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He fancies every vice she shows,
Or thins her lip or points her nose,
Whenever rage or envy rise,
How wide her mouth, how wild her eyes! .
He knows not how, but so it is,
Her face is grown a knowing phiz-
And, though her fops are wondrous civil,
He thinks her ugly as the devil.
Now, to perplex the ravell’d noose,
As each a different way pursues-
While sullen or loquacious strife.
Promis'd to hold them on for life
That dire disease, whose ruthless power
Withers the beauty's transient flower,
Lo! the small-pox—whose horrid glare
Levell’d its terrors at the fair;
And, rifling every youthful grace,
Left but the remnant of a face.
The glass, grown hateful to her sight,
Reflected now—a perfect fright-
Each former art she vainly tries
To bring back lustre to her eyes;
In vain she tries her pastes and creams
To smooth her skin, or hide its seams:
Her country beaux and city cousins,
Lovers no more, flew off by dozens:
The squire himself was seen to yield-
And e'en the captain quit the field.
Poor madam, now condemn'd to hack
The rest of life with anxious Jack,
Perceiving others fairly flown,
Attempted pleasing him alone.
Jack soon was dazzled to behold
Her present face surpass the old.
With modesty her cheeks are dyed;
Humility displaces pride:
For tawdry finery is seen,
A person ever neatly clean:
No more presuming on her sway,
She learns good nature every day:
Serenely gay, and strict in duty,
Jack finds his wife a perfect beauty.
TO IRIS, IN BOW-STREET, COVENT-GARDEN
Say, cruel Iris, pretty rake,
Dear mercenary beauty,
What annual offering shall I make
Expressive of my duty ?
My heart, a victim to thine
Should I at once deliver
Say, would the angry fair one prize
The gift, who slights the giver ?
A bill, a jewel, watch, or toy,
My rivals give; and let them;
If gems or gold impart a joy,
I'll give them when I get them.
I'll give but not the full-blown rose,
Or rose-bud more in fashion
Such short-lived offerings but disclose
A transitory passion
I'll give thee something yet unpaid,
Not less sincere than civil:
I'll give thee-ah! too charming maid,
I'll give thee-to the devil !
IN IMITATION OF DEAN SWIFT.
LOGICIANS have but ill defined
As rational the human mind;
Reason, they say, belongs to man-
But let them prove it if they can.
Wise Aristotle and Smiglecious,
By ratiocinations specious,
Have strove to prove with great precision,
With definition and division,
Homo est ratione præditum-
But for my soul I cannot credit 'em:
And must in spite of them maintain
That man and all his ways are vain,
And that this boasted lord of nature
Is both a weak and erring creature
That instinct is a surer guide
Than reason, boasting mortals' pride,
And that brute beasts are far before 'em,
Deus est anima brutorum,2
Who ever knew an honest brute
At law his neighbour prosecute;
Bring action for assault and battery,
Or friend beguile with lies and flattery?
O'er plains they ramble unconfin’d,
No politics disturb their mind;
They eat their meals, and take their sport,
Nor know who's in or out at court;
They never to the levee go
To treat as dearest friend a foe;
They never importune his grace,
Nor ever cringe to men in place;
Nor undertake a dirty job,
Nor draw the quill to write for Bob.
Fraught with invective they ne'er go
To folks Paternoster-row:
No jugglers, fiddlers, dancing-masters,
No pickpockets, or poetasters,
Are known to honest quadrupeds;
No single brute his fellow leads;
Brutes never meet in bloody fray,
Nor cut each other's throats for pay.
Of beasts, it is confess'd, the ape
Comes nearest us in human shape:
Like man, he imitates each fashion,
And malice is his ruling passion,
But both in malice and grimaces,
A courtier any ape surpasses.
Behold him, humbly cringing, wait
Upon the minister of state:
View him soon after to inferiors
Aping the conduct of superiors:
He promises with equal air,
And to perform takes equal care.
He in his turn finds imitators:
At court, the porters, lackeys, waiters,
Their masters' manners still contract
And footmen lords and dukes can act.
Thus at the court, both great and small
Behave alike for all
LONG had I sought in vain to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind
The modern scribbling kind, who write
In wit, and sense, and nature's spite
Till reading, I forgot what day on,
A chapter out Tooke's Pantheon,
I think I met with something there,
To suit my purpose to a hair.
But let us not proceed too furious,
First please to turn to god Mercurius:
You'll find him pictured at full length
In book the second, page the tenth.
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our simile.
Imprimis, pray observe his hat;
Wings upon either side-mark that,
Well? what is it from thence we gather?
Why these denote a brain of feather.
A brain of feather! very right-
With wit that's flighty, learning light;
Such as to modern bards decreed;
A just comparison--proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse; Wings grow again from both his shoes; Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear, And waft his godship through the air. And here my simile unites For, in a modern poet's flights, I'm sure it may be justly said, His feet are useful as his head.
Lastly, vouchsafe to observe his hand,
Fill’d with a snake-encircled wand;
By classic authors term’d caduceus,
And highly fam’d for several uses;
To wit-most wondrously endu'd,
No poppy water half so good-
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's such,
Though ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore:
Add, too, what certain writers tell-
With this he drives men's souls to hell
Now to apply, begin we then:
His wand's a modern author's pen;
The serpents round about it twin'd
Denote him of the reptile kind-
Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom’d bites;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike, too, both conduce to sleep
This difference only, as the god
Drove souls Tartarus with his rod,
With his goosequill the scribbling elf
Instead of others damns himself.
And here my simile almost tripp'd,
Yet grant a word by way of postscript.
Moreover, Mercury had a failing;
Well! what of that? out with it-stealing;
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he.
But e'en this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile sistance:
Our modern bards! why what a-pox
Are they—but senseless stones and blocks ?
ON A BEAUTIFUL YOUTH STRUCK BLIND
IMITATED FROM THE SPANISH.
SURE 'twas by Providence design'd,
Rather in pity than in hate,
That he should be, like Cupid, blind,
To save him from Narcissus' fate.