Page images

Both Hockley-hole and Mary-bone
The combats of my Dog have known.
He ne'er, like bullies coward-hearted,
Attacks in public, to be parted.

Think not, rafh fool, to fhare his fame;
Be his the honour or the shame.

Thus faid, they fwore, and rav'd like thunder;
Then dragg'd their faften'd Dogs afunder;
While clubs and kicks from ev'ry fide
Rebounded from the Maftiff's hide.

All recking now with fweat and blood,
A while the parted warriors ftood,
Then pour'd upon the meddling foe,
Who, worried, howl'd and sprawl'd below.
He rofe; and limping from the fray,
By both fides mangled fneak'd away.

§ 155.

FABLE XXXV. The Barley Mow
the Dung bill.

HOW many faucy airs we meet

From Temple-bar to Aldgate-ftreet!

Proud rogues, who fhar'd the South-sea prey,
And fpring like mushrooms in a day!
They think it mean to condefcend
To know a brother or a friend;

They bluth to hear their mother's name;
And by their pride expofe their fhame.
As 'crofs his yard, at early day,
A careful farmer took his way,
He ftopp'd, and, leaning on his fork,
Obferv'd the fail's inceffant work.
In thought he meafur'd all his ftore;
His geele, his hogs, he number'd o'er:
In fancy weigh'd the fleeces fhoin,
And multiplied the next year's corn.
A Barley-mow, which stood befide,
Thus to its mufing mafter cried:

Say, good Sir, is it fit or right
To treat me with neglect and flight?
Me, who contribute to your cheer,
And raife your mirth with ale and beer,
Why thus infulted, thus difgrac'd,
And that vile Dunghill near me plac'd?
Are thofe poor fweepings of a groom,
That filthy fight, that naufeous fume,
Meet objects here? Command it hence:
A thing fo mean must give offence.

In mufing contemplation warm,
His tteps mifled him to a farm,
Where, on the ladder's topmost round,
A peafant food: the hammer's found
Shook the weak barn. Say, friend, what care
Calls for thy honeft labour there?

The Clown, with furly voice, replies:
Vengeance aloud for juftice crics.
This kite, by daily rapine fed,
My hens annoy, my turkics' dread,
At length his forfeit life hath paid;
See on the wall his wings difplay'd;
Here nail'd, a terror to his kind,
My fowls fhall future fafety find;
My yard the thriving poultry feed,
And my barn's refufe fat the breed.

Friend, fays the Sage, the doom is wife;
and For public good the murd'rer dies.
But if thefe tyrants of the air
Demand a sentence fo fevere,
Think how the glutton man devours;
What bloody feafts regale his hours!
O, impudence of pow'r and might,
Thus to condemn a hawk or kite,
When thou perhaps, carniv'rous finner,
Hadft pullets yesterday for dinner!

Hold! cried the Clown, with paffion heated,
Shall kites and men alike be treated?
When Heaven the world with creatures stor'd,
Man was ordain'd their fov'reign lord.

Thus tyrants boaft, the Sage replied,
Whole murders fpring from power and pride.
Own then this manlike kite is flain
Thy greater lux'ry to fuftain;

For " Petty rogues fubmit to fate,
"That great enes may enjoy their state."
§ 157.

FABLE XXXVII. The Farmer's Wife
and the Raven.

WHY are thofe tears? why droops your head?
Is then your other hafband dead?

Or does a worfe difgrace betide,
Hath no one fince his death applied?.
Alas! you know the caufe too well:
The falt is fpilt, to me it fell.
Then, to contribute to my lofs,
My knife and fork were laid acrofs;
On Friday too! the day I dread!
Would I were fafe at home in bed!.
Laft night (I vow to heaven 'tis true)
Bounce from the fire a coffin flew.
Next poft fome fatal news fhall tell.
God fend my Cernith friends be well!
Unhappy widow, ceafe thy tears,
Nor feel affliction in thy fears:
Let not thy flomach be fufpended;
Eat now, and weep when dinner 's ended!
Pythagoras and the And when the butler clears the table,

The humble Dunghill thus replied:
Thy mafter hears, and mocks thy pride;
Infult not thus the meek and low;
In me thy benefactor know:
My warm affiftance gave thee birth,
Or thou hadst perifh'd low in earth;
But upftarts, to fupport their station,
Cancel at once all obligation.


PYTHAG'RAS rofe at early dawn,

By foaring meditation drawn,
To breathe the fragrance of the day,
Through flow'ry fields he took his way.

For thy deffert I'll read my fable.
Betwixt her fwagging panniers' load
A farmer's wife to market rode,
And jogging on, with thoughtful care,
Summ'd up the profits of her ware;

Garth's Difpenfary,


When starting from her filver dream,

Thus far and wide was heard her fcrcam:
That Raven on yon left-hand oak
(Curfe on his ill-betiding croak!)
Bodes me no good. No more the faid,
When poor blind Ball, with ftumbling tread,
Fell prone; o'erturn'd the pannier lay,
And her mash'd eggs beftrew'd the way.
She, fprawling in the yellow road,
Rail'd, fwore, and curs'd: Thou croking toad,
A murrain take thy whorefon throat!
1 knew misfortune in the note.

Dame, quoth the Raven, fpare your oaths,
Unclench your fift, and wipe your clothes.
But why on me thofe curfès thrown?
Goody, the fault was all your own;
For had you laid this brittle ware
On Dun, the old fure-footed mare,
Though all the Ravens of the hundred

With croaking had your tongue out-thunder'd,
Sure-footed Dun had kept his legs,
And you, good woman, fav'd your eggs.

Now more folicitous he grew,
And fet their future lives in view;
He faw that all respect and duty
Were paid to wealth, to pow'r, and beauty.
Once more he cries, Accept my pray'r;
Make my lov'd progeny thy care.
Let my first hope, my fav'rite boy,
All fortune's richest gifts enjoy.
My next with ftrong ambition fire:
May favour teach him to afpire;
Till he the ftep of pow'r afcend,
And courtiers to their idol bend!
With ev'ry grace, with ev'ry charm,
My daughter's perfect features arm.
If Heaven approve, a Father's bleft.
Jove fimiles, and grants his full request.
The firit, a mifer at the heart,
Studious of ev'ry griping art,
Heaps hoards on hoards with anxious pain,
And all his life devotes to gain.
He feels no joy, his cares increafe,
He neither wakes nor fleeps in peace;
In fancied want (a wretch complete!)

$158. FABLE XXXVIII. The Turkey and the Ant. He ftarves, and yet he dares not eat.


other men we faults can spy,

And blame the moat that dims their eye;
Each little speck and blemish find;
To our own ftronger errors blind.

A Turkey, tir'd of common food,
Forfook the barn, and fought the wood;
Behind her ran her infant train,
Collecting here and there a grain.
Draw near, my birds, the mother cries,
This hill delicious fare fupplies;
Behold, the bufy Negro race:
See, millions blacken all the place!
Fear not. Like me with freedom eat;
An Ant is most delightful meat.
How blefs'd, how envied were our life,
Could we but 'fcape the poult'rer's knife!
But man, curs'd man! on Turkey preys,
And Christmas fhortens all our days:
Sometimes with oyfters we combine,
Sometimes aflift the fav'ry chine.
From the low peafant to the lord,
The Turkey fmokes on ev'ry board.
Sure men for gluttony are curs'd:
Of the feven deadly fins the worst.

An Ant, who climb'd beyond his reach,
Thus anfwer'd from the neighb'ring beech:
Ere you remark another's fin,
Bid thy own confcience look within;
Controul thy more voracious bill, .
Nor for a breakfast nations kill.

§159. FABLE XXXIX. The Father and Jupiter.
THE Man to Jove his fuit preferr'd;

He begg'd a wife; his pray'r was heard.
Jove wonder'd at his bold addreffing:
For how precarious is the blefling!

A wife he takes. And now for heirs
Again he worries Heaven with prayers.
Jove nods affent. Two hopeful boys
And a fine girl reward his joys.

The next to fudden honours grew:
The thriving art of courts he knew;
He reach'd the height of pow'r and place,
Then fell, the victim of difgrace.

Beauty with early bloom fupplics
His daughter's cheek, and points her eyes.
The vain coquette each fuit difdains,
And glories in her lover's pains.
With age the fades, each lover flics,
Contemn'd, forlorn, the pines and dies.

When Jove the Father's grief furvey'd,
And heard him Heaven and Fate upbraid,
Thus fpoke the God: By outward show
Men judge of happinefs and woe:
Shall ignorance of good and ill
Dare to direct th' Eternal Will?
Scek virtue: and, of that poffeft,
To Providence refign the reft.


The Two Monkeyso
THE learned, full of inward pride,
The Fops of outward fhow deride:
The Fop, with learning at defiance,
Scoff's at the pedant, and the science:
The Don, a formal, folemn ftrutter,
Defpifes Menfieur's airs and flutter ;
While Monfieur mocks the formal fool,
Who looks, and speaks, and walks by rule.
Britain, a medley of the twain,
As pert as France, as grave as Spain,
In fancy wifer than the reft,
Laughs at them both, of both the jeft.
Is not the poet's chiming clofe
Cenfur'd by all the fons of profe?
While bards of quick imagination
Defpife the fleepy profe narration.
Men laugh at apes, they men contemn;
For what are we but apes to them?

Two Monkeys went to Southwark fair,
No critics had a fourer air:

[blocks in formation]

They forc'd their way thro' draggled folks,
Who gap'd to catch fack-pudding's jokes;
Then took their tickets for the show,
And got by chance the foremost row.
To fee their grave, obferving face,
Provok'd a laugh through all the place.
Brother, fays Pug, and turn'd his head,
The rabble 's monftroully ill-bred!

Now through the booth loud hiffes ran;
Nor ended till the fhow began.
The tumbler whirls the flip-flap round,
With fomersets he thakes the ground;
The cord beneath the dancer fprings;
Aloft in air the vaulter fwings;
Distorted now, now prone depends,
Now through his twifted arms afcends:
The crowd, in wonder and delight,
With clapping hand's applaud the fight.
With fimiles, quoth Pug, If pranks like thefe
The grant apes of reafon pleafe,
How would they wonder at our arts!
They must adore us for our parts.
High on the twig I've seen you cling,
Play, twift, and turn in airy ring:
How can thofe clumfy things, like me,
Fly with a bound from tree to tree ?
But yet, by this applause we find
Thefe emulators of our kind
Difcern our worth, our parts regard,
Who our mean mirnics thus reward.
Brother, the grinning mate replies,
In this I grant that man is wife.
While good example they pursue,
We must allow fome praife is due;
But when they ftrain beyond their guide,
I laugh to fcorn the mimic pride;
For how fantastic is the fight,
To meet men always bolt upright,
Because we fometimes walk on two!
I hate the imitating crew.

But the more knowing feather'd race
See wildoin ftamp'd upon my face.
Whenc'er to vifit light I deign,
What flocks of fowl compofe my train!
Like flaves, they crowd my flight behind,
And own the of fuperior kind.

The Farmer laugh'd, and thus replied:
Thou dull important lump of pride,
Dar't thou, with that harth grating tongue,
Depreciate birds of warbling fong?
Indulge thy fpleen. Know, men and fow!
Regard thee as thou art, an Ow!.
Befides, proud blockhead, be not vain
Of what thou call'ft thy flaves and train.
Few follow wifdom, or her rules;
Fools in derifion follow fools.


The Jugglers.

A JUGGLER long through all the townr

Had rais'd his fortune and renown;
You'd think (fo far his art tranfcends)
The devil at his fingers' ends.

Vice heard his fame, the read his bill;
Convinc'd of his inferior skill,
She fought his booth, and from the crowd
Defied the man of art aloud:

Is this then he fo fam'c for flight?
Can this flow bungler cheat your fight!
Dares he with me difpute the prize?
I leave it to impartial eyes.

Provok'd, the Juggler cried, 'Tis done;
In fcience I fubmit to none.

Thus faid, the cups and balls he play'd,
By turns this here, that there, convey'd;
The cards, obedient to his words,
Are by a fillip turn'd to birds.
His little boxes change the grain;
Trick after trick deludes the train.
He fhakes his bag, he fhews all fair;
His fingers fpread, and nothing there;
Then bids it rain with fhow'rs of gold:

$161. FABLE XLI. The Owl and the Farmer. And now his iv'ry eggs are told;

AN Owl of grave deport and mien,

Who (like the Turk) was feldom feen,
Within a barn had chofe his fiation,
As fit for prey and contemplation.
Upon a beam aloft he fits,

And nods, and feems to think, by fits.
So have I feen a man of news
Or Poft-boy or Gazette perufe;
Smoke, nod, and talk with voice profound,
And fix the fate of Europe round.
Sheaves pil'd on fheaves hid all the floor.
At dawn of morn, to view his ftore,
The Farmer care. The hooting guest
His felf importance thus exprefs'd':

Reafon in man is mere pretence:
How weak, how fhallow is his fenfe!
To treat with fcorn the Bird of Night,
Declares his folly or his fpite.
Then, too, how partial is his praise!
The lark's, the linnet's chirping lays,
To his ill-judging ears are fine,
And nightingales are all divine.

But when from thence the hen he draws,
Amaz'd spectators hum applause.

Vice now ftepp'd forth, and took the place
With all the forms of his grimace.

This magic looking-glafs, the cries,
(There, hand it round) will charm your eyes,
Each cager eye the fight defir'd,
And ev'ry man himself admir'd.

Next, to a fenator addrefling,
See this bank-note; obferve the bleffing,
Breathe on the bill. Heigh, pafs! 'tis gone.
Upon his lips a padlock thone.

A fecond puff the magic broke;
The padlock vanish'd, and he spoke.
Twelve bottles rang'd upon the board,
All full, with heady liquor ftor'd,
By clean conveyance difappear,

And now, two bloody fwords are there.
A purfe the to a thief expos'd;
At once his ready fingers clos'd.


opes his fift, the treasure 's fled; He fees a halter in its fead.


She bids ambition hold a wand; He grafps a hatchet in his hand.

A box of charity she shews:

Blow here; and a church-warden blows.
'Tis vanifh'd with conveyance neat,
And on the table fmokes a treat.

She thakes the dice, the board fhe knocks, And from all pockets fills her box.

She next a meagre rake addrefs'd: This picture fee; her fhape, her breast! What youth, and what inviting eyes! Hold her, and have her. With furprise His hand expos'd a box of pills, And a loud laugh proclaim'd his ills. A counter in a mifer's hand Grew twenty guineas at command. She bids his heir the fum retain, And 'tis a counter now again. A guinea with her touch you fee Take ev'ry fhape, but Charity: And not one thing you faw, or drew, But chang'd from what was first in view. The Juggler now, in grief of heart, With this fubmiffion own'd her art: Can I fuch matchless flight withstand › How practice hath improv'd your hand! But now and then I cheat the throng; You ev'ry day, and all day long.

A gen'ral nod approv'd the cause, And all the circle neigh'd applaufe. When lo! with grave and folemn pace, A Steed advanc'd before the race; With age and long experience wife, Around he caft his thoughtful eyes; And, to the murmurs of the train, Thus fpoke the Neftor of the plain: When I had health and strength like you, The toils of fervitude I knew; Now grateful man rewards my pains, And gives me all thefe wide domains. At will I crop the year's increase; My latter life is reft and peace.


grant, to man we lend our pains, And aid him to correct the plains: But doth not he divide the care, Through all the labours of the year! How many thousand structures rife, To fence us from inclement skies! For us he bears the fultry day, And ftores up all our winter's hay. He fows, he reaps the harveft's grain; We share the toil, and fhare the gain. Since ev'ry creature was decreed To aid each other's mutual need, Appeafe your difcontented mind, And act the part by Heaven affign'd.

The tumult ccas'd. The Colt fubmitted;

§ 163. FABLE XLIII. The Council of Horfes. And, like his ancestors, was bitted.

UPON a time, a neighing Steed,

Who graz'd among a num'rous breed,
With mutiny had fir'd the train,
And fpread diffenfion through the plain.
On matters that concern'd the ftate
The council met in grand debate.
A Colt, whofe cye-balls flam'd with ire,
Elate with ftrength and youthful fire,
In hafte fiepp'd forth before the reft
And thus the lift'ning throng addrefs'd:
Good gods! how abject is our race,
Condemn'd to flav'ry and difgrace!
Shall we our fervitude retain,
Because our fires have borne the chain?
Confider, friends, your ftrength and might;
'Tis conqueft to affert your right.
How cumbrous is the gilded coach!
The pride of man is our reproach.
Were we defign'd for daily toil,

To drag the plough-fhare through the foil,
To fweat i: harnets through the road,
To groan beneath the carrier's load?
How feeble are the two-legg'd kind!
What force is in our nerves combin'd!
Shall then our nobler jaws fubmit

To foam and champ the galling bit?
Shall haughty man my back beftride?
Shall the tharp fpur provoke my fide?
Forbid it, Heavens ! Reject the rein;
Your fhame, your infamy difdain..
Let him the lion first controul,
And still the tiger's famifh'd growl.
Let us, like them, our freedom claim,
And make him tremble at our name.

[blocks in formation]

IMPERTINENCE at firft is borne

With heedlefs flight, or fmiles of fcorn; Teas'd into wrath, what patience bears The noify fool who perfeveres?

The morning wakes, the Huntfinan founds, At once rush forth the joyful hounds. They feek the wood with eager pace; Thro' bush, thro' brier, explore the chace. Now, fcatter'd wide, they try the plain, And fnuff the dewy turf in vain. What care, what industry, what pains! What univerfal filence reigns!

Ringwood, a dog.of little fame, Young, pert, and ignorant of game, At once difplays his babbling throat; The pack, regardless of the note, Purfue the fcent; with louder ftrain He ftill perfifts to vex the train.

The Huntsman to the clamour flies;
The fmacking lath he smartly plies.
His ribs all welk'd, with howling tone
The Puppy thus exprefs'd his moan:

I know the mufic of my tongue
Long fince the pack with envy ftung.
What will not fpite? Thefe bitter smarts
I owe to my fuperior parts.

When puppies prate, the Huntfinan cried,
They fhew both ignorance and pride :
Fools may our fcorn, not envy, raife;
For envy is a kind of praife,

1 4


Had not thy forward noify tongue
Proclaim'd thee always in the wrong,
Thou might'ft have mingled with the reft,
And ne'er thy foolish noite confefs'd.
But fools, to talking ever prone,
Are fure to make their follies known.

[ocr errors]

$165. FABLE XLV. The Poet and the Rofe.

HATE the man who builds his name
On ruins of another's fame.
Thus prudes by characters o'erthrown
Imagine that they raife their own.
Thus fcribblers, covetous of praife,
Think flander can tranfplant the bays.
Beauties and bards have equal pride:
With both all rivals are decried.

Who praises Lefbia's eyes and feature,
Muft call her fifter awkward creature;
For the kind flattery 's fure to charm,
When we fome other nymph difarm.

As in the cool of early day
A Poet fought the fweets of May,
The garden's fragrant breath afcends,
And ev'ry ftalk with odour bends.
A Rofe he pluck'd, he gaz'd, admir'd,
Thus finging, as the Mufe infpir'd:
Go, Rofe, my Chloe's bofom

How happy fhould I prove,
Might I fupply that envied place
With never-fading love!

There, Phoenix-like, beneath her eye,
Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die!
Know, hapless flow'r, that thou shalt find
More fragrant roses there:

I fee thy with'ring head reclin'd
With envy and despair!

One common fate we both must prove;
You die with envy, I with love.
Spare your comparifons, replied
An angry Rofe who grew befide.

Of all mankind you fhould not flout us;
What can a Poet do without us?
In ev'ry love-fong rofes bloom;
We lend you colour and perfume.
Does it to Chloe's charms conduce,
To found her praise on our abufe?
Muft we, to flatter her, be made
To wither, envy, pine, and fade?

A Village-cur, of fnappish race, The perteft Puppy of the place, Imagin'd that his treble throat Was bleft with mufic's fweetest note; In the mid-road he basking lay, The yelping nuisance of the way; For not a creature pafs'd along, But had a sample of his fong.

Soon as the trotting faced he hears,
He ftarts, he cocks his dapper cars;
Away he fcours, affaults his hoof;
Now near him fnarks, now barks aloof;
With fhrill impertinence attends;
Nor leaves him till the village ends.

It chanc'd, upon his evil day,
A Pad came pacing down the way :
The Cur, with never-ceafing tongue,
Upon the paffing trav'ller fprung.
The Horfe, from frorn provok'd to ire,
Flung backward: rolling in the mire
The Puppy howl'd, and bleeding lay;
The Pad in peace purfued his way.

A Shepherd's Dog, who faw the deed,
Detefting the vexatious breed,
Bespoke him thus: When coxcombs prate,
They kindle wrath, contempt, or hate;
Thy teafing tongue had judgment tied,
Thou hadit not like a Puppy died.

$167. FABLE XLVII. The Court of Death.
DEATH, on a folemn night of state,
In all his pomp of terror fate;

Th' attendants of his gloomy reign,
Difcafes dire, a ghaftly train!

Crowd the vaft Court. With hollow tone,
A voice thus thunder'd from the throne:
This night our minifter we name,
Let ev'ry fervant fpeak his claim;
Merit fhall bear this ebon wand.-
All, at the word, ftretch'd forth their hand.
Fever, with burning heat poffeft,
Advanc'd, and for the wand addrefs'd:
I to the weekly bills appeal,
Let thofe exprefs my fervent zcal;
On ev'ry flight occafion near,
With violence I perfevere.

Next Gout appears, with limping pace,
Pleads how he fhifts from place to place;
From head to foot how fwift he flies,
And ev'ry joint and finew plies;

$166. FABLE XLVI. The Cur, the Horfe, and Still working when he feems fuppreft

the Shepherd's Dog.

HE lad of all-fufficient merit


With modefty ne'er damps his fpirit; Prefuming on his own deferts,

On all alike his tongue exerts;
His noily jokes at random throws,
And pertly fpatters friends and focs.
In wit and war the bully race
Contribute to thicir own difgrace.
Too late the forward youth thall find
That jokes are fometimes paid in kind;
Or, if they canker in the breaft,
He makes a foe who makes a jeft.

A moft tenacious, flubborn gueft.

A haggard Spectre from the crew
Crawls forth, and thus afferts his due:
'Tis I who taint the fweeteft joy,
And in the fhape of Love deftroy:
My thanks, funk eyes, and nofelefs face,
Prove my pretenfion to the place.

Stone urg'd his ever-growing force;
And next Confumption's meagre corfe,
With feeble voice that fearce was heard,
Broke with fhort coughs, his fuit preferr'd:
Let none object my ling'ring way,

I gain, like Fabius, by delay;


« PreviousContinue »