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“ Draw near, my birds! the mother cries,
This hill delicious fare supplies ;
Behold the busy negro race,
See millions blacken all the place !
Fear not; like me, with freedom eat;
An Ant is most delightful meat.
How bless'd, how envy'd, were our life,
Could we but ’scape the poulterer's knife ,
But man, curs'd man, on Turkeys preys,
And Christmas shortens all our days.
Sometimes with oysters we combine,
Sometimes assist the savoury chine ;
From the low peasant to the lord,
The Turkey smokes on every board,
Sure men for gluttony are curs’d,
Of the seven deadly sins the worst.”

An Ant, who climb'd beyond his reach,
Thus answer'd from the neighbouring beech :
“ Ere you remark another's sin,
Bid thy own conscience look within ;
Control thy more voracious bill,
Nor for a breakfast nations kill.”


MATTHEW GREEN, a truly original poet, was born, probably at London, in 1696. His parents were respectable Dissenters, who brought him up within the limits of the sect. His learning was confined to a little Latin ; but, from the frequency of his classical allusions, it may be concluded that what he read when young, he did not forget. The austerity in which he was educated had the effect of inspiring him with settled disgust; and he fled from the gloom of dissenting worship when he was no longer compelled to attend it. Thus set loose from the opinions of his youth, he speculated very freely on religious topics, and at length adopted the system of outward compliance with established forms and inward laxity of belief. He seems at one time to have been much inclined to the principles of Quakerism; but he found that its practice would not agree with one who lived “ by pulling off the hat.” We find that he had obtained a place in the Custom-house, the duties of which he is said to have discharged with great diligence and fidelity. It is further attested, that he was a man of great

probity and sweetness of disposition, and that his conversation abounded with wit, but of the most inoffensive kind. He seems to have been subject to low-spirits, as a relief from which he composed his principal poem, The Spleen.” He passed his life in celibacy, and died in 1737, at the early age of forty-one, in lodgings in Gracechurch-street.

The poems of Green, which were not made public till after his death, consist of “ The Spleen;" “ The Grotto ;" “ Verses on Barclay's Apology;" “ The Seeker," and some smaller pieces, all comprised in a small volume. In manner and subject they are some of the most original in our language. They rank among the easy and familiar, but are replete with uncommon thoughts, new and striking images, and those associations of remote ideas by some unexpected similitudes, in which wit principally consists. Few poems will bear more repeated perusals; and, with those who can fully enter into them, they do not fail to become favourites.



This motley piece to you I send,
Who always were a faithful friend;
Who, if disputes should happen hence,
Can best explain the author's sense;
And, anxious for the public weal,
Do, what I sing, so often feel.

The want of method pray excuse,
Allowing for a vapour'd Muse :
Nor to a narrow path confin'd,
Hedge in by rules a roving mind.

The child is genuine, you may trace
Throughout the sire's transmitted face.
Nothing is stol'n: my Muse, though mean,
Draws from the spring she finds within ;
Nor vainly buys what Gildon + sells,
Poetic buckets for dry wells.

School-helps I want, to climb on high,
Where all the ancient treasures lie,
And there unseen commit a theft
On wealth in Greek exchequers left.

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* “ In this poem,” Mr. Melmoth says, “ there are more original thoughts thrown together than he had ever read in the same compass of lines.”

FITZOSBORNE'S Letters, p. 114. + Gildon's Art of Poetry.

Then where? from whom ? what can I steal,
Who only with the moderns deal ?
This were attempting to put on
Raiment from naked bodies won* :
They safely sing before a thief,
They cannot give who want relief;
Some few excepted, names well known,
And justly laureld with renown,
Whose stamp of genius marks their ware,.
And theft detects : of theft beware ;
From More + so lash'd, example fit,
Shun petty larceny in wit.

First know, my friend, I do not mean
To write a treatise on the spleen;
Nor to prescribe when nerves convulse;
Nor mend th' alarum watch, your pulse.
If I am right, your question lay,
What course I take to drive away
The day-mare, Spleen, by whose false pleas
Men prove mere suicides in ease;
And how I do myself demean
In stormy world to live serene.

When by its magic lantern Spleen
With frightful figures spreads life's scene,
And threat'ning prospects urg'd my fears,
A stranger to the luck of heirs;
* A painted vest Prince Vortiger had on,
Which from a naked Pict his grandsire won.

Howard's British Princes. + James More Smith, Esq. See Dunciad, B. ii. 1. 50. and the notes, where the circumstances of the transaction here alluded to are very fully explained.

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