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Imitations of Englis
DONE BY THE AUTHOR IN HIS YOUTH.
W OMEN ben full of ragerie,
W 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 spied 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 !” cried ladies : clerk nought spake : Miss stard, and grey ducke crieth “quaake.”
“O moder, moder!" quoth the daughter,
[The above, when first published in the Miscellanies, was entitled “A Tale of Chaucer lately found in an old manuscript." ]
IN every town where Thamis rolls his tyde,
A narrow pass there is, with houses low.
Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall,
And on the broken pavement, here and there,
15 Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry;
Now singing shrill, and scolding eft between ; Scolds answer foul-mouth'd scolds ; bad neighbourhood I ween.
The snappish cur (the passenger's annoy)
And her full pipes those shrilling cries confound :
25 The grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round, And curs, girls, boys, and scolds, in the deep base are drown'd.
Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch,
Like a curs'd 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 ;
And by his hand obscene the porter took,
Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town,
1 [This stanza is evidently a parody of the fine descriptive one, so often quoted, in the Fairy Queen :
“The joyous birds, shrouded in cheerful shade,
Their notes unto the voice attemper'd sweet;
Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call;
Grots, statues, urns, and Jo-n’sdog and bitch, 50
Ne Richmond's self, from whose tall front are ey'd
ON A LADY SINGING TO HER LUTE.
charmer ! cease; nor make your voice's prize
A heart resign'd the conquest of your eyes :
ON A FAN OF THE AUTHOR'S DESIGN,
“ Aura veni.”
While Procris panted in the secret shade,
2 [Old Mr. Johnston, the retired Scotch Secretary of State, who lived at Twickenham.]
3 [This was probably the earliest of these juvenile imitations. At least Pope, in a letter to Henry Cromwell, mentions some verses of his youth, or rather childhood, which he wrote in imitation of Waller's manner.]