תמונות בעמוד

What shamctul and what monstrous things are

these! And then they rail at those they cannot please; Conclude us only partial to the dead, And grudge the sign of old Ben Jonson's head; When the intrinsic value of the stage Can scarce be judg'd but by a following age : For dances, Autes, Italian songs, and rhyme, May keep up sinking nonsense for a time; But that must fail, which now so much o'er-rules, And sense no longer will submit to fools.

By painful steps, at last, we labour up
Parnassus' hill, on whose bright airy top
The Epic poets so divinely show,
And with just pride behold the rest below,
Heroic poems have a just pretence
To be the utmost stretch of human sense;
A work of such inestimable worth,
There are but two the world has yet brought forth!
Homer and Virgil! with what sacred awe,
Do those mere sounds the world's attention draw!
Just as a changeling seems below the rest
Of men, or rather is a two-legg'd beast;
So these gigantic souls, amaz d. we find
As much above the rest of human kind !
Nature's whole strength united! endless fame,
And universal shouts attend their name!
Read Homer once, and you can read no more,
For all books else appear so mean, so poor,
Verse will seem prose; but still persist to read,
And Homer will be all the books you need.
Had Bossu uever writ, the world had still,
Like Indians, view'd this wondrous piece of skill;
As something of divine the work admir'd;
Not hop'd to be instructed, but inspir'd:
But he, disclosing sacred mysteries,
Has shown where all the mighty magic lies;
Describ'd the seeds, and in what order sown,
That have to such a vast proportion grown.
Sure from some angel he the secret knew,
Who through this labyrinth has lent the clue.

But what, alas! avails it poor mankind,
To see this promis'd land, yet stay behind?
The way is shown, but who has strength to go?
Who can all sciences profoundly know?
Whose fancy flies beyond weak Reason's sight,
And yet has judgment to direct it right?
Whose just discernment, Virgil-like, is such,
Never to say too little, or too much?
Let such a man begin without delay ;
But he must do beyond what I can say ;
Must above Tasso's lofty flights prevail,
Succeed where Spenser, and ev'n Milton fail.

By partial love away 'tis blown,
Or the least prejudice can weigh it down;
Thus our high privilege becomes our snare.

In any nice and weighty cause,
How weak, at best, is Reasou ! yet the grave
Impose on that small judgment which we have
In all those wits, whose names have spread 80 wide,

And ev'n the force of time defy'd,

Some failings yet may be descry'd. Among the rest, with wonder be it told,

That Brutus is admir'd for Cæsar's death ; By which he yet survives in Fame's immortal

Brutus, evin he, of all the rest, breath. In whom we should that deed the most detest,

Is of mankind esteem'd the best.
As snow, descending from some lofty hill,
Is by its rolling course augmenting still,
So from illustrious authors down have rollid
Those great encomiums he receiv'd of old :

Republic orators will shew esteem,

And gild their eloquence with praise of him :'
But Truth, unveil'd, like a bright sun appears,
To shine away this heap of seventeen hundred years.
In vain 'tis urg'd by an illustrious wit,
(To whom in all besides I willingly submit)

That Cæsar's life no pity could deserve
From one who kill'd himself, rather than serve,
Had Brutus chose rather himself to slay,

Than any master to obey,
Happy for Rome had been that noble pride;
The world had then remaid'd in peace, and only

Brutus dy'd,
For he, whose soul disdains to Own
Subjection to a tyrant's frown,

And his own life would rather end,
Would sure much rather kill himself, than only

hurt his friend.
To his own sword in the Philippian field

Brutus indeed at last did yield;
But in those times self-killing was not rare,
And his proceeded only from despair :

He might have chosen else to live,
In hopes another Cæsar would forgive;
Then, for the good of Rome, he could once more
Conspire against a life which had spar'd his before,
Our country challenges our utmost care,
And in our thoughts deserves the tenderest share ;
Her to a thousand friends we should prefer,
Yet not betray them, though it be for her.
Hard is his heart, whom no desert can move,

A mistress or a friend to love, Above whate'er he does besides enjoy; But may he, for their sakes, his sire or sons de

For sacred justice, or for public good,
Scorn'd be our wealth, our honour, and our blood:
In such a cause, want is a happy state,
Ev'n low disgrace would be a glorious fate;
And death itself, when noble fame survives,
More to be valued than a thousand lives.

But 'tis not surely of so fair renown
To spill another's blood, as to expose our own:

Of all that's ours we cannot give too much,
But what belongs to friendship, oh! 'tis sacrilege to

touch. Can we stand by unmov'd, and see Our mother robb'd and ravish'd? Can we be

ODE ON BRUTUS. "Tis said, that favourite, mankind, Was made the lord of all below; But yet the doubtful are concern'd to find, 'Tis only one man tells another so.

And, for this great dominion here,

Which over other beasts we claim, Reason our best credential does appear,

By which indeed we domineer, But how absurdly, we may see with shame.

Reason, that solemn trife! light as air, Driven up and down by censure or applause;

Excus'd, if in her cause we never stir,

| (Though here ev'n Nature's self still seem'd to be Pleas'd with the strength and beauty of the outdone) ravisher?

From such a friendship unprovok'd to fall Thus sings our bard with heat almost divine; Is horrid, yet I wish that fact were all [call. 'Tis pity that his thought was not as strong as fine. Which does with too inuch cause ungrateful Brutus Would it more justly did the case express,

In coolest blood he laid a long design Or that its beauty, and its grace were less,

Against his best and dearest friend; (Thus a nymph sometimes we see, Who so charming seems to be,

Did ev'n his foes in zeal exceed, That, jealous of a soft surprise,

To spirit others up to work so black a deed ;

Hinn:self the centre where they all did join. We scarce durst trust our eager eyes)

Cæsar, meantime, fearless, and fond of him, Sach a fallacious ambush to escape, It were but vain to plead a willing rape ;

Was as industrious all the while A valiant son would be provok'd the more;

To give such ample marks of fond esteem, A force we therefore must confess, but acted long

As made the gravest Romans smile A marriage since did intervene, [before;

| To see with how much ease love can the wise beWith all the solemn and the sacred scene:


He, whoin thus Brutus doom'd to bleed,
Loud was the Hymenean song ;
The violated dame 'walk'd smilingly along,

Did, setting his own race aside,

Nothing less for himn provide, And in the midst of the most sacred dance,

Than in the world's great empire to succeed : As if enamour'd of his sight,

Which we are bound in justice to allow, Often she cast a kind admiring glance

Is all-sufficient proof to show On the bold struggler for delight;

That Brutus did not strike for his own sake : Who afterwards appear'd so inoderate and cool;

| And if, alas! he fail'd, 'twas only by mistake, As if for public good alone he so desir'd to rule.

But, oh! that this were all which we can urge
Against a Roman of so great a soul!
And that fair truth permitted us to purge
His fact, of what appears so foul !

Friendship, that sacred and sublimest thing !
The noblest quality, and chiefest good,

(In this dull age scarce understood) {to sing, Inspires us with unusual warmth her injur'd rites

THE RAPTURE, Assist, ye angels! whose immortal bliss,

I vieid, I yield, and can no longer stay Though more refind, chiefly consists in this.

My eager thoughts, that force theinselves away. How plainly your bright thoughts to one another

Sure none inspir'd (whose heat transports them still shine!

Above their reason, and beyond their will)
Oh! how ye all agree in harmony divine!
The race of mutual love with equal zeal ye run,

Can firm against the strong impulse remain ;

Censure itself were not so sharp a pain. A course, as far from any end, as when at first be

Let vulgar minds submit to vulgar sway; gun. Ye saw, and smil'd upon this matchless pair,

What ignorance shall think, or Malice say, Who sill betwixt them did so many virtues share,

| To me are trifles ; if the knowing few,

Who can see faults, but can see beauties too, Some which belong to peace, and some to strife,

Appland that genius which themselves partake, Those of a calm, and of an active life,

And spare the poet for the Muse's sake. That all the excellence of human-kind

The Muse, who raises me from humble ground, Concurr'd to make of both but one united mind,

To view the vast and various world around; Which friendship did so fast and closely bind,

llow fast I mount! in what a wondrous way Not the least cement could appear by which their

I grow transported to this large survey! souls wese join'd.

I value Earth no more, and far below That tye which holds our mortal frame,

Methinks I see the busy pigmies go. Which poor unknowing we a soul and body name,

My soul entranc'd is in a rapture brought Seems not a composition more divine, (shine.

Above the common tracks of vulgar thought: Or more abstruse, than all that does in friendship

With fancy wing'd, I feel the purer air, From mighty Cæsar and his boundless grace. And with contempt look down on human care. Though Brutus, once at least, his life receiv'd ; Airy Ambition, ever soaring high, Sach obligations, though so high believ'd, Stands first expos'd to my censorious eye. Are yet but slight in such a case.

Bebold some toiling up a slippery hill, Where friendship so possesses all the place, Where, though arriv'd, they must be toiling still : There is no room for gratitude, since he.

Some, with unsteadly feet, just fallen to ground, Who so obliges, is more pleas'd than his sav'd friend Others at top, whose heads are turning round. can be.

To this high sphere it happens still that some, Just in the midst of all this noble heat,

The most unfit, are forwardest to come; While their great hearts did both so kindly beat, Yet among these are princes forc'd to choose, That it amaz'd the lookers-on,

Or seek out such as would perhaps refuse. and forc'd them to suspect a father and a son’; Favour too great is safely plac'd on none,

And soon becomes a dragon or a drone, i Rome.

Either remiss and negligent of all, ? Cæsar was suspected to have begotten Brutus. I or else imperious and tyrannicale

The Muse inspires me now to look again, | Hold, hold, impetuous Muse I would restrain And see a meaner sort of sordid men

Her over-eager hcat, but all in vain; Doating on little heaps of yellow dust;

Abandon'd to delights, she longs to rove; For that despising honour, ease, and lust.

I check'd her here, and now she fies to love ; Let other bards, expressing how it shines,

Shows me some rural nymph, by shepherd chas'd,. Describe with envy what the miser finds;

Soon overtaken, and as soon embrac'd : Only as heaps of dirt it seems to me,

The grass by her, as she by him, is pressid ; Where we such despicable vermin see,

For shame, my Muse, let fancy guess the rest: Who creep through filth a thousand crooked ways, | At such a point fancy can never stay, Insensible of infamy or praise:

But flies beyund whatever you can say. Loaded with guilt, they still pursue their course, | Behold the silent shades, the amorous grove, Not ev'n restrain’d by love or friendship's force. The dear delights, the very act of Love.

Not to enlarge on such an obvious thought, This is his lowest sphere, his country scene, Behold their folly, which transcends their fault! Where Love is humble, and his fare but mean; Alas! their cares and cautions only tend

Yet springing up without the help of art,
To gain the means, and then to lose the end. Leaves a sincerer relish in the heart,
Like heroes in romances, still in sight

More healthfully, though not so finely fed,
For mistresses that yield them no delight.

And better thrives than where more nicely bred. This, of all vice, does most debase the mind, But 'tis in courts where most he makes a show, Gold is itself th' allay to human-kind.

And, high enthron'd, governs the world below; Oh, happy times! when no such thing as coin For though in histories learn'd ignorance E'er tempted friends to part, or foes to join ! Attributes all to cunning or to chance, Cattle or corn, among those harmless men,

Love will in those disguises often smile,
Was all their wealth, the gold and silver then : And knows the cause was kindness all the while
Corn was too bulky to corrupt a tribe,

What story, place, or person, cannot prove
And bellowing herds would have betray'd the bribe. | The boundless influence of mighty Love?
Ev'n traffic now is intercourse of ill,

Where'er the Sun can vigorous heat inspire,
And every wind brings a new mischief still ;

Both sexes glow, and languish with desire. By trade we flourish in our leaves and fruit,

The weary'd swain, fast in the arms of sleep But avarice and excess devour the root.

Love can awake, and often sighing keep; Thus far the Muse unwillingly has been

And busy gown-men, by fond love disguis'd, Fix'd on the dull, less happy sorts of sin;

Will leisure find to make themselves despis'd. But now, more pleas'd, she views the different ways The proudest kings submit to Beauty's sway; Of luxury, and all its charms surveys.

Beauty itself, a greater prince than they, Dear Luxury! thou soft, but sure deceit!

Lies sometimes languishing with all its pride Rise of the mean, and ruin of the great!

By a belov'd, though fickle lover's side. Thou sure presage of ill-approaching fates,

I mean to slight the soft enchanting charm, The bane of mpires, and the change of states ! But, oh! my head and heart are both too warm. Armies in vain resist thy mighty power;

| I doat on woman-kind with all their faults, Not the worst conduct would confound them | Love turns my satire into softest thoughts; more,

Of all that passion which our peace destroys
Thus Rome herself, while o'er the world she flew, Instead of mischief, I describe the joys.
And did by virtue all that world subdue,

But short will be his reign (I fear too short),
Was by her own victorious arms oppress'd,

And present cares shall be my future sport. And catch'd infection from the conquer'd East; Then Love's bright torch put out, his arrows broke, Whence all those vices came, which soon devour Loose from kind chains and from th' engaging yoke, The best foundations of renown and power.

To all fond thoughts I'll sing such counter-charms, But oh! what need have we abroad to roam, The fair shall listen in their lovers arms. Who feel too much the sad effects at home,

Now the enthusiastic fit is spent, Of wild excess! which we so plainly find

I feel my weakness, and too late repent. Decays the body, and impairs the mind.

As they who walk in dreams oft climb too high But yet grave fops must not presume from hence For sense to follow with a waking eye ; To slight the sacred pleasures of the sense :

And in such wild attempts are blindly bold, Our appetites are Nature's laws, and given

Which afterwards they tremble to behold : Under the broad authentic seal of Heaven.

So I review these sallies of my pen, Let pedants wrangle, and let bigots fight,

And modest Reason is return'd again ; To put restraint on innocent delight,

My confidence I curse, my fate accuse,
But Heaven and Nature's always in the right; Scarce hold from censuring the sacred Muse.
They would not draw poor wretched mortals in, No wretched poet of the railing pit,
Or gire desires that shall be doom'd for sin. No critic curs'd with the wrong side of wit,
Yet, that in height of harmless joy we may Is more severe from ignorance and spite,
Last to old age, and never lose a day,

Than I with judgment against all I write.
Amidst our pleasures we ourselves should spare,
And inanage all with temperance and care.
The gods forbid but we sometimes may steep
Our joys in wine, and lull our cares asleep :

It raises Nature ripens seeds of worth,

MR. HOBBES, AND HIS WRITINGS. As moistening pictures calls the colours forth; But if the varnish we too oft apply,

Such is the mode of these censorious days, Alas! like colours, we grow faint and die. | The art is lost of knowing how to praise;

Poets are envious now, and fools alone

| For how could such a wretch succced,
Admire at wit, because themselves have none. But that, alas, it was decreed?
Yet whatsoe'er is by vain critics thought,
Praising is harder much than finding fault;
In homely pieces ev'n the Dutch excel,
Italians only can draw beauty well.
As strings, alike wound up, so equal prove,

That one resounding makes the other move;
Froin such a cause our satires please so much,

| MERIT they hate, and wit they slight; We sympathize with each ill-natur'd touch;

They neither act, nor reason right, And as the sharp infection spreads about,

And nothing mind but pence.

Vaskilful they victorious are, The reader's malice helps the writer out.

Conduct a kingdom without care,
To blame, is easy; to commend, is bold;

A council without sense.
Yet, if the Muse inspires it, who can hold ?
To merit we are bound to give applause,

So Moses once and Joshua,
Content to suffer in so just a cause.

And that virago Debora, While in dark ignorance we lay, afraid

Bestrid poor Israel : Of fancies, ghosts, and every empty shade,

Like reverence pay to these! for who Great Hobbes appear'd, and by plain reason's light

Could ride a nation as they do,
Put such fantastic forms to shameful flight.

Without a miracle?
Fond is their fear, who think men needs must be
To vice enslav'd, if from vain terrours free;
The wise and good morality will guide,
And superstition all the world beside.

In other authors, though the thought be good,
'Tis not sometimes so easily understood;

That jewel oft' unpolish'd has remain'd;

Goop angels snatch'd him eagerly on high;
Some words should be left out, and some explain'd;
So that in search of sense, we either stray,

| Joyful they few, singing and soaring through the Or else grow weary in so rough a way,


Teaching his new-fledg'd soul to fly; But here sweet eloquence does always smile,

While we, alas! lamenting lie. In such a choice, yet unaflected style,

He went musing all along, As must both knowledge, and delight impart,

Composing new their heavenly song: The force of reason, with the flowers of art;

A while his skilful notes loud hallelujahs drown'd; Clear as a beautiful transparent skin, Which never hides the blood, yet holds it in:

But soon they ceas'd their own, to catch his please Like a delicious stream it ever ran,

ing sound. As smooth as woman, but as strong as man,

David himself improv'd the harmony, Bacon himself, whose universal wit

David, in sacred story so renown'd Doss admiration through the world beget,

No less for music, than for poetry !

Genius sublime in either art!
Scarce more his age's ornament is thought,
Or greater credit to his country brought.

Crown'd with applause surpassing all desert 1

A man just after God's own heart ! While Fame is young, too weak to fly away,

If human cares are lawful to the blest,
Malice pursues her, like some bird of prey ;

Already settled in eternal rest;
But once on wing, then all the quarrels cease;
Envy herself is glad to be at peace,

Needs must he wish, that Purcell only might

Have livd to set what he vouchsaf'd to write ; Gives over, weary'd with so high a flight,

For, sure, the noble thirst of fame Above her reach, and scarce within her sight.

With the frail body never dies; Hobbes, to this happy pitch arriv'd at last,

But with the soul ascends the skies, Might hat? look'd down with pride on dangers past:

From whence at first it came. But such the frailty is of human-kind,

'Tis sure no little proof we have Men toil for Pame, which no man lives to find;

That part of us survives the grave, Long ripening under ground this China lies;

And in our fame below still bears a share: Pame bears no fruit, till the vain planter dies.

Why is the future else so much our care, Thus Nature, tir'd with his unusual length

Ev'n in our latest moment of despair? Of life, which put her to ber utmost strength,

And death despis'd for fame by all the wise and Such stock of wit unable to supply,

brave? To spare herself, was glad to let him die.

Oh, all ye blest harmonious choir !
Who Power Almighty only love, and only that adó

Dook down with pity from your peaceful bower,

On this sad isle perplex'd,

And ever, ever vexa
Herz lives a man, who, by relation,

With anxious care of trifles, wealth and power. Depends upon predestination ;

In our rough minds due reverence infuse For which the learned and the wise

For sweet melodious sounds, and each harmonious His understanding much despise : But I pronounce with loyal tongue

Music exalts man's nature, and inspires Him in the rigbt, them in the wrong ;

High elevated thoughts, or gentle, kind desires.


| One moral, or a mere well-natur'd deed, ON THE LOSS OF AN ONLY SON,

Can all desert in sciences exceed.

'Tis great delight to laugh at some men's ways; ROBERT MARQUIS OF NORMANBY.

But a much greater to give merit praise.
Our morning's gay and shining;

The days our joys declare ;
At evening no repining;
And night's all void of care.

A fond transported mother

WHENE'Er my foolish bent to public good, Was often heard to cry,

Or fonder zeal for some misguided prince, Oh, where is such an other

Shall make my dangerous humour understood, So bless'd by Heaven as I?

For changing ministers for men of sense: A child at first was wanting ;

When, vainly proud to show my public care, Now such a son is sent,

And ev'n asham'd to see three nations foolid, As parents most lamenting

I shall no longer bear a wretched share In him would find content..

In ruling ill, or being over-rul'd : A child of whom kind Heaven

Then, as old lechers in a winter's night Not only hope bestows,

To yawning hearers all their pranks disclose ; But has already given

And what decay deprives them of delight, Him all our hopes propose.

Supply with vain endeavours to impose : The happy sire's possessing

Just so shall I as idly entertain His share in such a boy,

Some stripling patriots, fond of seeming wise; Adds still a greater blessing

Tell how I still could great employments gain, To all my other joy.

Without concealing truths, or whispering lies! But ah! this shiny weather

Boast of succeeding in my country's cause Became too hot at last;

Ev'n against some almost too high to blame ; Black clouds began to gather,

Whom, when advanc'd beyond the reach of laws, And all the sky o'ercast.

I oft' had ridicul'd to sense and shame: So fierce a fever rages,

Say, I resisted the most potent fraud; We all lie drown'd in tears ;

But friendless merit openly approv'd; And dismal sad presages

And that I was above the being aw'd . Come thundering in our ears.

Not only by my prince, but those he lov’d: The doubts that made us languish

Who knows but my example then may please Did worse, far worse than kill.

Such noble, hopeful spirits as appear Yet, oh, with all their anguish,

Willing to slight their pleasures and their ease, Would we had doubted still!

For fame and honour? till at last they hear, But why so much digression,

After much trouble borne, and danger run, This fatal loss to show?

The crown assisted, and my country serv'd ; Alas, there's no expression

Without good fortune I had been undone, Can tell a parent's woe!

Without a good estate I might have starv'd.

Wrth age decay'd, with courts and business tir'd,
Caring for nothing but what ease requir'd,
Too serious now a wanton Muse to court,
And from the critics safe arriv'd in port;
I little thought of lanching forth again,
Amidst adventurous rovers of the pen;
And, after some small undeserv'd success,
Thus hazarding at last to make it less.

Encomiums suit not this censorious time,
Itself a subject for satiric rhyme;
'Ignorance honour'd, Wit and Worth defam'd.
Folly triumphant, and ev'n Horner blam'd.
But to this genius, join'd with so much art,
Such various learning mix'd in every part,
Poets are bound a loud applause to pay;
Apollo bids it, and they must obey.
• And yet so wondrous, so sublime a thing,
As the great Iliad, scarce could make me sing ;
Except I justly could at once commend
A good companion, and as firna a friend.


A FAMOUS assembly was summond of late:
To crown a new Laureat, came Phæbus in state,
With all that Montfaucon himself could desire,
His bow, laurel, harp, and abundance of fire.
At Bartlemew-fair ne'er did bullies so justic,
No country-election e'er made such a bustle:
From garret, mint, tavern, they all post away,
Some thirsting for sack, some ambitious of bay.
All came with full confidence, flush'd with vain

From Cibber and Durfey, to Prior and Pope.
Phæbus smild on these last, but yet ne'ertheless,
Said, he hop'd they had got enough by the press.
With a huge mountain-load of heroical lumber,
Which froin Tonson to Curll every press had groan'd


« הקודםהמשך »