Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Lap-dog and lambkin with black-starinig eyes,
And parrots with twin cherries in their beak.

Now came the cane from India, smooth and bright With nature's varnish; sever'd into stripes That interlac'd each other, these supplied Of texture firm a lattice-work, that brac'd The new machine, and it became a chair. But restless was the chair; the back erect Distress'd the weary loins, that felt no ease; The flipp'ry seat betray'd the sliding part That press'd it, and the feet hung dangling down, Anxious in vain to find the distant floor. These for the rich : the rest, whom fate had plac'd. In modest mediocrity, content With base materials, sat on well-tann'd hides, Obdurate and unyielding, glaffy smooth, With here and there a tuft of crimson yarn, Or scarlet crewel, in the cushion fix'd; If cushion might be call'd, what harder seem'd Than the firm oak of which the frame was form’d. No want of timber then was felt or fear'd In Albion's happy isle. The umber stood Pond'rous and fix'd by its own massy weight. But elbows still were wanting; these, some fay,

BZ

An alderman of Cripplegate contriv'd;
And some ascribe th' invention to a priest
Burly and big, and studious of his ease.
But, rude at first, and not with easy nope
Receding wide, they press'd against the ribs,
And bruis'd the side ; and, elevated high,
Taught the rais'd shoulders to invade the ears,
Long time elaps'd or e'er our rugged fires
Complain'd, though incommodiously pent in,
And ill at ease behind. The ladies first
'Gan murmur, as became the fofter sex.
Ingenious fancy, never better pleas'd
Than when employ'd t'accommodate the fair,
Heard the sweet moan with pity, and devis'd
The soft settee; one elbow at each end,
And in the midst an elbow, it receiv'd,
United yet divided, twain at once.
So sit two kings of Brentford on one throne s
And so two citizens who take the air,
Close pack'd, and smiling, in a chaise and one,
But relaxation of the languid frame,
By soft recumbency of outstretch'd limbs,
Was bliss reserv'd for happier days. So flow
The growth of what is excellent; so hard
T' attain perfection in this nether world.

Thus first necessity invented stools,
Convenience next suggested elbow-chairs,
And luxury th' accomplish'd sota laft.

The nurse fleeps sweetly, hit'd to watch the ficky Whom snoring she disturbs. As sweetly he Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour To sleep within the carriage more secure, His legs depending at the open door. Sweet sleep enjoys the curate in his desk, The tedious rector drawling o'er his head ; And sweet the clerk below. But neither sleep Of lazy nurse, who fnores the fick man deady Nor his who quits the box at midnight hour To flumber in the carriage more secure, Nor fleep enjoy'd by curate in his desk, Nor yet the dozings of the clerk, are sweets Compar'd with the repofe the sofa yields.

Oh may I live exempted (while I live
Guiltless of pamper'd appetite obscene)
From pangs arthritie, that infelt the toe
Of libertine excess. The sofa suits
The gouty limb, 'tis true ; but gouty limb,
Though on a sofa, may I never feel :
For I have lov'd the rural walk through lanes

Of graffy swarth, clofe cropt by nibbling sheep, And skirted thick with intertexture firm Of thorny boughs; have lov'd the rural walk O'er hills, through valleys, and by rivers' brink, E’er since a truant boy I pass’d my bounds T' enjoy a ramble on the banks of Thames ; And still remember, nor without regret, Of hours that forrow since has much endear’d, How oft, my fice of pocket store consum’d, Still hung'ring, pennyless and far from home, I fed on scarlet hips and stony haws, Or blushing crabs, or berries, that imboss The bramble, black as jet, or floes austere, Hard fare! but such as boyish appetite Disdains not; nor the palate, undepray'd By culinary arts, unfav'ry deems, No sofa then awaited my return; Nor sofa then I needed. Youth repairs His wasted spirits quickly, by long toil Incurring short fatigue; and, though our years As life declines speed rapidly away, And not a year but pilfers as he goes Some youthful grace that age would gladly keep; A tooth or auburn lock, and by degrees Their length and colour from the locks they fpare; Thị elastic spring of an unwearied foot

That mounts the style with ease, or leaps the fence, That play of lungs, inhaling and again Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me, Mine have not pilfer'd yet; nor yet impair’d My relish of fair prospect; scenes that sooth'd Or charm'd me young, no longer young, I find Still foothing, and of pow'r to charm me still. And witnefs, dear companion of my walks, Whose arm this twentieth winter I perceive Fast lock'd in mine, with pleasure such as love, Confirm'd by long experience of thy worth And well-tried virtues, could alone inspireWitness a joy that thou hast doubled long, Thou know'st my praise of nature most sincere, And that my raptures are not conjur'd up To serve occasions of poetic pomp, But genuine, and art partner of them all. How oft upon yon eminence our pace Has llacken’d to a pause, and we have borne The ruffling wind, scarce conscious that it blew, While admiration, feeding at the eye, And still unsated, dwelt upon

the scene. Thence with what pleasure have we just discern'd The distant plough flow moving, and beside His lab'ring team, that swerv'd not from the track,

« AnteriorContinuar »