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THE BIRTH OF THE SQUIRE.
In Imitation of the Pollio of Virgil.
E silvan Muses ! loftier strains recite;
Not all in shades and humble cots delight.
Hark! the bells ring; along the distant grounds,
The driving gales convey the swelling sounds:
The' attentive swain, forgetful of his work,
With gaping wonder leans upon his fork.
What sudden news alarms the waking Morn?
To the glad 'Squire a hopeful heir is born.
Mourn, mourn, ye stags! and all ye beasts of chase!
This hour destruction brings on all your race.
See the pleas'd tenants duteous offerings bear,
Turkeys, and geese, and grocer's sweetest ware ;
With the new health the pond'rous tankard flows,
And old October reddens every nose.
Beagles and spaniels round his cradle stand,
Kiss his moist lip, and gently lick his hand;
He joys to hear the shrill horn's echoing sounds,
And learns to lisp the names of all the hounds.
With frothy ale to make his cup o'erflow,
Barley shall in paternal acres grow;
The bee shall sip the fragrant dew from flow'rs,
To give metheglin for his morning hours ;
For him the clustering hop shall climb the poles,
And his own orchard sparkle in his bowls.
His sire's exploits he now with wonder hears; The monstrous tales indulge his greedy ears; How when youth strung his nerves and warm'd his
veins, He rode the mighty Nimrod of the plains. He leads the staring infant through the hallPoints out the horny spoils that grace the wall; Tells how this stag thro' three whole counties fled, What rivers swam, where bay'd, and where he bled. Now he the wonders of the fox repeats, Describes the desperate chase, and all his cheats ;
How in one day beneath his furious speed,
He tir'd seven coursers of the feetest breed;
How high the pale he leapt, how wide the ditch,
When the hound tore the haunches of the witch*.
These stories, which descend from son to son,
The forward boy shall one day make his own.
Ah! too fond Mother! think the time draws nigh
That calls the darling from thy tender eye;
How shall his spirit brook the rigid rules,
And the long tyranny of grammar schools ?
Let younger brothers o'er dull authors plod,
Lash'd into Latin by the tingling rod :.
No: let him never feel that smart disgrace;
Why should he wiser prove than all his race?
When ripening youth with down o'ershades his
chin, And every female eye incites to sin, The milkmaid (thoughtless of her future shame) With smacking lip shall raise his guilty flame : The dairy, barn, the hay-loft, and the grove, Shall oft be conscious of their stolen love. But think, Priscilla, on that dreadful time, When pangs and wat'ry qualms shall own thy crime; How wilt thou tremble, when thy nipple's prest, To see the white drops bathe thy swelling breast! Nine moons shall publicly divulge thy shame, And the young 'Squire forestall a father's name. When twice twelve times the reaper's sweeping
hand With leveli'd harvests has bestrown the land, On fam'd Saint Hubert's feast, his winding horn Shall cheer the joyful hound and wake the morn : This memorable day his eager speed Shall urge with bloody heel the rising steed. o check the foamy bit! nor tempt thy fate; Think on the murders of a five-bar gate ! Yet prodigal of life, the leap he tries; Low in the dust his groveling honour lies :
• The most common accident to sportsmen, to hunt a witch in the shape of a hare,
Headlong he falls, and on the rugged stone
Distorts his neck, and cracks the collar bone.
O vent'rous Youth! thy thirst of game allay ;
May'st thou survive the perils of this day !
He shall survive, and in late years be sent
To snore away debates in Parliament.
The time shall come when his more solid sense,
With nod important, shall the laws dispense;
A justice with grave justices shall sit,
He praise their wisdom, they admire his wit.
No greyhound shall attend the tenant's pace,
No rusty gun the farmer's chimney grace;
Salmons shall leave their covers void of fear,
Nor dread the thievish net or triple spear;
Poachers shall tremble at his awful name,
Whom vengeance now o'ertakes for murder'd game.
Assist me, Bacchus! and ye drunken pow'rs!
To sing his friendships and his midnight hours.
Why dost thou glory in thy strength of beer,
Firm-cork'd, and mellow'd till the twentieth year;
Brew'd or when Phæbus warms the fleecy sign,
Or when his languid rays in Scorpio shine?
Think on the mischiefs which from hence have sprung!
It arms with curses dire the wrathful tongue;
Foul scandal to the lying lip affords,
And prompts the memory with injurious words.
O where is wisdom when by this o'erpower'd ?
The state is censur'd, and the maid deflower'd !
And wilt thou still, O 'Squire ! brew ale so strong ?
Hear then the dictates of prophetic song.
Methinks I see him in his hall appear,
Where the long table floats in clammy beer;
'Midst mugs and glasses shatter'd o'er the floor,
Dead-drunk his servile crew supinely snore;
Triumphant, o'er the prostrate brutes he stands,
The mighty bumper trembles in his hands;
Boldly he drinks, and, like his glorious sires,
In copious gulps of potent ale expires.
ON A FAN. FLAVIA the least and slightest toy
Can with resistless art employ! This Fan in meaner hands would prove An engine of small force in love: Yet she with graceful air and mien, Not to be told, or safely seen, Directs its wanton motions so That it wounds more than Cupid's bow; Gives coolness to the matchless dame, To every other breast--a flame!
To the Right Hon. the Earl of Warwick, on the
Death of Mr. Addison.
IF, dumb too long the drooping Muse hath stay’d,
And left her debt to Addison unpaid,
Blame not her silence, Warwick ! but bemoan,
And judge, oh judge my bosom, by your own!
What mourner ever felt poetic fires ?
Slow comes the verse that real woe inspires;
Grief unaffected suits but ill with art,
Or flowing numbers with a bleeding heart.
Can I forget the dismal night that gave
My soul's best part for ever to the grave !
How silent did his old companions tread,
By midnight lamps, the mansions of the dead,
Through breathing statues, then unheeded things,
Through rows of warriors and through walks of kings!
What awe did the slow solemn knell inspire,
The pealing organ and the pausing choir,
The duties by the lawn-rob'd prelate paid,
And the last words that dust to dust convey'd !
While speechless o'er thy closing grave we bend,
Accept these tears, thou dear departed friend !
Oh, gone for ever! take this long adieu,
And sleep in peace next thy lov'd Montague.
To strew fresh laurels let the task be mine,
A frequent pilgrim at thy sacred shrine ;
Mine with true sighs thy absence to bemoan,
And grave with faithful epitaphs thy stone.
If e'er from me thy lov'd memorial part,
May shame afflict this alienated heart !
Of thee forgetful if I form a song,
My lyre be broken, and untun'd my tongue;
My grief be doubled, from thy image free,
And mirth a torment, unchastis'd by thee!
Oft let me range the gloomy aisles alone, Bad luxury ! to vulgar miods unknown;