By Mrs. Cassan,
Widow of Stephen Cassan, Esq. Barrister at Law,
late of Bengal.
London. Printed by G. Sidney, Northumberland Street, Strand. 1806 1806.
On Seeing Mrs. * * * * at a Ball.
Thrice twenty years have roll’d away
Since Flavia first beheld the day;
Yet Flavia thinks she still is fair,
And young, and fresh, and debonaire.
At each new ball behold the dame,
(Though the last night has made her lame,)
On lightly-limping toe advance
To lead the gay and airy dance;
Smiling rich love, like Beauty’s Queen,
When on a sign-post painting seen;B 02 B1v 2
Like Venus, too, in loose attire
She comes to raise unholy fire;—
Cobweb attire, thro’ which we see
Hogarth’s own lines of symmetry,
If these are any where declar’d
To be in carrots, cut and par’d.
Down her bare bosom careless hang
Locks, such as poet never sang;
Even old Homer could not say
How beautiful, how thin and grey.
Her cheeks are like the blushless rose,
Which sparing in the hedge-row grows,
(When sprinkled with a little dust,
It bears a light and brownish crust.)
Her teeth, with what shall I compare?
With pearls, for yell’wish pearls there are;
Her lips, how shall I tell their hue?
It seems a blended black and blue;03 B2r 3
No coral of such colour’s seen,
No lip so sweet, so dried, so lean;
Not e’en Apelles’ pencil vies
With the dimm’d lustre of her eyes;
Which, blinking, say they could destroy,
Like Helena’s, another Troy.
But, for her reputation’s sake
No step impure this dame would take:
Highly she rev’rences decorum,
Which oft’ she preaches o’er her jorum; This Lady used to drink largely of a vulgar mixture called Mug.
And would not, though to fetes she goes,
And balls, and masks, and raree-shows,
For millions have it understood,
E’en that she’d change her widowhood;
Much less a single wish conceal,
That modesty should not reveal.04 B2v 4
’Tis but to please her various friends,
That thus she daily condescends
To mingle with the festive throng,
In merry dance, or jocund song.
Mirth finds no entrance in her breast
Which Melancholy’s home’s confess’d.—
So sayeth she, but well I ween,
Her roguish looks and wanton mien
Bespeak a heart that pants to prove,
At sixty, the Delights of Love.
A Dinner Conversation,
On Board an East-Indiaman, in the Channel, Versified.
Mr. Scribbler, Purser.
Mr. O’Callagan, Surgeon.
I really thought we should not dine to-day;
The devil’s in the commodore, I say;
He’s always sure to spoil some meal or other
With his ridiculous continual pother.—
Sheep’s-head, or soup,—which shall I help you to?
I’ll thank you for a little of the stew.
Pray, Mr. Scribbler, what was that you said
About a feather, and the top-mast-head?
Do tell it to the ladies; they may guess;
I cannot solve your reedle, I confess.
Ladies, pray could you Tommy Blustrous bring
Down on the feather of a goose’s wing,
From off this good ship’s main-top-gallant-head?
I could with ease, though he were cast in lead!
The riddle’s too profound for me to guess.
He, he, he, ’tis very deep, I must confess:
He means, that he could bring us down a feather;—
Down and the feather grow, you know, together.
Hae, ScribScribbler, what’s that about a goose’s wing?
Tom, shall I help you to some black-pudding?
Hang me, but that’s a very pleasant way,
Putting us off with pies and puddings, hae?
Is Mrs. HMrs. Harmless. to-day for beer, or wine?
I should have ask’d when we began to dine.
I’ll drink a little sherry, if you please;
The beer, this weather, really makes one freeze,
I say, ScribScribbler, give us one of those small pies:
Why, hang you, what’s the matter with your eyes?
Nothing at all, Sir.
――Come, give me some beer;—
Nothing at all! why, hang you, how you leer!
Can any of you say, what ’twas in Eden,
(His Paradise) first father Adam set in?
Perhaps it was potatoes—in a row.
What, would you think, now, if it was his toe?
He set his toe in—
――Ah, that’s plain enough.
I say, ScribScribbler, give us a pie, and end this stuff.
What, Mrs. Rhymer, would you chuse to drink?
Madeira, if you please. No—spruce, I think.
Here, fellow, bring two glasses of spruce-beer.To a servant.
Hae! what the devil, are we going to veer?
I wish the commodore would mind his hand;
We’re now just in the course that we should stand.
Pray, Mrs. Rhymer, let me ask a favor;
But, cut the pork first, Scribbler.
――What a savour!
We’d better send it, Sir, away, I think?
Away? How deelicate! Why, does it stink?
You’ll find, I fear, it has a mauvais gout.
Oh pray, then, send it to the Cook, pray do;
And let him boil it for to-morrow’s broth,
With pease it will be nothing worse, in troth.10 C1v 10
Now, Mrs. Rhymer, what I want is this,
That you’d let Scribbler mind his business;
And not be sending him your scraps of rhymes:
My cabin-door is open at all times!
What with your College-dumplings, and your writing,
With Scribbler, and the Cook, I’m always fighting.
Sir, I don’t understand you, I protest.
Hae, Scribbler, happy man, to be so bless’d:
Oh happy, happy man, that I were you!
Ah, spare him, Doctor; pray, in pity do.
Come, Doctor, tell me, (from your jokes to fly)
Why is our Captain like the Ministry?Aside.
Faith that’s as plain as any thing can be,
Because he changes sides so frequently.Aside.
Scribbler has always something good at hand;
His wit, like Sol, is never at a stand.
A happy simile; but, good folks, pray
Stop, or I shall be toût à fait accablé,
The ladies’ compliments and yours are such.――
Oh, to be sure they hurt you very much!
Faith, and you swallow them with wond’rous ease.
Ah! look at little Anne Mrs. Harmless’s Daughter. in her chemise.
Had you not better say at once her smock?
It would not more our deelicacy shock:12 C2v 12
I hate all affectation as the deevil,
And would avoid it as the greatest evil.
All decency he might, in truth, have said;
Offer him now, I pray you, some pig’s head;
See how he’ll twist, and turn, and paw’t about;
You might suppose himself a brother snout.
Bring me the pork.To a servant.
Servant,holding to him a knife and fork.
――Here, Sir, a knife and fork.
A knife and fork! You beast, I said the pork.
Pray, Mrs. Rhymer, will you eat some cheese?
No, thank you.—Yes, a little, if you please.
Dear, Mrs. R. you never know your mind.
Why, Scribbler, don’t you pare away the rind?
Do learn, man, prithee do, to be more civil.
What are you doing there, hae? Why, what the devil,
You’re all a going mad I b’lieve. Some plates
When you can see, you stupid leather-pates.
Think, Smoothface, what I heard on board the Rose,
A thing that really no one would suppose.
――I mean, Matilda Polhill’s maid,
Or servant, I more properly had said;14 C3v 14
She’s likely to lie-in before we anchor.
I’m much deceiv’d, if that is not a spanker.
――She looks so en-bon-point, and so—Smoothface opens his mouth, and stares.
So en-bon-point—in such good case, you know.
In bad case, Sir, I think.
――Perhaps you’re right;
A glass of wine, Smoothface? Shall it be red or white?
Just which you please, Sir.
――White, then, let it be;
Two glasses of Madeira presently.To the servants.
I admire that waistcoat, Smoothface, that you wear;
Pray, is it Manchester or kerseymere?
What did it cost you, Smoothface?
――I don’t know, Sir;
I had it, Sir, from Foppington, your brother:
I think it was to four gold mohurs it came:
I paid him that, last voyage, for some o’ the same;
That is, the piece. I’ve two, and this one on,
I did not mean, Sir, four gold mohurs for one.
Upon my word, it was a wond’rous prize!
Yes, Sir, I think so; oh, Sir, mind your eyes;
There’s a large spider, Sir, about your head.
Captain Mackinnard.Bruising it against his face.
There, in a meenute then, the fellow’s dead;
I’ve squeez’d aboot my face, I b’lieve, his broth;
Here, go into my cabbin for a cloth; To a servant.
And a little water, if you please; in truth
Some of the deevil’s gone into my mooth:
Give me a glass of wine to wash him down:To a servant.
Here’s, Curse the French,—
And bless old England’s crown.They drink.
Hae, Blustrous, sure the Commodore is veering;
Do go on deck, and see how we are steering;
This Commodore of our’s is always wrong,
Hang him, I say.Goes out.
And hang our ci-devant. Captain Mackinnard was Commodore in the beginning of the voyage, but superseded by a senior Commander.
Supposed to be sung by a Lady, who seemed to wish that her Niece should captivate the husband of her friend.
To the tune of O my Kitten.
Come cease, my sweet Dolly, your whimp’ring,
And cease, my sweet Dolly, my deary,
Sure such a maiden as you are
Can never have reason to feary.
Diddidy diddidy, diddidy.
Yes, it shall soon have its lovey,
And all that its heart can desire O,
If we can get his vain wife away
We’ll set the world all on fire O.
Diddidy, &c. &c.
How she contrives to outdo us
I cannot conceive for my life, O,
Or how our Irish lad thought him
Of making this sauce-box his wife, O,
Diddidy, &c. &c.
Go, with your ugly white bosom,
And go with your plaintive blue eyes, O,
Put your fine locks in a close-cap,
And stifle, my lady, your sighs, O,
Diddidy, &c., &c.
If you suppose they will move us,
Indeed, and we’ll soon undeceive you;
All you can do shall not tempt us
From urging your deary to leave you.
Diddidy, &c. &c.
Go, with your own nasty coral lips,
Come not to frighten my deary;
Shew not your even white teeth ’tween them.
Come not, I say, come not near me,
Diddidy, &c. &c.
Go, you bold woman, I say;
Get away with your ugly arch’d brows, O,
Shew not your face here, I pray;
Get you gone, with your frightful high nose, O,
Diddidy, &c. &c.
They may talk of your fine flow of spirits,
Why, we never can hear you laugh out, O;
See what my Dolly inherits,
Who makes such a pother, and rout, O,
Diddidy, &c. &c.
See, how my Dolly will giggle,
And tumble and romp with the men, O,
Tumble, and tumble, and tumble,
And tumble them over again, O,
Diddidy, &c. &c.
Look at my Dolly’s sweet Irish legs,
And her round back and square shoulders;
Are they not likely to carry
The hearts of admiring beholders?
Diddidy, &c. &c.
DolDolly, your grey eyes, if you use them right,
More than her blue ones can do, O,
And your thick waist, if you screw it tight,
May be a small one to view, O.
Diddidy, &c. &c.
Then your strong eye-brows so charming are,
With a nose large at the end, O,
And your two holes in your cheeks, my dear,
Is there aught in you to mend, O,
Diddidy, &c. &c.
Come, cease then your wimp’ring, my lifey,
He must yield at last to your charms, O,
We’ll make him despise his own wifey,
And fly to my Dolly’s fond arms, O.
Diddidy, &c. &c.
But, if all should not do, deary,
If Dolly can’t have its own laddy,
Still, there is no reason to feary,
We’ve young Flashpan, and his old Daddy.
Diddidy, &c. &c.
Being addressed by a Gentleman in favor of his friend.
When Prig for his friend Bumpkin paid
Court to a little Indian maid,
She cried, I promis’d, when at school,
That I would never wed a fool;
But, for yourself, if you should plead,
Perhaps you better might succeed:
I luckily ne’er gave my word
That I’d reject the monkey herd.
To Lieutenant S――
On his passion for Miss――
Hearing that you wish to marry the sweet
Jenny, but are in doubt of being able
(Having only a lieutenancy and very little money)
To put a clean cloth ev’ry day on your table;
And that you are under some hesitation on account
Of your eyes,
Being able to see only with one, and their not
Exactly matching in colour or size,
I take the liberty to offer my thoughts on the
Which, I dare say, will determine you to ask her
Without farther deliberation:23 D4r 23
It is certainly a great pity your eyes do not
And I wonder you don’t wear, over the blind
One, a green patch;
But never mind your eyes when your legs
Are so stout;
A stout leg’s what most folks make a great
Tho’, on recollection, I’m not quite sure, that
Yours would prove so good,
Your walk’s so stiff, it is not clear to me, but
You’ve broke the bones and put in a piece of wood.
However, they are well enough for use; and
Your shoulders are broad enough
To carry the sweet Jenny where the roads
When, her two or three thousand gold guineas
Expended,24 D4v 24
You’ve not got wherewith to have the Buggy
Then if you should not be able to see
Company, your education has been so good,
That, in retirement, it will prove, to the sweet
Jenny, the most delicious food;
It will amply atone for ev’ry want or
And be a charming solace, to her, in ev’ry
You may amuse her with the secrets of all
Your old friends;
Acquaint her with the beginnings of your
Amours and the ends.
Tell her the pretty stories of Thumb and
Shewing her that the one was a little fellow,
And the other a blood-spiller25 E1r 25
And thus you may beguile the time, with
A few kisses sweet,
When you happen to be so unlucky as to
Have nothing to eat;
And any day that good luck sends you a bit or two,
You may down on your knees and bless,
Your stars that you’ve something better to do;
So I advise you, if you wish to marry the sweet
Jenny, to make haste,
And get her to name an early day for the
Tho’ she might like to have a little more
Of her conquests said,
She must be in some fear at forty, of
Dying an old Maid;
And being in this awkward predicament,
And not having many lovers to choose,
It is very likely she may consent to
Being fasten’d with you in the noose.
To Doctor * * * *, on His Leaving Bengal.
Farewel to ev’ning lectures; Philosophical. ah, farewel;
Adieu, adieu, ingenious Doctor L――.
Who now shall teach us that the ice will thaw,
Or how to ken an ally from a taw?
To make pomatum, or an air balloon?
Alas, good Doctor, wherefore go so soon!
One other course, before you leave us, give;
(And to the ground, our thanks you shall receive.)
At least, one lecture on electric matter,
And half a one, dear Sir, on making batter.
On Mrs. Sandiford,—of Barbadoes.
Says pretty Chloe, t’other day,
You men are surely blind;
How is it, Strephron, prithee say,
My charms want power to bind?
If wit and beauty fail to move,
On what am I to rest?
By what strange means secure your love?
With sway o’er hearts be bless’d?
Strephon replied,—I know a Dame,
Nor wit nor beauty styled,
Whose conquests grace the rolls of fame—
(Chloe, indignant, smiled.)
Her greatest pride’s to draw a smile
In mis’ry’s pallid face;
Or sickness of its cares beguile,
And ev’ry sorrow chase.
Each Virtue’s her’s;—by these she gains
That pow’r which you desire
I thank you, Strephon, for your pains,
The picture I admire.
But, ’tis the work of some pert elf
To spite me. On my word,
Not so; ’tis drawn by Truth herself;—
The Dame is Sandiford.
To Mr. Howe, of Fitzroy Square.
Written in 1804-09September, 1804.
How shall I thank you for your care?
Words are too often insincere!
How to be silent can I dare?
You’d think me not oblig’d, I fear.
By words, or silence, tell me now
How best to thank you, my friend Howe?
Explaining the cause of a Fright, in a drive near Hertford, with Mr. Wyatt J—e.
You ask, my dear Madam that I may indite
The cause of our truly ridiculous fright.
’Twas this—When a few hundred yards from your door
We met my Lord D. in his landau and four;
And Sir Wyatt, in making a most humble bow,
At once lost his hat, and drove over a sow;
—The poor squeaking animal dragg’d from our sight;
The whip handed back, and himself set upright,
We were, not without fear, moving forward again
When two horsemen came galloping out of the lane31 E4r 31
That leads to Colegreen (they were both of the gown,
And two of the very first bucks in the town);
They would pass on each side, though the road was so narrow
(Not a carriage-length more than the hop of a sparrow)
And had Jehu not tightly our Pegasus rein’d,
And a central line most minutely maintain’d,
The parsons, their horses, and all of us might,
Heav’n knows, have been left in a terrible plight;
But by guiding with infinite caution the beast,
And not moving to right, or to left, in the least,
We escap’d all misfortune, and boldly got through.
Oh, the wonderful skill of Sir Wyatt Jehu!
Say no more of your Cowpers or Townsends, The late Earl of Cowper, and Lord John Townsend,—both then at Hertford. —don’t stare,
For Sir Wyatt’s the man that can drive to a hair.
The Reverend Mr.――, and Delia.
Time on swiftest pinions flies,
Clericus to Delia cries;
Let’s enjoy the fleeting hour,
While it yet is in our pow’r;
Taste of ev’ry bliss we may,
Sing and dance, and laugh, and play;
Live to love, each care lay by,
For we know not when we die.
Lovely Delia quick replies,
Time irreparably flies;
Let us then improve each hour
While it yet is in our pow’r;
Looking on our lives with shame.
Let us turn to Jesus’ name,
To the blessed Gospel fly,
For we know not when we die.
Fragment, From the Second Book of Kings.
Thus spoke the king:—Presume you to complain
Of grievous burdens in my father’s reign?
Hence, Vassals!—If your former yoke was sore,
Rehoboam shall chastise you ten times more;
Scorpions, instead of whips, shall grieve your bones.
Till the whole land re-echo groans on groans.
Your infants from their mothers’ breasts I’ll tear,
And leave them to the beating tempest bare,
To fowls carniv’rous, or to beasts of prey.
Or if they yet behold a lengthen’d day,
It shall be only to delight me more,F 34 F1v 34
With pains encreas’d from pleasures known before.
The Virgin to the ruffian’s grasp shall yield;
No lover near from rude attempts to shield,
The trembling fair; your youths untimely slain,
Or doom’d to work in fetters on the main;
And far from Love’s soft voice, in dark despair,
Shall beat their bosoms, and shall tear their hair!
Of some Lines from a Newspaper of the 1804-02-1616th February, 1804, addressed to Mr. Kemble, on seeing him in the character of King Henry the Fourth, and signed Razor. The Author of this attack is unknown. The Lines are inserted, that the reply may be understood.
When Bolingbroke (weaken’d by sickness and age)
Lectur’d Hal, he spoke feebly, no doubt;
But, when Shakespeare brought forward this scene on the stage.
He meant that the King should speak out.
His precepts so wise, and his maxims so clear,
In pauses and whispers you smother;
Do you think ’tis not fit that the audience should hear
All that passes ’twixt you and your brother?
We know that you stick very close to costume;
But here close to character too:
For, ’cause you are sick i’ the Jerus’lem room,
You put on the face of a Jew.
At your mantle so fine, and your chin so besmear’d,
We laugh when we ought to look grave;
Either give all the rest of your actors a beard,
Or else (please your Majesty) shave!
Impromptu in Reply.
Mr. Razor, you really, to me, seem just fit
For a Barber’s assistant; so pray
Never venture in print such display of your wit,
But, shave chins;—whilst the sun shines make hay.
And let Kemble alone;—who, in every part,
His lov’d Shakespeare expresses so well,
That could nature come forth as a judge of their art,
E’en herself which to choose could not tell.
of Part of the Fourteenth Chapter of Job.
Oh, that thou would’st from this confusion save
My sinking soul, or hide me in the grave;
Or let me in some secret place be cast,
Until the period of thy wrath is past.
Appoint me a set time to wait on thee,
And when its limits end, remember me!
To an Old Maid.
You cry, Lucinda, that you hate the sex,
The vile male creatures—form’d but to perplex.
No wonder that you should, if it be true
That hate breeds hate, for all the sex hate you!
To Mr. Bebb,
Of the East India Direction.
’Tis thine, oh, gen’rous Bebb, to feel
Each mortal’s sorrows, and to heal!
No wretch forlorn or lost appears
But thy kind hand in bounty rears;
No widow’s tears are dropp’d in vain,
No orphan breathes its artless strain
Unpitied, where thou art.—All bless
Thy goodness, and their love confess;
All voices, in one peal, combine
To own thy origin divine!
Of her Physician’s Visit.
I sent for my Doctor.— Dear Doctor, said I,
I fain for my case would a remedy try;
Perhaps you may find out the cause of my pain,
Which to conquer, alas, I have struggl’d in vain!
What symptoms attend your disorder? he said,
It seems to be only a cold in the head.
Then feeling my pulse he look’d grave, and ask’d why
He should hear at so trifling a matter, a sigh?
I sigh, I replied, without knowing at what;
But tell me, dear Sir, if relief can be got;
Indeed it is not of a cold I complain,
I fear that a fever is lodg’d in my brain;41 G1r 41
My strength is quite gone, and my spirits are fled,
In short, I am only half-living, half-dead.
The good Doctor paus’d――the door open’d, and who
Should enter but Colin――long lost to my view:
The fever, the languor, the pains I endur’d,
At this happy arrival were instantly cur’d;
And the Doctor perceiving me not quite half-dead,
Took his leave, with a very arch shake of the head.
To Lady Chambers, Fearing Her to be Offended.
A face so heav’nly sure can never be
The index of a mind of cruelty:
Shew then, fair Chambers, that your mind and face
Are equally the prototype of grace!
of Part of the 24th Chap. of Ecclesiasticus.
Wisdom, ’mongst men desirous to reside,
Search’d ev’ry place and people, far and wide,
To find where she most fitly might remain;
Like Jacob’s tabernacles none could please,
And Sion’s holy hill, in these
She fix’d her dwelling and began her reign.
Here flourish’d, spreading out her branches wide,
Shedding delicious fruit on ev’ry side,
Fruit that no mortal, tasting, could refrain
From quick returning to the tree, to seize
On countless stores, his longing to appease;
But here insatiate ever we remain.
Such are fair Wisdom’s depths; so vast—profound—
That in her still we want, while we abound!
On Lord Lyttelton’s Heavy Hours.
The smiling hours are almost past,
That join my love and me;
My tearful eyes must turn at last
From all they joy to see.
But how, my Strephon, will you part
From her you’ve lov’d so well?
Will no remembrance touch your heart,
Your tongue no sorrows tell?
Will not a sigh nor look declare
Your wishes still the same,
To chase each life-corroding care
My fears or doubts would frame?
Yes, Strephon, yes, you will, I ween,
When shortly we shall part,
Less trying make the destin’d scene,
And cheer my drooping heart.
But if the dream, which sooths my mind,
Should false and groundless prove,
If I am doom’d at last to find
That you can laugh at love;
All I of Heav’n desire is this,
(For this alone I sue)
To die, while yet I taste the bliss
To think my Strephon true.
To A Lorie,
On seeing it caressed by――.
Ah, happy Bird, teach me thy art,
That I may touch his heart,
And be caress’d like thee!
Say how thou camest to be prest
So closely to his breast;
So fondly seated on his knee;
How did’st thou of the balmy dew
That dwells upon his lip,
Tell me, Ah, tell me, true,
Presume to sip?
Ah, happy Bird, teach me thy art,
That I may touch his heart,
And be caress’d like thee!
Else there’s no hope for me,
And I must fly to death, from misery.
To, Farmer Goose.
Written at the request of a friend, whose Goslings had strayed into Farmer G’sGoose grounds, and were detained there.
I am told, Farmer Goose, that my goslings have stray’d
Through your broken-down fences; but know,
Though they’re roasted, and eaten, I must be repaid,
As the Law about Fences will shew.
Of Part of the 15th Chap. of Matthew.
Have mercy on me, Lord, the woman cries,
Most grievously diseased my daughter lies:
Oh, Lord, thou son of David, hear my plaint,
E’re, by a devil torn, my daughter faint.
Our Lord, in silence, stood:—his servants The Apostles. say,
She cryeth after us, send her away,
Lord, we beseech thee. Jesus then replied,
Know ye not Israel’s sheep I’m sent to guide?
Israel’s lost sheep! Again the woman came,
Saying, Lord help me; praised be thy name.
It is not meet, he said, to cast the bread
To dogs with which the children should be fed.48 G4v 48
Truth, Lord, yet of the crumbs the dogs do eat
Which fall from table at their Master’s feet.――
Great is thy faith, oh, Woman:—unto thee,
E’en be it as thou wilt; thy daughter, see,
(Freed from the evil spirit’s tort’ring pow’r)
Revives, and is made whole this very hour.
On the Death of a Canary Bird.
Thy song, sweet little warbler, now is o’er;
Thy liquid note shall charm our ear no more:
Thy life is past—thy debt to nature paid,
And thou, for ever, in the grave art laid.
Not so with man—he dies to live again,
In bliss extreme, or in extremest pain:
His earthly vessel to the dust consign’d,
To heav’n, or hell, escapes his unclogg’d mind;
Where or with saints or devils he must live,
Till call’d, at last, the long account to give—
When, in reviving clay, he shall appear,
The final sentence of his God to hear;—
To be received in robes of light, in heav’n.
Or to the pit of damned angels driv’n.
On Mrs. Sibbald
I’d give worlds to discover, said Damon, one day,
To Palemon, the charming retreat
Of good-nature, good sense, affability—say,
Where their dwelling I’m likely to meet?
I have search’d ev’ry place, but I no where can find
Any woman that pleases, in all things, my mind.
For a moment reflecting, Palemon replied,
I believe I can point out the place—
In a house not far off, doth Serena reside—
In whose bosom lives every grace.
They together went forth, and were presently seen
In a Harley-Street mansion—’tis number nineteen.
On Seeing the Paintings of Mr. Kirkby, of Argyll Street.
Art, with some critics, went to view
The other day, a friend or two
At Kirkby’s house—Good heav’ns, cried one,
How wretchedly this portrait’s done!
There’s not a line of beauty here!
Remarked another with a sneer
No, nor a touch of mine, said Art,
Can I observe, in any part;
How dares this mushroom raise his head;
Are Hoppner, Lawrence, Beechey, dead?
Nature, who heard the ill-aimed satire,
Came forward, to set right the matter;
This mushroom, is my child, she cried,
My happiest work, my greatest pride:
In less’ning him you hurt my name—
Nature, and Kirkby, are the same.
On Some Verses of Mrs. Rowe; From the Canticles.
Thou object of my constant care,
And of my warmest love,
Come, let us to thy courts repair,
And all their pleasures prove.
Where laugh, and song, and revelry,
And frolic mirth abound,
Let me, oh goddess, join with thee,
And tread each charming round.
There, far from dull and silent joys,
To thee alone, I’ll live;
Tasting more pleasure in thy smiles,
Than all things else can give.
All my desire,—my earnest pray’r
Is e’er to dwell with thee;
To thee, and festive mirth, each hour
Shall dedicated be.
A Lover’s Mistake.
An apple-blossom once I thought
The seeming modest Chloe’s face,
So beautifully red and white did meet;
But now I find the dye was bought
Sad alteration of the case)
At Bayley’s perfume shop in Cockspur street.
To those who like made faces I
With pleasure yield this lady Fair,
Or Lady Rosy, which they please to name her,
The fool or fop may henceforth sigh;
And make this lovely thing his care:
I’d rather wed a shrew, and try to tame her.
Of Part of the 18th chap. of Matthew.
A certain king, desirous to account
With all his household servants, and the amount
Of ev’ry debt to learn, begins with one,
Who, through ten thousand talents quick had run,
Unable to refund the trust,—His Lord
To sell his substance gave immediate word,
His wife, his children, and himself withal!
The servant then, Lord, on my knees I fall,
Imploring mercy, yet a little stay
And ev’ry talent faithfully I’ll pay:
The king, with pity mov’d, thus spoke: Be free;
Depart in peace; thy debt’s forgiven thee!56 H4v 56
Releas’d, at once the bounty he forgets,
With fiend-like spite his fellow man besets,
And seizes, as a rav’nous wolf his prey,
Vocif’rating, The pence thou ow’st me, pay;
Th’ affrighted man before him prostrate falls,
And on his mercy loud for pity calls;
Begs patience, yet a little longer stay,
And promises each penny to repay:
But he, ungrateful, cruel, and unjust,
Relentless heard, and into prison thrust
His suppliant fellow servant, there to dwell
Until the utmost farthing he could tell.
From man to man the matter quickly run,
And last, the king is told of what was done;
The culprit, then, he summon’d to appear;
And now his awful sentence dooms to hear:
To him his Lord; So soon dost thou forget
That I forgave the all thy weighty debt,57 I1r 57
Because thou asked’st me, and should’st not thou,
On thy poor fellow servant’s lowly bow,
Have had compassion on him, e’en as I
Had pity upon thee! hence, monster, fly,
And tort’ring devils shall thy steps pursue
Until thou payest me my utmost due.
On the Countess of Derby.
To trace fair Derby’s charms what pen shall try,
(What pencil paints the colours of the sky?)
A sea-born Venus’ form with features mild,
And smiling winning graces, might be styl’d
A portrait; but how very faint to shew
That heav’nly mind where purest virtues glow!
Where learning, wit, and wisdom, are combin’d
With clearest judgment and a taste refin’d:
Poets in vain, each Muse might count to bring
Her limpid draughts from the Piërian spring;
The warmest fancy in the finest dress
Of language could not Derby’s charms express:59 I2r 59
Too daring the attempt: let then my lay
This truth alone to Derby’s ear convey,
That heav’n, by special mandate, sent her here,
From ev’ry eye, to wipe off ev’ry tear.
To Mr. Cole, on His Declaration of Love.
’Tis nothing odd that thou should’st burn, poor Coal;
And to a cinder thou may’st burn, for me;
To ashes,—and, by Molly, shovell’d be,
E’en through a grating into the dust-hole.
But ’twould be very odd were I to find
Warmth from thy fire to animate my soul:
If it were twenty-times as fierce, poor Cole!
’Twould be, to me, but as the northern wind.
To the Reverend Mr.――, Late of Bath Easton, as From His Parishioners.
Rev’rend Sir, we conceive it our duty to say,
That we really were shock’d at your sermon, to-day;
And, unless in your preachments you very much mend,
We can not, in conscience, church-service attend.
You painted Religion as such a sweet creature,
So graceful in shape, and so beauteous in feature,
Describ’d, in such tints, her profusion of charms
That the old stupid clerk could have flown to her arms.
E’en an anchorite could not have heard you, unmov’d;
And, though sworn to devotion, Love’s vot’ry had prov’d.
Your warm picture the embers in Simberkin’s heart,
Quick rekindled to flame, that consum’d ev’ry part:62 I3v 62
And there’s poor little Clodpoll, who never, till now,
Dream’d of love, is bewitch’d by brown Mog, of the plough;
Who, unluckily threw (while you spoke) a sweet smile
From the bench, where she sat, that is plac’d in the aisle.
Then your verses From Pope’s Eloisa. we thought very strange for a sermon,
And to half who were present were high Dutch, or German;
And the story Of an Old Lady’s distribution of her trinkets. you told, all the parish agree,
Would just suit Mrs. Chatterbox, over her tea.—
To be brief, rev’rend Sir, ’twas resolv’d, at the door,
That this once-thronged church we would visit no more,
Till a change in your way should be striking throughout,
And you seem to know something of what you’re about.
As the lost mariner, with anxious eye,
Scans the horizon, and the doubtful sky
Mistaking for some distant friendly shore,
Braves the rough waves, and thinks his troubles o’er;
Strains ev’ry nerve the promis’d rest to gain,
But finds, at last, his hopes and labour vain;—
So I, immers’d in sorrows’ darksome night,
Beheld a picture of returning light;
In distance soften’d all my cares appear’d,
And smiling loves in front their faces rear’d;
But ah! at my approach, the colours fade;
And the bright vision sinks in thickest shade!
On the Countess of Derby.
In town or country prithee, Verus, shew,
Says Spec, the fairest of the dames you know?
Verus replies; In rure or in urbe
I know no star that shines so bright as—Derby.
Translation From the French of Mirabeau.
Gabriel à Sophié
In joy I’m lost when to my heart
That heav’nly form I press;
The sweets those coral lips impart
E’en Gods could faintly guess:
Yet would I these without a sigh resign,
To call thy soul, my lovely Sophy, mine.
To a Captive Bird.
When wont to range the fragrant groves and fields,
And taste the teeming sweets that nature yields,
Softly to warble forth love’s tender tale
On sunny hillock or in shady dale,
And gaily strain thy downy little throat
To charm us with thy liquid melting, note—
The song of gladness! Oh, inhuman joy!
To make thee captive, and such bliss destroy!
Sweet plaintive songster, could I set thee free,
And give thee back dear smiling liberty,
On airy wing thou quick should’st mount the sky:
But, ah, a stranger, whither would’st thou fly?
Thy once fond friends would chase thee through the air,
And for their nests thy pretty feathers tear;
To peck and scoff, whole tribes of birds would hie,
And thou, poor flutt’rer, in an hour would’st die.
To Miss D. on Seeing Her Surrounded by Beaux at a Play.
The Gods, Flirtilla, at thy birth
Bestow’d thee not a charm,
To melt the gen’rous soul to love,
Or e’en to liking warm.
No grace, no beauty, did they lend,
No touching smile impart;
Yet, from young Love, thou’st some way got
A never-erring dart.
(Or how could’st thou such conquests make
As t’other night I saw?
How with that form and face contrive
Such crouds of beaux to draw?)
Perhaps ’twas gain’d by fraud or stealth
When he was half asleep;
And thou hast left the waking boy
His arrow lost to weep.
If ’twas by neither art obtain’d,
Then verily I swear
Thou should’st be burned for a witch,
For doing such mischief here.
And if the cheat thou did’st commit
The Loves should all assemble,
And make thee give the weapon back
Or at their mandates tremble:
For ’twere an insult to Love’s court,
And they should publicly
Example of all fair ones make
Who thus their pow’r defy.
Clarinda, In Doubt.
On Colin’s return, now Clarinda, said I,
You may bid from this moment adieu
To sorrow, for Colin, dear Colin, is nigh,
Who still loves, and lives only for you.
But stay; who still loves! did he ever of love
Even utter a sentence in joke?
Ah, no, you too sure in an error will prove,
On the subject he never once spoke.
Thus hope and fear struggl’d by turns in my breast,
But the victory neither could gain;
So what did I do? I e’en went and confess’d
To himself all my pleasure and pain.
With amazement he look’d, for till then he’d not heard
Of the tale which I foolishly told,
That himself before worlds, in my heart was preferr’d,
And, perhaps, thought me rather too bold.
(Yet, where was the harm to declare such a love?
Next to heav’n, I rev’rence his name:
’Tis prudes, only prudes, could the flame disapprove,
And the owning it reckon a shame.)
No, he thought not so, or he never had press’d
With such warmth this poor form to his heart.
Nor kiss’d me, when (leaving me late to my rest)
Time told him ’twas fit to depart.
The soft gentle pressure still thrills through my veins,
And his kisses still glow on my cheek;
But I’m yet undetermin’d if hope or fear reigns,
And am farther than ever to seek.
Ah, Colin, this doubt is much worse than despair—
It is more than I long can endure;—
Say, at once, for Clarinda you have not a care,
And to death let me look for a cure.
On Lady Chambers’s Appearing at Willis’s Rooms.
The question, t’ other night, arose
At Willis’s, whose eyes the brightest shone?
Some thought, ’twas N’s,—others, ’twas O’s;
But, positively, they could fix on none.
In dubious scale the matter hung,
When Chambers came to shew at once her right.
The name throughout the circle rung――
For, from fair Chambers’ eyes beams heav’n’s own light.
Paraphrase on the Parable of the Sower.
13th Chap. Mathew, 19th Verse.
The blessed word of God to all is giv’n,
Descending, in soft genial show’rs, from heav’n.
But falls in diff’rent soils. Hence comes it, then,
That we perceive its diff’rent growth in men.
Some quite neglect the sense, and only hear
A sound of something on their listless ear,
Which, as it enters, passes quick away;
So shut they out the beams of op’ning day.
Then is the time for Satan, who with wiles
Detestable, and horrid treach’rous smiles,73 L1r 73
Leads on the heedless wretch, till conquer’d quite,
Too late, from hell, he owns the glorious light.
This is the seed that falls by the way-side,
Which the inhabitants of air divide.
Verse the 20th and 21st.
Others, with joy, receive th’ enliv’ning word,
And, for a time, embrace our dying lord,
As the fond mother folds within her arms
The first-born of her love in infant charms;
But, if severe affliction haply comes,
If storms, or light’nings, blast their smiling homes,
If friends perfidious or ungrateful prove,
And wintry hate succeeds their spring of love,
If death’s stern pow’r some tender tie shall seize,
Or fate bring on themselves some dire disease,
Or persecution for the word of God,
They shrink, unable to sustain the rod,L 74 L1v 74
And doubt if God is gracious, thus to show
So little pity for his world below;—
And this is what we find in stony ground,
Which, wanting depth of earth, no root has found
It quickly springs, but quickly dies away,
Scorch’d by the sun’s intense meridian ray.
Some men again there are, who would attend.
If av’rice did not all their pow’r suspend,
But, lost in wordly cares, they never heed
That living death must dying life succeed;—
Here we observe what’s scatter’d amongst briers,
And chok’d by fierce insatiable desires.
Those who the word in spirit understand.
And bless, howe’er severe, the chast’ning hand:75 L2r 75
Which, in its bounty, scourges ev’ry son,
Have made their calling sure, the battle won,
Escap’d the subtle serpent’s strongest force,
And may, undauntedly, pursue their course;—
And here the seed prolific we behold,
Which bears, and brings forth fruit an hundred fold.
The Poet in Distress.
Some glowing lines on sun-set I would write,
Or moon-light, but, by Jove, I can’t indite:
The Muse has left me friendless and alone,
And back to Pindus’ Mount, alas, has flown;
Not e’en a drop of Helicon she’ll send,
So I by Walker’s Rhyming Dictionary. aid each line must end.
Oh, my poor brain, I want a rhyme for view;
Let’s see the book then—ah, the æther’s blue.
Thank you, friend Walker, thank you, that will do.77 L3r 77
And now another I must find for light;
The very thing,—the galaxy is white.
The moon in clouded majesty must rise,
And flash astonishment to mortal eyes.
No, that wont do—flash cannot be the word,
’Twould answer well enough for Hector’s sword;
But the moon’s light is mild. Then let me see,
Shed,—beam,—why what the devil must it be?
To shed astonishment would seem most sad;
And beam astonishment, in truth, as bad:
Well, let it rest—with Luna I’ll have done
Till I’ve describ’d the glorious western sun.
E’en so it should be, for by rule you know,
The horse before the cart must ever go;
Though sure enough the moon is seen by day;
But I’m describing night—What shall I say?
See, rich and various colours gild the sky—
Oh what a dunder-head,—oh fie,—oh fie!78 L3v 78
How can a colour gild that is not gold?
’Twere better said—the various tints behold:
Purple, and saffron, and the glowing red,
Thrown o’er the æthereal blue near ocean’s bed;
Curtains with fringe of gold,—the scene now glows,—
I’m out again—I wish the piece was prose.
The scene now glows is horrible; but how
Can I cut off that expletive, that now?
Hold, hold, ’tis not an expletive—how stupid!
It makes the sense more full, I swear by cupid;
It marks the time;—Old time on pinions flies;
Who made that line was author of no lies;
For without pinions what the de’el can fly?
Yes, poets’ fancies, to the very sky,
And air-balloons, and Frenchmen to, pardie,
May bound from their flotillas in the sea,
If Britain’s pow’rful shores they rashly dare,
And, by our cannon, whiz through upper air.
But to my subject, I’ve no time to spare:79 L4r 79
The scene now glows, all nature glows around,
The shadow lengthens on th’ enamell’d ground;
And Philomel’s soft notes through woods resound.
Poor poet, sure thy brains are iron bound!
Too surely so—So sun, set from my sight,
And I’ll return to my fair queen of night:
(’Twere well, indeed, if friendly night would spread
Her sable mantle o’er my tortur’d head.)
Sweet silver moon! would I could write like Milton
But, he’s beyond my reach, had I a stilt on;
Fair lovely orb! beam on me a faint light,
That something of thy splendor I may write;
’Tis vain to urge the Muses, or Apollo,
They’re flown away, and I can never follow;
In brightness whilst thou walk’st through hosts of stars
(As Irish ladies pass in jaunting cars)
Impart a little to a wretched wight
Who’s lost in darkness!—No; why then, good night.80 L4v 80
Since neither sun, nor moon, nor stars will lend,
Nor any muse, a pittance to a friend,
I will no longer here my vigils keep,
But court old Somnus, god of balmy sleep.
To a Gentleman
Who in the habit of decrying his friends after having extolled them.
So very warm in virtue’s cause,
So very apt to find out flaws,
E’en in the fairest characters, dear Laddy,
’Tis strange that you have never found
Yourself to stand on miry ground;
Take care you do not tumble in, poor Paddy!
Another hint just let me give;
And mind it, Paddy, while you live;
Know well your friends before you recommend them:
And, when you’ve blaz’d their merits round.
Don’t dash the good folks to the ground;
And in a minute to the devil send them.
Fable of the Lynx and Mole,
Beneath a tree, in an umbrageous wood,
Whetting his teeth, and waiting for his food,
(Some hapless prey) a Lynx, reclin’d, espied,
Half-buried in a hillock, by his side,
An inert mole, who yet itself had fram’d
This little shelter. Sure, the Lynx exclaim’d,
To thee, great Jupiter is most unkind,
Thus all thy powers in living death to bind;
Holding from thee the cheering light of heav’n,
To all creation else so freely giv’n.M 82 M1v 82
I pity thee, poor wretch; ’twere service shewn,
Most sure, to give thee death at once. I own,
Replied the Mole, your kindnesses are great,
But I am quite contented with my state;
I ask not sight to live within the earth,
Nor better pow’rs; and at m’ ignoble birth
I grieve not;—for ’tis Jupiter directs
In wisdom, and in wisdom all protects.
He best the proper distribution knows
Of ev’ry gift his providence bestows.
’Tis true, indeed, I want your piercing eyes,
But I’ve an ear which well this want supplies――
Hark, for a proof, I now am warn’d to fly,
By a small whizzing noise I hear on high,
Thus I escape the danger of this spot.
So saying, in his little earthy cot
He slunk;—while from a hunter’s arm, a dart
Pierc’d the quick-sighted taunter to the heart.
Now that old captious Lovegain’s dead,
Cries Julia, Claudius , we may wed;
No obstacle can damp our bliss,
No friends condemn the lawful kiss.
Excuse me, Julia, he replies,
’Tis time that we should both grow wise.
What, would you have me play the boy,
And risk my honor for a toy?
A brittle toy! ah, who could say
I should possess it for a day?
An hour might rob me of your heart,
And fix in mine eternal smart:84 M2v 84
An hour might on my temples place
The signals of our joint disgrace.
If, Julia, you had never prov’d
So careless, I should still have lov’d;
Have sought you for my gentle bride,
And flown from all the world beside
To your soft bosom, there to place
My hopes of happiness and grace.
Perhaps you’ll say no law could bind
Your heart to him who prov’d unkind;
Not only so, but most unjust,
Who could betray a public trust;
Defraud his wife, his children, friends,
Adopt all means to gain his ends.
’Tis true, no law could force your love;
But must you, then, the wanton prove?
Because your husband was to blame
Are you to lose all sense of shame?85 M3r 85
Who will your children’s morals guard,
While you play so unsafe a card?
How would you like to be their scorn?
To hear them wish they’d ne’er been born
To wretchedness, to shame, disgrace;
Which still must run through all their race?
Think, Julia, then, ’e’re ’tis too late,
Think of this miserable state!
And if true pleasures you would know,
Practise the virtues whence they flow;—
These pleasures only can endure,
And future peace and bliss secure.
After a long absence, urging his return.
The object you are heedlessly pursuing
An Ignis fatuus is, and tempts to ruin;
Turn then ’e’re by this floating lure you perish;
Turn to the hapless fair you vow’d to cherish;
Safe back the little Loves will gaily lead you,
And honor, virtue, friendship, truth, all speed you.
For some verses which appeared in print, reflecting on the conduct of the Contractors for Pack-saddles for a certain Army.
We hereby confess that our verses were writ,
(And with shame to ourselves) in a splenetic fit,
But not with the smallest intent to deride
A council where wisdom and justice preside;
If offence we have giv’n, we pardon implore,
And promise to err in like manner no more.
We earnestly hope the pack-saddles mayn’t pinch;
But, at all events, trust that your worships won’t wince,
As a part of the weight will be soon off your backs,
And you’ll have but the saddles without any packs. It was presumed, that the money overcharged would be ordered to be refunded.
To a Friend, with a Pillow.
Be ev’ry care, and ev’ry woe,
Here sweetly lull’d to rest;
And may each joy that mortals know,
In dreams possess thy breast.
May gentle spirits guard thy bed,
And, in their heav’nly love,
Lead thee, by some unerring thread,
The real bliss to prove.
Mock-Heroick Version of Don Quixote.
While lofty bards of ancient battles sing,
Be mine th’ attempt, on less aspiring wing,
Not much assisted by the Muse, to write
The exploits of La Mancha’s famous knight:
What thund’ring foes the warrior Don o’ercame,
And what his chubby Squire, of punning fame;
Fir’d with accounts of most heroick deeds,
Of flaming errant-knights on flaming steeds,
His home no longer could afford him rest;
Mars had with carnage fill’d his throbbing breast:N 90 N1v 90
Down therefore from its shelf with haste was torn
The armour which his ancestry had worn;
This armour, that for ages had lain by
Mouldy and rusty, with much industry
The Knight new furbish’d; and with lance and shield,
And helmet mended, sallied to the field;
Mounted on Rozinanté, so he nam’d
His broken-winded horse, half blind and lam’d.
Fairest Spot. Written in 1804-10October, 1804, and set to Music.
Fairest Spot of all creation,
Happiest we can light on;
Ev’ry other of the nation
Yields the palm to Brighton.
Steynes and walks, sans ostentation,
Britain’sPrince treads light on,
View’d with love and admiration
By the world of Brighton.
Condescending from his station,
Here his favors light on
The very poorest of the nation
Fate has plac’d at Brighton.
Here no foreign foes’ invasion
E’er could bring a fright on;
E’en our belles, without persuasion,
Would join the lists at Brighton.
’Spite of Frenchmen’s affectation
To attempt to light on
Sussex’ coast, we keep our station,
And are gay at Brighton.
Strangers still to consternation,
We would bravely fight on,
Could France itself (by conjuration)
Be floated o’er to Brighton.
On Being Asked What I Thought True Happiness to Consist in.
Vain is the search for Happiness on earth,
Unless we trace the spring that gives it birth;
Drink of the living water from the well,
And in tents of fair Religion dwell.
Religion calms the troubles of the soul,
And brings the passions under due controul;
Makes smooth the rugged paths of life we tread,
And forms, of sharpest thorns, a downy bed.
Fragment, From Virgil,
Book the First, line the Hundred and Twentieth.
Meanwhile a craggy rock Æneas scales,
And scans th’ horizon, if perchance the sails
Of Capys or Antheus he may spy;
Or Caicus’ high deck should meet his eye:
His eye, alas, no Phrygian bark beholds;
But o’er the grassy valley as it rolls,
Three stately stags appear upon the shore;
Eager he takes the bow Achates bore,
And first the leaders scatters, bearing high
Their thickly-branching horns, then quickly fly
The close-embodied herd; (now through the wood,
With winged arrows bent on death pursu’d;)
Nor ceases he, till sev’n huge deer are slain,
The number of his vessels on the main:95 N4r 95
Then seeks the port, and ’mongst his frends he shares
In equal parts the spoil, and wine prepares
Which good Acestes sent, in ample store,
On board the ships, from the Trinacrian shore;
And thus their spirits cheers with soft essay:
My fellow suff’rers, sink not in dismay,
Severer ills than these have been our fate,
To these, too, Jove will grant a happy date:
When Sylla’s coasts we have, regardless, tried,
And the inhuman Cyclops’ rage defied,
Let us not shrink—the day will surely come
When we shall find again a peaceful home;—
In Latium we shall yet recount, with joy,
Our present woes,—and there rebuild our Troy.
Thus spoke, in smiles, the chief, though ill at rest,
For grief, immeasurable, fill’d his breast.
The Trojans now, in haste, the meal prepare,
Their bleeding victims are at once laid bare;96 N4v 96
Stripp’d from the ribs the reeking hides are seen,
And all the vitals are expos’d within;
Some into parts divide the flesh, with care,
And spit the quiv’ring limbs, and fires prepare,
While others place in order on the shore,
The brazen cauldrons to contain their store.
Then rang’d along the grass, they freely dine,
On fattest ven’son, and delicious wine:
The tables clear’d, ’twixt hope and fear they speak,
Dubious, if ’mongst the living they may seek
Their lost companions, or if Jove ordains
Th’ unanswer’d Vale, Vale. This is an allusion to the ancient custom of calling upon the dead, which was the last ceremony performed in funeral obsequies, as appears from several passages in the Æneid. After the body was interred, the friends three times called aloud upon the deceased by his name, and after thrice repeating the word Vale, as the last farewel, they departed. end of all their pains.