Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

I'll give—but not the full-blown rose,

Or rose-bud more in fashion ;
Such short-liv’d off rings but disclose

A transitory passion.

I'll give thee something yet unpaid,

Not less sincere than civil:
I'll give thee—ah ! too charming maid,

I'll give thee-to the devil.

AN ELEGY

ON THE GLORY OF HER SEX, MRS. MARY BLAIZE. (1)

Good people all, with one accord,

Lament for Madam Blaize,
Who never wanted a good word-

From those who spoke her praise.

The needy seldom pass'd her door,

And always found her kind;
She freely lent to all the poor,-

Who left a pledge behind.

(1) [These lines were first printed in “ The Bee,” 1759. Mr. Croker observes, in a communication to the editor :-" The elegy on Madam Blaize, and the better part of that on the Death of a Mad Dog, are closely imitated from a well-known French string of absurdities called 'La Chanson du fameux la Galisse ;' one of many versions which you will find in the Ménagiana, vol. iii, p.29. I shall select two or three stranzas as examples :

“Messieurs, vous plait-il d'ouir

L'air du fameux la Galisse,
Il pourra vous rejouir,-

Pourvu qu'il vous divertisse.
On dit que dans ses amours,

Il fut caressé des belles,
Qui le suivirent toujours, -

Tant qu'il marche devant elles.
Il fut par un triste sort,

Blessé d'une main cruelle:
On croit, puisqu'll est inort,-

Que la plaie était mortelle."]

She strove the neighbourhood to please,

With manners wondrous winning;
And never follow'd wicked ways,-

Unless when she was sinning.

At church, in silks and satins new,

With hoop of monstrous size;
She never slumber'd in her

pew,-
But when she shut her eyes.

Her love was sought, I do aver,

By twenty beaux and more;
The king himself has followed her,--

When she has walk'd before.

But now her wealth and finery fled,

Her hangers-on cut short all ;
The doctors found, when she was dead, -

Her last disorder mortal.

Let us lament, in sorrow sore,

For Kent-street well may say,
That had she liv’d a twelvemonth more, -

She had not died to-day.

DESCRIPTION OF AN AUTHOR'S BED-CHAMBER.(1)

Where the Red Lion staring o'er the way,
Invites each passing stranger that can pay ;
Where Calvert's butt, and Parson's black champaign,
Regale the drabs and bloods of Drury-lane ;

(1) [First printed, in 1760, in “ The Citizen of the World.” See vol. ii. p. 117. On this subject Goldsmith had projected an heroi-comic poem, as appears by one of his letters to his brother (see Life, ch. viii.); and with a few variations it forms the description of the ale-house in the “ Deserted Village.” See p. 62 of the present volume.]

There, in a lonely room, from bailiffs snug,
The Muse found Scroggen stretch'd beneath a rug;
A window, patch'd with paper, lent a ray,
That dimly shew'd the state in which he lay;
The sanded floor that grits beneath the tread;
The humid wall with paltry pictures spread :
The royal Game of Goose was there in view,
And the Twelve Rules the royal martyr drew ;(1)
The Seasons, fram’d with listing, found a place,
And brave Prince William shewd his lamp-black face.
The morn was cold, he views with keen desire
The rusty grate unconscious of a fire:
With beer and milk arrears(3) the frieze was scor’d,
And five crack'd tea-cups dress'd the chimney board;
A night-cap deck'd his brows instead of bay,
A cap by night—a stocking all the day!

(1) (Viz. 1.“ Urge no healths; 2. Profane no divine ordinances ; 3. Touch no state matters; 4. Reveal no secrets; 5. Pick no quarrels; 6. Make no comparisons; 7. Maintain no ill opinions; 8. Keep no bad company; 9. Encourage no vice; 10. Make no long meals ; 11. Repeat no grievances ; 12. Lay no wagers."]

(2) [" And now imagine, after his soliloquy, the landlord to make his appearance, in order to dun him for the reckoning:

“ Not with that face, so servile and so gay,

That welcomes every stranger that can pay,
With sulky eye he smoaked the patient man,

Then pulled his breeches tight, and thus began, &c." All this is taken, you see, from nature. It is a good remark of Montaigne's, that the wisest men often have friends, with whom they do not care how much they play the fool. Take my present follies as instances of regard. Poetry is a much easier, and more agreeable species of composition than prose, and could a man live by it, it were not unpleasant employment to be a poet."-Letter to his Brother. See Life, ch. viii.]

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Thou, like the world, the opprest oppressing,

Thy smiles increase the wretch's woe ;
And he who wants each other blessing,

In thee must ever find a foe. (9)

SONG.

The wretch condemn'd with life to part,

Still, still on Hope relies;
And every pang that rends the heart,

Bids expectation rise. (4)

(1) (From the oratorio of the Captivity, written in 1764. See p. 82, in the present volume, and Life, ch. xiv.] (2) (In the original MS., in the possession of Mr. Murray :

“ Hence, deceiver ! most distressing,

Seek the happy and the free;
They who want each other blessing,

Ever want a friend in thee."]
(3) (Also from the oratorio of the Captivity. See p. 87.]
(4) [Originally— "Fatigued with life, yet loth to part,

On Hope the wretch relies;
And every blow that sinks the heart

Bids the deluder rise.
Hope, like the taper's gleaming light,

Adorns the wretch's way," &c.]
In Mr. Murray's MS. the stanza runs thus :-

“ To the last moment of his breath,

On Hope the wretch relies;
And c'en the pang preceding death

Bids expectation rise.
" Hope, like the gleaming taper's light,

Adorps and cheers our way, &c."]

Hope, like the glimmering taper's light,

Adorns and cheers the way;
And still, as darker grows the night,

Emits a brighter ray.

THE DOUBLE TRANSFORMATION,

A TALE.

Secluded from domestic strife,
Jack Book-worm led a college life;
A fellowship at twenty-five
Made him the happiest man alive;
He drank his glass, and crack'd his joke,
And freshmen wonder'd as he spoke.(2)

Such pleasures, unalloy'd with care,
Could any accident impair?
Could Cupid's shaft at length transfix
Our swain, arrived at thirty-six ?
O! had the Archer ne'er come down
To ravage in a country town!
Or Flavia been content to stop
At triumphs in a Fleet-street shop!
O, had her eyes forgot to blaze !
Or Jack had wanted eyes to gaze;
0!-But let exclamations cease,
Her presence banish'd all his peace. (3)

(1) (Printed in the volume of Essays which appeared in 1765.] (2) (Here followed, in the first edition :

" Without politeness, aim'd at breeding,

And laugh'd at pedantry and reading."] (3) [Here followed in the first edition :

" Our alter'd parson now began

To be a perfect lady's man ;

Made

« VorigeDoorgaan »