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So well-bred spaniels civilly delight
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal smiles his emptiness betray, • •
As shallow streams run dimpling all the way.
Whether in florid impotence he speaks,
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks,
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad,
Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad,
In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies,
Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies;
His wit all see-saw between that and this,
Now high, now low, now master up, now miss,
And he himself one vile antithesis.
Amphibious thing! that acting either part,
The trifling head, or the corrupted heart;
Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board,
Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord.
Eve's tempter thus the rabbins have exprest,
A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest;
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust,
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust.
Not fortune's worshipper, nor fashion's fool,
The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape,
A. But why insult the poor, affront the great?
A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer,
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit,
Of gentle blood (part shed in honour's cause,
P. Their own; *
Born to no pride, inheriting no strife,
Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
Stranger to civil and religious rage,
The good man walk'd innoxious through his age:
No courts he saw, no suits would ever try, .
Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie.
Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art,
No language but the language of the heart.
By nature honest, by experience wise,
Healthy by temperance and by exercise;
His life, though long, to sickness past unknown,
His death was instant and without a groan.
O grant me thus to live, and thus to die!
Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I.
O friend! may each domestic bliss be thine!
Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:
Me, let the tender office long engage
To rock the cradle of reposing age,
With lenient arts extend a mother's breath,
Make langour smile, and smoothe the bed of death;
Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
And keep a while one parent from the sky!
On cares like these, if length of days attend,
May Heav'n, to bless those days, preserve my friend I
Preserve htm social, cheerful, and serene,
And just as rich as when he serv'd a queen.
A. Whether that blessing be denied or giv'n, Thus far was right;—the rest belongs to Heav'n. AMBROSE PHILLIPS.
Copenhagen, March 9, 1709.
No gentle breathing breeze prepares the spring, No birds within the desert region sing. The ships, unmov'd, the boist'rous winds defy, While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly. The vast Leviathan wants room to play, And spout his waters in the face of day. The starving wolves along the main sea prowl. And to the moon in icy valleys howl. For many a shining league the level main Here spreads itself into a glassy plain: There solid billows, of enormous size, Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise. And yet but lately have I seen, e'en here, The winter in a lovely dress appear. Ere yet the clouds let fall the treasur'd snow, Or winds begun thro' hazy skies to blow, At ev'ning a keen eastern breeze arose; And the descending rain unsullied froze. Soon as the silent shades of night withdrew, -The ruddy moru discloi'd at once to view
The face of nature in a rich disguise,
And brighten'd every object to my eyes:
For ev'ry shrub, and every Made of grass.
And ev'ry pointed thorn, seem'd wrought in glass,
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns shew,
While thro' the ice the crimson berries glow.
The thick-sprung reeds the wat'ry marshes yield
Seem polish'd lances in a hostile field.
The stag, in limpid currents, with surprise
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rise.
The spreading oak, the beech, and tow'ring pine,
Glaz'd over, in the freezing aether shine.
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun.
That wave and glitter in the distant sun.
When, if a sudden gust of wind arise,
The brittle forest into atoms flies:
The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends,
And in a spangled show'r the prospect ends;
Or, if a southern gale the region warm,
And by degrees unbind the wint'ry charm,
The traveller a miry country sees,
And journeys sad beneath the dropping trees.
Like some deluded peasant Merlin leads Thro' fragrant bow'rs, and thro' delicious meads; While here enchanted gardens to him rise, And airy fabrics there attract his eyes. His wand'ring feet the magic paths pursue; And, while he thinks the fair illusion true, The trackless scenes disperse in fluid air, And woods, and wilds, and thorny ways, appear: A tedious road the weary wretch returns, And, as he goes, the transient vision mourns.