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IMITATIONS

O F

ENGLISH

POETS.

I.

CHAUCER.

W

OMEN ben full of ragerie,
Yet fwinken nat fans fecrefie.
Thilke moral fhall ye underftond,
From fchole-boy's tale of fayre Irelond:
Which to the fennes hath him betake,
To filch the gray ducke fro the lake.
Right then, there paffen by the way
His
aunt, and eke her daughters tway.
Ducke in his trowsers hath he hent,
Not to be fpied of ladies gent.
"But ho! our nephew, (crieth one),
"Ho! quoth another, cozen John;"
And stoppen, and lough, and callen out,-
This fely clerk full low doth lout:
They afken that, and talken this,

Lo here is Coz, and here is Mifs."
But, as he glozeth with speeches foote,
The ducke fore tickleth his erse roote:
Fore-piece and buttons all-to-breft,
Forth thruft a white neck, and red creft.
Te-he cry'd ladies; clerke nought spake:
Mifs ftar'd; and gray ducke crieth Quaake,

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"O moder,

"O moder, moder, (quoth the daughter)
"Be thilke fame thing maids longer a'ter?
"Bette is to pyne on coals and chalke,
"Then truft on mon, whofe yerde can talke,

II.

SPENSER.

The ALLEY.

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I.

IN

N ev'ry town, where Thamis rolls his tyde, A narrow pass there is, with houses low; Where ever and anon, the ftream is ey'd, And many a boat foft fliding to and fro. There oft' are heard the notes of infant woc, The short thick fob, loud fcream, and fhriller fquall : How can ye, mothers, vex your children fo? Some play, fome eat, fome cack against the wall, And as they crouchen low, for bread and butter call.

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II.

And on the broken pavement, here and there,
Doth many a ftinking sprat and herring lie;
A brandy and tobacco fhop is near,

And hens, and dogs, and hogs are feeding by ;
And here a failor's jacket hangs to dry.
At ev'ry door are fun-burnt matrons seen,
Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry;
Now finging fhrill, and fcolding eft between;
Scolds anfwer foul-mouth'd fcolds; bad neighbourhood

I ween.

III.
The fnappish cur, (the paffengers annoy)
Clofe at my heel with yelping treble flies;
The whimp'ring girl, and hoarfer-fcreaming boy,
Join to the yelping treble, fhrilling cries;

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The

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The fcolding quean to louder notes doth rife,
And her full pipes thofe fhrilling cries confound;
To her full pipes the grunting hog replies;
The grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round,
And curs, girls, boys, and fcolds, in the deep base are
drown'd.

IV.

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Hard by a fty, beneath a roof of thatch,
Dwelt Obloquy, who in her early days
Baskets of fish at Billinfgate did watch,
Cod, whiting, oyfter, mackrel, fprat, or plaice:
There learn'd fhe fpeech from tongues that never ceafe.
Slander befide her, like a magpy, chatters,
With Envy, (fpitting cat) dread foe to peace;
Like a curs'd cur, Malice before her clatters,
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And vexing ev'ry wight, tears cloaths and all to tatters.

V.

Her dugs were mark'd by ev'ry collier's hand,
Her mouth was black as bull-dogs at the stall :
She scratched, bit, and fpar'd 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 the paffed by or lane or nook,
Would greet the man who turn'd him to the wall,
And by his hand obfcene the porter took,
Nor ever did afkance like modeft virgin look.

VI.

Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town,
Woolwich and Wapping, fmelling ftrong of pitch;
Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown,
And Twick'nam fuch, which fairer fcenes enrich
Grots, ftatues, urns and Jon's dog and bitch,
Ne village is without, on either fide,

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All up the filver Thames, or all adown;
Ne Richmond's felf, from whofe tall front are ey'd
Vales, fpires, meandring ftreams, and Windfor's tow'ry

pride.

III.

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III.

WALLE R.

Of a LADY finging to her LUTE.

F

AIR charmer ceafe, nor make your voice's prize A heart refign'd the conqueft of your eyes: Well might, alas! that threatned veffel fail, Which winds and lightning both at once affail. We were too bleft with thefe enchanting lays, Which must be heav'nly when an angel plays; But killing charms your lover's death contrive, Left heav'nly mufic fhou'd be heard alive. Orpheus cou'd charm the trees, but thus a tree, Taught by your hand, can charm no lefs than he; A poet made the filent wood purfue,

This vocal wood had drawn the poet too.

IV.

COWLEY.

The GARDEN.

F

AIN would my mufe the flow'ry treafures fing,
And humble glories of the youthful spring;
Where opening rofes breathing sweets diffufe,
And foft carnations show'r their balmy dews;
Where lillies fmile in virgin robes of white,
The thin undrefs of fuperficial light,
And vary'd tulips fhow fo dazzling gay,
Blushing in bright diverfities of day.
Each painted flow'ret in the lake below
Surveys its beauties, whence its beauties grow;
And pale narciffus on the bank, in vain
Transformed, gazes on himself again.

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