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“Take your night-cap again, my good lord, I desire,
For I wish not to keep it a minute,
In “Bozzi and Piozzi” the former says :-
Says Pope, (I don't know where,) a little liar,
He seems to have gained little by his early poems, many of which were directed against the Royal Academicians. One commences :
“Sons of the brush, I'm here again!
At times a Pindar and Fontaine,
Or put one sprat into this mouth divine." Sometimes he calls the Academicians, “Sons of Canvas;" sometimes “Tagrags and bobtails of the sacred brush.” He afterwards wrote a doleful elergy, “The Sorrows of Peter,” and seems not to have thought himself sufficiently patronized, alluding to which he says— “Much did King Charles our Butler's works admire, Read them and quoted them from morn to night, Yet saw the bard in penury expire, Whose wit had yielded him so much delight.” Wolcott was a little restricted by a due re
gard for religion or social decorum. He reminds us of Sterne, often atoning for a transgression by a tender and elevated sentiment. The following from the “ Tales of a Hoy,” supposed to be told on a voyage from Margate gives a good specimen of his style
Captain Noah. Ob, I recollect her. Poor Corinna !* I could cry for her, Mistress Bliss-a sweet creature! So kind! so lovely! and so good-natured! She would not hurt a fly! Lord! Lord ! tried to make every body happy. Gone! Ha! Mistress Bliss, gone! poor soul. Oh! she is in Heaven, depend on it-nothing can hinder it. Oh, Lord, no, nothing-an angel !-an angel by this time-for it must give God very little trouble to make her an angel — she was so charming! Such terrible figures as my Lord C. and my Lady Mary, to be sure, it would take at least a month to make such ones anything like angels—but poor Corinna wanted very few repairs. Perhaps the sweet little soul is now seeing what is going on in our cabin-wbo knows? Charming little Corinna! Lord! how funny it was, for all the world like a rabbit or a squirrel or a kitten at play. Gone! as you say, Gone! Well now for her epitaph.
And flung like a weed to the plain.
A pearl of compassion impart.
Can offend of all nature the God!
He wrote some pretty “new-old” balladspurporting to have been written by Queen Elizabeth, Sir T. Wyatt, &c., on light and generally
* A girl, who had been unfortunate in love.
The Landlord's Daughter.
amorous subjects. Much of his satire was political, and necessarily fleeting.
In “Orson and Ellen” he gives a good description of the landlord of a village inn and his daughter,
“The landlord had a red round face
Which some folks said in fun
Like beef-steaks one might cut;
Beat any brewer's butt.
A snufftaker and smoker;
“Sweet Ellen gave the pot with hands
That might with thousands vie :
Her neck the lily's white
And lifting rich delight.
In ringlets waved her hair;
The jetty and the fair.
So pretty, plump, and pleasing,
Did seem to ask for squeezing.
To market can it go ?
Or round of beef? No-no.
He wrote a pleasant satire on the tax upon hair-powder introduced by Pitt, and the shifts to which poor people would be put to hide their hair. He seems to have been as inimical as most people to taxation. He parodies Dryden's “ Alexander's Feast :"
“Of taxes now the sweet musician sung
The court and chorus joined
Sweet the pleasure
Rich the treasure Monarchs love a guinea clink. ...." He was, as we may suppose, averse to making Sunday a severe day. He wrote a poem against those who wished to introduce a more strict observance of Sunday, and called it, “The Sorrows of Sunday.” He says: “ Heaven glorieth not in phizzes of dismay Heaven takes no pleasure in perpetual sobbing, Consenting freely that my favourite day, May have her tea and rolls, and hob-and-nobbing; Life with the down of cygnets may be clad Ab! wby not make her path a pleasant trackNo! cries the pulpit Terrorist (bow mad) No! let the world be one huge hedge-bog's back.” He wrote a great variety of gay little sonnets, such as “The Ode to a Pretty Barmaid :" “ Sweet nymph with teeth of pearl and dimpled chin,
And roses, that would tempt a saint to sin,
“What youth well-powdered, of pomatum smelling
Shall on that lovely bosom fix his dwelling?
And proudly keep the head of the Black Bull. “'Twas here the wits of Anna's Attic age
Together mingled their poetic rage, Here Prior, Pope, and Addison and Steele, Here Parnel, Swift, and Bolingbroke and Gay Poured their keen prose, and turned the merry lay Gave the fair toast, and made a hearty meal. “Nymph of the roguish smile, which thousands seek Give me another, and another steak, A kingdom for another steak, but given By thy fair bands, that shame the snow of heaven. ...."
He seems to have some misgivings about conjugal felicity :“An owl fell desperately in love, poor soul, Sigbing and hooting in his lonely holeA parrot, the dear object of his wishes Who in her cage enjoyed the loaves and fishes In short had all she wanted, meat and drink Washing and lodging full enough I think.”
Poll takes compassion on him and they are duly married —
“A day or two passed amorously sweet
I never thought of that, as I'm a sinner