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time he employed such intervals of health and spirits as he enjoyed, in writing his “ Acis and Galatea," an opera called “Achilles,” and a “ Serenata.”
berlain refused to suffer it to be performed; and though the party in opposition so far encouraged it by their subscriptions that it proved more profitable to him than even the first part, it was a very feeble His death took place in 1732, at the early age of performance, and has sunk into total neglect. forty-four, in consequence of an inflammation of
Gay, in the latter part of his life, received the the bowels., . He was sincerely lamented by his kind patronage of the Duke and Duchess of Queens-friends; and his memory was honoured by a monuberry, who took him into their house, and conde- ment in Westminster Abbey, and an epitaph in a
scended to manage his pecuniary concerns. At this strain of uncommon sensibility by Pope.
Inscribed to Mr. Pope, 1713. *
— Securi praelia ruris
You, who the sweets of rural life have known,
* This poem received many material corrections from the author, after it was first published.
Here blooming Health exerts her gentle reign,
The careful insect 'midst his works I view, Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew; With golden treasures load his little thighs, And steer his distant journey through the skies; Some against hostile drones the hive defend, Others with sweets the waxen cells distend, Each in the toil his destin'd office bears, And in the little bulk a mighty soul appears. Or when the ploughman leaves the task of day And trudging homeward, whistles on the way; When the big-udder'd cows with patience stand, Waiting the strokings of the damsel's hand; No warbling cheers the woods; the feather'd choir, To court kind slumbers, to the sprays retire: When no rude gale disturbs the sleeping trees, Nor aspen leaves confess the gentlest breeze; Engag'd in thought, to Neptune's bounds I stray, To take my farewell of the parting day; Far in the deep the Sun his glory hides, A streak of gold the sea and sky divides: The purple clouds their amber linings show, And, edg'd with flame, rolls every wave below: Here pensive I behold the fading light, And o'er the distant billow lose my sight. Now Night in silent state begins to rise, And twinkling orbs bestrow th' uncloudy skies; Her borrow'd lustre growing Cynthia lends, And on the main a glittering path extends; Millions of worlds hang in the spacious air, Which round their suns their annual circles steer; Sweet contemplation elevates my sense, While I survey the works of Providence. O could the Muse in loftier strains rehearse The glorious Author of the universe, Who reins the winds, gives the vast ocean bounds, And circumscribes the floating worlds their rounds; My soul should overflow in songs of praise, And my Creator's name inspire my lays As in successive course thc seasons roll, So circling pleasures recreate the soul. When genial Spring a living warmth bestows, And o'er the year her verdant mantle throws, No swelling inundation hides the grounds, But crystal currents glide within their bounds; The finny brood their wonted haunts forsake, Float in the sun, and skim along the lake; With frequent leap they range the shallow streams, Their silver coats reflect the dazzling beams. Now let the fisherman his toils prepare, And arm himself with every watery snare; His hooks, his lines, peruse with careful eye, Increase his tackle, and his rod re-tye. When floating clouds their spongy fleeces drain, Troubling the streams with swift-descending rain; And waters tumbling down the mountain's side, Bear the loose soil into the swelling tide; Then soon as vernal gales begin to rise, And drive the liquid burthen through the skies, The fisher to the neighbouring current speeds, Whose rapid surface purls unknown to weeds: Upon a rising border of the brook He sits him down, and ties the treacherous hook; Now expectation cheers his eager thought, His bosom glows with treasures yet uncaught; Before his eyes a banquet seems to stand, Where every guest applauds his skilful hand. Far up the stream the twisted hair he throws, Which down the murmuring current gently flows; When, if or chance or hunger's powerful sway
He greedily sucks in the twining bait,
Directs the rowing trout this fatal way,
And all the watery plain in wrinkles flows,
Then let the fisherman his art repeat,
Now, sporting Muse, draw in the flowing reins, Leave the clear streams awhile for sunny plains. Should you the various arms and toils rehearse, And all the fisherman adorn thy verse; Should you the wide encircling net display, And in its spacious arch enclose the sea; Then haul the plunging load upon the land, And with the sole and turbot hide the sand; It would extend the growing theme too long, And tire the reader with the watery song.
Let the keen hunter from the chase refrain, Nor render all the ploughman's labour vain, When Ceres pours out plenty from her horn, And clothes the fields with golden ears of corn. Now, now, ye reapers, to your task repair, Haste! save the product of the bounteous year: To the wide-gathering hook long furrows yield, And rising sheaves extend through all the field.
Yet, if for sylvan sports thy bosom glow, Let thy fleet greyhound urge his flying foe. With what delight the rapid course I view! How does my eye the circling race pursue ! He snaps deceitful air with empty jaws; The subtle hare darts swift beneath his paws; She flies, he stretches, now with nimble bound Eager he presses on, but overshoots his ground; She turns, he winds, and soon regains the way, Then tears with gory mouth the screaming prey. What various sport does rural life afford What unbought dainties heap the wholesome board! Nor less the spaniel, skilful to betray, Rewards the fowler with the feather'd prey. Soon as the labouring horse, with swelling veins, Hath safely hous’d the farmer's doubtful gains, To sweet repast th' unwary partridge flies, With joy amid the scatter'd harvest lies; Wandering in plenty, danger he forgets, Nor dreads the slavery of entangling nets. The subtle dog scours with sagacious nose Along the field, and snuffs each breeze that blows; Against the wind he takes his prudent way, While the strong gale directs him to the prey; Now the warm scent assures the covey near, He treads with caution, and he points with fear; Then (lest some sentry-fowl the fraud descry, And bid his fellows from the danger fly) Close to the ground in expectation lies, Till in the snare the fluttering covey rise. Soon as the blushing light begins to spread, And glancing Phoebus gilds the mountain's head, His early flight th’ ill-fated partridge takes, And quits the friendly shelter of the brakes; Or, when the Sun casts a declining ray, And drives his chariot down the western way, Let your obsequious ranger search around, Where yellow stubble withers on the ground; Nor will the roving spy direct in vain, But numerous coveys gratify thy pain. When the meridian Sun contracts the shade. And frisking heifers seek the cooling glade; Or when the country floats with sudden rains, Or driving mists deface the moisten’d plains; In vain his toils th’ unskilful fowler tries, While in thick woods the feeding partridge lies. Nor must the sporting verse the gun forbear, But what's the fowler's be the Muse's care. See how the well-taught pointer leads the way; The scent grows warm; he stops: he springs the prey; The fluttering coveys from the stubble rise, And on swift wing divide the sounding skies; The scattering lead pursues the certain sight, And death in thunder overtakes their flightCool breathes the morning air, and Winter's hand Spreads wide her hoary mantle o'er the land; Now to the copse thy lesser spaniel take, Teach him to range the ditch, and force the brake; Not closest coverts can protect the game : Hark! the dog opens; take thy certain aim. The woodcock flutters; how he wavering fliest The wood resounds: he wheels, he drops, he dies. The towering hawk let future poets sing, Who terrour bears upon his soaring wing . Let them on high the frighted hern survey, And lofty numbers point their airy fray. | Nor shall the mounting lark the Muse detain, That greets the morning with his early strain :
When, 'midst his song, the twinkling glass betrays, While from each angle flash the glancing rays, And in the Sun the transient colours blaze, Pride lures the little warbler from the skies: The light-enamour'd bird deluded dies. But still the chase, a pleasing task, remains; The hound must open in these rural strains. Soon as Aurora drives away the night, And edges eastern clouds with rosy light, The healthy huntsman, with the cheerful horn, Summons the dogs, and greets the dappled morn; The jocund thunder wakes th' enliven'd hounds, They rouze from sleep, and answer sounds for sounds; Wide through the furzy field their rout they take, Their bleeding bosoms force the thorny brake : The flying game their smoking nostrils trace, No bounding hedge obstructs their eager pace; The distant mountains echo from afar, And hanging woods resound the flying war: The tuneful noise the sprightly courser hears, Paws the green turf, and pricks his trembling ears; The slacken'd rein now gives him all his speed, Back flies the rapid ground beneath the steed; Hills, dales, and forests, far behind remain, While the warm scent draws on the deep-mouth'd train. Where shall the trembling hare a shelter find? Hark! death advances in each gust of wind Now stratagems and doubling wiles she tries, Now circling turns, and now at large she flies; Till, spent at last, she pants, and heaves for breath, Then lays her down, and waits devouring death. But stay, adventurous Muse! hast thou the force To wind the twisted horn, to guide the horse? To keep thy seat unmov’d, hast thou the skill, O'er the high gate, and down the headlong hill? Canst thou the stag's laborious chase direct, Or the strong fox through all his arts detect? The theme demands a more experienc'd lay : Ye mighty hunters! spare this weak essay. O happy plains, remote from war's alarms, And all the ravages of hostile arms! And happy shepherds, who, secure from fear, On open downs preserve your fleecy care! Whose spacious barns groan with increasing store, And whirling flails disjoint the cracking floor No barbarous soldier, bent on cruel spoil, Spreads desolation o'er your fertile soil; No trampling steed lays waste the ripen'd grain, Nor crackling fires devour the promis'd gain; No flaming beacons cast their blaze afar, The dreadful signal of invasive war; No trumpet’s clangour wounds the mother's ear, And calls the lover from his swooning fair. What happiness the rural maid attends, In cheerful labour while each day she spends! She gratefully receives what Heaven has sent, And, rich in poverty, enjoys content. (Such happiness, and such unblemish’d fame, Ne'er glad the bosom of the courtly dame): She never feels the spleen's imagin'd pains, Nor melancholy tes in her veins; She never loses life in thoughtless ease, Nur on the velvet couch invites disease; Her home-spun dress in simple neatness lies, And for no glaring equipage she sighs: Her reputation, which is all her boast, In a malicious visit ne'er was lost;
No midnight masquerade her beauty wears,
TRIVIA ; OR,
THE ART or walking THE STREETs of London. In thinre Books.
Quote Moeri pedes? an, quo via ducit, in urbem 7 Wing,
Of the Implements for Walking the Streets, and Signs of the Weather.
Through winter streets to steer your course aright,
: Whilst every stroke his labouring lungs resound; | For thee the scavenger bids kennels glide | Within their bounds, and heaps of dirt subside. | My youthful bosom burns with thirst of fame, | From the great theme to build a glorious name, iTo tread in paths to ancient bards unknown, | And bind my temples with a civic crown: But more my country's love demands my lays; My country's be the profit, mine the praise! | When the black youth at chosen stands rejoice, ' And “clean your shoes” resounds from every voice; When late their miry sides stage-coaches show, | And their stiff horses through the town move slow ; When all the Mall in leafy ruin lies, And damsels first renew their oyster-cries: Then let the prudent walker shoes provide, Not of the Spanish or Morocco hide; The wooden heel may raise the dancer's bound, And with the scallopod top his step be crown'd :
Let firm, well hammer'd soles protect thy feet Thro' freezing snows, and rains, and soaking sleet. Should the big last extend the shoe too wide, Each stone will wrench th' unwary step aside; The sudden turn may stretch the swelling vein, Thy cracking joint unhinge, or ancle sprain; And, when too short the modish shoes are worn, You'll judge the seasons by your shooting corn. Nor should it prove thy less important care, To choose a proper coat for winter's wear. Now in thy trunk thy D'Oily habit fold, The silken drugget ill can fence the cold; The frieze's spongy nap is soak'd with rain, And showers soon drench the camlet's cockled grain; True Witney.” broad-cloth, with its shag unshorn, Unpierc'd is in the lasting tempest worn: Be this the horseman's fence, for who would wear Amid the town the spoils of Russia's bear? Within the roquelaure's clasp thy hands are pent, Hands, that, stretch'd forth, invading harms prevent. Let the loop'd bavaroy the fop embrace, Or his deep cloke bespatter'd o'er with lace. That garment best the winter's rage defends, Whose ample form without one plait depends; By various namest in various counties known, Yet held in all the true surtout alone; Be thine of kersey firm, though small the cost, Then brave unwet the rain, unchill'd the frost. If the strong cane support thy walking hand, Chairmen no longer shall the wall command; Ev’n sturdy carmen shall thy nod obey, And rattling coaches stop to make thee way: This shall direct thy cautious tread aright, Though not one glaring lamp enliven night. Let beaux their canes, with amber tipt, produce; Be theirs for empty show, but thine for use. In gilded chariots while they loll at ease, And lazily ensure a life's disease; While softer chairs the tawdry load convey To court, to White's f, assemblies, or the play; Rosy-complexion'd Health thy steps attends, And exercise thy lasting youth defends. Imprudent men Heaven's choicest gifts profane: Thus some beneath their arm support the cane; The dirty point oft checks the careless pace, And miry spots the clean cravat disgrace. Oh! may I never such misfortune meet ! May no such vicious walkers crowd the street ! May Providence o'ershade me with her wings, While the bold Muse experienc'd danger sings! Not that I wander from my native home, And (tempting perils) foreign cities roam. Let Paris be the theme of Gallia's Muse, Where slavery treads the streets in wooden shoes. Nor do I rove in Belgia's frozen clime, And teach the clumsy boor to skate in rhyme; Where, if the warmer clouds in rain descend, No miry ways industrious steps offend; The rushing flood from sloping pavements pours, And blackens the canals with dirty showers. Let others Naples' smoother streets rehearse, And with proud Roman structures grace their verse, Where frequent murders wake the night with groans, And blood in purple torrents dyes the stones. Nor shall the Muse through narrow Venice stray, Where gondolas their painted oars display.
O happy streets to rumbling wheels unknown,
* Haud equidem credo, quia sit divinitus illis, Ingenium, aut rerum fato prudentia major. Vika. Georg. 1.