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Great master of the Mufe, infpir'd to fing
The beauties of the firft-created spring;
The pedigree of Nature to rehearse,
And found the Maker's work, in equal verse.
Now sporting on thy lyre the loves of youth,
Now virtuous age, and venerable truth;
Expreffing juftly Sappho's wanton art
Of odes, and Pindar's more majestic part."
For me, my warmer conftitution wants
More cold, than our Ligurian winter grants ;
And therefore, to my native shores retir❜d,
I view the coaft old Ennius once admir'd;
Where clifts on either fides their points display.;
And, after, opening in an ampler way,
Afford the pleafing profpect of the bay.
'Tis worth your while, O Romans, to regard
port of Luna fays our learned Bard;
Who in a drunken dream beheld his foul
The fifth within the tranfmigrating roll;
Which firft a peacock, then Euphorbus was,
Then Homer next, and next Pythagoras;
And laft of all the line did into Ennius pafs.
Secure and free from business of the state,
And more fecure of what the vulgar prate,
Here I enjoy my private thoughts; nor care
What rots for sheep the fouthern winds prepare:
Survey the neighbouring fields, and not repine,
When I behold a larger crop than mine :
To see a beggar's brat in riches flow,
Adds not a wrinkle to my even brow;
Nor, envious at the fight, will I forbear
My plenteous bowl, nor bate my bounteous cheer.
Nor yet unfeal the dregs of wine that stink
Of cask; nor in a nafty flaggon drink ;
Let others stuff their guts with homely fare;
For men of different inclinations are;
Though born perhaps beneath one common star.
In minds and manners twins oppos'd we see
In the fame fign, almoft the fame degree:
One, frugal, on his birth-day fears to dines
Does at a penny's coft in herbs repine,
And hardly dares to dip his fingers in the brine.
Prepar'd as priest of his own rites to stand,
He fprinkles pepper with a sparing hand.
His jolly brother, oppofite in fenfe,
Laughs at his thrift; and, lavish of expence,
Quaffs, crams, and guttles, in his own defence.
For me, I'll ufe my own; and take my fhare;
Yet will not turbots for my flaves prepare;
Nor be fo nice in tafte myself to know
If what I fwallow be a thrush, or no.
Live on thy annual income; fpend thy ftore;
And freely grind, from thy full threshing-floor;
Next harvest promifes as much, or more.
Thus I would live: but friendship's holy band,
And offices of kindness, hold my hand:
My friend is fhipwreck'd on the Brutian ftrand,
His riches in th' Ionian main are loft;
And he himself stands fhivering on the coaft;
A a 4
Where, deftitute of help, forlorn and bare, He wearies the deaf Gods with fruitless prayer. Their images, the relicts of the wreck, Torn from the naked poop, are tided back By the wild, waves, and, rudely thrown ashore, Lie impotent; nor can themselves restore. The veffel fticks, and fhews her open'd fide, And on her shatter'd maft the mews in triumph ride. From thy new hope, and from thy growing store, Now lend affiftance, and relieve the poor. Come; do a noble act of charity; A pittance of thy land will fet him free. Let him not bear the badges of a wreck, Nor beg with a blue table on his back: Nor tell me that thy frowning heir will fay, Tis mine that wealth thou fquander'ft thus away; What is 't to thee, if he neglect thy urn, Or without fpices lets thy body burn? If odours to thy ashes he refuse, Or buys corrupted caffia from the Jews? All thefe, the wifer Beftius will reply, Are empty pomp, and dead-mens luxury: We never knew this vain expence, before Th' effeminated Grecians brought it o'er : Now toys and trifles from their Athens come; And dates and pepper have unfinew'd Rome. Our fweating hinds their sallads, now, defile, Infecting homely herbs with fragrant oil. But to thy fortune be not thou a flave: For what hast thou to fear beyond the grave?
And thou who gap'ft for my eftate, draw near;
For I would whisper fomewhat in thy ear.
Hear'ft thou the news, my friend? th' exprefs is com
With laurel'd letters from the camp to Rome :
Cæfar falutes the queen and fenate thus:
My arms are on the Rhine victorious.
From mourning altars fweep the dust away:
Ceafe fafting, and proclaim a fat thanksgiving-day.
The goodly emprefs, jollily inclin'd,
Is to the welcome bearer wondrous kind:
And, fetting her good housewifery afide,
Prepares for all the pageantry of pride.
The captive Germans, of gigantic fize,
Are rank'd in order, and are clad in frize :
The fpoils of kings and conquer'd camps we boaft,
Their arms in trophies hang on the triumphal poft.
Now, for fo many glorious actions done
In foreign parts, and mighty battles won :
For peace at home, and for the public wealth,
I mean to crown a bowl to Cæfar's health:
Befides, in gratitude for fuch high matters,
Know I have vow'd two hundred gladiators.
Say, would'ft thou hinder me from this expence;
I difinherit thee, if thou dar'ft take offence.
Yet more, a public largefs I defign
Of oil and pies, to make the people dine :
Control me not, for fear I change my will.
And, yet methinks I hear thee grumbling. ftill,
You give as if you were the Persian king:
Your land does not fo large revenues bring.
Well; on my terms thou wilt not be my
If thou car'ft little, lefs fhall be my care:
Were none of all my father's fifters left:
Nay, were I of my mother's kin bereft :
None by an uncle's or a grandame's fide,
Yet I could fome adopted heir provide.
I need but take my journey half a day
From haughty Rome, and at Aricia stay,
Where Fortune throws poor Manius in my way.
Him will I choofe: What! him of humble birth,
Obscure, a foundling, and a son of earth?
Obfcure? Why pr'ythee what am I? I know
My father, grandfire, and great-grandfire too.
If farther I derive my pedigree,
I can but guefs beyond the fourth degree.
The rest of my forgotten ancestors
Were fons of earth, like him, or fons of whores.
Yet, why would't thou, old covetous wretch,
To be my heir, who might'ft have been my fire?
In Nature's race, fhould'ft thou demand of me
My torch, when I in courfe run after thee?
Think I approach thee, like the God of gain,
With wings on head and heels, as poets feigh:
Thy moderate fortune from my gift receive;
Now fairly take it, or as fairly leave.
But take it as it is, and afk no more.
What, when thou hast embezzled all thy store?
Where 's all thy father left? 'Tis true, I grant,
Some I have mortgag'd, to supply my want: