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TO A LADY BE FORE MARRIAGE,
H! form’d by nature, and refin'd by art;
With charms to win, and sense to fix the heart ! By thousands fought, Clotilda, canst thou free Thy crowd of captives, and descend to me? Content in shades obscure to waste thy life, A hidden beauty, and a country wife. O! listen while thy summers are my theme, Ah! jooh thy partner in his waking dream! In some finall hamlet on the lonely plain, Where Thames, through meadows, rolls his mazy
train; Or where high Windsor, thick with greens array'd, Waves his old oaks, and spreads his ample ihade, Fancy has figur'd out our calm retreat ; Already round the visionary seat Our limes begin to shoot, our flowers to spring, The brooks to murmur, and the birds to fing. Where dost thou lie, thou thinly-peopled green ?" Thou nameless lawn, and village yet unseen ? Where fons, contented with their native ground, Ne'er travel'd further than ten furlongs round; And the tann’d peafant, and his ruddy bride, Were born together, and together died. Where early larks best tell the morning light, And only Philomel disturbs the night; 'Midst gardens here my humble pile shall rise, With sweets surrounded of ten thousand dies; All favage where th' embroider'd gardens end, The haunt of echoes Thall my woods ascend ;
And oh! if heaven th' ambitious thought approve,
A rill shall warble cross the gloomy grove,
A little rill, o'er pebbly beds convey'd,
Gush down the steep, and glitter though the glade.
What chearing scenţs t'ofe bordering banks exhale!
How loud that heifer lows from yonder vale !
That thrush how shrill! his note so clear, so high,
He drowns each feather'd minstrel of the skies.
Here let me trace, beneath the purpled morn,
The deep-mouth'd beagle, and the sprightly horn;
Or lure the trout with well-dissembled flies,
Or fetch the fluitering partridge from the sky.
Nor shall thy hand disdain to crop the vine,
The downy peach, or favour'd nectarine;
Or rob the bee hive of its golden hoard,
And bear th’ unbought luxuriance to thy board.
books by day ihall kill the hours, While from thy needle rise the filken flowers, And thou, by turns, to ease my feeble sight, Resume the volume, and deceive the night. Oh! when I mark thy twinkling eyes opprest, Soft whispering, let me warn iny love to rest; Then watch thee, charm’d, while fleep locks every
sense, And to sweet heaven commend thy innocence. Thus reign’d our fathers o'er the rural fold, Wise, hale, and honeft in the days of old ; Till courts arose, where substance pays for show, And fpecious joys are bought with real woe. See Flavia's pendants, large, well-spread, and right, The ear that wears them hears a fool each night; S
Mark how th'embroider d colonel sneaks away,
To Thun the withering dame that made him gay;
That knave, to gain a title, loit his fame;
That rais'd his credit by a daughter's shame ;
This coxcomb's ribband cost him half his land,
And oaks, unnumber'd, bought that fool a wand.
Fond man, as all his sorrows were too few,
Acquires strange wants that nature never knew,
By midnight lamps he emulates the day,
And sleeps, perverse, the chearful suns away ;
From goblets high-embost, his wine must glide,
Round his clos'd light the gorgeous curtain side ;
Fruits ere their time to grace his pomp muft rise,
And three untasted courses glut his eyes.
For this are nature's gentle calls withstood,
The voice of conscience, and the bonds of blood;
This wisdom thy reward for every pain,
And this gay glory all thy mighty gain.
Fair phantoms wood and fcorn'd from age to age,
Since bards began to laugh, or priests to rage.
And yet, just curse on man's aspiring kind,
Prone to ambition, to example blind,
· Our children's children shall our steps pursue,
And the same errors be fur ever new.
Mean while in hope a guiltless.country fwain,
My reed with warblings chears th’imagin'd plain.
Hail humble shades where truth and silence dwell!
Thou noily town, and faithless court, farewell!
Farewell ambition, once my darling flame !
The thirst of lucre, and the charm of fame !
In life's by-road, that winds through paths unknown, My days, though number'd, shall be all my own. Here shall they end, (0! might they twice begin) And all be white the fates intend to fpin.
A POEM IN PRAISE OF THE HORN-BOOK.
WRITTEN UNDER A FIT OF THE GUT.
« Magni magna patrant, nos non nisi ludicra
-Podagra hæc otia fecit.” НА
AIL! ancient book, most venerable code!
Learning's first cradle, and its last abode!
The huge unnumber'd volumes which we see,
By lazy plagiaries are stol'n from thee.
Yet fuivie times, to thy sufficient store,
Shall ne'er presume to add one letter more.
Thee will I sing, in comely wainscot bound;
And golden verge enclosing thee around;
The faithful horn before, from age to age,
Preserving thy invaluable page ;
Behind, thy patron saint in armour shines,
With sword and lance, to guard thy facred lines ::
Beneath his courser's feet the dragon lies
Transfix’d; his blood thy scarlet cover dies;
Th’instructive handle 's at the bottom fix'd,
Left wrangling critics should pervert the text.
Or if to ginger-bread thou shalt descend,
And liquorish learning to thy babes exter.d;
Or fugar'd plane, o'erspread with beaten gold,
Does the sweet treasure of thy letters hold;
Thou still fhalt be my fong ---Apollo's choir
I scorn t' invoke ; Cadmus my verfe inspire :
'Twas Cadmus who the first materials brought
Of all the learning which has since been taught,
Soon made compleat! for mortals ne'er shall know
More than contain'd of old the Christ-cross row;
What masters dictate, or what doctors preach,
Wife matrons hence, e'en to our children teach :
But as the name of every plant and flower
(So common that each peasant knows its power)
Physicians in mysterious cant express,
T'amuse the patient, and inhance their fees;
So from the letters of our native tongue,
Put in Greek scrawls, a mystery too is sprung,
Schools are erected, puzzling grammars made,
And artful men strike out a gainful trade;
Strange characters adorn the learned gate,
And heedless youth catch at the shining bait;
The pregnant boys the noisy charms declare,
And * Tau's, and Delta's, make their mothers ftare ;
Th’ uncommon sounds amaze the vulgar ear,
And what 's uncommon never costs too dear.
Yet in all tongues the Horn-book is the same,
Taught by the Grecian master, or the English dame.
But how shall I thy endless virtues tell,
In which thou dost all other books excell ?
No greasy thumbs thy spotless leaf can foil,
Nor crooked dogs-ears thy finooth.corners spoil ;
In* The Greek letters T, A.