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'Twas hard to hit her humour high or low,
For sometimes she would laugh and sometimes cry, Sometimes would waxen wroth; and all she knew
4 Fast by her side a listless virgin pined,
With aching head and squeamish heart-burnings: Pale, bloated, cold, she seemed to hate mankind,
But loved in secret all forbidden things.
And here the Gout, half tiger, half a snake, Raged with an hundred teeth, an hundred stings:
These and a thousand furies more did shake Those weary realms, and kept ease-loving men awake.
AN EPISTLE TO JOHN WILKES, OF AYLESBURY, ESQ. ESCAPED from London, now four moons and more, I greet gay Wilkes from Fulda's wasted shore, Where clothed with wood a hundred hills ascend, Where Nature many a paradise has planned:
A land that, e'en amid contending arms,
What news to-day?-I ask you not what rogue,
What stuff for winter the two Booths have mix'd; 15
News, none have I: you know I never had;
Now for the weather- This is England still,
Heaven guard my friend from every plague that
Still grant him health, whence all the pleasures rise.
Meantime excuse me that I slily snatch
You study early: some indulge at night,
The task of breakfast o'er; that peevish,
pale, That lounging, yawning, most ungenial meal; Rush out, before these fools rush in to worry ye, Whose business is to be idle in a hurry, Who kill your time as frankly as their own, And feel no civil hints e'er to be gone. These flies all fairly flung, whene'er the house, Your country's business, or your friend's, allows, Rush out, enjoy the fields and the fresh air; Ride, walk, or drive, the weather foul or fair. Yet in the torrid months I would reverse This method, leave behind both prose and verse; With the gray dawn the hills and forest roam, And wait the sultry noon embower'd at home, While every rural sound improves the breeze, The railing stream, the busy rooks, and murmur of
You 'll hardly choose these cheerful jaunts aloneExcept when some deep scheme is carrying on. With you at Chelsea oft may I behold The hopeful bud of sense her bloom unfold, With you I'd walk to * To rich, insipid Hackney, if you will: With you no matter where; while we're together, I scorn no spot on earth, and curse no weather.
When dinner comes, amid the various feast, That crowns your genial board, where every guest, Or grave, or gay, is happy and at home, And none e'er sighed for the mind's elbow-room; I warn you still to make your chief repast On one plain dish, and trifle with the rest.
Beef, in a fever, if your stomach crave it,
'Tis strange how blindly we from Nature stray! The only creatures we that miss their way!
• To err is human,' man's prerogative,
Enough to fatten fools, or drive the dray,
No corner else, 'tis not to be denied, Of all our isle so rankly is supplied With gross productions, and adulterate fare, As our renowned abode, whose name I spare. They cram all poultry, that the hungry fox Would loathe to touch them; e'en their boasted ox Sometimes is glutted so with unctuous spoil, That what seems beef is rather rape-seed oil. ·D'ye know what brawn is?–0 th’ unhappy beast! He stands eternal, and is doomed to feast Till—but the nauseous process I forbear
i Vide Chatsworth, 1753.-. Cordelliers : ' Les Cordellieras des Andes aro A chain of hills which run through South America