When now, mature in classic knowledge,
The joyful youth is sent to college,
His father comes, an humble suitor,
With bows and speeches to his tutor,
"Sir, give me leave to recommend him,
"I'm sure you cannot but befriend him;
"I'll warrant that his good behav'our
"Shall justify your future favour;
"And for his parts, to tell the truth,
"My son's a very forward youth;
"He's young indeed, but has a spirit,
"And wants but means, to shew his merit;
"Has Horace all by heart,—you'd wonder,
"And mouths out Homer's greek like thunder.
"If you'd but venture to admit him,
"A scholarship would nicely fit him;
"That he succeeds 'tis ten to one,
"Your vote and interest, Sir,—'tis done."
Our candidate at length gets in,
A hopeful scholar of Coll. Trin.
A scholarship not half maintains,
And college-rules are heavy chains;
So scorning the late wish'd-for prize,
For a fat fellowship he sighs.
When, nine full tedious winters past,
His utmost wish is crown'd at last;
That utmost wish no sooner got,
Again he quarrels with his lot.—
"These fellowships are pretty things,
"We live indeed like petty kings;
"But who can bear to spend his whole age
"Amid the dullness of a college;
"Debarr'd the common joys of life,
"And what is worse than all—a wife!
"Would some snug benefice but fall,
"Ye feasts, and gaudies, farewell all!
"To offices I'd bid adieu
"Of Dean, Vice-Pręs,—nay Bursar too;
"Come tithes, come glebe, come fields so pleasant,
"Come sports, come partridge, hare and pheasant."
Well—after waiting many a year,
A living falls,—two hundred clear.
With breast elite beyond expression,
He hurries down to take possession;
With rapture views the sweet retreat,—
"What a convenient house! how neat!
"The garden how compleatly plann'd!
"And is all this at my command!
"For fuel here's good store of wood,—
"Pray god, the cellars be but good!
Continuing this fantastic farce on,
He now commences country parson;
To make his character entire,
He weds a——cousin of the 'squire;
Not over-weighty in the purse;
But many doctors have done worse.
Content at first,—he taps his barrel,
Exhorts his neighbours not to quarrel;
Finds his church-wardens have discerning
Both in good liquor and good learning;
With tythes his barns replete he sees,
And chuckles o'er his surplice-fees;
Studies to find out latent dues,
Smokes with the 'squire,—and clips his yews;
Of Oxford pranks, facetious tells,
And, but on sundays, hears no bells.
But ah! too soon his thoughtless breast
By cares domestic is opprest;
Each day some scene of woe commences
By new and unforeseen expences;
And soon the butcher's bill, and brewing,
Threaten inevitable ruin;
For children more expences yet,
And Dickey now for school is fit.
"Why did I sell my college life
(He cries) "for benefice and wife!
"Oh could the days once more but come,
"When calm I smoak'd in common room,
"And din'd with breast untroubled, under
"The picture of our pious founder;
"When, for amusement, my tyrannic
"Sway could put freshmen in a pannic;
"When impositions were supplied
"To light my pipe—or sooth my pride!
"No cares of family oppress'd me,
"Nor wife by day—nor night distress'd me.
"Each day receiv'd successive pleasure,
"Or spent in reading, or in leisure;
"And every night I went to bed
"Without a christ'ning in my head."
O trifling head, and fickle heart!—
Chagrin'd at whatsoe'er thou art!
A dupe to follies yet untry'd,
And sick of pleasure's scarce enjoy'd;
Each prize obtain'd, thy rapture ceases,
And in the search alone it pleases.