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collected BY DR. swift AND MR. POPE, 1727.

Woo, XXIV, s

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IMITATIONS OF ENGLISH POETS.

BY

DR. SWIFT.

* -
I. CHAUCER.

A TALE, LATELY Found IN AN or D MANUSCRIPT.

* * * *

Women, though nat sans leacherie,
Ne swinken but with secrecie:
This in our tale is plain y-fond,
Of clerk that wonneth in Irelond;
Which to the fennes hath him betake
To filch the gray ducke fro the lake.
Right then there passen by the way
His aunt, and eke her daughters tway:
Ducke in his trowzes hath he hent,
Not to be spied of ladies gent.
“But ho! our nephew,” crieth one;
“Ho!" quoth another, “couzen John"
And stoppen, and lough, and callen out-
This sely clerk full low doth lout.
They asken that and talken this, *
“Lo here is coz, and here is miss.” * *
But, as he gloz'd with speeches soote,
The ducke sore tickleth his erse root:
Fore-piece and buttons all to-brest,
Forth thrust a white neck and red crest:
“Te he," cried ladies; clerke nought spake;
Miss stard; and gray ducke crieth “quaake.”

“O moder, moder,” quoth the daughter,

“Be thiike same thing maids longen alter?

Bette is to pyne on coals and chalke, *Then trust on mon, whose yerde can talke *.” "

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In ev'ry town where Thamis rolls his tide,
A narrow pass there is, with houses low;
Where ever and anon the stream is eyed,
And many a boat soft sliding to and fro:
There oft are heard the notes of infant woe,
The short thick sob, loud scream, and shriller squall:
How can ye, mothers, vex your children so;
Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall,
And, as they crouchen low, for bread and butter call.

II.

And on the broken pavement here and there
Doth many a stinking sprat and herring lie;

A brandy and tobacco shop is near,
And hens, and dogs, and hogs, are feeding by:

* Dr. Warton very properly observes, that this is “a gross and dull caricature of the father of English poetry, and very unworthy of its author at any age;” yet, bad as it is, Mr. Pope has taken the trouble to alter it materially in his own publication, though not at all to improve its delicacy. N.

+ He that was unacquainted with Spenser, and was to form his ideas of the turn and manner of his genius from this piece, would undoubtedly suppose that he abounded in filthy images, and excelled in describing the lower scenes of life. Dr. Waxton.

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