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The valour of Domitian,
It must not be forgotten ;
Protected veal and mutton.
Against the foe appears ;
And swarms of volunteers :
With animating hum;
He was their kettle-drum :
Did him most sorely pester,
Full many a plaguy blister.
As thro' key-hole a witch,
Drawn out of scabbard breech :
An arm both big and brawny,
And there lay bag and honey :
As weapon made by Cyclops,
By dint of massy fly-flops,
Surviving Surviving flies do curses breathe,
And maggots too at Cæsar:
400 St. George he was for England; St. Dennis was for France;
Sing, Honi soit qui mal y pense.
* The name of St. George's sword.
John GRUBB, the facetious writer of the foregoing Song, makes a distinguished figure among the Oxford wits so humorously enumerated in the following distich: Alma novem genuit célebres Rhedycina poetas
Bub, Stubb, Grubb, Crabb, Trap, Young, Carey,Tickel, Evans, These were Bub Dodington (the late lord Melcombe), Dr. Stubbes, our poet GRUBB, Mr. Crabb, Dr. Trapp the poetry-professor, Dr. Edw. Young the author of Night-Thoughts, Walter Carey, Thomas Tickel, Esq. and Dr. Evans the epigrammatist.
As for our poet GRUBB, all that we can learn further of him, is contained in a few extracts from the Univers sity Register, and from his epitaph. It appears from the former that he was matriculated in 1667, being the son of John Grubb, “ de Acton Burnel in comitatu Salop. pauperis.” He took his degree of Bachelor of Arts, June 28, 1671 : and became Master of Arts, June 28, 1675. He was appointed Head Master of the Grammar School at Christ Church ; and afterwards chosen into the same employment at Gloucester, where he died in 1697, as appears from his monument in the church of St. Mary de Crypt in Gloucester, which is inscribed with the following epitaph :
H. S. E.
H. S. E.
JOHANNES GRUBB, A. M. Natus apud Acton Burnel in agro Salopiensi
Anno Dom, 2645.
eandem suscepit provinciam,
ut nihil optandum sit
simplicem morum candorem, et præcipuam erga cognatos benevolentiam,
Ætatis suæ 51.
This Ballad, which appeared in some of the public newspapers in or before the year 1724, came from the pen of David Mallet, Esq. who in the edition of his poems, 3 vols. 1759, informs us that the plan was suggested by the four verses quoted above in page 165, which he supposed to be the beginning of some ballad now lost.
“ These lines, says he, naked of ornament and simple as they are, struck my fancy; and bringing fresh into my mind an unhappy adventure much talked of formerly, gave birth to the following poem, which was written many years ago.”
The two introductory lines (and one or two others elsewhere) had originally more of the ballad simplicity, viz.
“ When all was wrapt in dark midnight,
“ And all were fast asleep, &c.
'Twas at the silent solemn hour,
When night and morning meet;
And stood at William's feet.
Her face was like an April morn,
Clad in a wintry cloud:
That held her sable shrowd.
So shall the fairest face appear,
When youth and years are flown: Such is the robe that kings must wear,
When death has reft their crown.
Her bloom was like the springing flower,
That sips the silver dew;
Just opening to the view.
But love had, like the canker-worm,
Consum'd her early prime:
She dy'd before her time.
“Awake!” she cry'd, “thy true love calls,
“ Come from her midnight grave; “ Now let thy pity hear the maid
“ Thy love refus'd to save.
“ This is the dark and dreary hour
25 “When injur'd ghosts complain ; Now yawning graves give up their dead, To haunt the faithless swain.