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Easy in company, in private gay:
And what would cheer the spirits in distress, Coy to a fop, to the deserving free;
Ruins our health, when taken to excess. Still constant to herself, and just to me.
I'd be concern’d in no litigious jar; A soul she should have for great actions fit; Belov'd by all, not vainly popular. Prudence and wisdom to direct her wit :
Whate'er assistance I had power to bring, Courage to look bold danger in the face ;
T'oblige my country, or to serve my king, No fear, but only to be proud, or base :
Whene'er they call, I'd readily afford Quick to advise, by an emergence prest,
My tongue, my pen, my counsel, or my sword. To give good counsel, or to take the best.
Law-suits I'd shun with as much studious care I'd have th' expression of her thoughts be such,
As I would dens where hungry lions are ; She might not seem reserv'd, nor talk too much : And rather put up injuries, than be That shews a want of judgment, and of sense; A plague to him, who'd be a plague to me. More than enough is but impertinence.
I value quiet at a price too great, Her conduct regular, her mirth refin'd;
To give for my revenge so dear a rate : Civil to strangers, to her neighbours kind;
For what do we by all our bustle gain, Averse to vanity, revenge, and pride;
But counterfeit delight for real pain ? In all the methods of deceit untry'd :
If Heaven a date of many years would give, So faithful to her friend, and good to all,
Thus I'd in pleasure, ease, and plenty live. No censure might upon her actions fall :
And as I near approach'd the verge of life, Then would ev'n envy be compellid to say,
Some kind relation (for I'd have no wife) She goes the least of womankind astray.
Should take upon him all my worldly care, To this fair creature I'd sometimes retire ;
Whilst I did for a better state prepare. Her conversation would new joys inspire ;
Then I'd not be with any trouble vex’d, Give life an edge so keen, no surly care
Nor have the evening of my days perplex'd; Would venture to assault my soul, or dare,
But by a silent and a peaceful death, Near my retreat, to hide one secret snare.
Without a sigh, resign my aged breath. But so divine, so noble a repast
And when committed to the dust, I'd have I'd seldom, and with moderation, taste :
Few tears, but friendly, dropt into my grave; For highest cordials all their virtue lose,
Then would my exit so propitious be, By a too frequent and too bold a use;
All men would wish to live and die like me.
She let her ivory needle fall,
I dare not permit her to come to Whitehall, And hurl'd away the twisted ball :
For she'd outshine the ladies, paint, jewels, and all: But straight gave Strephon such a call,
If a lord should but whisper his love in the crowd, As would have rais'd the dead.
She'd sell him a bargain, and laugh out aloud :
Then the queen, overhearing what Betty did say, Dear gentle youth, is't none but thee ?
Would send Mr. Roper to take her away.
But to those that have had my dear Bess in their No nymph was e'er betray'd.
She's gentle and knows how to soften her charms; Come, lean thy head upon my lap ;
And to every beauty can add a new grace, While thy smooth cheeks I stroke and clap,
Having learn’d how to lisp, and to trip in her pace; Thou mayst securely take a nap;
And with head on one side, and a languishing eye, Which he, poor fool, obey'd.
To kill us by looking as if she would die.
PHILIPS—A. D. 1676-1708.
THE SPLENDID SHILLING. Happy the man, who void of cares and strife, In silken or in leathern purse retains A Splendid Shilling: he nor hears with pain New oysters cry'd, nor sighs for cheerful ale; But with his friends, when nightly mists arise, To Juniper's Magpie, or Town-hall repairs : Where, mindful of the nymph, whose wanton eye Transfix'd his soul, and kindled amorous flames, Cloe or Phyllis, he each circling glass Wisheth her health, and joy, and equal love. Meanwhile, he smokes, and laughs at merry tale, Or pun ambiguous, or conundrum quaint. But I, whom griping penury surrounds, And hunger, sure attendant upon want, With scanty offals, and small acid tiff, (Wretched repast !) my meagre corpse sustain ; Then solitary walk, or doze at home In garret vile, and with a warming puff Regale chill'd fingers; or from tube as black As winter-chimney, or well polish'd jet, Exhale mundungus, ill perfuming scent : Not blacker tube, nor of a shorter size, Smokes Cambro-Briton (vers'd in pedigree, Sprung from Cadwallador and Arthur, kings Full famous in romantic tale) when he O'er many a craggy hill and barren cliff, Upon a cargo of fam’d Cestrian cheese, High overshadowing rides, with a design To vend his wares, or at th' Arvonian mart, Or Maridunum, or the ancient town Yclept Brechinia, or where Vaga's stream Encircles Ariconium, fruitful soil ! Whence flow nectareous wines, that well may vie With Massic, Setin, or renown's Falern.
Thus while my joyless minutes tedious flow, With looks demure, and silent pace, a dun, Horrible monster, hated by gods and men ! To my aerial citadel ascends. With vocal heel thrice thundering at my gate, With hideous accent thrice he calls; I know The voice ill-boding, and the solemn sound. What should I do? or whither turn? Amaz'd, Confounded, to the dark recess I fly Of wood-hole; straight my bristling hairs erect Through sudden fear; a chilly sweat bedews My shuddering limbs, and (wonderful to tell!) My tongue forgets her faculty of speech; So horrible he seems! His faded brow Entrench'd with many a frown, and conic beard, And spreading band, admir'd by modern saints, Disastrous acts forbode ; in his right hand Long scrolls of paper solemnly he waves, With characters and figures dire inscrib’d,
Grievous to mortal eyes ; (ye gods, avert
Beware ye debtors! when ye walk, beware,
So pass my days. But, when nocturnal shades
Finds no relief, nor heavy eyes repose :
Eurus and Auster, and the dreadful force But if a slumber haply does invade
Of Boreas, that congeals the Cronian waves, My weary limbs, my fancy, still awake,
Tumultuous enter with dire chilling blasts, Thoughtful of drink, and eager, in a dream, Portending agues. Thus a well-fraught ship, Tipples imaginary pots of ale,
Long sail'd secure, or through th' Ægean deep, In vain; awake I find the settled thirst
Or the Ionian, till cruising near
Thus do I live, from pleasure quite debarr'd, On Scylla, or Charybdis (dangerous rocks!)
So fierce a shock unable to withstand, Nor walnut in rough-furrow'd coat secure,
Admits the sea ; in at the gaping side Nor medlar fruit delicious in decay;
The crowding waves gush with impetuous rage Afflictions great! yet greater still remain :
Resistless, overwhelming; horrors seize My galligaskins, that have long withstood
The mariners ; death in their eyes appears ; [pray: The winter's fury, and encroaching frosts
They stare, they lave, they pump, they swear, they By time subdued (what will not time subdue ?) (Vain efforts!) still the battering waves rush in, An horrid chasm disclose with orifice
Implacable, till, delug'd by the foam, Wide, discontinuous; at which the winds
The ship sinks foundering in the vast abyss.