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For owls, as swains observe, detest the light, SATURDAY; OR, THE FLIGHTS. And only sing and seek their prey by night.
How turnips hide their swelling heads below:
And how the closing coleworts upwards grow; SUBLIMER strains, O rustic Muse! prepare ;
How Will-o-wisp misleads night-faring clowns Forget awhile the barn and dairy's care;
O'er hills, and sinking bogs, and pathless downs.
Of stars he told, that shoot with shining trail, Thy homely voice to loftier numbers raise, The drunkard's flights require sonorous lays;
And of the glow-worm's light that gilds his tail. 60
He sung where woodcocks in the Summer feed, With Bowzy beus' songs exalt thy verse, While rocks and woods the various notes rehearse. And in what climates they renew their breed, 'Twas in the season when the reapers' toil
(Some think to northern coasts their flight they tend Of the ripe harvest 'gan to rid the soil ;
Or to the Moon in midnight hours ascend);
Where swallows in the Winter's season keep,
How Nature does the puppy's eyelid close
(For huntsmen by their long experience find, She feign'd her coat or garter was untied ;
That puppies still nine rolling suns are blind.) 70 Whate'er she did, she stoop'd adown unseen,
Now he goes on, and sings of fairs and shows,
For still new fairs before his eyes arose.
How pedlars' stalls with glittering toys are laid, That Echo answer'd from the distant hill;
The various fairings of the country maid. The youths and damsels ran to Susan's aid,
Long silken laces hang upon the twine, Who thought some adder had the lass dismay'd. 20 How the tight lass knives, combs
, and scissors spies,
And rows of pins and amber bracelets shine ; When fast asleep they Bowzy beus spied,
And looks on thimbles with desiring eyes.
Of lotteries next with tuneful note he told,
Where silver spoons are won, and rings of gold. 80 That Bowzy beus who, with fingers speed,
The lads and lasses trudge the street along, Could call soft warblings from the breathing reed; And all the fair is crowded in his song. That Bowzy beus who, with jocund tongue,
The mountebank now treads the stage, and sells Ballads and roundelays and catches sung :
His pills, his balsams, and his ague-spells; They loudly laugh to see the damsel's fright,
Now o'er and o'er the nimble tumbler springs, And in disport surround the drunken wight. 30
And on the rope the venturous maiden swings; “Ah, Bowzy bee, why didst thou stay so long ?
Jack Pudding in his party-color'd jacket The mugs were large, the drink was wond'rous
Tosses the glove, and jokes at every packet. strong!
Of raree-shows he sung, and Punch's feats, Thou shouldst have left the fair before 'twas night;
Of pockets pick'd in crowds, and various cheats. 90 But thou sat'st toping till the morning light."
Then sad he sung the Children in the Wood : Cicely, brisk maid, steps forth before the rout,
(Ah, barbarous uncle, stain'd with infant blood !) And kiss'd with smacking lip the snoring lout:
How blackberries they pluck'd in deserts wild, (For custom says, “Whoe'er this venture proves,
And fearless at the glittering falchion smild; For such a kiss demands a pair of gloves.")
Their little corpse the robin-red-breasts found, By her example Dorcas bolder grows,
And strow'd with pious bill the leaves around. And plays a tickling straw within his nose. 40
(Ah, gentle birds! if this verse lasts so long, He rubs his nostril, and in wonted joke
Your names shall live for ever in my song.) The sneering swains with stammering speech be- How the sly sailor made the maid a wife.
For Buxom Joan he sung the doubtful strife,
100 spoke : "To you, my lads, I'll sing my carols o'er,
To louder strains he rais'd his voice, to tell As for the maids—I've something else in store."
What woful wars in Chevy-chace befell, No sooner 'gan he raise his tuneful song,
When Percy drove the deer with hound and horn, But lads and lasses round about him throng.
Wars to be wept by children yet unborn! Not ballad-singer plac'd above the crowd
Ah, Witherington! more years thy life had crown'd, Sings with a note so shrilling sweet and loud ;
If thou hadst never heard the horn or hound ! Nor parish-clerk, who calls the psalm so clear,
Yet shall the 'squire, who fought on bloody stumps, Like Bowzybeus soothes th' attentive ear. 50
By future bards be wail'd in doleful dumps. of Nature's laws his carols first begun,
All in the land of Essex next he chants,
109 Why the grave owl can never face the Sun.
How to sleek mares starch Quakers turn gallants :
Ver. 51. Our swain had possibly read Tusser, from
Ver. 99. A song in the comedy of Love for Lovė, be ginning “A soldier and a sajlor," &c.
Ver. 109. A song of Sir J. Denham's. See his poems.
How the grave brother stood on bank so green-
Then he was seiz'd with a religious qualm,
He sung of Taffey Welch, and Sawney Scot, Lilly-bullero, and the Irish Trot. Why should I tell of Bateman, or of Shore, Or Wantley's Dragon, slain by valiant Moor, The Bower of Rosamond, or Robin Hood, And how the grass now grows where Troy town stood ?
120 His carols ceas'd: the listening maids and swains Seem still to hear some soft imperfect strains. Sudden he rose ; and, as he reels along, Swears kisses sweet should well reward his song. The damsels laughing fly: the giddy clown Again upon a wheat-sheaf drops adown; The power that guards the drunk, his sleep attends, Till ruddy, like his face, the Sun descends.
When, starting from her silver dream,
“That Raven on yon left-hand oak
She, sprawling in the yellow road, Rail'd, swore, and curs'd: “Thou croaking toad, A murrain take thy whoreson throat! I knew misfortune in the note.”
“ Dame," quoth the Raven, “spare your oaths Unclench your fist, and wipe your clothes. But why on me those curses thrown? Goody, the fault was all your own; For, had you laid this britule ware On Dun, the old sure-footed mare, Though all the Ravens of the hundred With croaking had your tongue out-thunder'd Sure-footed Dun had kept her legs, And you, good woman, sav'd your ggs.”
THE TURKEY AND THE ANT.
THE FARMER'S WIFE AND THE RAVEN.
“Why are those tears? why droops your head ?
“Alas! you know the cause too well ;
“Unhappy Widow, cease thy tears,
Betwixt her swagging panniers' load
In other men we faults can spy,
A Turkey, tir'd of common food,
“Draw near, my birds! the mother cries, This hill delicious fare supplies; Behold the busy negro race, See millions blacken all the place! Fear not; like me, with freedom eat; An Ant is most delightful meat. How bless'd, how envied, were our life, Could we but 'scape the poulterer's knife; But man, curs'd man, on Turkeys preys, And Christmas shortens all our days. Sometimes with oysters we combine, Sometimes assist the savory chine ; From the low peasant to the lord, The Turkey smokes on every board. Sure men for gluttony are curs'd, of the seven deadly sins the worst."
An Ant, who climb'd beyond his reach, Thus answer'd from the neighboring beech:
Ere you remark another's sin,
Virg. Ver. 117. Quid loquar aut Scyllam Nisi, &c.
Ver. 117–120. Old English ballads.
2 B 2
Matthew GREEN, a truly original poet, was born, is further attested, that he was a man of great probably at London, in 1696. His parents were re- probity and sweetness of disposition, and that his spectable Dissenters, who brought him up within conversation abounded with wit, but of the most in. the limits of the sect. His learning was confined 10 Offensive kind. He seems to have been subject to a little Latin; but, from the frequency of his clas- low-spirits, as a relief from which he composed his sical allusions, it may be concluded that what he principal poem, “ The Spleen.” He passed his read when young, he did not forget. The austerity life in celibacy, and died in 1737, at the early age in which he was educated had the effect of inspiring of forty-one, in lodgings in Gracechurch-street. him with settled disgust; and he fled from the The poems of Green, which were not made pubgloom of dissenting worship when he was no longer lic till after his death, consist of “The Spleen;" compelled to attend it. Thus set loose from the “ The Grotto;" “ Verses on Barclay's Apology;" opinions of his youth, he speculated very freely “The Seeker," and some smaller pieces, all comon religious topics, and at length adopted the sys- prised in a small volume. In manner and subject tem of outward compliance with established forms, they are some of the most original in our language. and inward laxity of belief. He seems at one They rank among the easy and familiar, but are time to have been much inclined to the principles replete with uncommon thoughts, new and striking of Quakerism; but he found that its practice would images, and those associations of remote ideas by not agree with one who lived " by pulling off the some unexpected similitudes, in which wit prin. hat." We find that he had obtained a place in the cipally consists. Few poems will bear more reCustom-house, the duties of which he is said to have peated perusals ; and, with those who can fully enter discharged with great diligence and fidelity. It into them, they do not fail to become favorites.
School-helps I want, to climb on high,
Where all the ancient treasures lie,
And there unseen commit a theft
On wealth in Greek exchequers left.
Then where? from whom? what can I steal, This motley piece to you I send,
Who only with the moderns deal ? Who always were a faithful friend;
This were attempting to put on Who, if disputes should happen hence,
Raiment from naked bodies won :t Can best explain the author's sense ;
They safely sing before a thief, And, anxious for the public weal,
They cannot give who want relief; Do, what I sing, so often feel.
Some few excepted, names well known, The want of method pray excuse,
And justly laurel'd with renown, Allowing for a vapor'd Muse :
Whose stamps of genius mark their ware, Nor to a narrow path confin'd,
And theft detects : of theft beware; Hedge in by rules a roving mind.
From More V so lash'd, example fit, The child is genuine, you may trace
Shun petty larceny in wit. Throughout the sire's transmitted face.
First know, my friend, I do not mean
To write a treatise on the spleen;
† A painted vest Prince Vortiger had on,
Which from a naked Pict his grandsire won. "In this poem," Mr. Melmoth says, “there are more
HOWARD's British Princes. original thoughts thrown together than he had ever read
§ James More Smith, Esq. Sce Dunciad, B. ji. 1. 50. and in the same compass of lines." FITZOSBORNE's Letters, p. 114. the notes, where the circumstances of the transaction
bere alluded to are very fully explained, + Gildon's Art of Poetry.
Nor to prescribe when nerves convulse ;
A strict dissenter saying grace,
A lect'rer preaching for a place,
Folks, things prophetic to dispense,
Making the past the future tense,
Fine epitaphs on knaves deceas d,
Green-apron'd Pythonissa's rage,
Great Æsculapius on his stage,
A miser starving to be rich,
Two Jews disputing tête-à-tête,
New almanacs compos'd by seers,
The superb muscle of the eye,
A coquet's A pril-weather face,
A Queenb'rough mayor behind his mace,
And fops in military show,
Are sov'reign for the case in view.
If spleen-fogs rise at close of day,
I clear my ev'ning with a play,
Or to some concert take my way,
The company, the shine of lights,
The scenes of humor, music's flights,
Life's moving pictures, well-wrought plays,
To others' grief attention raise :
Here, while the tragic fictions glow,
We borrow joy by pitying woe;
There gaily comic scenes delight,
And hold true mirrors to our sight.
Virtue, in charming dress array'd,
Calling the passions to her aid,
When moral scenes just actions join,
Takes shape, and shows her face divine.
Music has charms, we all may find,
Ingratiate deeply with the mind.
When art does sound's high pow'r advance,
To music's pipe the passions dance ;
Motions unwill'd its pow'rs have shown,
Tarantulated by a tune.
Many have held the soul to be
Nearly allied to harmony.
Her have I known indulging grief,
And shunning company's relief,
Unveil her face, and, looking round,
Own, by neglecting sorrow's wound,
The consanguinity of sound.
In rainy days keep double guard,
Or Spleen will surely be too hard ;
Fly highest, while their wings are wet.
In such dull weather, so unfit
When clouds one yard of azure sky,
That's fit for simile, deny,
I dress my face with studious looks,
But if dull fogs invade the head,
That mem'ry minds not what is read,
I sit in window dry as ark,
And on the drowning world remark:
Or to some coffee-house 1 stray
And from the hipp'd discourses gather,
Then seek good-humor'd tavern chums,
And play at cards, but for small suins, Deep tragedies that make us laugh,
Or with the merry fellows quaff,
Sometimes I dress, with women sit,
Permit, ye fair, your idol form,
But oh, what pity 'tis to find
Mothers, and guardian aunts, forbear
Nor lay out so much cost and art,
Now, if untir'd, consider, friend,
I never am at meeting seen,
Law, licens'd breaking of the peace,
I never game, and rarely bet,