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A Carlton House fête, or a squeeze at Vauxhall,
Why, the subject is witty,
Author. Ye Critics! before whose tribunal severe, As a dutiful bard, I am bound to appear; To a poet be merciful once in your lives, And
spare him the smarts of your critical knives ! If sometimes, a truant from classical rules, His muse take a license unknown to the schools, Reflect, Alma-mater is nothing to him, A laughing disciple of frolic and whim; Nor scalp a poor author for trifles like these, Who strives to amuse, and whose aim is to please.
THE RETIRED CITIZEN TO HIS FRIEND IN TOWN.
Fortunate Senex, hic inter flumina nota,
VIRGIL, ECLOGA 1.
WHILE you, M-, fond of noise and strife,
Let sordid misers ev'ry art employ In heaping gold for others to enjoy ; Ket sober cits, resolv'd to take a trip, Give once a year their customers the slip, And rashly dare (anticipating joy) The ten-fold horrors of a Margate hoy; Let them, good folks! forsake the town in droves, And idly stray through Dandelion's groves,
Or, proud to show a daughter's clumsy air,
For wealth, the most desir'd of earthly things, Is only useful for the joys it brings; And let me never tauntingly be told I simply barter'd happiness for gold. Let me, ere gouty ills, a direful train, Disturb my rest, and rack my joints with pain, Or cough consumptive, when I mount the stairs, With hollow sound, delight my greedy heirs, Improve by mirth this remnant of my span, And gaily cut a caper while I can; For age is not a time for roguish tricks, And few can dance a reel at sixty-six. Our neighbour Gripus left his shop and till, To breathe the purer air of Greenwich-hill, To taste the soft delights of rural bow'rs, But not till age had frozen all his pow'rs :
Scarce to these scenes of pleasure did he go,
While yet my limbs are sound, and health remains, While yet the blood runs freely through my veins, Ere watchful Time, with slow and silent pace, Engraves a thousand wrinkles on my face; Ere yet my eyes grow dim, my hearing fail, I'll climb the hill, and wander through the vale; Hear the sweet Lark salute the rising day, And Philomela pour her evening lay;
Or with some chosen friend, in woodbine bow'r,
On Sabbath-days some visitor comes down,
Frenchmen we have put to flight,
not the monarch on his throne. What though the dust in summer blind my eyes, And bleak and cold the wint’ry tempests rise, No noisy fish-wife bellows me to death, No rank unwholesome vapours stop my
breath. Happy old Man! here, in my country box,
* Fortunate Senex, ergo tua rura manebunt:
Et tibi magna satis; quamvis lapis omnia nudus, &c.