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But only what my ftation fits,
And to be kept in my right wits,
Preferve, Almighty Providence!
Juft what you gave me, competence:
And let me in thefe fhades compofe
Something in verfe as true-as profe;
Remov'd from all th' ambitious fcene,
Nor puff'd by pride, nor funk by fpleen.'
In fhort, I'm perfectly content,
Let me but live on this fide Trent;
Nor crofs the Channel twice a year,
To fpend fix months with statesmen here.
I muft by all means come to town,
'Tis for the fervice of the crown.
"Lewis, the Dean will be of use,
"Send for him up, take no excufe."
The toil, the danger of the feas,
Great minifters ne'er think of thefe;
Or let it çoft five hundred pound,
No matter where the money's found,
It is but fo much more in debt,
And that they ne'er confider'd yet.
"Good Mr. Dean go change your gown, "Let my lord know you're come to town." I hurry me in hafte away,
Not thinking it is levee-day;
And find his honour in a pound,
Hemm'd by a triple circle round,
Chequer'd with ribbons blue and green:
How thould I thruft myfelf between?
Some wag obferves me thus perplex'd,
And fmiling whispers to the next,
"I thought the Dean had been too proud,
"To juftle here among the croud."
Another, in a furly fit,
Tells me I have more zeal than wit,
"So eager to exprefs your love,
"You ne'er confider whom you fhove,
"But rudely prefs before a Duke."
I own, I'm pleas'd with this rebuke,
And take it kindly meant to fhow
What I defire the world fhould know.IA
I get a whifper, and withdraw;
When twenty fools I never faw
Come with petitions fairly penn'd,.
Defiring I would ftand their friend..
This humbly offers me his cafe-
That begs my int'reft for a place-
A hundred other men's affairs,
Like bees, are humming in my ears..
"To-morrow my appeal comes on,
"Without your help the caufe is gone-
The duke expects my lord and you,
About fome great affair at two-
"Put my Lord Bolingbroke in mind,
"To get my warrant quickly fign'd:
"Confider, 'tis my first request
Be fatisfy'd, I'll do my best:
Then presently he falls to teaze,
"You may for certain if you please ;
"I doubt not, if his lordship knew-
"And, Mr. Dean, one word from you.-
'Tis (let me fee) three years and more,,
(October next it will be four);
Since Harley bid me firft attend,
And chofe me for an humble friend;
Would take me in his coach, to chat,
And question me of this and that;
As, "What's o'clock?" And, "How's the wind? "Whofe chariot's that we left behind?”
Or gravely try to read the lines
Writ underneath the country figns;
Or, "Have you nothing new to-day
"From Pope, from Parnell, or from Gay ??
Such tattle often entertains
My lord and me as far as Staines,
As once a week we travel down.
To Windfor, and again to town,
Where all that paffes inter nos,
Might be proclaim'd at Charing-crofs..
Yet fome, I know, with envy. fwell,
Because they see me us'd fo well:
"How think you of our friend the Dean
"I wonder what fome people mean;
"My Lord and he are grown fo great,
"Always together tête à tête ;
"What, they admire him for his jokes.
See but the fortune of fome folks!"
There flies about a ftrange report
Of fome exprefs arriv'd at Court;
I'm ftopp'd by all the fools I meet,
And catechis'd in ev'ry ftreet.
"You, Mr. Dean, frequent the Great
"Inform us, will the Emp'ror treat?
"Or do the prints and papers lie?"
Faith, Sir, you know as much as I.
"Ah, Doctor, how you love to jeft!
""Tis now no fecret"-I proteft
'Tis one to me- 66 Then tell us, pray,
"When are the troops to have their pay?"
And tho' I folemnly declare
I know no more than my Lord Mayor,
They ftand amaz'd, and think me grown
The clofeft mortal ever known.
Thus in a fea of folly tofs'd,
My choiceft hours of life are loft;
Yet always wifhing to retreat,
Oh, could I fee my country feat!
There leaning near a gentle brook,
Sleep, or perufe fome ancient book,
And there in fweet oblivion drown
Thofe cares that haupt the court and town.
O charming noons! and nights divine!
Or when I fup, or when I dine,
My friends above, my folks below,
Chatting and laughing all-a-row,
The beans and bacon fet before 'em,
The grace-cup ferv'd with all decorum:
Each willing to be pleas'd and please,
And ev'n the very dogs at eafe.
Here no man prates of idle things,
How this or that Italian fings,
A neighbour's madnefs, or his fpoufe's,
Or what's in either of the houfes:
But fomething much more our concern,
And quite a fcandal not to learn:
Which is the happier, or the wifer,
A man of merit, or a mifer?
Whether we ought to chufe our friends,
For their own worth, or our own ends?
What good, or better, we may call,
And what, the very best of all?
Our friend, Dan Prior, told (you know)
A tale extremely à propos:
Name a town life, and in a trice
He had a ftory of two mice.
Once on a time (fo runs the fable)
A country mouse, right hofpitable,
Receiv'd a town mouse at his board,
Juft as a farmer might a lord.
A frugal moufe, upon the whole,
Yet lov'd his friend, and had a foul,
Knew what was hand fome, and would do't,
On juft occafion, coute qui coute.
He brought him bacon (nothing lean)
Pudding, that might have pleas'd a dean;
Cheefe, fuch as men in Suffolk make,
But with'd it Stilton for his fake;
Yet, to his gueft tho' no way fparing,
He eat himself the rind and paring.
Our courtier fcarce could touch a bit,
But fhow'd his breeding and his wit;
He did his beft to feem to eat,.
And cry'd I vow you're mighty neat.
"But lord, my friend, this favage fcene!
"For God's fake, comé, and live with men ::
"Confider, mice, like men, muft die,
"Both fmall and great, both you and I:
"Then fpend your life in joy and fport,
66 (This doctrine, friend, I learn'd at court.")
The vesieft hermit in the nation
May yield; God knows, to ftrong temptation.
Away they come, thro' thick and thin,
To a tall house near Lincoln's-Inn:
('Twas on the night of a debate,
When all their Lordships had fat late.)
Behold the place, where if a poet
Shin'd in defcription, he might fhow it;
Tell how the moon-beam trembling falls,
And tips with filver all the walls s;
Palladian walls, Venetian doors,
Grotefco roofs, and stucco floors:
But let it, (in a word) be faid,
The moon was up, and men a-bed,
The napkins white, the carpet red;
The guests withdrawn had left the treat,
And down the mice fat, tête-à-tête.
Our courtier walks from difh to dish, Taftes for his friend of fowl and fish; Tells all their names, lays down the law, "Que ça eft bon! Ab goutez ça!
That jelly's rich, this malmfey healing, "Pray dip your whifkers and your tail in." Was ever fuch a happy fwain!
He stuffs and fwills, and ftuffs again."
"I'm quite afham'd-'tis mighty rude.
"To eat fo much-but all's fo good.
"I have a thoufand thanks to give-
"My Lord alone knows how to live."
No fooner faid, but from the hall
Rufh chaplain, butler, dogs and all:
.66 A rat, a rat! clap to the door"-
The cat comes bouncing on the floor.
O for the heart of Homer's mice,
Or gods to fave them in a trice!
(It was by providence they think,
For your damn'd ftucco has no chink.)
"An't please your honour, quoth the peasant,
"This fame deffert is not fo pleafant:
"Give me again my hollow tree,
"A cruft of bread, and liberty !",
An ELEGY written in a COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
HE Curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind flowly o'er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimm'ring landfcape on the fight,
And all the air a folemn ftillness holds;
Save where the beetle wheels his drony flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the diftant folds;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r
The mopeing owl does to the moon complain
Of fuch, as wand'ring near her fecret bow'r,
Moleft her ancient, folitary reign.