If thou didst feed on western plains of yore;
Or waddle wide with flat and flabby feet
Over some Cambrian mountain's plashy moor;
Or find in farmer's yard a safe retreat
From gypsy thieves, and foxes sly and fleet;
If thy gray quills, by lawyer guided, trace
Deeds big with ruin to some wretched race,
Or love-sick poet's sonnet, sad and sweet,
Wailing the rigor of his lady fair;
Or if, the drudge of housemaid's daily toil,
Cobwebs and dust thy pinions white besoil,
Departed Goose! I neither know nor care.
But this I know, that we pronounced thee fine,
Seasoned with sage and onions, and port wine.
A wrinkled, crabbed man they picture thee,
Old Winter, with a rugged beard as gray
As the long moss upon the apple-tree;
Blue-lipped, an ice-drop at thy sharp blue nose,
Close muffled up, and on thy dreary way,
Plodding alone through sleet and drifting snows.
They should have drawn thee by the high-heaped hearth,
Old Winter! seated in thy great armed chair,
Watching the children at their Christmas mirth;
Or circled by them as thy lips declare
Some merry jest or tale of murder dire,
Or troubled spirit that disturbs the night,
Pausing at times to rouse the moldering fire,
Or taste the old October brown and bright.
Edward Gardner was the friend of Thomas Chatterton and published a vari-
ety of essays and poems. His volume Miscellanies, in Prose and Verse (1798) in-
cludes, among other curiosities, several sonnets and an essay on Anna Seward's
poetical novel Louisa (1784). His life is now largely obscure.
Admiring stranger, that with ling'ring feet,
Enchained by wonder, pauses on this green;