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Lo! there, thy triumphs, Taaff; thy palms, Portmore ;
Tempt him to rein the steed, and stake his store,
Like a new bruiser on Broughtonick sand,
Amid the lists our hero takes his stand ;
Suck'd by the sharper, to the peer a prey,
He rolls his eyes, that witness huge dismay ;
When lo ! the chance of one unlucky heat
Strips him of game, strong-beer, and sweet retreat.
How aukward now he bears disgrace and dirt,
Nor knows the poor's last refuge, to be pert.
The shiftless beggar bears of ills the worft;
At once with dulness, and with hunger curs'd.
And feels the tasteless breast equestrian fires ?
And dwells such mighty rage in graver squires ?
In all attempts, but for their country, bold,
Britain, thy conscript counsellors behold!
(For some, perhaps, by fortune favour'd yet,
May gain a borough by a lucky bet)
Smit with the love of the laconick boot,
The cap and wig succinct, the filken fuit,
Mere modern Phaëtons usurp the reins,
And scour in rival race Newmarket's plains.
See, side by side, the Jockey and Sir John,
Discuss th' important point-of fix to one.
For O, my Muse, the deep-felt bliss how dear,
How great the pride, to gain a Jockey's ear!
See, like a routed hoft, with headlong pace,
Thy members pour amid the mingling race !
All ask, what crowds the tumults could produce ;
• Is Bedlam or the Commons all broke loose?
Such noise and nonfenfe, betting, damning, finking,
Such emphasis of oaths, and claret-drinking!
Like school-boys freed, they run as chance directs,
Proud from a well-bred thing to rifque their necks.
The warrior's scar not half so graceful seems,
As, at Newmarket, dislocated limbs.
Thy fages hear, amid th’admiring crowd
Adjudge the stakes, most eloquently loud :
With critick skill, o'er dubious bets prefide,
The low dispute, or kindle, or decide ;
All empty wisdom, and judicious prate,
Of distanc'd horses, gravely fix the fate,
Guide the nice conduct of a daring match,
And o’er th' equestrian rights with care paternal watch.
Mean time, no more the mimick patriots rife,
To guard Britannia's honour, warm and wise :
No more in senates dare affert her laws,
pour the bold debate in freedom's cause;
Neglect the counsels of a sinking land,
And know no rostrum, but Newmarket's stand *.
Are there the fage directive powers, defign'd,
With the nice search of a fagacious mind,
In judgment's scales the fate of realms to weigh,
Britannia's interest, trade, and laws furvey?
O say, when least their fapient schemes are cross’d,
Or when a nation, or a match is lost ?
Who dams and fires with more exactness trace,
Than of their country's kings the sacred race;
Think London journies are the worst of ills,
And set their hands to articles for bills ;
Strangers to all historians fage relate,
Theirs are the memoirs of th' equestrian state ;
Unfiil'd in Albion's past and present views,
Who Cheney's + records for Rapin peruse.
Go on, brave youths, till, in some future age,
Whips fall become the fenatorial badge ;
Till England see her thronging fenators
Meet all at Westminster, in boots and spurs :
See the whole house, with mutual frenzy mad,
Her patriots all in leathern breeches clad;
Of bets, for taxes, learnedly debate,
And guide, with equal reins, a fteed and state.
How would a virtuous Houhnhym * neigh disdain,
To see his brethren brook th’imperious rein;
Bear slavery's wanton whip, or galling goad,
Smoke thro' the glebe, or trace the destin'd road;
And robb’d of manhood by the murderous knife,
Sustain each sordid toil of servile life.
Yet O, what rage would touch his generous mind,
To see his sons, of more than mortal kind;
A kind, with each ingenuous virtue bless’d,
That fills the prudent head, or valorous breast;
Afford diversion to that monster base,
That meanest spawn of man's half-monkey race,
In whom pride, av'rice, ignorance conspire-
That hated animal, a Yahoo squire !
How are th' adventurers of the British race Chang'd from the chosen chiefs of ancient days ; Who, warm’d with genuine glory's honest thirst,.. Divinely labour'd in the Pythian dust. Theirs was the wreath that lifted from the throng, Theirs was the Theban bard's recording song. Mean time, to manly emulation blind, Slaves to each vulgar vice that stains the mind, Dur British Therons issue to the race, Of their own generous coursers the disgrace. What tho' the grooms of Greece ne’er took the odds, They won no bets--but then they foar'd to gods ; And more an Hiero's palm, a Pindar's ode, Than all th' united plates of George bestow'd.
Greece ! how I kindle at thy magick name,
Feel all thy warmth, and catch the kindred flame!
Thy folemn scenes and awful vifions rise,
In ancient grace, before my musing eyes.
Here Sparta's sons in mute attention hang,
While sage Lycurgus pours the mild harangue :
There Xerxes' hoft, all pale with deadly fear,
Shrink at her fated hero's fathing spear.
Here, hung with many a lyre of filver itring,
The laureat walks of sweet lliflus Spring :
And lo! where, rapt in beauty's heavenly dream,
Hoar Plato walks his oliv'd Academe.
Yet, ah! no more the seat of arts and arms
Delights with wisdom, or with virtue warms.
Lo! the stern Turk, with more than Gothick rage,
Has blasted all the bays of ancient age :
No more her groves by sacred feet are trod,
Each Attick Grace has left the lov'd abode.
Fall'n is fair Greece! by Luxury's pleasing bane
Seduc'd, the drags a barb'rous foreign chain.
Britannia, watch ! O trim thy with’ring bays !
Remember thou hast rival'd Græcia's praise,
Great nurse of works divine! Yet, oh, beware!
Left thou the fate of Greece, my country, share.
Recal thy wonted worth with conscious pride :
Thou too hast seen a Solon in a Hyde ;
Hait bade thine Edwards and thine Henrys rear,
With Spartan fortitude, the British spear ;
Alike haft seen thy fons deserve the meed,
Or of the moral, or the martial deed.
HE balmy Zephyrs o'er the woodland ftray,
And gently ftir the bosom of the lake: The fawn's that panting in the covert lay,
Now thro' the gloomy park their revels take.
Pale rise the rugged hills that skirt the north,
The wood glows yellow'd by the evening rays ; Silent and beauteous flows the filver Forth,
And Aman murmuring thro' the willows ftrays.
But, ah! what means this filence in the grove,
Where oft the wild notes footh'd the love-fick boy? Why cease in Mary's Bower the songs of Love;
The songs of Love, of Innocence, and Joy?
When bright the lake reflects the setting ray,
The sportive virgins tread the flow’ry green ;
Here by the moon, full oft in chearful May,
bride-maids at the dance are seen.
But who these nymphs, that thro' the copse appear,
In robes of white adorn'd with violet blue ? Fondly with purple flow'rs they deck yon bier, And wave in folemn
the boughs of yew.