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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.

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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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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; 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 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 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 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 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.

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, INTERNAL ERROR. Please report to wwp@neu.edu that cb is unmatched.
  • 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

Shortly will be published,

the
Second Canto
of the
Mousiad
.