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Of the Implements for walking the Streets,
and Signs of the Weather.
HROUGH winter streets to steer your courfe aright,
How to walk clean by day, and fafe by night,
How jofiling crouds with prudence to decline,
When to affert the wall, and when refign,
I fing: Thou, Trivia, Goddess, aid my fong,
Through fpacious ftrects conduct thy bard along;
By thee tranfported, I fecurely ftray
Where winding alleys lead the doubtful way,
The filent court and opening fquare explore,
And long perplexing lanes untrod before.
To pave thy realm, and fimooth the broken ways,
Earth from her womb a flinty tribute pays;
For thee the flurdy pavior thumps the ground,
Whilft every ftroke his labouring lungs refound;
For thee the fcavenger bids kennels glide
Within their bounds, and heaps of dirt fubfide.
My youthful bofom burns with thirst of fame,
From the great theme to build a giorious name,
To tread in paths to ancient bards unknown,
And bind my temples with a civic crown;
But more my country's love demands the lays;
My country's be the profit, mine the praise !
When the black youth at chofen stands rejoice,
And "clean your fhoes" refounds from every voice ;
When late their miry fides stage-coaches fhow,
And their stiff horses through the town move flow;
When all the Mall in leafy ruin lies,
And damfels firft renew their oyfter-cries :
Then let the prudent walker fhoes provide,
Not of the Spanish or Morocco hide;
The wooden heel inay raise the dancer's bound,
And with the fcallop'd top his ftep be crown'd:
Let firm, well-hammer'd foles protect thy feet
Through freezing fnows, and rains, and foaking fleet.
Should the big laft extend the fhoe too wide,
Each ftone will wrench th' unwary step aside;
The fudden turn may ftretch the fwelling vein,
Thy cracking joint unhinge, or ankle sprain;
And, when too fhort the modifh fhoes are worn,
You'll judge the feafons by your shooting corn.
Nor fhould it prove thy lefs important care
To chufe a proper coat for winter's wear.
Now in thy trunk thy D'Oily habit fold,
The filken drugget ill can fence the cold;
The frieze's fpongy nap is foak'd with rain,
And fhowers foon drench the camlet's cockled grain;
True Witney broad-cloth, with its fhag unshorn,
Enpiere'd is in the lafting tempeft worn:
* A town in Oxfordshire.
Be this the horfeman's fence; for who would wear
Amid the town the fpoils of Ruffia's bear?
Within the roquelaure's clafp thy hands are pent,
Hands, that, ftretch'd forth, invading harms prevent.
Let the loop'd bavaroy the fop embrace,
Or his deep cloak bespatter'd o'er with lace,
That garment beft the winter's rage defends,
Whose ample form without one plait depends;
By various names in various counties known,
Yet held in all the true Surtout alone;
Be thine of Kerfey firm, though small the cost,
Then brave unwet the rain, unchill'd the froft.
If the strong cane fupport thy walking hand,
Chairmen no longer fhall the wall command:
Ev'n fiurdy carmen fhall thy nod obey,
And rattling coaches ftop to make thec
This fhall direct thy cautious tread aright,
Though not one glaring lamp enliven night.
Let beaux their canes with amber tipt produce;
Be theirs for empty fhow, but thine for use.
In gilded chariots while they loll at case,
And lazily insure a life's difcafe;
While fofter chairs the tawdry load convey
To Court, to White's †, affemblies, or the play;
Rofy-complexion'd health thy fteps attends,
And exercife thy lafting youth defends.
Imprudent men Heaven's choiceft gifts profane :
Thus fome beneath their arm fupport the cane;
A Jofeph, Wrap-rafcal, &c.
+ A Chocolate-houfe in St. James's feet.
The dirty point oft' checks the careless pace,
And miry fpots the clean cravat difgrace.
Oh! may I never fuch misfortune meet!
May no fuch vicious walkers croud the street!
May Providence o'erfhade me with her wings,
While the bold Mufe experienc'd dangers fings!
Not that I wander from my native home,
And (tempting perils) foreign cities roam.
Let Paris be the theme of Gallia's Mufe,
Where Slavery treads the ftreets in wooden fhoes.
Nor do I rove in Belgia's frozen clime,
And teach the clumfy boor to fkate in rhyme ;
Where, if the warmer clouds in rain defcend,
No miry ways induftrious steps offend ;
The rushing flood from floping pavements pours,
And blackens the canals with dirty fhowers.
Let others Naples' fmoother ftreets rehearfe,
And with proud Roman ftructures grace their verfe,
Where frequent murders wake the night with groans,
And blood in purple torrents dyes the ftones.
Nor fhall the Mufe through narrow Venice ftray,
Where gondolas their painted oars difplay.
O happy ftreets! to rumbling wheels unknown,
No carts, no coaches, shake the floating town!
Thus was of old Britannia's city blefs'd,
Ere pride and luxury her fons poffefs'd :
Coaches and chariots yet unfafhion'd lay,
Nor late-invented chairs perplex'd the way:
Then the proud lady tripp'd along the town,
And tuck'd-up petticoats fecur'd her gown;
Her rofy cheek with diftant vifits glow'd,
And exercife unartful charms bestow'd;
But fince in braided gold her foot is bound,
And a long training mantua fweeps the ground,
Her fhoe difdains the ftreet; the lazy fair
With narrow ftep affects a limping air.
Now gaudy pride corrupts the lavish age,
And the fireets flame with glaring equipage;
The tricking gamefter infolently rides,
With Loves and Graces on his chariot-fides;
In faucy ftate the griping broker fits,
And laughs at honefty and trudging wits.
For you, O honeft men, these useful lays
The Mufe prepares; I feek no other praife.
When fleep is first disturb'd by morning cries;
From fure prognofticks learn to know the skies,
Left you of rheums and coughs at night complain;
Surpriz'd in dreary fogs, or driving rain.
When fuffocating mifts obfcure the morn,
Let thy worst wig, long us'd to forms, be worn;
This knows the powder'd footman, and with care
Beneath his flapping hat fecures his hair.
Be thou for every feason justly dreft,
Nor brave the piercing froft with open breast;
And, when the bursting clouds a deluge pour,
Let thy Surtout defend the drenching fhower.
The changing weather certain figns reveal.
Ere winter sheds her snow, or frosts congeal,
You'll fee the coals in brighter flame aspire,
And fulphur tinge with blue the rifing fire: