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To some a dry rehearsal was assign'd,
Whose buzz the witty and the fair annoys, And others (harder still) he paid in kind.
Yet wit ne'er tastes, and beauty ne'er enjoys : Dryden alone (what wonder ?) came not nigh, So well-bred spaniels civilly delight Dryden alone escap'd this judging eye:
In mumbling of the game they dare not bite. But still the great have kindness in reserve, Eternal smiles his emptiness betray, He help'd to bury whom he help'd 10 starve. As shallow streams run dimpling all the way. May some choice patron bless each grey goose- Whether in florid impotence he speaks, quill!
And, as the prompter breathes, the puppet squeaks, May every Bavius have his Bufo still!
Or at the ear of Eve, familiar toad, So when a statesman wants a day's defence, Half froth, half venom, spits himself abroad, Or envy holds a whole week's war with sense, In puns, or politics, or tales, or lies, Or simple pride for flattery makes demands, Or spite, or smut, or rhymes, or blasphemies. May dunce by dunce be whistled off my hands! His wit all see-saw, between that and this, Blest be the great! for those they take away, Now high, now low, now master up, now miss, And those they left me; for they left me Gay: And he himself one vile Antithesis. Left me to see neglected genius bloom,
Amphibious thing! that, acting either part, Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb:
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 100! 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, I was not born for courts or great affairs :
Not proud, nor servile; be one poet's praise, I pay my debts, believe, and say my prayers ; That, if he pleas’d, he pleas'd by manly ways: Can sleep without a poem in my head,
That flattery, ev’n to kings, he held a shame, Nor know, if Dennis be alive or dead.
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 lise 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 10 sa ve? 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 first lampoon Sir Will or Bubo makes. The blow unfelt, the tear he never shed ; Poor, guiltless I! and can I choose but smile, The tale reviv'd, the lie so oft o'erthrown, When every coxcomb knows me by my style ? Th’imputed trash, and dullness not his own;
Curst be the verse, how well soe'er it flow, The morals blacken'd when the writings 'scape, That tends to make one worthy man my foe, The libellid person and the pictur'd shape ; Give virtue scandal, innocence a fear,
Abuse, on all he lov'd, or lov'd him, spread, Or from the soft-ey'd virgin steal a tear!
A friend in exile, or a father dead; But he who hurts a harmless neighbor's peace, The whisper, that, to greatness still too near, Insults fall'n worth, or beanty in distress, Perhaps, yet vibrates on his sovereign's earWho loves a lie, lame slander helps about, 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,
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 lampoon, 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. 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 wise: 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 stings; 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 neighbor fool :
See nodding forests on the mountains dance : That harmless mother thought no wise 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 Honor's cause, A God, a God! the vocal hills reply, While yet in Britain Honor 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 no strife,
Be smooth, ye rocks! ye rapid floods, give way! Nor marrying discord in a noble wife,
The Savior 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 eyeball 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 leop exulling 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 aris 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, On cares like these if length of days attend, Nor ardent warriors meet with hateful eyes, May Heaven, to bless those days, preserve my friend, Nor fields with gleaming steel be cover'd o'er, Preserve him social, cheerful, and serene,
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 risted rocks, the dragon's late abodes, To heavenly 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 : From 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. Th' ethereal 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 his sparkling portals wide display, By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd, And break upon thee in a flood of day!
By strangers honor'd, and by strangers mour'd! No more the rising Sun shall gild the morn, What though no friends in sable weeds
appear, Nor evening Cynthia fill 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?
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground now sacred by thy relics made. TO THE MEMORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE LADY.
So, peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame. What beckoning ghost, along the moonlight shade, How lov’d, how honor'd once, avails thee not, Invites my steps, and points lo 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;
The Muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more!
The first Part (to verse 132.) imitated in the Year 1714, by Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years,
Dr. Swift; the latter Part added afterwards.
I've often wish'd that I had clear
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 elernal 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 steeld, 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 learn'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 unpilied, and thy rites unpaid ?
Nor puff'd by pride, nor sunk by spleen."
In short, I'm perfectly content,
I must by all means come to town,
“Good Mr. Dean, go change your gown,
I get a whisper, and withdraw:
This, humbly Offers me his case-
"Tis (let me see) three years and more,
Where all that passes,
inter nos, Might be proclaim'd at Charing-Cross.
Yet some I know with envy swell, Because they see me us'd so well: “How think you of our friend the Dean? I wonder what some people mean; My lord and he are grown so great, Always together, tête-à-tête. What, they admire him for his jokesSee but the fortune of some folks!" There flies about a strange report Of some express arriv'd at court; I'm stopt by all the fools I meet, And catechis'd in every street. “You, Mr. Dean, frequent the great; Inform us, will the emp'ror treat? Or do the prints and papers lie ?" Faith, Sir, you know as much as I. “Ah, doctor, how you love to jest ! 'Tis now no secret”- protest 'Tis one to me" Then tell us, pray, When are the troops to have their pay ?" And, though I solemnly declare I know no more than my lord-mayor, They stand amaz'd, and think me grown The closest mortal ever known.
Thus in a sea of folly toss'd, My choicest hours of life are lost; Yet always wishing to retreat, Oh, could I see my country-seat! There, leaning near a gentle brook, Sleep, or peruse some ancient book, And there in sweet oblivion drown Those cares that haunt the court and town. O charming noons! and nights divine ! Or when I sup, or when I dine, My friends above, my folks below, Chatting and laughing all-a-row, The beans and bacon set before 'em, The grace-cup serv'd with all decorum : Each willing to be pleas'd, and please, And ev’n the very dogs at ease! Here no man prates of idle things, How this or that Italian sings, A neighbor's madness, or his spouse's, Or what's in either of the houses : But something much more our concern, And quite a scandal not to learn : Which is the happier, or the wiser, A man of merit, or a miser ? Whether we ought to choose our friends, For their own worth, or our own ends ? What good, or better, we may call, And what, the very best of all ?
Our friend Dan Prior told (you know) A tale extremely à propos : Name a town life, and in a trice He had a story of two mice. Once on a time (s0 runs the fable) A country mouse, right hospitable, Receiv'd a town mouse at his board, Just as a farmer might a lord. A frugal mouse upon the whole, Yet lov'd his friend, and had a soul, Knew what was handsome, and would do 't On just occasion, coûte qui coûte. He brought him bacon (nothing lean); Pudding, that might have pleas'd a dean; Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make, But wish'd it Sulton for his sake;
ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD AND EARL
Sent to the Earl of Oxford, with Dr. Parnell's Poems
published by our Author, after the said Earl's im. prisonment in the Tower, and Retreat into the Country, in the Year 1721.
Yet, to his guest though no way sparing,
The veriest hermit in the nation
Behold the place, where if a poet
Our courtier walks from dish to dish,
Such were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sudy,
Dear to the Muse! to Harley dear-in vain!
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend ;
A bsent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
And sure, if aught below the seats divine
In vain to deserts thy retreat is made ;