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faithful, generous, and polite friend. His fellow-peers have attended to the persuasion of his ela quence; and have been convinced by the solidity of his reasoning. He has, long since, deserved and attained the honour of the garter. He has managed some of the greatest charges of the king. dom with known ability; and laid them down with entire disinteressment. And as he continues the exercises of these eminent virtues, (which that he may to a very old age, shall be my perpetual wish) he may be one of the greatest men that our age, or possibly our nation, has bred; and leave materials for a panegyric, not unworthy the pen of some future Pliny.
From so noble a subject as the earl of Dorset, to so mean a one as myself, is (I confess) a very Pindaric transition. I shall only say one word, and trouble the reader no further. I published my poems formerly, as Monsieur Jourdain sold his silk : he would not be thought a tradesman; lt ordered some pieces to be measured out to his particular friends. Now I give up my shop, and dispose of all my poetical goods at once: I must therefore desire, that the public would please to take them in the gross; and that every body would turn over what he does not like.
BY MR. PRIOR, 1683.
ON EXODUS 111. 14.
I AM THAT I AM.
WRITTEN 1688, AS AN EXERCISE AT ST. JOHN's
Junctos, Juno, die protege; nocte, Venus ! Scarce know'st thou how thyself began;
Scarce hast thou thought enough to prove thou art; l't petat hinc multos natio bina duces !
Yet, steel'd with study'd boldness, thou dar'st try
Through the mysterious gulph of vast immensity. From the Hymenæus Cantabrigiensis, Canta- Much thou canst there discern, much thence imbrigiæ, 1683. This copy, notwithstanding the
part. signature, is beyond a doubt the property of the Vain wretch ! suppress thy knowing pride ; facetious Matt. Prior. See the Miscellany Poems,
Mortify thy learned lust. 1781, Vol. VII. p. 93.-All our college exercises Vain are thy thoughts, while thou thyself art dust, are given up, signed only by us, with our surname. — The dean of the college, to whom, in Let Wit her sails, her oars let Wisdom lend; right of his office, Prior's verses were delivered, The helm let politic Experience guide: not knowing, or mistaking Prior's name, who was Yet cease to hope thy short-liv'd bark shall ride then a freshman, marked them with A. instead | Down spreading Fate's unnavigable tide. of M. when he gave them into the university in- What though still it farther tend, spectors for their approbation: or, probably, he
Still 'tis farther from its end ; might have made so aukward an M. that they | And, in the bosom of that boundless sea, mistook it for an A. They bear internal evidence Still finds its errour lengthen'd with its way. of their being written by one, though a freshman, With daring pride and insolent delight, used to write Latin verse; and to write it too, in a
Your oubts resolv'd you boast, your labours great school, under a great master—as was Prior's
crown'd, Dr. Busby. There is a classical terseness in the And, “ETPHKA! your God, forsooth, is fourid diction, and ease and harmony in the numbers. Incomprehensible and infinite. And the distant imitation of Martial's admirable But is he therefore found ? rain scarcher ! no: lines on the Happy Married Pair-or rather the allu. sion to that excellent little piece (for it can hardly That nothing you, the weak detiner, know.
Let your imperfect definition show be called an imitation of it) shows the taste of a master, at the years of a boy, and is not unworthy Say, why should the collected Main the name, or the fame, of Prior. KYNASTON.
Itself within itself contain ?
Why to its caverns should it sometimes creep, Then down with all thy boasted volumes, daung And with delighted silence sleep
Only rest rve the sacred one: On the lov'd bosom of its parent Deep?
Low, reverently low, Why should its numerous waters stay
Make thy stubborn knowledge bow; In coinely discipline, and fair array,
Weep out thy reason's and thy body's eyes ; Till winds and tides exert their high command ! Deject thyself, that thou may'st rise; Then prompt and ready to obey,
To look to Heaven, be blind to all below. Why do the rising surges spread Their opening ranks o'er Earth's submissive head, Then Faith, for Reason's glimmering light, shall
Her immortal perspective; Marching through different paths to different lands?
And Grace's presence Nature's loss retrieve: Why does the constant Sun,
Th n thy enliven'd soul shall see, With measur'd steps, his radiant journies run? That all the volumes of Philosophy, Why does he order the diurnal hours
With all their comments, never could invent To leave Earth's other part, and rise in ours? So politic an instrument, Why does he wake the correspondent Moon, To reach the Heaven of heavens, the high abode And fill her willing lamp with liquid light,
Where Moses places his mysterious God, Commanding her with delegated powers
As was the ladder which old Jacob rear’d, To beautify the world, and bless the night? When light divine had human darkness clear'd ; Why does each animated star
And his enlarg'd ideas found the road, Love the just limits of its proper sphere?
Wbich Faith had dictated, and angels trodo
With prudent harmony combine
PART OF THE LXXXVIITH PS.ILY. These unfathom'd wonders try :
A college EXERCISE, 1690.
Heavy, O Lord, on me thy judgments lic,
O'erwhelm'd in darkness and despair I groan; Lord of his new hypothesis he reigns.
And every place is hell; for God is gone. He reigns : how long? till some usurper rise ; O! Lord, and let thy beam control
And he too, mighty thoughtful, mighty wise, Those borrid clouds, that press my frighted soul e Studies new lines, and other circles feigns.
Save the poor wanderer from eternal night,
Just as much, perhaps, as shows
Downward I hasten to my destin'd place;
There none obtain thy aid, or sing thy praise. Were empty cant, all jargon of the schools; That he on t'other's ruin rears his throne ;
Soon I shall lie in Death's deep ocean drown'd: And shows his friend's mistake, and thence con
Is mercy there, or sweet forgiveness found? firms his own.
O save me yet, whilst on the brink I stand ;
Rebuke the storm, and waft my soul to laudo On earth, in air, amidst the seas and skies, O let her rest beneath thy wing secure, Mountainous heaps of wonders rise,
Thou that art the God of Power.
Behold the prodigal! to thee I come,
To hail my father, and to seek my home.
Nor refuge could I find, nor friend abroad, And, levelling at God his wandering guess,
Straying in vice, and destitute of God. (That feeble engine of his reasoning war, (spair)
O let thy terrours, and my anguish end! Which guides his doubts, and combats his de
Be thou my refuge and be thou my friend :
Receive the son thou didst so long reprove,
Thou that art the God of Love.
move and live.
REV. DR. F. TURVER, BISHOP OF ELY, Might to a world extend each atom there ; [star. For every drop call forth a sea, a heaven for every
Let cunning Farth her fruitful wonders hide ; It poets, ere they cloth'd their infant thought, And only lift thy staggering reason up
And the rude work to just perfection brought, To trembling Calvary's astonish'd top;
Did still some god, or godlike man invoke, Then mock thy knowlerlge, and confound thy pride, Whose mighty name their sacred silence broke: Explaining how Perfection suffer'd pain
Your goodness, sir, will easily excuse Almighty languish’d, and Eternal died:,
The bold requests of an aspiring Muse; How by her patient victor Death was slain ; Who, with your blessing, would your aid implore, And Earth profan'd, yet bless'd, with Deicide. And in her weakness justify your power.-
WHO HAD ADVISED A TRANSLATION O! PRUDEXTIUS
From your fair pattern she would strive to write, That I might see the lovely awful swain,
Whose praise excites each lyre, employs cach Then smiling and aspiring influence give,
tongue: And make the Muse and her endeavours live; Whilst only he who caus:d, dislikes the song. Claim all her future labours as your due,
To this great, humble, parting man I gain'd let every song begin and end with you:
Access, and happy for an hour I reign'd; So to the blest retreat she'll gladly go,
Happy as new-form'd man in paradise, Where the saints' palm and Muses' laurel grow; Ere sin debauch'd his innoffensive bliss; Where kindly both in glad embrace shall join, Happy as heroes after battles won, And round your brow their mingled honours twine; Prophets entranc'd, or monarcbs on the throne; Both to the virtue Jue, which could excel,
But (oh, my friend !) those joys with Daphnis As much in writing, as in living well
To them these tributary tears are due. (tlew.. So shall she proudly press the tuneful string, Anl mighty things in mighty numbers sing ; Nor doubt to strike Prudentius' daring lyre,
Was he so humble then ? those joys so vast?
Cease to admire that both so quickly past.
Anu rigid winter nips the flowery pomp of June!
Then grieve not, friend, like you, since all man-
A certain change of joy and sorrow find. skind
OX HIS DEPARTURE FROM CAMBRIDGE.
Terl, dear Alexis, tell thy Damon, why
PLAYING ON THE LUTE.
you sprung, Has great Joanna, or her greater shepherd, frown'd ? Have been the pleasing subjects of my song:
Unskill'd and young, yet something still I writ,
Of Ca'ndish' beauty join'd to Cecil's wit. See my kids browze, my lambs securely play:
But when you please to show the labouring Muse, (Ah! were their master unconcern'd as they !).
What greater theme your music can produce; No beasts (at noon I look'd) had trod my ground ; | My babbling praises I repeat no more, Nor has Joanna, or her shepherd, frown'd.
But hear, rejoice, stand silent, and adore.
The Persians thus, first gazing on the Sun,
Adinir'd how high'twas plac d, how bright it shone : Then stop the lavish fountain of your eyes,
But, as bis power was known, their thoughts were Nor let those sighs from your swolu bosom rise;
rais'd; Chase sadness, friend, and solitude away ;
And soon they worship’d, what at first they prais'd. And once again rejoice, and once again look gay.
Eliza's glory lives in Spenser's song;
That as in birth, in beauty you excel,
The Muse might dictate, and the poet tell:
Your art no other art can speak; and you, For the last glimpse of the departing Sun?
To show how well yon play, must play anew : Or what severer sentence can be given,
Your musie's power your music must disclose;
For what light is, 'tis only light that shows. Than, having seen, to be excluded Heaven?
Strange force of harmony, that thus controls
Our thoughts, and turns and sanctities our souls : None, shepherd, none
While with its utmost art your sex could move
You far above both these your God did place,
destroy; Those tears, my Damon, which I justly shed, That with your numbers you our zeal might raise, To think how great my joys; how soon they Acd. And, like himself, communicate vour jov. I told thee, friend, (now bless the shepherd's name, When to your native Heaven you shall repair, From whose dear care the kind occasion came) And with your presence crown the blessings there, That I, erer I, might happily receive (gire: Your lute may wind its strings but little bigher, The sacred wealth, which Heaven and Daphnis To tune their notes to that immortal quire.
Your art is perfect here; your numbers do,
Kindness itself too weak a charm will prove
Forc'd compliments, and formal bors,
Will show thee just above neglect : A cunning angel came, and drew the rest :
The heat with which thy lover glows, So when you play, some godhead does iinpart
Will settle into cold respect : Harmonious ail, divinity helps art;
A talking dull Platonic I shall turn : Some cherub finishes what you begun,
Learn to be civil, when I cease to burn. And to a miracle improves a tune'.
To burning Rome, when frantic Nero play'd, Then shun the ill, and know, my dear, Viewing that face, no more he had survey'd
Kindness and constaney will prove The raging faines; but, struck with strange sur- The only pillars, fit to bear prise,
So vast a weight as that of love. Confcss'd them less than those of Anna's eyes : If thou canst wish to make my flames endure, But, had he heard thy late, he soon had found Thine must be very fierce, and very pure. His rage eluded, and his crime aton'd : Thine, like Amphion's hand, had wak’d the stone,
Haste, Celia, haste, while youth invites, And from destruction callid the rising town :
Obey kind Cupid's present voice ; Malice to Music had been forc'il to vield ;
Fill every sense with soft delights,
And give thy soul a loose to joys :
Let millions of repeated blisses prove
Be mine, and only mine; take care
Thy looks, thy thoughts, thy dreams, to guide PICTURE OF SENECA DYING IN A BITH; To me alone; nor come so far,
As liking any youth b-side:
What men e'er court thee, fly them, and believe AT TIIE EARL OF EXETER'S, AT BURLEIGH-HOUSE. They're serpents all, and thou the tempted Ere. White cruel Nero only drains
So shall I court thy dearest truth, The inoral Spaniard's ebbing veins,
When beauty ceases to engage; By study worn, and slack with age,
So, thinking on thy charming youth, How dull, how thoughtless, is his rage!
I'll love it o'er again in age: Heighten'd revenge would he have took,
So time itself our raptures shall improve,
While still we wake to joy, and live to love.
TO FLEETWOOD SHEPHARD, ES2. Thy work and Seneca's remain, He still has body, still has soul,
When crowding folks, with strange ill faces, And lives and speaks, restor'd and whole. Were making legs, and begging places,
And some with patents, some with merit,
Tir'd out my good lord Dorset's spirit:
Sneaking I stood amongst the crew,
Desiring much to speak with you. Wpire blooming youth and gay delight
I waited while the clock struck thrice, Sit on thy rosy cheeks confest,
And footman brought out fifty lics; Thou hast, my dear, undoubted right
Till, patience vext, and legs grown weary, To triumph o'er this destin'd breast.
I thought it was in vain to tarry : My reason bends to what thy eyes ordain;
But did opine it might be better For I was born to love, and thou to reign.
By penny-post to send a letter; But would you meanly thus rely
Now, if you miss of this epistle,
I'm baulk'd again, and may go whistle.
My business, sir, you'll quickly guess,
Is to desire some little place;
And fair pretensions I have for 't,
Much need, and very small desert.
Whene'er I writ to you, I wanted; Take hced, my dear: youth flies apace ; I always begg'd, you always granted. As well as Cupid, Time is blind:
Now, as you took me up when little,
Gave me my learning and my vittle;
Ask'd for me, from my lord, things fitting,
Then wilt thou sigh, when in each frown Nor leave me now at six and seven,
As Sunderland has left Mun Stephen.
No family, that takes a whelp
When first he laps, and scarce can yelp.