Montgomery's satire of the contemporary scene includes a swipe at "The monster Frankenstein, from
Shelley's brain," which "Enjoyed, like other trash, a spurious reign."
I mean to show things really as they are,
Not as they ought to
be: for I avow,
That, till we see what's what,—we're far
much improvement with that virtuous plough
Which skims the surface, leaving
scarce a scar
Upon the black loam, long manured by Vice,
Or to keep its
corn at the old price."
---- thrasu moi tod' eipein
[. . .]
Malaka men phroneon eslois
Traxus de paligkotois
Pind. Nem. VII.—4.
Have mercy Smith!—what novels bend the shelves,
In fat octavoes and in flimsy twelves!
Those printed gew-gaws to defile the crude,
Where Fashion yearns to cuckold or be woo'd;
And sentimental misses
Like sucking pigs, whine out their soft regrets:—
Here school girls learn the
load-stone of their eyes,
The flush of feeling and exchange of sighs;
Each heart-felt twitch romantic love
Till passion tickles,—and elopement cures!
E'en sluttish housemaids crib a farthing
To whimper o'er the novel's page by night;
And then, like heroines, scorning to be wed,
make John the hero of their bed!
How sweetly tempting, flounce the florid troop
Of pleasing sinners in the novel
While sensual mewlings charm the easy ear,
Till every crime is worshipped with a tear!
maid, voluptuous, sweet as May,
Shaped like a Venus from the ocean spray,
Is doomed, (frail thing!) to pluck
her virgin flower,
For some young rake, within a moonlit bower:—
Severe to judge, such simple
"Bewail! sobs Léfanú—an injured fair!"
Each week turns out a garbled lump of shame,—
Some pand'ring novel with a far-fetched
Or wind-blow from disorder'd craniums blown,
The filthy brain-work of the small
High-pric'd the venal grubs their varnish sell,
'Twill warm old maids and titillate the
From them will Jerdan peck, and Colburn puff,
Till all but author cry out,—"quantum
Thou book-worn hack of Swansea, cease to write,
May each vile volume wither from our sight;
And with thee,
Helme, and all the junto end,
That live by lech'ry, and for sluggards vend.
The season buds with boundless book-supply,
New hacks to barter, and new fools to buy;
Lo! on the fly-leaf
of each awful page,
What pen-born wonders to astound the age!
Now for a harvest of seven-shilling
Now for the puff whose promise overpowers!
Select old bundles of remember'd lies,
A genteel plan for making mutton pies;—
The tales of vagabonds, on land and sea,
And rhyme by furlongs,—treatises on
But oh! turn liquid all ye mouths of ton!—
What nice new novel prate the times
'Tis buzzed by blues from Bond Street to May Fair,—
The papers hint,—the
A flashy hodge-podge, by a certain dame
Of ancient kennel and reputed
From Colburn's winter stock, will straight appear,—
Ye wittals tremble, and ye beldames
'Tis out!—the sland'rous tattle of each room,—
Belinda's ancle, and Theresa's
The sweet soft mewlings of each luckless bawd,
The eye that melted and the frown that
All the stewed malice of each flirt-famed street,—
Within three tomes of scribble most
The gifted parent of this heavenly lore?—
Dull Vivian Grey, that fluster'd for awhile,
Tremaine, whose vapours made the
Cosnétt's fine trump'ry, furbished for the fop,
of the shop:—
The monster Frankenstein, from Shelley's brain,
Enjoyed, like other trash, a spurious reign:
bungling blasphemy concealed in "Truth,"
Came, culled by Hunt, to taint unheedful youth!
Pagan! never may'st thou win
By impious sneers, one convert to thy sin.
One word to thee, whose cheap-bought brains supply
The lettered garbage for each reading stye:
Will not the
hoarded heaps within thy chest
Feed the vile cravings of a selfish breast?
Go, monger,—all thy
And drive the novel-panders from thy shop;
Yet, ere thou leave the fetid mass of lies
The minion of thy Pallas press supplies;
Think on the taintless hearts thy dross defiled,—
on the youthful ones thy hacks have wiled!
In thy lewd leaves how many pens have taught,
The filth of fancy,
and the lust of thought;
The cackled wailings of lascivious lore,—
The heart to perjure, and the
tact to whore.
Since Harriet's terse aristocratic tale,
Improved the ton with memoirs of the frail,
Lo, grey-haired vanity
has mimed the dame,
By printing records of forgotten shame.
Now, gouty dramatists, whose brains run
Concoct for sale an egotistic store;—
Some prime bon mots, or puns of Adam's
Some sweet remembrances of youthful crime;—
Thus handsome Reynolds in two prurient
Reveals his black-eyed strumpet, plots and homes;
Next, Keefe, at fourscore, piles loquacious
In praise of jorums, green rooms, self, and raff;
While vapid Craven, though a Margravine,
Pourtrays her phiz—not all that she has been!
The last mean vamper of recorded trash,
Boaden—sniffing for the cash.
Columbian deeds in story scarcely reign,
E'en Cook and Otaheite are on the wane;
So fast learn'd vagabonds
defame the earth,
So fast their blund'ring quartos spring to birth!
Pleased with the Pole, brave Parry
sticks in ice,
Where Behring Straits and shaggy bears entice,
Awhile, with grog and whiskey, warms the
Can John Bull deem a three-pound quarto dear?
Disturbed at Parry's fame, a moon-struck race,
Forsake at once their creditors and place;—
measure pyramids,—descend a tomb,
And filch a mummy from its catacomb;—
deserts on a camel's back,
And prove that China's walls kept Tartars back!—
Dispose the Nile, and
hear a sea-pig roar,
Convert a Mussulman, or shoot a boar:
Sail over Dover's Straits, with book to note,
Observe each sign-post,—get each inn by rote,
Denham's glance, survey the land and sky,
How gluttons gobble, and how French cooks fry,
Ransack the Louvre,
yawn at classic plays,
Depict Parisian modes, and Sabbath-days,
Mark priest-blind Charles his ivory cross
Contrive three volumes, and denote them "Tour,"
"A Tour to France!" the crazy public cries,
Reviewers gape—and Prince Puff Colburn buys.
There are who scribble till their brain is sore,
And filter folly from their dregs of yore;
And such art
thou, now lagging through the scene,
Mighty in talent, and in moral mean!
Acute in books, yet blund'ring at
Prating on truth, yet acting falsehood's part:
Misguided, miserably gifted man,
free, a patriot if thou can!
What! hath not sad experience raised thy soul
From passion's sink, to purity's
Hath not Affliction's adamantine rod
Burst every bolt that barred thee from thy God?
vain—in vain—like an uneasy door,
Thou creak'st, and harp'st upon the times of yore,
When blood and blasphemy defiled mankind,
And France became an image of thy mind.
Then wipe pollution from
thy weary pen,
Refine, and not debase, thy fellow-men;
If not,—then know, though England sullied
She's good and wise enough to laugh at thee!
But, who art thou, that with lascivious eye,
Stand'st looking on, with neck and nose awry?
Off!—off!—debased, defiled, and truly dear
To those alone who'd plant Rebellion here:
Out on thee! unsex'd, unbelieving jade,
For blasphemy and revolution made;
And shame upon that highly-gifted
That ought to be a bulwark for mankind;
But now degraded to the dirty task
Of cloaking meanness
with a patriot's mask:
And scrawling volumes on Hibernian eyes,
To swell imagination's harlot sighs!
Pierce Egan!—thou, whose polished pen can throw
Round bulls and asses a descriptive glow;
painter of the proud delight,
When ruby noses rattle at the fight,—
While lords and lubbers
emulate their grooms,
Thy name on every hunting bonnet blooms!
When dead, thine image hung on "Pussy's"
Will raise the jehu's sob, and jockey's wail;
To thy clean page of never-hidden sense,
Berkley blossoms owe each fine pretence;
There, dung-rear'd minions learn manuring lore,
Jerries to be Toms no more!
From authors, turn we to the critic tribe,
Well panoplied with serpent eye and gibe;
The canine, noisome,
That snarl, like bull-dogs, o'er each luckless word;
Skilled but to jeer, or like
Commit the blunder, and create the fault;—
Save frown and censure softly sink
In the full languishment of balmy pay!
Who reads to trust?—who dreams the dies of heaven
Will last unchanged from morning to the even?
Who thinks to split a rainbow with a straw,
Or find a gem in every goose's maw?
Such puling puppets are the
By craft and perjury, their bread is earn'd;
Lurked back, like spiders in their dismal
They mangle merit, and belie their souls.
To mark the glow of fancy on the page,
picture and conception sage,
Those genial graces of vivacious style,
That deck the subject while the truths
To trace the fearless beauties of each line,
Dissect the parts, and then the whole combine;
Unwarped by hate or parasitic zeal,
Chastise all faults, and yet all merits feel,—
Thus should the
critic o'er the book preside,
While taste selects, and wisdom leads the guide.
The Quarter's Oracle,—of Whigs the fear,
Where Tories fumble, and apostates sneer;
fools compose the scribbling crew,
What brainless bantams strut in John's Review!
with ministerial fume,
And only one to knell the author's doom!
Here, cackling noodles tuned to Lockhart's
At sixteen pounds per sheet, the Whigs provoke;
Or vap'ry vengeance on some victim wreak,
wither genius for a paltry pique;
Minions to Lockhart and to Murray's wink,
For hire, they hack and howl,
and forge and think!
Ram of the flock, apostate Southey there,
For fifty pounds purveys a double share;—
Sometimes a lump of Gifford's fiendish hate,
Completes a volume, and upholds the state;
cresting up his full-blown self,
Defames for envy, and reviews for pelf;
And grins, like Croker, when his
The minds that rival his ten-footed prose:
Coleridge and Barrow, in their equal turn,
For proper dabs the Murray stipend earn.
Let Croker now depicting notice share,
That Aristarchian prig from Russell Square;
So orthodox in apish
His virgin eye can scarce another read!
If frothy pertness and presuming taste,
Ironic venom and resentful haste,
Create the critic now—then thou art he;
In these, smug Croker,
who can rival thee?
Was Pope ne'er wanton,—peevishly impure,
Desire too raging for his strength to cure?
not dawdle with the "thinking rake,"
And Wortley's naked limbs his transport wake;
Or send, when asked, the
fair "Circassian" girl?
Did Pope chicane not with contracting Curl?
With jargon framed by folly and by spite,
And all his hatred stealing into light;
This pouncing scribbler,
in a fulsome rage,
Raked up perverting lies for Roscoe's page;
And mauled the dregs that Gilchrist left
To squeeze the innate poison from his mind!
Alack, for Roscoe! when so base a pen
Cruscan bard of "wooden men,"
Who, beat by Bowles, bemoan'd for critic strength,
And sneaked, and cring'd,
till Croker whin'd at length!
Delicious task!—to wipe pollution clean,
And mete the moral by the
To pile up slanders on a virtuous head,
And stab the living to support the dead!
While genius flowing from a source refined,
And all the gentler graces of the mind;
While spotless age, more
reverend as more grey,
Adorn our isle, and consecrate their day,—
Thy honours, Bowles, shall wear
And Fame her halo shed around thy tomb:
When all this bribe-fed gang shall sleep
And dust unhonour'd strew their burial spot,
Relenting Time shall pay its just arrears,
soul in heaven, thy memory in our tears!
That bloated reveller on poor Longman's purse,
Reviewing laird of English prose and verse,
Jeffrey,—butchers still content,
Pleased with his hire, and proud of his descent:
Around him crawl
the insects of his will,
With blushless zeal to prostitute their quill;
Or torture talent, and profanely
The hunted victims of their pen and pack.
Though all the knaves of Edinburgh confess,
Review the censor of the press,
The froth and fury of this reckless league,
Betray the infamies of Whig
Whose heath'nish tongue praised Europe's murd'ring foe,
Who wiped the blood-stains of his frequent
And, linked with Jacobins, have vilely sneer'd
At England's glories, and her rites revered?
Jesuistic rant has tried to fan,
And raise up rebels from the vulgar clan?—
Review!—th' accursed vamp for all
That surly Brougham, or simpering Sidney scrawl,
For all the
inebriate lies of party rage,
And dunghill democrats that soil the age;—
Oh! might discerning
Truth her foes surpass,
And fling from England's isle, this vip'rous mass!
Blest is the bard, who far from
Secures a column for a week's renown;
All, all the epithets to
Pour from his quill, and melt the reader's ear:
Ye precious darlings, whose ingenuous stuff
Has winged upon the pinions of a puff,
Be cautious, careful, how and where you write,
Some little truth
which should not see the light!
Or else the fury of his vial flames!
Woe to your drivel, and your ding-dong
Hark!—hark!—his Aristarchian thunders roar,
And ye are damned for
But who is he that with sardonic smile,
And jealous eye, and lip weighed down with guile,
Sneaks by, with
pedlar sketches at his back?
The monarch of the small-beer poet pack!
The mighty would-be cock of prose and
Like Balaam's donkey, moaning the sublime!—
Alike so hated by his friend and foe,
they applaud who would not dare the blow:
Then, let the truth be heard, although on me
He dash his
thunderbolts of obloquy!
For friend, and printer, artist,—all aver
Thee, Alaric, a true poetic
Delighted, when revengeful envy throws
Thy bilious drivel, on some verse, or prose,—
Entranced, if Jerdan yield a barter'd page,
Where, on young merit thou canst vomit rage,—
heaven itself, when callous lies can doom,
Emerging talent to thy former gloom!
Did Byron's laurels feel thy
And forged detection of his thought and rhyme?
Did Wisdom thank thee for the fierce
Or dub thee, "Pasquin," and a worse poltroon?
How well the grov'ling task adorn'd thy
To link a Byron to piratic shame!
For this dull deed, may ne'er thy rhyme again
through a page, or hobble in a strain;
But injured genius blast thy venal muse,
And drive thee, snarler, to
thy fostering blues;
Remorseful there, dissect thy feeble line,
And print us all the tinsel,
We hail that day, when Romish fetters ceased
To slave the press,—and candid powers released,
Allowed each Briton honest truth to cite,
And strength and weakness, their alternate right;
But now, the
press with lawless sway outgoes,
Denouncing private, more than public foes;
The good and great, the noble
and the mean,
Alike endure the arrows of its spleen.
Lord of the squib, and primate of the pun,
Fat Theodore, thy wreaths for these are won!
The ton's hired
Comus thou,—thy brains each week
Can void in columns, puns thou dar'st not speak;
like thee, can hatch an unclean joke,
Or give to bawdy wit the master stroke?
So meaningly, who throw the
Thou punning improvisator in print?
May George enrol thee for his Windsor fool,
A dinner wit, surpassing Villiers' school!
The meanest carle that vends a Sunday sheet,
Whose pen can perjure till the lie's complete,
Hunt,—with fiendish growl appeals,
And licks the refuse shook from Cobbett's heels;
hack! still vent, perversely vile,
Each feeling fester'd with malignant bile;
In slang and bawd'ry vomit
Too virulently vile for London stews,—
Invigorate each Pagan joke that's stale,
And trim the musty filthiness of Bayle;
Re-mould the sceptic dust of dead Voltaire,
And in his vileness
trace thy portrait there;
Be all, and more, than Virtue can detest,—
The rabble's patron, and the
Are bards and editorial tools alone,
To malice pliant, and to trick'ry prone?
Let crews that comment on the
Approve their claim—book-harpies of the age!
Or, breeding man-moths, with eternal
Whose purging mania ev'ry line devotes:
Heaven help the scholar, whom their frauds
To read the author, cleans'd by texts impure!
No Roman poet now,—no useless piece
mouldy nonsense filch'd from ancient Greece;
Creeps forth in print,—without a turgid mass
notes, from English, or from German ass:
To graduate, the hopeful firstling flies
To Cam, or where Oxonia's turrets rise;—
There quaffs his
"Massic," drives a borrowed gig,
Games high, and bows before each powder'd wig;
Reads Ovid's Loves,
Petronius, the Unclean,
And rivals Flaccus in his midnight scene;
Then leaves his girl for Plato's ethic
Or else, in Longus half his fellow greets;—
Till primed with metre's true constructive
And all the lore of "ictus" and of "pause,"—
The sharp-eyed pedant clears the college
And foists purgations into perfect books!
Ye insect Porsons! whose defrauding plan
Re-binds each blunder of confus'd Hermánn;
and see your classic tomes perplex'd,
With darkening comments, and corrupted text!
And thou, dear Valpy,
whose Delphinic trade,
Through Bloomfield's critic crash, began to fade,—
No more such variorum'd
But, sated with thy present gains, decamp;
Let Priestley's pickled notes awhile succeed,
And gain, as thine did,—surreptitious meed.
Shall none be praised,—no all-presiding mind
Illum'd by Heaven, to better human kind?—
Let powerful Turner's philosophic page
Still teach his country, and this letter'd age;
And prigs, and
dunces, rank from Greece or Rome,
To leave their ancients, and observe at home:
Unequalled Irving, with
Still, chaste describer, melt the British heart;
And Scott, thy fame undying as thy soul,
Blest is the feeling struck by thy control!
Look where we please, there is a sad decline,
From human, to realities divine;
morals,—all but vice, decay,
And Fashion leads, while Folly blinds the day.
No more the Thespian
art's improving power,
Lights up the mind, and lures a vacant hour;
Nor forceful talent sway with Passion's
Where Kemble spoke, and Shakspeare's heroes trod!
Ere patch-work dramas, and their tawdry train,
Prologued the mumm'ries of an impure reign,—
Our stage was evening bliss, where Britons sought
flash of Genius and the fire of thought,—
Where guilt was imag'd to the musing eye,
example drew the gentle sigh,
Till worth triumphant breath'd its hallowed prayer,
And Virtue smiled to see
her semblance there!
While fumbling dramatists employ their pen,
Sublimely careless of the where and when,
Britain blush for her degraded stage,—
The scenic fripp'ries of a bloated age:
far-streaming, with coruscant sheen,
The rose-wreath'd trees to dance along the scene,—
fountain lolling on a rock,
A squirt of lightning, and a copper shock;—
The clash of pewter, and
the raw recruit,
Whose gilded scabbard dangles to his foot;
And then, the lean procession's limping
Like white-wash'd puppets, wheeling slow along;—
All these,—with clouds to
fatten up the sky,
And mid-day moons to ope the sawney's eye,—
Drawl out the ling'ring life of
And hash'd-up melodrams to serve the trade!
But most, the clap-trap's heart-convulsive cant,
Conducive "damns," and well-timed mouthing rant;
smutty meanings, wrapt in puns and grins,
The hand's wide sweep, the shoulder-work, and shins—
Prelude the music of a gall'ry squall,—
Well-earn'd applause for Beazely, Pool or Ball!
The Comic vein has ceased its merry flow,
And Satire aims no more th' instructive blow;
guardians of the moral spell,
Forbid a Shakspeare for a Marmontel!—
Look back on proud
Eliza's peerless reign,
And will not our dramatic contrast pain?
Then playful Congreve kindled humour's
And Beaumont sparkled in the wit's attire;
While Massinger, with eloquential charm,
pathetic, forced the sweet alarm;—
But, these are exiled for a sullied verse,
proves their genius coarse!—
Yes!—"Hallers" mourning for a kindred whore,
their nice noses at the taste of yore!—
When false decorum takes a hoaxing trip,
And flies the
heart, to shelter in the lip.
Awake thee, Kemble, from thy sluggish trance,
And drive dramatic flumm'ry to France;
No more, let poachers
of exotic trash,
For Farce and trick, monopolize thy cash;
Shall fustian flourish, where thy brother
And Shakspeare's boards, by mummers be disgraced!
Shall piping Roscius represent his king,
tragic bull dogs bay the crowded ring!
Though emptied buckets mimic Ocean's fall,
And sooty jugglers whirl
the brazen ball,—
While ragged scenes, refresh'd with horn and drum,
Secure the shillings of the
These mean buffoon'ries blot thy Thespian name,
And barter genius for a worthless
O, yet revive the Drama's purer part,
And scout each mess of pantomimic art;
Let no dull toaders
wheedle off thy pay,
While baffled talent shrinks unseen away;—
Not cawing Kenny's everlasting
Or plund'ring Pocock's, more eternal still.
Our manufactur'd plays,—peruse, who list!
The worst abortions audience ever hissed;
hundred heaps of dross obscene,
To all the trump'ry plaster'd up by Green.
Peep forth! thou son of genius, prying Pool,
Unrivalled filcher from the witless school;
behind, prolific as before,
To gull each season with thy smutty store;
While driv'ling colloquies, and
A baseless plot, and vulgar equivoques,—
While hems, and funny squints, and
Delight the doltish, and transport the "gods,"—
Our stage shall hail thee her
And critic boobies puff thee for a bribe.
Enchanting master of the wry grimace,
How well thy pieces suit an ugly face!
O'er all the kingdom mark thy
See, shops and buggies bear immortal "Pry"!—
His nose cocked up with pertinacious
And bagged in breeches, clinging round his side,—
The goggling puppet served for Liston's
And limped, like Poole, from Elliston let loose,—
It met no frown—no
For "Pry" incessant ding'd the nation's ear!
Alas! for Waverly's discover'd bays,
When Pocock minces novels into plays!
With dull contrivance, murd'ring
sense and plot,
To stew a melodrame from Walter Scott;
Or, operatic mess of tinsel caps, and coats,
live on Sapio's, or on Stephens' notes:—
Though Horne, nor clumsy Serle, could save his "Peake,"
An unwept death, to close its gaudy week!
Of equal fame, melodious Plànchè's quill,
Purloins his hum-drum to swell out the bill;
And, hir'd by managers for French bombast,
He cribs each play, more owlish than the last.
Kind friend to Laureate Southey's epic fame,
Prolific Ball,—in nonsense, half as tame,—
Dramatic patron to rejected verse,
Try thou some wonder from "Kehama's Curse;"
Then, borne on "Hunchbacks,"
bid the stage adieu,
And with thee take thy whole be-devil'd crew.
Sure, all the tribe by Beazely was outdone,
Who made, for novelty, a midnight sun!
cocknies liked this wond'rous spell,
So plenteous plaudits greeted Avenel:—
O! would that Satire's
lash, "at one fell swoop,"
Might level all this play-supplying troop,
Then should the fanes of Thespis cease
With dross from Farren, or with trash from Soane.
So long have melo-drame, and pilfer'd farce,
Made taste corrupted, and true genius scarce,
models win no patron's eye,
And outlawd tragedies forgotten lie;
To win the president of Drury's fane,
Could any but his bloated hirelings deign?—
Compound some proverbs of obscurest growth,
remnants of the dust and moth;
Add quantums due, of powder, flash, and smoke,
The scenic whistle, and the
With all appliances of fort and gun,
Dish up five acts—the tragedy is
Six times, shall thund'ring sticks and hired huzzas,
Force the vile stuff, and wake the slow applause.
Ye managerial knaves, whose nod decides,
Whose pocket judges, and whose whim provides;
Before whose glance
the manuscript must shake,
And shirtless authors feel a fellow quake,—
While throned on high, by
British boobies paid,
Let no mean tricks reveal the trust betrayed,—
Though patronage e'er be a
And sotted thousands to your verdict stoop!—
Renounce all greedy arts, that end
Refine the Drama, and its force reclaim;
No more, let thick-brained poachers, dull and crude,
Their scribbled bantlings on the stage protrude;
Or ape Mazurier climb the box, from France,—
Ducrow's stud on scenic stables prance;
Nor bribe your bawling mouths to aid a cheat,
And fill with
riff-raff ev'ry vacant seat;—
Dramatic dignity and wit restore,
Till Genius reign, and Mumm'ry be
Why should the pertly vulgar cry with scorn,
"Thank heaven, I'm not a paltry player born!"
Why should the
sleek-mouth'd saint appoint his doom,
And moral prophets damn him round the room?
There may be virtue
in an actor's heart,
Beyond the reach of pharasaic art;—
He often does, what "saints dare seldom
Display the bad, and keep the good from view.
Not unremember'd now, shall genius bide,—
Arouse thee, Kean! be still the drama's pride,
nature fresh, with spirit in each vein,
To thrill with pleasure, or delight with pain;—
modest England drove thee from her shore,
While favour'd strumpets footed on thy floor:
Kemble, Young, with heart-deep voice,
And proud Macready first of classic choice,—
masters, still supremely great,
Long grace the boards,—our stage-triumvirate!
'Tis not their art, but its professors, soil,
By low debauch, the triumphs of their toil;
parts with all an actor's rage,
To play their whoredoms on a worldly stage!
Here, turned Lotharian pests, in
They strut the bright aristocrats of stews;
Or, more select, some buskined heroes burn
For peeresses, and city wives, by turn:—
One plucks a darling from the lower row,
plumes and billet-doux procure a beau;
And frowsy beldames eye their fav'rite face,
bribes hush up a foul disgrace!
No Moorish taste voluptuous, hath divined
More harem bliss than waits the scenes behind,
dotards, unresisted, get
Sweet virgin flow'rs to grace their coronet,—
And glimm'ring belles, ere
all their bloom is past,
Roll the wild gaze, and yield the ghost at last!
That vouch for all the eye hereafter sees;
These, blazon'd well, with
Attract the noble, and lead off the prize;—
Though, now and then an Amazonian
Flogs back the victim of her beauty's spell.
Who blames the actor, when rich harlots pay,
Or beastly Colonels bribe the maid away?
Let the rank country
fester in its shame,
When prov'd impures partake the highest fame,
And mothers, steeled against
Unblushing, feast the prostitutes of peers!
Thus, still ye, Cyprians,—still be
And stalk our stage, amid triumphant roars!—
Now to the Opera turn, where ballets please,
And foppish Fashion fumes away at ease;
There, what fine ear
can list the lewd-breath'd sounds,
What decent eye survey the wanton bounds,
The passion-swelling breast,
And gauzy robe to fix the straining eyes,—
Each warm lascivious twirl of
Nor feel the burning fever of disgust?
Bedaub'd with paint, here jewell'd herds compose,
Their pustul'd persons in the steamy rows;
Pile luscious fancies on transparent limbs,
Move with each form,
and languish as it swims;
of vice, from dunghill or from court,
In mercy, cease such Operatic sport!
Caress no Boschas in your costly
No whisker'd knave, no eunuch scamp'd from Rome;
O! let the lavish'd millions feed the poor,
wan-eyed paupers fainting at your door,—
With pity mark, what home-bred mis'ries stare,
Britons born, an unask'd bounty share,—
Then sickness, want, and woe, would bless the gift,
orphan babes, their tear-moist hands uplift.
What line shall Fashion paint?—that creed of fools
Whose flighty doctrine, half the empire
Queen of the rich,—Minerva of the vain,
Begot by Folly,—cleav'd from
'Tis Fashion dies the beldame's blister'd cheek,
Lives in her errant gaze, and kitten
'Tis Fashion rolls the lech'ry of the eye,
Breathes in the tone, and wantons in the
Deals with the gambler, pilfers with the rogue,
And gives to wealth, a new-made
Shall satire dread the judgment of a frown,
When monsters brave, and villains lead the town!—
foreign strumpets dare the public gaze,
And English mothers think they grace our plays!
The times are come,
when arts Parisian please,
And Britons, to be Englishmen must cease:
To Gallic shores our demi-reps
Return again—and all their filth import;
Then like French apes, these scented
Feast like the French, and like the Frenchmen walk.
And can it be, that Albion's deemed no more
A fairer, nobler clime, than Gallia's shore?—
England stoop to be the mime of France,
Beget her toaders, and adopt her dance?
For novel crimes,
need English spendthrifts roam
And kindly teach them to us boors at home?
What morals mark that blood-presuming rank,
Where cultured villains emulate each prank!—
can guzzle down the nineteenth glass,
Denounce a wittal, and select a lass;
Genteely damn, or sprawl a low
And pipe the bawdry of a stable tune;
Or, growl in cock-pits, shuffle at the "Hell,"
harem, and proclaim it well!
E'en women patronize the vice in vogue,
And hail the triumphs of a
Or pat his cheek, in love-resenting play,
While oglings ask, what lips would blush to say.
A mother's love,—resistless speaks that claim,
When first the cherub lisps her gentle name!
looking up, it moves its little tongue,
In passive dalliance to her bosom clung;—
'Tis sweet to
view the sinless baby rest,
To drink its life-spring from her nursing breast;
And mark the smiling mother's
While hush'd beneath, the helpless infant lies;—
How fondly pure that unobtruding
Breathed gently o'er the listless sleeper there!
'Tis nature this!—the forest beast can
And cubs are nestled 'neath its milky dug;
But Fashion petrifies the human heart,
Scar'd at her nod, see ev'ry love depart!
In Rome's majestic days, long fleeted by,
Did not her mighty dames sing lullaby?—
mean-bred hags then nurs'd the guiltless child,
No kitchen slang its innocence despoiled;
'Twas deem'd a
glory, that the babe should rest
In slumb'ring beauty, on the mother's breast;—
England's mighty dame is too genteel,
To nurse, and guard, and like the mother feel!
Fond bands of love,—how seldom can they bind,
When sordid wishes rankle in the mind!
The fret of
av'rice soon distempers all,
Till peevish languor bursts the sullen thrall:
Not so, when Love, the child of
Breathes on, to its own parent faithful sworn;
Weaving for wedded hearts a mystic chain,
That feel the sorrow, and partake the pain;
Each true to each, as echo to the sound,—
changeless two, through life's precarious round:
Oh, happy pair! thus link'd for smiles and tears,
absence binds, and grief but more endears;
'Tis your's, one common hope and fear to know,
Through the long
pilgrimage of joy and woe.
Miss Prostitution, hail! now buck and rake,
From female marts such ready fair may take,
As mothers bred up
from a ripe eighteen,
To pant for wooers, and their husbands glean;
Or chant love-lies, and curtsey with a
While lust meanders through each bloodless face;—
Then, like their dams, arrayed in patch
To blaze the leading strumpets of the room!
Train'd by some venal, match-contriving jade,
In palsied arms what lovely maidens fade!
transplanted to a sandy heath,
Where vapours wither, and pollutions breathe:
must youth's summer fleet away,
In cheerless union with the bald and grey?
Must blooming forms, and
stainless bosoms press,
Where passion mocks, and nature cannot bless!
What eye can such a loathsome scene
Nor curse the rottenness preserv'd in gold?
To marry wealth, what anguish will be borne?
A crooked log by night—a child by morn!
sealed?—the wife attends each whim,
Starts at his groan, and chafes the flannell'd limb;
round his knee, and whimpers at his wrath,
Secures his tucker, and spoons out his broth;
A vigil, down to
periwig and cap,
She prays for death,—and sees it in his nap!
O Love!—exhaustless theme for print and pen,
Thou dream of women, and thou joke of men,
not curse thee for thy cruel crimes,
In distant regions, or in darker times,—
But turn to
Britain, blessed with blooming arts,
And hear her tearful tales of stricken hearts;
beauty, blemish'd by seduction's stain,
Of with'ring sorrow, and unpitied pain:
Where mailed in rank,
seducers boast the deed,
While female lechers smile applausive meed,
And ticklish flirts a pretty pardon
Or fusty dow'gers on the tale descant!
O, I have seen, the young and trusting maid,
By love beguil'd—enraptured—and betrayed,
Fade day by day, in unregarded gloom,
And greet the shelter of an early tomb:
To virtue lost,—her
sex's chilling frown,
Forbad the smile, and awed her spirit down;
Abandoned thus, oh, where could hope
None felt her throb—none wiped the mourner's tear!
When blushing Love first breathes its virgin sigh,
And fond devotion glitters in the eye;
How soon it steals
an unsuspecting mind,
That melts away, like perfume on the wind!
Not half so fondly does the bud
Its drooping beauty on the parent rose;
Not half so tenderly the dew-lit gem
At morning, hang
upon the languid stem,—
As woman's maiden love,—when true and warm,
Rests on the
plighted vow, and lover's charm:
How base the bosom then, with treach'ry fraught,
For her who claims the
homage of each thought!
England, full rare thy decent matrons now,
Though Time has delved his wrinkles on the brow!
on't!—to see thine unrepenting jades,
The female blacklegs,—filch like "Hell"-taught
When fourscore years have bronz'd their mummied face,
And ev'ry furrow is a theme's
Mark! at their table, how the beldames sigh,
Turn their brown neck, and blink the
Anon, their wither'd carcase heave and puff,—
With pustuled cheeks, and lips befouled
Squat round the pack, they gamble and they grin,
Rub their lean hands, and sweat their brows to
In wint'ry age, how sadly drear the lot
Of Fashion's hack, by Fashion's host forgot!—
by crippled age, impurely grey,
To mental throes, and peevish qualms a prey:
Dimm'd now the youthful gleams
of love-lit eyes,
And cold the filmy lid that o'er them lies;
O, where are they that throng'd her matin
Plann'd out the day's intrigue, and shared its sport,—
Who praised her plumes, her
And ball-room glance, that bade the proudest wait?
Alas! the parasites of youth have
Some mope like her, some fill their wormy bed.
How rank has lost by condescending crimes,
That birth-right influence felt in purer times,
greatness won respectful awe,
And lowly ranks a worthy peerage saw;
While lineal honours bloomed without
And every heir begat a better race;—
Now, rank bequeath'd to high-begotten shame,
But hands the mirror to degen'rate fame.
Review thy thickening peerage, Albion, now,
And rare the peer, that lifts an honoured brow!
such crimes of undecaying growth,
Such innate vileness, and voluptuous sloth?—
The bestial panders
of Domitian's reign,
Now mark, thy mindless,—bloated,—titled train!
St. Giles and
Billingsgate are horrid holes,
And Newgate shelters some atrocious souls;
But scour out England's most
Convene her bullies, and select her sots,—
And let presiding Truth, unmoved,
Will not our peerage match the vilest there?—
Peers of the realm—the
autocrats that shine,
With lineage reckon'd up to Cæsar's line!
But still, though vile,—the peerage read some books,
To smooth their manners and refine their
Soft Little's verse—or any am'rous chime,
To tickle fancy, and toy off the time:
now and then, to train both fop and peer,
And furnish scandal to enlive the year,
Select confessions of
From first-rate hacks, whose hour of glory's past;
Come forth, and meet a most
For what so pleasing as a harlot's tale?
Contrast the hour of Fashion's brief delight,
With that, of fearful Death's unhallow'd night;
When life and
time are ebbing to their close,
And martyr'd pleasure dreads the tomb's repose:—
fever'd, on his sleepless bed,
Yon dying libertine supports his head;
There is an awe—a silence in
As if the fiend were cow'ring o'er the room:
A faintly-glimm'ring taper flickers there,
Tinting his livid cheek with hectic glare;
While throbs of guilt are quivering thro' each limb:—
Thus Folly consummates her reign in him!
Days were, when beauty, love, saloon and ball,
Found him the gayest, wildest, rake of all;
all blanch'd and blighted now,
With hollow cheek, and anguish-moisten'd brow,
Oft turns he round, to feel
his throbbing brain,
Grind his dark teeth, and root his locks for pain;—
Then tears the garment
from his heated breast,
And lifts in vain, his pale-clench'd hands, for rest;
No tears of sad remorse bedew
But penitential woe is in each trace;
Those burning lips that breathe a dismal sigh,
phrenzies flashing from his fretful eye,
That wild convulsion through each feature spread,—
speak of pangful guilt, and hopeless dread!
And thou, Religion, heaven-descended maid,
What crews molest thee, and thy shrine invade?
Where all thy
pristine grace unsoiled with art,—
The offer'd incense of a glowing heart?
On most, how toilsome
steals the Sabbath day,
How few can worship, though their fingers pray!
Sabbatic rites are deemed but
While penitence contents itself with sighs.
A lolling bliss where scented loungers meet,
And lip-wide grins all round the velvet seat;
The fretful mumbling of an unfelt prayer,
Or snoozing godsend
in a padded chair,—
These, with the practice of the Sunday moan,
Are Fashion's off'rings at
Fresh Christian locusts, whose unfetter'd cant,
Provides the fuel for deistic rant,—
day,—besotted, wild, or mad,
To craze the holy, and augment the bad;
Who trace the Godhead in each trick of life,
And hear his thunders rolling for their strife!
First, see the addle-headed Ranters, try
To wake St.
Peter, with a hideous cry;
Sublime their doctrines, when unloosen'd jaws
Are baying heaven, like
While, sprightlier still, the jolly Jumper squalls;
For God inspires
What more! Yes;—here they creep with psalm and song,
dipping Baptist, and Moravian throng.
Last, Huntingdon's cold, pharasaic herd,
Self-loving dolers of the grace and word,—
gospel in their sour grimace,
Or prove its pureness by a smutty face;
Election swells their puritanic
For them, salvation smiles the soul to rest:
Cant in each word, and "Bible" for
They paint "Old Nick"—as if they loved him most!
With lanky locks upon a sheepish head,
And visage stolen from the mould'ring dead,
While ghostly terrors
bend the bile-ting'd brow,—
His black chin lolled in sleepy lump below,—
preacher heads his clan,
A precious sample of angelic man:
Perch'd in the pulpit, how he frowns
What heavenly phrenzies wet his clatt'ring teeth!
His chisell'd features, seem but granite
And snivel sanctifies each grunted moan;
The saintly curl upon his quiv'ring lip,
Whence awful threats in rich saliva drip,—
That pharasaic rankness in his sneer,
And donkey voice,
betrayful of the seer,—
All prove him dropp'd from heaven, the world to save.
To picture Hell, and
realise the grave!
How loathes the eye! to see the babbler preach,
And shoot his neck, to frighten and to teach;
To mark him
spread about his clammy palms,
And sputter forth in cant, celestial qualms,
Now, wild-struck, turning to the
Now down to Hades for sublimer proof:
should Religion's awful aim,
Be thus unravell'd by the fool's acclaim,—
zealots, pluck'd from shop or cell,
Rant forth, like mountebanks, on "heaven and hell!"
Since venalism rules
both head and heart,
The Church hath dwindled to Ambition's mart,
And av'rice soils that fane, supposed to
The earthly temple of the Deity:
Some stick the righteous "Rev'rend" to their name,
To prop its
meanness, and obtrude its fame:
While others, drawl an unpresuming strain,
While lawn and mitres dance about
Who knows, when powder'd well, and stol'd in white,
If God, or livings form their
Next, see the Rectors, whose ancestral worth,
Secures a "good fat" living, at their
From college ripe, they chaunt the hunter's song,
Drink, chase, and shoot the wood's wild "feather'd
Let the lean Curate, in his white-wash'd room,
Gulp the small beer, and preach the sinner's
With foggy throat three sermons growl a day,
And, thankful, feast on sixty pounds for pay!
What now is Irving,—he who heav'd his tongue,
As if a world upon its ravings hung?
He gave a
trinket to redeem the Jews,—
(Sure, such a Scotchman, Heav'n will not refuse!)
And nobly vow'd,
his pious craft should make,
His best orations for the bauble's sake:
Wo! to Isaiah,—and his
Deserted now, but by the cockney few!—
There, let the vaunter pant, and puff, and
And rattle doctrines through the splitting ear.
More honest, and less stern, wags merry Hill,
A grey-locked joker, in the pulpit still,
Whose John Bull
sermons wake the chapel's grin,
When smiling Conscience owns her tickled sin:
How tender he, to Adam's
When "putrid sores" depict our need for grace,—
While softly wiling off each hungry
He carves the gospel into rounds of "beef!"
O Rowland, Rowland!—cease thy wink and
Nor be a pulpit punch, to joke for God.
Not preaching Bedlamites alone arise,
To force the gospel, and astound with cries,—
revilers, headed by Carlile,
Blaspheming, pour their poison through the isle;
While foul-mouth'd Ign'rance
spits her impious gibes,
And London swarms with Atheistic tribes!
Now for the apex of polluted souls,
No shame subdues, no reverence controuls,
Puff'd into pertness,
pand'ring to the time,
Two pinnacles of blasphemy and crime;—
blushless—England's vilest pair,
Blots on her land, and pestful to the air,—
T---!—may each kindred name,
Be linked to one eternity of shame!
First, thou, the cap'ring coxcomb of the two,
With head upshooting from thy coat of blue,—
what has "Reverend" to do with thee,
Though big and bloated with effrontery?
Wert Reverend, when
round thee lolled a gang,
To drink the poison of thine impious slang;
And on Heav'n's book, thy cursed feet
To foam thy foulness at the throne of God?—
Wert Reverend, when from the
And drunken fevers through thy bosom burn'd,—
Mean to the larc'ny of a paltry
At once a rogue, an Atheist, and a sot!
Or, Reverend,—when to each Christian
Thou lead'st the barking bull-dogs of thy train,
In mean and native brutishness of mind,
thy dogmas, and pervert the blind?—
Go, caitiff!—put a mask upon that face,
mirror of thy soul's disgrace,
Go, seek some dunghill to harangue thy breed,
And there enjoy the dark
Though stiff in port, and stately with thy glass,
May good men frown, whene'er
they see thee pass,
Till even infant tongues shall lisp thee, "vile,"
And Britons hoot thee from their
The base we've had, of ev'ry kind and hue,
The bloody, lech'rous, and unnat'ral too—
yet, the wretch that equall'd thee,
Thou synonyme of all depravity;
Thy mind as canker'd as thy columns
Thou pois'nous, poor polluted thing,—C—!
For thee, must heaven's
empyreal portals close,
And Hope be buried in her dead repose!—
For thee must glorious aspirations
Nor Faith, still vision, out her heav'n of peace,
And minds no longer dare to feel divine,
turn distorted, fester'd, lewd as thine!—
If yet within thee dwell one thought of shame,
least true feeling for thy country's claim,
And common nature but preserve her right,—
thy hellish pictures from our sight;
If vile thou must be,—hie thee to some den,
To feast the
fancies of thy fellow-men;
But stand not forth to Britain's public eye,
The monger-fiend of painted
Now go!—and quickly end thy course perverse,
Hung on the gibbet of a nation's curse!
Ascendant God, still let unslumb'ring love,
Gaze down from thine all-glorious throne above;
from each erring mind,
Thine be the judgment, ours the will resigned;
O, long from Britain keep that fearful
When unrelenting crime shall curse thy power;—
When hearts shall cease to plead to be
And banished Faith unveil no future heav'n!
Thou flower of cities, Earth's imperial mart,
Unequal'd London!—Britain's mighty heart;
our blood-spring with reversive tide,
Receiving, pour'st to empires far and wide,—
To thee, the
nations look, like Magi bowed
Before their fire-god, in his burning shroud:
There is a living spell around
That wakes the shadows of thy peerless dead;—
Within thy walls, we tread enchanted
By sages, poets, martyrs,—made renowned!
What heroes here, what kings have sprung to
What martyr'd minds of unexhausted worth,—
What gifted ones of heaven's congenial
Have liv'd and struggl'd—starv'd and triumph'd here!
O, never can I press one stone of
Nor think of feet that trod, where now tread mine,—
Of unforgotten greatness that hath
Of genius weeping, perhaps, where I am seen.
While bagatelles in ev'ry distant clime,
Receive the sacrifice of prose and rhyme,
And gaping pilgrims leave
their English home,
With wonder-searching eye for Greece and Rome;—
Must London share no patriot's
Can none sing ancient Thamis' freighted stream;
Meand'ring far through sun-bright
meads, and rifts;
'Neath beetling hills, and Henley's chalky clifts,
With grass-green banks, where cluster'd
In sylvan beauty, from their laurel'd steep?—
Her piles of glory, and her pillar'd
Her tow'ring mansions and historic walls?
While speeds the crowd, how oft I pause to view,
The fairy scene from thy Bridge, Waterloo!—
rest my arms upon the massy stone,
Till spell-blind fancy dreams I stand alone;
Soft whisp'ring flows thy
spread of infant waves,
While far along the dizzy sunshine laves,—
Dancing as light and mellow on
As Hope's first glimmer on a youthful dream!—
Fleet down the river skip the careless
While o'er its bosom tremble flute-breath'd notes;
Or, light barks cluster near its heaving
Whose tangled oars are imaged in the tide;—
Upraise the glance,—majestic to the
Above the amber'd stream, the bridges rise;
While slumb'ring near, with unpartaking smile,
the massive, many-windowed pile.
For thoughts sublime, aloft the Abbey rears
Its towers, in all the majesty of years;
Unawed, no British
patriots here can tread,
The dim cold fane where sleep the mighty dead;—
But, while each dome and
ancient fane conspire,
To rouse the poet, and attune his lyre;
Compel'd, we mark, where London scenes
This queen of cities in the sink of vice!
To London—now so Babylonian grown,
That half is scarce to genuine cocknies known;—
errant mongrels of exotic breed,
What motly knaves from Ganges to the Tweed,—
with mother, brat, and spouse,
Quite scripless all, as to some pauper house?
Hill,—see myriads throng in view,—
Turk, Swiss, and Gaul, John Bull and howling Jew;
world assembled from each far-off clime,
All passing swiftly to the goal of time;
Here, as the buzzing
crowds collected meet,
Behold the living drama of the street!—
The greasy trader paddling with his
The rustic monarch furious for his farms,
The hawk-eyed bailiff, clerk, and jobber grey,
currish boobies, fumbling for their way,—
The flying porters, and the ballad throng,
That pick the
pocket with a venal song,
With all the melody of whips and wheels,
Of bellmen, pawing hoofs, and
No melodrames, though hash'd by Pool or Peake,
Such mingled droll'ry, and
true pathos speak!
Parade the streets!—what countless wonders rise,
Eternal changing to the changing eyes!
sights unrival'd by Niag'ra's Fall,—
Miverva pigs, and tigers from Bengal,
Brobdignag heroes,—Lilliputian dwarfs,
And breeches languishing near ladies' scarfs!
lame in dog-cars—giants on their stilts,
And matrons fing'ring out the ruffled quilts!—
Here, Hunt turns shoe-black to his dear-lov'd land,
And poisonous Eady dirts the lazy hand;
Here, round some
pander's lust-purveying shop,
The peering urchins strain their necks, and stop,—
sermons, when the walls are bare,
With smug enticement catch the lounger's stare.
From vulgar scenes, sometimes a gilded change,
When paunchy shrieves enjoy their wat'ry range;
Now bells are
cracked! and fat the turtle flames,—
For proudly sails the charlatan of Thames!
The sinking river
sweats beneath its weight,
And bubbles anger at the capon'd freight;
While wond'ring ideots stare along the
Sigh for the soup, or watch the dipping oar.
When decent nonsense lures the listless throng,
Small Waithman's speech, or blund'ring Beazeley's song
Repugnant Sense, disdainful of the town,
Collects her censure in a passing frown;
When tumbling Gilchrist
tortures men and girls,
To twist their bodies for gymnastic twirls,
All laugh, to think that morning streets
And wives, through humbug, of their mates bereft,—
But shall we smile, when filthy
A nation's eye with bony nakedness?—
How flocked the ton, and curious virgin
To view the skinless mirror of a man,
Shipped off from Gaul—where skeletons
To show its beastly zone on British ground!
Lascivious Gaul! in mercy send no more
Disgustful sweepings, from thy baleful shore;
Keep all such filth, to please thine own foul race,
Mean without shame, and lewd without disgrace!
But while the rich, the vicious, and the vain,
Pursue their pleasure till it turn to pain,—
Rank rolls on, and Pride upturns her eye,
What hapless, houseless, wretches wander by,—
babes, whose tongue cannot repeat their woe,
To Age, that totters on with locks of snow!
Where'er we move,
some wailings strike the ear,
And melt humanity into a tear!—
famished, friendless, poor,
Or trembling tatter'd, at the spurner's door,—
Like Stoics, bear an
Till Government shall bring its slow relief!
Will Pity aid?—oh, here are pangless hearts,
Where sympathy no tender pain imparts;
Eyes, that can
mark, like dead ones, fixed as glass,
The tearful Britons, fainting as they pass!—
the pauper lorn and pale,
With bleeding feet, may shiver to his tale,—
Unfed, the sailor with his
Recal the ocean, by a painted ship,—
Unwept, a suckling Niobé may
While clinging infants lisp their early need!
And sadly faint, the shredless and unknown,
chalk their fortunes on their bed of stone.
To this huge capital,—the dream of youth,
That paradise till Fancy melt in truth,—
young advent'rer, kindling for a name,
Repairs to offer at the shrine of Fame:
Parental lips have sealed
their parting kiss,
And fond farewells have omen'd future bliss,—
Then proudly pure, his panting
While Hope around him all her magic throws;
Thus comes he to the crowded capital,
toil-worn genius fades, and talents fall;
And hate and rivalship alike conspire,
To crush the spirit, and
exhale its fire.
Deluding weakness! here did Goldsmith roam,
And Chatterton could share no shelt'ring home;
Otway hunger'd to his grave,
And toiling Johnson drudg'd a printer's slave!
The lurking satire of each
The bribe-fed sycophants that swagger by,—
The knaves that cozen, and the fools
With all the thorns on life's precarious road,—
Commingled, these oft balk the
On life, to steer his little bark alone:
How many a flower of dear domestic pride,
wasted fragrance here, has drooped and died!
Yet better far, to languish on and die,
Than live to pen the page of infamy,
Like those dull tools that
browse on mean-got pay,
And furbish libels to supply the day,—
Too vain to labour where their
Turned letter'd dolts in gloomy garrets hid;
Where, unbeheld, their fev'rish lungs can
The smoky airs that whistle through each chink:
A bed, whose bronzing blankets sweep the ground,
Amid dismember'd chattels mourning round;
One fusty board, where rare the grub is placed,
A desk, and shelf
with mildew'd volumes graced—
And lamp and filth—complete the stenching room,
Cockney paper-minions mope and fume.
Fine rapes and murders—acted in the brain,—
sudden fires quenched out by sudden rain;
A magic quill, for pand'ring party lies,
To heap on virtuous heads
The art to wrench a pun, or slimy bit
Of cobbled nonsense clench'd up into wit,
pinch a puff—indite a paragraph,
Or Tookish squib to make the Tookites
Insures a living where detraction's fed,
A "free admission," and a lousy bed.
skinny lip, moist eye, and thread-worn dress,
And lean long visage, soap can seldom bless,—
Announcing mark, like Cain's base-branded brow,
These plodding elves, from Grub-street to the Row.
Sure, England's climate more diseaseful grows,
And every gust a fresh distemper blows!
Æsculapians now, like mushrooms rise,
And physic sickens on the sated eyes.
No art is quackless
now;—from College skill,
To Lambert's Balm, and Abernethy's pill:
What lives are ravag'd by the
Of canker'd powders, and blood-pois'ning draught!
Who knows what hapless victims yearly
By lancing lubbers, and cathartic ball;—
Hack'd, swill'd, and purg'd, till physic stifle
Though such mistakes ne'er hap till after death!
Our flesh seems priceless after parted life,
And feeling shudders at the murd'rous knife;
That worms should
feast upon primeval earth,—
This doctrine Nature speaks, to mark our birth;
But human thieves, to
mawl th' uncoffin'd clay,
And tear men up before the judgment day!—
Such putrid horrors for the
Become a cannibal's,—or Cooper's head;
Though Abernethy sniff his awful nose,
And College puppies plant their bloody blows!
"An honest man's the noblest work of God;"
So lectur'd Pope, who swayed the critic's rod;—
He's prais'd by matron, moralist and don,
Though seen more rarely than the coal-black swan!
True Honesty!—where is it in these days,
When rogues repeat, and villains beg their
Not in the full-blown unassuming face,
Where honesty is but a smiling grace;
the glossy candour of their tones,
Who pule and gabble what the heart disowns;—
Nor in prim
proverbs daub'd with moral paint,
Where unfelt goodness whimpers from the saint,
Or mumbling drones, that
foster secret vice,
But blazon Virtue, and define her nice:
In truth, the honest man scarce lives at
The last I saw, was on a church-yard wall!—
If ev'ry knave must have his reprimand,
take a rope, and gibbet half the land.
A tribe there is,—the tribe of every street,
That steal unhang'd, yet help to hang the cheat;
plague so direful, Egypt never saw,—
The money-gulping vermin of the law:
The perjur'd banes to
aught sincere and good,
Who prowl for jobs, and filch for daily food:
No doubt, if Satan roams his kindred
He finds a lawyer's cranium for his birth!
Down that long lane, whose time-encrusted porch
Leads care-worn clients to a dubious lurch,
In woeful wigs,
and wavy robes resort,
Our budding Eldons, to beseige the court;
With fretful step, and circumambient
And wrinkled brow, and bag, all slow advance;
Grim, lean, and hunger'd,—pond'ring on their
And prompt to spy the loop-holes of the laws.
But see! what dapper caitiffs bustling come,
teeth-grip'd lips compress the mutter'd hum?
A savage grin plays on the sallow cheek,
eye-brows, augur'd pillage speak;
Beneath their hugging arms, tied briefs repose,
And free behind, the ruby
These are the scurvy minions of a breed,
Whose sateless mouths on thwarted justice
A cringing, tricky, over-bearing host,
Whose law is quibble, and whose cheat's a
Who twist fair reason to a crooked shape
Teach fraud to flourish, and the rogue to'scape,
Conceal a contract deed, from orphans wrench,
And help the thief, both in and out the bench;
A baser tribe,
three kingdoms cannot nurse,
To well-stocked clients, bowing, sneaking, terse;
To lowlier ones, presumptive
Tap-room Moguls, and despots of the day:
E'en round the cup they'll pant to twine
And plot a quarrel, to create a cause!
Now leave the law, for that which must allure,—
For modesty—so docile and so
Marked in the gait, and seated on the front,
And just now gallicised to, mauvaise
Of ev'ry home and ev'ry clime a part,
But rarely templed in the taintless heart:
The French (a southern clime is apt to warm,)
Perceive its presence in each filthy charm:—
Their wanton beauties daunt the bravest eye,
Nor blush, when petticoats ascend too high,
further,—'tis but artlessness revealed,—
Their honour's guarded by the stoic
In Britain, (were she, faithful to her name,
Un-French in manner, as un-French in fame!)
modesty and love are threadbare themes,
For moral mouths, and sanctimonious dreams;—
behold it in a wax-doll maid,
With minc'd palaver, and a step delayed,—
In squeaks of sentiment,
and lips that sigh
A dismal death-dirge o'er a bleeding fly,—
Or eyes that dribble buckets full of
And heads that droop down like dead donkies' ears!
How modest too, those plaintive mouths that
No bliss colloquial, save 'tis simpering there?—
How modest Coutts! that with an
Does good by stealth, and frowns to find it fame.
Now titles seldom shine without a spot,
Start not, to find distinctive rank forgot;
That pert Intrusion
levels all the town,
And ev'ry rascal wears a kingly frown:
Securely panoplied in birth-right brass,
Our spurious "gentles" undiscover'd pass;
And swagger on with autocratic sneer,
The first to babble, and the
last to hear.—
"What titled Nabob he, that quizzes there,
With braided bosom, and Macassar'd
The creamy glove, and supercilious shoe,
That glossy garment of imperial blue,—
taper'd fingers, and unwholesome skin,
Betray patrician spirit shrined within?"—
a tailor, kneaded to a fop,
Obliged Sir T. with loans,—and left his shop!
"And who is he, with
punchy cheek, and nose,
Whose vermeil tip with pompous grandeur glows?"—
huckster,—in the Commons now,
Who piles his honour on a brazen brow.
Revealing day has fled;—and foggy Night,
With mist, and lamp-light, claims alternate right:
perch'd in coaches, whirl to see the play,
The stiff-neck'd traders, weary of their day;
Clad in the motley
hues of dressy skill,
How sweet to lose the meanness of a till!
Alack! each grumble, posture, gabbling
Announce the shop,—though in the lower row;
The frowsy Hottentots that puff and
The snip that paws his chin, and ruffs his hair,
The sleek apprentice, balancing his side,
fumbling hucksters, big with watch-chain pride,
Poor mimics!—show amid their "bran new" dress,
direful struggles of vain littleness.
How time must lag, where Fashion sits the queen,
Nor heart, nor soul, commingles with the scene;
succeeding hour is but the last,
And Folly stagnates, by herself surpass'd:—
To scribble, leave
the card's diurnal lie,
Watch Christie's grin, or pinch a noon-tide pie,
Create importance in a matin
Unpack a tradesman's shop—nor buy at all,—
Crawl forth each morn, and so yawn out
Growl, smile, and guzzle,—sorrowing, to be gay;
Thus, Fashion dupes her addle-headed
Until, like dogs, they shrivel to their graves!
How sweet those hours! where beldames, fine and fat,
Enjoy the curtsey, and the thumb-worn hat;
assembled for a tongue-born strife,
In nimble nonsense talk away their life;
elop'd?—Whose paroquet has died?—
The mighty trash a solemn hint implied;
How gross Duke
D—! how famine thins the land!
What future "Boleyn" groans 'neath Milman's hand?
C—m's amours, Fitzherbert's right,—
What new-made whore shall kick the stage to-night?
Here, tender Wellesley and enamour'd Bligh,
With kid-napp'd Turner, rouse each Wakefield's sigh;
pug-like Brummells wince, and Berkleys walk,
While eager Pagets linger as they talk;
Clóghers preach of skies above,
Or wink a lecture on illegal love:
Old maids are
prim'd—the coxcombs cough perfume,
And belles and albums please the fool-cramm'd room,
While naked Cupids, frisking on a screen,
Make staring widows pant for what has been!
When chilling mists, within a yellow cloud,
Creep on the Strand, and dense the street enshroud,
filth, from each Mac Adam's road,
Lights on the cheek, as swift the drivers goad,—
like a chrysalis, unrolls,
And dark December greets her winter souls:
Fleet rush the
chariots,—flash the whisker'd host,
Poole loads the wall, and Hafiz daubs the "Post"—
Returning gadders soon the tour-race run,
And Margate follies thrive at Kensington.
While tawdry Fashion struts her idle way,
Let's pause, and sketch some models of the day:
First stalks the
In step a Brummell, and in look a Hayne;
"From head to
toe," perfum'd like Rowland shops,
He's every inch the paragon of fops!
A porkish whiteness pales his
And muslin halters hold the pimpl'd chin;
A gleaming spy-glass dangles from his neck,
ev'ry honor hangs upon his beck!
A goatish thing—he lives on ogling eyes,
handkerchiefs, and woman's sighs!
Its door-acquirements, and revolving limb,
Its luscious prate, and bawdy
hints so trim,—
Secure each beldame's patronizing smile,
And feast the Bacchanals of lewd Argyle!
The foppish soldier, pining for a ball,
Comes clinking next, the cynosure of all:
Though boastless he of
Like him, in uniform, his valour glows;
For him, will titled Harriets melt and frown,
And rank him darling puppy of the town:
Big lips, and clanking chains, and polished spurs,
sword—that rarely from its scabbard stirs,
The war-like foot fall, and the hairy glue,
All fit him
for another Waterloo!—
Although from blood and smoke his hands are clean,
And all his actions
fought on Brighton Steyne.
While these bedizen'd fools in daylight pass,
And even Wisdom peeps in Fashion's glass,
Pray not, ye
Brummells, for King Charles' times,
We have far sleeker knaves, and courtly crimes;
Our tom-fool Haynes, our
Theodores for wits,
The court-bred bevy, and the whore-famed cits,—
His gilded puppies, when the
wars are o'er,
His heroes whimp'ring at a strumpet's door!
As blinded Fortune's artful wheel went round,
And crafty Bish made prize or blank abound,
umpires plot their doubtful sway,
Now puppies rule—now grooms command the day;
Still, let them
take due rank and place,
Now modest Berkely lends them all his grace!
And spitting Harb'rough cracks the
While ling'ring Stanhope sighs to share his throne;—
O! mark the red nosed Jehu, awe
With file-thinn'd teeth, and "benjamin" complete;
His balanc'd hat, and far equestrian
The val'rous spume that round his muzzle plays;
That cock-pit air, and fine Herculean fist,
Belcher science turns the flexile wrist;
The look from Tatterstall's,—the snorted
All shew him tallied for the horse's tail:
Had heaven, in pity, doomed the vulgar
In fitter rank the whip and wheel to rule,
How would his stable mien adorn the place,
And add new
dignity to coachee's grace!
Be proud, be greatly proud of Jehu's fame,
Great Albion, worthy now of Argos' name:
ass—each "bit of blood" can breed,
Or whip with critic lash, the glossy steed;
Far round the world
thy titled greatness blooms,
Thy barons whips, thy peerage raised to grooms!
There are some brutal dolts of Huntish schools,
Who deem all women born for sensual tools;
As if no
chasteness hallowed female breasts,
And love and constancy but liv'd in jests!—
Some colder tastes
approve the priggish Blues,
Who shift their sex, and snarl like quack reviews,
Blight every gentle grace
that Nature gave,
And stifle loveliness in learning's grave;—
But, where's the heart, that has not
To each pure feeling—that approves the "belle"?
That living lie, to wanton
The puppy's play-thing, and the ball-room toy;
The one whom flippant thousands dream their
The love of all, and yet a friend in none!
Such now the Frenchy belles of Britain's isle,
dress, to dazzle, and beguile,—
Or slabber royal palms, and gaily flaunt,
Bath,—that Bedlamitish haunt;
There, taught by swaddled demireps, she blooms,
would-be bawd of Nash's Rooms;
Each year, the tourist of sea-water'd towns,
Till virgin simpers change to
When we survey these flimsy dolls deck'd out,
By trick maternal, for the evening
Their inane flutter, and illusive gaze,
Or hear the gabblings of their selfish praise;
the form, without its gem, the soul,—
That priceless charm which beautifies the whole!
Now to the Sabbath turn—by Heav'n design'd
To solace labour, and becalm the mind;
It dawns on
London, but for dress and art,
When pride, for six days kept, relieves the heart.
What! though the
time-hoar'd steeples point sublime,
And, from the belfry rolls the far-swell'd chime,
Though mingled peals,
by ling'ring breezes driv'n,
Still sound like deep mementos knell'd from heav'n;
How rare the homage,
kindled by the day,
Within the fane, or on the wheel-worn way!
The lifted hands, and felt responsive
The knee's low bend before the viewless throne,—
That heart-born worship pictur'd in the
And deep seclusion of the soul that prays—
Few fanes ere hallow now—though Fashion
Opes her vile lip, and deems the mock'ry, pray'r.
To flaunt a boddice, or a fine peruke,
Survey a rival, and a dropsied duke,—
Review their skins,
and realize the noon,
Turn the light head, and lisp a pew lampoon,
Or mete the mincing parson's plastic
And close each "hear us!" with a nod or beck,—
For this, the ton, in George's genteel
From parks, and Thames' stream, an hour refrain!
Some too, are holy round their Sunday fire,
Where, baffled doctrines like its smoke expire;
Discuss polemics o'er their tea and toast,
fast—and smile away the Holy Ghost.
While thus Religion, and each rev'rend truth,
Are scoff'd by dotards, and contemn'd by youth,
Vice, with all her hell-born train,
Pervades the city, and pollutes the plain:
What styes of
lewdness,—cells for covert crime,
What holes to suit all age, all rank, and time,
modern haunts—where bevies swarm,
And vice is bliss, and infamy, a charm!—
where meet the beggar'd and the great,
St. Giles' scroff, with helmsmen of the state,—
retreats for link-boys, cheats, and sots,
Who celebrate their orgies round their pots,—
masquerades, where dress'd debauchers wile,
And bevied harlots straddle through Argyle.
Argyle!—fir'd at the sound, my muse shall light
In honest vengeance on humbugging W—
That vinous Colburn, whose accursed rhymes,
Delude the country, and disgrace the times:
rogue!—will not the day-light gain
Enough poor victims for thy false champagne?
drug-compounded mess of gooseberry juice,
Corked into froth, and coloured for our use;—
pale drunkards of the midnight hour,
Buy off the stale, the rotten, and the sour,
Each lot too rancid for
the day's broad sale,
With all the mess of porter and of ale?
O what a heaven is thine own Masquerade!
Now for the velvet cap, and rich brocade,
The clown to tumble, with his plaster'd face,
belts,—and harlots in their lace!
The knave as polished as his heart is black,—
whole foul orgies of an Argyle pack!
What then?—the minstrel slyly creeps his round,
lessens, and the corks abound!—
Though each trick'd virgin should return a w—e,
matter,—— has sunk his cellar'd store!
Oh, Fie! Mayor Brown—to suffer such a
Forsake awhile the turtle and the soup;
Go, send your red-fringed bullies to Argyle,—
No "hell" so monstrous, and no den so vile!
Break up this glittering bedlam of the night,
sawney, and empale C—!
To London, too, what rustic maids decoy'd
From those sweet homes, their
infant years enjoy'd,
By courteous villains are beset and wil'd,
If One there be, that sees sublime o'er all,
perish, or a sparrow fall"—
His judgment-curse repay the trait'rous arts,
That wither up the
innocence of hearts,—
In secret stews, that slaughter trusting love,
And blast the spirits that
should reign above!
To blazon London vice, need Satire's muse
Descend to cock-pits, "Finish," and the stews,—
the Drury styes and oyster-shops,
Their hoggish keepers, and maintaining fops?
To fill the house, e'en
Saloon and bawd, that cater for the play!
Here, 'tween each act the Cyprian dames
And swagg'ring coxcombs fellow souls may meet;
Here, lordlings flourish forth colloquial ire,
Till the long mirrors steam with lust-breath'd fire;
While oft around the glaring punks entice,
flutt'ring freshmen hand the creamy ice:
Warm thanks to managers, let fathers raise,
Ye tender mothers, join
their glowing praise,
For where can wanton youth such wisdom learn,
And kindled lewdness through the bosom
As in saloons,—where mix'd enchantments fill
At once young folly's cup, and
Proud spreads the feast, and richly flows the wine,
In yon tall club-house, where the knaves combine;
Congenial villains—firmly all unite
To dazzle, glut, and gamble out the night:
'Tis sweet, through
Fashion's round to darken all,
Out-deck the peer, and startle at the ball;
'Tis sweet, to strut the nabobs
of the day,
Tho' cheats conspired, and gambling grip'd their pay!
True to their trade, these clubbing
To pluck the fortunes of each silly heir;
Then crawl away, like spiders fat with
Fools for their game, and ruin for their food!
How oft is beggar'd affluence forced to roam
Far from its peace, and once respected home,
While all its
honours droop forgot away,
And palaces become a blackleg's prey?
No tie the gambler from his conclave
Himself, nor dearer self, his passion spares;
When wretched Av'rice weaves her deadly plot,
kindred, heaven, and hell itself forgot!
Great God! how hearts must welter in their vice,
When blighted happiness supports the dice,
with convivial smiles can meet,
Sit face to face, and triumph in the cheat!
Within St. James' Hells, what
Both young and hoary, to pursue their sport!
'Tis Mis'ry revels here!—the
And lips that quiver with the curse obscene,
The hollow cheeks that faintly fall and rise,
While silent madness flashes from the eyes,
Those fever'd hands, the darkly-knitting brow,
passions delve their traces now—
Denote the ruined,—whose bewilder'd air,
wild vengeful throbbing of despair!
Deserted homes, and mothers' broken hearts,
offspring,—crime's unfathomed arts,
The suicide,—and ev'ry sad farewell,—
These are the triumphs of a London Hell!
Can titles dignify a cunning cheat?—
Not though C--- swear the debt complete,
When he, O'N--- ,
and P--- conjoin,
Bamboozle A---o, and divide the coin:
For such a bandit, famed Chalk Farm uprears
battle-field,—where base or brutish peers,
And touchy boobies, fire away their dread,
thick-skulls blunt, the disappointed lead:
Lo! there the heroes stand,—the pistols
Heaven sweep from Britain's isle one villain more!
Here L--- and G--- their prowess
Till gentle smoke-clouds fumigate their eye;
And tender Dick, whose philanthropic pride
Can drop a
tear on ev'ry donkey's side,—
His duellistic fools can here surpass,
And shoot the blackleg,
though he guard the ass:
The last fine haunt for Fashion's bloated dames,
To pamper pride, and furbish up their names,—
proud "Almacks," where rival quarterings rear,
And harridans select their fav'rite peer;
Fair S---'s luring
smile, and S---d's frown,
Soft H---'s smirk, and B---y's book renown,—
All serve the myst'ries of
this dread conclave
While Willis toils, their sneakup and their slave:
O peerless senate!—ye who
And trace beyond the flood, a pedigree,
Illumined rulers of a wax-lit stye,
twirls the leg, and rolls the eye,—
Let your mean pride ascend to decent aim,
Outlaw the bosom's
Loose the tight breech, [. . .]
[. . .]
Though H--- arm her cold-condemning
And lip-flush'd L--- pine for other days—
Untempted Virtue might o'ersway the ball,
lech'ry burn within a safer thrall!
The ball commences—rich the music flows,
Melts on the heart, and vivifies the toes;
Wide o'er the
room, behold the chalky round,
Where light the foot-beat floor begins to bound;
Awak'ning pleasure each red
And flirting misses toss their crested plumes;—
Warm streams the blood within each
Tints the bright cheek, and rushes on the brain.
Now anxious ideots in their pomps appear,
From city banker up to lean jaw'd peer;
Here a huge beldame swells
within her stays,
Smirks at each beau—and flaps him for his praise;
Here Bond Street puppies, rank
with eau Cologne,
Limp round the room, and whimper to the ton;
While peevish beldames by their
Glance in their eyes, and pray—"God send a match!"
Connubial Waltz! 'tis thine our sight to charm,
Wake the sweet thrill, and kindle all the form—
'Tis thine to shed soft dreams as on we trip,
Unbind the bosom,—
In longing eyes to pour a
And hide indecent motions in thy name!
The doleful thunder of the deep-mouth'd bell,
Hath roll'd to heav'n the dying day's farewell;
And, like a
death-groan from a tomb in air,
The echo bounds with dismal mutter there;—
hour:—through England's city Queen
Her countless lamps throw out their glitt'ring sheen;
some pensive pilgrims trace awhile,
The far faint lustre of their twinkling file,—
look, where more serenely bright,
Smile the sweet spirit stars of list'ning Night.
The city slumbers, like a dreary heart,
Whose chaining sorrows tremblingly depart;
And now, what victims are
within her walls,
Whom changeful Fortune martyrs, guides and thralls!
The pale-cheek'd mourner in the
The glad ones tripping o'er the wax-lit room,—
The proud and mean—the
wealthy and the poor,
The free to spend—the miser at his ore,
All now, from ev'ry shade of woe and
In changeful moods their midnight hour employ:
How many pillows bear some fev'rish head,
the weepings on their downy spread;
How many eyes, in sealing slumber hid,
With tear-drops quivering on
their wan-cold lid!
A day of thought, and mingled labour past,
Unwatch'd,—unknown,—with dreamy front
Won by the starry time, I've lov'd to walk
The silent city, and with feeling talk;
the languor of a fever'd frame,
The vesper calm of cooling midnight came:
The glistening choir around their
The heaven of azure, mellow'd and serene;
With all the blended musings of the
Then told me, Night, how eloquent thou art!
Here, while I paced along the shrub-crown'd
Between whose laurels flit the lamp's faint glare,
And watchlights from illumined windows
Athwart the quiet street their flick'ring braid,—
Re-calling Mem'ry bade her spells
And rev'rend visions on my fancy rose:
Each matchless vet'ran of true English days,
the story of their tears and praise,—
The peerless spirits of our glorious clime,
near to consecrate the time!
Now from the Op'ra's widened portals stream
A shiv'ring concourse,—wide the torches
And fling cadav'rous hues upon each face,
Where palled Delight has left her pale-worn
Perturbed mark, the blinking chap'rons guard,
Wrapt in her gather'd silks—their dainty
While flutt'ring near, gallants obtrusive try
To read the twinkling promise of her eye:
the crush-room fretful throngs parade,
And lisping puppies quizz each well-laced maid;
Some round the
fire-place chafe their chilly hands,
Smooth their wild locks, and fold their silken bands:
Here, too, the
rival flirt with whispers loud,
Hung on a suitor's arm, attracts the crowd;
While borne with crutches to the
The snarling cuckolds for their cars implore:
Without,—a Pandemonium seems to
Where busy foot-falls beat along the ground;
The bouncing coachman's sky-ascending bawl,
loud-mouthed lacquies elbowing through all,—
The cracking stones beneath each fire-eyed steed,
eager pawing till the course is freed,
Commingled—greet the concourse hastening home,
To dream of
neat-legg'd eunuchs fresh from Rome!
With tott'ring step and motion of a beast,
Next come the rev'llers, sotted from their feast;
affront, they growl some cockney strain,
Or stutter oaths to ease the swimming brain;
While bustling by,
shop-puppies whiff cigars,
Clink their nail'd heels, and swagger at the stars!—
But who art thou,
whose passion-wither'd face
Sheds mournful beauty through the netted lace?
Those radiant orbs, that so
Like stars, beneath thine eyebrow's arching line,
That lip's vermillion,—brow of
Can these betray thee, child of sin and woe?
Alas, that ever woman's gentle soul
sink to glutted passion's base controul!
But still, around thine air there lurks a grief
That longs, yet
will not ask a pure relief;
Perchance, ere villains taught thee thence to roam,
A mother clasped thee in her
Some grey-locked sire sat round his evening hearth,
Hung on thy neck, and blessed thy happy
But list! huge wheels roll o'er the jarring stones,
I hear the clatt'ring hoofs, and rabble's tones!
yon dome the creaking engines wait,
Where shield-mark'd firemen empt their liquid freight,
awful to the startled sight,
Rear the red columns of resistless light!
The windows deepen into dreadful
Till the hot glass bursts shatt'ring down below;
While darting fires around their wood-work
And lick the water, hissing as it plays;
Above the crackling roof fierce flames arise,
their sparks, careering to the skies;
Triumphantly the ravenous blazes mount,
As if they started from a
Now, cloud-like, piling up in billowy fire,
Now quiv'ring sunk, to re-collect their
But see! again whirl up the blood-red flames,
In vain the rushing flood their fury
Like burning mountain-peaks, aloft they raise,
Their jagged columns of unequal blaze,
loose beams, and flaking rafters fall,
And like a thund'ring earthquake, bury all!
And now, farewell!—and if a forceful line
Hath injured virtue,—let the blame be
But if one vice hath borne its proper name,
Conceit its brand, and fopp'ry its shame;—
If reckless follies, and unblushing crimes,
And all the polished vileness of the times,
Are stamped with
iron hate, severely true,—
Unmasked, unspared, and lash'd beneath the view—
desertless will the patriot deem
The censor's page, and widely-travelled theme.
And thou, lorn Wisdom's child, where'er thou art—
That mark'st each May-morn dream of hope depart,
The knave and parasite on Fortune's throne,
Whilst thou hast only thought to call thine own;
live the solitary sage,
And soar in mind above this venal age;
Rich in thyself, partake the best
A heart well governed, and a life well spent!