« AnteriorContinuar »
How the grave brother stood on bank so green- When, starting from her silver dream,
Thus far and wide was heard her scream.
“ That Raven on yon left-hand oak And on a sudden sung the hundredth psalm. (Curse on his ill-betiding croak !)
He sung of Taffey Welch, and Sawney Scot, Bodes me no good." No more she said, Lilly-bullero, and the Irish Trot.
When poor blind Ball, with stumbling tread, Why should I tell of Bateman, or of Shore,
Fell prone ; o'erturn'd the pannier lay, Or Wantley's Dragon, slain by valiant Moor, And her mash'd eggs bestrow'd the way. The Bower of Rosamond, or Robin Hood,
She, sprawling in the yellow road, And how the grass now grows where Troy town Rail'd, swore, and curs’d: “ Thou croaking toad, stood ?
120 A murrain take thy whoreson throat ! His carols ceas'd: the listening maids and swains I knew misfortune in the note." Seem still to hear some soft imperfect strains.
“ Dame," quoth the Raven,“ spare your oaths, Sudden he rose; and, as he reels along,
Unclench your fist, and wipe your clothes.
Goody, the fault was all your own;
For, had you laid this brittle ware
Though all the Ravens of the hundred
THE TURKEY AND THE ANT.
THE FARMER'S WIFE AND THE RAVEN.
“ Alas! you know the cause too well;
“ Unhappy Widow, cease thy tears,
Betwixt her swagging panniers' load
Virg. Ver. 117–120. Old English ballads.
In other men we faults can spy,
A Turkey, tir'd of common food,
An Ant, who climb'd beyond his reach,
MATTHEW GREEN, a truly original poet, was born, is further attested, that he was a man of great probably at London, in 1696. His parents were re- probity and sweetness of disposition, and that his spectable Dissenters, who brought him up within conversation abounded with wit, but of the most inthe limits of the sect. His learning was confined to offensive kind. He seems to have been subject to a little Latin; but, from the frequency of his clas- low-spirits, as a relief from which he composed his sical allusions, it may be concluded that what he principal poem, “ The Spleen.” He passed his read when young, he did not forget. The austerity life in celibacy, and died in 1737, at the early age in which he was educated had the effect of inspiring of forty-one, in lodgings in Gracechurch-street. him with settled disgust; and he fled from the The poems of Green, which were not made pubgloom of dissenting worship when he was no longer lic till after his death, consist of “ The Spleen;" compelled to attend it. Thus set loose from the “ The Grotto ;" “ Verses on Barclay's Apology;" opinions of his youth, he speculated very freely “ The Seeker,” and some smaller pieces, all comon religious topics, and at length adopted the sys- prised in a small volume. In manner and subject tem of outward compliance with established forms they are some of the most original in our language. and inward laxity of belief. He seems at one They rank among the easy and familiar, but are time to have been much inclined to the principles replete with uncommon thoughts, new and striking of Quakerism; but he found that its practice would images, and those associations of remote ideas by not agree with one who lived “ by pulling off the some unexpected similitudes, in which wit prinhat." We find that he had obtained a place in the cipally consists. Few poems will bear more reCustom house, the duties of which he is said to have peated perusals; and, with those who can fully enter discharged with great diligence and fidelity. It l into them, they do not fail to become favourites.
School-helps I want, to climb on high,
Where all the ancient treasures lie,
And there unseen commit a theft
On wealth in Greek exchequers left.
Then where? from whom ? what can I steal, Hus motley piece to you I send,
Who only with the moderns deal ?
This were attempting to put on
Raiment from naked bodies wont :
They safely sing before a thief,
They cannot give who want relief ; The want of method pray excuse,
Some few excepted, names well known,
And justly laurel'd with renown,
Whose stamp of genius marks their ware,
And theft detects : of theft beware;
From More $ so lash'd, example fit,
Shun petty larceny in wit. Throughout the sire's transmitted face.
First know, my friend, I do not mean
To write a treatise on the spleen;
# A painted vest Prince Vortiger bad on,
Howard's British Princes. • “ In this poem,” Mr. Melmoth says, “ there are more original thoughts thrown together than he S James More Smith, esq. See Dunciad, B. ü. had ever read in the same compass of lines." 1. 50. and the notes, where the circumstances of
FITZOSBORNE's Letters, p. 114. the transaction here alluded to are very fully + Gildon's Art of Poetry.
Nor to prescribe when nerves convulse ;
A strict dissenter saying grace, Nor mend th' alarum watch, your pulse.
A lect'rer preaching for a place, If I am right, your question lay,
Folks, things prophetic to dispense, What course I take to drive away
Making the past the future tense, The day-mare, Spleen, by whose false pleas The popish dubbing of a priest, Men prove mere suicides in ease;
Fine epitaphs on knaves deceas'd, And how I do myself demean
Green-apron'd Pythonissa's rage, In stormy world to live serene.
Great Æsculapius on his stage,
A miser starving to be rich,
A jointer'd widow's ritual state,
Two Jews disputing tête-à-tête, Reason, some quiet to restore,
New almanacs compos'd by seers,
Experiments on felons' ears,
The superb muscle of the eye,
A coquet's April-weather face, Buoyant on bladders fill’d with hope.
A Queenb'rough mayor behind his mace, I always choose the plainest food
And fops in military show, To mend viscidity of blood.
Are sov'reign for the case in view. Hail! water-gruel, healing power,
If spleen-fogs rise at close of day, Of easy access to the poor ;
I clear my ev’ning with a play, Thy help love's confessors implore,
Or to some concert take my way. And doctors secretly adore ;
The company, the shine of lights,
The scenes of humour, music's Alights,
Life's moving pictures, well-wrought plays, Prolific particles of Spleen.
To others' grief attention raise : I never sick by drinking grow,
Here, while the tragic fictions glow, Nor keep myself a cup too low,
We borrow joy by pitying woe; And seldom Chloe's lodgings haunt,
There gaily comic scenes delight, Thrifty of spirits, which I want.
And hold true mirrors to our sight. Hunting I reckon very good,
Virtue, in charming dress array'd, To brace the nerves, and stir the blood :
Calling the passions to her aid, But after no field-honours itch,
When moral scenes just actions join, Achiev'd by leaping hedge and ditch.
Takes shape, and shows her face divine. While Spleen lies soft relax'd in bed,
Music has charms, we all may find, Or o'er coal fires inclines the head,
Ingratiate deeply with the mind. Hygeia's sons with hound and horn,
When art does sound's high pow'r advance, And jovial cry awake the Morn.
To music's pipe the passions dance; These see her from the dusky plight,
Motions unwill'd its pow’rs have shown, Smear'd by th' embraces of the Night,
Tarantulated by a tune. With roral wash redeem her face,
Many have held the soul to be And prove herself of Titan's race,
Nearly ally'd to harmony. And, mounting in loose robes the skies,
Her have I known indulging grief, Shed light and fragrance as she flies.
And shunning company's relief. Then horse and hound fierce joy display,
Unveil her face, and, looking round, Exulting at the hark-away,
Own, by neglecting sorrow's wound, And in pursuit o'er tainted ground,
The consanguinity of sound. From lungs robust field-notes resound.
In rainy days keep double guard, Then, as St. George the dragon slew,
Or Spleen will surely be too hard ; Spleen pierc'd, trod down, and dying view; Which, like those fish by sailors met, While all their spirits are on wing,
Fly highest, while their wings are wet. And woods, and hills, and valleys ring.
In such dull weather, so unfit To cure the mind's wrong bias, Spleen,
To enterprize a work of wit, Some recommend the bowling-green ;
When clouds one yard of azure sky, Some, hilly walks; all, exercise;
That's fit for simile, deny, Fling but a stone, the giant dies ;
I dress my face with studious looks, Laugh and be well. Monkeys have been
And shorten tedious hours with books. Extreme good doctors for the Spleen;
But if dull fogs invade the head, And kitten, if the humour hit,
That mem'ry minds not what is read, Has harlequin'd away the fit.
I sit in window dry as ark, Since mirth is good in this behalf,
And on the drowning world remark : At some partic'lars let us laugh.
Or to some coffee-house I stray Witlings, brisk fools, curst with half sense,
For news, the manna of a day,
And from the hipp'd discourses gather,
Then seek good-humour'd tavern chums, Poor authors worshipping a calf,
And play al cards, but for small sums; Deep tragedies that make us laugh,
Or with the merry fellows quaff,
Nor lay out so much cost and art, And laugh aloud with them that laugh ;
But to deflcw'r the virgin heart; Or drink a joco-serious cup
Of every folly-fost'ring bed With souls who've took their freedom up,
By quick’ning heat of custom bred. And let my mind, beguil'd by talk,
Rather than by your culture spoil'd, In Epicurus' garden walk,
Desist, and give us nature wild, Who thought it Heav'n to be serene;
Delighted with a hoyden soul, Pain, Hell, and purgatory, Spleen.
Which truth and innocence control. Sometimes I dress, with women sit,
Coquets, leave off affected arts, And chat away the gloomy fit;
Gay fowlers at a flock of hearts; Quit the stiff garb of serious sense,
Woodcocks to shun your snares have skill, And wear a gay impertinence,
You show so plain, you strive to kill. Nor think nor speak with any pains,
In love the artless catch the game, But lay on fancy's neck the reins;
And they scarce miss who never aim. Talk of unusual swell of waist
The world's great Author did create In maid of honour loosely lac'd,
The sex to fit the nuptial state, And beauty borr'wing Spanish red,
And meant a blessing in a wife And loving pair with sep'rate bed,
To solace the fatigues of life; And jewels pawn'd for loss of game,
And old inspired times display, And then redeem'd by loss of fame;
How wives could love, and yet obey. Of Kitty (aunt left in the lurch
Then truth, and patience of control, By grave pretence to go to church)
And house-wife arts adorn'd the soul ; Perceiv'd in hack with lover fine,
And charms, the gift of Nature, sbone; Like Will and Mary on the coin :
And jealousy, a thing unknown: And thus in modish manner we,
Veils were the only masks they wore; In aid of sugar, sweeten tea.
Novels (receipts to make a whore) Permit, ye fair, your idol form,
Nor ombre, nor quadrille they knew, Which e'en the coldest heart can warm,
Nor Pam's puissance felt at loo. May with its beauties grace my line,
Wise men did not to be thought gay, While I bow down before its shrine,
Then compliment their pow'r away: And your throng'd altars with my lays
But lest, by frail desires misled, Perfume, and get by giving praise.
The girls forbidden paths should tread, With speech so sweet, so sweet a mien
Of ign’rance rais'd the safe high wall ; You excommunicate the Spleen,
We sink haw-haws, that show them all. Which, fiend-like, flies the magic ring
Thus we at once solicit sense, You form with sound, when pleas'd to sing; And charge them not to break the fence. Whate'er you say, howe'er you move,
Now, if untir'd, consider friend, We look, we listen, and approve.
What I avoid to gain my end. Your touch, which gives to feeling bliss,
I never am at meeting seen, Our nerves officious throng to kiss ;
Meeting, that region of the Spleen; By Celia's pat, on their report,
The broken heart, the busy fiend, The grave-air’d soul, inclin’d to sport,
The inward call, on Spleen depend. Renounces wisdom's sullen pomp,
Law, licens'd breaking of the peace, And loves the floral game, to romp.
To which vacation is disease : But who can view the pointed rays,
A gypsy diction scarce known well That from black eyes scintillant blaze ?
By th' magi, who law-fortunes tell, Love on his throne of glory seems
I shun; nor let it brced within Encompass'd with satellite beams.
Anxiety, and that the Spleen; But when blue eyes, more softly bright,
Law, grown a forest, where perplex Diffuse benignly humid light,
The mazes, and the brambles vex ; We gaze, and see the smiling loves,
Where its twelve verd'rers every day And Cytherea's gentle doves,
Are changing still the public way: And raptur'd fix in such a face
Yet, if we miss our path and err, Love's mercy-seat, and throne of grace.
We grievous penalties incur; Shine but on age, you melt its snow;
And wand'rers tire, and tear their skin, Again fires long-extinguish'd glow,
And then get out where they went in. And, charm’d by witchery of eyes,
I never game, and rarely bet, Blood long congealed liquefies !
Am loth to lend, or run in debt. True miracle, and fairly done
No compter-writs me agitate ; By heads which are ador'd while on.
Who moralising pass the gate, But oh, what pity 'tis to find
And there mine eyes on spendthrifts turn, Such beauties both of form and mind,
Who vainly o'er their bondage mourn. By modern breeding much debas'd,
Wisdom, before beneath their care, In half the female world at least !
Pays her upbraiding visits there, Hence I with care such lott'ries shun,
And forces folly through the grate, Where, a prize miss'd, I'm quite undone ;
Her panegyric to repeat. And han't, by vent'ring on a wife,
This view, profusely when inclin'd, Yet run the greatest risk in life.
Enters a caveat in the mind : Mothers, and guardian aunts, forbuar
Experience join'd with common sense, Your impious pains to forin the fair,
To mortals is a providence.
Passion, as frequently is seen,
This view my forward zeal so shocks, Subsiding settles into Spleen.
In vain they hold the money-box. Hence, as the plague of happy life,
At such a conduct, which intends I run away from party-strife.
By vicious means such virtuous ends, á prince's cause, a church's claim,
I laugh off spleen, and keep my pence I've known to raise a mighty flame,
From spoiling Indian innocence. And priest, as stoker, very free
Yet philosophic love of ease To throw in peace and charity.
I suffer not to prove disease, That tribe, whose practicals decree
But rise up in the virtuous cause Small beer the deadliest heresy;
Of a free press, and equal laws. Who, fond of pedigree, derive
The press restrain'd! nefandous thought! From the most noted whore alive;
In vain our sires have nobly fought : Who own wine's old prophetic aid,
While free from force the press remains, And love the mitre Bacchus made,
Virtue and Freedom cheer our plains, Forbid the faithful to depend
And Learning largesses bestows, On half-pint drinkers for a friend,
And keeps uncensur’d open house. And in whose gay red-letter'd face
We to the nation's public mart We read good-living more than grace :
Our works of wit, and schemes of art, Nor they so pure, and so precise,
And philosophic goods this way, Immac'iate as their white of eyes,
Like water-carriage, cheap convey. Who for the spirit hug the Spleen,
This tree, which knowledge so affords, Phylacter'd throughout all their mien,
Inquisitors with flaming swords Who their ill-tasted home-brew'd pray'r
From lay approach with zeal defend, To the state's mellow forms prefer;
Lest their own paradise should end. Who doctrines, as infectious, fear,
The Press from her fecundous womb Which are not steep'd in vinegar,
Brought forth the arts of Greece and Rome; And samples of heart-chested grace
Her offspring, skill'd in logic war, Expose in show-glass of the face,
Truth's banner wav'd in open air; Did pever me as yet provoke
The monster Superstition fled, Either to honour band and cloke,
And hid in shades its Gorgon head ; Or deek my hat with leaves of oak.
And lawless pow'r, the long-kept field, I rail not with mock-patriot grace
By reason quell’d, was forc'd to yield. At folks, because they are in place;
This nurse of arts, and freedom's fence Nor, hir'd to praise with stallion pen,
To chain, is treason against sense ; Serve the ear-lechery of men ;
And, Liberty, thy thousand tongues But to avoid religious jars,
None silence, who design no wrongs ; The laws are my expositors,
For those, who use the gag's restraint, Which in my doubting mind create
First rob, before they stop complaint. Conformity to church and state.
Since disappointment gauls within, I go, pursuant to my plan,
And subjugates the soul to spleen, To Mecca with the caravan.
Most schemes, as money-snares, I hate, And think it right in common sense
And bite not at projector's bait. Both for diversion and defence.
Sufficient wrecks appear each day, Reforming schemes are none of mine;
And yet fresh fools are cast away. To mend the world 's a vast design:
Ere well the bubbled can turn round, Like theirs, who tug in little boat,
Their painted vessel runs aground; To pull to them the ship afloat,
Or in deep seas it oversets While to defeat their labour'd end,
By a fierce hurricane of debts; At once both wind and stream contend :
Or helm directors in one trip, Success herein is seldom seen,
Freight first embezzled, sink tire ship. And zeal, when baffled, turns to Spleen.
Such was of late a corporation ", Happy the man, who innocent,
The brazen serpent of the nation, Grieves not at ills he can't prevent;
Which, when hard accidents distress'd, His skiff does with the current glide,
The poor must look at to be blest, Not puffing pallid against the tide.
And thence expect, with paper seal'd He, paddling by the scuffling crowd,
By fraud and us'ry, to be heal'd. Sees unconcern'd life's wager row'd,
I in no soul-consumption wait
Whole years at levees of the great,
• The Charitable Corporation, instituted for the Each hasty promise made in zeal.
relief of the industrious poor, by assisting thera When gospel propagators say,
with small sums upon pledges at legal interest. By We're bound our great light to display, the villany of those who had the management of And Indian darkness drive away,
this scheme, the proprietors were defrauded of very Yet none but drunken watchmen send,
considerable sums of money. In 1732 the conduct And scoundrel link-boys for that end ;
of the directors of this body became the subject of a When they cry up this holy war,
parliamentary inquiry, and some of them, who were Which every christian should be for.
members of the house of commons, were expelled Yet such as owe the law their ears,
for their concern in this iniquitous transaction. We find employed as engineers :