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IMITATIONS

OF ENGLISH POETS.

[Done by the Author in his Youth.]

I. CHAUCER.
Women ben full of ragerie,
Yet swinken nat sans secresie.
Thilke moral shall ye understond,
From schoole-boy's tale of fayre Irelond;
Which to the fennes bath him betake,
To filch the grey ducke fro the lake.
Right then there passen by the way
His aunt, and eke her daughters tway.
Ducke in his trowses hath he hent,
Not to be spy'd of ladies gent.
But "ho! our nephew,' crieth one,
“ Ho !" quoth another, “Cozen John;"
And

stoppen, and lough, and callen out,-
This silly clerke full low doth lout:
They asken that, and talken this,

Lo, here is Coz, and here is Miss.' But, as he glozeth with speeches soote, The ducke sore tickleth his erse roote : Fore-picce and buttons all-to-brest Forth thrust a white neck and red crest. · Te-hee;' cry'd ladies ; clerke nought spake : Miss star’d, and grey ducke crieth “ quaake.”

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O moder, moder !' quoth the daughter, • Be thilke same thing maids longen a'ter ? • Bette is to pine on coals and chalke, * Then trust on mon, whose yerde can talke.'

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IN

ev'ry town where Thamis rolls his tyde, A narrow pass there is, with houses low, Where ever and anon the stream is ey'd, And many a boat soft sliding to and fro: There oft are heard the notes of infant woe, The short thick sob, loud scream, and shriller

squall : How can ye, mothers, vex your children so ? Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall, And, as they crouchen low, for bread and butter call.

II. And on the broken pavement, here and there, Doth many a stinking sprat, and herring, lie ; A brandy and tobacco shop is near, And hens, and dogs, and hogs, are feeding by ; And here a sailor's jacket hangs to dry. At ev'ry door are sunburnt matrons seen, Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry;

Now singing shrill, and scolding oft between : Scolds answer foul-mouth'd scolds—bad neighboro hood I ween.

III. The snappish cur (the passenger's annoy) Close at my heel, with yelping treble flies; The whimp'ring girl, and hoarser screaming boy, Join to the yelping treble shrilling cries ; The scolding quean to louder notes doth rise, And her full pipes those shrilling cries confound; To her full pipes the grurting hog replies ; The grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round; And curs, girls, boys, and scolds, in the deep base are drown'd.

IV. Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch, Dwelt Obloquy, who, in her early days, Baskets of fish, at Billingsgate, did watch, Cod, whiting, oyster, mackrel, sprat, or plaice : There learn’d she speech from tongues that never

cease.

Slander beside her like a magpie chatters,
With envy, (spitting Cat) dread foe to peace ;
Like a curs'd cur, Malice before her clatters,
And vexing ev'ry wight, tears clothes and all to

tatters.

V. Her dugs were mark'd by ev'ry collier's hand; Her mouth was black as bull dogs at the stall;

She scratched, bit, and spar'd ne lace, ne band,
And bitch and rogue her answer was to all;
Nay, ev’n the parts of shame by name would call :
Yea, when she passed by or lane, or nook,
Would

greet the man who turn'd him to the wall; And by his hand obscene the porter took, Nor ever did askance like modest virgin look.

VI. Such place hath Deptford, navy-building town, Woolwich and Wapping, smelling strong of pitch; Such Lambeth, envy of each band and gown, And Twick'nam such, which fairer scenes enrich, Grots, statues, urns, and Jo-n's dog and bitch. Ne village is without, on either side, All

up the silver Thames, or all adown ; Ne Richmond's self, from whose tall front are ey'd Vales, spires, meand'ring streams, and Windsor's

tow'ry pride.

III. WALLER.

On a Lady singing to her lute. Fair charmer! cease, nor make your voice's prize A heart resign'd the conquest of your eyes : Well might, alas ! that threaten'd vessel fail, Which winds and lightning both at once assail. We were too bless'd with these enchanting lays, Which must be heav'nly when an angel plays ;

But killing charms your lover's death contrive,
Lest heav'nly music should be heard alive.
Orpheus could charm the trees; but thus a tree,
Taught by your hand, can charm no less than he,
A poet made the silent wood pursue ;
This vocal wood had drawn the poet too,

On a fan of the Author's design, in which was

painted the story of Cephalus and Procris, with the motto Aura Veni."

Come, gentle Air ! th’ Æolian shepherd said,
While Procris panted in the secret shade;
Come, gentle Air ! the fairer Delia cries,
While at her feet her swain expiring lies.
Lo! the glad gales o’er all her beauties stray,
Breathe on her lips, and in her bosom play!
In Delia's hand this toy is fatal found,
Nor could that fabled dart more surely wound :
Both gifts destructive to the givers prove ;
Alike both lovers fall by those they love.
Yet guiltless too this bright destroyer lives,
At random wounds, nor knows the wound she

gives : She views the

story
with attentive

eyes, And pities Procris, while her lover dies,

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