securely stray On open downs preserve your fleecy care! Where winding alleys lead the doubtful way, Whose spacious barns groan with increasing store, The silent court and opening square explore, And whirling flails disjoint the cracking floor! And long perplexing lanes untrod before. No barbarous soldier, bent on cruel spoil,
То pave thy realm, and smooth the broken ways, Spreads desolation o'er your fertile soil;
Earth from her womb a flinty tribute pays; No trampling steed lays waste the ripen'd grain, For thee the sturdy pavior thumps the ground, Nor crackling fires devour the promis'd gain ; Whilst every stroke his laboring lungs resound; No flaming beacons cast their blaze afar,
For thee the scavenger bids kennels glide The dreadful signal of invasive war;
Within their bounds, and heaps of dirt subside. No trumpet's clangour wounds the mother's car, My youthful bosom burns with thirst of fame, And calls the lover from his swooning fair. From the great theme to build a glorious name,
What happiness the rural maid attends, To tread in paths to ancient bards unknown, In cheerful labor while each day she spends ! And bind my temples with a civic crown: She gratefully receives what Heaven has sent, But more my country's love demands my lays ; And, rich in poverty, enjoys content.
My country's be the profit
, mine the praise ! (Such happiness, and such unblemish'd fame, When the black youth at chosen stands rejoice, Ne'er glad the bogom of the courtly dame): And “clean your shoes" resounds from every voice ; She never feels the spleen's imagin'd pains, When late their miry sides stage-coaches show, Nor melancholy stagnates in her veins;
And their stiff horses through the town move slow; She never loses life in thoughtless ease,
When all the Mall in leafy ruin lies, Nor on the velvet couch invites disease ;
And damsels first renew their oyster-cries : Her home-spun dress in simple neatness lies, Then let the prudent walker shoes provide, And for no glaring equipage she sighs :
Not of the Spanish or Morocco hide ; Her reputation, which is all her boast,
The wooden heel may raise the dancer's bound, In a malicious visit ne'er was lost;
And with the scallop'd top his step be crown'd:
Let firm, well-hammer'd soles protect thy feet, O happy streets! to rumbling wheels unknown,
Nor should it prove thy less important care, Her rosy cheek with distant visits glow'd,
And exercise unartful charms bestow'd :
But since in braided gold her foot is bound,
For you, O honest men! these useful lays
Surpris'd in dreary fogs, or driving rain. Be thine of kersey firm, though small the cost, When suffocating mists obscure the morn, Then brave unwet the rain, unchill'd the frost. Let thy worst wig, long us’d to storms, be wom;
If the strong cane support thy walking hand, This knows the powder'd footman, and with care
Be thou for every season justly drest,
You'll see the coals in brighter flame aspire,
And sulphur tinge with blue the rising fire ; While softer chairs the tawdry load convey Your tender shins the scorching heat decline, To court, to White's, assemblies, or the play; And at the dearth of coals the poor repine ; Rosy-complexion'd Health thy steps attends, Before her kitchen hearth, the nodding dame, And exercise thy lasting youth defends.
In flannel mantle wrapt, enjoys the flame; Imprudent men Heaven's choicest gifts profane: Hovering, upon her feeble knees she bends, Thus some beneath their arm support the cane ; And all around the grateful warmth ascends. The dirty point oft checks the careless pace, Nor do less certain signs the town advise And miry spots the clean cravat disgrace.
Of milder weather and serener skies. Oh! may I never such misfortune meet!
The ladies, gaily dress'd, the Mall adorn May no such vicious walkers crowd the street! With various dyes, and paint the sunny morn : May Providence o'ershade me with her wings, The wanton fawns with frisking pleasure range, While the bold Muse experienc'd danger sings ! And chirping sparrows greet the welcome change,
Not that I wander from my native home, Not that their minds with greater skill are fraught,* And (tempting perils) foreign cities roam.
Endued by instinct, or by reason taught : Let Paris be the theme of Gallia's Muse,
The seasons operate on every breast; Where slavery treads the streets in wooden shoes. "Tis hence the fawns are brisk, and ladies drest. Nor do I rove in Belgia's frozen clime,
When on his box the nodding coachman snores, And teach the clumsy boor to skate in rhyme; And dreams of fancied fares; when tavern doors Where, if the warmer clouds in rain descend, The chairmen idly crowd ; then ne'er refuse No miry ways industrious steps offend;
To trust thy busy steps in thinner shoes. The rushing flood from sloping pavements pours, But when the swinging signs your ears offend And blackens the canals with dirty showers. With creaking noise, then rainy floods impend; Let others Naples' smoother streets rehearse, Soon shall the kennels swell with rapid streams, And with proud Roman structures grace their verse, And rush in muddy torrents to the Thames. Where frequent murders wake the night with groans, The bookseller, whose shop 's an open square, And blood in purple torrents dyes the stones. Foresees the tempest, and with early care, Nor shall the Muse through narrow Venice stray, of learning strips the rails; the rowing crew, Where gondolas their painted oars display. To tempt a fare, clothe all their tilts in blue;
* A town in Oxfordshire.
* Haud equidem credo, quia sit divinitus illis,
VIRG. Gearg. 1
On hosiers' poles depending stockings tied, Her cleanly pail the pretty housewife bears,
[sounds The milky burthen smokes upon her head, And sweats with sacred grief; you 'll hear the Deep through a miry lane she pick'd her way, Of whistling winds, ere kennels break their bounds; Above her ancle rose the chalky clay. Ungrateful odors common shores diffuse,
Vulcan by chance the bloomy maiden spies,
Ah, Mulciber! recall thy nuptial vows,
Think how her eyes dart inexhausted charms,
When blue-ey'd Patty near his window came, Nor Paul nor Swithin rule the clouds and wind. His anvil rests, his forge forgets to flame.
If you the precepts of the Muse despise, To hear his soothing tales, she feigns delays; And slight the faithful warning of the skies, What woman can resist the force of praise ? Others you'll see, when all the town's afloat, At first she coyly every kiss withstood, Wrapt in th' embraces of a kersey coat,
And all her cheek was flush'd with modest blood; Or double-bottom'd frieze ; their guarded feet With headless nails he now surrounds her shoes, Defy the muddy dangers of the street;
To save her steps from rains and piercing dews. While you, with hat unloop'd, the fury dread She lik'd his soothing tales, his presents wore, Of spouts high streaming, and with cautious tread And granted kisses, but would grant no more. Shun every dashing pool, or idly stop,
Yet Winter chilld her feet, with cold she pines, To seek the kind protection of a shop.
And on her cheek the fading rose declines; But business summons; now with hasty scud No more her humid eyes their lustre boast, You jostle for the wall; the spatter'd mud
And in hoarse sounds her melting voice is lost. Hides all thy hose behind ; in vain you scour, Thus Vulcan saw, and in his heavenly thought Thy wig, alas! uncurl'd, admits the shower. A new machine mechanic fancy wrought, So fierce Alecto's snaky tresses fell,
Above the mire her shelter'd steps to raise, When Orpheus charm'd the rigorous powers of Hell; And bear her safely through the wintery ways. Or thus hung Glaucus' beard, with briny dew Straight the new engine on his anvil glows, Clotted and straight, when first his amorous view And the pale virgin on the patten rose. Surpris'd the bathing fair; the frighted maid No more her lungs are shook with dropping rheums, Now stands a rock, transform’d by Circe's aid. And on her cheek reviving beauty blooms.
Good housewives all the winter's rage despise, The god obtain'd his suit : though flattery fail, Defended by the riding-hood's disguise ;
Presents with female virtue must prevail. Or, underneath th' umbrella's oily shed,
The patten now supports each frugal dame,
Of walking the Streets by Day.
To read the various warnings of the skies : Where Lincoln wide extends her fenny soil, Now venture, Muse, from home to range the town, A goodly yeoman liv'd, grown white with toil ; And for the public safety risk thy own. One only daughter bless'd his nuptial bed,
For ease and for dispatch, the morning 's best; Who from her infant hand the poultry fed : No tides of passengers the streets molest. Martha (her careful mother's name) she bore, You 'll see a draggled damsel here and there, But now her careful mother was no more.
From Billingsgate her fishy traflic bear ; Whilst on her father's knee the damsel play'd, On doors the sallow milk-maid chalks her gains; Patty he fondly call’d the smiling maid ;
Ah! how unlike the milk-maid of the plains ! As years increas'd, her ruddy beauty grew, Before proud gates attending asses bray, And Patty's fame o'er all the village flew. Or arrogate with solemn pace the way;
Soon as the grey-ey'd morning streaks the skies, These grave physicians with their milky cheer And in the doubtful day the woodcock flies, The love-siek maid and dwindling beau repair ;
Here rows of drummers stand in martial file, But still the wandering passes forc'd his stay,
Thy venturous footsteps to a female guide :
She'll lead thee with delusive smiles along, Full-charg'd with news the breathless hawker runs: Dive in thy fob, and drop thee in the throng. Shops open, coaches roll, carts shake the ground, When waggish boys the stunted besom ply, And all the streets with passing cries resound. To rid the slabby pavement, pass not by
If cloth'd in black you tread the busy town, Ere thou hast held their hands; some heedless flirt Or if distinguish'd by the reverend gown, Will overspread thy calves with spattering dirt. Three trades avoid : oft in the mingling press Where porters' hogsheads roll from carts aslope, The barber's apron soils the sable dress;
Or brewers down steep cellars stretch the rope,
What though the gathering mire thy feet be-
change) To shun the surly butcher's greasy tray,
of old was wont this nether world to range, Butchers, whose hands are dyed with blood's foul To seek amours; the vice the monarch lov'd, stain,
Soon through the wide ethereal court improv'd: And always foremost in the hangman's train. And ev’n the proudest goddess, now and then, Let due civilities be strictly paid :
Would lodge a night among the sons of men; The wall surrender to the hooded maid ;
To vulgar deities descends the fashion, Nor let thy sturdy elbow's hasty rage
Each, like her betters, had her earthly passion.
Then Cloacina* (goddess of the tide,
A mortal scavenger she saw, she lov'd;
You 'll sometimes meet a fop, of nicest tread, Like female patches, heighten'd every grace: Whose mantling peruke veils his empty head; She gaz'd; she sigh'd ; (for love can beauties spy At every step he dreads the wall to lose,
In what seem faults to every common eye.) And risks, to save a coach, his red-heel'd shoes ; Now had the watchman walk'd his second round, Him, like the miller, pass with caution by, When Cloacina hears the rumbling sound Lest from his shoulder clouds of powder fly. Of her brown lover's cart (for well she knows But, when the bully, with assuming pace, That pleasing thunder): swift the goddess rose, Cocks his broad hat, edg’d round with tarnish'd And through the streets pursu'd the distant noise, lace,
Her bosom panting with expected joys. Yield not the way, defy his strutting pride, With the night-wandering harlot's airs she past, And thrust him to the muddy kennel's side; Brush'd near his side, and wanton glances cast; He never turns again, nor dares oppose,
In the black form of cinder-wench she came, But mutters coward curses as he goes.
When love, the hour, the place, had banish'd shame; If drawn by business to a street unknown, To the dark alley arm in arm they move : Let the sworn porter point thee through the town; O may no link-boy interrupt their love! Be sure observe the signs, for signs remain,
When the pale Moon had nine times fill'd ber Like faithful landmarks, to the walking train.
space, Seek not from prentices to learn the way, The pregnant goddess (cautious of disgrace) Those fabling boys will turn thy steps astray ; Descends to Earth; but sought no midwife's aid, Ask the grave tradesman to direct thee right, Nor 'midst her anguish to Lucina pray'd; He ne'er deceives—but when he profits by 't. No cheerful gossip wish'd the mother joy,
Where fam'd St. Giles's ancient limits spread, Alone, beneath a bulk, she dropt the boy. (prord An enrail'd column rears its lofty head;
The child, through various risks in years inHere to seven streets seven dials count the day, At first, a beggar's brat, compassion mov'd; And from each other catch the circling ray. His infant tongue soon learnt the canting art, Here oft the peasant, with inquiring face,
Knew all the prayers and whines to touch the Bewilder'd, trudges on from place to place;
heart. He dwells on every sign with stupid gaze, Enters the narrow alley's doubtful maze,
* Cloacina was a goddess, whose image Tatius (a king Tries every winding court and street in vain,
of the Sabines) found in the common sewer; and, not And doubles o'er his weary steps again.
knowing what goddess it was, he called it Cloacina, from Thus hardly Theseus with intrepid feet
the place in which it was found, and paid to it divias Travers’d the dangerous labyrinth of Crete ; honors.-Lactant. 1. 20, Minuc. FCI. Oct. p. 232