« 上一頁繼續 »
Draws a few hundreds from the stocks, And purchases his Country Box.
Some three or four miles out of town (An hour's ride will bring you down) He fixes on his choice abode,
Not half a furlong from the road;
And so convenient does it lay,
The stages pass it every day:
And then so snug, so mighty pretty,
To have a house so near the city!
Take but your places at the Boar,
You're set down at the very door.
Well, then, suppose them fix'd at last,
White-washing, painting, scrubbing past,
Hugging themselves in ease and clover,
With all the fuss of moving over;
Lo, a new heap of whims are bred,
And wanton in my lady's head.
"Well, to be sure, it must be own'd, It is a charming spot of ground; So sweet a distance for a ride, And all about so countryfied! "Twould come to but a trifling price To make it quite a paradise. I cannot bear those nasty rails, Those ugly broken mouldy pales: Suppose, my dear, instead of these, We build a railing all Chinese:
Although one hates to be exposed,
"Tis dismal to be thus enclosed;
One hardly any object sees→→
I wish you'd fell those odious trees,
Objects continual passing by
Were something to amuse the eye;
But to be pent within the walls-
One might as well be at St. Paul's.
Our house beholders would adore
Was there a level lawn before;
Nothing its views to incommode,
But quite laid open to the road;
While every traveller, in amaze,
Should on our little mansion gaze,
And, pointing to the choice retreat,
Cry, That's Sir Thrifty's country-seat."
No doubt her arguments prevail,
For Madam's taste can never fail.
Blest age! when all men may procure
The title of a Connoisseur;
When noble and ignoble herd
Are govern'd by a single word;
Though, like the royal German dames,
It bears an hundred Christian names;
As Genius, Fancy, Judgment, Goût,
Whim, Caprice, Je ne scai quoi, Virtù;
Which appellations all describe
Taste, and the modern tasteful tribe.
Now bricklayers, carpenters, and joiners,
With Chinese artists and designers,
Produce their schemes of alteration
To work this wondrous reformation.
The useful dome, which secret stood,
Embosom'd in the yew-tree's wood,
The trav'ller with amazement sees
A temple Gothic, or Chinese,
With many a bell and tawdry rag on,
And crested with a sprawling dragon.
A wooden arch is bent astride
A ditch of water four feet wide,
With angles, curves, and zigzag lines,
From Halfpenny's exact designs.
In front a level lawn is seen,
Without a shrub upon the green,
Where Taste would want its first great law,
But for the sculking, sly ha-ha,
By whose miraculous assistance
You gain a prospect two fields distance.
And now from Hyde-Park Corner come
The gods of Athens and of Rome.
Here squabby Cupids take their places,
With Venus, and the clumsy Graces:
Apollo there, with aim so clever,
Stretches his leaden bow for ever;
And there, without the power to fly,
Stands fix'd a tip-toe Mercury.
The villa thus completely graced,
All own that Thrifty has a taste;
And Madam's female friends and cousins,
With common-council men, by dozens,
Flock every Sunday to the seat,
To stare about them, and to eat.
FIRST PUBLISHED BY DR. PERCY.
It was a Friar of Orders Grey
Walk'd forth to tell his beads;
And he met with a lady fair
Clad in a pilgrim's weeds.
"Now Christ thee save, thou reverend Friar,
I pray thee tell to me,
If ever at yon holy shrine
My true love thou didst see."
"And how should I know your true love
From many another one ?"
"O, by his cockle hat, and staff,
And by his sandal shoon.
"But chiefly by his face and mien
That were so fair to view,
His flaxen locks that sweetly curl'd,
And eyne of lovely blue."
"O Lady, he is dead and gone!
Lady, he's dead and gone!
And at his head a green-grass turf,
And at his heels a stone.
"Within these holy cloysters long He languish'd and he died, Lamenting of a lady's love,
And 'plaining of her pride.
"Here bore him barefaced on his bier, Six proper youths and tall,
And many a tear bedew'd his grave,
Within yon kirk-yard wall."
"And art thou dead, thou gentle youth!
And art thou dead and gone!
And didst thou die for love of me?—
Break, cruel heart of stone!"
"O weep not, Lady, weep not so;
Some ghostly comfort seek;
Let not vain sorrow rive thy heart,
Nor tears bedew thy cheek."