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Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch,
Dwelt Obloquy, who, in her early days,
Baskets of fish at Billingsgate did watch,
Cod, whiting, oyster, mackerel, sprat, or plaice:
There learn'd she speech from tongues that never
Slander beside her like a magpie chatters,
With Envy, (spitting cat) dread foe to peace;
Like a cursed cur, Malice before her clatters,
And, vexing every wight, tears clothes and all to
Her dugs were mark'd by every collier's hand;
Her mouth was black as bull-dogs at the stall:
She scratched, bit, and spared ne lace ne band,
And bitch and rogue her answer was to all;
Nay, e'en the parts of shame by name would call:
Yea, when she passed by or lane or nook,
Would greet the man who turn'd him to the wall,
And by his hand obscene the porter took,
Nor ever did askance like modest virgin look.
Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town,
Woolwich and Wapping, smelling strong of pitch:
Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown,
And Twickenham such, which fairer scenes enrich,
Grots, statues, urns, and Jo-n's dog and bitch;
Ne village is without, on either side,
All up the silver Thames, or all adown;
Ne Richmond's self, from whose tall front are eyed
Vales, spires, meandering streams, and Windsor's
ON A LADY SINGING TO HER LUTE.
FAIR charmer! cease; nor make your voice's prize
A heart resign'd the conquest of your eyes:
Well might, alas! that threaten'd vessel fail,
Which winds and lightning both at once assail.
We were too bless'd with these enchanting lays,
Which must be heavenly when an angel plays:
But killing charms your lover's death contrive,
Lest heavenly music should be heard alive.
Orpheus could charm the trees; but thus a tree,
Taught by your hand, can charm no less than he.
A poet made the silent wood pursue;
This vocal wood had drawn the poet too.
ON A FAN OF THE AUTHOR'S DESIGN,
IN WHICH WAS PAINTED THE STORY OF CEPHALUS AND PROCRIS, WITH THE MOTTO AURA VENI."
COME, gentle air! the' Æolian shepherd said,
While Procris panted in the secret shade;
Come, gentle air! the fairer Delia cries,
While at her feet her swain expiring lies.
Lo! the glad gales o'er all her beauties stray,
Breathe on her lips, and in her bosom play;
In Delia's hand this toy is fatal found,
Nor could that fabled dart more surely wound
Both gifts destructive to the givers prove;
Alike both lovers fall by those they love.
Yet guiltless too this bright destroyer lives,
At random wounds, nor knows the wounds she
She views the story with attentive eyes, [gives:
And pities Procris while her lover dies.
FAIN would my Muse the flowery treasures sing,
And humble glories of the youthful Spring ;
Where opening roses breathing sweets diffuse,
And soft carnations shower their balmy dews;
Where lilies smile in virgin robes of white,
The thin undress of superficial light;
And varied tulips show so dazzling gay,
Blushing in bright diversities of day.
Each painted floweret in the lake below
Surveys its beauties, whence its beauties grow;
And pale Narcissus, on the bank in vain
Transformed, gazes on himself again.
Here aged trees cathedral walks compose,
And mount the hill in venerable rows;
There the green infants in their beds are laid,
The garden's hope, and its expected shade.
Here orange-trees with blooms and pendants shine,
And vernal honours to their autumn join;
Exceed their promise in the ripen'd store,
Yet in the rising blossom promise more.
There in bright drops the crystal fountains play,
By laurels shielded from the piercing day:
Where Daphne, now a tree as once a maid,
Still from Apollo vindicates her shade;
Still turns her beauties from the' invading beam,
Nor seeks in vain for succour to the stream.
The stream at once preserves her virgin leaves, At once a shelter from her boughs receives, Where summer's beauty midst of winter stays, And winter's coolness spite of summer's rays.
WHILE Celia's tears make sorrow bright,
Proud grief sits swelling in her eyes;
The sun, next those the fairest light,
Thus from the ocean first did rise:
And thus through mists we see the sun,
Which else we durst not gaze upon.
These silver drops, like morning dew,
Foretell the fervour of the day:
So from one cloud soft showers we view,
And blasting lightnings burst away.
The stars that fall from Celia's eye
Declare our doom in drawing nigh.
The baby in that sunny sphere
So like a Phaëton appears,
That Heaven, the threaten'd world to spare,
Thought fit to drown him in her tears;
Else might the' ambitious nymph aspire
To set, like him, Heaven too on fire.
EARL OF ROCHESTER.
SILENCE! coeval with eternity; Thou wert ere Nature's self began to be, 'Twas one vast nothing all, and all slept fast in thee.
Thine was the sway ere Heaven was form'd, or Earth,
Ere fruitful Thought conceived Creation's birth, Or midwife Word gave aid, and spoke the infant forth.
Then various elements against thee join'd,
In one more various animal combined,
And framed the clamorous race of busy humankind.
The tongue moved gently first, and speech was low, Till wrangling Science taught it noise and show, And wicked wit arose, thy most abusive foe.
But rebel Wit deserts thee oft in vain :
Lost in the maze of words he turns again,
And seeks a surer state, and courts thy gentle reign.
Afflicted Sense thou kindly dost set free,
Oppress'd with argumental tyranny,
And routed Reason finds a safe retreat in thee.
With thee in private modest Dulness lies,
And in thy bosom lurks in Thought's disguise!
Thou varnisher of fools, and cheat of all the wise!
Yet thy indulgence is by both confess'd;
Folly by thee lies sleeping in the breast,
And 'tis in thee at last that Wisdom seeks for rest.
Silence! the knave's repute, the whore's good name,
The only honour of the wishing dame;
The very want of tongue makes thee a kind of fame.
But couldst thou seize some tongues that now are
How church and state should be obliged to thee!
At senate and at bar how welcome wouldst thou be!