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IMITATIONS

OF

ENGLISH POETS.

I.

W

5

CH A U CE R.
OMEN ben full of Ragerie,

Yet swinken nat fans fecresie.
Thilke moral shall ye understond,
From Schoole-boy's Tale of fayre Irelond:
Which to the Fennes hath him betake,
To filche the gray Ducke fro the Lake.
Right then, there passen by the way
His Aunt, and eke her Daughters tway.
Ducke in his Trowses hath he hent,
Not to be spied of Ladies gent.
“ But ho! our Nephew, (crieth one)
“ Ho! quoth another, Cozen John ;"
And stoppen, and lough, and callen out;---
This fely Clerk full low doth lout :

IO

15

They asken that, and talken this,
« Lo here is Coz, and here is Miss."
But, as he glozeth with Speeches foote,
The Ducke fore tickleth his Erfe roote :
Fore-piece and buttons all-to-brest,
Forth thrust a white neck, and red crest.
Te-he, cry'd Ladies ; Clerke nought spake :
Miss star'd; and gray Ducke crieth Quaake.
« O Moder, Moder, (quoth the daughter)
“ Be thilke same thing Maids longer a’ter ?
“ Bette is to pyne on coals and chalke, 25
“ Then trust on Mon, whose yerde can talke.”

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I. N ev'ry Town, where Thamis rolls his Tyde,

A narrow Pass there is, with Houses low; Where ever and anon, the Stream is ey'd, And

many a Boat soft fliding to and fro. There oft are heard the notes of Infant Woe, 5 The short thick Sob, loud Scream, and Thriller

Squall : How can ye, Mothers, vex your Children fo? Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall, And as they crouchen low, for bread and butter

call.

II.

And on the broken pavement, here and there, 10
Doth many a stinking sprat and herring lie;
A brandy and tobacco shop is near,
And hens, and dogs, and hogs are feeding by;
And here a failor's jacket hangs to dry.

At ev'ry door are sun-burnt matrons seen, 15
Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry;
Now singing Thrill, and scolding eft between
Scolds answer foul-mouth'd scolds; bad neigh-

bourhood I ween.

20

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The snappish cur (the passengers annoy) Close at my heel with yelping treble flies ; The whimp’ring girl, and hoarser-screaming boy, Join to the yelping treble, Ihrilling cries ; The scolding. Quean to louder notes doth rise, And her full pipes those shrilling cries confound; To her full pipes the grunting hog replies ; 25 The grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round, And curs, girls, boys, and scolds, in the deep base

are drown'd.

IV. Hard by a Sty, beneath a roof of thatch, Dwelt Obloquy, who in her early days Baskets of fish at Billingsgate did watch, 30 Cod, whiting, oyster, mackrel, sprat, or plaice: There learn’d the speech from tongues that never

cease.

Slander beside her, like a Mag-pie, chatters, With Envy, (fpitting Cat) dread foe to peace ; Like a curs’d Cur, Malice befor her clatters, And vexing < 'ry wight, tears clothes and all to

tatters.

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Her dugs were mark'd by ev'ry Collier's hand, Her mouth was black as bull-dogs at the stall : She scratched, bit, and spar'd ne lace ne band, And bitch and rogue her answer was to all; 40 Nay, e'en the parts of shame by name would call : Yea, when the passed by or lane or nook, Would greet the man who turn’d him to the Wall, And by his hand obscene the porter took, 44 Nor ever did askance like modest Virgin look.

VI.

Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town, Woolwich and Wapping, smelling strong of pitch; Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown, And Twick'nam such, which fairer scenes enrich, Grots, statues, urns, and Jo---n's Dog and Bitch,

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