[Page [180]]


1 WHEN first Alcanzar to the town did come,
2 The people all believ'd that he was dumb:
3 In troops, with hasty steps to him they went;
4 To get their fate presag'd was their intent.
5 The man well vers'd was in the mystic art,
6 And quick as thought could wondrous things impart.
7 Whoever were with anxious cares oppress'd,
8 Or on account of absent friends distress'd,
9 Unto Alcanzar swiftly did repair,
10 Each of his purse did amply make him share.
11 It matters not how great the distance be,
12 A ship is rear'd, he wafts him o'er the sea:
13 Tho' in distress, them frees from ev'ry pain;
14 Dead or alive they now must cross the main:
15 Bedaub'd with lace, of gold they've got great store,
16 And swift he lands them on Britannia's shore.
[Page 181]
17 The nymphs and swains do next his aid demand;
18 He ties them all in Hymen's silken band:
19 He does young Strephon with lov'd Delia bless,
20 Tho' wont ere while to shun his fond address.
21 Sly Sanders too, who loves and woos for gold,
22 Sees Susan's charms down on the table told:
23 Cows, calves and horses, plac'd before his sight,
24 A widow rich will well his love requite.
25 Poor Celia next, who, for some fickle swain,
26 Spends days in sorrow, and whole nights in pain:
27 It was his absence caus'd the maid to mourn,
28 But fam'd Alcanzar made him soon return.
29 His antic gestures did the fair one cheer,
30 And home she went, releas'd from every fear.
31 Old Elspa now comes trembling for her fate;
32 She would be wed, but fears it is too late:
33 Her locks, alas! are silver'd o'er with grey;
34 Yet to Alcanzar swift she takes her way.
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35 She gave a sixpence; Ladies mark the rest,
36 She's with a husband and five children blest.
37 Here maids of fifty, widows of fourscore,
38 May all get marri'd for a penny more.
39 But is the man like as his merit priz'd?
40 Ah no! he is by empty fools despis'd.
41 A crafty youth, Will Watson was his name,
42 Did strive to ruin great Alcanzar's fame.
43 He dress'd himself all in a maid's array,
44 Gown, stays and petticoat, extremely gay;
45 A muslin head-dress, with a large toopee;
46 Few of our Ladies look'd so fine as he.
47 Up street he walk'd with a majestic air,
48 And to Alcanzar's lodgings did repair.
49 First gave a penny, then he shew'd his hand,
50 And did with down cast eyes dejected stand:
51 But who can tell the sequel without tears?
52 Alcanzar's chalk too soon a cradle rears.
53 Who wont bewail this maid's sad destiny?
54 She pregnant proves, her love gone to sea.
55 Now all around upon the youth did gaze,
56 Such dismal signs had fill'd them with amaze.
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57 Will gave a penny more; the sage did bring
58 The lover home, and wed them with a ring.
59 Eight children too, he plac'd before their sight
60 Will seem'd well pleased, and bade them all good night.
61 This might have pass'd, had he the fact conceal'd;
62 But O 'twas cruel! Willy all reveal'd.
63 He thought indeed, but all his thoughts were vain,
64 The fam'd Alcanzar's character to stain.
65 For one spoil'd dish who would a meal despise!
66 Or for one small mistake condemn the wise?


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Title (in Source Edition): ALCANZAR.
Genres: tale

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Little, Janet, 1759-1813. The Poetical Works of Janet Little, the Scotch Milkmaid. Air: Printed by John & Peter Wilson, 1792, pp. [180]-183.  (ESTC T126549) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Library of the University of California, Los Angeles.)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. This ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by Janet Little (later Richmond)