Page images

tended no more than to put the Reader in mind what respect was due to any thing that fell from the pen of Mr. Waller. I have heard his last printed copies, which are added in the feveral editions of his poems, very lightly spoken of; but certainly they do not deferve it. They do indeed discover themselves to be his last, and that is the worst we can fay of them. He is there * Jam fenior; fed cruda Deo viridifque fenectus.

The fame cenfure perhaps will be paffed on the pieces of this Second Part. I fhall not fo far engage for them, as to pretend they are all equal to whatever he wrote in the vigor of his youth: yet, they are fo much of a piece with the reft, that any man will at first fight know them to be Mr. Waller's. Some of them were wrote very early, but not put into former collections, for reasons obvious enough, but which are now ceafed. The play † was altered to please the Court: it is not to be doubted who fat for the Two Brothers' characters. It was agreeable to the sweetness of Mr. Waller's temper, to foften the rigor of the Tragedy, as he expreffes it: but, whether it be so agreeable to the nature of Tragedy itself, to make every thing comeoff easily, I leave to the Critics. In the Prologue, and Epilogue, there are a few verfes that he has made use of upon another occafion: but, the Reader may be pleafed to allow that in Him, that has been allowed fo long in Homer, and Lucretius. Exact writers drefs up their

* Virg. Æn. vi. 304.

"The Maid's Tragedy;" which does not come within the plan of the prefent publication.


thoughts fo very well always, that, when they have need of the fame fenfe, they cannot put it into other words, but it must be to its prejudice. Care has been taken in this Book to get together every thing of Mr. Waller's that is not put into the former collection: fo that between both, the Reader may make the fet complete.

It will perhaps be contended after all, that fome of thefe ought not to have been published and Mr. * Cowley's decifion will be urged, that a neat tomb of marble is a better monument than a great pile of rubbish. It might be answered to this, that the Pictures, and Poems, of great Masters have been always valued, though the last hand were not put to them. And I believe none of thofe Gentlemen that will make the objection, would refuse a sketch of Raphael's, or one of Titian's draughts of the first fitting. I might tell them too, what care has been taken by the learned, to preserve the fragments of the antient Greek and Latin Poets: there has been thought to be a Divinity in what they faid; and therefore the least pieces of it have been kept up, and reverenced like religious reliques. And, I am fure, take away the "† mille anni;” and impar

*In the Preface to his Works.
† Alluding to that verfe in Juvenal,

***Et uni cedit Homero

Propter mille annos *


And yields to Homer on no other score,

Than that he liv'd a thousand years before.


Sat. vii.

Mr. C. Dryden.

tial reasoning will tell us there is as much due to the memory of Mr. Waller, as to the most celebrated names of antiquity.

But, to wave the difpute now of what ought to have been done; I can affure the Reader, what would have been, had this edition been delayed. The following Poems were got abroad, and in a great many hands : it were vain to expect, that among fo many admirers of Mr. Waller, they fhould not meet with one fond enough to publish them. They might have staid, indeed, till by frequent tranfcriptions they had been corrupted extremely, and jumbled together with things of another kind: but, then they would have found their way into the world. So it was thought a greater piece of kindness to the Author, to put them out whilft they continue genuine and unmixed; and fuch as He Himfelf, were He alive, might own.






Of the Danger his MAJESTY (being Prince) efcaped in the Road at Saint Andero.


[ocr errors]

OW had his Highness bid farewell to Spain,
And reach'd the fphere of his own power, the

With British bounty in his fhip he feasts

Th' Hefperian Princes, his amazed guefts,
To find that watery wilderness exceed
The entertainment of their great Madrid.
Healths to both Kings, attended with the roar
Of cannons echoed from th' affrighted shore,
With loud refemblance of his thunder, prove
Bacchus the feed of cloud-compelling Jove:
While to his harp divine Arion fings


The loves, and conquefts, of our Albion Kings.
Of the fourth Edward was his noble fong,
Fierce, goodly, valiant, beautiful, and young:
He rent the crown from vanquifh'd Henry's head;
Rais'd the White Rofe, and trampled on the Red:
Till Love, triumphing o'er the victor's pride,
Brought Mars and Warwick to the conquer'd fide?

Neglected Warwick, (whose bold hand, like Fate,
Gives and refumes the fceptre of our State)
Wooes for his Mafter; and, with double fhame,
Himself deluded, mocks the Princely Dame,
The Lady Bona: whom just anger burns,
And foreign war with civil rage returns.

Ah! fpare your fwords, where beauty is to blame;
Love gave th' affront, and must repair the fame:
When France shall boast of her, whofe conquering eyes
Have made the best of English hearts their prize;
Have power to alter the decrees of Fate,
And change again the counfels of our State.
What the prophetic Mufe intends, alone

To him that feels the fecret wound is known.
With the fweet found of this harmonious lay,
About the keel delighted dolphins play;
Too fure a fign of fea's ensuing rage,
Which must anon this Royal troop engage:
To whom soft fleep feems more fecure and sweet,
Within the town commanded by our fleet.

Thefe mighty Peers plac'd in the gilded barge,
Proud with the burden of fo brave a charge;
With painted oars the youths begin to sweep
Neptune's fmooth face, and cleave the yielding deep;
Which foon becomes the feat of fudden war
Between the wind and tide, that fiercely jar.
As when a fort of lufty fhepherds try
Their force at foot-ball, care of victory
Makes them falute fo rudely breast to breast,
That their encounter feems too rough for jøst;


« PreviousContinue »