A Collection of English Poems, 1660-1800

By Ronald S. Crane | Go to book overview

Ere the lark's early carols salute the new day,

He springs from his cottage as jocund as May; 10
He cheerfully whistles, regardless of care,
Or sings the last ballad he bought at the fair.
While courtiers are toil'd in the cobwebs of state,
Or bribing elections, in hopes to be great,
No fraud or ambition his bosom e'er fill; 15
Contented he works if there's grist for his Mill.

On Sunday bedeck'd in his home-spun array,
At church he's the loudest to chant or to pray.
He sits to a dinner of plain English food;

Tho' simple the pudding, his appetite's good. 20
At night, when the priest and exciseman are gone,
He quaffs at the alehouse with Roger and John,
Then reels to his pillow, and dreams of no ill:
No monarch more bless'd than The Man of the Mill.


RICHARD JAGO
(1715-1753-1781)

The Swallows: An Elegy1

Part I

ERE yellow Autumn from our plains retir'd,
And gave to wintry storms the varied year,
The Swallow-race with prescient gift inspir'd,
To southern climes prepar'd their course to steer.

On DAMON's roof a large assembly sate,5
His roof a refuge to the feather'd kind!
With serious look he mark'd the grave debate,
And to his DELIA thus address'd his mind.

Observe yon' twitt'ring flock, my gentle maid!

Observe, and read the wond'rous ways of Heav'n! 10
With us thro' Summer's genial reign they stay'd,
And food, and sunshine to their wants were giv'n.

____________________
1
Published in Dodsley Collection of Poems, Volume V. 1758. Text of Poems, Moral and Descriptive, 1784.

-825-

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