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These for the rich : the rest, whom fate had placed
In modeft mediocrity, content
With base materials, fat on well-tann'd hides
Obdurate and unyielding, glasfy smooth,
With here and there a tuft of crimson yarn,
Or scarlet crewel in the cushion fixt:
If cushion might be call’d, what harder seem'd Than the firm oak of which the frame was form'd.
No want of timber then was felt or fear'd
In Albion's happy ife. The umber stood
Pond'rous, and fixt by its own massy weight.
But elbows ftill were wanting; these, some fay,
An Alderman of Cripplegate contrived,
And some ascribe the invention to a priest
Burly and big and studious of his ease.
But rude at first, and not with easy nope
Receding wide, they press’d against the ribs,
And bruised the side, and elevated high
Taught the rais'd shoulders to invade the ears.
Long time elapsed or e'er our rugged fires
Complain'd, though incommodiousy pent in,
And ill at ease behind. The Ladies first
Gan murmur, as became the softer fex.
Ingenious fancy, never better pleas’d
Than when employ'd t’accommodate the fair,
Heard the sweet moan with pity, and devised
The soft settee; one elbow at each end,
And in the midst an elbow, it receiv'd
United yet divided, twain at once.
So sit two Kings of Brentford on one throne;
And so two citizens who take the air
Close pack'd and smiling in a chaise and one.
But relaxation of the languid frame
By soft recumbency of outstretched limbs,
Was bliss reserved for happier days. So now
The growth of what is excellent, so hard
T'attain perfection in this nether world.
Thus first necessity invented stools,
Convenience next suggested elbow chairs,
And luxury th'accomplished Sofa last.
The nurse sleeps sweetly, hired to watch the fick Whom snoring the disturbs. As sweetly he Who quits the coach-box at the midnight hour To seep within the carriage more secure, His legs depending at the open door. Sweet Deep enjoys the Curate in his desk, The tedious Rector drawling o'er his head, And sweet the Clerk below: but neither feep Of lazy Nurse, who snores the fick man dead, Nor his who quits the box at midnight hour To Number in the carriage more secure, Nor sleep enjoy'd by Curate in his desk, Nor yet the dozings of the Clerk are sweet, Compared with the repose the SOFA yields.
may I live exempted (while I live
Guiltless of pamper'd appetite obscene)
From pangs arthritic that infest the toe
Of libertine excess. The SOF A suits
The gouty limb, 'tis true ; but goury limb
Though on a Sofa, may I never feel :
For I have loved the rural walk through lanes
Of grasly swarth close cropt by nibbling sheep,
And skirted thick with intertexture firm
Of thorny boughs: have loved the rural walk
O’er hills, through valleys, and by rivers brink,
E’er fince a truant boy I pafs'd my bounds
T'enjoy a samble on the banks of Thames.
And still remember, nor without regret
Of hours that forrow fince has much endear'd,
How oft, my slice of pocket store confumed,
Still hung'ring pennyless and far from home,
I fed on scarlet hips and ftony haws,
Or blushing crabs, or berries that imboss
The bramble, black as jet, or does auftere.
Hard fare ! but fuch as boyish appetite
Disdains not, nor the palate undepraved
By culinary arts unfav'ry deems.
No Sofa then awaited my return,
Nor SOFA then I needed. Youth repairs
His wasted fpirits quickly, by long toil
Incurring short fatigue ; and though our years
As life declines, speed rapidly away,
And not a year but pilfers as he goes
Some youthful grace that age would gladly keep,
A tooth or auburn lock, and by degrees
Their length and color from the locks they spare ;
Th' elastic spring of an unwearied foot
That mounts the stile with ease, or leaps the fence,
That play of lungs inhaling and again
Respiring freely the fresh air, that makes
Swift pace or steep ascent no toil to me,
Mine have not pilfer'd yet; nor yet impair'd
My relish of fair prospect.; scenes that sooth'd
Or charm'd me young, no longer young, I find
Still soothing and of power to charm me still.
And witness, dear companion of my walks,
Whose arm this twentieth winter ) perceive
Fast lock'd in mine, with pleasure such as love
Confirm'd by long experience of thy worth