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Fatal that intestinejar,
Which produc’d our civil war !
Ever since, how sad a race!
Senseless, violent, and base!
ON THE DUKE OF YORK BANISHED to Brt'ssels.
I rest a strange impulse, a strong desire,
(For what vain thoughts will not a Muse inspire?)
To sing on lofty subjects, and to raise
My own low fame, by writing James's praise.
Oft have we heard the wonders of his youth,
Observ'd those seeds of fortititude and truth,
Which since have spread so wide, so wondrous high,
The good distress'd beneath that shelter lie.
In arms more active than ev'n war requir’d,
And in the midst of mighty chiefs admir’d.
Of all Heaven's gifts, no temper is so rare,
As so much courage mix'd with so much care.
When martial fire makes all the spirits boil,
And forces youth to military toil;
No wonder it should fiercely then engage:
Women themselves will venture in a rage:
But in the midst of all that furious heat,
While so intent on actions brave and great,
For others' lives to feel such tender fears,
And, careless of his own, to care for theirs,
Is that composure which a hero makes,
And which illustrious York alone partakes,
With that great man", whose fame has flown so
Who taught him first the noble art of war. [far,
Oh, wondrous pair! whom equal virtues crown,
Oh worthy of each other's vast renown
None but Turenne with York could glory share,
And none but York deserves se great a master's
Scarce was he come to bless his native isle,
And reap the soft reward of glorious toil,
But, like Alcides, still new dangers call
His courage forth, and still be vanquish'd all.
At sea, that bloody scene of boundless rage,
Where floating castles in fierce flames engage,
(Where Mars himself does frowningly command,
And by lieutenants only fights at land)
For his own fame howe'er he fought before,
For England's honour yet he ventur'd more.
In those black times, when, faction raging high,
Valour and Innocence were forc'd to fly,
With York they fled; but not deprest his mind,
Still, like a diamond in the dust, it shin'd.
When from afar his drooping friends beheld
How in distress he ev'n himself excell'd;
How to his envious fate, his country's frown,
His brother's will, he sacrific'd his own;
They rais'd their hearts, and never doubted more
But that iust Heaven would all our joys restore.
So when black clouds surround Heaven's glorious
Tempestuous darkness covering all the place,
If we discern but the least glimmering ray
Of that bright orb of fire which rules the day,
The cheerful sight our fainting courage warins,
Fix'd upon that we fear no future harms.
* The marcschal de Turenne.
Warrenzo mankind void of both strength and skill !
Dextrous at nothing but at doing ill!
In merit humble, in pretensions high,
Among them none, alas! more weak than 1,
And none more blind ; though still I worthless
The best I ever spoke, or ever wrote. [thought
But zealous heat exalts the humblest mind; Within my soul such strong impulse I find The heavenly tribute of due 1 raise to pay: Perhaps 'tis sacred, and I must obey.
Yet such the subjects, various, and so high, Stupendous wonders of the Deity Miraculous effects of boundless power And that as boundless goodness stoning more ? All these so numberless my thoughts attend, Oh where shall I begin, or ever end?
But on that theme which ev'n the wise abuse, So sacred, so sublime, and so abstruse, Abruptly to break off, wants no excuse.
While others vainly strive to know thee more, Let me in silent reverence adore; Wishing that human power were higher rais'd, Only that thine might be more nobly prais'd : Thrice happy angels in their high degree, Created worthy of extolling thee!
PROLOGUE To The ALTERATION OF JULIUS CAESAR,
Hore to mend Shakespeare' or to match his style
'Tis such a jest would make a Stoic smile.
Too fond of fame, our poet soars too high,
Yet freely owns he wants the wings to fly :
So sensible of his presumptuous thought,
That he confesses while he does the fault;
This to the fair will no great wonder prove,
Who oft in blushes yield to what they love.
Of greatest actions, and of noblest men,
This story most deserves a poet's pen :
For who cau wish a scene more justly fam’d,
When Rome and mighty Julius are but nam'd
That state of heroes who the world had brav'd
That wondrous man who such a state enslav'd!
Yet loth he was to take so rough a way,
And after govern'd with so mild a sway.
At distance now of seventeen hundred years,
Methinks a lovely ravisher appears:
Whom, though forbid by virtue to excuse,
A nymph might pardon, and could scarce refuse.
CHORUSES IN JULIUS CAESAR.
Whither is Roman honour gone? Where is your ancient virtue now 2 That valour, which so bright has shone, And with the wings of conquest flown, Must to a haughty master bow: Who, with our toil, our blood, and all we have beside, Gorges his ill-got power, his humour,and his pride.
Our scene is Athens. And great Athens namá,
What soul so dull as not to be inflam'd? -
Methinks, at mentioning that sacred place,
A reverend awe appears in every face,
For men so fam'd, of such prodigious parts,
As taught the world all sciences and arts.
Amidst all these ye shall behold a man
The most applauded since mankind began,
Out-shining ev'n those Greeks who most excel,
Whose life was one fix’d course of doing well.
Oh! who can therefore without tears attend
On such a life, and such a fatal end ?
But here our author, besides other faults
Of ill expressions, and of vulgar thoughts,
Commits one crime that necds an act of grace,
And breaks the law of unity of place:
Yet to so ch noble patriots, overcome
By factious violence, and banish'd Rome,
Athens alone a fit retreat could yield ;
And where can Brutus fall, but in Philippi field?
Some critics judge ev'n love itself too mean A care to mix in such a lofty scene, And with those ancient bards of Greece believe Friendship has stronger charms to please or grieve: But our more amorous poet, finding love Amidst all other cares, still shines above, Lets not the best of Romans end their lives Without just softness for the kindest wives. Yet, if ye think his gentle nature such As to have soften’d this great tale too much, Soon will your eyes grow dry, and passion fall, When ye reflect 'tis all but conjugal.
This to the few and knowing was addrest; And now 'tis fit I should salute the rest.
Most reverend dull judges ofthe pit, By Nature curs'd with the wrong side of wit! You need not care, whate'er you see to-night, How ill some players act, or poets write; Should our mistakes be never so motorious, You'll have the joy of being more censorious: Show your small talent then, let that suffice ye; But grow not vain upon it, I advise ye: Fach petty critic can objections raise, The greatest skill is knowing when to praise.
CHORUSES IN MARCUS BRUTUS. chorus ill ".
Dark is the maze poor mortals tread ;
Wisdom itself a guide will need:
We little thought, when Caesar bled,
That a worse Caesar would succeed.
And are we under such a curse,
We cannot change but for the worse 2
With fair pretence of foreign force,
By which Rome must herself enthral;
These, without blushes or remorse,
Proscribe the best, impoverish all.
The Gauls themselves, our greatest foes,
Could act no mischiefs worse than those.
That Julius, with ambitious thoughts,
Had virtues too, his foes could find ;
These equal him in all his faults,
But never in his noble mind.
* See the first and second choruses, in the Poems of Mr. Pope.