Page images
[ocr errors]

While the fierce monk does at his trial ftand;
He chews revenge, abjuring his offence:
Guile in his tongue, and murder in his hand,
He stabs his judge, to prove his innocence.

The guilty ftroke and torture of the steel

Infix'd, our dauntlefs Briton fcarce perceivės : The wounds his country from his death must feel, The Patriot views; for thofe alone he grieves.


The barbarous rage that durft attempt thy life,
Harley, great counfellor, extends thy fame:
And the sharp point of cruel Guifcard's knife,
In brafs and marble carves thy deathlefs name.


Faithful affertor of thy country's cause,

Britain with tears fhall bathe thy glorious wound:

She for thy fafety fhall enlarge her laws;

And in her statutes shall thy worth be found.

Yet 'midft her fighs fhe triumphs, on the hand
Reflecting, that diffus'd the public woe;

A ftranger to her altars, and her land:

No fon of her's could meditate this blow.


Mean time thy pain is gracious Anna's care:
Our Queen, our Saint, with facrificing breath
Softens thy anguish in her powerful prayer
She pleads thy fervice, and forbids thy death.
VIII. Great

B 2


Great as thou art, thou canst demand no more,
O breast bewail'd by earth: preferv'd by Heaven!
No higher can aspiring Virtue foar:
Enough to thee of grief and fame is given.



Earl of OXFORD, Lord High Treasurer, 1712.



UR weekly friends to-morrow meet
At Matthew's palace, in Duke-ftreet,

To try for once if they can dine

On bacon-ham and mutton-chine :

If, weary'd with the great affairs
Which Britain trufts to Harley's cares,
Thou, humble ftatefman, may'ft defcend,
Thy mind one moment to unbend;
To fee thy fervant from his foul

my house

Crown with thy health the sprightly bowl:
Among the guests which e'er
Receiv'd, it never can produce
Of honour a more glorious proof-
Though Dorfet us'd to blefs the roof.





TWAY mice, full blythe and amicable,

Baten befide Erle Robert's table.

Lies there ne trap their necks to catch,
Ne old black cat their steps to watch,
Their fill they eat of fowl and fish;
Feast lyche as heart of mouse mote wish.
As guests fat jovial at the board,
Forth leap'd our mice: eftfoons the lord
Of Boling, whilome John the Saint,
Who maketh oft' propos full queint,
Laugh'd jocund, and aloud he cried,
To Matthew feated on t' oth' fide;
To thee, lean Bard, it doth partain
To understand these creatures tweine.
Come frame us now fome clean device,
Or playfant rhyme on yonder mice:
They feem, God shield me, Mat and Charles.
Bad as Sir Topas, or fquire Quarles,
(Matthew did for the nonce reply)
At emblem, or device am I :

But, could I chaunt, or rhyme, pardie,
Clear as Dan Chaucer, or as thee:
Ne verfe from me (fo God me fhrive)
On moufe, or other beaft alive. >

[blocks in formation]

Certes I have this many days,
Sent myne poetic herd to graze.
Ne armed knight ydrad in war
With lion fierce will I compare :
Ne judge unjust, with furred fox,
Harming in fecret guife the flocks:
Ne priest unworth of goddess coat,
To fwine ydrunk, or filthy ftoat.
Elk fimile farewell for aye,
From elephant, I trow, to flea.

Reply'd the friendlike peer, I weene, -
Matthew is angred on the spleen.
Ne fo, quoth Mat, ne shall be e'er,
With wit that falleth all fo fair :
Eftfoons, well weet ye, mine intent
Boweth to your commaundement.
'If by thefe creatures ye have feen,
Pourtrayed Charles and Matthew been;
Behoveth neet to wreck my brain,
The reft in order to explain.

That cup-board, where the mice difport,
I liken to St. Stephen's Court *
Therein is fpace enough, I trow,
For elke comrade to come and goe:
And therein eke may both be fed
With fhiver of the wheaten bread.
And when, as these mine eyne furvey,
They ceafe to skip, and fqueak and play;

* The Exchequer.


Return they may to different cells,

Auditing one, whilst t' other tells.

Dear Robert, quoth the Saint, whofe mind,
In bounteous deed no mean can bind;
Now, as I hope to grow devout,
Ideem this matter well made out.
Laugh I, whilft thus I ferious pray?'
Let that be wrought which Mat doth fay:
Yea, quoth the ERLE, but not to-day.

In the fame Style.

ULL oft' doth Mat with Topaz dine,


Eateth bak'd meats, drinketh Greek wine;

But Topaz his own werke rehearseth ;
And Mat mote praise what Topaz verseth.
Now, fure as prieft did e'er fhrive finner,
Full hardly earneth Mat his dinner :

In the fame Style.

FAIR Sufan did her wif-hede well menteine,
Algates affaulted fore by letchours tweine :
Now, and I read aright that auncient fong,
Olde were the paramours, the dame full yong.

Had thilke fame tale in other guife been tolde;
Had they been young (pardie) and fhe been olde
That, by St. Kit, had wrought much forer trial;
Full marvellous, I wote, were filk denyal.


« PreviousContinue »