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The epilogue behind did frame
A place not decent here to name.
Now poets from all quarters ran,
To see the house of brother Van:
Look'd high and low, walk'd often round
But no such house was to be found.
One asks the watermen hard-by,
“ Where may the poet's palace lie?”
Another of the Thames inquires,
If he has seen its gilded spires?
At length they in the rubbish spy
A thing resembling a goose-pye.
Thither in haste the poets throng,
in silent wonder long,
Till one in raptures thus began
To praise the pile and builder Van.
Thrice happy poet! who may'st trail
Thy house about thee like a snail :
Or, harness'd to a nag, at ease
Takes journeys in it like a chaise ;
Or in a boat, whene'er thou wilt,
Canft make it serve thee for a tilt!
Capacious house! 'tis own'd by all
Thou’rt well contriv'd, though thou art small :
wit in Britain's ille
May lodge within thy spacious pile.
Like Bacchus thou, as poets feign,
Thy mother burnt, art born again,
Forn like a phenix from the flame;
But neither bulk nor shape the same;
As animals of largest fize
Corrupt to maggots, worms, and fies;
of modern wit and style,
The rubbish of an ancient pile.
So chymists boast they have a power,
From the dead ashes of a flower,
Some faint resemblance to produce,
But not the virtue, taste, or juice.
So modern rhymers wisely blast
ages past; Which, after they have overthrown, They from its ruins build their own.
WHEN mother Clud had rose from play,
And call'd to take the cards away,
Van saw, but feem'd not to regard,
How Miss pick'd every painted card,
And busy both with hand and eye,
Soon rear'd a house two stories high.
Van's genius, without thought or lecture,
Is hugely turn'd to architecture:
He view'd the edifice, and smil'd,
Vow'd it was pretty for a child :
It was so perfect in its kind,
He kept the model in his mind.
But, when he found the boys at play,
And saw them dabbling in their clay,
He stood behind a stall to lurk,
And mark the progress of their work;
With true delight observ'd them all
Raking up mud to build a wall.
The plan he much admir’d, and took
The model in his table-book :
Thought himself now exactly skill'd,
And fo resolv'd a house to build ;
A real house, with rooms, and stairs,
Five times at least as big as theirs ;
Taller than Miss's by two yards;
Not a sham thing of clay or cards :
And so he did; for, in a while,
He built up such a monstrous pile,
That no two chairmen could be found
Able to lift it from the ground.
Still at Whitehall it stands in view,
Just in the place where first it grew
There all the little schoolboys run;
Envying to see themselves out-done.
· From such deep rudiments as these;
Van is become, by due degrees,
For building fam'd, and justly reckon'd,
At court, Vitruvius the second :
No wonder, since wise authors show,
That beit foundations must be low :
And now the duke has wisely ta'en him
To be his architect at Blenheim.
But, raillery at once apart,
If this rule holds in every art;
Or if his grace were no more skill'd in
The art of battering walls than building,
We might expect to see next year,
A mouse-trap-man chief engineer!
On the ever-lamented Loss of the Two YeW-TREES
in the Parish of Chilthorne, Somerset. 1708.
Imitated from the Eighth Book of OviD.
N ancient times, as story tells,
The saints would often leave their cells,
And stroll about, but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.
It happen'd on a winter-night,
As authors of the legend write,
Two brother-hermits, saints by trade,
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Disguis'd in tatter'd habits, went
To a sınall village down in Kent;
Where, in the stroller's canting strain,
They begg'd from door to door in vain,
Tried every tone might pity win;
But not a foul would let them in.
Our wandering saints, in woful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,
Having through all the village past,
To a small cottage came at last!
Where dwelt a good old honest ye’man,
Calld in the neighbourhood Philemon;
Who kindly did these faints invite
In his poor hut to pass the night;
And then the hospitable fire
Bid goody Baucis mend the fire;
While he from out the chimney took
25 A fitch of bacon off the hook, And freely from the fattest fide Cut out large slices to be fry’d; Then step'd aside to fetch them drink, Fill'd a large jug up to the brink, And saw it fairly twice Yet (what is wonderful!) they found, 'Twas still replenish'd to the top, As if they ne'er had touch'd a drop. The good old couple were amaz’d,
35 And often on each other gaz'd; For both were frighten'd to the heart, And just began to cry,—What ar't! Then softly turn'd aside, to view Whether the lights were burning blue. 40 The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't, Told them their calling, and their errand: Good folks, you need not be afraid, We are but saints, the hermits said; No hurt shall come to you or yours:
But for that pack of churlish boors,
Not fit to live on Christian ground,
They and their houses shall be drown'd;
your cottage rise,
grow a church before
They scarce had spoke, when fair and soft,
The roof began to mount aloft ;
Aloft rose every beam and rafter ;
The heavy wall climb'd flowly after.
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher, 55 Became a steeple with a spire.