1 MY earliest flame, to whom I owe
2 All that a captain needs to know;
3 Dress, and quadrille, and air, and chat,
4 Lewd songs, loud laughter, and all that;
5 Arts that have widows oft subdued,
6 And never fail'd to win a prude;
7 Think, charmer, how I live forlorn
8 At quarters, from Corinna torn.
9 Nor more distress the cornet feels
10 From gruel, and Ward's popish pills.
11 What shall I do now you're away,
12 To kill that only foe, the day?
13 The landed 'squire, and dull freeholder,
14 Are sure no comrades for a soldier;
15 To drink with parsons all day long,
16 Misaubin tells me wou'd be wrong:
17 Sober advice, and Curl's Dutch whore
18 I've read, 'till I can read no more.
19 At noon I rise, and strait alarm
20 A sempstress' shop, or country farm;
21 Repuls'd, my next pursuit is a'ter
22 The parson's wife, or landlord's daughter:
23 At market oft for game I search,
24 Oft at assemblies, oft at church,[Page 211]
25 And plight my faith and gold to-boot;
26 Yet demme if a soul will do't —
27 In short our credit's sunk so low,
28 Since troops were kept o'foot for shew,
29 She that for soldiers once run mad,
30 Is turn'd republican, egad!
31 And when I boast my feats, the shrew
32 Asks who was slain the last review.
33 Know then, that I and captain Trueman
34 Resolve to keep a miss — in common:
35 Not her, among the batter'd lasses,
36 Such as our friend Toupét caresses,
37 But her, a nymph of polish'd sense,
38 Which pedants call impertinence:
39 Train'd up to laugh, and drink, and swear,
40 And railly with the prettiest air —
41 Amidst our frolicks and carouses
42 How shall we pity wretched spouses!
43 But where can this dear soul be found,
44 In garret high, or under ground?
45 If so divine a fair there be,
46 Charming Corinna, thou art she.
47 But oh! what motives can persuade
48 Belles, to prefer a rural shade,
49 In this gay month, when pleasures bloom,
50 The park, the play — the drawing room —
51 Lo! birthnights upon birthnights tread,
52 Term is begun, the lawyer fee'd;[Page 212]
53 My friend the merchant, let me tell ye,
54 Calls in his way to Farinelli;
55 Add that my sattin gown and watch
56 Some unfledg'd booby 'squire may catch,
57 Who, charm'd with his delicious quarry,
58 May first debauch me, and then marry;
59 Never was season more befitting
60 Since conv—ns last were sitting.
61 And shall I leave dear Charing-cross,
62 And let two boys my charms ingross?
63 Leave play-house, temple, and the rummer?
64 A country friend might serve in summer!
65 The town's your choice — yet, charming fair,
66 Observe what ills attend you there.
67 Captains, that once admir'd your beauty,
68 Are kept by quality on duty;
69 Cits, for attoning alms disburse
70 A tester — templars, something worse:
71 My lord may take you to his bed,
72 But then he sends you back unpaid;
73 And all you gain from generous cully,
74 Must go to keep some Irish bully.
75 Pinchbeck demands the tweezer case,
76 And Monmouth-street the gown and stays;
77 More mischiefs yet come crowding on,
78 Bridewell, — West Indies — and Sir John —
79 Then oh! to lewdness bid adieu,
80 And chastly live, confin'd to two.