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On hosier's poles depending stockings ty'd, Her cleanly pail the pretty housewife bears,
Vulcan by chance the bloomy maiden spies,
Ah, Mulciber! recall thy nuptial vows,
Think how her eyes dart inexhausted charms,
When blue-ey'd Patty near his window came, Nor Paul nor Swithin rule the clouds and wind. His anvil rests, his forge forgets to flame.
If you the precepts of the Muse despise, To hear his soothing tales, she feigns delays;
At first she coyly every kiss withstood,
And all her cheek was flush'd with modest blood; Or double-bottom'd frieze ; their guarded feet With headless nails he now surrounds her shoes, Defy the muddy dangers of the street;
To save her steps from rains and piercing dews. While you, with hat unloop'd, the fury dread She lik’d his soothing tales, his presents wore, Of spouts high streaming, and with cautious tread And granted kisses, but would grant no more. Shun every dashing pool, or idly stop,
Yet Winter chill'd her feet, with cold she pines, To seek the kind protection of a shop.
And on her cheek the fading rose declines ; But business summons; now with hasty scud No more her humid eyes their lustre boast, You jostle for the wall; the spatter'd mud
And in hoarse sounds her melting voice is lost. Hides all thy hose behind ; in vain you scour, Thus Vulcan saw, and in his heavenly thought Thy wig, alas! uncurl'd, admits the shower. A new machine mechanic fancy wrought, So fierce Alecto's snaky tresses fell,
Above the mire her shelter'd steps to raise, When Orpheus charm'd the rigorous powers of Hell; And bear her safely through the wintery ways. Or thus hung Glaucus' beard, with briny dew Straight the new engine on his anvil glows, Clotted and straight, when first his amorous view And the pale virgin
on the patten rose. Surpris'd the bathing fair ; the frighted maid No more her lungs are shook with dropping rheums, Now stands a rock, transform'd by Circe's aid. And on her cheek reviving beauty blooms.
Good housewives all the winter's rage despise, The god obtain's his suit: though flattery fail, Defended by the riding-hood's disguise ;
Presents with female virtue must prevail. Or, underneath th' umbrella's oily shed,
The patten now supports each frugal dame,
Of walking the Streets by Day.
, O! forget not, Muse, the patten's praise, Thus far the Muse has trac'd, in useful lays,
To read the various warnings of the skies: Where Lincoln wide extends her fenny soil, Now venture, Muse, from home to range the town, A goodly yeoman liv’d, grown white with toil; And for the public safety risk thy own. One only daughter bless'd his nuptial bed,
For ease and for dispatch, the morning's best; Who from her infant hand the poultry fed : No tides of passengers the streets molest. Martha (her careful mother's name) she bore, You'll see a draggled damsel here and there, But now her careful mother was no more.
From Billingsgate her fishy traffic bear; Whilst on her father's knee the dainsel play'd, On doors the sallow milk-maid chalks her gains ; Patty he fondly call'd the smiling maid;
Ah! how unlike the milk-maid of the plains ! As years increasid, her ruddy beauty grew, Before proud gates attending asses bray, And Patty's fame o'er all the village few.
Or arrogate with solemn pace the way; Soon as the grey-ey'd morning streaks the skies, These grave physicians with their milky cheer And in the doubtful day the woodcock flies, The love-sick maid and dwindling beau repair ;
Here rows of drummers stand in martial file, But still the wandering passes forc'd his stay,
Thy venturous footsteps to a female guide :
She'll lead thee with delusive smiles along, Full-charg'd with news the breathless hawker runs : Dive in thy fob, and drop thee in the throng. Shops open, coaches roll, carts shake the ground, When waggislı boys the stunted besom ply, And all the streets with passing cries resound. To rid the slabby pavement, pass not by
If cloth'd in black you tread the busy town, Ere thou hast held their hands; some heedless dirt Or if distinguish'd by the reverend gown,
Will overspread thy calves with spattering dirt. Three trades avoid : oft in the mingling press Where porters' hogsheads roll from carts aslope, The barber's apron soils the sable dress;
Or brewers down steep cellars stretch the rope, Shun the perfumer's touch with cautious eye, Where counted billets are by carinen tost, Nor let the baker's step advance too nigh.
Stay thy rash step, and walk without the post. Ye walkers too, that youthful colours wear,
What though the gathering mire thy feet beThree sullying trades avoid with equal care :
smear, The little chimney-sweeper skulks along,
The voice of Industry is always near. And marks with sooty stains the heedless throng; Hark! the boy calls thee to his destin'd stand, When small-coal murmurs in the hoarser throat, And the shoe shines beneath his oily hand. From smutty dangers guard thy threaten'd coat; Here let the Muse, fatigued amid the throng, The dustman's cart offends thy clothes and eyes, Adorn her precepts with digressive song; When through the street a cloud of ashes fies; Of shirtless youths the secret rise to trace, But, whether black or lighter dyes are worn, And show the parent of the sable race. (change) The chandler's basket, on his shoulder borne,
Like mortal man, great Jove (grown fond of With tallow spots thy coat; resign the way,
Of old was wont this nether world to range, To shun the surly butcher's greasy tray,
To seek amours; the vice the monarch lov'd Butchers, whose hands are dy'd withi blood's foul Soon through the wide ethereal court improv'd : stain,
And ev'n the proudest goddess, now and then, And always foremost in the hangman's train. Would lodge a night among the sons of men ; Let due civilities be strictly paid :
To vulgar deities descends the fashion, The wall surrender to the hooded maid;
Each, like her betters, had her earthly passion. Nor let thy sturdy elbow's hasty rage
Then Cloacina * (goddess of the tide, Jostle the feeble steps of trembling age:
Whose sable streams beneath the city glide,) And when the porter bends beneath his load, Indulg'd the modish flame; the town she rov'd, And pants for breath, clear thou the crowded road. A mortal scavenger she saw, she lov'd; But, above all, the groping blind direct;
The muddy spots that dry'd upon his face, And from the pressing throng the lame protect. Like female patches, heighten'd every grace:
You'll sometimes meet a fop, of nicest tread, She gaz'd ; she sigh’d; (for love can beauties spy Whose mantling peruke veils his empty head ; In what seem faults to every common eye.) At every step he dreads the wall to lose,
Now had the watchman walk'd his second round, And risks, to save a coach, his red-heel'd shoes ; When Cloacina hears the rumbling sound Hinn, like the miller, pass with caution by,
Of her brown lover's cart (for well she knows Lest from his shoulder clouds of powder fly. That pleasing thunder): swift the goddess rose, But, when the bully, with assuming pace,
And through the streets pursu'd the distant noise, Cocks his broad hat, edg'd round with tarnish'd Her bosom panting with expected joys. lace,
With the night-wandering harlot's airs she past, Yield not the way, defy his strutting pride,
Brush'd near his side, and wanton glances cast; And thrust him to the muddy kennel's side; in the black form of cinder-rench she came, He never turns again, nor dares oppose,
When love, the hour, the place, had banish'd shame; But mutters coward curses as he goes.
To the dark alley arın in arm they inove : If drawn by business to a street unknown, O may no link-boy interrupt their love! Let the sworn porter point thee through the town; When the pale Moon had nine times fill'd her Be sure observe the signs, for signs remain,
space, Like faithful landmarks, to the walking train. The pregnant goddess (cautious of disgrace) Seek not from 'prentices to learn the way,
Descends to Earth ; but sought no midwife's aid, Those fabling boys will turn thy steps astray; Nor 'midst her anguish to Lucina pratid; Ask the grave tradesman to direct thee right, No cheerful gossip wish'd the mother joy, He ne'er deceives — but when he profits by't. Alone, beneath a bulk, she dropt the boy. (provid,
Where fam'd St. Giles's ancient limits spread, The child, through various risks in years imAn enrail'd column rears its lofty head,
At first, a beggar's brat, compassion mov'd; Here to seven streets seven dials count the day, His infant tongue soon learnt the canting art, And from each other catch the circling ray.
knew all the prayers and whines to touch the Here oft the peasant, with inquiring face,
heart. Bewilder'd, trudges on from place to place; He dwells on every sign with stupid gaze,
*Cloncina was a goddess, whose image Tatius Enters the narrow alley's doubtful maze,
(a king of the Sabines) found in the common sewer; Tries every winding court and street in vain, and, not knowing what goddess it was, he called it And doubles o'er his weary steps again.
Cloacina, from the place in which it was found, and Thus hardy Theseus with intrepid feet
paid to it divine bonours. Lactant. 1. 20. Minuc. Travers'd the dangerous labyrinth of Crete; Fel. Oct. p. 932.
Oh, happy unown'd youths ! your limbs can bear | His treble voice resounds along the Meuse, The scorching dog-star, and the winter's air; And Whitehall echoes — “ Clean your honour's While the rich infant, nurs'd with care and pain,
shoes !" Thirsts with each heat, and coughs with every rain!
Like the sweet ballad, this amusing lay The goddess long had mark'd the child's distress, Too long detains the walker on his way; And long had sought his sufferings to redress. While he attends, new dangers round him throng ; She prays the gods to take the fondling's part, The busy city asks instructive song, To teach his hands some beneficial art
Where, elevated o'er the gaping crowd, Practis'd in streets: the gods her suit allow'd, Clasp'd in the board the perjur'd head is bow'd, And made him useful to the walking crowd ; Betimes retreat ; here, thick as hailstones pour, To cleanse the miry feet, and o'er the shoe, Turnips and half-hatch'd eggs (a mingled shower) With nimble skill, the glossy black renew.
Among the rabble rain : some random throw Each power contributes to relieve the poor : May with the trickling yolk thy cheek o'erflow. With the strong bristles of the mighty boar
Though expedition bids, yet never stray Diana forms his brush; the god of day
Where no rang'd posts defend the rugged way. A tripod gives, amid the crowded way
Here laden carts with thundering waggons meet, To raise the dirty foot, and ease his toil ;
Wheels clash with wheels, and bar the narrow Kind Neptune fills his vase with fetid oil
street; Prest from th' enormous whale; the god of fire, The lashing whip resounds, the horses strain, From whose dominions smoky clouds aspire, And blood in anguish bursts the swelling vein. Among these generous presents joins his part,
O barbarous men! your cruel breasts assuage; And aids with soot the new japanning art.
Why vent ye on the generous steed your rage ? Pleas'd she receives the gifts; she downward glides, Does not his service earn your daily bread ? Lights in Fleet-ditch, and shoots beneath the tides. Your wives, your children, by his labours fed !
Now dawns the morn, the sturdy lad awakes, If, as the Samian taught, the soul revives,
Doom'd in a hackney horse the town to range;
That, in mix'd fumes, the wrinkled nose offend. But I, alas ! hard Fortune's utmost scorn,
Where chandlers' cauldrons boil ; where fishy prey Who ne'er knew parent, was an orphan born! Hide the wet stall, long absent from the sea; Some boys are rich by birth beyond all wants, And where the cleaver chops the heifer's spoil, Belov'd by uneles, and kind good old aunts; (bear, and where huge hogsheads sweat with trainy oil ; When time comes round, a Christmas-box they Thy breathing nostril hold ; but how shall I And one day makes them rich for all the year. Pass, where in piles Carnavian † cheeses lie; Had I the precepts of a father learn’d,
Cheese, that the table's closing rites denies, Perhaps I then the coachman's fare had earn'd, And bids me with th' unwilling chaplain rise ? For lesser boys can drive; I thirsty stand,
O bear me to the paths of fair Pall-Mall ! And see the double flaggon charge their hand, Safe are thy pavements, grateful is thy smell ! See them puff off the froth, and gulp amain, At distance rolls along the gilded coach, While with dry tongue I lick my lips in vain. Nor sturdy carmen on thy walks encroach ;
While thus he fervent prays, the heaving tide, No lets would bar thy ways were chairs deny'd, In widen'd circles, beats on either side;
The soft supports of laziness and pride : The goddess rose amid the inmost round,
Shops breathe perfumes, through sashes ribbons glow, With wither'd turnip-tops her temples crown'd; The mutual arms of ladies and the beau. Low reach'd her dripping tresses, lank, and black Yet still ev'n here, when rains the passage hide, As the smooth jet, or glossy raven's back; Oft the loose stone spirts up a muddy tide Around her waist a circling eel was twin'd, Beneath thy careless foot; and from on high, Which bound her robe that hung in rags behind. Where masons mount the ladder, fragments tly, Now, beckoning to the boy, she thus begun: Mortar and crumbled lime in showers descend, * Thy prayers are granted; weep no more, my son : And o'er thy head destructive tiles impend. Go thrive.
At some frequented corner stand ; But sometimes let me leave the noisy roads, This brush I give thee, grasp it in thy hand; And silent wander in the close abodes, Temper the soot within this vase of oil,
Where wheels ne'er shake the ground; there pensive And let the little tripod aid thy toil.
stray, On this, methinks, I see the walking crew, In studious thought, the long uncrowded way. At thy request, support the miry shoe ;
Here I remark each walker's different face,
Bent on some mortgage (to avoid reproach) Columns with plain magnificence appear,
I spy the furies of the foot-ball war :
Increasing crowds the flying game pursue.
Thus, as you roll the ball o'er snowy ground, Shun the misfortunes that disgrace the clown; The gathering globe augments with every round. Untempted, they contemn the juggler's feats, But whither shall I run ? the throng draws nigh, Pass by the Meuse, nor try the thimble's cheats * ; The ball now skims the street, now soars on high ; When drays bound high, they never cross behind, The dext'rous glazier strong returns the bound, Where bubbling yest is blown by gusts of wind : And jingling sashes on the penthouse sound. And when up Ludgate-hill huge carts move slow, 0, roving Muse! recall that wondrous year, Far from the straining steeds securely go,
When Winter reigu’d in bleak Britannia's air;
Pensive reclines upon his useless oar;
Wheels o'er the harden'd waters smoothly glide, Nor flush with shame the passing virgin's cheek. And rase with whiten'd tracks the slippery tide ; Yet let me not descend to trivial song,
Here the fat cook piles high the blazing fire, Nor vulgar circumstance my verse prolong. And scarce the spit can turn the steer entire ; Why should I teach the maid, when torrents pour,
Booths sudden hide the Thames, long streets appear, Her head to shelter from the sudden shower ? And numerous games proclaim the crowded fair. Nature will best her ready hand inform,
So, when a general bids the martial train With her spread petticoat to fence the storm. Spread their encampment o'er the spacious plain ; Does not each walker know the warning sign, Thick rising tents a canvas city build, When wisps of straw depend upon the twine And the loud dice resound through all the held. Cross the close street, that then the paver's art 'Twas here the matron found a doleful fate : Renews the ways, deny'd to coach and cart ? Let elegiac lay the woe relate, Who knows not that the coachman lashing by Soft as the breath of distant flutes, at hours Oft with his flourish cuts the heedless eye; When silent evening closes up the flowers; And when he takes his stand, to wait a fare, Lulling as falling water's hollow noise; His horses' foreheads shun the Winter's air ? Indulging grief, like Philomela's voice. (roads ; Nor will I roam where Summer's sultry rays Doll every day had walk'd these treacherous Parch the dry ground, and spread with dust the Her neck grew warpt beneath autumnal loads ways;
Of various fruit: she now a basket bore; With whirling gusts the rapid atoms rise,
That head, alas ! shall basket bear no more. Smoke o'er the pavement, and involve the skies. Each booth she frequent past, in quest of gain,
Winter my theme confines; whose nitry wind And boys with pleasure heard her shrilling strain. Shall crust the slabby mire, and kennels bind ; Ah, Doll ! all mortals must resign their breath, She bids the snow descend in flaky sheets,
And industry itself submit to death! And in her hoary mantle clothe the streets. The cracking crystal yields; she sinks, she dies, Let not the virgin tread these slippery roads, Her head, chopt off, from her lost shoulders flies; The gathering Heece the hollow patten loads ; Pimpins she cry'd ; but death her voice confounds; But if thy footsteps slide with clotted frost, And pip-prip-prip along the ice resounds. Strike off the breaking balls against the post.
So, when the Thracian furies Orpheus tore, On silent wheels the passing coaches roll;
And left his bleeding trunk deform d with gore, Oft look behind, and ward the threatening pole. His sever'd head floats down the silver tide, In harden'd orbs the school-boy moulds the snow, His yet warm tongue for his lost consort cry'd; To mark the coachman with a dext'rous throw. Euridice with quivering voice he mourn'd, Why do ye, boys, the kennel's surface spread, And Heber's banks Euridice return'd. To tempt with faithless path the matron's tread? But now the western gale the tiood unbinds, How can you laugh to see the damsel spurn, And blackening clouds move on with warmer winds; Sink in your frauds, and her green stocking mourn? The wooden town its frail foundation leaves, At White's the harness'd chairman idly stands, And Thames' full urn rolls down his plenteous And swings around his waist his tingling hands ;
waves; The sempstress speeds to Change with red-tipt nose; From every penthouse streams the fleeting snow, The Belgian stove beneath her footstool glows; And with dissolving frost the pavements tlow. In half-whipt muslin necilles useless lie,
Experienc'd men, inur'd to city ways, And shuttle-cocks across the counter fly. [pruve, Need not the calendar to count their days.
These sports warm harmless; why then will ye When through the town with slow and solemn air,
Where Covent-garden's famous temple stands, Behind him moves, majestically dull,
Learn hence the periods of the week to name, * A cheat commonly practised in the streets with Mondays and Thursdays are the days of game. three thimbles and a little ball.
When fishy stalls with double store are laid ; Here Arundel's fam'd structure rear'd its frame, The golden-belly'd carp, the broad-finn'd maid, The street alone retains the empty name. Red-speckled trouts, tire salmon's silver jowl, Where Titian's glowing paint the canvas warm’d, The jointed lobster, and unscaly sole,
And Raphael's fair design, with judgment, charm’d; And luscious 'scallops to allure the tastes
Now hangs the bellman's song, and pasted here Of rigid zealots to delicious fasts ;
The colour'd prints of Overton appear. Wednesdays and Fridays, you'll observe from hence, where statues breath'd the works of Phidias' hands, Days when our sires were doom'd to abstinence. A wooden pump, or lonely watch-house, stands. When dirty waters from balconies drop,
There Essex' stately pile adorn'd the shore, And dext'rous damsels twirl the sprinkling mop,
There Cecil's, Bedford's, Villiers', now no more. And cleanse the spatter'd sash, and scrub the stairs, Yet Burlington's fair palace still remains ; Know Saturday's conclusive morn appears. Beauty within, without proportion, reigns.
Successive cries the seasons' change declare, Beneath his eye declining art revives, And mark the monthly progress of the year.
The wall with animated picture lives;
Walnuts the fruiterer's hand in Autumn stain, What though no coach to frequent visit rolls,
Yet still your nerves rheumatic pains defy,
Nor lazy jaundice dulls your saffron eye; When rosemary, and bays, the poet's crown, No wasting cough discharges sounds of death, Are bawl'd, in frequent cries, through all the town, Nor wheezing asthma heaves in vain for breath; Then judge the festival of Christmas near,
Nor from your restless couch is heard the groan Christmas, the joyous period of the year.
Of burning gout, or sedentary stone. Now with bright holly all your temples strow, Let others in the jolting coach confide, With laurel green, and sacred misletoe.
Or in the leaky boat the Thames divide;
And trust their safety to another's feet :
Ruffles the tide, and shifts the dangerous sail ;
The whelming billow, and the faithless oar; Cloth'd are the naked, and the needy glad,
The drunken chairman in the kennel spurns, While selfish Avarice alone is sad.
The glasses shatters, and his charge o'erturns. Proud coaches pass, regardless of the moan Who can recount the coach's various harms, Of infant orphans, and the widow's groan; The legs disjointed, and the broken arms? While Charity still moves the walker's mind,
I've seen a beau, in some ill-fated hour, His liberal purse relieves the lame and blind. When o'er the stones choak'd kennels swell the Judiciously thy halfpence are bestow'd,
shower, Where the laborious beggar sweeps the road. In gilded chariot loll; he with disdain Whate'er you give, give ever at demand,
Views spatter'd passengers all drench'd in rain. Nor let old age long stretch his palsy'd hand. With mud fill'd high, the rumbling cart draws near; Those who give late are importun'd each day, Now rule thy prancing steeds, lac'd charioteer : And still are teas'd, because they still delay. The dustman lashes on with spiteful rage, If e'er the miser durst his farthings spare,
His ponderous spokes thy painted wheel engage; He thinly spreads them through the public square, Crush'd is thy pride, down falls the shrieking beau, Where, all beside the rail, rang'd beggars lie, The slabby pavement crystal fragments strow; And from each other catch the doleful cry;
Black floods of mire th' embroider'd coat disgrace,
Where the brass-knocker, wrapt in flannel band, Scar'd with dark thunder, to the nether world,
And the Sun's beamy ruin gilds the plains.
If the pale walker pant with weakening ills, As vultures o'er the camp, with hovering flight, His sickly hand is stor’d with friendly bills : [fame, Snuff up the future carnage of the fight.
From hence he learns the seventh-born doctor's Here canst thou pass, unmindful of a prayer,
From hence he learns the cheapest taylor's name. That Heaven in mercy may thy brother spare ? Shall the large mutton smoke upon your boards ?
Come, Fortescue, sincere, experienc'd friend, Such Newgate's copious market best affords.
Thames-street gives cheeses ; Covent-garden fruits; Through the long Strand together let us stray ;
Moorfields old books; and Monmouth-street old With thee conversing, I forget the way;
suits. Behold that narrow street which steep descends, Hence mayst thou well supply the wants of life, Whose building to the slimy shore extends ; Support thy family, and clothe thy wife.