The Castle of Indolence/F

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    "Come, dwell with us! true Son of Virtue, come!
    "But if, alas! we cannot Thee perſuade,
    "To lie content beneath our peaceful Dome,
    "Ne ever more to quit our quiet Glade;
    "Yet when at laſt thy Toils, but ill apaid,
    "Shall dead thy Fire, and damp its Heavenly Spark,
    "Thou wilt be glad to ſeek the rural Shade,
    "There to indulge the Muſe, and Nature mark:
"We then a Lodge for Thee will rear in Hagley-Park."


    Here whilom ligg'd th' Esopus of the Age;
    But call'd by Fame, in Soul ypricked deep,
    A noble Pride reſtor'd him to the Stage,
    And rous'd him like a Gyant from his Sleep.
    Even from his Slumbers we Advantage reap:
    With double Force th' enliven'd Scene he wakes,
    Yet quits not Nature's Bounds. He knows to keep
    Each due Decorum: Now the Heart he ſhakes,
And now with well-urg'd Senſe th'enlighten'd Judgment takes.


    A Bard here dwelt, more fat than Bard beſeems;
    Who void of Envy, Guile, and Luſt of Gain,
    On Virtue ſtill, and Nature's pleaſing Themes,
    Pour'd forth his unpremeditated Strain,
    The World forſaking with a calm Diſdain:
    Here laugh'd he careleſs in his eaſy Seat,
    Here quaff'd encircled with the joyous Train;
    Oft moralizing ſage; his ditty ſweet
He loathed much to write, ne cared to repeat.


    Full oft by Holy Feet our Ground was trod,
    Of Clerks good Plenty here you mote eſpy.
    A little, round, fat, oily Man of God,
    Was one I chiefly mark'd among the Fry:
    He had a roguiſh Twinkle in his Eye,
    And ſhone all glittering with ungodly Dew,
    If a tight Damſel chaunc'd to trippen by;
    Which when obſerv'd, he ſhrunk into his Mew,
And ſtrait would recollect his Piety anew.


    Nor be forgot a Tribe, who minded Nought
    (Old Inmates of the Place) but State-Affairs:
    They look'd, perdie, as if they deeply thought;
    And on their Brow ſat every Nation's Cares.
    The World by them is parcel'd out in Shares,
    When in the Hall of Smoak they Congreſs hold,
    And the ſage Berry ſun-burnt Mocha bears
    Has clear'd their inward Eye: then, ſmoak-enroll'd,
Their oracles break forth myſterious as of old.


    Here languid Beauty kept her pale-fac'd Court:
    Bevies of dainty Dames, of high Degree,
    From every Quarter hither made Reſort;
    Where, from groſs mortal Care and Buſineſs free,
    They lay, pour'd out in Eaſe and Luxury.
    Or ſhould they a vain Shew of Work aſſume,
    Alas! and well-a-day! what can it be?
    To knot, to twiſt, to range the vernal Bloom;
But far is caſt the Diſtaff, Spinning-Wheel, and Loom.


    Their only Labour was to kill the Time;
    And Labour dire it is, and weary Woe.
    They ſit, they loll, turn o'er ſome idle Rhyme;
    Then, riſing ſudden, to the Glaſs they go,
    Or ſaunter forth, with tottering Step and ſlow:
    This ſoon too rude an Exerciſe they find;
    Strait on the Couch their Limbs again they throw,
    Where Hours on Hours they ſighing lie reclin'd,
And court the vapoury God ſoft-breathing in the Wind.


    Now muſt I mark the Villainy we found,
    But ah! too late, as ſhall eftſoons be ſhewn.
    A Place here was, deep, dreary, under Ground;
    Where ſtill our Inmates, when unpleaſing grown,
    Diſeas'd, and loathsome, privily were thrown.
    Far from the Light of Heaven, they languiſh'd there,
    Unpity'd uttering many a bitter Groan;
    For of theſe Wretches taken was no Care:
Fierce Fiends, and Hags of Hell, their only Nurſes were.


    Alas! the Change! from Scenes of Joy and Reſt,
    To this dark Den, where Sickneſs toſs'd alway.
    Here Lethargy, with deadly Sleep oppreſt,
    Stretch'd on his Back a mighty Lubbard lay,
    Heaving his Sides, and ſnored Night and Day;
    To ſtir him from his Traunce it was not eath,
    And his half-open'd Eyne he ſhut ſtrait way:
    He led, I wot, the ſoftest Way to Death,
And taught withouten Pain and Strife to yield the Breath.


    Of Limbs enormous, but withal unſound,
    Soft-ſwoln and pale, here lay the Hydropsy:
    Unwieldy Man! with Belly monſtrous round,
    For ever fed with watery Supply;
    For ſtill he drank, and yet he ſtill was dry.
    And here a moping Myſtery did ſit,
    Mother of Spleen, in Robes of various Dye,
    Who vexed was full oft with ugly Fit;
And ſome Her frantic deem'd, and ſome Her deem'd a Wit.


    A Lady proud ſhe was, of ancient Blood,
    Yet oft her Fear her Pride made crouchen low:
    She felt, or fancy'd in her fluttering Mood,
    All the Diſeaſes which the Spittles know,
    And ſought all Phyſick which the Shops beſtow,
    And ſtill new Leaches and new Drugs would try,
    Her Humour ever wavering to and fro;
    For ſometimes ſhe would laugh, and ſometimes cry,
Then ſudden waxed wroth, and all ſhe knew not why.


    Faſt by her Side a liſtleſs Maiden pin'd,
    With aching Head, and ſqueamish Heart-Burnings;
    Pale, bloated, cold, ſhe ſeem'd to hate Mankind,
    Yet lov'd in Secret all forbidden Things.
    And here the Tertian ſhakes his chilling Wings;
    And ſleepleſs Gout here counts the crowing Cocks,
    A Wolf now gnaws him, now Serpent ſtings,
    Whilſt Apoplexy cramm'd Intemperence knocks
Down to the Ground at once, as Butcher felleth Ox.