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list, Fontaine ; whose singular absence of mind and seeming stupidity made a witty French lady term him “ The Fable Tree."
THE BIRTH OF THE SQUIRE. YE sylvan Muses, loftier strains recite : Not all in shades and humble cots delight. Hark! the bells ring ; along the distant grounds The driving gales convey the swelling sounds : Th' attentive swain, forgetful of his work, With gaping wonder, leans upon his fork. What sudden news alarms the waking morn ? To the glad Squire a hopeful heir is born. Mourn, mourn, ye stags, and all ye beasts of chase : This hour destruction brings on all your race : See, the pleased tenants duteous offerings bear, Turkeys and geese, and grocer's sweetest ware ; With the new health the ponderous tankard flows, And old October reddens every nose. Beagles and spaniels round his cradle stand, Kiss his moist lip, and gently lick his hand. He joys to hear the shrill horn's echoing sounds, And learns to lisp the names of all the hounds. With frothy ale to make his cup o'erflow, Barley shall in paternal acres grow ; The bee shall sip the fragrant dew from flowers, To give metheglin for his morning hours ; For him the clustering hop shall climb the poles, And his own orchard sparkle in his bowls.
His sire's exploits he now with wonder hears, The monstrous tales indulge his greedy ears ; How, when youth strung his nerves and warm'd
his veins, He rode, the mighty Nimrod of the plains.
He leads the staring infant through the hall, Points out the horny spoils that grace the wall ; Tells how this stag through three whole counties
fled, What rivers swam, where bay'd, and where he
bled. Now he the wonders of the fox repeats, Describes the desperate chase, and all his cheats ; How in one day, beneath his furious speed, He tired seven coursers of the fleetest breed ; How high the pale he leap'd, how wide the ditch, When the hound tore the haunches of the witch ! These stories, which descend from son to son, The forward boy shall one day make his own.
Ah, too fond mother, think the time draws nigh, That calls the darling from thy tender eye ; How shall his spirit brook the rigid rules, And the long tyranny of grammar-schools ? Let younger brothers o'er dull authors plod, Lash'd into Latin by the tingling rod ; No, let him never feel that smart disgrace: Why should he wiser prove than all his race ? When ripening youth with down o'ershades his
chin, And every female eye incites to sin ; The milkmaid (thoughtless of her future shame) With smacking lip shall raise his guilty flame ; The dairy, barn, the hay-loft, and the grove, Shall oft be conscious of their stolen love. When twice twelve times the reaper's sweeping
hand With levell’d harvests has bestrown the land ; On famed St Hubert's feast his winding horn Shall cheer the joyful hound, and wake the morn:
This memorable day his eager speed
The time shall come when his more solid sense
game. Assist me, Bacchus, and ye drunken powers, To sing his friendships and his midnight hours !
Why dost thou glory in thy strength of beer, Firm-cork'd and mellow'd till the twentieth year ; Brew'd, or when Phæbus warms the fleecy sign, Or when bis languid rays in Scorpio shine ? Think on the mischiefs which from hence have
sprung! It arms with curses dire the wrathful tongue; Foul scandal to the lying lip afford And prompts the memory with injurious words.
O where is wisdom when by this o'erpower'd ? The state is censured, and the maid deflower'd ? And wilt thou still, O Squire, brew ale so
strong ? Hear then the dictates of prophetic song.
Methinks I see him in his hall appear, Where the long table floats, in clammy beer, 'Midst mugs and glasses shatter'd o'er the floor, Dead drunk, his servile crew supinely snore ; Triumphant, o'er the prostrate brutes he stands, The mighty bumper trembles in his hands ; Boldly he drinks, and, like his glorious sires, In copious gulps of potent ale expires.
EXTRACT FROM TRIVIA.
THROUGH winter streets to steer your course
aright, How to walk clean by day, and safe by night; How jostling crowds with prudence to decline, When to assert the wall, and when resign, I sing ; thou, Trivia, goddess, aid my song, Through spacious streets conduct thy bard along ; By thee transported, I securely stray Where winding alleys lead the doubtful way, The silent court and opening square explore, And long perplexing lanes untrod before. To pave thy realm, and smooth the broken ways, Earth from her womb a flinty tribute pays ; For thee the sturdy pavior thumps the ground, Whilst every stroke his labouring lungs resound ;
For thee the scavenger bids kennels glide
When the black youth at chosen stands rejoice, And “ clean your shoes” resounds from every
voice; When late their miry sides stage-coaches show, And their stiff horses through the town move slow; When all the Mall in leafy ruin lies, And damsels first renew their oyster-cries : Then let the prudent walker shoes provide, Not of the Spanish or Morocco hide ; The wooden heel may raise the dancer's bound, And with the scallop'd top his step be crown'd: Let firm, well-hammer'd soles protect thy feet Thro' freezing snows, and rains, and soaking sleet. Should the big last extend the shoe too wide, Each stone will wrench th' unwary step aside ; The sudden turn may stretch the swelling vein, Thy cracking joint unhinge, or ankle sprain ; And, when too short the modish shoes are worn, You'll judge the seasons by your shooting corn.
Nor should it prove thy less important care, To choose a proper coat for winter's wear. Now in thy trunk thy D'Oily habit fold, The silken drugget ill can fence the cold ; The frieze's spongy nap is soak'd with rain, And showers soon drench the camblet's cockled