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POEMS.

A PROLOGUE,

Written and spoken by the Poet Laberius, a man Knight, whom Cæsar forced upon the stage. Preserved by Macrobius.*

WHAT! no way left to shun th' inglorious stage,
And save from infamy my sinking age!
Scarce half alive, opprest with many a year,
What in the name of dotage drives me here?
A time there was, when glory was my guide,
Nor force nor fraud could turn my steps aside;
Unawed by power, and unappall'd by fear,
With honest thrift I held my honour dear:
But this vile hour disperses all my store,
And all my hoard of honour is no more;
For ah! too partial to my life's decline,
Cæsar persuades, submission must be mine;
Him I obey, whom heaven itself obeys,
Hopeless of pleasing, yet inclined to please.
Here then at once I welcome every shaine,
And cancel at threescore a life of fame;
No more my titles shall my children tell,
The old buffoon will fit my name as well;
This day beyond its term my fate extends,
For life is ended when our honour ends.

Or Flavia been content to stop
At triumphs in a Fleet-street shop.
Ro-O had her eyes forgot to blaze!

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Or Jack had wanted eyes to gaze!
O!-but let exclamations cease,
Her presence banish'd all his peace.
So with decorum all things carried;
Miss frown'd, and blush'd, and then was-married

Need we expose to vulgar sight The raptures of the bridal night? Need we intrude on hallow'd ground, Or draw the curtains closed around? Let it suffice, that each had charms; He clasp'd a goddess in his arms; And though she felt his usage rough, Yet in a man 'twas well enough.

The honey-moon like lightning flew, The second brought its transports too; A third, a fourth, were not amiss, The fifth was friendship mix'd with bliss: But, when a twelvemonth pass'd away, Jack found his goddess made of clay; Found half the charms that deck'd her faco Arose from powder, shreds, or lace; But still the worse remain'd behind, That very face had robb'd her mind.

Skill'd in no other arts was she, But dressing, patching, repartee; And, just as humour rose or fell, By turns a slattern or a belle. 'Tis true she dress'd with modern grace, Half naked at a ball or race;

But when at home, at board or bed,
Five greasy night-caps wrapp'd her head.
Could so much beauty condescend
To be a dull domestic friend?.
Could any curtain lectures bring
To decency so fine a thing?
In short, by night, 'twas fits or fretting;
By day, 'twas gadding or coquetting.
Fond to be seen, she kept a bevy
Of powdered coxcombs at her levee;
The 'squire and captain took their stations,
And twenty other near relations:
Jack suck'd his pipe, and often broke
A sigh in suffocating smoke;
While all their hours were past between
Insulting repartee or spleen.

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DESCRIPTION

OF AN

AUTHOR'S BEDCHAMBER.

WHERE the Red Lion staring o'er the way,
Invites each passing stranger that can pay;
Where Calvert's butt, and Parson's black
pagne,

Regale the drabs and bloods of Drury-lane;
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 show'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;
The seasons, framed with listing, found a place,
And brave Prince William show'd his lamp-black
face.

things as trifles at best) told me with his usual goodhumour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakspeare into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little Cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarcely worth printing; and, were it not for the busy dis cham-lic should never have known that he owes me the position of some of your correspondents, the pub hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.

I am, Sir,

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Yours, etc.
OLIVER GOLDSMITH.

Note.-On the subject of the preceding letter, the reader is desired to consult "The Life of Dr. Goldsmith," " under the year 1765.

THE HERMIT;

A BALLAD

"TURN, gentle Hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way,

To where yon taper cheers the vale
With hospitable ray.

"For here forlorn and lost I tread,

With fainting steps and slow;
Where wilds immeasurably spread,

Seem length'ning as I go."

"Forbear, my son," the Hermit cries,
To tempt the dangerous gloom;
For yonder faithless phantom flies

To lure thee to thy doom.

"Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open still;

And though my portion is but scant,
I give it with good will.

"Then turn to-night, and freely share
Whate'er my cell bestows,

My rushy couch and frugal fare,
My blessing and repose.

"No flocks that range the valley free,
To slaughter I condemn;
Taught by that Power that pities me.
I learn to pity them:

"But from the mountain's grassy side
A guiltless feast I bring;

A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,
And water from the spring.

"Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego

All earth-born cares are wrong;

Man wants but little here below,

Nor wants that little long."

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Around from all the neighb'ring streets
The wond'ring neighbours ran,
And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.

The wound it seem'd both sore and sad
To every Christian eye;

And while they swore the dog was mad,
They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light,
That show'd the rogues they lied:
The man recover'd of the bite,
The dog it was that died.

STANZAS ON WOMAN. WHEN lovely woman stoops to folly,

And finds too late that men betray, What charms can soothe her melancholy, What art can wash her guilt away? The only art her guilt to cover,

To hide her shame from every eye, To give repentance to her lover,

And wring his bosom-is to die.

THE TRAVELLER;

on,

A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY.

TO THE REV. HENRY GOLDSMITH.

DEAR SIR,

I AM sensible that the friendship between us can acquire no new force from the ceremonies of a dedication; and perhaps it demands an excuse thus to prefix your name to my attempts, which you decline giving with your own. But as a part of this poem was formerly written to you from Switzerland, the whole can now, with propriety, be only inscribed to you. It will also throw a light upon many parts of it, when the reader understands, that it is addressed to a man, who, despising fame and fortune, has retired early to happiness and obscurity, with an income of forty pounds a-year.

I now perceive, my dear brother, the wisdom of your humble choice. You have entered upon a sacred office, where the harvest is great, and the labourers are but few; while you have left the field of ambition, where the labourers are many, and the harvest not worth carrying away. But of all kinds of ambition, what from the refinement of the times, from different systems of criticism, and from the divisions of party, that which pursues poetical fame is the wildest.

Poetry makes a principal amusement among unpolished nations; but in a country verging to the extremes of refinement, painting and music come

This, and the following poem, appeared in "The Vicar of in for a share. As these offer the feeble mind a Wakefield," which was published in the year 1765.

less laborious entertainment, they at first rival

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