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76 AN EPISTLE TO JOSEPH HILL, ESQ.
Once on a time an emperor, a wise man,
No matter where, in China or Japan,
Decreed that whosoever should offend
Against the well-known duties of a friend,
Convicted once should ever after wear
But half a coat, and shew his bosom bare.
The punishment importing this, no doubt,
That all was naught within, and all found out.
Oh happy Britain! we have not to fear
Such hard and arbitrary measure here;
Else, could a law, like that which I relate,
Once have the sanction of our triple state,
Some few, that I have known in days of old,
Would run most dreadful risk of catching cold;
While you my friend, whatever wind should blow,
Might traverse England safely to and fro,
An honest man, close-buttoned to the chin,
Broad cloth without, and a warm heart within.
BURNING OF LORD MANSFIELD'S
BY THE MOB, IN THE MONTH OF JUNE, 1780.
So then—the Vandals of our isle,
Sworn foes to sense and law,
Have burnt to dust a nobler pile
Than ever Roman saw !
And MURRAY sighs over Pope and Swift,
And many a treasure more,
The well-judged purchase and the gift,
That graced his lettered store.
Their pages mangled, burnt, and torn,
The loss was his alone ;
But ages yet to come shall mourn
The burning of his own.
When wit and genius meet their doom
In all devouring flame,
They tell us of the fate of Rome,
And bid us fear the same.
Over MURRAY's loss the muses wept,
They felt the rude alarm,
Yet blessed the guardian care, that kept
His sacred head from harm.
III. There memory, like the bee, that's fed
From Flora's balmy store, The quintessence of all he read Had treasured up before.
The lawless herd, with fury blind,
Have done him cruel wrong;
The flowers are gone_but still we find
The honey on his tongue.
Thus says the prophet of the Turk,
Good mussulman, abstain from pork ;
There is a part in every swine
No friend or follower of mine
May taste, whatever his inclination,
On pain of excommunication.
Such Mahomet's mysterious charge,
And thus he left the point at large.
Had he the sinful part expressed,
They might with safety eat the rest;
But for one piece they thought it hård
From the whole hog to be debarred;
And set their wit at work to find
What joint the prophet had in mind.
* It may be proper to inform the reader that this piece has already appeared in print, having found its way, though with some unnecessary additions by an unknown hand, into the Leeds Journal, without the author's privity.
Much controversy straight arose,
These choose the back, the belly those ;
By some 'tis confidently said
He meant not to forbid the head :
While others at that doctrine rail,
And piously prefer the tail.
Thus conscience freed from every clog,
Mahometans eat up the hog.
You laugh—'tis well— The tale applied
May make you laugh on t'other side.
Renounce the world—the preacher cries.
We do_a multitude replies.
While one as innocent regards
A snug and friendly game at cards ;
And one, whatever you may say,
Can see no evil in a play;
Some love a concert, or a race;
And others shooting, and the chase.
Reviled and loved, renounced and followed,
Thus, bit by bit, the world is swallowed ;
Each thinks his neighbour makes too free,
Yet likes a slice as well as he:
With sophistry their sauce they sweeten,
Till quite from tail to snout 'tis eaten.