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A coming shower your shooting corns presage,
Old aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage.
Sauntering in coffee-house is Dulman seen;
He damns the climate, and complains of spleen.
Meanwhile the south, rising with dabbled
A sable cloud athwart the welkin Alings,
That swill’d more liquor than it could contain,
And, like a drunkard, gives it up again.
Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope,
While the first drizzling shower is borne aslope :
Such is that sprinkling which some careless quean
Flirts on you from her mop, but not so clean :
You fly, invoke the gods ; then, turning, stop
To rail; she, singing, still whirls on her mop.
Not yet the dust had shunn'd th’ unequal strife,
But, aided by the wind, fought still for life ;
And, wafted with its foe by violent gust,
'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was
Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid,
When dust and rain at once his coat invade ?
Sole coat! where dust cemented by the rain
Erects the nap, and leaves a cloudy stain !
Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down,
Threatening with deluge this devoted town.
To shops in crowds the daggled females fly,
Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy.
The Templar spruce, while every spout's abroach,
Stays till ’tis fair, yet seems to call a coach.
The tuck'd-up sempstress walks with hasty strides,
While streams run down her oild umbrella's sides.
Here various kinds, by various fortunes led,
Commence acquaintance underneath a shed.
Triumphant Tories and desponding Whigs
Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs.
Box'd in a chair the beau impatient sits,
While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits,
And ever and anon with frightful din
The leather sounds; he trembles from within.
So when Troy chairmen bore the wooden steed,
Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed,
(Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do,
Instead of paying chairmen, ran them through)
Laocoon struck the outside with his spear,
And each imprison'd hero quaked for fear.
Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow,
And bear their trophies with them as they go :
Filths of all hues and odours seem to tell
What street they sail'd from by their sight and
smell. They, as each torrent drives, with rapid force, From Smithfield or St 'Pulchre's shape their
course, And in huge confluence join'd at Snowhill ridge, Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn bridge. Sweepings from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, and
blood, Drown'd puppies, stinking sprats, all drench'd in
mud, Dead cats, and turnip-tops, come tumbling down
BAUCIS AND PHILEMON.
In ancient times, as story teils,
The Saints would often leave their cells,
And stroll about, but hide their quality, To try good people's hospitality.
It happen'd on a winter night, As authors of the legend write, Two brother-hermits, saints by trade, Taking their tour in masquerade, Disguised in tatter'd habits, went To a small village down in Kent; Where, in the strollers' canting strain, They begg'd from door to door in vain, Tried every tone might pity win ; But not a soul would let them in.
Our wandering saints, in woful state, Treated at this ungodly rate, Having through all the village past, To a small cottage came at last! Where dwelt a good old honest yeoman, Call'd in the neighbourhood Philemon; Who kindly did these saints invite In his poor hut to pass the night; And then the hospitable sire Bid Goody Baucis mend the fire ; While he from out the chimney took A flitch of bacon off the hook, And freely from the fattest side Cut out large slices to be fried ; Then stepp'd aside to fetch them drink, Fill’d a large jug up to the brink, And saw it fairly twice go round; Yet (what is wonderful !) they found 'Twas still replenish'd to the top, As if they ne'er had touch'd a drop. The good old couple were amazed, And often on each other gazed ;
For both were frighten'd to the heart,
And just began to cry, " What ar't?”
Then softly turn'd aside to view
Whether the lights were burning blue.
The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't,
Told them their calling, and their errand :
6. Good folks, you need not be afraid,
We are but saints,” the hermits said ;
“No hurt shall come to you or yours :
But for that pack of churlish boors,
Not fit to live on Christian ground,
They and their houses shall be drown'd;
Whilst you shall see your cottage rise,
And grow a church before your eyes.”
They scarce had spoke, when, fair and soft,
The roof began to mount aloft ;
Aloft rose every beam and rafter ;
The heavy wall climb'd slowly after.
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher,
Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was hoist,
And there stood fasten’d to a joist,
But with the upside down, to show
Its inclination for below:
In vain ; for a superior force,
Applied at bottom, stops its course :
Doom'd ever in suspense to dwell,
'Tis now no kettle, but a bell.
A wooden jack, which had almost
Lost by disuse the art to roast,
A sudden alteration feels,
Increased by new intestine wheels ;
And, what exalts the wonder more,
The number made the motion slower :
The flier, though it had leaden feet,
Turn'd round so quick, you scarce could see't;
But, slacken’d by some secret power,
Now hardly moves an inch an hour.
The jack and chimney, near allied,
Had never left each other's side :
The chimney to a steeple grown,
The jack would not be left alone;
But, up against the steeple rear'd,
Became a clock, and still adhered;
And still its love to household cares,
By a shrill voice at noon, declares,
Warning the cook-maid not to burn
That roast meat which it cannot turn.
The groaning-chair began to crawl,
Like a huge snail, along the wall ;
There stuck aloft in public view,
And, with small change, a pulpit grew.
The porringers, that in a row
Hung high, and made a glittering show,
To a less noble substance changed,
Were now but leathern buckets ranged.
The ballads, pasted on the wall,
Of Joan of France, and English Moll,
Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood,
The Little Children in the Wood,
Now seem'd to look abundance better,
Improved in picture, size, and letter ;
And, high in order placed, describe
The heraldry of every tribe.
A bedstead of the antique mode,
Compact of timber many a load,
Such as our ancestors did use,
Was metamorphosed into pews ;