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Grays, chestnuts, sorrels, whites, bays, blacks,

Not tied, or fasten'd up to racks,
But sideling, capering about,

Like chattering dowagers at a rout,
And round and round the creatures danced,
Snorted, and flung, and plunged, and pranced,

Making the damn'dest noise and pother,

Kicking and biting one another: Meantime our Cock by these huge beasts sur

rounded, And like some luckless dog of a Reviewer

Surprised by angry bards, and sure Of being kick'd to death or miserably pounded,

Though not a ļittle in a fright,

Yet thought it best, Perhaps too he was in the right,

To strut and crow,

And give them a bon mot, And tickle up their fancies with a jest, Before he bade the world good night: My friends (said he), whose graceful education Hath kept you from profaner, home-bred

courses, And who have still maintain'd the reputation

Of gentlemanly, well bred horses, Though I should be extremely proud

In such good company to pass my life,

Yet as I hate a crowd
Worse than a smoky chimney or a scolding wife,

Permit me to propose,
That, like the incidents in modern plays,

We each pursue our different ways,
Nor rudely tread on one another's toes.'


THE VIRTUOSO*. WHILOM by silver Thames's gentle stream,

In London town there dwelt a subtile wight; A wight of mickle wealth and mickle fame,

Book-learn'd and quaint; a virtuoso hight. Uncommon things and rare were his delight;

From musings deep his brain ne'er gotten ease, Nor ceasen he from study day or night,

Until (advancing onward by degrees)

He knew whatever breeds on earth or air or seas. He many a creature did anatomize,

Almost unpeopling water, air, and land; Beasts, fishes, birds, snails, caterpillars, flies

Were laid full low by his relentless hand, That oft with gory crimson was distain'd:

He many a dog destroy'd, and many a cat; Of fieas his bed, of frogs the marshes drain's,

Could tellen if a mite were lean or fat,

And read a lecture o'er the entrails of a gnat. He knew the various modes of ancient times,

Their arts and fashions of each different guise; Their weddings, funerals, punishments for crimes,

Their strength, their learning eke, and rarities; Of old habiliments each sort and size,

Male, female, high and low to him were known; Each gladiator-dress and stage-disguise; With learned clerkly phrase he could have shown

[gown. How the Greek tunic differ'd from the Roman

• Written by Akenside at the age of sixteen.

A curious medalist, I wot, he was,

And boasted many a course of ancient coin; Well as his wife's he knewen every face

From Julius Cæsar's down to Constantine : For some rare sculpture he would oft ypine

(As green sick damosels for husbands do); And when obtained, with enraptured eyne,

He'd run it o'er and o'er with greedy view, And look, and look again, as he would look it


His rich museum, of dimensions fair,
With goods that spoke the owner's mind was

fraught; Things ancient, curious, value-worth, and rare, From sea and land, from Greece and Rome

were brought, Which he with mighty sums of gold had bought:

On these all tydes with joyous eyes he pored; And, sooth to say, himself he greater thought,

When he beheld his cabinets thus stored,
Than if he'd been of Albion's wealthy cities lord.

Here in a corner stood a rich scrutoire,

With many a curiosity replete;
In seemly order furnish'd every drawer,

Products of art and nature as was meet; Airpumps and prisms were placed beneath his

feet, A Memphian mummy king hung o'er his head; Here phials with live insects small and great,

There stood a tripod of the Pythian maid, Above, a crocodile diffused a grateful shade.

Fast by the window did a table stand,

Where hodiern and antique rarities, From Egypt, Greece, and Rome, from sea and land,

Were thick-besprent of every sort and size: Here a Bahaman spider's carcass lies,

There a dire serpent's golden skin doth shine; Here Indian feathers, fruits, and glittering flies;

There gums and amber found beneath the line, The beak of Ibis here, and there an Antonine.

Close at his back, or whispering in his ear,

There stood a spright ycleped Phantasy; Which, wheresoe’er he went, was always near:

Her look was wild, and roving was her eye; Her hair was clad with flowers of every dye;

Her glistering robes were of more various hue Than the fair bow that paints the cloudy sky,

Or all the spangled drops of morning dew; Their colour changing still at every different


Yet in this shape all tydes she did not stay,

Various as the chamelion that she bore;
Now a grand monarch with a crown of hay,

Now mendicant in silks and golden ore;
A statesman now equipp'd to chase the boar,

Or cowled monk, lean, feeble, and unfed ;
A clownlike lord, or swain of courtly lore;

Now scribbling dunce in sacred laurel clad, Or papal father now in homely weeds array'd.

The wight whose brain this phantom's power doth

fill, On whom she doth with constant care attend,

Will for a dreadful giant take a mill,

Or a grand palace in a hogsty find : (From her dire influence we may heaven defend!)

All things with vitiated sight he spies;
Neglects his family, forgets his friend,

Seeks painted trifles and fantastic toys,
And eagerly pursues imaginary joys.



Oh what a pain love!

How shall I bear it?
She will inconstant prove,

I greatly fear it,
She so torments my mind

That my strength faileth,
And wavers with the wind,

As a ship that saileth ;
Please her the best I may,
She looks another way;
Alack and well-a-day!

Phillada flouts me!

All the fair yesterday

She did pass by me;
She look'd another way,

And would not spy me.
I woo'd her for to dine,

But could not get her.
Will had her to the wine,

He might entreat her,

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