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With him was sometimes join'd in silent walk (Profoundly silent, for they never spoke) One shyer still, who quite detested talk : Oft, stung by spleen, at once away he broke To groves of pine, and broad o'ershadowing oak; There, inly thrill'd, he wander'd all alone, And on himself his pensive fury wroke, Ne ever utter'd word, save when first shone The glittering star of eve Thank heaven! the
day is done.' Here lurch'd a wretch who had not crept abroad For forty years, ne face of mortal seen; In chamber brooding like a loathly toad: And sure his linen was not very clean. Thro' secret loop-holes, that had practis'd been Near to his bed, his dinner vile he took ; Unkempt, and rough, of squalid face and mien,
Our castle's shame! whence, from his filthy nook, We drove the villain out for fitter lair to look.
One day there chanc'd into these halls to rove
For him the merry bells had rung, I ween,
But not e'en pleasure to excess is good :
Who, whilst he staid, kept in a gay uproar
As when in prime of June a burnish'd fly
And scares their tender sleep, with tromp profound; Then out again he flies, to wing his mazy round.
Another guest there was, of sense refin'd,
Whenas we found he would not here be pent, To him the better sort this friendly message sent:
Come, dwell with us! true son of virtue, come! ! But if, alas! we cannot thee persuade,
To ly content beneath our peaceful dome, Ne ever more to quit our quiet glade; • Yet when at last thy toils but ill apaid • Shall dead thy fire, and damp its heavenly spark, • Thou wilt be glad to seek the rural shade, * There to indulge the muse, and nature mark: • We then a lodge for thee will rear in Hagley Park.'
Here whilom ligg'd th' Esopus of the age;
Each due decorum: now the heart he shakes, And now with well-urg'd sense the enlighten'd judg
A bard here dwelt, more fat than bard beseems;
Oft moralizing sage: his ditty sweet
Full oft hy holy feet our ground was trod,
Which when observ'd, he shrunk into his mew, And strait would recollect his piety anew.
Nor be forgot a tribe, who minded nought
Has clear'd their inward eye: then smoke-enrollid, Their oracles break forth mysterious as of old.
Here languid beauty kept her pale-fac'd court: Beries of dainty dames, of high degree, From every quarter hither made resort; Where, from gross mortal care and business free, They lay, pour'd out in ease and luxury. Or should they a vain shew of work assume, Alas! and well-a-day! what can it be? To knot, to twist, to range the vernal bloom : But far is cast the distaff, spinning-wheel, and loom.,
Their only labour was to kill the time:
Where hours on hours they sighing lie reclin'd, And court the vapoury god soft breathing in the wind.
Now must I mark the villany we found, But ah! too late, as shall eftsoons be shewn. A place here was, deep, dreary, under ground; Where still our inmates, when unpleasing grown, Diseas'd and loathsome, privily were thrown. Far from the light of heaven, they languish'd there, Unpity'd uttering many a bitter groan; For of those wretches taken was no care: Fierce fiends, and hags of hell, there only nurses were.
Alas! the change! from scenes of joy and rest, To this dark den, where sickness toss'd alway. Here Lethargy, with deadly sleep opprest, Stretch'd on his back, a mighty lubbard, lay, Heaving his sides, and snored night and day; To stir him from his trance it was not eath, And his half-open'd eyne ne shut straightway:
He led, I wot, the softest way to death, And taught withouten pain and strite to yield the
Of limbs enormous, but withal unsound,
Who vexed was full oft with ugly fit;
A lady proud she was, of ancient blood,
For sometimes she would laugh, and sometimes cry, Then sudden waxed wroth;and all she knew not why.
Fast by her side a listless maiden pin'd, With aching head, and squeamish heart-burnings; Pale, bloated, cold, she seem'd to hate mankind, Yet lov'd in secret all forbidden things. And here the Tertian shakes his chilling wings, The sleepless Gout here counts the crowing cocks, A wolf now gnaws him, now serpent stings; Whilst Apoplexy cramm'd Intemp'rance knocks Down to the ground at once, as butcher felleth ox.
HYMN ON SOLITUDE.
Companion of the wise and good ;
Oh! how I love with thee to walk,
A thousand shapes you wear with ease,