Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept,

'Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye, Near the clos'd cradle where an infant slept, The Power exerts his attributes on high; And writh'd his neck: the landlord's little pride, Your actions uses nor controuls your will, O strange return! grew black, and gasp'd, and dy'd. And bids the doubting sons of men be still. Horror of horrors ! what! his only son!

Whatstrange events can strike with more surprise, How look'd our hermit when the fact was done! Than those which lately struck thy wondering eyes! Not hell, though hell's black jaws in sunder part, Yet, taught by these, confess th' Almighty just, And breathe blue fire, could more assault his heart. And where you can't unriddle learn to trust ?

Confus'd, and struck with silence at the deed, The great, vain man, who far'd on costly food, He flies, but trembling fails to fly with speed.

Whose life was too luxurious to be good; His steps the youth pursues; the country lay

Who made his ivory stands with goblets shine, Perplex'd with roads, a servant show'd the way: And forc'd his guests to morning draughts of wine; A river cross'd the path ; the passage o'er

Has, with the cup, the graceless custom lost, Was nice to find; the servant trod before ;

And still he welcomes, but with less of cost. Long arms of oaks an open bridge supply'd,

The mean suspicious wretch, whose bolted door And deep the waves beneath the bending glide. Ne'er mov'd in duty to the wandering poor ; The youth, who seem'd to watch a time to sin, With him I left the cup, to teach his mind Approach'd the careless guide, and thrust him in ; That Heaven can bless, if mortals will kind. Plunging he falls, and rising lifts his head,

Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl, Then flashing turns, and sinks among the dead. And feels compassion touch his grateful soul. Wild, sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes,

Thus artists melt the sullen ore of lead, He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries, With heaping coals of fire upon its head; Detested wretch !-But scarce his speech began,

In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, When the strange partner seem'd no longer man :

And loose from dross the silver runs below. His youthful face grew more serenely sweet;

Long had our pious friend in virtue trod, His robe turn'd white, and flow'd upon his feet;

But now the child half wean'd his heart from God; Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair; (Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain, Celestial odours breathe through purpled air;

And measur'd back his steps to earth again.
And wings, whose colours glitter'd on the day, To what excesses had his dotage run?
Wide at his back their gradual plumes display. But God, to save the father, took the son.
The form ethereal burst upon his sight,

To all but thee, in fits he seem'd to go,
And moves in all the majesty of light.

(And 'twas my ministry to deal the blow) Though loud at first the pilgrim's passion grew, The poor fond parent, humbled in the dust, Sudden he gaz'd, and wist not what to do;

Now owns in tears the punishment was just. Surprise in secret chains his words suspends,

But now had all his fortune felt a wrack, And in a calm his settling temper ends.

Had that false servant sped in safety back; But silence here the beauteous angel broke

This night his treasur'd heaps he meant to steal, (The voice of music ravish'd as he spoke).

And what a fund of charity would fail ! Thy prayer, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown, Thus Heaven instructs thy mind: this trial o'er, In sweet memorial rise before the throne :

Depart in peace, resign, and sin no more. These charms success in our bright region find, On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew, And force an angel down to calm thy mind; The sage stood wondering as the seraph flew. For this commission'd, I forsook the sky;

Thus look'd Elisha when, to mount on bigh, Nay, cease to kneel-Thy fellow-servant I.

His master took the chariot of the sky; Then know the truth of government divine, The fiery pomp ascending left to view, And let these scruples be no longer thine,

The prophet gazed, and wished to follow too. The Maker justly claims that world he made, The bending hermit here a prayer begun, In this the right of Providence is laid;

“ Lord! as in Heaven, on earth thy will be done :" Its sacred majesty through all depends

Then gladly turning sought his ancient place, On using second means to work his ends :

And pass'd a life of piety and peace.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

PRIOR-A. D. 1664-1721.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Calliope, and God knows who.
To add no more invectives to it,
You spoil'd the youth, to make a poet.
In common justice, Sir, there's no man
That makes the wliore, but keeps the woman.
Among all honest Christian people,
Whoe'er breaks limbs, maintains the cripple.

The sum of all I have to say,
Is, that you'd put me in some way;
And your petitioner shall pray-

There's one thing more I had almost slipt,
But that may do as well in postscript:
My friend Charles Montague's preferr'd;
Nor would I have it long observ’d,
That one mouse eats, while t'other's starv'd.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

eful se

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

me,

AN EPISTLE
TO FLEETWOOD SHEPHARD, ESQ.
When crowding folks, with strange ill faces,
Were making legs, and begging places,
And some with patents, some with merit,
Tir’d out my good Lord Dorset's spirit:
Sneaking I stood amongst the crew,
Desiring much to speak with you.
I waited while the clock struck thrice,
And footman brought out fifty lies;
Till, patience vext, and legs grown weary,
I thought it was in vain to tarry:
But did opine it might be better,
By penny-post to send a letter.
Now if you miss of this epistle,
I'm baulk'd again, and may go whistle.
My business, Sir, you'll quickly guess,
Is to desire some little place;
And fair pretensions I have for't,
Much need, and very small desert.
Whene'er I writ to you, I wanted;
I always begg’d, you always granted.
Now, as you took me up when little,
Gave me my learning and my vittle;
Ask'd for from my lord, things fitting,
Kind as l'ad been your own begetting ;
Confirm what formerly you've given,
Nor leave me now at six and seven,
As Sunderland has left Mun Stephen.

No family, that takes a whelp
When first he laps, and scarce can yelp,
Neglects or turns him out of gate
When he's grown up to dog's estate :
Nor parish, if they once adopt
The spurious brats by strollers dropt,
Leave them, when grown up lusty fellows,
To the wide world, that is, the gallows:
No, thank them for their love, that's worse
Than if they’ad throttled them at nurse.

My uncle, rest his soul! when living,
Might have contriv'd me ways of thriving;
Taught me with cyder to replenish
My vats, or ebbing tide of Rhenish.
So when for hock I drew prickt white-wine,
Swear't had the flavour, and was right wine,
Or sent me with ten pounds to Furni-
val's inn, to some good rogue-attorney;
Where now, by forging deeds, and cheating,
l'ad found some handsome ways of getting.

All this you made me quit, to follow
That sneaking whey-fac'd god Apollo ;
Sent me among a fiddling crew
Of folks, l'ad never seen nor knew,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ANOTHER EPISTLE TO THE SAME. Sır,

Burleigh, May 14, 1689.
As once a twelvemonth to the priest,
Holy at Rome, here Antichrist,
The Spanish king presents a jennet,
To show his love ;--that's all that's in it:
For if his holiness would thump
His reverend bum 'gainst horse's rump,
He might b' equipt from his own stable
With one more white, and eke more able.

Or as, with gondolas and men, his
Good excellence the Duke of Venice
(I wish, for rhyme, 't had been the king)
Sails out, and gives the gulf a ring;
Which trick of state, he wisely maintains,
Keeps kindness up 'twixt old acquaintance;
For else, in honest truth, the sea
Has much less need of gold than he.

Or, not to rove, and pump one's fancy
For Popish similes beyond sea;
As folks from mud-wall’d tenement
Bring landlords pepper-corn for rent;
Present a turkey, or a hen,
To those might better spare them ten;
Ev'n so, with all submission, I
(For first men instance, then apply)
Send you each year a homely letter,
Who may return me much a better.

Then take it, Sir, as it was writ,
To pay respect, and not show wit:
Nor look askew at what it saith;
There's no petition in it-'faith.

Here some would scratch their heads, and try What they should write, and how, and why ; But I conceive, such folks are quite in Mistakes, in theory of writing.

Dd

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

If once for principle 'tis laid,

In verse or prose, we write or chat, That thought is trouble to the head;

Not sixpence matter upon what. I argue thus: the world agrees

"Tis not how well an author says; That he writes well, who writes with ease :

But 'tis how much, that gathers praise. Then he, by sequel logical,

Tonson, who is himself a wit, Writes best that never thinks at all.

Counts writers' merits by the sheet. Verse comes from heaven, like inward light;

Thus each should down with all he thinks, Mere human pains can ne'er come by't ;

As boys eat bread, to fill up chinks. The god, not we, the poem makes;

Kind Sir, I should be glad to see you ; We only tell folks what he speaks.

I hope y' are well; so God be wi' you; Hence, when anatomists discourse,

Was all I thought at first to write : How like brutes' organs are to ours;

But things since then are alter'd quite ; They grant, if higher powers think fit,

Fancies flow in, and Muse flies high: A bear might soon be made a wit;

So God knows when my clack will lie:
And that, for any thing in nature,

I must, Sir, prattle on, as afore,
Pigs might squeak love-odes, dogs bark satire. And beg your pardon yet this half-hour.
Memnon, though stone, was counted vocal;

So at pure barn of loud Non-con,
But 'twas the god, meanwhile, that spoke all. Where with my grannum I have gone,
Rome oft has heard a cross haranguing,

When Lobb had sifted all his text, With prompting priest behind the hanging : And I well hop'd the pudding next; The wooden head resoļv'd the question

“ Now to apply," has plagu'd me more While you and Pettis help'd the jest on.

Than all his villain cant before. Your crabbed rogues, that read Lucretius,

For your religion, first, of her, Are against gods, you know; and teach us,

Your friends do savoury things aver; The gods make not the poet; but

They say, she's honest as your claret, The thesis, vice-versa put,

Nor sour'd with cant, por stumm'd with merit; Should Hebrew-wise be understood;

Your chamber is the sole retreat And means, the poet makes the god.

Of chaplains every Sunday night: Egyptian gardeners thus are said to

Of grace, no doubt, a certain sign, Have set the leeks they after pray'd to;

When layman lerds with man divine ; And Romish bakers praise the deity

For if their fame be justly great, They chipp'd while yet in its paniety.

Who would no Popish nuncio treat ; That when you poets swear and cry,

That his is greater, we must grant, The god inspires; I rave, I die;

Who will treat nuncios Protestant. If inward wind does truly swell ye,

One single positive weighs more, 'T must be the cholic in your belly:

You know, than negatives a score. That writing is but just like dice,

In politics, I hear, you're stanch, And lucky mains make people wise :

Directly bent against the French ; That jumbled words, if fortune throw 'em,

Dery to have your free-born toe Shall, well as Dryden, form a poem;

Dragoon’d into a wooden shoe: Or make a speech, correct and witty,

Are in no plots; but fairly drive at As you know who--at the committee.

The public welfare, in your private ; So atoms dancing round the centre,

And will for England's glory try They urge, made all things at a venture.

Turks, Jews, and Jesuits, to defy, But, granting matters should be spoke

And keep your places till you die. By method, rather than by luck;

For me, whom wandering fortune threw This may confine their younger styles,

From what I lov'd, the town and you : Whom Dryden pedagogues at Will's;

Let me just tell you how my time is But never could be meant to tie

Past in a country life.--Imprimis, Authentic wits, like you and I:

As soon as Phæbus' rays inspect us, For as young children, who are tied in

First, Sir, I read, and then I breakfast; Go-carts, to keep their steps from sliding ;

So on, till foresaid God does set, When members knit, and legs grow stronger, I sometimes study, sometimes eat. Make use of such machine no longer;

Thus, of your heroes and brave boys,

With whom old Homer makes such noise, On horse callid hobby, or without ;

T'he greatest actions I can find, So when at school we first declaim,

Are, that they did their work, and din'd.

The books, of which I'm chiefly fond,
Are such as you have whilom conn'd;
That treat of China's civil law,

And subjects' rights in Golconda ;
And thoughts grow up to wit's estate;

Of highway elephants at Ceylon,

[ocr errors]

But leap pro libitu, and scout

Old Busby walks us in a theme,
Whose props support our infant vein,
And help the rickets in the brain :
But, when our souls their force dilate,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The little pleasure of the game
That rob in clans, like men o' th' Highland ;
Of apes that storm or keep a town,

Is from afar to view the flight.
As well almost as Count Lauzun;

Our anxious pains we, all the day,
Of unicorns and alligators,

In search of what we like, employ:
Elks, mermaids, mummies, witches, satyrs,

Scorning at night the worthless prey,
And twenty other stranger matters;

We find the labour gave the joy.
Which, though they're things I've no concern in,
Make all our grooms admire my learning.

At distance through an artful glass
Critics I read on other men,

To the mind's eye things well appear:
And hypers upon them again;
From whose remarks I give opinion

They lose their forms, and make a mass

Confus'd and black is brought too near.
On twenty books, yet ne'er look in one.
Then all your wits that fleer and sham,

If we see right, we see our woes:
Down from Don Quixote to Tom Tram;

Then what avails it to have eyes?
From whom I jests and puns purloin,

From ignorance our comfort flows:
And slily put them off for mine :

The only wretched are the wise.
Fond to be thought a country wit:
The rest—when fate and you think fit.

We wearied should lie down in death :
Sometimes I climb my mare, and kick her

This cheat of life would take no more ;
To bottled ale, and neighbouring vicar;

If you thought fame but empty breath,
Sometimes at Stamford take a quart,

I Phillis but a perjur'd whore.
Squire Shephard's health-With all my heart.

Thus without much delight or grief,
I fool away an idle life:

THE LADY'S LOOKING-GLASS,
Till Shadwell from the town retires
(Chok'd up with fame and sea-coal fires)

IN IMITATION OF A GREEK IDYLLIUM,
To bless the wood with peaceful lyric:

Celia and I the other day
Then hey for praise and panegyric;

Walk'd o'er the sand-hills to the sea :
Justice restor’d, and nations freed,

The setting sun adorn’d the coast,
And wreaths round William's glorious head. His beams entire, his fierceness lost :

And, on the surface of the deep,
The winds lay only not asleep.

The nymph did like the scene appear,
HON. CHARLES MONTAGUE, ESQ.

Serenely pleasant, calmly fair:

Soft fell her words, as flew the air.
AFTERWARDS EARL OF HALIFAX.

With secret joy I heard her say,
Howe'er, 'tis well, that while mankind

That she would never miss one day
Through fate's perverse meander errs,

A walk so fine, a sight so gay.
He can imagin’d pleasures find,

But, oh the change the winds grow high;
To combat against real cares.

Impending tempests charge the sky:
Fancies and notions he pursues,

The lightning flies, the thunder roars ;

And big waves lash the frighten'd shores.
Which ne'er had being but in thought;

Struck with the horror of the sight,
Each, like the Grecian artist, woos

She turns her head, and wings her flight:
The image he himself has wrought.

And, trembling, vows she'll ne'er again
Against experience he believes;

Approach the shore, or view the main.
He

Once more at least look back, said
argues against demonstration ;
Pleas'd, when his reason he deceives ;

Thyself in that large glass descry:
And sets his judgment by his passion.

When thou art in good-humour drest;

When gentle reason rules thy breast;
The hoary fool, who many days

The sun upon the calmest sea
Has struggled with continued sorrow,

Appears not half so bright as thee :
Renews his hope, and blindly lays

'Tis then that with delight I rove
The desperate bet upon tomorrow.

Upon thy boundless depth of love :

I bless my chain; I hand my oar ;
Tomorrow comes ; 'tis noon, 'tis night;

Nor think on all I left on shore,
This day like all the former flies:

But when vain doubt and groundless fear
Yet on he rans, to seek delight

Do that dear foolish bosom tears
Tomorrow, till to-night he dies.

When the big lip and watery eye

Tell me, the rising storm is nigh ;
Our hopes, like towering falcons, aim

"Tis then, thou art yon angry main,
At objects in an airy height:

Deform’d by winds, and dash'd by rain ;

TO THE

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

And the poor sailor, that must try

THE DOVE.
Its fury, labours less than I.
Shipwreck’d, in vain to land I make,

-Tantæne animis cælestibus iræ ?" VIRG.
While love and fate still drive me back :

In Virgil's sacred verse we find, Forc'd to dote on thee thy own way,

That passion can depress or raise I chide thee first, and then obey.

The heavenly, as the human mind: Wretched when from thee, vex'd when nigh,

Who dare deny what Virgil says ? I with thee, or without thee, die.

But, if they should, what our great master

Has thus laid down, my tale shall prove:
LOVE DISARMED.

Fair Venus wept the sad disaster
Beneath a myrtle's verdant shade

Of having lost her favourite dove.
As Cloe half asleep was laid,
Cupid perch'd lightly on her breast,

In complaisance poor Cupid mourn'd;
And in that heaven desir'd to rest:

His grief reliev'd his mother's pain ;

He vow'd he'd leave no stone unturn'd,
Over her paps his wings he spread:
Between he found a downy bed,

But she should have her dove again.
And nestled in his little head.

Though none, said he, shall yet be namid, Still lay the god: the nymph, surpris’d,

I know the felon well enough: Yet mistress of herself, devis'd

But be she not, mamma, condemn'd
How she the vagrant might enthral,

Without a fair and legal proof.
And captive him, who captives all.
Her bodice half-way she unlac'd;

With that, his longest dart he took,
About his arms she slily cast

As constable would take his staff : The silken bond, and held him fast.

That gods desire like men to look,
The god awak'd; and thrice in vain

Would make ev'n Heraclitus laugh.
He strove to break the cruel chain ;
And thrice in vain he shook his wing,

Love's subalterns, a duteous band,
Incumber'd in the silken string.

Like watchmen, round their chief appear: Fluttering the god, and weeping, said,

Each had his lantern in his hand;
Pity poor Cupid, generous maid,

And Venus mask'd brought up the rear.
Who happen'd, being blind, to stray,
And on thy bosom lost his way;

Accoutred thus, their eager step
Who stray'd, alas ! but knew too well,

To Cloe's lodging they directed : He never there must hope to dwell:

(At once I write, alas! and weep, Set an unhappy prisoner free,

That Cloe is of theft suspected).
Who ne'er intended harm to thee.
To me pertains not, she replies,

Late they set out, had far to go:
To know or care where Cupid flies;

St. Dunstan's as they pass'd struck one. What are his haunts, or which his way;

Cloe, for reasons good, you know,
Where he would dwell, or whither stray:

Lives at the sober end o' th' town.
Yet will I never set thee free;
For harm was meant, and harm to me.

With one great peal they rap the door,
Vain fears that vex thy virgin heart!

Like footmen on a visiting day. I'll give thee up my bow and dart;

Folks at her house at such an hour !
Untangle but this cruel chain,

Lord! what will all the neighbours say?
And freely let me fly again.
Agreed : secure my virgin heart :

The door is open : up they run:
Instant give up thy bow and dart:

Nor prayers, nor threats, divert their speed: The chain I'll in return untie;

Thieves! thieves! cries Susan; we're undone ;
And freely thou again shalt fly.

They'll kill my mistress in her bed.
Thus she the captive did deliver;
The captive thus gave up his quiver.

In bed indeed the nymph had been
The god disarm’d, e'er since that day,

Three hours : for all historians say, Passes his life in harmless play;

She commonly went up at ten,
Flies round, or sits upon her breast,

Unless piquet was in the way.
A little, fluttering, idle guest.
E'er since that day, the beauteous maid

She wak’d, be sure, with strange surprise :

O Cupid, is this right or law, Governs the world in Cupid's stead;

Thus to disturb the brightest eyes

That ever slept, or ever saw ? Gives grief, or pleasure ; spares, or kills.

Directs his arrow as she wills;

« НазадПродовжити »