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One drop of Heav'n's sweet mercy in his cup,
up his dirty and dependent bread
810 Ambition, avarice, penury, incurr'd By endless riot, vanity, the lust Of pleasure and variety, despatch As duly as the swallows disappear, The world of wand’ring knights and squires to town. London ingulfs them all! The shark is there, 816 And the shark's prey; the spendthrift and the leech That sucks him; there the sycophant, and he Who, with bareheaded and obsequious bows, Begs a warm office, doom'd to a cold jail
820 And groat per diem, if his patron frown. The levee swarms, as if in golden pomp Were character'd on ev'ry statesman's door, “Batter'd and bankrupt fortunes mended here." These are the charms that sully and eclipse The charms of nature. 'Tis the cruel gripe, That lean, hard-handed poverty inflicts, The hope of better things, the chance to win, The wish to shine, the thirst to be amus’d, That at the sound of Winter's hoary wing
830 Unpeople all our countries of such herds Of flutt'ring, loit’ring, cringing, begging, loose, And wanton, vagrants, as make London, vast And boundless as it is, a crowded coop. O thou resort and mart of all the earth,
835 Checker'd with all complexions of mankind, And spotted with all crimes; in whom I see Much that I love, and more that I admire, And all that I abhor; thou freckled fair, That pleasefst and yet shock’st me! I can laugh, 840 And I can weep, can hope and can despond
Feel wrath and pity, when I think on thee!
THE WINTER EVENING.
ARGUMENT OF THE FOURTH BOOK. The post comes in- The newspaper is read-The World contem
plated at a distance-Address to Winter-The l'ural amusements of a winter evening compared with the fashionable ones-Address to evening-A brown study-Fall of snow in the evening ..The wagoner- A poor family piece-The rural thief-Public houses—The multitude of them censured-The farmer's daughter: what she was,—what she is—The simplicity of country manners almost lost-Causes of the change-Desertion of the country by the rich--Neglect of the magistrates--The militia principally in fault--The new recruit and his transfor. mation Reflection on bodies corporate--The love of rural objects natural to all, and never to be totally extinguished.
HARK! 'tis the twanging horn o’er yonder bridge,
10 And having dropp'd th' expected bag, pass on. He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch.
Cold and yet cheerful: messenger of grief
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast, Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round, And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn Throws up a steamy column, and the cups, That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
40 So let us welcome peaceful ev'ning in. Not such his ev’ning, who with shining face Sweats in the crowded theatre, and squeez'd And bor'd with elbow points through both his sides, Outscolds the ranting actor on the stage:
45 Nor his, who patient stands till his feet throb, Anå his head thumps, to feed upon the breath Of patriots, bursting with hero ick rage, Or placemen, all tranquillity and smiles, This folio of four pages happy work!
Which not e'en criticks criticise; that holds
65 The modest speaker is asham’d and griev’d, T'engross a moment’s notice; and yet begs, Begs a propitious ear for his poor thoughts, However trivial, all that he conceives. Sweet bashfulness; it claims at least this praise:. 70 The dearth of information and good sense That it foretells us always comes to pass. Cataracts of declamation thunder here; Their forest-of no meaning spread the page, In which all comprehension wanders lost;
75 While fields of pleasantry amuse us there With merry descants on a nation's woes. The rest appears a wilderness of strange But gay confusion; roses for the cheeks, And lillies for the brows of faded age,
80 Teeth for the toothless, ringlets for the bald, Heav'n, earth, and ocean, plundered of their sweets, Nectareous essences, Olympian dews, Sermons, and city feasts, and fav’rite airs, Ætherial journeys, submarine exploits, And Katterfelto, with his hair on end At his own wonders, wond’ring for his bread.
'Tis pleasant through the loopholes of retreat,