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Ere fill'd the air, or deafen'd human ears ; Streets, lanes, and alleys heard the mingled jar, And scar'd pedestrians gap'd at Temple Bar.
He sung the constitution's secret springs,
He sung in notes so musical and clear, The giant-slaying Cossack and his spear, Who (Zemlenutin surely would'nt lie !) Killd nine and thirty Frenchmen and the Fry!_* Then, suddenly he borrow'd Croker's strain, And sung the wars of Portugal and Spain ; And, next assuming all the minstrel's power, With Grenville, sung the lions in the Tower.
Of Coates's fooleries his song began, Rare pastime for the ragamuffin clan! Who welcome with the crowing of a cock, This hero of the buskin and the sock.
Then rose his verse against those wicked imps,
He sung the course the foggy Adm'ral steerd, And Yarmouth's whiskers,and Van Butchell's beard; Of pious roastings, Spanish inquisitions, Of penal codes, and Catholic petitions ; Of birth-day odes by tuneful Laureats furnish'd, With all the dull encomiums newly burnish'd ; Of Bond-street macaronies, City fops, Assemblies, Easter-balls, and Smithfield hops.
He sung in rumbling strains, to shake the soul, The genealogy of Well’sley Pole; And, Britain's fond credulity to cram, Th' adventures of the whisker-fac'd Geramb; That dauntless chief! of whom there is a tale, He travell’d on the body of a whale, And, (or some folks miraculously feign it) Spitted one hundred Frenchmen with his bay'net. More had he sung, and rivalid ancient fables, But Night, a sober widow clad in sables, Bade this Apollo of the tuneful throng Suspend awhile his yet unfinish'd song.
THE FIELD PREACHER.
Damon. What ho! my Peter, tell me, I beseech, Your eager
haste to town? Peter.
My haste! to preach : To lead
flock from error's thorny way,
Da. I've often wonder'd that thy flock had
patience, To listen to such tedious, dull orations ; And much, alas! their folly did I grieve, To think the stupid blockheads should believe: For, gentle Peter, I must say in sooth, Thou art not over nice about the truth; And not one swain who knows thee, will deny, That, Peter, thou canst preach,—and thou canst lie.
Pet. Methinks, thou'rt strangely pert, good
To shew such rudeness to a pious Layman !
Da. Unhappy sheep, ah! who shall set them free* From such a shepherd, such a guide as thee? Didst thou not, cunning Varlet ! when of late Thy hearers put their money in the plate, With sacrilegious hands the whole secure, And of their lawful right defraud the poor?
Pet. An honest man may freely take his own;t The cash was mine, by preaching fairly won : Go, ask my clerk; if he the fact deny, This tongue shall give the perjur'd rogue the lie.
* Infelix, 0, semper, oves, pecus! ipse Neæram
Dum fovet, ac, ne me sibi præferat illa, veretur,
Et succus pecori, et lac subducitur agnis.
Quem mea carminibus meruisset fistula, caprum?
Da. Good words, old rev'rend sinner! for I trow Thy clerk's a sorry knave,-and so art thou.
Pet. Egad! a libel, or the deuce is in't!
Pet. Let Collyer boast his soft bewitching note, And crack-ton'd Wilks, the wonders of his throat; My breast nor rival fears, nor envy knows, I speak the truth,—and speak it through my nose.
Da. Boast not thy fancied skill, thy false renown, Thou hypocrite! thou scarecrow of the town! Dunce at the best ! in Chapels scarce allow'd * To tease an empty, groaning, yawning crowd.
Pet. Ah! little heed I what my Damon saith, He is not yet converted to the faith. Still, peradventure, though he idly mock The priest, the guide, the shepherd of the flock, A lambkin, he may turn his wand'ring feet; And with a contrite heart repentance bleat.
Da. You've touched me, Peter! yes you have,
Non tu in triviis, indocte, solebas