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Sent Boreas to invite us down;
And he so press'd it, that we us'd
Some pains to get ourselves excus'd.
My brother shipmates, all in haste,
Declar'd, that shells were not their taste;
And I had somewhere seen, you know,
A finer grott than she could shew.
Hence let the Muse to Delos roam,
Or Nio, fam'd for Homer's tomb;
To Naxos, known in ancient time
For Bacchus' love, for Theseus' crime.
Can she the Lesbian vine forget
Whence Horace reinforc'd his wit?
Where the fam'd harp Arion strung,'
Nor play'd more sweet than Sappho sung?
Could the old bards revive again,
How would they mourn th' inverted scene! Scarce with the barren waste acquainted, They once so beautifully painted.
And here, 'twixt friends, I needs must say,
But let it go no farther, pray,
These sung-up, cry'd-up countries are
Displeasing, rugged, black, and bare;
And all I've yet beheld or known
Serve only to endear my own.
The matters I shall next disclose, 'Tis likely, may be wrapp'd in prose;
But verse methought would suit these better,
Besides it lengthens out my letter.
Read then, dear girls, with kind regard,
What comes so far, what comes so hard;
And to our mother too make known,
How travelling has improv'd her son.
Let not malicious critics join
Pope's homespun rhymes in rank with mine,
Form'd on that very spot of earth,
Where Homer's self receiv'd his birth;
Add, as I said, t' enhance their worth,
The pains they cost in bringing forth;
While his, as all mankind agrees,
Though wrote with care, are wrote with ease.
Written from Cairo in Egypt, August 1734
WHILE you, my dear girls, in your paradise stray, Diverting with innocent freedom the day,
I wander alone in a barbarous land,
Half bak'd by the sun, half blind by the sand.
Then your wood too and grotto so swim in my sight, They give me no respite by day nor by night;
No sooner asleep but I'm dreaming of you;
I am just wak'd from one,-would to God it were
Methought I was now a fine gentleman grown, And had got, Lord knows how, an estate of my own. Good-bye to plain Tom, I was rais'd a peg higher; Some call'd me his worship, and others the squire. 'Twas a place, I remember, exactly like Easton, A scene for an emperor's fancy to feast on.
There I built a fine house with great cost and great
(Your la'ships have form'd many such in the air)
Not of stucco, nor brick, but as good Portland stone
As Kent would desire to be working upon.
The apartments not small, nor monstrously great,
But chiefly for use, and a little for state;
So begilt, and becarv'd, and with ornaments grac❜d,
That every one said, I'd an excellent taste.
Here I liv'd like a king, never hoarded my pelf,
Kept a coach for my sisters, a nag for myself,
With something that's good when our Highclear
And, spite of 'squire Herbert, a fire in each room.
A canal made for profit as well as for pleasure,
That's about, let me see, two acres in measure;
Both the eye to delight, and the table to crown,
With a jack, or a perch, when my uncles come down.
An exceeding great wood, that's been set a great
In length near a league, and in breadth near a mile.
There every dear girl her bright genius displays,
In a thousand fine whimsies a thousand fine ways.
O how charming the walks to my fancy appear:
What a number of temples and grottos are here!
My soul was transported to such an extreme,
That I leap'd up in raptures,-when lo! 'twas a
Then vexing I chid the impertinent day
For driving so sweet a delusion away.
Thus spectres arise, as by nurse-maids we're told, And hie to the place where they buried their gold: There hov'ring around until morning remain; Then sadly return to their torments again.