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To some a dry rehearsal was assign'd,
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annors,
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys :
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite.
Eternal siniles his emptiness betray,
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks ; May every Bavius have his Bufo still!
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad,
Amphibious thing! that, acting either part,
The trifling head! or the corrupted heart, Of all thy blameless life the sole return
Fop at the toilet, flatterer at the board, My verse, and Queensberry weeping o'er thy urn! Now trips a lady, and now struts a lord. Oh let me live my own, and die so too!
Eve's tempter thus the Rabbins have exprest, (To live and die is all I have to do :)
A cherub's face, a reptile all the rest. Maintain a poet's dignity and ease,
Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust, And see what friends, and read what books I please: / Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust. Above a patron, though I condescend
Not Fortune's worshipper, nor Fashion's fool, Sometimes to call a minister my friend.
Not Lucre's madman, nor Ambition's tool,
Not proud, nor servile; be one poet's praise,
That flattery, ev'n to kings, he held a shame,
And thought a lie in verse or prose the same; Why am I ask'd what next shall see the light? That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long, Heavens! was I born for nothing but to write ? But stoop'd to Truth, and moraliz'd his song : Has life no joys for me? or (to be grave)
That not for fame, but Virtue's better end, Have I no friend to serve, no soul to save ? He stood the furious foe, the timid friend, “ I found him close with Swift - Indeed? no doubt | The damning critic, half-approving wit, (Cries prating Balbus) something will come out." The coxcomb hit, or fearing to be hit; Tis all in vain, deny it as I will,
Laugh’d at the loss of friends he never had, “ No, such a genius never can lie still;"
The dull, the proud, the wicked, and the mad; And then for mine obligingly mistakes
The distant threats of vengeance on his head,
The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed;
Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow, The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape,
Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lor'd him, spread,
A friend in exile, or a father dead;
Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's ear –
Welcome for thee, fair Virtue ! all the past : Who writes a libel, or who copies out :
For thee, fair Virtue! welcome ev'n the last ! That fop, whose pride affects a patron's name,
A. But why insult the poor, affront the great? Yet absent, wounds an author's honest fame : | P. A knave's a knave, to me, in every state : Who can your merit selfishly approve,
Alike my scorn, if he succeed or fail, And show the sense of it without the love ;
Sporus at court, or Japhet in a gaol ; Who has the vanity to call you friend,
| A hireling scribbler, or a hireling peer, Yet wants the honour, injur'd, to defend ;
Knight of the post corrupt, or of the shire;
He gain his prince's ear, or lose his own.
Yet soft by nature, more a dupe than wit, And sees at Cannons what was never there; Sappho can tell you how this man was bit : Who reads but with a lust to misapply,
This dreaded sat'rist Dennis will confess Make satire a lainpoon, and fiction lie;
Foe to his pride but friend to his distress : A lash like mine no honest man shall dread,
So humble, he has knock'd at Tibbald's door, But all such babbling blockheads in his stead. Has drunk with Cibber, nay, has rhym'd for Moor.
Let Sporus tremble -- A. What? that thing of silk, i Full ten years slander'd, did he once reply? Sporus, that mere white curd of ass's milk?
Three thousand suns went down on Welsted's lie. Satire of sense, alas! can Sporus feel ?
To please his mistress one aspers'd his life: Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel ?
He lash'd him not, but let her be his wife : P. Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings, Let Budgell charge low Grub-street on his quill. This painted child of dirt, that stinks and stinys; And write whate'er he pleas'd, except his will;
Let the two Curlls of town and court, abuse See, Nature hastes her earliest wreaths to bring, His father, mother, body, soul, and Muse,
With all the incense of the breathing spring : Yet why? that father held it for a rule,
See lofty Lebanon his head advance, It was a sin to call our neighbour fool :
See nodding forests on the mountains dance : That harmless mother thought no wife a whore : See spicy clouds from lowly Saron rise, Hear this and spare his family, James Moore; And Carmel's flowery top perfumes the skies! Unspotted names, and memorable long;
Hark! a glad voice the lonely desert cheers; If there be force in virtue, or in song.
Prepare the way! a God, a God appears! Of gentle blood (part shed in Honour's cause, A God, a God! the vocal hills reply, While yet in Britain Honour had applause) The rocks proclaim th' approaching Deity. Each parent sprung - A. What fortune, pray? Lo, Earth receives him from the bending skies! P. Their own,
Sink down, ye mountains ! and ye valleys, rise ! And better got, than Bestia's from the throne. With heads declin'd, ye cedars, homage pay! Born to no pride, inheriting nu strife,
Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way! Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
The Saviour comes! by ancient bards foretold: Stranger to civil and religious rage,
Hear him, ye deaf! and all ye blind, behold! The good man walk'd innoxious through his age. He from thick films shall purge the visual ray, No courts he saw, no suits would ever try,
And on the sightless eye-ball pour the day : Nor dar'd an oath, nor hazarded a lie.
'Tis he th' obstructed paths of sound shall clear, Unlearn'd, he knew no schoolman's subtle art, And bid new music charm th' unfolding ear : No language, but the language of the heart. The dumb shall sing, the lame his crutch forego, By nature honest, by experience wise ;
And leap exulting like the bounding roe. Healthy by temperance, and by exercise ;
No sigh, no murmur, the wide world shall hear, His life, though long, to sickness past unknown, From every face he wipes off every tear. His death was instant, and without a groan. In adamantine chains shall Death be bound, O grant me thus to live, and thus to die!
And Hell's grim tyrant feel th' eternal wound. Who sprung from kings shall know less joy than I. As the good shepherd tends his fleecy care,
O friend! may each domestic bliss be thine ! Seeks freshest pasture, and the purest air ; Be no unpleasing melancholy mine:
Explores the lost, the wandering sheep directs, Me, let the tender office long engage,
By day o'ersees them, and by night protects; To rock the cradle of reposing age,
The tender lambs he raises in his arms, With lenient arts extend a mother's breath, Feeds from his hand, and in his bosom warms : Make languor smile, and smooth the bed of death, Thus shall mankind his guardian care engage, Explore the thought, explain the asking eye, The promis'd father of the future age. And keep awhile one parent from the sky !
No more shall nation against nation rise,
The brazen trumpets kindle rage no more;
Shall finish what his short-liv'd sire begun;
And the same hand that sow'd, shall reap the field,
The swain in barren deserts with surprise
Sees lilies spring, and sudden verdure rise ; A SACRED ECLOGUE, IN IMITATION OF VIRGIL'S POLLIO. And starts, amidst the thirsty wilds to hear
New falls of water murmuring in his ear. Ye nymphs of Solyma! begin the song:
On rifted rocks, the dragon's late abodes, To beavenly themes sublimer strains belong. The green reed trembles, and the bulrush nods. The mossy fountains and the sylvan shades, Waste sandy valleys, once perplex'd with thorn, The dreams of Pindus and th’ Aonian maids, The spiry fir and shapely box adorn : Delight no more ~ 0 thou my voice inspire To leafless shrubs the flowery palms succeed, Who touch'd Isaiah's hallow'd lips with fire! And odorous myrtle to the noisome weed. Rapt into future times, the bard begun :
The lambs with wolves shall graze the verdant mead, A Virgin shall conceive, a Virgin bear a Son! And boys in flowery bands the tiger lead : Frorn Jesse's root behold a branch arise,
The steer and lion at one crib shall meet, Whose sacred flower with fragrance fills the skies : | And harmless serpents lick the pilgrim's feet. Thi æthereal spirit o'er its leaves shall move, The smiling infant in his hand shall take And on its top descends the mystic Dove.
The crested basilisk and speckled snake,
See future sons, and daughters yet unborn,
See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings, | No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd, And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow. By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd; See Heaven its sparkling portals wide display, By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd, And break upon thee in a flood of day!
By strangers honour'd, and by strargers mourn'd! No more the rising Sun shall gild the morn, What though no friends in sable weeds appear, Nor evening Cynthia file her silver horn;
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year, But lost, dissolv'd in thy superior rays,
And bear about the mockery of woe One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
To midnight dances, and the public show? O'erflow thy courts: the Light himself shall shine What though no weeping Loves thy ashes grace, Reveal'd, and God's eternal day be thine !
Nor polish'd marble emulate thy face?
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
While angels with their süver wings o'ershade
The ground now sacred by thy reliques made.
So, peaceful rests, without a stone, a name, TO THE MEMORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE LADY.
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame. What beckoning ghost, along the moon-light shade, How lov'd, how honour'd once, avails thee not, Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade ? To whom related, or by whom begot; 'Tis she! — but why that bleeding bosom gor'd, A heap of dust alone remains of thee, Why dimly gleams the visionary sword ?
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be ! Oh, ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Poets themselves must fall, like those they sung, Is it, in Heaven, a crime to love too well?
Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue. To bear too tender, or too firm a heart,
Ev'n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays, To act a lover's or a Roman's part?
Shall shortly want the generous tear he pays; Is there no bright reversion in the sky,
Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part, For those who greatly think, or bravely die? And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart;
Why bade ye else, ye powers ! her soul aspire ! Life's idle business at one gasp be o'er, Above the vulgar flight of low desire ?
The Muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more!
| The first Part (to verse 132.) imitated in the Year Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years,
1714, by Dr. Swift; the latter Part added after. Useless, unseen, as lamps in sepulchres ;
wards. Like eastern kings a lazy state they keep,
I've often wish'd that I had clear And, close confin'd to their own palace, sleep. For life, six hundred pounds a year,
From these perhaps (ere Nature bade her die) A handsome house to lodge a friend, Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky.
A river at my garden's end, As into air the purer spirits flow,
A terrace-walk, and half a rood And separate from their kindred dregs below; Of land, set out to plant a wood. So flew the soul to its congenial place,
Well, now I have all this and more,
I ask not to increase my store;
All this is mine but till I die;
I can't but think 'twould sound more clever These cheeks now fading at the blast of Death; To me and to my heirs for ever. Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before, " If I ne'er got or lost a groat, And those love-darting eyes must roll no more. By any trick, or any fault; Thus, if eternal Justice rules the ball,
And if I pray by Reason's rules, Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall : And not like forty other fools: On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,
As thus, · Vouchsafe, oh gracious Maker ! And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates ; To grant me this and t' other acre: There passengers shall stand, and pointing say, Or, if it be thy will and pleasure, (While the long funerals blacken all the way,) Direct my plow to find a treasure :"
Lo! these were they, whose souls the Furies steel'd, But only what my station fits, And curst with hearts unknowing how to yield.” And to be kept in my right wits, Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
Preserve, Almighty Providence ! The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day!
Just what you gave me, competence : So perish all, whose breast ne'er Jearn'd to glow, And let me in these shades compose For others' good, or melt at others' woe.
Something in verse as true as prose ; What can atone, oh, ever-injur'd shade!
Remov'd from all th' ambitious scene, Thy fate unpity'd, and thy rites unpaid ?
Nor puf'd by pride, nor sunk by spleen.'
In short, I'm perfectly content,
Where all that passes, inter nos, Let me but live on this side Trent;
Might be proclaim'd at Charing-Cross. Nor cross the Channel twice a year,
Yet some I know with envy swell, To spend six months with statesmen here.
Because they see me us'd so well : I must by all means come to town,
“ How think you of our friend the Dean? 'Tis for the service of the crown.
I wonder what some people mean; “ Lewis, the Dean will be of use,
My lord and he are grown so great, Send for him up, take no excuse.”
Always together, tête-à-tête. The toil, the danger of the seas;
What, they admire him for his jokes Great ministers ne'er think of these;
See but the fortune of some folks !" Or let it cost five hundred pound,
There flies about a strange report No matter where the money 's found.
Of some express arriv'd at court; It is but so much more in debt,
I'm stopt by all the fools I meet, And that they ne'er consider'd yet.
And catechis'd in every street. « Good Mr. Dean, go change your gown, “ You, Mr. Dean, frequent the great ; Let my lord know you 're come to town."
Inform us, will the emp'ror treat ? I hurry me in haste away,
Or do the prints and papers lie?" Not thinking it is levee-day;
Faith, Sir, you know as much as I. And find his honour in a pound,
“ Ah, doctor, how you love to jest ! Hemm'd by a triple circle round,
'Tis now no secret" – I protest Chequer'd with ribbons blue and green :
'Tis one to me -" Then tell us, pray, How should I thrust myself between ?
When are the troops to have their pay?" Some wag observes me thus perplext,
And, tho' I solemnly declare And smiling whispers to the next,
I know no more than my lord-mayor, “ I thought the Dean had been too proud,
They stand amaz'd, and think me grown To justle here among a crowd."
The closest mortal ever known. Another, in a surly fit,
Thus in a sea of folly toss'd, Tells me I have more zeal than wit,
My choicest hours of life are lost; “ So eager to express your love,
Yet always wishing to retreat, You ne'er consider whom you shove,
Oh, could I see my country seat ! But rudely press before a duke.”
There, leaning near a gentle brook, I own, I'm pleas'd with this rebuke,
Sleep, or peruse some ancient book, And take it kindly meant to show
And there in sweet oblivion drown What I desire the world should know.
Those cares that haunt the court and town. I get a whisper, and withdraw :
O charming noons! and nights divine ! When twenty fools I never saw
Or when I sup, or when I dine, Come with petitions fairly penn'd,
My friends above, my folks below, Desiring I would stand their friend.
Chatting and laughing all-a-row, This, humbly offers me his case
The beans and bacon set before 'em, That, begs my int'rest for a place
The grace-cup serv'd with all decorum : A hundred other men's affairs,
Each willing to be pleas’d, and please, Like bees, are humming in my ears.
And even the very dogs at ease! “ To-morrow my appeal comes on,
Here no man prates of idle things, Without your help the cause is gone."
How this or that Italian sings, The duke expects my lord and you,
A neighbour's madness, or his spouse's, About some great affair, at two —
Or what's in either of the houses : “ Put my lord Bolingbroke in mind,
But something much more our concern, To get my warrant quickly signed :
And quite a scandal not to learn : Consider 'tis my first request.”
Which is the happier, or the wiser, Be satisfy'd, I'll do my best:
A man of merit, or a miser ? Then presently he falls to tease,
Whether we ought to choose our friends, " You may for certain, if you please;
For their own worth, or our own ends? I doubt not, if his lordship knew
What good, or better, we may call, And, Mr. Dean, one word from you —"
And what, the very best of all ? 'Tis (let me see) three years and more,
Our friend Dan Prior told (you know) (October next it will be four,)
A tale extremely à propos : Since Harley bid me first attend,
Name a town life, and in a trice And chose me for an humble friend;
He had a story of two mice. Would take me in his coach to chat,
Once on a time (so runs the fable) And question me of this and that;
A country mouse, right hospitable, As,“What's o'clock?” And, “How's the wind ?” Receiv'd a town mouse at his board, * Who's chariot's that we left behind ?"
Just as a farmer might a lord. Or gravely try to read the lines
A frugal mouse upon the whole, Writ underneath the country signs;
Yet lov'd his friend, and had a soul, Or, “ Have you nothing new to-day
Knew what was handsome, and would do 't, Fromn Pope, from Parnell, or from Gay?”. On just occasion, coûte qui coûte. Such tattle often entertains
He brought him bacon (nothing lean); My Lord and me as far as Staines,
Pudding, that might have pleas'd a dean ; As once a week we travel down
Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make, To Windsor, and again to town,
But wish'd it Stilton for his sake;
Yet, to his guest though no way sparing,
ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD AND
Sent to the Earl of Oxford, with Dr. Parnell's Poems Both small and great, both you and I:
published by our Author, after the said Earl's imThen spend your life in joy and sport;
prisonment in the Tower, and Retreat into the (This doctrine, friend, I learnt at court.")
Country, in the Year 1721. The veriest hermit in the nation May yield, God knows, to strong temptation. Such were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung, Away they come, through thick and thin,
Till Death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue. To a tall house near Lincoln's-inn :
Oh just beheld, and lost! admir'd, and mourn'd! ('Twas on the night of a debate,
With softest manners, gentlest arts adorn’d! When all their lordships had sate late.)
Blest in each science, blest in every strain ! Behold the place, where if a poet
Dear to the Muse! to Harley dear - in vain! Shin'd in description, he might show it;
For him, thou oft hast bid the world attend, Tell how the moon-beam trembling falls,
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend: And tips with silver all the walls;
For Swift and him, despis'd the farce of state, Palladian walls, Venetian doors,
The sober follies of the wise and great ; Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors :
Dextrous, the craving, fawning crowd to quit, But let it (in a word) be said,
And pleas'd to 'scape from flattery to wit. The Moon was up, and men a-bed,
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear, The napkins white, the carpet red :
(A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear,) The guests withdrawn had left the treat,
Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days, And down the mice sate, tête-à-tête.
Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays, Our courtier walks from dish to dish,
Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate; Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish;
Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great; Tells all their names, lays down the law, Or, deeming meanest what we greatest call, “ Que ça est bon ! Ah goutez ça!
Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall. That jelly 's rich, this malmsey healing,
And sure, if aught below the seats divine Pray dip your whiskers and your tail in." Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine : Was ever such a happy swain!
A soul supreme, in each hard instance try'd, He stuffs and swills, and stuffs again.
Above all pain, and passion, and all pride, “ I'm quite asham'd — 'tis mighty rude
The rage of power, the blast of public breath, To eat so much — but all 's so good.
The lust of lucre, and the dread of Death. I have a thousand thanks to give
In vain to deserts thy retreat is made; My lord alone knows how to live.”
The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade: No sooner said, but from the hall
'Tis hers, the brave man's latest steps to trace, Rush chaplain, butler, dogs, and all :
Re-judge his acts, and dignify disgrace. " A rat! a rat! clap to the door"
When interest calls off all her sneaking train, The cat comes bouncing on the floor.
And all th' oblig'd desert, and all the vain ; O for the heart of Homer's mice,
She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell, Or gods to save them in a trice!
When the last lingering friend has bid farewell. (It was by Providence they think,
Ev'n now she shades thy evening-walk with bays For your damn'd stucco has no chink.)
(No hireling she, no prostitute to praise); " An't please your honour," quoth the peasant, Ev'n now, observant of the parting ray, ** This same dessert is not so pleasant :
Eyes the calm sun-set of thy various day, Give me again my hollow tree,
Through Fortune's cloud one truly great can see A crust of bread, and liberty !"
Nor fears to tell, that Mortimer is he.