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To footh their honest pride, that scorns to beg ;
Nor comfort elfe, but in their mutual love.
I praise you much, ye meek and patient pair,
For ye are worthy; chusing rather far
A dry but independent crust, hard earn’d,
And eaten with a sigh, than to endure
The rugged frowns and insolent rebuffs
Of knaves in office, partial in the work
Of distribution ; lib’ral of their aid
To clam'rous importunity in rags,
But oft-times deaf to suppliants, who would blush
To wear a tatter'd garb however coarse,
Whom famine cannot reconcile to filth;
These ask with painful shyness, and refus'd
Because deserving, silently retire.
ye of good courage. Time itself
Shall much befriend you. Time shall give increase,
And all your num'rous progeny, well-train'd
But helpless, in few years shall find their hands,
And labor too. Meanwhile ye shall not want
What, conscious of your virtues, we can spare,
Nor what a wealthier than ourselves may send.
I mean the man, who, when the distant
poor Need help, denies them nothing but his name.
poverty, with most who whimper forth
Their long complaints, is self-inflicted woe;
Th’ effect of laziness or fottish wafte.
Now goes the nig!
the nightly thief prowling abroad
For plunder; much solicitous how best
He may compensate for a day of Noth,
By works of darkness and nocturnal wrong.
Woe to the gard’nter's pale, the farmer's hedge
Plash'd neatly, and secur'd with driven stakes
Deep in the loamy bank. Uptorn by strength,
Resistless in so bad a cause, but lame
To better deeds, he bundles up the spoil,
An ass's burthen, and, when laden most
And heaviest, light of foot steals fast
away. Nor does the boarded hovel better guard
The well-stack'd pile of riven logs and roots
From his pernicious force. Nor will he leave
Unwrench'd the door, however well fecur'd,
Where chanticleer amidst his haram seeps
In unsuspecting pomp. Twitch'd from the perch,
He gives the princely bird, with all his wives,
To his voracious bag, struggling in vain,
And loudly wond'ring at the sudden change.
Nor this to feed his own. 'Twere some excuse
Did pity of their sufferings warp
His principle, and tempt him into sin
For their support, so destitute. But they
Neglected pine at home, themselves, as more
Expos'd than others, with less fcruple made
His victims, robb’d of their defenceless all.
Cruel is all he does. 'Tis quenchless thirst
Of ruinous ebriety that prompts
His ev'ry action, and imbrutes the nian.
Oh for a law to noose the villain's neck
Who starves his own ; who perfecutes the blood
He gave them, in his children's veins, and hates
And wrongs the woman he has sworn to love.
Pass where we may, through city or through town, Village or hamlet of this merry land, Though lean and beggar'd, ev'ry twentieth pace Conducts th' unguarded nose to such a whiff Of ftale debauch, forth-issuing from the styes That law has licens'd, as makes temp'rance reel. There fit, involv'd and lost in curling clouds Of Indian fume, and guzzling deep, the boor, The lackey, and the groom : the craftsman there Takes a Lethean leave of all his toil ; Smith, cobbler, joiner, he that plies the sheers, And he that kneads the dough; all loud alike, All learned, and all drunk. The fiddle screams Plaintive and piteous, as it
Its wasted tones and harmony unheard :
Fierce the dispute, whate'er the theme ; while sh
Fell Discord, arbitress of such debate,
Perch'd on the sign-poft, holds with even hand
Her undecisive scales. In this she lays
A weight of ignorance, in that, of pride.
And smiles delighted with th' eternal poise.
Dire is the frequent curse, and its twin found
The cheek-diftending oath, not to be prais’d
As ornamental, musical, polite,
Like those which modern fenators employ,
Whose oath is rhet'ric, and who swear for fame.
Behold the schools in which plebeian minds,
Once simple, are initiated in arts,
Which some may practife with politer grace,
But none with readier skill ! 'tis here they learn
The road that leads, from competence and peace,
To indigence and rapine ; till at last
Society, grown weary of the load,
Shakes her incumber*d lap, and casts them out.
But censure profits little : vain th' attempt
To advertife in verse a public peit,
That, like the filth with which the peasant feeds