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You shapeless nothing in a dish,
A Poet, in his evening walk,
You, in your grotto-work enclosed,
And as for you, my Lady Squeamish,
Should droop and wither where they grow,
His censure reach'd them as he dealt it,
THE YEARLY DISTRESS,
OR TITHING TIME AT STOCK IN ESSEX.
Verses addressed to a Country Clergyman, complaining of the disagreeableness
of the day annually appointed for receiving the Dues at the Parsonage.
1 COME, ponder well, for 'tis no jest,
To laugh it would be wrong;
The burden of my song.
2 This priest he merry is and blithe
Three quarters of a year :
When tithing time draws near.
3 He then is full of fright and fears,
As one at point to die,
He heaves up many a sigh.
4 For then the farmers come jog, jog,
Along the miry road;
To make their payments good.
5 In sooth the sorrow of such days
Is not to be express’d,
Are both alike distress'd.
6 Now all unwelcome at his gates
The clumsy swains alight,
He trembles at the sight.
7 And well he may, for well he knows
Each bumpkin of the clan,
Will cheat him if he can.
8 So in they come—each makes his leg,
And flings his head before,
And not to quit a score.
9 “And how does miss and madam do,
The little boy and all ?” “ All tight and well. And how do you,
Good Mr What-d'ye-call ?”
10 The dinner comes, and down they sit ;
Were e'er such hungry folk ?
It is no time to joke.
11 One wipes his nose upon his sleeve,
One spits upon the floor,
Holds up the cloth before.
12 The punch goes round, and they are dull
And lumpish still as ever ;
They only weigh the heavier.
13 At length the busy time begins,
“Come, neighbours, we must wag.”The money chinks, down drop their chins,
Each lugging out his bag.
14 One talks of mildew and of frost,
And one of storms of hail,
By maggots at the tail.
15 Quoth one, “A rarer man than you
In pulpit none shall hear :
You sell it plaguy dear.”
16 0 why are farmers made so coarse,
Or clergy made so fine ?
May kill a sound divine.
17 Then let the boobies stay at home ;
'Twould cost him, I dare say, Less trouble taking twice the sum
Without the clowns that pay.
ADDRESSED TO HENRY COWPER, ESQ.1
On his emphatical and interesting Delivery of the Defence of Warren
Hastings, Esq., in the House of Lords.
1 COWPER, whose silver voice, task'd sometimes hard,
Legends prolix delivers in the ears
(Attentive when thou read’st) of England's peers, Let verse at length yield thee thy just reward.
2 Thou wast not heard with drowsy disregard,
Expending late on all that length of plea
Thy generous powers, but silence honour'd thee, Mute as e'er gazed on orator or bard.
3 Thou art not voice alone, but hast beside
Both heart and head; and couldst with music sweet
Of Attic phrase and senatorial tone,
Of others' speech, but magic of thy own.
1. Henry Cowper, Esq.,' Clerk of the Lords. See Macaulay's 'Warren Hastings
END OF VOL I.
BALLANTINE, PRINTER, EDINBURGIL