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THOUGH grief and fondness in my breast rebel,
When injur'd Thales bids the town farewell,
Yet still my calmer thoughts his choice commend,
I praise the hermit, but regret the friend;
Resolv'd at length, from vice and London far,
To breathe, in distant fields, a purer air,
And, fix'd on Cambria's solitary shore,
Give to St. David one true Briton more.
For who would leave, unbrib'd, Hibernia's land,
Or change the rocks of Scotland for the Strand?
There none are swept by sudden fate away,
But all, whom hunger spares, with age decay:
Here malice, rapine, accident, conspire,
And now a rabble rages, now a fire;
Their ambush here relentless ruffians lay,
And here the fell attorney prowls for prey;
a Quamvis digressu veteris confusus amici, Laudo, tamen, vacuis quod sedem figere Cumis Destinet atque unum civem donare Sibyllæ.
b-Ego vel Prochytam præpono Suburæ.
Nam quid tam miserum, tam solum vidimus, ut non
Deterius credas horrere incendia, lapsus
Tectorum assiduos, ac mille pericula sævæ
Urbis et Augusto recitantes mense poetas?
Here falling houses thunder on your head,
And here a female atheist talks
While Thales waits the wherry, that contains
Of dissipated wealth the small remains,
On Thames's banks, in silent thought, we stood
Where Greenwich smiles upon the silver flood;
Struck with the seat that gave Eliza* birth,
We kneel, and kiss the consecrated earth;
In pleasing dreams the blissful age renew,
And call Britannia's glories back to view;
Behold her cross triumphant on the main,
The guard of commerce, and the dread of Spain,
Ere masquerades debauch'd, excise oppress'd
Or English honour grew a standing jest.
A transient calm the happy scenes bestow,
And, for a moment, lull the sense of woe.
At length awaking, with contemptuous frown,
Indignant Thales eyes the neighb'ring town.
Since worth, he cries, in these degen'rate days,
Wants ev'n the cheap reward of empty praise;
In those curs'd walls, devote to vice and gain,
Since unrewarded science toils in vain;
Since hope but sooths to double my distress,
And ev'ry moment leaves my little less;
While yet my steady steps no staff sustains,
And life, still vig'rous, revels in my veins;
Grant me, kind heaven, to find some happier place,
Where honesty and sense are no disgrace;
e Sed dum tota domus reda componitur una,
Substitit ad veteres arcus
d Hic tunc Umbricius; Quando artibus, inquit, honestis
Nullus in urbe locus, nulla emolumenta laborum,
Res hodie minor est, here quam fuit, atque eadem cras
Deteret exiguis aliquid: proponimus illuc
Ire, fatigatas ubi Dædalus exuit alas,
Porto meis, nullo dextram subeunte bacillo.
Queen Elizabeth, born at Greenwich.
Some pleasing bank where verdant osiers play,
Some peaceful vale, with nature's paintings gay;
Where once the harass'd Briton found repose,
And, safe in poverty, defied his foes;
Some secret cell, ye pow'rs, indulgent give,
fLet- -live here, for- -has learn'd to live.
Here let those reign, whom pensions can incite
To vote a patriot black, a courtier white;
Explain their country's dear-bought rights away,
And plead for *pirates in the face of day;
With slavish tenets taint our poison'd youth,
And lend a lie the confidence of truth.
Let such raise palaces, and manors buy,
Collect a tax, or farm a lottery;
With warbling eunuchs fill a + licens'd stage,
And lull to servitude a thoughtless age.
Heroes, proceed! what bounds your pride shall hold,
What check restrain your thirst of pow'r and gold?
Behold rebellious virtue quite o'erthrown,
Behold our fame, our wealth, our lives, your own.
To such the plunder of a land is giv'n,
When publick crimes inflame the wrath of heaven :
But what, my friend, what hope remains for me,
Who start at theft, and blush at perjury?
Who scarce forbear, though Britain's court he sing,
To pluck a titled poet's borrow'd wing;
A statesman's logick unconvinc'd can hear,
And dare to slumber o'er the § Gazetteer;
'Cedamus patria: vivant Artorius istic
Et Catulus: maneant, qui nigrum in candida vertunt.
Queis facile est ædem conducere, flumina, portus,
Siccandam eluviem, portandum ad busta cadaver,-
Munera nunc edunt.
b Quid Romæ faciam? Mentiri nescio: librum,
Si malus est, nequeo laudare et poscere :
The invasions of the Spaniards were defended in the houses of parliament.
+ The licensing act was then lately made.
§ The paper which, at that time, contained apologies for the court.