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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 ceasd: 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 britule 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, sav'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 100 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, Bid thy own conscience look within; Control thy more voracious bill, Nor for a breakfast nations kill."
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 to 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 tein 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 prinhat." We find that he had obtained a place in the cipally consists. Few poems will bear more re. Custom-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, Tulis 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 :t 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 laureld 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 thest beware; Hedge in by rules a roving mind.
From More y 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 pocm," Mr. Melmoth says, “there are more
HOWARD's British Princes, original thoughts Girown together than he had ever read in the same compass of lines."
§ James More Smith, Esq. See Dunciad, B. ii. I. 50. and FiTZOSBORNE'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,
A jointur'd widow's ritual state,
Two Jews disputing tête-à-tête,
New almanacs compos'd by seers,
The superb muscle of the eye,
A coquet's April-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, ccess 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,
Lise'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, Smeard 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 flies.
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 beh,
Passion, as frequently is seen,
This view my forward zeal so shocks, Subsiding settles into Spleen.
vain they hold the money-box. Hence, as the plague of happy life,
At such a conduct, which intends I run away from party-strife.
By vicious means such virtuous ends, A prince's cause, a church's claim,
I laugh off Spleen, and keep my pence I've known to raise a mighty flame,
From spoiling Indian innocence. And priest, as stoker, very free
Yet philosophic love of ease To throw in peace and charity.
I suffer not to prove disease, That tribe, whose practicals decree
But rise up in the virtuous cause Small-beer the deadliest heresy ;
Of a free press and equal laws. Who, fond of pedigree, derive
The press restrain'd! nefandous thought! From the most noted whore alive;
In vain our sires have nobly fought: Who own wine's old prophetic aid,
While free from force the press remains, And love the mitre Bacchus made,
Virtue and Freedom cheer our plains, Forbid the faithful to depend
And Learning largesses bestows, On half-pint drinkers for a friend,
And keeps uncensur'd open house. And in whose gay red-letter'd face
We to the nation's public mart We read good-living more than grace:
Our works of wit, and schemes of art, Nor they so pure, and so precise,
And philosophic goods this way, Immac'late as their white of eyes,
Like water-carriage, cheap convey. Who for the spirit hug the Spleen,
This tree, which knowledge so affords, Phylacter'd throughout all their mien,
Inquisitors with faming swords Who their ill-tasted home-brew'd pray'r
From lay approach with zeal defend, To the state's mellow forms prefer;
Lest their own paradise should end. Who doctrines, as infectious, fear,
The Press from 'her fecundous womb Which are not steep'd in vinegar,
Brought forth the arts of Greece and Rome; And samples of heart-chested grace
Her offspring, skill'd in logic war, Expose in show-glass of the face,
Truth's banner wav'd in open air; Did never me as yet provoke
The monster Superstition fled, Either to honor band and cloak,
And hid in shades its Gorgon head ; Or deck my hat with leaves of oak.
And lawless pow'r, the long-kept field, I rail not with mock-patriot grace
By reason quell'd, was forc'd to yield. At folks, because they are in place ;
This nurse of arts, and freedom's fence, Nor, hir'd to praise with stallion pen,
To chain, is treason against sense ; Serve the ear-lechery of men;
And, Liberty, thy thousand tongues But to avoid religious jars,
None silence, who design no wrongs; The laws are my expositors,
For those, who use the gag's restraint, Which in my doubting mind create
First rob, before they stop complaint. Conformity to church and state.
Since disappointment galls within, I go, pursuant to my plan,
And subjugates the soul to Spleen, To Mecca with the caravan.
Most schemes, as money-snares, I hate, And think it right in common sense
And bite not at projectors' bait, Both for diversion and defence.
Sufficient wrecks appear each day, Reforming schemes are none of mine ;
And yet fresh fools are cast away. To mend the world's a vast design:
Ere well the bubbled can turn round, Like theirs, who tug in little boat,
Their painted vessel runs aground; To pull to them the ship afloat,
Or in deep seas it oversets While to defeat their labor'd end,
By a fierce hurricane of debts; At once both wind and stream contend :
Or helm directors in one trip, Success herein is seldom seen,
Freight first embezzled, sink the ship. And zeal, when baffled, turns to Spleen
Such was of late a corporation,* Happy the man, who innocent,
The brazen serpent of the nation, Grieves not at ills he can't prevent;
Which, when hard accidents distress'd, His skiff does with the current glide,
The poor must look at to be blest, Not puffing pull'd against the tide.
And thence expect, with paper seal'd He, paddling by the scuffling crowd,
By fraud and us'ry, to be heal'd. Sees unconcern'd life's wager row'd,
I in no soul-consumption wait And when he can't prevent foul play,
Whole years at levees of the great, Enjoys the folly of the fray.
By these reflections I repeal Each hasty promise made in zeal. When Gospel propagators say,
* The Charitable Corporation, instituted for the relief
of the industrious poor, by assisting them with small We're bound our great light to display, And Indian darkness drive away,
sums upon pledges at legal interest. By the villany of Yet none but drunken watchmen send,
those who had the management of this scheme, the pro.
prietors were defrauded of very considerable sums of And scoundrel link-boys for that end ;
money. In 1732 the conduct of the directors of this body When they cry up this holy war,
became the subject of a parliamentary inquiry, and some Which every Christian should be for;
of them, who were members of the house of commons, Yet such as owe the law their ears,
were expelled for their concern in this iniquitous trans. We find employ'd as engineers :