Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Ere fillid 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,
And all the arts of ministers and kings;
The party squabbles of the ins and outs ;
Blue-stocking clubs, and fashionable routs;
And how, the gallant Regent to amuse,
Some reg'ments play at soldiers, at reviews,
Sham-fighting, and exchanging martial rubs
At Wimbledon, Hyde Park, or Wormwood Scrubs.

He

sung in notes so musical and clear, The giant-slaying Cossack and his spear, Who (Zemlenutin surely would'nt lie !) Kill'd 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.

[blocks in formation]

Then rose his verse against those wicked imps,
Callid Flatterers, Spies, Court-parasites and pimps,
Who plant their poison in a princely breast,
And H**d***t's name was mention'd with the rest.

He

sung the course the foggy Adm'ral steer'd, 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 rival’d ancient fables, But Night, a sober widow clad in sables, Bade this Apollo of the tuneful throng Suspend awhile his yet unfinish'd song.

ECLOGUE V.

THE FIELD PREACHER.

Damon. What ho! my Peter, tell me, I beseech, Your eager

haste to town? Peter.

My haste ! to preach:To lead my flock from error's thorny way, My silly, wandering sheep who idly stray, In spite of all I do, and all I say! No arguments of mine can rouse their fears, I preach to iron hearts, and leathern ears.

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

Master Damon,

To shew such rudeness to a pious Layman !
To vent thy bitter spleen, and impious wrath,
Against the sober brethren of our cloth ;
Who, since the plotting Sidmouth lost his bill,
(As much I hope such graceless Nobles will,)
The Gospel are at liberty to dish up,
And shake their heads at Vicar, Dean, and Bishop.

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,
Hic alienus oves custos bis mulget in horâ :

Et succus pecori, et lac subducitur agnis.
+ An mihi cantando victus non redderet ille,

Quem mea carminibus meruisset fistula, caprum?
Si nescis, meus ille caper fuit, et mihi Damon
Ipse fatebatur, sed reddere posse negabat.

1

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!
Da. No libel, by my Fay! unless in print.

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,

I fear,

Non tu in triviis, indocte, solebas
Stridenti miserum stipulâ disperdere carmen ?

« ZurückWeiter »