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The dinner comes, and down they sit:
One wipes his nose upon his sleeve,
One spits upon the floor,
Yet, not to give offence or grieve,
Holds up the cloth before.
The punch goes round, and they are dull,
A kick that scarce would move a horse,
Then let the boobies stay at home;
'Twould cost him, I dare say,
Less trouble taking twice the sum
ADDRESSED TO LADY HESKETH.
THIS cap, that so stately appears,
She gave it, and gave me beside,
The ribbon with which it is tied.
This wheel-footed studying chair,
Contrived both for toil and repose,
Fair Cassiopeia sat:
These carpets, so soft to the foot,
Oh spare them, ye knights of the boot,
This table and mirror within,
Secure from collision and dust,
At which I oft shave cheek and chin,
This moveable structure of shelves,
For its beauty admired and its use, And charged with octavos and twelves, The gayest I had to produce; Where, flaming in scarlet and gold,
My poems enchanted I view,
And hope, in due time, to behold
My Iliad and Odyssey too:
This china that decks the alcove,
Has ne'er been revealed to us yet:
All these are not half that I owe
Benignity, friendship, and truth;
Much less could he alter her mind.
Thus compassed about with the goods
I indulge my poetical moods
In many such fancies as these;
Poets' goods are not often so fine;
The poets will swear that I dream
When I sing of the splendour of mine.
THE POET'S NEW-YEAR'S GIFT.
TO MRS. THROCKMORTON.
MARIA! I have every good
For thee wished many a time,
To wish thee fairer is no need,
More prudent, or more sprightly, Or more ingenious, or more freed From temper-flaws unsightly.
What favour then not yet possessed
To thy whole heart's desire?
None here is happy but in part:
There dwells some wish in every heart,
That wish on some fair future day,
('Tis blameless, be it what it may)
THE NEGRO'S COMPLAINT.
FORCED from home and all its pleasures,
To increase a stranger's treasures,
O'er the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,
Paid my price in paltry gold;
But, though slave they have enrolled me,
Still in thought as free as ever,
What are England's rights, I ask,
Me from my delights to sever,
Me to torture, me to task?
Fleecy locks and black complexion
Dwells in white and black the same.
Why did all-creating Nature
Make the plant for which we toil?
Sweat of ours must dress the soil.
Is there, as ye sometimes tell us,
Is there One who reigns on high? Has He bid you buy and sell us,
Speaking from his throne, the sky? Ask him, if your knotted scourges,
Matches, blood-extorting screws,
Hark! He answers-Wild tornadoes,
Afric's sons should undergo,
Where his whirlwinds answer-'No.'
By our blood in Afric wasted,
Ere our necks received the chain;
By the miseries that we tasted,
Crossing in your barks the main;
By our sufferings, since ye brought us
All sustained by patience, taught us