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He sails, he lands, he comes, he rings ;
His servants follow with the things :
Appears the governante of th' house,
For such in Greece were much in use :
If young or handsome, yea or no,
Concerns not me or thee to know.

Does Squire Protogenes live here?
Yes, sir, says she, with gracious air
And court'sy low, but just call'd out
By lords peculiarly devout,
Who came on purpose, sir, to borrow
Our Venus for the feast to-morrow,
To grace the church ; 'tis Venus' day:
I hope, sir, you intend to stay
To see our Venus ; 'tis the piece
The most renown'd throughout all Greece;
So like th' original, they say:
But I have no great skill that way.
But, sir, at six ('tis now past three)
Dromo must make my master's tea;
At six, sir, if you please to come,
You'll find my master, sir, at home.

Tea, says a critic, big with laughter, Was found some twenty ages after ; Authors, before they write, should read. "Tis very true; but we'll proceed.

And, sir, at present would you please To leave your name? Fair maiden, yes. Reach me that board. No sooner spoke But done. With one judicious stroke, On the plain ground Apelles drew A circle regularly true : And will you please, sweetheart, said he, To show your master this from me? By it he presently will know How painters write their names at Co.

He gave the panel to the maid. Smiling and court'sying, Sir, she said,

I shall not fail to tell my master;
And, sir, for fear of all disaster,
I'll keep it my own self: safe bind,
Says the old proverb, and safe find.
So, sir, as sure as key or lock-
Your servant, sir-at six o'clock.

Again at six Apelles came,
Found the same prating, civil dame.
Sir, that my master has been here,
Will by the board itself appear.
If from the perfect line be found
He has presumed to swell the round,
Or colours on the draught to lay,
'Tis thus (he order'd me to say),
Thus write the painters of this isle :
Let those of Co remark the style.

She said; and to his hand restored
The rival pledge, the missive board.
Upon the happy line were laid
Such obvious light and easy shade,
That Paris' apple stood confess'd,
Or Leda's egg, or Chloe's breast.
Apelles view'd the finish'd pieces
And live, said he, the arts of Greece!
Howe'er Protogenes and I
May in our rival talents vie;
Howe'er our works may have express'd
Who truest drew or colour'd best,
When he beheld my flowing line,
He found at least I could design:
And from his artful round, I grant
That he with perfect skill can paint.

The dullest genius cannot fail
To find the moral of my tale ;
That the distinguish'd part of men,
With compass, pencil, sword, or pen,
Should in life's visit leave their name,
In characters which may proclaim

That they with ardour strove to raise At once their arts and country's praise ; And in their working took great care, That all was full, and round, and fair.

TO THE HON. CHARLES MONTAGUE, ESQ. Howe'er, 'tis well, that while mankind

Through fate's perverse meander errs, He can imagined pleasures find,

To combat against real cares.

Fancies and notions he pursues,

Which ne'er had being but in thought; Each, like the Grecian artist, woos

The image he himself has wrought.

Against experience he believes;

He argues against demonstration; Pleased, when his reason he deceives;

And sets his judgment by his passion.

The hoary fool, who many days

Has struggled with continued sorrow, Renews his hope, and blindly lays

The desperate bet upon to-morrow. To-morrow comes; 'tis noon, 'tis night;

This day like all the former flies: Yet on he runs, to seek delight

To-morrow, till to-night he dies.

Our hopes, like towering falcons, aim

At objects in an airy height: The little pleasure of the game

Is from afar to view the flight.

Our anxious pains we, all the day,

In search of what we like, employ:
Scorning at night the worthless prey,

We find the labour gave the joy.
At distance through an artful glass

To the mind's eye things well appear:
They lose their forms, and make a mass

Confused and black is brought too near.

If we see right, we see our woes:

Then what avails it to have eyes ?
From ignorance our comfort flows:

The only wretched are the wise.

JOHN GAY. 1688–1732.


Long hast thou, friend! been absent from my soil,

Like patient Ithacus at siege of Troy; I have been witness of thy six years' toil,

Thy daily labours, and thy nights' annoy; Lost to thy native land, with great turmoil,

On the wide sea, oft threatening to destroy: Methinks with thee I've trod Sigæan ground, And heard the shores of Hellespont resound.

Did I not see thee when thou first set'st sail

To seek adventures fair in Homer's land? Did I not see thy sinking spirits fail,

And wish thy bark had never left the strand ! Even in mid-ocean often didst thou quail,

And oft lift up thy holy eye and hand, Praying the Virgin dear, and saintly choir, Back to the port to bring thy bark entire.


Cheer up, my friend! thy dangers now are o'er;

Methinks-nay, sure the rising coasts appear; Hark! how the guns salute from either shore,

As thy trim vessel cuts the Thames so fair : Shouts answering shouts from Kent and Essex roar,

And bells break loud through every gust of air : Bonfires do blaze, and bones and cleavers ring, As at the coming of some mighty king. Now pass we Gravesend with a friendly wind,

And Tilbury's white fort, and long Blackwall; Greenwich, where dwells the friend of human kind,

More visited than or her park or hall ; Withers the good, and (with him ever join'd)

Facetious Disney, greet thee first of all : I see his chimney smoke and hear him say, Duke! that's the room for Pope, and that for Gay. Come in, my friends! here shall ye dine and lie,

And here shall breakfast, and here dine again; And sup and breakfast on (if ye comply),

For I have still some dozens of Champagne : His voice still lessens as the ship sails by ;

He waves his hand to bring us back in vain; For now I see, I see proud London's spires : Greenwich is lost, and Deptford dock retires. Oh, what a concourse swarms on yonder quay!

The sky re-echoes with new shouts of joy!
By all this show, I ween, 'tis Lord-mayor's Day;

I hear the voice of trumpet and hautboy.
No, now I see them near! Oh, these are they

Who come in crowds to welcome thee from Troy. Hail to the bard, whom long as lost we mourn'd; From siege, from battle, and from storm return'd! Of goodly dames and courteous knights, I view

The silken petticoat and broider'd vest;
Yea, peers and mighty dukes with ribands blue

(True blue, fair emblem of unstain'd breast).

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