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Old Arthur's board: on the capacious round
TO THE RIVER LODON.
Ah! what a weary race my feet have run,
THE PROGRESS OF DISCONTENT. 1746.
His father comes, a vicar plain,
I'll warrant that his good behaviour
Has Horace all by heart-you'd wonder-
When nine full tedious winters past, That utmost wish is crown'd at last : But the rich prize no sooner got, Again he quarrels with his lot:
"These fellowships are pretty things,
But who can bear to waste his whole age
Of Dean, Vice Pres.-of Bursar too;
Come, tithes, and house, and fruitful fields!"
Long time he watches, and by stealth,
Continuing this fantastic farce on,
Thus fixt, content he taps his barrel, Exhorts his neighbours not to quarrel; Finds his church-wardens have discerning Both in good liquor and good learning; With tithes his barns replete he sees, And chuckles o'er his surplice fees; Studies to find out latent dues, And regulates the state of pews; Rides a sleek mare with purple housing, To share the monthly club's carousing;
Of Oxford pranks facetious tells,
Return, ye days! when endless pleasure
, I found in reading, or in leisure!
When calm around the common room
Oh! trifling head, and fickle heart!
I am out of humanity's reach,
I must finish my journey alone, Never hear the sweet music of speech,
I start at the sound of my own, The beasts, that roam over the plain,
My form with indifference see; They are so unacquainted with man,
Their tameness is shocking to me.
Society, friendship, and love,
Divinely bestowed upon man, Oh, had I the wings of a dove,
How soon would I taste you again! My sorrows I then might assuage
In the ways of religion and truth; Might learn from the wisdom of age,
And be cheered by the sallies of youth.
Religion! what treasure untold
Resides in that heavenly word! More precious than silver and gold,
Or all that this earth can afford. But the sound of the church-going bell
These vallies and rocks never heard, Never sighed at the sound of a knell,
Or smiled when a sabbath appeared.
Ye nymphs! if e'er your eyes were red
O share Maria's grief!
Assassined by a thief.
And though by nature mute,
Of flagelet or flute.
His bosom of the hue,
To sweep up all the dew.
No cat had leave to dwell;
Large-built and latticed well.
For Bully's plumage sake, But smooth with wands from Ouse's side, With which, when neatly peeled and dried,
The swains their baskets make.
Ye winds, that have made me your sport,
Convey to this desolate shore
Of a land, I shall visit no more.
A wish or a thought after me?
Though a friend I am never to see.
Ilow fleet is a glance of the mind!
Compared with the speed of its flight, The tempest itself lags behind,
And the swift-winged arrows of light.
Night veiled the pole. All seemed secure. When led by instinct sharp and sure,
Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth-sallied on the scout,
THE POET'S NEW-YEAR'S GIFT Long-backed, long-tailed, with whisker'd snout, And badger-coloured bide.
TO MRS. (NOW LADY) THROCKMORTON. He, entering at the study-door,
Maria! I have every good
For thee wished many a time,
Both sad, and in a cheerful mood,
But never yet in rhyme.
To wish thee fairer is no need,
More prudent, or more sprightly,
Or more ingenious, or more freed
From temper-flaws unsightly.
What favour then not yet possest
Can I for thee require,
In wedded love already blest,
To thy whole heart's desire?
None here is happy but in part:
Full bliss is bliss divine;
There dwells some wish in every heart, Minute the horrors that ensued;
And doubtless one in thine.
That wish on some fair future day,
Which fate shall brightly gild,
('Tis blameless, be it what it may)
I wish it all fulfilled.
PAIRING TIME ANTICIPATED.
I shall not ask Jean Jacques Rousseau,
If birds confabulate or no;
'Tis clear that they were always able His head alone remained to tell
To hold discourse, at least in fable;
And e'en the child who knows no better,
Must have a most uncommon skull.
It chanced then on a winter's day,
But warm, and bright, and calm as May, Which Mary to Anna conveyed,
The birds, conceiving a design
To forestall sweet St. Valentine, The plentiful moisture incumbered the flower,
In many an orchard, copse, and grove, And weighed down its beautiful head.
Assembled on affairs of love, The cup was all filled, and the leaves were all wet; And with much twitter and much chatter, And it seemed, to a fanciful view,
Began to agitate the matter. To weep for the buds it had left with regret,
At length a Bulfinch, who could boast On the flourishing bush where it grew.
More years and wisdom than the most,
Entreated, opening wide his beak, I hastily seized it, unfit as it was
A moment's liberty to speak; For a nosegay, so dripping and drown'd,
And, silence publicly enjoined, And swinging it rudely, too rudely, alas!
Delivered briefly thus his mind. I snapped it, it fell to the ground.
My friends! be cautious how ye treat
The subject upon which we meet; And such, I exclaimed, is the pitiless part
I fear we shall have winter yet. Some act by the delicate mind,
A Finch, whose tongue knew no control, Regardless of wringing and breaking a heart Already to sorrow resigned.
With golden wing, and satin pole,
A last year's bird, who ne'er had tried This elegant rose, had I shaken it less,
What marriage ineans, thus pert replied. Might have bloomed with its owner a while, Methinks the gentleman, quoth she, And the tear, that is wiped with a little address, Opposite in the apple-tree, May be followed perhaps by a smile.
By his good will would keep us single,