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Jmitations of English Poets.
CHAUCER. WOMEN ben full of ragerie, Yet swinken nat sans secresie. Thilke moral shall ye understond, From schoole-boy's tale of fayre Irelond; Which to the fennes hath him betake, To filche the grey ducke fro the lake. Right then there passen by the way His aunt, and eke her daughters tway. . Ducke in his trowses hath he hent, Not to be spy'd of ladies gent. • But ho! our nephew,' crieth one; * Ho! (quoth another) Cozen John ;' And stoppen, and lough, and callen outThis sely 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 Forth thrust a white neck and red crest. • Te-hee,' cry'd ladies; clerke nought spake: Miss stared, and grey ducke crieth quaake.
( 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.'
THE ALLEY. 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 woe, 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 sunburnt matrons seen, Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry; Now singing shrill, and scolding eft between; Scolds answer foul-mouth'd scolds; bad neigh
bourhood I ween, 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 base
Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch,
tatters. Her dugs were mark'd by every collier's hand; Her mouth was black as bull-dogs 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
ON A LADY SINGING TO HER LUTE. FAIR charmer! cease; nor make yourvoice'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! the’ Æolian shepherd said,
Yet guiltless too this bright destroyer lives,
THE GARDEN. FAIN would my Muse the flowery treasures sing, And humble glories of the youthful Spring; Where opening roses breathing sweets diffuse, And soft carnations shower their balmy dews; Where lilies smile in virgin robes of white, The thin undress of superficial light; And varied tulips show so dazzling gay, Blushing in bright diversities of day. Each painted floweret in the lake below Surveys its beauties, whence its beauties grow; And pale Narcissus, on the bank in vain Transformed, gazes on himself again. Here aged trees cathedral walks compose, And mount the hill in venerable rows; There the green infants in their beds are laid, The garden's hope, and its expected shade. Here orange-trees with blooms and pendants shine, And vernal honours to their autumn join; Exceed their promise in the ripen’d store, Yet in the rising blossom promise more. There in bright drops the crystal fountains play, By laurels shielded from the piercing day: Where Daphne, now a tree as once a maid, Still from Apollo vindicates her shade; . Still turns her beauties from the' invading beam, Nor seeks in vain for succour to the stream.