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The Poetical Works of the late Christopher Anstey

With Some Account of the Life and Writings of the Author, By his son, John Anstey

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SCENE changes to the Black Bull, in Bishopgate-street.
solus, in a thoughtful posture.
—Mr. Tightboot's reflection was poignant and hurting—
Tho' he look'd like a damnable fool, that is certain!—
I am laugh'd at by women, and vile poetasters—
But that is the smallest of all my disasters.
Alas! what a change, since my pamphlet has flown!
Ah! there is the rub!—all my hopes are undone!—
All chance of the Toadland preferment is gone!
[Starting up.
The paths of ambition no more I'll pursue—
Ye flattering dreams, gay illusions, adieu!
Other cares, other pleasures, my thoughts shall employ,
Intellectual pleasures, that never can cloy.
Hail, heavenly Science! I kneel at thy shrine,
Thou source of all treasures! thou goddess divine!


You cherish in youth, you delight in old age,
In ev'ry condition thy beauties engage:
'Tis you that to riches true splendor bestow,
Our comfort in want, and our refuge in woe;
Abroad if we wander, at home if we stay,
In town and in country, by night and by day,
'Tis thine, sacred Science! new charms to display.
How much I rejoice thou hast chosen thy seat
In Granta's delightful and quiet retreat!
Where men of such piety, learning, and sense,
Distribute thy gifts at so small an expence,
And season the minds of well-disciplin'd youth,
With patriot maxims of freedom and truth;
Regardless of changes in church or in state,
They ne'er court the favours and smiles of the great,
But with eyes unretorted preferment can view,
Thro' the calm walk of virtue life's journey pursue;
For candour, for softness of manners, renown'd,
Shed the blessings of peace and contentment around;
And, far from malignity, faction, and noise,
With dignity seek philosophical joys;


Yes—there, with example and precept supply'd,
To Wisdom's bright altar my steps will I guide;
O genius of Athens! with thee will I rove
In the shade of your charming Pierian grove:
Where the learned old Cam, on his echoing shore,
Remurmurs sweet sounds of Socratical lore,
Replete with deep knowledge, his slow way pursues,
And pays his rich tribute to murmuring Ouze,
As clear as Ilyssus, who lav'd the green wood
Of fair Academus, great Plato's abode,
And told his wise tale to Callirrhoe's flood:
There take me, in all thy chaste beauties array'd,
O blest Independence! adorable maid!
Fair virtue, fair science, acknowledge thy reign,
Health, ease, and tranquillity, sport in thy train!
Where'er with mild lustre, you gild the calm scene,
Stern pedantry, churlishness, envy, and spleen,
All fly, gentle nymph! at thy presence serene;
All wing their foul way from the peaceable cell,
Where thou condescendest, bright virgin! to dwell:
For thee, of fresh flowrets a chaplet I'll weave,
So grant me thy blessings once more to receive,


So teach me, in peace to my fortune resign'd
No longer to flatter or censure mankind,
In error's vain mazes bewilder'd and blind.