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ON MEETING HIM AT MR. RIGBY's.
THROUGH ev'ry part, of grief or mirth,
To which the mimic stage gives birth,
I ne'er as yet, with truth could tell,
Where most your various pow'rs excel.
Sometimes amidst the laughing scene,
Blithe Comedy, with jocund mien,
By you in livelier colors drest,
With transport clasp'd you to her breast :
As oft the buskind Muse appear’d,
With awful brow her sceptre rear'd;
Recounted all your laurels won,
And claim'd you for her darling son.
Thus each contending goddess strove,
And each the fairest garland wove.
But which fair Nymph could justly boast Her beauties had engag'd you most, I doubted much ; 'till, t'other day, Kind Fortune threw me in your way; Where, 'midst the friendly joys that wait Philander's hospitable gate, Freedom and genuine mirth I found, Sporting the jovial board around. 'Twas there with keen, tho' polish'd, jest, You sat, a pleas'd and pleasing guest; With social ease a part sustain'd, More humorous far than e'er you feign'd. “ Take him, I cry'd, bright comic Maid, In all your native charms array'd; No longer shall
As late at Comus' court I sat,
(Observe me well, I mean not that
Where ribaldry in triumph sits,
Delighting lords, and 'squires, and cits;
But there, where mirth and taste combine,
And Rigby gives more wit than wine)
Suspended for a while the joke,
With rapture of your muse we spoke ;
But all blam'd me, cry'd out, oh! fye!
What! send to verse a prose reply?
My friend, the Colonel, made the attack,
And wicked Calvert clapp'd his back.
Nay, Pottinger, tho' low in feather,
And somewhat ruffled by the weather,
Would peck and crow; and Madam Hale
Flew at my manners tooth and nail.
What! send to Anstey such dull stuff?
'Twas modesty, dear Hale; don't huff.
Cou'd I but rhyme as much as you,
And think that much as charming too,
I'd write, and write again ; I care not;
But, as I feel, indeed I dare not.
Then Cox let loose his silver tongue;
od-nit, David, you are wrong.
While independent Plummer cry'd,
He'd not vote plump on either side.
E'en Boon, who ne'er inclines to satire,
With modest sense and much good nature,
Cou'd not but say there was some blame,
And sweet Eliza blush'd the same.
My wife look'd grave, but made it known
The right to vex me was her own.
Our landlord shook his sides and shoulders,
Both at the scolded and the scolders :
For that to him is always best,
Which raises and supports the jest.
No baited bear was e'er so worry'd;
I took my hat, and home I hurry'd,
Resolv’d, as well as I was able,
To ask your pardon in a Fable ;
The best excuse my prudence knows,
For answ'ring your
choice verse in
A monkey of the sprightly kind
Could mock and mimic half mankind:
Cou'd twist him to a thousand shapes;
In short, a perfect jackanapes.
As once our mimic Pug display'd
His talents in the summer shade,
By chance a nightingale was there,
Well pleas'd the farce to see and hear.
His joy began his notes to raise;
He warbled forth the monkey's praise.
Pug, too much flatter'd, thought it wrong,
Not to return his thanks in song;
And such a fit of squalling took him,
Beasts, birds, and nightingale forsook him.
An owl, who in a hole was dreaming,
Was rais'd at once with all this screaming;
Who-o-hoo! hool neighbour, curse your clatter!
Zounds! are you murder'd? what's the matter?
The monkey to his senses brought,
And must'ring what he had of thought,
Told to the owl his silly tale,
How he had scar'd the nightingale.
Grave Madge began to roll her eyes,
And being what she seem'd, most wise,
Thus spoke-Thou empty-headed thing,
Skip, grin, and chatter-never sing,
Wou'd you, without a voice, or ear,
Tune up, when Philomel is near?
Nature her pleasure has made known,
That nightingales shou'd sing alone.