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Sent through the trav'ller's temples! He that finds
One drop of Heav'n's fweet mercy in his cup,
Can dig, beg, rot, and perish, well content,
So he may wrap himself in honeft rags,
At his last gasp; but could not for a world
Fish up his dirty and dependent bread
From pools and ditches of the commonwealth,
Sordid and fick❜ning at his own fuccefs.

Ambition, av'rice, penury incurr'd

By endless riot, vanity, the luft
Of pleasure and variety, difpatch,

As duly as the fwallows disappear,

The world of wand'ring knights and fquires to town.
London ingulfs them all! The shark is there,
And the shark's prey; the spendthrift, and the leech
That fucks him. There the fycophant, and he
Who, with bare-headed and obfequious 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 character'd on every statesman's door,

"BATTER'D AND BANKRUPT FORTUNES MENDED

HERE."

Thefe 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 thirft to be amus'd,
That at the found of winter's hoary wing
Unpeople all our counties of fuch herds.
Of flutt'ring, loit'ring, cringing, begging, loofe
And wanton vagrants, as make London, vaft
And boundless as it is, a crowded coop.

Oh thou, refort and mart of all the earth,
Chequer'd with all complexions of mankind,
And fpotted 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 pleaseft and yet fhock'ft me, I can laugh
And I can weep, can hope, and can defpond,
Feel wrath and pity, when I think on thee!
Ten righteous would have fav'd a city once,
And thou haft many righteous.-Well for thee-
That falt preferves thee; more corrupted elfe,
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 TASK.

BOOK IV.

ARGUMENT OF THE FOURTH BOOK.

The poft comes in.-The news-paper is read.—The world contemplated at a diflance.—Address to Winter.—The rural amusements of a winter evening compared with the fashionable ones.—Addrefs to evening.—A brown Audy-Fall of fnow in the evening.-The waggoner. -A poor family-piece. The rural thief.-Public houses.-The multitude of them cenfured.—The farmer's daughter: what he was what he is.-The fimplicity of country manners almoft loft.-Caufes of the change. Defertion of the country by the rich.Neglect of magiftrates.-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 TASK.

BOOK IV.

THE WINTER EVENING.

HARK! 'tis the twanging horn o'er yonder bridge,
That with its wearifome but needful length
Beftrides the wintry flood, in which the moon
Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright ;-
He comes, the herald of a noify world,

With fpatter'd boots, ftrapp'd waift, and frozen locks;
News from all nations lumb'ring at his back.
True to his charge, the clofe-pack'd load behind,
Yet careless what he brings, his one concern
is to conduct it to the deftin'd inn;

And, having dropp'd th' expected bag, pass on.
He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch,
Cold and yet cheerful: meffenger of grief

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