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We might our title to the mystery dread,
And fear we drank not at the river-head.
Griggs and Gregorians here their meetings hold,
Convivial sects, and Bucks alert and bold;
A kind of Masons, but without their sign ;
The bonds of union-pleasure, song, and wine:
Man, a gregarious creature, loves to fly
Where he the trackings of the herd can spy;
Still to be one with many he desires,
Although it leads him through the thorns and briers.
A few ! but few there are, who in the mind
Perpetual source of consolation find;
The weaker many to the world will come,
For comforts seldom to be found from home.
When the faint hands no more a brimmer hold,
When flannel-wreaths the useless limbs infold,
The breath impeded, and the bosom cold;
When half the pillow'd man the palsy chains,
And the blood falters in the bloated veins,-
Then, as our friends no further aid supply
Than hope's cold phrase and courtesy's soft sigh,
We should that comfort for ourselves ensure,
Which friends could not, if we could friends, procure.
Early in life, when we can laugh aloud, There's something pleasant in a social crowd,
Who laugh with us—but will such joy remain,
When we lie struggling on the bed of pain ?
When our physician tells us with a sigh,
No more on hope and science to rely,
Life's staff is useless then ; with labouring breath
pray for hope divine—the staff of death This is a scene which few companions grace,
, And where the heart's first favourites yield their place.
Here all the aid of man to man must end, Here mounts the soul to her eternal Friend; The tenderest love must here its tie resign, And give th' aspiring heart to love divine.
Men feel their weakness, and to numbers run, Themselves to strengthen, or themselves to shun; But though to this our weakness may be
prone, Let's learn to live, for we must die, alone.
All the comforts of life in a tavern are known,
'Tis his home who possesses not one of his own;
And to him who has rather too much of that one,
"Tis the house of a friend where he's welcome to run :
The instant you enter my door you're my lord,
With whose taste and whose pleasure I'm proud to accord;
And the louder you call and the longer you stay,
The more I am happy to serve and obey.
To the house of a friend if you're pleased to retire,
You must all things admit, you must all things admire;
You must pay with observance the price of your treat,
You must eat what is praised, and must praise what you eat :
But here you may come, and no tax we require,
You may loudly condemn what you greatly admire;
You may growl at our wishes and pains to excel,
And may snarl at the rascals who please you so well.
At your wish we attend, and confess that your speech
On the nation's affairs might the minister teach ;
His views you may blame, and his measures oppose,
There's no tavern-treason—you're under the Rose :
Should rebellions arise in your own little state,
With me you may safely their consequence wait ;
To recruit your lost spirits 'tis prudent to come,
And to fly to a friend when the devil's at home.
That I've faults is confess'd; but it won't be denied,
'Tis my interest the faults of my neighbours to hide ;
If I've sometimes lent Scandal occasion to prate,
I've often conceal’d what she'd love to relate;
If to Justice's bar some have wander'd from mine,
'Twas because the dull rogues wouldn't stay by their wine;
And for brawls at my house, well the poet explains,
That men drink shallow draughts, and so madden their brains.
A difficult Subject for Poetry—Invocation of the Muse
Description of the principal Inn and those of the first Class—The large deserted Tavern—Those of a second Order-Their Company_One of particular Description -A lower Kind of Public-Houses : yet distinguished among themselves—Houses on the Quays for Sailors The Green-Man: its Landlord, and the Adventure of his Marriage, &c.
Much do I need, and therefore will I ask,
A Muse to aid me in my present task ;
For then with special cause we beg for aid,
When of our subject we are most afraid :
Inns are this subject— tis an ill-drawn lot,
So, thou who gravely triflest, fail me not.
Fail not, but haste, and to my memory bring
Scenes yet unsung, which few would choose to sing :
Thou mad'st a Shilling splendid; thou hast thrown
On humble themes the
By thee the Mistress of a village-school
Became a queen, enthroned upon her stool;
And far beyond the rest thou gav'st to shine
Belinda's Lock—that deathless work was thine.
Come, lend thy cheerful light, and give to please, These seats of revelry, these scenes of ease ;