A Description of Spring in London

Now new-vamped silks the mercer's window shows,
And his spruce 'prentice wears his Sunday clothes;
His annual suit with nicest taste renewed,
The reigning cut and colour still pursued.
The barrow now, with oranges a score,
Driv'n by at once a gamester and a whore,
No longer gulls the stripling of his pence,
Who learns that poverty is nurse to sense.
Much-injured trader whom the law pursues,
The law which winked and beckoned to the Jews,
Why should the beadle drive thee from the street?
To sell is always a pretence to cheat.
‘Large stewing-oysters!’, in a deep'ning groan,
No more resounds, nor ‘Mussels!’ shriller tone;
Sev'n days to labour now is held no crime,
And Moll ‘New mack'rel!’ screams in sermon-time.
In ruddy bunches radishes are spread,
And Nan with choice-picked salad loads her head.
Now, in the suburb window, Christmas green,
The bays and holly are no longer seen,
But sprigs of garden-mint in vials grow,
And gathered laylocks perish as they blow.
The truant schoolboy now at eve we meet,
Fatigued and sweating through the crowded street,
His shoes embrowned at once with dust and clay,
With whitethorn loaded, which he takes for May:
Round his flapped hat in rings the cowslips twine,
Or in cleft osiers form a golden line.
On milk-pail reared the borrowed salvers glare,
Topped with a tankard which two porters bear;
Reeking, they slowly toil o'er rugged stones,
And joyless beldams dance with aching bones.
More blithe the powdered, tie-wigged sons of soot
Trip to their shovel with a shoeless foot.
In gay Vauxhall now saunter beaux and belles,
And happier cits resort to Sadler's Wells.
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