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But after all these long preambles,
In which our nag, at best, but ambles;
After our plea of mere delay,
'Tis fit we think our debt to pay.
Soon then as business will permit,
We'll send you up another sheet,
Full fraught with our most learn'd advice,
In which we must be somewhat nice;
We'll rouse our thoughts, and take due time, And trifle not in doggrel rhyme;
But boldly whip the winged steed,
And raise him to a nobler speed.
Quod dignum tanto feret hic promissor hiatu ?
TO A FRIEND IN KENT.
WITH wonted candor once again peruse
The hasty sallies of a distant muse,
C Who thus from York in artless metre sends
Health and good wishes to her absent friends.
Tho' spacious moors diversify the scene,
And mountains rise, and rivers roll between,
Tho' here far off in northern climes remov'd
From those she valued, and from those she lov❜d,
Yet still the same affection she retains
In distant regions, and on northern plains:
Hearts that are once in friendship's union tied
The fates may part, but never can divide;
For fancy, uncontroul'd by distance, leads
Th' enraptur'd mind to long-forgotten meads,
(Which in her lively colors pleas'd we view,
And almost think th' ideal landscape true)
O'er hills and streams extends her boundless power,
And joins the Trent and Humber to the Stour.
But now, my friend, to fair Augusta's walls
Lo! Pleasure points the way, and Garrick calls;
To crown her favor'd son, the tragic queen
In solemn silence hovers o'er the scene,
And owns that none deserves the laurel more,
Tho' Booth obtain'd it, and tho' Roscius wore.
Here let us oft with fix'd attention wait,
And weep at Lear's distress, or Hamlet's fate:
And oft my various travels shall beguile
The winter evening, and extort a smile
From my enquiring friend, who pleas'd shall hear
What various beauties in the North appear,
What grandeur reigns in Castle-Howard's dome,
The taste of Athens, and the pride of Rome,
(Where Lely's melting colors claim our praise,
And Cromwell's frown thy touch, Vandyke, displays:)
And that improves the plan which this designs;
How buildings, grottos, and cascades surprize,
And 'midst embowering trees rude Gothic temples
Fain would my muse, tho' in unequal verse,
The rugged charms of Scarborough rehearse,
Fain would she those romantic scenes impart,
Where nature triumphs undisguis'd by art;
She tries with trembling wing, but tries in vain,
Such arduous heights of fancy to attain,
And, tir'd, desists from subjects that require
A Lambert's pencil, or a Dryden's lyre.
A Song, O Philo, from the rural shade,
Due to thy friendship, and so long unpaid,
O would the muse in lays like thine inspire,
And in my bosom wake the lingering fire,
I pray, but pray in vain, with scornful eyes
She still the tributary song denies.
O how shall I invoke a wanton maid,
Who loves to wander thro' the rural shade,
But scorns the senseless jargon of the schools,
Foe to proud science, and her frigid rules!
I whom that goddess in her chain has bound
To tread her tedious and unvaried round;
I whose dull genius is untaught to roam
Beyond the narrow limits of her home.
Thee, thee, my friend, whom happier fate conveys
To regions worthy of immortal lays,
Thee every muse with rapture shall inspire,
And kindle in thy breast the latent fire.
Where thousand venerable domes arise,
Where Verrio's breathing canvas meets thine eyes, Where pleas'd thou view'st how Scarborough's rugged brow
Frowns horrid o'er the darken'd floods below;
So sings the lark high-towering to the skies,
And views hill, dale, and forest as she flies,
While the poor linnet, by some tyrant hind
To the close prison of the cage confin'd,
Forgets the sprightly wildness of her song,
The grove, the valley, and th' aerial throng.
The time shall come when to the shades retir'd,
With nature charm'd, and by the muse inspir'd,
Happy some little rural flock to tend,
Happy to boast that Philo is my friend,
I'll try once more my long-forgotten strain,
And in retirement court the tuneful train;
There o'er each labor shall the muses smile,
And bless my evening walk and morning toil;
Each season to my friend the song I'll give,
And he well-pleas'd each offering shall receive;
And while with smiles he reads the artless line,
His judgment shall correct, his taste refine.
Come then, my friend, together let us tread Once more where science lifts th' aspiring head;