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That he succeeds 't is ten to one;
Your vote and interest, sir!” – 'Tis done.
Our pupil's hopes, though twice defeated,
Are with a scholarship completed :
A scholarship but half maintains,
And college-rules are heavy chains:
In garret dark he smokes and puns,
A prey to discipline and duns;
And now, intent on new designs,
Sighs for a fellowship -- and fines,
When nine full tedious winters past *,
That utmost wish is crown'd at last :
But the rich prize no sooner got,
Again he quarrels with his lot:
“ These fellowships are pretty things,
We live indeed like petty kings:
But who can bear to waste his whole age
Amid the dullness of a college,
Debarr'd the common joys of life,
And that prime bliss -- a loving wife !
O! what 's a table richly spread,
Without a woman at its head ?
Would some snug benefice but fall,
Ye feasts, ye dinners ! farewell all!
To offices I'd bid adieu,
Of dean, vice præs. — of bursar too ;
Come joys, that rural quiet yields,
Come tythes, and house, and fruitful fields !”
* The scholars of Trinity are superannuated, if they do not succeed to fellowships in nine years after their election to scholarships.
Too fond of freedom and of ease A patron's vanity to please, Long time he watches, and by stealth, Each frail incumbent's doubtful health; At length, and in his fortieth year, A living drops - two hundred clear ! With breast elate beyond expression, He hurries down to take possession, With rapture views the sweet retreat “ What a convenient house! how neat! For fuel here's sufficient wood : Pray God the cellars may be good! The garden that must be new-plann'dShall these old-fashion'd yew-trees stand ? O'er yonder vacant plot shall rise The flow'ry shrub of thousand dyes: Yon wall, that feels the southern ray, Shall blush with ruddy fruitage gay: While thick beneath its aspect warm O'er well-rang'd hives the bees shall swarm, From which, ere long, of golden gleam Metheglin's luscious juice shall stream: This awkward hut, o'ergrown with ivy, We 'll alter to a modern privy: Up yon green slope, of hazels trim, An avenue so cool and dim Shall to an arbour at the end, In spite of gout, entice a friend. My predecessor lov'd devotionBut of a garden had no notion.”
Continuing this fantastic farce on, He now commences country parson
To make his character entire,
He weds - a cousin of the 'squire ;
Not over-weighty in the purse,
But many doctors have done worse :
And though she boasts no charms divine,
Yet she can carve and make birch wine.
Thus fixt, content he taps his barrel,
Exhorts his neighbours not to quarrel ;
Finds his church-wardens have discerning
Both in good liquor and good learning ;
With tythes his barns replete he sees,
And chuckles o'er his surplice fees;
Studies to find out latent dues,
And regulates the state of pews;
Rides a sleek mare with purple housing,
To share the monthly club's carousing ;
Of Oxford pranks facetious tells,
And - but on Sundays — hears no bells;
Sends presents of his choicest fruit,
And prunes himself each sapless shoot ;
Plants cauliflowers, and boasts to rear
The earliest melons of the year ;
Thinks alteration charming work is,
Keeps Bantam cocks, and feeds his turkies;
Builds in his copse a fav’rite bench,
And stores the pond with carp and tench.
But ah ! too soon his thoughtless breast
By cares domestic is opprest;
And a third butcher's bill, and brewing,
Threaten inevitable ruin:
For children fresh expenses yet,
And Dicky now for school is fit.
“ Why did I sell my college life,”
He cries, “ for benefice and wife?
Return, ye days, when endless pleasure
I found in reading, or in leisure !
When calm around the common room
I puff'd my daily pipe's perfume!
Rode for a stomach, and inspected,
At annual bottlings, corks selected :
And din'd untax'd, untroubled, under
The portrait of our pious founder !
When impositions were supply'd
To light my pipe -
:- or soothe my pride.
No cares were then for forward peas,
A yearly-longing wife to please;
My thoughts no christ’ning dinners crost,
No children cry'd for butter'd toast ;
And ev'ry night I went to bed,
Without a modus in my head !”
Oh! trifling head, and fickle heart !
Chagrin'd at whatsoe'er thou art ;
A dupe to follies yet untry'd,
And sick of pleasures, scarce enjoy’d !
Each prize possess’d, thy transport ceases,
And in pursuit alone it pleases.
INSCRIPTION IN A HERMITAGE
AT ANSLEY HALL IN WARWICKSHIRE
BENEATH this stony roof reclin'd,
I soothe to peace my pensive mind;
And while, to shade my lowly cave,
Embowering elms their um brage wave;
And while the maple dish is mine,
The beechen cup, unstain'd with wine;
I scorn the gay licentious crowd,
Nor heed the toys that deck the proud.
Within my limits lone and still
The blackbird pipes in artless trill;
Fast by my couch, congenial guest,
The wren has wove her mossy nest ;
From busy scenes, and brighter skies,
To lurk with innocence, she flies :
Here hopes in safe repose to dwell,
Nor aught suspects the sylvan cell.
At morn I take my custom'd round,
To mark how buds yon shrubby mound,
And every opening primrose count,
That trimly paints my blooming mount:
Or o'er the sculptures, quaint and rude,
That grace my gloomy solitude,
I teach in winding wreaths to stray
Fantastic ivy's gadding spray.
At eve, within yon studious nook,
I ope my brass-embossed book,
Pourtray'd with many a holy deed
Of martyrs, crown'd with heavenly meed:
Then as my taper waxes dim,
Chant, ere I sleep, my measur'd hymn;
And at the close, the gleams behold
Of parting wings bedropt with gold.