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In every town where Thamis rolls his tyde,
A narrow pass there is, with houses low,
Where ever and anon the stream is eyed,
And many a boat soft sliding to and fro :
There oft are heard the notes of infant woe,
The short thick sob, loud scream, and shriller squall:
How can ye, mothers, vex your children so?
Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall,
And as they crouchen low, for bread and butter call.
And on the broken pavement, here and there,
Doth many a stinking sprat and herring lie;
A brandy and tobacco shop is neare,
And hens, and dogs, and hogs, are feeding by ;
And here a sailor's jacket hangs to dry.
At every door are sunburnt matrons seen,
Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry;
Now singing shrill, and scolding eft between;
Scolds answer foul-mouth'd scolds; bad neighbour-
hood I ween.
The snappish cur (the passenger's annoy)
Close at my heel with yelping treble flies;
The whimpering girl, and hoarser screaming boy,
Join to the yelping treble shrilling cries;
The scolding quean to louder notes doth rise,
And her full pipes those shrilling cries confound;
To her full pipes the grunting hog replies:
The grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round,
And curs, girls, boys, and scolds, in the deep base
Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch,
Dwelt Obloquy, who in her early days
Baskets of fish at Billingsgate did watch,
Cod, whiting, oyster, mackrel, sprat, or plaice:
There learn'd she speech from tongues that never
Slander beside her like a magpie chatters, [cease.
With Envy, (spitting cat) dread foe to peace;
Like a curs'd cur, Malice before her clatters,
And, vexing every wight, tears clothes and all to
Her dugs were mark'd by every collier's hand;
Her mouth was black as bull-dogs at the stall:
She scratched, bit, and spar'd ne lace ne band,
And bitch and rogue her answer was to all;
Nay, even the parts of shame by name would call:
Yea, when she passed by or lane or nook,
Would greet the man who turn'd him to the wall,
And by his hand obscene the porter took,
Nor ever did askance like modest virgin look.
Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town,
Woolwich and Wapping, smelling strong of pitch!*
Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown,
And Twickenham such, which fairer scenes enrich,
Grots, statues, urns, and Jo―n's dog and bitch;
Ne village is without, on either side,
All up the silver Thames, or all adown;
Ne Richmond's self, from whose tall front are eyed Vales, spires, meandering streams, and Windsor's towery pride.
ON A LADY SINGING TO HER LUTE.
FAIR charmer! cease; nor make your voice's prize
A heart resign'd the conquest of your eyes:
Well might, alas! that threaten'd vessel fail,
Which winds and lightning both at once assail.
We were too bless'd with these enchanting lays,
Which must be heavenly when an angel plays:
But killing charms your lover's death contrive,
Lest heavenly music should be heard alive.
Orpheus could charm the trees; but thus a tree,
Taught by your hand, can charm no less than he.
A poet made the silent wood pursue;
This vocal wood had drawn the poet too.
ON A FAN OF THE AUTHOR'S DESIGN,
In which was painted the Story of Cephalus and Procris, with the motto' aura veni.'
COME, gentle air! the' Æolian shepherd said,
While Procris panted in the secret shade;
Come, gentle air! the fairer Delia cries,
While at her feet her swain expiring lies.
Lo! the glad gales o'er all her beauties stray,
Breathe on her lips, and in her bosom play;
In Delia's hand this toy is fatal found,
Nor could that fabled dart more surely wound:
Both gifts destructive to the givers prove;
Alike both lovers fall by those they love.
Yet guiltless too this bright destroyer lives,
At random wounds, nor knows the wounds she gives:
She views the story with attentive eyes,
And pities Procris while her lover dies.
FAIN would my Muse the flowery treasures sing,
And humble glories of the youthful spring;
Where opening roses breathing sweets diffuse,
And soft carnations show'r their balmy dews;
Where lilies smile in virgin robes of white,
The thin undress of superficial light;
And varied tulips show so dazzling gay,
Blushing in bright diversities of day.
Each painted flowret in the lake below
Surveys its beauties, whence its beauties grow ;
And pale Narcissus, on the bank in vain
Transformed, gazes on himself again.
Here aged trees cathedral walks compose,
And mount the hill in venerable rows;
There the green infants in their beds are laid,
The garden's hope, and its expected shade.
Here orange-trees with blooms and pendants shine,
And vernal honours to their autumn join;
Exceed their promise in the ripen'd store,
Yet in the rising blossom promise more.
There in bright drops the crystal fountains play,
By laurels shielded from the piercing day:
Where Daphne, now a tree as once a maid,
Still from Apollo vindicates her shade;
Still turns her beauties from the' invading beam,
Nor seeks in vain for succour to the stream.
The stream at once preserves her virgin leaves, At once a shelter from her boughs receives, Where summer's beauty midst of winter stays, And winter's coolness spite of summer's rays.
WHILE Celia's tears make sorrow bright,
Proud grief sits swelling in her eyes;
The sun, next those the fairest light,
Thus from the ocean first did rise:
And thus through mists we see the sun,
Which else we durst not gaze upon.
These silver drops, like morning dew,
Foretell the fervour of the day:
So from one cloud soft showers we view,
And blasting lightnings burst away.
The stars that fall from Celia's eye
Declare our doom in drawing nigh.
The baby in that sunny sphere
So like a Phaëtou appears,
That heav'n, the threaten'd world to spare,
Thought fit to drown him in her tears;
Else might the' ambitious nymph aspire
To set, like him, heav'n too on fire.
SILENCE! Coëval with eternity;
Thou wert ere Nature's self began to be, 'Twas one vast nothing all, and all slept fast in thee.