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[TUNE." Thomon um Though."


music stealing, And while the dark winds wild-ly rave, To Espressione.

catch the genuine soul of feeling; While, all around, the e-ther blue Its Espress.

dim magnetic beam is shedding, And ro- sy tints of heav'nly hue Are

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Introductory lelter from Mr JACOB ASHPOLE, Hopgrower, to the Editor.*


I hand you (1) four sonnets about Hops, by desire of Mr. (rabbit it, I almost popt out his name,) but you are to call him R. or Mr R. or else nothing at all, just as you like to take your choice. They were writ to pleasure me, for I was tired to death of finding your authors of poems, and epics, and ballads, and cantos, and acrostics, and sketches, and operas, and lyrics, and other sorts of verses, of which I don't know one from t'other, not I, though my daughters read a mort of them to me. I was tired, I say, of find ing the poets always harping upon the same old story. Hundreds and hundreds constantly go sowing and mowing, and reaping, and threshing into verse; but not a soul, as I ever heard tell, (2) ever came into our hop-grounds to sing a song about them-and why should'nt they, just as well? My girls have got a good many poems and pocket-books, and among 'em there's Thomson's Seasons, and Burns the Ploughman's poems, (which are very badly spelt,) and Bloomfield's Farmer's Boy; so I made 'em look 'em all well over, to see if there was anything about hopplanting anywhere in them, but not a word about it turned up. Indeed, I don't remember hearing a hist on the subject when the girls have been reading their books out loud to me of an evening; but then at those times I am apt to take a nap, for the regular sound of poetry is very composing. So I plucked up spirit one day, and asked a certain person (never mind who he is a shy cock-set down, R.-that must serve instead of a name)-well, I asked him once, when I saw him loitering by my strip of land in the Parkside grounds, whether he couldn't make a rhyme or two on the hop-picking. He rather caught at the hint, and said he'd give it a thought, and at last brought (3) these four sonnets (I am


sure he called them sonnets, though Thomson and Bloomfield, who divide their poems by the four quarters of the year, don't call theirs by any such name) but, bless my heart! to call them a full account of all that is done with us from spring to winter is a fine take-in. I civilly pointed out to him, that there was a world of hop-work left out, but got nothing but a flea in the ear by it, for he mumbled something, that " few discriminating marks were sufficient for the purposes of poetry." A word in your ear,-friend R. has a very good opinion of himself; try to make him hear reason, and he'll turn as stunt as a mule, and you may as well endeavour to make a hop-plant curl round the pole, from right to left, (which, you know, it never will do) as get him to alter a word in his verses, when he draws up and says, it's all right as it is. Now you'll see that he ha'n't said a syllable about putting plenty of compost on the land, though I should like to know what sort of plants he'd get without it. Not a word about becking the earth well-not a direction about the time for fixing the poles; for, d'ye think we set on our fellows to work, when we first see a cloud and a rain-bow in spring-time, as he seems to reckon that we do? Then who'd guess that in summer we pay women to tie fast the runners to the poles at three different heights? 'Ad whip it, now I know what a sonnet is, if I didn't think his poetship, Mr R., would be offended, I would try if I couldn't make something of this "discriminating mark" myself. Is this anything in the right style? At first they stoop, and those who can't

well bend

Get a sad crick o' the back. But at midheight

The tie is easier made, they stand upright.

But for the third, 'tis needful to ascend A pair of steps, the bines so high extend.

* We subjoin some VARIATIONS in the M.S. letter, noticed by a critical printer's levil, with a few NOTES, by the same claw.

(1) Originally, “I hand you four pockets of hops, per order of”—the words in itaics. Blotted, and corrected, as above.

(2) Mr. A. is wrong-Chr. Smart wrote a didactic poem, entitled the Hop-garden. (3) Here the words "Nos. 1-4, as per bill of parcels," were dashed out.

And this (if there be wind) reveals to
Whether their ancles be in decent plight,
Or be the props of pounders

not but that a good thumping pound-
er of a leg is main useful in treading
the hops into the pockets; though, to
be sure, that is not the women-folks'
business, but the men's, and yellow
enough they come forth from the bags;
but observe, that incident too is pass-
ed over entirely by R. Now real-
ly this here attempt of mine is more
than half a sonnet; and if I get en-
couragement from you, I do think I
might venture to supply the descrip-
tions which R. is so positive in refu-
sing to try his hand at. My Betsey,
who is quite a dab at dumb crambo
of a winter evening, found some of the
rhymes for me; and with her help I don't
see why I shouldn't work away. For
instance, I should have to report that
hop-tops, early in the year, make al-
most as good a dish as grass. To
autumn would be added the arrival of
the hoppers, who are fetched in wag-
gons from all parts of the country,-
sailors from Portsmouth,-gypsies from
every patch of green in our Surrey
lanes, paupers from poorhouses,-
riff-raff from Saint Giles's, living from
hand to mouth by a hundred nameless
employments, and beggars from all
quarters, for the work is easy; any-
thing, indeed, that has got a pair of
hands will do to stand by a basket and
strip the branches. Then there's the
taking them to be dried at the kilns,
and afterwards the pocketting. Not
a tittle is there in R.'s verses from
which one would guess that the pole-
putters have a piece of stuff for a shirt
bought for them by a subscription
among the company of pickers, for
whom they tear up the leafy poles,
-which bit of holland is folded like
a scarf at a funeral, only that it has
a gay thingumbob as big as a plat-
ter, twiddled all about with ribbon,
and sewed to the shoulder, and the
whole is worn by the pole-puller, or
his favourite lass, about the streets af-
ter all is over. Who'd have thought


that a poet could have been mum
about the coming in of the last load?
Why, it is all drest up with flags and
ribbons-the men shout away, (if
they are not too drunk)-the women
prate and giggle,-boys huzza, and
toss up their hats wreathed with hop
leaves,-dogs bark,-cats vanish,-
cows scamper tail on end, the world
comes out-o'-doors to see what's the
fun, and Farnham is in a merry up-
roar. For certain, there was not quite
so much of this mad-cap rejoicing this
last hop time, and whether this was
from the weather being wettish, and
the crop not over promising, I don't
know, or whether it was not, that
the racketting of the Radicals with
their banners, rather put some of us,
who are true King and Constitution
men, out of sorts with that sort of tri-
umphing. However, when their flags
are forgotten, ours no doubt will be
hoisted again, for I don't like to leave
off good old customs. If I wrote hop
sonnets, I'm sure I wouldn't pass over
the stamps upon our bags,they are
so prettily done in red and blue and
black, and in a different pattern every
year. This year's mark is a bell,
(though, that we almost always have,
for you know, Farnham hops do really
bear the bell,) and a stag in a shield,
and a couple of dogs for supporters.
Then I would describe our going to
Weyhill Fair, to sell our pockets,
where, as you no doubt know, we
Farnham folks have our own acre, in
which none but Farnham hops can be
pitched, no, not if it were ever so
much wished for, nay, if the King him-
self, (God bless him, I dare say he
loves his ale properly hopped,) grew
hops in the garden, at Carlton Palace,
or in Windsor Park (which would be
nearer Weyhill,) he could not send
them to The Acre for sale. Nothing
is admitted there, but what was ac-
tually produced within the bounds of
our parish. So here again would be
enough to say; booths, and what not,
all painted as natural as life; and An-
dover, where we sleep, as thick as three
in a bed at the time. The more I con-

§ I applied to Adam M'Ingan, who is an honorary member of the Horticultural Society, for an explanation of this passage, and he laid it before the meeting at their sederunt. It appears from their benevolent communication to my friend Adam, that none of the gramina, or species of grasses, are cultivated for human food as yet, but that the word grass is here used (as is common in England) in the way of abbreviation for sparrowgrass, which itself is a corruption of asparagus. The species which hop-tops are said to resemble, is a. officinalis._

sider it, the more I am brought to think there is no knowing what R. has left out, so short has he been, and so much has he neglected. He couldn't I have had his eyes about him, one would imagine, and yet he is a prying sort of a chap too, and likes to see what's going forward, and to know the rights of things. Nevertheless, as he told me, if I chose to see the verses he gave me, in print, that I might send them to Mr Christopher North, care of Mr Blackwood, I here pack them off. (4) I can tell you this, though, that you had best print them exactly as they are set down for you, or I shall have a fine hollabaloo, for he is mighty precise, and will perhaps accuse me of having a finger in the pie, as I have already recommended a little addition, and got no good by it. So don't alter them, though you'll most likely grieve, like me, at their incompleteness; but let him have his way this once, he maybe will come round in time, and do things like other folks. I don't know whether you have a wife or no for me to send my respects

to, so if you have, she mustn't be angry. Indeed, I don't overmuch know who you yourself be, but I suppose you're a 'cute printer of ballads, and such like.(5) Only it seems to be a good way off to send to get a little job of this kind done. However, that's no business of mine. So no more at present from your humble servant to command,


Furnham, Surrey, 19th October, 1821.

P. S. Don't mind the scratchy appearance of this letter. I was forced to blot out here and there; for, being mostly used to write to my customers, I can't at once forget I have nothing in this to do with an invoice, or bill of parcels. You don't want a pocket or two of prime last year's growth, do ye? I can promise you they'd make precious stingo, with some of your Lowlant malt. I could serve you cheap if you did; for though there is a baddish crop to-year, we've got so much on hand, that prices are moderate.


THIS balmy air, and yonder brimming cloud,
Which darkening as the sun-light grows intense,
Sets off its rainbow's bland magnificence,
Resuscitate within its silent shroud

The vegetative power, no longer bow'd

Beneath chill winter's sway. A stirring sense,
An irrepressible intelligence

Of gladsome times advancing, thaws the blood
Of nature's leafy tribes. Among their peers

The sprouting hop-plants lift their purple heads,
And warn the hinds, deep in the soil beneath

To drive the poles ;-this wither'd forest spreads,
Till all the plot, as if with ported spears,
Stands bristling, waiting each its verdant wreath.


BEAUTIFUL plant, sample of natural grace!

Whose bines, untrained, garland with gay festoon
The overbrowing hedge; or by the boor

Of dipping branch uplifted, fair repays

(4)" And hope they will prove fine, and request your future orders,"-erased with the pen.

(5) I am not in the actual employ of Mr North, (who indeed is not a printer,) although I frequently attend him for copy, or with proofs; nor is my name "Tipsy Thammus,' as he in joke reported it, (vol. V, p. 328,) reversing the order of the two names, and spelling them designedly amiss. THOMAS TIBBSON.

The help, by weaving o'er it with its sprays
A sylvan roof, an awning from the sun

For way-worn traveller, who, with heart foredone,
Casts himself prostrate on the grass, and stays
A thankful hour. Yet here, blithe pliant thing!
Man does his worst thy mazy flight to stop,
And links thee to a formal sapless prop,

Which thou obedient climb'st-in many a ring
Grappling the staff-then fall thy shoots down trailing,
The uncouth tools of Art with beauty veiling.


OUR vintage-time is come; the merry bands
Of old and young attend the annual call;
With foliage wound, the hop's supporters fall,
And yield its fruitage to their ready hands-
Clusters devoid of juice-not such as bands

Of sunnier features nurse, where one and all
To the gathering flock, as to a festival,
When the plump grape in luscious ripeness stands.
Yet here the rustic gibe, the heart's light laugh,
The carol from untutor'd throat is heard,
While nimble fingers cull the husky store,
In baskets traversed by a wreathed staff,!
Than which, a nobler thyrsus ne'er was rear'd
By reeling Bacchanal in days of yore.


THE grounds are cleared; the uprooted poles are piled
In files of pyramids, a dreary show,
Indicative of coming frost and snow;

And of the hop, which lately cheer'd the wild,
Nought now is extant, but a mass defiled

Of blackening strings, trampled in scorn below.
England no Bacchus boasts, yet we can go

To the grange's low-brow'd hall, where never smiled
His riotous cups, and where we circulate

A nutbrown beverage, flavour'd by the hop,
Drawn bright, and foaming high, for wassail glee,
While Christmas logs are blazing in the grate,

And to old songs and tales, no sullen stop

Is put, but tongues are loud by the good ale set free.




The rich and balmy eve;

And hopes and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng;
And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued, and cherish'd long.

THE Moon is rising from the ebon tuft
Of stately firs, that wreathe the mountain top
With natural garland; like a deity,
Forth from her shrine majestical she
In silver glory, through the deep blue sky
Ascending; and, with melancholy ray,
Smiles down upon the green autumnal world.


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