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VISIONS IN VERSE.

AN

EPISTLE TO THE READER.

AUTHORS, you know, of greatest fame,
Through modesty, suppress their name;
And would you wish me to reveal
What these superior wits conceal ?
Forego the search, my curious friend,
And husband time to better end.
All my

ambition is, I own,
To profit and to please unknown;
Like streams supplied from springs below,
Which 'scatter blessings as they flow.

Were you diseased, or press’d with pain,
Straight you'd apply to Warwick Lane";
The thoughtful doctor feels your pulse
(No matter whether Mead or Hulse)
Writes, Arabic to you and

me,
Then signs his hand, and takes his fee.
Now, should the sage omit his name,
Would not the cure remain the same?
Not but physicians sign their bill,
Or when they cure or when they kill.

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"Tis often known the mental race
Their fond ambitious sires disgrace.
Dared I avow a parent's claim,
Critics might sneer, and friends might blame.
This dangerous secret let me hide,
I'll tell you every thing beside.
Not that it boots the world a tittle,
Whether the author's big or little;
Or whether fair or black or brown:
No writer's hue concerns the town.
I
pass

the silent rural hour,
No slave to wealth, no tool to power.
My mansion’s warm and very neat;
You'd say, a pretty snug retreat.
My rooms no costly paintings grace,
The humbler print supplies their place.
Behind the house my garden lies,
And opens to the southern skies:
The distant hills gay prospects yield,
And plenty smiles in every field.

The faithful mastiff is my guard,
The feather'd tribes adorn my yard;
Alive

my joy, my treat when dead, And their soft plumes improve my

bed.
My cow rewards me all she can;
(Brutes leave ingratitude to man!)
She, daily thankful to her lord,
Crowns with nectareous sweets my board.
Am I diseased !--the cure is known;
Her sweeter juices mend my own.

I love my house, and seldom roam;
Few visits please me more than home,
I pity that unhappy elf
Who loves all company but self,

By idle passions borne away
To opera, masquerade, or play;
Fond of those hives where Folly reigns,
And Britain's peers receive her chains;
Where the pert virgin slights a name,
And scorns to redden into shame.
But know, my fair (to whom belong
The poet and his artless song),
When female cheeks refuse to glow,
Farewell to virtue here below.
Our sex is lost to every rule,
Our sole distinction, knave or fool.
Tis to your innocence we run;
Save us, ye fair, or we're undone:
Maintain your modesty and station,
So women shall preserve the nation.

Mothers, 'tis said, in days of old
Esteem'd their girls more choice than gold:
Too well a daughter's worth they knew,
To make her cheap by public view
(Few, who their diamonds' value weigh,
Expose those diamonds every day):
Then, if Sir Plume drew near, and smiled,
The parent trembled for her child:
The first advance alarm’d her breast;
And Fancy pictured all the rest.
But now no mother fears a foe,
No daughter shudders at a beau.

Pleasure is all the reigning theme, Our noonday thought, our midnight dream. In Folly's chase our youths engage, And shameless crowds of tottering age. The die, the dance, the intemperate bowl, With various charms engross the soul.

Are gold, fame, health, the terms of vice?
The frantic tribes shall pay the price.
But though to ruin post they run,
They'll think it hard to be undone,

Do not arraign my want of taste,
Or sight to ken where joys are placed:
They widely err, who think me blind,
And I disclaim a stoic's mind.
Like

yours are my sensations quite;
I only strive to feel aright.
My joys, like streams, glide gently by,
Though small their channel, never dry;
Keep a still, even, fruitful wave,
And bless the neighbouring meads they lave.

My fortune (for I'll mention all,
And more than you dare tell) is small;
Yet every friend partakes my store,
And Want goes smiling from ny door.
Will forty shillings warm the breast
Of worth or industry distress’d?
This sum I cheerfully impart;
'Tis fourscore pleasures to my

heart:
And you may make, by means like these,
Five talents ten, whene'er you please.
'Tis true, my little purse grows light;
But then I sleep so sweet at night!
This grand specific will prevail,
When all the doctor's opiates fail.
You ask, what party I pursue

e ?
Perhaps you mean, ' Whose fool are you?
The names of party I detest,
Badges of slavery at best!
I've too much grace to play the knave,
And too much pride to turn a slaye.

I love my country from my soul,
And grieve when knaves or fools control.
I'm pleased when vice and folly smart,
Or at the gibbet or the cart:
Yet always pity where I can,
Abhor the guilt, but mourn the man.

Now the religion of your poet-
Does not this little preface show it?
My Visions if you scan with care,
'Tis ten to one you'll find it there.
And if

my

actions suit my song, You can't in conscience think me wrong.

I.

And pray

SLANDER.

Inscribed to Miss My lovely girl, I write for you; believe my

Visions true : They'll form your mind to every grace; They'll add new beauties to your face: And when old age impairs your prime, You'll triumph o'er the spoils of time.

Childhood and youth engage my pen,
"Tis labour lost to talk to men.
Youth may, perhaps, reform when wrong;
Age will not listen to my song.
He who at fifty is a fool
Is far too stubborn grown for school.

What is that vice which still prevails
When almost every passion fails;
Which with our very dawn begun,
Nor ends but with our setting sun;

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