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Achiev'd by leaping hedge and ditch.
While Spleen lies soft relax'd in bed,
Or o'er coal fires inclines the head,
Hygeia's sons with hound and horn,
And jovial cry awake the morn.
These see her from the dusky plight,
Smear'd by th' embraces of the night,
With roral wash redeem her face,
And prove herself of Titan's race,
And, mounting in loose robes the skies,
Shed light and fragrance as she flies.
Then horse and hound fierce joy display,
Exulting at the Hark-away,
And in pursuit o'er tainted ground
From lungs robust field-notes resound.
Then, as St. George the dragon slew,
Spleen pierc'd, trod down, and dying view;
While all their spirits are on wing,
And woods, and hills, and vallies ring.
To cure the mind's wrong bias, Spleen;
Some recommend the bowling-green;
Some, hilly walks; all, exercise;
Fling but a stone, the giant dies :
Laugh and be well. Monkeys have been
Extreme good doctors for the Spleen;
And kitten, if the humor hit,
Has harlequin'd away the fit.
Since mirth is good in this behalf,
At some partic❜lars let us laugh.
Witlings, brisk fools, curs'd with half sense, That stimulates their impotence; Who buz in rhyme, and, like blind flies, Err with their wings for want of eyes, Poor authors worshipping a calf, Deep tragedies that make us laugh, A strict dissenter saying grace, A lect'rer preaching for a place, Folks, things prophetic to dispense, Making the past the future tense, The popish dubbing of a priest, Fine epitaphs on knaves deceas'd, Green-apron'd Pythonissa's rage, Great Esculapius on his stage, A miser starving to be rich, The prior of Newgate's dying speech, A jointur'd widow's ritual state, Two Jews disputing tête-à-tête, New almanacs compos'd by seers, Experiments on felons ears, Disdainful prudes, who ceaseless ply The superb muscle of the eye, A coquet's April-weather face, A Queenb'rough mayor behind his mace, And fops in military shew,
Are sov❜reign for the case in view.
If Spleen-fogs rise at close of day,
I clear my ev'ning with a play,
Or to some concert take my way.
The company, the shine of lights,
The scenes of humor, music's flights,
Adjust and set the soul to rights.
Life's moving pictures, well-wrought plays,
To others' grief attention raise :
Here, while the tragic fictions glow,
We borrow joy, by pitying woe;
There, gaily comic scenes delight,
And hold true mirrors to our sight.
Virtue, in charming dress array'd,
Calling the passions to her aid,
When moral scenes just actions join,
Takes shape, and shews her face divine.
Music has charms, we all may find,
Ingratiate deeply with the mind.
When art does sound's high pow'r advance,
To music's pipe the passions dance;
Motions unwill'd its pow'rs have shewn,
Tarantulated by a tune.
Many have held the soul to be
Nearly ally'd to harmony.
Her have I known indulging grief,
And shunning company's relief,
Unveil her face, and looking round,
Own, by neglecting sorrow's wound,
The consanguinity of sound.
In rainy days keep double guard,
Or Spleen will surely be too hard;
Which, like those fish by sailors met,
Fly highest, while their wings are wet.
In such dull weather, so unfit
To enterprize a work of wit,
When clouds one yard of azure sky,
That's fit for simile, deny,
I dress my face with studious looks,
And shorten tedious hours with books.
But if dull fogs invade the head,
That mem'ry minds not what is read,
I sit in window dry as ark,
And on the drowning world remark:
Or to some coffee-house I stray
the manna of a day,
And from the hipp'd discourses gather,
That politics go by the weather:
Then seek good-humor'd tavern chums,
And play at cards, but for small sums ;
Or with the merry fellows quaff,
And laugh aloud with them that laugh;
Or drink a joco-serious cup
With souls who've took their freedom up,
And let my mind, beguil'd by talk,
In Epicurus' garden walk,
Who thought it heav'n to be serene;
Pain, hell; and purgatory, spleen.
Sometimes I dress, with women sit,
And chat away the gloomy fit;
Quit the stiff garb of serious sense,
And wear a gay impertinence,
Nor think nor speak with any pains,
But lay on fancy's neck the reins;
Talk of unusual swell of waist
In maid of honor loosely lac'd,
And beauty borr'wing Spanish red,
And loving pair with sep'rate bed,
And jewels pawn'd for loss of game,
And then redeem'd by loss of fame;
Of Kitty (aunt left in the lurch
By grave pretence to go to church)
Perceiv'd in hack with lover fine,
Like Will and Mary on the coin:
And thus in modish manner we,
In aid of sugar, sweeten tea.
Permit, ye fair, your idol form, Which e'en the coldest heart can warm, May with its beauties grace my line, While I bow down before its shrine, And your throng'd altars with my lays Perfume, and get by giving praise. With speech so sweet, so sweet a mien You excommunicate the Spleen, Which, fiend-like, flies the magic ring You form'd with sound, when pleas'd to sing: Whate'er you say, howe'er you move, We look, we listen, and approve. Your touch, which gives to feeling bliss, Our nerves officious throng to kiss;