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For owls, as swains observe, detest the light, SATURDAY; OR, THE FLIGHTS. And only sing and seek their prey by night.
How turnips hide their swelling heads below:
And how the closing coleworts upwards grow; SUBLIMER strains, O rustic Muse! prepare ;
How Will-o-wisp misleads night-faring clowns
O'er hills, and sinking bogs, and pathless downs. Forget a while the barn and dairy's care ;
Of stars he told, that shoot with shining trail,
And of the glow-worm's light that gilds his tail. 60
He sung where woodcocks in the Summer feed,
(Some think to northern coasts their flight they tend 'Twas in the season when the reapers' toil
Or to the Moon in midnight hours ascend); of the ripe harvest 'gan to rid the soil ;
Where swallows in the Winter's season keep,
How Nature does the puppy's eyelid close
(For huntsmen by their long experience find, To the near hedge young Susan steps aside,
That puppies still nine rolling suns are blind.) 70
Now he goes on, and sings of fairs and shows,
For still new fairs before his eyes arose.
How pedlars' stalls with glittering toys are laid,
The various fairings of the country maid.
Long silken laces hang upon the twine,
And rows of pins and amber bracelets shine ;
And looks on thimbles with desiring eyes. His hat and oaken staff lay close beside;
Of lotteries next with tuneful note he told, That Bowzy beus who could sweetly sing,
Where silver spoons are won, and rings of gold. 80
The lads and lasses trudge the street along,
And all the fair is crowded in his song.
His pills, his balsams, and his ague-spells; Ballads and roundelays and catches sung:
Now o'er and o'er the nimble tumbler springs, They loudly laugh to see the damsel's fright,
And on the rope the venturous maiden swings; And in disport surround the drunken wight. 30
Jack Pudding in his party-color'd jacket " Ah, Bowzy bee, why didst thou stay so long?
Tosses the glove, and jokes at every packet. The mugs were large, the drink was wond'rous
Of raree-shows he sung, and Punch's feais, strong!
of pockets pick'd in crowds, and various cheats. 90 Thou shouldst have left the fair before 'twas night;
Then sad he sung the Children in the Wood : But thou sat'st toping till the morning light."
(Ah, barbarous uncle, stain'd with infant blood !) Cicely, brisk maid, steps forth before the rout,
How blackberries they pluck'd in deserts wild, And kiss'd with smacking lip the snoring lout:
And fearless at the glittering falchion smild; (For custom says, “ Whoe'er this venture proves,
Their little corpse the robin-red-breasts found, For such a kiss demands a pair of gloves.")
And strow'd with pious bill the leaves around. By her example Dorcas bolder grows,
(Ah, gentle birds! if this verse lasts so long, And plays a tickling straw within his nose. 40
Your names shall live for ever in my song.) He rubs his nostril, and in wonted joke
For Buxom Joan he sung the doubtful strife, The sneering swains with staminering speech be
How the sly sailor made the maid a wife. 100 spoke :
To louder strains he rais'd his voice, to tell "To you, my lads, I'll sing my carols o'er,
What woful wars in Chevy-chace befeil,
When Percy drove the deer with hound and horn,
Wars to be wept by children yet unborn !
Ah, Witherington! more years thy life bad crown'd, Not ballad-singer plac'd above the crowd
If thou hadst never heard the horn or bound !
Yet shall the 'squire, who fought on bloody stumps,
By future bards be wail'd in doleful dumps.
All in the land of Essex next he chants, 109 of Nature's laws his carols first begun,
How to sleek mares starch Quakers turn gallants : Why the grave owl can never face the Sun.
Ver. 51. Our swain had possibly rend Tusser, from
Ver. 99. A song in the comedy of Love for Love, bo-
Ver. 109. A song of Sir J. Denham's. See his poems.
How the grave brother stood on bank so green-
Then he was seiz'd with a religious qualm,
He sung of Taffey Welch, and Sawney Scot, Lilly-bullero, and the Irish Trot. Why should I tell of Bateman, or of Shore, Or Wantley's Dragon, slain by valiant Moor, The Bower of Rosamond, or Robin Hood, And how the grass now grows where Troy town stood ?
120 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.
When, starting from her silver dream,
“That Raven on yon left-hand oak
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 britile ware On Dun, the old sure-footed mare, Though all the Ravens of the hundred With croaking had your tongue out-thunder'd Sure-footed Dun had kept her legs, And you, good woman, say'd your eggs."
THE TURKEY AND THE ANT.
THE FARMER'S WIFE AND THE RAVEN.
“Why are those tears ? why droops your head?
Alas! you know the cause too well ;
• Unhappy Widow, cease thy tears,
Betwixt her swagging panniers' load
In other men we faults can spy,
A Turkey, tir'd of common food,
“ 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 envied, 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 savory 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 neighboring beech :
Ere you remark another's sin,
Virg. Ver. 117. Quid loquar aut Scyllam Nisi, &c.
Virg. Ver. 117–120. Old English ballads.
2 B 2
MATTHEW GREEN, a truly original poet, was born, is further attested, that he was a man of great probably at London, in 1696. His parents were re- probity and sweetness of disposition, and that his spectable Dissenters, who brought him up within conversation abounded with wit, but of the most inthe limits of the sect. His learning was confined 10 offensive kind. He seems to have been subject to a little Latin ; but, from the frequency of his clas- low-spirits, as a relief from which he composed his sical allusions, it may be concluded that what he principal poem, " The Spleen.” He passed his read when young, he did not forget. The austerity life in celibacy, and died in 1737, at the early age in which he was educated had the effect of inspiring of forty-one, in lodgings in Gracechurch-street. him with settled disgust; and he fled from the The poems of Green, which were not made pubgloom of dissenting worship when he was no longer lic till after his death, consist of “The Spleen;" compelled to attend it. Thus set loose from the “The Grotto;" “Verses on Barclay's Apology;" opinions of his youth, he speculated very freely “The Seeker,” and some smaller pieces, all comon religious topics, and at length adopted the sys- prised in a small volume. In manner and subject tem of outward compliance with established forms, they are some of the most original in our language. and inward laxity of belief. He seems at one They rank among the easy and familiar, but are time to have been much inclined to the principles replete with uncommon thoughts, new and striking of Quakerism; but he found that its practice would images, and those associations of remote ideas by not agree with one who lived “ by pulling off the some unexpected similitudes, in which wit prin. hat." We find that he had obtained a place in the cipally consists. Few poems will bear more reCustom-house, the duties of which he is said to have peated perusals; and, with those who can fully enter discharged with great diligence and fidelity. It into them, they do not fail to become favorites.
School-helps I want, to climb on high,
Where all the ancient treasures lie,
On wealth in Greek exchequers left.
Then where ? from whom? what can I steal, This motley piece to you I send,
Who only with the moderns deal ? Who always were a faithful friend ;
This were attempting to put on Who, if disputes should happen hence,
Raiment from naked bodies won it Can best explain the author's sense ;
They safely sing before a thief, And, anxious for the public weal,
They cannot give who want relief; Do, what I sing, so often feel.
Some few excepted, names well known, The want of method pray excuse,
And justly laurel'd with renown, Allowing for a vapor'd Muse :
Whose stamps of genius mark their ware, Nor to a narrow path confin'd,
And theft detects: of theft beware ; Hedge in by rules a roving mind.
From More 5 so lash'd, example fit, The child is genuine, you may trace
Shun petty larceny in wit. Throughout the sire's transmitted face.
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. *"In this poem," Mr. Melmoth says, “there are more
Howard's British Princes. original thoughts thrown together than he had ever read in the same compass of lines."
§ James More Smith, Esq. Sce Dunciad, B. ii. 1. 50, and FirZOSBORNE's Letters, p. 114. the notes, where the circumstances of the transaction Gildon's Art of Poetry.
here alluded to are very fully explained.
Nor to prescribe when nerves convulse ;
A strict dissenter saying grace, Nor mend th' alarum-watch, your pulse.
A lect'rer preaching for a place, If I am right, your question lay,
Folks, things prophetic to dispense, What course I take to drive away
Making the past the future tense, The day-mare, Spleen, by whose false pleas The popish dubbing of a priest, Men prove mere suicides in ease ;
Fine epitaphs on knaves deceas d, And how I do myself demean
Green-apron'd Pythonissa's rage, In stormy world to live serene.
Great Æsculapius on his stage,
A miser starving to be rich,
Two Jews disputing tête-à-tête,
New almanacs compos'd by seers,
The superb muscle of the eye,
A coquet's A pril-weather face, Buoyant on bladders fill'd with hope.
A Queenb'rough mayor behind his mace, I always choose the plainest food
And fops in military show, To mend viscidity of blood.
Are sov’reign for the case in view. Hail! water-gruel, healing power,
If spleen-fogs rise at close of day, Of easy access to the poor;
I clear my ev’ning with a play, Thy help love's confessors implore,
Or to some concert take my way, And doctors secretly adore ;
The company, the shine of lights,
The scenes of humor, music's flights,
Life's moving pictures, well-wrought plays, Prolific particles of Spleen.
To others' grief attention raise : I never sick by drinking grow,
Here, while the tragic fictions glow, Nor keep myself a cup too low,
We borrow joy by pitying woe; And seldom Chloe's lodgings haunt,
There gaily comic scenes delight, Thrifty of spirits, which I want.
And hold true mirrors to our sight. Hunting I reckon very good,
Virtue, in charming dress array'd, To brace the nerves, and stir the blood :
Calling the passions to her aid, But after no field-honors itch,
When moral scenes just actions join, Achiev'd by leaping hedge and ditch.
Takes shape, and shows her face divine. While Spleen lies soft relax'd in bed,
Music has charms, we all may find, Or o'er coal fires inclines the head,
Ingratiate deeply with the mind. Hygeia's sons with hound and horn,
When art does sound's high pow'r advance, And jovial cry, awake the Morn.
To music's pipe the passions dance; These see her from the dusky plight,
Motions unwill'd its pow'rs have shown, Smear'd by th' embraces of the Night,
Tarantulated by a tune. With roral wash redeem her face,
Many have held the soul to be And prove herself of Titan's race,
Nearly allied to harmony. And, mounting in loose robes the skies,
Her have I known indulging grief, Shed light and fragrance as she fies.
And shunning company's relief, Then horse and hound fierce joy display,
Unveil her face, and, looking round, Exulting at the hark-away,
Own, by neglecting sorrow's wound, And in pursuit o'er tainted ground,
The consanguinity of sound. From lungs robust field-notes resound.
In rainy days keep double guard, Then, as St. George the dragon slew,
Or Spleen will surely be too hard ; Spleen pierc'd, trod down, and dying view; Which, like those fish by sailors met, While all their spirits are on wing,
Fly highest, while their wings are wet. And woods, and hills, and valleys ring.
In such dull weather, so unfit To cure the mind's wrong bias, Spleen, To enterprise a work of wit, Some recommend the bowling-green;
When clouds one yard of azure sky, Some, hilly walks ; all, exercise ;
That's fit for simile, deny, Fling but a stone, the giant dies;
I dress my face with studious looks, Laugh and be well. Monkeys have been
And shorten tedious hours with books. Extreme good doctors for the Spleen,
But if dull fogs invade the head, And kitten, if the humor hit,
That mem'ry minds not what is read, Has harlequin'd away the fit.
I sit in window dry as ark, Since mirth is good in this behalf,
And on the drowning world remark: At some partic'lars let us laugh.
Or to some coffee-house I stray Witlings, brisk fools, curst with half sense, For news, the manna of a day, That stimulates their impotence ;
And from the hipp'd discourses gather, Who buzz in rhyme, and, like blind flies,
That politics go by the weather: Err with their wings for want of eyes.
Then seek good-humor'd tavern chums, Poor authors worshipping a calf,
And play at cards, but for small sums; Deep tragedies that make us laugh,
Or with the merry fellows quaff,
Sometimes I dress, with women sit,
Permit, ye fair, your idol form,
But oh, what pity 'tis to find
Mothers, and guardian aunts, forbear
Nor lay out so much cost and art,
Now, if untir'd, consider, friend,
I never am at meeting seen,
Law, licens'd breaking of the peace,
I never game, and rarely bet,