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Confounded, yet not knowing why
again thus loudly spoke ; (Thinking again it might be tried,) “ 'T was but a lapsæ linguus,” cried. My lord, who long had quiet sat, Now clearly saw what he was at; In wrath this warning loud he gave, " When next thou triest, unlettered knave, “To give, as thine, another's wit, “ Mind well thou knowest what's meant by it; “ Nor let a lapsus linguæ slip “ From out thy pert assuming lip, “ Till well thou knowest thy stolen song, “ Nor think a leg of lamb, a tongue." He said—and quickly from the floor, Straight kicked him through the unlucky door.
Let each pert coxcomb learn from this,
COLIN AND LUCY. Of Leinster, famed for maidens fair
Bright Lucy was the grace ;
Reflect so sweet a face :
Impaired her rosy hue,
And eyes of glossy blue.
Oh ! have you seen a lily pale,
When beating rains descend?
Her life now near its end.
Take heed, ye easy fair :
Ye perjured swains, beware.
A bell was heard to ring;
The raven flapped his wing.
The solemn boding sound;
The virgins weeping round:
“ Which says, I must not stay ; “ I see a hand you cannot see,
" Which beckons me away.
" In early youth I die:
“ Was thrice as rich as I ? " Ah, Colin! give not her thy vows,
6. Vows due to me alone : “ Nor thou, fond maid, receive his kiss,
“ Nor think him all thy own. “ To-morrow, in the church to wed,
“Impatient, both prepare ! “ But know, fond maid ; and know, false man,
“ That Lucy will be there !
6. Then bear my corse, my comrades, bear,
“ This bridegroom blithe to meet, “ He in his wedding-trim so gay,
“ I in my winding-sheet.' She spoke, she died, her corse was borne
The bridegroom blithe to meet, He in his wedding-trim so gay,
She in her winding-sheet. Then what were perjured Colin's thoughts?
How were these nuptials kept? The bridesmen flocked round Lacy dead,
And all the village wept.
At once his bosom swell :
He shook, he groaned, he fell.
The varying crimson fled,
She saw her husband dead :
Conveyed by trembling swains,
For ever he remains.
And plighted maid are seen;
They deck the sacred green:
This hallowed spot forbear;
ON VERSIFICATION. Many by Numbers judge a Poet's song; And smooth or rough, with them, is right or wrong: In the bright muse though thousand charms conspire, Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire; Who haunt Parnassus but to please their ear, Not mend their minds; as some to church repair, Not for the doctrine, but the music there. These equal syllables alone require, Though oft the ear the open vowels tire; While expletives their feeble aid do join ; And ten low words oft creep in one dull line ; While they ring round the same unvaried chimes, With sure returns of still expected rhymes ; Where'er you find “the cooling western breeze,” In the next line, it " whispers through the trees;" If crystal streams “ with pleasing murmurs creep,' The reader's threatened, (not in vain,) with“ sleep;" Then, at the last and only couplet fraught With some unmeaning thing they call a thought, A needless Alexandrine ends the song, That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.
Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know What's roundly smooth, or languishingly slow; And praise the easy vigour of a line, Where Denham's strength, and Waller's sweetness join. True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance. 'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence, The sound must seem an echo to the sense : Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows, And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows; But when loud surges lash the sounding shore, The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar : When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw, The line too labours, and the words move slow;
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain,
There often wanders one, whom better days