On The Report That A Wooden Bridge Was To Be Built At Westminster
By Rufus' hall, where Thames polluted flows,
Provoked, the Genius of the river rose,
And thus exclaimed: 'Have I, ye British swains,
Have I for ages laved your fertile plains?
Given herds, and flocks, and villages increase,
And fed a richer than a golden fleece?
Have I, ye merchants, with each swelling tide,
Poured Afric's treasure in, and India's pride?
Lent you the fruit of every nation's toil?
Made every climate yours, and every soil?
Yet, pilfered from the poor, by gaming base,
Yet must a wooden bridge my waves disgrace?
Tell not to foreign streams the shameful tale,
And be it published is no Gallic vale.'
He said; and plunging to his crystal dome,
While o'er his head the circling waters foam.