Lines Written in a Country Alehouse
Here we behold the sons of Bacchus set,
To drown their sorrows in tumultuous joys,
Where each his past misfortunes does forget –
Where calls for silence but increase the noise.
Fumes potent rise, and each succeeding draught
Proclaims the growing goodness of the beer;
And Hodge rears his stentorian voice aloft –
For he in reasoning owns no compeer.
In Politics with foresight keen he dips –
To show their course his spacious hand extends;
Fates fall from off the rustic Nestor’s lips,
And empires hang upon his finger’s ends.
With well-clenched fist he makes the table plead;
Half-thunderstruck the gasping rustics stare;
They all admire the wisdom in his head –
But the great wonder is, how it came there.
I like such rhetoric – for to me it shows
More than a world of flowery tropes could teach –
That e’en the English Peasant feels and knows
The glorious privileges of thought and speech.