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Even now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land :
Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the fail
That idly waiting flaps with every gale,
Downward they move, a melancholy band,
Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand.
Contented Toil, and hospitable Care,
And kind Connubial Tenderness are there ;'
And Piety with wishes plac'd above,
And steady Loyalty and faithful Love.
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade;
Unfit, in these degenerate times of shame,
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame ;
Dear charming nymph, neglected and decried;
My shame in crowds, my folitary pride;
Thou source of all my bliss and all my woe,
That found me poor at first, and kept me so ;
Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
I LONG had rack'd my brains to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind,
The modern scribbling kind, who write
In wit, and sense, and nature's fpite :
Till reading, I forget what day on,
A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon,
I think I met with something there,
To suit my purpose to a hair.
But let us not proceed too furious,
First please to turn to God Mercurius ;
You'll find him pictur'd at full length
In book the second, page the tenth:
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our fimile.
Imprimis, pray observe his hat;
Wings upon either fide-mark that.
Well! what is it from thence we gather?
Why, these denote a brain of feather.
A brain of feather-very right;
With wit that's flighty, learning light;
Such as to modern bards decreed;
A just comparison-Proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse,
Wings grow again from both his shoes;
Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear,
And waft his godship thro' the air :
And here my fimile unites;
For in a modern poet's flights,
I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet are useful as his head,
Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand,
Fill'd with a snake-encircled wand ;
By claflick authors term'd caducis,
And highly fam'd for several uses.
To wit-most wondrously endued,
No poppy-water half so good ;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's such,
Though ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore.
Add too, what certain writers tell,
With this he drives men's souls to hell.
Now to apply, begin we then:
His wand's a modern author's pen ;
The serpents round about it twin'd,
Denote him of the reptile kind;
Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom'd bites;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike they both conduce to sleep.
This difference only, as the god
Drove souls to Tartarus with his rod,
With his goose quill the scribbling elf,,
Instead of others, damns himself.
And here my fimile almost tript;
Yet grant a word by way of poftfcript;.
Moreover, Merc'ry had a failing:
Well! what of that? out with it-stealing;
In which our scribbling bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he;
But even his deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance.
Our modern bards! why, what a pox,
Are they but senseless stones and blocks?
THE radiant ruler of the year
At length his wintry goal attains,
Soon to reverse the long career,
And northward bend his golden reine.
Prone on Potofi's haughty brow
His fiery streams incessant flow,
Ripening the filver's ductile stores ;
While in the cavern's horrid shade
The panting Indian hides his head,
And oft tho approach of eve explores.
But lo, on this deserted coast
How faint the light! how thick the air!
Lo, arm'd with whirlwind, hail and frost,
Fierce winter defolates the year.
The fields resign their cheerful bloom ;
No more the breezes waft perfume,
No more the warbling waters roll :
Deserts of snow fatigue the eye,
Black storms involve the louring sky,
And gloomy damps oppress the foul.
Now thro’ the town promiscuous throngs
Urge the warm bowl and ruddy fire ;
Harmonious dances, festive fongs,
To charm the midnight hours conspire.
While mute, and shrinking with her fears,
Each blast the cottage matron hears
As o'er the hearth she fits alone :
At morn her bridegroom went abroad,
The night is dark, and deep the road;
She fighs, and wishes him at home.
But thou, my lyre, awake, arise,
And hail the sun's remotest ray:
Now, now he climbs the northern skics,
To-morrow, nearer than to day.
Then louder howl the stormy waste,
Be land and ocean worse defac'd,
Yet brighter hours are on the wing;
And fancy thro' the wintry glooms,
All fresh with dews and opening blooms,
Already hails th' emerging spring.
O fountain of the golden day!
Could mortal vows but urge thy speed,
How soon before thy vernal ray
Should each unkindly damp recede!
How soon each hov'ring tempest fly,
That now fermenting loads the sky,
Prompt on our heads to burst amain,
To rend the forest from the steep,
Or thund'ring o'er the Baltic deep,
To whelm the merchant's hopes of gain!
But let not man's unequal views
Presume on nature and her laws;
'Tis his with grateful joy to use
Th' indulgence of the fov'reign cause;
Secure that health and beauty springs
Thro' this majestic frame of things