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So have I seen (who has not, may conceive), One ancient hen she took delight to feed,
Which, ever and anon, impellid by need,
Into her school, begirt with chickens, came ; They start, they stare, they wheel, they look Such favour did her past deportment claim ; aghast ;
And, if neglect had lavish'd on the ground Sad servitude ! such comfortless annoy
Fragment of bread, she would collect the same; May no bold Briton's riper age e'er taste ! For well she knew, and quaintly could expound, Ne superstition clog his dance of joy,
What sin it were to waste the smallest crumb she Ne vision empty, vain, his native bliss destroy.
found. Near to this dome is found a patch so green, Herbs too she knew, and well of each could speak On which the tribe their gambols do display ; That in her garden sipp'd the silvery dew; And at the door imprisoning board is seen, Where no vain flower disclosed a gaudy streak; Lest weakly wights of smaller size should stray; But herbs for use, and physic, not a few, Eager, perdie, to bask in sunny day!
Of grey renown, within those borders grew : The noises intermix’d, which thence resound, The tufted basil, pun-provoking thyme, Do learning's little tenement betray ;
Fresh baum, and marygold of cheerful hue : Where sits the dame, disguised in look profound, The lowly gill, that never dares to climb; And eyes her fairy throng, and turns her wheel And more I fain would sing, disdaining here to around.
rhyme. Her cap, far whiter than the driven snow, Yet euphrasy may not be left unsung, Emblem right meet of decency does yield : That gives dim eyes to wander leagues around; Her apron dyed in grain, as blue, I trowe, And pungent radish, biting infant's tongue; As is the hare-bell that adorns the field :
And plantain ribb’d, that heals the reaper's wound; And in her hand, for sceptre, she does wield And marj'ram sweet, in shepherd's posie found; Tway birchen sprays; with anxious fear entwined, And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom With dark distrust, and sad repentance fillid; Shall be, erewhile, in arid bundles bound, And steadfast hate, and sharp affliction join'd,
To lurk amidst the labours of her loom, [fume. And fury uncontroll’d, and chastisement unkind. And crown her kerchiefs clean, with mickle rare perFew but have ken’d, in semblance meet pourtray'd, And here trim rosemarine, that whilom crown'd The childish faces of old Eol's train ;
The daintiest garden of the proudest peer ; Libs, Notus, Auster: these in frowns array'd, Ere, driven from its envied site, it found How then would fare or earth, or sky, or main, A sacred shelter for its branches here; Were the stern god to give his slaves the rein ? Where,edged with gold, its glittering skirts appear. And were not she rebellious breasts to quell, Oh wassel days ! O customs meet and well! And were not she her statutes to maintain, Ere this was banish'd from its lofty sphere The cot no more, I ween, were deem'd the cell, Simplicity then sought this humble cell, Where comely peace of mind, and decent order Nor ever would she more with thane and lordling dwell.
dwell. A russet stole was o'er her shoulders thrown: Here oft the dame, on Sabbath's decent eve, A russet kirtle fenced the nipping air ;
Hymned such psalms as Sternhold forth did mete; 'Twas simple russet, but it was her own ;
If winter 'twere, she to her hearth did cleare, 'Twas her own country bred the flock so fair! But in her garden found a summer-seat : 'Twas her own labour did the fleece prepare ; Sweet melody! to hear her then repeat And, sooth to say, her pupils, ranged around, How Israel's sons, beneath a foreign king, Through pious awe, did term it passing rare ; While taunting foe-men did a song entreat, For they in gaping wonderment abound,
All, for the nonce, untuning every string, And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight Uphung their useless lyres_small heart had they on ground.
to sing. Albeit ne flattery did corrupt her truth,
For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore, Ne pompous title did debauch her ear;
And pass'd much time in truly virtuous deed; Goody, good-woman, gossip, n’aunt, forsooth, And, in those elfins' ears, would oft deplore Or dame, the sole additions she did hear ;
The times, when truth by popish rage did bleed; Yet these she challenged, these she held right dear : And tortuous death was true devotion's meed; Ne would esteem him act as mought behove, And simple faith in iron chains did mouru, Who should not honour'd eld with these revere: That nould on wooden image place her creed ; For never title yet so mean could prove,
And lawny saints in smouldering flames did burn: But there was eke a mind which did that title love. Ah! dearest Lord, forefend thilk days should e'er
In elbow-chair, like that of Scottish stem, By the sharp tooth of cankering eld defaced, In which, when he receives his diadem, Our sovereign prince and liefest liege is placed, The matron sate; and some with rank she graced, (The source of children's and of courtiers' pride !) Redress'd affronts, for vile affronts there passid ; And warn'd them not the fretful to deride, But love each other dear, whatever them betide.
But ah! what pen his piteous plight may trace ? Or what device his loud laments explain? The form uncouth of his disguised face ? The pallid hue that dyes his looks amain ? The plenteous shower that does his cheek distain ? When he, in abject wise, implores the dame, Ne hopeth aught of sweet reprieve to gain ; Or when from high she levels well her aim, And, through the thatch, his cries each falling
stroke proclaim. The other tribe, aghast, with sore dismay, Attend, and conn their tasks with mickle care: By turns, astony'd, every twig survey, And, from their fellow's hateful wounds beware; Knowing, I wist, how each the same may share ; Till fear has taught them a performance meet, And to the well-known chest the dame repair ; Whence oft with sugar'd cates she doth them greet, And gingerbread y-rare; now, certes, doubly sweet.
Right well she knew each temper to descry ; To thwart the proud, and the submiss to raise ; Some with vile copper-prize exalt on high, And some entice with pittance small of praise ; And other some with baleful sprig she 'frays : Ev'n absent, she the reins of power doth hold, While with quaint arts the giddy crowd she sways; Forewarn'd, if little bird their pranks behold, 'Twill whisper in her ear, and all the scene unfold.
Lo now with state she utters the command ! Eftsoons the urchins to their tasks repair ; Their books of stature small they take in hand, Which with pellucid horn secured are; To save from finger wet the letters fair : The work so gay, that on their back is seen, St. George's high achievements does declare ; On which thilk wight that has y-gazing been, Kens the forthcoming rod, unpleasing sight, I
See to their seats they hye with merry glee, And in beseemly order sitten there ; All but the wight of bum y-galled, he Abhorreth bench and stool, and fourm, and chair ; (This hand in mouth y-fix’d, that rends his hair;) And eke with snubs profound, and heaving breast, Convulsions intermitting, does declare His grievous wrong ; his dame's unjust behest; And scorns her offer'd love, and shuns to be
Ah luckless he, and born beneath the beam Of evil star ! it irks me whilst I write ! As erst the bard by Mulla's silver stream, Oft, as he told of deadly dolorous plight, Sigh'd as he sung, and did in tears indite. For brandishing the rod, she doth begin To loose the brogues, the stripling's late delight ! And down they drop ; appears his dainty skin, Fair as the furry-coat of whitest ermilin.
His eye besprent with liquid crystal shines,
O ruthful scene! when from a nook obscure, His little sister doth his peril see : All playful as she sate, she grows demure ; She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee ; She meditates a prayer to set him free : Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny, (If gentle pardon could with dames agree) To her sad grief that swells in either eye, And wrings her so that all for pity she could die.
No longer can she now her shrieks command ; And hardly she forbears, through awful fear, To rushen forth, and, with presumptuous hand, To stay harsh justice in its mid career. On thee she calls, on thee her parent dear ! (Ah ! too remote to ward the shameful blow !) She sees no kind domestic visage near, And soon a flood of tears begins to flow; And gives a loose at last to unavailing woe.
Ah me! how much I fear lest pride it be ! But if that pride it be which thus inspires, Beware, ye dames, with nice discernment see, Ye quench not too the sparks of nobler fires : Ah ! better far than all the Muses' lyres, All coward arts, is valour's generous heat ; The firm fixt breast which fit and right requires, Like Vernon's patriot soul; more justly great Than craft that pimps for ill, or flowery false
DESCRIBING THE SORROW OF AN INGEN VOUS MIND ON THE
MELANCHOLY EVENT OF A LICENTIOUS AMOUR.
Yet, nursed with skill, what dazzling fruits appear! See! cherries here, ere cherries yet abound, Even now sagacious foresight points to show With thread so white in tempting posies ty'd, A little bench of heedless bishops here,
Scattering, like blooming maid, theirglances round, And there a chancellour in embryo,
With pamper'd look draw little eyes aside ; Or bard sublime, if bard may e'er be so,
And must be bought, though penury betide. As Milton, Shakspeare, names that ne'er shall die! The plum all azure and the nut all brown, Though now he crawl along the ground so low, And here each season do those cakes abide, Nor weeting how the Muse should soar on high, Whose honour'd names th' inventive city own, Wisheth, poor starveling elf ! his paper kite may Rendering through Britain's isle Salopia’s praises fly.
known. And this perhaps, who, censuring the design, Admired Salopia! that with venial pride Low lays the house which that of cards doth build, Eyes her bright form in Severn's ambient wave, Shall Dennis be! if rigid fate incline,
Famed for her loyal cares in perils try'd, And many an epic to his rage shall yield ; Her daughters lovely, and her striplings brave: And many a poet quit the Aonian field :
Ah! 'midst the rest, may flowers adorn his grave, And, sour'd by age, profound he shall appear, Whose art did first these dulcet cates display! As he who now with 'sdainful fury thrill’d, A motive fair to learning's imps he gave, Surveys mine work : and levels many a sneer, Who cheerless o'er her darkling region stray ; And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, “ What Till reason's morn arise, and light them on their stuff is here!"
Why mourns my friend ? why weeps his downcast
That eye where mirth, where fancy used to shine! For well may freedom erst so dearly won, (plore! Thy cheerful meads reprove that swelling sigh; Appear to British elf more gladsome than the sun.
Spring ne'er enamell’d fairer meads than thine. Enjoy, poor imps ! enjoy your sportive trade, Art thou not lodged in fortune's warm embrace ! And chase gay flies, and cull the fairest flowers;
Wert thou not form'd by nature's partial care! For when my bones in grass-green sods are laid;
Blest in thy song, and blest in every grace For never may ye taste more careless hours That wins the friend, or that enchants the fair! In knightly castles or in ladies' bowers.
Damon, said he, thy partial praise restrain ; O vain to seek delight in earthly thing !
Not Damon's friendship can my peace restore ; But most in courts where proud ambition towers;
Alas ! his very praise awakes my pain, Deluded wight! who weens fair peace can spring
And my poor wounded bosom bleeds the more. Beneath the pompous dome of kesar or of king.
For oh that nature on my birth had frown'd, See in each sprite some various bent appear !
Or fortune fix'd me to some lowly cell ! These rudely carol most incondite lay ;
Then had my bosom 'scaped this fatal wound, Those sauntering on the green, with jocund leer
Nor had I bid these vernal sweets farewell. Salute the stranger passing on his way;
But led by Fortune's hand, her darling child, Some builden fragile tenements of clay ;
My youth her vain licentious bliss admired; Some to the standing lake their courses bend,
In Fortune's train the syren Flattery smiled, With pebbles smooth at duck-and-drake to play;
And rashly hallow'd all her queen inspired. Thilk to the huckster's savory cottage tend, In pastry kings and queens th' allotted mite to Of folly studious, even of vices vain, spend.
Ah vices! gilded by the rich and gay!
I chased the guileless daughters of the plain, Here, as each season yields a different store, Nor dropp'd the chase till Jessy was my prey. Each season's stores in order ranged been;
[* “When I bought Spenser first,” says Shenstone, Apples with cabbage-net y-covered o’er,
“ I read a page or two of 'The Faerie Queene,' and cared Galling full sore th' unmoney'd wight, are seen;
not to proceed. After that Pope's . Alley,' made me conAnd goose-'brie clad in livery red or green ; sider him ludicrously; and in that light, I think one may And here of lovely dye, the catharine pear,
read him with pleasure." We owe the Schoolmistress to Fine pear! as lovely for thy juice, I ween :
this ill-taste and this complete misconception of Spenser.
Mr. Disraeli has an entertaining paper on Shenstone, but O may no wight e’er pennyless come there,
has omitted to mention that the first sketch of the ScboolLest smit with ardent love he pine with hopeless mistress, in twelve stanzas, is in Shenstone's first publicacare !
Nine envious moons matured her growing shame:
Erewhile to flaunt it in the face of day ; When, scorn'd of virtue, stigmatised by fame,
Low at my feet desponding Jessy lay.
“ Henry,” she said, “ by thy dear form subdued,
See the sad relics of a nymph undone ! I find, I find, this rising sob renewd :
I sigh in shades, and sicken at the sun.
Amid the dreary gloom of night I cry,
When will the morn's once pleasing scenes reYet what can morn's returning ray supply, (turn ?
But foes that triumph,or but friends that mourn! Alas! no more that joyons morn appears
That led the tranquil hours of spotless fame; For I have steep'd a father's couch in tears,
Andtinged a mother's glowing cheek with shame. The vocal birds that raise their matin strain,
The sportive lambs, increase my pensive moan ; All seem to chase me from the cheerful plain,
And talk of truth and innocence alone.
She spoke_nor was I born of savage race ;
Nor could these hands a niggard boon assign ; Grateful she clasp'd me in a last embrace, And vow'd to waste her life in prayers for
mine. I saw her foot the lofty bark ascend ;
I saw her breast with every passion heave : I left her—torn from every earthly friend ; Oh! my hard bosom, which could bear to
leave! Brief let me be ; the fatal storm arose ;
The billows raged, the pilot's art was vain ; O’er the tall mast the circling surges close ;
My Jessy-floats upon the watery plain ! And see my youth's impetuous fires decay ;
Seek not to stop reflection's bitter tear ; But warn the frolic, and instruct the gay,
From Jessy floating on her watery bier !
If through the garden's flowery tribes I stray,
Where bloom the jasmines that could once allure, Hope not to find delight in us, they say,
For we are spotless, Jessy,we are pure. Ye flowers that well reproach a nymph so frail ;
Say, could ye with my virgin fame compare ? The brightest bud that scents the vernal gale
Was not so fragrant, and was not so fair. Now the grave old alarm the gentler young ;
And all my fame's abhorr'd contagion flee : Trembles each lip, and falters every tongue,
That bids the morn propitious smile on me. Thus for your sake I shun each human eye ;
I bid the sweets of blooming youth adieu : To die I languish, but I dread to die,
Lest my sad fate should nourish pangs for you.
Ye rural thanes, that o'er the mossy down
Some panting, timorous hare pursue ; Does nature mean your joys alone to crown?
Say, does she smooth her lawns for you? For you does Echo bid the rocks reply, And, urged by rude constraint, resound the jovial
(* The Lady Hertford of Thomson's Spring.)
See from the neighbouring hill, forlorn,
Why brand these pleasures with the name The wretched swain your sport survey :
Of soft, unsocial toils, of indolence and shame! He finds his faithful fences torn,
Search but the garden, or the wood,
Let yon admired carnation own,
Not all for needful use alone ;
There while the seeds of future blossoms dwell,
'Tis colour'd for the sight, perfumed to please the Nor yet, ye swains, conclude
Why flows the pine's nectareous juice ?
Why shines with paint the linnet's wing ! O may it still reward your toil !
For sustenance alone? For use ? Nor ever the defenceless train
For preservation ? Every sphere Of clinging infants ask support in vain ?
Shall bid fair pleasure's rightful claim appear.
And sure there seem, of humankind, But though the various harvest gild your plains,
Some born to shun the solemn strife; Does the mere landscape feast your eye?
Some for amusive tasks design'd, Or the warm hope of distant gains
To soothe the certain ills of life ; Far other cause of glee supply ?
Grace its lone vales with many a budding rose, Is not the red-streak's future juice
New founts of bliss disclose, The source of your delight profound,
Call forth refreshing shades, and decorate repose. Where Ariconium pours her gens profuse,
Purpling a whole horizon round?
But though, the pebbled shores among,
ODE TO MEMORY
O MEMORY! celestial maid ! Unpleased ye see the thickets bloom,
Who glean’st the flowerets cropt by Time; Unpleased the spring her flowery robe resume ; And, suffering not a leaf to fade, Unmoved the mountain's airy pile,
Preservest the blossoms of our prime ; The dappled mead without a smile.
Bring, bring those moments to my mind
When life was new, and Lesbia kind.
And bring that garland to my sight,
With which my favour'd crook she bound;
And bring that wreath of roses bright Nor yet ye learn’d, nor yet ye courtly train,
Which then my festive temples crown'd ; If haply from your haunts ye stray
And to my raptured ear convey
The gentle things she deign'd to say.
And sketch with care the Muses' bower, 'Tis Nature only gives exclusive right
Where Isis rolls her silver tide; To relish her supreme delight ;
Nor yet omit one reed or flower She, where she pleases kind or coy,
That shines on Cherwell's verdant side ; Who furnishes the scene and forms us to enjoy.
If so thou may’st those hours prolong,
When polish'd Lycon join'd my song. Then hither bring the fair ingenuous mind,
The song it 'vails not to reciteBy her auspicious aid refined ;
But sure, to soothe our youthful ns, Lo ! not a hedge-row hawthorn blows,
Those banks and streams appear'd more bright Or humble hare-bell paints the plain,
Than other banks, than other streams :
Or, by thy softening pencil shown,
Assume thy beauties not their own !
The mountain swells, the dale subsides ; And paint that sweetly vacant scene, Even thriftless furze detains their wandering When, all beneath the poplar bough, sight.
My spirits light, my soul serene,
That nothing should my soul inspire,