Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

PETRONIUS.

PETRONIUS! all the muses weep for thee;
But ev'ry tear shall scald thy memory:
The graces, too, while virtue at their shrine
Lay bleeding under that soft hand of thine,
Felt each a mortal stab in her own breast,
Abhorr'd the sacrifice, and curs'd the priest.
Thou polish'd and high-finish'd foe to truth,
Gray-beard corrupter of our list'ning youth,
To purge and skim away the filth of vice,
That, so refin’d, it might the more entice,
Then pour it on the morals of thy son,
To taint his heart, was worthy of thine own!
Now, while the poison all high life pervades,
Write, if thou can’st, one letter from the shades;
One, and one only, charg’d with deep regret
That thy worst part, thy principles, live yet;
One sad epistle thence may cure mankind
Of the plague spread by bundles left behind.

THE

TRAVELLED COXCOMB.

FROM school to Cam or Isis, and thence home;
And thence, with all convenient speed, to Rome,
With rev'rend tutor, clad in habit lay,
To tease for cash, and quarrel with, all day;
With memorandum-book for ev'ry town,
And ev'ry post, and where the chaise broke down;
His stock, a few French phrases got by heart;
With much to learn, but nothing to impart,
The youth, obedient to his sire's commands,
Sets off a wand'rer into foreign lands.
Surpris'd at all they meet, the gosling pair,
With awkward gate, stretch'd neck, and silly stare,
Discover huge cathedrals, built with stone,
And steeples tow’ring high, much like our own;
But show peculiar light by many a grin
At popish practices observ'd within.

a

[ocr errors]

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,
That make Italian flow'rs so sweet and fair,
Fresh'ning his lazy spirits as he ran,
Unfolded genially, and spread the man;
Returning, he proclaims, by many a grace,
By shrugs, and strange contortions of his face,
How much a dunce, that has been sent to roam,
Excels a dunce that has been kept at home.

N

AN

ANTIQUE PRUDE.

her lips,

YON ancient prude, whose wither'd features show
She might be young some forty years ago,
Her elbows pinion'd close upon her hips,
Her head erect,

her fan

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.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »