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Not closest coverts can protect the game:
Hark! the dog opens ; take thy certain aim ;
The woodcock futters; how he wav'ring flies'!
The wood resounds : he wheels, he drops, he dies.
The tow'ring hawk let future poets fing,
Who terror bears upon his soaring wing :
Let them on high the frighted hern survey,
And lofty numbers paint their airy fray.
Nor Mall the mountain lark the muse detain,
That greets the morning with his early ftrain ;
When, ʼmidst his song, the twinkling glass betrays,
While from each angle fialh the glancing says,
And in thc fun 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 a chearful horn,
Summons the dogs, and greets the dappled morn;
The jocund thunder wakes th' enliven'd hounds,
They rouse from sleep, and answer sounds for sounds ;
Wide through the furzy field their route they take,
Their bleeding bosoms force the thorny brake :
The flying game their smoaking 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 fprightly courser hears,
Paws the green turf, and pricks his trembling ears ;
The slacken'd rein now gives him all his speed,
Back fies 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 hair a shelter find?
Hark! death advances in each gust of wind!
New 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,
We cannot part from Mr. Gay without taking some notice of his Trivia, or Art of Walking the Streets ; a didactic poem of the burlesque kind, which he has heighten'd and made entertaining, by many diverting fictions, fimi. lies, digreflions and descriptions, very poetically and artfully introduced. Of these the following fable, by which he accounts for the rise of the Patten, is finely conceived.
Good housewives all the winter's rage despise,
Defended by the riding-hood's disguise :
Or underneath th' umbrella's oily shed,
Safe through the wet on clinking pattens tread.
Let Persian dames th'umbrella's ribs display,
To guard their beauties from the sunny ray;
Or sweating slaves support the shady load,
When eastern monarchs show their state abroad 3
Britain in winter only knows its aid,
To guard from chilly show'rs the walking maid.
But, o! forget not, muse, the patten's praise,
That female implement shall grace thy lays ;
Say from what art divine th' invention came,
And from its origin deduce its name.
Where Lincoln wide extends her fenny soil,
A goodly yeoman
white with toil :
One only daughter bleft his nuptial bed,
Who from her infant hand the poultry fed :
Martha (her careful mother's name) she bore,
But now her careful mother was no more.
Whilft on her father's knee the damsel play'd,
Patty he fondly called the smiling maid;
As years increas'd, her ruddy beauty grew,
And Patty's fame o'er all the village Aew.
Soon as the grey.ey'd morning streaks the skies,
And in the doubtful day the woodcock flies,
Her cleanly pail the pretty housewife bears,
And singing to the distant field repairs :
And when the plains with ev'ning dews are spread,
The milky burden smokes upon her head,
Deep, thro' a miry-lane the pick'd her way,
Above her ancle rose the chalky clay.
Vulcan by chance the blooming maiden spies,
With innocence and beauty in her eyes,
He saw, he lov'd, for yet he ne'er had known
Sweet innocence and beauty meet in one.
Ah Mulciber! recal thy nuptial vows,
Think on the graces of thy Paphian spouse,
Think how her eyes dart inexhausted charms,
And canst thou leave her bed for Patty's arms ?
The Lemnian power forsakes the realms above,
His bolom glowing with terrestrial love :
Far in the lane a lonely hut he found,
No tenant ventur'd on th' unwholesome ground.
Here smokes his forge, he bares his finewy arm,
And early strokes the founding anvil warm:
Around his shop the steely sparkles flew,
As for the fleed he shap'd the bending shoe.
When blue-ey'd Patty near his window came,
His anvil refts, his forge forgets to fame.
To hear his foothing tales she feigns delays ;
What woman can resist the force of praise ?
At first she coyly ev'ry kiss withstood,
And all her cheek was Aluth'd with modeft blood :
With headless nails he now surrounds her shoes,
To save her steps from rains and piercing dews;
She lik'd his foothing tales, his presents wore,
And granted kisses, but would grant no more :
Yet winter chill'd her feet, with cold she pines,
And on her cheek the fading rose declines ;
No more her humid eyes their luftre boaft,
And in hoarse sounds her melting voice is loft.
This Vulcan saw, and in his heav'nly thought,
A new machine mechanic fancy wrought,
Above the mire her shelter'd steps to raise,
And bear her safely through the wintry ways ;
Straight the new engine on the anvil glows,
And the pale virgin
on the patten rose.
No more her lungs are shook with dropping rheums,
And on her cheek reviving beauty blooms.
The God obtain'd bis fuit ; though flatt'ry fail,
Presents with female virtue must prevail.
The patten now supports each frugal dame,
Which from the blue ey'd Patty takes the name.
Another fable, or rather episode, he has inserted, in which, with great humour he employs the heathen Gods and Goddesses in making materials to set up a black-shoeboy, who was son to the Goddess Cloacina, whence the poet derives the origin of that trade ; and what makes it yet more droll and diverting, he has gravely introduced it with a ridicule on one of the rules laid down to render these sort of poems the more agreeable.
What though the gath'ring mire thy feet besmear,
The voice of industry is always near.
Hark, the boy calls thee to his deftin'd stand,
And the shoe shines beneath his oily hand.
Here let the muse, fatigu'd anid the throng,
Adorn her precepts with digressive song ;
Of Thirtless youths the secret rise to trace,
And show the parent of the sable race.
Like mortal man, great Jove (grown fond of change)
Of old was wont this nether world to range
To seek amours; the vice the monarch lov'd
Soon through the wide ethereal court improv'd,
And e'en the proudeft Goddess now and then
Would lodge a night among the fons of men ;
To vulgar deities descends the fashion,
Each, like her betters, had her earthly passion.
Then Cloacina (Goddess of the tide
Whose sable streams beneath the city glide)
Indulg'd the modish flame ; the town the rov'd;
A mortal scavenger the law, the lov'd;
The muddy spots that dry'd upon his face,
Like female patches, heighten'd ev'ry grace :
She gaz'd, the figh'd. For love can beauties spy
In what seems faults to every common eye.
Now had the watchman walk'd his second round;
When Cloacina hears the rumbling sound
Of her brown lover's cart, for well she knows
That pleasing thunder : swift the Goddess rose,
And through the streets pursu'd the distant noise,
Her bosom panting with expected joys.
With the night-wandring harlot's airs the past,
Bruth'd near his fide, and wanton glances caft ;
In the black form of cinder-wench she came,
When love, the hour, the place, had banish'd shame;
To the dark alley arm in arm they move :
O may no link-boy interrupt their love.
When the pale moon had nine times fill'd her space,
The pregnant Goddess (cautious of disgrace)
Descends to earth; but sought no midwife's aid,
Nor midst her anguish to Lucinda pray'd ;
No cheerful gossip with'd the mother joy,
Alone, beneath a bulk she dropt the boy.
The child through various risques in years improv'ds At first a beggar's brat, compassion mov'd ; His infant tongue foon learnt the canting art, Knew all the pray’rs and whines to touch the heart.
Oh happy unown'd youths, your limbs can bear The scorching dog-ftar, and the winter's air, While the rich infant, nurs'd with care and pain, Thirsts with each heat, and coughs with ev'ry rain!
The Goddess long had mark'd the child's distress, And long had sought his fuff'rings to redress; She prays the Gods to take the fondling's part, To teach his hands some beneficial art Practis'd in streets : the Gods her suit allow'd, And made him useful to the walking croud, To cleanse the miry feet, and o'er the shoe With nimble skill the glossy black renew, Each power contributes to relieve the
poor : With the strong bristles of the mighty boar Diana forms his brush ; the God of day A tripod gives, amid the crouded way To raise the dirty foot, and ease his toil; Kind Neptune fills his vase with fetid oil Prest from th' enormous whale : the God of fire, From whose dominions smoky clouds aspire, Among these gen'rous presents joins his part, And aids with foot the new japanning art; Pleas'd the receives the gifts ; the downward glides, Lights in Fleet-ditch, and Thoots beneath the sides.
Now dawns the morn, the sturdy lad awakes, Leaps from his stall, his tangled hair he fakes, Then leaning o'er the rails, he musing food, And view'd below the black canal of mua,