1755 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Hawkesworth

Francis Fawkes, "Horace, Book I. Ep. V. To Dr. Hawkesworth" 1755; Nichols, Select Collection of Poems (1780-82) 8:91-93.



If you, dear Sir, will deign to pass a day
In the fair vale of Orpington and Cray,
And live for once as humble vicars do,
On Thursday I'll expect you here by two.
Expect no niceties with me to pick
But Bansted mutton, and a barn-door chick.
My friends with generous liquours I regale,
Good port, old hock, or, if they like it, ale;
But if of richer wine you chuse a quart,
Why bring, and drink it here — with all my heart.
Plain is my furniture, as is my treat,
For 'tis my best ambition, to be neat.
Leave then all sordid views, and hopes of gain,
To mortals miserable, mad, or vain;
Put the last polish to th' historic page,
And cease awhile to moralise the age.
By your sweet converse chear'd, the live-long day
Will pass unnotic'd, like the stream, away.
Why should kind Providence abundance give,
If we, like niggards, can't afford to live?
The wretched miser, poor 'midst heaps of pelf,
To cram his heir, most madly starves himself—
So will not I — give me good wine and ease,
And let all misers call me foot that please.
What cannot wine? it opens all the soul;
Faint hope grows brilliant o'er the sparkling bowl:
Wine's generous spirit makes the coward brave,
Gives ease to kings, and freedom to the slave:
Bemus'd in wine, the bard his duns forgets,
And drinks serene oblivion to his debts:
Wine drives all cares and anguish from the heart,
And dubs us connoisseurs of every art.
Whom does not wine with eloquence inspire?
The bowzy beggar struts into a squire.
This you well know — to me belongs to mind
That neatness with frugality be join'd;
That no intruding blab, with itching ears,
Darken my doors, who tells whate'er he hears.
Two Duncombes, each a poet, with me dine,
Your friends, and decent Colman, a divine:
There's room for more; so, to complete the band,
Your wife will bring fair Innocence in hand.
Should Cave want copy, let the teaser wait,
While you steal secret through the garden gate.