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Thus vanish sceptres, coronets, and balls,
And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls!
So when your slave, at some dear idle time,
(Not plagued with headachs or the want of rhyme)
Stands in the streets, abstracted from the crew,
And while he seems to study, thinks of you;
Just when his fancy points your sprightly eyes,
Or sees the blush of soft Parthenia rise,
Gay pats my shoulder, and you vanish quite,
Streets, chairs, and coxcombs, rush upon my sight;
Vex'd to be still in town I knit
Look sour, and hum a tune, as you may now.
AUTHOR OF THE CELEBRATED WORM-POWDER.
How much, egregious Moore! are we
Deceived by shows and forms!
Whate'er we think, whate'er we see,
All humankind are worms.
Man is a very worm by birth,
Vile reptile, weak, and vain!
A while he crawls upon the earth,
Then shrinks to earth again.
That woman is a worm we find,
E'er since our grandam's evil;
She first conversed with her own kind,
That ancient worm, the Devil.
The learn'd themselves we book-worms name,
The blockhead is a slow-worm;
The nymph whose tail is all on flame,
Is aptly term'd a glow-worm.
The fops are painted butterflies
That flutter for a day:
First from a worm they take their rise,
And in a worm decay.
The flatterer an earwig grows;
Thus worms suit all conditions; Misers are muck-worms; silk-worms, beaux; And death-watches, physicians.
That statesmen have the worm, is seen
By all their winding play;
Their conscience is a worm within
That gnaws them night and day.
Ah, Moore! thy skill were well employ'd,
And greater gain would rise,
If thou couldst make the courtier void
The worm that never dies!
O learned friend of Abchurch Lane,
Who sett'st our entrails free;
Vain is thy art, thy powder vain,
Since worms shall eat e'en thee.
Our fate thou only canst adjourn
Some few short years, no more!
E'en Button's wits to worms shall turn,
Who maggots were before.
TO MRS. M. B.
ON HER BIRTH-DAY.
OH, be thou bless'd with all that Heaven can send,
Long health, long youth, long pleasure, and a friend:
Not with those toys the female world admire,
Riches that vex, and vanities that tire.
With added years, if life bring nothing new,
But like a sieve let every blessing through,
Some joy still lost, as each vain year runs o'er,
And all we gain some sad reflection more:
Is that a birth-day? 'tis, alas! too clear,
"Tis but the funeral of the former year.
Let joy or ease, let affluence or content,
gay conscience of a life well spent,
Calm every thought, inspirit every grace,
Glow in thy heart, and smile upon thy face.
Let day improve on day, and year on year,
Without a pain, a trouble, or a fear;
Till death, unfelt, that tender frame destroy,
In some soft dream, or ecstasy of joy,
Peaceful sleep out the sabbath of the tomb,
And wake to raptures in a life to come.
TO MR. THOMAS SOUTHERN.
ON HIS BIRTH-DAY.
RESIGN'D to live, prepared to die,
With not one sin but poetry,
This day Tom's fair account has run
(Without a blot) to eighty-one.
Kind Boyle, before his poet, lays
A table with a cloth of bays;
And Ireland, mother of sweet singers,
Presents her harp still to his fingers.
The feast, his towering genius marks
In yonder wild-goose and the larks!
The mushrooms show his wit was sudden!
And for his judgment, lo, a pudden !
Roast beef, though old, proclaims him stout,
And grace, although a bard, devout.
May Tom, whom Heaven sent down to raise
The price of prologues and of plays,
Be every birth-day more a winner,
Digest his thirty-thousandth dinner;
Walk to his grave without reproach,
And scorn a rascal and a coach.
The hint of the following piece was taken from Chaucer's House of Fame. The design is in a manner entirely altered, the descriptions and most of the particular thoughts my own yet I could not suffer it to be printed without this acknowledgment. The reader who would compare this with Chaucer, may begin with his third book of Fame, there being nothing in the two first books that answers to their title.
IN that soft season, when descending showers Call forth the greens, and wake the rising flowers; When opening buds salute the welcome day, And earth relenting feels the genial ray;
As balmy sleep had charm'd my cares to rest,
And love itself was banish'd from my breast,
(What time the morn mysterious visions brings,
While purer slumbers spread their golden wings)
A train of phantoms in wild order rose,
And, join'd, this intellectual scene compose.
I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas, and skies;
The whole creation open to my eyes:
In air self-balanced hung the globe below,
Where mountains rise and circling oceans flow;