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PICTURE OF SENECA DYING IN A BATH. BY JORDAIN." AT THE RIGHT HON.
THE EARL OF EXETER’s, AT BURLEIGH HOUSE.
WHILE cruel Nero only drains
The moral Spaniard’s ebbing veins,
By study worn, and slack with age,
How dull, how thoughtless is his rage 1
Heighten’d revenge he should have took ;
He should have burnt his tutor's book;
And long have reign'd supreme in vice:
One nobler wretch can only rise;
"Tis he whose fury shall deface
The stoic's image in this piece.
i Jacques Jordain was born at Antwerp in 1584; was a disciple of Adam van Oort, but was indebted to Rubens for the principal part of his knowledge in the art of painting: “He painted with extraordinary freedom, ease, and expedition; there is a brilliancy and harmony in his colouring, and a good understanding of the Chiaroscuro. His composition is rich, his expression natural and strong, but his design wanted elegance and taste. He studied and copied nature, yet he neither selected its beauties, nor rejected its defects. He knew how to give his figures a good relief, though frequently incorrect in the outlines; but his pencil is always excellent, and for a free and spirited touch, no painter can be accounted his superior.” Pilkington's Dictionary of Painters. He died in 1678, aged 84 years.
For while unhurt, divine Jordain,
Thy work and Seneca's remain,
He still has body, still has soul,
And lives and speaks, restor'd and whole.
WHILE blooming youth, and gay delight
Sit on thy rosy cheeks confest,
Thou hast, my dear, undoubted right
To triumph o'er this destin’d breast.
My reason bends to what thy eyes ordain:
For I was born to love, and thou to reign.
But would you meanly thus rely On power, you know I must obey? Exert a legal tyranny ; And do an ill, because you may ? Still must I thee, as atheists Heaven adore; Not see thy mercy, and yet dread thy power?
Take heed, my dear, youth flies apace ; As well as Cupid, Time is blind: Soon must those glories of thy face The fate of vulgar beauty find: The thousand loves, that arm thy potent eye, Must drop their quivers, flag their wings, and die
Then wilt thou sigh, when in each frown
A hateful wrinkle more appears;
And putting peevish humours on,
Seems but the sad effect of years:
Kindness itself too weak a charm will prove,
To raise the feeble fires of aged love.
Forc’d compliments and formal bows
Will show thee just above neglect:
The heat with which thy lover glows,
Will settle into cold respect:
A talking dull Platonic I shall turn;
Learn to be civil, when I cease to burn.
Then shun the ill, and know, my dear, Kindness and constancy will prove The only pillars fit to bear So vast a weight as that of love. If thou canst wish to make my flames endure, Thine must be very fierce, and very pure.
Haste, Celia, haste, while youth invites,
Obey kind Cupid's present voice;
Fill ev'ry sense with soft delights,
And give thy soul a loose to joys:
Let millions of repeated blisses prove,
That thou all kindness art, and I all love.
Be mine, and only mine; take care
Thy looks, thy thoughts, thy dreams to guide
To me alone; nor come so far, As liking any youth beside: What men e'er court thee, fly 'em, and believe, They’re serpents all, and thou the tempted Eve.
So shall I court thy dearest truth,
When beauty ceases to engage;
So thinking on thy charming youth,
I’ll love it o'er again in age:
So time itself our raptures shall improve,
While still we wake to joy, and live to love.
AN EPISTLE TO FLEETWOOD SHEPHERD, ESQ
As once a twelvemonth to the priest,
Holy at Rome, here antichrist,
The Spanish king presents a jennet,
To show his love;—That's all that’s in it :
For if his holiness would thump
His reverend bum 'gainst horse's rump,
He might b' equipt from his own stable
With one more white, and eke more able.
Or as with Gondolas, and men, his
Good excellence the Duke of Venice
(I wish, for rhyme, ’t had been the king)
Sails out, and gives the gulf a ring;
Which trick of state, he wisely maintains,
Keeps kindness up 'twixt old acquaintance:
For else, in honest truth, the sea
Has much less need of gold, than he.
Or, not to rove, and pump one's fancy
For popish similes beyond sea;
As folks from mud-wall'd tenement
Bring landlords pepper-corn for rent;
Present a turkey, or a hen
To those might better spare than ten :
Ev’n so, with all submission, I
(For first men instance, then apply)
Send you each year a homely letter,
Who may return me much a better.
Then take it, Sir, as it was writ,
To pay respect, and not show wit:
Nor look askew at what it saith;
There's no petition in it, 'Faith.
Here some would scratch their heads, and try
What they should write, and how, and why;
But I conceive, such folks are quite in
Mistakes, in theory of writing.
If once for principle 'tis laid,
That thought is trouble to the head;
I argue thus: the world agrees,
That he writes well, who writes with ease:
Then he, by sequel logical,
Writes best, who never thinks at all.