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Bear witness. There, oft let the farmer hail I come, the ancient founder of the stage,
The sacred orchard which inbowers his gate, Intent to learn, in this discerning age,
Where Ca’ndish, Booth, and Osborne sate; And whither tends your elegance of taste,
That thus to foreign scenes you proudly turn,
That from my brow the laurel wreath you claim They plann'd for Freedom this her noblest reign. To crown the rivals of your country's fame.
What, though the footsteps of my devious Muse VI.
The measur'd walks of Grecian art refuse? This reign, these laws, this public care, Or though the frankness of my hardy style Which Nassau gave us all to share,
Mock the nice touches of the critic's file?
Yet, what my age and climate held to view,
And say, ye skilful in the human heart,
Who know to prize a poet's noblest part,
What age, what clime, could e'er an ampler field
I saw each groaning realm her aid implore;
Her sons the heroes of each warlike shore: Say, was it thus, when late we view'd
Her naval standard (the dire Spaniard's bane) Our fields in civil blood imbrued ?
Obey'd through all the circuit of the main. When Fortune crown'd the barbarous host, Then too great Commerce, for a late-found world, And half the astonish'd isle was lost?
Around your coast her eager sails unfurld: Did one of all that vaunting train,
New hopes, new passions, thence the bosom fir'd; Who dare aflront a peaceful reign,
New plans, new arts, the genius thence inspir'd; Durst one in arms appear?
Thence every scene, which private fortune knows, Durst one in counsels pledge his life?
In stronger life, with bolder spirit, rose. Stake his luxurious fortunes in the strife ? Disgrac'd I this full prospect which I drew ? Or lend his boasted name his vagrant friends to cheer? My colours languid, or my strokes untrue ?
Have not your sages, warriors, swains, and kings, Yet, Hastings, these are they
Confess'd the living draught of men and things? Who challenge to themselves thy co:intry's love; What other bard in any clime appears
The true; the constant: who alone can weigh, Alike the master of your smiles and tears ?
But let their works declare them. Thy free powers, With wretched bribes to Luxury and Vice?
And now that England spurns her Gothic chain,
And equal laws and social science reign,
View nobler bards and juster critics rise,
Intent with learned labour to refine
Our stately Muse more graceful airs to teach,
And form her tongue to more attractive speech, Discern the patriot from the slave;
Till rival nations listen at her feet,
But do you thus my favourite hopes fulfil?
Of art unconscious, and to beauty blind.
Say; does her language your ambition raise,
Her barren, trivial, unharmonious phrase,
Which fetters eloquence to scantiest bounds,
And maims the cadence of poetic sounds ? THE REMONSTRANCE OF SHAKSPEARE:
Say; does your humble admiration choose
While wits, plain-dealers, fops, and fools appear,
Won by her tragic scene's romantic arts,
Where old and young declaim on soft desire, Old Shakspeare's tongue you deign to understand, And heroes never, but for love, expire ? Lo! from the blissful bowers where Heaven rewards No. Though the charms of novelty, a while, Instructive sages and unblemish'd bards,
Perbaps too fondly win your thoughtless smile,
WHILE THE FRENCH COMEDIANS WERE ACTING BY SUB-
Yet not for you design'd indulgent Fate
Nor yet those awful forms present, The modes or manners of the Bourbon state.
For chiefs and heroes only meant: And ill your minds my partial judgment reads, The figur'd brass, the choral song, Aud many an augury my hope misleads,
The rescued people's glad applause, If the fair maids of yonder blooming train
The listening senate, and the laws 'To their light courtship would an audience deign, Fix'd by the counsels of 'Timoleon's' tongue, Or those chaste matrons a Parisian wife
Are scenes too grand for Fortune's private ways; Chose for the model of domestic life;
And though they shine in youth's ingenuous view, Or if one youth of all that generous band,
The sober gainful arts of modern days The strength and splendour of their patire land, To such romantic thoughts have bid a long adieu. Wonid yield his portion of his country's fame, And quit old Freedom's patrimonial claim,
I ask not, god of dreams, thy care With lying smiles Oppression's pomp to see,
To banish Love's presentments fair: And judge of glory by a king's decree.
Nor rosy cheek, nor radiant eye O blest at home with justly-envied laws,
Can arın him with such strong command O loog the chiefs of Europe's general cause,
That the young sorcerer's fatal hand Whom Heaven bath chosen at each dangerous hour
Shall round my soul his pleasing fetters tie. To check the inroads of barbaric power,
Nor yet the courtier's hope, the giving smile The rights of trampled nations to reclaim,
(A lighter phantom, and a baser chain) And guard the social world from bonds and shame; Did e'er in slumber my proud lyre beguile Oh! let not Luxury's fantastic charms
To lend the pomp of thrones her ill-according strain, Thus give the to your heroic arms: Nor for the ornaments of life embrace Dishonest lessons from that vaunting race,
But, Morpheus, on thy balmy wing
Such honourable visions bring,
As sooth'd great Milton's injur'd age,
When in prophetic dreams he saw
The race unborn with pious awe In civil counsel, and in pleasing art,
Imbibe each virtue from his heavenly page:
Or such as Mead's benignant fancy knows
Have sav'd the infant from an orphan's woes,
TO THE CUCKOO.
O RUSTIC herald of the Spring,
At length in yonder woody vale
Fast by the brook I hear thee sing;
And, studious of thy homely tale,
Amid the vespers of the grove,
Amid the chaunting choir of love,
Thy sage responses hail.
The time has been when I have frown'd
To hear thy voice the woods invade; The tuneful birds lie hush'd in sleep,
And while thy solemn accent drown'd With all that crop the verdant food,
Some sweeter poet of the shade, With all that skim the crystal flood,
Thus," thought I, “ thus the sons of Care Or haunt the caverns of the rocky steep.
Some constant youth, or generous fair,
With dull advice upbraid."
I said, “While Philomela's song
Proclaims the passion of the grove,
It ill beseems a cuckoo's tongue Olet not me alone complain,
Her charming language to reprove"Alone invoke thy power in vain!
Alas! how much a lover's ear Descend, propitious, on my eyes ;
Hiates all the sober truth to hear, Not from the couch that bears a crown,
The sober truth of Love! Not from the courtly statesman's down, Nor where the miser and his treasure lies : Bring not the shapes that break the murderer's rest, " After Timoleon had delivered Syracuse from Nor those the hireling soldier loves to see, the tyranny of Dionysius, the people on every im
Nor those which haunt the bigot's gloomy breast: portant deliberation sent for him into the public Far be their guilty nights, and far their dreams assembly, asked his advice, and voted according from me!
to it. Plutarch.
When hearts are in each other bless'd,
Had this been born to shield When nought but lofty Faith can rule
The cause wbich Cromwell's impious hand betraya, The nymph's and swain's consenting breast,
Or that, like Vere, display'd How cuckoo-like in Cupid's school,
His redcross banner o'er the Belgian field; With store of grave prudential saws
Yet where the will divine On Fortune's power and Custom's laws,
Hath shut those loftiest paths, it next remains, Appears each friendly fool!
With reason clad in strains
Of harmony, selected minds to inspire, Yet think betimes, ye gentle train
And Virtue's living fire
To feed and eternize in hearts like thine.
For never shall the herd, whom Envy sways, Think that, in April's fairest hours,
So quell my purpose or my tongue control, To warbling shades and painted flowers
That I should fear illustrious worth to praise, The cuckoo joins his lay.
Because its master's friendship mov'd iny soul.
Yet if this undissembling strain
Should now perhaps thine ear detain
With any pleasing sound,
From hoary Age a strict account will claim
IN THE COUNTRY.
Nor obvious is the way
Where Heaven expects thee; nor the traveller leads, This humble roof, the lawn, the greenwood shade,
Through flowers or fragrant meads, The vale with sheaves o'erspread,
Or groves that hark to Philomela's lay. The glassy brook, the flocks which round thee stray;
The impartial laws of Fate When will thy cheerful mind
To nobler virtues wed severer cares. Of these bave utter'd all her dear csteem?
Is there a man who shares Or, tell me, dost thou deem
The summit next where heavenly natures dwell? No more to join in Glory's toilsome race,
Ask him (for he can tell) But here content embrace
What storms beat round that rough laborious height. That happy leisure which thou hadst resign'd?
Ye heroes, who of old Alas! ye happy hours,
Did generous England Freedom's throne ordain; When books and youthful sports the soul could share,
From Alfred's parent reign
To Nassau, great deliverer, wise and bold;
I know your perils hard. Oft as your winged train
Your wounds, your painful marches, wintry seas, Revisit here my friend in white array,
The night estrang'd from ease,
The day by cowardice and falsehood vex'd,
The head with doubt perplex'd, That so his generous heart
The indignant heart disdaining the reward The abode of even friendship may remain.
Which Envy hardly grants. But, O Renown, For not imprudent of my loss to come,
Opraise from judging Heaven and virtuous I saw froin Contemplation's quiet cell
men, His feet ascending to another home
If thus they purchas'd thy divinest crown, Where public Praise and envied Greatness dwell.
Say, who shall hesitate ? or who complain ?
And now they sit on thrones above:
And when among the gods they more
Before the sovereign mind,
“ Lo, these,” he saith, “ lo, these are they When to my hand thy strings were first assign'd: Who to the laws of mine eternal sway Far other faith belongs to Friendship's honour'd From violence and fear asserted human kind."
Were destin'd to detain :
For them high Heaven prepares
And ne'er would Spenser's hand
Nor Harrington to tell
Thus honour'd while the train
If I may aught foretell,
For dreadful deeds of arms
More glittering trophies raise :
To favour and to love?
Nor to the embattled field
He knew, the patriot kuew,
Exalt the ingenuons heart,
And brighten every form of just and true.
They lend a pobler sway
Could ever yet procure:
They too from Envy's pale malignant liglit
Conduct her forth to sight,
O Townshend, thus may Time, the judge severe, What were the fruits of Wentworth's copious Instruct my happy tongue of thee to tell : mind,
And when I speak of one to Freedom dear When (blighted all the promise of his youth)
For planning wisely and for acting well,
Of one whom Glory loves to own,
Who still by liberal means alone
Hath liberal ends pursued;
Then, for the guerdon of my lay,
hath view'd." fell.
Yet, Hall, while thy judicious ear
What page, in all thy annals bright, Admires the well-dissembled art
Hast thou with purer joy survey'd That can such harmony impart
Than that where Truth, by Hoadly's aid, To the lame pace of Gallic rhymes;
Shines through Imposture's solemn shade, While wit from affectation clear,
Through kingly and through sacerdotal night? Bright images, and passious true, Recall to thy assenting view
To him the Teacher bless'd, The envied bards of nobler times;
Who sent eligion, from the palmy sield
By Jordan, like the morn to cheer the west, Say, is not oft his doctrine wrong?
And lifted up the veil which Heaven from Earth This priest of Pleasure, who aspires
conceal’d, To lead us to her sacred fires,
To Hoadly thus bis mandate be address'd : Knows he the ritual of her shrine?
“ Go thou, and rescue my dishonour'd law Say (her sweet influence to thy song
From hands rapacious and from tongues impure: So may the goddess still afford)
Let not my peaceful name be made a lure Doth she consent to be ador'd
Fell Persecution's mortal snares to aid: With shameless love and frantic wine?
Let not my words be impious chains to draw
The freeborn soul in more than brutal awe, Nor Cato, nor Chrysippus here
To faith without assent, allegiance unrepaid." Need we in high indignant phrase From their Elysian quiet raise :
II. But Pleasure's oracle alone
No cold or unperforming hand Consult; attentive, not severe.
Was arm'd by Heaven with this command. O Pleasure, we blaspheme not thee;
The world soon felt it: and, on bigh, Nor emulate the rigid knee
To William's ear with welcome joy Which bends but at the stoic throne.
Did Locke among the blest unfold
The rising hope of Hoadly's name, We own had Fate to man assign'd
Godolphin then confirm’d the fame;
And Somers, when from Earth he came,
And generous Stanhope the fair sequel told.
Then drew the lawgivers around, Unless perchance what he hath sung
(Sires of the Grecian name renown'd) Of tortur'd joints and nerves unstring,
And listening ask'd, and wondering knew, Some wrangling heretic should plead.
What private force could thus subdue
The vulgar and the great combin'd; *But now with all these proud desires
Could war with sacred Folly wage ; Tor dauntless truth and honest fame;
Could a whole nation disengage
Froin the dread bonds of many an age,
And to new habits mould the public mind.
For not a conqueror's sword, Ye nectar'd cups from happier soils,
Nor the strong powers to civil founders known, --Ye have no bribe his grace to win.
Were his : but truth by faithful search exploril, And social seuse, like seed, in genial plenty sown.
Wherever it took root, the soul (restor'd
To freedom) freedom too for others sought. ODE VII.
Not monkish craft, the tyrant's claim divine,
Not regal zeal, the bigot's cruel shrine,
Could longer guard from reason's warfare sage;
Not the wild rabble to sedition wrought, BENJAMIN LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTER.
Nor synods by the papal genius taught,
Nor St. Jobn's spirit loose, nor Atterbury's rage. M.DCC.LIV.
For toils which patriots have endurd,
To gratitude and love oppose,
Yet born to conquer is her power:
O nurse of Freedom, Albion, say,