Obrazy na stronie

Here Tyranny ne'er lifts her purple hand,
But Liberty and Justice guard the land;
No bravos bere profess the bloody trade,
Nor is the church the murderer's refuge made,

Let not the chairman, with assuming stride,
Press near the wall, and rudely thrust thy side :
The laws have set him bounds; his servile feet
Should ne'er encroach where posts defend the stree
Yet who the footman's arrogance can quell,
Whose flambeau gilds the sashes of Pall-Mall,
When in long rank a train of torches flame,
To light the midnight visits of the dame?
Others, perhaps, by happier guidance led,
May where the chairman rests with safety tread ;
Whene'er I pass, their poles (unseen below)
Make my knee tremble with a jarring blow.

If wheels bar up the road, where streets are crost, With gentle words the coachman's ear accost : He ne'er the threat or harsh command obeys, But with contempt the spatter'd shoe surveys. Now man with utmost fortitude thy soul, To cross the way where carts and coaches roll; Yet do not in thy hardy skill confide, Nor rashly risk the kennel's spacious stride; Stay till afar the distant wheel you hear, Like dying thunder in the breaking air ; Thy foot will slide upon the miry stone, And passing coaches crush thy tortur'd bone, Or wheels enclose the road; on either hand, Pent round with perils, in the midst you stand, And call for aid in vain ; the coachman swears, And carmen drive, unmindful of thy prayers.

Where wilt thou turn? ah! whither wilt thou fly?
On every side the pressing spokes are nigh.
So sailors, while Charybdis' gulph they shun,
Amaz'd, on Scylla's craggy dangers run.

Be sure observe where brown Ostrea stands,
Who boasts her shelly ware from Wallfleet sands ;
There may'st thou pass with safe unmiry feet,
Where the rais'd pavement leads athwart the street.
If where Fleet-ditch with muddy current flows,
You chance to roam, where oyster-tubs in rows
Are rang'd beside the posts; there stay thy haste,
And with the savoury fish indulge thy taste :
The damsel's knife the gaping shell commands,
While the salt liquor streams between her hands.

The man had sure a palate cover'd o'er With brass or steel, that on the rocky shore First broke the oozy oyster's pearly coat, And risk'd the living morsel down his throat. What will not Luxury taste ? Earth, sea, and air, Are daily ransack'd for the bill of fare ! Blood stuff'd in skins is British Christian's food ! And France robs marshes of the croaking brood ! Spungy morels in strong ragouts are found, And in the soup the slimy snail is drown'd.

When from high spouts the dashing torrents fall, Ever be watchful to maintain the wall; (throny For, should'st thou quit thy ground, the rushing Will with impetuous fury drive along ; All press to gain those honours thou hast lost, And rudely shove thee far without the post. Then to retrieve the shed you strive in vain, Draggled all o'er, and soak'd in floods of rain.

Yet rather bear the shower, and toils of mud,
Than in the doubtful quarrel risk thy blood.
O think on Oedipus' detested state,
And by his woes be warn’d to shun thy fate.
Where three roads join’d, he met his sire un-

known; (Unhappy sire, but more unhappy son!) Each claim'd the way, their swords the strife decide, The hoary monarch fell, he groan’d, and died ! Hence sprung the fatal plague that thinn'd thy

reign, Thy cursed incest! and thy children slain ! Hence wert thou doom'd in endless night to stray Thro’ Theban streets, and cheerless grope thy way.

Contemplate, mortal, on thy fleeting years ; See, with black train the funeral pomp appears! Whether some heir attends in sable state, And mourns, with outward grief, a parent's fate; Or the fair virgin, nipt in beauty's bloom, A crowd of lovers follow to her tomb : Why is the hearse with 'scutcheons blazon'd round, And with the nodding plume of ostrich crown'd? No: the dead know it not, nor profit gain ; It only serves to prove the living vain. How short is life! how frail is human trust! Is all this pomp for laying dust to dust?

Where the nail'd hoop defends the painted stall, Brush not thy sweeping skirt too near the wall : Thy heedless sleeve will drink the colour'd oil, And spot indelible thy pocket soil. Has not wise Nature strung the legs and feet With firmest nerves, design'd to walk the street ?

Has she not given us hands to grope aright,
Amidst the frequent dangers of the night?
And think'st thou not the double nostril meant,
To warn from oily woes by previous scent?

Who can the various city frauds * recite,
With all the petty rapines of the night?
Who now the guinea-dropper's bait regards,
Trick'd by the sharper's dice, or juggler's cards ?
Why should I warn thee ne'er to join the fray,
Where the sham quarrel interrupts the way?
Lives there in these our days so soft a clown,
Brav'd by the hully's oaths, or threatening frown?
I need not strict enjoin the pocket's care,
When from the crowded play thou lead'st the fair;
Who has not here or watch or snuff-box lost,
Or handkerchiefs that India's shuttle boast ?
O! may thy virtue guard thee through the roads
Of Drury's mazy courts, and dark abodes !
The harlots' guileful paths, who nightly stand
Where Catharine-street descends into the Strand !
Say, vagrant Muse, their wiles and subtle arts,
To lure the strangers' unsuspecting hearts :
So shall our youth on healthful sinews tread,
And city cheeks grow warm with rural red.

'Tis she who nightly strolls with sauntering pact, No stubborn stays her yielding shape embrace; Beneath the lamp her tawdry ribbons glare, The new-scour'd manteau, and the slattern air ; High-draggled petticoats her travels show, And hollow cheeks with artful blushes glow;

• Various cheats formerly in practice.

With flattering sounds she soothes the credulous ear,
“ My noble captain! charmer! love ! my dear!"
In riding-hood near tavern-doors she plies,
Or muffled pinners hide her livid eyes.
With empty bandbox she delights to range,
And feigns a distant errand from the 'Change :
Nay, she will oft the quaker's hood prophane,
And trudge demure the rounds of Drury-lane.
She darts from sarcenet ambush wily leers,
Twitches thy sleeve, or with familiar airs,
Her fan will pat thy cheek; these snares disdain,

gaze behind thee, when she turns again.
I knew a yeoman, who, for thirst of gain,
To the great city drove, from Devon's plain,
His numerous lowing herd; his herds he sold,
And his deep leathern pocket bagg’d with gold.
Drawn by a fraudful nymph, he gaz’d, he sigh’d:
Unmindful of his home, and distant bride,
She leads the willing victim to his doom,
Through winding alleys, to her cobweb room.
Thence thro' the street he reels from post to post,
Valiant with wine, nor knows his treasure losts
The vagrant wretch th' assembled watchmen spies,
He waves his hanger, and their poles defies;
Deep in the round-house pent, all night he snores,
And the next morn in vain his fate deplores.

Ah, hapless swain! unus'd to pains and ills! Canst thou forego roast-beef for nauseous pills ? How wilt thou lift to Heaven thy eyes and hands, When the long scroll the surgeon's fees demands ! Or else (ye gods, avert that worst disgrace !) Thy ruin'd nose falls level with thy face!

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