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O may thy virtue guard thee through the roads,
Of Drury's mazy courts, and dark abodes!
The harlots' guileful paths, who nightly stand
Where Catharine street defcends into the Strand!
Say, vagrant Mufe, their wiles and fubtle arts,
To lure the strangers' unfufpecting hearts:
So fhall our youth on healthful finews tread,
And city cheeks grow warm with rural red.
'Tis fhe who nightly ftrolls with fauntering pace, No ftubborn ftays her yielding fhape embrace;
Beneath the lamp her tawdry ribbons glare,
The new-fcower'd manteau, and the flattern air; 270 High-draggled petticoats her travels fhow,
And hollow cheeks with artful blushes glow;
With flattering founds fhe fooths the credulous ear, "My noble captain! charmer! love! my dear!"
In riding-hood near tavern-doors the plies,
Or muffled pinners hide her livid eyes.
With empty bandbox fhe delights to range,
And feigns a distant errand from the 'Change;
Nay, the will oft' the Quaker's hood prophane,
And trudge demure the rounds of Drury-lane.
She darts from farfenet ambush wily leers,
Twitches thy fleeve, or with familiar airs
Her fan will pat the cheek; thefe fnares difdain,
Nor gaze behind thee, when the turns again.
I knew a yeoman, who, for thirft of gain,
To the great city drove from Devon's plain
His numerous lowing herd; his herds he fold,
And his deep leathern pocket bagg'd with gold.
Drawn by a fraudful nymph, he gaz'd, he figh'd;
Unmindful of his home, and diftant bride,
She leads the willing victim to his doom,
Through winding alleys to her cobweb room.
Thence through the ftreet he reels from poft to poft,
Valiant with wine, nor knows his treasure lost.
The vagrant wretch th' affembled watchmen spies, 295
He waves his hanger, and their poles defies;
Deep in the round-house pent, all night he fnores,
And the next morn in vain his fate deplores.
Ah, hapless swain! unus'd to pains and ills!
Canst thou forego roast-beef for naufeous pills?
How wilt thou lift to Heaven thy eyes and hands,
When the long scroll the furgeon's fees demands!
Or elfe (ye Gods avert that worst disgrace !)
Thy ruin'd nofe falls level with thy face!
Then fhall thy wife thy loathsome kiss disdain,
And wholefome neighbours from thy mug refrain.
Yet there are watchmen, who with friendly light
Will teach thy reeling steps to tread aright;
For fixpence will fupport thy helpless arm,
And home conduct thee, fafe from nightly harm. 310 But, if they fhake their lanterns, from afar
To call their brethren to confederate war
When rakes refift their power; if hapless you
Should chance to wander with the fcowering crew; Though fortune yield thee captive, ne'er despair, 315 But seek the conftable's confiderate ear;
He will reverse the watchman's harsh decree,
Mov'd by the rhetorick of a filver fee.
Thus, would you gain fome favourire courtier's word,
Fee not the petty clerks, but bribe my lord.
Now is the time that rakes their revels keep;
Kindlers of riot, enemies of fleep.
His fcatter'd pence the flying Nicker flings,
And with the copper shower the casement rings.
Who has not heard the Scowerer's midnight fame? 325
Who has not trembled at the Mohock's name?
Was there a watchman took his hourly rounds,
Safe from their blows, or new-invented wounds?
I pass their defperate deeds, and mifchiefs done
Where from Snow-hill black fteepy torrents run; 330
How matrons, hoop'd within the hogfhead's womb,
Were tumbled furious thence; the rolling tomb
O'er the ftones thunders, bounds from fide to fide :
So Regulus to fave his country dy’d.
Where a dim gleam the paly lantern throws
O'er the mid pavement, heapy rubbish grows;
Or arched vaults their gaping jaws extend,
Or the dark caves to common-flores defcend;
Oft' by the winds extinct the signal lies,
Or fmother'd in the glimmering focket dies,
Ere night has half roll'd round her ebon throne;
In the wide gulph the shatter'd coach o'erthrown
Sinks with the fnorting fteeds; the reins are broke,
And from the crackling axle flies the spoke.
So, when fam'd Eddyftone's far-fhooting ray,
That led the failor through the ftormy way,
* Gentlemen, who delighted to break windows with half-pence.
Was from its rocky roots by billows torn,
And the high turret in the whirlwind borne;
Fleets bulg'd their fides against the craggy land,
And pitchy ruins blacken'd all the ftrand.
Who then through night would hire the harness'd fteed? And who would chufe the rattling wheel for fpeed? But hark! diftrefs with fereaming voice draws nigher, And wakes the flumbering freet with cries of fire. At first a glowing red enwraps the skies, And borne by winds the feattering fparks arife; From beam to beam the fierce contagion fpreads; The fpiry flames now lift aloft their heads; Through the burft fafh a blazing deluge pours, And fplitting tiles defcend in rattling fhowers.
Now with thick crouds th' enlighten'd pavement fwarms, The fire-man fweats beneath his crooked arms;
A leathern cafque his venturous head defends,
Boldly he climbs where thickeft fmoak afcends;
Mov'd by the mother's ftreaming eyes and prayers, 365
The helplefs infant through the flame he bears,
With no lefs virtue, than through hoftile fire
The Dardan hero bore his aged fire.
See forceful engines fpout their level'd ftreams,
To quench the blaze that runs along the beams;
The grappling hook plucks rafters from the walls,
And heaps on heaps the fmoaky ruin falls;
Blown by ftrong winds, the fiery tempeft roars,
Bears down new walls, and pours along the floors;
The heavens are all a-blaze, the face of night
Is cover'd with a fanguine dreadful light.
'Twas fuch a light involv'd thy towers, O Rome,
The dire prefage of mighty Cæfar's doom,
When the fun veil'd in rust his mourning head,
And frightful prodigies the fkies o'erfpread.
Hark! the drum thunders! far, ye crouds, retire:
Behold! the ready match is tipt with fire,
The nitrous store is laid, the smutty train
With running blaze awakes the barrel'd grain;
Flames fudden wrap the walls; with fullen found 3$5
The fhatter'd pile finks on the fmoaky ground.
So, when the years fhall have revolv'd the date,
Th' inevitable hour of Naples' fate,
Her fapp'd foundations fhall with thunders shake,
And heave and tofs upon the fulphurous lake;
Earth's womb at once the fiery flood fhall rend,
And in th' abyss her plunging towers defcend.
Confider, reader, what fatigues I've known,
The toils, the perils, of the wintery town ;
What riots feen, what bustling crouds I bore,
How oft' I crofs'd where carts and coaches roar :
Yet fhall I blefs my labours, if mankind
Their future fafety from my dangers find.
Thus the bold traveller (inur'd to toil,
Whose steps have printed Afia's defert foil,
The barbarous Arab's haunt; or fhivering croft
Dark Greenland's mountains of eternal froft;
Whom Providence in length of years restores
To the wifh'd harbour of his native fhores ;)
Sets forth his journals to the public view,
To caution, by his woes, the wandering crew.