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TO ROBERT LLOYD, ESQ.
"TIS not that I design to rob
When God and you know, I have neither;
By letting poetry alone.
"Tis not with either of these views,
That I presumed t' address the Muse:
(Sworn foes to every thing that's witty!)
The fierce banditti, which I mean,
Since twenty sheets of lead, God knows,
I fairly find myself pitch-kettled* ;
* Pitch-kettled, a favourite phrase at the time when this Epistle was written, expressive of being puzzled, or what in the Spectator's time would have been called bamboozled.
First, for a thought---since all agree---
Dame Gurton thus, and Hodge her son,
O'er hedge and ditch, through gaps and mews;
To captivate the tempting prey,
Flits out of sight, and mocks his pains.
The sense was dark; 'twas therefore fit
With simile t' illustrate it;
But as too much obscures the sight,
As often as to little light,
We have our similies cut short,
For matters of more grave import.
That Matthew's numbers run with ease
All men of common sense allow,
Where then the pref'rence shall we place,
Matthew (says Fame) with endless pains,
And thus o'er all a lustre cast,
That, while the language lives, shall last,
As freely as a conduit spout!
Friend Robert, thus like chien scavant,
Let fall a poem en passont,
Nor needs his genuine ore refine!
'Tis ready polished from the mine.
PRIOR'S CHLOE AND EUPHELIA.
MERCATOR, vigiles occulos ut fallere possit, Nomine sub ficto trans mare mittit opes; Lené sonat liquidumque meis Euphelia chordis, Sed solam exoptant te, mea vota, Chlöe.
Ad speculum ornabat nitidos Euphelia crines, Cum dixit mea lux, heus, cane, sume lyram. Namique lyram juxtà positam cum carmine vidit, Suave quidem carmen dulcisonamque lyram.
Fila lyræ vocemque paro, suspiria surgunt,
Subrubet illa pudore, et contrahit altera frontem, Me torquet mea mens conscia, psallo, tremo; Atque Cupidineâ dixit Dea cincta corona,
Heu! fallendi artem quam didicere parum,
This tale is founded on an article of intelligence which the author found in the Buckinghamshire Herald, for Saturday, June 1, 1793, in the following words.
Glasgow, May 23.
"In a block, or pulley, near the head of the mast of a gabert, now lying at the Broomielaw, there is a chaffinch's nest and four eggs. The nest was built while the vessel lay at Greenock, and was followed hither by both birds. Though the block is occasionally lowered for the inspection of the curious, the birds have not forsaken the nest. The cock, however, visits the nest but seldom, while the hen never leaves it, but when she descends to the hull for food."
IN Scotland's realms, where trees are few,
Nor even shrubs abound;
But where, however bleak the view,
For husband there and wife may boast
And false ones are as rare almost
In Scotland's realm forlorn and bare
This history of a wedded pair,
The spring drew near, each felt a breast
They paired, and would have built a nest,
The heaths uncovered and the moors,
Could yield them no retreat.
Long time a breeding-place they sought,
A ship?---could such a restless thing
Hush---silent hearers profit most---
Proved kinder to them than the coast,
But such a tree! 'twas shaven deal,
Within that cavity aloft
Their roofless home they fixed,
Four ivory eggs soon pave its floor,
The mother bird is gone to sea,
No---soon as from ashore he saw
Then perching at his consort's side,
Was briskly born along,
The billows and the blast defied,
And cheered her with a song.