i A1r

The
Mousiad:

An
Heroi-Comic Poem.

Canto I.

By
Polly Pindar,
Half-Sister to Peter Pindar.

— — — — Let me ſee wherein My Pen hath wrong’d him: if it do him Right, Then he hath wrong’d himſelf; if he be free, Why then, my taxing like a Wild Gooſe flies, Unclaim’d of any Man. Shakespeare.

London:
Printed for the author,
and ſold by J. Ridgway, in Piccadilly,
and the Bookſellers at Norwich, Yarmouth, Ipſwich, Bury, and Bungay. 1787 MDCCLXXXVII.

Price One Shilling.

ii A1v

To the Reviewers.

If you, grave Sirs! moſt kindly will admit,

That Polly Pindar, has a little Wit;

When next ſhe earns a Shilling, on the Town,

Nor You, nor any Prude, ſhall wear a Frown

For ſhe moſt chaſtely, will her Story tell.

Then ſpare the Bardling!—burſting from her Shell!

Ipſwich, 1787-03-21May 21ſt, 1787.
1 B1r

The Mousiad.

Canto I.

A mountain once; as Fabuliſts do ſhew,

In parturition ſtrong, with many a throe,

Gave ſignal vaſt, of ſome portentous birth;

A Monster! yet unparallel’d on earth!

When lo! the prattling goſſips all to chouſe,

This mighty Monſter, only prov’d—a Mouse!

And thus; with many a torturing throe,

In mental pain, my lab’ring verſes flow;

B And 2 B1v 2

And pregnant ſeem, with some important fact!

Some great atchievement! ſome heroic act!

When lo! abortive quite, and unſublime,—

A Mouse peeps out, the Hero of my Rhyme!

For oh! no ſubject grand, dares she to chuſe,

Who ſimply verſifies, without a Muse.

And not like Peter, Peter Pindar. or my couſin Peg, Margaret Nicholſon.

Too poor and proud, or elſe too mad to beg,

Will I (tho’ much by poverty oppreſt)

With treach’rous aim, e’er wound the Royal breaſt:

Or e’er to gain, proviſion for the day,

Diſloyal earn, a daring traitor’s pay.

No: for ever reſt, my uninſtructed pen,

But when I trace a Crime, in private men:

Or when with joy, I grateful tune my verſe,

And deeds of virtue, fondly would rehearſe.

But 3 B2r 3

But haſte we to the ſubject of my ſong;

From which I tediouſly digreſs too long.

Before, Great Y—h had a right to own,

A priest more proud, than ever prieſt was known;

Before that prieſt, in all a prelate’s ſtate,

Fed the lean pauper at his ſurly gate,

(For well he knows where charity begins,

And that it hides a multitude of ſins);

Before, he left the village pars’nage-houſe,

Where from the closet, ſprung an am’rous Mouse,

I fix the æra of my comic tale.

Oh! that a Brother’s wit could now prevail

To aid me, whilſt I trifling ſtrive to ſing,

What droll events, from trifling cauſes ſpring!

Oh D—R! what a fatal night was that,

When Tom, the harmleſs neceſſary cat,

Within thy bed-room lock’d, and ſorely pent,

Full in thy gaping Wig, gave nature vent!

B2 A vent 4 B2v 4

A vent, which caus’d ſuch vile, offenſive ſmell,

As made thee wake, in all the rage of hell,

And bawl as loud, as if deſtructive fire,

Had caught thy pulpit, or the rect’ry ſpire!

To rouze poor Roger, from his truckle bed,

Where ſleep, more ſenſeleſs laid, his ſtupid head;

And make him drowſy pat without his hoſe,

Marking each cleanly ſtair, with dirty toes;

To end, (Oh hard decree!) with ſlaught’ring knife,

For one foul ſtink, poor Tom’s offenſeleſs life!

Not Alexander, when, by drink oppreſt,

He madly plung’d, in Clytus’ faithful breaſt

The deadly ſpear, which tore his life away,

Did more a fatal phrenzy then betray,

Than that which in the foaming D—r roſe,

And made him kill his Cat—to pleaſe his nose!

Nor leſs the D—r, heedleſs of the end,

Had future cauſe to mourn, a uſeful friend;

For 5 B3r 5

For ere three days, their broiling courſe had run,

And faithful Tom, lay feſt’ring in the ſun,

On dunghill ſtretch’d, with ever-grinning jaws,

And flies engend’ring, on his velvet paws;

Marauding Mice, for ever on the ſcout,

With eager noſe, their putrid foe, ſmelt out;

And ſwiftly ran, led by a matron mouſe,

To gain admiſſion, at the D—r’s houſe.

When little dogs (for whether apt, or not,

Rich ſimilies, ſhould never be forgot;

But ever and anon, ſhould gain admiſſion,

To ſhew the Poet’s ſeeming erudition);

When little dogs, in panting parties crowd,

Round a ſleek female, very coy and proud,

If by a ſnarling bull-dog kept at bay,

Their gallantries, they prudently delay;

But when the loit’ring school-boy, out of fun,

Hurls a ſharp flint, and makes the bull-dog run,

Then 6 B3v 6

Then each fat lap-dog, all on tip-toe ſtrains,

And, in his turn, the tedious joy obtains.

And so the mice; the tyrant cat ſubdu’d,

Their carnal pleaſures, uncontroul’d, purſu’d.

Into the pantry firſt, with hungry haſte,

They enter quick, and ev’ry dainty taſte.

The matron leader of the pilf’ring band,

Snug, in a Stilton cheeſe, delicious, took her ſtand.

The younger mice, on ſweeter food regale;

Bak’d cuſtards rich! and apple-tartlets pale!

And as they eat, they frequent—lay their tail!

So that the D—r, ere the after-grace

(Red paſſion glowing, in his purple face)

Beheld his rich old cheeſe, his fav’rite tart,

Moſt vilely ſpoil’d!—He curs’d, and ſwore, at heart!

(For Doctors, tho’ they ſometimes, preach and pray,

Can’t loſe a dinner, but with great diſmay.

And he, of Doctors prim, the moſt ſedate,

(As he himſelf doth modeſtly relate)

Now 7 B4r 7

Now loſt in rage; like vile and vulgar men,

Did curſe! and wiſh his cat alive again.

But ah! raſh man! much greater cauſe than this,

Had he to mourn, the acting thus amiſs,

As ſoon the ſad cataſtrophe will ſhew;

For now the roguiſh mice, high-fed below,

Began to find, a chamber would do beſt;

And quick at night, they upward preſt,

Where, all alone, the D—r took his reſt.

For know, this able man, in early life,

Did ev’ry year confine, his duteous wife;

But then in ſuch domeſtic, uſeful way,

That ſhe, dear Saint! could never ſay him nay!

And now; methinks I ſee, with ſolemn tread,

The D—r mount the ſtairs, to go to bed:

His ſacred Wig moſt orderly depoſit,

And then perform, the duties of the Closet:

For 8 B4v 8

For he (and let it rouze our guilty feelings)

Full oft is giv’n, to fervent Kneelings

A ſpecious pattern! to a pious race!—

Who all, like him, can kneelin any caſe!

As he i’th’ pulpit, pompouſly did ſhew;

Moſt vainly boaſting—when—and where—and how!

And now could I, with equal grace and art,

And ſtudied trick, mechanic, play my part,

And write into firm and warm belief;

Or, like fix’d Patience, calmly ſmile at grief,

I might go boldly on, and tell you more:

But on this ſubject, let me ſhut the door:

For wanton tho’ I ſeem, and looſely gay,

I would not force one piteous ſigh away,

Where real grief; ſad, ſimple, and ſincere,

But lately ſhed; the hot, corroſive tear.

No: rather let me trace this best of men

To his ſtill chamber, gently back again;

Where, 9 C1r 9

Where; after all that ſhould be done and said,

He roll’d, his Rev’rend Carcase, into bed.

And heavy ſunk; raiſing two puffy hills;

’Twixt which; more puffy; he the chaſm fills.

And on the pillow-caſe, ſo ſnowy white,

His purple cheeks, reflect a livid light.

Thus I have ſeen, where Lilies form a bed,

A crimſon Tulip, rear its brazen head.

And now; (for ſure alone he could not ſleep)

He heard the mice, behind the wainſcot creep:

Then roguiſhly, their am’rous paſſions vent,

Or ſhock his modesty, with looſe intent.

It was too much.—With shame his mind was fill’d.

Again he ſighed for Tom, ſo raſhly kill’d.—

In vain.—And reſt as vain—He needs muſt riſe—

And in his Closet (ever good, and wiſe,

And moſt on ſtudious purpoſes intent)

He would, take out, his one great-argument.

C A work; 10 C1v 10

A work; which then, but ſeldom ſaw the day,

But privately in ſheets, it looſely lay.

Since, doom’d to meet, the wond’ring public eye,

And raiſe his reputation very high.

For ev’ry Lady, that’s devoutly bent,

Dtooth warmly talk, of his—great argument.

’Twas now; long paſt, the ſolemn midnight hour;

And all the houſe, was ſtill’d by Morpheus’ pow’r,

Save the lone D—r, and a red-arm’d Maid,

Who in the garret, reſtleſs, toſſing, laid:

Liſt’ning to hear; with deep and awful tone,

(And trembling too) the village-clock, ſtrike One.

It ſtruck.—And out ſhe ſprang, with ſilent heed,

Then like a Phantom, glided down with ſpeed.

Juſt three ſoft ſtrokes to give—and not one more.

(The ſignal giv’n by luſty Polydore.)

But 11 C2r 11

But where ſhe did go in, you all ſhall gueſs,

Whilſt I my faint, deſcriptive pow’rs confeſs.

Inded ſo faint; I ſhould have ſtopp’d before

The gentle ſignal ſounded on the door.

But willing ſtill, to take another peep,

A little longer ſhall my numbers creep;

And to the D—r’s Closet, once more go,

And paint odd things, around, above, below.

Old books; in Engliſh, Latin, and in Greek,

Big with all knowledge, man, or maid, could ſeek.

Braſs hooks; with packthread, and with papers hung;

A bag of corks; a bottle-ſcrew; and bung:

A ſhoeing-horn: and of a poliſh’d ſort,

A ſilver crane, to rack off bottl’d port.

A box of plaiſters: a ruſty caſſock:

A curious fleſh-bruſh; and a haſſock.

Upon a corner ſhelf, not over big,

A pile of boxes, for the hat, and wig:

C2 So 12 C2v 12

So tickliſh plac’d, they tott’ring, ſeem’d to ſhake;

Or, (like the earth convuls’d) with ruin quake.

One box, ſo oft had from the barber’s come,

A hole was fretted, by his forcing thumb.

Through which; the moſt gallant of all the Mice,

A ſleek, and ſimple Female did entice.

Plague on the rogue! it was a virgin Mouſe!

The chaſteſt creature, in, or near the houſe!

But of Seduction let us ſay no more.

The pious D—r, now had op’d the door;

And full of ev’ry kind, and good intent,

Had got in hand, his—one great argument!

When all at once—(curſe on the rampant Mice!)

Came thund’ring down (’twas in a trice)

Hat-box!—wig-box!—lumber!—ſhelf and all!—

The D—r trembling, look’d but very small!—

Whilſt he; the ſad and vile betraying Mouse,

Left his unfiniſh’d Love, and fled the houſe.

Now 13 C3r 13

But more compos’d; the D—r kept his ground.

And when the Nurse ruſh’d in, with look profound,

(Wak’d by this curſed, clatt’ring, falling ſound)

He cry’d—Good lack!—why what’s the matter?

The matter, Sir! cry’d Nurſe—Why all this clatter!—

But who is this I ſee?—Here’s wicked folly!—

O lud, Sir!—what all alone, with Molly?

Moſt true,—quoth he—I teach the Girl her duty.

It can be nothing elſe—ſhe’s not a beauty!—

My Charity, is very fully known—

And as for you, Nurse, why here’s—Half-a-Crown.

O! thank you, Sir!—I did not mean to ſtay

And you good Mollymind your Maſter pray.

C3 Now 14 C3v 14

Now Nurse, reſum’d her ſtation in a trice,

And told her Mistress, ’twas the curſed Mice.

Pale Molly too, ſlid off with cold affright,

Whiſp’ring unſatiſfy’d, a faint good night.

The D—r’s ſelf, could urge no other courſe—

His one great argument had loſt its force!

End of the First Canto.

15 C4r

In the Preſs, and ſpeedily will be publiſhed, by J. Ridgway, oppoſite Sackville-ſtreet, Piccadilly, London, Political Eclogues:

Containing,

  • The Conference,
  • Rose, or the Complaint,
  • The Lyars,
  • The Addressers,
  • Ch. Jenkinson,
  • and the System.

Mine was the Muſe that, from a Norman Scroll,

Firſt rais’d to Fame the barb’rous Worth of Rolle,

And dar’d on Devon’s Hero to diſpenſe

The Gifts of Language, Poetry, and Senſe.

In proud Pindarics next my Skill I try’d,

’Till Saliſbury wav’d his Wand, and check’d my pride!

Now, like Sir Cecil, I to Woods retire,

And write plain Eclogues o’er my Parlour Fire.

Where may be had, juſt publiſhed,

  • The Sixth Editions of the Rolliad, and Probationary Odes for the Laureatship, corrected and enlarged Price 3s. 6d. each
  • The Fourth Edition, with large Additions, of A Collection of Songs, by Captain Morris, Price 2s. and
  • Memoirs of a Well-Known Woman of Intrigue, in Two Volumes, Price 5s.

All the London Newſpapers ſerved in Town as ſoon as publiſhed and in any Part of the Country, free of Poſtage. Country Prices for Morning Papers, per Annum, 4l. 8s. Evening ditto 2l. 4s.

C4 16

Shortly will be publiſhed,

the Second Canto of the Mousiad.