Soto, a Character

In Soto's bosom you may find
The glimmering of a worthy mind:
'Tis but a faint and feeble ray,
Imperfect as the dawning day;
Yet were the jarring passions tuned,
And the wild branches nicely pruned,
The soil from thorns and thistles clear,
Some latent virtue might appear.
I' th' morning catch him (early though,
Your bird will else be flown, I trow),
Ere he has reached the boozing-can,
You'll find the stamp of reasoning man:
Then see the wretch whom none can rule,
Ere night, a madman and a fool;
The witty Soto then you'll find
Just level with the brutal kind.
With crimson face and winking eyes,
That look like woodcocks, mighty wise;
See streams a current down his chin,
From soft tobacco lodged within;
Be pleased to steal a glance or two,
But one may serve to make you — .

He fain would walk, but cannot stand,
And see, a palsy in his hand;
And though his throat has swallowed down
Two gallons of October brown,
His greedy guts impatient roar,
And seem to call aloud for more.
More they shall have: but hark, within
Is heard a rude and lawless din;
Wind, ale and phlegm their powers wage,
And hiccups call them to engage;
And now, ah now! incessant flows
The frothy tide from mouth and nose:
No more is seen the covered ground,
But a huge river floating round.
Down drops the youth, his giddy head
Falls easy on the liquid bed:
So swam Achilles fierce and brave
On angry Xanthus' swelling wave,
And 'scaped with being wet to th' skin,
For Pallas held him up by th' chin;
So Bacchus saves, by mighty charms,
His helpless devotee from harms;
And Soto sleeps till break of day,
Then shakes his ears and walks away.
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