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Now gathering what the bounteous year allows,
He pulls ripe apples from the bending boughs.
A soldier now, he with his sword appears ;
A fisher next, his trembling angle bears.
Each shape he varies, and each art he tries,
On her bright charms to feast his longing eyes.
A female form at last Vertumnus wears,
With all the marks of reverend age appears,
His temples thinly spread with silver hairs:
Propp'd on his staff, and stooping as he goes,
A painted mitre shades his furrow'd brows.
The god, in this decrepit form array'd,
The gardens enter'd, and the fruit survey'd;
And, ' Happy you! he thus address'd the maid,
Whose charms as far all other nymphs out-shine,
As other gardens are excell'd by thine!
Then kiss'd the fair (his kisses warmer grow
Than such as women on their sex bestow);
Then, placed beside her on the flowery ground,
Beheld the trees with autumn's bounty crown'd.
An elm was near, to whose embraces led,
The curling vine her swelling clusters spread:
He view'd her twining branches with delight,
And praised the beauty of the pleasing sight.
Yet this tall elm, but for his vine,' he said, Had stood neglected, and a barren shade ; And this fair vine, but that her arms surround Her married elm, had crept along the ground. Ah, beauteous maid! let this example move Your mind, averse from all the joys of love : Deign to be loved, and every heart subdue ! What nymph could e'er attract such crowds as you? Not she whose beauty urged the Centaur's arms, Ulysses' queen, nor Helen's fatal charms. E'en now, when silent scorn is all they gain, A thousand court you, though they court in vain ; A thousand sylvans, demigods, and gods, That haunt our mountains, and our Alban woods. But if you'll prosper, mark what I advise, Whom age and long experience render wise, And one whose tender care is far above All that these lovers ever felt of love
(Far more than e'er can by yourself be guess'd),
Fix on Vertumnus, and reject the rest.
For his firm faith I dare engage my own;
Scarce to himself, himself is better known.
To distant lands Vertumnus never roves;
Like you, contented with his native groves ;
Not at first sight, like most, admires the fair;
For you he lives; and you alone shall share
His last affection, as his early care.
Besides, he's lovely far above the rest,
With youth immortal, and with beauty bless'd.
And, that he varies every shape with ease,
And tries all forms that may Pomona please.
But what should most excite a mutual flame,
Your rural cares and pleasures are the same.
To him your orchard's early fruit are due
(A pleasing offering, when 'tis made by you),
He values these ; but yet, alas! complains,
That still the best and dearest gift remains.
Not the fair fruit that on yon branches glows
With that ripe red th' autumnal sun bestows;
Nor tasteful herbs, that in these gardens rise,
Which the kind soil with milky sap supplies ;
You, only you, can move the god's desire :
Oh, crown so constant and so pure a fire!
Let soft compassion touch your gentle mind;
Think, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind :
So may no frost, when early buds appear,
Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
Nor winds, when first your florid orchard blows,
Shake the light blossoms from their blasted boughs!'
This when the various god had urged in vain,
He straight assumed his native form again ;
Such, and so bright an aspect now he bears,
As when through clouds th' emerging sun appears,
And, thence exerting his refulgent ray,
Dispels the darkness, and reveals the day.
Force he prepared, but check'd the rash design;
For when, appearing in a form divine,
The nymph surveys him, and beholds the grace
Of charming features, and a youthful face;
In her soft breast consenting passions move,
And the warm maid confess'd a mutual love.
IMITATIONS OF ENGLISH POETS.
Done by the Author in his Youth.
WOMEN ben full of ragerie,
Yet swinken dat sans secresie.
Thilke moral shall ye understond,
From schoole-boy's tale of fayre Irelond:
Which to the fennes hath him betake,
To filch the gray ducke fro the lake.
Right then, there passen by the way
His aunt, and eke her daughters tway.
Ducke in his trowsers hath he hent,
Not to be spied of ladies gent.
• But ho ! our nephew,' crieth one,
Hoquoth another; ' cozen John ;'
And stoppen, and lough, and callen out,-
This silly clerke full low doth lout:
They asken that, and talken this,
• Lo! here is coz, and here is miss.'
But, as he glozeth with speeches soote,
The ducke sore tickleth his erse roote :
Fore-piece and buttons all to-brest,
Porth thrust a white neck, and red crest.
• Te-he, cried ladies ; clerke nought spake :
Miss stared, and gray ducke cryeth, Quaake.'
O moder, moder,' quoth the daughter,
• Be thilke same thing maids longen a'ter?
Bette is to pine on coals and chalke,
Then trust on mon, whose yerde can talke.?
In every town where Thamis rolls his tyde,
A narrow pass there is with houses low;
Where, ever and anon, the stream is eyed,
And many a boat, soft sliding to and fro.
There oft are heard the notes of infant wue,
The short thick sob, loud scream, and shriller squall:
How can ye, mothers, vex your children so ?
Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall,
And as they crouchen low, for bread and butter call.
And on the broken pavement, here and there,
Doth many a stinking sprat and herring lie ;
A brandy and tobacco shop is near,
And hens, and dogs, and hogs are feeding by ;
And here a sailor's jacket hangs to dry.
At every door are sun-burnt matrons seen,
Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry,
Now singing shrill, and scolding oft between ; [I ween.
Scolds answer foul-mouth'd scolds; bad neighbourhood
The snappish cur (the passenger's annoy)
Close at my heel with yelping treble flies ;
The whimpering girl, and hoarser screaming boy,
Join to the yelping treble, shrilling cries;
The scolding quean to louder notes doth rise,
And her full pipes those shrilling cries confound;
To her full pipes the grunting hog replies ;
The grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round,
And curs, girls, boys, and scolds, in the deep bass are
Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch,
Dwelt Obloquy, who in her early days
Baskets of fish at Billingsgate did watch,
Cod, whiting, oyster, mackrel, sprat, or plaice:
There learn'd she speech from tongues that never cease.
Slander beside her, like a magpie, chatters,
With Envy (spitting cat), dread foe to peace;
Like a cursed cur, Malice before her clatters,
And, vexing every wight, tears clothes and all to tatters.
Her dugs were mark'd by every collier's hand,
Her mouth was black as bull-dog's at the stall :
She scratched, bit, and spared ne lace ne band,
And bitch and rogue her answer was to all ;
Nay, e'en the parts of shame by name would call;
Yea, when she passed by or lane or nook,
Would greet the man who turn'd him to the wall,
And by his hand obscene the porter took, ,
Nor ever did askance like modest virgin look.
Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town,
Woolwich, and Wapping, smelling strong of pitch:
Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown;
And Twickenham such, which fairer scenes enrich,
Grots, statues, urns, and Jo-n's dog and bitch.
Ne village is without, on either side,
All up the silver Thames, or all adown;
Ne Richmond's self, from whose tall front are eyed
Vales, spires, meandering streams, and Windsor's
OF A LADY SINGING TO HER LUTE.
Fair charmer, cease, nor make your voice's prize
A heart resign'd the conquest of your eyes :
Well might, alas! that threaten’d vessel fail,
Which winds and lightning both at once assail.
We were too bless'd with these enchanting lays,
Which must be heavenly when an angel plays :
But killing charms your lover's death contrive,
Lest heavenly music should be heard alive,
Orpheus could charm the trees; but thus a tree,
Taught by your hand, can charm no less than he :
A poet made the silent wood pursue,
This vocal wood had drawn the poet too.
ON A FAN OF THE AUTHOR'S DESIGN,
In which was painted the Story of Cephalus and
Procris,with the Motto, 'Aura veni.'
Come, gentle air !' th’ Æolian shepherd said,
While Procris panted in the secret shade ;
. Come, gentle air!' the fairer Delia cries,
While at her feet her swain expiring lies.
Lo, the glad gales o'er all her beauties stray,
Breathe on her lips, and in her bosom play!
In Delia's hand this toy is fatal found,
Nor could that fabled dart more surely wound:
Both gifts destructive to the givers prove;
Alike both lovers fall by those they love.
Yet guiltless, too, this bright destroyer lives,
At random wounds, nor knows the wound she gives ;
She views the story with attentive eyes,
And pities Procris, while her lover dies.