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Blended with Britains who before were here,
Of whom the Welsh have blest the character.
From this amphibious ill-born mob began
That vain ill-natured thing, an Englishman.
The customs, surnames, languages, and manners
Of all these nations are their own explainers :
Whose relics are so lasting and so strong,
They have left a Shibboleth upon our tongue,
By which, with easy search, you may distinguish
Your Roman-Saxon-Danish-Norman English.
The great invading Norman let us know
What conquerors in after Times might do!
To every musketeer, he brought to Town,
the lands which never were his own.
When first, the English crown he did obtain;
He did not send his Dutchmen home again !
No re-assumption in his reign was known;
DAVENANT might there have let his book alone!
No Parliament, his army could disband;
He raised no money, for he paid in land !
He gave his Legions their eternal Station,
And made them all freeholders of the nation !
He cantoned out the country to his men,
soldier was a denizen !
The rascals thus enriched, he called them, Lords!
To please their upstart pride with new made words:
And Domesday Book, his tyranny records.
And here begins our ancient pedigree That so exalts our poor Nobility! 'Tis that from some French trooper they derive,
Who with the Norman Bastard did arrive. 160 The trophies of the families appear :
Some shew the sword, the bow, and some the spear, Which their Great Ancestor, forsooth! did wear. These in the Heralds' Register remain,
Their noble mean extraction to explain. 165 Yet who the hero was, no man can tell !
Whether a drummer, or a Colonel ?
The silent record blushes to reveal
Their undescended dark Original !
But grant the best! How came the change to pass, 170 A True Born Englishman, of Norman race?
A Turkish horse can shew more history
To prove his well-descended family!
Conquest, as by the Moderns 'tis exprest,
May give a title to the lands possest:
175 But that the longest sword should be so civil,
To make a Frenchman, English; that's the Devil !
These are the heroes who despise the Dutch, And rail at new-come foreigners so much!
Forgetting that themselves are all derived
180 From the most scoundrel race that ever lived !
A horrid crowd of rambling thieves and drones,
Who ransacked kingdoms, and dispeopled towns !
The Pict and painted Britain, treacherous Scot;
By hunger, theft, and rapine hither brought!
Norwegian pirates, buccaneering Dane,
Whose red-haired offspring everywhere remain;
Who, joined with Norman French, compound the breed
From whence your True Born Englishmen proceed !
A SHEPHERD's boy (he seeks no better name)
Led forth his flocks along the silver Thame,
Where dancing sun-beams on the waters played,
And verdant alders formed a quiv'ring shade;
Soft as he mourned, the streams forgot to flow,
The flocks around a dumb compassion show,
The Naïads wept in ev'ry wat'ry bow'r,
And Jove consented in a silent show'r.
Accept, O GARTH! the muse's early lays,
That adds this wreath of ivy to thy bays;
Hear what from love unpractised hearts endure,
From love, the sole disease thou canst not cure.
Ye shady beeches, and ye cooling streams,
Defence from Phæbus', not from Cupid's beams,
To you I mourn; nor to the deaf I sing,
“The woods shall answer, and their echo ring.
The hills and rocks attend my doleful lay,
Why art thou prouder and more hard than they?
The bleating sheep with my complaints agree,
They parched with heat, and I inflamed by thee.
The sultry Sirius burns the thirsty plains,
While in thy heart eternal winter reigns.
Where stray ye, muses, in what lawn or grove,
While your Alexis pines in hopeless love?
In those fair fields where sacred Isis glides,
Or else where Cam his winding vales divides?
As in the crystal stream I view my face,
Fresh rising blushes paint the wat’ry glass;
But since those graces please thy eyes no more,
I shun the fountains which I sought before.
Once I was skilled in ev'ry herb that grew,
And ev'ry plant that drinks the morning dew;
Ah wretched shepherd, what avails thy art,
To cure thy lambs, but not to heal thy heart !
Let other swains attend the rural care,
Feed fairer flocks, or richer fleeces shear:
But nigh yon mountain let me tune my lays,
Embrace my love, and bind my brows with bays.
That flute is mine which Colin's tuneful breath
Inspired when living, and bequeathed in death:
He said; Alexis, take this pipe, the same
That taught the groves my Rosalinda's name:
But now the reeds shall hang on yonder tree,
For ever silent, since despised by thee.
Oh! were I made by some transforming pow'r
The captive bird that sings within thy bow'r !
Then might my voice thy list'ning ears employ,
And I those kisses he receives enjoy.
And yet my numbers please the rural throng,