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Greatness, with Timon, dwells in such a draught,
you look, behold the wall! No pleasing intricacies intervene,
115 No artful wildness to perplex the scene; Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother, And half the platform just reflects the other. The suffering eye inverted nature sees ; Trees cut to statues, statues thick as trees; 120 With here a fountain, never to be play'd; And there a summer-house, that knows no shade: Here Amphitrite sails through myrtle bowers ; There gladiators fight, or die in flowers; Unwater'd see the drooping sea-horse mourn, 125 And swallows roost in Nilus' dusty urn.
My lord advances with majestic mien, Smit with the mighty pleasure, to be seen But, soft! by regular approach! not yet! First through the length of yon hot terrace sweat; And when up ten steep slopes you've dragg’d your thighs,
1:6 No artful wildness. The taste for laying out gardens in the English style was seized on by Europe, towards the close of the eighteenth century, with the violence of a passion. The czarina, in her correspondence with Voltaire in 1772, writes, J'aime à la folie présentement les jardins à l'An
131 Just at his study-door he'll bless your eyes.
His study! with what authors is it stored? In books, not authors, curious is my lord : To all their dated backs he turns you round ; 135 These Aldus printed, those Du Sučil has bound ! Lo, some are vellum, and the rest as good For all his lordship knows, but they are wood. For Locke or Milton 'tis in vain to look ; These shelves admit not any modern book. 140
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear, That summons you to all the pride of prayer: Light quirks of music, broken and uneven, Make the soul dance upon a jig to heaven. On painted ceilings you devoutly stare,
145 Where sprawl the saints of Verrio or Laguerre; On gilded clouds in fair expansion lie, And bring all paradise before your eye. To rest the cushion and soft dean invite, Who never mentions hell to ears polite. 150
But, hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call ; A hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall : The rich buffet well-color'd serpents grace, And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face. Is this a dinner? this a genial room ?
155 No, 'tis a temple and a hecatomb; A solemn sacrifice, perform'd in state; You drink by measure, and to minutes eat: glaise, les lignes courbes, les pentes douces, &c. En un mot, l’Anglomanie domine dans ma plantomanie.'
146 Verrio or Laguerre. Verrio (Antonio) painted many ceilings, &c. at Windsor, Hampton-court, &c. and Laguerre at Blenheim-castle, and other places.- Pope.
So quick retires each flying course, you 'd swear,
Yet hence the poor are clothed, the hungry fed ; Health to himself, and to his infants bread 170 The laborer bears. What his hard heart denies, His charitable vanity supplies.
Another age shall see the golden ear Imbrown the slope and nod on the parterre, Deep harvests bury all his pride has plann’d, 175 And laughing Ceres reassume the land.
Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil ? Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like
Boyle. 'Tis use alone that sanctifies
expense, And splendor borrows all her
from sense. 180His father's acres who enjoys in peace, Or makes his neighbors glad if he increase; Whose cheerful tenants bless their yearly toil, Yet to their lord owe more than to the soil;
180 Splendor borrows all her rays from sense. Lord Burlington's designs were sometimes criticised for their incompleteness. Chesterfield touch'd this error in an epigram :
Possess'd of one great hall for state,
Whose ample lawns are not ashamed to feed 185
You too proceed ! make falling arts your care,