« AnteriorContinuar »
In cloister'd state let felfifh fages dwell,
Proud that their heart is narrow as their cell!
And boast their mazy labyrinth of rules,
Far lefs the friends of virtue, than the fools:
Yet fuch in vain thy favouring fmiles pretend;
For he is thine, who proves his country's friend.
Thus when my life well-fpent the good enjoy,
And the mean envious labour to destroy;
When, ftrongly lur'd by fame's contiguous fhrine,
yet devote my
choicer vows to thine
If all my toils thy promis'd favour claim,
O lead thy favourite through the gates of fame!
He ceas'd his vows, and, with disdainful air,
He turn'd to blaft the late exulting fair.
But vanish'd, fled to fome more friendly fhore,
The confcious phantom's beauty pleas'd no more:
Convinc'd, her fpurious charms of dress and face
Claim'd a quick conqueft, or a fure disgrace.
Fantastic power! whofe tranfient charms allur'd,
While error's mift the reasoning mind obscur'd :
Not fuch the vitrefs, virtue's conftant queen,
Endur'd the teft of truth, and dar'd be seen.
Her brightening form and features feem'd to own,
"I was' all her with, her intereft, to be known:
And when his longing view the fair declin'd,
Left a full image of her charms behind,
Thus reigns the moon, with furtive splendor crown'd, While glooms opprefs us, and thick fhades furround.
But let the fource of light its beams difplay,
Languid and faint the mimic flames decay,
And all the fickening fplendor fades away.
A POEM on the Temper and Studies of the AUTHOR; and how great a Misfortune it is, for a Man of fmall Eftate to have much TASTE.
PART the FIRST.
PERHAPS fome cloud eclips'd the day,
When thus I tun'd my penfive lay. "The fhip is launch'd--we catch the gale On life's extended ocean fail:
For happiness our courfe we bend,
Our ardent cry, our general end!
Yet, ah! the scenes which tempt our care
Are like the forms difpers'd in air,
Still dancing near diforder'd eyes;
And weakest his, who beft deferies!
Yet let me not my birth-right barter,
(For withing is the poet's charter;
All bards have leave to with what 's wanted,
Though few e'er found their wishes granted;
Extenfive field; where poets pride them
In finging all that is deny'd them.)
For humble eafe, ye powers! I pray ;
That plain warm fuit for ev'ry day!
And pleafure, and brocade, beftow;
To flaunt it-once a month, or fo..
The first for conftant wear we want;
The first, ye powers! for ever grant ;
But conftant wear the last befpatters,
And turns the tiffue into tatters.
Where'er my vagrant course I bend,
Let me fecure one faithful friend.
Let me, in public fcenes, requeff
A friend of wit and tafte, well drefs'd:
And, if I must not hope such favour,
A friend of wit and tafte, however.
Alas! that wifdom ever fhuns
To congregate her fcatter'd fons;
Whofe nervous forces well combin'd
Would win the field, and fway mankind.
The fool will fqueeze, from morn to night,
To fix his follies full in fight;
The note he strikes, the plume he fhows,
Attract whole flights of fops and beaux;
And kindred-fools, who ne'er had known him,
Flock at the fight; carefs, and own him,
But ill-ftarr'd fenfe, nor gay nor loud,
Steals foft on tip-toe, through the crowd:
Conveys his meagre form between ;
And flides, like pervious air, unfeen:
Contracts his known tenuity,
As though 'twere ev'n a crime, to be:
Nor ev'n permits his eyes to stray,
And win acquaintance in their way..
In company, fo mean his air,
You scarce are confcious he is there:
Till from some nook, like sharpen'd steel,
Occurs his face's thin profile..
Still feeming, from the gazer's eye,
Like Venus, newly bath'd, to fly.
Yet, while reluctant he displays
His real gems. before the blaze,
The fool hath, in its center, plac'd
His tawdry ftock of painted paste.
Difus'd to speak, he tries his fkill;
Speaks coldly, and fucceeds but ill';
His pensive manner, dulnefs deem'd ;
His modefty, reserve esteem'd;
His wit unknown, his learning vain,
He wins not one of all the train.
And those who, mutually knowil,
In friendship's faireft lift had shone,
Lefs prone, than pebbles, to unite,
Retire to fhades from public fight;
Grow favage, quit their focial nature;
And starve, to ftudy mutual fatire.
But friends, and favourites, to chagrin them,
Find counties, countrics, feas between them:
Meet once a year, then part, and then Retiring, wish to meet again.
Sick of the thought, let me provide, Some human form to grace my fide; At hand, where'er I fhape my course; An ufeful, pliant, ftalking-horfe!
No gefture free from fome grimace; No feam, without its fhare of lace; But, mark'd with gold or filver either, Hint where his coat was piec'd together. His legs be lengthen'd, I advise, And stockings roll'd abridge his thighs. What though Vandyck had other rules, What had Vandyck to do with fools? Be nothing wanting, but his mind : Before, a folitaire; behind, A twisted ribbon, like the track Which nature gives an afs's back. Silent as midnight! pity 'twere His wifdom's flender wealth to share! And, whilst in flocks our fancies stray, To wish the poor man's lamb away. This form attracting every eye,
I ftrole all unregarded by :
This wards the jokes of every kind,
As an umbrella fun or wind;
Or, like a fpunge, abforbs the falliés,
And peftilential fumes of malice;
Or, like a fplendid shield, is fit
To fcreen the templar's random wit;