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PETRONIUS! all the muses weep for thee;
FROM school to Cam or Isis, and thence home;
Ere long, some bowing, smirking, smart abbé, Remarks two loit'rers that have lost their way; And being always prim with politesse For men of their appearance and address, With much compassion undertakes the task To tell them more than they have wit to ask: Points to inscriptions wheresoe'er they tread, Such as, when legible, were never read, But, being canker'd now and half worn out, Craze antiquarian brains with endless doubt; Some headless hero, or some Cæsar showsDefective only in his Roman nose; Exhibits elevations, drawings, plans, Models of Herculanean pots and pans ; And sells them medals, which, if neither rare Nor ancient, will be so, preserv'd with care.
Strange the recital! from whatever cause His great improvement and new light he draws, The squire, once bashful, is shame-fac'd no more, But teems with pow’rs he never felt before : Whether increas'd momentum, and the force With which from clime to clime he sped his course, (As axles sometimes kindle as they go) Chaf’d him, and brought dull nature to a glow;
Or whether clearer skies and softer air,
YON ancient prude, whose wither'd features show
upon Her eye-brows arch’d, her eyes both gone astray To watch yon am'rous couple in their play, With bony and unkerchief'd neck, defies The rude inclemency of wintry skies, And sails, with lappet-head and mincing airs, Duly, at clink of bell, to morning pray’rs. To thrift and parsimony much inclin'd, She get allows herself that boy behind. The shiv'ring urchin, bending as he goes, With slip-shod heels, and dew-drop at his nose; His predecessor's coat advanc’d to wear, Which future pages yet are doom'd to share; Carries her bible, tuck'd beneath his arm, And hides his hands, to keep his fingers warm.