The Works of the English Poets: With Prefaces, Biographical and Critical, Volume 9

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Samuel Johnson
C. Bathurst, 1779
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Page 11 - having fpent the treafures of his crown, Condemns their luxury to feed his own, ' And yet this act, to varnifh o'er the fhame Of facrilege, muft bear Devotion's name. No crime fo bold, but would be underftood A real, or. at leaft a feeming good : Who fears not to do
Page 12 - difmal heaps, but would demand What barbarous invader fack'd the land ? But when he hears, no Goth, no Turk did bring This defolation, but a Chriftian king ;. When nothing, but the name of zeal, appears 'Twixt our beft aftions and the worft of theirs; What does he think our facrilege would fpare, When fuch th
Page 8 - Now fhalt thou ftand, though fword, or time, or fire, Or zeal more fierce than they, thy fall confpire, Secure, whilft thee the beft of poets fmgs, Preferv'd from ruin by the beft of kings. Under his proud furvey the city lies, And like a mift beneath a hill doth rife; Whofe ftate and wealth, the
Page 12 - deftroys, their faith defends. Then did religion in a lazy cell, In empty, airy contemplations dwell; And like the block, unmoved lay : but ours, As much too aftive, like the ftork devours. Is there no temperate region can be known, Betwixt their frigid, and our torrid zone
Page 13 - Betray'd in all his ftrengths, the wood befet; All inftruments, all arts of ruin met; He calls to mind his ftrength, and then his fpeed, His winged heels, and then his armed head ; With thefe t'avoid, with that his fate to meet: But fear prevails, and bids him truft his feet. So faft he flies, that his
Page 13 - While the kind river wealth and beauty gives; And in the mixture of all thefe appears Variety, which all the reft endears. This fcene had fome bold Greek, or Britifh bard Beheld of old, what ftories had we heard Of fairies, fatyrs, and the nymphs their dames, Their feafts, their revels, and their amorous flames
Page 13 - o'erflows th' adjoining plains, The husbandmen with high-rais'd banks fecure Their greedy hopes, and this he can endure. But if with bays and dams they ftrive to force His channel to a new, or narrow courfe; No longer then within his banks he dwells, Firft to a torrent, then a deluge fwells: Stronger and fiercer by
Page 27 - fingle he flood forth, and feem'd, although Each had an army, as an equal foe. Such was his force of eloquence, to make The hearers more concern'd than he that fpake ; Each feem'd to aft that part he came to fee, And none was more a
Page 12 - contemplations dwell; And like the block, unmoved lay : but ours, As much too aftive, like the ftork devours. Is there no temperate region can be known, Betwixt their frigid, and our torrid zone ? Could we not wake from that lethargic dream, But to be
Page 9 - it was, Nature defign'd Firft a brave place, and then as brave a mind. Not to recount thofe feveral kings, to whom ' . It gave a cradle, or to whom a tomb ; But thee, great * Edward, and thy greater Son, (The lilies which his father wore, he won) And thy -) Bellona, who the

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