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Then nodded awful; from his shaken locks
PANEGYRIC ON OXFORD ALE.
Mea nec Falernæ
BALM of my cares, sweet solace of my toils,
fraught, While the rich draught with oft repeated whiffs Tobacco mild improves. Divine repast!
Where no crude surfeit or intemperate joys
A calm Lethean creeps; in drowsy trance
Its opiate influence. What though me sore ills
Meantime, not mindless of the daily task
I Where, Ale, thy votaries in full resort Hold rites nocturnal. In capacious chair Of monumental oak and antique mould, That long has stood the rage of conquering years Inviolate (nor in more ample chair Smokes rosy Justice, when the’important cause, Whether of hen-roost or of mirthful rape, In all the majesty of paunch he tries), Studious of ease and provident, I place My gladsome limbs; while in repeated round Returns replenish'd the successive cup, And the brisk fire conspires to genial joy: While haply, to relieve the lingering hours In innocent delight, amusive Putt On smooth jointstool in emblematic play The vain vicissitudes of fortune shows. Nor reckoning, name tremendous! me disturbs, Nor, call’d for, chills my breast with sudden fear; While on the wonted door, expressive mark, The frequent penny stands described to view, In snowy characters and graceful row.
Hail, Ticking! surest guardian of distress! Beneath thy shelter pennyless I quaff The cheerful cup, nor hear with hopeless heart New oysters cried;—though much the poet's Ne'er yet attempted in poetic strain, [friend, Accept this tribute of poetic praise !
Nor proctor thrice with vocal heel alarms Our joys secure, nor deigns the lowly roof Of pothouse snug to visit: wiser he The splendid tavern haunts, or coffeehouse Of James or Juggins, where the grateful breath Of loathed tobacco ne'er diffused its balm; But the lewd spendthrift, falsely deem'd polite, While steams around the fragrant Indian bowl, Oft damns the vulgar sons of humbler Ale : In vain—the proctor's voice arrests their jo ys Just fate of wanton pride and loose excess !
Nor less by day delightful is thy draught, All powerful Ale! whose sorrow-soothing sweets Oft I repeat in vacant afternoon, When tatter'd stockings ask my mending hand Not unexperienced; while the tedious toil Slides unregarded. . Let the tender swain Each morn regale on nerve-relaxing tea, Companion meet of languor-loving nymph: Be mine each morn with eager appetite And hunger undissembled, to repair To friendly buttery; there on smoking crust And foaming Ale to banquet unrestrain's, Material breakfast! Thus in ancient days Our ancestors robust with liberal cups Usher'd the morn, unlike the squeamish sons Of modern times : nor ever had the might
Of Britons brave decay'd, had thus they fed,
With Ale irriguous, undismay'd I hear
Why did the gods such various blessings pour On hapless mortals, from their grateful hands So soon the shortlived bounty to recall ?Thus while, improvident of future ill, I quaff the luscious tankard uncontrol'd, And thoughtless riot in unlicensed bliss; Sudden (dire fate of all things excellent!) The' unpitying bursar's cross-affixing hand Blasts all my joys and stops my glad career. Nor now the friendly pothouse longer yields A sure retreat, when night o'ershades the skies; Nor Sheppard, barbarous matron, longer gives The wonted trust, and Winter ticks no more.
Thus Adam, exiled from the beauteous scenes Of Eden, grieved, no more in fragrant bower
Om fruits divine to feast, fresh shade and vale
and their voice,
The Muses are turn'd gossips; they have lost
* J. Philips.