Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

And fruitful fields, I learn the price of stocks,
As from my woodbine arbour, green and

gay,
(The Hampstead stages passing twice a-day,)
My only daughter, zealous to amuse
My fond impatience, reads the weekly news !

Then come, my friend ! 'tis nature's self invites ; Leave London's toilsome days and anxious nights ; Indulgent Heav'n has multiplied thy store, Enough for thee, and canst thou wish for more ? To rival patriots leave the sinking státe, Nor hope to show thy talent for debate. Here, in the midst of exercise and health, Thy mind shall learn the real use of wealth; In stepping wide from Mammon's sordid elves, And doing good to others, and ourselves.

ECLOGUE II.

ALEXIS.

BENEATH a shade, near Inner-Temple Lane,
Sat fond Alexis, a despairing swain ;
A lawyer he, whom cruel love in sport
Had driv'n, relentless, from the Inns of Court:
Who, since he bow'd to little Cupid's yoke,
Had thought no more of Lyttelton and Coke,
But tun'd his plaintive harp to grief alone,
And Gray’s-Inn gardens answer'd to his moan.

“ Ah! Easter Monday! Day for ever dear !
Thou blithesome herald of the vernal year;
To me, alone, thou prov'st a galling smart,
For on thy luckless day I lost my

heart.
Fair shone the rosy morn, at six I rose,
And view'd with eager eyes my Sunday clothes ;
Th' embroider'd vest, the pantaloons so trim;
The high-crown'd modish hat with narrow brim;
The hessian boot, the coat with taper skirt,
The stiff-starch'd cravat, and the ruffled shirt !
Thus nattily equipp'd, a London spark !
I march'd with hasty step to Greenwich Park ;

Through clouds of dust I bent my joyous way,
With
song and whistle, for my

heart was gay;
But little thinking I should find, ere night,
My heart so heavy, and my purse so light.
Ye Muses of Apollo's sacred hill,*
Whom once I woo'd, (and let me woo ye still !)
When, warm with passion and the rural scene,
I sung the blue-ey'd Maid of Stepney Green,
Teach me once more to sing my am'rous pains,
And Blouzelinda's charms in equal strains.
A gipsy hat her auburn hair confin'd,
Save some stray locks that sported in the wind;
And nature, bounteous nature, bade disclose
Her neck the lily, and her cheek the rose.

Long has the maid my youthful bosom fir'd,
Her beauty long my simple lay inspir’d;
I saw her charms unfolding ev'ry hour,
Fair was the bud, but fairer is the flower!

tAs lately at the river's brink I stood, In meditation deep, at Hornsey Wood,

* Nymphæ, noster amor, Libethrides, aut mihi carmen,

Quale meo Crodo, &c. &c.
+ Nec sum adeò informis : nupèr me in littore vidi,

Cum placidum ventis staret mare. Non ego Daphnin,
Judice te, metuam, si nunquam fallat imago.

I, while the sun delay'd his parting beam,
Beheld

my

face reflected in the stream; My eyes look'd bright, with diffidence I speak, And youthful blushes glow'd upon my cheek ; I mark'd my form, to Vestris no disgrace, Where just proportion vied with manly grace : But, since these beauties charm my love no more, I shun the fountains that I sought before ; From billiards, rackets, quoits, and cricket flee;And taw and skittles have no charms for me.

Canst thou forget, when, warm with love and ale, I whisper'd in thine ear my tender tale ? How didst thou blush at Cupid's soft command, (The glass of negus trembling in thy hand !) And sighing, promise everlasting truth, If I would take thee but to Saunders' booth, To see the tailor, in equestrian pride, With crupper, whip, and spur, to Brentford ride ? Did I not show thee ev'ry kind of fun ;Cows with two heads, that never had but one; Sage necromancers, who, to conjuring prone, Tell ev'ry body's fortunes but their own; And Lady Morgan short, and Patrick tall ? No Yorkshire club was ours—I paid for all. Yes, cruel maid ! and no reward I seek, Though that day's flourish made me fast a week ;

Bear witness to my vows, ye pow’rs above !
I ask no other payment, but thy love;
No fonder pledge I crave, my lovely girl,
Than that thou gav’st me o'er a pint of purl!

[ocr errors]

Come to my longing arms, my lovely care !
And take the presents which the gods prepare !
The macaroni cake, the Chelsea bun,
And almonds crisp, and raisins of the sun :
But what avails it that I yield my store ? +
The purse-proud Daphnis still will offer more,
And Blouzelinda has too sweet a tooth,
To scorn his gifts, and wed the poorest youth.
In splendid courts, let haughty princes reign,
The shepherd loves the forest and the plain :-
The prowling dun the hungry bard pursues,
The politician travels after news,
The unpaid tailor dogs the London spark,

* Huc ades, O formose puer. Tibi lilia plenis

Ecce ferunt Nymphæ calathis : tibi candida Naïs, &c. + Rusticus es, Corydon ; nec munera curat Alexis :

Nec, si muneribus certes, concedat Iollas. +

Pallas, quas condidit arces
Ipsa colat: nobis placeant ante omnia Silvæ.
Torva leæna lupum sequitur ; lupus ipse capellam.
Florentem cytisum sequitur, lasciva capella :
Te Corydon, 0 Alexi : trahit sua quemque voluptas.

« ZurückWeiter »