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Though grief and fondness in my breast rebel,
For who would leave, unbribed, Hibernia's land,
While Thales waits the wherry that contains Of dissipated wealth the small remains,
• By Thales some have onderstood Savage the poet, who took a journey into Wales after this poem was published.
On Thames's banks, in silent thought we stood,
A transient calm the happy scenes bestow,
place, Where honesty and sense are no disgrace; Some pleasing bank where verdant osiers play, Some peaceful vale with Nature's painting gay; Where once the harass'd Briton found repose, And safe in poverty defied his foes ; Some secret cell, ye powers indulgent, give, Let live here, for has learn'd to live. Here let the reign whom pensions can incite To vote a patriot black, a courtier white;
• Queen Elizabeth, born at Greenwich.
Explain their country's dear-bought rights away,
shall hold ?
Others, with softer smiles and subtler art, Can sap the principles, or taint the heart; With more address a lover's note convey, Or bribe a virgin's innocence away. Well may they rise, while I, whose rustic tongue Ne'er knew to puzzle right, or varnish wrong,
* The encroachments of the Spaniards had been palliated in both houses of parliament.
+ The licensing act had then lately passed. I A paper which at that time contained apologies for the
Spurn'd as a beggar, dreaded as a spy,
For what but social guilt the friend endears ?
· The cheated nation's happy favourites, see ! Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me! London! the needy villain's general home, The common sewer of Paris and of Rome, With eager thirst, by folly or by fate, Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state. Forgive my transports on a theme like this, I cannot bear a French metropolis.
• Illustrious Edward! from the realms of day, The land of heroes and of saints survey ; Nor hope the British lineaments to trace, The rustic grandeur, or the surly grace ; But, lost in thoughtless ease and empty show, Behold the warrior dwindled to a beau; Sense, freedom, piety refined away, Of France the mimic, and of Spain the prey.
• All that at home no more can beg or steal, Or like a gibbet better than a wheel; Hiss'd from the stage, or hooted from the court, Their air, their dress, their politics import; Obsequious, artful, voluble, and gay, On Britain's fond credulity they prey. No gainful trade their industry can scape, They sing, they dance, clean shoes, or cure a clap:
All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows,
"Ah! what avails it that, from slavery far,
• Studious to please, and ready to submit, The supple Gaul was born a parasite : Still to his interest true, where'er he goes, Wit, bravery, worth his lavish tongue bestows; In every face a thousand graces shine, From every tongue flows harmony divine. These arts in vain our rugged natives try, Strain out with faltering diffidence a lie, And gain a kick for awkward flattery.
Besides, with justice this discerning age Admires their wondrous talents for the stage: Well may they venture on the mimic's art Who play from morn to night a borrow'd part; Practised their master's notions to embrace, Repeat his maxims, and reflect his face; With every wild absurdity comply, And view each object with another's eye ; To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear, To pour at will the counterfeited tear; And, as their patron hints the cold or heat, To shake in dogdays, in December sweat. How, when competitors like these contend, Can surly Virtue hope to fix a friend ? Slaves that with serious impudence beguile, And lie without a blush, without a smile ;