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The trembling family they daunt,
Rummage his Mother, pinch his Aunt,
Each hole and cupboard they explore,
Each creek and cranny of his chamber,
Run hurry-skurry round the floor,
And o'er the bed and taster clamber,
Into the Draw'rs and China pry,
Papers and books, a huge Imbroglio!
Under a tea-cup he might lie,
On the first marching of the troops
The Muses, hopeless of his pardon,
Convey'd him underneath their hoops
To a small closet in the garden,
So Rumour says. (Who will, believe )
But that they left the door a-jarr,
Where, safe and laughing in his fleeve,
He heard the distant din of war.
Short was his joy. He little knew, The power of Magick was no fable.
The words too eager to unriddle
The poet felt a strange disorder :
Transparent birdlime form'd the middle
And chains invisible the border.
So cunning was the apparatus,
That, will he, nill he, to the Great-house
He went as if the Devil drove him,
Yet on his way (no sign of grace, For folks in fear are apt to pray)
To Phoebus he preferr'd his case,
And beg'd his aid that dreadful day.
The God-head would have back'd his quarrel,
But with a blush, on recollection
Own'd, that his quiver and his laurel
'Gainst four such eyes were no protection,
The Court was fate, the Culprit there,
Forth from their gloomy mansions creeping
The Lady Janes and Joans repair, And from the gallery stand peeping.
Such as in silence of the night
Come (sweep) along fome winding entry
(*Styack has often seen the fight) Or at the chapel-door stand sentry.
* The House-KEEPER.
In peaked hoods and mantles tarnish'd, Sour visages, enough to scare ye,
High Dames of honour once, that garnish'd
The Bard with many an artful fib, Had in imagination fenc'd him,
Disprov'd the arguments of * Squib,
And all that + Groom could urge against him.
* Groom of the Chambers,
+ The Steward,