A collection of poems in six volumes. By several hands: [pt.2]
POPE, to whoſe reed beneath the beechen ſhade,
The Nymphs of Thames a pleas'd attention paid;
While yet thy Muſe, content with humbler praiſe,
Warbled in Windſor's grove her ſylvan lays,
Though now ſublimely borne on Homer's wing,
Of glorious wars, and godlike chiefs ſhe ſing:
Wilt thou with me re-viſit once again
The cryſtal fountain, and the flow'ry plain?
The various changes of a lover's ſtate;
And while each turn of paſſion I purſue,
Ask thy own heart if what I tell be true?
To the green margin of a lonely wood,
Whoſe pendent ſhades o'erlook'd a ſilver flood,
Young Damon came, unknowing where he ſtray'd,
Full of the image of his beauteous maid:
His flock far off, unfed, untended lay,
To ev'ry ſavage a defenceleſs prey;
No ſenſe of int'reſt could their maſter move,
And ev'ry care ſeem'd trifling now but Love.
Awhile in penſive ſilence he remain'd,
But tho' his voice was mute his looks complain'd;
At length the thoughts within his boſom pent,
Forc'd his unwilling tongue to give them vent.
Ye Nymphs, he cry'd, ye Dryads, who ſo long
Have favour'd Damon, and inſpir'd his ſong;
For whom, retir'd, I ſhun the gay reſorts
Of ſportful cities, and of pompous courts;
In vain I bid the reſtleſs world adieu,
To ſeek tranquillity and peace with you.
Tho' wild Ambition and deſtructive Rage,
No Factions here can form, no Wars can wage;
Tho' Envy frowns not on your humble ſhades,
Nor Calumny your innocence invades,
Yet cruel Love, that troubler of the breaſt,
Too often violates your boaſted reſt;
And taints with bitterneſs each rural ſweet.
Ah luckleſs day! when firſt with fond ſurprize
On Delia's face I fix'd my eager eyes;
Then in wild tumults all my ſoul was toſt:
Then reaſon, liberty, at once were loſt:
And ev'ry wiſh, and thought, and care was gone,
But what my heart employ'd on her alone.
Then too ſhe ſmil'd: can ſmiles our peace deſtroy,
Thoſe lovely children of Content and Joy?
How can ſoft pleaſure and tormenting woe,
From the ſame ſpring at the ſame moment flow?
Unhappy boy, theſe vain enquiries ceaſe,
Thought could not guard, nor will reſtore thy peace:
Indulge the frenzy that thou muſt endure,
And ſooth the pain thou know'ſt not how to cure.
Come, flatt'ring Memory, and tell my heart
How kind ſhe was, and with what pleaſing art
She ſtrove its fondeſt wiſhes to obtain,
Confirm her pow'r, and faſter bind my chain.
If on the green we danc'd, a mirthful band,
To me alone ſhe gave her willing hand;
Her partial taſte, if e'er I touch'd the lyre,
Still in my ſong found ſomething to admire.
By none but her my crook with flow'rs was crown'd,
By none but her my brows with ivy bound:
The world that Damon was her choice believ'd,
The world, alas! like Damon, was deceiv'd!
In words as ſoft as paſſion cou'd inſpire,
Coldly ſhe heard, and full of ſcorn withdrew,
Without one pitying glance, or ſweet adieu.
The frighted hind, who ſees his ripen'd corn
Up from the roots by ſudden tempeſts torn,
Whoſe faireſt hopes deſtroy'd and blaſted lie,
Feels not ſo keen a pang of grief as I.
Ah, how have I deſerv'd, inhuman maid,
To have my faithful ſervice thus repay'd?
Were all the marks of kindneſs I receiv'd,
But dreams of joy, that charm'd me and deceiv'd?
Or did you only nurſe my growing love,
That with more pain I might your hatred prove?
Sure guilty treachery no place cou'd find
In ſuch a gentle, ſuch a gen'rous mind:
A maid brought up the woods and wilds among,
Could ne'er have learnt the art of courts ſo young:
No; let me rather think her anger feign'd,
Still let me hope my Delia may be gain'd;
'Twas only modeſty that ſeem'd diſdain,
And her heart ſuffer'd when ſhe gave me pain.
Pleas'd with this flatt'ring thought the love-ſick boy
Felt the faint dawnings of a doubtful joy;
Back to his flock more cheerful he return'd,
When now the ſetting ſun leſs fiercely burn'd:
Blue vapours roſe along the mazy rills,
And light's laſt bluſhes ting'd the diſtant hills.
HEar, DODDINGTON, the notes that ſhepherds ſing,
Notes ſoft as thoſe of nightingales in ſpring:
Nor Pan, nor Phoebus tune the ſhepherd's reed:
From Love alone our tender lays proceed:
Love warms our fancy with enliv'ning fires,
Refines our genius, and our verſe inſpires:
From him Theocritus, on Enna's plains,
Learnt the wild ſweetneſs of his Doric ſtrains;
Virgil by him was taught the moving art,
That charm'd each ear, and ſoften'd ev'ry heart:
O would'ſt thou quit the pride of courts, and deign
To dwell with us upon the vocal plain,
Thee too his pow'r ſhould reach, and ev'ry ſhade
Reſound the praiſes of thy fav'rite maid;
Thy pipe our rural concert wou'd improve,
And we ſhould learn of thee to pleaſe and love.
Damon no longer ſought the ſilent ſhade,
No more in unfrequented paths he ſtray'd,
But call'd the nymphs to hear his jocund ſong,
And told his joy to all the ruſtic throng.
Bleſt be the hour, he ſaid, that happy hour▪
When firſt I own'd my Delia's gentle pow'r;
Then gloomy Diſcontent and pining Care
Forſook my breaſt, and left ſoft wiſhes there:
Soft wiſhes there they left, and gay deſires,
Delightful languors, and tranſporting fires.
Where yonder limes combine to form a ſhade,
Theſe eyes firſt gaz'd upon the charming maid;
There ſhe appear'd, on that auſpicious day,
When ſwains their ſportive rites to Bacchus pay:
She led the dance—heav'ns! with what grace ſhe mov'd!
Who cou'd have ſeen her then, and not have lov'd?
I ſtrove not to reſiſt ſo ſweet a flame,
But glory'd in a happy captive's name;
Nor wou'd I now, cou'd Love permit, be free,
But leave to brutes their ſavage liberty.
And art thou then, fond ſwain, ſecure of joy?
Can no reverſe thy flattering bliſs deſtroy?
Has treach'rous Love no torment yet in ſtore?
Or haſt thou never prov'd his fatal pow'r?
Whence flow'd thoſe tears that late bedew'd thy cheek?
Why ſigh'd thy heart as if it ſtrove to break?
Why were the deſart rocks invok'd to hear
The plaintive accents of thy ſad deſpair?
From Delia's rigour all thoſe pains aroſe,
Delia, who now compaſſionates my woes,
Who bids me hope; and in that charming word
Has peace and tranſport to my ſoul reſtor'd.
Begin, my pipe, begin the gladſome lay;
A kiſs from Delia ſhall thy muſick pay;
A kiſs obtain'd 'twixt ſtruggling and conſent,
Giv'n with forc'd anger, and diſguis'd content:
No laureat wreaths I aſk to bind my brows,
Such as the Muſe on lofy bards beſtows;
Let other ſwains to praiſe or fame aſpire:
I from her lips my recompence require.
Hark how the bees with murmurs fill the plain,
While ev'ry flow'r of ev'ry ſweet they drain:
See, how beneath yon hillock's ſhady ſteep,
The ſhelter'd herds on flow'ry couches ſleep;
Nor bees, nor herds, are half ſo bleſt as I,
If with my fond deſires my Love comply:
From Delia's lips a ſweeter honey flows,
And on her boſom dwells more ſoft repoſe.
Ah how, my dear, ſhall I deſerve thy charms?
What gift can bribe thee to my longing arms?
A bird for thee in ſilken bands I hold,
Whoſe yellow plumage ſhines like poliſh'd gold;
From diſtant iſles the lovely ſtranger came,
And bears the Fortunate Canaries name;
In all our woods none boaſts ſo ſweet a note,
Not even the nightingale's melodious throat.
Accept of this; and cou'd I add beſide
What wealth the rich Peruvian mountains hide;
If all the gems in Eaſtern rocks were mine,
On thee alone their glitt'ring pride ſhou'd ſhine.
Phoebus himſelf ſhall leave th' Aonian grove;
The tuneful Nine, who never ſue in vain,
Shall come ſweet ſuppliants for their fav'rite ſwain.
For him each blue-ey'd Naiad of the flood,
For him each green-hair'd ſiſter of the wood,
Whom oft beneath fair Cynthia's gentle ray
His muſick calls to dance the night away.
And you, fair nymphs, companions of my Love;
With whom ſhe joys the cowſlip meads to rove,
I beg you recommend my faithful flame,
And let her often hear her ſhepherd's name;
Shade all my faults from her enquiring ſight,
And ſhew my merits in the faireſt light;
My pipe your kind aſſiſtance ſhall repay,
And ev'ry friend ſhall claim a diff'rent lay.
But ſee! in yonder glade the heav'nly fair
Enjoys the fragrance of the breezy air—
Ah, thither let me fly with eager feet;
Adieu, my pipe, I go my Love to meet—
O may I find her as we parted laſt,
And may each future hour be like the paſt!
So ſhall the whiteſt lamb theſe paſtures feed,
Propitious Venus, on thy altars bleed.
THE gods, O WALPOLE, give no bliſs ſincere:
Wealth is diſturb'd by care, and pow'r by fear.
Of all the paſſions that employ the mind,
In gentle Love the ſweeteſt joys we find;
Yet e'en thoſe joys dire Jealouſy moleſts,
And blackens each fair image in our breaſts.
O may the warmth of thy too tender heart
Ne'er feel the ſharpneſs of his venom'd dart;
For thy own quiet think thy miſtreſs juſt,
And wiſely take thy happineſs on truſt.
Begin, my Muſe, and Damon's woes rehearſe,
In wildeſt numbers and diſorder'd verſe.
On a romantick mountain's airy head
(While browzing goats at eaſe around him fed)
Anxious he lay, with jealous cares oppreſs'd;
Diſtruſt and anger lab'ring in his breaſt—
The vale beneath a pleaſing proſpect yields,
Of verdant meads and cultivated fields;
Through theſe a river rolls its winding flood,
Adorn'd with various tufts of riſing wood;
A caſtle there the op'ning plain commands,
Beyond, a town with glitt'ring ſpires is crown'd,
And diſtant hills the wide horizon bound:
So charming was the ſcene, awhile the ſwain
Beheld delighted, and forgot his pain;
But ſoon the ſtings infix'd within his heart,
With cruel force renew'd their raging ſmart:
His flow'ry wreath, which long with pride he wore,
The gift of Delia, from his brows he tore:
Then cry'd; May all thy charms, ungrateful maid,
Like theſe neglected roſes droop and fade;
May angry Heav'n deform each guilty grace,
That triumphs now in that deluding face;
Thoſe alter'd looks may ev'ry ſhepherd fly,
And ev'n thy Daphnis hate thee worſe than I.
Say, thou inconſtant, what has Damon done,
To loſe the heart his tedious pains had won;
Tell me what charms you in my rival find,
Againſt whoſe pow'r no ties have ſtrength to bind;
Has he, like me, with long obedience ſtrove
To conquer your diſdain, and merit love?
Has he with tranſport ev'ry ſmile ador'd,
And dy'd with grief at each ungentle word?
Ah, no! the conqueſt was obtain'd with eaſe:
He pleas'd you, by not ſtudying to pleaſe:
His careleſs indolence your pride alarm'd;
And had he lov'd you more, he leſs had charm'd.
O pain to think, another ſhall poſſeſs
Thoſe balmy lips which I was wont to preſs:
Another on her panting breaſt ſhall lie,
And catch ſweet madneſs from her ſwimming eye!—
I ſaw their friendly flocks together feed,
I ſaw them hand in hand walk o'er the mead;
Wou'd my clos'd eyes had ſunk in endleſs night,
Ere I was doom'd to bear that hateful ſight!
Where-e'er they paſs'd, be blaſted every flow'r,
And hungry wolves their helpleſs flocks devour.—
Ah wretched ſwain, could no examples move
Thy heedleſs heart to ſhun the rage of love?
Haſt thou not hear'd how poor * Menalcas dy'd
A victim to Parthenia's fatal pride?
Dear was the youth to all the tuneful plain,
Lov'd by the nymphs, by Phoebus lov'd in vain:
Around his tomb their tears the Muſes paid,
And all things mourn'd but the relentleſs maid.
Wou'd I cou'd die like him and be at peace,
Theſe torments in the quiet grave would ceaſe;
There my vext thoughts a calm repoſe wou'd find.
And reſt as if my Delia ſtill were kind.
No, let me live her falſhood to upbraid;
Some god perhaps my juſt revenge will aid.—
Alas what aid, fond ſwain, would'ſt thou receive?
Cou'd thy heart bear to ſee its Delia grieve?
The ſlighteſt part of hapleſs Damon's woe:
I aſk no vengeance from the pow'rs above;
All I implore is never more to love—
Let me this fondneſs from my boſom tear,
Let me forget that e'er I thought her fair.
Come, cool Indifference, and heal my breaſt;
Wearied, at length, I ſeek thy downy reſt:
No turbulence of paſſion ſhall deſtroy
My future eaſe with flatt'ring hopes of joy.
Hear, mighty Pan, and all ye Sylvans hear,
What by your guardian deities I ſwear;
No more my eyes ſhall view her fatal charms,
No more I'll court the trayt'reſs to my arms;
Not all her arts my ſteady ſoul ſhall move,
And ſhe ſhall find that Reaſon conquers Love.—
Scarce had he ſpoke, when through the lawn below
Alone he ſaw the beauteous Delia go;
At once tranſported he forgot his vow,
(Such perjuries the laughing gods allow)
Down the ſteep hills with ardent haſte he flew;
He found her kind, and ſoon believ'd her true.
COBHAM, to thee this rural lay I bring,
Whoſe guiding judgment gives me ſkill to ſing;
Though far unequal to thoſe poliſh'd ſtrains,
With which thy Congreve charm'd the liſt'ning plains,
Yet ſhall its muſick pleaſe the partial ear,
And ſooth thy breaſt with thoughts that once were dear;
Recall thoſe years which time has thrown behind,
When ſmiling Love with Honour ſhar'd thy mind:
The ſweet remembrance ſhall thy youth reſtore,
Fancy again ſhall run paſt pleaſures o'er,
And while in Stowe's enchanting walks you ſtray,
This theme may help to cheat the ſummer's day.
Beneath the covert of a myrtle wood,
To Venus rais'd a ruſtick altar ſtood,
To Venus and to Hymen, there combin'd,
In friendly league to favour humankind.
With wanton Cupids in that happy ſhade,
The gentle Virtues, and mild Wiſdom play'd.
Nor there in ſprightly Pleaſure's genial train,
Lurk'd ſick Diſguſt, or late repenting Pain,
But Love conſenting ty'd the bliſsful bands.
Thither with glad devotion Damon came,
To thank the pow'rs who bleſs'd his faithful flame;
Two milk-white doves he on their altar laid,
And thus to both his grateful homage paid:
Hail, bounteous god, before whoſe hallow'd ſhrine
My Delia vow'd to be for ever mine,
While glowing in her cheeks, with tender love,
Sweet virgin modeſty reluctant ſtrove:
And hail to thee, fair queen of young deſires,
Long ſhall my heart preſerve thy pleaſing fires,
Since Delia now can all its warmth return,
As fondly languiſh, and as fiercely burn.
O the dear gloom of laſt propitious night!
O ſhade more charming than the faireſt light!
Then in my arms I claſp'd the melting maid,
Then all my pains one moment overpaid;
Then firſt the ſweet exceſs of bliſs I prov'd,
Which none can taſte but who like me have lov'd,
Thou too, bright goddeſs, once in Ida's grove,
Didſt not diſdain to meet a ſhepherd's love,
With him while friſking lambs around you play'd,
Conceal'd you ſported in the ſecret ſhade;
Scarce cou'd Anchiſes' raptures equal mine,
And Delia's beauties only yield to thine.
What are you now, my once moſt valu'd joys,
Inſipid trifles all, and childiſh toys—
Nor Colin's talk could pleaſe like Delia's kiſs.
Ye Muſes, ſkill'd in ev'ry winning art,
Teach me more deeply to engage her heart;
Ye Nymphs, to her your freſheſt roſes bring,
And crown her with the pride of all the ſpring;
On all her days let health and peace attend;
May ſhe ne'er want, nor ever loſe a friend;
May ſome new pleaſure ev'ry hour employ;
But let her Damon be her higheſt joy.
With thee, my Love, for ever will I ſtay,
All night careſs thee, and admire all day;
In the ſame field our mingled flocks we'll feed,
To the ſame ſpring our thirſty heifers lead,
Together will we ſhare the harveſt toils,
Together preſs the vine's autumnal ſpoils,
Delightful ſtate, where peace and love combine,
To bid our tranquil days unclouded ſhine!
Here limpid fountains roll through flow'ry meads,
Here riſing foreſts lift their verdant heads;
Here let me wear my careleſs life away,
And in thy arms inſenſibly decay.
When late old age our heads ſhall ſilver o'er,
And our ſlow pulſes dance with joy no more;
When time no longer will thy beauties ſpare,
And only Damon's eye ſhall think thee fair;
Then may the gentle hand of welcome death,
At one ſoft ſtroke deprive us both of breath;
And the ſame cypreſs both our aſhes ſhade.
Perhaps ſome friendly Muſe, in tender verſe,
Shall deign our faithful paſſion to rehearſe,
And future ages with juſt envy mov'd,
Be told how Damon and his Delia lov'd.
'TWAS night; and FLAVIA to her room retir'd,
With ev'ning chat and ſober reading tir'd;
There melancholy, penſive, and alone,
She meditates on the forſaken town:
On her rais'd arm reclin'd her drooping head,
She ſigh'd, and thus in plaintive accents ſaid:
"Ah, what avails it to be young and fair,
"To move with negligence, to dreſs with care?
"What worth have all the charms our pride can boaſt,
"If all in envious ſolitude are loſt?
"Where none admire, 'tis uſeleſs to excel;
"Where none are Beaus, 'tis vain to be a Belle:
"Both moſt are valu'd where they beſt are known.
"With ev'ry grace of nature, or of art,
"We cannot break one ſtubborn country heart:
"The brutes, inſenſible, our pow'r defy:
"To love exceeds a 'Squire's capacity.
"The town, the court, is Beauty's proper ſphere;
"That is our heav'n, and we are angels There:
"In that gay circle thouſand Cupids rove,
"The court of Britain is the court of Love.
"How has my conſcious heart with triumph glow'd,
"How have my ſparkling eyes their tranſport ſhew'd,
"At each diſtinguiſh'd birth-night ball, to ſee
"The homage due to empire, paid to me!
"When ev'ry eye was fix'd on me alone,
"And dreaded mine more than the monarch's frown:
"When rival ſtateſmen for my favour ſtrove,
"Leſs jealous in their pow'r, than in their love.
"Chang'd is the ſcene; and all my glories die,
"Like flow'rs tranſplanted to a colder ſky;
"Loſt is the dear delight of giving pain,
"The tyrant joy of hearing ſlaves complain.
"In ſtupid indolence my life is ſpent,
"Supinely calm, and dully innocent:
"Unbleſt I wear my uſeleſs time away;
"Sleep (wretched maid!) all night, and dream all day;
"Go at ſet hours to dinner and to prayer;
"For dulneſs ever muſt be regular.
"Now without ſcandal drink inſipid tea;
"Or in the garden breathe the country air,
"Secure from meeting any Tempter there:
"From books to work, from work to books I rove,
"And am (alas!) at leiſure to improve!
"Is this the life a Beauty ought to lead?
"Were eyes ſo radiant only made to read?
"Theſe fingers, at whoſe touch ev'n age wou'd glow,
"Are theſe of uſe for nothing but to ſew?
"Sure erring Nature never could deſign
"To form a houſewife in a mould like mine!
"O Venus, queen and guardian of the fair,
"Attend propitious to thy vot'ry's pray'r:
"Let me reviſit the dear town again:
"Let me be ſeen!—cou'd I that wiſh obtain,
"All other wiſhes my own pow'r would gain.
PARENT of arts, whoſe ſkilful hand firſt taught
The tow'ring pile to riſe, and form'd the plan
With fair proportion; architect divine,
Minerva, thee to my advent'rous lyre
Aſſiſtant I invoke, the means to ſing
BLENHEMIA, monument of Britiſh fame,
Thy glorious work! for thou the lofty tow'rs
Didſt to his virtue raiſe, whom oft thy ſhield
In peril guarded, and thy wiſdom ſteer'd
Through all the ſtorms of war.—Thee too I call,
Thalia, ſylvan Muſe, who lov'ſt to rove
Along the ſhady paths and verdant bow'rs
Of Woodſtock's happy grove: there tuning ſweet
Thy rural pipe, while all the Dryad train
Attentive liſten; let thy warbling ſong
Paint with melodious praiſe the pleaſing ſcene,
And equal theſe to Pindus' honour'd ſhades.
When Europe freed, confeſs'd the ſaving pow'r
Of MARLB'ROUGH'S hand; Britain who ſent him forth
Of Liberty and Juſtice, grateful rais'd
This palace ſacred to her Leader's fame;
A trophy of ſucceſs; with ſpoils adorn'd
Of conquer'd towns, and glorying in the name
Of that auſpicious field, where CHURCHILL'S ſword
Vanquiſh'd the might of Gallia, and chaſtis'd
Rebel Bavar.—Majeſtick in its ſtrength
Stands the proud dome, and ſpeaks its great deſign.
Hail happy Chief, whoſe valour could deſerve
Reward ſo glorious! grateful nation hail,
Who paid'ſt his ſervice with ſo rich a meed!
Which moſt ſhall I admire, which worthieſt praiſe,
The Hero or the People? Honour doubts,
And weighs their virtues in an equal ſcale.
Not thus Germania pays th' uncancell'd debt
Of gratitude to us.—Bluſh, Caeſar, bluſh,
When thou behold'ſt theſe tow'rs, ingrate to thee
A monument of ſhame. Canſt thou forget
Whence they are nam'd, and what an Engliſh arm
Did for thy throne that day? But we diſdain
Or to upbraid, or imitate thy guilt.
Steel thy obdurate heart againſt the ſenſe
Of obligation infinite, and know,
Britain, like Heav'n, protects a thankleſs world
For her own glory, nor expects reward.
Pleas'd with the noble theme, her taſk the Muſe
Purſues untir'd, and through the palace roves
With gold, and gay with all the beauteous paint
Of various-colour'd ſilks, diſpos'd with ſkill,
Attracts her curious eye. Here Iſter rolls
His purple wave; and there the Granic flood
With paſſing ſquadrons foams: here hardy Gaul
Flies from the ſword of Britain; there to Greece
Effeminate Perſia yields.—In arms oppos'd
MARLB'ROUGH and ALEXANDER vie for fame
With glorious competition; equal both
In valour and in fortune, but their praiſe
Be diff'rent, for with diff'rent views they fought;
This to ſubdue, and that to free mankind.
Now through the ſtately portals iſſuing forth,
The Muſe to ſofter glories turns and ſeeks
The woodland ſhade, delighted. Not the vale
Of Tempé fam'd in ſong, or Ida's grove
Such beauty boaſts. Amid the mazy gloom
Of this romantick wilderneſs once ſtood
The bow'r of Roſamonda, hapleſs fair,
Sacred to grief and love: the cryſtal fount
In which ſhe us'd to bathe her beauteous limbs
Still warbling flows, pleas'd to reflect the face
Of SPENCER, lovely maid, when tir'd ſhe fits
Beſide its flow'ry brink, and views thoſe charms
Which only Roſamond could once excel.
But ſee where flowing with a nobler ſtream,
A limpid lake of pureſt waters rolls
Through which the Danube might collected pour
His ſpacious urn! Silent awhile and ſmooth
The current glides, till with an headlong force
Broke and diſorder'd, down the ſteep it falls
In loud caſcades; the ſilver-ſparkling foam
Glitters relucent in the dancing ray.
In theſe retreats repos'd the mighty ſoul
Of CHURCHILL, from the toils of war and ſtate,
Splendidly private, and the tranquil joy
Of contemplation felt, while BLENHEIM'S dome
Triumphal, ever in his mind renew'd
The mem'ry of his fame, and ſooth'd his thoughts
With pleaſing record of his glorious deeds.
So by the rage of faction, home recall'd,
Lucullus, while he wag'd ſucceſsful war
Againſt the pride of Aſia, and the pow'r
Of Mithridates, whoſe aſpiring mind
No loſſes could ſubdue, enrich'd with ſpoils
Of conquer'd nations, back return'd to Rome,
And in magnificent retirement paſt
The evening of his life.—But not alone,
In the calm ſhades of honourable eaſe,
Great MARLB'ROUGH peaceful dwelt: Indulgent heav'n
Gave a companion to his ſofter hours,
With whom converſing, he forgot all change
Of fortune, or of taſte, and in her mind
Found greatneſs equal to his own, and lov'd
In mutual honour, mutual fondneſs join'd:
Like two fair ſtars with intermingled light,
In friendly union they together ſhone,
Aiding each other's brightneſs, till the cloud
Of night eternal quench'd the beams of one.
Thee CHURCHILL firſt the ruthleſs hand of death
Tore from thy conſort's ſide, and call'd thee hence
To the ſublimer ſeats of joy and love;
Where Fate again ſhall join her ſoul to thine,
Who now, regardful of thy fame, erects
The column to thy praiſe, and ſooths her woe
With pious honours to thy ſacred name
Immortal. Lo! where tow'ring on the height
Of yon aërial pillar proudly ſtands
Thy image, like a guardian god, ſublime,
And awes the ſubject plain: beneath his feet,
The German eagles ſpread their wings, his hand
Graſps Victory, its ſlave. Such was the brow
Majeſtick, ſuch thy martial port, when Gaul
Fled from thy frown, and in the Danube ſought
A refuge from thy ſword.—There, where the field
Was deepeſt ſtain'd with gore, on Hochſtet's plain,
The theatre of thy glory, once was rais'd
A meaner trophy, by th' Imperial hand;
Extorted gratitude; which now the rage
Of Malice impotent, beſeeming ill
A regal breaſt, has levell'd to the ground:
Shall ſtand on Britiſh earth, to tell the world
How MARLB'ROUGH fought, for whom, and how repay'd
His ſervices. Nor ſhall the conſtant love
Of her who rais'd the monument be loſt
In dark oblivion: That ſhall be the theme
Of future bards in ages yet unborn,
Inſpir'd with Chaucer's fire, who in theſe groves
Firſt tun'd the Britiſh harp, and little deem'd
His humble dwelling ſhould the neighbour be
Of BLENHEIM, houſe ſuperb; to which the throng
Of travellers approaching, ſhall not paſs
His roof unnoted, but reſpectful hail
With rev'rence due. Such honour does the Muſe
Obtain her favourites.—But the noble pile
(My theme) demands my voice.—O ſhade ador'd,
MARLB'ROUGH! who now above the ſtarry ſphere
Dwell'ſt in the palaces of heav'n, enthron'd
Amongſt the demi-gods, deign to defend
This thy abode, while preſent here below,
And ſacred ſtill to thy immortal fame,
With tutelary care. Preſerve it ſafe
From Time's deſtroying hand, and cruel ſtroke
Of factious Envy's more relentleſs rage.
Here may, long ages hence, the Britiſh youth,
When Honour calls them to the field of war,
Behold the trophies which thy valour rais'd;
The proud reward of thy ſucceſsful toils
That fir'd with gen'rous envy, they may dare
To emulate thy deeds.—So ſhall thy name,
Dear to thy country, ſtill inſpire her ſons
With martial virtue: and to high attempts
Excite their arms, till other battles won,
And nations ſav'd, new Monuments require,
And other BLENHEIMS ſhall adorn the land.
SAY, deareſt friend, how roll thy hours away?
What pleaſing ſtudy cheats the tedious day?
Doſt thou the ſacred volumes oft explore
Of wiſe Antiquity's immortal lore,
Where virtue by the charms of wit refin'd,
At once exalts and poliſhes the mind?
Which pleaſes only to corrupt the heart;
Whoſe curs'd refinements odious Vice adorn,
And teach to honour what we ought to ſcorn!
Doſt thou in ſage Hiſtorians joy to ſee
How Roman Greatneſs roſe with Liberty;
How the ſame hands that tyrants durſt controul,
Their empire ſtretch'd from Atlas to the Pole;
Till wealth and conqueſt into ſlaves refin'd
The proud luxurious maſters of mankind?
Doſt thou in letter'd Greece each charm admire,
Each grace, each virtue Freedom could inſpire;
Yet in her troubled ſtates ſee all the woes
And all the crimes that giddy Faction knows;
Till rent by parties, by Corruption ſold,
Or weakly careleſs, or too raſhly bold,
She ſunk beneath a mitigated doom,
The ſlave and tut'reſs of protecting Rome?
Does calm Philoſophy her aid impart,
To guide the paſſions, and to mend the heart?
Taught by her precepts, haſt thou learnt the end
To which alone the wiſe their ſtudies bend;
For which alone by nature were deſign'd
The pow'rs of thought—to benefit mankind?
Not like a cloyſter'd drone, to read and doze,
In undeſerving, undeſerv'd repoſe;
But reaſon's influence to diffuſe; to clear
Th' enlighten'd world of ev'ry gloomy fear;
Thoſe pedant chains that clog the freeborn mind,
Happy who thus his leiſure can employ!
He knows the pureſt hours of tranquil joy;
Nor vex'd with pangs that buſier boſoms tear,
Nor loſt to ſocial Virtue's pleaſing care;
Safe in the port, yet lab'ring to ſuſtain
Thoſe who will float on the tempeſtuous main.
So Locke the days of ſtudious quiet ſpent;
So Boyle in wiſdom found divine content;
So Cambray, worthy of a happier doom,
The virtuous ſlave of Louis and of Rome.
Good a Wor'ſter thus ſupports his drooping age,
Far from court-flatt'ry, far from party rage;
He, who in youth a tyrant's frown defy'd,
Firm and intrepid on his country's ſide,
Her boldeſt champion then, and now her mildeſt guide.
O gen'rous warmth! O ſanctity divine!
To emulate his worth, my friend, be thine:
Learn from his life the duties of the gown;
Learn not to flatter, nor inſult the crown;
Nor baſely ſervile court the guilty great,
Nor raiſe the Church a rival to the State:
To Error mild, to Vice alone ſevere,
Seek not to ſpread the law of Love by Fear.
The prieſt, who plagues the world, can never mend:
No foe to Man was e'er to God a friend:
All force but theirs is impious, weak, and vain.
Me other cares in other climes engage,
Cares that become my birth, and ſuit my age;
In various knowledge to improve my youth,
And conquer Prejudice, worſt foe to Truth;
By foreign arts domeſtick faults to mend,
Enlarge my notions, and my views extend;
The uſeful ſcience of the world to know,
Which books can never teach, or pedants ſhew.
A nation here I pity, and admire,
Whom nobleſt ſentiments of glory fire,
Yet taught by cuſtom's force, and bigot fear,
To ſerve with pride, and boaſt the yoke they bear:
Whoſe Nobles born to cringe, and to command,
In courts a mean, in camps a gen'rous band;
From each low tool of pow'r content receive
Thoſe laws, their dreaded arms to Europe give.
Whoſe people vain in want, in bondage bleſt,
Though plunder'd, gay; induſtrious, though oppreſs'd;
With happy follies riſe above their fate,
The jeſt and envy of each wiſer ſtate.
Yet here the Muſes deign'd awhile to ſport
In the ſhort ſun-ſhine of a fav'ring court:
Here Boileau ſtrong in ſenſe, and ſharp in wit,
Who from the ancients, like the ancients writ,
Permiſſion gain'd inferior vice to blame,
By flatt'ring incenſe to his Maſter's fame.
Whate'er Athenian theatres beheld;
By keen, yet decent ſatire ſkill'd to pleaſe,
With morals mirth uniting, ſtrength with eaſe.
Now charm'd, I hear the bold Corneille inſpire
Heroick thought with Shakeſpear's force and fire;
Now ſweet Racine with milder influence move
The ſoften'd heart to Pity and to Love.
With mingled pain and pleaſure I ſurvey
The pompous works of arbitrary ſway;
Proud palaces, that drain'd the ſubject ſtore,
Rais'd on the ruins of th' oppreſs'd and poor;
Where ev'n mute walls are taught to flatter ſtate,
And painted triumphs ſtile Ambition GREAT b.
With more delight thoſe pleaſing ſhades I view,
Where Condé from an envious court withdrew c;
Where, ſick of glory, faction, pow'r and pride,
(Sure judge how empty all, who all had try'd)
Beneath his palms the weary Chief repos'd,
And life's great ſcene in quiet Virtue clos'd.
With ſhame that other fam'd retreat I ſee
Adorn'd by Art, diſgrac'd by Luxury d;
Where Orleans waſted ev'ry vacant hour
In the wild riot of unbounded pow'r.
Where feveriſh Debauch and impious Love
Stain'd the mad table and the guilty grove.
Pleas'd and inſtructed in a foreign land;
Yet oft a tender wiſh recalls my mind
From preſent joys to dearer left behind:
O native iſle, fair Freedom's happieſt feat!
At thought of thee my bounding pulſes beat;
At thought of thee my heart impatient burns,
And all my country on my ſoul returns.
When ſhall I ſee the fields, whoſe plenteous grain
No pow'r can raviſh from th' induſtrious ſwain?
When kiſs with pious love the ſacred earth,
That gave a BURLEIGH, or a RUSSEL birth?
When, in the ſhade of laws, that long have ſtood,
Prop'd by their care, or ſtrengthen'd by their blood,
Of fearleſs independence wiſely vain,
The proudeſt ſlave of Bourbon's race diſdain?
Yet oh! what doubt, what ſad preſaging voice
Whiſpers within, and bids me not rejoice;
Bids me contemplate ev'ry ſtate around,
From ſultry Spain to Norway's icy bound;
Bids their loſt rights, their ruin'd glories ſee;
And tells me, Theſe, like England, once were Free.
O Thou whoſe friendſhip is my joy and pride,
Whoſe virtues warm me, and whoſe precepts guide;
Thou, to whom greatneſs rightly underſtood,
Is but a larger power of being good;
Say, Poyntz, amidſt the toils of anxious ſtate,
Does not thy ſecret ſoul deſire retreat?
Doſt thou not wiſh (the taſk of glory done)
Thy buſy life at length might be thy own;
That to thy lov'd Philoſophy reſign'd,
No care might ruffle thy unbended mind?
Juſt is the wiſh. For ſure the happy meed,
To favour'd man by ſmiling heav'n decreed,
Is to reflect at eaſe on glorious pains,
And calmly to enjoy what Virtue gains.
Not him I praiſe, who from the world retir'd,
By no enliv'ning gen'rous paſſion fir'd,
On flow'ry couches ſlumbers life away,
And gently bids his active pow'rs decay;
And ſhuns Renown as much as Infamy:
But bleſt is he, who exercis'd in cares,
To private Leiſure publick Virtue bears;
Who tranquil ends the race he nobly run,
And decks Repoſe with trophies Labour won.
Him Honour follows to the ſecret ſhade,
And crowns propitious his declining head:
In his retreats their harps the Muſes ſtring,
For him in lays unbought ſpontaneous ſing;
Friendſhip and Truth on all his moments wait,
Pleas'd with Retirement better than with State;
And round the bow'r where humbly great he lies,
Fair olives bloom, or verdant laurels riſe.
So when thy Country ſhall no more demand
The needful aid of thy ſuſtaining hand;
When Peace reſtor'd ſhall on her downy wing
Secure Repoſe and careleſs Leiſure bring;
Then to the ſhades of learned eaſe retir'd,
The world forgetting, by the world admir'd,
Among thy books and friends, thou ſhalt poſſeſs
Contemplative and quiet happineſs;
Pleas'd to review a life in honour ſpent,
And painful merit paid with ſweet content.
Yet though thy hours unclogg'd with ſorrow roll,
Tho' wiſdom calm, and ſcience feed thy ſoul;
One dearer bliſs remains to be poſſeſs'd,
That only can improve and crown the reſt—
Permit thy friend this ſecret to reveal,
Which thy own heart perhaps would better tell;
The point to which our ſweeteſt paſſions move;
Is to be truly lov'd, and fondly love.
This is the charm that ſooths the troubled breaſt,
Friend to our health, and author of our reſt,
Bids every gloomy vexing paſſion fly,
And tunes each jarring ſtring to harmony.
Ev'n while I write; the name of Love inſpires
More pleaſing thoughts, and more enliv'ning fires;
Beneath his pow'r my raptur'd fancy glows,
And ev'ry tender verſe more ſweetly flows.
Dull is the privilege of living free;
Our hearts were never form'd for Liberty:
Some beauteous image well imprinted there,
Can beſt defend them from conſuming care.
In vain to groves and gardens we retire,
And nature in her rural works admire;
Tho' grateful theſe, yet theſe but faintly charm,
They may Delight us, but can never Warm.
May ſome fair eyes, my friend, thy boſom fire
With pleaſing pangs of ever gay deſire;
And teach thee that ſoft ſcience, which alone
Still to thy ſearching mind reſts ſlightly known.
Thy ſoul, though great, is tender and refin'd,
To friendſhip ſenſible, to love inclin'd;
And therefore long thou canſt not arm thy breaſt
Againſt the entrance of ſo ſweet a gueſt.
For Heav'n ſhall ratify what they reveal.
A choſen bride ſhall in thy arms be plac'd,
With all attractive charms of beauty grac'd;
Whoſe wit and virtue ſhall thy own expreſs,
Diſtinguiſh'd only by their ſofter dreſs:
Thy greatneſs ſhe, or thy retreat ſhall ſhare,
Sweeten tranquillity, or ſoften care:
Her ſmiles the taſte of ev'ry joy ſhall raiſe,
And add new pleaſure to renown and praiſe;
Till charm'd you own the truth my verſe would prove,
That Happineſs is near allied to Love.
SUCH is thy form, O Poyntz! but who ſhall find
A hand, or colours, to expreſs thy mind?
A mind unmov'd by ev'ry vulgar fear,
In a falſe world that dares to be ſincere;
Wiſe without art; without ambition great;
Tho' firm, yet pliant; active, tho' ſedate;
With all the richeſt ſtores of Learning fraught,
Yet better ſtill by native Prudence taught;
Can pity frailties it could never feel;
That, when Misfortune ſu'd, ne'er ſought to know
What ſect, what party, whether friend or foe;
That, fix'd on equal Virtue's temp'rate laws,
Deſpiſes calumny, and ſhuns applauſe;
That, to its own perfections ſingly blind,
Would for another think this praiſe deſign'd.
IMmortal bard! for whom each Muſe has wove
The faireſt garlands of th' Aonian grove;
Preſerv'd, our drooping genius to reſtore,
When Addiſon and Congreve are no more.
After ſo many ſtars extinct in night
The darken'd ages laſt remaining light!
To thee from Latian realms this verſe is writ,
Inſpir'd by memory of ancient wit;
For now no more theſe climes their influence boaſt,
Fall'n is their glory, and their virtue loſt;
From Tyrants and from Prieſts the Muſes fly,
Daughters of Reaſon and of Liberty:
Nor on the banks of Var, or Mincius rove;
To Thames's flow'ry borders they retire,
And kindle in thy breaſt the Roman fire.
So in the ſhades, where cheer'd with ſummer rays
Melodious linnets warbled ſprightly lays,
Soon as the faded, falling leaves complain
Of gloomy Winter's unauſpicious reign,
No tuneful voice is heard of joy or love,
But mournful ſilence ſaddens all the grove.
Unhappy Italy! whoſe alter'd ſtate
Has felt the worſt ſeverity of fate:
Not that Barbarian hands her Faſces broke,
And bow'd her haughty neck beneath their yoke;
Not that her palaces to earth are thrown,
Her cities deſart, and her fields unſown;
But that her ancient ſpirit is decay'd,
That ſacred Wiſdom from her bounds is fled,
That there the ſource of Science flows no more,
Whence its rich ſtreams ſupply'd the world before.
Illuſtrious names! that once in Latium ſhin'd,
Born to inſtruct and to command mankind;
Chiefs, by whoſe virtue mighty Rome was rais'd,
And Poets, who thoſe Chiefs ſublimely prais'd!
Oft I the traces you have left explore,
Your aſhes viſit, and your urns adore;
Oft kiſs, with lips devout, ſome mould'ring ſtone,
With ivy's venerable ſhade o'ergrown;
Than all the pomp of modern luxury.
As late on Virgil's tomb freſh flow'rs I ſtrow'd,
While with th' inſpiring Muſe my boſom glow'd,
Crown'd with eternal bays my raviſh'd eyes
Beheld the poet's aweful form ariſe;
Stranger, he ſaid, whoſe pious hand has paid
Theſe grateful rites to my attentive ſhade,
When thou ſhalt breathe thy happy native air,
To Pope this meſſage from his Maſter bear:
'Great Bard, whoſe numbers I myſelf inſpire,
To whom I gave my own harmonious lyre,
If high exalted on the throne of Wit,
Near me and Homer thou aſpire to ſit,
No more let meaner Satire dim the rays
That flow majeſtick from thy nobler bays;
In all the flow'ry paths of Pindus ſtray,
But ſhun that thorny, that unpleaſing way;
Nor when each ſoft engaging Muſe is thine,
Addreſs the leaſt attractive of the Nine.
Of thee more worthy were the taſk, to raiſe
A laſting column to thy Country's praiſe;
To ſing the land, which yet alone can boaſt
That Liberty corrupted Rome has loſt;
Where Science in the arms of Peace is laid,
And plants her Palm beſide the Olive's ſhade.
Such was the theme for which my lyre I ſtrung,
Such was the people whoſe exploits I ſung;
With diff'rent bays by Mars and Phoebus crown'd;
Dauntleſs oppoſers of tyrannick ſway,
But pleas'd a mild Auguſtus to obey.
If theſe commands ſubmiſſive thou receive,
Immortal and unblam'd thy name ſhall live;
Envy to black Cocytus ſhall retire,
And howl with Furies in tormenting fire;
Approving Time ſhall conſecrate thy lays,
And join the Patriot's to the Poet's praiſe.'
HORACE.Strenua nos exercet Inertia: Navibus atqueQuadrigis petimus bene Vivere: quod petis hic eſt;Eſt Ulubris, Animus ſi te non deficit aequus.
FAV'RITE of Venus and the tuneful Nine,
Pollio, by nature form'd in courts to ſhine,
Wilt thou once more a kind attention lend
To thy long abſent and forgotten friend;
Who after ſeas and mountains wander'd o'er,
Return'd at length to his own native ſhore,
Beneath the ſhades of his paternal ſeat
Has found that Happineſs he ſought in vain
On the fam'd banks of Tiber and of Scine?
'Tis not to view the well-proportion'd pile,
The charms of Titian's and of Raphael's ſtile;
At ſoft Italian ſounds to melt away;
Or in the fragrant groves of myrtle ſtray;
That lulls the tumults of the ſoul to reſt,
Or makes the fond poſſeſſor truly bleſt.
In our own breaſts the ſource of Pleaſure lies
Still open, and ſtill flowing to the wiſe;
Not forc'd by toilſome art and wild deſire
Beyond the bounds of nature to aſpire,
But in its proper channels gliding fair;
A common benefit, which all may ſhare,
Yet half mankind this eaſy Good diſdain,
Nor reliſh happineſs unbought by pain;
Falſe is their taſte of bliſs, and thence their ſearch is vain.
So idle, yet ſo reſtleſs are our minds,
We climb the Alps, and brave the raging winds,
Through various toils to ſeek Content we roam,
Which but with thinking right were our's at home.
For not the ceaſeleſs change of ſhifted place
Can from the heart a ſettled grief eraſe;
Nor can the purer balm of foreign air
Heal the diſtemper'd mind of aching care.
Vex'd with the pangs of ill-requited love,
From pole to pole the fatal arrow bears,
Whoſe rooted point his bleeding boſom tears,
With equal pain each diff'rent clime he tries,
And is himſelf that torment which he flies.
For how ſhou'd ills, that from our paſſions flow,
Be chang'd by Afric's heat, or Ruſſia's ſnow?
Or how can aught but pow'rful Reaſon cure,
What from unthinking Folly we endure?
Happy is He, and He alone, who knows
His heart's uneaſy diſcord to compoſe;
In gen'rous love of others' good to find
The ſweeteſt pleaſures of the ſocial mind;
To bound his wiſhes in their proper ſphere;
To nouriſh pleaſing hope, and conquer anxious fear,
This was the wiſdom ancient Sages taught,
This was the ſov'reign good they juſtly ſought;
This to no place or climate is confin'd,
But the free native produce of the mind.
Nor think, my Lord, that Courts to you deny
The uſeful practice of Philoſophy:
Horace, the wiſeſt of the tuneful choir,
Not always choſe from Greatneſs to retire,
But in the palace of Auguſtus knew
The ſame unnerring maxims to purſue,
Which in the Sabine or the Velian ſhade
His ſtudy and his happineſs he made.
May you, my friend, by his example taught,
View all the giddy ſcene with ſober thought;
Undazzled every glittering folly ſee,
And in the midſt of ſlaviſh forms be free;
In its own center keep your ſteddy mind;
Let Prudence guide you, but let Honour bind;
In ſhow, in manners, act the Courtier's part,
But be a Country-gentleman at heart.
THE counſels of a friend, Belinda, hear,
Too roughly kind to pleaſe a Lady's ear,
Unlike the flatt'ries of a lover's pen,
Such truths as women ſeldom learn from men.
Nor think I praiſe you ill, when thus I ſhew
What female Vanity might fear to know:
Some merit's mine, to dare to be ſincere,
But greater your's, ſincerity to bear.
Hard is the fortune that your ſex attends;
Women, like Princes, find few real friends:
All who approach them their own ends purſue:
Lovers and miniſters are ſeldom true.
And the moſt truſted Guide the moſt betrays:
Hence by fond dreams of fancy'd pow'r amus'd,
When moſt you tyrannize you're moſt abus'd.
What is your ſex's earlieſt, lateſt care,
Your heart's ſupreme ambition? To be fair:
For this the toilet ev'ry thought employs,
Hence all the toils of dreſs, and all the joys:
For this, hands, lips, and eyes are put to ſchool▪
And each inſtructive feature has its rule;
And yet how few have learnt, when this is giv'n.
Not to diſgrace the partial boon of heav'n?
How few with all their pride of form can move?
How few are lovely, that were made for love?
Do you, my fair, endeavour to poſſeſs
An elegance of mind as well as dreſs;
Be that your ornament, and know to pleaſe
By grateful Nature's unaffected eaſe.
Nor make to dang'rous Wit a vain pretence,
But wiſely reſt content with modeſt Senſe;
For wit, like wine, intoxicates the brain,
Too ſtrong for feeble women to ſuſtain;
Of thoſe who claim it, more than half have none,
And half of thoſe who have it, are undone.
Be ſtill ſuperior to your ſex's arts,
Nor think Diſhoneſty a proof of Parts;
For you the plaineſt is the wiſeſt rule,
A CUNNING WOMAN is a KNAVISH FOOL.
Be good yourſelf, nor think another's ſhame
Can raiſe your merit, or adorn your fame.
Prudes rail at whores, as ſtateſmen in diſgrace
At miniſters, becauſe they wiſh their place.
Virtue is amiable, mild, ſerene,
Without all beauty, and all peace within:
The honour of a prude is rage and ſtorm,
'Tis uglineſs in its moſt frightful form:
Fiercely it ſtands defying gods and men,
As fiery monſters guard a giant's den.
Seek to be good, but aim not to be great:
A woman's nobleſt ſtation is Retreat;
Her faireſt virtues fly from publick ſight,
Domeſtick worth, that ſhuns too ſtrong a light.
To rougher man Ambition's taſk reſign:
'Tis ours in Senates or in Courts to ſhine,
To labour for a ſunk corrupted ſtate,
Or dare the rage of envy, and be great.
One only care your gentle breaſts ſhould move,
Th' important buſineſs of your life is Love:
To this great point direct your conſtant aim,
This makes your Happineſs, and this your Fame.
Be never cool reſerve with paſſion join'd;
With caution chuſe; but then be fondly kind.
The ſelfiſh heart, that but by halves is giv'n,
Shall find no place in Love's delightful heav'n;
Here ſweet extremes alone can truly bleſs,
The virtue of a lover is exceſs.
Contemn the little pride of giving pain,
Nor think that conqueſt juſtifies diſdain;
Short is the period of inſulting Pow'r;
Offended Cupid finds his vengeful hour,
Soon will reſume the empire which he gave,
And ſoon the Tyrant ſhall become the Slave.
Bleſt is the maid, and worthy to be bleſt,
Whoſe ſoul, entire by him ſhe loves poſſeſs'd,
Feels ev'ry vanity in fondneſs loſt,
And aſks no pow'r, but that of pleaſing moſt:
Her's is the bliſs in juſt return to prove
The honeſt warmth of undiſſembled Love;
For her, inconſtant man might ceaſe to range,
And Gratitude forbid Deſire to change.
But leſt harſh Care the lover's peace deſtroy,
And roughly blight the tender buds of joy,
Let Reaſon teach what Paſſion fain would hide,
That Hymen's bands by Prudence ſhould be ty'd,
Venus in vain the wedded pair would crown,
If angry Fortune on their union frown:
Soon will the flatt'ring dream of bliſs be o'er,
And cloy'd imagination cheat no more.
Then waking to the ſenſe of laſting pain,
With mutual tears the nuptial couch they ſtain;
And that fond love, which ſhould afford relief,
Does but increaſe the anguiſh of their grief;
Than the ſad knowledge of each other's care.
Yet may you rather feel that virtuous pain,
Than ſell your violated charms for gain;
Than wed the wretch whom you deſpiſe, or hate,
For the vain glare of uſeleſs wealth or ſtate.
The moſt abandoned proſtitutes are they,
Who not to Love, but Av'rice fall a prey:
Nor aught avails the ſpecious name of WIFE;
A maid ſo wedded, is a WHORE FOR LIFE.
Ev'n in the happieſt choice, where fav'ring Heav'n
Has equal love, and eaſy fortune giv'n,
Think not, the huſband gain'd, that all is done;
The prize of Happineſs muſt ſtill be won;
And oft, the careleſs find it to their coſt,
The Lover in the Huſband may be loſt;
The Graces might alone his heart allure;
They and the Virtues meeting muſt ſecure.
Let ev'n your Prudence wear the pleaſing dreſs
Of care for him, and anxious tenderneſs.
From kind concern about his weal or woe,
Let each domeſtick duty ſeem to flow;
The HOUSHOLD SCEPTRE, if he bids you bear,
Make it your pride his ſervant to appear;
Endearing thus the common acts of life,
The Miſtreſs ſtill ſhall charm him in the Wife;
And wrinkled age ſhall unobſerv'd come on,
Before his eye perceives one beauty gone:
His conſtant flame ſhall unextinguiſh'd burn.
Thus I, Belinda, would your charms improve,
And form your heart to all the arts of Love;
The taſk were harder to ſecure my own
Againſt the pow'r of thoſe already known;
For well you twiſt the ſecret chains that bind
With gentle force the captivated mind,
Skill'd ev'ry ſoft attraction to employ,
Each flatt'ring hope, and each alluring joy;
I own your genius, and from you receive
The rules of Pleaſing, which to you I give.
WHEN DELIA on the plain appears,
Aw'd by a thouſand tender fears,
I would approach, but dare not move;—
Tell me, my Heart, if this be Love.
Whene'er ſhe ſpeaks, my raviſh'd ear
No other voice but her's can hear,
No other wit but her's approve;—
Tell me, my Heart, if this be Love.
[Page 47] III.
If ſhe ſome other youth commend,
Though I was once his fondeſt friend,
His inſtant enemy I prove; —
Tell me, my Heart, if this be Love.
When ſhe is abſent, I no more
Delight in all that pleas'd before,
The cleareſt ſpring, or ſhadieſt grove; —
Tell me, my Heart, if this be Love.
When fond of pow'r, of beauty vain,
Her nets ſhe ſpreads for ev'ry ſwain,
I ſtrove to hate, but vainly ſtrove;—
Tell me, my Heart, if this be Love.
THE heavy hours are almoſt paſt
That part my Love and me;
My longing eyes may hope at laſt,
Their only wiſh to ſee.
[Page 48] II.
But how, my Delia, will you meet
The man you've loſt ſo long?
Will Love in all your pulſes beat,
And tremble on your tongue?
Will you in every look declare
Your heart is ſtill the ſame?
And heal each idly anxious care
Our fears in abſence frame?
Thus, Delia, thus I paint the ſcene,
When ſhortly we ſhall meet,
And try what yet remains between
Of loit'ring time to cheat.
But if the dream that ſooths my mind
Shall falſe and groundleſs prove;
If I am doom'd at length to find
You have forgot to love;
All I of Venus aſk, is this;
No more to let us join;
But grant me here the flatt'ring bliſs,
To Die and Think you mine.
TELL me, my Delia, tell me why
My kindeſt, fondeſt looks you fly:
What means this cloud upon your brow?
Have I offended? tell me how?
Some change has happen'd in your heart,
Some rival there has ſtol'n a part;
Reaſon theſe fears may diſapprove:
But yet I fear, becauſe I love.
Firſt, tell me, Damon, why to-day
At Belvidera's feet you lay?
Why with ſuch warmth her charms you prais'd,
And ev'ry trifling beauty rais'd,
As if you meant to let me ſee
Your flatt'ry is not All for me?
Alas! too well your ſex I knew,
Nor was ſo weak to think you true.
[Page 50] DAMON.
Unkind! my falſehood to upbraid,
When your own orders I obey'd;
You bid me try by this deceit
The notice of the world to cheat,
And hide beneath another name
The ſecret of our mutual flame.
Damon, your prudence I confeſs,
But let me wiſh it had been leſs;
Too well the lover's part you play'd,
With too much art your court you made;
Had it been only art, your eyes
Wou'd not have join'd in the diſguiſe.
Ah, ceaſe thus idly to moleſt
With groundleſs fears thy virgin breaſt.
While thus at fancy'd wrongs you grieve,
To me a real pain you give.
Tho' well I might your truth diſtruſt,
My fooliſh heart believes you juſt;
Reaſon this faith may diſapprove,
But I believe, becauſe I love.
PArent of blooming flow'rs and gay deſires,
Youth of the tender year, delightful Spring,
At whoſe approach, inſpir'd with equal fires,
The am'rous Nightingale and Poet ſing.
Again doſt thou return, but not with thee
Return the ſmiling hours I once poſſeſs'd;
Bleſſings thou bring'ſt to others, but to me
The ſad remembrance, that I once was bleſs'd.
Thy faded charms, which Winter ſnatch'd away,
Renew'd in all their former luſtre ſhine;
But ah! no more ſhall hapleſs I be gay,
Or know the vernal joys that have been mine.
Tho' linnets ſing, tho' flow'rs adorn the green,
Tho' on their wings ſoft zeyhyrs fragrance bear;
Harſh is the muſick, joyleſs is the ſcene,
The odour faint; for Delia is not there.
LET others heap of wealth a ſhining ſtore,
And much poſſeſſing labour ſtill for more;
Let them, diſquieted with dire alarms,
Aſpire to win a dang'rous fame in arms:
Me tranquil poverty ſhall lull to reſt,
Humbly ſecure and indolently bleſt;
Warm'd by the blaze of my own cheerful hearth,
I'll waſte the wintry hours in ſocial mirth;
In ſummer pleas'd attend to harveſt toils,
In autumn preſs the vineyard's purple ſpoils,
And oft to Delia in my boſom bear
Some kid, or lamb that wants its mother's care:
With her I'll celebrate each gladſome day,
When ſwains their ſportive rites to Bacchus pay:
And deck with ripen'd fruits Pomona's bow'r.
At night how ſoothing wou'd it be to hear,
Shelter'd and warm, the tempeſt whiſtling near;
And while my charmer in my arms I ſtrain,
Slumber aſſiſted by the beating rain!
Ah! how much happier, than the fool who braves
In ſearch of wealth the black tempeſtuous waves!
While I, contented with my little ſtore,
In tedious voyage ſeek no diſtant ſhore,
But idle lolling on ſome ſhady ſeat,
Near cooling fountains ſhun the dog-ſtar's heat;
For what reward ſo rich cou'd Fortune give
That I by abſence ſhou'd my Delia grieve?
Let great Meſſalla ſhine in martial toils,
And grace his palace with triumphal ſpoils;
Me beauty holds in ſtrong, tho' gentle chains,
Far from tumultuous war and duſty plains.
With thee, my love, to paſs my tranquil days,
How would I ſlight ambition's painful praiſe!
How would I joy with thee, my love, to yoke
The ox, and feed my ſolitary flock!
On thy ſoft breaſt might I but lean my head,
How downy ſhou'd I think the woodland bed!
The wretch who ſleeps not by his fair one's ſide,
Deteſts the gilded couch's uſeleſs pride,
Nor knows his weary, weeping eyes to cloſe,
Tho' murm'ring rills invite him to repoſe.
For all the honours proſp'rous War can give;
Tho' through the vanquiſh'd eaſt he ſpread his fame,
And Parthian tyrants tremble at his name;
Tho' bright in arms, while hoſts around him bleed,
With martial pride he preſs'd his foaming ſteed.
No pomps like theſe my humble vows require;
I aſk, in thy embraces to expire:
Thee may my cloſing eyes in death behold!
Thee may my fault'ring hand yet ſtrive to hold!
Then, Delia, then thy heart will melt in woe,
Then o'er my breathleſs clay thy tears will flow;
Thy tears will flow, for gentle is thy mind,
Nor doſt thou think it weakneſs to be kind.
With thee each youth and tender maid ſhall join
In grief, and mix their friendly ſighs with thine;
But ah! my Delia, I conjure thee ſpare
Thy heaving breaſts and looſe diſhevell'd hair:
Wound not thy form; leſt on th' Elyſian coaſt
Thy anguiſh ſhou'd diſturb my peaceful ghoſt.
But now nor death, nor parting ſhould employ
Our ſprightly thought, or damp our bridal joy:
We'll live, my Delia, and from life remove
All care, all bus'neſs, but delightful Love.
Old age in vain thoſe pleaſures wou'd retrieve,
Which youth alone can taſte, alone can give;
Then let us ſnatch the moment to be bleſt,
This hour is Love's—be Fortune's all the reſt.
SAY, MYRA, why is gentle Love
A ſtranger to that mind,
Which pity and eſteem can move;
Which can be juſt and kind?
Is it becauſe you fear to ſhare
The ills that Love moleſt:
The jealous Doubt, the tender Care,
That rack the am'rous breaſt?
Alas! by ſome degree of woe
We ev'ry bliſs muſt gain:
The heart can ne'er a tranſport know,
That never feels a pain.
GO, Thames, and tell the buſy town,
Not all its wealth or pride
Cou'd tempt me from the charms that crown
That rural flow'ry ſide:
Thy flow'ry ſide, where POPE has plac'd
The Muſes' green retreat,
With ev'ry ſmile of Nature grac'd,
With ev'ry art compleat.
But now, ſweet bard, thy heav'nly ſong
Enchants us here no more;
Their darling glory loſt too long
Thy once lov'd ſhades deplore.
Yet ſtill for beauteous G — lle's ſake,
The Muſes here remain;
G—lle, whoſe eyes have power to make
A POPE of ev'ry ſwain.
NONE without Hope e'er lov'd the brighteſt Fair,
But Love can hope where Reaſon would deſpair.
FAIR Nature's ſweet ſimplicity
With elegance refin'd,
Well in thy Seat, my friend, I ſee,
But better in my Mind.
To both from courts and all their ſtate
Eager I fly, to prove
Joys far above a courtier's fate,
Tranquility and love.
ONCE by the Muſe alone inſpir'd,
I ſung my am'rous ſtrains:
No ſerious love my boſom fir'd;
Yet ev'ry tender maid deceiv'd
The idly mournful tale believ'd,
And wept my fancy'd pains,
But Venus now to puniſh me,
For having feign'd ſo well,
Has made my heart ſo fond of thee,
That not the whole Aonian quire
Can accents ſoft enough inſpire,
Its real flame to tell.
ALL that of Love can be expreſs'd
In theſe ſoft numbers ſee;
But, LUCY, would you know the reſt,
It muſt be read in me.
TO him who in an hour muſt die,
Not ſwifter ſeems that hour to fly,
Than ſlow the minutes ſeem to me,
Which keep me from the ſight of thee.
Not more that trembling wretch would give
Another day or year to live;
Than I to ſhorten what remains
Of that long hour which thee detains.
Oh! come to my impatient arms,
Oh! come with all thy heav'nly charms,
At once to juſtify and pay
The pain I feel from this delay.
TO eaſe my troubled mind of anxious care,
Laſt night the ſecret caſket I explor'd;
Where all the letters of my abſent fair,
(His richeſt treaſure) careful Love had ſtor'd:
[Page 60] II.
In ev'ry word a magic ſpell I found
Of pow'r to charm each buſy thought to reſt,
Though ev'ry word increas'd the tender wound
Of fond deſire ſtill throbbing in my breaſt.
So to his hoarded gold the miſer ſteals,
And loſes ev'ry ſorrow at the ſight;
Yet wiſhes ſtill for more, nor ever feels
Entire contentment, or ſecure delight.
Ah! ſhould I loſe thee, my too lovely maid,
Cou'dſt thou forget thy heart was ever mine,
Fear not thy letters ſhou'd the change upbraid:
My hand each dear memorial ſhall reſign:
Not one kind word ſhall in my pow'r remain
A painful witneſs of reproach to thee;
And leſt my heart ſhou'd ſtill their ſenſe retain,
My heart ſhall break, to leave thee wholly free.
FAIR VENUS, whoſe delightful ſhrine ſurveys
Its front reflected in the ſilver lake,
Theſe humble off'rings, which thy ſervant pays,
Freſh flowers, and myrtle wreaths, propitious take.
[Page 61] II.
If leſs my love exceeds all other love,
Than Lucy's charms all other charms excel,
Far from my breaſt each ſoothing hope remove,
And there let ſad deſpair for ever dwell.
But if my ſoul is fill'd with her alone,
No other wiſh, nor other object knows,
Oh! make her, Goddeſs, make her all my own,
And give my trembling heart ſecure repoſe.
No watchful ſpies I aſk to guard her charms,
No walls of braſs, no ſteel-defended door;
Place her but once within my circling arms,
Love's ſureſt fort, and I will doubt no more.
ON Thames's bank, a gentle youth
For LUCY ſigh'd with matchleſs truth,
Ev'n when he ſigh'd in rhyme;
The lovely maid his flame return'd,
And wou'd with equal warmth have burn'd,
But that ſhe had not Time.
[Page 62] II.
Oft he repair'd with eager feet
In ſecret ſhades this fair to meet
Beneath th' accuſtom'd lyme;
She would have fondly met him there,
And heal'd with love each tender care,
But that ſhe had not Time.
"It was not thus, inconſtant maid,
"You acted once (the ſhepherd ſaid)
"When love was in its prime:
She griev'd to hear him thus complain,
And would have writ to eaſe his pain,
But that ſhe had not Time.
How can you act ſo cold a part?
No crime of mine has chang'd your heart,
If Love be not a crime.—
We ſoon muſt part for months, for years—
She would have anſwer'd with her tears,
But that ſhe had not Time.
YOUR ſhape, your lips, your eyes are ſtill the ſame,
Still the bright object of my conſtant flame;
But where is now the tender glance, that ſtole
With gentle ſweetneſs my enchanted ſoul?
Kind fears, impatient wiſhes, ſoft deſires,
Each melting charm that love alone inſpires,
Theſe, theſe are loſt; and I behold no more
The maid, my heart delighted to adore.
Yet ſtill unchang'd, ſtill doating to exceſs,
I ought but dare not try to love you leſs;
Weakly I grieve, unpity'd I complain;
But not unpuniſh'd ſhall your change remain;
For you, cold maid, whom no complaints can move,
Were far more bleſt, when you like me cou'd love.
WHEN I think on your truth, I doubt you no more,
I blame all the fears I gave way to before,
I ſay to my heart, "Be at reſt, and believe
That whom once ſhe has choſen ſhe never will leave.
[Page 64] II.
But ah! when I think on each raviſhing grace
That plays in the ſmiles of that heavenly face,
My heart beats again; I again apprehend
Some fortunate rival in every friend.
Theſe painful ſuſpicions you cannot remove,
Since you neither can leſſen your charms nor my love;
But doubts caus'd by paſſion you never can blame;
For they are not ill founded, or you feel the ſame.
WITH me while preſent, may thy lovely eyes
Be never turn'd upon this golden toy:
Think ev'ry pleaſing hour too ſwiftly flies,
And meaſure time, by joy ſucceeding joy.
But when the cares that interrupt our bliſs
To me not always will thy ſight allow,
Then oft with kind impatience look on this,
Then every minute count—as I do now.
YE ſylvan ſcenes with artleſs beauty gay,
Ye gentle ſhades of Wickham ſay,
What is the charm that each ſucceſſive year,
Which ſees me with my LUCY here,
Can thus to my tranſported heart,
A ſenſe of joy unfelt before impart?
Is it glad Summer's balmy breath that blows
From the fair jeſſ'mine, and the bluſhing roſe?
Her balmy breath, and all her blooming ſtore,
Of rural bliſs was here before:
Oft have I met her on the verdant ſide
Of Norwood-hill, and in the yellow meads,
Where Pan the dancing Graces leads,
Array'd in all her flow'ry pride.
No ſweeter fragrance now the gardens yield,
No brighter colours paint th' enamel'd field.
[Page 66] III.
Is it to Love theſe new delights I owe?
Four times has the revolving ſun
His annual circle thro' the zodiac run;
Since all that Love's indulgent pow'r
On favour'd mortals can beſtow,
Was giv'n to me in this auſpicious bow'r.
Here firſt my LUCY, ſweet in virgin charms,
Was yielded to my longing arms;
And round our nuptial bed,
Hov'ring with purple wings, th' Idalian boy
Shook from his radiant torch the bliſsful fires
Of innocent deſires,
While Venus ſcatter'd myrtles o'er her head.
Whence then this ſtrange increaſe of joy?
He, only he can tell, who match'd like me,
(If ſuch another happy man there be)
Has by his own experience try'd
How much the Wife is dearer than the Bride.
Ipſe cavâ ſolans aegrum teſtudine amorem,Te dulcis conjux, te ſolo in littore ſecum,Te veniente die, te decedente canebat.
AT length eſcap'd from ev'ry human eye,
From ev'ry duty, ev'ry care,
That in my mournful thoughts might claim a ſhare,
Or force my tears their flowing ſtream to dry,
Beneath the gloom of this embow'ring ſhade,
This lone retreat, for tender ſorrow made,
I now may give my burden'd heart relief,
And pour forth all my ſtores of grief,
Of grief ſurpaſſing ev'ry other woe,
Far as the pureſt bliſs, the happieſt love
Can on th' ennobled mind beſtow,
Exceeds the vulgar joys that move
Our groſs deſires, inelegant, and low.
Ye tufted groves, ye gently-falling rills,
Ye high o'erſhadowing hills,
Ye lawns gay-ſmiling with eternal green,
Oft have you my LUCY ſeen!
Nor will ſhe now with fond delight
And taſte refin'd your rural charms explore.
Clos'd are thoſe beauteous eyes in endleſs night,
Thoſe beauteous eyes where beaming us'd to ſhine
Reaſon's pure light, and Virtue's ſpark divine.
Oft would the Dryads of theſe woods rejoice
To hear her heav'nly voice,
For her deſpiſing, when ſhe deign'd to ſing,
The ſweeteſt ſongſters of the ſpring:
The woodlark and the linnet pleas'd no more;
The nightingale was mute,
And ev'ry ſhepherd's flute
Was caſt in ſilent ſcorn away,
While all attended to her ſweeter lay.
Ye larks and linnets now reſume your ſong,
And thou, melodious Philomel,
Again thy plaintive ſtory tell.
For death has ſtopt that tuneful tongue,
Whoſe muſick could alone your warbling notes excel.
In vain I look around
O'er all the well-known ground
My LUCY'S wonted footſteps to deſcry;
Where oft we us'd to walk,
Where oft in tender talk
We ſaw the ſummer ſun go down the ſky;
Nor where its waters glide
Along the valley, can ſhe now be found:
In all the wide-ſtretch'd proſpect's ample bound
No more my mournful eye
Can aught of her eſpy,
But the ſad ſacred earth where her dear relicks lie.
O ſhades of H—y, where is now your boaſt?
Your bright inhabitant is loſt.
You ſhe preferr'd to all the gay reſorts
Where female vanity might wiſh to ſhine,
The pomp of cities, and the pride of courts.
Her modeſt beauties ſhun'd the publick eye:
To your ſequeſter'd dales
And flow'r-embroider'd vales
From an admiring world ſhe choſe to fly;
With Nature there retir'd, and Nature's GOD,
The ſilent paths of wiſdom trod,
And baniſh'd every paſſion from her breaſt,
But thoſe, the gentleſt and the beſt,
Whoſe holy flames with energy divine
The virtuous heat enliven and improve,
The conjugal, and the maternal love.
Sweet babes, who, like the little playful fawns,
Were wont to trip along theſe verdant lawns
Who now your infant ſteps ſhall guide?
Ah! where is now the hand whoſe tender care
To ev'ry Virtue would have form'd your Youth,
And ſtrew'd with flow'rs the thorny ways of Truth?
O loſs beyond repair!
O wretched Father left alone
To weep their dire misfortune, and thy own!
How ſhall thy weaken'd mind, oppreſs'd with woe,
And drooping o'er thy LUCY'S grave,
Perform the duties that you doubly owe,
Now ſhe, alas! is gone,
From folly, and from vice, their helpleſs age to ſave?
Where were ye, Muſes, when relentleſs Fate
From theſe fond arms your fair diſciple tore,
From theſe fond arms that vainly ſtrove
With hapleſs ineffectual Love
To guard her boſom from the mortal blow?
Could not your fav'ring power, Aonian maids,
Could not, alas! your pow'r prolong her date,
For whom ſo oft in theſe inſpiring ſhades,
Or under Campden's moſs-clad mountains hoar,
You open'd all your ſacred ſtore,
Whate'er your ancient ſages taught,
Your ancient bards ſublimely thought,
And bade her raptur'd breaſt with all your ſpirit glow?
[Page 71] VIII.
Nor then did Pindus' or Caſtalia's plain,
Or Aganippe's fount your ſteps detain,
Nor in the Theſpian vallies did you play;
Nor then on a Mincio's bank
Beſet with oſiers dank,
Nor where b Clitumnus rolls his gentle ſtream,
Nor where through hanging woods
Steep c Anio pours his floods,
Ill does it now beſeem,
That, of your guardian care bereft,
To dire diſeaſe and death your darling ſhould be left.
Now what avails it that in early bloom,
When light fantaſtic toys
Are all her ſex's joys,
With you ſhe ſearch'd the wit of Greece and Rome?
And all that in her latter days
To emulate her ancient praiſe
Or what the Gallic fire
Bright-ſparkling could inſpire,
By all the Graces temper'd and refin'd;
Or what in Britain's iſle,
Moſt favour'd with your ſmile,
The pow'rs of reaſon and of fancy join'd
To full perfection have conſpir'd to raiſe?
Ah what is now the uſe
Of all theſe treaſures that enrich'd her mind,
To black oblivion's gloom for ever now conſign'd?
At leaſt, ye Nine, her ſpotleſs name
'Tis yours from death to ſave,
And in the temple of immortal Fame
With golden characters her worth engrave.
Come then, ye virgin ſiſters, come,
And ſtrew with choiceſt flow'rs her hallow'd tomb.
But foremoſt thou, in ſable veſtment clad,
With accents ſweet and ſad,
Thou, plaintive Muſe, whom o'er his Laura's urn
Unhappy Petrarch call'd to mourn,
O come, and to this fairer Laura pay
A more impaſſion'd tear, a more pathetick lay.
Tell how each beauty of her mind and face
Was brighten'd by ſome ſweet, peculiar grace!
How eloquent in ev'ry look
Thro' her expreſſive eyes her ſoul diſtinctly ſpoke!
Left all the taint of modiſh vice behind,
And made each charm of poliſh'd courts agree
With candid Truth's ſimplicity,
And uncorrupted Innocence!
Tell how to more than manly ſenſe
She join'd the ſoft'ning influence
Of more than female tenderneſs:
How in the thoughtleſs days of wealth and joy,
Which oft the care of others' good deſtroy,
Her kindly-melting heart,
To ev'ry want, and ev'ry woe,
To guilt itſelf when in diſtreſs
The balm of pity would impart,
And all relief that bounty could beſtow!
Ev'n for the kid or lamb that pour'd its life
Beneath the bloody knife,
Her gentle tears would fall,
Tears from ſweet Virtue's ſource, benevolent to all.
Not only good and kind,
But ſtrong and elevated was her mind:
A ſpirit that with noble pride
Could look ſuperior down
On Fortune's ſmile, or frown;
That could without regret or pain
To virtue's loweſt duty ſacrifice
Or int'reſt's or ambition's higheſt prize;
That injur'd or offended never try'd
But by magnanimous diſdain,
A wit that temperately bright,
With inoffenſive light
All pleaſing ſhone, nor ever paſt
The decent bounds that Wiſdom's ſober hand,
And ſweet Benevolence's mild command,
And baſhful Modeſty before it caſt.
A prudence undeceiving, undeceiv'd,
That nor too little, nor too much believ'd,
That ſcorn'd unjuſt Suſpicion's coward fear,
And without weakneſs knew to be ſincere.
Such LUCY was, when in her faireſt days
Amidſt th' acclaim of univerſal praiſe,
In life's and glory's freſheſt bloom
Death came remorſeleſs on, and ſunk her to the tomb.
So where the ſilent ſtreams of Liris glide,
In the ſoft boſom of Campania's vale,
When now the wintry tempeſts all are fled,
And genial Summer breathes her gentle gale,
The verdant orange lifts its beauteous head:
From ev'ry branch the balmy flow'rets riſe,
On ev'ry bough the golden fruits are ſeen;
With odours ſweet it fills the ſmiling ſkies,
The wood-nymphs tend it, and th' Idalian queen:
But in the midſt of all its blooming pride
Cold with perpetual ſnows:
The tender blighted plant ſhrinks up its leaves, and dies.
Ariſe, O Petrarch, from th' Elyſian bowers,
With never-fading myrtles twin'd,
And fragrant with ambroſial flowers,
Where to thy Laura thou again art join'd;
Ariſe, and hither bring the ſilver lyre,
Tun'd by thy ſkilful hand,
To the ſoft notes of elegant deſire,
With which o'er many a land
Was ſpread the ſame of thy diſaſtrous love;
To me reſign the vocal ſhell,
And teach my ſorrows to relate
Their melancholy tale ſo well,
As may ev'n things inanimate,
Rough mountain oaks, and deſart rocks, to pity move.
What were, alas! thy woes compar'd to mine?
To thee thy miſtreſs in the bliſsful band
Of Hymen never gave her hand;
The joys of wedded love were never thine,
In thy domeſtic care
She never bore a ſhare,
Nor with endearing art
Would heal thy wounded heart
Of ev'ry ſecret grief that feſter'd there:
Of ſickneſs watch thee, and thy languid head
Whole nights on her unwearied arm ſuſtain,
And charm away the ſenſe of pain:
Nor did ſhe crown your mutual flame
With pledges dear, and with a father's tender name.
O beſt of wives! O dearer far to me
That when thy virgin charms
Were yielded to my arms,
How can my ſoul endure the loſs of thee?
How in the world to me a deſart grown,
Abandon'd, and alone,
Without my ſweet companion can I live?
Without thy lovely ſmile,
The dear reward of ev'ry virtuous toil,
What pleaſures now can pall'd Ambition give?
Ev'n the delightful ſenſe of well-earn'd praiſe,
Unſhar'd by thee, no more my lifeleſs thoughts could raiſe,
For my diſtracted mind
What ſuccour can I find?
On whom for conſolation ſhall I call?
Support me ev'ry friend,
Your kind aſſiſtance lend
To bear the weight of this oppreſſive woe.
Alas! each friend of mine,
My dear departed love, ſo much was thine,
That none has any comfort to beſtow.
In ev'ry other grief,
Are now with your idea ſadden'd all:
Each fav'rite author we together read
My tortur'd mem'ry wounds, and ſpeaks of LUCY dead.
We were the happieſt pair of human kind!
The rolling year its varying courſe perform'd,
And back return'd again,
Another and another ſmiling came,
And ſaw our happineſs unchang'd remain;
Still in her golden chain
Harmonious Concord did our wiſhes bind:
Our ſtudies, pleaſures, taſte, the ſame.
O fatal, fatal ſtroke,
That all this pleaſing fabrick Love had rais'd
Of rare felicity,
On which ev'n wanton Vice with envy gaz'd,
And ev'ry ſcheme of bliſs our hearts had form'd,
With ſoothing hope, for many a future day,
In one ſad moment broke!
Yet, O my ſoul, thy riſing murmurs ſtay,
Nor dare th' all-wiſe Diſpoſer to arraign,
Or againſt his ſupreme decree
With impious grief complain.
That all thy full-blown joys at once ſhould fade
Was his moſt righteous will, and be that will obey'd.
[Page 78] XIX.
Would thy fond love his grace to her controul,
And in theſe low abodes of ſin and pain
Her pure exalted ſoul
Unjuſtly for thy partial good detain?
No—rather ſtrive thy grov'ling mind to raiſe
Up to that unclouded blaze,
That heav'nly radiance of eternal light,
In which enthron'd ſhe now with pity ſees
How frail, how inſecure, how ſlight
Is ev'ry mortal bliſs,
Ev'n love itſelf, if riſing by degrees
Beyond the bounds of this imperfect ſtate,
Whoſe fleeting joys ſo ſoon muſt end,
It does not to its ſov'reign Good aſcend.
Riſe then, my ſoul, with hope elate,
And ſeek thoſe regions of ſerene delight,
Whoſe peaceful path and ever open gate
No feet but thoſe of harden'd Guilt ſhall miſs.
There Death himſelf thy LUCY ſhall reſtore,
There yield up all his power e'er to divide you more.
[Page 79][Page 80] The ARGUMENT.
MADE to engage all hearts, and charm all eyes:
Tho' meek, magnanimous; tho' witty, wiſe;
Polite, as all her life in courts had been;
Yet good, as ſhe the world had never ſeen;
The noble fire of an exalted mind,
With gentle female tenderneſs combin'd.
Her Speech was the melodious voice of Love,
Her Song the warbling of the vernal Grove;
Her Eloquence was ſweeter than her Song,
Soft as her Heart, and as her-Reaſon ſtrong;
Her Form each beauty of her mind expreſs'd.
Her Mind was Virtue by the Graces dreſs'd.
Archimage tempts the Red-Croſs Knight
From love of Fairy-land,
With ſhow of foreign pleaſures all,
The which he doth withſtand.
WISE was that Spartan Law-giver of old,
Who rais'd on Virtue's baſe his well-built ſtate,
Exiling from her walls barbaric gold,
With all the mischiefs that upon it wait,
Corruption, luxury, and envious hate;
And the diſtinctions proud of rich and poor,
Which among brethren kindle foul debate,
And teach Ambition, that to Fame would ſoar,
To the falſe lure of wealth her ſtooping wing to low'r.
[Page 81] II.
Yet would Corruption ſoon have entrance found,
And all his boaſted ſchemes eftſoon decay'd,
Had not he caſt a pow'rful circle round,
Which to a diſtance the arch felon fray'd,
And ineffectual his foul engines made:
This was, to weet, that politic command,
Which from vain travel the young Spartan ſtay'd,
Ne ſuffer'd him forſake his native land,
To learn deceitful arts, and ſcience contraband.
Yet had the ancient world her courts and ſchools;
Great Kings and Courtiers civil and refin'd;
Great Rabbins, deeply read in Wiſdom's rules,
And all the arts that cultivate the mind,
Embelliſh life, and poliſh human kind.
Such, Aſia, birth-place of proud monarchy,
Such, elder Aegypt, in thy kingdoms ſhin'd,
Myſterious Aegypt, the rank nurſery
Of ſuperſtitions fond, and learned vanity.
But what accompliſhments, what arts polite,
Did the young Spartan want his deeds to grace,
Whoſe manly virtues, and heroic ſpright,
Check'd by no thought impure, no falſehood baſe,
The glare of manners falſe, and mimic pride
And wherefore ſhould they range from place to place,
Who to their country's love ſo firm were ty'd,
All homely as ſhe was, that for her oft they dy'd?
And a ſooth it is (with rev'rence may ye hear,
And honour due to paſſion ſo refin'd)
The ſtrong affection which true patriots bear
To their dear country, zealous is and blind,
And fond as is the love of womankind,
So that they may not her defects eſpy,
No other b paragone may ever find,
But gazing on her with an aweful eye
And ſuperſtitious zeal, her learn to deify.
And, like as is the faith unſound, untrue,
Of him, who wand'ring aye from fair to fair,
Conceiveth from each object paſſion new,
Or from his heart quite drives the troublous care;
So with the patriot-lover doth it fare,
Who through the world delighting aye to rove,
His country changeth with each change of air,
Or weening the delights of all to prove,
On none, or all alike beſtows his vagrant love.
[Page 83] VII.
cAls doth corruption in a diſtant ſoil,
With double force d aſſay the youthful heart,
Expos'd ſuſpectleſs to the traytor's wile,
Expos'd unwarn'd to Pleaſure's poiſon'd dart,
Expos'd unpractis'd in the world's wide mart,
Where each one lies, impoſes, and betrays,
Without a friend due counſel to impart,
Without a parent's awe to rule his ways,
Without the check of ſhame, or ſpur of public praiſe
eForthy, falſe Archimago, traytor vile,
Who burnt 'gainſt Fairy-land with ceaſeleſs ire,
'Gan caſt with foreign pleaſures to beguile
Her faithful knight, and quench the heav'nly fire
That did his virtuous boſom aye inſpire
With zeal unfeigned for her ſervice true,
And ſend him forth in chivalrous attire,
Arm'd at all points adventures to purſue,
And wreak upon her foes his vowed vengeance due.
So as he journeyed upon the way,
Him ſoon the ſly enchaunter f over-hent,
Clad like a Fairy knight in armour gay,
With painted ſhield, and ſpear right forward bent,
That aye prepared was for bloody fight.
Whereat the i Elfin knight with ſpeeches gent
Him firſt ſaluted, who, well as he might,
Him fair ſalutes again, as k ſeemeth courteous knight.
Then 'gan he l purpoſe frame of valiant deeds
Atchiev'd by foreign knights of m proweſs great,
And mighty fame which emulation breeds
In virtuous breaſt, and kindleth martial heat;
Of arts and ſciences for warriour n meet,
And knights that would in feats of arms excel,
Or him, who o liefer chooſing calm retreat,
With Peace and gentle Virtue aye would dwell,
Who have their triumphs, like as hath Bellona fell.
Theſe, as he ſaid, beſeemed knight to know,
And all be they in Fairy-lond y-taught,
Where ev'ry art and all fair virtues grow;
Yet various climes with various fruits are fraught,
And ſuch in one hath full perfection p raught
The which no ſkill may in another rear,
So gloz'd th' enchaunter till he hath him brought
To a huge rock, that clomb ſo high in air,
That from it he q uneath the murmuring ſurge mote hear.
[Page 85] XII.
Thence the ſalt wave beyond in proſpect wide
A ſpacious plain the falſe enchaunter ſhow'd,
With goodly caſtles deck'd on ev'ry ſide,
And ſilver ſtreams, that down the champain flow'd,
And waſh'd the vineyards that beſide them ſtood,
And groves of myrtle; als the lamp of day
His orient beams diſplay'd withouten cloud,
Which lightly on the gliſt'ning waters play,
And tinge the caſtles, woods, and hills with purple ray.
So fair a landſcape charm'd the wond'ring knight;
And eke the breath of morning freſh and ſweet
Inſpir'd his jocund ſpirit with delight,
And eaſe of heart for ſoft purſuaſion meet.
Then him the traytor baſe 'gan fair entreat,
And from the rock as downward they deſcend,
Of that bleſt lond his praiſes 'gan repeat,
Till he him moved hath with him to r wend;
So to the billowy ſhore their haſty march they bend.
There in a painted bark all trim and gay,
Whoſe ſails full glad embrac'd the wanton wind,
There ſat a ſtranger ſ wight in quaint array,
That ſeem'd of various garbs t attone combin'd,
Als round about him many creatures ſtood,
Of ſeveral nations and of divers kind,
Apes, ſerpents, birds with human ſpeech endow'd,
And monſters of the land, and wonders of the flood.
He was to weet a mighty traveller,
Who Curioſity thereafter v hight,
And well he knew each coaſt and harbour fair,
And ev'ry nation's latitude and ſite,
And how to ſteer the wand'ring bark aright.
So to him ſtrait the falſe enchaunter bore,
And with him likewiſe brought the red-croſs knight.
Then fairly him beſought to waft them o'er;
Swift flew the dauncing bark, and reach'd the adverſe ſhore.
There when they landed were, them ran to greet
A bevy of bright damſels gent and gay,
Who with ſoft ſmiles, and ſalutation ſweet,
And courteous violence would force them ſtay,
And reſt them in their bow'r not far away;
Their bow'r that moſt luxuriouſly was w dight
With all the dainties of air, earth and ſea,
All that mote pleaſe the taſte, and charm the ſight,
The pleaſure of the board, and charm of beauty bright.
[Page 87] XVII.
Als might he therein hear a mingled ſound
Of feaſt and ſong and laughing jollity,
That in the noiſe was all diſtinction drown'd
Of graver ſenſe, or muſick's harmony.
Yet were there ſome in that blithe company
That aptly could diſcourſe of virtuous lore,
Of manners, wiſdom and ſound policy;
Yet x nould they often ope their ſacred ſtore,
Ne might their voice be heard mid riot and uproar.
Thereto the joys of idleneſs and love,
And luxury, that beſots the nobleſt mind,
And cuſtom prevalent at diſtance drove
All ſenſe and reliſh of a higher kind,
Whereby the ſoul to virtue is refin'd.
Inſtead whereof the arts of ſlavery
Were taught, of ſlavery perverſe and blind,
That vainly boaſts her native liberty,
Yet wears the chains of pride, of luſt, and gluttony.
Of which the red-croſs knight right well aware,
Would in no wiſe agree with them to go,
Albeit with courtly glee their leader fair,
yHight Politeſſa, him did kindly woo.
Falſe as the flow'rs which to their breaſts they ty'd,
Or thoſe which ſeemed in their cheeks to glow,
For both were falſe, and not by Nature dy'd,
Falſe rivals of the ſpring, and beauty's roſy pride.
Then from behind then ſtraightway 'gan advance
An uncouth ſtripling quaintly habited,
As for ſome revel maſk, or antick daunce,
All chequer'd o'er with yellow, blue, and red;
Als in a vizor black he ſhrouds his head,
The which he toſſed to and fro amain,
And z eft his lathy falchion brandiſhed,
As if he meant fierce battle to a darrain,
And like a wanton ape eft ſkip'd he on the plain.
And eft about him ſkip'd a gaudy throng
Of youthful gallants, frolick, trim, and gay,
Chanting in careleſs notes their amourous ſong,
Match'd with like careleſs geſts, like amourous play.
Als were they gorgeous, dreſs'd in rich array,
And well accepted of that female train,
Whoſe hearts to joy and mirth devoted aye,
Each proffer'd love receive without diſdain,
And part without regret from each late-favour'd ſwain.
[Page 89] XXII.
And now they do accord in wanton daunce
To join their hands upon the flow'ry plain;
The whiles with amourous leer and eyes aſkaunce
Each damſel fires with love her glowing ſwain;
Till all-impatient of the tickling pain,
In ſudden laughter forth at once they break,
And ending ſo their daunce, each tender twain
To ſhady bow'rs forthwith themſelves betake,
Deep hid in myrtle groves, beſide a ſilver lake.
Thereat the red-croſs knight was much enmov'd,
And 'gan his heart with indignation ſwell,
To view in forms ſo made to be belov'd,
Ne faith, ne truth, ne heav'nly virtue dwell;
But luſt inſtead, and falſhood, child of hell;
And glutton ſloth, and love of gay attire:
And ſooth to ſay, them well could parallel
Their luſty b paramours in vain deſire;
Well fitted to each dame was ev'ry gallant ſquire.
Yet when their ſov'reign calls them forth to arms,
Their ſov'reign, whoſe c beheſts they moſt revere,
Right wiſely can they menage war's alarms,
And wield with valour great the martial ſpear,
Oh! that for Liberty they ſo did fight!
Then need no Fairy-land their proweſs fear,
Ne give in charge to her advent'rous knight
Their friendſhip to beware, and ſenſe-deluding ſleight.
But not for liberty they wagen war,
But ſolely to d aggrate their mighty lord,
For whom their deareſt blood they e nillen ſpare,
Whenſo him liſteth draw the conqu'ring ſword;
So is that idol vain of them ador'd,
Who ne with might beyond his meaneſt thrall
Endued, ne ſuperior wiſdom ſtor'd,
Sees at his feet proſtrated millions fall,
And with religious drad obey his princely call.
Thereto ſo high and ſtately was his port,
That all the petty kings him ſore envy'd,
And would him imitate in any ſort,
With all the mimick pageantry of pride,
And worſhip'd be like him, and deify'd
Of courtly ſycophants and f caitifs vile,
Who to thoſe ſervices themſelves apply'd,
And in that ſchool of ſervitude ere while
Had learn'd to bow and grin, and flatter, and beguile.
[Page 91] XXVII.
For to that ſeminary of faſhions vain
The rich and noble from all parts repair,
Where grown enamour'd of the gaudy train,
And courteous haviour gent and debonair,
They caſt to imitate ſuch ſemblaunce fair;
And deeming meanly of their native lond,
Their own rough virtues they diſdain to wear,
And back returning dreſt by foreign hond,
Ne other matter care, ne other underſtond.
Wherefore th' enchaunter vile, who ſore was griev'd
To ſee the knight reject thoſe damſels gay,
Wherewith he thought him ſure to have deceiv'd,
Was minded to that court him to convey,
And daze his eyen with Majeſty's bright ray:
So to a ſtately caſtle he him brought,
Which in the midſt of a great garden lay,
And wiſely was by cunning craftſmen wrought,
And with all riches deck'd ſurpaſſing human thought.
There underneath a ſumptuous canopy,
That with bright ore and diamonds glitter'd far,
Sate the ſwoln form of royal g ſurquedry,
And deem'd itſelf h allgates ſome creature rare,
With the baſe count'nance of the vaſſal fry,
That ſeem'd to have nor eye, nor tongue, nor ear;
Ne any ſenſe, ne any faculty,
That did not to his throne owe ſervile miniſtry.
Yet wiſt he not that half that homage low
Was at a wizard's ſhrine in private pay'd,
The which conducted all that goodly ſhow,
And as he liſt th' imperial puppet play'd,
By ſecret ſprings and wheels right wiſely made,
That he the ſubtle wires mote not i avize,
But deem in ſooth that all he did or ſaid,
From his own motion and free grace did riſe,
And that he juſtly hight immortal, great, and wiſe.
And eke to each of that ſame gilded train,
That meekly round that lordly throne did ſtand,
Was by that wizard ty'd a magick chain,
Whereby their actions all he mote command,
And rule with hidden influence the land.
Yet to his lord he outwardly did bend,
And thoſe ſame magick chains within his hand
Did ſeem to place, albeit by the end
He held them faſt, that none them from his gripe mote rend.
[Page 93] XXXII.
He was to weet an old and wrinkled mage,
Deep read in all the arts of policy,
And from experience grown ſo crafty ſage,
That none his ſecret counſels mote deſcry,
Ne ſearch the mines of his deep ſubtlety.
Thereto fair peace he lov'd and cheriſhed;
And traffick did promote and induſtry,
Whereby the vulgar were in quiet fed,
And the proud lords in eaſe and plenty wallowed.
Thence all the gorgeous ſplendor of the court,
k Sith the ſole bus'neſs of the rich and great,
Was to that hope-built temple to reſort,
And round their earthly god in glory wait,
Who with their pride to ſwell his royal ſtate,
Did pour large ſums of gold on ev'ry one,
Brought him by harpies fell, him to aggrate,
And torn from peaſants vile, beneath the throne
Who lay deep ſunk in earth, and inwardly did groan.
Behold, ſays ARCHIMAGE, the envy'd height
Of human grandeur to the gods ally'd!
Behold yon ſun of pow'r, whoſe glorious light,
O'er this rejoicing land out-beaming wide,
Which like the painted daughters of the plain,
Ne toil, ne ſpin, ne ſtain their ſilken pride
With care, or ſorrow, ſith withouten pain,
Them in eternal joy thoſe heav'nly beams maintain.
Them morn and evening joy eternal greets,
And for them thouſands and ten thouſands l moil,
Gathering from land and ocean honied ſweets
For them, who in ſoft indolence the while
And ſlumb'ring peace enjoy the luſcious ſpoil;
And as they view around the careful bees
m Foreſpent with labour and inceſſant toil,
With the ſweet contraſt learn themſelves to pleaſe,
And heighten by compare the luxury of eaſe.
Ungenerous man, quoth then the Fairy knight,
That can rejoice to ſee another's woe!
And thou, unworthy of that glory bright,
Wherewith the gods have deck'd thy princely brow,
That doth on Sloth and Gluttony beſtow
The hard-earn'd fruits of Induſtry and Pain,
And to the dogs the labourer's morſel throw,
Unmindful of the hand that ſow'd the grain,
The poor earth-trodden root of all thy greatneſs vain.
[Page 95] XXXVII.
Oh foul abuſe of ſacred Majeſty,
That boaſteth her fair ſelf from heav'n yſprong!
Where are the marks of thy divinity?
Truth, Mercy, Juſtice ſteady, bold and ſtrong,
To aid the meek, and curb oppreſſive wrong?
Where is the care and love of publick good,
That to the people's father doth belong?
Where the vice-gerent of that bounteous God,
Who bids diſpenſe to all, what he for all beſtow'd?
Dwell'ſt thou not rather, like the prince of hell,
In Pandemonium full of ugly fiends?
Diſſimulation, Diſcord, Malice fell,
Reckleſs Ambition, that right onward n wends,
Tho' his wild march o'erthrow both fame and friends,
And virtue and his country; crooked Guile,
Obliquely creeping to his treach'rous ends,
And Flatt'ry, curs'd aſſaſſin, who the while
He holds the murd'rous knife, can fawn, and kiſs, and ſmile.
Then 'gan he ſtrait unvail the mirrour bright,
The which fair o Una gave him heretofore,
Ere he as yet, with p Paynim foe to fight,
For foreign land had left his native ſhore.
And on it oft would caſt his wary eye;
For it by magick framed was of yore,
So that no falſhood mote it well abye,
But it was plainly ſeen, or fearfully did fly.
This on that gay aſſembly did he turn,
And ſaw confounded quite the gawdy ſcene;
Saw the cloſe fire that inwardly did burn,
And waſte the throbbing heart with ſecret q teen;
Saw baſe dependence in the haughty mien
Of lords and princes; ſaw the magick chain
That each did wear, but deem'd he wore unſeen,
The whiles with count'naunce glad he hid his pain,
And homage did require from each poor lowly ſwain.
And tho' to that old mage they louted down,
Yet did they dearly wiſh for his decay:
Als trembled he, and aye upon the throne
Of his great lord his tott'ring ſteps did ſtay,
And oft behind him ſkulk'd for great diſmay;
Als ſhook the throne, when ſo the villain crew,
That underneath oppreſs'd and groveling lay,
Impatient of the grievous burthen grew,
And loudly for redreſs and liberty did ſue.
[Page 97] XLII.
There mote he likewiſe ſee a ribbald train
Of dancers, broid'rers, ſlaves of luxury,
Who caſt o'er all thoſe lords and ladies vain
A veil of ſemblaunce fair, and richeſt dye,
That none their inward baſeneſs mote deſcry.
But nought was hidden from that mirrour bright.
Which when falſe ARCHIMAGO 'gan eſpy,
He feared for himſelf, and warn'd the knight
From ſo deteſted place to maken ſpeedy flight.
So on he paſſed, till he comen hath
To a ſmall river, that full ſlow did glide,
As it uneath mote find its watry path
For ſtones and rubbiſh, that did choak its tide;
So lay the mould'ring piles on ev'ry ſide,
Seem'd there a goodly city once had been,
Albeit now fallen were her royal pride,
Yet mote her auncient greatneſs ſtill be ſeen,
Still from her ruins prov'd the world's imperial queen.
For the rich ſpoil of all the continents,
The boaſt of art and nature there was brought,
Corinthian braſs, Aegyptian monuments,
With hieroglyphick ſculptures all inwrought,
To counterfeit the forms of heroes old,
And ſet before the eye of ſober thought
Lycurgus, Homer, and Alcides bold.
All theſe and many more that may not here be told.
There in the middeſt of a ruin'd pile,
That ſeem'd a theatre of circuit vaſt,
Where thouſands might be ſeated, he erewhile
Diſcover'd hath an uncouth trophy plac'd;
Seem'd a huge heap of ſtone together caſt
In nice diſorder and wild ſymmetry,
Urns, broken freezes, ſtatues half defac'd,
And pedeſtals with antique imagery
Emboſs'd, and pillars huge of coſtly porphyry.
Aloft on this ſtrange baſis was r ypight
With girlonds gay adorn'd a golden chair,
In which aye ſmiling with ſelf-bred delight,
In careleſs pride reclin'd a lady fair,
And to ſoft muſick lent her idle ear;
The which with pleaſure ſo did her enthrall,
That for aught elſe ſhe had but little care,
For wealth, or fame, or honour feminal,
Or gentle love, ſole king of pleaſures natural.
[Page 99] XLVII.
Als by her ſide, in richeſt robes array'd,
An eunuch ſate, of viſage pale and dead,
Unſeemly paramour for royal maid!
Yet him ſhe courted oft and honoured,
And oft would by her place in princely s ſted,
Though from the dregs of earth he ſpringen were,
And oft with regal crowns ſhe deck'd his head,
And oft, to ſooth her vain and fooliſh ear,
She bade him the great names of mighty t Keſars bear.
Thereto herſelf a pompous title bore,
For ſhe was vain of her great aunceſtry,
But vainer ſtill of that prodigious ſtore
Of arts and learning, which ſhe vaunts to lie
In the rich archives of her treaſury.
Theſe ſhe to ſtrangers oftentimes would ſhew,
With grave demean and ſolemn vanity,
Then proudly claim as to her merit due,
The venerable praiſe and title of Vertù.
Vertù ſhe was v yclep'd, and held her court
With outward ſhews of pomp and majeſty,
To which natheleſs few others did reſort,
But men of baſe and vulgar induſtry.
Mimes, fidlers, pipers, eunuchs ſqueaking fine,
Painters and builders, ſons of maſonry,
Who could well meaſure with the rule and line,
And all the orders five right craftily define.
But other ſkill of cunning architect,
How to contrive the houſe for dwelling beſt,
With ſelf-ſufficient ſcorn they wont neglect,
As correſponding with their purpoſe leaſt;
And herein be they copied of the reſt,
Who aye pretending love of ſcience fair,
And gen'rous purpoſe to adorn the breaſt
With lib'ral arts, to Vertù's court repair,
Yet nought but tunes and names, and coins away do bear.
For long, to viſit her once-honour'd ſeat
The ſtudious ſons of learning have forbore:
Who whilom thither ran with pilgrim feet
Her venerable reliques to adore,
And load her boſom with the ſacred ſtore,
Whereof the world large treaſure yet enjoys.
But w ſithence ſhe declin'd from wiſdom's lore,
They left her to diſplay her pompous toys
To virtuoſi vain, and wonder-gaping boys.
[Page 101] LII.
Forthy to her a num'rous train doth x long
Of uſhers in her court well practiſed,
Who aye about the monied ſtranger throng,
Off'ring with ſhews of courteous y bountihed
Him through the rich apartments all to lead,
And ſhew him all the wonders of her ſtate,
Whoſe names and price they wiſely can z areed,
And tell of coins of old and modern date,
And pictures falſe and true right well diſcriminate.
Als are they named after him, whoſe tongue
Shook the dictator in his curule chair,
And thund'ring through the Roman ſenate, rung
His bold Philippics in Antonius' ear;
Which when the Fairy heard, he ſigh'd full dear,
And caſting round his quick diſcerning eye,
At ev'ry a deal he dropt a manly tear,
As he the ſtately buildings mote deſcry,
Baths, theatres, and fanes in mould'ring fragments lie.
[Page 102] LIV.
And, oh! imperial city! then he ſaid,
How art thou tumbled from thine Alpine throne!
Whereon, like Jove on high Olympus' head,
Thou ſittedſt erſt unequall'd and alone,
And madedſt through the world thy greatneſs known;
While from the weſtern iſles, to Indus' ſhore,
From ſeven-mouth'd Nilus, to the frozen Don,
Thy dradded bolts the ſtrong-pounc'd Eagle bore,
And taught the nations round thy Faſces to adore.
And doth among thy reliques nought remain,
No little portion of that haughty ſpright?
Which made thee whilom ſcorn ſoft Pleaſure's chain,
And in free Virtue place thy chief delight,
Whereby through ages ſhone thy glory bright?
And is there nought remaining to confound
Thoſe, who regardleſs of thy woeful plight,
With idle wonder view thy ruins round,
And without thought ſurvey thy memorable wound?
Ariſe, thou genuine Cicero, and declare
That all theſe mighty ruins ſcatter'd wide,
The ſepulchres of Roman virtue were,
And trophies vaſt of Luxury and Pride,
And do you then with vile mechanic thought
Your courſe, ye ſons of Fairy, hither guide,
That ye thoſe gay refinements may be taught,
Which Liberty's fair lond to ſhame and thraldom brought?
Let Rome thoſe vaſſal arts now meanly boaſt,
Which to her vanquiſh'd thralls ſhe erſt reſign'd;
Ye who enjoy that freedom ſhe has loſt,
That great prerogative of human-kind,
Cloſe to your hearts the precious jewel bind,
And learn the rich poſſeſſion to maintain,
Learn Virtue, Juſtice, Conſtancy of Mind,
Not to be mov'd by Fear or Pleaſure's train;
Be theſe your arts, ye brave, theſe only are humane.
As he thus ſpake, th' enchaunter half aſham'd
Wiſt not what fitting anſwer to deviſe,
Als was his caitive heart well-nigh inflam'd,
By that ſame knight ſo virtuous, brave and wiſe,
That long he doubts him farther to entice.
But he was harden'd and remorſeleſs grown,
Through practice old of villainy and vice;
So to his former wiles he turns him ſoon,
As in another place hereafter ſhall be ſhown.
‘HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE.’—Lectos ex omnibus OrisEvehis; & meritum, non quae cunabula quaeris,Et qualis, non unde ſatus: ſub teſte benignoVivitur; egregios invitant praemia mores.CLAUD.
- EDWARD the Third, King of England, &c.
- PHILIPPA, Queen of England, &c.
- EDWARD, Prince of Wales.
- JOHN, * King of France, &c.
- Heralds, Attendants, &c.
Flouriſh of aërial muſick at a diſtance, after which the following verſes are ſung in the air by SPIRITS, while the GENIUS of England deſcends.
HITHER, all ye heav'nly pow'rs,
From your empyreal bow'rs;
From the fields for ever gay,
From the ſtar-pav'd milky way,
From the moon's relucent horn,
From the ſtar that wakes the morn;
From the bow, whoſe mingling dyes
Sweetly cheer the frowning ſkies;
From the ſilver cloud that ſails
Shadowy o'er the darken'd vales;
From th' Elyſiums of the ſky,
Spirits immortal, hither fly!
[Page 108] CHORUS of SPIRITS.
Fly, and through the limpid air
Guard in pomp the ſliding car,
Which to his terreſtrial throne
Wafts Britannia's Genius down.
Hither, all ye heav'nly pow'rs!
From your empyreal bow'rs!
Chiefly ye, whoſe brows divine
Crown'd with ſtarry circlets ſhine;
Who in various labours try'd,
Once Britannia's ſtrength and pride,
Now in everlaſting reſt
Share the glories of the bleſt!
Peers and nobles of the ſky,
Spirits immortal, hither fly!
CHORUS of SPIRITS.
Fly, and through the limpid air
Guard in pomp the ſliding car,
Which to his terreſtrial throne
Wafts Britannia's Genius dawn.
Hither too, ye tuneful throng,
Maſters of enchanting ſong,
Sacred bards! whoſe rapt'rous ſtrains
Sooth the toiling hero's pains,
Sooth the patriot's gen'rous cares;
Sweetly thro' their raviſh'd ears
Heav'nly viſions, hopes refin'd;
Hopes of endleſs peace and fame,
Safe from envy's blaſting flame,
Pure, ſincere, in thoſe abodes,
Where to throngs of liſt'ning gods,
Hymning bards, to virtue's praiſe,
Tune their never-dying lays.
Sweet encomiaſts of the ſky,
Spirits immortal, hither fly!
CHORUS of SPIRITS.
Fly, and charm the limpid air,
While the ſoftly-ſliding car,
To his ſea-encircled throne
Wafts Britannia's Genius down.
Chorus of BARDS deſcends, dreſs'd in long flowing ſky-colour'd robes ſpangled with ſtars, with garlands of oaken bought upon their heads, and golden harps in their hands, made like the Welch, or old Britiſh harp. Before they appear, they ſing the chorus, and afterwards, as they deſcend, the following ſongs; at the laſt ſtanza of which, the chariot of the GENIUS appears, and deſcends gradually all the while that and the grand chorus is ſinging.
CHORUS of BARDS.‘ [Page 110]
Gentle Spirit, we obey;
Thus along th' aetherial way,
We attend our monarch's car;
Thus we charm the ſilent air.
Ye ſouthern gales, that ever fly
In frolic April's vernal train,
Who, as ye ſkim along the ſky,
Dip your light pinions in the main,
Then ſhake them fraught with genial ſhow'rs,
O'er blooming Flora's primroſe bow'rs:
Now ceaſe awhile your wanton ſport,
Now drive each threat'ning cloud away;
Then to the flow'ry vale reſort,
And hither all its ſweets convey;
And ever as ye dance along,
With ſoft murmurs aid our ſong.
But lo! fair Windſor's tow'rs appear,
And hills with ſpreading oaks imbrown'd!
Hark! hark! the voice of joy I hear,
Sung by a thouſand echoes round;
And now I view a glitt'ring train,
In triumph march o'er yonder plain.
Hail mighty nation! ever fam'd in war!
Lo! heav'n deſcends thy feſtivals to ſhare;
To view thoſe heroes, whoſe immortal praiſe
Celeſtial bards ſhall ſing in living lays.
At the concluſion of this chorus, the GENIUS alights from his chariot, the front of which reſembling the head of a man of war, is adorned with a carved lion, holding before his breaſt the arms of England, as they were borne by Edward. Behind, on a rais'd ſeat, ſits the GENIUS, leaning upon an anchor of ſilver, and bearing in his right hand the vindicta, or wand of enfranchiſement, and in his left a roll of parchment, upon which is written, in large letters of gold, MAGNA CHARTA. On his head is a corona roſtrata, or naval crown; and his robe, of a ſea-green colour, is embroidered with cornucopia's and golden tridents.
Diſdain not, ye bleſt denizens of air,
To breathe this groſſer atmoſphere awhile,
Your ſervice I ſhall need; mean time reſort
To yon imperial palace, and in air
Draw up your ſquadrons in a radiant orb,
Suſpended o'er thoſe lofty battlements,
Like the bright halo that inveſts the moon,
Or Saturn's lucid ring: thence ſhed benign
Your choiceſt influence on the noble train,
There on this ſolemn day aſſembled round
The throne of Britiſh Edward: I awhile
Muſt here await th' approach of other ſpirits,
Fetch'd by my ſummons from the weſtern iſles,
That, ſcatter'd o'er the rough Hibernian flood,
Seem like huge fragments by the wild wave torn
From ſtormy Scotland, and the Cambrian ſhore.
There, from the world retir'd in ſecret ſhades,
Chiefly where Breint and Meinai waſh'd the oaks
Of ancient Mona, their academies
And ſchools of ſage and moral diſcipline
They held; and to the neighb'ring Britons round,
From their rever'd tribunals, holy mounts,
Diſpens'd at once their oracles and laws.
'Till fierce Paulinus, and his Roman bands,
Them and their gods defying, drove them thence
To ſeek for ſhelter in Hibernian ſhades.
Yet ſtill enamour'd of their ancient haunts,
Unſeen of mortal eyes, they hover round
Their ruin'd altars, conſecrated hills
Once girt with ſpreading oaks, myſterious rows
Of rude enormous obeliſks, that riſe
Orb within orb, ſtupendous monuments
Of artleſs architecture, ſuch as now
Oft times amaze the wand'ring traveller,
By the pale moon diſcern'd on Sarum's plain.
But hence, aërial ſpirits: lo, they come!
Here the SPIRITS and BARDS, together with the chariot of the GENIUS, reaſcend, and at the ſame time the DRUIDS enter, cloath'd in dark-colour'd coarſe ſtuff gowns [Page 113] which before hang no lower than the knee, but behind almoſt touch the ground. The ſleeves of theſe gowns reach down below the elbow, and from behind comes up a ſort of hood or cowle, which hangs looſe about the head and forehead. From the left ſhoulder hangs in a ſtring a kind of pouch, or ſcrip, and reſts on the right hip. In their right hand they hold a ſtaff, and in their left an oaken branch. Their beards are very large and long, reaching below their waiſts. Their legs are naked, and their feet ſhod with ſandals, which are faſtened by thongs wound about the foot and the ſmall of the leg. a
Inform us, happy ſpirit, protecting pow'r
Of this our ancient country, wherefore now
From our ſequeſter'd vallies, penſive groves
And dark receſſes, thou haſt ſummon'd us
To wait thy orders on this flow'ry hill?
A great event, ſage Druids, that no leſs
Imports than this your ancient country's fame,
From contemplation, and your ſilent ſhades,
Calls you to meet me on this flow'ry hill.
Know, in yon caſtle, whoſe proud battlements
Sit like a regal crown upon the brow
Of high-climbing lawn, doth Edward hold
This day his ſolemn ſeſſion to receive
Who, ſummon'd by the b herald's publick voice,
To Windſor, as to Fame's bright temple, haſte
From ev'ry ſhore; the noble, wiſe, and brave,
Knights, ſenators, and ſtateſmen, lords and kings;
Ambitious each to gain the ſplendid prize,
By Edward promis'd to tranſcendent worth.
For who of mortals is too great and high
In the career of virtue to contend?
Of theſe ſelecting the moſt glorious names,
Doth England's monarch purpoſe to compoſe
A princely brotherhood, himſelf the chief,
And worthy ſov'reign of th' illuſtrious band;
A band of heroes, liſted in the cauſe
Of honour, virtue, and celeſtial truth,
Under the name and holy patronage
Of Cappadocian GEORGE, Britannia's ſaint.
Such is the plan by gen'rous Edward form'd;
A plan of glory, that beyond the reach
Of his own conquering arms, ſhall propagate
Her monarchs into judges of mankind.
But from this day's deciſions, from the choice
Of his firſt collegues, ſhall ſucceeding times
Of Edward judge, and on his fame pronounce.
For dignities and titles, when miſplac'd
Upon the vicious, the corrupt and vile,
Like princely virgins to low peaſants match'd,
Deſcend from their nobility, and ſoil'd
By baſe alliance, not their pride alone
And native ſplendor loſe, but ſhame retort
Ev'n on the ſacred throne, from whence they ſprung.
So may the luſtre of this order bright,
This eldeſt child of chivalry be ſtain'd,
If at her firſt eſpouſals, her great ſire,
Caught by the ſpecious outſides, that deceive
And captivate the world, admit the ſuit
Of vain pretenders void of real worth;
Light empty bubbles, by the wanton gale
Of fortune ſwell'd, and only form'd to dance
And glitter in the ſun-ſhine of a court.
Begin we then with Edward; firſt let him
At his own high tribunal undergo
The rigid inquiſition—I for this
Have left my lucid ſtar-encircled throne:
For this, immortal ſages have requir'd
Your wiſe and prudent miniſtry, well ſkill'd
In various ſcience and the human heart.
And ſhallows of his ſoul; if he poſſeſs
That firſt of regal talents, to diſcern
With quick-ey'd penetration, thro' the veil
Of art, each character's intrinſick worth,
And all the labyrinths of the human mind.
Nor bluſh for this good end yourſelves to wear
Fallacious forms to plead the cauſe of falſe
But ſpecious merit; at his throne appear
In borrow'd ſhapes, and there with artful guile,
When the ſhrill trumpet cites the candidates,
Urge your pretenſions: all the pow'r employ
Of wit and eloquence: Edward, I truſt,
The trial ſhall abide; which ſhall but tend
To manifeſt, that not from arrogance,
But conſcious virtue, hath he thus aſſum'd
Above all other kings, to be the judge
And great rewarder of heroic deeds.
Nor wholly unaſſiſted will I leave
My royal charge, but with bleſt influence clear
His intellectual eye from the dim miſts
It haply hath contracted from a long
Unebbing current of felicity,
Unhop'd, unequall'd triumphs, from the view
Of captive monarchs, and the glitt'ring throng,
Who at his ſummons from all climates come,
To take, as from their ſov'reign, honours new.
'Tis fit it ſhould afford unuſual aid.
Now, ſages, to yon ſpreading oaks retire
There wait my ſummons; and mean time adviſe
How beſt to execute the taſk enjoin'd.
Ex. Gen. and Druids.
The SCENE changes to a large room in the caſtle (St. George's Hall) at the upper end of which is a royal canopy with the figure of St George, and the motto of the Garter, HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE, beneath it embroider'd in gold. Under this canopy appears ſeated on an elevation of two or three ſteps, king Edward, in the habit of the order of the Garter, with a ſceptre in his right hand, and a globe in his left. On his left hand is ſeated queen Philippa, with a crown upon her head, and dreſs'd in a royal mantle of crimſon velvet, powder'd with embroider'd garters, and an enamel'd c garter bound like a bracelet upon her left arm. By her ſtand a great number of ladies very richly dreſs'd. On Edward's right hand is ſeated king John, in the imperial robes of France; and on the ſame ſide, but a ſtep lower, ſits Edward the Black Prince, in the robes belonging to the Prince of Wales. Next to queen Philippa are ſeated the reſt of Edward's children; and next to the Black Prince, on the other ſide, ſtand the French priſoners, and a great number of lords, &c. richly dreſs'd.
On the floor, at ſome diſtance, ſtands Garter king at arms in the habit of his office, holding in his hand a Garter, with the grand collar of the order. Near him ſtand other heralds, uſhers, attendants, &c.
[Page 118] Flouriſh of trumpets, kettle-drums, &c. After which Edward riſing up from his throne, addreſſes himſelf to the aſſembly.
That hither from your diſtant reſidence,
By ſolemn invitation, noble gueſts,
I have entreated your illuſtrious train,
Miſconſtrue not to levity and pride,
Or oſtentatious vain magnificence,
Unworthy the grave majeſty of kings,
Unworthy your atention, my renown.
This bright aſſemblage of the wiſe, the brave,
The noble, the magnificent, the fair,
The ornaments of Europe, have I ſought
To grace the pomp of Virtue, to adorn
With nobleſt off'rings her unſpotted ſhrine,
Attracting thus to her divine commands
The aweful veneration of mankind.
This was the cauſe, great princes, this the call,
The voice of Virtue, not of England's king,
That with reſpectful zeal ye hear'd and follow'd:
From Burgundy's rich vineyards, from the meads
Of Hainault and Brabant, the rocky wave
Of Danube, from Germania's warlike tow'rs,
Imperial mother of an hundred ſtates;
From Spain, long exercis'd by Mooriſh arms,
From Italy's fair princedoms, and the walls
Of ſea-waſh'd Venice, Adria's haughty ſpouſe.
Recorded in the regiſters of fame,
Knights, ſenators, or ſoldiers, ermin'd lords,
Or ſcepter'd princes; from whatever clime
Ye come, ennobled by heroic acts,
With me unite the ſplendor of your names
To dignify th' erection of a new
And noble order, which to heav'n's high praiſe,
And to heav'n's champion Cappadocian GEORGE,
On this his holy feſtival I mean
To found a recompence for worthieſt deeds.
Thus as the orient ſun, ador'd of old
By proſtrate Perſia, ow'd his deity
Leſs to that genial and benignant heat
That cheriſhes and warms the ſeeds of life,
Than to thoſe gorgeous beams, that deck with gold
And crimſon the gay portals of the morn;
So ſhall this riſing order owe its fame
And brighteſt luſtre to the ſplendid train
Of lords and purpled princes, who are met
This day to uſher and adorn its birth.
Nor deem that to allure heroic minds,
My private int'reſts partially to ſerve,
To lift the valiant in ambition's cauſe,
And form a league of conqueſt, I have laid
In ſubtle policy this great deſign:
ASHAM'D BE HE WHO WITH MALIGNANT EYE
SO READS MY PURPOSE: and be he accurs'd
Whoe'er in after-times ſhall ſo pervert
This ſacred inſtitution. To the world
I here conſign it, to the good and great
Of every age and clime, and them alone. d
Flouriſh of trumpets, &c. which is anſwered by another trumpet from without; then enter a grandee of Spain, magnificently attir'd in the Spaniſh habit, holding in his hand the pedigree of his family, and preceded by heralds, &c. bearing atchievements, banners, coats of armour, helmets, gauntlets, ſpurs, &c.
Illuſtrious monarch! emp'ror of the iſles!
My name is Guzman—from thoſe heroes ſprung,
Againſt th' invaſion of unnumber'd Moors,
Maintain'd the ſame and empire of the Goths,
And founded at Oviedo once again
The Spaniſh monarchy and cath'lick faith,
Tranſporting from the mountain's dreary womb
To glitt'ring temples her moſt holy altars.
Thence on the bordering Moor their valiant ſons
Waging inceſſant war, ere long regain'd
Their ancient realms of Leon, Arragon,
And rich Caſtilia: in which great exploits
My brave progenitors, by valour, zeal,
And loyalty diſtinguiſh'd, from their kings
Gain'd thoſe high honours, princely ſignories,
And proud prerogatives, which have extoll'd
The name of Guzman to ſuch envy'd grandeur,
That ſcarce above it towers the regal throne.
Theſe honours undiminiſh'd, undefil'd,
To me deliver'd down, might well content
A vulgar mind; but ſpirits highly born
Are full of gen'rous and aſpiring thoughts;
And uſe the vantage ground of rank and pow'r
But to aſcend ſtill higher. Thus I come
Thy GARTER to ſollicit; pleas'd, great prince,
With thee to be enroll'd thy brother knight,
And fearing no repulſe. Nobility,
As neareſt in her orbit, firſt receives
The beams of majeſty; alone can bear
Inferior natures. Virtue's ſelf would bluſh,
Did ſhe at once approach too near the throne.
But the young eagle borne amid the blaze
Of glancing lightnings, with undazzled eye
Soars to the courts of heav'n, and perches bold
On the bright ſceptre of imperial Jove.
The greateſt king is he, who is the king
Of greateſt ſubjects. Seek'ſt thou to advance
The glory of thy order? To thy ſelf
Aſſociate thoſe, whoſe high-exalted names
For ages paſt from Envy's ſelf have forc'd
Habitual veneration, never paid
To new and upſtart merit. Such am I,
Whoſe pure and gen'rous blood deſcending down
From nobleſt fountains, in its courſe enrich'd
By glorious mixtures with each royal ſtream
That fair Iberia boaſts, might ev'n pretend
To thy alliance, Edward. View this ſcroll,
The faithful blazon of my ancient line,
A line of potentates, whoſe ev'ry ſon
Deſerv'd to wear the GARTER I demand.
In me their repreſentative, the heir,
Of all their honours, ſon of their renown,
Do thou reward their virtues: in their names
I claim, and on hereditary right,
The right of monarchs, Edward, reſt my plea.
[Page 124] EDWARD.
The high deſert of thy renown'd forefathers
Well haſt thou ſhewn; but haſt thou therefore prov'd
Thy ſelf deſerving to be call'd their ſon?
To thee their proſp'rous virtues have indeed
Tranſmitted lineal rank, and titles proud,
By them more hardly gain'd; for which thou ſtand'ſt
To cuſtom and th' indulgence of thy country
Indebted, Guzman, in a large account;
Which thou muſt firſt diſcharge by noble deeds,
Ere thou canſt ſtile thoſe dignities thine own.
This if thou haſt not paid, why doſt thou ſeek,
Like thriftleſs prodigals, to ſwell the debt,
And overwhelm thy ſelf with obligations?
Virtue is honour, and the nobleſt titles
Are but the public ſtamps ſet on the ore
To aſcertain its value to mankind.
It were a kind of treaſon to my crown,
To mark baſe metal with the royal impreſs,
And put off lazy pride in virtue's name.
Wou'dſt thou attain my GARTER? Seek it there
Where thy heroic anceſtors acquir'd
Their glorious honours, in th' embattled field
Among the ſquadrons of the warlike Moors:
Or in the council of thy king, by truth
And wiſdom equal to th' important truſt.
Be what thy fathers were, and then return
And be the fit companion of a king. Exit Spaniard.
Flouriſh of trumpets, &c. which, as before, is anſwered by another trumpet from without; then enter an uſurer and ſenator of Genoa (at that time the bank of Europe) dreſs'd in his ſenatorial gown of black velvet, profuſely, but aukwardly adorn'd with jewels, pearls and diamond necklaces, pendents, bracelets, rings, ſuch as he may be ſuppoſed to have received as pawns, and to wear rather as marks of his great riches, than as ornaments of his dreſs. He is attended by a large train of people of every profeſſion, appearing to be his debtors, by their abject and timid countenances, at the head of whom, and next to the uſurer, marches a ſcrivener, bearing a large bundle of bonds, mortgages, &c.
From Genoa the opulent, the bank
And treaſury of the world, moſt puiſſant king,
Invited by thy heralds, am I come
To claim the honour by thy promiſe due,
Due by thy juſtice to ſuperior worth;
Due then to me, great Edward, who poſſeſs
That object of the toils, the cares, the vows
Of all mankind, that comprehenſive good,
Source of all pow'r and grandeur, boundleſs wealth.
Behold yon glitt'ring train, whoſe ſumptuous pride,
Bright with the treaſures of each precious mine,
Inveſts with glory thy imperial throne:
Whence is their dignity? The ray auguſt,
That awes and dazzles the reſpectful crowd,
Their wiſdom, or their valour, or their fame?
Comes it not rather from the beaming ore?
The diamond's ſtar-like radiance? Wealth, O king,
Wealth is the ſun that decks the gorgeous ſcene;
That cheriſhes, adorns, and calls to view
Theſe princely flowers of honour, virtue, fame,
Which in the ſhades of poverty were loſt.
Whatever men deſire or venerate,
On wealth attends; ev'n empire's ſelf is bought.
Nor cou'd the mighty Julius have attain'd
By wiſdom or by valour ſov'reign pow'r,
Had not the gold of vanquiſh'd Gaul ſubdu'd
The liberties of Rome. On wretched want,
Contempt and narrow-ſoul'd dependence wait.
Ev'n kings, of neceſſary wealth depriv'd,
In powerleſs indigence loſe all reſpect,
All homage from their ſubjects: while the rich,
Like gods ador'd, o'er ev'ry neck extend
Their potent ſceptres, and in golden chains
Fierce Faction and rebellious Freedom bind.
The glory, ſtrength, importance of a realm
Is meaſur'd by its riches: Venice thus,
Thus Genoa's petty ſtate out-balances,
In Europe's ſcale, the boundleſs wilds that cloath
With tributary furs the Ruſſian Czar.
With like pre-eminence exalted ſhines
The bleſt poſſeſſor of all-worſhip'd gold.
My birth or rank I boaſt not here, though born
A ſenator of Genoa. The deſert,
On which I found my claim, is all my own;
To have adorn'd and dignify'd the ſtate
Of my declining houſe with greater wealth
Than e'er my thriftleſs anceſtors poſſeſs'd;
Whoſe richeſt acquiſitions were but ſprigs
Of barren laurel, or the flaunting rags
Of ſome torn enſign, to their needy ſon
A worthleſs heritage. Yet not to ſwell
My narrow fortunes wou'd my ſoul deſcend
To the baſe methods of ignoble trade,
And vulgar mercantile purſuit of gain.
Mine were the noble arts of raiſing gold
From gold, of nurſing and improving wealth
By gainful uſe; arts practis'd heretofore
By ſenators and ſages of old Rome,
Illuſtrious Craſſus, and wiſe Seneca.
Thus have I grac'd the ſplendor of my name
With ſuitable poſſeſſions; thus I hold
In firm ſubjection to my will the poor
Of ev'ry rank and order, ſoldier, prieſt,
The vent'rous merchant, and the ſumptuous lord,
Who in a lower vaſſalage to me,
Than to thy ſceptre, Edward, bow their heads,
Pledging their lands and liberties for gold.
Hence am I bold to ſtand before thy throne
A candidate for glory's higheſt prize:
And let me add, that policy alone
Shou'd teach thy prudence to approve my claim;
Shou'd teach thee in thy ſubjects to excite,
By honours on ſuperior wealth beſtow'd,
An uſeful emulation to be rich:
Which once inſpir'd, thy Albion ſhall become
The firſt of nations, thou the firſt of kings.
Hadſt thou by op'ning to thy native land
The golden veins of commerce, by employing
The uſeful hands of induſtry in works
Of national advantage, by uniting
Remoteſt regions in the friendly bands
And honeſt intercourſe of mutual trade;
Hadſt thou by theſe humane and generous arts,
Which thy miſtaken pride ſo much diſdains,
Enrich'd at once thy country and thy ſelf,
Then not unworthy hadſt thou been to wear
The brighteſt marks of honour; but thy wealth,
The baſe-born child of ſordid uſury,
That foe to commerce, nurſe of idleneſs,
Stains and degrades thee from thy noble birth;
Nor in the uſurer can I diſcern
The ſenator of Genoa.—To enlarge
The mind with gen'rous ſentiments, to raiſe
Its aims by virtuous emulation, here
That ſelfiſh paſſion which congeals the heart,
And ſtops the ſtreams of ſweet benevolence,
Mean avarice, the vice of narroweſt ſouls,
Incapable of glory.—Wealth, thou ſay'ſt,
Can buy ev'n empire, and to Julius gave
Dominion o'er his country—Fatal gift,
And ruinous to both! But what to Rome,
What to that Caeſar's ſucceſſors avail'd
The boundleſs treaſures of the ravag'd world,
When they had loſt their virtue? Did not ſoon
The valiant ſons of poverty, the Goths,
The Huns and Vandals, from their barren hills
And rugged woods deſcending, to their ſteel
Subject the Roman gold? Yet I deny not
The pow'r and uſe of riches: to the wiſe
And good, in publick or in private life,
They are the means of virtue, and beſt ſerve
The nobleſt purpoſes; but in the uſe,
Not in the bare poſſeſſion, lies the merit.
Shew me thy merit then, thy bounteous acts,
Publick munificence, or private alms,
The hungry and the naked, and the ſick,
Suſtain'd and cheriſh'd by thy ſaving hand;
Plead this, and I allow thy worthy claim,
For this is virtue, and deſerves reward.
[Page 130] Flouriſh of trumpets, &c. which is anſwered by a ſymphony of flutes, violins, &c. playing a light amorous air; then appears a Neapolitan courtier, a favourite of queen Joan, who then reign'd at Naples, and whoſe court was the moſt debauch'd and diſſolute of that age. He comes in with a gay and affected geſture, and is dreſs'd in looſe ſilken robes, rich, but finical and eſſeminate; on his hair, which is curl'd and ſpread all over his ſhoulders down to the middle of his back, he wears a chaplet of roſes, and is attended by a train of beautiful boys, habited like Cupids, and muſicians, who, as he marches towards the throne, continue playing their ſoft and wanton airs.
Not on my wealth, nor on my noble blood,
Shall I preſume to claim thy royal gift,
Auſpicious prince, but on the ſkill to give
That ſplendor to nobility and wealth,
That elegance of taſte, from which alone
Their value they derive; of this to judge,
This to direct, I boaſt, fit arbiter
Of all refin'd delights.—But chief to kings
My happy talents I devote; on them
My genius waits with duteous care, and wafts
The golden cup of pleaſure to their lips,
Like Ganymede before the throne of Jove.
And who indeed would wiſh to be a god
Only to thunder, and to hear the pray'rs
Of clam'rous ſuitors? 'Tis the nectar'd feaſt,
The dance of Graces, and the wanton charms
Of Venus, ſporting with the Smiles and Loves,
Far happier were the meaneſt peaſant's lot
Who ſleeps or ſings in careleſs eaſe beneath
The ſun-burnt hay-cock, or the flow'ry thorn,
Than to be plac'd on high in anxious pride,
The purple drudge and ſlave of tireſome ſtate,
If to ſuperior pow'r ſuperior means
Of joy were not annex'd, and larger ſcope
For ev'ry wiſh the laviſh heart can form:
If the ſoft hand of pleaſure did not wreathe
Around the royal diadem, whoſe weight
Oppreſſive loads the monarch's aching brow,
Her faireſt growth of ever-blooming flow'rs.
On thee, victorious prince, propitious Fortune
Hath pour'd her richeſt gifts, renown and wealth,
And greatneſs equal to thy mighty mind;
One only bliſs is wanting to thy court,
Voluptuous elegance, the lovely child
Of eaſe and opulence; that never comes,
But like a bird of ſummer to attend
The brighteſt ſun-ſhine of a glorious ſtate.
To her, and her alone belongs the taſk,
By learned delicacy to remove
What yet remains in this thy ancient realm
Of Gothick barbariſm, the ruſt of war,
And valiant ignorance.—Her artful hand
Thy rugged Britons ſhall refine, and teach
More courtly manners, to their ſov'reign's will
Thy willing ſervant, with thy favours grac'd,
From fair Joanna's ever-ſmiling court,
Under whoſe happy influence I was train'd,
From poliſh'd Naples, her delightful ſeat,
The blooming goddeſs to tranſport, with all
Her train of joys, and fix them here beneath
Thy great protection.—But perhaps thou fear'ſt
The voice of cenſure, and the grave reproof
Of moralizing dullneſs: idle fear!
The vulgar herd, indeed, religious craft
And policy of ſtate have well confin'd
With wiſe ſeverity to rigid laws:
Elſe would that headſtrong beaſt the multitude
Forget obedience, and its rider's voice
Diſdain. But ſhall the rider put a curb
In his own mouth? The laws that kings have made
Shall they reſtrain the makers? Edward, no!
For thee indulgent juſtice ſhall relax
Her harſh decrees, and piety ſhall wait
To give her rev'rend ſanction to thy will.
'Tis thine to rove at large thro' nature's field,
Crop ev'ry flow'r, and taſte of ev'ry fruit;
By ſweet variety provoking ſtill
The languid appetite to new deſires.
Nor uſeleſs to thy pleaſures, happy prince,
Shall be my faithful ſervice; nicer joys,
Joys of a quicker, more exalted taſte,
The growth of ſofter regions, ſhall my hand
By ſkilful culture in thy Britain raiſe.
To them, whoſe groſs and dull capacities
Are fit to bear the burthens of the ſtate,
The lab'ring mules, that thro' the mire of forms
Draw the ſlow car of government along,
Gladly the taſk of bus'neſs I reſign.
Be mine the brighter province, to direct
Thy pleaſures, Edward, miniſter ſupreme
Of all thy ſofter hours: to ſerve the king
Be theirs the glory, let me ſerve the man.
But ſhou'd thy ſterner Genius, only pleas'd
With arms and royalty's important cares,
The duties of a king, my gentle arts
Too lightly prize, and thence reject my ſuit:
Permit at leaſt, that to Philippa's ear,
Divine Philippa, thine and beauty's queen,
And her attendant graces, I may plead
The cauſe of bliſs, a cauſe ſo much their own:
They will approve my claim, to whom the cares,
The labours of my life, my head, my heart
Are all devoted—Let me from their hands
Receive the GARTER, and be call'd their knight.
Permit me, gracious Edward, to reply
To this irreverent flatt'rer, who preſumes
Before a matron and a queen to plead
To find in her a fautreſs of his ſuit.
But know, pernicious ſophiſter, my heart
Hath learn'd from Edward's love, and this high rank
Which I partake with him, a noble pride,
That ill can brook the too familiar eye
And ſaucy tongue of riot and debauch;
In whoſe unmanner'd light ſociety,
Nor majeſty, nor virtue can maintain
That dignity, which is their proper guard.
Thy vile refinements, and luxurious arts,
Miſcall'd politeneſs, I deteſt; and feel,
In the ſoft duties of a virtuous love,
Such pure, ſerene delight, as far tranſcends
What thou ſtyl'ſt pleaſure, the delirious joy
Of an intoxicated feveriſh brain.
Behold my royal lord, the firſt and beſt
Of kings, the love and wonder of mankind!
Behold my children, worthy their great ſire,
The gen'ral theme of praiſe and benediction!
Theſe are my pleaſures; can thy ſkill beſtow
Superior bliſs? Ah no, the vain attempt.
Wou'd only bring diſguſt, remorſe, and ſhame.
That I have lov'd, Philippa, and eſteem'd thee
More for thy virtues than thoſe female charms,
Which this vile flatterer deems ſingly worth
And glory, as it is thy Edward's pride.
With the like ſpirit have I alſo woo'd
And wedded ſov'reign power; nor weakly caught
With outward pomp, or ſeeking to myſelf
A privilege to riot uncontroul'd
In ſenſual pleaſures, and behind the throne
To laugh ſecurely at reſtraint and law.
No: I embrac'd her as the child of heav'n,
Dowr'd with the ample means of doing good;
From whoſe eſpouſals I might hope to raiſe
An offspring, worth th' ambition of a king,
Immortal glory; to a gen'rous mind
As far ſurpaſſing all the wanton toys,
Which he calls pleaſure, as thy faithful love
(The ſweet o'erflowing of heart-felt delight)
Excels, Philippa, the laſcivious ſmile
Of common proſtitutes, careſs'd and loath'd.
Hence from my ſight with thy deteſted arts,
Baſe miniſter of luxury, the bane
Of ev'ry flouriſhing and happy ſtate:
Preſume no more within my court to ſing
Thy Syren-ſong, nor ſoften into ſlaves
And cowards my brave ſubjects.—I diſdain
That elegance, which ſuch as thou can teach.
Virtue alone is elegant, alone
Polite; vice muſt be ſordid and deform'd,
Tho' to adorn her ev'ry art contend.
Untutor'd ſavages, among the woods,
As once they did, in naked innocence,
Than poliſh'd like the vile degenerate race
Of modern Italy's corrupted ſons.
Trumpet ſounds, and is anſwer'd from without by another trumpet, which ſounds a march, accompanied by kettledrums, and other warlike inſtruments: Then enters, preceded by ſoldiers playing upon fifes, and others bearing tatter'd enſigns, ſtandards and trophies, a leader of mercenary bands, compleatly arm'd from head to foot, and carrying in his right hand a baton or truncheon. On each ſide of him march his 'ſquires, one bearing his lance, the other his ſhield. Behind him, as his attendants, comes a train of officers and ſoldiers maimed, and their faces all ſeam'd with ſcars.
Nor riches, nor nobility of birth,
Nor the ſoft arts of baſe effem'nate eaſe,
Which juſtly thou rejecteſt, valiant prince,
But thy own darling attribute I boaſt,
Undaunted courage, try'd in many a field,
In ev'ry clime, and under ev'ry banner,
That for theſe forty ſummers have been wav'd
O'er Europe's plains, by Iſter, Rhine, and Po,
Hungarian and Bohemian, Flemiſh, French,
Venetian, Spaniſh, Guelph and Gibbeline:
Whence in juſt confidence ſecure I come
This military honour to demand,
My laurels, and that generous love of glory,
Which without any call, or publick cauſe,
Or private animoſity, alone
Rais'd my ſtrong arm, and drew my dreadful ſword.
Wherever Mars his crimſon flag diſplay'd,
That was my country, thither ſwift I bore
My ready valour, and the dauntleſs band
Of various nations, under my command,
Prepar'd to ſell their blood, their limbs, their lives:
Nor where the right, nor where the juſteſt cauſe,
Deign'd we to aſk—thoſe intricate debates
We left to lazy penmen in the ſhade
Of coward eaſe; while our impetuous fire
Still bore us forward, ardent to purſue
Thro' danger's rougheſt paths the ſteps to fame.
On ſuch a ſpirit ſhould thy favour ſmile.
But let me wonder, Edward, that ſo long
Thy ear the vain pretenſions cou'd endure
Of men unknown to war, attendants meet
Of ſome luxurious Aſiatic court,
Or female diſtaff-reign; but ſuiting ill
The preſence of a monarch great in arms.
Hadſt thou to thoſe inglorious ſons of peace
Thy martial order giv'n, the warrior-ſaint
Had bluſh'd to ſee his image ſo profan'd,
Which on my manly breaſt, indented o'er
With many a noble ſcar, will fitly ſhine.
Unſkilful as I am in ſmooth diſcourſe,
The coward's argument? On force alone
I reſt my title: let the glorious prize
Be hung on high amid the liſted field,
And let me there diſpute it; there my lance
Shall plead my cauſe far better than my tongue,
If any dare deny my rightful claim.
Not for the brave alone have I ordain'd
This inſtitution, but for all deſert,
All publick virtue, wiſdom, all that ſerves,
Improves, defends, or dignifies a ſtate:
Tho' firſt indeed to valour, as the guard
Of all the reſt, when in the publick cauſe,
With juſtice and benevolence employ'd.
But thou, baſe mercenary, canſt thou dare
The glorious name of valour to uſurp,
Who know'ſt no publick cauſe, no ſenſe of right,
Nor pity, nor affection, nor remorſe?
Who under any chief, in any quarrel,
Canſt ſtain with gore thy proſtituted arms?
Call it not love of glory; that is built
On acts for the deliv'rance of mankind;
On gen'rous principles, and noble ſcorn
Of ſordid int'reſt: call it cruel pride,
And ſavageneſs of nature, that delights
To conquer, and oppreſs, afflict, inſult;
Unauthoris'd, uninjur'd, unprovok'd,
The ſword of war; that bravo-like can lift
For hire the venal hand to perpetrate
Aſſaſſinations, murders, maſſacres.
But thou haſt ſerv'd with courage: be it ſo—
Thou haſt thy pay, and with it thy reward;
Pretend no farther, nor compare thy deeds,
Diſhonour'd by the mean deſire of gain,
With his, who for his country and his king
Reſigns his eaſe, his fortune, or his life.
Thoſe battles thou haſt fought, thoſe forty years
Of blood and horror, which thy vaunting tongue
So high hath ſounded, are indeed thy crimes,
Flagitious crimes; for which th' impartial bar
Of reaſon wou'd condemn thee, as the foe
Of human nature, did not cuſtom ſcreen
By her unjuſt eſteem thy guilty head.
But hope not honour or employment here.
Unſafe and wretched is that monarch's ſtate
Who weakly truſts to mercenary bands,
The guard or of his perſon, or his realm:
Unfaithful, inſolent, rapacious, baſe
He ſoon ſhall prove them, and become himſelf
Their ſlave, to hold his kingdom at their will.
For this within my Britain have I ſought
To raiſe a martial ſpirit, and ordain'd
Theſe new incitements, honours, and rewards,
Who wears hereafter my imperial crown,
May need to ſtoop to the precarious aid
Of venal foreign ſwords; but in the hearts
Of his brave ſubjects find a ſtronger guard,
Prepar'd with zeal unbought, and Engliſh valour,
His rights to vindicate, and ſave their own.
Trumpet ſounds, to which another from without replies: Then enters an Italian politician, habited like a Venetian nobleman, who advancing with a ſolemn and important air towards the throne, makes a low reverence to king Edward, and proceeds.
Well has thy ſovereign wiſdom, royal judge,
The ſuit refus'd of theſe pretenders vain,
And, by rejecting them, embolden'd me.
For valour, and nobility, and wealth,
Though by their proud poſſeſſors vaunted high,
Are but ſubordinate, the ſlaves and tools,
Not the companions, and the counſellors
Of godlike monarchy; whoſe aweful throne
By darkſome clouds envelop'd, far beyond
The ken of vulgar eyes, ſupported ſtands
On that deep-rooted prop, the craft of ſtate,
Myſterious policy.—Who beſt hath learn'd
Her wily leſſons, beſt deſerves to ſhare
By him inſtructed, ev'n the meaneſt prince
Shall riſe to envy'd greatneſs, ſhall advance
His dreaded pow'r above reſtraint and fear,
And all the rules that in fantaſtic chains
Inferior minds confine. Thus Milan's dukes,
Thus Padua's lords above their country's laws
Have rais'd their heads, and trampled to the duſt
The pride of freedom, that eſſays in vain
Their high ſuperior genius to controul.
Theſe were my maſters, mighty prince; beneath
Their rule, and in their councils was I form'd
To know the falſe corrupted heart of man,
His ev'ry weakneſs, ev'ry vice, and thence
To tempt, or break his paſſions to the yoke:
To ſcorn the publick as an empty name,
And on the helpleſs multitude impoſe
The adamantine bonds of fraud and force.
Thus was I train'd, thus fitted to conduct
The fate of proudeſt empires; thus I come
To claim thy GARTER, Edward, the juſt meed
Of worth praeeminent, and in return
My ſervices to offer, which no doubt
Thy wiſdom gladly will accept: for who
So fit to ſerve the majeſty of kings,
As he, who ſlighting ev'ry meaner tye,
Friends, parents, country, to advance their pow'r
Devotes his toil, experience, fortune, fame,
But in their high protection? — Led by me,
Thou, royal Edward, ſhalt attain that height,
That glorious ſummit of imperial pow'r,
Which not thy mighty anceſtors have reach'd;
Where in a freer air, a more enlarg'd
Horizon, bounded only by thy will,
Thou ſhalt exalted ſit, and view beneath,
In humbler diſtances and ſafer bounds,
Thoſe ſubjects, who preſumptuous now approach
Too near, and with rude hands profane thy throne.
Nor let weak ſcruples check thy manly ſoul
In the bright taſk of glory; know, great prince,
A king's divinity is ſov'reign pow'r,
The only god, before whoſe ſhrine the wiſe
Their incenſe offer, whence inſpir'd, they draw
Divine ambition, and heroic ſcorn
Of vulgar prejudices, vulgar fears.
Virtue's the people's idol, and by them
Rewarded well with popular applauſe,
That idle breath, the gift and prize of fools.
'Tis thine to govern, not to court mankind,
Nor on their ſmiles precarious to depend,
But nobly force them to depend on thine.
O ſacred ſir, can virtue give thee this,
This bright ſupremacy? Truſt not her boaſts,
Her idle pageanty of barren praiſe:
Reject her ſaucy claims, importunate,
Proud independency, and publick zeal,
Thoſe factious demagogues, the foes of kings.
Are virtue then, and love of publick good,
The foes of monarchy? and are deceit,
Injuſtice and oppreſſion, qualities
Becoming and expedient in a king?
Then know I not to govern; but have nurs'd
For twice theſe fifteen years ev'n in my heart,
A pois'nous viper; nay unking'd myſelf,
By yielding to reſtrain my ſov'reign pow'r
With laws and charters of enfranchiſement,
Not due, it ſeems, from monarchs to their ſlaves.
But know, vile counſellor of infamy,
That I diſdain thy politics, thoſe falſe
And ſhallow politics, by which my ſire,
Weak judging Edward, was betray'd to ſhame
And foul deſtruction, while to ſuch as thee
His ear and heart incautious he reſign'd,
And was indeed their ſlave, not England's king.
By maxims different far have I ſuſtain'd
The ſtrength and ſplendor of my regal ſtate,
On the broad baſis of true wiſdom fix'd
With ſolid firmneſs. By encouraging
The gen'rous love of virtue and of fame,
That ſource of valour, pledge of victory.
By granting to my ſubjects, what indeed
Is their inherent right, ſecurity,
The cheerful father of content and peace,
Of induſtry and opulence, which fills
With ſmiling multitudes the land, and pays
In willing ſubſidies that prince's care,
Who lays up treaſure in his people's hearts.
By holding with a firm impartial hand
The ſleddy ſcale of juſtice; not alone
Betwixt my ſubjects in their private rights,
But in the gen'ral, more important cauſe,
Betwixt the crown and them, the diff'rent claims
Of freedom and of juſt prerogative:
Tranſgreſſing not myſelf by boundleſs pow'r,
Nor ſuff'ring others to tranſgreſs thoſe laws,
That in their golden chain together bind▪
For common good, the whole united ſtate.
But more than all, by guarding from contempt,
Or impious violation, that ſupreme
Protrectreſs of all government and law,
Religion; in whoſe train for ever wait
Obedience, order, juſtice, mercy, love,
A guard of angels plac'd around the throne.
Her ſacred counſels have I ſtill rever'd,
Her high commands enforc'd, her pow'r implor'd,
O'er all my ſubject nations to call down
From heav'nly wiſdom, her eternal fire,
The force of human prudence to attain.
Theſe are my arts of government, thoſe arts
By which my Britiſh crown I have advanc'd
Above th' imperial diadem, above
The pride of Afric's, or of Aſia's thrones.
I wou'd not tell thee this, but that thou ſeem'ſt
A ſtranger to my fame, as to my realm,
And to the real greatneſs of a king:
Whoſe ſacred dignity, by thee traduc'd,
Much it behoves a king to vindicate;
Not by rejecting only with diſdain
Thy arrogant pretenſions, but in thee
Diſhonouring and branding with reproach
Thy tenets alſo, the pernicious lore
Of tyrants and uſurpers, which thy tongue,
Blaſpheming juſtice, government, and law,
Hath in a land of freedom dar'd to vent.
Hence! from my kingdom, with thy quickeſt ſpeed,
Leſt the revenge of an inſulted king
With ſudden ruin intercept thy flight. Exit Politician.
Permit me, Edward, to thy royal voice
To add my ſuffrage alſo, and with thee
Proteſt againſt this coward policy,
That meanly ſkulks behind opprobrious fraud,
And low unprincely artifice; I feel
That tells me kings were cloath'd with majeſty,
Encircled with authority, rever'd
And almoſt deify'd, to teach them thence
That goodneſs and the ſaving attributes
Of heav'n become their office, juſtice chief,
And truth, the virtue of heroic minds,
Which, were it baniſh'd from all other breaſts,
Should dwell for ever in the hearts of kings.
Aërial muſick, upon which re-enter the five Druids who perſonated the Grandee, &c. in their original characters and habits of Druids, the chief of whom advancing towards the throne, addreſſes himſelf to king Edward.
Behold in us, great king, the ancient prieſts
And judges of this land, the Druids old:
Who late in borrow'd characters have ſtood
Before thy ſage tribunal, to prefer
The claims of valour, wealth, nobility,
And thoſe ſoft ſpecious flatt'rers, who beneath
The roſy wreath of pleaſure and of love
Conceal the ſickly and diſguſtful brow
Of riot and debauch, and often win
From weak unmanly princes the rich prize
To virtue due and wiſdom, not to theſe
The cankers of a ſtate; but leaſt of all
Due to that traytor of his king and country,
Beyond its due proportion, and the ſtrength
Of thoſe foundations which the laws have laid,
O'erwhelms the people, and at once o'erturns
His royal maſter, places him at beſt
On an uneaſy tott'ring pinnacle,
The mark of execration and reproach.
Theſe claims haſt thou rejected; like a king
Diſcerning in mankind, and knowing well
The value of his favours: like a king
Deſerving the high office of the judge
And arbiter of Europe: like a king
Equal to his great fame, and worth the care
Of thoſe immortal ſpirits, who this day
Have quitted their celeſtial reſidence,
To view and to approve thy glorious deeds.
But, Edward, be not thou amaz'd to find
That thoſe who lately for thy favour ſu'd
Were not the perſonages they aſſum'd.
O king! thou art beſet with counterfeits
The very oppoſites to us, who ſeem
Far better than they are. For Flattery,
Cameleon-like, accommodates with care
To the court-hue his changeful countenance.
And when a prince is brave, magnanimous,
And high in ſpirit, then Ambition wears
A face of dignity, and nothing breathes
But lofty enterprizes, conqueſt, pow'r,
Pretending love and care for his renown
With more than duteous zeal.—Of theſe beware!
For as the Theban queen, in fables old,
Was, by the ſpecious guile of fraudful Jove,
In her Amphitryon's form to guilt betray'd,
So by theſe counterfeits are kings ſeduc'd,
Ev'n in the moſt belov'd ſuſpectleſs ſhapes,
To take a traytor to their royal arms.
But thou ſhalt know them, Edward, by their works,
And of this truth be moſt aſſur'd, that he,
Who in his private commerce with mankind
Is mean, diſhoneſt, intereſted, falſe,
Can ne'er be true to thee; nor can he love
His prince, who feels not for his country's good.
Thus warn'd we leave thee, mighty prince: be firm,
Be conſtant in the paths of fair renown.
Think it thy duty to revere thyſelf
The ſacred laws of chivalry, the wiſe
Injunctions by thy order laid on all
The GARTER'D KNIGHTS; ſo ſhall thy fame remain
The great example of all future kings.
Farewell! for lo! the Genius of thy realm
With all his pomp attended, comes to ſhare,
And grace the glories of this ſignal day.
Theſe clouds of fragrance, that far-beaming blaze
Of heav'nly brightneſs, his approach declare.
[Page 149] Flaſhes of light, and ſymphony of aërial muſick. Genius of England deſcends in his chariot attended by ſpirits and bards; then alighting, he advances towards the throne, and addreſſes himſelf to Edward.
From the gay realms of cloudleſs day I come,
Where in the glitter of unnumber'd worlds,
That like to iſles of various magnitudes
Float in the ocean of unbounded ſpace;
On my inviſible aërial throne
I ſit, attended with a radiant band
Of ſpirits immortal, whoſe pure eſſences,
While clad in human ſhapes on earth they dwelt,
Thro' the dull clay of groſs mortality
Diſclos'd their heav'nly vigour, and burſt forth
In godlike virtues and heroic deeds,
Their Albion gracing with as fair a growth
Of fame, as e'er enrich'd imperial Rome.
Thence ripe for heav'n and immortality,
To me, the Genius of this happy iſle,
They fly, and claim the meed of their deſert,
Celeſtial crowns, and ever-living praiſe
Recorded in the ſongs of heav'nly bards,
That round my throne their hymns of triumph ſing,
Attuning to the ſweet harmonious ſpheres
Their undiſcording lyres and voice divine.
Nor thus remov'd to heav'n, and thus employ'd
In careleſs raptures, wont they to forget
To which on earth their labours and their lives
They once devoted; but purſuing ſtill
The bent and habit of their ſouls, with me
They watch the Britiſh empire, ſtill intent
To check alternately th' incroaching waves
Of regal pow'r and popular liberty:
I, chief attentive near the royal throne,
Take up my watchful ſtation, to infuſe
My ſage and mod'rate counſels in thoſe ears,
Which wiſdom hath prepar'd and purify'd
To reliſh honeſt, tho' unpleaſing truth.
Thus am I always, tho' inviſible,
Attendant, Edward, on thy glorious deeds.
But on this ſolemn day have I vouchſaf'd
To manifeſt my preſence; to declare,
Not in thoſe whiſpers which have often ſpoke
Peace to thy conſcious heart, but audibly
And evident to all, th' aſſent of heav'n
To the great buſineſs, which hath gather'd here
This troop of princes from all nations round.
Hence all may know that virtue hath a train
More bright than earthly empire can command:
Know, that thoſe actions which are great and good,
Receive a nobler ſanction from the free
And univerſal voice of all mankind,
Which is the voice of heav'n, than from the higheſt,
The moſt illuſtrious act of regal pow'r.
This nobler ſanction, Edward, in the name
Not of this age alone, but lateſt time,
Here do I ſolemnly annex to each
Of thy great acts, but chief to this moſt wiſe,
Moſt virtuous inſtitution, which extends
Wide as thy fame, beyond thy empire's bound,
A prize of virtue publiſh'd to mankind.
Ye regiſters of heav'n, record the deed.
Now tune, ye bards, the Britiſh lyre;
Now wake the vocal ſtring;
While heav'n and earth in Edward's praiſe conſpire,
Join to the gen'ral voice your ſacred choir,
And on your ſoaring wing,
From time and envy waft his glorious name,
And place it in the ſhrine of incorruptive fame.
Begin: the liſt'ning echoes round
Shall catch with joy the long-forgotten ſound,
And warbling thro' each grove the Britiſh ſtrain
To Windſor's ſmiling nymphs, recall their Arthur's reign.
Ye nymphs of Windſor's bow'ry woods,
Ye pow'rs who haunt yon gliſt'ning floods,
That with reluctant fond delay
Around yon flow'ry valley ſtray;
Say, from your minds hath time eras'd
The pleaſing images of glory paſs'd?
When nobly ſtain'd with Saxon gore,
From Badon's long-contended plain
Great Arthur with his martial train
To Windſor's choſen ſhades repair'd,
And with his knights the feſtive banquet ſhar'd.
Then firſt exulting Thames beheld
The triumphs of the liſted field;
Beheld along his level meads
Careering knights, encount'ring ſteeds,
Heroic games, whoſe toils inſpire
The thirſt of praiſe, and kindle martial fire.
Fair Peace in war's bright mail array'd,
With ſmiles the glorious liſts ſurvey'd;
So ſhou'd the brave (ſhe cry'd) prepare
Their hearts and ſinewy arms for war:
Such combats break not my repoſe,
Such ſons beſt guard my rights from daring foes.
Then too in feaſtful hall or bow'r,
Attendant on the genial hour,
The Britiſh harp ſweet lyriſts ſtrung,
And Albion's generous victors ſung:
While valiant Arthur's copious fame
Inceſſant fed the bright poetic flame.
But mortals erring in exceſs,
O'erwhelm the virtue they careſs.
Thus Arthur his great ſtory mourn'd,
By too fond praiſe to fable turn'd:
Mourn'd the companions of his toils,
Mock'd with falſe glory and fantaſtic ſpoils.
'Till thro' the dark romantic tale,
Thro' ſuperſtition's magic veil,
Sage Edward piercing view'd, and own'd
The chief with genuine luſtre crown'd:
View'd the great model, and reſtor'd
The long-loſt honours of his martial board.
Hail Britiſh prince! theſe faithful lays,
Eternal records of heroic worth,
Shall reaſſert thy ancient praiſe,
And from the cloud of fiction call thee forth,
In glory's ſphere thy orbit to reclaim,
And at great Edward's beam relume thy darken'd fame.
But ſee in heav'nly panoply array'd,
Whoſe ſtreaming radiance ſkirts the clouds with gold,
I view Pendragon burſt the veiling ſhade,
And all his blazing magnitude unfold!
O'er yon broad tow'r he takes his airy ſtand,
And pointing, Edward, towards the royal throne,
To his fam'd knights around, a laurel'd band,
Shews on thy knee the bright ſky-tinctur'd zone.
Virtue, he cries, (th' aetherial ſound
Thy groſs material organ cannot hear)
Virtue on earth by Britiſh Edward crown'd.
Her rev'rend throne once more ſhall rear.
To her own ſelf-applauding breaſt
Forc'd for reward no longer to retreat,
She ſees her aweful charms by kings careſs'd,
Sees honour woo her for his mate.
Honour, her heav'n-elected ſpouſe,
From her embrace by lawleſs pow'r with-held,
Now at yon altar plights his holy vows,
Vows by aſſenting Edward ſeal'd.
And now the fair angelic bride
Gath'ring her noble train from ev'ry land,
To her late wedded lord with decent pride
Preſents the venerable band.
The great proceſſion Edward leads;
I ſee yon hallow'd dome with heroes throng'd:
Inceſſant ſtill the white-plum'd pomp proceeds,
Thro' time's eternal courſe prolong'd.
And you, dear partners of my fame,
Your ancient honours now again ſhall boaſt;
This noble ORDER ſhall retrieve our name,
In viſionary fables loſt.
Hail Britiſh prince! theſe faithful lays
Shall reaſſert thy ancient praiſe.
Nor thee, O Windſor, ſhall I paſs unſung,
Manſion of princes, and fit haunt of gods,
Who frequent ſhall deſert their bright abodes,
To view thy ſacred walls with trophies hung:
Thy walls by Britiſh Arthur firſt renown'd,
The early ſeat of chivalry and fame;
By Edward now with deathleſs honours crown'd,
Illuſtrious by his BIRTH, his GARTER, and his NAME.
Conferring juſt rewards, moſt worthy prince,
Is the firſt attribute of ſov'reign pow'r,
And that which beſt diſtinguiſhes a king:
For puniſhment, and all the nice awards
Of civil juſtice, by the laws are fix'd,
And kings but execute what they decree.
While in rewarding merit, uncontroul'd,
Unguided, unaſſiſted is the hand
Of majeſty; the prince himſelf alone
There judges, and his wiſdom is the law.
Well does thy court, great king, with ev'ry worth
In thee tranſcendent: well haſt thou approv'd
Its force in this great trial, which my pow'r
Commanded, in no common ways to prove
Thy royal mind.—But that a father's name
May not reſtrain thy juſtice in the choice
Of the firſt knights-companions of St. GEORGE,
Myſelf here take upon me to preſent
A candidate, whom, were he not thy ſon,
Thou wouldſt thyſelf ſelect from all mankind.
His modeſty compels me to declare
That candidate is Edward, prince of Wales.
Inhabitant of heav'n! I not preſume
To deprecate or queſtion that high will,
To which it beſt becomes me to ſubmit.
But, gentle ſpirit, be propitious to me;
And thou, my gracious liege, if I requeſt
That this illuſtrious monarch, whoſe deſert
Is equal to the grandeur of his crown,
May ſtand before me in this liſt of fame.
O generous youth! in vain thy goodneſs ſtrives
To raiſe thy captive thus above his fortune.
The king that is not free, is not a king;
Nor can thy bounteous favour reconcile
Honour and bondage.—To thy conqu'ring ſon
Do thou, great Edward, give this noble mark
To wear at once thy GARTER and thy chains.
Though by my former dignity I ſwear,
That were I reinſtated in my throne,
The thronc of Capet and of Charlemagne,
Thus to be join'd in fellowſhip with thee,
Would be the firſt ambition of my ſoul;
A ray of glory I would ſue to gain,
And prize it equal with my diadem.
Wiſely thou haſt determin'd, worthy prince,
For thine and Edward's honour, and haſt fix'd
Its proper value on his royal gift,
Which as the meed of merit, may become
The proudeſt monarchs, by this GARTER mark'd
For ſomething more than monarchs, virtuous men.
This be the glory of thy order, Edward.
And * never ſhall it want the greateſt names
Of all ſucceeding times to grace its annals.
France, Sweden, Poland, Germany, and Spain,
Each realm of Europe's wide-extended bounds,
Shall count among thy knights its mightieſt lords,
And ſee, in emulation of thy fame,
Proceed then, mighty king, and ſet the world
The precedent of glory: thou begin
The radiant liſt of Sov'reigns, while thy ſon,
Like a young bride, that on her nuptial morn
Leads on with modeſt pride the virgin-choir,
Herſelf the brighteſt, heads the ſhining band
Of knights-companions, nobly ſeconding
His father's glorious deeds with equal fame.
The teſtimony of heav'n to thee, my ſon,
Thus gloriouſly accorded, renders vain
All farther trial.—To my people's voice,
By this their tutelary pow'r declar'd,
With pleaſure I conſent, directing ſtill
By theirs my choice, my judgment, my deſires.
Approach then, my belov'd, my noble ſon,
Strength of my crown, and honour of my realm;
In whom my heart more joys, and glories more,
Than in the higheſt pride of ſov'reign pow'r.
*Thus I admit thee, Edward prince of Wales,
Firſt founder of the order of St. GEORGE;
In evidence whereof, about thy knee
I bind this myſtic GARTER; to denote
The bond of honour that together ties
United to maintain the cauſe of truth
And juſtice only— † "May propitious heav'n
"Grant thou may'ſt henceforth wear it to his praiſe,
"The exaltation of this noble order,
"And thy own glory."—With like reverence,
My ſon receive and wear this golden chain,
"Grac'd with the image of Britannia's ſaint,
"Heav'n's valiant ſoldier, CAPPADOCIAN GEORGE;
"In imitation of whoſe glorious deeds
"May'ſt thou triumphant in each ſtate of life,
"Or proſperous or adverſe, ſtill ſubdue
"Thy ſpiritual and carnal enemies;
"That not on earth alone thou may'ſt obtain
"The guerdon of thy valour, endleſs praiſe,
"But with the virtuous and the brave above,
"In ſolemn triumph, wear celeſtial palms,
"To crown thy final nobleſt victory."
Embraces Pr. EDW.
Accept, my ſovereign liege, my grateful thanks,
That thou haſt thus vouchſaf'd to place thy ſon
Firſt next thyſelf upon the roll of fame,
And emulation of thy royal virtues
And may thy benediction, gracious lord,
May thy paternal vows be heard in heav'n!
That he, whom thou haſt liſted in the cauſe
Of truth and virtue, never may forget
His vow'd engagements, nor defraud thy hopes,
By ſoiling with diſhonourable deeds
The luſtre of that ORDER, which thy name
Shou'd teach him to reſpect and to adorn.
Bright ſpark of that aetherial flame,
Whoſe vivid ſpirit thro' all nature ſpread,
Suſtains and actuates this boundleſs frame!
O by whatever ſtile to mortals known,
Virtue, benevolence, or public zeal,
Divine aſſeſſor of the regal throne,
Divine protectreſs of the common weal,
O in our hearts thy energy infuſe!
Be thou our Muſe,
And, as of old, impart thy heav'nly aid
To thoſe, who warm'd by thy benignant fire,
To public merit and their country's good
Devoted ever their recording lyre,
Wont along DEVA'S ſacred flood,
To warble forth their patriot lays,
And nouriſh with immortal praiſe
The bright heroic flames by thee inſpir'd.
I feel, I feel
Thy ſoul-invigorating heat;
My bounding veins diſtend with fervent zeal,
And to Britannia's fame reſponſive beat.—
Hail Albion, native country! but how chang'd
Thy once grim aſpect, how adorn'd and gay
Thy howling foreſts! where together rang'd
The naked hunter and his ſavage prey:
Where amid black inhoſpitable woods
The ſedge-grown floods
All cheerleſs ſtray'd.
Not in their lonely wand'ring courſe ſurvey'd,
Or tow'r, or caſtle, heav'n-aſcending fane,
Or lowly village, reſidence of peace
And joyous induſtry, or furrow'd plain,
Or lowing herd, or ſilver fleece
That whitens now each verdant vale;
While laden with their precious ſtore
Far trading barks to every ſhore,
Swift heralds of Britannia's glory, ſail.
Theſe are thy ſhining works: this ſmiling face
Of beauteous nature thus in regal ſtate,
Deck'd by each handmaid art, each poliſh'd grace,
That on fair liberty and order wait.
This pomp, theſe riches, this repoſe,
To thee imperial Britain owes.
To thee, great ſubſtitute of heav'n,
To whom the charge of earthly realms was giv'n;
Their ſocial ſyſtems by wiſe nature's plan
To form and rule by her eternal laws;
To teach the ſelfiſh ſoul of wayward man
To ſeek the publick good, and aid the common cauſe.
So didſt thou move the mighty heart
Of Alfred, founder of the Britiſh ſtate:
So to Matilda's ſcepter'd ſon,
To him whoſe virtue and renown
Firſt made the name of Edward great,
Thy ample ſpirit ſo didſt thou impart:
Protecting thus in every age,
From greedy pow'r and factious rage,
The law of freedom, which to Britain's ſhore
From Saxon Elva's many-headed flood,
The valiant ſons of Odin with them bore,
Their national, ador'd, inſeparable good.
* On yonder plain,
Along whoſe willow-fringed ſide
The ſilver-footed Naiads, ſportive train,
Down the ſmooth Thames amid the cygnets glide,
I ſaw, when at thy reconciling word,
Injuſtice, anarchy, inteſtine jar,
Deſpotick inſolence, the waſting ſword,
And all the brazen throats of civil war,
Were huſh'd in peace; from his imperious throne
Hurl'd furious down,
Like a chas'd lion to the ſavage ſhade
Of his own foreſts, fell oppreſſion fled,
With vengeance brooding in his ſullen breaſt.
Then juſtice fearleſs rear'd her decent head,
Heal'd every grief, each wrong redreſs'd;
While round her valiant ſquadrons ſtood,
And bade her aweful tongue demand,
From vanquiſh'd John's reluctant hand,
The deed of freedom purchas'd with their blood.
O vain ſurmiſe!
To deem the grandeur of a crown
Conſiſts in lawleſs pow'r! to deem them wife
Who change ſecurity and fair renown,
For deteſtation, ſhame, diſtruſt, and fear!
Who, ſhut for ever from the bliſsful bow'rs,
With horror and remorſe at diſtance hear
The muſick that inchants th' immortal pow'rs,
The heav'nly muſick of well-purchas'd praiſe,
The ſweet reward
On heroes, patriots, righteous kings conferr'd.
For ſuch alone the heav'n-taught poets ſing.
Tune ye for Edward, then, the mortal ſtrain,
His name ſhall well become your golden ſtring,
Begirt with this aetherial train,
Seems he not rank'd among the gods?
Then let him reap the glorious meed
Due to each great heroic deed,
And taſte the pleaſures of the bleſt abodes.
Hail, happy prince! on whom kind Fate beſtows
Sublimer joys, and glory brighter far
Than Creſſy's palm, and every wreath that grows
In all the blood-ſtain'd field of proſp'rous war;
To make dependent millions bleſt,
A dying nation to reſtore
And ſave fall'n liberty with kingly pow'r;
To quench the torch of diſcord and debate,
Relume the languid ſpark of publick zeal,
Repair the breaches of a ſhatter'd ſtate,
And gloriouſly compleat the plan of England's weal;
Compleat the noble Gothick pile,
That on the rock of juſtice rear'd ſhall ſtand
In ſymmetry, and ſtrength, and fame,
A rival of that boaſted frame
Which virtue rais'd on Tiber's ſtrand.
This, Edward, guardian, father of our iſle,
This god-like taſk, to few aſſign'd,
Exalts thee above human-kind,
And from the realms of everlaſting day
Calls down celeſtial bards thy praiſe to ſing;
Calls this bright troop of ſpirits to ſurvey
Thee, the great miracle of earth, a PATRIOT-King.
Now reaſcend your ſkies, immortal ſpirits!
Th' important act, that drew ye down to earth,
[...]s finiſh'd. Spare we now their mortal ſenſe,
That cannot long endure th' unſhrouded beam
Of higher natures. Well hath Edward laid,
[...]nder your happy auſpices, the baſe
Of his great ORDER: let him undiſturb'd,
Compleat th' illuſtrious work, which future kings,
Struck with the beauty of the noble plan,
Shall emulouſly labour to maintain.
And may thy ſpirit, Edward, be their guide!
In every chapter, thou henceforth preſide,
In every breaſt infuſe thy virtuous flame,
And teach them to reſpect their country's fame.
Genius and Spirits reaſcend to a loud ſympony of muſick.
WHILE you, my Lord, alas! amidſt a few,
With generous warmth your country's good purſue;
While to the center all your wiſhes tend,
Accept the zeal that prompts a willing friend.
Others like you heaven's hallow'd ſpark inſpir'd,
Whom ſoon the blaze of ſelfiſh paſſion fir'd,
Soon ruder flames extinguiſh'd reaſon's light,
While prejudices foul'd their jaundic'd ſight.
Such thro' falſe opticks every object prove,
And try the good and bad, by hate and love.
All-powerful means each virtue to deny;
To Wyndham ſtrength, and grace, and fire, and weight;
To Granville parts, to ſave a ſinking ſtate,
Hence various judgments form the madden'd throng,
Only in this alike, they all are wrong.
Hence to falſe praiſe ſhall blame unjuſt ſucceed,
And cherubs fall, and gods unpity'd bleed.
Wou'd you, my friend, not mix the purer flame,
Nor loſe the patriot in a baſer name;
Nor factious rage miſtake for publick zeal,
Nor private int'reſt for the gen'ral weal?
By truth's ſure teſt let ev'ry deed be try'd,
And juſtice ever be th' unerring guide.
Her rules are plain, and eaſy is her way,
And yet how hard to find if once we ſtray!
All loſt alike the maze perplex'd we tread,
However prompted, whether drove or led;
Whether falſe honour or ambition goad,
Or ſneaking av'rice wind the miry road,
Or whether ſway'd by paſſions not our own,
And the weak fear of being right alone.
Alone in ſuch a cauſe is baſe to fear,
Tho' fools ſuſpect, and knaves deſigning ſneer.
Sneer, villains, ſneer! th' avenging time is nigh,
When Balbo ſcourg'd ſhall weep the taunting lie;
When Stopus foul with each imputed crime,
Shall dread falſe proſe repaid with honeſt rhyme.
'Tis not enough you ſcorn a private claim,
And to your country's good direct your aim.
Wrong is ſtill wrong, however great the end,
Tho' all the realm were brother, father, friend;
Juſtice regards not theſe—where right prevails,
A nation is an atom in her ſcales.
Heaven means not all the good which man can gain,
But that which truth can earn, and right maintain.
However fair the tempting prize may be,
If guilt the price, it is not meant for thee.
Succeeding times may claim the juſt deſign,
Or other means, or other powers than thine.
Each part's connected with the gen'ral plan,
The weal of Britain with the weal of man.
Juſtice the ſcale of intereſt for the whole,
The ſame in Indies as beneath the pole;
Sure rule by which heaven's bleſſings to diſpenſe,
Unerring light of guiding providence.
Others may fail.—If wrongly underſtood,
How fatal is the thirſt of publick good!
No heavier curſe almighty vengeance brings,
Nor plagues, nor famine, nor the luſt of kings.
Fir'd by this rage the frantick ſons of Rome,
The ſuff'ring world to death and bondage doom;
Nations muſt ſink to raiſe her cumb'rous frame,
And millions bleed to eternize her name.
But lo! her glories fade, her empire's paſt,
She madly conquer'd but to fall the laſt.
Nor would I here the patriot's views reprove,
Or damp the ſacred flame of ſocial love.
Still may that portion of th' eternal ray
Sublime our ſenſe, and animate our clay;
Above low ſelf exalt th' immortal frame,
And emulate that heaven from whence it came.
Oh! would it never be confin'd to place,
But beam extenſive as the human race:
Be, as it was deſign'd, the world's great ſoul,
Connect its parts, and actuate the whole,
So each ſhould think himſelf a part alone,
And for a nation's welfare ſtake his own!
Yet farther ſtill, tho' deareſt to the breaſt,
That nation think but part of all the reſt.
For this let equal juſtice poiſe the ball,
Her ſwaying force unites us all to all;
Of manners, worſhip, form, no diff'rence knows,
Condemns our friends, and ſaves our better foes.
Confeſs the heavenly power! nor need you fear
Let Britain ſuffer, while you follow her.
Tho' proſp'rous crimes ſome daring villains raiſe,
Nor life's ſhort date my halting vengeance ſeize;
A nation cannot 'ſcape — the deſtin'd rage
Purſues her ceaſeleſs to ſome future age;
Speeds the ſure ruin from the conqueror's hand,
Or ſpreads corruption o'er a pining land.
Aſk hoary time, what nation is moſt bleſt?
For ſage experience ſhall this truth atteſt:
"Where commerce ſhelter'd flows thro' publick faith,
"Where fell ambition lights no foreign wars,
"Nor diſcord rages with inteſtine wars;
"Where juſtice reigns."—Immortal were that ſtate,
If aught immortal here were giv'n by Fate.
Such, loſt Iberia! were thoſe happy reigns,
When liberty ſat brooding o'er thy plains.
The rich in plenteous peace their ſtores enjoy'd,
By cares unvex'd, by luxury uncloy'd.
Hope ſooth'd the poor with promiſes of gain,
And paid with future joys their preſent pain;
Shew'd the full bowl amidſt their ſultry toil,
While thoſe who prun'd the olive drank the oil;
By night of all the fruits of day poſſeſs'd,
Labour ſoft-clos'd the eye, and ſweeten'd reſt.
Such was thy ſtate all gay in nature's ſmiles!
And ſuch is now the ſtate of Britain's iſles.
Hence o'er the ocean's waſte her ſail unfurl'd,
Wide wafts the tribute of a willing world.
Hence truſting nations treaſure here their wealth,
Safe from tyrannick force or legal ſtealth:
And hence the injur'd exile doom'd to roam,
Shall find his country here and dearer home.
Still be this truth, this ſaving truth confeſs'd,
Britain is great, becauſe with freedom bleſt;
Her prince is great, becauſe her people free,
And power here ſprings from publick liberty.
Firm on the baſis of a proſp'rous ſtate.
The wealth, the ſtrength of happy millions thine,
United riſe, united ſhall decline.
For time will come, ſad period of the brave,
When Britain's humble prince ſhall rule the ſlave;
When traffick vile ſhall ſtain the guilty throne,
And kings ſhall buy our ruin and their own.
But long, O long th' inglorious doom ſuſpend!
What virtue gain'd may virtue ſtill defend!
Thrice ſacred ſpirit, never may you ceaſe,
But as you blaz'd in war, ſhine forth in peace!
Dauntleſs with all the force of truth engage
The headlong tide of each corrupted age.
O ever wake around one favour'd throne,
Nor let our guardian monarch wake alone!
Tho' oft defeated and tho' oft betray'd,
Numbers ſhall riſe in ſacred freedom's aid.
Far as her all-enlivening influence reigns,
Heroic ardour beats in gen'rous veins.
Now bids learn'd Greece barbarian might defy,
Now the ſoft arts of poliſh'd tyranny;
Now to no ſtock, or ſect, or place confin'd,
She takes adopted ſons from human kind;
While denizen'd by her eternal laws,
They all are Britons who ſhall ſerve her cauſe.
Lo! to the banner crowds a youthful band;
Form'd for the glorious taſk by nature's hand;
A zeal by vigour kindled, rul'd by thought.
Such gifts ſhe to the happy few imparts,
To judging heads and to determin'd hearts;
To heads unfir'd by youth's tumultuous rage,
To hearts unnumb'd by the chill ice of age;
And while they both preſerve a ſep'rate claim,
Their paſſions reaſon, and their reaſons flame.
Proceed brave youths! Let others court renown
In hoſtile fields, be yours the olive crown:
And truſt to fame, thoſe heroes brighter ſhone
Who ſav'd a nation, than who nations won.
Nor let aſſuming age reſtrain your flight,
Fearful to tempt the yet unpractis'd height;
Deceitful counſel lurks in hoary hairs,
And the laſt dregs of life are ſordid cares.
Objects are clear proportion'd in degree,
To gen'ral uſe, or ſtrong neceſſity,
Nor are two things ſo plainly underſtood,
As the worſt evil and the greateſt good;
If reſcu'd from the miſty breath of ſchools;
Men will but feel without the help of rules.
So unbewilder'd in the crooked maze,
Where guilt low ſculks, and reptile cunning ſtrays,
A nation's intereſt, and a people's rights,
Diſtinctly ſhine in nature's ſimple rights,
And claim in him who fairly acts his part,
Before a Lonſdale's head, a Lonſdale's heart.
From the fell conteſts of each hoſtile land,
A happy iſland to th' incircling main
Truſts for a ſure report and honeſt gain.
The juſt are heaven's, earth is for heaven ordain'd,
Form'd by its laws, and by its laws maintain'd.
Theſe one true int'reſt, one great ſyſtem frame,
Political and moral are the ſame.
Guilt toils for gain at honour's vaſt expence,
Heaven throws the trifle in to innocence;
And fixes happineſs in hell's deſpite,
The neceſſary conſequence of right.
Proceed, ye deiſts! blindfold rage employ,
And prove the ſacred truths ye would deſtroy.
Prove chriſtian faith the wiſeſt ſcheme to bind,
In chains of cordial love, our jarring kind;
And thence conclude it human, if you can,
The perfect produce of imperfect man!
While proſtrate we adore that pow'r divine,
Whoſe ſimple rule connects each great deſign;
Bids ſocial earth a type of heaven appear,
Where juſtice taſtes thoſe joys which wait her there.
But tho' ſelf-int'reſt follow virtue's train!
Yet ſelfiſh think not virtue's end is gain!
Older than time, ere int'reſt had a name,
Juſtice exiſted, and is ſtill the ſame;
Alike the creature's and creator's guide,
His rule to form, the law by which we're ty'd:
Stamp'd with his image in the creature's breaſt.
Thus ſpeaks the ſage, who ſkill'd in nature's laws,
Deep from effects high-trac'd th' all-ruling cauſe.
"Before creation was, th' almighty mind
"In time's abyſs the future world deſign'd;
"Did the great ſyſtem in its parts ſurvey,
"And fit the ſprings, and regulate their play;
"In meet gradations plan'd th' harmonious round,
"Theſe links by which depending parts are bound.
"All theſe he knew, ere yet the things he made,
"In types which well the mimick world diſplay'd.
"The types are real, ſince from them he drew
"The real forms of whatſoe'er we view.
"Made to their 'ſemblance, heaven and earth exiſt,
"But they unmade eternally ſubſiſt.
"For if created, we muſt ſure ſuppoſe
"Some other types whence their reſemblance flows;
"While theſe on others equally depend,
"Nor ever ſhall the long progreſſion end.
"God ere it was, the future being ſaw,
"Or blindfold made his world, and gave his law.
"But chance cou'd never frame the vaſt deſign,
"Where countleſs parts in juſteſt order join.
"The types eternal juſt proportions teach,
"Greater or leſs, more or leſs perfect each.
"Theſe ever preſent power omniſcient ſees,
"On them he forms his ever-made decrees;
"Man than an angel, or than man a beaſt.
"Hence Reaſon, hence immortal Order ſprings,
"Knowledge and Love adapted to the things,
"And thence th' unerring rule of juſtice flows,
"To act what Order prompts, and Reaſon ſhows.
"What man in nature's purity remain'd,
"By pain untroubled, and by ſin unſtain'd;
"Fair image of the God, and cloſe conjoin'd,
"By innate union with the heavenly mind;
"In the pure ſplendor of ſubſtantial light,
"The beam divine of Reaſon bleſs'd his ſight;
"Seraphick Order in its fount he view'd,
"Seeing he lov'd, and loving he purſu'd;
"Nor dar'd the body, paſſive ſlave, controul
"The ſovereign mandates of the ruling ſoul.
"But ſoon by ſin the ſacred union broke,
"Man bows to earth beneath the heavy yoke.
"The darkling ſoul ſcarce feels a glimm'ring ray,
"Shrouded in ſenſe from her immortal day.
"Vengeance divine offended Order arms,
"And cloaths in terrors her celeſtial charms.
"Now groſſer objects heav'n-born ſouls poſſeſs,
"Paſſions enſlave, and ſervile cares oppreſs.
"Fraud, rapine, murder, guilt's long horrid train,
"Diſtracted nature's anarchy maintain.
"No more pure Reaſon earthly minds can move,
"No more can Order's charms perſuaſive prove.
"Sheds on our ſhadow'd world a feeble ray;
"Some ſcatter'd beams of Reaſon law contains,
"While Order's rule muſt be inforc'd by pains.
"Hence death's black ſcroll, dire tortures hence are giv'n;
"Hence kings, the neceſſary curſe of heaven.
"And juſt the doom of an avenging God,
"Who ſpurn'd his ſcepter, feel the tyrant's rod.
"Blind by our fears we meet the ills we fly,
"In rule oppreſſion, want in property."
So ſpoke the ſage, and if not learn'd in vain,
If ſpotleſs truth in ſacred books remain;
Dearly the child hath paid the parent's pride,
And ill hath Law the heavenly rule ſupply'd.
Thus boaſts ſome leech with unavailing art,
To mend the tainted lungs and waſting heart;
Bids the looſe ſprings with wonted vigour play,
And ſprightly juices warm in cold decay.
Or wou'd imperious reaſon deign to own,
The world not made for ſovereign man alone;
Some things there are for human uſe deſign'd,
And theſe in common dealt to human kind.
To mortal wants is giv'n a power to uſe,
What to th' immortal part juſt heaven might well refuſe.
This faithful inſtinct in each breaſt implants,
All know their rights, for all muſt feel their wants.
But ſoon began the rage of wild deſire,
To thirſt for more than uſe could o'er require.
And ere ambition madly graſp'd the ball,
Vain reſtleſs man in buſy ſearch employ'd,
Saw ſomewhat ſtill beyond the bliſs enjoy'd,
Preſs'd eager on; the lowly and the great,
Alike their wiſh beyond their deſtin'd ſtate;
Alike condemn'd, whatever Fortune grant,
To real poorneſs in phantaſtic want.
And now ſome ſages high by others deem'd,
For virtue honour'd, and for parts eſteem'd;
Call'd forth to judge where dubious claims are try'd,
Convince with reaſon, and with counſel guide;
Fix'd rules deviſe to ſway th' aſſenting throng,
And marks diſtinct impreſs on right and wrong.
The ſimple precept ſubtle wiles invade,
And ſtatutes as our crimes increas'd were made,
Theſe were at firſt unwritten, plain and few,
'Till ſwell'd by time the law's vaſt volume grew;
And grown with theſe, to ſway th' unwieldy truſt,
Thouſands we choſe to keep the millions juſt,
Some plac'd o'er others, others plac'd o'er theſe,
Thus government grew up by ſlow degrees;
Higher the pile aroſe, and ſtill more high,
When lo! the ſummit ends in monarchy.
There plac'd, a man in gorgeous pomp appears,
And far o'er earth his tow'ring aſpect rears;
While proſtrate crowds his ſacred ſmile implore,
And what their crimes had form'd, their fears adore.
And ſee the proud coloſſus touch the ſkies.
So at ſome mountain's foot have children gaz'd,
While cloſe to heaven they view the ſummit rais'd,
Eager they mount, new regions to explore,
But heaven is now as diſtant as before.
Thus views the crowd a throne, while thoſe who riſe
Claim not a nearer kindred to the ſkies;
Earth is their parent, thither kings ſhould bend,
From thence they riſe, and not from heaven deſcend.
Happy, had all the royal ſons of earth
Thus ſprung, nor guilt had claim'd the monſtrous birth.
Where from the fire deſcending thro' the line,
Rapine and fraud confer a right divine.
Ye mortal gods, how vainly are ye proud?
If juſt your title, ſervants to the crowd;
If wide your ſway, if large your treaſur'd ſtore,
Theſe but increaſe your ſervitude the more;
A part is only yours, the reſt is theirs,
And nothing all your own, except your cares.
Shall man, by nature free, by nature made
To ſhare the feaſt her bounteous hand diſplay'd,
Transfer theſe rights? as well he may diſpenſe
The beam of reaſon, or the nerve of ſenſe;
With all his ſtrength the monarch's limbs inveſt,
Or pour his valour in the royal breaſt.
Take the ſtarv'd peaſant's taſte, devouring lord!
Ere you deprive him of the genial board.
Aſſume the various actings of his ſoul!
So ſhall one man a people's powers enjoy,
Thus Indians deem of wretches they deſtroy.
Thus in old tales the fabled monſter ſtands,
Proud of a thouſand eyes, a thouſand hands.
Thus dreams the ſophiſt, who with ſubtle art
Wou'd prove the whole included in a part,
A people in their king; and from the throng,
Transfer to him their rights in nature's wrong;
Thoſe ſacred rights in nature's charter plain,
By wants that claim them, and by powers that gain.
Tho' ſophiſts err, yet ſtand confeſs'd thy claim,
And be the king and multitude the ſame,
Whoſe deeds benevolent his title prove,
And royal ſelfiſhneſs, in publick love;
Nor, draining waſted realms for ſordid pelf,
O ſcepter'd ſuicide! deſtroy thy ſelf.
Where fails this proof, in vain would we unite
The ruler's int'reſt with the people's right.
Frantick ambition has her ſep'rate claim,
The dropſy'd thirſt of empire, wealth, or fame;
Pride's boundleſs hope, valour's enthuſiaſt rant,
With the long nameleſs train of fancy'd want.
Urg'd on by theſe, all view the magick prize,
The proſpect widening as they higher riſe;
For him who ſeeks a limited command,
To him whoſe wiſh devours air, ſea, and land.
For freedom ties unbounded will with laws,
Alike all foes to ev'ry publick gain,
For publick bleſſings looſe the bond-man's chain.
Ill-fated ſlaves of arbitrary ſway!
Where truſted power ſeduces to betray;
Makes private failings rage a gen'ral peſt,
And taints even virtue in the ſocial breaſt;
Bids friendſhip plunder, charity undo
The blameleſs MANY, for the favour'd FEW.
'Till guilt high rear'd on crimes protecting crime,
Fills the heap'd meaſure of predeſtin'd time.
Far others, ye, O wealthy, wiſe, and brave!
Tho' ſubject, free; more freedom wou'd enſlave.
Bleſs'd with a rule by long experience try'd,
Unwarp'd by faction's rage, or kingly pride;
Bleſs'd with the means, whene'er this rule ſhall bend,
Again to trace it to its glorious end;
And bleſs'd with proofs, the proofs are ſeal'd with blood,
Whate'er the form, the end is publick good.
But yet admit the ſire his right fore-goes!
Can he his children's ſeparate claim diſpoſe?
Whate'er the parent gave, whate'er he give,
They who have right to life, have right to live.
And ſpite of man's conſent, or man's decree,
A right to life, is right to liberty.
Tho' for convenience fram'd the laws ſhould ſhine,
Pure emanation from the ſource divine;
And untaught ſavages in woods enlight;
Such as on ſcaffolds can the guiltleſs ſave,
And torture on his throne the ſcepter'd ſlave;
Such as th' offending wretch reluctant owns,
And hails its beauty with his dying groans:
In ſuch fair laws the will of heaven impreſs'd,
Shines to all eyes, and rules the conſcious breaſt.
Tho' tortures ceaſe, tho' night's thick-mantling vail
From mortal ken the ſecret deed conceal;
Reaſon and conſcience ſhall awake within,
And light the ſhade, and loud proclaim the ſin.
"But ſhould the univerſal voice combine,
"To cloath injuſtice in a robe divine?"
Let the ſame breath diveſt the day of light,
To blazon forth the duſky face of night.
Then ſhall the laws of ſainted evil bind,
And human will ſubvert th' all-ruling mind;
That ſacred fount whence lawful rule muſt ſpring,
And diff'rent from the robber marks the king.
Yet vainly wou'd deſpotick will conclude,
That force may ſway the erring multitude,
Juſtice, 'tis own'd, ſhould ever guide the free,
But pow'r of wrong, in all, is liberty;
And for whatever purpoſes reſtrain'd,
A nation is enſlav'd that may be chain'd.
Heaven gives to all a liberty of choice,
A people's good requires a people's voice;
From private hate, and private int'reſt free.
Fatal their change from ſuch who raſhly fly,
To the hard graſp of guiding tyranny;
Soon ſhall they find, when will is arm'd with might,
Injuſtice wield the ſword, tho' drawn for right.
Blind to theſe truths who fond of boundleſs ſway,
Bids trembling ſlaves implicitly obey;
Tho' by a long deſcent from Adam down
Thro' ſcepter'd heirs, he boaſts his ancient crown,
Great nature's rebel forfeits ev'ry claim,
And loads the tyrant with th' uſurper's name;
While with each lawleſs act of proud command,
He ſtands proſcrib'd by his own guilty hand.
Bow, Filmer, bow! to hell's tremendous throne,
And bid thy fellow-damn'd ſuppreſs each groan!
There ſits a king whom pow'r divine hath giv'n,
Nor earth boaſts one ſo ſurely ſent from heav'n.
And thou, bleſt martyr in fair freedom's cauſe,
Thou great aſſerter of thy country's laws;
Vainly oppreſſion ſtopp'd thy potent breath;
Truth ſhone more powerful thro' the vail of death;
Example mov'd whom precept cou'd not ſave,
And lifted axes wak'd each drowſy ſlave.
Yet magiſtrates muſt rule, they're uſeful things,
Our guilt the vengeance, and avenger brings.
Whate'er more perfect heaven might firſt create,
A ſtate well-governed, now, is nature's ſtate;
And reaſon ſure is man's firſt attribute.
Let viſionary ſchoolmen toil in vain,
Who ſeek in anarchy for nature's reign;
Wretched alike the ſlaves of lawleſs will,
Whether the ſavage, or the tyrant kill;
Unjuſt alike all rule, where publick choice
Speaks not thro' laws a willing people's voice.
Nor freedom ſuffers when the guilty fall,
'Tis nature's doom, 'tis ſelf-defence in all.
Such now is man deprav'd that fear muſt ſway,
To tread the paths where duty points the way;
The wretch muſt ſuffer to forewarn the reſt,
And ſome muſt fall to ſtop the ſpreading peſt.
Alone the gen'ral welfare can demand
The bleeding victim from th' unwilling hand.
Hence publick pains—what to the crime is due,
O Judge ſupreme! muſt be reſerv'd for you.
To you alone, whoſe all-pervading eye
Deep in the breaſt can latent thought eſpy;
Try ev'ry action by the known intent,
And to each crime adapt its puniſhment;
While men, miſled by erring lights, diſpenſe
The doom of guilt to injur'd innocence;
Or tho' repentance cleanſe the moral ſtain,
Inflict on crimes atton'd avenging pain.
Yet blameleſs they who act ſincere their part,
Faultleſs he errs who cannot read the heart.
Not ſuch fierce flames the mad enthuſiaſt's zeal,
On errors harmleſs to the gen'ral weal,
Whether falſe notions wander far from truth,
Or age retain'd the trace impreſs'd in youth.
While int'reſt prompts the holy murd'rer's hand,
In ſacred fires to light th' unhallow'd brand;
To draw deſtruction from heaven's ſaving page,
And bid ſweet mercy breathe relentleſs rage.
Accurs'd all ſuch! and he with joy elate,
Whoſe baleful breath embitters certain fate;
Who on th' imploring face malignant ſmiles,
And ſentenc'd wretches wantonly reviles.
Better, far better in the ſavage den,
Let the robb'd lion judge o'er proſtrate men:
Better let pow'r the lawleſs faulchion draw,
Than coward cruelty diſgrace the law.
This well you know, O —! whoſe righteous ſeat
Gives to the innocent a ſure retreat;
Severely juſt, and piouſly humane,
The wretch you puniſh, while you ſhare his pain.
Tears with the dreadful words of ſentence flow,
Nor does the rigid judge the man forego.
So feels the breaſt humane, ye truly brave!
And ſuch is thine, my friend, intent to ſave!
Whether thy bounty pining want relieve,
Or lenient pity ſooth the hearts that grieve;
Whether thy pious hand due bounds preſcribe
To little tyrants, o'er the leſſer tribe;
And huge leviathan unaw'd controul.
Nor Britain only claims thy gen'rous plan,
Thy rule is juſtice, and thy care is man.
And may this truth thy fair example prove,
Juſtice ſhall fan the flame of ſocial love.
THro' the wild maze of life's ſtill varying plan,
Bliſs is alone th' important taſk of man.
All elſe is trifling, whether grave or gay,
A Newton's labours, or an infant's play;
Whether this vainly waſtes th' unheeded ſun,
Or thoſe more vainly mark the courſe it run;
For of the two, ſure ſmaller is the fault,
To err unthinking, than to err with thought;
But if, like them, we ſtill muſt trifles uſe,
Harmleſs at leaſt, like theirs, be thoſe we chuſe.
Enough it is that reaſon blames the choice,
Join not to her's the wretch's plaintive voice;
Be folly free from guilt: let foplings play,
Or write, or talk, or dreſs, or die away.
Let thoſe, if ſuch there be, whoſe giant-mind
Superior tow'rs above their pigmy kind,
Where hail and ſnow renew their treaſur'd ſtore. *
Lo! heav'n ſpreads all its ſtars; let thoſe explain,
What balanc'd pow'rs the rolling orb ſuſtain;
Nor in more humble ſcales, pernicious weigh
Senſe, juſtice, truth, againſt ſeducing pay.
So diſtant regions ſhall employ their thought,
And ſpotleſs ſenates here remain unbought.
Well had great † Charles, by early want inſpir'd,
With warring puppets, guiltleſs praiſe acquir'd;
So wou'd that flame have mimick fights engag'd,
Which fann'd by pow'r, o'er waſted nations rag'd.
Curs'd be the wretch, ſhould all the mouths of fame
Wide o'er the world his deathleſs deeds proclaim,
Who like a baneful comet ſpreads his blaze,
While trembling crowds in ſtupid wonder gaze;
Whoſe potent talents ſerve his lawleſs will,
Which turns each virtue to a publick ill,
With direful rage perverted might employs,
And heav'n's great ends with heav'n's beſt means deſtroys.
The praiſe of power is his, whoſe hand ſupplies
Fire to the bold, and prudence to the wiſe;
While man this only real merit knows,
Fitly to uſe the gifts which heaven beſtows:
The mountain-lion ſhall diſpute his claim:
Or, if perfidious wiles deſerve applauſe,
Thro' ſlighted vows, and violated laws;
The ſubtle plotter's title ſtands confeſs'd,
Whoſe dagger gores the truſting tyrant's breaſt.
And ſure the villain leſs deſerves his fate,
Who ſtabs one wretch, than he who ſtabs a ſtate.
Now, mighty hero! boaſt thy dear delights,
The price of toilſome days and ſleepleſs nights;
Say, canſt thou aught in purple grandeur find,
Sweet as the ſlumbers of the lowly hind?
Better are ye, the youthful and the gay,
Who jocund rove thro' pleaſure's flow'ry way!
Yet ſeek not there for bliſs! your toil were vain,
(And diſappointed toil is double pain)
Tho' from the living fount your nectar-bowls
Pour the ſoft balm upon your thirſty ſouls;
Tho' pure the ſpring, tho' every draught ſincere,
By pain unbitter'd, and unpall'd by fear;
Tho' all were full as high as thought can ſoar,
Till fancy fires, and wiſhes crave no more:
Let lovely woman artleſs charms diſplay,
Where truth and goodneſs baſk in beauty's ray;
Let heavn'ly melody luxuriant float
In ſwelling ſounds, and breathe the melting note;
Let gen'rous wines enliv'ning thoughts inſpire,
While ſocial converſe ſooths the genial fire:
Some ſtronger rapture, ſome ſublimer ſenſe;
Be theſe enjoy'd.—Then from the crowd ariſe
Some chief, in life's full pride maturely wiſe.
Ev'n you, my Lord, with titles, honours grac'd,
And higher ſtill by native merit plac'd;
By ſtinted talents to no ſphere confin'd,
Free ranging every province of the mind:
Equally fit, a nation's weight to bear,
Or ſhine in circles of the young and fair;
In grave debates inſtructed ſenates move,
Or melt the glowing dame to mutual love.
To heighten theſe, let conſcious worth infuſe
Sweet eaſe, and ſmiling mirth th' inſpiring Muſe.
Then anſwer, thou of ev'ry gift poſſeſs'd,
Say, from thy ſoul, art thou ſincerely bleſt!
To various ſubjects wherefore doſt thou range?
Pleaſure muſt ceaſe, ere man can wiſh to change.
Haſt thou not quitted Flaccus' ſacred lay,
To talk with Bavius, or with Flavia play;
When waſted nature ſhuns the large expence
Of deep attention to exalted ſenſe!
Precarious bliſs! which ſoon, which oft muſt cloy,
And which how few, how very few enjoy!
Say, is there aught, on which, completely bleſt,
Fearleſs and full the raptur'd mind may reſt?
Is there aught conſtant? Or, if ſuch there be,
Can varying man be pleas'd with conſtancy?
The ſenſes change, and loath accuſtom'd joy:
Eden in vain immortal ſweets diſplays,
If the taſte ſickens, or our frame decays.
The range of life contracted limits bound;
Yet more confin'd is pleaſure's faithleſs round:
Fair op'ning to the ſight, when firſt we run,
But, ah! how alter'd, when again begun!
When tir'd we view the ſame known proſpect o'er,
And lagging, tread the ſteps we trod before.
Now clogg'd with ſpleen, the lazy current flows,
Thro' doubts, and fears, and ſelf-augmenting woes;
Till ſated, loathing, hopeleſs here of bliſs,
Some plunge to ſeek it into death's abyſs.
Of all ſuperfluous wealth's unnumber'd ſtings,
The ſharpeſt is that knowledge which it brings;
Enjoyment purchas'd makes its object known,
And then, alas! each ſoft illuſion's flown:
Love's promis'd ſweet, ambition's lofty ſcheme,
The painter's image, and the poet's theme.
Theſe, in perſpective fair exalted high,
Attract with ſeeming charms the diſtant eye;
But when by envious Fortune plac'd too near,
Miſ-ſhapen forms, and groſſer tints appear:
Where lovely Venus led her beauteous train,
Some fiend gigantic holds her monſtrous reign;
Crowns, ſcepters, laurels are confus'dly ſtrow'd,
A wild, deform'd, unmeaning, heavy load.
Some pleaſures here with ſparing hand are giv'n,
That ſons of earth ſhould taſte their promis'd heav'n:
But what was meant to urge us to the chace,
Now ſtops, or ſideway turns our devious race:
Tho' ſtill to make the deſtin'd courſe more plain,
Thick are our erring paths beſet with pain;
Nor has one object equal charms to prove
The fitting center of our reſtleſs love.
And when the great Creator's will had join'd,
Unequal pair! the body and the mind,
Leſt the proud ſpirit ſhould neglect her clay,
He bad corporeal objects thought convey;
Each ſtrong ſenſation to the ſoul impart
Ecſtatic tranſport or afflicting ſmart:
By that entic'd, the uſeful ſhe enjoys;
By this deterr'd, ſhe flies whate'er deſtroys:
Hence from the dagger's point ſharp anguiſh flows,
And the ſoft couch is ſpread with ſweet repoſe.
In ſomething frail, tho' gen'ral this deſign,
For ſome exceptions ev'ry rule confine:
Yet few were they, while nature's genuine ſtore
Supply'd our wants, nor man yet ſought for more;
Ere diff'rent mixtures left no form the ſame,
And vicious habits chang'd our ſickly frame.
Now ſubtle art may gild the venom'd pill,
And bait with ſoothing ſweets deſtructive ill.
To narrow ſelf heav'n's impulſe unconfin'd
Diffuſive reigns, and takes in all our kind.
The wretch's groans pierce ſympathizing hearts.
Yet not alike are all conjoin'd with all,
Nor throng with rival heat to nature's call:
By varying inſtinct different ties are known,
While love ſuperior points to each his own;
Thoſe next the reach of our aſſiſting hands,
And thoſe to whom we're link'd by kindred bands;
Thoſe who moſt want, and beſt deſerve our care,
In warmer ſtreams the ſacred influence ſhare;
Ambroſial ſweets her infant's lip diſtils,
While through the mother's heart quick rapture thrills.
The ſocial fires friend, ſervant, neighbour claim,
Which blaze collected in the patriot's flame:
Hence Britain throbs ſuperior in thy ſoul,
Nor idly wak'ſt thou for the diſtant pole.
Yet farther ſtill the ſaving inſtinct moves,
And to the future wide extends our loves;
Glows in our boſom for an unborn race,
And warms us mutual to the kind embrace,
For this, to man was giv'n the graceful air;
For this, was woman form'd divinely fair.
But now to pleaſure ſenſual views confin'd,
Reach not the uſe, for which it was deſign'd;
To this one point our hopes, our wiſhes tend,
And thus miſtake the motive for the end.
Whate'er ſenſations from enjoyment flow,
Our erring thought to matter's force would owe;
And blindly for the cauſe miſtake the means;
In od'rous meads the vernal gale we praiſe,
Or dread the ſtorm, that blows the wintry ſeas;
While he's unheeded, who alone can move,
Claims all our fears, and merits all our love;
Alone to ſouls can ſenſe and thought convey,
Thro' the dark manſions of ſurrounding clay.
Man, part from heav'n, and part from humble earth,
A motley ſubſtance, takes his various birth;
Cloſe link'd to both, he hangs in diff'rent chains,
The pliant fetter length'ning as he ſtrains.
If, bravely conſcious of her native fires,
To the bold height his nobler frame aſpires;
Near as ſhe ſoars to join th' approaching ſkies,
Our earth ſtill leſſens to her diſtant eyes.
But if o'erpois'd ſhe ſinks, her downward courſe
Each moment weighs, with ſtill augmenting force;
Low and more low, the burden'd ſpirit bends,
While weaker ſtill each heav'nly link extends;
Till proſtrate, grov'ling, fetter'd to the ground,
She lies in matter's heap o'erwhelm'd and bound.
Wrapt in the toils of ſin, juſt heav'n employs
What caus'd her guilt, to blaſt her lawleſs joys:
Love, potent guardian of our length'ning race,
Unnerves the feeble lecher's cold embrace;
And appetite, by nature giv'n to ſave,
Sinks the gorg'd glutton in his early grave.
What ſends yon fleet o'er boiſt'rous ſeas to roll,
Beneath the burning line, and frozen pole?
Why ravage men the hills, the plains, the woods?
Why ſpoil all nature, earth, and air, and floods?
Seek they ſome prize to help a ſinking ſtate,
No!—this muſt all be done, ere * Bernard eat.
Tell it ſome untaught ſavage! with ſurprize
He aſks, "How vaſt muſt be that giant's ſize!
"How great his pow'r, who thouſands can employ?
"How great his force, who millions can deſtroy?"
But if the ſavage would, more curious, know
What potent virtues from ſuch viands flow,
What bleſt effects they cauſe—conſult with Sloane,
Let him explain the colick, gout, and ſtone!
Pleaſure's for uſe; it differs in degree,
Proportion'd to the thing's neceſſity.
Hence various objects variouſly excite,
And diff'rent is the date of each delight;
But when th' allotted end we once attain,
Each ſtep beyond it, is a ſtep to pain.
Nor let us murmur.—Hath not earth a ſtore
For ev'ry want? it was not meant for more.
Bleſt is the man, as far as earth can bleſs,
Whoſe meaſur'd paſſions reach no wild exceſs;
Who, urg'd by nature's voice, her gifts enjoys,
Nor other means, than nature's force, employs.
Each vivid ſenſe with vig'rous rapture glows;
And when he droops beneath the hand of age,
No vicious habit ſtings with fruitleſs rage;
Gradual, his ſtrength, and gay ſenſations ceaſe,
While joys tumultuous ſink in ſilent peace.
Far other is his lot, who, not content
With what the bounteous care of nature meant,
With labour'd ſkill would all her joys dilate,
Sublime their ſenſe, and lengthen out their date;
Add, blend, compoſe, each various mixture try,
And wind up appetite to luxury.
Thus guilty art unknown deſires implants,
And viler arts muſt ſatisfy their wants;
When to corruption by himſelf betray'd,
Gold blinds the ſlave, whom luxury has made.
The hand, that form'd us, muſt ſome uſe intend,
It gives us pow'rs proportion'd to that end;
And happineſs may juſtly be defin'd,
A full attainment of the end deſign'd.
Virtue and wiſdom this alike implies,
And bleſt muſt be the virtuous and the wiſe.
Bliſs is ordain'd for all, ſince heav'n intends
All beings ſhould attain their deſtin'd ends:
For this the fair idea ſhines confeſs'd
To ev'ry mind, and glows in ev'ry breaſt.
Compar'd with this, all mortal joys are vain;
Inſpir'd by this, we reſtleſs onward ſtrain.
Eludes our graſp, and mingles with the ſky.
With nothing leſs th' aſpiring ſoul's content,
For nothing leſs her gen'rous flame was meant;
Th' unerring rule, which all our ſteps ſhould guide,
The certain teſt, by which true good is try'd.
Bleſt when we reach it, wretched while we miſs,
Our joys, our ſorrows prove, there muſt be bliſs.
Nor can this be ſome viſionary dream,
Where heated fancy forms the flatt'ring ſcheme.
There ſure is bliſs—elſe, why by all deſir'd?
What guileful pow'r has the mad ſearch inſpir'd?
Could accident produce in all the ſame,
Or a vain ſhadow raiſe a real flame?
When nature in the world's diſtended ſpace,
Or fill'd, or almoſt fill'd each ſmaller place;
Careful in meaneſt matter to produce
Each ſingle motion for ſome certain uſe;
Hard was the lot of her firſt fav'rite, man,
Faulty the ſcheme of his contracted ſpan,
If that alone muſt know an uſeleſs void,
And he feel longings ne'er to be enjoy'd.
That only can produce conſummate joy,
Which equals all the pow'rs it would employ;
Such fitting object to each talent giv'n,
Earth cannot fit what was deſign'd for heav'n.
Why then is man with gifts ſublimeſt fraught,
And active will and comprehenſive thought?
What! for a houſe, a coach, a dog, a horſe?
Has nature's lord inverted nature's plan?
Is man now made for what was made for man?
There muſt be pleaſures paſt the reach of ſenſe,
Some nobler ſource muſt happineſs diſpenſe:
Reaſon, ariſe! and vindicate thy claim,
Flaſh on our minds the joy-infuſing flame;
Pour forth the fount of light, whoſe endleſs ſtore
Thought drinks inſatiate, while it thirſts for more.
And thou, ſeraphick flame! who would'ſt inſpire
The prophet's voice, and wrap his ſoul in fire;
Ray of th' eternal beam! who canſt pervade
The diſtant paſt, and future's gloomy ſhade;
While trembling reaſon tempts heav'n's dazzling height,
Sublime her force, and guide her dubious flight;
Strengthen'd by thee, ſhe bears the ſtreaming blaze,
And drinks new light from truth's immortal rays.
Great, only evidence of things divine!
By thee reveal'd, the myſtick wonders ſhine!
What puzzled ſophiſts vainly would explore,
What humbled pride in ſilence muſt adore,
What plainly mark'd in heav'n's deliver'd page,
Makes the taught hind more wiſe than Greece's ſage.
Yet reaſon proves thee in her low degree,
And owns thy truths, from their neceſſity.
Conſpicuous now is happineſs diſplay'd,
Poſſeſſing him for whom alone we're made.
To him alone th' expanding boſom beats;
Who fills each faculty, each pow'r can move,
Exerts all thought, and deep abſorbs all love;
Whoſe ceaſeleſs being years would tell in vain,
Whoſe attributes immenſe all bounds diſdain.
No ſickly taſte the heav'nly rapture cloys,
Nor wearied ſenſes ſink in whelming joys
While, rais'd above low matter's groſſer frame,
Pure ſpirit blazes in his purer flame.
Such are th' immortal bleſſings that attend
The juſt and good, the patriot and the friend.
Nor ſuch alone in diſtant proſpect cheer,
They taſte heav'n's joys anticipated here.
Theſe in the ſmiling cups of pleaſure flow,
Or, mingling, ſooth the bitter ſtream of woe;
Theſe pay the loſs of honours, and of place,
And teach that guilt alone is true diſgrace;
Theſe with the glorious exile cheerful rove,
And, far from courts, freſh bloom in Curio's grove.
Long may ſuch bliſs, by ſuch enjoy'd, atteſt,
The greatly virtuous are the greatly bleſt!
Enough there are amidſt yon gorgeous train,
Who, wretched, prove all other joys are vain.
So ſhines the truth theſe humble lines unfold,
"Fair virtue ever is unwiſely ſold."
Too mean a price ſublimeſt fortune brings,
Too mean the wealth, the ſmiles, the crowns of kings
The preſent pleaſing, and the future ſure.
While proſp'rous guilt a ſad reverſe appears,
And in the taſteleſs now, the future fears.
CLarinda, dearly lov'd, attend
The counſels of a faithful friend;
Who with the warmeſt wiſhes fraught,
Feels all, at leaſt, that friendſhip ought.
But ſince by ruling heav'n's deſign,
Another's fate ſhall influence thine;
O! may theſe lines for him prepare
A bliſs, which I wou'd die to ſhare!
Man may for wealth or glory roam,
But woman muſt be bleſt at home;
To this ſhou'd all her ſtudies tend,
This her great object and her end.
Diſtaſte unmingled pleaſures bring,
And uſe can blunt affliction's ſting;
Hence perfect bliſs no mortals know,
And few are plung'd in utter woe;
While nature arm'd againſt deſpair,
Gives pow'r to mend, or ſtrength to bear;
Which ſpleen employs to purchaſe pain.
Trace not the fair domeſtick plan,
From what you wou'd, but what you can!
Nor, peeviſh, ſpurn the ſcanty ſcore,
Becauſe you think you merit more!
Bliſs ever differs in degree,
Thy ſhare alone is meant for thee;
And thou ſhould'ſt think, however ſmall,
That ſhare enough, for 'tis thy all:
Vain ſcorn will aggravate diſtreſs,
And only make that little leſs.
Admit whatever trifles come,
Units compoſe the largeſt ſum:
O! tell them o'er, and ſay how vain
Are thoſe which form ambition's train:
Which ſwell the monarch's gorgeous ſtate,
And bribe to ill the guilty great!
But thou more bleſt, more wiſe than theſe,
Shalt build up happineſs on eaſe.
Hail ſweet Content! where joy ſerene
Gilds the mild ſoul's unruffled ſcene:
And with blith fancy's pencil wrought,
Spreads the white web of flowing thought;
Shines lovely in the cheerful face,
And cloaths each charm with native grace;
Effuſion pure of bliſs ſincere,
A veſtment for a god to wear.
Far other ornaments compoſe
The garb that ſhrouds diſſembled woes,
Piec'd out with motley dies and ſorts,
Freaks, whimſies, feſtivals and ſports;
The troubled mind's fantaſtick dreſs,
Which madneſs titles happineſs.
While the gay wretch to revel bears
The pale remains of ſighs and tears;
And ſeeks in crowds, like her undone,
What only can be found in one.
But, chief, my gentle friend! remove
Far from thy couch ſeducing love!
O! ſhun the falſe magician's art,
Nor truſt thy yet unguarded heart!
Charm'd by his ſpells fair honour flies,
And thouſand treach'rous phantoms riſe
Where guilt in beauty's ray beguiles,
And ruin lurks in friendſhip's ſmiles.
Lo! where th' enchanted captive dreams
Of warbling groves, and purling ſtreams;
Of painted meads, of flowers that ſhed
Their odours round her fragrant bed.
Quick ſhifts the ſcene, the charm is loſt,
She wakes upon a deſert coaſt!
No friendly hand to lend its aid,
No guardian bow'r to ſpread its ſhade;
Expos'd to ev'ry chilling blaſt,
She treads th' inhoſpitable waſte;
Sinks a forlorn, diſhonour'd wife.
Neglect not thou the voice of Fame,
But clear from crime, be free from blame!
Tho' all were innocence within,
'Tis guilt to wear the garb of ſin.
Virtue rejects the foul diſguiſe:
None merit praiſe who praiſe deſpiſe.
Slight not, in ſupercilious ſtrain,
Long practis'd modes, as low or vain!
The world will vindicate their cauſe,
And claim blind faith in cuſtom's laws.
Safer with multitudes to ſtray,
Than tread alone a fairer way;
To mingle with the erring throng,
Than boldly ſpeak ten millions wrong.
Beware of the relentleſs train
Who forms adore, whom forms maintain!
Leſt prudes demure, or coxcombs loud,
Accuſe thee to the partial crowd;
Foes who the laws of honour ſlight,
A judge who meaſures guilt by ſpite.
Behold the ſage Aurelia ſtand,
Diſgrace and fame at her command!
As if heaven's delegate deſign'd,
Sole arbiter of all her kind.
Whether ſhe try ſome favour'd piece,
By rules devis'd in ancient Greece;
She tells what Paris thinks polite.
For much her talents to advance,
She ſtudy'd Greece, and travell'd France.
There learn'd the happy art to pleaſe,
With all the charms of labour'd eaſe;
Thro' looks and nods with meaning fraught,
To teach what ſhe was never taught.
By her each latent ſpring is ſeen,
The workings foul of ſecret ſpleen;
The guilt that ſculks in fair pretence,
Or folly veil'd in ſpecious ſenſe.
And much her righteous ſpirit grieves,
When worthleſſneſs the world deceives;
Whether the erring crowd commends
Some patriot ſway'd by private ends;
Or huſband truſt a faithleſs wife,
Secure in ignorance from ſtrife.
Averſe ſhe brings their deeds to view,
But juſtice claims the rig'rous due;
Humanely anxious to produce
At leaſt ſome poſſible excuſe.
O ne'er may virtue's dire diſgrace
Prepare a triumph for the baſe!
Mere forms the fool implicit ſway,
Which witlings with contempt ſurvey,
Blind folly no defect can ſee,
Half wiſdom views but one degree;
Which judgment and experience teach.
Whoever wou'd be pleas'd and pleaſe,
Muſt do what others do with eaſe.
Great precept undefin'd by rule,
And only learn'd in cuſtom's ſchool;
To no peculiar form confin'd,
It ſpreads thro' all the human kind;
Beauty and wit and worth ſupplies,
Yet graceful in the good and wiſe.
Rich with this gift and none beſide,
In faſhion's ſtream how many glide?
Secure from ev'ry mental woe,
From treach'rous friend or open foe;
From ſocial ſympathy that ſhares
The publick loſs or private cares;
Whether the barb'rous foe invade,
Or merit pine in fortune's ſhade.
Hence gentle Anna ever-gay,
The ſame to-morrow as to-day,
Save where perchance, when others weep,
Her cheek the decent ſorrow ſteep;
Save when perhaps a melting tale,
O'er ev'ry tender breaſt prevail.
The good, the bad, the great, the ſmall,
She likes, ſhe loves, ſhe honours all.
And yet if ſland'rous malice blame,
Patient ſhe yields a ſiſter's fame.
She ſays whate'er the circle ſays;
Implicit does whate'er we do,
Without one point or wiſh in view,
Sure teſt of others, faithful glaſs
Thro' which the various phantoms paſs.
Wide blank, unfeeling when alone,
No care, no joy, no thought her own.
Not thus ſucceeds the peerleſs dame,
Who looks, and talks, and acts for fame;
Intent, ſo wide her cares extend,
To make the univerſe her friend.
Now with the gay in frolick ſhines,
Now reaſons deep with deep divines.
With courtiers now extols the great,
With patriots ſighs o'er Britain's fate.
Now breathes with zealots holy fires,
Now melts in leſs refin'd deſires.
Doom'd to exceed in each degree,
Too wiſe, too weak, too proud, too free,
Too various for one ſingle word,
The high ſublime of deep abſurd.
While ev'ry talent nature grants,
Juſt ſerves to ſhew how much ſhe wants.
Altho' in — combine
The virtues of our ſex and thine:
Her hand reſtrains the widow's tears,
Her ſenſe informs, and ſooths and cheers;
She ſhines but to ſome favour'd eyes;
Nor is the diſtant herd allow'd
To view the radiance thro' the cloud.
But thine is ev'ry winning art,
Thine is the friendly honeſt heart:
And ſhou'd the gen'rous ſpirit flow,
Beyond where prudence fears to go;
Such ſallies are of nobler kind,
Than virtues of a narrow mind.
HEAVEN in the human breaſt implants
Fit appetites for all our wants;
With hunger prompts to ſtrength'ning food,
With love of praiſe to publick good;
Theſe to their object ſtraight convey,
While reaſon winds her tardy way.
Yet in one center ſhould unite,
Faith, inſtinct, reaſon, appetite:
One perfect plan ordain'd to trace,
And nature dignify with grace;
In one great ſyſtem meant to roll,
To move, ſupport, and guide the whole.
But ſome there are who rigid blame
The mind that thirſts for righteous fame;
And with weak lights preſumptuous ſcan
The ſprings which move predeſtin'd man.
And ſome there are, accurs'd their art,
Tho' all the nine their charms impart,
Who in falſe forms of great and juſt,
Cloath av'rice, treachery, rage and luſt:
As if ſuperior beings ſuit
Thoſe attributes which ſink the brute.
But vainly chime the partial lays,
Chaſte Fame rejects all ſpurious praiſe.
She, faireſt offspring of the ſkies,
The goddeſs of the brave and wiſe,
Whoſe ſacred impulſe prompts the beſt
To ſuccour and preſerve the reſt,
Is deaf to ev'ry private call,
And wakes but at the voice of all.
From heaps of ill-collected gain,
From hecatombs by heroes ſlain,
From courts where guilty greatneſs dwells,
She flys to penury and cells;
With Erſkine, pious exile, goes,
To ſooth a drooping father's woes;
Or mingling with the orphan-train,
She ſings the bounties of Germain.
Nor pow'r, nor policy of ſtate,
Can ever give intrinſick weight:
O'er titled droſs a golden ray,
Still baſer thro' detecting years,
The ſpeckled counterfeit appears.
But when from proof, far iſſuing forth,
The ore aſſerts its native worth;
Then, ſov'reign bard, 'tis juſtly thine
To ſtamp the well-atteſted coin;
And conſecrated with thy name,
To treaſure in the ſtores of Fame.
POLLIO! would'ſt thou condeſcend
Here to ſee thy humble friend,
Far from doctors, potions, pills,
Drinking health on native hills;
Thou the precious draught may'ſt ſhare,
Lucy ſhall the bowl prepare.
From the brouſing goat it flows,
From each balmy ſhrub that grows;
Hence the nerves that brace his fire.
Vigorous, buxom, young and gay,
Thou like them ſhalt love and play.
What, tho' far from ſilver Thames,
Stately piles, and courtly dames?
Here we boaſt a purer flood,
Joys that ſtream from ſprightly blood;
Here is ſimple beauty ſeen,
Fair, and cloath'd like beauty's queen:
Nature's hands the garbs compoſe,
From the lilly and the roſe.
Or, if charm'd with richer dies,
Fancy every robe ſupplies.
Shou'd perchance ſome high-born fair,
Abſent, claim thy tender care;
Here, enraptur'd ſhalt thou trace,
S—'s ſhape, and R—'s face;
While the waking dream ſhall pay,
Many a wiſhing hopeleſs day.
Domes with gold and toil unbought,
Riſe by magick pow'r of thought,
Where by artiſt's hand undrawn,
Slopes the vale, and ſpreads the lawn;
As if ſportive nature meant,
Here to mock the works of Kent.
Come, and with thee bring along
Jocund tale and witty ſong,
Arts that pleaſe, adorn, improve;
And, to gild the glorious ſcene,
Conſcience ſpotleſs and ſerene.
Poor with all a H—t's ſtore,
Lives the man who pines for more.
Wretched he who doom'd to roam,
Never can be bleſt at home;
Nor retire within his mind,
From th' ungrateful and unkind.
Happy they whom crowds befriend,
Curs'd who on the crowd depend;
On the great one's peeviſh fit,
On the coxcomb's ſpurious wit;
Ever ſentenc'd to bemoan
Others failings in their own.
If, like them, rejecting eaſe,
Hills and health no longer pleaſe;
Quick deſcend!—Thou may'ſt reſort
To the viceroy's ſplendid court.
There, indignant, ſhalt thou ſee
Cringing ſlaves, who might be free,
Brib'd, with titles, hope, or gain,
Tye their country's ſhameful chain;
Or, inſpir'd by heav'n's good cauſe,
Waſte the land with holy laws:
While the gleanings of their power,
Lawyers, lordlings, prieſts devour.
"Drink alone thy mountain-whey!
"Wherefore tempt the Iriſh ſhoals?
"Sights like theſe are nearer Paul's.
REMOTE from liberty and truth,
By fortune's crime, my early youth
Drank error's poiſon'd ſprings.
Taught by dark creeds and myſtick law,
Wrapt up in reverential awe,
I bow'd to prieſts and kings.
Soon reaſon dawn'd, with troubled ſight
I caught the glimpſe of painful light,
Afflicted and afraid.
Too weak it ſhone to mark my way,
Enough to tempt my ſteps to ſtray
Along the dubious ſhade.
[Page 211] III.
Reſtleſs I roam'd, when from afar
Lo HOOKER ſhines! the friendly ſtar
Sends forth a ſteady ray.
Thus cheer'd, and eager to purſue,
I mount, till glorious to my view,
LOCKE ſpreads the realms of day.
Now warm'd with noble SIDNEY'S page,
I pant with all the patriot's rage;
Now wrapt in PLATO'S dream,
With MORE and HARRINGTON around
I tread fair Freedom's magick ground,
And trace the flatt'ring ſcheme.
But ſoon the beauteous viſion flies;
And hideous ſpectres now ariſe,
Corruption's direful train:
The partial judge perverting laws,
The prieſt forſaking virtue's cauſe,
And ſenates ſlaves to gain.
Vainly the pious artiſt's toil
Would rear to heaven a mortal pile,
On ſome immortal plan;
Within a ſure, tho' varying date,
Confin'd alas! is every ſtate
Of empire and of man.
[Page 212] VII.
What tho' the good, the brave, the wiſe,
With adverſe force undaunted riſe,
To break th' eternal doom!
Tho' CATO liv'd, tho' TULLY ſpoke,
Tho' BRUTUS dealt the godlike ſtroke,
Yet periſh'd fated ROME.
To ſwell ſome future tyrant's pride,
Good FLEURY pours the golden tide
On Gallia's ſmiling ſhores;
Once more her fields ſhall thirſt in vain
For wholſome ſtreams of honeſt gain,
While rapine waſtes her ſtores.
Yet glorious is the great deſign,
And ſuch, O PULTNEY! ſuch is thine,
To prop a nation's frame.
If cruſh'd beneath the ſacred weight,
The ruins of a falling ſtate
Shall tell the patriot's name.
LONSDALE! thou ever-honour'd name,
For ſuch is ſacred virtue's claim,
Say, why! my noble friend!
While nature ſheds her balmy powers
O'er hill and dale, in leaves and flowers,
Say, why my joys ſuſpend!
Here ſpreads the lawn high-crown'd with wood,
Here ſlopes the vale, there winds the flood
In many a cryſtal maze;
The fiſhes ſport, in ſilver pride
Slow moves the ſwan, on either ſide
The herds promiſcuous graze.
Or if the ſtiller ſhade you love,
Here ſolemn nods th' imbow'ring grove
O'er innocence and eaſe;
Whether with deep reflection fraught,
Or in the ſprightly ſtream of thought,
The lighter trifles pleaſe.
[Page 214] IV.
5And ſhould the ſhaft of treacherous ſpleen
Glance venom'd through this peaceful ſcene,
Unheeded may it fly.
Provok'd, nor tempted to repay,
Tho' truth ſeverer prompt the lay,
A mean proſaic lie.
Here with the pheaſant and the hare,
Unfearful of the human ſnare,
Have ſtateſmen paſs'd a day.
While far from yon forbidden gate,
Pale care and lank remorſe await
Their ſlow-returning prey.
O! blind to all the joys of life,
Who ſeek them in the ſtorm of ſtrife,
Deſtroying, or deſtroy'd.
Leſs wretched they, and yet unbleſs'd,
Who batten in lethargic reſt,
On bleſſings unenjoy'd.
But come, my friend, the ſun invites,
For thee the town hath no delights,
Diſtaſted and aggriev'd;
While fools believe, while villains cheat,
Too honeſt to approve deceit,
Too wiſe to be deceiv'd.
[Page 215] VIII.
Or doſt thou fear leſt dire diſeaſe
Again thy tortur'd frame may ſeize;
And haſt thou therefore ſtay'd?
O! rather haſte, where thou ſhalt find
A ready hand, a gentle mind,
To comfort and to aid.
And while by ſore afflictions try'd,
You bear without the Stoic's pride,
What Stoic never bore;
O! may I learn like thee to bear,
And what ſhall be my deſtin'd ſhare,
To ſuffer, not explore.
GENTLE, idle, trifling boy,
Sing of pleaſures, ſing of joy!
Well you paint the cryſtal ſpring,
Well the flow'ry meadow ſing.
But beware with bolder flight,
Tempt not heaven's unequal height;
Mock not freedom's hallow'd train!
Sacred, here, O! ever be
Heaven, and heaven-born liberty!
Let the ſlaves of lawleſs ſway,
Let the ſtupid flock obey!
Pent within a narrow fold,
Ty'd, and ſtript, and ſlain, and ſold.
Happier ſtars the brave befriend,
Britons know a nobler end.
Theirs it is to temper laws,
Theirs to watch in freedom's cauſe,
Theirs one common good to ſhare,
Theirs to feel one common care;
In the glorious taſk combin'd,
From the monarch to the hind.
Yet O! ceaſe not gentle boy!
Sing of pleaſures, ſing of joy!
Like thy brothers of the wing,
Idly hop, and chirp, and ſing.
Heaven can nothing vain produce,
Ev'ry creature has its uſe.
Thine it is to ſooth our toil,
Thine to make e'en wiſdom ſmile.
Much they err who ſuch deſpiſe,
Trifles pleaſe the truly wiſe.
ON Stow, the Muſe's happy theme,
Let fancy's eye enamour'd gaze;
Where thro' one nobly ſimple ſcheme,
Ten thouſand varying beauties pleaſe.
There patriot-virtue rears her ſhrine,
Nor love! art thou depriv'd of thine.
Mark where from POPE'S exhauſtleſs vein,
Pure flows the ſtream of copious thought,
While nature pours the genial ſtrain,
With faireſt ſprings of learning fraught;
The treaſures of each clime and age,
Grace and enrich his ſacred page.
So while thro' Britain's fields her Thames
Prolifick rolls his ſilver tide;
The tribute of a thouſand ſtreams
Swells the majeſtick river's pride;
And where his gen'rous current ſtrays,
The wealth of either world conveys.
[Page 218] IV.
Far other, is that wretch's ſong,
Whoſe ſcanty rill devoid of force,
With idle tinklings creeps along,
A narrow, crooked, dubious courſe;
Or foul with congregated floods,
Spreads a wide waſte o'er plains, and woods.
In action thus the mind expreſs'd
High ſoars in Pope the true ſublime;
A Stow unfolds a Cobham's breaſt,
A Bavius crawls in doggrel rhyme.
Thro' all their various works we trace
The greatly virtuous, and the baſe.
TOO anxious for the publick weal,
Awhile ſuſpend the toilſome ſtrife!
O think if Britain claim thy zeal,
Thy friends and Britain claim thy life!
[Page 219] II.
Thy gen'rous, free, and active ſoul,
Inſpir'd by glory's ſacred flame,
Springs ardent to the diſtant goal,
And ſtrains the weaker mortal frame.
Happy whom reaſon deigns to guide,
Secure within the golden mean,
Who ſhuns the Stoic's ſenſeleſs pride,
Nor wallows with the herd obſcene.
He nor with brow ſeverely bent,
Chides pleaſure's ſmiling train away;
Nor careleſs of life's great intent,
With folly waſtes each heedleſs day.
But from the mountain's lofty height,
Now nature's mighty frame ſurveys;
And now deſcending with delight,
Along the humble valley ſtrays.
So have I ſeen thee gain applauſe,
Tho' faction rag'd, from Britain's peers;
Then glorious in thy country's cauſe,
Go whiſper love in Chloe's ears.
NOR me the glories of thy birth engage,
With royal names to ſwell my pompous page:
Nor meaner views allure, in ſoothing lays
To court thy favour with officious praiſe.
Yet praiſe it is, thus to addreſs thine ear
In ſtrains no ſlave dare ſing, no tyrant hear;
While warm for Britain's rights and nature's laws,
I call forth Britain's HOPE in freedom's cauſe:
Aſſert an empire which to ALL belongs,
And vindicate a world's long ſuffer'd wrongs.
Theſe ſaving truths import thee moſt to know,
The links that tie the mighty to the low;
What now, our fellow-ſubject, is your due,
And, when our lord, ſhall be a debt on you.
O! may'ſt thou to the throne ſuch maxims bring!
And feel the free-man while thou reign'ſt the king.
Far hence the tribe, whoſe ſervile arts delude,
And teach the great to ſpurn the multitude.
Are thoſe unworthy of the royal heir,
Who claim the future monarch's duteous care?
Still may thy thoughts the godlike taſk purſue,
And to the many ne'er prefer the few!
Still mayſt thou fly thy fortune's ſpecious friends,
Who deal forth ſov'reign grace to private ends;
In narrow ſtreams divert the copious tide,
Exalt one ſect, and damn the world beſide;
While with falſe lights directing partial rule,
The lord of nations falls a party's tool.
Such there have been—and ſuch, in truth's deſpite,
Diſgrac'd the cauſe of liberty and right.
But thou ſhalt riſe ſuperior to their arts,
And fix thy empire in a people's hearts.
Nor hence may faction boaſt her favour'd claim,
Where ſelfiſh paſſions borow virtue's name:
Free government alone preſerves the free,
And righteous rule is gen'ral liberty;
Their guiding law is freedom's native voice,
The publick good defin'd by publick choice;
And juſtly ſhould the bold offenders fall,
Who dare invade the ſov'reign rights of all;
A king who proudly makes theſe claims his own,
Or they whoſe rage ſhould ſhake a lawful throne.
From truths like theſe proceeds a right divine,
And may the pow'r that rais'd, preſerve thy ſcepter'd line.
IS there, or do the ſchoolmen dream?
Is there on earth a pow'r ſupreme,
The delegate of heav'n?
To whom an uncontroul'd command,
In ev'ry realm o'er ſea and land,
By ſpecial grace is giv'n?
Then ſay, what ſigns this god proclaim?
Dwells he amidſt the diamond's flame,
A throne his hallow'd ſhrine?
The borrow'd pomp, the arm'd array,
Want, fear, and impotence betray:
Strange proofs of pow'r divine!
If ſervice due from human kind,
To men in ſlothful eaſe reclin'd,
Can form a ſov'reign claim:
Hail monarchs! ye, whom heav'n ordains,
Our toils unſhar'd, to ſhare our gains,
Ye ideots, blind and lame!
[Page 223] IV.
Superior virtue, wiſdom, might,
Create and mark the ruler's right,
So reaſon muſt conclude:
Then thine it is, to whom belong
The wiſe, the virtuous, and the ſtrong,
Thrice ſacred multitude!
In thee, vaſt ALL! are theſe contain'd,
For thee are thoſe, thy parts ordain'd,
So nature's ſyſtems roll:
The ſcepter's thine, if ſuch there be;
If none there is, then thou art free,
Great monarch! mighty whole!
Let the proud tyrant reſt his cauſe
On faith, preſcription, force, or laws,
An hoſt's or ſenate's voice!
His voice affirms thy ſtronger due,
Who for the many made the few,
And gave the ſpecies choice.
Unſanctify'd by thy command,
Unown'd by thee, the ſcepter'd hand
The trembling ſlave may bind.
But looſe from nature's moral ties,
The oath by force impos'd belies
The unaſſenting mind.
[Page 224] VIII.
Thy will's thy rule, thy good its end;
You puniſh only to defend
What parent nature gave:
And he who dare her gifts invade,
By nature's oldeſt law is made
Thy victim or thy ſlave.
Thus reaſon founds the juſt decree
On univerſal liberty,
Not private rights reſign'd:
Through various nature's wide extent,
No private beings e'er were meant
To hurt the gen'ral kind.
Thee juſtice guides, thee right maintains,
Th' oppreſſor's wrong, the pilf'rer's gains,
Thy injur'd weal impair.
Thy warmeſt paſſions ſoon ſubſide,
Nor partial envy, hate, nor pride,
Thy temper'd counſels ſhare.
Each inſtance of thy vengeful rage,
Collected from each clime and age,
Tho' malice ſwell the ſum,
Would ſeem a ſpotleſs ſcanty ſcroll,
Compar'd with Marius' bloody roll,
Or Sylla's hippodrome.
[Page 225] XII.
But thine has been imputed blame,
Th' unworthy few aſſume thy name,
The rabble weak and loud;
Or thoſe who on thy ruins feaſt,
The lord, the lawyer, and the prieſt;
A more ignoble crowd.
Avails it thee, if one devours,
Or leſſer ſpoilers ſhare his pow'rs,
While both thy claim oppoſe?
Monſters who wore thy ſully'd crown,
Tyrants who pull'd thoſe monſters down,
Alike to thee were foes.
Far other ſhone fair Freedom's hand,
Far other was th' immortal ſtand,
When Hampden fought for thee:
They ſnatch'd from rapine's gripe thy ſpoils,
The fruits and prize of glorious toils,
Of arts and induſtry.
On thee yet foams the preacher's rage,
On thee fierce frowns th' hiſtorian's page,
A falſe apoſtate train:
Tears ſtream adown the martyr's tomb;
Unpity'd in their harder doom,
Thy thouſands ſtrow the plain.
[Page 226] XVI.
Theſe had no charms to pleaſe the ſenſe.
No graceful port, no eloquence,
To win the Muſe's throng:
Unknown, unſung, unmark'd they lie;
But Caeſar's fate o'ercaſts the ſky,
And Nature mourns his wrong.
Thy foes, a frontleſs band, invade;
Thy friends afford a timid aid,
And yield up half thy right.
Ev'n Locke beams forth a mingled ray,
Afraid to pour the flood of day
On man's too feeble ſight.
Hence are the motly ſyſtems fram'd,
Of right transfer'd, of power reclaim'd;
Diſtinctions weak and vain.
Wiſe Nature mocks the wrangling herd;
For unreclaim'd, and untransfer'd,
Her pow'rs and rights remain.
While law the royal agent moves,
The inſtrument thy choice approves,
We bow through him to you.
But change, or ceaſe th' inſpiring choice,
The ſov'reign ſinks a private voice,
Alike in one, or few!
[Page 227] XX.
Shall then the wretch, whoſe daſtard heart
Shrinks at a tyrant's nobler part,
And only dares betray;
With reptile wiles, alas! prevail,
Where force, and rage, and prieſt-craft fail,
To pilfer pow'r away?
O! ſhall the bought, and buying tribe,
The ſlaves who take, and deal the bribe,
A people's claims enjoy!
So Indian murd'rers hope to gain
The pow'rs and virtues of the ſlain,
Of wretches they deſtroy.
"Avert it, heav'n! you love the brave,
"You hate the treach'rous, willing ſlave,
"The ſelf-devoted head.
"Nor ſhall an hireling's voice convey
"That ſacred prize to lawleſs ſway,
"For which a nation bled."
Vain pray'r, the coward's weak reſource!
Directing reaſon, active force,
Propitious heaven beſtows.
But ne'er ſhall flame the thund'ring ſky,
To aid the trembling herd that fly
Before the weaker foes.
[Page 228] XXIV.
In names there dwell no magick charms,
The Britiſh virtues, Britiſh arms
Unloos'd our fathers' band:
Say, Greece and Rome! if theſe ſhou'd fail,
What names, what anceſtors avail,
To ſave a ſinking land?
Far, far from us ſuch ills ſhall be,
Mankind ſhall boaſt one nation free,
One monarch truly great:
Whoſe title ſpeaks a people's choice,
Whoſe ſovereign will a people's voice,
Whoſe ſtrength a proſp'rous ſtate.
WEARY'D with indolent repoſe,
A life unmix'd with joys or woes;
Where all the lazy moments crept,
And ev'ry paſſion ſluggiſh ſlept;
I wiſh'd for love's inſpiring pains,
To rouze the loiterer in my veins.
Th' officious power my call attends,
He who uncall'd his ſuccour lends;
He gave Camilla to my ſight.
Her eyes their willing captive ſeize,
Her look, her air, her manner pleaſe;
New beauties pleaſe, unſeen before,
Or ſeen, in her they pleaſe me more;
And ſoon, too ſoon, alas! I find
The virtues of a nobler kind.
Now cheerful ſprings the morning ray,
Now cheerful ſinks the cloſing day;
For every morn with her I walk'd,
And every eve with her I talk'd;
With her I lik'd the vernal bloom,
With her I lik'd the crowded room;
From her at night I went with pain,
And long'd for morn to meet again.
How quick the ſmiling moments paſs,
Thro' varying fancy's mimick glaſs!
While the gay ſeene is painted o'er,
Where all was one wide blank before:
And ſweetly ſooth'd th' inchanting dream,
Till love inſpir'd a bolder ſcheme.
Camilla, ſtung with grief and ſhame,
Now marks, and ſhuns the guilty flame;
Fierce anger lighten'd in her face,
Then cold reſerve aſſum'd its place:
And ſoon, the wretch's hardeſt fate,
Contempt ſucceeds declining hate,
She ſees me with unheeding eyes;
Sees me with various paſſion burn,
Enrag'd depart, ſubmiſs return;
Return with flattering hopes to find
Soft pity move her gentle mind.
But ah! her looks were ſtill the ſame,
Unmark'd I went, unmark'd I came;
Unmark'd were all my hopes and fears,
While Strephon whiſpers in her ears.
O Jealouſy! diſtracting gueſt!
Fly to ſome happy lover's breaſt;
Fitly with joy thou mingleſt care,
But why inhabit with deſpair?
'TWAS when the friendly ſhade of night
Suſpends the buſy cares of light,
And on the various world beſtows
Or ſprightly joy, or calm repoſe.
With gen'rous wine the glaſs was crown'd,
And mirth, and talk, and toaſts went round.
Clariſſa came to bleſs the feaſt,
Clariſſa dearly welcome gueſt.
She blazes in the diamond's ray;
And adding to each gem a grace,
Give's India's wealth the ſecond place.
But ſoft reclin'd in careleſs eaſe,
More pleaſing, leſs intent to pleaſe.
Looſe flow'd her hair in wanton pride,
Her robe unbound, her zone unty'd;
Half bare to view her milk-white breaſt,
A ſlender veil ſcarce ſhades the reſt:
Her eye with ſparkling luſtre glows,
And wit in ſweeteſt accent flows.
Now ſooth'd the angel's voice I hear,
And drink in love at either ear;
Now ſtung with wilder rapture gaze,
While our eyes meet with blended rays;
And kindling in th' infectious flame,
I feel what words want pow'r to name.
Awaking from the ſilent trance,
Cautious I ſteal a broken glance;
In clam'rous mirth each pang diſguiſe,
And laughter ſwell with burſting ſighs;
For Envy, pallid fiend, was there,
And Jealouſy with watchful care.
Now ends the feaſt, each gueſt retires,
And with them all my ſoul deſires
Clariſſa goes.—Ah! cruel fate!
She goes with her ill-ſorted mate:
And heavy hums a drowſy ſong.
O! drowſy may the monſter lye,
And inſtant ſlumbers ſeal his eye!
So ſhalt thou, beſt belov'd, eſcape
The horrors of a legal rape.
Or, ſhou'd the brutiſh inſtinct goad,
And thou muſt bear th' unwelcome load;
If ſtruggle, pray'r, pretence be vain,
To ſhun what tyrant-laws ordain;
Ah ſparing deal out ſcanty dues,
And keep whate'er thou canſt refuſe!
Ah! give no bounding pulſe to beat,
No cheek to glow with genial heat!
No breaſt to heave in am'rous play,
No limbs to twine, no hands to ſtray;
But ſluggiſh preſs the joyleſs bed,
And lye in cold indiff'rence dead:
Nor let the blaſting ſpoiler ſip.
The fragrance of thy balmy lip!
To ſhare with him the lover's part,
Were rank adultery of the heart.
But if, in chaſter love's deſpite,
Warm nature catch the known delight;
While fierce deſires tumultuous riſe,
And rapture melts thy cloſing eyes;
Ah! be thoſe joys for me deſign'd,
And let me ruſh upon thy mind!
On me impreſs the humid dart,
For me unlock the nectar'd ſtore,
Then ſigh, and dream the tranſport o'er!
Thus with her lov'd idea fraught,
Deluſive fancy charms my thought;
And joining in the flatt'ring cheat,
Willing I hug the dear deceit;
From fiction real bliſs receive,
And all I fondly wiſh believe;
Nor envy to a huſband's arms,
The dull fruition of her charms.
But when, regardleſs of my truth,
She ſmiles on ſome more favour'd youth;
And while he whiſpers in her ears,
With more than wonted pleaſure hears;
My jealous thought his voice ſupplies,
And reads perdition in her eyes.
Then torn with envy, love, and hate,
I wiſh her with her wedded mate.
1.47. An INSCRIPTION on the TOMB, Raiſed to the memory of the author's father, and of others his anceſtors.[Page 234]
UNmark'd by trophies of the great and vain,
Here ſleeps in ſilent tombs a gentle train.
No folly waſted their paternal ſtore,
No guilt, no ſordid av'rice made it more;
With honeſt fame, and ſober plenty crown'd,
They liv'd and ſpread their cheering influence round.
May he whoſe hand this pious tribute pays,
Receive a like return of filial praiſe!
I Lov'd thee beautiful and kind,
And plighted an eternal vow;
So alter'd are thy face and mind,
'Twere perjury to love thee now.
SInce firſt you knew my am'rous ſmart,
Each day augments your proud diſdain;
'Twas then enough to break my heart,
And now, thank heav'n! to break my chain.
Ceaſe, thou ſcorner, ceaſe to ſhun me!
Now let love and hatred ceaſe!
Half that rigour had undone me,
All that rigour gives me peace.
MY heart ſtill hovering round about you,
I thought I could not live without you;
Now we have liv'd three months aſunder,
How I liv'd with you is the wonder.
Upon the Buſt of Engliſh worthies, at Stow.
AMONG theſe chiefs of Britiſh race,
Who live in breathing ſtone,
Why has not COBHAM'S buſt a place?
The ſtructure was his own.
THO' cheerful, diſcreet, and with freedom well bred,
She never repented an idle word ſaid:
Securely ſhe ſmiles on the forward and bold,
They feel what they owe her, and feel it untold.
I Swore I lov'd, and you believ'd,
Yet, truſt me, we were both deceiv'd;
Tho' all I ſwore, was true.
I lov'd one gen'rous, good, and kind,
A form created in my mind;
And thought that form was you.
THE gentle Pen with look demure,
Awhile was thought a virgin pure:
But Pen, as ancient poets ſay,
Undid by night the work of day.
On one who firſt abuſed, and then made love to a LADY.
FOUL—with graceleſs verſe,
The noble—dar'd aſperſe.
But when he ſaw her well beſpatter'd,
Her reputation ſtain'd and tatter'd;
She look'd ſo very like himſelf.
True ſung the bard well known to fame,
Self-love and ſocial are the ſame.
WHILE Lucy, chaſte as mountain ſnows,
Gives every idle fop a hearing;
In Mary's breaſt a paſſion glows,
Which ſtronger is from not appearing.
Say, who has choſe the better part!
Mary to whom no joy is miſſing;
Or ſhe, who dupe to her own heart,
Pays the full price of Mary's kiſſing.
SHE who in ſecret yields her heart,
Again may claim it from her lover;
But ſhe who plays the trifler's part,
Can ne'er her ſquander'd fame recover.
Then grant the boon for which I pray!
'Tis better lend than throw away.
WE thought you without titles great,
And wealthy with a ſmall eſtate;
While by your humble ſelf alone,
You ſeem unrated and unknown.
High-borne, in all the pomp of pride;
Of grandeur vain and fond of pelf,
'Tis plain, my lord, you knew yourſelf.
LOvely ſhines thy wedded fair,
Gentle as the yielding air;
Cheering as the ſolar beam,
Soothing as the fountain-ſtream.
Why then, jealous huſband, rail?
All may breathe the ambient gale,
Baſk in heaven's diffuſive ray,
Drink the ſtreams that paſs away.
All may ſhare unleſſ'ning joy,
Why then jealous, peeviſh boy?
Water, air, and light confine,
Ere thou think'ſt her only thine.
TOM thought a wild profuſion great:
And therefore ſpent his whole eſtate:
Will thinks the wealthy are ador'd,
And gleans what miſers bluſh to hoard.
Their paſſion, merit, fate the ſame,
They thirſt and ſtarve alike for fame.
WHY like a tyrant wilt thou reign,
When thou may'ſt rule the willing mind?
Can the poor pride of giving pain
Repay the joys that wait the kind?
I curſe my fond enduring heart,
Which ſcorn'd preſumes not to be free,
Condemn'd to feel a double ſmart,
To hate myſelf, and burn for thee.
EVER buſy'd, ne'er employ'd,
Ever loving, ne'er enjoy'd,
Ever doom'd to ſeek and miſs,
And pay unbleſs'd the price of bliſs.
Quae poterant unquam ſatis expurgare cicutae,Ni melius dormire putem, quam ſcribere verſus?HOR. Ep. 2. Lib. 2.
YOU aſk me, ſir, why thus by phantoms aw'd,
No kind occaſion tempts the Muſe abroad?
Why, when retirement ſooths this idle art,
To fame regardleſs ſleeps the youthful heart?
'Twou'd wrong your judgment, ſhou'd I fairly ſay
Diſtruſt or weakneſs caus'd the cold delay:
Hint the ſmall diff'rence, till we touch the lyre,
'Twixt real genius and too ſtrong deſire;
The human ſlips, or ſeeming ſlips pretend,
That rouze the critick, but eſcape the friend;
Nay which, tho' dreadful when the foe purſues,
You paſs, and ſmile, and ſtill provoke the Muſe.
Yet, ſpite of all you think, or kindly feign,
My hand will tremble while it graſps the pen.
For not in this, like other arts, we try
Our light excurſions in a ſummer ſky,
But wits once authors, are for ever wits.
The fool in proſe, like earth's unwieldy ſon,
May oft riſe vig'rous, tho' he's oft o'erthrown;
One dangerous criſis marks our riſe or fall,
By all we're courted, or we're ſhunn'd by all.
Will it avail, that unmatur'd by years,
My eaſy numbers pleas'd your partial ears,
If now condemn'd, my riper lays muſt bear
The wiſe man's cenſure, and the vain man's ſneer?
Or, ſtill more hard, ev'n where he's valu'd moſt,
The man muſt ſuffer if the poet's loſt;
For wanting wit, be totally undone,
And barr'd all arts for having fail'd in one.
When fears like theſe his ſerious thoughts engage,
No bugbear phantom curbs the poet's rage.
'Tis powerful reaſon holds the ſtreighten'd rein,
While flutt'ring fancy to the diſtant plain
Sends a long look, and ſpreads her wings in vain.
But grant for once, th' officious Muſe has ſhed
Her gentleſt influence on his infant head,
Let fears lie vanquiſh'd, and reſounding Fame
Give to the bellowing blaſt the poet's name.
And ſee! diſtinguiſh'd from the crowd he moves,
Each finger marks him, and each eye approves!
Secure, as halcyons brooding o'er the deep,
The waves roll gently, and the thunders ſleep,
And pleas'd attention liſtens whilſt he ſings!
O bliſsful ſtate, O more than human joy!
What ſhafts can reach him, or what cares annoy?
What cares, my friend? why all that man can know,
Oppreſs'd with real or with fancy'd woe.
Rude to the world, like earth's firſt lord expell'd,
To climes unknown, from Eden's ſafer field;
No more eternal ſprings around him breathe,
Black air ſcowls o'er him, deadly damps beneath;
Now muſt he learn, miſguided youth, to bear
Each varying ſeaſon of the poet's year:
Flatt'ry's full beam, detraction's wintry ſtore,
The frowns of fortune, or the pride of pow'r.
His acts, his words, his thoughts no more his own,
Each folly blazon'd, and each frailty known.
Is he reſerv'd?—his ſenſe is ſo refin'd
It ne'er deſcends to trifle with mankind.
Open and free?—they find the ſecret cauſe
Is vanity; He courts the world's applauſe.
Nay, tho' he ſpeak not, ſomething ſtill is ſeen,
Each change of face betrays a fault within.
If grave, 'tis ſpleen; he ſmiles but to deride;
And downright aukwardneſs in him is pride.
Thus muſt he ſteer thro' fame's uncertain ſeas,
Now ſunk by cenſure, and now puff'd by praiſe;
Contempt with envy ſtrangely mix'd endure,
Fear'd where careſs'd, and jealous tho' ſecure.
One fatal rock on which good authors ſplit
Is thinking all mankind muſt have their wit;
And the grand buſineſs of the world ſtand ſtill
To liſten to the dictates of their quill.
Hurt if they fail, and yet how few ſucceed,
What's born in leiſure men of leiſure read;
And half of thoſe have ſome peculiar whim
Their teſt of ſenſe, and read but to condemn.
Beſides, on parties now our fame depends,
And frowns or ſmiles, as theſe are foes or friends.
Wit, judgment, nature join; you ſtrive in vain;
'Tis keen invective ſtamps the current ſtrain.
Fix'd to one ſide like Homer's gods, we fight,
Theſe always wrong, and thoſe for ever right.
And would you chuſe to ſee your friend, reſign'd
Each conſcious tie which guides the virtuous mind,
Embroil'd in factions, hurl with dreadful ſkill
The random vengeance of his deſp'rate quill?
'Gainſt pride in man with equal pride declaim,
And hide ill-nature under virtue's name?
Or deeply vers'd in flattery's wily ways,
Flow in full reams of undiſtinguiſh'd praiſe?
To vice's grave, or folly's buſt bequeath
The bluſhing trophy, and indignant wreath?
a Like Aegypt's prieſts, did endleſs temples riſe,
And people with earth's peſts th' offended ſkies?
The Muſe of old her native freedom knew,
And wild in air the ſportive wand'rer flew;
On worth alone her bays eternal ſtrow'd,
And found the hero, ere ſhe hymn'd the god.
Nor leſs the chief his kind ſupport return'd,
No drooping Muſe her ſlighted labours mourn'd;
But ſtretch'd at eaſe ſhe prun'd her growing wings,
By ſages honour'd and rever'd by kings.
Ev'n knowing Greece confeſs'd her early claim,
And warlike Latium caught the gen'rous flame.
Not ſo our age regards the tuneful tongue,
'Tis ſenſeleſs rapture all, and empty ſong:
No Pollio ſheds his genial influence round,
No Varus liſtens whilſt the groves reſound.
Ev'n thoſe, the knowing and the virtuous few,
Who nobleſt ends by nobleſt means purſue,
Forget the poet's uſe; the powerful ſpell
Of magic verſe, which SIDNEY paints ſo well,
Forget that Homer wak'd the Grecian flame,
That Pindar rous'd inglorious Thebes to fame,
That every age has great examples given
Of virtue taught in verſe, and verſe inſpir'd by heaven.
But I forbear—theſe dreams no longer laſt,
The times of fable and of flights are paſt.
To glory now no laurel'd ſuppliants bend,
No coins are ſtruck, no ſacred domes aſcend.
Yet ye, who ſtill the Muſe's charms admire,
And beſt deſerve the verſe your deeds inſpire,
Feel for yourſelves at leaſt, ye fond of praiſe,
And learn one leſſon taught in myſtic rhyme,
"'Tis verſe alone arreſts the wings of Time."
bFaſt to the thread of life, annex'd by Fame,
A ſculptur'd medal bears each human name,
O'er Lethe's ſtreams the fatal threads depend,
The glitt'ring medal trembles as they bend;
Cloſe but the ſhears, when chance or nature calls,
The birds of rumour catch it as it falls;
Awhile from bill to bill the trifle's toſt,
The waves receive it, and 'tis ever loſt!
But ſhould the meaneſt ſwan that cuts the ſtream
Conſign'd to Phoebus, catch the favour'd name,
Safe in her mouth ſhe bears the ſacred prize
To where bright Fame's eternal altars riſe.
'Tis there the Muſe's friends true laurels wear,
There cAegypt's monarch reigns, and great Auguſtus there.
Patrons of arts muſt live 'till arts decay,
Sacred to verſe in every poet's lay.
Thus grateful France does Richlieu's worth proclaim,
Thus grateful Britain doats on Somers' name.
And, ſpite of party rage, and human flaws,
And Britiſh liberty and Britiſh laws,
And bards, who blame the meaſures, love the men.
But why round patrons climb th' ambitious bays?
Is intereſt then the ſordid ſpur to praiſe?
d Shall the ſame cauſe, which prompts the chatt'ring jay
To aim at words, inſpire the poet's lay?
And is there nothing in the boaſted claim
Of living labours and a deathleſs name?
The pictur'd front, with ſacred fillets bound?
The ſculptur'd buſt with laurels wreath'd around?
The annual roſes ſcatter'd o'er his urn,
And tears to flow from poets yet unborn?
Illuſtrious all! but ſure to merit theſe,
Demands at leaſt the poet's learned eaſe.
Say, can the bard attempt what's truly great,
Who pants in ſecret for his future fate?
Him ſerious toils, and humbler arts engage,
To make youth eaſy, and provide for age;
While loſt in ſilence hangs his uſeleſs lyre,
And tho' from heav'n it came, faſt dies the ſacred fire.
Or grant true genius with ſuperior force
Burſts ev'ry bond, reſiſtleſs in its courſe,
Yet lives the man, how wild ſoe'er his aim,
Would madly barter fortune's ſmiles for fame!
Or diſtant hopes of future eaſe forego,
For all the wreaths that all the Nine beſtow?
The hapleſs Dryden of a ſhameleſs age?
Ill-fated bard! where-e'er thy name appears,
The weeping verſe a ſad memento bears.
Ah! what avail'd th' enormous blaze between
Thy dawn of glory, and thy cloſing ſcene!
When ſinking nature aſks our kind repairs,
Unſtrung the nerves, and ſilver'd o'er the hairs;
When ſtay'd reflection comes uncall'd at laſt,
And grey experience counts each folly paſt,
Untun'd and harſh the ſweeteſt ſtrains appear,
And loudeſt Paeans but fatigue the ear.
'Tis true the man of verſe, tho' born to ills,
Too oft deſerves the very fate he feels.
When, vainly frequent at the great man's board,
He ſhares in ev'ry vice with ev'ry lord:
Makes to their taſte his ſober ſenſe ſubmit,
And 'gainſt his reaſon madly arms his wit;
Heav'n but in juſtice turns their ſerious heart
To ſcorn the wretch, whoſe life belies his art.
He, only he, ſhould haunt the Muſe's grove,
Whom youth might rev'rence and grey hairs approve;
Whoſe heav'n-taught numbers, now, in thunder roll'd,
Might rouſe the virtuous and appal the bold.
Now, to truth's dictates lend the grace of eaſe,
And teach inſtruction happier arts to pleaſe.
For him would PLATO change their gen'ral fate,
And own one poet might improve his ſtate.
Curs'd be their verſe, and blaſted all their bays,
Whoſe ſenſual lure th' unconſcious ear betrays;
Wounds the young breaſt, ere virtue ſpreads her ſhield,
And takes, not wins, the ſcarce diſputed field,
Tho' ſpecious rhetoric each looſe thought refine,
Tho' muſic charm in ev'ry labour'd line,
The dang'rous verſe, to full perfection grown,
BAVIUS might bluſh, and QUARLES diſdain to own.
Shou'd ſome MACHAON, whoſe ſagacious ſoul
Trac'd bluſhing nature to her inmoſt goal,
Skill'd in each drug the varying world provides,
All earth emboſoms, and all ocean hides,
Nor cooling herb, nor healing balm ſupply,
Eaſe the ſwoln breaſt, or cloſe the languid eye;
But, exquiſitely ill, awake diſeaſe,
And arm with poiſons ev'ry baleful breeze:
What racks, what tortures muſt his crimes demand,
The more than BORGIA of a bleeding land!
And is leſs guilty he, whoſe ſhameleſs page
Not to the preſent bounds its ſubtil rage,
But ſpreads contagion wide, and ſtains a future age?
Forgive me, Sir, that thus the moral ſtrain,
With indignation warm'd, rejects the rein;
Nor think I rove regardleſs of my theme,
'Tis hence new dangers clog the paths to fame.
Not to themſelves alone ſuch bards confine
Fame's juſt reproach for virtue's injur'd ſhrine;
Her voice neglected, and her flame decay'd.
And the ſon's ſon muſt feel the father's crime,
A curſe entail'd on all the race that rhyme,
New cares appear, new terrors ſwell the train,
And muſt we paint them ere we cloſe the ſcene?
Say, muſt the Muſe th' unwilling taſk purſue,
And to compleat her dangers mention you?
Yes you, my friend, and thoſe whoſe kind regard
With partial fondneſs views this humble bard:
Ev'n you he dreads.—Ah! kindly ceaſe to raiſe
Unwilling cenſure, by exacting praiſe.
Juſt to itſelf the jealous world will claim
A right to judge; or give, or cancel fame.
And, if th' officious zeal unbounded flows,
The friend too partial is the worſt of foes.
e Behold th' ATHENIAN ſage, whoſe piercing mind
Had trac'd the wily lab'rinths of mankind,
When now condemn'd, he leaves his infant care
To all thoſe evils man is born to bear.
Not to his friends alone the charge he yields,
But nobler hopes on juſter motives builds;
Bids e'en his foes their future ſteps attend,
And dare to cenſure, if they dar'd offend.
Wou'd thus the poet truſt his offspring forth,
Or bloom'd our BRITAIN with ATHENIAN worth:
With honeſt freedom, not with partial rage,
What juſt productions might the world ſurprize!
What other POPES, what other MAROS riſe!
But ſince by foes, or friends alike deceiv'd,
Too little thoſe, and theſe too much believ'd;
Since the ſame fate purſues by diff'rent ways,
Undone by cenſure, or undone by praiſe;
Since bards themſelves ſubmit to vice's rule,
And party-feuds grow high, and patrons cool:
Since, ſtill unnam'd, unnumber'd ills behind
Riſe black in air, and only wait the wind:
Let me, O let me, ere the tempeſt roar,
Catch the firſt gale, and make the neareſt ſhore;
In ſacred ſilence join th' inglorious train,
Where humble peace, and ſweet contentment reign;
If not thy precepts, thy example own,
And ſteal thro' life not uſeleſs, tho' unknown.
O CHARLES, in abſence hear a friend complain,
Who knows thou lov'ſt him whereſo'er he goes,
Yet feels uneaſy ſtarts of idle pain,
And often would be told the thing he knows.
Why then, thou loiterer, fleets the ſilent year,
How dar'ſt thou give a friend unneceſſary fear?
We are not now beſide that oſier'd ſtream,
Where erſt we wander'd, thoughtleſs of the way:
We do not now of diſtant ages dream,
And cheat in converſe half the ling'ring day;
No fancied heroes riſe at our command,
And no TIMOLEON weeps, and bleeds no THEBAN band.
Yet why complain? thou feel'ſt no want like theſe,
From me, 'tis true, but me alone debar'd,
Thou ſtill in GRANTA'S ſhades enjoy'ſt at eaſe
The books we reverenc'd, and the friends we ſhar'd;
Nor ſee'ſt without ſuch aids the day decline,
Nor think'ſt how much their loſs has added weight to thine.
Truth's genuine voice, the freely-opening mind,
Are thine, are friendſhip's, and retirement's lot;
To converſation is the world confin'd,
Friends of an hour, who pleaſe and are forgot;
And int'reſt ſtains, and vanity controuls
The pure unſullied thoughts, and ſallies of our ſouls.
O I remember, and with pride repeat
The rapid progreſs which our friendſhip knew!
Even at the firſt with willing minds we met,
And ere the root was fix'd the branches grew,
In vain had fortune plac'd her weak barrier,
Clear was thy breaſt from pride, and mine from ſervile fear.
I ſaw thee gen'rous, and with joy can ſay,
My education roſe above my birth,
Thanks to thoſe parent ſhades, on whoſe cold clay
Fall faſt my tears, and lightly lie the earth!
To them I owe whate'er I dare pretend,
Thou ſaw'ſt with partial eyes, and bade me call thee friend.
Let others meanly heap the treaſur'd ſtore,
And aukward fondneſs cares on cares employ
To leave a race more exquiſitely poor,
Poſſeſs'd of riches which they ne'er enjoy:
He's only kind who takes the noble way
T'unbind the ſprings of thought and give them pow'r to play.
His heirs ſhall bleſs him, and look down with ſcorn
On vulgar pride from vaunted heroes ſprung;
Lords of themſelves, thank heaven that they were born
Above the ſordid miſer's glitt'ring dung,
Above the ſervile grandeur of a throne,
For they are Nature's heirs, and all her works their own.
ON old PARNASSUS, t' other day,
The Muſes met to ſing and play;
Apart from all the reſt were ſeen
The tragick and the comick queen,
Engag'd, perhaps, in deep debate,
On RICH'S, or on FLEETWOOD'S fate.
When, on a ſudden, news was brought
That GARRICK had the patent got,
And both their ladyſhips again
Might now return to Drury-lane.
They bow'd, they ſimper'd, and agreed
They wiſh'd the project might ſucceed,
'Twas very poſſible, the caſe
Was likely too, and had a face—
A face! Thalia titt'ring cry'd,
And cou'd her joy no longer hide;
How much this makes for you and me;
No longer now ſhall we expoſe
Our unbought goods to empty rows,
Or meanly be oblig'd to court
From foreign aid a weak ſupport;
No more the poor polluted ſcene
Shall teem with births of Harlequin;
Or vindicated ſtage ſhall feel
The inſults of the dancer's heel.
Such idle traſh we'll kindly ſpare
To operas now—they'll want them there;
For Sadler's-Wells, they ſay, this year
Has quite undone their engineer.
Pugh, you're a wag, the buſkin'd prude
Reply'd, and ſmil'd; beſides 'tis rude
To laugh at foreigners, you know,
And triumph o'er a vanquiſh'd foe:
For my part, I ſhall be content
If things ſucceed as they are meant;
And ſhould not be diſpleas'd to find
Some changes of the tragick kind.
And ſay, THALIA, mayn't we hope
The ſtage will take a larger ſcope?
Shall he whoſe all-expreſſive powers
Can reach the heights that SHAKESPEAR ſoars,
Deſcend to touch an humbler key,
And tickle ears with poetry;
Thro' many a line's melodious woe,
And heart-felt pangs of deep diſtreſs
Are fritter'd into ſimiles?
—O thou, whom nature taught the art
To pierce, to cleave, to tear the heart,
Whatever name delight thine ear,
OTHELLO, RICHARD, HAMLET, LEAR,
O undertake my juſt defence,
And baniſh all but nature hence!
See, to thy aid with ſtreaming eyes
The fair afflicted * CONSTANCE flies;
Now wild as winds in madneſs tears
Her heaving breaſts and ſcatter'd hairs;
Or low on earth diſdains relief
With all the conſcious pride of grief.
My PRITCHARD too in HAMLET'S queen—
The goddeſs of the ſportive vein
Here ſtop'd her ſhort, and with a ſneer,
My PRITCHARD, if you pleaſe, my dear!
Her tragick merit I confeſs,
But ſurely mine's her proper dreſs;
Behold her there with native eaſe,
And native ſpirit, born to pleaſe;
With all MARIA'S charms engage,
Or MILWOOD'S arts, or TOUCHWOOD'S rage,
Thro' every foible trace the fair,
Or leave the town, and toilet's care
The wilder notes of ROSALIND.
O thou, where-e'er thou fix thy praiſe,
BRUTE, DRUGGER, FRIBBLE, RANGER, BAYS!
O join with her in my behalf,
And teach an audience when to laugh.
So ſhall buffoons with ſhame repair
To draw in fools at Smithfield fair,
And real humour charm the age,
Tho' † FALSTAFF ſhould forſake the ſtage.
She ſpoke. MELPOMENE reply'd,
And much was ſaid on either ſide;
And many a chief, and many a fair,
Were mention'd to their credit there.
But I'll not venture to diſplay
What goddeſſes think fit to ſay.
However, GARRICK, this at leaſt
Appears, by both a truth confeſs'd,
That their whole fate for many a year
But hangs on your paternal care.
A nation's taſte depends on you
—Perhaps a nation's virtue too.
O think how glorious 'twere to raiſe
A theatre to virtue's praiſe.
Where no indignant bluſh might riſe,
Nor wit be taught to plead for vice:
But every young attentive ear
Imbibe the precepts, living there.
There feel its own rude hints expreſs'd,
And, waken'd by the glowing ſcene,
Unfold the worth that lurks within.
If poſſible, be perfect quite;
A few ſhort rules will guide you right.
Conſult your own good ſenſe in all,
Be deaf to faſhion's fickle call,
Nor e'er deſcend from reaſon's laws
To court what you command, applauſe.
SLY hypocrite! was this your aim?
To borrow Paeon's ſacred name,
And lurk beneath his graver mien,
To trace the ſecrets of my reign?
Did I for this applaud your zeal,
And point out each minuter wheel,
Which finely taught the next to roll,
And made my works one perfect whole?
For who, but I, till you appear'd
To model the dramatic herd,
E'er bade to wond'ring ears and eyes,
Such pleaſing intricacies riſe?
Yet touches ſtill ſome maſter clue;
Each riddle opening by degrees,
'Till all unravels with ſuch eaſe,
That only thoſe who will be blind
Can feel one doubt perplex their mind.
Nor was't enough, you thought, to write,
But you muſt impiouſly unite
With GARRICK too, who long before
Had ſtole my whole expreſſive pow'r.
That changeful Proteus of the ſtage
Uſurps my mirth, my grief, my rage;
And as his diff'rent parts incline,
Gives joys or pains, ſincere as mine.
Yet you ſhall find (howe'er elate
You triumph in your former cheat)
'Tis not ſo eaſy to eſcape
In Nature's as in Paeon's ſhape.
For every critick, great or ſmall,
Hates every thing that's natural.
The beaus, and ladies too, can ſay,
What does he mean? is this a play?
We ſee ſuch people every day.
Nay more, to chafe, and teize your ſpleen,
And teach you how to ſteal again,
My very fools ſhall prove you're bit,
And damn you for your want of wit.
A Grecian Youth, of talents rare,
Whom Plato's philoſophick care
Had form'd for virtue's nobler view,
By precept and example too,
Wou'd often boaſt his matchleſs ſkill,
To curb the ſteed and guide the wheel.
And as he paſs'd the gazing throng,
With graceful eaſe, and ſmack'd the thong,
The ideot wonder they expreſs'd
Was praiſe and tranſport to his breaſt.
At length quite vain, he needs would ſhew
His maſter what his art could do;
And bade his ſlaves the chariot lead
To Academus' ſacred ſhade.
The trembling grove confeſs'd its fright,
The wood-nymphs ſtartled at the ſight,
The Muſes drop the learned lyre,
And to their inmoſt ſhades retire!
Howe'er, the youth with forward air,
Bows to the ſage, and mounts the car,
The chariot marks the rolling ring,
And gath'ring crowds with eager eyes,
And ſhouts, purſue him as he flies.
Triumphant to the goal return'd,
With nobler thirſt his boſom burn'd;
And now along th' indented plain,
The ſelf-ſame track he marks again,
Purſues with care the nice deſign,
Nor ever deviates from the line.
Amazement ſeiz'd the circling crowd;
The youths with emulation glow'd;
Ev'n bearded ſages hail'd the boy,
And all, but Plato, gaz'd with joy.
For he, deep-judging ſage, beheld
With pain the triumphs of the field:
And when the charioteer drew nigh,
And, fluſh'd with hope, had caught his eye,
Alas! unhappy youth, he cry'd,
Expect no praiſe from me, (and ſigh'd)
With indignation I ſurvey
Such ſkill and judgment thrown away.
The time profuſely ſquander'd there,
On vulgar arts beneath thy care,
If well employ'd, at leſs expence,
Had taught thee honour, virtue, ſenſe,
And rais'd thee from a coachman's fate
To govern men, and guide the ſtate.
AH! friend, forbear, nor fright the fields
With hoſtile ſcenes of imag'd war;
Content ſtill roves the blooming wilds,
And ſheds her mildeſt influence there:
Ah! drive not the ſweet wand'rer from her ſeat,
Nor with rude arts profane her lateſt beſt retreat.
Are there not bowers, and ſylvan ſcenes,
By nature's kind luxuriance wove?
Has Romely loſt the living greens
Which erſt adorn'd her artleſs grove?
Where thro' each hallow'd haunt the poet ſtray'd,
And met the willing Muſe, and peopled every ſhade.
But now no bards thy woods among,
Shall wait th' inſpiring Muſe's call;
For tho' to mirth and feſtal ſong
Thy choice devotes the woven wall,
Yet what avails that all be peace within,
If horrors guard the gate, and ſcare us from the ſcene?
'Tis true of old the patriarch ſpread
His happier tents which knew not war,
And chang'd at will the trampled mead
For freſher greens and purer air;
Truth unſuſpecting harm!—the dream of ancient days.
Ev'n he, cut off from human kind,
(Thy neighb'ring wretch) the child of Care,
Who to his native mines confin'd,
Nor ſees the ſun, nor breathes the air,
But 'midſt the damps and darkneſs of earth's womb
Drags out laborious life, and ſcarcely dreads the tomb;
Ev'n he, ſhould ſome indulgent chance
Tranſport him to thy ſylvan reign,
Would eye the floating veil aſkance,
And hide him in his caves again,
While dire preſage in every breeze that blows
Hears ſhrieks and claſhing arms, and all Germania's woes.
And doubt not thy polluted taſte
A ſudden vengeance ſhall purſue;
Each fairy form we whilom trac'd
Along the morn or evening dew,
Nymph, Satyr, Faun, ſhall vindicate their grove,
Robb'd of its genuine charms, and hoſpitable Jove.
I ſee, all-arm'd with dews unbleſt,
Keen froſts, and noiſome vapours drear,
Already, from the bleak north-eaſt,
The Genius of the wood appear!
To nurſe thy ſaplings tall, and heal the harms of night,
With ringlets quaint to curl thy ſhade,
To bid the infect tribes retire,
To guard thy walks and not invade—
O wherefore then provoke his ire?
Alas! with prayers, with tears his rage repel,
While yet the red'ning ſhoots with embryo-bloſſoms ſwell.
Too late thou'lt weep, when blights deform
The faireſt produce of the year;
Too late thou'lt weep, when every ſtorm
Shall loudly thunder in thy ear,
"Thus, thus the green-hair'd deities maintain
"Their own eternal rights, and Nature's injur'd reign."
HERMES, the gameſter of the ſky,
To ſhare for once mankind's delights,
Slip'd down to earth, exceeding ſly,
And bade his coachman drive to White's.
In form a beau; ſo light he trips,
You'd ſwear his wings were at his heels;
From glaſs to glaſs alert he ſkips,
And bows and prattles while he deals.
The waiters took him for a peer;
And ev'n ſome great ones whiſp'ring ſaid
He was no vulgar foreigner.
Whate'er he was, he ſwept the board,
Won every bett, and every game;
Stript even the Rooks, who ſtampt and roar'd,
And wonder'd how the devil it came!
He wonder'd too, and thought it hard;
But found at laſt this great command
Was owing to one fav'rite card,
Which ſtill brought luck into his hand.
The four of ſpades; whene'er he ſaw
Its ſable ſpots, he laugh'd at rules,
Took odds beyond the gaming law,
And Hoyle and Philidor were fools.
But now, for now 'twas time to go,
What gratitude ſhall he expreſs?
And what peculiar boon beſtow
Upon the cauſe of his ſucceſs?
Suppoſe, for ſomething muſt be done,
On Juno's ſelf he cou'd prevail
To pick the pips out, one by one,
And ſtick them in her peacock's tail,
Shou'd Pallas have it, was a doubt,
To twiſt her ſilk, or range her pins;
Or ſhould the Muſes cut it out,
For bridges to their violins.
Superior beauty's juſt reward,
And 'gainſt the next great rout in heaven
Be ſent her for a meſſage card.
Or hold—by Jove, a lucky hit!
Your goddeſſes are arrant farces;
Go, carry it to Mrs. —
And bid her fill it full of verſes.
YES, I'm in love, I feel it now,
And CAELIA has undone me;
And yet I'll ſwear I can't tell how
The pleaſing plague ſtole on me.
'Tis not her face which love creates,
For there no graces revel;
'Tis not her ſhape, for there the fates
Have rather been uncivil.
'Tis not her air, for ſure in that
There's nothing more than common;
And all her ſenſe is only chat,
Like any other woman.
YE diſtant ſpires, ye antique towers,
That crown the wat'ry glade,
Where grateful ſcience ſtill adores
Her HENRY'S holy ſhade;
And ye that from the ſtately brow
Of WINDSOR'S heights th' expanſe below
Of grove, of lawn, of mead ſurvey,
Whoſe turf, whoſe ſhade, whoſe flowers among
Wanders the hoary Thames along
His ſilver-winding way.
Ah happy hills, ah pleaſing ſhade,
Ah fields belov'd in vain,
Where once my careleſs childhood ſtray'd,
A ſtranger yet to pain!
I feel the gales, that from ye blow,
A momentary bliſs beſtow,
My weary ſoul they ſeem to ſooth,
And, redolent of joy and youth,
To breathe a ſecond ſpring.
Say, father THAMES, for thou haſt ſeen
Full many a ſprightly race
Diſporting on thy margent green,
The paths of pleaſure trace,
Who foremoſt now delight to cleave
With pliant arms thy glaſſy wave?
The captive linnet which enthrall?
What idle progeny ſucceed
To chaſe the rolling circle's ſpeed,
Or urge the flying ball?
While ſome on earneſt buſineſs bent
Their murm'ring labours ply,
'Gainſt graver hours, that bring conſtraint
To ſweeten liberty:
Some bold adventurers diſdain
The limits of their little reign,
And unknown regions dare deſcry:
Still as they run, they look behind,
They hear a voice in every wind,
And ſnatch a fearful joy.
Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed,
Leſs pleaſing when poſſeſs'd;
The tear forgot as ſoon as ſhed,
The ſun-ſhine of the breaſt.
Wild wit, invention ever-new,
And lively chear of vigour born;
The thoughtleſs day, the eaſy night,
The ſpirits pure, the ſlumbers light,
That fly th' approach of morn.
Alas, regardleſs of their doom,
The little victims play!
No ſenſe have they of ills to come,
No care beyond to-day:
Yet ſee how all around 'em wait
The miniſters of human fate,
And black misfortune's baleful train!
Ah, ſhew them where in ambuſh ſtand,
To ſeize their prey the murth'rous band,
Ah, ſhew them they are men!
Theſe ſhall the fury paſſions tear,
The vultures of the mind,
Diſdainful anger, pallid fear,
And ſhame that ſculks behind;
Or pineing love ſhall waſte their youth,
Or jealouſy with rank'ling tooth,
That inly gnaws the ſecret heart,
And envy wan, and faded care,
Grim-viſag'd comfortleſs deſpair,
And ſorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this ſhall tempt to riſe,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
And grinning infamy;
The ſtings of falſehood thoſe ſhall try,
And hard unkindneſs' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow;
And keen remorſe with blood defil'd,
And moody madneſs laughing wild
Amidſt ſevereſt woe.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath,
A griefly troop are ſeen,
The painful family of death,
More hideous than their queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins,
That every lab'ring ſinew ſtrains,
Thoſe in the deeper vitals rage:
Lo, poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the ſoul with icy hand,
And ſlow-conſuming age.
To each his ſuff'rings: all are men,
Condemn'd alike to groan,
The tender for another's pain;
Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why ſhould they know their fate!
Since ſorrow never comes too late,
And happineſs too ſwiftly flies.
Thought would deſtroy their paradiſe.
No more, where ignorance is bliſs,
'Tis folly to be wiſe.
LO! where the roſy-boſom'd hours,
Fair VENUS' train appear,
Diſcloſe the long-expecting flowers,
And wake the purple year!
The ATTICK warbler pours her throat
Reſponſive to the cuckow's note,
The untaught harmony of ſpring:
While whiſp'ring pleaſure as they fly,
Cool Zephyrs thro' the clear blue ſky
Their gather'd fragrance fling.
Where-e'er the oak's thick branches ſtretch
A broader browner ſhade;
Where-e'er the rude and moſs-green beech
O'er-canopies the glade;
Beſide ſome water's ruſhy brink
With me the Muſe ſhall ſit and think
(At eaſe reclin'd in ruſtick ſtate)
How vain the ardour of the crowd,
How low, how indigent the proud,
How little are the great!
[Page 271] III.
Still is the toiling hand of care:
The panting herds repoſe:
Yet hark, how through the peopled air
The buſy murmur glows!
The inſect youth are on the wing,
Eager to taſte the honied ſpring,
And float amid the liquid noon:
Some lightly o'er the current ſkim,
Some ſhew their gayly-gilded trim
Quick-glancing to the ſun.
To Contemplation's ſober eye
Such is the race of man:
And they that creep, and they that fly,
Shall end where they began.
Alike the buſy and the gay
But flutter thro' life's little day,
In fortune's varying colours dreſs'd:
Bruſh'd by the hand of rough miſchance,
Or chill'd by age, their airy dance
They leave, in duſt to reſt.
Methinks I hear in accents low
The ſportive kind reply:
Poor moraliſt! and what art thou?
A ſolitary fly!
No hive haſt thou of hoarded ſweets,
No painted plumage to diſplay:
On haſty wings thy youth is flown;
Thy ſun is ſet, thy ſpring is gone—
We frolick, while 'tis May.
'TWAS on a lofty vaſe's ſide,
Where China's gayeſt art had dy'd
The azure flowers, that blow;
Demureſt of the Tabby kind,
The penſive Selima reclin'd,
Gaz'd on the lake below.
Her conſcious tail her joy declar'd;
The fair round face, the ſnowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
The coat that with the tortoiſe vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She ſaw; and purr'd applauſe.
[Page 273] III.
Still had ſhe gaz'd: but 'midſt the tide
Two beauteous forms were ſeen to glide,
The Genii of the ſtream;
Their ſcaly armour's Tyrian hue
Thro' richeſt purple to the view
Betray'd a golden gleam.
The hapleſs nymph with wonder ſaw:
A whiſker firſt and then a claw
With many an ardent wiſh,
She ſtretch'd in vain to reach the prize.
What female heart can gold deſpiſe?
What cat's averſe to fiſh?
Preſumptuous maid! with looks intent
Again ſhe ſtretch'd, again ſhe bent,
Nor knew the gulph between;
(Malignant Fate ſat by and ſmil'd)
The ſlipp'ry verge her feet beguil'd,
She tumbled headlong in.
Eight times emerging from the flood
She mew'd to ev'ry wat'ry god,
Some ſpeedy aid to ſend.
No Dolphin came, no Nereid ſtirr'd:
Nor cruel Tom, nor Suſan heard.
A fav'rite has no friend!
SING we no more of HYMENEAL lays,
Nor ſtrew the land with myrtles and with bays:
The voice of joy is fled the BRITISH ſhore,
For CAROLINE'S no more:
And now our ſorrows aſk a ſadder ſtring;
Come, plaintive goddeſs of the Cyrrhan ſpring,
Pour thy deep note, and ſhed thy tuneful tear,
And, while we loſe the memory of pain
In thy oblivious ſtrain,
— Ah! drop thy cypreſs on yon mournful bier!
The ſacred meed of gratitude to pay:
Begin: whate'er immortal ſong can do,
To the dear name of CAROLINE is due:
Who loves the Muſe, deſerves the Muſe's love:
Then raiſe thy numbers high,
Sound out her glory to the throne of Jove,
Spread the glad voice thro' all the ambient ſky,
From the dull marble vindicate her praiſe,
And waft it down to lighten future days.
Ye bards to come, the ſong of truth attend:
This, this is ſhe, the Muſe's judge and friend!
The royal female! whoſe benignant hand
Throughout fair ALBION'S land
Dealt every uſeful, every decent part,
Each MEMPHIAN ſcience, and each ATTICK art:
Within the Muſe's bower
She oft was wont to loſe the vacant hour,
Or underneath the ſapient grot reclin'd,
Her ſoul to contemplation ſhe reſign'd,
And for awhile laid down
The painful, envied burthen of a crown:
Mean time thy rural ditty was not mute,
Sweet bard of MERLIN'S cave!
Tho' rude, thy ditty was of her, who gave
Thy voice to ſing, and tun'd thy oaten flute
As when the lark, ambitious of the ſkies,
Quits the low harveſt of the golden plain,
Taught by the ſun's inſpiring warmth to riſe,
Sublime in air he ſpreads his dappled wings,
Mounts the blue aether, and in mounting ſings.
But whither wanders the licentious ſong?
Such joyous notes to happier days belong!
Ah me! our happier days are now no more: —
Return, ſad Muſe: ſee pale BRITANNIA weep,
See all the ſiſters of the ſubject deep
Their ſovereign's loſs deplore!
See fond IERNE gives her ſorrows vent,
And as ſhe tunes her brazen lyre to woe,
Indulge her grief to flow! —
See even the northern ORCADES lament!
Nor ends the wailing here:
Where-e'er beneath our flag wild Ocean roars,
From fartheſt ORIENT to HESPERIA'S ſhores,
From torrid AFFRICK to the world's cold end,
The BRITISH woes extend:
And every colony has dropt a tear.
O honour'd flood! with reeds Pierian crown'd,
ISIS! whoſe argent waters glide along
Fair BELLOSITE'S Lycaean ſhades renown'd,
Now aid my feeble ſong;
Their lays of DORICK air,
With lenient ſounds to ſteal awhile from care
Th' inconſolable King:
O! ſooth his anguiſh, and compoſe his pains
With artful unimaginable ſtrains,
According ſweetly to the golden lyre,
Such as might half inſpire
The iron breaſt of HADES to reſign
Our loſt, lov'd CAROLINE.
Theſe are thy glorious deeds, almighty Death!
Theſe are thy triumphs o'er the ſons of men,
That now receive the miſerable breath,
Which the next moment they reſign again!
Ah me! what boots us all our boaſted power,
Our golden treaſure, and our purpled ſtate?
They cannot ward th' inevitable hour,
Nor ſtay the fearful violence of Fate:
—Virtue herſelf ſhall fail:
Elſe now, if virtue ever could prevail,
Death had not dar'd to violate the throne,
Nor had BRITANNIA heard her ſovereign groan.
—Ye nymphs! recall the ſong:
For heaven-born virtue does to heaven belong,
And ſcorns the meaneſt of her ſons ſhould die,
But opens him a paſſage to the ſky;
From the brute earth ſhe frees the ardent ſoul;
Swift from the vulgar herd aloft ſhe ſprings,
Spurns the moiſt clay, and ſoars on azure wings,
Then hence with ſorrows vain:
Ye Theban Muſes! elevate the ſtrain:
Search o'er the records of immortal fame,
And high refulgent on the female line,
Imblaze in ſtarry characters the name
Of BRITISH CAROLINE:
While ſacred ſtory rings with SHEBA'S praiſe,
While BERENICE'S virtues ſtill inſpire
The CYRENEAN lyre,
And GLORIANA blooms in SPENSER'S lays;
Thy name, great Queen, ſhall glow in every page,
Shall dwell in every clime, and live in every age.
When GEORGE ſhall go, where WILLIAM went before,
And all the preſent world ſhall be no more;
When the fond factions of unjuſt mankind,
The mean, the mad, the envious, and the blind,
Shall turn to worms and duſt;
Then Time, impartial judge, that ſtates the price
Of each man's virtue, and of each man's vice,
From thy bright fame ſhall clear the cank'ring ruſt;
And O! the Muſes ever ſhall be juſt.
[Page 279] VII.
But lo! what ſudden radiance gilds the ſkies?
'Tis Gratitude deſcending from above,
Known by the ſweetneſs of her dove-like eyes,
Daughter of truth and univerſal love!
To HENRY'S ſacred dome ſhe wafts along,
And on thy tomb ſhe pours
Celeſtial ſweets and aramanthine flowers:
The old, the young, the rich, the wretched crowd
Numerous around her, and with accents loud
Raiſe the mix'd voice, and pour the grateful ſong:
"Hail Queen adorn'd by nature and by art!
"Thine was each virtue of the head and heart;
"Thy people bleſt thee, and thy children lov'd,
"And thy King honour'd, and thy God approv'd,"
But here my labours ceaſe:
'Tis time the foaming courſer to releaſe.
And thou, O royal ſhade,
Forgive the Muſe that theſe vain honours paid;
A Muſe as yet unheeded and unknown;
That dares to ſacrifice to truth alone,
Not prone to blame, not haſty to commend,
No foe unjuſt, no mercenary friend,
No ſenſual boſom, no ungenerous mind,
And tho' not virtuous, virtuouſly inclin'd.
OLD battle-array, big with horror is fled,
And olive-rob'd peace again lifts up her head.
Sing, ye Muſes, TOBACCO, the bleſſing of peace;
Was ever a nation ſo bleſſed as this?
When ſummer ſuns grow red with heat,
TOBACCO tempers Phoebus' ire,
When wintry ſtorms around us beat,
TOBACCO cheers with gentle fire.
Yellow autumn, youthful ſpring,
In thy praiſes jointly ſing.
[Page 281] RECITATIVO.
Like NEPTUNE, CAESAR guards VIRGINIAN fleets,
Fraught with TOBACCO'S balmy ſweets;
Old Ocean trembles at BRITANNIA'S pow'r,
And BOREAS is afraid to roar.
Happy mortal! he who knows
Pleaſure which a PIPE beſtows;
Curling eddies climb the room,
Wafting round a mild perfume.
Let foreign climes the vine and orange boaſt,
While waſtes of war deform the teeming coaſt;
BRITANNIA, diſtant from each hoſtile ſound,
Enjoys a PIPE, with eaſe and freedom crown'd;
E'en reſtleſs faction finds itſelf moſt free,
Or if a ſlave, a ſlave to liberty.
Smiling years that gayly run
Round the zodiack with the ſun,
Tell, if ever you have ſeen
Realms ſo quiet and ſerene.
BRITISH ſons no longer now
Hurl the bar, or twang the bow,
Nor of crimſon combat think,
But ſecurely ſmoke and drink.
LITTLE tube of mighty pow'r,
Charmer of an idle hour,
Object of my warm deſire,
Lip of wax, and eye of fire:
And thy ſnowy taper waiſt,
With my finger gently brac'd;
And thy pretty ſwelling creſt,
With my little ſtopper preſt,
And the ſweeteſt bliſs of bliſſes,
Breathing from thy balmy kiſſes.
Happy thrice, and thrice agen,
Happieſt he of happy men;
Who when agen the night returns,
When agen the taper burns;
When agen the cricket's gay,
(Little cricket, full of play)
Can afford his tube to feed
With the fragment INDIAN weed:
Pleaſure for a noſe divine,
Incenſe of the god of wine.
Happy thrice, and thrice agen,
Happieſt he, of happy men.
O Thou, matur'd by glad Heſperian ſuns,
TOBACCO, fountain pure of limpid truth,
That looks the very ſoul; whence pouring thought
Swarms all the mind; abſorpt is yellow care,
And at each puff imagination burns:
Flaſh on thy bard, and with exalting fires
Touch the myſterious lip that chaunts thy praiſe,
In ſtrains to mortal ſons of earth unknown.
Behold an engine, wrought from tawny mines
Of ductile clay, with plaſtick virtue form'd,
And glaz'd magnifick o'er, I graſp, I fill.
From PAETOTHEKE with pungent pow'rs perfum'd
Itſelf one tortoiſe, all, where ſhines imbib'd
Each parent ray; then rudely ram'd illume,
With the red touch of zeal-enkindling ſheet,
Mark'd with Gibſonian lore; forth iſſue clouds,
Thought-thrilling, thirſt-inciting clouds around,
And many-mining fires: I all the while,
Lolling at eaſe, inhale the breezy balm.
But chief, when Bacchus wont with thee to join,
In genial ſtrife and orthodoxal ale,
Stream life and joy into the Muſe's bowl.
Oh be thou ſtill my great inſpirer, thou
My Muſe; oh fan me with thy zephyrs boon,
While I, in clouded tabernacle ſhrin'd,
Burſt forth all oracle and myſtick ſong.
CRITICKS avaunt; TOBACCO is my theme;
Tremble like hornets at the blaſting ſteam.
And you, court-inſects, flutter not too near
Its light, nor buzz within the ſcorching ſphere.
POLLIO, with flame like thine, my verſe inſpire,
So ſhall the Muſe from ſmoke elicit fire.
Coxcombs prefer the tickling ſting of ſnuff;
Yet all their claim to wiſdom is — a puff:
Lord FOPLIN ſmokes not—for his teeth afraid:
Sir TAWDRY ſmokes not—for he wears brocade.
Ladies, when pipes are brought, affect to ſwoon;
They love no ſmoke, except the ſmoke of town;
But courtiers hate the puffing tribe, — no matter,
Strange if they love the breath that cannot flatter!
Its foes but ſhew their ignorance; can he
Who ſcorns the leaf of knowledge, love the tree?
The tainted templar (more prodigious yet)
Rails at TOBACCO, tho' it makes him—ſpit.
CRITONIA vows it has an odious ſtink;
She will not ſmoke (ye gods!)—but ſhe will drink:
And chaſte PRUDELIA (blame her if you can)
Says, pipes are us'd by that vile creature Man:
Yet crowds remain, who ſtill its worth proclaim,
While ſome for pleaſure ſmoke, and ſome for fame:
Fame, of our actions univerſal ſpring,
For which we drink, eat, ſleep, ſmoke—ev'ry thing.
BLEST leaf! whoſe aromatick gales diſpenſe
To templars modeſty, to parſons ſenſe:
So raptur'd prieſts, at fam'd DODONA'S ſhrine
Drank inſpiration from the ſteam divine.
Poiſon that cures, a vapour that affords
Content, more ſolid than the ſmile of lords:
Reſt to the weary, to the hungry food,
The laſt kind refuge of the WISE and GOOD.
Inſpir'd by thee, dull cits adjuſt the ſcale
Of Europe's peace, when other ſtateſmen fail.
By thee protected, and thy ſiſter, beer,
Poets rejoice, nor think the bailiff near.
Nor leſs the critick owns thy genial aid,
While ſupperleſs he plies the piddling trade.
What tho' to love and ſoft delights a foe,
By ladies hated, hated by the beau,
Yet ſocial freedom, long to courts unknown,
Fair health, fair truth, and virtue are thy own.
Come to thy poet, come with healing wings,
And let me taſte thee unexcis'd by kings.
BOY! bring an ounce of FREEMAN'S beſt,
And bid the vicar be my gueſt:
Let all be plac'd in manner due,
A pot wherein to ſpit or ſpue,
Of uſe to light a pipe, or * *
* * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * *
This village, unmoleſted yet
By troopers ſhall be my retreat:
Who cannot flatter, bribe, betray;
Who cannot write or vote for *.
Far from the vermin of the town,
Here let me rather live, my own,
Doze o'er a pipe, whoſe vapour bland
In ſweet oblivion lulls the land;
Of all which at Vienna paſſes,
As ignorant * * Braſs is:
And ſcorning raſcals to careſs,
Extol the days of good Queen BESS,
When firſt TOBACCO bleſt our iſle,
Then think of other Queens — and ſmile.
Come jovial pipe, and bring along
Midnight revelry and ſong;
The merry catch, the madrigal,
That echoes ſweet in City Hall;
The parſon's pun, the ſmutty tale
Of country juſtice o'er his ale.
I aſk not what the French are doing,
Or Spain to compaſs Britain's ruin:
Britons, if undone, can go,
Where TOBACCO loves to grow.
CHARLES, ſon of Yorke, who on the mercy-ſeat
Of juſtice ſtates the bounds of right and wrong;
Not like the vulgar law-bewilder'd throng,
Who in the maze of error, hope to meet
Truth, or hope rather to delude with lies
And airy phantoms, under truth's diſguiſe.
Some wrapt in precedents, or points decreed,
Or lop or ſtretch the laws to forms preciſe:
Some, who the pedantry of rules deſpiſe,
Plain ſenſe adopt, from legal fetters freed;
Senſe without ſcience, fleeting, unconfin'd,
Is empty gueſs, and ſhifts with ev'ry wind.
But he, thy ſire, with more diſcerning toil,
Rang'd the wide field, ſagacious to explore
Where lay diſpers'd or hid the precious ore;
Then form'd into a whole the gather'd ſpoil,
Law, reaſon, equity, which now unite,
Reflecting each on each a friendly light.
Bleſt in a guide, a pattern ſo compleat,
Tread, as thou do'ſt his footſteps; for not rude
Thy genius, not uncultur'd, unſubdu'd.
Yet there are intervals and ſeaſons meet,
To ſmooth the brow of thought; nor thou diſdain
Fit hour of vacance with the Muſe's train.
Let meaner ſpirits, caſt in common mould,
Who feed on huſks of learned lore, refuſe
To hear the leſſons of the warbling Muſe;
Nor know that bards, the law-givers of old,
By ſoothing ſong to moral truth beguil'd
Man, till then fierce, a lawleſs race, and wild.
What means the lyre, by which the fabled ſage
Drew beaſts to liſten, and made rocks advance
Around him as he play'd, in myſtick dance?
What, but the Muſe? who ſoften'd human rage.
Parent of concord, ſhe prepar'd the plan
Of ſocial life, and man attun'd to man.
She taught the ſphere to move in fair array,
Each in their orbits heark'ning to her ſtrain;
Elſe would they wander o'er th' etherial plain
Licentious, but that ſhe directs their way:
She aw'd to temper, by her magick ſpell,
The warring elements, and powers of hell.
I Rural life enjoy, the town's your taſte,
In this we differ, twins in all the reſt.
Yet when the dog-ſtar brings diſeaſes on,
And each fond mother trembles for her ſon;
Now when the Mall's forlorn, the beaux and belles
All for retirement crowd to Tunbridge-Wells;
Say, will not CLOE for awhile withdraw
From dear Vaux-hall and charming Ranelagh?
Sure at this homely hutt one may contrive
Awhile not only to exiſt, but live;
For not dull landſcapes here my thoughts engroſs,
Woods, lawns, and rills, and grottoes green with moſs.
Haunts in retreat, and to the ſhade purſues.
Here all my care are to receive and pay
Viſits, my ſtudies a romance or play.
And then to paſs the live-long Sunday off,
Walks or a ride, nay church ſerves well enough.
At church, one has a chance to ſee cockades,
Lur'd thither in purſuit of country-maids:
Or tall Hibernian ſmit with fond deſire
To wed the only daughter of a ſquire.
Cards have their turn, to kill a tedious hour,
If baulk'd of whiſt, piquette is in my pow'r;
For oft the captain, freſh from town, beſtows
A friendly week upon his friend my ſpouſe.
Then gaily glide the days on downy feet,
For ſure the captain has prodigious wit;
O I could hear his ſweet diſcourſe for ever,
Of all that's done, and who and who's together,
Oft far and wide for new delights I range,
True ſex, and conſtant to the love of change.
Is there within ten miles a troop review'd,
An auction of old goods, an interlude
By ſtrolling players, an horſe-race, or a ball!
There to be ſeen I have an urgent call.
The labours of the plough are then forgot,
And THOMAS mounts the box in liv'ry coat.
(And yet theſe ſcenes are town in miniature)
Come, and reflect on Ranelagh with ſcorn,
Content ev'n here, at leaſt till routs return.
WHerefore was man thus form'd with eye ſublime,
With active joints, to traverſe hill or plain,
But to contemplate nature in her prime,
Lord of this ample world, his fair domain?
Why on this various earth ſuch beauty pour'd,
But for thy pleaſure, man, her ſovereign lord?
Why does the mantling vine her juice afford
Nectareous, but to cheer with cordial taſte?
Why are the earth and air and ocean ſtor'd
With beaſt, fiſh, fowl; if not for man's repaſt!
Yet what avails to me, or taſte, or ſight,
Exil'd from every object of delight?
So much I feel of anguiſh, day and night
Tortur'd, benumb'd; in vain the fields to range
Me vernal breezes, and mild ſuns invite:
In vain the banquet ſmokes with kindly change
Of delicacies, while on every plate
Pain lurks in ambuſh, and alluring fate.
Fool not to know the friendly powers create
Theſe maladies in pity to mankind;
Theſe abdicated reaſon reinſtate,
When lawleſs appetite uſurps the mind;
Heaven's faithful centries at the door of bliſs
Plac'd to deter, or to chaſtiſe exceſs.
Weak is the aid of wiſdom to repreſs
Paſſion perverſe; philoſophy how vain!
'Gainſt Circe's cup, enchanting ſorcereſs;
Or when the Syren ſings her warbling ſtrain.
Whate'er or ſages teach, or bards reveal,
Men ſtill are men, and learn but when they feel.
As in ſome free and well-pois'd common-weal
Sedition warns the rulers how to ſteer,
As ſtorms and thunders rattling with loud peal,
From noxious dregs the dull horizon clear;
So when the mind imbrutes in ſloth ſupine,
Sharp pangs awake her energy divine.
O Ship! ſhall new waves again bear thee to ſea?
Where, alas! art thou driving? keep ſteady to ſhore.
Thy ſides are left without an oar,
And thy ſhaken maſt groans, to rude tempeſts a prey.
Thy tackle all torn, can no longer endure
The aſſaults of the ſurge that now triumphs and reigns,
None of thy ſails entire remains,
Nor a GOD to protect in another ſad hour.
Tho' thy outſide beſpeaks thee of noble deſcent,
The foreſt's chief pride, yet thy race and thy name,
What are they but an empty name?
Wiſe mariners truſt not to gilding and paint.
Beware then leſt Thou float, uncertain again,
The ſport of wild winds; late my ſorrowful care,
And now my fondeſt wiſh, beware
Of the changeable ſhoals where the Rhine meets the Main.
WHilſt you, ATHENIA, with aſſiduous toil
Reap the rich fruits of learning's fertile ſoil;
Now ſearch whate'er hiſtorick truth has ſhewn,
And make the wealth of ages paſt your own;
Now crop the bloſſoms of poetick flow'rs,
And range delighted in the Muſes bowers;
Say, will the ſweeteſt of her ſex attend
To lines by friendſhip, not by by flatt'ry penn'd;
To lines which tempt not worth with empty praiſe;
But to ſtill greater height that worth would raiſe;
To lines which dare againſt a world decide,
And ſtem the rage of cuſtom's rapid tide!
Come then, ATHENIA, freely let us ſcan
The coward inſults of that tyrant, man.
Self-prais'd, and graſping at deſpotick pow'r,
He looks on ſlav'ry as the female dow'r;
To Nature's boon aſcribes what force has giv'n,
And uſurpation deems the gift of heav'n.
See the firſt-peopled Eaſt, where ASIA ſheds
Her balmy ſpices o'er her fertile meads:
From diſtant Indus to the Cyprian main,
All nature's laws by impious force were broke;
The female ſex to ſlav'ry's galling yoke
Bow'd their fair necks: from ſocial life confin'd,
And all th' exertions of th' enlighten'd mind,
Clos'd in a proud Seraglio's wanton bow'rs,
The dalliance of a tyrant's looſer hours.
By kings' examples ſubjects form their lives,
Dependent ſatraps had their train of wives;
Proportion'd pow'r each petty tyrant craves,
And each poor female was the ſlave of ſlaves.
When PERSIA next o'erturn'd th' Aſſyrian throne,
Deſtroy'd her tyranny and fix'd its own;
The fair diſtreſs'd no milder treatment ſaw,
This was indeed th' unalterable law.
In future times, whatever maſters came,
Tyrants were chang'd, but tyranny the ſame:
At length t' accumulate the female woes,
The grand impoſtor MAHOMET aroſe;
Swoln with prophetick lyes, he lay'd his plan
On the firm baſis of the pride of man;
"Women, the toys of men, and ſlaves of luſt,
"Are but mere moulds to form man's outward cruſt;
"The heavenly ſpark, that animates the clay,
"Of the prime eſſence that effulgent ray,
"Th' immortal ſoul is all to man confin'd,
"Not meanly ſquander'd on weak woman-kind."
Accurſed wretch! by hell's black council driv'n
Thus to debaſe the faireſt work of heav'n.
And could Religion rear her ſacred head
Fraught with ſuch doctrines? could ſuch errors ſpread
From weſtern TANGIER, and the ſun-burnt Moor,
To the cold TARTAR'S ever-frozen ſhore?
Ev'n GREECE too not exempt, GREECE, once the ſeat
Where Senſe and Freedom held the reins of ſtate;
Where Force was Reaſon's hand-maid; where the bands
Of Love and Friendſhip join'd the wedded hands;
Where flouriſh'd once, and flouriſh ſtill in fame
Th' ATHENIAN matron, and the SPARTAN dame.
In ROME too Liberty once reign'd, in ROME
The female virtues were allow'd to bloom,
And bloom they did: when CANNAE'S fatal plain
Was heap'd with mountains of the Roman ſlain,
Was there a matron wept her children dead?
Was there a matron wept not thoſe that fled?
Then when each rumour ſeem'd the voice of fate,
And ſpoke the victor thund'ring at their gate,
Was there one mention'd peace? did they not pour
Their wealth, their jewels to the publick ſtore,
In emulous haſte all preſſing to be poor?
Alas how chang'd! how are the mighty ſunk,
From the firm Patriot to the whining Monk!
Where Induſtry ſecur'd the publick good,
Where cenſors, conſuls, and dictators plough'd.
And conſecrated Sloth devours the farmer's toil.
But oh ſtill worſe! where Love and Friendſhip ſhone,
Domeſtick Tyranny has fix'd his throne,
With all his train of monſters: at his ſide
Swoln with ſelf-flatteries ſits ſtiff-neck'd Pride;
Two twin-born fiends his other ear engage,
Heart-canker'd Jealouſy, and fire-ey'd Rage;
In front, his empire's ſole ſupport and ſource,
Rattling chains, bars and locks, ſtalks brutal Force;
Whilſt pale and ſhrivel'd, crouch'd beneath the chair,
Lies ſneaking, conſcious Worthleſſneſs; and near
Squint-ey'd Suſpicion lurks, with ſelf-diſtracting Fear.
Hail, happy BRITAIN, dear parental land,
Where Liberty maintains her lateſt ſtand!
Oh while amidſt tyrannick realms I rove,
Enamour'd let me pour my filial love
Into thy boſom. When the raven wings
Of darkneſs hover o'er me, when the ſprings
Of every outward ſenſe are ſhut, my ſoul
Thee oft reviſits, oft without controul
Ranges thy fields delighted, and inhales
Friendſhip's pure joys, and Freedom's healthful gales.
But ſay, BRITANNIA, do thy ſons, who claim
A birth-right liberty, diſpenſe the ſame
In equal ſcales? Why then does Cuſtom bind
In chains of Ignorance the female mind?
Of ſcience veil'd? Why does each pedant ſay,
"Shield me, propitious powers, nor clog my life
"With that ſupreme of plagues a learned wife.
"'Tis man's, with ſcience to expand the ſoul,
"And wing his eagle-flight from pole to pole;
"'Tis his to pierce antiquity's dark gloom,
"And the ſtill thicker ſhades of times to come;
"'Tis his to guide the pond'rous helm of ſtate,
"And bear alone all wiſdom's ſolid weight.
"Let woman with alluring graces move
"The fondling paſſions and the baby love;
"Be this our only ſcience, be her doom
"Fix'd to the toilette, the ſpinnet and loom."
Tongue-doughty pedant, was ATHENIA'S ſoul
Form'd for theſe only? Bring th' exacteſt rule
Of judgment to the tryal, prove that e'er
Thy ſchool-proud tribe engroſs'd a greater ſhare
Of mental excellence; tho' vernal Youth
Juſts ſwell her lovely boſom, yet bleſt Truth,
Offspring of Senſe and Induſtry, has there
Long fix'd her reſidence; and taught the fair
Or wiſdom's deep receſſes to explore,
Or on invention's rapid wings to ſoar
Above th' Aonian mount; and can'ſt thou think
That virtues, which exalt the ſoul, can ſink
The outward charms? muſt knowledge give offence?
And are the graces all at war with ſenſe?
The fondeſt paſſions, moſt ecſtatick love,
More than ATHENIA? in her gentle eye
Soft innocence and virgin modeſty
Inceſſant ſhine, while ſtill a new-born grace
Springs in each ſpeaking feature of her face.
Her ſprightly wit no forward pertneſs ſpoils:
No ſelf-aſſuming air her judgment ſoils;
Still prone to learn, tho' capable to teach,
And lofty all her thoughts, but humble all her ſpeech.
Proceed, ATHENIA, let thy growing mind
Take ev'ry knowledge in of ev'ry kind:
Still on perfection fix thy ſteady eye,
Be ever riſing, riſe thou ne'er ſo high.
But oh reflect, that in th' advent'rous flight,
Thou mount'ſt a glorious, but a dangerous height:
When ev'ry ſcience ev'ry grace ſhall join,
When moſt thy wit, when moſt thy beauties ſhine,
When thickeſt crowds enamour'd preſs around,
When loudeſt ev'ry tongue thy praiſe ſhall ſound,
When verſe too offers incenſe to thy ſhrine,
And adoration breathes in ev'ry line,
Then let my friendly Muſe expreſs her care,
Then moſt will danger ſpread her viewleſs ſnare:
Then let this truth poſſeſs thy inmoſt ſoul,
"One drop of Vanity may ſpoil the whole."
Not ſelf-ſecure on earth can Knowledge dwell,
Knowledge the bliſs of heav'n and pang of hell,
The attribute of God and of the Devil.
Without her, Virtue is a powerleſs Will;
She, without Virtue, is a powerful ill;
Does ſhe then join with Virtue, or oppoſe,
She proves the beſt of Friends, or worſt of Foes.
O! be they once in happieſt union join'd,
And be that union in ATHENIA'S mind.
GREAT HOMER'S birth ſev'n rival cities claim,
Too mighty ſuch monopoly of Fame;
Yet not to birth alone did HOMER owe
His wond'rous worth; what EGYPT could beſtow,
With all the ſchools of GREECE and ASIA join'd,
Enlarg'd th' immenſe expanſion of his mind.
Nor yet unrival'd the MAEONIAN ſtrain,
The a Britiſh Eagle, and the Mantuan Swan
Tow'r equal heights. But happier STRATFORD, thou
With inconteſted laurels deck thy brow:
Thy Bard was thine unſchool'd, and from thee brought
More than all EGYPT, GREECE, or ASIA taught.
Not HOMER'S ſelf ſuch matchleſs honours won;
The Greek has Rivals, but thy SHAKESPEAR none.
WHEN fair SERENA fair I knew,
By friendſhip's happy union charm'd;
Inceſſant joys around her ſlew,
And gentle ſmiles my boſom warm'd.
But when with fond officious care
I preſs'd to breathe my amorous pain,
Her lips ſpoke nought but cold deſpair,
Her eyes ſhot ice through ev'ry vein.
Thus in ITALIA'S lovely vales
The ſun his genial vigour yields,
Reviving heat each ſenſe regales,
And plenty crowns the ſmiling fields.
When nearer we approach this ray,
High on the Alps' ſtupendous brow,
Surpriz'd we ſee pale ſun-beams play
On everlaſting hills of ſnow.
THE potent Lord, that this bright villa plann'd,
Exhibits here a Paradiſe regain'd;
Whate'er of Verdure have Hills, Lawns, or Woods,
Whate'er of Splendor, Buildings, Flow'rs, or Floods,
Whate'er of Fruits the Trees, of Birds the Air,
In bliſsful union are collected here:
All with ſuch harmony diſpos'd, as ſhews,
That in the midſt the Tree of Knowledge grows.
THANKS, CLOE, thy coquetting art
At length hath heal'd my love-ſick heart,
At length thy ſlave is free;
I feel no tyrant's proud controul,
I feel no inmate in my ſoul,
But peace and liberty.
No longer now a fierce deſire
In anger maſks its amorous fire,
And fiercer burns ſuppreſs'd,
I bluſh not when thy name I hear,
I meet thee ſuddenly, and fear
No fluttering in my breaſt.
In dreams I ev'ry trifle ſee,
Yet very rarely dream of thee:
I wake, nor think about thee:
When abſent I ne'er wiſh thee near:
And when thou'rt preſent I not fear,
Nor pray to be without thee.
I think, hear, talk about thy charms,
Nor ſtoop the head, nor fold the arms;
Nay ev'n my wrongs ſit eaſy.
And when my favour'd rival's near
And eyes me with inſulting leer,
His triumphs never teaze me.
Put on thy looks of cold diſdain,
Or ſpeak reſpectful, 'tis in vain,
Nor frowns nor ſmiles can move.
Thoſe lips no more have words that bind,
Thoſe eyes no more have light to find
The path that leads to love.
Seaſons, which wont to take their dye
Of foul or fair, from CLOE'S eye,
Now their own livery wear.
This place I hate, and that I love,
The fen's a fen, the grove's a grove,
If abſent thou, or there.
Judge if I ſpeak like one ſincere,
Still I confeſs your face is fair,
But ſo are twenty faces;
And if plain truth will not offend,
You've now ſome features I could mend,
Which once appear'd all graces.
Nay more, I own, when from my heart
I ſtrove to tug the fatal dart
I cut my heart in ſunder:
But to relieve a conſtant pain,
And to retrieve one's ſelf again,
What would one not go-under?
The fluttering bird in viſcous ſnare
Entangled, willingly will ſpare
For liberty a feather;
In time again the feather grows,
And wiſe by danger made, he knows
To ſhun the ſnare for ever.
But ſtill I hear you ſmiling ſay,
'Tis ſign you've flung their chains away,
You take ſuch pains to ſhew 'em.
Why, CLOE, there's a fond delight
Our former dangers to recite,
And let our neighbours know 'em.
After the thunder of the wars,
The veteran thus diſplays his ſcars,
And tells you of his pains;
The galley-ſlave, enſlav'd no more,
Shews you the ſhackles which he wore,
And where their mark remains.
I talk, 'cauſe talking gives delight,
I pleaſe myſelf not GLOE by't,
Nor care if ſhe believe;
And when myſelf ſhe deigns to name,
Whether ſhe praiſe my ſong or blame,
I neither joy nor grieve.
For me I quit a fickle fair,
CLOE has loſt a heart ſincere,
Who firſt ſhould ſing Te deum?
You'll never find ſo true a ſwain;
But women full as falſe as vain,
By dozens one may ſee 'em.
THANKS, dear coquet! indulgent cheat!
Kind heaven, and your more kind deceit,
At length have ſet me free;
No more I ſigh, and doat, and pine,
All eaſe without, and calm within,
In peace and liberty.
Cupid no more has power to ſcorch,
Time ſure has robb'd him of his torch,
Ne'er was a cooler creature:
That name no more has ſuch eclat,
No more my heart goes pit-a-pat
At ſight of each dear feature.
I ſleep at night, and ſometimes dream,
Nor you the fond vexatious theme;
I wake, nor think about you:
I meet, I leave you, meet again,
But feel no mighty joy or pain,
Or with you, or without you.
[Page 307] IV.
Now with indifference I chat
Of eyes, lips, bubbies, and all that,
And laugh at former follies:
Joke with my rival when we meet,
What eye ſo keen! what lips ſo ſweet!
What ſkin ſo ſoft as Molly's!
Leave then thoſe little torturing arts,
You practiſe on complying hearts;
They're all in vain, believe me:
Whether thoſe eyes look kind or weep,
The pouting, or the ſmiling lip,
Will neither pleaſe, nor grieve me.
From thoſe deſpotick looks, no more
(Once tyrants of each ſickle hour)
I date my grief and joy:
May, tho' you frown, looks ſweetly clad;
And dull December's mighty ſad,
Tho' you ſtand ſmiling by.
Yet ſtill (for I am quite ſincere)
You're mighty pretty,—true, my dear,
But, like your pretty ſex,
You've here and there, and now and then
A failing; for like other men,
I now can ſpy defects.
[Page 308] VIII.
Yet once with coward fondneſs curs'd,
My poor weak heart I fear'd would burſt
At thought of ſeparation:
But now deſpiſe my feeble chain,
And bleſs the ſalutary pain
That cur'd me of my paſſion.
Impatient of his iron cage,
The bird thus ſpends his little rage,
And 'ſcapes with ſhatter'd wings:
But ſoon with new-ſledg'd pinions ſoars,
And haſt'ning to his native bow'rs,
A joyful welcome ſings.
Fond female vanity will ſay,
Theſe long harangues they ſure betray
A heart that's hankering ſtill:
This paſſion ſo proclaim'd in ſong,
This tale ſo pleaſing to the tongue,
Does it not touch the will?
Lovers like ſoldiers, Molly, dwell
With pleaſure on the horrid tale,
When all the danger's o'er:
Like other ſlaves from ſetters free,
We ſmile with anxious joy, to ſee
The chains which once we wore.
[Page 309] XII.
In kind indulgence to a heart,
Engag'd in ſo ſevere a part,
This ſweet revenge I write:
Rail, weep, be woman all, for I
Lull'd in indifference, defy
Your fondneſs or your ſpite.
A frail falſe maid I loſt, but you
A man, fond, gen'rous, and true;
Which fortune is the worſe?
Try all love's mighty empire round,
A faithful lover's ſeldom found;
A jilt's a common curſe.
PHoebe, thank thy falſe heart, it has fix'd my repoſe,
The gods have had pity at length on my woes;
I feel it, I feel my ſoul looſe from its chain,
And at laſt freedom comes, often dream'd of in vain.
The flame is burn'd out, and each paſſion at reſt.
Under which love diſguis'd ſtill might lurk in my breaſt;
No more, when thou'rt nam'd, the warm bluſhes ariſe,
No more ſlutters my heart, when I meet with your eyes.
In my ſleep now no longer thy image I ſee,
Nor the firſt of my thoughts, when I wake, is of thee▪
When from thee, no more of thy abſence I plain,
When with thee, I feel neither pleaſure nor pain.
My heart without fondneſs can muſe on thy charms,
My paſt pains I recount, yet no paſſion alarms;
Diſcompos'd I'm no longer, when tow'rd me you move,
And at eaſe with my rival I talk of my love.
Whether haughty thy frown, whether gentle thy ſtrain,
In vain thy proud looks, thy fond ſpeeches in vain;
Thy falſe tongue to beguile me no more has the art,
No more thy keen eye knows the way to my heart.
Whether penſive or cheerful, no longer to you
For this are my thanks, or for that my blame due:
The gay proſpect now pleaſes, though you are away,
And your preſence no more can make drearineſs gay.
Believe me, I ſtill can allow that thou'rt fair,
But not that no fair-one can with thee compare;
I can now ſpy a fault, which I once thought a grace.
When firſt the fix'd arrow I pluck'd from my heart,
Oh, methought I ſhou'd die! ſo ſevere was the ſmart:
But from pow'r ſo oppreſſive to ſet myſelf clear,
Torments greater than dying with patience I'd bear.
When lim'd the poor bird thus with eagerneſs ſtrains,
Nor regrets the loſt plume, ſo his freedom he gains;
The loſs of his plumage ſmall time will reſtore,
And once try'd the falſe twig, it can cheat him no more.
The old flame, never flatter yourſelf to believe,
While it dwells on my tongue, in my heart ſtill muſt live;
Our dangers, when paſt, with delight we repeat,
What in ſuffering was pain, to remembrance is ſweet.
'Tis thus when the ſoldier returns from the wars,
He fights o'er his old battles, and vaunts of his ſcars:
With pleaſure the captive his liberty gain'd
The fetters thus ſhows, which once held him enchain'd.
Thus I talk, and I ſtill will talk on while I may,
Nor heed I, though you diſbelieve what I ſay:
I aſk not that Phoebe my talk ſhould approve,
Let her too, if ſhe can, talk at eaſe of my love.
THrough the cloſe covert of the ſhady grove,
One ſummer's day it was my chance to rove,
Where, ſhrouded from the ſun's too ſcorching ray,
Stretch'd at her eaſe, half-ſlumbering Cloe lay.
Occaſion ſo inviting, who could miſs?
Softly I ſtole, and ſnatch'd a ſudden kiſs.
Startled at firſt, the riſing bluſh diſplay'd
The quick reſentment of the ruffled maid;
Lively diſplay'd—for ſoon it over paſt;
Such bluſhing anger never long did laſt!
Quick reconcilement muſt to rage ſucceed,
Where wrongs ideal ſolid pleaſures breed.
Submiſſive looks my pardon ſoon obtain'd,
And pardon'd love as ſoon new boldneſs gain'd.
Offending thus, forgiving thus, we lay,
Long time entranc'd with the alternate play;
The thrilling joy ſtill flutters round my heart;
Thought ſtill, tho' fainter, paints the glowing bliſs,
On fancy's lip ſtill cleaves the rapt'rous kiſs.
But mark the ſad effects of caſual love,
And tread with caution in the ſhady grove.
In due time, Cloe at my doors appears,
A fix'd compoſure on her brow ſhe wears;
And gueſs the cauſe: cloſe in her lap conceal'd
A lovely twin in either hand ſhe held;
And take, ſhe cry'd, theſe pledges of our love,
Theſe fruits you planted in the ſhady grove.
Soft as the downy bloom on Cloe's check,
Smooth as the poliſh'd ivory of her neck,
Warm as her boſom, white as was her arm,
So ſmooth were they and white, ſo ſoft and warm,
Pleas'd I receiv'd them for the giver's ſake,
Heedleſs what cenſures ſtrait-lac'd prudes might make.
Compliant to my forming hand they grew,
And with their ſize increas'd obedience due,
As I direct they take th' appointed bent,
With ev'ry motion, ev'ry beck, conſent,
Whate'er I want, they reach with ready hand,
Where-e'er I go, they wait at my command.
Now at eaſe one in my boſom lays;
While by my ſide the other wanton plays;
Now this my hand embraces; t' other free,
Takes his full ſwing and plays at liberty.
Emblems of friendſhip, and united love;
Sometimes behind my leading ſteps they trace
Still cloſely knit in brotherly embrace;
Anon on either ſide as guards attend,
At once adorn me, and at once defend.
Still more and more my love they thus engage,
Thus ſtill ſhall cheriſh my declining age;
And when th' appointed hour of fate ſhall come,
They'll follow ſtill attendant on my tomb.
More laſting far than man's ſoon fading breath,
Their love extends beyond the vale of death;
They'll hang for ever o'er my much-lov'd buſt,
Till they themſelves, like me, are turn'd to duſt.
—Mortalis in unumQuodque caput, vultu mutabilis, albus an ater.
TORN from the fruitful ſpot on which I grew,
Me innocent unnumber'd pains purſue;
Pains more afflicting, as from man they flow,
From parent man! for birth to man I owe.
Sometimes on ſpikes of ſteel my nerves they rend,
Sometimes aſunder ſplit from end to end;
Now doom'd the rage of drying fires to try:
There while in double torment ſcorch'd and drown'd,
Faſt tied I writhe the rigid ſtake around.
Laſt their fierce hate its utmoſt effort tries
With all Barbarian pomp of ſacrifice.
The purple fillet round my temples wreathes,
From every part the ſcented unguent breathes;
O'er my white locks the ſacred flower is ſpread
Whilſt on the fatal block is plac'd my head.
Yet with fix'd conſtancy I bear my doom;
And conſtancy at laſt will overcome.
From all my tryals I return at length,
My worth increas'd, my beauty, and my ſtrength.
The ſuffering martyr thus in torment dies,
In ſainted ſtate more glorious to ariſe.
And now I re-aſſume my native ſtate,
My torturers now beneath their burden ſweat,
Slaves in their turn to me, and think it pride
If on their ſubject necks I deign to ride.
Yet ſtill my filial duty I retain,
Unchang'd by honours, as unmov'd by pain.
Still to mankind a friend, I daily ſhed
My warmeſt bleſſings on his parent head;
Around him ſtill with fond embraces twine,
As round the elm her tendrils curls the vine.
Nor quit him e'er till he to reſt repairs,
And every morn renew my conſtant cares.
Ready alike on rich and poor to wait;
I ſuit myſelf to every different ſtate.
With prieſt in whitiſh dreſs array'd I ſhine,
Emblem of purity and truth divine.
His ſolemn face the doctor owes to me,
His ſolemn face, to which he owes his fee.
At bench, or bar, I add a dignity
To th' upright ſentence, or rhetorick plea;
Hence without me no judge explains the laws,
Nor coifed council pleads the puzzling cauſe:
In fulleſt floods my bounty ſhowers on them
Profuſe, deſcending to the garment's hem.
Gorgeous in ſilken garb I grace the beau;
And all around ambroſial fragrance throw;
Nor leſs decorous, tho' with duſt o'erſpread,
When to the camp the valiant warriors lead,
Gorgonian terrors to each mien I add,
And ſtill their weakeſt part with care I ſhade.
MY ſize is large, my ſhape's uncouth,
I have neither limb nor feature;
Mens hands have form'd my ſkin ſo ſmooth:
My guts were made by nature.
Nor male nor female is my ſex,
You'll ſcarce believe my troth;
For when I've told you all my tricks
You'll ſwear 't muſt needs be both.
For oft my maſter lies with me,
His wife I oft enjoy;
Yet's ſhe's no whore, no cuckold he,
And true to both am I.
My cloaths nor women fit, nor men,
They're neither coat nor gown;
Yet oft both men and maidens, when
They're naked, have them on.
When I'm upon my legs, I lie,
Yet legs in truth I've none;
And never am I ſeen ſo high
To riſe as when I'm down.
What's oft my belly, is oft my back,
And what my feet, my head;
And though I'm up, I have a knack
Of being ſtill a-bed.
LYCE, at length my vows are heard,
My vows ſo oft to heaven preferr'd;
Welcome, thy ſilver'd hairs!
a In vain thy affectation gay
To hide the manifeſt decay,
In vain thy youthful airs.
If ſtill thy cheeks preſerve a bluſh,
With b heat of wine, not youth they fluſh,
c Unamiable ſtain!
If ſtill thou warbleſt, harſh the note
When d trembling age ſhakes in the throat
Th' involuntary ſtrain.
Think'ſt thou can theſe my love prolong?
(Ungrateful bluſh! untuneful ſong!)
Or rival Hebe's charms?
Hebe melodious, Hebe fair,
For e judgment ſwells her rapt'rous air,
For f youth her bluſhes warms.
The roſy cheek, the forehead ſmooth,
Thoſe native ornaments of youth,
Once loſt, are loſt for aye.
No art can ſmooth g, no paint repair
The furrow'd face; h no diamond's glare
Give luſtre to decay.
What now of all which once was thine,
i Feature, k Complexion, l Mien divine,
Remains the ſenſe to charm?
m Why now command they not my love?
Once could they—n even tho' Cloe ſtrove
Their empire to diſarm,
Cloe!—alas, thou much-lov'd name!
o Thou, full of beauty, full of fame,
Found'ſt an untimely urn!
p Whilſt Lyce, reft of every grace
T' enrich th' mind, t' adorn the face,
Still lives, the public ſcorn. q
CAPRICIOUS W* a ſonnet needs muſt have
I ne'er was ſo put to't before:— a Sonnet!
Why, fourteen verſes muſt be ſpent upon it;
'Tis good howe'er t' have conquer'd the firſt ſtave.
Yet I ſhall ne'er find rhymes enough by half,
Said I, and found myſelf i'th' midſt o'the ſecond.
If twice four verſes were but fairly reckon'd,
I ſhould turn back on th' hardeſt part and laugh.
Thus far with good ſucceſs I think I've ſcribbled,
And of the twice ſeven lines have clean got o'er ten.
Courage! another 'll finiſh the firſt triplet.
Thanks to thee, Muſe, my work begins to ſhorten.
There's thirteen lines got through driblet by driblet.
'Tis done! count how you will, I warr'nt there's fourteen.
O*, whom virtue makes the worthy heir
Of **'s titles, and of*'s eſtate,
Bleſt in a wife, whoſe beauty, though ſo rare,
Is the leaſt grace of all that round her wait,
While other youths, ſprung from the good and great,
In devious paths of pleaſure ſeek their bane,
Reckleſs of wiſdom's lore, of birth, or ſtate,
Meanly debauch'd, or inſolently vain;
Through Virtue's ſacred gate to Honour's fane
You and your fair aſſociate ceaſeleſs climb
With glorious emulation, ſure to gain
A meed, ſhall laſt beyond the reign of Time:
From your example long may Britain ſee,
Degenerate Britain, what the great ſhould be.
WIſely, O C*; enjoy the preſent hour,
The preſent hour is all the time we have,
High God the reſt has plac'd beyond our pow'r,
Conſign'd, perhaps, to grief—or to the grave.
Wretched the man, who toils ambition's ſlave;
Who pines for wealth, or ſighs for empty fame;
Who rolls in pleaſures which the mind deprave,
Bought with ſevere remorſe, and guilty ſhame.
Virtue and knowledge be our better aim;
Theſe help us Ill to bear, or teach to ſhun;
Let friendſhip cheer us with her gen'rous flame,
Friendſhip, the ſum of all our joys in one;
So ſhall we live each moment fate has giv'n;
How long, or ſhort, let us reſign to heav'n.
O Sprung from worthies, who with counſels wiſe
Adorn'd and ſtrengthen'd great Eliſa's throne,
Who yet with virtuous pride, may'ſt well deſpiſe
To borrow praiſe from merits not thy own.
Oft as I view the monumental ſtone
Where our lov'd H***'s cold aſhes reſt,
Muſing on joys with him long paſt and gone,
A pleaſing ſad remembrance fills my breaſt.—
Did the ſharp pang we feel for friends deceas'd
Unbated laſt, we muſt with anguiſh die;
But nature bids its rigour ſhould be eas'd
By lenient time, and ſtrong neceſſity:
Theſe calm the paſſions, and ſubdue the mind
To bear th' appointed lot of human kind.
C**s, I hop'd the little heaven ſhall ſpare
Of my ſhort day, which flits away ſo faſt,
And ſickneſs threats with clouds to overcaſt,
In ſocial converſe oft with thee to ſhare.
Ill-luck for me, that wayward fate ſhould tear
Thee from the haven thou had'ſt gain'd at laſt,
Again to try the toils and dangers paſt
In foreign climates, and an hoſtile air:
Yet duteous to thy country's call attend,
Which claims a portion of thy uſeful years,
And back with ſpeed thy courſe to Britain bend.
If, e'er again we meet, perchance ſhould end
My dark'ning eve, thou'lt pay ſome friendly tears,
Grateful to him, who liv'd and dy'd thy friend.
WHEN penſive on that portraiture I gaze,
Where my four brothers round about me ſtand,
And four fair ſiſters ſmile with graces bland,
The goodly monument of happier days;
And think, how ſoon inſatiate death, who preys
On all, has cropp'd the reſt with ruthleſs hand,
While only I ſurvive of all that band,
Which one chaſte bed did to my father raiſe;
It ſeems, that like a column left alone,
The tott'ring remnant of ſome ſplendid fane,
'Scap'd from the fury of the barb'rous Gaul,
And waſting Time, which has the reſt o'erthrown,
Amidſt our houſe's ruins I remain,
Single, unprop'd, and nodding to my fall.
R**, who well haſt judg'd the taſk too hard,
Of this ſhort life throughout the total day
To follow glory's falſe bewitching ray,
Through certain toils, uncertain of reward;
A prince's ſervice how ſhould we regard;
As ſervice ſtill—though deck'd in livery gay,
Diſguis'd with titles, gilded o'er with pay,
Specious, yet ill to liberty preferr'd.
Bounding thy wiſhes by the golden mean,
Nor weakly bartering happineſs for ſhow,
Wiſely thou'ſt left the buſy buſtling ſcene,
Where merit ſeldom has ſucceſsful been,
In C**'s ſhades to taſte the joys, that flow
From calm retirement, and a mind ſerene.
C**e, with whom, my pilot and my guide,
Pleas'd I have travers'd thy Sabrina's flood,
Both where ſhe foams impetuous ſoil'd with mud,
And where ſhe peaceful rolls her golden tide.
Never, O never let ambition's pride
(Too oft pretexted with our country's good)
And tinſel'd pomp, deſpis'd when underſtood,
Or thirſt of wealth thee from her banks divide.
Reflect how calmly, like her infant wave,
Flows the clear current of a private life;
See the wide publick ſtream by tempeſts toſs'd,
Of ev'ry changing wind the ſport, or ſlave,
Soil'd with corruption, vex'd with party ſtrife,
Cover'd with wrecks of peace and honour loſt.
WO worth the man, who in ill hour aſſay'd
To tempt that weſtern frith with vent'rous keel,
And ſeek what heav'n, regardful of our weal,
Had hid in fogs, and night's eternal ſhade.
Ill-ſtarr'd Hibernia! well art thou repaid
For all the woes, that Britain made thee feel
By Henry's wrath, and Pembroke's conquering ſteel,
Who ſack'd thy towns, and caſtles diſarray'd:
No longer now with idle ſorrow mourn
Thy plunder'd wealth, or liberties reſtrain'd,
Nor deem their victories thy loſs or ſhame;
Severe revenge on Britain in thy turn
And ample ſpoils thy treach'rous waves obtain'd,
Which ſunk one half of Spenſer's deathleſs ſame.
PEACE to thy aſhes, to thy mem'ry fame,
Bright paragon of merit feminine,
In forming whom kind nature did inſhrine
A mind angelick in a faultleſs frame;
Through ev'ry ſtage of changing life the ſame,
How did thy bright example ceaſeleſs ſhine,
And ev'ry grace with ev'ry virtue join
To raiſe the virgin's and the matron's name?
In thee religion cheerful and ſerene
Unfour'd by ſuperſtition, ſpleen, or pride,
Through all the ſocial offices of life
To ſhed its genuine influence was ſeen;
This thy chief ornament, thy ſureſt guide,
This form'd the daughter, parent, friend, and wife.
O***, great meed ſhalt thou receive,
Great meed of fame, thou and thy learn'd compeer,
Who 'gainſt the ſceptic's doubt, and ſcorner's ſneer,
Aſſert thoſe heav'n-born truths, which you believe.
In elder time thus heroes wont t' atchieve
Renown, they held the faith of JESUS dear,
And round their ivy-crown, or laurell'd ſpear,
Bluſh'd not religion's olive branch to weave.
Thus Raleigh, thus immortal Sidney ſhone
(Illuſtrious names) in great Eliſa's days.
Nor doubt his promiſe firm, that ſuch who own
In evil times, undaunted, though alone,
His glorious truth, ſuch he will crown with praiſe,
And glad agnize before his Father's throne.
YOung, fair, and good! ah why ſhould young and fair
And good be huddled in untimely grave?
Muſt ſo ſweet flow'r ſo brief a period have,
Juſt bloom and charm, then fade and diſappear?
Yet our's the loſs, who ill alas can ſpare
The bright example, which thy virtues gave;
The guerdon thine, whom gracious heav'n did ſave
From longer trial in this vale of care.
Reſt then, ſweet ſaint, in peace and honour reſt,
While our true tears bedew thy maiden hearſe,
Light lie the earth upon thy lovely breaſt;
And let a grateful heart with grief oppreſs'd
To thy dear mem'ry conſecrate this verſe,
Though all too mean for who deſerves the beſt.
W*, whoſe dear friendſhip in the dawning years
Of undeſigning Childhood firſt began,
Through Youth's gay morn with even tenor ran,
My noon conducted, and my evening cheers,
Rightly doſt thou, in whom combin'd appears
Whate'er for Public Life completes the Man,
With active Zeal ſtrike out a larger plan,
No uſeleſs friend to Senators and Peers:
Me moderate talents and a ſmall eſtate
Fit for Retirement's unambitious ſhade,
Nor envy I who near approach the throne;
But joyful ſee thee mingle with the Great,
See thy deſerts with due diſtinction paid,
And praiſe thy lot, contented with my own.
THOU, who ſucceſſive in that honor'd ſeat
Preſid'ſt, the feuds of jaring Chiefs to 'ſwage,
To check the boiſt'rous force of Party rage,
Raiſe modeſt worth, and guide the high debate,
Sometimes retiring from the toils of State,
Thou turn'ſt th' inſtructive Greek or Roman page,
Or what our Britiſh Bards of later age
In ſcarce inferior numbers can relate:
Amid this feaſt of Mind, when Fancy's Child,
Sweet SHAKESPEAR, raps the ſoul to virtuous deed,
When SPENSER warbling tunes his Doric lays,
Or the firſt Man from Paradiſe exil'd
Great MILTON ſings, can aught my ruſtic reed
Preſume to ſound, that may deſerve thy praiſe?
- THE Progreſs of Love. In four Eclogues Page 1
- Soliloquy of a Beauty Page 16
- Blenheim Page 19
- Epiſtle to Dr. Ayſcough Page 25
- Epiſtle to Mr. Poyntz Page 31
- Verſes under Mr. Poyntz's Picture Page 34
- Epiſtle to Mr. Pope Page 35
- Epiſtle to my Lord *** Page 38
- Advice to a Lady Page 41
- Song Page 46
- Song Page 47
- Damon and Delia Page 49
- Ode in Imitation of Paſtor Fido Page 51
- Part of an Elegy of Tibullus Page 52
- Song Page 55
- Verſes written at Mr. Pope's Page 56
- Epigram Page 57
- To Mr. Weſt at Wickham ibid.
- To Miſs Lucy F— Page 58
- To the ſame, with Hammond's Elegies ibid.
- To the Same Page 59
- To the Same ibid.
- A Prayer to Venus in her Temple at Stowe Page 60
- To the Same. On her pleading want of Time Page 61
- To the Same Page 63
- To the Same ibid.
- To the Same with a new Watch Page 64
- An Irregular Ode writ at Wickham in 1746 Page 65
- To the Memory of the ſame Lady. A Monody Page 67
- Verſes, making Part of an Epitaph on the ſame Lady Page 79
- On the Abuſe of Travelling. A Canto in Imitation of Spenſer. By Mr. Weſt Page 80
- The Inſtitution of the Order of the Garter. By the Same Page 105
- Epiſtle to Lord Cornbury Page 166
- An Epiſtle Page 185
- Epiſtle to a Lady Page 198
- Epiſtle to Mr. Pope Page 205
- Epiſtle to Pollio Page 207
- [Page 336] Ode to William Pultney, Eſq Page 210
- Ode to Lord Lonſdale Page 213
- Ode Page 215
- Ode Page 217
- Ode Page 218
- Ode to Mankind Page 220
- Verſes to Camilla Page 228
- To Clariſſa Page 230
- An Inſcription on a Tomb Page 234
- Epigrams ibid.
- The Danger of Writing Verſe. By W. Whitehead, Eſq Page 240
- To the Honourable * * * Page 251
- To Mr. Garrick Page 253
- Nature, to Dr. Hoadly Page 257
- The Youth and the Philoſopher Page 259
- Ode to a Gentleman on his pitching his Tent, &c. Page 261
- On a Meſſage Card Page 263
- The Je ne ſcai Quoi Page 265
- Ode on a diſtant Proſpect of Eton College. By Mr. Gray Page 266
- Ode Page 270
- Ode on the Death of a favourite Cat Page 272
- Monody on the Death of Q. Caroline, By R. Weſt, Eſq Page 274
- A Pipe of Tobacco, in Imitation of ſix ſeveral Authors Page 280
- Ode to the Hon. C. Y. Page 287
- From Caelia to Cloe Page 289
- On a Fit of the Gout Page 291
- An Ode of Horace Page 293
- The Female Right to Literature Page 294
- On Shakeſpear's Monument at Stratford upon Avon Page 300
- A Song Page 301
- Chiſwick Page 302
- The Indifferent, from the Italian of Metaſtaſio ibid.
- The Triumph of Indifference, an Ode Page 306
- The Shepherd's Farewel to his Love Page 309
- Riddles 312, 314, Page 317
- Audivere, Lyce, &c. Page 318
- A Sonnet, imitated from the Spaniſh of Lopez de Vega Page 321
- Sonnets Page 322
The Meles is a river of Ionia, from whence HOMER, ſuppoſed to be born on its banks, is called Meliſigenes.
relate or declare. Theſe under ſort of antiquarians, who go about with ſtrangers to ſhew them the antiquities, &c. of Rome, are called Ciceroni.
The order of the GARTER was inſtituted on St. George's day the 23d of April 1350. King John came into England in 1357. I have taken the advantage of the licence uſually allowed to poets, of departing a little from chronology; and have poſtponed for a few years the inſtitution of this order, for the ſake of rendering that ſolemnity more auguſt, by introducing king John of France, who, though a priſoner, was treated both by Edward and his ſon the prince of Wales with all the regard due to the quality and virtue of ſo great a prince. To alleviate his captivity, Edward entertained him and the other French priſoners with diverſions of various kinds: among which a tournament he held at Windſor on the 23d of April, to ſolemnize the feaſt of St. George, the patron of the order of the GARTER, held the chief place; and was, as Rapin tells us, the moſt ſumptuous and magnificent that had ever been ſeen in England. The duke of Brabant, with ſeveral other ſovereign princes, and an infinite number of knights of all nations there preſent, and ſplendidly entertained.
Edward having communicated his intention of inſtituting the order of the GARTER to the great council of his realm, and having receiv'd their approbation, diſpatch'd his heralds to ſeverals parts of Europe, to invite all that were eminent for military virtue, &c. to be preſent at its inſtitution. And his queen Philippa, on her part, aſſembled a train of 300 of the faireſt ladies to grace the ſolemnity, and add to its magnificence.
That the ladies of the knights of the Garter wore this enſign of the order upon their left arms, may be ſeen in Aſhmole's Hiſtory of the Garter.
Edward being engaged in a war with France, for the obtaining that crown, in order to draw into England great multitudes of foreigners, with whom he might negotiate either for their perſonal ſervice, or aids of troops to aſſiſt him in that undertaking, ordered, during the truce that then ſubſiſted between the two crowns, publication to be made of a great tournament, to be held at Windſor; an expedient, ſays Rapin, which could not fail of ſucceſs, becauſe it was entirely agreeable to the taſte of that age. Accordingly many perſons of diſtinction came over, to all of whom he gave an honourable reception, careſſing them in ſuch a manner that they could never ſufficiently admire his politeneſs, magnificence, and liberality. To render theſe entertainments the more ſolemn, and to free himſelf alſo from the ceremonies, to which the difference of rank and condition would have ſubjected him, he cauſed a circular hall of boards to be run up at Windſor, 200 feet in diameter. There it was that he feaſted all the knights at one table, which was called the Round Table, in memory of the great Arthur, who, as it is pretended, inſtituted an order of knighthood by that name. Next year he cauſed a more ſolid building to be erected, that he might continue yearly the ſame diverſions. During that time he treated with theſe ſeveral lords about the aids, wherewith each could furniſh him, in proportion to his forces. His rival king Philip could not ſee without jealouſy, Spaniards, Italians, Germans, Flemings, and Frenchmen themſelves flock to England to aſſiſt at theſe tournaments. He ſuſpected ſome hidden deſign in theſe ntertainments, and to break Edward's meaſures, cauſed the like to be publiſhed in his dominions; which meeting with ſucceſs, proved a countermine to Edward's main deſign, ſo that he did not long continue to keep up his round table. From thence, however, it is generally agreed, he took the firſt hint of inſtituting the order of the Garter. But as his purpoſe in erecting this order was very different from that which had induced him to revive Arthur's round table, as he had in this no private views, no ambitious ſcheme of engaging ſuch as ſhould be admitted into this fraternity to aſſiſt him in his wars, he thought proper, in order to obviate the like jealouſies and ſuſpicion as had alarmed king Philip, to ſignify by his motto the purity of his intentions, and to retort ſhame upon all thoſe who ſhould put any malignant conſtruction upon his deſign in inſtituting this order. This therefore I take to be the true meaning and import of the famous motto, HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE. The not underſtanding the purport of which, gave riſe, in all probability, to that vulgar ſtory of the counteſs of Saliſbury's garter, rejected by all the beſt writers.
Beſides the great perſons of our own nation, that have been admitted of this order, the Engliſh reader may be glad to be informed, that in the annals of the Garter are found the names of Charles V. emperor of Germany; of Francis I. and Henry IV. kings of France; and of Guſtavus Adolphus king of Sweden.
The prince of Wales advances to his father, and kneels; while the king, taking the Garter from the herald, buckles it round his left leg.
The ſenſe, and almoſt the words in the verſes of this ſpeech, mark'd thus "are taken from the admonition read to the knights, at the time of their receiving the GARTER and the RIBBON or COLLAR of the order. Vide Aſhmole's Hiſtory of the order of the GARTER.
Charles V. Emperor of Germany, who in his retirement amus'd himſelf with puppets. See Strada de bello Belgico.
—et b bibis impudens.
Cantu d tremulo b pota Cupidinem
c Lentum ſolicitas—
— f virentis et
e Doctae pſallere Chiae
Pulchris excubat in genis.
Nec g Coae referunt jam tibi purpurae,
Nec h clari lapides, tempera quae ſemel
Notis condita faſtis
Incluſit volucris dies.
The contemptuous ſatire at the concluſion of the original, is preſerved in the Engliſh, but a graver turn is given to it, inſtead of the more ludicrous one of Horace. Whether judiciouſly or no, may be better determined by any body, than by the author.