Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

London ingulphs them all! The shark is there,
And the shark's prey; the spendthrift, and the leech
That sucks him. There the sycophant, and he
Who, with bare-headed and obsequious bows,
Begs a warm office, doom'd to a cold jail
And groat per diem, if his patron frown.
The levee swarms, as if, in golden pomp,
Were characters on ev'ry statesman's door,
"batter'd And Bankrupt Fortunes Mended Here.''
These are the charms that fully and eclipse
The charms of nature. 'Tis the cruel gripe
That lean hard-handed poverty inflicts,
The hope of better things, the chance to win,
The wish to shine, the thirst to be amus'd,
That at the found of winter's hoary wing
Unpeople all our counties of such herds
Of flutt'ring, loit'ring, cringing, begging, loose
And wanton vagrants, as make London, vast
And boundless as it is, a crowded coop.

Oh thou, resort and mart of all the earth, Chequer'd with all complexions of mankind, And spotted with all crimes; in whom I fee Much that I love, and more that I admire, And all that I abhor; thou freckled fair, That pleascst and yet shock'st me, I can laugh And I can weep, can hope, and can despond, Feel wrath and pity, when I think on thee! Ten righteous would have sav'd a city once, And thou hast many righteous.—Well for thee— That salt preserves thee; more corrupted else,' And therefore more obnoxious, at this hour Than Sodom in her day had pow'r to be, For whom God heard his Abr'am plead in vain.

THE

T A S K.

BOOK IV.

ARGUMENT OF THE FOURTH BOOK.

The post comes in.The news-paper is read.The world contemplated at a distance.Address to Winter.The rural amusements of a winter evening compared with the fashionable ones.Address to evening.-—A brown study.Fall of snow in the evening.The waggoner. A poor family-piece.The rural thief.Public houses.The multitude of them censured.The farmer's daughter: what she waswhat she is.The simplicity of country manners almost loft.Causes of the change.Desertion of the country by the rich.Neglect of magistrates.The militia principally in fault.The new recruit and his transformation.Reflection on bodies corporate.The love of rural objects natural to all, and never to be totally extinguished.

THE

ASK.

BOOK IV.
THE WINTER EVENING.

Hark! 'tis the twanging horn o'er yonder bridge.
That with its wearisome but needful length
Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon
Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright;—
He comes, the herald of a noisy world,
With fpatter'd boots, strapp'd waist, and frozen locks.
News from all nations lumb'ring at his back.
True to his charge, the close-pack'd load behind,
Yet careless what he brings, his one concern
Is to conduct it to the destin'd inn;

« ForrigeFortsett »