[Page 269]

VERSES under the Prints of Mr. HOGARTH'S Rake's Progress,


PLATE I. SCENE, The room of the miserly father.

1 O Vanity of AGE! untoward,
2 Ever spleeny, ever froward!
3 Why those bolts, and massy chains,
4 Squint suspicious, jealous pains?
5 Why, thy toilsome journey o'er,
6 Lay'st thou in an useless store?
7 Hope along with Time is flown,
8 Nor can'st thou reap the field thou'st sown.
9 Hast thou a son? In time be wise.
10 He views thy toil with other eyes.
11 Needs must thy kind, paternal care,
12 Lock'd in thy chests, be buried there;
13 Whence then shall flow thy friendly ease,
14 That social converse, homefelt peace,
15 Familiar duty without dread,
16 Instruction from example bred,
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17 Which youthful minds with freedom mend.
18 And with the Father mix the Friend?
19 Uncircumscrib'd by prudent rules,
20 Or precepts of expensive schools;
21 Abus'd at home, abroad despis'd,
22 Unbred, unletter'd, unadvis'd;
23 The headstrong course of youth began,
24 What comfort from this darling son?

PLATE II. The rake's levee.

1 PROSPERITY (with harlot's smiles,
2 Most pleasing when she most beguiles,)
3 How soon, sweet foe, can all thy train
4 Of false, gay, frantic, loud, and vain,
5 Enter the unprovided mind,
6 And memory in fetters bind;
7 Load Faith and Love with golden chain,
8 And sprinkle Lethe o'er the brain!
9 PLEASURE, in her silver throne,
10 Smiling comes, nor comes alone;
11 Venus comes with her along,
12 And smooth Lyaeus ever young;
13 And in their train, to fill the press,
14 Come apish Dance, and swoll'n Excess,
15 Mechanic Honour, vicious Taste,
16 And Fashion in her changing vest.
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PLATE III. A brothel.

1 O vanity of youthful blood,
2 So by misuse to poison Good!
3 Woman, fram'd for social love,
4 Fairest gift of pow'rs above;
5 Source of ev'ry houshold blessing,
6 All charms in innocence possessing
7 But turn'd to Vice all plagues above,
8 Foe to thy being, foe to Love!
9 Guest divine to outward viewing,
10 Abler minister of ruin!
11 And thou no less of gift divine,
12 Sweet Poison of misused WINE!
* Milton.
13 With freedom led to ev'ry part,
14 And secret chamber of the heart;
15 Dost thou thy friendly host betray,
16 And shew thy riotous gang the way
17 To enter in with covert treason,
18 O'erthrow the drowsy guard of reason,
19 To ransack the abandon'd place,
20 And revel there with wild excess?

PLATE IV. St. Jame's street where the rake is arrested.

1 O vanity of youthful blood,
2 So by misuse to poison Good!
3 Reason awakes, and views unbar'd
4 The sacred gates he watch'd to guard;
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5 Approaching sees the harpy, Law,
6 And Poverty, with icy paw
7 Ready to seize the poor remains
8 That Vice hath left of all his gains.
9 Cold Penitence, lame After-thought,
10 With fears, despair, and horrors fraught,
11 Call back his guilty pleasures dead,
12 Whom he hath wrong'd and whom betray'd.

PLATE V. Marybone church, where he marries a rich old woman.

1 New to the school of hard Mishap,
2 Driv'n from the ease of Fortune's lap,
3 What shames will Nature not embrace
4 T' avoid less shame of drear distress!
5 GOLD can the charms of youth bestow,
6 And mask deformity with shew:
7 GOLD can avert the sting of Shame,
8 In Winter's arms create a flame;
9 Can couple youth with hoary age,
10 And make antipathies engage.

PLATE VI. A gaming house.

1 GOLD, thou bright son of Phoebus, source
2 Of universal intercourse;
3 Of weeping Virtue soft redress,
4 And blessing those who live to bless!
5 Yet oft behold this sacred trust,
6 The tool of avaritious lust:
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7 No longer bond of humankind,
8 But bane of ev'ry virtuous mind.
9 What Chaos such misuse attends!
10 Friendship stoops to prey on friends;
11 Health, that gives relish to delight,
12 Is wasted with the wasting night;
13 Doubt and mistrust is thrown on HEAVEN,
14 And all its power to Chance is given.
15 Sad purchase of repentant tears,
16 Of needless quarrels, endless fears,
17 Of hopes of moments, pangs of years!
18 Sad purchase of a tortur'd mind
19 To an imprison'd body join'd!

PLATE VII. A prison.

1 Happy the man, whose constant thought
2 (Though in the school of hardship taught,)
3 Can send Remembrance back, to fetch
4 Treasures from life's earliest stretch;
5 Who, self-approving, can review
6 Scenes of past virtues, which shine through
7 The gloom of age, and cast a ray
8 To gild the evening of his day!
9 Not so the guilty wretch confin'd;
10 No pleasures meet his conscious mind;
11 No blessings brought from early youth,
12 But broken faith, and wrested truth,
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13 Talents idle and unus'd,
14 And ev'ry trust of heav'n abus'd.
15 In seas of sad reflection lost,
16 From horrors still to horrors toss'd,
17 Reason the vessel leaves to steer,
18 And gives the helm to mad DESPAIR.

PLATE VIII. Bethle'm.

1 MADNESS! thou Chaos of the brain;
2 What art, that pleasure giv'st and pain?
3 Tyranny of Fancy's reign!
4 Mechanic Fancy! that can build
5 Vast labyrinths and mazes wild,
6 With rule disjointed, shapeless measure,
7 Fill'd with Horror, fill'd with Pleasure!
8 Shapes of Horror, that wou'd even
9 Cast doubt of mercy upon heaven!
10 Shapes of Pleasure, that but seen
11 Wou'd split the shaking sides of Spleen!
12 Of vanity of AGE! here see
13 The stamp of heav'n effac'd by thee!
14 The headstrong course of youth thus run,
15 What comfort from this darling son?
16 His rattling chains with terror hear;
17 Behold death grappling with despair;
18 See him by thee to ruin sold,
19 And curse thyself, and curse thy GOLD.


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Title (in Source Edition): VERSES under the Prints of Mr. HOGARTH'S Rake's Progress, 1735.
Author: John Hoadly
Themes: age; hopelessness; vanity of life; entertainments; pastimes; madness; poverty; prison; imprisonment; women; female character; food; drink; virtue; vice; money; wealth
Genres: satire

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Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. V. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], pp. 269-274. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.005) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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