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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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[With every plague that can conspire]
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[With every plague that can conspire]

With every plague that can conspire
To curse a wretched country squire,
Six hundred sheep on fields at Kneeton
Starv'd as their owner was at Eton,
Twelve hide-bound nags, in empty stable,
Like hungry guests at ---'s table;
Calves, cows, and hogs reduced to bone,
Some wanting legs like B*l*k*n,
And all as lean as L---t---n.
Twice twenty hounds, five squalling brats,
One sickly wife, ten thousand rats;
My hay all swimming down the river!
Tell me, ye Gods, what friend would ever


O! say what enemy would choose
To send me four lean Luton hoo's?
Happy, too happy sure is spent
A rural life in sweet content!
This Maro taught me long ago,
But clowns will ne'er their blessings know;
This, on the banks of willowy Cam,
Melodious swan of Bottisham
Assures us we shall find the case,
Though he, too wise to quit his place,
Sings, all reclin'd on Board of Trade,
Of purling streams and sylvan shade,
“And thus, my Lord, he, free from strife,
“Spends an inglorious country life,”
While I, too happy (as I'm told
By Lord of Trade, and Bard of old),
With rustic muse, go plodding on,
In shady grove of Trumpington.
Unskill'd in flattery's softer arts,
Unfit for satire's pointed darts,
Else would my faithful muse reveal
What wights bestride the common-weal:
I'd sing of statesmen's strange invention
To gain for hungry ---s a pension;
I'd paint sweet peace from Heav'n descending,
And Granta's tuneful sons attending,
How to Parnassian hill they jog
Like hide-bound hacks to Gogmagog,
Blund'ring, and stumbling as they mount,
And flound'ring in the Aonian fount,


But such exalted themes belong
To Churchill's bold immortal song,
'Tis he alone can sweep the lyre,
And kindle Britain's languid fire;
Ye Muses bring his just reward,
At Freedom's temple crown the Bard.
Enough for me fresh flowers to bring
From hallow'd banks of Pindus' spring,
With careless hand for thee to twine
Th' unfading wreath at Friendship's shrine.

Horses so called, which his friend had been commissioned to purchase for him at Luton in Bedfordshire.