MISCELLANY POEMS.

Mutavit mentem populus levis, & calet uno
Scribendi studio. Pueri Patresque severi
Fronde comas vincti caenant & Carmina dictant.
Hor. Epist. 1ma. Lib. 2dus.

LONDON: Printed for Will. Rogers at the Sun against St. Dunstan's Church in Fleetstreet; and Fr. Hicks in Cambridge. 1697.

TO THE Honoured LADY, THE Lady LANGLEY: THESE POEMS Are humbly Dedicated.

Miscellany Poems.

Mortality.

BEneath the Covert of a Grove,
Frequented much by men in Love,
Careless and supinely laid,
I took my Lute and on it plaid:
Of Love's soft Passion did I Sing,
And Cupid, Love's Almighty King;
When lo! a String that wou'd have spoke,
O'th' sudden crack'd, and sighing broke;
It broke, and said, (methoughts) to me,
Think of thy own Mortality.

A Morning Thought, occasion'd by the early Singing of a Lark.

HArk! hark! my Soul!— Let the early Birds inspire
Thy groveling Thoughts with pure Celestial Fire,
Who from their temp'rate Sleep awake, and pay
Their thankful Anthems for the new-born Day.
[Page 2]See, how the tuneful Lark is mounted high!
And Poet-like salutes the Eastern Sky;
Aurora's Beauties in his Song does praise,
And calls the blushing Dame to hear his Lays.
But Man (more void of Gratitude) awakes,
And gives no thanks for that sweet Rest he takes;
Looks on the chearful Sun's new-kindled Flame,
Without one thought of Him, from whom it came.
Thus does th' unhallow'd Wretch the Day begin;
Shakes off his Sleep, but shakes not off his Sin!

Seeing Her with her Hair loose.

SUch was fair Eve, when first by Adam's side
The kind Creator laid his new-form'd Bride;
And like him, I with Love and Wonder struck,
On Maia's unaffected Beauties look;
Which gain Lfresh ustre from this careless Air,
Her naked Breasts, and her dishevell'd Hair;
Whose winding Tresses down her Bosom flow,
As gentle Streams in flow'ry Vallies do.
A finish'd Beauty needs no studi'd Arts,
No costly Ornaments to conquer Hearts;
Those only take the Eye, but ne'er can move
The inward Soul to Extasy and Love.
The Sun himself appears but half Divine,
Nor does with such prevailing Lustre shine,
When compass'd round with all his Robes of State,
The pompous Train of Clouds that on him wait.

The Rose. Anacreon Ode 5th, Lib. 1.

SWeet Roses now my Friends prepare,
Roses which so lovely are,
Which Venus loves; to her let's joyn
The jolly Bacchus, God of Wine;
Of Wine, which Beauty does improve,
And add new Vigour to our Love▪
Fresh Roses 'bout our Temples bind,
For harmless Mirth our Life's design'd.
The Roses smile, and bid us too
Drink Wine, as they drink Pearly Dew.
The Rose is sure the fairest Thing,
That does adorn the gaudy Spring▪
The Gods themselves the Rose do prize,
The Pride and Glory of the Skies;
For all their Gardens cannot show
A Flow'r that does beyond it go.
And Cupid, when he wou'd be fine,
To sport among the am'rous Nine,
Garlands made of blowing Roses
T' adorn his Head, the Boy composes.
Hither then my Maia bring,
With Roses crown me, and I'll sing,
Great Bacchus, thy eternal Praise,
In fitting Numbers, sprightly Lays.

Lying at her Feet.

THis Posture, and these Tears, which Heav'n wou'd move,
In vain I use in favour of my Love:
For whilst thus prostrate at her Feet I lye,
Like some fair Rock she stands, which plac'd on high,
Seems deaf to those sad Murmurs, which below
The Plaintive Riv'lets utter as they flow.

Melancholy.

I.
WElcome thou manly Passion of the Mind;
Welcome thou only Parent of sound Sense,
In whom alone we solid Pleasures find,
Accompani'd with peaceful Innocence:
Welcome thou private Darling of my Breast,
In whose soft Arms my harass'd Soul may rest.
II.
Thou Mistress of delightsome Poesy;
Thou real (not imaginary) Muse,
That dost such Strains of solemn Melody
Into the thoughtful Writer's heart infuse.
Thou genuine Offspring of pale Saturn's Ray,
That bring'st to our dark Minds a welcome Day.
III.
The Man that shall attempt to paint Thee right,
Must have a Fancy by thy self inspir'd.
The Vulgar place Thee in so false a Light,
Which makes thy Beauties by so few admir'd.
How very much mistaken they, that call
Thee but a Madness Enthusiastical!
IV.
As well right Sterling-wit they may define
To be a Farce of Words Atheistical;
Or the wild Fancies of intemp'rate Wine:
And solid Wisdom they as well may call
Stupidity: Or a sad dejected Face,
The certain Token of Celestial Grace.
V.
With Thee the wisest of all Ages dwell,
Rapt with the Transports of thy Company,
And in the dark Recesses of a Cell,
Draw Mental Light from deep Philosophy.
Thou modest (therefore wise) Companion,
That never yet in busy Crouds was known!
VI.
Thy Lovers thou dost so intirely bless,
That, having thee, they nothing seem to want;
The Soul that thou do'st with thy self possess,
Can make no Wishes so extravagant▪
But what thy own rich Bounty can bestow;
For thence it's very Thoughts and Wishes flow.
VII.
O that I might whole Ages thee enjoy!
Spend all my Life in thy sweet Golden Dreams,
Feed on thy Charms, whose Blessing ne'er can cloy,
And sooth my sullen Soul with pleasing Themes;
Lull'd in thy downy Bosom sleep away
This Life's Fatigue, and wait a better Day!
VIII.
So when the rough unruly Ocean roars,
And fighting Winds disturb both Sea and Sky;
Aloft the weary Mast-boy sitting snores,
Sensless of all the many Dangers nigh;
Waking at last from his diverting Sleep,
Finds all things smile, and calmness on the Deep.

To Mr. T— playing a Voluntary.

THis Organ T— skilful Hand
Does with such seeming ease command;
His Fingers decently advance,
And to their own sweet Musick dance:
So charming, and so fine the whole,
As though each Finger had a Soul,
And ready Wit, so fluently
T' express it self in Harmony.
Thus Sages speak, and with due Grace,
Give to each Word its proper place.
But Musick speaks such wond'rous Sense,
Such lofty Strains of Eloquence:
No words its Meaning can contain,
One Note the other must explain.

The Request.

I.
FOR Heav'ns sake, Madam, let me crave,
That you my dying Heart would save!
For other Remedies are all in vain,
Vain as my Love, unequal to my Pain.
II.
Oft by Disdain, oft by Despair,
I tri'd to overcome my Care;
But, ah! the Wound too tender was for these,
And did require some gentler Remedies.
III.
Then pensively I went to one,
That wond'rous Cures in Love had done,
Who knew what to prescribe for each Disease,
And how to give a hopeless Lover ease.
IV.
My Heart I shew'd him, told my Grief,
And begg'd for Love's sake some Relief:
Then he with pity mov'd, told me, that I
Must to my Wound this costly Balm apply.
V.
Go to the fair One speedily,
And from her beg a hearty Sigh;
Then ask a dimpled Smile, and briny Tear,
All which into a Mystick Salve prepare:
VI.
And gently do the Balsam pour
Into each Gash and bleeding Pore.
[Page 8]And this, with Faith and ardent Pray'rs to Love,
May heal your Wound, and deadly Pain remove.
VII.
Then cruel fair One don't deny
To give me one poor parting Sigh;
A Smile too, and a pitying Tear bestow;
What Love denies, at least let Mercy do.

Masking her self when she smil'd.

SO when the Sun with his Meridian Light,
Too fiercely darts upon our feeble Sight;
We thank th' officious Cloud, by whose kind aid
We view his Glory, lessen'd in a shade.

For Constacy. A Song.

I.
THus to a lovely youthful Swain,
That long had sigh'd for many a Nymph in vain,
Experienc'd Damon did complain.
II.
Alas! you can no Pleasure prove,
Whilst thus you wander in your Love,
And wantonly o're all the Vallies rove.
III.
Fix then the Aim of your Desire,
And to some one fair Nymph aspire;
Tho Chast, shell melt with constant Fire.

Primitive Love.

I.
O That we could the Golden Age retrieve!
That Scene of purest Innocence:
Then might I ask, and she consenting give
My constant Love a recompence.
II.
When all gave ear to Nature's kind advice,
Their Love was simple as their Dress;
No long delays the Lovers us'd, no forc'd disguise,
But glori'd in their Nakedness.
III.
No precious Time in idle Courtship spent;
The Youth look'd kindly on the Dame,
And she too thought it far more innocent
To own, than to conceal her Flame.
IV.
Each Virgin gay, like our great Parent Earth,
Grew pregnant without tedious Art,
When Seeds of Love with such an easy Birth,
Sprung up in ev'ry tender Heart.
V.
New uncouth ways to Love and Death we find,
Ah! fruitless Curiosity;
When both by wiser Nature were design'd
Man's Blessing, not his Misery.

On the Eleventh Verse of the Second Chap­ter of Ecclesiastes.

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had labour­ed to do, and behold all was vanity and vexa­tion of spirit; and there was no profit under the sun.

ARE these th' Effects? Is this then all I gain
In recompence for all my tedious Pain?
Have I for this toil'd out a tiresome Age,
And plai'd the Drudge upon this busy Stage?
Is my expected Bliss but Misery?
And all my Labour studi'd Vanity?
Honour and Wealth I always did disdain,
But never dream'd my Learning too was vain!
Many a silent Night and lonesome Day,
In quest of Knowledge have I thrown away:
Far, wond'rous far I cast my curious Eye
Back on past Ages of Antiquity;
Much of our Predecessors had I read;
Was well acquainted with the mighty Dead.
Deep into Nature's Secrets did I pry,
Solv'd her dark Riddles; oft have I told her why
The drudging and laborious Sun
Does round his Annual Circle run,
How to this Globe of Earth he does convey
Alternately the Course of Night and Day;
[Page 11] * How's Concubine the Moon brings to his Bed,
By constant Change a Monthly Maidenhead;
How all their bright innum'rous Progeny
Keep their due Order in the vaulted Sky,
The Younger crouding up the Galaxy.
Then did I cast my Eyes on things below,
Learnt why the Ocean's Waves should ebb and flow;
And for what noble End, [...]hat glorious Use
Th' Almighty did the vast [...]iathan produce.
The Nature of each vari [...]us [...]lant I found,
Knew well each Flow'r [...]at be [...]utifies the Ground.
With care I search'd th [...] Earth's [...] pregnant Womb,
Saw how th' inliven' [...] Seeds to [...]ature come;
And how bright P [...]ebus with [...] gilded Ray,
Turn'd into pre [...]us Oar the [...]ordid Clay;
In short, whatever was in th' reach of Man,
All that I knew, and is all that but vain?
No! 'tis but Vanity in a high degree,
But trifling, foolish Curiosity;
And lo, the end thereof is Misery!
From all my Folly this sad truth I know,
What ignorantly we call Bliss below,
Is certainly a Curse, by Heav'n design'd
To punish insolent pragmatical Mankind.
Wealth, Power, Honour, Knowledge; what are these?
Meer childish Toys, that th' Infant-Soul may please;
[Page 12]But when she does reflect, and let in Day,
The trifling Phantoms dwindle quite away;
Straight the Chimera's vanish, swift they fly,
Like empty Clouds before bright Reason's Eye.
For Riches, when consider'd, are but Cares,
And Pow'rs high Throne is toss'd with constant Fears;
Fame's but a Bubble, swell'd with th' Breath of Man,
Dash'd by an adverse Blast to Nought again.
Knowledge;—oh thats the greatest Curse of all!
Of mortal Plagues the grand Original:
None climb the fatal Tree without a fall.
In vain, alas! we build our Babel high;
In vain from Seas of Ignorance we fly;
For with a scornful smile just Heav'n looks down,
Strikes the learn'd Builders with Confusion.
As Life to Death inevitably flows,
So all our Knowledge terminates in Woes.
Well then—upon the whole what do we see
Beneath the Cope of Heav'n, but Vanity?
What is this Miscellany Scene of Life,
Crouded with such variety of Grief?
'Tis all one jarring heap of Misery,
Which the first Chaos did but Typify.

THE Cure of Love. A POEM.

Virginibus Puerisque canto.
Hor. Ode 1. Lib. 3.

THE CURE of LOVE.

WHAT Naso, Love's great Prophet and his Slave,
To Rome in smooth harmonious Verses gave,
In British Numbers (that abruptly flow
As Albion's Streams down craggy Mountains do)
Lo, I attempt. And thou propitious Muse,
That did'st the wond'rous Secret first infuse
Into his Breast, vouchsafe now to inspire
My youthful Song with the same heav'nly Fire.
Say what may tame the impetuous force of Love;
What pow'rful Charm the smiling Ill remove.
Say how the Captive Youth himself may free,
And dying Maid regain her Liberty;
Or how th' untainted, e'er it be too late,
May arm himself against a Lover's fate.
But now, methinks, the fair Ones of our Isle
Mock my vain Labour with a scornful Smile.
'Tis true indeed, such pow'rful Charms they have,
As wou'd the most averse to Love inslave;
Make the cold Hermit glow with inward Fire,
And in his Cell transporting Joys desire.
More finish'd Beauties never were design'd
By Painter's Pencil, or rich Poet's Mind;
[Page 16]So deeply skill'd in the inchanting Arts
Of kindling Love, and captivating Hearts.
Not that I wou'd their Empire quite destroy,
Or take from Beauty all its promis'd Joy:
I only wou'd suppress its Tyranny,
And have it conquer without Cruelty.
Beauty should like a blazing Comet rise,
Excite our Wonder, and attract our Eyes;
But then its Lustre never should dispence
O're ev'ry Heart a baneful Influence.
It grieves me when I see th' unwary Young,
By Nature form'd all healthy, gay, and strong,
Nourish a Viper in their tortur'd Breast,
Which with incessant Gnawings break their Rest;
See the fresh Roses from their Cheeks decay,
And all their youthful Vigour pine away.
Nay, the most daring, most Heroick Mind,
Intangled in Love's Snares too oft we find:
Whether 'tis caus'd by that more sprightly Heat,
That does his boiling Spirits animate;
Or whether Cupid takes more Pride t' inslave
The gen'rous Souls and Courage of the Brave.
When therefore the first Symptoms in your Breast
Begin your wonted Quiet to molest,
When Infant-sighs, like Unfledg'd winds, begin
With gentle Breath to kindle Fire within;
When springing warmth around your Heart does play,
And a new Motion through your Blood convey;
Then straight the Undermining-Foe surprize,
And quell him, e're he can have time to rise.
Destroy the shapeless Embrio, e're it be
Endu'd with Form and full Maturity.
[Page 17]Call sober Reason timely to your Aid,
And rest not till you have the Spirit laid.
Had this been done by the Phoenician Queen,
Aeneas never had her Ruin been.
But whilst she with her Sister does debate,
And with her Husband's Shades expostulate,
Her growing Passions like thick Mists arise.
Delude her Soul, and dance before her Eyes.
See, now she's lost, bewilder'd in her way;
She takes no Sleep by Night, nor Rest by Day;
But thinks it tedious vital Air to Breathe,
And there appears no present Ease but Death;
Death in the form of Love, all over Fire,
Is what her raging Fury does require,
Where Life and Love together may expire.
But if by thoughtless Inadvertency,
The first and best Occasion you pass by,
And the Disease has taken now firm hold
Of all within, and grown by use more bold:
'Twill cost you then much Diligence and Art
To ease the Throbbings of your sickly Heart.
By slow degrees you must your Peace secure;
And time, which made the Wound, must bring the Cure.
Stop not your Tide of Love with sudden force,
But for a while give way unto its Course:
For Rage resisted does unruly grow,
And scorns beneath the servile Yoke to bow▪
Oft have I seen a Flood, expanded wide,
O'er down-hill Meads with even Waters glide;
When with a Mound if we but urge its stay,
Proudly it swells, and sweeps all clean away.
[Page 18]Give then the Reins, if fierce your Passion prove;
Nor with cool Reason combat burning Love;
Like disagreeing Elements they jar,
When e're they meet, proclaiming open War.
Wait then a fitter opportunity,
And in due time these Remedies apply.
Of all those Ills, that from unlucky Fate
Have pow'r the strongest Souls t' emasculate,
None worse than slothful Ease, which to avoid,
Intent on Business, keep your self imploy'd;
Business! the greatest Enemy to Love:
Business! that does all wanton Thoughts remove;
But Oyl the Flame, and Fuel feeds the Fire,
And Laziness increases fond Desire.
Since then the World affords variety,
Your self to some diverting Task apply.
If that your Soul be fill'd with Martial Rage,
And boldly dares in th' open Field ingage,
Oh! leave your Mistress, and your Native Soyl,
And in bright Arms sustain Heroick Toil;
Inflam'd with Honour to the Camp be gone,
And follow where great Nassau leads you on.
There on the dusty Plain with Labour sweat,
Patient of Winter's Cold, and Summer's Heat;
For Englands Peace undauntedly advance,
And teach Subjection to Aspiring France.
Oh! who would think of am'rous foolish Toys,
Amidst the heat of Fight and Warlike Noise!
When the fierce Steed does from his Eyes dart Fire,
And from his furious Nostrils smoke expire!
When rattling Drums and ecchoing Trumpets sound,
Rouse Courage up, and baser Fears confound.
[Page 19]The Tempest past, appears fair Victory
Like Venus, rising from a stormy Sea:
On th' English Standard see she does alight,
And gladly fixes there her doubtful I light.
Iö Britania, Iö Poean sing!
Whole Groves of Verdan Laurel hither bring,
Crown thy brave Youth, and thy victorious King
But if you dread the War's tempestuous Breath,
And care not for the bloody Trade of Death;
Perhaps ingenious Curiosity
May tempt you o're the Limits of our Sea;
Since wisest Men by foreign Converse find
Their Knowledge, and their Manners too, refin'd,
By reading Men they sounder Learning gain,
Than those, who musty Volumes entertain.
Besides, what Satisfaction 'tis, to see
The Monuments of fam'd Antiquity!
Here a vast Pyramid (through roiling Years,
Free from th' injurious hand of Time) appears:
Inscrib'd with Antique Characters, to tell
What mighty Monarch rais'd the Miracle:
Deep in the Earth its firm Foundation lies,
Its Head doth seem to prop th'impending Skies▪
Who could but view with Wonder and Delight,
The most stupendious Babel's impious Height!
Or huge Colossus, whose Gigantick Stride
Press'd down th' aspiring Rocks, and aw'd th' im­petuous Tide!
Each day affords new Objects to the Eye,
Delighting Fancy with variety:
New Earth appears, suspended in new Skies,
And diff'rent Stars in diff'rent Countries rise.
[Page 20]The change of Scenes sets off the tedious Play,
And takes the dull Fatigue of Life away.
But you perhaps may think th' Advice severe,
Not suiting with a dying Lover's Care.
I must confess, from what one loves, to part,
Would almost break the most obdurate Heart;
But yet at first some Pain you must endure;
A sore Disease demands no easy Cure.
You must tug hard before you break the Chain,
That does the freedom of your Soul restrain;
For Love will thousand fair Pretences make,
And for your stay will all occasions take;
The Weather's bad, the Wind is very high;
Who knows what dangers in the Sea may lye?
Your very Feet will treach'rous to you prove,
Unwilling from the Threshold to remove;
And now at parting, the expiring Flame
Will larger grow —
But break th' Inchantment with a firm resolve,
And Sampson-like the slavish Ties dissolve.
When going, turn not back your longing Eyes
On the fair Object, which your Heart does prize,
For in a farewel-glance strong Magick lies.
Tho' the relenting Dame should kinder prove,
And promise to reward your suff'ring Love;
Nay, tho' she beat her snowy Breasts, and spread her Arms,
And practice all the cunning Sexes Charms,
Regard her not; tho' Virgins Tears (they say)
Have pow'r the Rage of Tygers to allay.
Alas, despairing Circe! all thy Art
And pow'rful Magick cou'd not keep the Heart
[Page 21]Of wise Vlysses; deaf to all thy Cries,
He quits the Shore, and ploughs the watry Skies.
Oh! whither (said she) whither wouldst so fast?
Why from these eager Arms dost make such haste?
Stay but one moment— and I'll charm the Seas,
And by my skill th' outragious Winds appease.
But rather trust to the tempestuous Main,
Then undergo a Lover's racking Pain:
And tho' there's dread in e'ery yawning Wave,
Yet raging Flames not half their Mercy have;
Nor Lightning, darted by an angry Iove,
Has pow'r of scorching like the Fire of Love.
But if Affairs of greater weight demand,
You shou'd not leave your Home or Native Land;
Within the Circuit of this Isle there are
Imployments may divert a Lover's care.
Some to the fam'd Augusta's Inns withdraw,
Delighted with the Knowledge of the Law;
'Tis fine to learn the Rules of Equity,
And study Justice most impartially;
To plead the Orphan's Cause with Eloquence,
And right the Tears of injur'd Innocence.
But if your Soul to Wisdom does aspire,
And universal Knowledge you desire;
To venerable Cham's learn'd Streams resort▪
Where Phoebus with the Sacred Nine keeps Court.
There within peaceful College-walls reside,
Forget that e're you serv'd a Woman's Pride,
Or vainly for a haughty Beauty sigh'd.
Here no Intriegues of busy Love are known,
No foolish Cares molest the studious Gown.
[Page 22]All Nature's Works, and Nature's Deity,
Imploy our Thoughts and Curiosity.
How very pleasant, Learning, are thy ways!
Much lighter than a Crown are Wreaths of Bays.
But here take care of Charming Poetry;
For if your Mind be not from Passion free,
The Muses softning Language will increase
The Dying-rage, and nourish the Disease.
Avoid th' inspired Cowley's am'rous Lines,
And read not easy Waller's gentle Rhymes:
From Dryden's Moving-Tragedies abstain,
And Lee's and Otway's more pathetick Strain.
But above all things, you shou'd never chuse
To write, or tamper with a Love-sick Muse;
She'll lead you out to Groves and purling Streams,
And entertain your Fancy with gay Theams.
Most Poets are by some strange Destiny
Condemn'd to Love, as well as Poverty.
If then your Genius bent, shou'd lead you on
To visit the clear Streams of Helicon;
Stifle the Flame at first, or else, like Love,
By kind Indulgence 'twill more vig'rous prove.
Perhaps in Rural Sports you'd spend your Days,
Preferring Quiet to the City's Noise:
The Countrey most agreeing Past-time yields,
When the gay Spring paints o'er the smiling Fields,
Or when rough Winter, envious of their Pride,
With chilling Snow does all their Glories hide.
The Woods, the Meadows, and the Crystal Streams,
For ev'ry Season have their proper Gains.
To chase the Forest-Deer affords delight,
And with swift Dogs to urge their swifter Flight;
[Page 23]What brave, what manlike Musick is there found,
When Hills, and ecchoing Vallies do resound
With the loud Op'nings of a deep-mouth'd Hound!
They that have follow'd this diverting Game,
Were never troubl'd with a Cupid's Flame:
For rough Hypolitus ne'er felt Love's Fire;
Diana knew no fond unchaste Desire;
The Virgin Daphne from Apollo runs,
And with disdain his fierce Embraces shuns;
The God pursues, and in his longing Arms
A Laurel clasps, instead of Beauty's Charms.
But now my Muse refresh thy weari'd flight,
And take a view, so pleasing to thy sight!
So grateful to thy self! so innocent!
So full of solid Pleasure, true Content!
Of Paradise's lovely Bosom sing,
And what Diversions fertile Gardens bring,
Inamel'd by the curious hand of Spring.
When Heav'n its Image did in Man express,
To make his Life compleat with Happiness,
Fair Eden then it added to his store;
So great the Gift, that it cou'd give no more.
With daily care to Cultivate the Earth,
To watch the pretty Flow'rs fragrant Birth,
To shade 'em from the scorching Eye of day,
And with refrshing Water make 'em gay;
In time to prune the too-luxuriant Vine,
Round the tall Elm her spreading Arms to twine,
When Autumn comes, her burden'd Boughs to ease,
And from the Grape its Racy Juice to squeeze:
These are Imployments may divert your Pain,
And all your wonted Liberty regain.
[Page 24]Your Garden love, of that your Mistress make,
And ev'ry Flower for a Beauty take;
Court 'em each morn, when they their Sweets dis­close,
And ravish Kisses from the blushing Rose;
How fresh its Colour! naturally Fair!
Its Breath divine, perfumes the ambient Air!
But here one Caution take, else ling'ring Love
Will never from your anxious Breast remove:
If pleasant Walks, and private Grottoes, made
To cool the raging Dog-stars heat with shade,
Add to your Gardens costly Ornament,
And seem to be so full of sweet Content;
Shun their alluring Flatteries, for there
Black Melancholy dwells, and deep Despair,
Love's direful Furies. Oh! you're quite undone,
If they accost you thoughtful and alone!
From Solitude, when tir'd with Labour, fly;
And seek Diversion from good Company.
When Time draws on, that weary Mortals steep
Their fainting Spirits in refreshing Sleep,
Repair not to your Bed before the Nod,
And drowsy Summons of the Midnight God:
Within the Curtains are a num'rous Train
Of Thoughts, that rack a wakeful Lover's Brain.
When fair Aurora smiles on th' Eastern Skies,
Shake off your Sloth, and from your Pillow rise;
Nor basking on your Bed at Noon-day lye,
For busy Cupid then stands laughing by,
And with a thousand wanton gay Desires.
Revives the Flame, and blows the dying Fires.
What has been said already may release
Your Mind perhaps, and by degrees give ease.
[Page 25]But if your Passion does so highly rage,
That no Diversion can the Heat asswage;
Look on your Mistress with a Critick's Eye,
And narrowly into her Failings pry;
Whether kind Nature does to her impart
Her Charms, or if she borrows them from Art.
But yet suppose all Graces shou'd combine
To make your Lady's outward Form divine;
Think what unseemly Passions may controul
The hidden Temper of her inmost Soul.
Few can the fair One's Inclinations see,
Till Hymens Torch reveal the Mystery.
And oh! that Man, the stately Lord of all,
Shou'd down before a gaudy outside fall!
Reverse of Nature! shall I whine and sigh,
And for a faithless sensless Woman dye?
With Arguments like these be resolute,
And sly insinuating Love confute.
But now when to unty the Knot you come,
Let it not be in Heat and Anger done,
But in a mild and gentle Calmness part;
For Rage but shews the Anguish of your Heart.
And if you grieve, be sure your Grief beguile,
And clear your Count'nance with a seeming Smile.
O Antony! had'st thou this cunning known,
And not thy Weakness to a Woman shown!
By brave Ventidius see the Inchantments broke,
The General throws off his Servile Yoke;
Well-mounted now the Veterane Troops he heads,
And fir'd with Courage to the Battle leads.
But see, curs'd Fate!—The Charming Queen ap­pears,
Graceful in Sorrow, beautiful in Tears:
[Page 26]Oh, my lov'd Lord, (said she) my Antony!
Why from your Cleopatra do you fly?
Are you so bent to follow loud Alarms?
Sure War cou'd never boast of Beauty's Charms!
Are these soft Arms too weak to keep you here?
Or has my Fondness made you so severe?
Go then.— At that his conquer'd Courage reels,
And panting Heart pathetick Motion feels;
Stern Mars must to the Suit of Venus yield,
And for her Bosom leave the dusty Field.
All the fair Sex have learnt that Eloquence,
To make themselves appear all Innocence:
When e're they please, their Eyes dissolve in Tears,
And wash away the jealous Lover's fears.
And now you think your Mind is disingag'd
From that fierce Passion that within it rag'd.
Tho' all things seem well setled in a Peace,
And all Intestine Broils and Discords cease;
Of a Relapse amidst this Calm beware;
'Twill make your State more desperate by far.
If the Disease return, you may despair
Of perfect Health, no Physick can repair
A second Breach; then with due Caution arm
Against th' Invasion of so great a harm.
Keep always out of sight, avoid the place
Which your fair Foe does with her Presence grace;
For Love will through the Eye its entrance find,
Into the dark Recesses of the Mind.
No pledges of your former Vows detain,
But to the Virgin send 'em back again.
Burn all your kinder Letters from the Dame,
For ev'ry Line will your Desire inflame.
[Page 27]On Pleasures past you must not ruminate,
Lest that to more shou'd Appetite create;
Love, like habitual Sin, will fainter grow,
The longer you refuse its Joys to know.
Yet all this Counsel is of little use,
And hardly can a perfect Cure produce
Without a Diet too, which to rehearse,
Shall be the last performance of my Verse:
Deny your self of all luxurious Food,
That with prolifick Heat inflames the Blood;
The Body pamper'd will at length controul
The chaster Resolutions of the Soul.
Taste not the tempting Liquor of the Vine,
But bid adieu to the free Joys of Wine.
What tho' it sparkle in the Glass, and smile?
Like faithless Woman it destroys the while!
To quench your Thirst, and Nature satisfy,
To Crystal Streams and living Fountains fly.
Some vainly think that they may use a mean,
And not from Bacchus totally abstain;
But (credit me) the sober Glass will prove
The most prevailing Argument to Love:
For he, that with immod'rate Wine destroys
His Vigour, seldom thinks of Beauty's Joys.
A little moves, but too much slakes Desire,
As Piles of Fuel quite put out the Fire.
My Task is ended, and methinks I see
Th' awaken'd Youth shake off their Lethargy
Of Love. And now each Lady wonders whence
Proceeds the cause of this indifference;
Consults her Glass, and questions if her Face
Retains its Features, and its wonted Grace.
[Page 28] Love's Empire falls, no more do we invoke
His Deity, and make his Altars smoke.
See what tormenting Fears disturb the Boy,
What racking Cares the vanquish'd God annoy:
With folded Arms he stands, and drooping Wings,
And wide his Bow and useless Arrows flings
No fev'rish Sighs now swell the Virgin's Breasts,
No dire Despair the lovely Youth molests;
But both from pow'rful Verse receive their mu­tual Rest.
So the young Prophet with his tuneful Lyre,
Did raging Saul with gentle Thoughts inspire;
The angry Daemon listen'd as he plaid,
Grew wond'rous mild, and his soft Notes obey'd.

A REFLECTION ON OUR Modern Poesy. AN ESSAY.

The Second Edition.

— Fuit haec Sapientia quondam,
Publica privatis secernere, sacra profanis;
Concubitu prohibere vago; dare jura maritis;
Oppida moliri; legis incidere ligno;
Sic honor & nomen divinis Vatibus atque
Carminibus venit. —
Hor. de Arte Poet.

TO MY Honoured Friend and School-Fellow, Mr. A. OWEN.

SIR,

THE way of Dedicating now most in fa­shion, seems to me to stand in as great need of a Reformation, as does our Poe­try. For, as we take nothing to be True and Genuine Poetry, but what is Light▪ Frothy, and has a wanton Air throughout it; so the genera­lity seem to stand persuaded, That an Epistle De­dicatory loses its End quite, if not stuff'd up with gross and open Flattery, sufficient to call a Blush into any modest Reader's Cheek. But here it is a hard matter to judge Whether the Impudence of the Author▪ or the Vanity of the Patron (who be­lieves all true that's said of him) does contribute most to carry on this notorious piece of Folly

Now, (Sir) though our Early Friendship, and Intimate Acquaintance was the Reason that pre­vaild most upon me in presenting this small Essay to You; yet, to speak truth, there was another Mo­tive too, which made me the more desirous of it, [Page 32] and that was merely upon the account of running counter to the generality of Dedicating Poets, to try if a particular Example might have any small Influence in correcting the Poetical License they take up [...]n such like occasions: For here I was satis­fied that I might come off without the least flatter­ing Glance, with one who (though young) has Ex­perience enough to understand, that Personal Re­spect is not to be estimated by the fine Complements and Flourishes of a Fanciful Pen. And for my part, I think if our Poets go on at their old Rate but a little longer, we shall be apt to interpret Epistles of this sort as we do Dreams, by the contrary.

The great Scandal that Poetry has of late been subject to, together with the respect I always had for it, gave occasion for the following Reflection. For as I was considering how much this Art was esteemed amongst our Forefathers, and how Vene­rable, nay, almost Sacre [...], the Name of a Poet was then; Surely (thought I) the Former Honour, and the Present Disgrace the Muses lye under, could never depend on the different Capricio's of two divers Ages, but there must be some more reasonable Ground for this matter, which if once discovered, will give a very fair opportunity of restoring Verse to its Primitive Dignity. Some there are who suspect, That the want of Genius in our Age has given Poetry this deadly Wound: But they will soon find their Mistake, if (laying aside the blind Veneration we have for Antiquity) they compare the Ancients and Moderns in any sort of Poetry, excepting the Epic. So that we must seek out for some other [Page 33] Cause more probable than the former. And what others may spy, I know not; but I think the great Difference lies here, That Poetry is now no longer the Fountain of Wisdom, the School of Virtue; it is no longer a fit Trainer up of Youth, a Bridler of the Passions and exorbitant Desires: But on the contrary, he is reckoned the Ablest Poet, that is most dextrous at conjuring up these Evil Spirits, to disturb the Calm and Quiet of the Soul. And this (if I mistake not) is that which hath de­form'd so great a Beauty, and cast an Odium on that most excellent Art, which was once the Pride of Conquerors, and Envy of Philosophers.

What I have transiently remark'd in the follow­ing Verses, will I doubt not) be dislik'd by many of our Rhiming Sparks; for take but the Liberty of Writing Immodestly from 'em, and you have quite dismounted them off their Pegasus; they are quite Tongue-tid; 'tis with them, as Horace says it was [...] the Reign of the old Comedy, Chorusque, Turpiter, obticuit, sublato jure nocendi.

What I have said against Love upon the Stage, I would not have apprehended so, as if I would have that Passion quite exploded; for I think it one of the fittest Passions for Poetry, and capable of very great Ornaments; but then I would have it very nicely and delicately handled; and what might give the least Offence to the severest Modesty, always cast in Shades; for it is then only that this Passion is not to be allow'd, when it goes beyond its bounds; and that is, when the Poet's Strokes are too bold, and his Colours too glaring.

[Page 34]I was told (which I my self afterwards found to be true) that a great Part of my Design was already performd in the Preface to Prince Arthur. How­ever, that did not trouble me in the least, for I was very glad to see my self of the same Opinion with so eminent an Author; since I had laid a Rude Draught of my Reflection the last Summer, which I then shew'd several of my Acquaintaince. How­ever, the World may think this a Sham, and I am very willing to be thought indebted to so creditable a Person for what I have said.

I shall make no Apology for the Tediousness of my Epistle, since you are too often guilty of the Contrary Vice in writing to

your Real Friend, and very Humble Servant.

A REFLECTION ON OUR Modern Poesy.

IF Poets be (as they pretend) inspir'd
With Heat Divine, and Sacred Fury fir'd;
How comes it then, that each Poetick Piece
Gives now-a-days Encouragement to Vice?
Each Line (or else we think it will not do)
With wanton Love, and Flames unchaste must glow.
That scribling Fop that would a Poet be,
First bids adieu to all his Modesty:
Invokes not Phoebus, but the God of Wine;
Crowns his hot Temples with th' inspiring Vine:
The Glass (Dull Sot!) must make his Thoughts sub­blime,
For in a Sober Mood what Bard can Rhime?
But sure Great Homer got not thus a Name:
Nor Greater Maro his Eternal Fame;
Maro whose lofty Soul now animates
Our Blackmore's Breast with true Poetick Heats!
Thrice Happy Man! whom too indulgent Fate
Resolves to make, in spight of Envy, Great;
[Page 36]Thou ne're hadst writ, had William never fought;
The Hero's Deeds inlarge the Poet's Thought.
These Muses chaste as Vestal Virgins are;
Stately, not Proud; Reserv'd, but not Severe.
The Flame that thro' their Works so bright does shine,
Was surely kindled by a Breath Divine,
No Cupid's Puff, nor Frenzy caus'd by Wine.
But that our Follies we at large may see,
Let's closely view our Modern Poesy.
What place so much debauched as our Stage,
Which next the Pulpit, should correct the Age?
What anciently Devotion did begin,
Is now converted to the use of Sin;
And on our Theatres we daily see
Vice triumph o'er dejected Honesty.
But happy Athens! whose more decent Stage
Was moraliz'd by Sophocles wise Rage:
Who e're he did pretend to Poetry,
Search'd the grave Precepts of Philosophy;
Hence 'twas he taught those Truths he learnt before,
And practis'd those sound Rules his Writings bore:
He doubly charm'd his Modest Audience,
By good Example, and wise Eloquence.
Philosophers far short in teaching came;
Their Naked Virtues maimed were, and lame.
The Pearl they represented to the View
Unpolish'd, as It naturally grew.
But Poets put a Gloss on't, made it shine;
Then 'twas embrac'd as somewhat more Divine.
What er'st to the Rude People seem'd severe,
In soothing Verse all-charming does appear;
[Page 37]Gently it glides into their ravish'd Minds,
For Pleasure still an easy Entrance finds;
Few can the Suit, of what they like, remove,
Or be averse, when Beauty wooe's, from Love.
And now what weak Excuse, what vain Pre­tence,
Can Christian Poets bring in their Defence?
Shall Heathens teach by Nature's Glow-worm Light,
What they neglect when Faith directs their Sight?
Or are our Palates vitiated, and we
Can relish nought but Vice in Poetry?
Must They indulge the Ill, and sooth our Fate,
Or else prevent it e're it be too late?
If We are led away by strong Desire,
Must They add Fuel to the raging Fire?
Not so did Orpheus; but with tuneful Voice,
Taught Salvage Men that follow'd Nature's Choice,
That wildly stray'd in shrubby Brakes all day,
And herded with the common Beasts of Prey;
E'en These he taught their Passions to subdue,
Through Error's Maze to follow Reason's Clue,
Their Mossy Caves and Grotto's to forsake,
And fitter Dwellings for themselves to make;
And that in Learning Greece did so aspire,
Was wholly owing to his Sacred Lyre.
Then let some Champion for the Muses rise.
Who dares be obstinately Good, and Wise;
Let him but turn the Stream of Helicon,
And make It in its proper Channel run.
He needs not fear his Bayes shall wither'd lye;
Or that We shall despise his Poetry;
[Page 38]For genuine Virtue, when adorn'd with Grace,
Has surely Charms so lovely in her Face,
We all shou'd Vice forsake, and only Her embrace.
But He must then take a peculiar care,
No Wanton Scenes have in his Poem share:
A Plot and Moral let him chuse, that's free
From all th' Allays of fulsome Ribaldry,
Which in our Modern Plays too oft we see.
Let not Immodest Love debauch his Rhimes;
Which to excuse, our Poets oftentimes
Reply, They bring such Objects into view,
To make us loathe those Passions we pursue.
But this is False; They always raise Desire,
Fan by degrees in us Vnlawful Fire:
For here the Poet's Warm Expressions move
Th' Vnthinking Herd such Passions to approve.
The Wiser Ancients did this Fault decline,
And made their Tragedies more Masculine.
Each nervous Scene some Manlike Virtue taught,
Untainted with the least Immodest Thought.
Their Heroes were more Stern, and fit for Wars,
Scorn'd whining Love, and Jealousy's fond Jars:
Not but that soft Humanity did rest,
And gen'rous Love in great Aeneas Breast.
But Ours, more fit for Cupid's Childish Arms,
Are Womens Fools, and Captives to their Charms.
The Stage, which Terror should with Pity move,
With us is wholly taken up in Love.
In this (as well as other Follies) we
Too much affect the Gallick Levity:
Thence our Romantick Heroes first we drew,
Unlike our Arthur, and our William too▪
[Page 39]In vain it is, that Heav'n's Wise Providence
Has by a Sea divided us from Fance,
If still their Fopperies we Imitate,
And their vain Customs to our Isle Translate.
We want not Genius for the Buskin Muse,
Would Britain but all Foreign Aids refuse;
Nor of our Language need we to complain;
'Tis Pompous, Bold, and fits the Tragick Strain.
Our Poets too that have wrote Comedy,
Have Wit enough, but fail in Modesty.
They still forget the End for which they write,
And mind not Profit, so they can Delight.
But he that wears the Sock, should carefully
Purge all his Writings from Obscenity:
And though the Age's Humour he expose,
Yet no Vnseemly things should be disclose.
His Plays should be a Glass, where All might see
How to correct their own Deformity.
Terence in this might justly claim the Bayes,
Whose Lively Draughts succeeding Ages praise:
By him were taught upon the Roman Stage,
The Duties proper to each State and Age.
But here with us, in a whole Comedy
One Virtuous Character you cannot see:
Rather than want for Vice, we chuse to draw
Strange Monsters, contrary to Nature's Law.
True Innocence the Poet ridicules,
And Honesty reserves for none but Fools.
His Gentleman he makes a Wondrous Sage,
That's deeply read in Vices of the Age:
His Mistress and his Cloaths employ his Care;
Of all his Thoughts Religion claims no share.
[Page 40]The Damsel too, e'er Fifteen Years expire,
Is all o'er Love, and Wanton with Desire;
Then strait all Filial Duty's laid aside,
And nought will please her, but the Name of Bride:
Which once obtaind, does soon uneasy prove,
And still she trafficks in Forbidden Love;
Her Husband's Kisses lose their wonted Taste,
And stollen Pleasures always Relish best.
These Characters with Wit and Language joyn'd,
Must needs Instruct a Youthful Readers Mind!
These Ills, tho' great, yet are but light, to Crimes
Whose Horror shall amaze succeeding Times!
See now the Poet's Bold in Mischief grown,
And turns to Ridicule the Sacred Gown!
The Grave Divine a Laughing-stock he makes;
And the firm Basis of Religion shakes:
High Heav'n's Ambassador within the Scene
Lays by his awful and becoming Mien,
And takes upon him there (O Monstrous sight!)
To play the Pimp, or Canting Hypocrite.
Happy the Heathens! whose Impiety
Ne'er mounted yet to such a high degree.
Due Reverence to their Priests was always shown,
And Distance kept from the Mysterious Gown.
Tiresias to the Thebans was a God,
Him they consulted, and rever'd his Nod.
But hear, O hear! how mighty was the Hand
Of Moses, and how powerful the Wand,
That wrought such Wonders in Proud Pharoah's Land!
Revolve th' amazing History, and learn
The Dignity of Priesthood to discern.
[Page 41] Satyr, which was a wholsome Remedy,
Prescrib'd to cure a People's Malady,
When prudently appli'd doth Good produce;
But as all Goods are subject to abuse,
So this of Late no Publick Cure intends,
But only serves to black Malicious ends.
We dip our Pens in Gall when e'er we Write,
And all our Inspiration is but Spite.
But Horace, free from Prejudice and Rage,
With Honey did the smarting Sting assuage:
His Satyr grinn'd not as it bit, but Smil'd,
Both Cur'd the Reader, and his Care beguil'd.
Had Dryden never Writ, then Britain still
Had with Despair admir'd the Roman Skill:
But now, by his Example taught, we know,
That Finest Satyr in our Soil will grow.
Our Songs and Little Poems, for most part,
Have much degraded the Poetick Art.
On Trifling Subjects all our Wit we drain;
Which little Credit to the Writer gain.
When these small Rills united in one Stream,
Wou'd serve to buoy up some more weighty Theam,
And o'er the World spread wide the Poet's Fame.
Turn over e'ery Late Miscellany,
You hardly can a Modest Copy see.
Broad Words, and fulsome Thoughts we now ad­mit,
And praise the Nauseous Author for a Wit.
But sure by Men of Sense and Quality,
The Wretch is Pity'd for his Ribaldry;
And here the Petty Scribler's Blasted Bays
Is propt, but by the silly Vulgar's Praise.
[Page 42]But if you wou'd Respect or Love express,
And shew your Passion in a Comely Dress,
Learn how from Courtly Waller's Deathless Layes
Chastly to Love, with Modesty to Praise;
Whose Pen ne'er did the Virgins Cheek with Red,
Nor friendly Ears with undue Praise misled.
Were I design'd by Kinder Destiny
To Court a Muse, and follow Poetry,
My early care should be to raise a Fence
To guard All-Pure my Native Innocence;
My Infant Genius shou'd strict Virtue learn,
And Modesty should be its great Concern:
Nor Popular Applause, nor hopes of Gain,
Th' unspotted Brightness of the Pearl shou'd stain.
For Reputation, if it once be lost,
Can never be regain'd by any Cost;
'Tis Bright like Chrystal, —but 'tis Brittle too,
Easy to Crack, but hard for to Renew.
Then closely wou'd I watch m' untainted Muse,
That She no Meretricious Arts should use;
No Unbecoming Words, nor Wanton Sound,
The Niceness of her Virgin Ear shou'd wound.
So shou'd my Writings with the Eneid strive,
And my Chaste Verse to endless Ages live:
Whilst all my Readers say, Lo! This is He,
That from long Bondage set the Muses Free.
FINIS.

THE CONTENTS.

MOrtality.
Page 1
A Morning Thought, occasion'd by the early Singing of a Lark.
ibid.
Seeing Her with her Hair loose.
2
The Rose. Anacreon Ode 5th, Lib. 1.
3
Lying at her Feet.
4
Melancholy.
ibid.
To Mr T — playing a Voluntary.
6
The Request.
7
Masking her self when she smil'd.
8
For Constancy. A Song.
ibid.
Primitive Love.
9
On the Eleventh Verse of the Second Chapter of Ecclesiastes.
10
The Cure of Love.
15
A Reflection on our Modern Poesy.
35

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