Page images

While thus we resolved, and the pasty delay'd,
With looks that quite petrified, enter'd the maid !
A visage so sad, and so pale with affright,
Waked Priam in drawing his curtains by night !
But we quickly found out--for who could mistake her-
That she came with some terrible news from the baker;
And so it fell out, for that negligent sloven
Had shut out the pasty on shutting his oven !
Sad Philomel thus – but let similes drop-
And, now that I think on't, the story may stop.
To be plain, my good Lord, it's but labour misplaced,
To send such good verses to one of your taste ;
You've got an odd something—a kind of discerning-
A relish -a taste-sicken'd over by learning ;
At least it's your temper, as very well known,
That you think very slightly of all that's your own :
So, perhaps, in your habit of thinking amiss,
You may make a mistake, and think slightly of this.

Oliver Goldsmith.


I LATELY thought no man alive
Could e'er improve past forty-five,

And ventured to assert it.
The observation was not new,
But seemed to me so just and true

That none could controvert it.

“No, sir,” said Johnson, “’tis not so ;
'Tis your mistake, and I can show

An instance, if you doubt it.
You, who perhaps are forty-eight,
May still improve, 'tis not too late ;

I wish you'd set about it."

Encouraged thus to mend my faults,
I turn'd his counsel in my thoughts

Which way I could apply it ;
Genius I knew was past my reach,
For who can learn what none can teach?

And wit-I could not buy it.

Then come, my friends, and try your skill ;
You may improve me if you will,

(My books are at a distance) : With you I'll live and learn, and then Instead of books I shall read men,

So lend me your assistance.

Dear Knight of Plympton, teach me how
To suffer with unclouded brow,

And smile serene as thine,
The jest uncouth and truth severe ;
Like thee to turn my deafest ear,

And calmly drink my wine. Thou say’st not only skill is gain’d, But genius, too, may be attain'd,

By studious imitation ; Thy temper mild, thy genius fine, I'll study till I make them mine

By constant meditation.

The art of pleasing teach me, Garrick,
Thou who reversest odes Pindarick

A second time read o'er ;
O could we read thee backwards too,
Last thirty years thou shouldst review,

And charm us thirty more.
If I have thoughts and can't express 'em,
Gibbon-shall teach me how to dress 'em

In terms select and terse;
Jones, teach me modesty and Greek ;
Smith, how to think ; Burke, how to speak ;

And Beauclerk, to converse.

Let Johnson teach me how to place
In fairest light each borrow'd grace,

From him I'll learn to write :
Copy his free and easy style,
And from the roughness of his file
Grow, like himself, polite.

Dr. Barnard, of Killaloe.


WHEN Molly smiles beneath her covy,
I feel my heart I can't tell how;
When Molly is on Sunday drest,
On Sundays I can take no rest.

What can I do? on worky days
I leave my work on her to gaze.
What shall I say? At sermons, I
Forget the text when Molly's by.
Good master curate, teach me how
To mind your preaching, and my plough:
And if for this you'll raise a spell,
A good fat goose shall thank you well.




DID ever swain a nymph adore,

As I ungrateful Nanny do?
Was ever shepherd's heart so sore,

Or ever broken heart so true?
My cheeks are swell’d with tears, but she
Has never wet a cheek for me.

If Nanny call’d, did e'er I stay?

Or linger, when she bid me run?
She only had the word to say,

And all she wish'd was quickly done.
I always think of her, but she
Does ne'er bestow a thought on me.

To let her cows my clover taste,

Have I not rose by break of day?
Did ever Nanny's heifers fast,

If Robin in his barn had hay?
Though to my fields they welcome were,
I ne'er was welcome yet to her.

If ever Nanny lost a sheep,

Then cheerfully I gave her two;
And I her lambs did safely keep,

Within my folds, in frost and snow.
Have they not there from cold been free?
But Nanny still is cold to me.
When Nanny to the well did come,

'Twas I that did her pitchers fill;
Full as they were, I brought them home:

Her corn I carried to the mill.
My back did bear the sack, but she
Will never bear the sight of me.
To Nanny's poultry oats I gave,

I'm sure they always had the best:
Within this week her pigeons have

Ate up a peck of pease, at least : Her little pigeons kiss, but she Will never take a kiss from me. Must Robin always Nanny woo,

And Nanny still on Robin frown?
Alas, poor wretch! what shall I do,

If Nanny does not love me soon?
If no relief to me she'll bring,
I'll hang me in her apron-string.



THE FAIR STRANGER. HAPPY and free, securely blest, No beauty could disturb my rest ; My amorous heart was in despair To find a new victorious fair. Till you, descending on our plains, With foreign force renew my chains ; Where now you reign without control, The mighty sovereign of my soul. Your smiles have more of conquering charms Than all your native country's arms : Their troops we can expel with ease, Who vanquish only when we please.

But in your eyes, O! there's the spell !
Who can see them, and not rebel ?
You make us captives by your stay,
Yet kill us if you go away.

John Dryden.


“ Ye little nymphs that hourly wait

To bring from Celia's eyes my fate,
Tell her my pain in softest sighs,

And gently whisper Strephon dies. “ But if this won't lier pity move,

And the coy nymph disdains to love,
Tell her, instead, 'tis all a lie,
And haughty Strephon scorns to die.”




With leaden foot Time creeps along,

While Delia is away,
With her, nor plaintive was the song,

Nor tedious was the day.
Ah! envious power! reverse my doom,

Now double thy career;
Strain every nerve, stretch every plume,
And rest them when she's here.

Richard Fago.



To thee, fair Freedom! I retire,

From flattery, feasting, dice and din ; Nor art thou found in domes much higher

Than the lone cot or humble Inn. 'Tis here with boundless power I reign,

And every health which I begin, Converts dull port to bright champagne ;

For Freedom crowns it, at an Inn.

« PreviousContinue »