Verses In Reply To An Invitation To Dinner At Dr. Baker's

'This 'is' a poem! This 'is' a copy of verses!'

YOUR mandate I got,
You may all go to pot;
Had your senses been right,
You'd have sent before night;
As I hope to be saved,
I put off being shaved;
For I could not make bold,
While the matter was cold,
To meddle in suds,
Or to put on my duds;
So tell Horneck and Nesbitt,
And Baker and his bit,
And Kauffmann beside,
And the Jessamy Bride,
With the rest of the crew,
The Reynoldses two,
Little Comedy's face,
And the Captain in lace,
(By-the-bye you may tell him,
I have something to sell him;
Of use I insist,
When he comes to enlist.
Your worships must know
That a few days ago,
An order went out,
For the foot guards so stout
To wear tails in high taste,
Twelve inches at least:
Now I've got him a scale
To measure each tail,
To lengthen a short tail,
And a long one to curtail.) --
Yet how can I when vext,
Thus stray from my text?
Tell each other to rue
Your Devonshire crew,
For sending so late
To one of my state.
But 'tis Reynolds's way
From wisdom to stray,
And Angelica's whim
To be frolick like him,
But, alas! Your good worships, how could they be wiser,
When both have been spoil'd in to-day's 'Advertiser'?

Threnodia Augustalis: Overture - Pastorale

FAST by that shore where Thames' translucent stream
Reflects new glories on his breast,
Where, splendid as the youthful poet's dream,
He forms a scene beyond Elysium blest --
Where sculptur'd elegance and native grace
Unite to stamp the beauties of the place,
While sweetly blending still are seen
The wavy lawn, the sloping green --
While novelty, with cautious cunning,
Through ev'ry maze of fancy running,
From China borrows aid to deck the scene --
There, sorrowing by the river's glassy bed,
Forlorn, a rural bard complain'd,
All whom Augusta's bounty fed,
All whom her clemency sustain'd;
The good old sire, unconscious of decay,
The modest matron, clad in homespun gray,
The military boy, the orphan'd maid,
The shatter'd veteran, now first dismay'd;
These sadly join beside the murmuring deep,
And, as they view
The towers of Kew,
Call on their mistress -- now no more -- and weep.

Ye shady walks, ye waving greens,
Ye nodding towers, ye fairy scenes --
Let all your echoes now deplore
That she who form'd your beauties is no more.

First of the train the patient rustic came,
Whose callous hand had form'd the scene,
Bending at once with sorrow and with age,
With many a tear and many a sigh between;
'And where,' he cried, 'shall now my babes have bread,
Or how shall age support its feeble fire?
No lord will take me now, my vigour fled,
Nor can my strength perform what they require;
Each grudging master keeps the labourer bare --
A sleek and idle race is all their care.
My noble mistress thought not so:
Her bounty, like the morning dew,
Unseen, though constant, used to flow;
And as my strength decay'd, her bounty grew.'

In decent dress, and coarsely clean,
The pious matron next was seen --
Clasp'd in her hand a godly book was borne,
By use and daily meditation worn;
That decent dress, this holy guide,
Augusta's care had well supplied.
'And ah!' she cries, all woe-begone,
'What now remains for me?
Oh! where shall weeping want repair,
To ask for charity?
Too late in life for me to ask,
And shame prevents the deed,
And tardy, tardy are the times
To succour, should I need.
But all my wants, before I spoke,
Were to my Mistress known;
She still reliev'd, nor sought my praise,
Contented with her own.
But ev'ry day her name I'll bless,
My morning prayer, my evening song,
I'll praise her while my life shall last,
A life that cannot last me long.'

Each day, each hour, her name I'll bless --
My morning and my evening song;
And when in death my vows shall cease,
My children shall the note prolong.

The hardy veteran after struck the sight,
Scarr'd, mangled, maim'd in every part,
Lopp'd of his limbs in many a gallant fight,
In nought entire -- except his heart.
Mute for a while, and sullenly distress'd,
At last the impetuous sorrow fir'd his breast.
'Wild is the whirlwind rolling
O'er Afric's sandy plain,
And wild the tempest howling
Along the billow'd main:
But every danger felt before --
The raging deep, the whirlwind's roar --
Less dreadful struck me with dismay,
Than what I feel this fatal day.
Oh, let me fly a land that spurns the brave,
Oswego's dreary shores shall be my grave;
I'll seek that less inhospitable coast,
And lay my body where my limbs were lost.'

Old Edward's sons, unknown to yield,
Shall crowd from Crecy's laurell'd field,
To do thy memory right;
For thine and Britain's wrongs they feel,
Again they snatch the gleamy steel,
And wish the avenging fight.

In innocence and youth complaining,
Next appear'd a lovely maid,
Affliction o'er each feature reigning,
Kindly came in beauty's aid;
Every grace that grief dispenses,
Every glance that warms the soul,
In sweet succession charmed the senses,
While pity harmonized the whole.
'The garland of beauty' -- 'tis thus she would say --
'No more shall my crook or my temples adorn,
I'll not wear a garland -- Augusta's away,
I'll not wear a garland until she return;
But alas! that return I never shall see,
The echoes of Thames shall my sorrows proclaim,
There promised a lover to come -- but, O me!
'Twas death, -- 'twas the death of my mistress that came.
But ever, for ever, her image shall last,
I'll strip all the spring of its earliest bloom;
On her grave shall the cowslip and primrose be cast,
And the new-blossomed thorn shall whiten her tomb.'

With garlands of beauty the queen of the May
No more will her crook or her temples adorn;
For who'd wear a garland when she is away,
When she is remov'd, and shall never return.

On the grave of Augusta these garlands be plac'd,
We'll rifle the spring of its earliest bloom,
And there shall the cowslip and primrose be cast,
And the new-blossom'd thorn shall whiten her tomb.

On the grave of Augusta this garland be plac'd,
We'll rifle the spring of its earliest bloom,
And there shall the cowslip and primrose be cast,
And the tears of her country shall water her tomb.

The Haunch Of Venison


THANKS, my Lord, for your venison, for finer or fatter
Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter;
The haunch was a picture for painters to study,
The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy.
Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help regretting
To spoil such a delicate picture by eating;
I had thoughts, in my chambers, to place it in view,
To be shown to my friends as a piece of 'virtu';
As in some Irish houses, where things are so so,
One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show:
But for eating a rasher of what they take pride in,
They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fried in.
But hold -- let me pause -- Don't I hear you pronounce
This tale of the bacon a damnable bounce?
Well, suppose it a bounce -- sure a poet may try,
By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly.

But, my Lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my turn,
It's a truth -- and your Lordship may ask Mr. Byrne.
To go on with my tale -- as I gaz'd on the haunch,
I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch;
So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undress'd,
To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best.
Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose;
'Twas a neck and a breast -- that might rival M--r--'s:
But in parting with these I was puzzled again,
With the how, and the who, and the where, and the when.
There's H--d, and C--y, and H--rth, and H--ff,
I think they love venison -- I know they love beef;
There's my countryman H--gg--ns-- Oh! let him alone,
For making a blunder, or picking a bone.
But hang it -- to poets who seldom can eat,
Your very good mutton's a very good treat;
Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt,
It's like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt.
While thus I debated, in reverie centred,
An acquaintance, a friend as he call'd himself, enter'd;
An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he,
And he smil'd as he look'd at the venison and me.
'What have we got here? -- Why, this is good eating!
Your own, I suppose -- or is it in waiting?'
'Why, whose should it be?' cried I with a flounce,
'I get these things often;' -- but that was a bounce:
'Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation,
Are pleas'd to be kind -- but I hate ostentation.'

'If that be the case, then,' cried he, very gay,
'I'm glad I have taken this house in my way.
To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me;
No words -- I insist on't -- precisely at three:
We'll have Johnson, and Burke; all the wits will be there;
My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my Lord Clare.
And now that I think on't, as I am a sinner!
We wanted this venison to make out the dinner.
What say you -- a pasty? it shall, and it must,
And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust.
Here, porter! -- this venison with me to Mile-end;
No stirring -- I beg -- my dear friend -- my dear friend!
Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind,
And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.

Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf,
'And nobody with me at sea but myself';
Though I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty,
Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good venison pasty,
Were things that I never dislik'd in my life,
Though clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife.
So next day, in due splendour to make my approach,
I drove to his door in my own hackney coach.

When come to the place where we all were to dine,
(A chair-lumber'd closet just twelve feet by nine
My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb,
With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not come;
'For I knew it,' he cried, 'both eternally fail,
The one with his speeches, and t'other with Thrale;
But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up the party
With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty.
The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew,
They're both of them merry and authors like you;
The one writes the 'Snarler', the other the 'Scourge';
Some think he writes 'Cinna' -- he own to 'Panurge'.'
While thus he describ'd them by trade, and by name,
They enter'd and dinner was serv'd as they came.

At the top a fried liver and bacon were seen,
At the bottom was tripe in a swinging tureen;
At the sides there was spinach and pudding made hot;
In the middle a place where the pasty -- was not.
Now, my Lord as for tripe, it's my utter aversion,
And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian;
So there I sat stuck, like a horse in a pound,
While the bacon and liver went merrily round.
But what vex'd me most was that d--'d Scottish rogue,
With his long-winded speeches, his smiles and his brogue;
And, 'Madam,' quoth he, 'may this bit be my poison,
A prettier dinner I never set eyes on;
Pray a slice of your liver, though may I be curs'd,
But I've eat of your tripe till I'm ready to burst.;
'The tripe,' quoth the Jew, with his chocolate cheek,
'I could dine on this tripe seven days in the week:
I like these here dinners so pretty and small;
But your friend there, the Doctor, eats nothing at all.'
'O--Oh!' quoth my friend, 'he'll come on in a trice,
He's keeping a corner for something that's nice:
There's a pasty' -- 'A pasty!' repeated the Jew,
'I don't care if I keep a corner for't too.'
'What the de'il, mon, a pasty!' re-echoed the Scot,
'Though splitting, I'll still keep a corner for thot.'
'We'll all keep a corner,' the lady cried out;
'We'll all keep a corner,' was echoed about.
While thus we resolv'd, and the pasty delay'd,
With look that quite petrified, enter'd the maid;
A visage so sad, and so pale with affright,
Wak'd Priam in drawing his curtains by night.
But we quickly found out, for who could mistake her?
That she came with some terrible news from the baker:
And so it fell out, for that negligent sloven
Had shut out the pasty on shutting his oven
Sad Philomel thus -- but let similes drop --
And now that I think on't, the story may stop.
To be plain, my good Lord, it's but labour misplac'd
To send such good verses to one of your taste;
You've got an odd something -- a kind of discerning --
A relish -- a taste -- sicken'd over by learning;
At least, it's your temper, as very well known,
That you think very slightly of all that's your own:
So, perhaps, in your habits of thinking amiss,
You may make a mistake, and think slightly of this.

Retaliation: A Poem

1 Of old, when Scarron his companions invited,
2 Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united;
3 If our landlord supplies us with beef, and with fish,
4 Let each guest bring himself, and he brings the best dish:
5 Our Dean shall be venison, just fresh from the plains;
6 Our Burke shall be tongue, with a garnish of brains;
7 Our Will shall be wild fowl, of excellent flavour,
8 Our Cumberland's sweet-bread its place shall obtain,
9 And Douglas is pudding, substantial and plain:
10 Our Garrick's a salad, for in him we see
11 Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree:
12 To make out the dinner, full certain I am,
13 That Ridge is an anchovy, and Reynolds is lamb;
14 That Hickey's a capon, and by the same rule,
15 Magnanimous Goldsmith, a gooseberry fool:
16 At a dinner so various, at such a repast,
17 Who'd not be a glutton, and stick to the last:
18 Here, waiter, more wine, let me sit while I'm able,
19 'Till all my companions sink under the table;
20 Then with chaos and blunders encircling my head,
21 Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.

22 Here lies the good Dean, re-united with earth,
23 Who mixt reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth:
24 If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt,
25 At least, in six weeks, I could not find 'em out;
26 Yet some have declar'd, and it can't be denied 'em,
27 That sly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em.

28 Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such,
29 We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much;
30 Who, born for the Universe, narrow'd his mind,
31 And to party gave up, what was meant for mankind.
32 Tho' fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat,
33 To persuade Tommy Townsend to lend him a vote;
34 Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
35 And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining;
36 Tho' equal to all things, for all things unfit,
37 Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit:
38 For a patriot too cool; for a drudge, disobedient,
39 And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient.
40 In short, 'twas his fate, unemploy'd, or in place, sir,
41 To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.

42 Here lies honest William, whose heart was a mint,
43 While the owner ne'er knew half the good that was in't;
44 The pupil of impulse, it forc'd him along,
45 His conduct still right, with his argument wrong;
46 Still aiming at honour, yet fearing to roam,
47 The coachman was tipsy, the chariot drove home;
48 Would you ask for his merits, alas! he had none,
49 What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his own.

50 Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh at,
51 Alas, that such frolic should now be so quiet!
52 What spirits were his, what wit and what whim,
53 Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb;
54 Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball,
55 Now teazing and vexing, yet laughing at all?
56 In short so provoking a devil was Dick,
57 That we wish'd him full ten times a day at Old Nick.
58 But missing his mirth and agreeable vein,
59 As often we wish'd to have Dick back again.

60 Here Cumberland lies having acted his parts,
61 The Terence of England, the mender of hearts;
62 A flattering painter, who made it his care
63 To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are.
64 His gallants were all faultless, his women divine,
65 And comedy wonders at being so fine;
66 Like a tragedy queen he has dizen'd her out,
67 Or rather like tragedy giving a rout.
68 His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd
69 Of virtues and feelings, that folly grows proud
70 And coxcombs alike in their failings alone,
71 Adopting his portraits are pleas'd with their own.
72 Say, where has our poet this malady caught,
73 Or wherefore his characters thus without fault?
74 Say was it that vainly directing his view,
75 To find out men's virtues and finding them few,
76 Quite sick of pursuing each troublesome elf,
77 He grew lazy at last and drew from himself?

78 Here Douglas retires from his toils to relax,
79 The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks:
80 Come all ye quack bards, and ye quacking divines,
81 Come and dance on the spot where your tyrant reclines,
82 When Satire and Censure encircl'd his throne,
83 I fear'd for your safety, I fear'd for my own;
84 But now he is gone, and we want a detector,
85 Our Dodds shall be pious, our Kenricks shall lecture;
86 Macpherson write bombast, and call it a style,
87 Our Townshend make speeches, and I shall compile;
88 New Lauders and Bowers the Tweed shall cross over,
89 No countryman living their tricks to discover;
90 Detection her taper shall quench to a spark,
91 And Scotchman meet Scotchman and cheat in the dark.

92 Here lies David Garrick, describe me who can,
93 An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man;
94 As an actor, confest without rival to shine,
95 As a wit, if not first, in the very first line,
96 Yet with talents like these, and an excellent heart,
97 The man had his failings, a dupe to his art;
98 Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread,
99 And beplaister'd, with rouge, his own natural red.
100 On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting,
101 'Twas only that, when he was off, he was acting:
102 With no reason on earth to go out of his way,
103 He turn'd and he varied full ten times a-day;
104 Tho' secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick,
105 If they were not his own by finessing and trick;
106 He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack,
107 For he knew when he pleas'd he could whistle them back.
108 Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came,
109 And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for fame;
110 'Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
111 Who pepper'd the highest, was surest to please.
112 But let us be candid, and speak out our mind,
113 If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind.
114 Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, and Woodfalls so grave,
115 What a commerce was yours, while you got and you gave?
116 How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts that you rais'd,
117 While he was beroscius'd, and you were beprais'd?
118 But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,
119 To act as an angel, and mix it with skies:
120 Those poets, who owe their best fame to his skill,
121 Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will.
122 Old Shakespeare, receive him, with praise and with love,
123 And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.

124 Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt, pleasant creature,
125 And slander itself must allow him good-nature:
126 He cherish'd his friend, and he relish'd a bumper;
127 Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper:
128 Perhaps you may ask if the man was a miser?
129 I answer, no, no, for he always was wiser;
130 Too courteous, perhaps, or obligingly flat;
131 His very worst foe can't accuse him of that.
132 Perhaps he confided in men as they go,
133 And so was too foolishly honest; ah no!
134 Then what was his failing? come tell it, and burn ye,
135 He was, could he help it? a special attorney.

136 Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind,
137 He has not left a wiser or better behind;
138 His pencil was striking, resistless and grand,
139 His manners were gentle, complying and bland;
140 Still born to improve us in every part,
141 His pencil our faces, his manners our heart:
142 To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering,
143 When they judg'd without skill he was still hard of hearing:
144 When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Corregios and stuff,
145 He shifted his trumpet, and only took snuff.