CANTO the First.

LONDON: Printed for G. SMITH, near Temple-Bar (Price Six-pence.) MDCCL.

CANTO the First.

AWAKE, my Muse, whate'er thy Name may be,
Or sprung from heav'nly seed, or low degree,
Whether thou equal'st Garth's majestic rage,
Or crawl'st, like Blackmore, thro' the drowsy Page,
Much it imports the Bus'ness to explain 5
That shook the puny state of Warwick-Lane:
Then, thrice-invok'd, expand thy raven's wing,
Vast is the task, for thou hast much to sing.
[...] [...]o [...]k, to thee I dedicate my lays;
Tho' no Degree thy equal merit raise,10
Yet shall your skill to latest times indure,
Like Graduates oft you kill, like them you sometimes cure.
'Twas now the day when Fellows, Fellows meet,
To talk of weighty matters, then to eat;
Mean while the Patient, from his tyrant free,15
Inhales fresh health, and lives without a Fee.
First BATTUS came, deep-read in worldly art,
Whose tongue ne'er knew the secrets of his heart;
In mischief mighty, tho' but mean of size,
And, like the Tempter, ever in disguise.20
See him with aspect grave, and gentle tread,
By slow degrees, approach the sickly bed:
Then at his Club behold him alter'd soon,
The solemn Doctor turns a low Buffoon:
And he, who lately in a learned freak 25
Poach'd ev'ry Lexicon, and publish'd Greek,
Still madly emulous of vulgar Praise,
From Punch's forehead wrings the dirty bays.
But who is that whose gogling Eye-balls scowl,
Like the full Orbs of the Cecropian fowl?30
Hail, POCUS, Hail!—Ye Midwives, sound his fame!
Ye Nurses, sing in Lullabies his Name!
'Tis his to ease from pangs the lab'ring wife,
And tug the little Offspring into life.
As blind Tiresias, on a luckless day,35
Lost his first Sex, as antient Poets say;
So purring POCUS, once scarce known to fame,
Of an unskilful Leach, a Matron grave became.
Him Granta saw, and bade her learned Vest
Bind his broad Shoulders, and embrace his Chest; 40
Yet never quaff'd he of her sacred stream,
No Muse inspiring waits his morning dream.
The Scarlet Robe its heavy Wearer mocks;
So sits a Racer's Saddle on an Ox.
As he pass'd by, a num'rous tribe succeeds,45
Thick as in standing corn the purple weeds;
Names you could hardly think did e'er exist,
But that you see them in the College List.
[Page 5] Slow-footed* Ad—ms hobbled in the throng,
And D—d, a Giant Spectre, slouch'd along;
Then Br—n march'd onward, deep in physic leer,
And chatt'ring Ch—n-y wriggled in the rear.
Each Aesculapian Sage assumes his seat,
When BATTUS thus forestalls the promis'd treat.
"Ere yet we on the choicest viands dine,55
"Ere the deep glass be dy'd with gen'rous wine,
"Think, think my friends, what mischiefs threat our State,
"Now Ruin perches on our College-gate;
"There Graduate Schomberg for his answer stands,
"Examin'd thrice, his ent'rance loud demands:60
"But by yon Pile, where on the chissel'd stone
"The well-wrought Madman seems to live and groan,
" [...]here on clean straw, sequester'd in th [...] [...],
"The Patriot, Sage, and Bard immortal dwells,
"I swear, my soul detests the hated league,65
"And Hell, if Heav'n should fail, shall second my Intrigue.
"Sooner shall rivers to their springs return,
"Or Warwick-Lane at sickly seasons mourn;
"Sooner shall roses bloom upon the main,
"Fish sport in woods, nay I turn Whig again; 70
"Than Schomberg in our College find a place:
"This interdicting hand shall crush his race;
[Page 6] "What tho' he claim admittance as his right,
The pow'r of numbers makes a raven white.
"Our Alma-Mater shall in vain protest,75
"'Tis mine to make her bow her haughty crest;
"Down, down with Cam and Isis rev'rend schools,
"Shall we proceed on dull exploded rules?
"Now welcome those on Leman's banks who feed,
"The fat Batavian, and the Sons of Tweed; 80
"These in full swarms shall all our College fill,
"And claim an equal privilege to kill;
"While I superior to the rest shall fit,
"A Lect'rer, Mimic, Editor, and Wit.
"Nor ask what cause inflames my stubborn hate,85
"My settled purpose is as fix'd as Fate;
"Reject our Claimant, nor his threat'nings fear,
"OURSELF thro' Law's wild maze will guide you clear
"'Till ev'ry Court my deep address shall own;
"What!—are your BATTUS' arts so little known?"90
He said, and paus'd; the Midwife rear'd his size,
Rolling from side to side his * Ox-like eyes;
And while the scarlet Heroes he address'd,
Thick eructations half his speech suppress'd.
"By Aedepol, my BATTUS, here I swear,95
"I undismay'd with thee will greatly dare,
[Page 7] "With thee I'll misinterpret, meanings strain,
"Or wade thro' miry roads of deep chicane.
"As Hounds together in one couple ty'd,
"As Pope and Devil sitting side by side,100
"As Mountebank and quaint Jack-Pudding join,
"So ever mix thy friendly name with mine.
"Nor think I've idly slept, you know my trade
"Is Nature's dark recesses to invade;
"Thro' alleys groping, lo! I set to view 105
"The affidavit of an half-starv'd * Jew;
"And did not I my critic skill display?
"See my epistle upon O and A.
"Man, haughty Man, indebted to the Brutes,
"Assumes that name which best his nature suits; 110
"Heroes are Lions in an human shape,
"A Fox the Statesman, and the Beau an Ape;
"Then, to reward the yearnings of my soul,
"Salute your Midwife by the name of Mole.
"Nor think I'll ever from your banners fly,115
"I Schomberg hate, nor know the reason why:
"Perhaps too oft his busy Sire I meet,
"That cursed chariot rolls thro' ev'ry street;
[Page 8] "Perhaps—I know not what inflames my rage,
"But youthful ardor thaws my frozen age; 120
"Sleepless I lye, I foam, I toss, I rave,
"Mad as the Priestess in Apollo's cave.
"Let Heberden his views by truth direct,
"Let Reeve oppose, an obstinate Elect;
"Let Leatherland be stubborn to his trust,125
"Faint-hearted wretch, who dares not be unjust;
"Ourselves sit here above the dread of law,
"Each pow'rful Fellow is a grim Bashaw;
"Tho' when from hence he drives his painted wain,
"He shrinks into his Nothingness again.130
"Then hear your POCUS, my Associates dear,
"Drive Schomberg hence, nor yield to idle fear.
"So Child's and Batson's shall your triumphs tell,
"And ev'ry Parish toll her Passing-Bell.
"Then, gentle Brethren, give your kind assent."135
He ceas'd, the Rabble roar'd, "content, content."
Loud was the din—Thus prouling out for food
The cackling mother leads the waddling brood;
If ought disturb them, all together cry,
And the hoarse clangor echoes thro' the sky; 140
Goose answers goose with dissonance of voice,
And Sarum's steeples catch the grating noise.
The End of the First Canto. Shortly will be published, The BATTIAD. Canto the Second.

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