Robert Aris Willmott.

The poetical works of Thomas Gray, Thomas Parnell, William Collins, Matthew Green, and Thomas Warton; online

. (page 36 of 40)
Online LibraryRobert Aris WillmottThe poetical works of Thomas Gray, Thomas Parnell, William Collins, Matthew Green, and Thomas Warton; → online text (page 36 of 40)
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Not more fantastic Sancko's airy course,

When madly mounted on the magic horse, 1

He pierced heav'n's opening spheres with dazzled eyes,

And seem'd to soar in visionary skies.

Nor less, I ween, precarious is the meed

Of young adventurers on the Muse's steed ;

For poets have, like you, their destined round.

And ours is but a race on classic ground.

Long time, the child of patrimonial ease,

Hippolitus had carved sirloins in peace ;

Had quaff'd secure, unvex'd by toil or wife,

The mild October of a private life :

Long lived with calm domestic conquests crown'd,

And kill'd his game on safe paternal ground :

And, deaf to honour's or ambition's call,

With rural spoils adorn'd his hoary hall.

As bland he puff'd the pipe o'er weekly news,

His bosom kindles with sublimer views.

Lo there, thy triumphs, Taaft'e, thy palms, Fori more !

Tempt him to stake his lands and treasured store.

Like a new bruiser on Broughtonic sand,

Amid the lists our hero takes his stand ;

1 Clavilcno. See " Don Quixote," b. ii. chap. 41, — Wabton.



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Suck'd by tlie sharper, to the peer a prey,
He rolls his eyes, that witness huge dismay ;
When lo ! the chance of one inglorious heat
Strips him of genial cheer and snug retreat.
How awkward now he hears disgrace and dirt,
Nor knows the poor's last refuge, to be pert !—
The shiftless beggar bears of ills the worst.
At once with dulness and with hunger curst.
And feels the tasteless breast ecpiestrian fires ?
And dwells such mighty rage in graver 'Squires?

In all attempts, but for their country, bold,
Britain, thy conscript Counsellors behold ;
(For some, perhaps, by fortune favour'd yet,
May gain a borough, from a lucky bet,)
Smit with the love of the laconic boot,
The cap, and wig succinct, the silken suit,
Mere modern Phaetons, usurp the rein,
And scour iu rival race the tempting plain.
See, side by side, his jockey and Sir John
Discuss th' important point — of six to one.
For oh ! the boasted privilege how dear,
How great the pride, to gain a Jockey's ear ! —
See, like a routed host, with headlong pace,
Thy members pour amid the mingling race !
All ask, what crowds the tumult could produce —
Is Bedlam or the Commons all broke loose F
Their way nor reason guides, nor caution checks.
Proud on a high-bred thing to risk their necks. — -
Thy sages hear, amid th' admiring crowd,
Adjudge the stakes, most eloquently loud :
With critic skill o'er dubious bets preside,
The low dispute, or kindle, or decide :
All empty wisdom, and judicious prate,
Of distanced horses gravely fix the fate :
And with paternal care unwearied watch
O'er the nice conduct of a daring match.

Meantime, no more the mimic patriots rise,
To guard Britannia's honour, warm and wise :
No more in senates dare assert her laws,
Nor pour the bold debate in Freedom's cause :
Neglect the counsels of a sinking land,
And know no rostrum, but Newmarket's stand.

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Is this tlic band of civil chiefs design'd

On England's weal to fix the pondering mind ?

Who, -while their country's rights are set to sale,

Quit Europe's balance for the jockey's scale.

O say, when least their sapient schemes are cross'd

Or when a nation or a match is lost ?

Who Dams and Sires with more exactness trace,

Than of their country's kings the sacred race :

Think London journeys are the worst of ills;

Subscribe to articles, instead of bills :

Strangers to all our annalists relate,

Theirs are the memoirs of the equestrian state:

Who, lost to Albion's past and present views,

Heber, 1 thy chronicles alone peruse.

Go on, brave youths, till in some future age
Whips shall become the senatorial badge ;
Till England see her thronging senators
Meet all at Westminster, in boots and spurs ;
See the whole House, with mutual frenzy mad,
Her patriots all in leathern breeches clad :
Of bets, not taxes, learnedly debate,
And guide with equal reins a steed or state.

How would a virtuous Houhnhym neigh disdain, 2

To see his brethren brook th' imperious rein ;

Bear slavery's wanton whip, or galling goad.

Smoke through the glebe, or trace the destin'd road ;

And, robb'd of manhood by the murderous knife,

Sustain each sordid toil of servile life.

Yet oh! what rage would touch his generous mind,

To see his sons of more than human kind ;

A kind, with each exalted virtue blest,

Each gentler feeling of the liberal breast,

Afford diversion to that monster base,

That meanest spawn of man's half-monkey race ;

In whom pride, avarice, ignorance, conspire,

That hated animal, a Yahoo 'Squire.

How are the Therons of these modern days

Changed from those chiefs who tod'd for Grecian bays ;

1 Author of an " Historical List of the Running Horses," &



Online LibraryRobert Aris WillmottThe poetical works of Thomas Gray, Thomas Parnell, William Collins, Matthew Green, and Thomas Warton; → online text (page 36 of 40)