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How the grave brother stood on bank so green-
Happy for him if mares had never been
Then he was seiz'd with a religious qualm,
And on a sudden sung the hundredth psalm.
He sung of Taffey Welch, and Sawney Scot,
Lilly-bullero, and the Irish Trot.
Why should I tell of Bateman, or of Shore,
0r Wantley's Dragon, slain by valiant Moor,
The Bower of Rosamond, or Robin Hood,
And how the grass now grows where Troy town
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.
FABLE. THE FARMER's wife AND THE RAven.
“Why are those tears? why droops your head? Is then your other husband dead? Or does a worse disgrace betide? Hath no one since his death apply'd?” “Alas! you know the cause too well; The salt is spilt, to me it fell; Then, to contribute to my loss, My knife and fork were laid across; On Friday too! the day I dread! Would I were safe at home in bed ) Last night (I vow to Heaven 'tis true) Bounce from the fire a coffin flew. Next post some fatal news shall tell: God send my Cornish friends be well !” “ Unhappy Widow, cease thy tears, Nor feel affliction in thy fears; Let not thy stomach be suspended; Eat now, and weep when dinner's ended; And, when the butler clears the table, For thy desert I’ll read my Fable.” Betwixt her swagging panniers' load A Farmer's Wife to market rode, And, jogging on, with thoughtful care, Summ’d up the profits of her ware;
Ver. 112. Et fortunatam, si nunquam armenta fuissent, Pasiphaen. VIRG. Ver. 117. Quid loquar aut Scyllam Nisi, &c. Wing. Ver. 117–120. Old English ballads.
When, starting from her silver dream,
Thus far and wide was heard her scream.
“That Raven on yon left-hand oak
(Curse on his ill-betiding croak')
Bodes me no good.” No more she said,
When poor blind Ball, with stumbling tread,
Fell prone; o'erturn'd the pannier lay,
And her mash'd eggs bestrow'd the way.
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 brittle ware
On Dun, the old sure-footed mare,
Though all the Ravens of the hundred
With croaking had your tongue out-thundered,
Sure-footed Dun had kept her legs,
And you, good woman, sav'd your eggs.”
FABLE. THE TURKEY AND THE ANT.
In other men we faults can spy,
And blame the mote that dims their eye,
Each little speck and blemish find;
To our own stronger errours blind.
A Turkey, tir'd of common food,
Forsook the barn, and sought the wood;
Behind her ran an infant train,
Collecting here and there a grain.
“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 envy'd, 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 savoury 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 neighbouring beech: “Ere you remark another's sin, Bid thy own conscience look within; Control thy more voracious bill, Nor for a breakfast nations kill.”
Marmsw Garrn, a truly original poet, was born, probably at London, in 1696. His parents were respectable Dissenters, who brought him up within the limits of the sect. His learning was confined to a little Latin; but, from the frequency of his classical allusions, it may be concluded that what he read when young, he did not forget. The austerity in which he was educated had the effect of inspiring him with settled disgust; and he fled from the gloom of dissenting worship when he was no longer compelled to attend it. Thus set loose from the opinions of his youth, he speculated very freely on religious topics, and at length adopted the system of outward compliance with established forms and inward laxity of belief. He seems at one time to have been much inclined to the principles of Quakerism ; but he found that its practice would not agree with one who lived “by pulling off the hat.” We find that he had obtained a place in the Custom house, the duties of which he is said to have discharged with great diligence and fidelity. It
is further attested, that he was a man of great probity and sweetness of disposition, and that his conversation abounded with wit, but of the most inoffensive kind. He seems to have been subject to low-spirits, as a relief from which he composed his principal poem, “The Spleen.” He passed his life in celibacy, and died in 1737, at the early age of forty-one, in lodgings in Gracechurch-street. The of Green, which were not made public till after his death, consist of “The Spleen;” “The Grotto;” “Verses on Barclay's Apology;” “The Seeker,” and some smaller pieces, all comprised in a small volume. In manner and subject they are some of the most original in our language. They rank among the easy and familiar, but are replete with uncommon thoughts, new and striking images, and those associations of remote ideas by some unexpected similitudes, in which wit principally consists. Few poems will bear more repeated perusals; and, with those who can fully enter into them, they do not fail to become favourites.
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, Who only with the moderns deal? This were attempting to put on Raiment from naked bodies won; : They safely sing before a thief, They cannot give who want relief; Some few excepted, names well known, And justly laurel'd with renown, Whose stamp of genius marks their ware, And theft detects: of theft beware; From More $ so lash'd, example fit, Shun petty larceny in wit.
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. How ARD's British Princes. § James More Smith, esq. See Dunciad, B. ii. l, 50. and the notes, where the circumstances of the transaction here alluded to are very fully explained.
Nor to prescribe when nerves convulse;
Nor mend th' alarum watch, your pulse.
If I am right, your question lay,
What course I take to drive away
The day-mare, Spleen, by whose false pleas
Men prove mere suicides in ease;
And how I do myself demean
In stormy world to live serene.
When by its magic lantern Spleen
With frightful figures spreads life's scene,
And threat'ning prospects urg'd my fears,
A stranger to the luck of heirs;
Reason, some quiet to restore,
Show'd part was substance, shadow more ;
With Spleen's dead weight though heavy grown,
In life's rough tide I sunk not down,
But swam, till Fortune threw a rope,
Buoyant on bladders fill'd with hope.
I always choose the plainest food
To mend viscidity of blood.
Hail! water-gruel, healing power,
Of easy access to the poor;
Thy help love's confessors implore,
And doctors secretly adore;
To thee, I fly, by thee dilute-
Through veins my blood doth quicker shoot,
And by swift current throws off clean
Prolific particles of Spleen.
I never sick by drinking grow,
Nor keep myself a cup too low,
And seldom Chloe's lodgings haunt,
Thrifty of spirits, which I want.
Hunting I reckon very good,
To brace the nerves, and stir the blood:
But after no field-honours itch,
Achiev'd by leaping hedge and ditch.
While Spleen lies soft relax'd in bed,
Or o'er coal fires inclines the head,
Hygeia's sons with hound and horn,
And jovial cry awake the Morn.
These see her from the dusky plight,
Smear'd by th' embraces of the Night,
With roral wash redeem her face,
And prove herself of Titan's race,
And, mounting in loose robes the skies,
Shed light and fragrance as she flies.
Then horse and hound fierce joy display,
Exulting at the hark-away,
And in pursuit o'er tainted ground,
From lungs robust field-notes resound.
Then, as St. George the dragon slew,
Spleen pierc'd, trod down, and dying view;
While all their spirits are on wing,
And woods, and hills, and valleys ring.
To cure the mind's wrong bias, Spleen,
Some recommend the bowling-green;
Some, hilly walks; all, exercise;
Fling but a stone, the giant dies;
Laugh and be well. Monkeys have been
Extreme good doctors for the Spleen;
And kitten, if the humour hit,
Has harlequin'd away the fit.
Since mirth is good in this behalf,
At some partic'lars let us laugh.
Witlings, brisk fools, curst with half sense,
That stimulates their impotence;
Who buzz in rhyme, and, like blind flies,
Err with their wings for want of eyes.
Poor authors worshipping a calf,
Deep tragedies that make us laugh,
A strict dissenter saying grace,
A lect'rer preaching for a place,
Folks, things prophetic to dispense,
Making the past the future tense,
The popish dubbing of a priest,
Fine epitaphs on knaves deceas'd,
Green-apron'd Pythonissa's rage,
Great Æsculapius on his stage,
A miser starving to be rich,
The prior of Newgate's dying speech,
A jointer'd widow's ritual state,
Two Jews disputing téte-à-tête,
New almanacs compos'd by seers,
Experiments on felons' ears,
Disdainful prudes, who ceaseless ply
The superb muscle of the eye,
A coquet's April-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 humour, music's flights,
Adjust and set the soul to rights.
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 ally'd 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;
Which, like those fish by sailors met,
Fly highest, while their wings are wet.
In such dull weather, so unfit
To enterprize a work of wit,
When clouds one yard of azure sky,
That's fit for simile, deny,
I dress my face with studious looks,
And shorten tedious hours with books.
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 I stray
For news, the manna of a day,
And from the hipp'd discourses gather,
That politics go by the weather :
Then seek good-humour'd tavern chums,
And play at cards, but for small sums;
Or with the merry fellows quaff,
And laugh aloud with them that laugh;
Or drink a joco-serious cup
With souls who've took their freedom up,
And let my mind, beguil'd by talk,
In Epicurus' garden walk,
Who thought it Heav'n to be serene;
Pain, Hell, and purgatory, Spleen.
Sometimes I dress, with women sit,
And chat away the gloomy fit;
Quit the stiff garb of serious sense,
And wear a gay impertinence,
Northink nor speak with any pains,
But lay on fancy's neck the reins;
Talk of unusual swell of waist
In maid of honour loosely lac'd,
And beauty borr'wing Spanish red,
And loving pair with sep'rate bed,
And jewels pawn'd for loss of game,
And then redeem'd by loss of fame;
Of Kitty (aunt left in the lurch
By grave pretence to go to church)
Perceiv'd in hack with lover fine,
Like Will and Mary on the coin:
And thus in modish manner we,
In aid of sugar, sweeten tea.
Permit, ye fair, your idol form,
Which e'en the coldest heart can warm,
May with its beauties grace my line,
While I bow down before its shrine,
And your throng'd altars with my lays
Perfume, and get by giving praise.
With speech so sweet, so sweet a mien
You excommunicate the Spleen,
Which, fiend-like, flies the magic ring
You form with sound, when pleas'd to sing;
Whate'er you say, howe'er you move,
We look, we listen, and approve.
Your touch, which gives to feeling bliss,
Our nerves officious throng to kiss;
By Celia's pat, on their report,
The grave-air’d soul, inclin'd to sport,
Renounces wisdom's sullen pomp,
And loves the floral game, to romp.
But who can view the pointed rays,
That from black eyes scintillant blaze?
Love on his throne of glory seems
Encompass'd with satellite beams.
But when blue eyes, more softly bright,
Diffuse benignly humid light,
We gaze, and see the smiling loves,
And Cytherea's gentle doves,
And raptur'd fix in such a face
Love's mercy-seat, and throne of grace.
Shine but on age, you melt its snow;
Again fires long-extinguish'd glow,
And, charm'd by witchery of eyes,
Blood long congealed liquefies!
True miracle, and fairly done
By heads which are ador'd while on.
But oh, what pity 'tis to find
Such beauties both of form and mind,
By modern breeding much debas'd,
In half the female world at least !
Hence I with care such lott’ries shun,
Where, a prize miss'd, I'm quite undone;
And han’t, by vent'ring on a wife,
Yet run the greatest risk in life.
Mothers, and guardian aunts, forbiar
Your impious pains to form the fair,
Nor lay out so much cost and art,
But to deflow'r the virgin heart;
Of every folly-fost'ring bed
By quick’ning heat of custom bred.
Rather than by your culture spoil'd,
Desist, and give us nature wild,
Delighted with a hoyden soul,
Which truth and innocence control.
Coquets, leave off affected arts,
Gay fowlers at a flock of hearts;
Woodcocks to shun your snares have skill,
You show so plain, you strive to kill.
In love the artless catch the game,
And they scarce miss who never aim.
The world's great Author did create
The sex to fit the nuptial state,
And meant a blessing in a wife
To solace the fatigues of life;
And old inspired times display,
How wives could love, and yet obey.
Then truth, and patience of control,
And house-wife arts adorn'd the soul;
And charms, the gift of Nature, shone;
And jealousy, a thing unknown:
Veils were the only masks they wore;
Novels (receipts to make a whore)
Nor ombre, nor quadrille they knew,
Nor Pam's puissance felt at loo.
Wise men did not to be thought gay,
Then compliment their pow'r away :
But lest, by frail desires misled,
The girls forbidden paths should tread,
Of ign'rance rais'd the safe high wall;
We sink haw-haws, that show them all.
Thus we at once solicit sense,
And charge them not to break the fence.
Now, if untir’d, consider friend,
What I avoid to gain my end.
I never am at meeting seen,
Meeting, that region of the Spleen;
The broken heart, the busy fiend, ----
The inward call, on Spleen depend.
Law, licens'd breaking of the peace,
To which vacation is disease:
A gypsy diction scarce known well
By th’ magi, who law-fortunes tell,
I shun ; nor let it breed within
Anxiety, and that the Spleen;
Law, grown a forest, where perplex
The mazes, and the brambles vex;
Where its twelve verd'rers every day
Are changing still the public way:
Yet, if we miss our path and err,
We grievous penalties incur;
And wand'rers tire, and tear their skin,
And then get out where they went in.
I never game, and rarely bet,
Am loth to lend, or run in debt.
No compter-writs me agitate;
Who moralising pass the gate,
And there mine eyes on spendthrifts turn,
Who vainly o'er their bondage mourn.
Wisdom, before beneath their care,
Pays her upbraiding visits there,
And forces folly through the grate,
Her panegyric to repeat.
This view, profusely when inclin'd,
Enters a caveat in the mind:
Experience join'd with common sense,
To mortals is a providence.
Passion, as frequently is seen, Subsiding settles into Spleen. Hence, as the plague of happy life, I run away from party-strife. A prince's cause, a church's claim, I've known to raise a mighty flame, And priest, as stoker, very free To throw in peace and charity. That tribe, whose practicals decree Small beer the deadliest heresy; Who, fond of pedigree, derive From the most noted whore alive; Who own wine's old prophetic aid, And love the mitre Bacchus made, Forbid the faithful to depend On half-pint drinkers for a friend, And in whose gay red-letter'd face We read good-living more than grace: Nor they so pure, and so precise, Immac'iate as their white of eyes, Who for the spirit hug the Spleen, Phylacter'd throughout all their mien, Who their ill-tasted home-brew'd pray’r To the state's mellow forms prefer; Who doctrines, as infectious, fear, Which are not steep'd in vinegar, And samples of heart-chested grace Expose in show-glass of the face, Did never me as yet provoke Either to honour band and cloke, Or deck my hat with leaves of oak. I rail not with mock-patriot grace At folks, because they are in place; Nor, hir'd to praise with stallion pen, Serve the ear-lechery of men; But to avoid religious jars, The laws are my expositors, Which in my doubting mind create Conformity to church and state. I go, pursuant to my plan, To Mecca with the caravan. And think it right in common sense Both for diversion and defence. Reforming schemes are none of mine; To mend the world's a vast design: Like theirs, who tug in little boat, To pull to them the ship afloat, While to defeat their labour'd end, At once both wind and stream contend : Success herein is seldom seen, And zeal, when baffled, turns to Spleen. Happy the man, who innocent, Grieves not at ills he can't prevent; His skiff does with the current glide, Not puffing pull'd against the tide. He, paddling by the scuffling crowd, Sees unconcern'd life's wager row'd, And when he can't prevent foul play, Enjoys the folly of the fray. By these reflections I repeal Each hasty promise made in zeal. When gospel propagators say, We're bound our great light to display, And Indian darkness drive away, Yet none but drunken watchmen send, And scoundrel link-boys for that end; When cry up this holy war, *::::::: %. should be for. Yet such as owe the law their cars. We find employed as engineers:
This view my forward zeal so shocks,
In vain they hold the money-box.
At such a conduct, which intends
By vicious means such virtuous ends,
I laugh off spleen, and keep my pence
From spoiling Indian innocence.
Yet philosophic love of ease
I suffer not to prove disease,
But rise up in the virtuous cause
Of a free press, and equal laws.
The press restrain'd nefandous thought !
In vain our sires have nobly fought:
While free from force the press remains,
Virtue and Freedom cheer our plains,
And Learning largesses bestows,
And keeps uncensur'd open house.
We to the nation's public mart
Our works of wit, and schemes of art,
And philosophic goods this way,
Like water-carriage, cheap convey.
This tree, which knowledge so affords,
Inquisitors with flaming swords
From lay approach with zeal defend,
Lest their own paradise should end.
The Press from her fecundous womb
Brought forth the arts of Greece and Rome;
Her offspring, skill'd in logic war,
Truth's banner wav'd in open air;
The monster Superstition fled,
And hid in shades its Gorgon head;
And lawless pow'r, the long-kept field,
By reason quell'd, was forc'd to yield.
This nurse of arts, and freedom's fence
To chain, is treason against sense;
And, Liberty, thy thousand tongues
None silence, who design no wrongs;
For those, who use the gag's restraint,
First rob, before they stop complaint.
Since disappointment gauls within,
And subjugates the soul to spleen,
Most schemes, as money-snares, I hate,
And bite not at projector's bait.
Sufficient wrecks appear each day,
And yet fresh fools are cast away.
Ere well the bubbled can turn round,
Their painted vessel runs aground;
Or in deep seas it oversets
By a fierce hurricane of debts;
Or helm directors in one trip,
Freight first embezzled, sink the ship.
Such was of late a corporation *,
The brazen serpent of the nation,
Which, when hard accidents distress'd,
The poor must look at to be blest,
And thence expect, with paper seal’d
By fraud and us'ry, to be heal’d.
I in no soul-consumption wait
Whole years at levees of the great,
* The Charitable Corporation, instituted for the relief of the industrious poor, by assisting thern with small sums upon pledges at legal interest. By the villany of those who had the management of this scheme, the proprietors were defrauded of very considerable sums of money. In 1732 the conduct of the directors of this body became the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, and some of them, who were members of the house of commons, were expelled for their concern in this iniquitous transaction