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TO THE RIVER LODON.
Old Arthur's board: on the capacious round
“ These fellowships are pretty things, Some British pen has sketch'd the names renown'd,
We live indeed like petty kings: In marks obscure, of his immortal peers.
But who can bear to waste his whole age Though join’d by magic skill with many a rhyme,
Amid the dullness of a college, The Druid frame unhonour'd falls a prey
Debarr'd the common joys of life, To the slow vengeance of the wizard time,
And that prime bliss-a loving wise ! And fade the British characters away ;
O! what's a table richly spread Yet Spenser's page, that claunts in verse sublime
Without a woman at its head! Those chiefs, shall live unconscious of decay.
Would some snug benefice but fall,
Ye feasts, ye dinners! farewell all!
To officers I'd bid adieu,
Come joys, that rural quiet yields,
Come, tithes, and house, and fruitful fields !" Since first I trod thy banks with alders crown'd, Too fond of freedom and of ease And thought my way was all through fairy ground, A patron's vanity to please, Beneath thy azure sky and golden sun :
Long time he watches, and by stealth, Where first my Muse to lisp her notes begun! Each frail incumbent's doubtful health ; While pensive memory traces back the round,
At length-and in his fortieth year, Which fills the varied interval between ;
A living drops-two hundred clear ! Much pleasure, more of sorrow, marks the scene. With breast elate beyond expression, Sweet native stream! those skies and suns so pure He hurries down to take possession, No more return, to cheer my evening road!
With rapture views the sweet retreatYet still one joy remains, that not obscure,
“ What a convenient house! how neat! Nor useless, all my vacant days have flow'd,
For fuel here's sufficient wood:
The garden-that must be new plann'd-
O'er yonder vacant plot shall rise
Yon wall, that feels the southern ray, When now mature in classic knowledge,
Shall blush with ruddy fruitage gay:
While thick beneath its aspect warm
O'er well-rang'd hives the bees shall swarm,
From which, ere long, of golden gleam And thus, in form of humble suitor, Bowing accosts a reverend tutor.
Metheglin's luscious juice shall stream:
This awkward hut, o'ergrown with ivy, “ Sir, I'm a Glo'stershire divine,
We'll alter to a modern privy:
Up yon green slope, of hazels trim,
An avenue so cool and dim,
Shall to an arbour, at the end,
In spite of gout, entice a friend.
My predecessor lov'd devotionMy son's a very forward youth;
But of a garden had no notion.” Has Horace all by heart-you'd wonder
Continuing this fantastic farce on, And mouths out Homer's Greek like thunder.
He now commences country parson.
To make his character entire,
He weds—a cousin of the 'squire;
Not over weighty in the purse,
But many doctors have done worse: Our pupil's hopes, though twice defeated,
And though she boasts no charms divine,
Yet she can carve and make birch wine. Are with a scholarship completed:
Thus fixt, content he taps his barrel, A scholarship but half maintains,
Exhorts his neighbours not to quarrel ; And college rules are heavy chains :
Finds his church-wardens have discerning In garret dark he smokes and puns,
Both in good liquor and good learning; A prey to discipline and duns;
With tithes his barns replete he sees, And now intent on new designs,
And chuckles o'er huis surplice fees;
Studies to find out latent dues,
And regulates the state of pews;
Rides a sleek mare with purple housing, Again he quarrels with his lot:
To share the monthly club's carousing;
Of Oxford pranks facetious tells,
And a third butcher's bill, and brewing,
When calm around the common room
Oh! trifling head, and fickle heart!
"Canynge, awaie! By Godde ynne Heav'n Thatt dydd mee beinge gyve, I wylle nott taste a bitt of breade
Whilst thys Syr Charles dothe lyve. "By Marie, and alle Seinctes ynne Heav'n, Thys sunne shall be hys laste." Thenne Canynge dropt a brinie teare, And from the presence paste.
Wyth herte brymm-fulle of gnawynge grief,
"Wee all must die," quod brave Sir Charles; "Whatte bootes ytte howe or whenne; Dethe ys the sure, the certaine fate Of all wee mortall menne.
"Say why, my friende, thie honest soul
Thatt thou dost child-lyke crye?"
"Whan through the tyrant's welcom means I shall resigne my lyfe,
The Godde I serve wylle soone provyde
"Howe oft ynne battaile have I stoode,
"Howe dydd I knowe thatt ev'ry darte,
"And shall I nowe, forr feere of dethe, Looke wanne and bee dysmayde? Ne! fromm my herte flie childyshe feere; Bee alle the manne display'd. "Ah, goddelyke Henrie! Godde forefende, And guarde thee and thye sonne, Yff 'tis hys wylle; but yff 'tis nott,
Why thenne hys wylle bee donne. "My honest friende, my faulte has beene To serve Godde and mye prynce; And thatt I no tyme-server am,
My dethe wylle soone convynce.
"Ynne Londonne citye was I borne,
"I make ne doubte butt hee ys gone, Where soone I hope to goe; Where wee for ever shall bee blest, From oute the reech of woe.
"Hee taughte mee justice and the laws Wyth pitie to unite;
And eke hee taughte mee howe to knowe
The hungrie fromm my doore:
"And none can saye but alle mye lyfe I have hys wordyes kept;
And summ'd the actyonns of the daie Eche nyghte before I slept.
"I have a spouse, goe aske of her
I have a kynge, and none can laie
"Oh, fickle people! rewyn'd londe!
Thou wylt kenne peace ne moe; Whyle Richard's sonnes exalt themselves,
Thye brookes wythe bloude wylle flowe,
"Saie, were ye tyr'd of godlie peace, And godlie Henrie's reigne, Thatt you dydd choppe your easie daies For those of bloude and peyne? “Whatte though I onne a sledde be drawne, And mangled by a hynde, I doe defye the traytour's pow'r, Hee can ne harm my mynde; "Whatte though, uphoisted onne a pole,
Mye lymbes shall rotte ynne ayre, And ne ryche monument of brasse
Charles Bawdin's name shall bear; "Yett ynne the holie book above,
Whyche tyme can't eate awaie, There wythe the sarvants of the Lord Mye name shall lyve for aie. "Thenne welcome dethe! for lyfe eterne I leave thys mortall lyfe: Farewell vayne worlde, and all that's deare, Mye sonnes and lovynge wyfe!
Hee thus dydd speke and saie:
Beholde the manne! hee spake the truthe,
"Soe lett hym die!" Duke Richarde sayde;
And nowe the horses gentlie drewe
Syr Charles uppe the hyghe hylle;
Syr Charles dydd uppe the scaffold goe,
Gayn'd ynne the bloudie warre:
"Beholde you see mee dye, For servynge loyally mye kynge, Mye kynge most ryghtfullie.
"As longe as Edwarde rules thys lande, Ne quiet you wylle knowe:
Your sonnes and husbandes shalle bee slayne, And brookes wythe bloude shalle flowe. “You leave your goode and lawfulle kynge, Whenne adversitye;
Lyke mee, untoe the true cause stycke,
Thenne hee, wyth preestes, uponne hys knees,
Hys partynge soule to take.
Thenne, kneelynge downe, hee layd hys hedde
The able heddes-manne stroke:
Swote hys tongue as the throstles note, Quycke ynn daunce as thought canne bee, Defe hys taboure, codgelle stote, O! hee lyes bie the wyllowe tree: Mie love ys dedde, Goune to hys death-bedde, Al under the wyllowe tree. Harke! the ravenne flappes hys wynge, In the briered delle belowe; Harke! the dethe-owle loude dothe synge, To the nyghte-mares as heie goe; Mie love ys dedde, Gonne to hys death-bedde, Al under the wyllowe tree. See! the whyte moone sheenes onne hie; Whyterre ys mie true loves shroude; Whyterre yanne the mornynge skie, Whyterre yanne the evenynge cloude;
Mie love y's dedde,
Al under the wyllow tree.