Francis Hopkinson.

The Miscellaneous essays and occasional writings of Francis Hopkinson, Esq (Volume 3) online

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Which ihook his virtuous breaft ;

But, well rememVring former pain.
Contented to fmks to reft.


[ ISO 1


^O little leaf, and to the fair.

The miftrefs of my heart \
My truth and conftancy declares
My ardent love impart.

But how fhall thy fmall page contain
That which no bounds controul ?

Or hov/ Ihall feeble words explain
The tranfports of the foul ?

Go, tell her then that nothing lefs

Than a whole life of love,
Can all my joy in her exprefs.

Can my fix'd paffion prove.

That nought but death can from my mlod^

Her dear idea part,
And lovely Delia ne'er (hall find

A rival in my hearto

[ IS' J

Go, tell her all our peaceful years
In mutual blifs we'll fpend;

And hope to meet beyond the fphercs.
When this frail life ihall end.

May, i768»


C 15^ ]


i^OFT ideas love infpirmgj

Ev'ry placid joy unite ;
Ev*ry anxious thought retiring,

Fill my bofom with delight.

Soft ideas, gently flowing,

On your tide, fo calm and ftill ;

Bear me, where fweet zephyrs blowing.
Wave the pines on Borden^ s-Hill *.

Where the breezes odours bringing,
Fill the grove with murm'ring found -,

Where fhrill notes of birds fweet finging,
Echo to the hills around.

To the pleafing gloom convey me,

Let my Delia too be there ;
On her gentle bofom lay me.

On her bofom foft and fair.


♦ At Bordentown on Delaware.

[ ^53 ]

Whilft I there, with rapture burning,

All my joy in her exprefs
Let her love for love returning.

Me with fond carefTes blefs.

On his little wings defcending.
Bring the god of foft delight :

Hymen too with torch attending,
Muft our hands and hearts unite.

She the fource of all my pleafure
Shall my breaft with tranfport fill :

Delia is my foul^s beft treafure,
Deliay pride of Bordeii s-HUh

July, 1768.


C 154 ]



S in the glowing noon of day.
Stretched carelefs on the ground,
Beneath the breezy pines I lay,
Lull'd by their murm'ring found :

A little nefl aloft I fpy'd.
Of feathers white as fnow.

With ftrong, tho' flender, cordagie ty'd
Fail to the top-moil bough*

With eager hafle I feiz'd the prize.
And found a beauteous pair :

Love yet unfledg'd w'lXh friendfiip /ies,
Together neftiing there.

Delia my captive love detains

In Hymen's filken clue ,
Friendfhip, Myrtilla, yet remains

An off 'ring fit for you.


E ^SS ]


Vv R APT in Aui-elian filth and flime,
An infant wafp neglcfted lay ;

Till having doz'd the deftin'd time.
He woke, and ilruggl'd into day.

Proud of his venom bag and fting,
And big with feif-approved worth :

Mankind, he faid, and ftretch'd his wingj
Should tremble when I fally forth.

In copious ftreams my fpleen (hall flov/^
And fatire all her purfes drain ;

A critic born, the world (hall know
I carry not a fting in vain.

This faid, from native cell of clay,

Elate he rofe in airy flight ;
Thence to the city chang'd his way.

And on a ileeple chanc'd to light.

Ye gods, he cry'd, what horrid pile
Prefumes to rear its head fo high —

T his

C 156 ]

This clumfy cornice — fee how vile :
Can this delight a critic's eye ?

With pois'nous fling he drove to wound
The fubflance firm : but flrove in vain ;

Surprif'd he fees it ftands its ground.

Nor flarts thro' fear, nor writhes with pain.

Away th' enraged infeft flew ;

But foon with aggravated powV,
Againfl the walls his body threw,

And hop'd to fhake the lofty tow*r.

Firm fix'd it flands ; as fland it mufl,
Nor heeds the wafp's unpitied fall ;

The humbled critic rolls in dufl.

So Ilunn'd, fo bruis'd, he fcarce can crawl.



[ 157 1

T O T M , EsQi

As I fat by the fire, the newfpaper read,

And waited for breakfaft, my wife being in bed -,

It came in my mind that I could not do better

Than to call for fome paper, and write you a letter.

'Tis true I have nothing material to fay.

But will mention what incidents fell in my way j

Our leaving Newcajlle, and how we got hither,

Half tir'd to death, thro' wind and foul weather.

I mounted at nine, and fet off on my journey,

Along with my brother-in-law the attorney -,

Who took with him papers, fo many and bulkly.

He found it convenient to ride in his fulky.

We travell'd, and chatted, and made ourfelves merry,

And who ihould we meet a few miles from the ferry.

But the great little ma?i : the juftice I mean,

Rever'd and belov'd by the fwains of Chrijieen.

You know that at prefent, however, he labours

Beneath a fad quarrel with one of his neighbours ;

And then to Newcajlle was going to Hiow

What homage the vulgar to juftices owe.

He ftopp'd us, and while we ftood ftill in our placesj

Related his flory, and cited fome cafes.

To prove how exceeding important the troft is^

And what veneration is due to a jufdce.


C 158 3

My brother aiTented, or feem*d to affent.

To all that was urg'd — away then he went,

WhiiH: we on our journey purfued as before.

Till we came to the ferryman's houfe on the fhorc*

Now this ferryman happen'd to be the vile brute

Yv^ho affronted his worlhip, and rais'd this difpute s

He likewife related his cafe to the lawyer

In fuch agitation, he work'd like a fawyer j

Whilft I flood impatient, unable to ftir,

For his ftory was tedious, and caus'd a demur ;

At length I exclaim' d — as I am a fmner,

We've no time to lofe, we fliall mifs of our dinner :

But the man fully bent to wipe off his attainder,

Stept into the boat, and there told the remainder ;

The lawyer aiTented, or feem'd to aflent,

To all that was faid — then forward we went.

Nothing afterwards happened that's worthy relating

Till arrived at Chejler^ the place of our bating ;

And here we divided, as was our intent ;

At Co'wpland''s he ftopt, and to Withfs I went :

Here the rooms were all full — nought but buftle and rout^

And over-grown booby-heads flalking about ;

For this was the time when the lawyers refort.

From all quarters round to attend Chejler court :

Attornies and clients here lovingly meet,

The one to be cheated, the other to cheat.

Now dapper lawyers croud each flreet, tf^

Drefl fine to cut a da(h ;
Saluting ev'ry one they meet.

In hopes of getting cafh^


C ^S9 ]

> How doft thou friend, 'twould give me joy
To ferve you with my fkill j
For if you pleafe, I can deftroy.
Or can confirm a will.

Say, has your neighbour's deed a flaw ?

Your title got a wound ?
The breach I'll widen by the law.

By law will make your's found.

** A widow, fir, there is oppreft,

*f And by a wealthy knave •,
« Oh ! then afTift the poor diilrefl,

" Her all from ruin fave ;

•^ Her thanks and pray'rs fhe'll freely give,

" 'Tis all you can obtain ;
" For fhe hath fcarce enough to live,

** And children to maintain."

« Her cafe is bad — I can't defend her —

*^ Go tell her fo from me *,
*' Befides, my confcience is too tender

<^ To plead without a fee.

" Sir, fir," cries another, " you're gen'rous indeedj
« For the prefent, I think myfelf very well fe'ed :
" By what you have faid, I can plainly difcover j
<' If you bring an ejeftment you'll furely recover ^
" The law is as plain as the nofe on your face ;
«« I remember lord Rayjnond has juii fuch a cafe.


C i<5o 3

f^ And what tho' the tenant hath long held the land,
'^ I warrant we'll foon wrell it out of his hand ;
" And therefore I think you may fafely depend on't,
" In a very few years we flialloufl the defendant."

Qnite tlrM of nonfenfe, and noify difcourfe,
I fwaliow'd my dinner, and mounted my horfe :
But fcarce had proceeded a mile on my way,
Before it turnM out a very foul day ;
The wind and the rain met m.e full in the face.
Yet I travell'd along at a pretty round pace ;
Tho' I button'd up clofe, and flapp'd down my hat,
I was wet to the flcin, like an half-drowned rat.
At length I got home, well pleased you may guefs,
And by a great fire foon (Changed my drefs.

And now I fuppofe you may think by this time,
I have teizM you enough with my nonfenfe in rhyme :
Before I conclude — my compliments pay

To fat Mrs R d, and to fair Mrs. C- y ;

Remember m.e too to your neighbour V e,

Tho' grey as a badger, and old as a weazel ;

To Mr. V h, who leather can tan,

And juftice M'W m, that good-natur'd man ;

To Johnny the barber, who hobbles about.
And takes the beft man in the town by the fnout.
Thus you fee in good time, without any confulion,
My letter is brought to a happy conclufion.


I i^I J\



-A O yonder new made grave I'll go.

And there indulge my fwelling grief:
There fhall the tears of friend fhip flow.
And give my wounded heart relief.

To yonder grave, oh ! mufe, repair.
And whilfl I breathe my tender fighs.

Attune thy plaintive lyre, for there
The lov'd, the loft Maria lies.

Bleft be the ground where thotf art laid ;

Let no unhallow'd foot prefume
Upon thy tufted grave to tread ;

No hoftile hand profane thy tomb.

Angelic hofts affembled here.

Shall guard the confecrated ground -,

In robes of radiant light appear.
And fpread feraphic muiic round.

The winds that thro' the midnight gloom.
Wild howling o'er the mountains fly ;

Shall ceafe their rage, when near thy tomb,
And pafs in plaintive murmurs by.


When at the board with feftlve glee,
Gay pleafures focial bofoms chear 5

E'en mirth fhall paufe to think on thee.
And, thinking, drop a fiknt tear.

With grateful hearts the poor diftreft.
Shall to thy grave lamenting go -,

Then fhall thy hand be duly bleft,
That hand which lov'd to foften woe.

Oft when the moon with placid ray
Gleams o'er the dew-befpangled green.

Here fhall my fdent footfteps ilray.
Here fhall my penfive form be feen.

Thy worth, dear faint, fhall then arife
All bright to contemplation's view :

Review thy life with weeping eyes,
And weeping ftrive to copy you.

Remembrance long fhall hold thee fall 5
Thy form, thy virtues ne'er fliall die :

I'll love thee thus whilfl life fhall lafl.
And blefs thee with my latefl: figh.


FAIR was her form, ferene her mind.
Her heart and hopes were fix'd on high :

Her hand beneficent and kind

Oft wip'd the tear from forrow's eye.


C 163 1

The fweets of friend (hip foften'd care ;
Love, peace, and joy, her foul pofTeil :
Meeknefs perfum'd each rifing prayV,
And ev'ry rifing pra/r was blefl.
In heav*n we trujft, her fainted fpirit jfings
Glad Hallelujahs to the King of Kings.

March, 1773.




Date Obolum Belief aria*

/xS I traveled o'er the plain.

About the clofe of day,
I chanc'd to wander in a lane,

A lane of mire and clay.

'Twas there a dirty drab I faw.

All feated on the ground.
With oaken flafFand hat of ftraw,

And tatters hanging round.

At my approach fhe heav'd a figh,

And due obeiiance paid,
Firft wip'd a tear from either eye.

Then her petition made.

" A wretch forlorn, kind fir, you fee,
" That begs from door to door ;

** Oh ! ftop and give for charity,
*' A penny to the poor \


C i6s 3

" Tho' now in tatters I appear,
" Yet know the time hath been,

« When I partook the world's good cheer,
" And better days have feen.

Proceed, faid I, whilft I attend

The ftory of thy woe ;
Proceed, and charity fhall lend

Some help before I go.

" If blooming honours men delight,
" If charms in wealth they fee,

'^ My fame once foar'd a glorious height,
" And who more rich than me.

'* Of fons and daughters I can boaft
<« A long illuflrious linej
" Of fervants could command a hofl,
*' For large domains were mine,

" But George my youngeft faithlefs boy,
" Hath all my powers o'erthrown j

" And in the very beds of joy
" The feeds of forrow fown,

** He thirfting for fupreme command,
" Contemn'd my wife decrees,

" And with a facrileglous hand,
" My deareft rights did feize.

" A magic wand I once pofTeft,
<* A cap aloft it bore 5


[ i66 ]

" Of all my treafures this the beft.
And none I valued more.

" Ruthlefs he broke the facred rod,
** The cap he tumbled down ;

*« Deftroying thus, what with their blood
** His anceflors had won.

" An orphan child fell to my care,

" Fair as the morn was (he,
" To large pofTeffions flie was heir,

" And friendly flill to me.

" But George, my fon, beheld the maid,
*' "With fierce lafcivious eye ;

*' To ravifh her a plan he laid,
" And fhe was forc'd to fly.

*« She's young and will no more depend

" On cruel George or me ;
<* No longer now my boailed friend,

<« Nor of my family.

" Bad meafurcs often end in worfe,

" His fell intent to gain ;
** He fent in rage a mighty force,

" To bring her back again.

" But to defend the irjur'd mo'd,
" Her faithful houilaold came *,


[ i67 ]

" In battle ftrong they Itood array'd,
*' And gain'd immortal fame.

" 'Mongft thefe a god-like hero rofe

" Wife, generous and brave,
" He check' d the frenzy of her foes,

" His arm was ftrong to fave.

* So near perfect-ion, that he flood

** Upon the boundary line,
*' Of infinite from finite good,

" Of human from divine.

" Defeated thus in all his fchemes,

« My foolifli, v/ick'd fon,
" Awak'd from his delufive dreams,

" And found himfelf undone.

" Mean time I fuffer'd, in difgrace,

No comfort could I find,
" I faw diflrefs come on a pace,

« With ruin clofe behind.

" At length difirafled quite v/ith grief,

*' I left my native home,
" Depending nov/ on chance relief,

" Abroad for bread I roam.

" A fhield and lance once grac'd thefe hands,
" Perhaps youVe heard my fame,

« For

[ i68 3

^^ For I was known in diftant in lands,
*' Britannia is my name.

^^ Britannia now in rags you fee ;

** I beg from door to door —
" Oh ! give, kind fire for charity,
." A penny to the poor.


C 169 3

The battle of the KEGS.


'ALLANTS attend and hear a friend,
Trill forth harmonious ditty,
Strange things I'll tell which late befel
In Philadelphia city.

*Twas early day, as poets fay,
Jufl when the fun was riling,

A foldier flood on a log of wood,
And faw a thing furprifing.

As in amaze he flood to gaze.
The truth can't be denied, fir.

He fpied a fcore of kegs or more
Come floating down the tide, fir.

A failor too in jerkin blue.

This flrange appearance viewing,

Firfl damn'd his eyes , in great furprife,
Then faid fome mifchief 's brewing.


i; 170 ]

Thefe kegs, Vm told, the rebels bold,
Pack'd up like pickling herring ;

And they're come down t' attack the town.
In this new way of ferr ying.

The foldier flew, the failor too.
And fcar'd almoft to death, fir.

Wore out their fhoes, to fpread the news,
And ran till out of breath, fir.

Now up and down throughout the town,
Mofi frantic fcenes were a£led ;

And fome ran here, and others there.
Like men almofl diflradled.

Some fire cry'd, which fome denied,
But faid the earth had quaked ;

And girls and boys, with hideous nolle^
Ran thro* the ftreets half naked.

Sir William he, fnug as a flea,

Lay all this time a fnoring,
Nor dream'd of harm as he lay warm,

InbedwithMrs. L^^^^^g.

Now in a fright, he ftarts upright,

Awak'd by fuch a clatter ;
He rubs both eyes, and boldly cries.

For God's fake, what's the matter ?

A rife

C X7I 3

At his bed-fide he theiiefpy'd,
Sir Erfkhie at command, fir,

Upon one foot, he had one boot,
And th' other in his hand, Crr,

^' Arife, arife^ fir Eiflone cries,

'^ The rebels — more's the pity,
« Without a boat are all afloat,
And rang'd before the city.


" The motly crew, in vefTeL new,
" With Satan for their guide, fir.

*^ Pack'd up in bags, or v;ooden kegs,
*' Come driving dov/n tlie tide, fir.

** Therefore prepare for bloody war,
** Thefe kegs muil all be routed,

" Orfurely we defpifed /hall be,
'' And Britifh courage doubted."

The royal band, now ready (land
All rang'd in dread array, fir.

With flomach ftout to fee it out, I
And make a bloody day, fir.

The cannons roar from Qiore to iliore,
The fmall arms make a rattle ;

Since wars began Tni fure no man
E'er faw fo llrange a battle.


The rebel dales, the rebel vales,
With rebel trees furrounded ;

Thediftant wood, the hills and floods,
With rebel echos founded.

The fifh below fwam to and fro.

Attacked from ev'ry quarter ;
Why fure, thought they, the devil's to pay,

'Mongft folks above the water.

The kegs, 'tis faid, tho' ftrongly made.
Of rebel flaves and hoops, fir,

Could not oppofe their powerful foes.
The conqu'ring Britifh troops, fir.

From morn to night thefe men of might

Difplay'd amazing courage ;
And when the fun was fairly down,

Retir'd to fup their porrage.

An hundred men with each a pen.

Or more upon my word, fir.
It is mofl true would be too few.

Their valour to record, fir.

Such feats did they perform that day,
Againfl thefe wick'd kegs, fir,


C ^73 ]

That years to come, if they get home,
They'll make their boafls and brags, fir.

N. B. This ballad was occafioned by a real incident. Certain ma-
chines, in the form of kegs, charg'd w idi gun powder, were fent
down the river to annoy the Britifh (hipping then at Philadelphia.
The danger of thefe machines being difcovered, the Britifti manned
the wharfs and fhipping, and difcharged their fmall arms and can-
nons at every thing they faw floating in the river during the ebb


C 174 ]


IVl AKE room, oh ! ye kingdoms in hifl'ry renowned
Whofe arms haY€ in.: battle with glory been crown'd.
Make room for Amerka, another great nation,
Arifes to claim in your council a flation.

Her fons fought for freedom, and by their own brav'ry .
Have refcued themfelves from the Ihackles of flav'ry.
America's free, and tho' Britain abhor'd it.
Yet fame a new volume prepares to record it.

Fair freedom in Briton her throne had erected.
But her fons growing venal, and {he difrefpe6led ;
The goddefs offended forfook the bafe nation,
And fix'd on our mountains a more honoured flation.

"With glory immortal fhe here fits enthron'd.
Nor fears the vain vengeance of Britain difown'd,
Whilil WafhincTton guards herv/ith heroes furrounded,
Her foes fhall with fliameful defeat be confounded.


t '75 3

To arms then, to arms, 'tis fair freedom invites ns *,
The trumpet fhrill founding to battle excites us ;
The banners of virtue unfurl'd, fhall wave o'er us,
Our hero lead on, and the foe fly before us.

On Heav'n and Wafliington placing reliance,
We'll meet the bold Britton, and bid him defiance :
Our caufe we'll fupport, for 'tis jufl and 'tis glorious
When men fight for freedom they muft be vidlorious.


[ 17^ ]


1 IS Waililngton's health — fill a bumper aroundj
For he is our glory and pride ;
Our arms fhall in battle with conqueft be crown'd,
Whilft virtue and he's on our fide.

'Tis Walhington's health— and cannons fhould roar.
And trumpets the truth ihould proclaim ;

There cannot be found, fearch the world ali o'er, H /f .{ T
His equal in virtue and fame.

'Tis Wafhington's health — our hero to blefs,

May heav'n look gracioufly down :
Oh ! long may he live our hearts to poffefs.

And freedom ftill call him her own.


L 177 J

The BIRDS, the B E A S TS, and the BAT.


-Tx WAR broke out in former days.
If ail is true that ^fop fays,
Between the birds that haunt the grove,
And beafts that wild in forefls rove :
Of fowl that fwim in water clear.
Of birds that moiynt aloft in air ;
From ev'ry tribe vafl numbers came.
To fight for freedom, as for fame :
The beafts from dens and caverns deep.
From valleys low and mountains fteep ;
In motly ranks determin'd ftood.
And dreadful bowlings ihook the wood.
The bat, half bird, half beaft was there.
Nor would for this or that declare ;
Waiting till conquefl: fliould decide.
Which was the ftrongefl, fafeft fide :
Depending on this doubtful form.
To fcreen him from th' impending florm.

M With

r J/S J

With fharpenM beaks and talons long.
With horny fpurs and pinions ftrong,
The birds in fierce affault, 'tis faid,
Amongfi the foe fiich havoc made.
That panic ftrnck, the beafts retreat
n Rmaz'd, and vi6l'ry feem'd complete.
Th' obfervant bat, with fqueaking tone.
Cries, Bravo, birds the day's our own |
" For now I'm proud to claim a place
" Amongft your bold afpiring race y
*^ With leathern wings I (Icim the air,
'^ And am a bird tho' clad in hair."

But now the beads aiham'd of flight,.
With rallied force renew the fight.
With threatening teeth, uphfted paws,
Projefting horns and fpreading claws,
Enrag'd advance — pufii on the fray.
And claim the honours at the day.

The bat flill hov'ring to and fro,
Obferv'd how things were like to go,
Concludes thofe beft who beft can fight.
And thinks the flrongeft party right j
" Pufh on, quoth he, our's is the day
" We'll chafe thefe rebel birds away,
<« And reign fupreme — for who but we
" Of earth and air the Lords fhouldbc ^
" That I'm a beafl I can make out,
" by reafons ftrong beyond a doubt,

« With

C 119 ]

^ With teeth and fur 'twould be abfiird,
<' To call a thing like me a bird ,
" Each fon and daughter of my hotife,
*' Is flil'd at leaft a flying moufe."

Always uncertain is the fate.
Of war and cnterprifes great :
The beafts exulting pufli'd too far
Their late advantage in the war ;
Sure of fuccefs, infult the &e,
Defpife their flrength and carelefs grow;
The birds not vanquiftv'd, but difmayMj
CoUea their force, new pow'rs difplay'd ;
Their chief, the eagle, leads them on.
And with fierce rage the war's begun.
Now in their turn the hearts mufl yield.
The bloody laurels of the field ;
Routed they fly, difperfe, divide,
Apd in their native caverns hide.

Once more the bat with courtly voice.
Hail, noble birds ! " much I rejoice
In your fuccefs, and come to claim
My fliare of conqueft and of fame."
The birds the faithlefs wretch defpife ;
Hence, traitor, hence the eagle cries j
No more, as you juft vengeance fear,
Amongft our honour'd ranks appear.
The bat, difown'd in fome old ftied.
Now feeks to hide his exU'd head j


C 180 ]

Nor dares his leathern wings difplay.
From rifing morn to fetting day :
But when the gloomy Ihades of night.
Screens his vile form from every fight,
Defpis'd, unnotic'd, flits about ;
Then to his dreary cell returns,
And his juft fate in filence mourns.


[ i8i ]



W HAT can ye hope, rebellious crew,
But vengeance dire to traitors due ;
Whilfl: you fupport this infarreiTtion,
Refufing to our king fubjeftion ?
Why fo ungen'rous, fo unkind ?
"Why to your own true int'rcft blind ?
Tis faft — and take it on our word.
If you'll fubmit to George the Third,
You'll furely find it better far
Than carrying on this bloody war :
You'll only be of flaves a nation.
From generation to generation :
And what is that, compar'd with all
The mifchiefs which may now befal,
li; you unwifely ftlll perfift in
This naughty practice of refifting.

Your towns, yourfelves, you can't deny.
Within the grafp of power lie :
And that we can with greatefl eafe.
Clap paw upon you when we pLeale.


c 182 :j

That you've a houfe to put your head in,
Have pots or kettles, beds or bedding.
Is to our great forbearance owing,
And tender mercy ever flowing.
What you, prefumptuous, call your own.
You only have from us on loan j
And if we afk it back again.
You know refinance would be vain.
Therefore your houfes, goods, and land.
As monuments of mercy Hand :
But we're in hopes you now begin
To fee, and foon will own your fin :
The very continent we're told*
Begins to blufh, tho' late fo bold ♦,
Confcious of many heinous crimes.
And therefore would repent by times.
And you, who thus at mercy lie,
Should firft to our protection fly :
And fave yourfelves from fell perdition.
The fare reward of black fedition.
Would you fiibmit, 'twould be a famplc
For others — and the good example
Might draw in many worthy folks
To poke their necks into our yokes ;
And fo become — oh ! blefled thing.
The ilaves of our mofl gracious king.

And now we think it not amifs
To leave you to vcRqO: on this :

• Vide the orginal addrefs, of which this is in fubflance a juft
tranllation tliroughout.


[ «83 J

And do mofl: gracloufly declare,

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