Imágenes de página

So Nature's self, whom he so well could paint,
A&ts as at first she suffer'd some restraint: o
The tender babe of Jess than pigmy size,
Wrapt up and jellying in the cradle lies,
By just degrees his little limbs dilate,
By just degrees improves his growing state,
At length he stretches to his utmost span,
And looks, and stalks, that lordly creature, Man.

But what so potent charm, what chain so strong,
Can curb or silence the malicious tongue
Superior merit on the Laureat drew 22e
A Blackmore, Milbourne, and a Montagu :
Angred at last, he threw his pencil down,

Nor strove again to please a thankless town.

[ocr errors]

Wrapp'd in the Prophet's robe arose his friend,
Congreve alone the Hero's bow could bend, -
Congreve, his second-self, his Congreve rose,
And soars like Dryden, and like Dryden flows.

Thus did Achilles from the dusty plain
Laden with bays and injuries abstain;
But when Patroclus to the battle went, 7.20
His golden panoply the Hero lent;
And him so well the mighty arms became, y
So like Achilles all his graceful frame,
Both host a-gaze the raging war suspend,
And none but Phoebus knows him from his friend.

[ocr errors]

Thy Comic Muse, and trust me, Congreve, I
With greater truth than Foresight prophecy,
Far as thy Ben can sail, or waters flow,
Receiv'd with praise thy Comic Muse shall go;
Bless her, ye Lovers, for from her the Fair 23,
Have learnt to prize the constant in despair,
No more your sighs, no more your tears are scorn'd,
But Love for Love shall ever be return'd.

Some know the sock and some the buskin's pace, But Congreve treads in both with equal grace: __ When dress'd in widow’d weeds his Muse appears, Who can refuse the Mourning Bride his tears

So when Adonis dy'd, her grief became, Well as her former mirth, the laughter-loving dame. * o, “ . Long would the labor be, and vain the toil, 24.2 To sing the master-strokes of Otway's stile, Ev’n the most loyal must his Pierre commend, Nor can his Orphan ever want a friend.

Read Etherege, you that would appear genteel;
The friend, the father, and the mistress, Steele:
How soft the scene where Cibber paints the beau?
How manly Wycherley how moving Rowel or or
The lays how strong! how passionate the page! cr
When Granville's Agamemnon mounts the stage 1
How loud the din when his magicians fight 1 - 240
When good Urganda battles for her knight,
Spirits of air with Daemons dire engage,

Loud thunder bursts in volleys, lightnings rage, . Shoots the blue ghastly gleam across the darken'd stage.

And thou, O Addison, no more detain The free-born Cato, struggling in his chain : 'Tis Liberty he loves, disclose thy vast design, And let us see that every Muse is thine. And now the Isis proudly rears her head, See o'er her flowery lawns the Goddess tread, 2/2 . Thee, Heliconian Deity, I know, Accept the verse thy streams have taught to flow. But hark! she claims aloud the laurel wreath, . To bind the temples of her darling Smith, Alas ! to bind his temples 1—he's no more, But wanders silent on the Stygian shore; Long since the promis'd Bard in all his pride, In blooming beauty, like his Phaedra died. O were the Youth, the Youth so long deplor’d, Like his Hippolitus to life restor'd, 272 Myriads of heroes should with him revive; And in his labor’d lays triumphant live. But hold! to sing such Poets’ praise, requires A genius great as Addison's or theirs. - | Do thou, my Muse, describe the bright abodes. Of wits, of cits, of critics, beaux, and bawds, Of venal emperors, and earthling gods. . Low lies the tribe, commanded by the box, That damn a play, or sign it orthodox, The pit they fill, the pit where punks patrol, *

These look a luring leer, and those a gloomy scowl; G-c-
Footman and 'prentice bawl in upper air,
Bright in the middle sits enthron'd the fair.
But neither footman’s ideot laugh can please,

Nor wounds the fiercer critic's envious hiss; 1 c-
Deign but, ye circles of the fair, to smile,
Well is the Poet paid for all his labor’d style.

Now turn, and see, where, loaden with her freight, A damsel stands, and orange-wench is hight; See how her charge hangs dangling by the rim, ope See how the balls blush o'er the basket-brim; But little those she minds, the cunning belle 2/* Has other fish to fry, and other fruit to sell: See how she whispers yonder youthful peer; -- o 4. See how he smiles, and lends a greedy ear. - '' oAt length 'tis done, the note o'er orange wrapt Has reach'd the box, and lies in lady's lap ; Such Atalanta was, such golden fruit *** * Gain'd the fair murderess in the hot pursuit. * * Poor pretty prostitute, thou kind relief -- ?--To longing Lady, and to Gallant's grief: May that soft hand which both the boxes know, Plump as thy orange in their service grow ; * Still vend thy fruit, still give the billet right, +” So may both colors in thy cheeks unite, The fruit's vermillion, and the billet's white

But hark, a fight | by some brisk spark indited, It is decreed the ladies must be frighted.

[ocr errors]

I hear the soldiers and the clarions roar,
And see the battle enters at the door, −3so
Some two distinguish’d chiefs decide the cause,
Who like true heroes bleed to gain applause.
Porters in red with brandish’d whinyard vie,
Fight as good friends, and for their living die;
Here some the sabre's blunted terrors wield,
There javelins splinter on the sun-bright shield,
Their foils clash horrible, their faulchions jar,
A harmless hubbub, and a pointless war;
Each chief submits to what his roll decrees,
Or conquers bravely, or as bravely dies. 320
Meanwhile with throats expansive, visage glum,
Legions of stentors trumpet, shout, and drum,
Sound an alarm, retreat, rout, rally, overcome.

So have I seen, when custard was the prize,
Whole troops of trencher-men and trainbands rise,
Like more than men with formidable pride,
Charge to the promis'd dinner up Cheapside,
Present their pieces, pop, huzza around,
And shake themselves, and shake the smoaking


Say, whence their armor, whence the cask enchas'd
With beamy gems, the cuirass richly lac'd,
The waving plumage, and the burnish’d crest ?
Say, whence the coat of mail, the temper’d spear
Say, whence the hero's helm, the king's tiar,
And whence in gory robes assassin'd spectres glare *

« AnteriorContinuar »