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And work the simple vassal's mickle woe;
And as they look'd they found their horror grew, And shap'd it into rods, and tingled at the view.
So have I seen (who has not, may conceive)
They start, they stare, they wheel, they look aghast ;
Sad servitude! such comfortless annoy
May no bold Briton's riper age e'er taste!
Near to this dome is found a patch so green,
The noises intermix'd, which thence resound,
Her far whiter than the driven snow, Emblem right meet of decency does yield: Her apron dy'd in grain, as blue, I trow, As is the hare-bell that adorns the field: And in her hand, for sceptre, she does wield Tway birchen sprays; with anxious fear entwin'd, With dark distrust, and sad repentance fill'd: And stedfast hate, and sharp affliction join'd, And fury uncontrol'd, and chastisement unkind.
Few but have kenn'd, in semblance meet portray'd,
The childish faces of old Eol's train; Libs, Notus, Auster: these in frowns array'd, How then would fare or Earth, or Sky, or Main, Were the stern god to give his slaves the rein? And were not she rebellious breasts to quell, And were not she her statutes to maintain, The cot no more, I ween, were deem'd the cell, Where comely peace of mind, and decent order dwell.
A russet stole was o'er her shoulders thrown; A russet kirtle fenc'd the nipping air; "Twas simple russet, but it was her own; 'Twas her own country bred the flock so fair! "Twas her own labor did the fleece prepare; And, sooth to say, her pupils, rang'd around, Through pious awe, did term it passing rare; For they in gaping wonderment abound, And think, no doubt, she been the greatest wight on ground.
Albeit ne flattery did corrupt her truth, Ne pompous title did debauch her ear; Goody, good-woman, gossip, n'aunt, forsooth, Or dame, the sole additions she did hear; Yet these she challeng'd, these she held right dear: Ne would esteem him act as mought behove, Who should not honor'd eld with these revere: For never title yet so mean could prove, But there was eke a mind which did that title love.
One ancient hen she took delight to feed, The plodding pattern of the busy dame; Which, ever and anon, impell'd by need, Into her school, begirt with chickens, came! Such favor did her past deportment claim: And, if Neglect had lavish'd on the ground Fragment of bread, she would collect the same; For well she knew, and quaintly could expound, What sin it were to waste the smallest crumb she found.
Herbs too she knew, and well of each could speak That in her garden sipp'd the silvery dew; Where no vain flower disclos'd a gaudy streak; But herbs for use, and physic, not a few, Of grey renown, within those borders grew: The tufted basil, pun-provoking thyme, Fresh baum, and marigold of cheerful hue; The lowly gill, that never dares to climb; And more I fain would sing, disdaining here to rhyme
Yet euphrasy may not be left unsung, That gives dim eyes to wander leagues around; And pungent radish, biting infant's tongue; And plantain ribb'd, that heals the reaper's wound; And marjoram sweet, in shepherd's posie found; And lavender, whose spikes of azure bloom Shall be, erewhile, in arid bundles bound, To lurk amidst the labors of her loom, And crown her kerchiefs clean, with mickle rare perfume.
And here trim rosemarine, that whilom crown'd The daintiest garden of the proudest peer; Ere, driven from its envied site, it found A sacred shelter for its branches here; Where edg'd with gold its glittering skirts appear, Oh wassal days! O customs meet and well! Ere this was banish'd from his lofty sphere: Simplicity then sought this humble cell, Nor ever would she more with thane and lordling dwell.
Here oft the dame, on Sabbath's decent eve, Hymned such psalms as Sternhold forth did mete, If winter 't were, she to her hearth did cleave, But in her garden found a summer-seat; Sweet melody! to hear her then repeat How Israel's sons, beneath a foreign king, While taunting foemen did a song entreat, All, for the nonce, untuning every string, Uphung their useless lyres-small heart had they to sing.
For she was just, and friend to virtuous lore, And pass'd much time in truly virtuous deed; And in those elfins' ears, would oft deplore The times, when Truth by Popish rage did bleed; And tortious death was true Devotion's meed; And simple Faith in iron chains did mourn, That nould on wooden image place her creed; And lawny saints in smouldering flames did burn: Ah! dearest Lord, forefend, thilk days should e'er
In elbow-chair, like that of Scottish stem
(The source of children's and of courtiers' pride!) Redress'd affronts, for vile affronts there pass'd; And warn'd them not the fretful to deride, But love each other dear, whatever them betide.
Right well she knew each temper to descry; To thwart the proud, and the submiss to raise ; Some with vile copper-prize exalt on high, And some entice with pittance small of praise, And other some with baleful sprig she 'frays: E'en absent, she the reins of power doth hold, While with quaint arts the giddy crowd she sways: Forewarn'd, if little bird their pranks behold, "Twill whisper in her ear, and all the scene unfold.
Lo now with state she utters the command! Eftsoons the urchins to their tasks repair; Their books of stature small they take in hand, Which with pellucid horn secured are, To save from finger wet the letters fair: The work so gay that on their back is seen, St. George's high achievements does declare; On which thilk wight that has y-gazing been, Kens the forth-coming rod, unpleasing sight, I ween!
Ah luckless he, and born beneath the beam
To loose the brogues, the stripling's late delight!] And down they drop; appears his dainty skin, Fair as the furry-coat of whitest ermilin.
O ruthful scene! when from a nook obscure, His little sister doth his peril see: All playful as she sate, she grows demure; She finds full soon her wonted spirits flee: She meditates a prayer to set him free: Nor gentle pardon could this dame deny (If gentle pardon could with dames agree) To her sad grief that swells in either eye, And wings her so that all for pity she could die.
No longer can she now her shrieks command; And hardly she forbears, through awful fear, To rushen forth, and, with presumptuous hand, To stay harsh Justice in its mid career. On thee she calls, on thee her parent dear! (Ah! too remote to ward the shameful blow!) She sees no kind domestic visage near, And soon a flood of tears begins to flow; And gives a loose at last to unavailing woe.
But ah! what pen his piteous plight may trace? Or what device his loud laments explain? The form uncouth of his disguised face? The pallid hue that dyes his looks amain? The plenteous shower that does his cheek distain? When he, in abject wise, implores the dame, Ne hopeth aught of sweet reprieve to gain; Or when from high she levels well her aim, And, through the thatch, his cries each falling stroke proclaim.
The other tribe, aghast, with sore dismay, Attend, and con their tasks with mickle care:
By turns, astonied, every twig survey, And, from their fellow's hateful wounds, beware; Knowing, I wist, how each the same may share, Till fear has taught them a performance meet, And to the well-known chest the dame repair; Whence oft with sugar'd cates she doth them greet, And ginger-bread y-rare; now certes, doubly sweet! See to their seats they hie with merry glee, And in beseemly order sitten there; All but the wight of bum y-galled, he Abhorreth bench, and stool, and form, and chair; (This hand in mouth y-fix'd, that rends his hair ;) And eke with snubs profound, and heaving breast, Convulsions intermitting! does declare
His grievous wrong; his dame's unjust behest; And scorns her offer'd love, and shuns to be caress'd.
His face besprent with liquid crystal shines,
If so I deem aright, transcending worth and fame.
Ah me! how much I fear lest pride it be!
Yet nurs'd with skill, what dazzling fruits appear!
Or bard sublime, if bard may e'er be so,
And this perhaps, who, censuring the design, Low lays the house which that of cards doth build,
Shall Dennis be! if rigid Fate incline, And many an epic to his rage shall yield; And many a poet quit th' Aonian field; And, sour'd by age, profound he shall appear, As he who now with 'sdainful fury thrill'd Surveys mine work; and levels many a sneer, And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, "What stuff is here ?"
But now Dan Phoebus gains the middle skie,
For well may Freedom erst so dearly won, Appear to British elf more gladsome than the Sun.
Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade,
But most in courts where proud Ambition towers; Deluded wight! who weens fair Peace can spring Beneath the pompous dome of kesar or of king.
See in each sprite some various bent appear!
In pastry kings and queens th' allotted mite to spend.
Here, as each season yields a different store, Each season's stores in order ranged been; Apples with cabbage-net y-cover'd o'er, Galling full sore th' unmoney'd wight, are seen; And goose-b'rie clad in livery red or green; And here of lovely dye, the catharine pear, Fine pear! as lovely for thy juice, I ween: O may no wight e'er penniless come there, Lest smit with ardent love he pine with hopeless
See! cherries here, ere cherries yet abound, With thread so white in tempting posies tied, Scattering like blooming maid their glances round, With pamper'd look draw little eyes aside; And must be bought, though penury betide. The plum all azure, and the nut all brown, And here each season do those cakes abide, Whose honor'd names* th' inventive city own, Rendering through Britain's isle Salopia's praises known;
Admir'd Salopia! that with venial pride Eyes her bright form in Severn's ambient wave, Fam'd for her loyal cares in perils tried, Her daughters lovely, and her striplings brave: Ah! 'midst the rest, may flowers adorn his grave Whose heart did first these dulcet cates display! A motive fair to Learning's imps he gave, Who cheerless o'er her darkling region stray; Till Reason's morn arise, and light them on their way.
Describing the sorrow of an ingenuous mind, on the melancholy event of a licentious amour.
WHY mourns my friend? why weeps his downcast
That eye where mirth, where fancy us'd to shine? Thy cheerful meads reprove that swelling sigh; Spring ne'er enamel'd fairer meads than thine. Art thou not lodg'd in Fortune's warm embrace? Wert thou not form'd by Nature's partial care? Blest in thy song, and blest in every grace
That wins the friend, or that enchants the fair? 'Damon," said he, "thy partial praise restrain; Not Damon's friendship can my peace restore; Alas! his very praise awakes my pain,
And my poor wounded bosom bleeds the more. "For oh! that Nature on my birth had frown'd, Or Fortune fix'd me to some lowly cell; Then had my bosom 'scap'd this fatal wound,
Nor had I bid these vernal sweets farewell. "But led by Fortune's hand, her darling child, My youth her vain licentious bliss admir'd: In Fortune's train the syren Flattery smil'd, And rashly hallow'd all her queen inspir'd. "Of folly studious, e'en of vices vain,
Ah vices! gilded by the rich and gay!
I chas'd the guileless daughters of the plain, Nor dropp'd the chase, till Jessy was my prey.
Poor artless maid! to stain thy spotless name, Expense, and art, and toil, united strove; To lure a breast that felt the purest flame, Sustain'd by virtue, but betray'd by love. "School'd in the science of love's mazy wiles,
I cloth'd each feature with affected scorn;
I bade my words their wonted softness wear,
"To thee, my Damon, dare I paint the rest?
Feels not the sharpness of a pang like mine. 'Nine envious moons matur'd her growing shame, When, scorn'd of virtue, stigmatiz'd by fame, Erewhile to flaunt it in the face of day; Low at my feet desponding Jessy lay.
"And see my youth's impetuous fires decay; Seek not to stop Reflection's bitter tear; But warn the frolic, and instruct the gay, From Jessy floating on her watery bier!"
A PASTORAL BALLAD,
IN FOUR PARTS. 1743.
Arbusta humilesque myricæ.-Virg.
YE shepherds so cheerful and gay,
Oh! call the poor wanderers home.
Nor talk of the change that ye find; None once was so watchful as I;
I have left my dear Phyllis behind. Now I know what it is, to have strove
With the torture of doubt and desire; What it is to admire and to love,
And to leave her we love and admire. Ah! lead forth my flock in the morn,
And the damps of each evening repel; Alas! I am faint and forlorn :
-I have bade my dear Phyllis farewell.
I priz'd ev'ry hour that went by,
But why do I languish in vain ;
Why wander thus pensively here? Oh! why did I come from the plain, Where I fed on the smiles of my dear? They tell me, my favorite maid,
The pride of that valley, is flown; Alas! where with her I have stray'd, I could wander with pleasure, alone. When forc'd the fair nymph to forego, What anguish I felt at my heart! Yet I thought-but it might not be so'Twas with pain that she saw me depart. She gaz'd, as I slowly withdrew;
My path I could hardly discern; So sweetly she bade me adieu,
I thought that she bade me return.
The pilgrim that journeys all day
Is happy, nor heard to repine.
My banks they are furnish'd with bees,
I seldom have met with a loss,
Such health do my fountains bestow : My fountains all border'd with moss, Where the hare-bells and violets grow.
Not a pine in my grove is there seen,
But a sweet-brier entwines it around.
One would think she might like to retire
To prune the wild branches away.
From the plains, from the woodlands and groves,
In a concert so soft and so clear,
As she may not be found to resign.
I have found out a gift for my fair;
I have found where the wood-pigeons breed: But let me that plunder forbear,
She will say 'twas a barbarous deed.
Such tenderness fall from her tongue.
I have heard her with sweetness unfold How that pity was due to-a dove: That it ever attended the bold;
And she call'd it the sister of love. But her words such a pleasure convey, So much I her accents adore, Let her speak, and whatever she say, Methinks I should love her the more.
Can a bosom so gentle remain
Unmov'd when her Corydon sighs?
Soft scenes of contentment and ease?
But where does my Phyllida stray?
And where are her grots and her bowers? Are the groves and the valleys as gay, And the shepherds as gentle as ours? The groves may perhaps be as fair,
And the face of the valleys as fine; The swains may in manners compare, But their love is not equal to mine.
WHY will you my passion reprove?
With her mien she enamours the brave;
O you that have been of her train,
For when Paridel tries in the dance
O how, with one trivial glance,
Might she ruin the peace of my mind! In ringlets he dresses his hair,
And his crook is bestudded around; And his pipe-oh my Phyllis, beware Of a magic there is in the sound.
"Tis his with mock passion to glow,
"Tis his in smooth tales to unfold, How her face is as bright as the snow, And her bosom, be sure, is as cold. How the nightingales labor the strain,
With the notes of his charmer to vie; How they vary their accents in vain, Repine at her triumphs, and die.
To the grove or the garden he strays,
More sweet than the jessamine's flower. What are pinks in a morn to compare?
What is eglantine after a shower?
"Then the lily no longer is white;
The rose is depriv'd of its bloom; Then the violets die with despite,
And the woodbines give up their perfume Thus glide the soft numbers along,
And he fancies no shepherd his peer; -Yet I never should envy the song, Were not Phyllis to lend it an ear.
Let his crook be with hyacinths bound,
IV. DISAPPOINTMENT. YE shepherds, give ear to my lay, And take no more heed of my sheep; They have nothing to do but to stray; I have nothing to do but to weep. Yet do not my folly reprove;
She was fair-and my passion begun; She smil'd-and I could not but love; She is faithless-and I am undone.