Page images
PDF
EPUB

Excus'd, if in her cause we never stir,

(Though here ev'n Nature's self still seem'd to be Pleas'd with the strength and beauty of the outdone) ravisher ?

From such a friendship unprovok'd to fall Thus sings our þard with heat almost divine ; Is horrid, yet I wish that fact were all (call *Tis pity that his thought was not as strong as fine. Which does with too much cause ungrateful Brutus

Would it more justly did the case express,
Or that its beauty, and its grace were less.

In coolest blood he laid a long design
(Thus a nyruph sometimes we see,

Against his best and dearest friend;
Who so charming seems to be,

Did ev'n his foes in zeal excecd,
That, jealous of a soft surprise,

To spirit others up to work so black a deed;
We scarce durst trust our eager eyes)

Himself the centre where they all did join.
Such a fallacious ambush to escape,

Cæsar, meantime, fearless, and fond of him, It were but vain to plead a willing rape;

Was as industrious all the while A valiant son would be provok'd the more;

To give such ample marks of fond esteem,
A force we therefore must confess, but acted long to see with how much ease love can the wise be-

As made the gravest Romans smile
A marriage since did intervene, [before;
With all the solemn and the sacred scene:

guile.
Loud was the Hymenean song ;

He, whom thus Brutus doom'd to bleed, The violated dame' walk'd smilingly along,

Did, setting his own race aside,
And in the midst of the most sacred dance,

Nothing less for him provide,
As if enamour'd of his sight,

Than in the world's great empire to succeed :
Often she cast a kind admiring glance

Which we are bound in justice to allow,
On the bold struggier for delight;

Is all-sufficient proof to show

That Brutus did not strike for his own sake : Who afterwards appear'd so moderate and cool, As if for public good alone he sq desir'd to rule.

And if, alas ! he fail'd, 'twas only by mistake,
But, oh! that this were all which we can urge
Against a Roman of so great a soul!
And that fair truth permitted us to purge
His fact, of what appears so foul !

MISCELLANIES.
Friendship, that sacred and sublimest thing !
The noblest quality, and chiefest good,

(In this dull age scarce understood) {to sing. Inspires us with unusual warmth her injur'd rites

THE RAPTURE. Assist, ye angels! whose immortal bliss,

I yield, I yield, and can no longer stay Though more refind, chiefly consists in this. How plainly your bright thoughts to one another My eager thoughts, that force theinselves away.

Sure none inspir'd (whose heat transports them still sbine!

Above their reason, and beyond their will)
On! how ye all agree in harmony divine !
The race of mutual love with equal zeal ye run,

Can firm against the strong impulse remain ;

Censure itself were not so sharp a pain. A course, as far from any end, as when at first be

Let vulgar minds submit to vulgar sway;
gun.

What Ignorance shall think, or Malice say,
Ye saw, and smil'd upon this matchless pair,
Who still betwixt them did so many virtues share,

To meare trilles ; if the knowing few,

Who can see tunits, but can see beauties too, Some which belong to peace, and some to strife, Applaud that genius which themselves partake, Those of a calm, and of an active life, That all the excellence of human-kind

And spare the poet for the Muse's sake. Concurr'd to make of both but one united mind,

The Muse, who raises me from humble ground,

To view the vast and various worlu around; Which friendship did so fast and closely bind,

How fast I mount! in what a wondrous way Not the least cement could appear by which their souls were join'd.

I grow transported to this large survey!

I value Earth no more, and far below That tye which holds our mortal frame,

Methinks I see the busy pigmies go.
Which poor unknowing we a soul and body name,

My soul entranc'd is in a rapture brought
Seems not a composition more divine, (shine.
Of more abstruse, than all that does in friendship with fancy wing'd, I feel the purer air,

Above the common tracks of vulgar thought:
From mighty Cæsar and his boundless grace, And with contempt look down on human care
Though Brutus, once at least, his life receiv'd; Airy Ambition, ever soaring high,
Such obligations, thongh so high believ'd, Stands first expos'd to my censorious eye.
Are yet but slight in such a case.

Behold some toiling up a slippery hill,
Where friendship so possesses all the place, Where, though arriv'd, they must be toiling still :

There is no room for gratitude, since he, Some, with unsteadly feet, just fallen to ground, Who so obliges, is more pleas'd than his sav'd friend | Others at top, whose heads are turning round. can be.

To this high sphere it happens still that soine, Just in the midst of all this noble heat,

The most unfit, are forwardest to come; While their great hearts did both so kindly beat, Yet among these are princes forc'd to choose, That it amaz'd the lookers-on,

Or seek out such as would perhaps refuse.
And forc'd them to suspect a father and a son?; Favour too great is safely plac'd on none,

And soon becomes a dragon or a drone ,
I Rome.

Either remiss and negligent of all, ? Cesar was suspected to have begotten Brutus. Or else imperious and tyrannical.

The Muse inspires me now to look again, Hold, hold, impetuous Muse I would restrain And see a meaner sort of sordid men

Her over-eager heat, but all in vain ; Doating on little heaps of yellow dust;

Abandon'd to delights, she longs to rove; For that despising honour, ease, and lust.

I check'd her here, and now she flies to love ; Let other bards, expressing how it shines,

Shou's me some rural nymph, by shepherd chas'd, Describe with envy what the miser sinds;

Soon overtaken, and as soon embrac'd : Only as heaps of dirt it seems to ine,

The grass by her, as she by him, is pressid ; Where we such despicable vermin see,

For shame, my Muse, let fancy guess the rest: Who creep through filth a thousand crooked ways, At such a point fancy can never stay, Insensible of infamy or praise:

But flies beyond whatever you can say. Loaded with guilt, they still pursue their course,

Behold the silent shades, the amorous grove, Not ev'n restrain'd by love or friendship's force. The dear delights, the very act of Love.

Not to enlarge on such an obvious thought, This is his lowest sphere, his country scenc, Behold their folly, which transcends their fault! Where Love is humble, and his fare but mean; Alas! their cares and cautions only tend

Yet springing up without the help of art, To gain the means, and then to lose the end. Leaves a sincerer relish in the heart, Like heroes in romances, still in sight

More healthfully, though not so finely fed, For mistresses that yield them no delight.

And better thrives than where more nicely bred. This, of all vice, does most debase the mind, But 'tis in courts where most he makes a show, Gold is itself th' allay to human-kind.

And, high enthron'd, governs the world below; Oh, happy times! when no such thing as coin For though in histories learn'd ignorance E’er tempted friends to part, or foes to join ! Attributes all to cunning or to chance, Cattle or corn, among those harmless men, Love will in those disguises often smile, Was all their wealth, the gold and silver then : And knows the cause was kindness all the whila Corn was too bulky to corrupt a tribe,

What story, place, or person, cannot prove And bellowing herds wonld have betray'd the bribe. The boundless influence of mighty Love? Ev'n traffic now is intercourse of ill,

Where'er the Sun can vigorous heat inspire, And every wind brings a new mischief still ; Both sexes glow, and languish with desire. By trade we flourish in our leaves and fruit, The weary'd swain, fast in the arms of sleep, But avarice and excess devour the root.

Love can awake, and often sighing keep; Thus far the Muse unwillingly has been

And busy gown-men, by fond love disguis'd, Fix'd on the dull, less happy sorts of sin ;

Will leisure find to make themselves despis'd. But now, more pleas'd, she views the different ways The proudest kings submit to Beauty's sway; Of luxury, and all its charms surveys.

Beauty itself, a greater prince than they, Dear Luxury! thou soft, but sure deceit!

Lies sometimes languishing with all its pride Rise of the mean, and ruin of the great!

By a belov'd, though fickle lover's side. Thou sure presage of ill-approaching fates, I mean to slight the soft enchanting charm, The bane of empires, and the change of states ! But, oh! my head and heart are both too warm. Armies in vain resist thy mighty power ;

I doat on woinan-kind with all their faults, Not the worst conduct would confound them Love turns my satire into softest thoughts; more.

Of all that passion which our peace destroys Thus Rome herself, while o'er the world she flew, Instead of mischief, I describe the joys. And did by virtue all that world subdue,

But short will be his reign (I fear too short), Was by her own victorious arms oppress'd,

And present cares shall be my future sport. And catch'd infection from the conquer'd East; Then Love's bright torch put out, his arrows broke, Whence all those vices came, which soon devour Loose from kind chains, and from th' engaging yoke, The best foundations of renown and power.

To all fond thoughts I'll sing such counter-charms, But oh! what need have we abroad to roam,

The fair shall listen in their lovers arms. Who feel too much the sad effects at home,

Now the enthusiastic fit is spent, Of wild excess! which we so plainly find

I feel my weakness, and too late repent. Decays the body, and impairs the mind.

As they who walk in dreams oft climb too high But yet grave fops must not presume from hence For sense to follow with a waking eye ; To slight the sacred pleasures of the sense : And in such wild attempts are blindly bold, Our appetites are Nature's laws, and given Which afterwards they tremble to behold : Under the broad authentic seal of Heaven.

So I review these sallies of my pen, Let pedants wrangle, and let bigots fight,

And modest Reason is return'd again ; To put restraint on innocent delight,

My confidence I curse, my fate accuse,
But Heaven and Nature's always in the right; Scarce hold from censuring the sacred Muse.
They would not draw poor wretched mortals in, No wretched poet of the railing pit,
Or give desires that shall be doom'd for sin. No critic curs'd with the wrong side of wit,
Yet, that in height of harmless joy we may Is more severe from ignorance and spite,
Last to old age, and never lose a day,

Than I with judgment against all I write.
Amidst our pleasures we ourselves should spare,
And manage all with temperance and care.
The gods forbid but we sometimes may steep
Our joys in wine, and lull our cares asleep :
It raises Nature, ripens sceds of worth,

MR. HOBBES, AND HIS WRITINGS.
As moistening pictures calls the colours forth;
But if the varnish we too oft apply,

Such is the mode of these censorious days, Alas! like colours, we grow faint and die. The art is lost of knowing how to praise ;

ON

ON THE DEATH OF HENRY TI'RCELL.

THE MIRACLE... ON THE DEATH OF HENRY PURCELL. 97 Poets are envious now, and fools alone

For how could such a wretch succeed,
Adenire at wit, because themselves have none. But that, alas, it was decreed?
Yet whatsoe'er is by vain critics thought,
Praising is harder much than finding fault;
Ja homely pieces ev'n the Dutch excel,
Italiaos only can draw beauty well.
As strings, alike wound up, so equal prove,

THE MIRACLE, 1707.
That one resounding makes the other move;

Merit they hate, and wit they slight;
From such a cause our satires please so much,

They neither act, nor reason right,
We sympathize with each ill-natur'd touch;
And as the sharp infection spreads about,

And nothing mind but pence.
The reader's malice helps the writer out

Vaskilful they victorious are,

Conduct a kingdom without care, To blame, is easy; to commend, is bold;

A council without sense.
Yet, if the Muse inspires it, who can hold ?

So Moses once and Joshua,
To merit we are bound to give applause,
Content to suffer in so just a cause.

And that virago Debora,
While in dark ignorance we lay, afraid

Bestrid poor Israel :
Of fancies, ghosts, and every empty shade,

Like reverence pay to these! for who
Great Hobbes appeard, and by plain reason's light could ride a nation as they do,
Put such fantastic forins to shameful Bight.

Without a miracle?
Fond is their fear, who think men needs must be
To vice enslav'd, if from vain terrours free ;
The wise and good morality will guide,
And superstition all the world beside.

ODE
In other authors, though the thought be good,
'Tis not sometimes so easily understood;
That jewel oft' unpolish'd has remain'd;
Sonne words should be left out, and some explain'd; Joyful they few, singing and soaring through the

Good angels snatch'd him eagerly on high ; So that in search of sense, we either stray,

sky, Or else grow weary in so rough a way. But here sweet eloquence does always smile,

Teaching his new-fledg'd soul te fly; In such a choice, yet unaffected style,

While we, alas ! lamenting lie.

He went musing all along,
As must both knowledge, and delight impart,

Composing new their heavenly song:
The force of reason, with the flowers of art;
Clear as a beautiful transparent skin,

A while his skilful notes loud hallelujahs drown'd; Which never hides the blood, yet holds it in:

But soon they ceas'd their own, to catch his pleas. Like a delicious stream it ever ran,

ing sound. As smooth as woman, but as strong as man.

David himself improv'd the harmony, Bacon himself, whose universal wit

David, in sacred story so renown'd

No less for music, than for poetry ! Does admiration through the world beget,

Genius sublime in either art! Scarce more his age's ornament is thought,

Crown'd with applause surpassing all desert!
Or greater credit to his country brought.

A man just after God's own heart!
While Pame is young, too weak to fly away,
Malice pursues her, like some bird of prey;

If human cares are lawful to the blest,
But once on wing, then all the quarrels cease ;

Already settled in eternal rest;

Needs must he wish, that Purcell only might
Enry herself is glad to be at peace,

Have liv'd to set what he vouchsaf'd to write;
Gives over, weary'd with so high a flight,
Above her reach, and scarce within her sight.

For, sure, the noble thirst of fame

With the frail body never dies; Hobbes, to this happy pitch arriv'd at last,

But with the soul ascends the skies,
Might have look'd duwn with pride on dangers past:

From whence at first it came.
But such the frailty is of human-kind,
Men toil for Pame, which no man lives to find;

"Tis sure no little proof we have

That part of us survives the grave, Long ripening under ground this China ljes;

And in our fame below still bears a share: Fame bears no fruit, till the vain planter dies.

Why is the future else so mnch our care,
Thus Nature, tir'd with his unusual length

Ev'n in our latest moment of despair?
Of life, which put her to her utmost strength,
Such stock of wit unable to supply,

And death despis'd for fame by all the wise and

brave? To spare berself, was glad to let him die.

Oh, all ye blest harmonious choir !
Who Power Almighty only love, and only that ad-

miret
Dook down with pity from your peaceful bower,

On this sad isle perplex'd,
WRITTEN OVER A GATE.

And ever, ever vex'd
Hexe lives a man, who, by relation,

With anxious care of trifles, wealth and power. Depends upon predestination ;

In our rough minds due reverence infuse For which the learned and the wise

For sweet melodious sounds, and each harmonious His understanding much despise :

Muse. But I pronounce with loyal tongue.

Music exalts man's nature, and inspires Him in the right, them in the wrong ;

High elevated thoughts, or gentle, kind desires. VOL X

H

One moral, or a mere well-natur'd deed,
ON THE LOSS OF AN ONLY SON,

Can all desert in sciences exceed.

'Tis great delight to laugh at some men's ways; ROBERT MARQUIS OF NORMANBY.

But a much greater to give merit praise.
Our morning's gay and shining ;

The days our joys declare ;
At evening no repining;
And night's all void of care.

STANZAS.
A fond transported mother

Where'er my foolish bent to public good, Was often heard to cry,

Or fonder zeal for some misguided prince, Oh, where is such an other

Shall make my dangerous humour understood, So bless'd by Heaven as I?

For changing ministers for men of sense : A child at first was wanting ;

When, vainly proud to show my public care, Now such a son is sent,

And ev'n asham'd to see three nations fool'd, As parents most lamenting

I shall no longer bear a wretched share In him would find content.

In ruling ill, or being over-rul'd : A child of whom kind Heaven

Then, as old lechers in a winter's night Not only hope bestows,

To yawning hearers all their pranks disclose ; But has already given

And what decay deprives them of delight, Him all our hopes propose.

Supply with vain endeavours to impose : The happy sire's possessing

Just so shall I as idly entertain His share in such a boy,

Some stripling patriots, fond of seeming wise; Adds still a greater blessing

Tell how I still could great employments gain, To all my other joy.

Without concealing truths, or whispering lies! But ah! this shiny weather

Boast of succeeding in my country's cause Became too hot at last ;

Ev'n against some almost too high to blame ; Black clouds began to gather,

Whom, when advanc'd beyond the reach of laws, And all the sky o'ercast.

I oft' had ridiculd to sense and shame: So fierce a fever rages,

Say, I resisted the most potent fraud ; We all fie drown'd in tears;

But friendless merit openly approv'd; And dismal sad presages

And that I was above the being awd Come thundering in our ears.

Not only by my prince, but those hc lov'd: The doubts that made us languish

Who knows but my example then may please Did worse, far worse than kill.

Such noble, hopeful spirits as appear Yet, oh, with all their anguish,

Willing to slight their pleasures and their ease, Would we had doubted still !

For fame and honour? till at last they hear, But why so much digression,

After much trouble bome, and danger run, This fatal loss to show?

The crown assisted, and my country serv'd ; Alas, there's no expression

Without good fortune I had been undone, Can tell a parent's woc !

Without a good estate I might have starv'd.

THE ELECTION OF A POET LAUREAT

IN M.DCC.XIX.

ON MR. POPE, AND HIS POEMS.
With age decay'd, with courts and business tir'd,
Caring for nothing but what ease requir'd,
Too serious now a wanton Muse to court,
And from the critics safe arriv'd in port;
I little thought of lanching forth again,
Ainidst adventurous rovers of the pen ;
And, after some small undeserv'd success,
Thus hazarding at last to make it less.

Encoiniums suit not this censorious time,
Itself a subject for satiric rhyme;
Ignorance honour'd, Wit and Worth defam'd,
Folly triumphant, and ev'n Homer blam'd.
But to this genius, join'd with so much art,
Such various learning mix'd in every part,
Poets are bound a loud applause to pay;
Apollo bids it, and they must obey.

And yet so wondrous, so sublime a thing,
As the great Mjad, scarce could make me sing ;
Except I justly could at once commend
A good companion, and as firm a friend.

A Famous assembly was summond of late :
To crown a new Laureat, came Phabus in state,
With all that Montfaucon himself could desire,
His bow, laurel, harp, and abundance of fire.
At Bartlemew-fair ne'er did bullies so justle,
No country-election o'er made such a bustle:
From garret, mint, tavern, they all post away,
Some thirsting for sack, some ambitious of bay.
All came with full contidence, flush'd with vain

hope,
Froin Cibber and Durfey, to Prior and Pope.
Pha:bus smikd on these last, but yet ne'ertheless,
Said, he hop'd they had got enough by the press.
With a huge inountain-load of heroical lumber,
Which from Tonson to Curll every press had groau'd

under,

name.

Came Blackmore, and cry'd, “Look, all these are And so spying one who came only to gaze, my lays,

A hater of verse, and despiser of plays; Bat at present I beg you'd but read my Essays." To him in great form, without any delay, Lampooners and critics rush'd in like a tide,

('Though a zealous fanatic) presented the bay, Stern Dennis and Gildon came first side-by side. All the wits stood astonish'd at hearing the god Apollo confess'd that their lashes had stings, So gravely pronounce an election so odd; But beadles and hangmen were never chose kings. And though Prior and Popc only laugh'd in his face, Steele long had so cunningly manag'd the town,

Most others were ready w sjuk in the place. He could not be blam'd for expecting the crown; Yet some thought the vacancy open was kept, Apolo demurr'd as to granting his wish,

Concluding the bigot would never accept : But wish'd him good luck in his project of fish. But the hypocrite told them, he well understood, Lame Congreve, unable such things to endure,

Though the function was wicked, the stipend was Of Apollo begg'd either a crown or a cure;

good. To refuse such a writer, Apollo was loth,

At last in rush'd Eusden, and cry'd, “ Who shall And almost inclin'd to have granted him both.

have it, When Buckingham came, he scarce card to be Apollo begg'd pardon, and granted his claim;

But I, the true laureat, to whom the king gave it?" seen, Till Phabus desir'd his old friend to walk in;

But vow'd though, till then he ne'er heard of his
But a laureat peer had never been known,
The commoners claim'd that place as their own.
Yet if the kind god had been ne'er so inclin'd
To break an old rule, yet he well knew his mind,
Who of such preferinent would only make sport,

ON THE TIMES.
And laugh'd at all suitors for places at court.
Notwithstanding this law,yet Lansdowne was nam'd, Hear, for once, a poet preach.

Since in vain our parsons teach,
But Apollo with kindness his indolence blam'd,

Vice has lost its very name, And said he would choose him, but that he should

Skill and cozenage thought the same; fear

Only playing well the game.
An employment of trouble he never could bear.

Foul contrivances we see
A prelate' for wit and for cloquence fam'd, Call'd but ingenuity:
Apollo soon miss'd, and he needs not be nam’d; Ample fortunes often made
Since, anidst a whole bench, of which some are so Out of frauds in every trade,
bright,

Which an aukward child afford
No one of them shines so learn'd and polite. Enough to wed the greatest lord.

The miser starves to raise a son, To Shippen, Apollo was cold with respect,

But, if once the fool is gone, Since he for the state could the Muses neglect :

Years of thrift scarce serve a day, But said, in a greater assembly he shin'd,

Rake-hell squanders all away.
And places were things he had ever declin'd.

Husbands seeking for a place,
Trapp, Young, and Vanbrugh, expected reward, Or toiling for their pay;
For some things writ well : but Apollo declar'd, While their wives undo their race
That one was too fat, the other too rough,

By petticoats and play:
And the third sure already had places enough. Breeding boys to drink and Jice,

Carrying girls to comedies,
Pert Budgell came next, and, demanding the bays, Where mamma's intrigues are shown,
Said, “Those works must be good, which had Addi- Which ere long will be their own.
son's praise;"

Having first at sermon slept,
But Apollo reply'd, “Child Eustace, 'tis known, l'edious day is weekly kept
Most authors will praise whatsoever's their own.'

By worse hypocrites than men, When Philips came forth, as starch as a Quaker,

Till Monday comes to cheat again. Whose simple profession's a Pastoral-maker;

Ev'n among the noblest-born,

Moral virtue is a scorn;
Apoilo advis'd him from playhouse to keep,
And pipe to nought else but his dog and his sheep.

Gratitude, but rare at best,

And fidelity a jest.
Haghes, Fenton, and Gay, came last in the train,

All our wit but party-mocks,
Too modest to ask for the crown they would gain: All our wisdom raising stocks :
Phabus thought them too bashful, and said they counted folly to defend
Fould need

Sinking side, or falling friend,
Mare boldness, if ever they hop'd to succeed. Long an officer may serve,

Prais'd and wounded, he may starre :
Apollo, now driren to a cursed quandary,
Was wishing for Swift, or the fam'd lady Mary:

No receipt, to make him rise,
Nay, had honest Tom Southerne but been within

Like inventing loyal lies. call

We, whose ancestors have shin'd

In arts of peace, and fields of fame,
But at last he grew wanton, and laugh'd at them all :

To ill and idleness inclin'd,
Dr. Atterbury, bishop of Rochester.

Now are grown a public shaine.

« PreviousContinue »