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And heaps on heaps the smoky ruin falls;
Blown by strong winds, the fiery tempest roars,
Bears down new walls, and pours along the floors.
The heav'ns are all ablaze; the face of night
Is covered with a sanguine, dreadful light:
'T was such a light involved thy tow'rs, O Rome,
The dire presage of mighty Caesar's doom,
When the sun veiled in rust his mourning head,
And frightful prodigies the skies o'erspread.
Hark! the drum thunders! far, ye crowds, retire:
Behold, the ready match is tipt with fire,
The nitrous store is laid, the smutty train
With running blaze awakes the barrelled grain;
Flames sudden wrap the walls; with sullen sound
The shattered pile sinks on the smoky ground.
So when the years shall have revolved the date,
Th' inevitable hour of Naples' fate,
Her sapped foundations shall with thunders shake,
And heave and toss upon the sulph'rous lake;
Earth's womb at once the fiery flood shall rend,
And in th' abyss her plunging tow'rs descend.
And now complete my gen'rous labours lie,
Finished, and ripe for immortality:
Death shall entomb in dust this mould'ring frame,
But never reach th' eternal part, my fame.
When W✶ and G * *, mighty names, are dead,
Or but at Chelsea under custards read;
When critics crazy bandboxes repair,
And tragedies, turned rockets, bounce in air;
High-raised on Fleet Street posts, consigned to fame,
This work shall shine, and walkers bless my name.
MY OWN EPITAPH
Life is a jest, and all things show it.
I thought so once, but now I know it.
SWEET WILLIAM'S FAREWELL TO BLACK-EYED SUSAN
All in the Downs the fleet was moored,
The streamers waving in the wind,
When black-eyed Susan came aboard:
"Oh, where shall I my true love find?
Tell me, ye jovial sailors, tell me true
If my sweet William sails among the crew?"
William, who high upon the yard
Rocked with the billow to and fro,
Soon as her well-known voice he heard,
He sighed and cast his eyes below:
The cord slides swiftly through his glowing hands,
And, quick as lightning, on the deck he stands.
So the sweet lark, high poised in air,
Shuts close his pinions to his breast,
If chance his mate's shrill call he hear,
And drops at once into her nest.
The noblest captain in the British fleet
Mighty envy William's lip those kisses sweet.
"O Susan, Susan, lovely dear,
My vows shall ever true remain!
Let me kiss off that falling tear:
We only part to meet again.
Change as ye list, ye winds! my heart shall be
The faithful compass that still points to thee.
"Believe not what the landmen say,
Who tempt with doubts thy constant mind:
They'll tell thee sailors, when away,
In ev'ry port a mistress find-
Yes, yes, believe them when they tell thee so,
For thou art present wheresoe'er I go.
"If to far India's coast we sail,
Thy eyes are seen in di'monds bright;
Thy breath is Afric's spicy gale,
Thy skin is ivory so white.
Thus ev'ry beauteous object that I view
Wakes in my soul some charm of lovely Sue.
"Though battle call me from thy arms,
Let not my pretty Susan mourn;
Though cannons roar, yet, safe from harms,
William shall to his dear return.
Love turns aside the balls that round me fly,
Lest precious tears should drop from Susan's eye."
The boatswain gave the dreadful word;
The sails their swelling bosom spread; No longer must she stay aboard:
They kissed-she sighed—he hung his head. Her less'ning boat unwilling rows to land; "Adieu!" she cries, and waved her lily hand.
THE FOX AT THE POINT OF DEATH
A fox, in life's extreme decay,
Weak, sick, and faint, expiring lay;
All appetite had left his maw,
And age disarmed his mumbling jaw.
His num'rous race around him stand,
To learn their dying sire's command;
He raised his head with whining moan,
And thus was heard the feeble tone:
"Ah, sons, from evil ways depart!
My crimes lie heavy on my heart.
See, see, the murdered geese appear!
Why are those bleeding turkeys there?
Why all around this cackling train,
Who haunt my ears for chickens slain?"
The hungry foxes round them stared,
And for the promised feast prepared.
"Where, sir, is all this dainty cheer?
Nor turkey, goose, nor hen is here.
These are the phantoms of your brain,
And your sons lick their lips in vain."
"O gluttons!" says the drooping sire, "Restrain inordinate desire!
Your liqu'rish taste you shall deplore
When peace of conscience is no more.
Does not the hound betray our pace,
And gins and guns destroy our race?
Thieves dread the searching eye of pow'r,
And never feel the quiet hour.
Old age, which few of us shall know,
Now puts a period to my woe.
Would you true happiness attain,
Let honesty your passions reign;
So live in credit and esteem,
And the good name you lost redeem."
"The counsel's good," a fox replies,
"Could we perform what you advise.
Think what our ancestors have done-
A line of thieves from son to son!
To us descends the long disgrace,
And infamy hath marked our race.
Though we like harmless sheep should feed,
Honest in thought, in word, and deed,
Whatever hen-roost is decreased,
We shall be thought to share the feast.
The change shall never be believed;
A lost good name is ne'er retrieved."
"Nay, then,” replies the feeble fox
"(But hark! I hear a hen that clocks) —
Go, but be mod'rate in your food:
A chicken, too, might do me good."
AN THOU WERE MY AIN THING
CHORUS.-An thou were my ain thing,
I would love thee, I would love thee!
An thou were my ain thing,
How dearly would I love thee!
Like bees that suck the morning dew
Frae flowers of sweetest scent and hue,
Sae wad I dwell upo' thy mou,
And gar the gods envy me.
Sae lang 's I had the use of light,
I'd on thy beauties feast my sight;
Syne in saft whispers through the night
I'd tell how much I loo'd thee.
How fair and ruddy is my Jean!
She moves a goddess o'er the green:
Were I a king, thou shou'd be queen,
Nane but mysell aboon thee.
I'd grasp thee to this breast of mine,
Whilst thou, like ivy or the vine,
Around my stronger limbs shou'd twine,
Formed hardy to defend thee.
Time's on the wing, and will not stay:
In shining youth let 's make our hay;
Since love admits of no delay,
O let na scorn undo thee!
While Love does at his altar stand,
Hae there's my heart, gi'e me thy hand,
And with ilk smile thou shalt command
The will of him wha loves thee.
THE HIGHLAND LADDIE
The Lawland lads think they are fine,
But they're vain and idly gaudy;
How much unlike that gracefu' mien
And manly looks of my Highland laddie!
CHORUS. O my bonny, bonny Highland laddie!
My handsome, charming Highland laddie!
May Heaven still guard and love reward
Our Lawland lass and her Highland laddie!
If I were free at will to chuse
To be the wealthiest Lawland lady,
I'd take young Donald without trews,
With bonnet blew and belted plaidy.