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The noisy call of Smithfield's early train,
The sweep's shrill matins from the chimney stack, The dustman's bell, or post-boy's piping strain,
No more shall call their fleeting spirits back.
For them no more the brothel door shall turn,
Once in their cheeks the rose of health was seen, When youth its charms luxuriant round them shed; How jocund did their morn of life begin!
But ah! how soon by gathering clouds o'erspread.
Let not stern virtue scorn the unhappy frail,
The pride of chastity and dread of shame,
Nor you, ye prudes, in envious spleen delight, When hapless maidens err, by love betray'd : Did ye not want the attractions to incite, Yourselves might prove the victims ye upbraid..
Can wit refin'd, or might of human arm,
Perhaps within this cheerless spot is laid
Some youth once mur'd in squalid city jails ; Hands that the merry bag-pipe sweetly play'd,
Or rak'd the streets in search of rusty nails.
But commerce never with her ample range,
Full many a forest oak of stately size
Beneath the passenger's unconscious tread.
Some latent WREN, who up the scaffold high,
guiltless of his country's fall.
To lift the soul with transports to the skies,
Their lot forbade :-nor yet did fortune frown,
And gain the execration of mankind;
Their country's keen vindictive stroke to prove,
Far from the smoky town's incessant noise,
Nor sought the woods to shus the scorching day.
Yet Nature's forms demand some faint respect,
Some fond memorial still their souls requir'd; With pots of flowers, and green earth cases deck'd, Their windows oft the passenger admir'd.
There rose, and myrtle, trimm'd with fondest care, The shrubbery and garden ill supply:
And many a root of mignonette was there; While this regal'd the nose, and those the eye,
For e'en in thought, what mortal can behold, Unmov'd, the charms that hill and valley yield, In spring, the meadows spangled o'er with gold, And all the beauteous dies of Nature's field?
On some fond plant, the Virgin feasts her eyes,
E'en in our parlours some poor shrubs appear.
For thee, the obscure one's friend, who thus alone
Haply some cit may say :-" The crowd among "Oft have we seen him, at the close of day,
To gain his favourite seat at some new play.
"There, in the midway region of the pit,
"And pore upon the scene with curious eye.
"Beneath yon elm, that each new loiterer woos, "He lov'd to sit absorb'd in musings deep;
"Then up the Green-Park, or by Chelsea-Mews, "He'd briskly run; or, tir'd, would slowly creep.
"One eve I miss'd him on the accustom'd way,
Along the park, and near his favorite tree; "Another came-I sought him at the play, "Nor in pit, box, nor gallery was he."
The next in dreary hearse, with sad array,
Slow to the uncypress'd church-yard he was borne. Approach and read (if thou hast time) the lay,
Grav'd on the stone, that no proud lies adorn.