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Dar'st thou defile these sacred groves,
O DEAREST daughter," of two dearest friends, To thee my muse this little tale commends. Loving and lov’d, regard thy future mate, Long love his person, though deplore his fate ;
1 Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley
Seem young when old in thy dear husband's arms,
DOWN-HALL : A BALLAD,” To THE TUNE OF KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT OF CANTERBURY, 1715.
IsiNG not old Jason, who travell'd through Greece,
1 Down-Hall is in the county of Essex. It is three miles south-east from IIatfield Broad Oak Church, most beautifully seated on a rising ground, above a stream which runs through Hatfield town, having a fine prospect over the adjacent country. It was purchased for Mr. Prior by his generous friend Lord Harley, and after his death, that nobleman made many great improvements in it of vistoes, plantations, &c. and resided at it himself many years of his life. It now is, or was very lately, in the occupation of William Selwyn, Esq.
Nor him who through Asia and Europe did roam,
Hang Homer and Virgil their meaning to seek,
But I sing of exploits that have lately been done By two British heroes, called Matthew and John :* And how they rid friendly from fine London town, Fair Essex to see, and a place they call Down.
Now ere they went out you may rightly suppose How much they discours'd both in prudence and prose; [certed, For, before this great journey was thoroughly conFull often they met, and as often they parted.
And thus Matthew said, Look you here, my friend Ifairly have travell'd years thirty and one; [John, And, though I still carried my sovereign's warrants, I only have gone upon other folks' errands.
And now in this journey of life I would have
1 Mr. Prior, and Mr. John Morley, of Halstead.
Where joyful to live, not unwilling to die—
There are gardens so stately, and arbours so thick,
The matter next week shall be all in your power:
For things in this world must by law be made cer-
Quoth Matthew, I know, that, from Berwick to
But a word to the purpose: to-morrow, dear friend,
Then answer'd Squire Morley; Pray get a calash,
1 Lord Coningsby was one of the members of the Committee of the Privy Council, who examined Mr. Prior at the accession of George I. From the account given by Mr. Prior of what then passed, he appears to have been very ungenteelly and roughly treated by that nobleman.
I love dirt and dust; and 'tis always my pleasure, To take with me much of the soil that I measure.
But Matthew thought better: for Matthew thought
Draw up, quoth friend Matthew ; pull down, quoth
Into an old inn did this equipage roll,
At a town they call Hodson, the sign of the Bull, Near a nymph with an urn, that divides the high And into a puddle throws mother of tea. [way,
Come here, my sweet landlady, pray how d'ye do? Where is Cicily so cleanly, and Prudence, and Sue? And where is the widow that dwelt here below 2 And the ostler that sung about eight years ago?
And where is your sister, so mild and so dear?