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up his dirty and dependent bread From pools and ditches of the commonwealth, Sordid and sick’ning at his own success.
Ambition, av’rice, penury incurr'd By endless riot, vanity, the lust Of pleasure and variety, dispatch, As duly as the swallows disappear, The world of wand'ring knights and squires to
London ingulphs them all! The shark is there,
And the shark's prey; the spendthrift, and the leech
That sucks him. There the sycophant, and he
Who, with bare-headed and obsequious bows,
Begs a warm office, doom'd to a cold jail
And groat per diem, if his patron frown.
The levee swarms, as if, in golden pomp,
Were character'd on ev'ry statesman's door,
These are the charms that sully and eclipse
The charms of nature. 'Tis the cruel gripe
That lean hard-handed poverty inflicts,
The hope of better things, the chance to win,
The wish to shine, the thirst to be amus'd,
That at the sound of winter's hoary wing
Unpeople all our countries of such herds
Of flutt'ring, loit'ring, cringing, begging, loose
And wanton vagrants, as make London, vast
And boundless as it is, a crowded
Oh thou, resort and mart of all the earth,
' Chequer'd with all complexions of mankind, And spotted with all crimes; in whom I see Much that I love, and more that I admire,
And all that I abhor; thou freckled fair,
That pleasest and yet shock’st me, I can laugh
And I can weep, can hope, and can despond,
Feel wrath and pity, when I think on thee!
Ten righteous would have sav'd a city once,
And thou hast many righteous.—Well for thee!
That salt preserves thee; more corrupted else,
And therefore more obnoxious, at this hour
Than Sodom in her day had pow'r to be,
For whom God heard his Abr’am plead in vain.