Pavement slipp'ry, people sneezing,
by Mary Darby Robinson
Lords in ermine, beggars freezing ;
Titled gluttons dainties carving,
Genius in a garret starving.
Lofty mansions, warm and spacious ;
Courtiers clinging and voracious ;
Misers scarce the wretched heeding ;
Gallant soldiers fighting, bleeding.
Wives who laugh at passive spouses ;
Theatres, and meeting-houses ;
Balls, where simp'ring misses languish ;
Hospitals, and groans of anguish.
Arts and sciences bewailing ;
Commerce drooping, credit failing ;
Placemen mocking subjects loyal ;
Separations, weddings royal.
Authors who can't earn a dinner ;
Many a subtle rogue a winner ;
Fugitives for shelter seeking ;
Misers hoarding, tradesmen breaking.
Taste and talents quite deserted ;
All the laws of truth perverted ;
Arrogance o'er merit soaring ;
Merit silently deploring.
Ladies gambling night and morning ;
Fools the works of genius scorning ;
Ancient dames for girls mistaken,
Youthful damsels quite forsaken.
Some in luxury delighting ;
More in talking than in fighting ;
Lovers old, and beaux decrepid ;
Lordlings empty and insipid.
Poets, painters, and musicians ;
Lawyers, doctors, politicians :
Pamphlets, newspapers, and odes,
Seeking fame by diff'rent roads.
Gallant souls with empty purses ;
Gen'rals only fit for nurses ;
School-boys, smit with martial spirit,
Taking place of vet'ran merit.
Honest men who can't get places,
Knaves who shew unblushing faces ;
Ruin hasten'd, peace retarded ;
Candour spurn'd, and art rewarded.