« AnteriorContinuar »
“Speak’st thou of Syrian Princes? Traitor base!
Mine, Goddess ! mine is all the horned race.
True, he had wit, to make their value rise;
From Foolish Greeks to steal them, was as wise;
More glorious yet, from barb'rous hands to keep,
When Sallee Rovers chas'd him on the deep.
Then taught by Hermes, and divinely bold,
Down his own throat he risk'd the Grecian gold,
Receiv'd each Demi-God, with pious care,
Deep in his Entrails—I rever'd them there,
I bought them, shrouded in that living shrine,
And, at their second birth, they issue mine."
"Witness, great Ammon! by whose horns I swore,'
(Reply'd soft Annius) 'this our paunch before
Still bears them, faithful; and that thus I eat,
Is to refund the Medals with the meat.
To prove me, Goddess ! clear of all design,
Bid me with Pollio well as dine:
There all the Learn'd shall at the labour stand,
And Douglas lend his soft, obstetric hand.'
The Goddess smiling seem'd to give consent;
So back to Pollio, hand in hand, they went.
Then thick as Locusts black’ning all the ground,
A tribe, with weeds and shells fantastic crown'd.
Each with some wond'rous gift approach'd the Pow'r,
A Nest, a Toad, a Fungus, or a Flow'r.
But far the foremost, two, with earnest zeal,
And aspect ardent to the Throne appeal.
The first thus open'd: 'Hear thy suppliant's call,
Great Queen, and common Mother of us all!
Fair from its humble bed I rear'd this Flow'r,
Suckled, and cheer'd, with air, and sun, and show'r,
Soft on the paper ruff its leaves I spread,
Bright with the gilded button tipt its head;
Then thron’d in glass, and named it CAROLINE;
Each maid cry'd, Charming! and each youth, Divine!
Did Nature's pencil ever blend such rays,
Such vary'd light in one promiscuous blaze?
Now prostrate! dead! behold that Caroline:
No maid cries, Charming! and no youth, Divine!
And lo the wretch! whose bile, whose insect lust
Laid this gay daughter of the Spring in dust.
Oh punish him, or to the Elysian shades
Dismiss my soul, where no Carnation fades!'
He ceas'd, and wept. With innocence of mien,
Th’ Accus'd stood forth, and thus address'd the Queen.
'Of all th' enameli'd race, whose silv'ry wing
Waves to the tepid Zephyrs of the spring,
Or swims along the fluid atmosphere,
Once brightest shin'd this child of Heat and Air.
I saw, and started from its vernal bow'r,
The rising game, and chas'd from flow'r to flow'r.
It fled, I follow'd; now in hope, now pain;
It stopt, I stopt; it mov’d, I moy'd again.
At last it fix'd, 't was on what plant it pleas’d,
And where it fix'd, the beauteous bird I seiz'd:
Rose or Carnation was below my care;
I meddle, Goddess! only in my sphere.
I tell the naked fact without disguise,
And, to excuse it, need but shew the prize;
Whose spoils this paper offers to your eye, ,
Fair ev’n in death! this peerless Butterfly.'
‘My sons!' (she answer’d) 'both have done your parts:
Live happy both, and long promote our arts !
But hear a Mother, when she recommends
To your fraternal care our sleeping friends.
The common Soul, of Heav'n's more frugal make,
Serves but to keep fools pert, and knaves awake:
A drowsy Watchman, that just gives a knock,
And breaks our rest, to tell us what's a-clock.
Yet by some object ev'ry brain is stirr’d;
The dull may waken to a humming-bird;
The most recluse, discreetly open'd, find
Congenial matter in the Cockle-kind;
The mind, in Metaphysics at a loss,
May wander in a wilderness of Moss;
The head that turns at super-lunar things,
Pois'd with a tail, may steer on Wilkins' wings.
'O! would the Sons of Men once think their Eyes
And Reason giv'n them but to study Flies!
See Nature in some partial narrow shape,
And let the Author of the Whole escape:
Learn but to trifle; or, who most observe,
To wonder at their Maker, not to serve!'
'Be that my task' (replies a gloomy Clerk,
Sworn foe to Myst'ry, yet divinely dark;
Whose pious hope aspires to see the day
When Moral Evidence shall quite decay,
And damns implicit faith, and holy lies,
Prompt to impose, and fond to dogmatize:)
‘Let others creep by timid steps, and slow,
On plain Experience lay foundations low,
By common sense to common knowledge bred,
And last, to Nature's Cause thro' Nature led.
All-seeing in thy mists, we want no guide,
Mother of Arrogance, and Source of Pride!
We nobly take the high Priori Road,
And reason downward, till we doubt of God;
Make Nature still encroach upon his plan;
And shove him off as far as e'er we can;
Thrust some Mechanic Cause into his place;
Or bind in Matter, or diffuse in Space.
Or, at one bound o'er-leaping all his laws,
Make God Man's Image, Man the final Cause,
Find Virtue local, all Relation scorn,
See all in Self, and but for self be born:
Of naught so certain as our Reason still,
Of naught so doubtful as of Soul and Will,
Oh hide the God still more! and make us see
Such as Lucretius drew, a God like Thee:
Wrapt up in Self, a God without a Thought,
Regardless of our merit or default.
Or that bright Image to our fancy draw,
Which Theocles in raptur'd vision saw,
While thro' Poetic scenes the GENIUS roves,
Or wanders wild in Academic Groves;
That NATURE Our Society adores,
Where Tindal dictates, and Silenus snores.'
Rous'd at his name, up rose the bousy Sire,
And shook from out his Pipe the seeds of fire;
Then snapt his box, and strok'd his belly down:
Rosy and rev’rend, tho' without a Gown.
Bland and familiar to the throne he came,
Led up the Youth, and call'd the Goddess Dame:
Then thus: ‘From Priest-craft happily set free,
Lo! ev'ry finish'd Son returns to thee:
First slave to Words, then vassal to a Name,
Then dupe to Party; child and man the same;
Bounded by Nature, narrow'd still by Art,
A trifling head, and a contracted heart.
Thus bred, thus taught, how many have I seen,
Smiling on all, and smil'd on by a Queen?
Mark'd out for Honours, honour'd for their Birth,
To thee the most rebellious things on earth:
Now to thy gentle shadow all are shrunk,
All melted down, in Pension, or in Punk!
So K * So B ** sneak'd into the grave,
A Monarch's half, and half a Harlot's slave.
Poor W ** nipt in Folly's broadest bloom,
Who praises now? his Chaplain on his Tomb.
Then take them all, oh take them to thy breast!
Thy Magus, Goddess! shall perform the rest.'
With that, a WIZARD OLD his Cup extends;
Which whoso tastes, forgets his former friends,
Sire, Ancestors, Himself. One casts his eyes
Up to a Star, and like Endymion dies.
A Feather, shooting from another's head,
Extracts his brain; and Principle is fled;
Lost is his God, his Country, ev'ry thing;
And nothing left but Homage to a King!
The vulgar herd turn off to roll with Hogs,
To run with Horses, or to hunt with Dogs;
But, sad example! never to escape
Their Infamy, still keep the human shape.
But she, good Goddess, sent to ev'ry child
Firm Impudence, or Stupefaction mild;
And straight succeeded, leaving shame no room,
Cibberian forehead, or Cimmerian gloom.
Kind Self-conceit to some her glass applies,
Which no one looks in with another's
eyes: But as the Flatt'rer or Dependant paint, Beholds himself a Patriot, Chief, or Saint.
On others' Int’rest her gay liv'ry flings,
Int’rest that waves on Party-colour'd wings:
Turn’d to the Sun, she casts a thousand dyes,
And, as she turns, the colours fall or rise.
Others the Syren Sisters warble round,
And empty heads console with empty sound.
No more, alas! the voice of Fame they hear,
The balm of Dulness trickling in their ear.
Great C**, H**, P**, R **, K*,
Why all your Toils? your Sons have learn’d to sing.
How quick Ambition hastes to ridicule!
The Sire is made a Peer, the Son a Fool.
On some, a Priest succinct in amice white