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Relates the justices late meeting there,
How many bottles drank, and what their cheer;
What Lords had been his guests in days of yore,
And prais'd their wisdom much, their drinking more.
Let travellers the morning vigils keep:
The morning rose; but we lay fast afleep.
Twelve tedious miles we bore the sultry fun,
And Popham-lane was scarce in fight by one:
The ftraggling village harbour'd thieves of old,
'Twas here the stage-coach'd lass refign'd her gold;
That gold which had in London purchas'd gowns,
And sent her home a Belle to country towns.
But robbers haunt no more the neighb'ring wood;
Here unown's infants find their daily food;
For should the maiden mother nurse her son,
'Twould spoil her match when her good name is gone.
Our jolly hostess nineteen children bore,
Nor fail'd her breast to suckle nineteen more.
Be juft, ye prudes, wipe off the long arrear;
Be virgins still in town, but mothers here.
• Sutton we pafs, and leave her spacious down,
And with the setting fun reach Stockbridge town.
O'er our parch'd tongue the rich metheglin glides,
And the red dainty trout our knife divides.
Sad melancholy ev'ry visage wears ;
What! no election come in seven long years !
Of all our race of mayors, shall. Snow alone,
Be by Sir Richard's dedication known ?
Our streets no more with tydes of ale shall float,
Nor coblers feast three years upon one vote.
Next morn, twelve miles led o'er th' unbounded
Where the cloak'd shepherd guides his fleecy train.
No leafy bow'rs a noonday. Thelter lend,
Nor from the chilly dews at night defend;
With wondrous art he counts the straggling flock,
And by the sun in forins you what's a clock.
How are our fhepherds fall'n from ancient days!
No Amaryllis chaunts alteruate lays.!
From her no litt'ning echo's learn to fing,
Nor with his reed the jocund valleys ring.
Here sheep the paiture hide, there harvests bend, See Sarum Iteeple o'er yon' hill afcend; Our horses faintly tror beneath the heat, And our keen stomachs know the hour to eat. Who can forsake thy walls, and not admire. The proud cathedral, and the lofty spire..
What sempftress has not prov'd thy scissars good ? From hence first came th’ intriguing ridinghood. Amid *three boarding schools well-ftock'd with
Shall three knights errants starve for want of kisses :
O’er the green turf the miles slide (wift away,
And Blandford ends the labours of the day.
The morning rose; the supper-reck’ning paid,
And our due fees discharg’d to man and maid,
The ready oftler near the stirrup stands,
And as we mnoant our half-pence load his hands.
Now the steep hill fair Dorchester o'erlooks,
Border'd by meads, and wash'd by filver brooks.
Here sleep my two companions eyes supprest,
And propt in elbow chairs they snoring rest;
I wakeful fit, and with my pencil trace
Their painful postures, and their eyeless face;
Then dedicate each glass to some fair name,
And on the falh the diamond scrawls my flame.
Now o'er true Roman way our horses sound,
Gravius vould kneel, and kiss the sacred ground.
* There are three boarding-schools in this town.
On either side low fertile valleys lye,
The distant prospects tire the trav'ling eye.
Through Bridport's ftony lanes our rout we take,
And the proud steep descend to Morcombe's lake.
As hearses pass’d, our landlord robb'd the pall,
And with the mournful scutcheon hung his hall.
On unadult'rate wine we here regale,
And strip the lobster of his scarlet mail.
We climb'd the hills, when starry night arose,
And Axminster affords a kind repose.
The maid, subdu'd by fees, her trunk unlocks;
And gives the cleanly aid of dowlas smocks.
Mean time our shirts her busy fingers rub,
While the soap lathers o'er the foaming tub.
If women's geer such pleafing dreams incite,
Lend us your smocks, ye damsels, ev'ry night!
We rife; our beards demand the barber's art;
A female enters, and performs the part.
The weighty golden chain adorns her neck,
And three gold rings her skilful hand bedeck:
Smooth o'er our chin her easy fingers move,
Soft as when Venus stroak'd the beard of Jove.
Now from the freep, 'midit scatter'd cotts and groves, Our eye thro' Honiton's fair valley roves.
Behind us soon the busy town we leave,
Where finest lace industriouslasses weave.
Now swelling clouds rolld on; the rainy load
Stream'd down our hats, and smoak'd along the road;
When (O bleft sight!) a friendly sign we spy'd,
Our spurs are flacken'd from the horses fide;
For sure a civil host the house commands,
Upon whose sign this courteous motto stands :
This is the ancient hand, and eke the pen,
Here is for horses hay, and meat for men.
How rhyme would flourish, did each son of fame
Know his own genius, and direct his flame!
Then he, that could not epic flights rehearse,
Might sweetly mourn in elegiac verse.
But were his muse for elegy unfit,
Perhaps a distich might not strain his wit;
If epigram offend, his harmless lines
Might in gold letters swing on ale-house signs.
Then Hobbinol might propagate his bays,
And Tuttle-fields record his fimple-lays;
Where rhymes like these might lure the nurses eyes,
While gaping infants squawl for farthing pies.
Treat here, ye Shepherds blithe, your damsels sweet,
For pies and cheesecakes are for damsels meet;