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Through secret loop-holes, that had practis'd been A bard here dwelt, more fat than baru beseems, Near to his bed, his dinner vile he took ;
+Who, void of envy, guile, and lust of gain, Unkempt, and rough, of squalid face and mien, On virtue still, and Nature's pleasing themes,
Our castle's shame! whence, from his filthy nook, Pour'd forth his unpremeditated strain : We drove the villain out for filter lair to look.
The world forsaking with a calm disdain,
Here laugh'd he careless in his easy seat ; One day there chaunc'd into these halls to rove Here quaff'd encircled with the joyous train, A joyous youth, who took you at first sight; Oft moralizing sage; his ditty sweet Him the wild wave of pleasure hither drove, He lothed much to write, ne cared to repeat. Before the sprightly tempest-tossing light: Certes, he was a most engaging wight,
Full oft by holy feet our ground was trod, Of social glee, and wit humane, though keen, Of clerks good plenty here you mote espy. Turning the night to day, and day to night : A little, round, fat, oily man of God,
For him the merry bells had rung, I ween, Was one I chiefly mark'd among the fry: If in this nook of quiet bells had ever been.
He had a roguish twinkle in his eye,
And shone all glittering with ungodly dew, But not ev'n pleasure to excess is good :
If a tight damsel chaunc'd to trippen by ; What most elates then sinks the soul as low : Which, when observ'd, he shrunk into his mew, When spring-tide joy pours in with copious flood, And straight would recollect his piety anew. The higher still th' exulting billows flow, The farther back they flagging go,
Nor be forgot a tribe, who minded nought And leave us grovelling on the dreary shore:
(Old inmates of the place) but state-affairs : Taught by this son of joy, we found it so:
They look'd, perdie, as if they deeply thought; Who, whilst he staid, kept in a gay uproar
And on their brow sat every nation's cares. Our madden'd castle all, th' abode of sleep no more.
The world by them is parcel'd out in shares,
When in the hall of smoke they congress hold, As when in prime of June a burnish'd fly,
And the sage berry sun-burnt Mocha bears Sprung from the meads, o'er which he sweeps
Has clear'd their inward eye: then, smoke-en along,
rollid, Cheer'd by the breathing bloom and vital sky,
Their oracles break forth mysterious, as of old. Tunes up amid these airy halls his song, Soothing at first the gay reposing throng: And oft he sips their bowl: or, nearly drown'd,
Here languid Beauty kept her pale-fac'd court: He, thence recovering, drives thoir beds among,
Bevies of dainty dames, of high degree, And scares their tender sleep, with trump pro
From every quarter hither made resort ; found;
Where, from gross mortal care and business
free, Then out again he flies, to wing his mazy round.
They lay, pour'd out in ease and luxury. Another guest there was, of sense refin'd,
Or should they a vain show of work assume, Who felt each worth, for every worth he had ;
Alas! and well-a-day! what can it be?
To knot, to twist, to range the vernal bloom : Serene, yet warm, humane, yet firm his mind,
But far is cast the distaff, spinning-wheel, and As little touch'd as any man's with bad :
Their only labor was to kill the time;
And labor dire it is, and weary woe. To him the better sort this friendly message sent.
They sit, they loll, turn o'er some idle rhyme;
Then, rising sudden, to the glass they go, “Come, dwell with us! true son of virtue, come!
Or saunter forth, with tottering step and slow: But if, alas! we cannot thee persuade,
This soon 100 rude an exercise they find ; To lie content beneath our peaceful dome,
Straight on the couch their limbs again they
throw, Ne ever more to quit our quiet glade; Yet when at last thy toils but ill apaid
Where hours on hours they sighing lie reclin'd, Shall dead thy fire, and damp its heavenly spark, And court the vapory god soft-breathing in the
wind. Thou wilt be glad to seek the rural shade,
There to indulge the Muse, and Nature mark : We then a lodge for thee will rear in Hagley-Park.”
Now must I mark the villany we found,
But, ah! too late, as shall eftsoons be shown. Here whilom ligg'd th' Esopus* of the age ;
A place here was, deep, dreary, under ground; But call’d by Fame, in soul ypricked deep,
Where still our inmates, when unpleasing grown, A noble pride restor'd him to the stage,
Diseas'd and lothesome, privily were thrown. And rous'd him like a giant from his sleep.
Far from the light of Heaven, they languish'd Ev'n from his slumbers we advantage reap:
there, With double force th' enliven'd scene he wakes,
Unpitied uttering many a bitter groan;
For of these wretches taken was no care :
† This character of Mr. Thomson was written by * Mr. Quin.
bolder song :
Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest, I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
And I their toys to the great children leave : And taught withouten pain and strife to yield the Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave. breath.
Come then, my Muse, and raise of limbs enormous, but withal unsound,
Come, lig no more upon the bed of sloth,
Thy half-writ scrolls all eaten by the moth: For still he drank, and yet he still was dry.
Arise, and sing that generous imp of Fame, And moping here did Hypochondria sit,
Who with the sons of softness nobly wroth, Mother of Spleen, in robes of various dye, To sweep away this human lumber came, Who vexed was full oft with ugly fit;
Or in a chosen few to rouse the slumbering flamc. And some her frantic deem'd, and some her deem'd
In Fairy-land there liv'd a knight of old,
Of feature stern, Selvaggio well yelep'd, A lady proud she was, of ancient blood,
A rough unpolish'd man, robust and bold, Yet oft her fear her pride made crouchen low : But wondrous poor: he neither sowid nor reap'd She felt, or fancied in her fluttering mood, Ne stores in summer for cold winter heap'd ; All the diseases which the spittles know,
In hunting all his days away he wore ; And sought all physic which the shops bestow. Now scorch'd by June, now in November steep'd. And still new leeches and new drugs would try, Now pinch'd by biting January sore, Her humor ever wavering to and fro;
He still in woods pursued the libbard and the boar. For sometimes she would laugh, and sometimes cry, Then sudden waxed wroth, and all she knew not As he one morning, long before the dawn, why.
Prick'd through the forest to dislodge his prey,
Deep in the winding bosom of a lawn, Fast by her side a listless maiden pin’d,
With wood wild-fring'd, he mark'd a taper's ray, With aching head, and squeamish heari-burnings; That from the beating rain, and wintery fray, Pale, bloated, cold, she seem'd to hate mankind, Did to a lonely cot his steps decoy ; Yet lov'd in secret all forbidden things.
There, up to earn the needments of the day, And here the Tertian shakes his chilling wings; He found dame Poverty, nor fair nor coy: The sleepless Gout here counts the crowing cocks, Her he compress'd, and fillid her with a lusty boy A wolf now gnaws him, now a serpent stings;
Whilst Apoplexy cramm'd Intemperance knocks Amid the greenwood shade this boy was bred, Down to the ground at once, as butcher felleth ox. And grew at last a knight of muchel fame,
Of active mind and vigorous lustyhed,
The Knight of Arts and Industry by name. CANTO II.
Earth was his bed, the boughs his roof did frame;
He knew no beverage but the flowing stream; The knight of arts and industry,
His tasteful well-earn’d food the sylvan-game, And his achievements fair;
Or the brown fruit with which the woodlands teem That by his castle's overthrow,
The same to him glad summer, or the winter breme. Secur'd, and crowned were.
So pass'd his youthful morning, void of care, Escap'd the castle of the sire of sin,
Wild as the colts that through the commons run Ah! where shall I so sweet a dwelling find ? For him no tender parents troubled were, For all around, without, and all within,
He of the forest seem'd to be the son, Nothing save what delightful was and kind, And certes had been utterly undone; Of goodness savoring and a tender mind,
But that Minerva pity of him took, E'er rose to view. But now another strain, With all the gods that love the rural wonne, Of doleful note, alas ! remains behind :
That teach to tame the soil and rule the crook ; I now must sing of pleasure turn'd to pain, Ne did the sacred Nine disdain a gentle loo And of the false enchanter, Indolence, complain.
Of fertile genius him they nurtur'd well, Is there no patron to protect the Muse,
In every science, and in every art, And fence for her Parnassus' barren soil ?
By which mankind the thoughtless brutes excel, To every labor its reward accrues,
That can or use, or joy, or grace impart, And they are sure of bread who swink and moil; Disclosing all the powers of head and heart : But a fell tribe th' Aonian hire despoil,
Ne were the goodly exercises spar'd, As ruthless wasps oft rob the painful bee : That brace the nerves, or make the limbs alert, Thus while the laws not guard that noblest toil, And mix elastic force with firmness hard : Ne for the other Muses meed decree,
Was never knight on ground mote be with him They praised are alone, and starve right merrily.
Sometimes, with early morn, he mounted gay Successive had ; but now in ruins grey
To crown his toils, Sir Industry then spread
All careless rambling where it likd them most : Or strenuous wrestled hard with many a tough com- Their wealth the wild-deer bouncing through the peer.
They lodg'd at large, and liv'd at Nature's cost ;
He lik'd the soil, he lik'd the clement skies,
seas, its floods, its mountains, and its plains ; " This, whilst my labors Liberty sustains, But more he search'd the mind, and rous'd from This queen of Ocean all assault disdains." sleep
Nor lik'd be less the genius of the land, Those moral seeds whence we heroic actions reap. To freedom apt and persevering pains,
Mild to obey, and generous to command,
And oft he put himself to Neptune's school,
And still with her sweet Innocence we find,
And tender Peace, and joys without a name,
The towns he quicken'd by mechanic arts,
Bade social Commerce raise renowned marts,
Unite the Poles, and, without bloody spoil,
Or, should despotic rage the world embroil,
The drooping Muses then he westward callid,
Thence from their cloister'd walks he set them
And brought them to another Castalie,
In pensive mood, and tunes his Doric reeds,
To swear, he would the rascal rout o'erthrow, For why? They are the quintessence of all,
Unless, as seldom chances, it should fall,
That mighty patrons the coy sisters call To say how this best Sun from orient climes Up to the sun shine of uncumber'd ease, Came beaming life and beauty all along,
Where no rude care the mounting thought may Before him chasing indolence and crimes.
thrall, Still as he pass'd, the nations he sublimes,
And where they nothing have to do but please ; And calls forth arts and virtues with his ray: Ah! gracious God! thou know'st they ask no other Then Egypt, Greece, and Romne, their golden tiines,
But now, alas! we live too late in time:
of public virtue much he dull'd the sense, Our patrons now ev'n grudge that little claim, Ev'n much of private ; ate our spirit out, Except to such as sleek the soothing rhyme; And fed our rank luxurious vices: whence And yet, forsooth, they wear Mæcenas' name, The land was overlaid with many a lout; Poor sons of puft-up vanity, not fame.
Not as old Fame reports, wise, generous, bold, and Unbroken spirits, cheer! still, still remains
stout. Th' eternal patron, Liberty ; whose flame,
While she protects, inspires the noblest strains. A rage of pleasure madden'd every breast, The best, and sweetest far, are toil-created gains. Down to the lowest lees the ferment ran :
To his licentious wish each must be blest, When as the knight had fram'd, in Britain-land, With joy be sever'd; snatch it as he can. A matchless form of glorious government,
Thus Vice the standard rear'd; her arrier-ban In which the sovereign laws alone command, Corruption call'd, and loud she gave the word, Laws 'stablish'd by the public free consent,
Mind, mind yourselves! why should the vulgar Whose majesty is to the sceptre lent;
man, When this great plan, with each dependent art, The lackey, be more virtuous than his lord ? Was settled firm, and to his heart's content, Enjoy this span of life ! 'lis all the gods afford.”
Then sought he from the toilsome scene to part, And let life's vacant eve breathe quiet through the The tidings reach'd to where, in quiet hall, heart.
The good old knight enjoy'd well-earn'd repose.
"Come, come, sir Knight! thy children on thee call For this he chose a farm in Deva's vale,
Come, save us yet, ere ruin round us close! Where his long alleys peep'd upon the main. The demon Indolence thy toils o'erthrows." In this calm seat he drew the healthful gale, On this the noble color stain'd his cheeks, Here mix'd the chief, the patriot, and the swain. Indignant, glowing through the whitening snows The happy monarch of his sylvan train,
Of venerable eld; his eye full speaks Here, sided by the guardians of the fold, His ardent soul, and from his couch at once he He walk'd his rounds, and cheer'd his blest
breaks. domain ! His days, the days of unstain'd nature, rollid, “I will,” he cried, “ so help me God! destroy Replete with peace and joy, like patriarchs of old. That villain Archimage."—His page then straigh
He to him call’d, a fiery-footed boy, Witness, ye lowing herds, who gave him milk ; Benempt Dispatch. · My steed be at the gate ; Witness, ye flocks, whose woolly vestments far My bard attend ; quick, bring the net of Fate.” Exceed soft India's cotton, or her silk;
This net was twisted by the sisters three; Witness, with autumn charg'd, the nodding car, Which when once cast o'er harden'd wretch, too That homeward came beneath sweet evening's
Repentance comes; replevy cannot be Or of September moons the radiance mild. From the strong iron grasp of vengeful Destiny. 0, hide thy head, abominable War! Of crimes and ruffian-idleness the child,
He came, the bard, a little druid-wight, From Heaven this life ysprung, from Hell thy glories Of wither'd aspect; but his eye was keen. vild!
With sweetness mix'd. In russet gown bedight
As is his sister* of the copses green, Nor from this deep retirement banish'd was He crept along, unpromising of mien. Th’amusing care of rural industry.
Gross be who judges so. His soul was fair, Still as with grateful change the seasons pass, Bright as the children of yon azure sheen. New scenes arise, new landskips strike the eye, True comeliness, which nothing can impair, And all th' enliven'd country beautify :
Dwells in the mind; all else is vanity and glare. Gay plains extend where marshes slept before ; O'er recent meads th' exulting streamlets fly ; Come," quoth the knight, “ a voice has reach'd Dark frowning heaths grow bright with Ceres'
mine ear: store,
The demon Indolence threats overthrow And woods imbrown the steep, or wave along the shore. To all that to mankind is good and dear:
Come, Philomelus; let us instant go, As nearer to his farm you made approach,
O'erturn bis bowers, and lay bis castle low, He polish'd Nature with a finer hand :
Those men, those wretched men who will be Yet on her beauties durst not art encroach ;
slaves, 'Tis art's alone these beauties to expand.
Must drink a bitter wrathful cup of woe: In graceful dance immingled, o'er the land, But some there be, thy song, as from their graves, Pan, Paleas, Flora, and Pomona play'd : Shall raise. Thrice-happy he! who without rigor Here too brisk gales the rude wild common fann'd,
saves." An happy place; where free, and unafraid, Amid the flowering brakes each coyer creature Issuing forth, the knight bestrode his steed, stray'd.
Of ardent bay, and on whose front a star
Shone blazing bright; sprung from the generous But in prime vigor what can last for aye?
breed That soul-enfeebling wizard Indolence,
That whirl of active day the rapid car,
* The nightingale.
2 P 2
He pranc'd along, disdaining gate or bar.
Elate in thougti, he counted them his own, Meantime, the bard on milk-white palfrey rode ; They listen'd so intent with fix'd delight: An honest sober beast, that did not mar
But they instead, as if transmew'd to stone. His meditations, but full softly trode ;
Marvellid he could with such sweet art unite And much they moraliz'd as thus ysere they yode The lights and shades of manners, wrong and right
Meantime, the silly crowd the charm derour, They talk'd of virtue, and of human bliss.
Wide pressing to the gate. Swift on the knight What else so fit for man to settle well?
He darted fierce, to drag him to his bower,
The wary Retiarius trapp'd his foe;
The which, howe'er disguis'd, at last with dole At once involvd him in the net of 20€, Will, through the tortur'd breast, their fiery torrent Whereof I mention made not long ago. roll."
Enrag'd at first, he scorn'd so weak a jail,
And leapt, and flew, and flounced to and fro; At length it dawn'd, that fatal valley gay,
But when he found that nothing could avail, O'er which high wood-crown'd hills their summits He set him felly down, and gnaw'd his bitter nail
On the cool height awhile our palmers stay, Alarm'd, th' inferior demons of the place
And tufted groves to shade the meadow bed, A solemn sadness every creature strook, Sweet airs and song; and without hurry all seem'd And lightnings flash'd, and horror rock'd the glad.
Huge crowds on crowds out-pour'd, with blemish'd “As God shall judge me, knight, we must forgive"
look, (The half-enraptur'd Philomelus cried)
As if on time's last verge this frame of things had “ The frail good man deluded here to live,
shook. And in these groves his musing fancy hide. Ah! nought is pure. It cannot be denied,
Soon as the short-liv'd tempest was yspent, That virtue still some tincture has of vice,
Steam'd from the jaws of vex'd Avernus' hole,
Sir Industry the first calm momeni stole.
Be some who are not tainted at the heart,
Come then, my bard, thy heavenly fire impart;
Touch soul with soul, till forth the latent spirit start
The bard obey'd ; and taking from his side,
But penance long, and dreary, to the slave, The which with skilful touch he defily strung,
Then, as he felt the Muses come along,
And play'd a prelude to his rising song :
“ Ye helpless race, His countenance fell ; yet oft his anxious eye Dire-laboring here to smother reason's ray, Mark'd them, like wily fox who roosted cock doth That lights our Maker's image in our face, spy.
And gives us wide o'er Earth unquestion'd sway,
What is th' ador'd Supreme Perfection, say?
Who fills, surrounds, informs, and agitates the whole
And virtue's tender airs o'er weakness flings. We can excel. Up from unfeeling mould, What pity base his song who so divinely sings! To seraphs burning round th' Almighty's throne,