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With that Sir Topaz, (hapless youth!)
In accents fault'ring ay for ruth
Intreats them pity graunt;
For als he been a mister wight
Betray'd by wand'ring in the night
To tread the circled haunt.
Ah losell vile!' at once they roar, 'And little skill'd of Faerie lore,
Thy cause to come wa know:
'Now has thy kestrell courage fell;
'And Faeries, since a lie you tell,
'Are free to work thee woe.'
Then Will, who bears the wispy fire
To trail the swains among the mire,
The caitiff upward flung;
There, like a tortoise in a shop,
He dangled from the chamber top,
Where whilome Edwin hung.
The revel now proceeds apace,
Deftly they frisk it o'er the place,
They sit, they drink, and eat;
The time with frolick mirth beguile,
And poor Sir Topaz hangs the while
'Till all the rout retreat.
By this the stars began to wink,
They shriek, they fly, the tapers sink,
And down ydrops the Knight:
For never spell by Faerie laid
With strong enchantment bound a glade
Beyond the length of night.
Chill, dark, alone, adreed, he lay,
'Till up the welkin rose the day,
Then deem'd the dole was o'er :
But wot ye well his harder lot?
His seely back the Bunch has got
Which Edwin lost afore.
This tale a Sybil-Nurse ared;
She softly strok'd my youngling head,
And when the tale was done,
Thus some are born, my son (she cries)
With base impediments to rise,
And some are born with none.
But virtue can itself advance
To what the fav'rite fools of chance
By fortune seem design'd;
Virtue can gain the odds of fate,
And from itself shake off the weight
Upon th' unworthy mind."
The MISERY of a Town LIFE, and the HAPPINESS of a COUNTRY ONE;
Exemplified in the Story of the Town-Mouse and Country-Mouse.
IMITATED FROM HORACE.
(SWIFT AND POPE.)
I'VE often wish'd that I had clear,
For life, six hundred pounds a-year,
A handsome house to lodge a friend,
A river at my garden's end,
A terras-walk, and half a rood
Of land, set out to plant a wood.
Well, now I have all this and more,
I ask not to increase my store;
But here a grievance seems to lie,
All this is mine but till I die;
• 1 can't but think 'twould sound more clever,
To me and to my heirs for ever.
• If I ne'er got or lost a groat,
By any trick, or any fault;
And if I pray by reason's rules,
And not like forty other fools:
'As thus, " Vouchsafe, Oh gracious Maker!
"To grant me this and t'other acre :
"Or, if it be thy will and pleasure,
"Direct my plough to find a treasure:"
But only what my station fits,
And to be kept in my right wits,
• Preserve, Almighty Providence !
• Just what you gave me, competence :
And let me in these shades compose
Something in verse as true as prose;
• Remov'd frorn all th' ambitious scene,
• Nor puff'd by pride, nor sunk by spleen.' In short, I'm perfectly content,
Let me but live on this side Trent:
Nor cross the Channel twice a year,
To spend six months with statesmen here.
I must by all means come to town,
'Tis for the service of the crown.
"Lewis, the Dean will be of use,
"Send for him up, take no excuse."
The toil, the danger of the seas,
Great ministers ne'er think on these;
Or let it cost five hundred pound,
No matter where the money's found,
It is but so much more in debt,
And that they ne'er consider'd yet.
"Good Mr. Dean, go change your gown; "Let my lord know you're come to town." I hurry me in haste away,
Not thinking it is levee-day;
And find his honour in a pound,
Hemm'd by a triple circle round,
Chequer'd with ribbons blue and green:
How should I thrust myself between!
Some wag observes me thus perplext,
And smiling whispers to the next,
"I thought the Dean had been too proud,
"To justle here among the croud."
Another, in a surly fit,
Tells me I have more zeal than wit,
"So eager to express your love,
"You ne'er consider whom you shove,
"But rudely press before a Duke."
I own, I'm pleas'd with this rebuke,
And take it kindly meant to show
What I desire the world should know.
I get a whisper, and withdraw;
When twenty fools I never saw
Come with petitions fairly penn'd,
Desiring I would stand their friend.
This humbly offers me his case—-
That begs my int'rest for a place—
A hundred other men's affairs,
Like bees, are humming in my ears,
"To-morrow my appeal comes on,
"Without your help the cause is gone”—
The duke expects my lord and you,
About some great affair at two-
"Put my Lord Bolingbroke in mind,
"To get my warrant quickly sign'd:
Consider, 'tis my first request"-
B satisfied, I'll do my best:
Then presently he falls to teaze,
"You may for certain if you please;
"I doubt not, if his lordship knew-
"And, Mr. Dean, one word from you.".
'Tis (let me see) three years and
(October next it will be four)
Since Harley bid me first attend,
And chose me for an humble friend;
Would take me in his coach to chat,
And question me of this and that;
As, "What's o'clock?" And, "How's the wind ?” "Whose chariot's that we left behind?"
Or gravely try to read the lines
Writ underneath the country signs;
Or, " Have you nothing new to-day
"From Pope, from Parnell, or from Gay?"
Such tattle often entertains
My lord and me as far as Staines,
As once a week we travel down
To Windsor, and again to town,
Where all that passes inter nos,
Might be proclaim'd at Charing-cross.
Yet some, I know, with envy swell,
Because they see me us'd so well :
"How think you of our friend the Dean?
"I wonder what some people mean;
"My lord and he are grown so great,
"Always together tête à tête;
"What, they admire him for his jokes-
"See but the fortune of some folks!"
There flies about a strange report
Of some express arriv'd at Court;
I'm stopp'd by all the fools I meet,
And catechis'd in ev'ry street.
"You, Mr. Dean, frequent the great;
“Inform us, will the Emperor treat?
"Or do the prints and papers lie?"
Faith, Sir, you know as well as I.
"Ah, Doctor, how you love to jest!
""Tis now no secret"-I protest
'Tis one to me- "Then tell us, pray,
"When are the troops to have their pay?"
And tho' I solemnly declare
I know no more than my Lord Mayor,
They stand amaz'd, and think me grown
The closest mortal ever known.
Thus in a sea of folly toss'd,
My choicest hours of life are lost;
Yet always wishing to retreat,
Oh, could I see my country seat!
There leaning near a gentle brook,
Sleep, or peruse some ancient book,
And there in sweet oblivion drown
Those cares that haunt the court and town.
O charming noons! and nights divine!
Or when I sup, or when I dine,
My friends above, my folks below,
Chatting and laughing all-a-row,
The beans and bacon set before 'em,
grace-cup serv'd with all decorum :
Each willing to be pleas'd and please,
And even the very dogs at ease.
Here no man prates of idle things,
How this or that Italian sings,
A neighbour's madness, or his spouse's,
Or what's in either of the houses:
But something much more our concern,
And quite a scandal not to learn:
Which is the happier, or the wiser,
A man of merit, or a miser ?
Whether we ought to choose our friends,
For their own worth, or our own ends?
What good, or better, we may call,
And what, the very best of all?
Our friend, Dan Prior, told (you know)
A tale extremely apropos:
Name a town life, and in a trice
He had a story of two mice.