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Defcends to earth; but fought no midwife's aid,
Nor 'midft her anguish to Lucina pray'd ;
No cheerful goffip with'd the mother joy,
Alone, beneath a bulk fhe dropt the boy.
The child, through various rifques in years improv'd,
At firft a beggar's brat, compaflion mov’d;
His infant tongue foon learnt the canting art,
Knew all the prayers and whines to touch the heart.
Oh happy unown'd youths! your limbs can bear 145
The fcorching dog-ftar, and the winter's air ;
While the rich infant, nurs'd with care and pain,
Thirfts with each heat, and coughs with every rain!
The Goddefs long had mark'd the child's diflrefs,
And long had fought his fufferings to redrefs
She prays the Gods to take the fondling's part,
To teach his hands fome beneficial art
Practis'd in freets: the Gods her fuit allow'd,
And made him useful to the walking croud;
To cleanfe the miry feet, and o'er the floe
With nimble fkill the gloffy black renew.
Each Power contributes to relieve the poor:
With the firong briftles of the mighty boar
Diana forms his bruth; the God of Day
A tripod gives, amid the crouded way
To raise the dirty foot, and ease his toil';
Kind Neptune fills his vafe with fetid oil
Preft from th' enormous whale; the God of Fire,
From whofe dominions imoaky clouds afpire,
Among thefe generous prefents joins his part,
And aids with foot the new japanning ait.
Pleas the receives the gifts; fhe downward glides,
Lights in Fleet-ditch, and fhcots beneath the tides.
Now dawns the morn, the sturdy lad awakes,
Leaps from his ftall, his tangled hair he thakes;
Then leaning o'er the rails, he mufing flood,
And view'd below the black canal of mud,
Where common fhores a lulling murmur keep,
Whofe torrents rufh from Holborn's fatal fieep:
Penfive through idlenefs, tears flow'd apace,
Which eas'd his loaded heart, and wash'd his face!
At length he fighing cry'd, That boy was bleft,
Whose infant lips have drain'd a mother's breaft;
But happier far are thofe (if fuch be known)
Whom both a father and a mother own:
But I, alas! hard fortune's utmolt fcorn,
Who ne'er knew parent, was an orphan born!
Some boys are rich by birth beyond all wants,
Belov'd by uncles, and kind good old aunts;
When time comes round, a Chriftmas-box they bear,
And one day makes them tich for all the year.
Had I the precepts of a father learn'd,
Perhaps I then the coachman's fare had earn'd,
For leffer boys can drive; I thirsty stand,
And fee the double flaggon charge their hand,
See them puff off the froth, and gulp amain,
While with dry tongue I lick my lips in vain.
While thus he fervent prays, the heaving tide,
In widen'd circles, beats on either fide;
The Goddefs rofe amid the inmost round,
With wither'd turnip-tops her temples crown'd;
Low reach'd her dripping treffes, lank, and black
As the fmooth jet, or gloffy raven's back;
Around her waift a circling eel was twin'd,
Which bound her robe that hung in rags behind.
Now beckoning to the boy, the thus begun :
Thy prayers are granted; weep no more, my fon :
Go thrive. At fome frequented corner ftand;
This brush I give thee, grafp it in thy hand,
Temper the foot within this vafe of oil,
And let the little tripod aid thy toil;
On this methinks I fee the walking crew,
At thy request, fupport the miry fhoe;
The foot grows black that was with dirt imbrown'd,
And in thy pocket gingling halfpence found.
The Goddefs plunges fwift beneath the flood,
And dashes all around her fhowers of mud:
The youth ftrait chofe his poft; the labour ply'd
Where branching ftreets from Charing-crofs divide;
His treble voice refounds along the Meuse,
And White-hall echoes-" Clean your Honour's fhoes!"
Like the sweet ballad, this amufing lay
Too long detains the walker on his way;
While he attends, new dangers round him throng;
The bufy city afks instructive song.
Where, elevated o'er the gaping croud,
Clafp'd in the board the perjur'd head is bow'd,
Betimes retreat; here, thick as hailftones pour,
Turnips and half-hatch'd eggs (a mingled fhower)
Among the rabble rain: fome random throw
May with the trickling yolk thy cheek o'erflow.
Though expedition bids, yet never ftray
Where no rang'd posts defend the rugged way.
Here laden carts with thundering waggons meet,
Wheels clash with wheels, and bar the narrow street;
The lashing whip refounds, the horses ftrain,
And blood in anguish bursts the fwelling vein.
O barbarous men! your cruel breasts affuage;
Why vent ye on the generous fteed your rage?
Does not his fervice earn you daily bread?
Your wives, your children, by his labours.fed!-
If, as the Samian taught, the foul revives,
And, fhifting feats, in other bodies lives;
Severe shall be the brutal coachman's change,
Doom'd in a hackney horfe the town to range;
Carmen, transform'd, the groaning load fhall draw,
Whom other tyrants with the lafh fhall awe.
Who would of Watling-street the dangers fhare,
When the broad pavement of Cheapfide is near?
Or who that rugged street would traverse o'er,
That stretches, O Fleet-ditch, from thy black shore
To the Tower's moated walls? Here fteams afcend
That, in mix'd fumes, the wrinkled nofe offend.
Where chandlers' cauldrons boil; where fifhy prey.
Hide the wet ftall, long absent from the fea;
And where the cleaver chops the heifer's fpoil,
And where huge hogfheads sweat with trainy oil,
Thy breathing noftril hold: but how fhall I
Pass, where in piles Carnavian † cheeses lie;
+ Chefhire anciently fo called.. 14 Cheele,.
Cheefe, that the table's clofing rites denies,
And bids me with th' unwilling chaplain rife?
O bear me to the paths of fair Pall-mall!
Safe are thy pavements, grateful is thy fmell!
At diftance rolls along the gilded coach,
Nor fturdy carmen on thy walks encroach;
No lets would bar thy ways were chairs deny'd,
The foft fupports of lazinefs and pride;
Shops breathe perfumes, through fashes ribbons glow,
'The mutual arms of ladies and the beau.
Yet ftill ev'n here, when rains the paffage hide,
Oft' the loofe ftone fpirts up a muddy tide
Beneath thy carelefs foot; and from on high,
Where mafons mount the ladder, fragments fly,
Morter and crumbled lime in fhowers defcend,
And o'er thy head deftructive tiles impend.
But fometimes let me leave the noify roads, And filert wander in the close abodes, Where wheels ne'er fhake the ground; there penfive firay, In ftudious thought, the long uncrouded way. Here I remark each walker's different face, And in their look their various bufinefs trace. The broker here his fpacious beaver wears, Upon his brow fit jealoufies and cares; Bent on fome mortgage (to avoid reproach)
He feeks bye-ftreets, and faves th' expenfive coach. 250
Soft, at low doors, old letchers tap their cane,
For fair reclufe, who travel Drury-lane;
Here roams uncomb'd the lavish rake, to fhua
His Fleet-freet draper's everlafting dun.