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Christopher Smart

For there is a sound reasoning upon all flowers. For flowers are peculiarly the poetry of Christ.

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The Long-Nosed Fair

Once on a time I fair Dorinda kiss'd,
Whose nose was too distinguish'd to be miss'd;
My dear, says I, I fain would kiss you closer,
But tho' your lips say aye--your nose says, no, Sir.--
The maid was equally to fun inclin'd,
And plac'd her lovely lily-hand behind;
Here, swain, she cry'd, may'st thou securely kiss,
Where there's no nose to interrupt thy bliss.

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On a Lady Throwing Snow-Balls at Her Lover

[From the Latin of Petronious Ascanius.]

When, wanton fair, the snowy orb you throw,
I feel a fire before unknown in snow.
E'en coldest snow I find has pow'r to warm
My breast, when flung by Julia's lovely arm.
T'elude love's pow'rful arts I strive in vain,
If ice and snow can latent fires contain.
These frolics leave: the force of beauty prove,
With equal passion cool my ardent love.

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The Sweets of Evening

The sweets of evening charm the mind,
Sick of the sultry day;
The body then no more confin'd,
But exercise with freedom join'd,
When Phoebus sheathes his ray.

While all-serene the summer moon
Sends glances thro' the trees,
And Philomel begins her tune,.
And Asteria too shall help her soon
With voice of skillful ease.

A nosegay, every thing that grows,
And music, every sound
To lull the sun to his repose;
The skies are colour'd like the rose
With lively streaks around.

Of all the changes rung by time
None half so sweet appear,

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Psalm XXIII

The shepherd Christ from heav'n arriv'd,
My flesh and spirit feeds;
I shall not therefore be depriv'd
Of all my nature needs.

As slop'd against the glist'ning beam
The velvet verdure swells,
He keeps, and leads me by the stream
Where consolation dwells.

My soul He shall from sin restore,
And her free pow'rs awake,
In paths of heav'nly truth to soar,
For love and mercy's sake.

Yea, tho' I walk death's gloomy vale,
The dread I shall disdain;
For Thou art with me, lest I fail,
To check me and sustain.

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On My Wife's Birth-Day

'Tis Nancy's birth-day--raise your strains,
Ye nymphs of the Parnassian plains,
And sing with more than usual glee
To Nancy, who was born for me.

Tell the blythe Graces as they bound,
Luxuriant in the buxom round;
They're not more elegantly free,
Than Nancy, who was born for me.

Tell royal Venus, tho' she rove,
The queen of the immortal grove,
That she must share her golden fee
With Nancy, who was born for me.

Tell Pallas, tho' th'Athenian school,
And ev'ry trite pedantic fool,
On her to place the palm agree,
'Tis Nancy's, who was born for me.

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Psalm 114

When Israel came from Egypt’s coast,
And Goshen’s marshy plains,
And Jacob with his joyful host
From servitude and chains;

Then was it seen how much the Jews
Were holy in his sight,
And God did Israel’s kingdom choose
To manifest his might.

The sea beheld it, and with dread
Retreated to make way;
And Jordan to his fountain head
Ran backwards in dismay.

The mountains, like the rams that bound,
Exulted on their base;
Like lambs the little hills around
Skipt lightly from their place.

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Where's the Poker?

The poker lost, poor Susan storm'd,
And all the rites of rage perform'd;
As scolding, crying, swearing, sweating,
Abusing, fidgetting, and fretting.
"Nothing but villany, and thieving;
Good heavens! what a world we live in!
If I don't find it in the morning,
I'll surely give my master warning.
He'd better far shut up his doors,
Than keep such good for nothing whores;
For wheresoe'er their trade they drive,
We vartuous bodies cannot thrive."
Well may poor Susan grunt and groan;
Misfortunes never come alone,
But tread each other's heels in throngs,
For the next day she lost the tongs;
The salt box, colander, and pot
Soon shar'd the same untimely lot.
In vain she vails and wages spent
On new ones--for the new ones went.

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Epistle to Mrs. Tyler

It ever was allow'd, dear Madam,
Ev'n from the days of father Adam,
Of all perfection flesh is heir to,
Fair patience is the gentlest virtue;
This is a truth our grandames teach,
Our poets sing, and parsons preach;
Yet after all, dear Moll, the fact is
We seldom put it into practice;
I'll warrant (if one knew the truth)
You've call'd me many an idle youth,
And styl'd me rude ungrateful bear,
Enough to make a parson swear.

I shall not make a long oration
in order for my vindication,
For what the plague can I say more
Than lazy dogs have done before;
Such stuff is naught but mere tautology,
And so take that for my apology.

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The Pig

In ev'ry age, and each profession,
Men err the most by prepossession;
But when the thing is clearly shown,
And fairly stated, fully known,
We soon applaud what we deride,
And penitence succeeds to pride.--
A certain Baron on a day
Having a mind to show away,
Invited all the wits and wags,
Foot, Massey, Shuter, Yates, and Skeggs,
And built a large commodious stage,
For the Choice Spirits of the age;
But above all, among the rest,
There came a Genius who profess'd
To have a curious trick in store,
Which never was perform'd before.
Thro' all the town this soon got air,
And the whole house was like a fair;
But soon his entry as he made,
Without a prompter, or parade,

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