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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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Miller, whom fair Ierne bore
To grace Britannia's happier shore,
Whose Genius guides, whose counsel guards
The labours of Bathonian bards,


Survey mankind, and each you'll view
His various path of joy pursue.
There are in Phaetons who smoke ye,
Collecting dust enough to choke ye,
With elbows square and nodding heads,
And long-tail'd scrambling quadrupeds
Whip round the post—turn sharp—cut neat—
Despise—and frighten all they meet:
Or studious of the Olympic races,
Keep half a running horse at Scrace's,
Hedging, and odds, and bets their theme—
By which some knowing ones, I deem,
With zones about their necks have vaulted
Tow'rds heaven above their peers exalted.
The alderman who pants to grace
The golden chain, the sword, and mace;
The griping hunks, whose barns contain
Full many a year's well-hoarded grain,


Yet anxious to increase his store,
Grubs his paternal fields for more,
Would ne'er the boist'rous waves be tost on,
In search of dear-bought palms at Boston,
Though all the treasures were consign'd them,
Her hapless exiles leave behind them,
In stoutest bark would near sustain,
The horrors of th' Atlantic main.
Secure from wars, and dangerous seas,
Colonel Jaghire enjoys his ease,
Buys lands, and beeves, with Indian gold,
Which some poor English 'squire has sold;
King, Lords, and Commons he defies,
“The town is all my own,” he cries,
“That cursed climate I've been hurt in,
“And Nabob-making grows uncertain—
“This snug retreat I'm safe from harm in,—
“How sweet that wood! that lawn how charming!”
But ah! his passion soon returns,
With restless flames his bosom burns;


His bark he rigs, resolv'd once more,
The distant Ganges to explore,
Rather than on his native ground
To starve—on fourscore thousand pound.
Oft will you meet old General Drone:
A character at Bath well known;
The Rooms and Coffee-house he haunts,
Drinks sometimes tea, and sometimes Nantz:
Complaining of the gripes and vapours,
He'll ask “what news there's in the papers;”
Then cry, “such measures we're pursuing,
This nation's on the brink of ruin:”—
But urge him to explain her wrongs,—
Down fall the poker and the tongs;
He hums, and haws, and recommends—a—
—Prescription for the—Influenze;—
In summer, lounging at Spring-garden,
In winter, every door bombarding,
With morning visits duly paid
Down from the Crescent to Parade,


His head he'll in the Pump-room poke
To catch some stale, unmeaning joke,
With news and nonsense for the day,
To drive his irksome hours away.
Pierc'd with the fife's, and trumpet's voice,
Britannia's warlike youth rejoice;
The blended sounds transport their ear,
While trembling, anxious mothers fear—
These heroes should desert their quarters,
To Scotland to entice their daughters.
The northern blast, and driving rains,
Sir Hardy Thickset well sustains;
Whether the hind, or wily fox
His fleet hounds urge o'er vales and rocks,
He drives the chase with perseverance,
Nor heeds his tender wife's endearance,
At night returning to console her—
With feats of Bowman and of Jowler.


For me—the verdant ivy guerdon
(Which you, Sir, have my brows confer'd on)
With many an artless rhyme I jingle,
Gives me with loftier bards to mingle:
Me, to enjoy thy cool cascade,
Thy nodding grove, and checker'd shade,
And view the smiling nymphs advance,
To join with thee the festive dance,
Content if sweet Euterpe deign
To hear my humble pipe complain;
Or when beside the winter fire,
With careless hand I sweep the lyre,
The gay fantastic Polyhymny
Visit the corner of my chimney,
Inspiring notes of joy and mirth,
That please, and perish in their birth:
But if thy fair, thy matchless dame
Approve my verse, and stamp my fame,
In concert with well-judging ---,
Assign to me her myrtle sprigs,
And lead me through th' Aonian path
To join the vocal swans of Bath,


Not Madge in all her glory drest,
Shall rear so high her tow'ring crest,
I'll soar above all vulgar eyes,
And bear my plumage to the skies.

The Riding-School at Bath.