[Page 175]


1 A Country vicar in his homely house,
2 Pleas'd with his lot, and happy in his spouse,
3 With simple diet, at his humble board,
4 Once entertain'd the chaplain of a lord;
5 He gave him (all he could) a little fish,
6 With sauce of oysters, in no silver dish;
7 And, for the craving stomach's sure relief,
8 The glory of Old England, rare Roast-beef,
9 Horse-radish and potatoes, Ireland's pride;
10 A pudding too the prudent dame supply'd:
11 Their cheering beverage was a pint of port
12 (Tho' small the quantum) of the better sort;
13 But plenty of good beer, both small and stout,
14 With wine of elder to prevent the gout.
15 The vicar hop'd, by such a various treat,
16 To tempt his scarf-embellish'd friend to eat;
17 With nicest bits provok'd his guest to dine,
18 He carv'd the haddock, and he serv'd the wine:
19 Content his own sharp stomach to regale
20 With plain, substantial roast-meat and mild ale.
21 Our courtly chaplain, as we may suppose,
22 At such old-fashion'd commons curl'd his nose;
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23 He tried in vain to piddle, and, in brief,
24 Pish'd at the pudding, and declin'd the beef;
25 At length, their homely dinner finish'd quite,
26 Thus to the vicar spoke the priest polite:
27 'How can my brother in this paltry town
28 ' Live undistinguish'd, to the world unknown?
29 'And not exalt your towering genius higher,
30 ' Than here to herd with country clown or squire;
31 'Stunn'd with the discord of hoarse cawing rooks,
32 ' The roar of winds, the dissonance of brooks,
33 'Which discontented thro' the valley stray,
34 ' Plaintive and murmuring at their long delay.
35 'Come, come with me, nor longer here abide;
36 ' You've friends in town, and I will be your guide:
37 'Soon great preferment to your share will fall,
38 ' A good fat living, or perhaps a stall. '
39 These weighty reasons sway'd the vicar's mind
40 To town he hied, but left his wife behind:
41 Next levee day he waited on his Grace,
42 With hundreds more, who bow'd to get a place;
43 Shov'd in the croud, he stood amaz'd to see
44 Lords who to Baal bent the supple knee,
45 And doctors sage he could not but admire,
46 Who stoop'd profoundly low to rise the higher.
47 So much of ermine, lace, beaus, bishops, young and old,
48 'Twas like a cloud of sable edg'd with gold:
49 By turns his Grace the servile train addrest,
50 Pleas'd with a smile, or in a whisper blest.
51 Sick of the scene, the vicar sought the door,
52 Determin'd never to see London more;
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53 But, as his friend had pleas'd the hour to fix,
54 First went to dinner to my Lord's at six;
55 He knock'd was usher'd to the room of state,
56 (My Lord abroad) and dinner serv'd in plate;
57 Which, tho' it seem'd but common soup and hash,
58 Was really callipee and callipash,
59 (The relicks of the gaudy day before)
60 What Indians eat, and Englishmen adore;
61 With bright champaign the courtier crown'd the feast,
62 Sooth'd his own pride, and gratify'd his guest:
63 All this conspir'd our Stoic to controul,
64 And warpt the steady purpose of his soul
65 When lo! the cry of fire creates amaze
66 "The next house, Lady Riot's, in a blaze"
67 Aghast the vicar stood, in wild affright,
68 Then briefly thus address'd the priest polite:
69 "Adieu, my friend your state I envy not
70 "Beef, liberty, and safety be my lot. "


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About this text

Themes: rural life; food; drink; city
Genres: heroic couplet; parody
References: DMI 30919

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Source edition

A collection of the most esteemed pieces of poetry: that have appeared for several years. With variety of originals, by the late Moses Mendez, Esq; and other contributors to Dodsley's collection. To which this is intended as a supplement. London: printed for Richardson and Urquhart, 1767, pp. 175-177. [8],320p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T124631; DMI 1073)

Editorial principles

The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.