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As if the rainbow were in tail
Settled on him, and his heirs male;
So the young squire, when first he comes
From country school to Will's or Tom's : *
And equally, in truth is fit
To be a statesman or a wit;
Without one notion of his own,
He saunters wildly up and down ;
Till some acquaintance, good or bad,
Takes notice of a staring lad ;
Admits him in among the gang :
They jest, reply, dispute, harangue;
He acts and talks, as they befriend him,
Smear'd with the colours which they lend him.
Thus merely, as his fortune chances,
His merit or his vice advances.
If haply he the sect pursues,
That read and comment upon news;
He takes up their mysterious face:
He drinks his coffee without lace.
This week his mimic-tongue runs o'er
What they have said the week before ;
His wisdom sets all Europe right,
And teaches Marborough when to fight.
Or if it be his fate to meet
With folks who have more wealth than wit ;
He loves cheap port, and double bub;
And settles in the hum-drum club:
He learns how stocks will fall or rise;
Holds poverty the greatest vice;
Thinks wit the bane of conversation;
And says that learning spoils a nation.
But if, at first, he minds his hits,
And drinks champagne among the wits'
Five deep he toasts the towering lasses;
Repeats you verses wrote on glasses;
Is in the chair; prescribes the law;
And lies with those he never saw.
SLY Merry Andrew, the last Southwark fair
(At Barthol’mew he did not much appear :
So peevish was the edict of the Mayor)
At Southwark therefore as his tricks he show’d,
To please our masters, and his friends the crowd ;
A huge neat's tongue he in his right hand held :
His left was with a good black pudding fill’d.
With a grave look in this odd equipage,
The clownish mimic traverses the stage:
Why how now, Andrew cries his brother droll,
To-day's conceit, methinks, is something dull:
Come on, Sir, to our worthy friends explain,
What does your emblematic worship mean?
Quoth Andrew ; Honest English let us speak:
Your emble—(what d'ye call’t) is heathen Greek,
To tongue or pudding thou hast no pretence:
Learning thy talent is, but mine is sense.
That busy fool I was, which thou art now ;
Desirous to correct, not knowing how :
With very good design, but little wit,
Blaming or praising things, as I thought fit.
I for this conduct had what I deserv’d;
And dealing honestly, was almost starv'd.
But, thanks to my indulgent stars, I eat;
Since I have found the secret to be great.
O, dearest Andrew, says the humble droll,
Henceforth may I obey, and thou control;
Provided thou impart thy useful skill.—
Bow then, says Andrew ; and, for once, I will.—
Be of your patron’s mind, whate'er he says;
Sleep very much ; think little ; and talk less;
Mind neither good nor bad, nor right nor wrong,
But eat your pudding, slave; and hold your tongue.
A reverend prelate stopp'd his coach and six,
To laugh a little at our Andrew's tricks;
But when he heard him give this golden rule,
Drive on (he cried); this fellow is no fool.
DEAR Thomas, didst thou never pop
Thy head into a tin-man's shop
There, Thomas, didst thou never see
('Tis but by way of simile)
A squirrel spend his little rage,
In jumping round a rolling cage?
The cage, as either side turn'd up,
Striking a ring of bells a-top —
Mov’d in the orb, pleas'd with the chimes,
The foolish creature thinks he climbs:
But here or there, turn wood or wire,
He never gets two inches higher.
So fares it with those merry blades,
That frisk it under Pindus’ shades.
In noble songs, and lofty odes,
They tread on stars, and talk with gods;
Still dancing in an airy round,
Still pleas'd with their own verses' sound;
Brought back, how fast Soe'er they go,
Always aspiring, always low.
SAY, sire of insects, mighty Sol,
(A Fly upon the chariot pole
Cries out) what Blue-bottle alive
Did ever with such fury drive?
Tell Belzebub, great father, tell,
(Says toother, perch’d upon the wheel)
Did ever any mortal Fly
Raise such a cloud of dust as I?
My judgment turn'd the whole debate:
My valour sav'd the sinking state.
So talk two idle buzzing things;
Toss up their heads, and stretch their wings.
But let the truth to light be brought:
This neither spoke, nor t'other fought:
No merit in their own behaviour:
Both rais'd, but by their party's favour.
A PARAPHRASE Fl:OM THE FRENCH.
IN grey-hair’d Celia's wither'd arms
As mighty Lewis lay,
She cried, “If I have any charms,
My dearest, let's away !