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Then nodded awful; from his shaken locks
Ambrosial fragrance flew: the signal given
By Ganymede, the skinker soon was ken’d;
With Ale he heaven's capacious goblet crown'd,
To Phrygian mood Apollo tuned his lyre,
The Muses sang alternate, all caroused,
But Bacchus murmuring left the assembled
Mea nec Falernæ
Temperant vites, neque Formiani
BALM of my cares, sweet solace of my toils,
Hail, juice benignánt! O'er the costly cups
Of riot-stirring wine, unwholesome draught,
Let Pride's loose sons prolong the wasteful night;
My sober evening let the tankard bless,
With toast embrown'd, and fragrant nutmeg
While the rich draught with oft repeated whiffs
Tobacco mild improves. Divine repast!
Where no crude surfeit or intemperate joys
Of lawless Bacchus reign ; but o'er my soul
A calm Lethean creeps; in drowsy trance
Each thought subsides, and sweet oblivion wraps
My peaceful brain, as if the leaden rod
Of magic Morpheus o'er mine eyes had shed
Its opiate influence. What though me sore ills
Oppress, dire want of chill-dispelling coals
Or cheerful candle (save the make-weight's gleam
Haply remaining), heart-rejoicing Ale
Cheers the sad scene, and every want supplies.
Meantime, not mindless of the daily task
Of tutor sage, upon the learned leaves
Of deep Smiglecius much I meditate;
While Ale inspires, and lends its kindred aid,
The thought-perplexing labour to pursue,
Sweet Helicon of logic! But if friends
Congenial call me from the toilsome page,
To pothouse I repair, the sacred haunt
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'd, 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 British Ale improving British worth.
With Ale irriguous, undismay'd I hear
The frequent dun ascend my lofty dome
Importunate : whether the plaintive voice
Of laundress shrill awake my startled ear;
Or barber spruce with supple look intrude ;
Or tailor with obsequious bow advance ;
Or groom invade me with defying front
And stern demeanour, whose emaciate steeds
(Whene'er or Phoebus shone with kindlier beams,
Ör luckier chance the borrow'd boots supplied)
Had panted oft beneath my goring steel.
In vain they plead or threat: all powerful Ale
Excuses new supplies, and each descends
With joyless pace and debt-despairing looks :
E'en Spacey with indignant brow retires,
Fiercest of duns! and conquer'd quits the field.
Why did the gods such various blessings pour On hapless mortals, fro 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
No more to visit, or vine-mantled grot;
But, all forlorn, the dreary wilderness
And unrejoicing solitudes to trace:
Thus too the matchless bard *, whose lay resounds
The Splendid Shilling's praise, in nightly gloom
Of lonesome garret, pined for cheerful Ale;
Whose steps in verse Miltonic I pursue,
Mean follower: like him with honest love
Of Ale divine inspired, and love of song.
But long may bounteous Heaven with watchful
Avert his hapless lot! Enough for me [care
That burning with congenial flame I dared
His guiding steps at distance to pursue,
And sing his favourite theme in kindred strains.
and their voice,
Turning again towards childish treble, pipes
And whistles in its sound.
The Muses are turn'd gossips; they have lost
The buskin'd step, and clear high-sounding phrase,
Language of gods. Come then, domestic Muse,
In slipshod measure loosely prattling on
Of farm or orchard, pleasant curds and cream,
Or drowning flies, or shoe lost in the mire
By little whimpering boy, with rueful face;
Come, Muse, and sing the dreaded Washing Day.
* J. Philips.