As I journey'd from Pershore to Worcester , it rain'd;
By this common event I an incident gain'd.
For dramatic effect, nothing ever so pat,
At the very same time was a horse and a hat.
In a band-box this hat on the horse was reclin'd,
And it nestled a farmer's young daughter behind:
On her sides were two baskets that butter had fill'd;
The old charger could never, I think, have been drill'd —
For one-eye-less — and shapeless — was all he could boast —
But the girl would at Richmond and Q's be a toast.
She had one imperfection; — but let it be hush'd! —
Not a hint for your life! — she was modest, and blush'd!
Her complexion was lily, contending with rose;
Pink and green was her hat — white as cream shift and hose:
In her chat with simplicity cheerfulness met:
I the reapers forgot, and rejoic'd in the wet.
" Happy girl! " I exclaim'd, " with a face and a heart
That in your fairy circle such blessings impart! "
At the compliment blushing, she baffled her praise,
By complaining " that markets provision would raise; "
Talk'd of eggs and of butter with such a decorum,
That I long'd for the Carrs , and this pattern before 'em.
She was going to Walcot — I add, and with shame,
That I had not the courage to ask for her name:
But at Worcester , with eggs and with butter at hand,
In the Saturday's market all day is her stand.
We took leave as we met, with good-humour and mirth:
Oh, the charm of sweet innocence, beauty, and worth!
In a field as I walk'd I encounter'd the Dean ,
And his Worship , methought, was more civil than clean!
For it rain'd, and he tumbled (as you might have done)
Which to me was a topick of excellent fun.
As you know that at present I 'm keen for my tithes,
And prefer to your company sickles or scythes.
Do but only conceive the delight I enjoy'd
When this Dean and his Chapter as friends I employ'd:
They of Mortlake and Wimbledon being the Rectors,
Are in each of those parishes Tithing-dissectors.
We have both in the Park indivisible claims,
If the King would allow them: but, sure as the Thames
Never hail'd in his road such a Castle as mine,
Kings are seldom, except in their titles, divine ,
And this " Majesty sacred " (I hope it 's not rude)
Upon Tithe his own Counsel would cheat if he could .
It has rain'd all the night, and it now rains again,
And, I think, to the end of the chapter, it 's rain .
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