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EPITAPH ON A HARE.
HERE lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow, Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman's halloo ;
Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care, And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild Jack hare.
Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance every night, He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.
His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw ; Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.
On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,
On pippins' russet peel,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.
A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.
His frisking was at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear,
Or when a storm crew near.
Touch'd by the lamplighter's Promethean art,
At first, while vacant seats give choice and ease,
Now the full benches to late-comers doom No room for standing, miscall'd standing-room.
Hark! the check-taker moody silence breaks, And bawling, “Pit full!” gives the check he takes ; Yet onward still the gathering numbers cram, Contending crowders shout the frequent damn, And all is bustle, squeeze, row, jabbering, and jam.
See to their desks Apollo's sons repair-Swift rides the rosin o'er the horse's hair! In unison their various tones to tune, Murmurs the hautboy, growls the hoarse bassoon; In soft vibration sighs the whispering lute, Tang goes the harpsichord, too-too the flute, Brays the loud trumpet, squeaks the fiddle sharp, Winds the French horn, and twangs the tingling harp, Till, like great Jove, the leader, figuring in, Attunes to order the chaotic din. Now all seems hush'd ; but no, one fiddle will Give, half-ashamed, a tiny flourish still. Foil'd in his crash, the leader of the clan Reproves with frowns the dilatory man :
Then on his candlestick thrice taps his bow,
Perchance, while pit and gallery cry “Hats off!”
Say, why these Babel strains from Babel tongues ? Who's that calls “Silence!" with such leathern lungs ? He who, in quest of quiet, "Silence !" hoots, Is apt to make the hubbub he imputes.
What various swains our motley walls contain !Fashion from Moorfields, honour from Chick Lane; Bankers from Paper Buildings here resort, Bankrupts from Golden Square and Riches Court: From the Haymarket canting rogues in grain, Gulls from the Poultry, sots from Water Lane; The lottery-cormorant, the auction-shark, The full-price master, and the half-price clerk ; Boys who long linger at the gallery-door, With pence twice five-they want but twopence more : Till some Samaritan the twopence spares, And sends them jumping up the gallery-stairs.
Critics we boast who ne'er their malice balk, But talk their minds—we wish they'd mind their talk ;