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Can a bosom so gentle remain
Unmov'd when her Corydon sighs? Will a nymph that is fond of the plain,
These plains and this valley despise? Dear regions of silence and shade!
Soft scenes of contentment and ease? Where I could have pleasingly stray'd,
If aught, in her absence, could please. But where does my Phyllida stray?
And where are her grots and her bowers? Are the groves and the valleys as gay,
And the shepherds as gentle as ours? The groves may perhaps be as fair,
And the face of the valleys as fine; The swains may in manners compare, But their love is not equal to mine.
WHY will you my passion reprove?
Why term it a folly to grieve?
Ere I show you the charms of my love,
She's fairer than you can believe.
Let his crook be with hyacinths bound,
So Phyllis the trophy despise : Let his forehead with laurels be crown'd, So they shine not in Phyllis's eyes. The language that flows from the heart,
Is a stranger to Paridel's tongue; -Yet may she beware of his art, Or sure I must envy the song.
YE shepherds, give ear to my lay,
And take no more heed of my sheep;
They have nothing to do but to stray;
I have nothing to do but to weep.
Yet do not my folly reprove;
She was fair-and my passion begun; She smil'd-and I could not but love;
She is faithless-and I am undone.
Perhaps I was void of all thought:
Perhaps it was plain to foresee,
That a nymph so complete would be sought
By a swain more engaging than me.
Ah! love every hope can inspire;
It banishes wisdom the while;
And the lip of the nymph we admire
Seems for ever adorn'd with a smile.
She is faithless, and I am undone ;
Ye that witness the woes I endure, Let reason instruct you to shun
What it cannot instruct you to cure. Beware how you loiter in vain
Amid nymphs of a higher degree: It is not for me to explain
How fair, and how fickle, they be. Alas! from the day that we met,
What hope of an end to my woes? When I cannot endure to forget
The glance that undid my repose. Yet time may diminish the pain:
The flower, and the shrub, and the tree, Which I rear'd for her pleasure in vain, In time may have comfort for me. The sweets of a dew-sprinkled rose,
The sound of a murmuring stream, The peace which from solitude flows,
Henceforth shall be Corydon's theme. High transports are shown to the sight,
But we're not to find them our own; Fate never bestow'd such delight,
As I with my Phyllis had known.
Erewhile, in sportive circles round
She saw him wheel, and frisk, and bound;
From rock to rock pursue his way,
And on the fearful margin play.
Pleas'd on his various freaks to dwell,
She saw him climb my rustic cell;
Thence eye my lawns with verdure bright,
And seem all ravish'd at the sight.
She tells with what delight he stood To trace his features in the flood; Then skipp'd aloof with quaint amaze, And then drew near again to gaze.
She tells me how with eager speed
He flew to hear my vocal reed;
And how with critic face profound,
And stedfast ear, devour'd the sound.
His every frolic, light as air,
Deserves the gentle Delia's care;
And tears bedew her tender eye,
To think the playful kid must die.-
But knows my Delia, timely wise, How soon this blameless era flies? While violence and craft succeed; Unfair design, and ruthless deed!
Soon would the vine his wounds deplore,
And yield her purple gifts no more;
Ah! soon, eras'd from every grove
Were Delia's name, and Strephon's love.
No more those bowers might Strephon see,
Where first he fondly gaz'd on thee,
No more those beds of flowerets find.
Which for thy charming brows he twin'd.
Each wayward passion soon would tear
His bosom, now so void of care;
And, when they left his ebbing vein,
What, but insipid age, remain?
Then mourn not the decrees of Fate, That gave his life so short a date; And I will join thy tenderest sighs, To think that youth so swiftly flies!
THE REV. CHARLES CHURCHILL
THE REV. CHARLES CHURCHILL, a poet, once of | name. Churchill was now at once raised from ob great repute, was the son of a curate of St. John's, scurity to eminence; and the Rosciad, which we Westminster, in which parish he was born in 1731. have selected as his best work, is, in fact, the only He received his early education at the celebrated one of his numerous publications on which he bepublic school in the vicinity, whence he was sent to stowed due labor. The delineations are drawn Oxford; but to this university he was refused ad- with equal energy and vivacity; the language and mission on account of deficient classical knowledge. versification, though not without inequalities, are Returning to school, he soon closed his further superior to the ordinary strain of current poetry, and education by an early and imprudent marriage. many of the observations are stamped with sound Receiving holy orders from the indulgence of Dr. judgment and correct taste. Sherlock, he went down to a curacy in Wales, The remainder of his life, though concurring where he attempted to remedy the scantiness of his with the period of his principal fame, is little worthy income, by the sale of cider; but this expedient of notice. He became a party writer, joining with only plunged him deeper in debt. Returning to Wilkes and other oppositionists, and employed his London, he was chosen, on his father's death, to pen assiduously in their cause. With this was succeed him as curate and lecturer of St. John's. joined a lamentable defect of moral feeling, exHis finances still falling short, he took various hibited by loose and irregular manners. Throwing methods to improve them; at the same time he dis-off his black suit, he decorated his large and clumsy played an immoderate fondness for theatrical ex-person with gold lace; and dismissing his wife, he hibitions. This latter passion caused him to think debauched from her parents the daughter of a of exercising those talents which he was conscious tradesman in Westminster. His writings at length of possessing; and in March, 1761, he published, became mere rhapsodies; and taking a journey to though anonymously, a view of the excellencies and France for the purpose of visiting Mr. Wilkes, defects of the actors in both houses, which he en- then an exile in that country, he was seized with a titled "The Rosciad." It was much admired, fever, which put a period to his life on November 4, and a second edition appeared with the author's 1764, at the age of 34.
Roscius deceas'd, each high aspiring play'r
Push'd all his int'rest for the vacant chair.
The buskin'd heroes of the mimic stage
No longer whine in love, and rant in rage;
The monarch quits his throne, and condescends
Humbly to court the favor of his friends;
For pity's sake tells undeserv'd mishaps,
And, their applause to gain, recounts his claps.
Thus the victorious chiefs of ancient Rome,
To win the mob, a suppliant's form assume,
In pompous strain fight o'er th' extinguish'd war,
And show where honor bled in ev'ry scar.
But though bare merit might in Rome appear
The strongest plea for favor, 'tis not here;
We form our judgment in another way;
And they will best succeed, who best can pay :
Those, who would gain the votes of British tribes,
Must add to force of merit, force of bribes.
What can an actor give? In ev'ry age
Cash hath been rudely banish'd from the stage;
Monarchs themselves, to grief of ev'ry play'r,
Appear as often as their image there:
They can't, like candidate for other seat,
Pour seas of wine, and mountains raise of meat.
Wine! they could bribe you with the world as soon,
And of roast beef, they only know the tune:
But what they have they give; could Clive do more.
Though for each million he had brought home four!
Shuter keeps open house at Southwark fair,
And hopes the friends of humor will be there;
In Smithfield, Yates prepares the rival treat
For those who laughter love, instead of meat;
Foote, at Old House, for even Foote will be,
In self-conceit, an actor, bribes with tea;
Which Wilkinson at second-hand receives,
And at the New, pours water on the leaves.
The town divided, each runs sev'ral ways,
As passion, humor, int'rest, party sways.
Things of no moment, color of the hair,
Shape of a leg, complexion brown or fair,
A dress well chosen, or a patch misplac'd,
Conciliate favor, or create distaste.
From galleries loud peals of laughter roll, And thunder Shuter's praises-he's so droll. Embor'd, the ladies must have something smart, Palmer! Oh! Palmer tops the janty part. Seated in pit, the dwarf, with aching eyes, Looks up, and vows that Barry's out of size;
Whilst to six feet the vig'rous stripling grown.
Declares that Garrick is another Coan.*
When place of judgment is by whim supplied,
And our opinions have their rise in pride;
When, in discoursing on each mimic elf,
We praise and censure with an eye to self;
All must meet friends, and Ackman bids as fair
In such a court, as Garrick, for the chair.
At length agreed, all squabbles to decide,
By some one judge the cause was to be tried;
But this their squabbles did afresh renew,
Who should be judge in such a trial?-Who?
For Johnson some, but Johnson, it was fear'd,
Would be too grave; and Sterne too gay appear'd:
Others for Francklin voted; but 'twas known,
He sicken'd at all triumphs but his own:
For Colman many, but the peevish tongue
Of prudent Age found out that he was young:
For Murphy some few pilf'ring wits declar'd,
Whilst Folly clapp'd her hands, and Wisdom star'd.
To mischief train'd, e'en from his mother's womb,
Grown old in fraud, though yet in manhood's bloom,
Adopting arts, by which gay villains rise,
And reach the heights which honest men despise;
Mute at the bar, and in the senate loud,
Dull 'mongst the dullest, proudest of the proud ;
A pert, prim prater of the northern race,
Guilt in his heart, and famine in his face,
Stood forth-and thrice he wav'd his lily hand-
And thrice he twirl'd his tye-thrice strok'd his
Who can-But Woodward came,-Hill slipp'd
Melting like ghosts, before the rising day.
+ With that low cunning, which in fools supplies
And amply too, the place of being wise,
Which Nature, kind, indulgent parent, gave
To qualify the blockhead for a knave;
With that smooth falsehood, whose appearance
With sleek appearance, and with ambling pace,
And, type of vacant head, with vacant face,
The Proteus Hill put in his modest plea,—
Let Favor speak for others, Worth for me."—
For who, like him, his various powers could call
Into so many shapes, and shine in all?
Who could so nobly grace the motley list,
Actor, inspector, doctor, botanist?
Knows any one so well-sure no one knows,
At once to play, prescribe, compound, compose?
"At Friendship's call," (thus oft with trait'rous aim
Men, void of faith, usurp Faith's sacred name)
"At Friendship's call I come, by Murphy sent,
Who thus by me develops his intent.
But lest, transfus'd, the spirit should be lost,
That spirit which in storms of rhet'ric tost,
Bounces about, and flies like bottled beer,
In his own words his own intentions hear.
"Thanks to my friends.-But to vile fortunes born, O'er its pale cheeks, the horrid manly red.
No robes of fur these shoulders must adorn.
Vain your applause, no aid from thence I draw;
Vain all my wit, for what is wit in law?
Twice (curs'd remembrance!) twice I strove to gain
Admittance 'mongst the law-instructed train,
Who, in the Temple and Gray's Inn, prepare
For clients' wretched feet the legal snare;
Dead to those arts, which polish and refine,
Deaf to all worth, because that worth was mine,
Twice did those blockheads startle at my name,
And, foul rejection, gave me up to shame.
To laws and lawyers then I bad adieu,
And plans of far more lib'ral note pursue.
Who will may be a judge-my kindling breast
Burns for that chair which Roscius once possess'd.
Here give your votes, your int'rest here exert,
And let success for once attend desert."
Much did it talk, in its own pretty phrase,
Of genius and of taste, of play'rs and plays;
Much too of writings, which itself had wrote,
Of special merit, though of little note;
For Fate, in a strange humor, had decreed
That what it wrote, none but itself should read;
Much too it 'chatter'd of dramatic laws,
Misjudging critics, and misplac'd applause ;
Then, with a self-complacent jutting air,
It smil'd, it smirk'd, it wriggled to the chair;
And, with an awkward briskness not its own,
Looking around, and perking on the throne,
Triumphant seem'd, when that strange savage dame
Known but to few, or only known by name,
Plain Common-Sense appear'd, by Nature there
Appointed, with plain Truth, to guard the chair.
The pageant saw, and, blasted with her frown,
To its first state of nothing melted down.
Nor shall the Muse (for even there the pride
Of this vain nothing shall be mortified)
Nor shall the Muse (should Fate ordain her rhymes
Fond, pleasing thought! to live in after-times)
With such a trifler's name her pages blot;
Known by the character, the thing forgot;
* John Coan, a dwarf, who died in 1764. C.
And reason of each wholesome doubt disarms,
Which to the lowest depths of guile descends,
By vilest means pursues the vilest ends,
Wears Friendship's mask for purposes of spite,
Fawns in the day, and butchers in the night;
With that malignant envy, which turns pale,
And sickens, even if a friend prevail,
Which merit and success pursues with hate,
And damns the worth it cannot imitate;
With the cold caution of a coward's spleen,
Which fears not guilt, but always seeks a skreen,
Which keeps this maxim ever in her view-
What's basely done, should be done safely too;
With that dull, rooted, callous impudence,
Which, dead to shame, and ev'ry nicer sense,
Ne'er blush'd, unless, in spreading Vice's snares,
She blunder'd on some virtue unawares;
With all these blessings, which we seldom find
Lavish'd by Nature on one happy mind,
A motley figure, of the Fribble tribe,
Which heart can scarce conceive, or pen describe,
Came simp'ring on; to ascertain whose sex
Twelve sage, impannel'd matrons would perplex.
Nor male, nor female; neither, and yet both;
Of neuter gender, though of Irish growth;
A six-foot suckling, mincing in its gait;
Affected, peevish, prim, and delicate;
Fearful it seem'd, though of athletic make,
Lest brutal breezes should too roughly shake
Its tender form, and savage motion spread,
This severe character was intended for Mr. Fitzpatrick, a person who had rendered himself remarkable by his activity in the playhouse riots of 1763, relative to the taking half prices. He was the hero of Garrick's Fribbleriad. E.
Let it, to disappoint each future aim,
Live without sex, and die without a name!
The morning came, nor find I that the Sun,
As he on other great events hath done,
Put on a brighter robe than what he wore
To go his journey in the way before.
Full in the centre of a spacious plain,
On plan entirely new, where nothing vain,
Creeps lab'ring through the veins; whose heart Nothing magnificent appear'd, but Art ne'er glows
Cold-blooded critics, by enervate sires Scarce hammer'd out, when Nature's feeble fires Glimmer'd their last; whose sluggish blood, half
With fancy-kindled heat;-a servile race,
Who in mere want of fault, all merit place;
Who blind obedience pay to ancient schools,
Bigots to Greece, and slaves to musty rules;
With solemn consequence declar'd that none
Could judge that cause but Sophocles alone.
Dupes to their fancied excellence, the crowd,
Obsequious to the sacred dictate, bow'd.
When, from amidst the throng, a youth stood forth,
Unknown his person, not unknown his worth;
His look bespoke applause; alone he stood,
Alone he stemm'd the mighty critic flood.
He talk'd of ancients, as the man became
Who priz'd our own, but envied not their fame;
With noble rev'rence spoke of Greece and Rome,
And scorn'd to tear the laurel from the tomb.
"But more than just to other countries grown, Must we turn base apostates to our own? Where do these words of Greece and Rome excel, That England may not please the ear as well? What mighty magic's in the place or air, That all perfection needs must centre there? In states, let strangers blindly be preferr'd; In state of letters, merit should be heard. Genius is of no country, her pure ray Spreads all abroad, as gen'ral as the day; Foe to restraint, from place to place she flies, And may hereafter e'en in Holland rise. May not (to give a pleasing fancy scope, And cheer a patriot heart with patriot hope) May not some great extensive genius raise The name of Britain 'bove Athenian praise; And, whilst brave thirst of fame his bosom warms, Make England great in letters as in arms? There may-there hath-and Shakspeare's Muse aspires
Beyond the reach of Greece: with native fires
Mounting aloft, he wings his daring flight,
Whilst Sophocles below stands trembling at his
"Why should we then abroad for judges roam,
When abler judges we may find at home?
Happy in tragic and in comic pow'rs,
Have we not Shakspeare ?-Is not Jonson ours?
For them, your nat'ral judges, Britons, vote;
They'll judge like Britons, who like Britons wrote."
He said, and conquer'd-Sense resum'd her sway,
And disappointed pedants stalk'd away.
Shakspeare and Jonson, with deserv'd applause,
Joint-judges were ordain'd to try the cause.
Meantime the stranger ev'ry voice employ'd,
To ask or tell his name-Who is it?-Lloyd.
Thus, when the aged friends of Job stood mute,
And, tamely prudent, gave up the dispute,
Elihu, with the decent warmth of youth,
Boldly stood forth the advocate of Truth;
Confuted Falsehood, and disabled Pride,
Whilst baffled Age stood snarling at his side.
The day of trial's fix'd, nor any fear
Lest day of trial should be put off here.
Causes but seldom for delay can call
In courts where forms are few, fees none at all.
With decent modesty perform'd her part, Rose a tribunal: from no other court
It borrow'd ornament, or sought support:
No juries here were pack'd to kill or clear,
No bribes were taken, nor oaths broken here;
No gownmen, partial to a client's cause,
To their own purpose tun'd the pliant laws,
Each judge was true and steady to his trust,
As Mansfield wise, and as old Foster* just.
In the first seat, in robe of various dyes,
A noble wildness flashing from his eyes,
Sat Shakspeare.-In one hand a wand he bore,
For mighty wonders fam'd in days of yore;
The other held a globe, which to his will
Obedient turn'd, and own'd the master's skill:
Things of the noblest kind his genius drew,
And look'd through Nature at a single view:
A loose he gave to his unbounded soul,
And taught new lands to rise, new seas to roll;
Call'd into being scenes unknown before,
And, passing Nature's bounds, was something more.
Next Jonson sat, in ancient learning train'd,
His rigid judgment Fancy's flights restrain'd,
Correctly prun'd each wild luxuriant thought,
Mark'd out her course, nor spar'd a glorious fault.
The book of man he read with nicest art,
And ransack'd all the secrets of the heart;
Exerted penetration's utmost force,
And trac'd each passion to its proper source;
Then strongly mark'd, in liveliest colors drew,
And brought each foible forth to public view.
The coxcomb felt a lash in ev'ry word,
And fools, hung out, their brother fools deterr'd.
His comic humor kept the world in awe,
And Laughter frighten'd Folly more than Law.
But, hark! The trumpet sounds, the crowd gives
And the procession comes in just array.
Now should I, in some sweet poetic line,
Offer up incense at Apollo's shrine;
Invoke the Muse to quit her calm abode,
And waken mem'ry with a sleeping ode.
For how should mortal man, in mortal verse,
Their titles, merits, or their names rehearse?
But give, kind Dullness, memory and rhyme,
We'll put off Genius till another time.
First, Order came-with solemn step, and slow,
In measur'd time his feet were taught to go.
Behind, from time to time, he cast his eye,
Lest this should quit his place, that step awry.
Appearances to save his only care;
So things seem right, no matter what they are.
In him his parents saw themselves renew'd,
Begotten by sir Critic on saint Prude.
Then came drum, trumpet, hautboy, fiddle, flute:
Next snuffer, sweeper, shifter, soldier, mute :
Legions of angels all in white advance;
Furies, all fire, come forward in a dance;
Pantomime figures then are brought to view,
Fools hand in hand with fools go two by two.
* Sir Michael Foster, one of the judges of the King's Bench.