Hop Garden


BY CHRISTOPHER SMART, A. M. Fellow of Pembroke-Hall, Cambridge.

—nonumque prematur in annum. HOR.

LONDON: Printed for the AUTHOR, by W. STRAHAN; And sold by J. NEWBERY, at the Bible and Sun, in St. Paul's Church-yard. MDCCLII.



THE Critics will, undoubtedly, expect, when they see your Name prefixed to this Volume, that I should address your Lordship, as the Judge of Science, and the he­reditary Patron of learned Men; but I shall take the Liberty of disappointing them, having, as I presume, a stronger and more natural Claim to your Protection from a lucky Accident, than from any real Excellence I can pretend to, ei­ther as a Writer or a Scholar.

This lucky Accident, my Lord, is the Ho­nour (I had almost said Merit) of being born within a few Miles of your Lordship; and tho' I have too much Diffidence to ask your Pa­tronage [Page] as a Poet, I have Assurance enough to demand it as a Man of Kent.

I shall not imitate, in this Dedication (if such an homely Epistle may aspire to so polite a Name) the Conduct of most modern Authors, who are always particularly fulsome, at the very Time they, with the utmost Solemnity, protest against Flattery—What I sincerely believe of you I have said already, and you will find it in the introductory Ode on Good-nature, which I beg Leave, in an especial Manner, not only to inscribe, but to apply to the Earl of Middlesex.

I am, my Lord, with the utmost Respect,
Your Lordship's most obedient, and most obliged humble Servant, CHRISTOPHER SMART.


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ODES.—Page 7, Line 8, after to read the. Page 19, Line 6, for foft read soft. HOP-GARDEN, Book I. Page 114, Line 3, for to read too. Page 115, Line 3, after uplift place a comma, and dele that after arms.—Ibid. Line 26, for fome read some. Page 117, Line 9, for lab'rours read labours. Page 120, Line 11, for will read with.—Ibid. Line 12, after boast, instead of a full Stop, place a Comma. Book II. Page 127, Line 10, for Heav'ns read Heavens. Page 128, Line 2, for Zeinth read Zenith. Page 131, Line 10, instead of for read far. Page 133, Line 1, for felfish read selfish. Page 142, Vers. 38, pro rescucitat lege resuscitat. Page 158, Vers. 38, pro sordit lege sordet.

JUDGMENT of MIDAS, Page 223, Line 7, for Scen'ry read Scenery. Page 229, Line 16, for Glow-worw read Glow-worm.

ESSAY on CRITICISM, Verse 251, for wonder'd read wonder. Verse 261, for triviel read trivial. Verse 426, for steems read teems. Verse 540, after at dele a.

DE ARTE CRITICA, Vers. 159, pro cituis lege citius. Vers. 295, pro Norman lege Normam. Vers. 307, pro redundet lege redundat. Vers. 319, pro suavitur lege suaviter. Vers. 360, pro celabrabitur lege celebrabitur. Vers. 361, pro qui lege hi. Vers. 448, pro stubito lege subito. Vers. 495, pro insequerenter lege insequerentur. Vers. 573, pro supeaddita lege superaddita. Vers. 643, pro infamen lege infamem.

[...], Vers. 14, pro Ephrosyne lege Euphrosyne. Vers. 48, pro sylvestibus lege sylvestribus.

—aut incuria fudit
Aut humana parum cavit Natura.HOR.

The former on Good-Nature, the latter against Ill-Nature.


HAIL cherub of the highest Heav'n,
Of look divine, and temper ev'n,
Celestial sweetness, exquisite of mien,
Of ev'ry virtue, ev'ry praise the queen!
Soft gracefulness, and blooming youth,
Where, grafted on the stem of truth,
That friendship reigns, no interest can divide,
And great humility looks down on pride.
Oh! curse on Slander's vip'rous tongue,
That daily dares thy merit wrong;
Ideots usurp thy title, and thy frame,
Without or virtue, talent, taste, or name.
Is apathy, is heart of steel,
Nor ear to hear, nor sense to feel,
Life idly inoffensive such a grace,
That it shou'd steal thy name and take thy place?
No—thou art active—spirit all—
Swifter than light'ning, at the call
Of injur'd innocence, or griev'd desert,
And large with liberality's thy heart.
Thy appetites-in easy tides
(As reason's luminary guides)
Soft flow—no wind can work them to a storm,
Correctly quick, dispassionately warm.
Yet if a transport thou canst feel
'Tis only for thy neighbours weal:
Great, generous acts thy ductile passions move,
And smilingly thou weep'st with joy and love.
Mild is thy mind to cover shame,
Averse to envy, slow to blame,
Bursting to praise, yet still sincere and free
From flatt'ry's fawning tongue, and bending knee.
Extensive, as from west to east,
Thy love descends from man to beast,
Nought is excluded little, or infirm,
Thou canst with greatness stoop to save a worm.
Come, goddess, come with all thy charms
For Oh! I love thee, to my arms—
All, all my actions guide, my fancy feed,
So shall existence then be life indeed.


OFSPRING of folly and of pride,
To all that's odious, all that's [...] allied;
Nurs'd up by vice, by pravity missed,
By pedant affectation taught and bred:
Away, thou hideous hell-born spright,
Go, with thy looks of dark design,
Sullen, sour, and saturnine;
Fly to some gloomy shade, nor blot the goodly light.
Thy planet was remote, when I was born;
'Twas Mercury that rul'd my natal morn,
What time the sun exerts his genial ray,
And ripens for enjoyment every growing day;
When to exist is but to love and sing,
And sprightly Aries smiles upon the spring.
There in yon lonesome heath,
Which Flora, or Sylvanus never knew,
Where never vegetable drank the dew,
Or beast, or fowl attempts to breathe;
Where Nature's pencil has no colours laid;
But all is blank, and universal shade;
Contrast to figure, motion, life and light,
There may'st thou vent thy spight,
For ever cursing, and for ever curs'd,
Of all th' infernal crew the worst;
[Page 5] The worst in genius, measure and degree;
For envy, hatred, malice, are but parts of thee.
Or woud'st thou change the scene, and quit thy den,
Behold the heav'n-deserted fen,
Where spleen, by vapours dense begot and bred,
Hardness of heart, and heaviness of head,
Have rais'd their darksome walls, and plac'd their thorny bed;
There may'st thou all thy bitterness unload,
There may'st thou croak, in concert with the toad,
With thee the hollow howling winds shall join,
Nor shall the bittern her base throat deny,
The querulous frogs shall mix their dirge with thine,
Th' ear-piercing hern, and plover screaming high,
While million humming gnats fit oestrum shall supply.
Away—away—behold an hideous band
An herd of all thy minions are at hand,
Suspicion first with jealous caution stalks,
And ever looks around her as she walks,
With bibulous ear imperfect sounds to catch,
And prompt to listen at her neighbours latch.
Next Scandal's meagre shade,
Foe to the virgins, and the poet's fame,
A wither'd, time-deflow'red old maid,
That ne'er enjoy'd love's ever sacred flame.
[Page 6] Hypocrisy succeeds with saint-like look,
And elevates her hands and plods upon her book.
Next comes illiberal scrambling Avarice,
Then Vanity and Affectation nice—
See, she salutes her shadow with a bow
As in short Gallic trips she minces by,
Starting antipathy is in her eye,
And squeamishly she knits her scornful brow.
To thee, Ill-Nature, all the numerous group
With lowly reverence stoop—
They wait thy call, and mourn thy long delay,
Away—thou art infectious—haste away.


Quinetiam Gallum noctem explaudentibus alis
Auroram clarâ consuetum voce vocare.
BRISK chaunticleer his mattins had begun,
And broke the silence of the night,
And thrice he call'd aloud the tardy sun,
And thrice he hail'd the dawn's ambiguous light;
Back to their graves the fear-begotten phantoms run.
Strong Labour got up with his pipe in his mouth,
And stoutly strode over the dale,
He lent new perfumes to breath of the south,
On his back hung his wallet and flail.
Behind him came Health from her cottage of thatch,
Where never physician had lifted the latch.
[Page 8] First of the village Colin was awake,
And thus he sung, reclining on his rake.
Now the rural graces three
Dance beneath yon maple tree;
First the vestal Virtue, known
By her adamantine zone;
Next to her in rosy pride,
Sweet Society, the bride;
Last Honesty, full seemly drest
In her cleanly home-spun vest.
The abby bells in wak'ning rounds
The warning peal have giv'n;
And pious Gratitude resounds
Her morning hymn to heav'n.
All nature wakes—the birds unlock their throats,
And mock the shepherd's rustic notes.
All alive o'er the lawn,
Full glad of the dawn,
The little lambkins play,
Sylvia and Sol arise,—and all is day—
Come, my mates, let us work,
And all hands to the fork,
While the Sun shines, our Hay-cocks to make,
So fine is the Day,
And so fragrant the Hay,
That the Meadow's as blithe as the Wake.


Our voices let's raise
In Phoebus's praise,
Inspir'd by so glorious a theme,
Our musical words
Shall be join'd by the birds,
And we'll dance to the tune of the stream.


Jam pastor umbras cum grege languido,
Rivumque fessus quaerit, & horridi
Dumeta Silvani, caretque
Ripa vagis taciturna ventis.
THE Sun is now too radiant to behold,
And vehement he sheds his liquid Rays of Gold;
No cloud appears thro' all the wide expanse;
And short, but yet distinct and clear,
To the wanton whistling air
The mimic shadows dance.
Fat Mirth, and Gallantry the gay,
And romping Extasy 'gin play.
Now Myriads of young Cupids rise,
And open all their joy-bright eyes,
Filling with infant prate the grove,
And lisp in sweetly-fault'ring love.
In the middle of the ring,
Mad with May, and wild of wing,
Fire-ey'd Wantonness shall sing.
By the rivulet on the rushes,
Beneath a canopy of bushes,
Where the ever-faithful Tray,
Guards the dumplings and the whey,
Colin Clout and Yorkshire Will
From the leathern bottle swill.
Their scythes upon the adverse bank
Glitter 'mongst th' entangled trees,
Where the hazles form a rank,
And court'sy to the courting breeze.
Ah! Harriot! sovereign mistress of my heart,
Could I thee to these meads decoy,
New grace to each fair object thou'dst impart,
And heighten ev'ry scene to perfect joy.
On a bank of fragrant thyme,
Beneath you stately, shadowy pine,
We'll with the well-disguised hook
Cheat the tenants of the brook;
Or where coy Daphne's thickest shade
Drives amorous Phoebus from the glade,
There read Sydney's high-wrought stories
Of ladies charms and heroes glories;
Thence fir'd, the sweet narration act,
And kiss the fiction into fact.
Or satiate with nature's random scenes,
Let's to the gardens regulated greens,
Where taste and elegance command
Art to lend her daedal hand,
Where Flora's flock, by nature wild,
To discipline are reconcil'd,
And laws and order cultivate,
Quite civiliz'd into a state.
From the sun, and from the show'r,
Haste we to you boxen bow'r,
Secluded from the teizing pry
Of Argus' curiosity:
There, while Phoebus' golden mean,
The gay meridian is seen,
Ere decays the lamp of light,
And length'ning shades stretch out to night—
Seize, seize the hint—each hour improve
(This is morality in love)
Lend, lend thine hand—O let me view
Thy parting breasts, sweet avenue!
Then—then thy lips, the coral cell
Where all th' ambrosial kisses dwell!
Thus we'll each sultry noon employ
In day-dreams of exstatic joy.


‘Dicetur meritâ nox quoque noeniâ. ’HOR.
'TWAS when bright Cynthia with her silver car,
Soft stealing from Endymion's bed,
Had call'd forth ev'ry glitt'ring star,
And up th' ascent of heav'n her brilliant host had led.
Night, with all her negro train,
Took possession of the plain;
[Page 13] In an hearse she rode reclin'd,
Drawn by screech-owls slow and blind:
Close to her, with printless feet,
Crept Stillness, in a winding sheet.
Next to her deaf Silence was seen,
Treading on tip toes over the green;
Softly, lightly, gently she trips,
Still holding her fingers seal'd to her lips.
You could not see a sight,
You could not hear a sound,
But what confess'd the night,
And horror deepen'd round.
Beneath a myrtle's melancholy shade,
Sophron the wise was laid:
And to the answ'ring wood these sounds convey'd:
While others toil within the town,
And to Fortune smile or frown,
Fond of trifles, fond of toys,
And married to that woman, Noise;
Sacred Wisdom be my care,
And fairest Virtue, Wisdom's heir.
His speculations thus the sage begun,
When, lo! the neighbouring bell
In solemn sound struck one:—
He starts—and recollects—he was engag'd to Nell.
Then up he sprang nimble and light,
And rapp'd at fair Ele'nor's door;
He laid aside virtue that night,
And next morn por'd in Plato for more.

On the sudden Death of a CLERGYMAN. ODE IV.

IF, like th' Orphean lyre, my song could charm,
And light to life the ashes in the urn,
Fate of his iron dart I would disarm,
Sudden as thy decease should'st thou return,
Recall'd with mandates of despotic sounds,
And arbitrary grief, that will not hear of bounds.
But, ah! such wishes, artless muse, forbear;
'Tis impotence of frantic love,
Th' enthusiastic flight of wild despair,
To hope the Thracian's magic power to prove.
Alas! thy slender vein,
Nor mighty is to move, nor forgetive to feign,
Impatient of a rein,
Thou canst not in due bounds the struggling measures keep,
—But thou, alas! canst weep—
Thou canst—and o'er the melancholy bier
Canst lend the sad solemnity a tear.
Hail! to that wretched corse, untenanted and cold,
And hail the peaceful shade loos'd from its irksome hold.
[Page 15] Now let me say thou'rt free,
For sure thou paid'st an heavy tax for life,
While combating for thee,
Nature and mortality
Maintain'd a daily strife.
High, on a slender thread thy vital lamp was plac'd,
Upon the mountain's bleakest brow,
To give a nobler light superior was it rais'd,
But more expos'd by eminence it blaz'd;
For not a whistling wind that blew,
Nor the drop-descending dew,
Nor a bat that idly flew,
But half extinguish'd its fair flame—but now
See—hear the storms tempestuous sweep—
Precipitate it falls—it falls—falls lifeless in the deep.
Cease, cease, ye weeping youth,
Sincerity's soft sighs, and all the tears of truth.
And you, his kindred throng, forbear
Marble memorials to prepare,
And sculptur'd in your breasts his busto wear.
'Twas thus when Israel's legislator dy'd,
No fragile mortal honours were supply'd,
But even a grave denied.
Better than what the pencil's daub can give,
Better than all that Phidias ever wrought,
Is this—that what he taught shall live,
And what he liv'd for ever shall be taught.

On the Fifth of December, being the Birth-day of a beautiful young Lady. ODE V.

HAIL, eldest of the monthly train,
Sire of the winter drear,
December, in whose iron reign
Expires the chequer'd Year.
Hush all the blust'ring blasts that blow,
And proudly plum'd in silver snow,
Smile gladly on this blest of Days.
The livery'd clouds shall on thee wait,
And Phoebus shine in all his state
With more than summer rays.
Tho' jocund June may justly boast
Long days and happy hours,
Tho' August be Pomona's host,
And May be crown'd with flow'rs;
Tell June, his fire and crimson dies,
By Harriot's blush and Harriot's eyes,
Eclips'd and vanquish'd, fade away:
Tell August, thou canst let him see
A richer, riper fruit than he,
A sweeter flow'r than May.

The PRETTY CHAMBERMAID: In Imitation of Ne sit Ancillae tibi amor pudori, &c. of Horace. ODE VI.

COLIN, oh! cease thy friend to blame,
Who entertains a servile flame.
Chide not—believe me, 'tis no more
Than great Achilles did before,
Who nobler, prouder far than he is,
Ador'd his chambermaid Briseis.
The thund'ring Ajax Venus lays
In love's inextricable maze.
His slave Temessa makes him yield,
Now mistress of the sevenfold shield.
Atrides with his captive play'd,
Who always shar'd the bed she made.
'Twas at the ten years siege, when all
The Trojans fell in Hector's fall,
When Helen rul'd the day and night,
And made them love, and made them fight:
[Page 18] Each hero kiss'd his maid, and why,
Tho' I'm no hero, may not I?
Who knows? Perhaps Polly may be
A piece of ruin'd royalty.
She has (I cannot doubt it) been
The daughter of some mighty queen;
But fate's irremeable doom
Has chang'd her sceptre for a broom.
Ah! cease to think it—how can she,
So generous, charming, fond, and free,
So lib'ral of her little store,
So heedless of amassing more,
Have one drop of plebeian blood,
In all the circulating flood?
But you, by carping at my fire,
Do but betray your own desire—
Howe'er proceed—made tame by years,
You'll raise in me no jealous fears.
You've not one spark of love alive,
For, thanks to heav'n, you're forty-five.


GOddess of ease, leave Lethe's brink,
Obsequious to the Muse and me;
For once endure the pain to think,
Oh! sweet insensibility!
Sister of peace and indolence,
Bring, Muse, bring numbers soft and slow,
Elaborately void of sense,
And sweetly thoughtless let them flow.
Near some cowslip-painted mead,
There let me doze out the dull hours,
And under me let Flora spread,
A sofa of her softest flow'rs.
Where, Philomel, your notes you breathe
Forth from behind the neighbouring pine,
And murmurs of the stream beneath
Still flow in unison with thine.
For thee, O Idleness, the woes
Of life we patiently endure,
Thou art the source whence labour flows,
We shun thee but to make thee sure.
For who'd sustain war's toil and waste,
Or who th' hoarse thund'ring of the sea,
But to be idle at the last,
And find a pleasing end in thee.

To the reverend and learned Dr. WEBSTER, Occasioned by his Dialogues on ANGER and FORGIVENESS. ODE VIII.

'TWAS when th' omniscient creative pow'r
Display'd his wonders by a mortal's hand,
And, delegated at th' appointed hour,
Great Moses led away his chosen band;
When Israel's host, with all their stores,
Past thro' the ruby-tinctur'd crystal shores,
The wilderness of waters and of land:
Then persecution rag'd in heav'n's own cause,
And right on neighbouring kingdoms to infringe,
Strict justice for the breach of nature's laws,
Strict justice, who's full-sister to revenge:
The legislator held the scythe of fate,
Where'er his legions chanc'd to stray,
Death and destruction mark'd their bloody way;
Immoderate was their rage, for mortal was their hate.
But when the king of righteousness arose,
And on the illumin'd East serenely smil'd,
He shone with meekest mercy on his foes,
Bright as the sun, but as the moon-beams mild;
From anger, fell revenge, and discord free,
He bad war's hellish clangor cease,
In pastoral simplicity and peace,
And shew'd to men that face, which Moses could not see.
Well hast thou, WEBSTER, pictur'd christian love,
And copied our great master's fair design,
But livid Envy would the light remove,
Or croud thy portrait in a nook malign—
The Muse shall hold it up to popular view—
Where the more candid and judicious few
Shall think the bright original they see,
The likeness nobly lost in the identity.
Oh hadst thou liv'd in better days than these,
E'er to excel by all was deem'd a shame!
Alas! thou hast no modern arts to please,
And to deserve is all thy empty claim▪
Else thou'dst been plac'd, by learning, and by wit,
There, where thy dignify'd inferiors sit—
[Page 22] Oh they are in their generation wise,
Each path of interest they have sagely trod,—
To live—to thrive—to rise—and still to rise—
Better to bow to men, than kneel to God.
Behold!—where poor unmansion'd Merit stands,
All cold, and crampt with penury and pain;
Speechless thro' want, she rears th' imploring hands,
And begs a little bread, but begs in vain;
While Bribery and Dulness, passing by,
Bid her, in sounds barbarian, starve and die.
"Away (they cry (we never saw thy name)
"Or in Preferment's List, or that of Fame;
"Away—nor here the fate thou earn'st bewail,
"Who canst not buy a vote, nor hast a soul for sale.
Oh Indignation, wherefore wert thou given,
If drowsy Patience deaden all thy rage?—
Yet we must bear—such is the will of heaven;
And, WEBSTER, so prescribes thy candid page.
Then let us hear thee preach seraphic love,
Guide our disgusted thoughts to things above;
So our free souls, fed with divine repast,
(Unmindful of low mortals mean employ)
Shall taste the present, recollect the past,
And strongly hope for every future joy.

ODE IX. The Author apologizes to a Lady, for his being a little man.

‘Natura nusquam magis, quam in minimis tota est.’PLIN. [...].’HOM.
YES, contumelious fair, you scorn
The amorous dwarf, that courts you to his arms,
But ere you leave him quite forlorn,
And to some youth gigantic yield your charms,
Hear him—oh hear him, if you will not try,
And let your judgment check th' ambition of your eye.
Say, is it carnage makes the man?
Is to be monstrous really to be great?
Say, is it wise or just to scan
Your lover's worth by quantity, or weight?
Ask your mamma and nurse, if it be so;
Nurse and mamma, I ween, shall jointly answer, no.
The less the body to the view,
The soul (like springs in closer durance pent)
Is all exertion, ever new,
Unceasing, unextinguish'd, and unspent;
Still pouring forth executive desire,
As bright, as brisk, and lasting, as the vestal fire.
Does thy young bosom pant for fame;
Woud'st thou be of posterity the toast?
The poets shall ensure thy name,
Who magnitude of mind not body boast.
Laurels on bulky bards as rarely grow,
As on the sturdy oak the virtuous misletoe.
Look in the glass, survey that cheek—
Where FLORA has with all her roses blush'd;
The shape so tender,—looks so meek,—
The breasts made to be press'd, not to be crush'd—
Then turn to me,—turn with obliging eyes,
Nor longer Nature's works, in miniature, despise.
Young AMMON did the world subdue,
Yet had not more external man than I;
Ah! charmer, should I conquer you,
With him in fame, as well as size, I'll vie.
Then, scornful nymph, come forth to yonder grove,
Where I defy, and challenge, all thy utmost love.

On Miss [...]. ODE X.

LONG, with undistinguish'd flame,
I lov'd each fair, each witty dame,
My heart the belle-assembly gain'd,
And all an equal sway maintain'd.
But when you came, you stood confess'd
Sole sultana of my breast;
For you eclips'd, supremely fair,
All the whole seraglio there.
In this her mien, in that her grace,
In a third I lov'd a face;
But you in ev'ry feature shine
Universally divine.
What can those tumid paps excel,
Do they sink, or do they swell?
While those lovely wanton eyes
Sparkling meet them, as they rise.
Thus is silver Cynthia seen,
Glistening o'er the glassy green.
[Page 26] While attracted swell the waves,
Emerging from their inmost caves.
When to sweet sounds your steps you suit,
And weave the minuet to the lute,
Heav'ns! how you glide!—her neck—her chest—
Does she move, or does she rest?
As those roguish eyes advance,
Let me catch their side-long glance,
Soon—or they'll elude my sight,
Quick as light'ning, and as bright.
Thus the bashful Pleiad cheats
The gazer's eye, and still retreats,
Then peeps agen—then skulks unseen,
Veil'd behind the azure skreen.
Like the ever-toying dove,
Smile immensity of love;
Be Venus in each outward part,
And wear the vestal in your heart.
When I ask a kiss, or so—
Grant it with a begging no,
And let each rose that decks your face
Blush assent to my embrace.


DEscend, descend, ye sweet Aonian maids,
Leave the Parnassian shades,
The joyful Hymeneal sing,
And to a lovelier Belle
Than fiction e'er devis'd, or eloquence can tell,
Your vocal tributes bring.
And you, ye winged choristers, that fly
In all the pensile gardens of the sky,
Chant thro' th' enamel'd grove,
Stretch from the trembling twigs your little throats,
With all the wild variety of artless notes,
But let each note be love.
Fragrant Flora, queen of May,
All bedight with garlands gay,
Where in the smooth-shaven green
The spangled cowslips variegate the scene,
And the rivulet between,
Whispers, murmurs, sings,
As it stops, or falls, or springs;
There spread a sofa of thy softest flowers,
There let the bridegroom stay,
There let him hate the light, and curse the day,
And dun the tardy hours.
But see the bride—she comes with silent pace,
Full of majesty and love;
Not with a nobler grace
Look'd the imperial wife of Jove,
When erst ineffably she shone
In Venus' irresistible, inchanting zone.
Phoebus, great god of verse, the nymph observe,
Observe her well;
Then touch each sweetly-trem'lous nerve
Of thy resounding shell:
Her like huntress-Dian paint,
Modest, but without restraint;
From Pallas take her decent pace,
With Venus sweeten all her face,
From the Zephyrs steal her sighs,
From thyself her sun-bright eyes;
Then baffled, thou shalt see,
That as did Daphne thee,
Her charms thy genius' force shall fly,
And by no soft persuasive sounds be brib'd
To come within INVENTION'S narrow eye;
But all indignant shun its grasp, and scorn to be describ'd.
Now see the bridegroom rise,
Oh! how impatient are his joys!
Bring me zephyrs to depaint his voice,
But light'ning for his eyes.
[Page 29] He leaps, he springs, he flies into her arms,
With joy intense,
Feeds ev'ry sense,
And sultanates o'er all her charms.
Oh! had I Virgil's comprehensive strain,
Or sung like Pope, without a word in vain,
Then should I hope my numbers might contain,
Egregious nymph, thy boundless happiness,
How arduous to express!
Such may it last to all eternity:
And may thy Lord with thee,
Like two coeval pines in Ida's grove,
That interweave their verdant arms in love,
Each mutual office chearfully perform,
And share alike the sunshine, and the storm;
And ever, as you flourish hand in hand,
Both shade the shepherd and adorn the land,
Together with each growing year arise,
Indissolubly link'd, and climb at last the skies.

To ETHELINDA, On her doing my Verses the honour of wearing them in her bosom. I.

HAppy verses! that were prest
In fair Ethelinda's breast!
Happy muse, that didst embrace
The sweet, the heav'nly-fragrant place!
Tell me, is the omen true,
Shall the bard arrive there too?
Oft thro' my eyes my soul has flown,
And wanton'd on that ivory throne:
There with extatic transport burn'd,
And thought it was to heav'n return'd.
Tell me, is the omen true,
Shall the body follow too?
When first at nature's early birth,
Heav'n sent a man upon the earth,
Ev'n Eden was more fruitful found,
When Adam came to till the ground:
Shall then those breasts be fair in vain,
And only rise to fall again?
No, no, fair nymph—for no such end
Did heav'n to thee its bounty lend;
That breast was ne'er design'd by fate,
For verse, or things inanimate;
Then throw them from that downy bed,
And take the poet in their stead.

On an EAGLE confined in a College-Court. ODE XIII.

IMperial bird, who wont to soar
High o'er the rolling cloud,
Where Hyperborean mountains hoar
Their heads in Ether shroud;—
Thou servant of almighty JOVE,
Who, free and swift as thought, could'st rove
To the bleak north's extremest goal;—
Thou, who magnanimous could'st bear
The sovereign thund'rer's arms in air,
And shake thy native pole!—
Oh cruel fate! what barbarous hand,
What more than Gothic ire,
At some fierce tyrant's dread command,
To check thy daring fire,
[Page 32] Has plac'd thee in this servile cell,
Where Discipline and Dulness dwell,
Where Genius ne'er was seen to roam;
Where ev'ry selfish soul's at rest,
Nor ever quits the carnal breast,
But lurks and sneaks at home!
Tho' dim'd thine eye, and clipt thy wing,
So grov'ling! once so great!
The grief-inspired Muse shall sing
In tend'rest lays thy fate.
What time by thee scholastic Pride
Takes his precise, pedantic stride,
Nor on thy mis'ry casts a care,
The stream of love ne'er from his heart
Flows out, to act fair pity's part;
But stinks, and stagnates there.
Yet useful still, hold to the throng—
Hold the reflecting glass,—
That not untutor'd at thy wrong
The passenger may pass:
Thou type of wit and fense confin'd,
Cramp'd by the oppressors of the mind,
Who study downward on the ground;
Type of the fall of Greece and Rome;
While more than mathematic gloom,
Envelopes all around!


Nec me animi fallit—
Difficile illustrare Latinis versibus esse
(Multa novis verbis praesertim cum sit agendum)
Propter egestatem linguae, & rerum novitatem. LUCRET.


'TIS hard to say, if greater want of skill
Appear in writing, or in judging ill;
But of the two, less dang'rous is th' offence
To tire our patience, than mislead our sense.
Some few in that, but numbers err in this,
Ten censure wrong, for one who writes amiss.
A fool might once himself alone expose,
Now one in verse makes many more in prose.
'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
In poets as true genius is but rare,
True taste as seldom is the critic's share;
Both must alike from heav'n derive their light,
These born to judge, as well as those to write.
Let such teach others who themselves excel,
And censure freely who have written well.
[Page 36] Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true;
But are not criticks to their judgment too?
Yet if we look more closely, we shall find,
Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind:
Nature affords at least a glimm'ring light;
The lines, tho' touch'd but faintly, are drawn right.
But as the slightest-sketch, if justly trac'd,
Is by ill-colouring but the more disgrac'd,
So by false learning is good sense defac'd.
Some are bewilder'd in the maze of schools,
And some made coxcombs, nature meant but fools.
In search of wit, those lose their common sense,
And then turn criticks in their own defence.
Each burns alike, who can, or cannot write,
Or with a rival's, or an eunuch's spite.
All fools have still an itching to deride,
And fain wou'd be upon the laughing side:
If Maevius scribble in Apollo's spight,
There are, who judge still worse than he can write.
Some have at first for wits, then poets past,
Turn'd criticks next, and prov'd plain fools at last.
Some neither can for wits or criticks pass,
As heavy mules are neither horse, nor ass.
[Page 38] Those half-learn'd witlings num'rous in our isle,
As half-form'd insects on the banks of Nile,
Unfinish'd things one knows not what to call,
Their generation's so equivocal:
To tell 'em, wou'd a hundred tongues require,
Or one vain wit's, that might a hundred tire.
But you who seek to give and merit Fame,
And justly bear a critick's noble name,
Be sure yourself and your own reach to know,
How far your genius, taste, and learning go.
Launch not beyond your depth, but be discreet,
And mark that point where sense and dulness meet.
Nature to all things fix'd the limits fit,
And wisely curb'd proud man's pretending wit.
As on the land while here the ocean gains,
In other parts it leaves wide sandy plains.
Thus in the soul, while memory prevails,
The solid pow'r of understanding fails;
Where beams of warm imagination play,
The memory's soft figures melt away.
One science only will one genius fit;
So vast is art, so narrow human wit:
Not only bounded to peculiar arts,
But oft in those confin'd to single parts.
Like kings, we lose the conquests gain'd before,
By vain ambition still to make them more.
[Page 40] Each might his several province well command,
Would all but stoop to what they understand.
First follow Nature, and your judgment frame
By her just standard, which is still the same.
Unerring Nature, still divinely bright,
One clear, unchang'd, and universal light,
Life, force, and beauty must to all impart,
At once the source, and end, and test of art.
Art from that fund each just supply provides,
Works without show, and without pomp presides:
In some fair body thus th' informing soul
With spirits feeds, with vigour fills the whole,
Each motion guides, and ev'ry nerve sustains;
Itself unseen, but in th' effect, remains.
There are whom heav'n has blest with store of wit,
Yet want as much again to manage it;
For wit and judgment ever are at strife,
Tho' meant each other's aid, like man and wife.
'Tis more to guide, than spur, the Muse's steed;
Restrain his fury, than provoke his speed;
The winged courser, like a gen'rous horse,
Shows most true Mettle when you check his course.
Those rules of old discover'd, not devis'd,
Are Nature still, but Nature methodiz'd:
[Page 42] Nature, like monarchy, is but restrain'd
By the same laws, which first herself ordain'd.
Hear how learn'd Greece her useful rules indites,
When to suppress, and when indulge our flights!
High on Parnassus' top her sons she show'd,
And pointed out those arduous paths they trod,
Held from afar, aloft, th' immortal prize,
And urg'd the rest by equal steps to rise.
Just precepts thus from great examples giv'n,
She drew from them what they deriv'd from heav'n.
The generous critic fann'd the poet's fire,
And taught the world with reason to admire.
Then Criticism the Muse's handmaid prov'd,
To dress her charms, and make her more belov'd:
But following wits from that intention stray'd:
Who could not win the mistress woo'd the maid:
Against the poets their own arms they turn'd,
Sure to hate most the men from whom they learn'd.
So modern 'pothecaries taught the art,
By doctor's bills to play the doctor's part,
Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,
Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools.
Some on the leaves of ancient authors prey,
Nor time, nor moths e'er spoil'd so much as they.
[Page 44] Some dryly plain, without invention's aid,
Write dull receipts how poems should be made.
These lose the sense their learning to display,
And those explain the meaning quite away.
You then whose judgment the right course wou'd steer,
Know well each Ancient's proper character,
His fable, subject, scope of ev'ry page,
Religion, country, genius of his age:
Without all these at once before your eyes,
Cavil you may, but never criticize
Be Homer's works your study and delight,
Read him by day and meditate by night.
Thence form your judgment, thence your notions bring,
And trace the Muses upward to their spring.
Still with itself compar'd, his text peruse;
Or let your comment be the Mantuan muse.
When first young Maro sung of kings and wars,
Ere warning Phoebus touch'd his trembling ears,
Perhaps he seem'd above the critic's law,
And but from nature's fountains scorn'd to draw;
But when t'examine every part he came,
Nature and Homer were, he found, the same;
Convinc'd, amaz'd, he checks the bold design,
And rules as strict his labour'd work confine,
As if the Stagyrite o'erlook'd each line.
[Page 46] Learn hence for ancient rules a just esteem,
To copy nature, is to copy them.
Some beauties yet, no precepts can declare,
For there's a happiness as well as care.
Music resembles poetry, in each
Are nameless graces which no methods teach,
And which a master-hand alone can reach.
If where the rules not far enough extend,
(Since rules were made but to promote their end)
Some lucky licence answers to the full
Th' intent propos'd, that licence is a rule.
Thus Pegasus a nearer way to take,
May boldly deviate from the common track.
Great wits sometimes may gloriously offend,
And rise to faults true criticks dare not mend;
From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art,
Which, without passing thro' the judgment, gains
The heart, and all its end at once attains
In prospects thus some objects please our eyes,
Which out of nature's common order rise,
The shapeless rock, or hanging precipice.
But care in poetry must still be had,
It asks discretion ev'n in running mad:
[Page 48] And tho' the antients thus their rules invade,
(As kings dispense with laws themselves have made)
Moderns beware! or if you must offend
Against the precept, ne'er transgress its end.
Let it be seldom, and compell'd by need,
And have, at least, their precedent to plead.
The critic else proceeds without remorse,
Seizes your fame, and puts his laws in force.
I know there are, to whose presumptuous thoughts
Those freer beauties, even in them, seem faults.
Some figures monstrous, and miss-shap'd appear,
Consider'd singly, or beheld too near,
Which, but proportion'd to their light, or place,
Due distance reconciles to form and grace.
A prudent chief not always must display
His pow'rs in equal ranks, and fair array;
But with th' occasion, and the place comply,
Conceal his force, nay, sometimes seem to fly.
Those oft are stratagems which errors seem,
Nor is it Homer nods, but we that dream.
Still green with bays each ancient altar stands,
Above the reach of sacrilegious hands;
Secure from flames, from envy's fiercer rage,
Destructive war, and all-devouring age.
See, from each clime the learn'd their incense bring;
Hear in all tongues consenting paeans ring!
[Page 50] In praise so just let ev'ry voice be join'd,
And fill the general chorus of mankind!
Hail, bards triumphant! born in happier days,
Immortal heirs of universal praise!
Whose honours with increase of ages grow,
As streams roll down enlarging as they flow!
Nations unborn your mighty names shall sound,
And worlds applaud that must not yet be found!
Oh! may some spark of your celestial fire
The last, the meanest of your sons inspire,
(That on weak wings from far pursues your flights,
Glows while he reads, but trembles as he writes)
To teach vain wits a science little known,
T'admire superior sense and doubt their own.
Of all the causes which conspire to blind
Man's erring judgment, and misguide the mind;
What the weak head with strongest bias rules,
Is pride, the never-failing vice of fools.
Whatever nature has in worth deny'd,
She gives, in large recruits of needful pride;
For as in bodies, thus in souls we find,
What wants in blood and spirits, swell'd with wind:
Pride, where wit fails, steps in to our defence,
And fills up all the mighty void of sense!
If once right reason drives that cloud away,
Truth breaks upon us with resistless day;
[Page 52] Trust not yourself by your defects to know,
Make use of ev'ry friend—and ev'ry foe.
A little learning is a dang'rous thing,
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring;
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.
Fir'd at first sight with what the muse imparts,
In fearless youth we tempt the heights of arts,
While from the bounded level of our mind,
Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
But more advanc'd, behold with strange surprize
New distant scenes of endless science rise!
So pleas'd at first the tow'ring Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' eternal snows appear already past,
And the first clouds and mountains seem the last;
But those attain'd, we tremble to survey
The growing labour of the lengthen'd way,
Th' increasing prospect tires our wond'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
A perfect judge will read each work of wit
With the same spirit that its author writ,
[Page 54] Survey the whole, nor seek slight faults to find,
Where nature moves, and rapture warms the mind;
Nor lose, for that malignant, dull delight,
The gen'rous pleasure to be charm'd with wit:
But in such lays as neither ebb nor flow,
Correctly cold, and regularly low,
That shunning faults, one quiet temper keep,
We cannot blame indeed—but we may sleep▪
In wit, as nature, what affects our hearts
Is not th' exactness of peculiar parts:
'Tis not a lip, nor eye, we beauty call,
But the joint force, and full result of all.
Thus when we view some well-proportion'd dome,
(The world's just wonderd, and ev'n thine, O Rome!)
No single parts unequally surprize,
All comes united to the admiring eyes;
No monstrous height, or breadth, or length appear;
The whole at once is bold and regular.
Whoever thinks a faultless piece to see,
Thinks what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be.
In ev'ry work regard the writer's end,
Since none can compass more than they intend;
And if the means be just, the conduct true,
Applause, in spight of trivials faults, is due.
As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit,
T'avoid great errors, must the less commit.
[Page 56] Neglect the rules each verbal critic lays,
For not to know some trifles is a praise.
Most critics fond of some subservient art,
Still make the whole depend upon a part,
They talk of principles, but notions prize,
And all to one lov'd folly sacrifice.
Once, on a time, la Mancha's knight, they say,
A certain bard encount'ring on the way,
Discours'd in terms as just, in looks as sage,
As e'er cou'd Dennis, of the Grecian stage;
Concluding all were desp'rate sots, and fools,
That durst depart from Aristotle's rules.
Our author happy in a judge so nice,
Produc'd his play, and begg'd the knight's advice;
Made him observe the subject, and the plot,
The manners, passions, unities, what not?
All which, exact to rule, were brought about,
Were but a combat in the lists left out
"What! leave the combat out?" exclaims the knight;
Yes, or we must renounce the Stagyrite.
"Not so, by heav'n! (he answers in a rage)
"Knights, squires, and steeds, must enter on the stage."
The stage can ne'er so vast a throng contain.
"Then build a-new, or act it on a plain."
Thus critics of less judgment than caprice,
Curious, not knowing, not exact, but nice,
[Page 58] Form short ideas, and offend in arts
(As most in manners) by a love to parts.
Some to conceit alone their taste confine,
And glitt'ring thoughts struck out at ev'ry line;
Pleas'd with a work, where nothing's just or fit,
One glaring chaos, and wild heap of wit.
Poets like painters, thus unskill'd to trace
The naked nature, and the living grace,
With gold and jewels cover ev'ry part,
And hide with ornaments their want of art.
True wit is nature to advantage dress'd,
What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd;
Something, whose truth convinc'd at sight, we find,
That gives us back the image of our mind.
As shades more sweetly recommend the light,
So modest plainness sets off sprightly wit:
For works may have more wit than does them good,
As bodies perish through excess of blood.
Others, for language all their care express,
And value books, as women men, for dress:
Their praise is still—the style is excellent;
The sense they humbly take upon content.
[Page 60] Words are like leaves, and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.
False eloquence, like the prismatic glass,
Its gaudy colours spreads on ev'ry place;
The face of nature we no more survey,
All glares alike, without distinction gay;
But true expression, like th' unchanging sun;
Clears and improves whate'er it shines upon,
It gilds all objects but it alters none.
Expression is the dress of thought, and still
Appears more decent, as more suitable;
A vile conceit in pompous words express'd,
Is like a clown in regal purple dress'd;
For diff'rent styles with diff'rent subjects sort,
As sev'ral garbs, with country, town, and court.
Some * by old words to fame have made pretence,
Ancients in phrase, meer moderns in their sense!
Such labour'd nothings in so strange a style,
Amaze the unlearn'd, and make the learned smile.
Unlucky, as Fungoso in the play;
These sparks with aukward vanity display
What the fine gentleman wore yesterday.
[Page 62] And but so mimic ancient wits at best,
As apes our grandsires in their doublets drest.
In words, as fashions, the same rule will hold;
Alike fantastic, if too new, or old;
Be not the first by whom the new are try'd,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.
* But most by numbers judge a poet's song,
And smoth, or rough, with them, is right or wrong;
In the bright muse tho' thousand charms conspire,
Her voice is all these tuneful fools admire;
Who haunt Parnassus but to please the ear,
Not mend their minds, as some to church repair,
Not for the doctrine, but the music there.
These equal syllables alone require,
Tho' oft the ear the open vowels tire;
While expletives their feeble aid do join,
And ten low words oft creep in one dull line;
While they ring round the same unvary'd chimes,
With sure returns of still-expected rhymes.
Where'er you find, the cooling western breeze,
In the next line, it whispers thro' the trees,
[Page 64] If crystal streams, with pleasing murmurs creep,
The reader's threat'ned, not in vain, with sleep.
Then at the last, and only couplet fraught
With some unmeaning thing they call a thought,
A needless Alexandrine ends the song,
That like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.
Leave such to tune their own dull rhymes, and know
What's roundly smooth, or languishingly slow,
And praise the easy vigour of a line
Where Denham's strength, and Waller's sweetness join.
True ease in writing comes from art not chance,
As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.
'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The sound must seem an echo to the sense.
Soft is the strain when Zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother numbers flows,
But when loud billows lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse rough verse should like the torrent roar.
When Ajax strives, some rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move slow,
Not so, when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er th' unbending corn, and skims along the main.
Hear how * Timotheus various lays surprize,
And bid alternate passions fall and rise!
[Page 66] While at each change the son of Lybian Jove,
Now burns with glory, and then melts with love;
Now fierce his eyes with sparkling fury glow!
Now sighs steal out, and tears begin to flow;
Persians and Greeks like turns of nature found,
And the world's victor stood subdu'd by sound!
The pow'r of music all our hearts allow,
And what Timotheus was, is Dryden now.
Avoid extremes, and shun the fault of such,
Who still are pleas'd too little, or too much.
At ev'ry trifle scorn to take offence,
That always shows great pride, or little sense.
Those heads, as stomachs, are not sure the best,
Which nauseate all, and nothing can digest.
Yet let not each gay turn thy rapture move;
For fools admire, but men of sense approve.
As things seem large which we thro' mists descry,
Dulness is ever apt to magnify.
Some the French writers, some our own despise;
The ancients only, or the moderns prize.
(Thus wit, like faith, by each man is apply'd
To one small sect, and all are damn'd beside,)
[Page 68] Meanly they seek the blessing to confine,
And force that sun but on a part to shine,
Which not alone the southern wit sublimes,
But ripens spirits in cold northern climes,
Which from the first has shone on ages past,
Enlights the present, and shall warm the last.
(Tho' each may feel increases and decays,
And see now clearer and now darker days)
Regard not then if wit be old or new,
But blame the false and value still the true.
Some ne'er advance a judgment of their own,
But catch the speading notion of the town;
They reason and conclude by precedent,
And own stale nonsense, which they ne'er invent.
Some judge of authors names, not works, and then
Nor praise, nor blame the writings, but the men.
Of all this servile herd, the worst is he
Who in proud dulness joins with quality,
A constant critic at the great man's board,
To fetch and carry nonsense for my lord.
Wh [...]t woful stuff this madrigal wou'd be,
In some starved hackney sonneteer, or me?
But let a lord once own the happy lines,
How the wit brightens, how the style refines!
[Page 70] Before his sacred name flies ev'ry fault,
And each exalted stanza steems with thought!
The vulgar thus thro' imitation err,
As oft the learn'd by being singular;
So much they scorn the croud, that if the throng
By chance go right, they purposely go wrong:
So schismatics the plain believers quit,
And are but damn'd for having too much wit.
Some blame at morning what they praise at night;
But always think the last opinion right.
A muse by these is like a mistress us'd,
This hour she's idoliz'd, the next abus'd;
While their weak heads like towns unfortify'd,
'Twixt sense and nonsense daily change their side.
Ask them the cause, they're wiser still they say;
And still to-morrow's wiser than to-day.
We think our fathers fools, so wise we grow;
Our wiser sons, no doubt, will think us so.
Once school-divines this zealous isle oe'erspread;
Who knew most sentences, was deepest read;
[Page 72] Faith, gospel, all, seem'd made to be disputed,
And none had sense enough to be confuted:
Scotists and Thomists, now in peace remain,
Amidst their kindred cobwebs in Duck-lane.
If faith itself has diff'rent dresses worn,
What wonder modes in wit shou'd take their turn?
Oft leaving what is natural and fit,
The current folly proves the ready wit;
And authors think their reputation safe,
Which lives as long as fools are pleas'd to laugh.
Some valuing those of their own side or mind,
Still make themselves the measure of mankind;
Fondly we think we honour merit then,
When we but praise ourselves in other men.
Parties in wit attend on those of state,
And public faction doubles private hate.
Pride, malice, folly, against Dryden rose,
In various shapes of parsons, critics, beaus;
But sense surviv'd when merry jests were past;
For rising merit will buoy up at last.
Might he return and bless once more our eyes,
New Blackmores and new Milbournes must arise;
Nay, shou'd great Homer lift his awful head,
Zoilus again wou'd start up from the dead.
[Page 74] Envy will merit, as its shade pursue,
But like a shadow proves the substance true;
For envy'd wit, like Sol eclips'd, makes known
Th' opposing body's grossness, not its own.
When first the sun too pow'rful beams displays,
It draws up vapours which obscure the rays;
But ev'n those clouds at last adorn its way,
Reflect new glories and augment the day.
Be thou the first true merit to befriend,
His praise is lost who stays till all commend.
Short is the date, alas! of modern rhymes,
And 'tis but just to let them live betimes.
No longer now that golden age appears,
When patriarch-wits surviv'd a thousand years;
Now length of fame (our second life) is lost,
And bare threescore, is all ev'n that can boast;
Our sons their fathers failing language see,
And such as Chaucer is, shall Dryden be.
So when the faithful pencil has design'd
Some bright idea of the master's mind,
Where a new world leaps out at his command,
And ready nature waits upon his hand;
[Page 76] When the ripe colours soften and unite,
And sweetly melt into just shade and light,
When mellowing years their full perfection give,
And each bold figure just begins to live,
The treach'rous colours the fair art betray,
And all the bright creation fades away.
Unhappy wit, like most mistaken things,
Attones not for the envy which it brings.
In youth alone its empty praise we boast,
But soon the short-liv'd vanity is lost!
Like some fair flow'r the early spring supplies,
That gaily blooms, but ev'n in blooming dies.
What is this wit which most our cares employ?
The owner's wife, that other men enjoy;
Still most our trouble, when the most admir'd;
The more we give, the more is still requir'd:
The fame with pains we gain, but lose with ease,
Sure some to vex, but never all to please;
'Tis what the vicious fear; the virtuous shun,
By fools 'tis hated, and by knaves undone!
If wit so much from ign'rance undergo,
Ah, let not learning too commence its foe!
Of old, those met rewards who cou'd excel,
And such were prais'd, who but endeavour'd well;
Tho' triumphs were to gen'rals only due,
Crowns were reserv'd to grace the soldier too.
Now they who reach Parnassus lofty crown,
Employ their pains to spurn some others down;
And while self-love each jealous writer rules,
Contending wits become the sport of fools.
But still the worst with most regret commend,
For each ill author is as bad a friend.
To what base end, and by what abject ways,
Are mortals urg'd thro' sacred lust of praise!
Ah, ne'er so dire a thirst of glory boast,
Nor in the critic let the man be lost:
Good-nature, and good-sense must ever join;
To err is human, to forgive divine.
But if in noble minds some dregs remain,
Not yet purg'd off, of spleen and sour disdain;
Discharge that rage on more provoking crimes,
Nor fear a dearth in these flagitious times.
No pardon vile obscenity shou'd find,
Tho' wit and art conspire to move your mind:
[Page 80] But dulness with obscenity must prove,
As shameful sure as impotence in love.
In the fat age of pleasure, wealth and ease,
Sprung the rank weed, and thriv'd with large increase;
When love was all an easy monarch's care,
Seldom at a council, never in a war:
Jilts rul'd the state, and statesmen farces writ;
Nay wits had pensions, and young lords had wit:
The fair sate panting at a courtier's play,
And not a mask went unimprov'd away:
The modest fan was lifted up no more,
And virgins smil'd at what they blush'd before—
The following licence of a foreign reign
Did all the dregs of bold Socinus drain;
Then unbelieving priests reform'd the nation,
And taught more pleasant methods of salvation;
Where heaven's free subjects might their rights dispute,
Lest God himself should seem too absolute.
Pulpits their sacred satire learn'd to spare,
And vice admir'd to find a flatt'rer there!
Encourag'd thus, wit's Titans brav'd the skies,
And the press groan'd with licenc'd blasphemies—
[Page 82] These monsters, critics, with your darts engage,
Here point your thunder, and exhaust your rage!
Yet shun their fault, who scandalously nice,
Will needs mistake an author into vice;
All seems infected that th' infected spy,
As all looks yellow to the jaundic'd eye.
Learn then what morals critics ought to show,
For 'tis but half a judge's task to know.
'Tis not enough wit, art, and learning join;
In all you speak, let truth and candour shine:
That not alone what to your judgment's due
All may allow; but seek your friendship too.
Be silent always when you doubt your sense;
And speak, tho' sure, with seeming diffidence;
Some positive, persisting fops we know,
That if once wrong, will needs be always so;
But you with pleasure own your errors past,
And make each day, a critic on the last.
'Tis not enough your counsel still be true,
Blunt truths more mischief than nice falshoods do;
Men must be taught as if you taught 'em not,
And things unknown propos'd as things forgot.
[Page 84] Without good-breeding, truth is disapprov'd;
That only makes superior sense belov'd.
Be niggards of advice on no pretence;
For the worst avarice is that of sense.
With mean complacence ne'er betray your trust,
Nor be so civil as to prove unjust;
Fear most the anger of the wise to raise,
Those best can bear reproof who merit praise.
'Twere well, might critics still this freedom take,
But Appius reddens at each word you speak,
And stares, tremendous with a threat'ning eye,
Like some fierce tyrant in old tapestry!
Fear most to tax an honourable fool,
Whose right it is uncensur'd to be dull;
Such without wit are poets when they please,
As without learning they can take degrees.
Leave dang'rous truths to unsuccessful satyrs,
And flattery to fulsome dedicators,
Whom, when they praise, the world believes no more,
Than when they promise to give scribbling o'er.
'Tis best sometimes your censure to restrain
And charitably let the dull be vain.
[Page 86] Your silence there is better than your spite,
For who can rail so long as they can write?
Still humming on their drowsy course they keep,
And lash'd so long, like tops, are lash'd asleep.
False steps but help them to renew the race,
As after stumbling, jades will mend their pace:
What crouds of these, impertinently bold,
In sounds, and jing'ling syllables grown old,
Still run on poets in a raging vein,
Ev'n to the dregs, and squeezings of the brain:
Strain out the last dull droppings of their sense,
And rhyme with all the rage of impotence.
Such shameless bards we have, and yet 'tis true,
There are as mad abandon'd critics too.
The book-full blockhead, ignorantly read,
With loads of learned lumber in his head,
With his own tongue, still edifies his ears,
And always listning to himself appears—
All books he reads, and all he reads assails
From Dryden's fables, down to Durfy's tales.
With him most authors steal their works, or buy;
Garth did not write his own dispensary.
Name a new play, and he's the poet's friend,
Nay, show'd his faults—but when wou'd poets mend?
[Page 88] No place so sacred from such fops is barr'd,
Nor is Paul's-church more safe than Paul's-church-yard;
Nay fly to altars; there he'll talk you dead;
For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Distrustful sense with modest caution speaks,
It still looks home, and short excursions makes,
But rattling nonsense in full vollies breaks,
And never shock'd, and never turn'd aside,
Bursts out, resistless, with a thund'ring tide!
But where's the man, who counsel can bestow,
Still pleas'd to teach, and yet not proud to know?
Unbias'd, or by favour, or by spite;
Not dully prepossess'd, or blindly right,
Tho' learn'd, well-bred; and tho' well-bred, sincere,
Modestly bold, and humanely severe?
Who to a friend his faults can freely show,
And gladly praise the merit of a foe?
Blest with a taste exact and unconfin'd;
A knowledge both of books and human kind;
Gen'rous converse; a soul exempt from pride,
And love to praise, with reason on his side?
Such once were critics; such the happy few,
Athens and Rome in better ages knew.
The mighty Stagyrite first left the shore,
Spread all his sails, and durst the deep explore;
[Page 90] He steer'd securely, and discover'd far,
Led by the light of the Maeonian star.
Poets, a race long unconfin'd and free,
Still fond and proud of savage liberty,
Receiv'd his laws, and stood convinc'd 'twas fit,
Who conquer'd nature, should preside o'er wit.
Horace still charms with graceful negligence,
And without method talks us into sense,
Will like a friend, familiarly convey
The truest notions in the easiest way;
He, who supreme in judgment, as in wit,
Might boldly censure, as he boldly writ;
Yet judg'd with coolness, tho' he sung with fire,
His precepts teach but what his works inspire.
Our critics take a contrary extreme
They judge with fury, but they write with phlegm;
Nor suffers Horace more in wrong translations
By wits, than critics in as wrong quotations.
See Dionysius * Homer's thoughts refine,
And call new beauties forth from ev'ry line.
Fancy and art in gay Petronius please,
The scholar's learning, with the courtier's ease.
In grave Quintilian's copious work we find
The justest rules, and clearest method join'd;
[Page 92] Thus useful arms in magazines we place,
All rang'd in order, and dispos'd with grace.
Nor thus alone the curious eye to please,
But to be found when need requires with ease.
Thee, bold Longinus! all the Nine inspire,
And bless their critic with a poet's fire;
An ardent judge, who zealous in his trust
With warmth gives sentence, yet is always just;
Whose own example strengthens all his laws,
And is himself that great sublime he draws.
Thus long succeeding critics justly reign'd
Licence repress'd, and useful laws ordain'd.
Learning and Rome alike in empire grew,
And arts still follow'd where her eagles flew;
From the same foes, at last, both felt their doom,
And the same age saw learning fall and Rome.
With tyranny, then superstition join'd,
As that the body, this enslav'd the mind;
Much was believ'd, but little understood,
And to be dull was constru'd to be good;
A second deluge learning thus o'er-run,
And the Monks finish'd what the Goths begun.
At length Erasmus, that great injur'd name,
(The glory of the priest-hood, and the shame)
[Page 94] Stemn'd the wild torrent of a barb'rous age,
And drove those holy Vandals off the stage.
But see each muse in Leo's golden days,
Starts from her trance, and trims her wither'd bays!
Rome's ancient genius, o'er its ruins spread,
Shakes off the dust, and rears his rev'rend head!
Then Sculpture and her sister arts revive,
Stones leap'd to form, and rocks began to live;
With sweeter notes each rising temple rung;
A Raphael painted, and a * Vida sung!
Immortal Vida! on whose honour'd brow
The poets bays, and critics ivy grow:
Cremona now shall ever boast thy name,
As next in place to Mantua, next in fame!
But soon by impious arms from Latium chac'd,
Their ancient bounds the banish'd muses past;
Thence arts o'er all the northern world advance;
But critic learning flourish'd most in France:
The rules, a nation born to serve obeys;
And Boileau still in right of Horace sways;
But we, brave Britons, foreign laws despis'd,
And kept unconquer'd, and unciviliz'd,
[Page 96] Fierce for the liberties of wit, and bold,
We still desy'd the Romans, as of old.
Yet some there were among the founder few
Of those who less presum'd, and better knew,
Who durst assert the juster ancient cause,
And here restor'd wit's fundamental laws.
Such was the muse, whose rules and practice tell,
Nature's * chief master-piece is writing well.
Such was Roscommon—not more learn'd than good,
With manners gen'rous as his noble blood;
To him the wit of Greece and Rome was known,
And ev'ry author's merit but his own.
Such late was Walsh—the muse's judge and friend;
Who justly knew to blame, or to commend;
To failings mild, but zealous for desert;
The clearest head, and the sincerest heart.
This humble praise, lamented shade! receive,
This praise at least a grateful muse may give!
The muse, whose early voice you taught to sing,
Prescrib'd her heights, and prun'd her tender wing;
(Her guide now lost) no more pretends to rise,
But in low numbers short excursions tries;
Content, if hence th' unlearn'd their wants may view,
The learn'd reflect on what before they knew:
[Page 98] Careless of censure, nor too fond of fame,
Still pleas'd to praise, yet not afraid to blame:
Averse alike to flatter or offend,
Not free from faults, nor yet too vain to mend.


DICTU difficile est, an sit dementia major
Egisse invitâ vatem criticumne Minervâ;
Ille tamen certe venia tibi dignior errat
Qui lassat, quam qui seducit in avia, sensus.
Sunt, qui absurda canunt; sed enim stultissima stultos
Quam longe exuperat oriticorum natio vates;
Se solum exhibuit quondam, melioribus annis
Natus hebes, ridendum; at nunc musa improba prolem
Innumeram gignit, quae mox sermone soluto
Aequiparet stolidos versus, certetque stupendo.
Nobis judicium, veluti quae dividit horas
Machina, construitur, motus non omnibus idem,
Non pretium, regit usque tamen sua quemque. Poetas
Divite perpaucos venâ donavit Apollo,
Et criticis recte sapere est rarissima virtus;
Arte in utraque nitent felices indole soli,
Musaque quos placido nascentes lumine vidit.
Ille alios melius, qui inclaruit ipse, docebit,
Jureque quam meruit, poterit tribuisse coronam.
[Page 37] Scriptores (fateor) fidunt propriae nimis arti,
Nonne autem criticos pravus favor urget ibidem?
At vero propius si stemus, cuique fatendum est,
Judicium quoddam natura inseverit olim:
Illa diem certe dubiam diffundere callet
Et, strictim descripta licet, sibi linea constat.
Sed minimum ut specimen, quod pictor doctus adumbrat,
Deterius tibi fiat eo mage, quo mage vilem
Inducas isti fucum, sic mentis honestae
Doctrina effigiem maculabit prava decoram.
His inter caecas mens illaqueata scholarum
Ambages errat, stolidisque supervenit illis
(Diis aliter visum est) petulantia. Perdere sensum
Communem hi sudant, dum frustra ascendere Pindum
Conantur, mox, ut se defensoribus ipsis
Utantur, critici quoque fiunt: omnibus idem
Ardor scribendi, studio hi rivalis aguntur,
Illis invalida Eunuchi violentia gliscit.
Ridendi proprium est fatuis cacoethes, amantque
Turbae perpetuo sese immiscere jocosae.
Maevius invito dum sudat Apolline, multi
Pingue opus exuperant (si diis placet) emendando.
Sunt qui belli homines primo, tum deinde poetae,
Mox critici evasêre, meri tum denique stulti.
Est, qui nec criticum nec vatem reddit, inersque
Ut mulus, medium quoddam est asinum inter equmuque.
[Page 39] Bellula semihominum vix poene elementa scientum
Primula gens horum est, premitur quibus Anglia, quantum
Imperfecta scatent ripis animalcula Nili,
Futile, abortivum genus, & prope nominis expers,
Usque adeo aequivoca est, e quâ generantur, origo.
Hos centum nequeunt linguae numerare, nec una
Unius ex ipsis, quae centum sola fatiget.
At tu qui famam simul exigis atque redonas
Pro meritis, criticique affectas nobile nomen.
Metitor te ipsum, prudensque expendito quae sit
Judicii, ingenii tibi, doctrinaeque facultas;
Si qua profunda nimis cauto vitentor, & ista
Linea, quâ coeunt stupor ingeniumque, notator.
Qui finem imposuit rebus Deus omnibus aptum,
Humani vanum ingenii restrinxit acumen.
Qualis ubi oceani vis nostra irrumpit in arva
Tunc desolatas alibi denudat arenas;
Sic animae reminiscendi dum copia restat,
Consilii gravioris abest plerumque potestas;
Ast ubi Phantasiae fulgent radiantia tela,
Mnemosyne teneris cum formis victa liquescit.
Ingenio tantum Musa uni sufficit una,
Tanta ars est, tantilla scientia nostra videtur:
Non solum ad certas artes astricta sequendas,
Saepe has non nisi quâdam in simplice parte sequatur.
Deperdas partos utcunque labore triumphos,
Dum plures, regum instar, aves acquirere laurus;
[Page 41] Sed sua tractatu facilis provincia cuique est,
Si non, quae pulchre sciat, ut vulgaria, temnat.
Naturam sequere imprimis, atque illius aequâ
Judicium ex normâ fingas, quae nescia flecti:
Illa etenim, sine labe micans, ab origine divâ,
Clarâ, constanti, lustrantique omnia luce,
Vitamque, specimque, & vires omnibus addat,
Et fons, & finis simul, atque criterion artis.
Quaerit opes ex hoc thesauro ars, & sine pompâ
Praesidet, & nullas turbas facit inter agendum.
Talis vivida vis formoso in corpore mentis,
Laetitiam toti inspirans & robora massae,
Ordinat & motus, & nervos sustinet omnes,
Inter opus varium tamen ipsa abscondita fallit.
Saepe is, cui magnum ingenium Deus addidit, idem
Indigus est majoris, ut hoc benè calleat uti;
Ingenium nam judicio velut uxor habendum est
Atque viro, cui fas ut pareat, usque repugnat.
Musae quadrupedem labor est inhibere capistro,
Praecipites regere, at non irritare volatus.
Pegasos, instar equi generosi, grandior ardet
Cum sentit retinacula, nobiliorque tuetur.
Regula quaeque vetus tantum observata peritis
Non inventa fuit criticis, debetque profectò
Naturae ascribi, sed enim quam lima polivit;
[Page 43] Nullas naturae divina monarchia leges,
Exceptis solum quas sanxerit ipsa, veretur.
Qualibus, audistin' resonat celeberrima normis
Graecia, seu doctum premit, indulgetve furorem?
Illa suos sistit Parnassi in vertice natos,
Et, quibus ascendêre docet, salebrosa viarum,
Sublimique manu dona immortalia monstrat,
Atque aequis reliquos procedere passibus urget.
Sic magnis doctrinâ ex exemplaribus haustâ,
Sumit ab hisce, quod haec duxerunt ab Jove summo.
Ingenuus judex musarum ventilat ignes,
Et fretus ratione docet praecepta placendi.
Ars critica officiosa Camoenae servit, & ornat
Egregias veneres, pluresque irretit amantes.
Nunc vero docti longè diversa sequentes,
Contempti dominae, vilem petiêre ministram;
Propriaque in miseros verterunt tela poetas,
Discipulique suos pro more odêre magistros.
Haud aliter sanè nostrates pharmacopolae
Ex medicûm crevit quibus ars plagiaria chartis,
Audaces errorum adhibent sine mente medelas,
Et verae Hippocratis jactant convicia proli.
Hi veterum authorum scriptis vescuntur, & ipsos
Vermiculos, & tempus edax vicêre vorando.
[Page 45] Stultitiâ simplex ille, & sine divite venà,
Carmina quo fiant pacto miserabilè narrat.
Doctrinam ostentans, mentem alter perdidit omnem,
Atque alter nodis vafer implicat enodando.
Tu quicunque cupis judex procedere rectè,
Fac veteris cujusque stylus discatur ad unguem;
Fabula, materies, quo tendat pagina quaevis;
Patria, religio quae sint, queis moribus aevum:
Si non intuitu cuncta haec complecteris uno,
Scurra, cavilator—criticus mihi non eris unquam.
Ilias esto tibi studium, tibi sola voluptas,
Perque diem lege, per noctes meditare serenas;
Hinc tibi judicium, hinc ortum sententia ducat,
Musarumque undas sontem bibe laetus ad ipsum.
Ipse suorum operum sit commentator, & author,
Maeonidisve legas interprete scripta Marone.
Cum caneret primum parvus Maro bella virosque,
Nec monitor Phoebus tremulas jam velleret aures,
Legibus immunem criticis se fortè putabat,
Nil nisi naturam archetypam dignatus adire:
Sed simul ac cautè mentem per singula volvit,
Naturam invenit, quacunque invenit Homerum.
Victus, & attonitus, malesani desinit ausi,
Jamque laboratum in numerum vigil omnia cogit,
Cultaque Aristotelis metitur carmina normâ.
[Page 47] Hinc veterum discas praecepta vererier, illos
Sectator, sic naturam sectaberis ipsam.
At vero virtus restat jam plurima, nullo
Describenda modo, nullâque parabilis arte,
Nam felix tam fortuna est, quam cura canendi.
Musicam in hoc reddit divina poesis, utramque
Multae ornant veneres, quas verbis pingere non est,
Quasque attingere nil nisi summa peritia possit.
Regula quandocunque minus diffusa videtur
(Quum tantum ad propriam collinet singula metam)
Si modo consiliis inserviat ulla juvandis
Apta licentia, lex enim ista licentia fiat.
Atque ita quo cituis procedat, calle relicto
Communi musae sonipes benè devius erret.
Accidit interdum, ut scriptores ingenium ingens
Evehat ad culpam egregiam, maculasque micantes
Quas nemo criticorum audet detergere figat;
Accidit ut linquat vulgaria claustra furore
Magnanimo, rapiatque solutum lege dccorem,
Qui, quum judicium non intercedat, ad ipsum
Cor properat, finesque illic simul obtinet omnes.
Haud aliter si forte jugo speculamur aprico,
Luminibus res arrident, quas Daedala tellus
Parcior ostentare solet, velut ardua montis
Asperitas, scopulive exesi pendulus horror.
Cura tamen semper magna est adhibenda poesi,
Atque hic cum ratione insaniat author, oportet:
[Page 49] Et, quamvis veteres pro tempore jura refigunt,
Et leges violare suas regalitèr audent,
Tu caveas, moneo, quisquis nunc scribis, & ipsam
Si legem frangas, memor ejus respice finem.
Hoc semper tamen evites, nisi te gravis urget
Nodus, praemonstrantque authorum exempla priorum.
Ni facias, criticus totam implacabilis iram
Exercet, turpique notâ tibi nomen inurit.
Sed non me latuêre, quibus sua liberiores
Has veterum veneres vitio dementia vertit.
Et quaedam tibi signa quidem monstrosa videntur,
Si per se vel perpendas, propiorave lustres,
Quae rectâ cum constituas in luce locoque,
Formam conciliat distantia justa venustam.
Non aciem semper belli dux callidus artis
Instruit aequali serie ordinibusque decoris,
Sed se temporibusque locoque accomodat, agmen
Celando jam, jamque fugae simulachra ciendo.
Mentitur speciem erroris saepe astus, & ipse
Somniat emunctus judex, non dormit Homerus.
Aspice, laurus adhuc antiquis vernat in aris,
Quas rabidae violare manus non amplius audent;
Flammarum a rabie tutas, Stygiaeque veneno
Invidiae, Martisque minis & morsibus aevi.
Docta caterva, viden! fert ut fragrantia thura;
Audin ut omnigenis resonant praeconia linguis!
[Page 51] Laudes usque adeo meritas vox quaeque rependat,
Humanique simul generis chorus omnis adesto.
Salvete, O vates! nati melioribus annis,
Munus & immortale aeternae laudis adepti!
Queis juvenescit honos longo maturior aevo,
Ditior ut diffundit aquas, dum defluit amnis!
Vos populi mundique canent, sacra nomina, quos jam
Inventrix (sic diis visum est) non contigit aetas!
Pars aliqua, o utinam! sacro scintillet ab igne
Illi, qui vestra est extrema & humillima proles!
(Qui longe sequitur vos debilioribus alis
Lector magnanimus, sed enim, sed scriptor inaudax)
Sic critici vani, me praecipiente, priores
Mirari, arbitrioque suo diffidere discant.
Omnibus ex causis, quae animum corrumpere junctis
Viribus, humanumque solent obtundere acumen,
Pingue caput solita est momento impellere summo
Stultitiae semper cognata superbia; quantum
Mentis nascenti fata invidere, profuso
Tantum subsidio fastûs superaddere gaudent;
Nam veluti in membris, sic saepe animabus, inanes
Exundant vice spirituum, vice sanguinis aurae
Suppetias inopi venit alma superbia menti,
Atque per immensum capitis se extendit inane!
Quod si recta valet ratio hanc dispergere nubem
Naturae verique dies sincera refulget.
[Page 53] Cuicunque est animus penitus cognoscere culpas,
Nec sibi, nec sociis credat, verum omnibus aurem
Commodet, apponatque inimica opprobria lucro.
Ne musae invigiles mediocritèr, aut fuge fontem
Castalium omnino, aut haustu te prolue pleno:
Istius laticis tibi mens abstemia torpet
Ebria, sobrietasque redit revocata bibendo.
Intuitu musae primo, novitateque capta
Aspirat doctrinae ad culmina summa juventus
Intrepida, & quoniam tunc mens est arcta, suoque
Omnia metitur modulo, malè lippa labores
Ponè secuturos oculis non aspicit aequis:
Mox autem attonitae jam jamque scientia menti
Crebrescit variata modis sine limite miris!
Sic ubi desertis conscendere vallibus Alpes
Aggredimur, nubesque humiles calcare videmur,
Protinus aeternas superâsse nives, & in ipso
Invenisse viae laetamur limine finem:
His vero exactis tacito terrore stupemus
Durum crescentem magis & magis usque laborem,
Jam longus tandem prospectus laesa fatigat
Lumina, dum colles assurgunt undique faeti
Collibus, impositaeque emergunt Alpibus Alpes.
Ingeniosa leget judex perfectus eâdem
Quâ vates scripsit studiosus opuscula curâ,
[Page 55] Totum perpendet, censorque est parcus, ubi ardor
Exagitat naturae animos & concitat oestrum;
Nec tam servili generosa libidine mutet
Gaudia, quae bibulae menti catus ingerit author.
Verum stagnantis mediocria carmina musae,
Quae reptant sub limâ & certâ lege stupescunt,
Quae torpent uno erroris secura tenore,
Haec equidem nequeo culpare—& dormio tantum.
Ingenii, veluti naturae, non tibi constant
Illecebrae formâ, quae certis partibus insit;
Nam te non reddit labiumve oculusve venustum,
Sed charitum cumulus, collectaque tela decoris.
Sic ubi lustramus perfectam insignitèr aedem,
(Quae Roman splendore, ipsumqne ita perculit orbem)
Laeta diu non ullâ in simplice parte morantur
Lumina, sed sese per totum errantia pascunt;
Nil longum latumve nimis, nil altius aequo
Cernitur, illustris nitor omnibus, omnibus ordo.
Quod consummatum est opus omni ex parte, nec usquam
Nunc exstat, nec erat, nec erit labentibus annis.
Quas sibi proponat metas adverte, poeta
Ultra aliquid sperare, illas si absolvat, iniquum est;
Si recta ratione utatur, consilioque
Perfecto, missis maculis, vos plaudite clamo.
Accidit, ut vates, veluti vafer Aulicus, erret
Soepius errorem, ut vitet graviora, minorem.
[Page 57] Neglige, quas criticus, verborum futilis auceps,
Leges edicit: nugas nescire decorum est.
Artis cujusdam tantum auxiliaris amantes
Partem aliquam plerique colunt vice totius; illi
Multa crepant de judicio, nihilominus istam
Stultitiam, sua quam sententia laudat, adorant.
QUIXOTUS quondam, si vera est fabula, cuidam
Occurrens vati, criticum certamen inivit
Docta citans, graviterque tuens, tanquam arbiter alter
DENNISIUS, Graii moderatus fraena theatri;
Acriter id dein asseruit, stultum esse hebetemque,
Quisquis Aristotelis posset contemnere leges.
Quid?—talem comitem nactus felicitèr author,
Mox tragicum, quod composuit, proferre poema
Incipit, et critici scitari oracula tanti.
Jam [...] que &
Caetera de genere hoc equiti describat hianti,
Quae cuncta ad norman quadrarent, inter agendum
Si tantum prudens certamen omitteret author.
"Quid vero certamen omittes? excipit heros;
Sic veneranda Sophi suadent documenta. "Quid ergo,
Armigerumque equitum que cohors scenam intret, oportet,"
Forsan, at ipsa capax non tantae scena catervae est:
"OEdificave aliam—vel apertis utere campis."
Sic ubi supposito morosa superbia regnat
Judicio, criticaeque tenent fastidia curae
[Page 59] Vana locum, curto modulo aestimat omnia censor,
Atque modo perversus in artibus errat eodem,
Moribus ac multi, dum parte laborat in unâ.
Sunt, qui nil sapiant, salibus nisi quaeque redundet
Pagina, perpetuoque nitet distincta lepore,
Nil aptum soliti justumve requirere, latè
Si micet ingenii chaos, indiscretaque moles.
Nudas naturae veneres, vivumque decorem
Fingere, qui nequeunt, quorundam exempla secuti
Pictorum, haud gemmis parcunt, haud sumptibus auri,
Ut sese abscondat rutilis inscitia velis.
Vis veri ingenii, natura est cultior, id quod
Senserunt multi, sed jam scite exprimit unus,
Quod primo pulchrum intuitu, rectumque videtur
Et mentis menti simulachra repercutit ipsi.
Haud secus ac lucem commendant suavitur umbrae,
Ingenio sic simplicitas superaddit honorem:
Nam fieri possit musa ingeniosior aequo,
Et pereant tumidae nimio tibi sanguine venae.
Nonnulli vero verborum in cortice ludunt,
Ornatusque libri solos muliebriter ardent.
Egregium ecce! stylum clamant! sed semper ocellis
Praetereunt malé, si quid inest rationis, inunctis.
[Page 61] Verba, velut frondes, nimio cum tegmine opacant
Ramos, torpescunt mentis sine germine. Prava
Rhetorice, vitri latè radian [...]is ad instar
Prismatici, rutilos diffundit ubique colores;
Non tibi naturae licet amplius ora tueri,
At malè discretis scintillant omnia flammis:
Sed contra veluti jubar immutabile solis,
Quicquid contrectat facundia, lustrat et auget,
Nil variat, sed cuncta oculo splendoris inaurat.
Elòquium mentis nostrae quasi vestis habenda est,
Quae si sit satis apta, decentior inde videtur
Scommata magnificis ornata procacia verbis
Indutos referunt regalia syrmata faunos;
Diversis etenim diversa vocabula rebus
Appi gi fas est, aulae velut aulica vestis,
Alteraque agricolis, atque altera congruit urbi.
Quidam scriptores, antiquis vocibus usi,
Gloriolam affectant, veterum aemula turba sonorum,
Si mentem spectes juvenentur more recentûm.
Tantula nugamenta styloque operosa vetusto,
Docti derident soli placitura popello.
Hi nihilo magè felices quam comicus iste
FUNGOSO, ostentant absurdo pepla tumore,
Qualia nescio quis gestavit nobilis olim;
[Page 63] Atque modo veteres doctos imitantur eodem,
Ac hominem veteri in tunicâ dum simia ludit.
Verba, velut mores, a justis legibus errant,
Si nimium antiquae suerint, nimiumve novatae;
Tu cave ne ten [...]es insueta vocabula primus,
Nec vetera abjicias postremus nomina rerum.
Laevis an asper eat versus plerique requirunt
Censores, solosque sonos damnantve probantve;
Mille licet veneres formosam Pierin ornent,
Stultitiâ vox argutâ celabrabitur una:
Qui juga Parnassi non ut mala corda repurgent,
Auribus ut placeant, visunt: sic saepe profanos
Impulit ad resonum pietas aurita sacellum.
His solum criticis semper par syllaba cordi est,
Vastâ etsi usque omnis pateat vocalis hiatu;
Expletivaque saepe suas quoque suppetias dent,
Ac versum unum oneret levium heu! decas en! pigra vocum;
Dum non mutato resonant malé cymbala planctu,
Atque augur miser usque scio, quid deinde sequatur.
Quacunque aspirat clementior aura Favonî,
Mox (nullus dubito) graciles vibrantur aristae
[Page 65] Rivulus ut molli serpit per laevia lapsu,
Lector, non temerè expectes, post murmura, somnos.
Tum demum qua latè extremum ad distichon, ipsa
Magnificum sine mente nihil, SENTENTIA splendet,
Segnis Hypermeter, audin? adest, et claudicat, instar
Anguis saucia terga trahentis, prorepentisque.
Hiproprias stupeant nugas, tu discere tentes,
Quae tereti properant venâ, vel amabilè languent.
Istaque fac laudes, ubi vivida Denhamii vis
Walleriae condita fluit dulcedine musae.
Scribendi numerosa facultas provenit arte,
Ut soli incessu faciles fluitare videntur,
Plectro morigeros qui callent fingere gressus.
Non solum asperitas teneras cave verberet aures,
Sed vox quaeque expressa tuae sit mentis imago.
Lenè edat Zephyrus suspiria blanda, politis
Laevius in numeris labatur laeve fluentum;
At reboat, furit, aestuat aemula musa, sonoris
Littoribus cum rauca horrendum impingitur unda.
Quando est saxum Ajax vastâ vi volvere adortus,
Tardè incedat versus, multum perque laborem.
Non ita sive Camilla cito salis aequora rasit,
Sive levis levitèrque terit, neque flectit aristas.
Audin! Timothei coelestia carmina, menti
Dulcibus alloquiis varics suadentia motus!
[Page 67] Audin! ut alternis Lybici Jovis inclyta proles
Nunc ardet famam, solos nunc spirat amores,
Lumina nunc vivis radiantia volvere flammis,
Mox furtim suspiria, mox effundere fletum!
Dum Persae, Graecique pares sentire tumultus
Discunt, victricemque lyram rex orbis adorat.
Musica quid poterit corda ipsa fatentur, et audit
Timotheus nostras merita cum laude Drydenus.
Tu servare modum studeas benè cautus, et istos
Queis aut nil placuisse potest, aut omnia, vites.
Exiguas naso maculas suspendere noli,
Namque patent nullo stupor atque superbia mentis
Clariùs indicio; neque mens est optima certè,
Non secus ac stomachus, quaecunque recusat et odit
Omnia, difficilisque nihil tibi concoquit unquam.
Non tamen idcirco vegeti vis ulla leporis
Te tibi surripiat; mirari mentis ineptae est,
Prudentis vero tantum optima quaeque probare.
Majores res apparent per nubila visae,
Atque ita luminibus stupor ampliat omnia densis.
His Galli minus arrident, illisque poetae
Nostrates, hodierni aliis, aliisque vetusti.
Sic * fidei simile, ingenium sectae arrogat uni
Quisque suae; solis patet illis janua coeli
[Page 69] Scilicet, inque malam rem caetera turba jubentur.
Frustra autem immensis cupiunt imponere metam
Muneribus Divûm, atque illius tela coarctant
Solis, hyperboreas etiam qui temperat auras,
Non solum australes genios foecundat et auget.
Qui primis laté sua lumina sparsit ab annis,
Illustrat praesens, summumque accenderit oevum.
(Cuique vi [...]s variae tamen; et jam saecula soeclis
Succedunt pejora, et jam meliora peractis)
Pro meritis musam laudare memento, nec unquam
Neglige quod novitas distinguit, quodve vetustas.
Sunt qui nil proprium in medium proferre suërunt,
Judiciumque suum credunt popularibus auris;
Tum vulgi quò exempla trahunt retrahuntque sequuntur,
Tolluntque expositas latè per compita nugas.
Turba alia authorum titulos et nomina discit
Scriptoresque ipsos, non scripta examinat. Horum
Pessimus iste cluet, si quem servilitèr ipsos
Visere magnates stupor ambitiosus adegit.
Qui critice ad mensam domino ancillatur inepto,
Futilis ardelio, semper referensque ferensque
Nuntia nugarum. Quam pinguia, quam male nata
Carmina censentur, quaecunque ego fortè vel ullus
Pangere Apollineae tentat faber improbus artis!
At siq is vero, siquis vir magnus adoptet
Felicem musam, quantus nitor ecce! venusque
[Page 71] Ingenio accedunt! quam prodigialitèr acer
Fit stubito stylus! omnigenam venerabile nomen
Praetexit sacris culpam radiis, & ubique
Carmina culta nitent, & pagina parturit omnis.
Stultula plebs doctos studiosa imitarier errat,
Ut docti nullos imitando saepius ipsi;
Qui, si sorte unquam plebs rectum viderit, (illis
Tanto turba odio est) consultò lumina claudunt.
Talis schismaticus Christi, grege soepe relicto,
Coelos ingenii pro laude paciscitur ipsos.
Non desunt quibus incertum mutatur in horas
Judicium, sed semper eos sententia ducit
U [...]tima palantes. Illis miseranda camaena
More meretricis tractatur, nunc Dea certè,
Nunc audit vilis lupa: dum praepingue cerebrum,
Debilis & male munitae stationis ad instar,
Jam recti, jam stultitiae pro partibus astat.
Si causam rogites, aliquis tibi dicat eundo
Quisque dies tenerae praebet nova pabula menti,
Et sapimus magis atque magis. Nos docta propago
Scilicet et sapiens proavos contemnimus omnes,
Heu! pariter nostris temnenda nepotibus olim.
Quondam per nostros dum turba scholastica fines
Regnavit, si cui quam plurima clausula semper
In promptu, ille inter doctissimus audiit omnes;
[Page 73] Religiosa fides simul ac sacra omnia nasci
Sunt visa in litem; sapuit sat nemo refelli
Ut se sit passus. Jam gens insulsa Scotistae,
Intactique abaci Thomistae pace fruentes
Inter araneolos pandunt sua retia fratres.
Ipsa fides igitur cum sit variata, quid ergo,
Quid mirum ingenium quoque si varia induat ora?
Naturae verique relictis finibus amens
Saepius insanire parat popularitèr author,
Expectatque sibi vitalem hoc nomine famam,
Suppetit usque suus plebi quia risus ineptae.
Hic solitus propriâ metirier omnia normâ,
Solos, qui secum sunt mente et partibus iisdem
Approbat, at vanos virtuti reddit honores,
Cui tantum sibi sic larvata superbia plaudit.
Partium in ingenio studium quoque regnat, ut aulâ,
Seditioque auget privatas publica rixas.
DRYDENO obstabant odium atque superbia nuper
Et stupor omnigenae latitans sub imagine formae,
Nunc criticus, nunc bellus homo, mox deinde sacerdos;
Attamen ingenium, joca cum siluêre, superstes
Vivit adhuc, namque olim utcunque sepulta profundis
Pulchrior emerget tenebris tamen inclyta virtus.
Mllbourni, rursus si fas foret ora tueri,
Blackmorique novi reducem insequerenter; HOMERUS
Ipse etiam erigeret vultus si sorte verendos
ZOILUS ex orco gressus revocaret. Ubique
[Page 75] Virtuti malus, umbra velut nigra, livor adhaeret,
Sed verum ex vanâ corpus cognoscitur umbrâ.
Ingenium, solis jam deficientis ad instar
Invisum, oppositi tenebras tantum arguit orbis,
Dum claro intemerata manent sua lumina divo.
Sol prodit cum primum, atque intolerabilè fulget
Attrahit obscuros flammâ magnete vapores;
Mox vero pingunt etiam invida nubila callem
Multa coloratum, & crescentia nubila spargunt
Uberiùs, geminoque die viridaria donant.
Tu primus meritis plaudas, nihil ipse meretur,
Qui serus laudator adest. Brevis, heu! brevis aevi
Participes nostri vates celebrantur, et aequum est
Angustam quam primum assuescant degere vitam.
Aurea nimirum jamjudum evanuit aetas,
Cum vates patriarchae extabant mille per annos:
Jam spes deperiit, nobis vita altera, famae,
Nostraque marcescit sexagenaria laurus!
Aspicimus nati patriae dispendia linguae,
Et vestis CHAUCERI olim gestanda DRYDENO est.
Sic ubi parturuit mens dives imagine multâ
Pictori, calamoque interprete coepit acuti
Concilium cerebri narrare coloribus aptis,
Protinus ad nutum novus emicat orbis, et ipsa
Evolvit manui sese natura disertae;
[Page 77]Dulcia cum molles coeunt in faedera fuci
Tandem maturi, liquidamque decentèr obumbrant
Admistis lucem tenebris, et euntibus annis,
Quando opus ad summum perductum est culmen, & audent
E vivâ formae extantes spirare tabellâ:
Perfidus heu! pulchram color ae [...]o prodidit artem,
Egregiusque decor jam nunc fuit omnis, et urbes,
Et fluvii, pictique homines, terraeque fuerunt!
Heu! dos ingenii, veluti quodcunque furore
Caeco prosequimur, nihil unquam muneris adfert,
Quod redimat comitem invidiam! juvenilibus annis
Nil nisi inane sophos jactamus, et ista voluptas
Vana, brevis, momento evanuit alitis horae!
Flos veluti veri [...] peperit quem prima juventus,
Ille viret, periitque virens sine falce caducus.
Quid verò ingenium est quaeso? Quid ut illius ergo
Tantum insudemus? nonne est tibi perfida conjux
Quam dominus vestis, vicinia tota potita est;
Quo placuisse magis nobis fors obtigit, inde
Nata magis cura est. Quid enim? crescentibus almae
Musae muneribus populi spes crescit avari.
Laus ipsa acquiri est operosa, et lubrica labi;
Quin quosdam irritare necesse est; omnibus autem
Nequaquam fecisse satis datur; ingeniumque
Expallet vitium, devitat conscia virtus,
Stulti omnes oderê, scelesti perdere gaudent.
Quando adeo infestam sese ignorantia praestet,
Absit, ut ingenium bello doctrina lacessat!
Praemia proposuit meritis olim aequa vetustas,
Et sua laus etiam conatos magna secuta est;
Quanquam etenim fortis dux solus ovabat, at ipsis
Militibus crines pulchrae impediere corollae.
At nunc qui bifidi superarunt improba montis
Culmina, certatim socios detrudere tentant;
Scriptorem, quid enim! dum quemque philautia ducit
Zelotypum, instaurant certamina mutua vates,
Et sese alterni stultis ludibria praebent.
Fert aegrè alterius, qui pessimus audit honores,
Improbus improbuli vice fungitur author amici;
En saedis quam faeda viis mortalia corda
Cogit persequier famae malesuada libido!
Ah! ne gloriolae usque adeo sitis impia regnet,
Nec critici affectans, hominis simul exue nomen;
Sed candor cum judicio conjuret amicè,
Peccare est hominum, peccanti ignoscere, divûm.
At vero si cui ingenuo praecordia bilis
Non despumatae satis acri saece laborant,
In scelera accensas pejora exerceat iras,
Nil dubitet, segetem praebent haec tempora largam.
Obscaeno detur nulla indulgentia vati,
Ars licet ingenio supeaddita cerea flecti
[Page 81] Pectora pelliciat. Verum, hercule, juncta stupori
Scripta impura pari vano molimine prorsus
Invalidam aequiparant eunuchi turpis amorem.
Tunc ubi regnavit dives cum pace voluptas
In nostris flos iste malus caput extulit oris.
Tunc ubi rex facilis viguit, qui semper amore,
Consiliis rarò, nunquam se exercuit armis:
Scripserunt mimos proceres, meretricibus aulae
Successit regimen; nec non magnatibus ipsis
Affuit ingenium, stipendiaque ingeniosis.
Patriciae in scenis spectavit opuscula musae
Multa nurus, lasciva tuens, atque auribus hausit
Omnia larvato secura modestia vultu.
Machina, virginibus quae ventilat ora, pudicum
Dedidicit clausa officium, ad ludicra cachinnus
Increpuit, rubor ingenuus nihil amplius arsit.
Deinde ex externo traducta licentia regno
Audacis faeces Socini absorbuit imas,
Sacrilegique sacerdotes tum quemque docebant
Conati efficere, ut gratis paradison adiret;
Ut populus patriâ cum libertate sacratis
Assererent sua jura locis, ne scilicet unquam
(Crediderim) Omnipotens foret ipse potentior aequo.
Templa sacram satiram jam tum violata silebant:
Et laudes vitii, vitio mirante, sonabant!
Accensi hinc musae Titanes ad astra ruerunt,
Legeque sancitum quassit blasphemia praelum.—
[Page 83] Haec monstra, O critici, contra haec convertite telum,
Huc fulmen, tonitruque styli torquete severi,
Et penitus totum obnixi exonerate furorem!
At tales fugias, qui, non sine fraude severi,
Scripta malam in partem, livore interprete, vertunt;
Pravis omnia prava videntur, ut omnia passim
Ictericus propriâ ferrugine tingit ocellus.
Jam mores critici proprios, adverte, docebo;
Dimidiata etenim est tibi sola scientia virtus.
Non satis est ars, ingenium, doctrinaque vires,
Quaeque suas jungant, si non quoque candor honestis,
Et veri sincerus amor sermonibus insint.
Sic tibi non solum quisque amplos solvet honores,
Sed te, qui criticum probat, exoptabit amicum,
Mutus, quando animus dubius tibi fluctuat, esto;
Sin tibi confidis, dictis confide pudentèr.
Quidam hebetes semper perstant erroribus; at tu
Praeteritas laetus culpas fateare, dies-que
Quisque diesredimat, criticoque examine tentet.
Hoc tibi non satis est, verum, quod praecipis, esse,
Veridici mala rusticitas magè saepe molesta est
Auribus, ingenuam quam verba ferentia fraudem;
Non ut praeceptor, cave des praecepta, reique
Ignaros, tanquam immemores, catus instrue: verax
[Page 85] Ipse placet, sinon careat candore, nec ullos
Judicium, urbanis quod fulget moribus, urit.
Tu nulli invidias monitus, rationis avarus
Si sis, prae reliquis sordes miserandus avaris.
Ne vili obsequio criticorum jura refigas,
Nec fer judicium nimis officiosus iniquum;
Prudentem haud irritabis (ne finge) monendo,
Qui laude est dignus patiens culpabitur idem.
Consultum meliùs criticis foret, illa maneret
Si nunc culpandi libertas. Appius autem,
Ecce! rubet, quoties loqueris, torvoque tremendus
Intuitu, reddit saevi trucia ora gigantis
Jam picta in veteri magè formidanda tapete.
Fac mittas tumidum tituloque et stemmate stultum,
Cui quaedam est data jure licentia saepe stupendi;
Tales ad libitum vates absque indole, eâdem,
Quâ sine doctrinâ doctores lege creantur.
Contemptis prudens satiris res linque tacendas,
Assentatorumque infamen exerceat artem,
Nominibus libros magnis gens gnara dicandi,
Quae cum mendaci laudes effutiat ore,
Non magè credenda est, quam quando pejerat olim
Non iterum pingues unquam conscribere versus.
Non raro est satius bilem cohibere suëscas,
Humanusque sinas hebetem sibi plaudere: prudens
[Page 87] Hic taceas monco, nihil indignatio prodest,
Fessus eris culpando, ea gens haud sessa canendo:
Nam temnens stimulos, tardum cum murmure cursum
Continuat, donec jam tandem, turbinis instar
Vapulet in torporem, & semper eundo quescat.
Talibus ex lapsu vis est reparata frequenti,
Ut tardi titubata urgent vestigia manni.
Horum pleraque pars, cui nulla amentia desit,
Tinnitu numerorum et amore senescit inani,
Perstat difficili carmen deducere venâ,
Donec inex [...]austo restat faex ulla cerebro,
Relliquias stillat vix expressae malè mentis,
Et miseram invalidâ exercet prurigine musam.
Sunt nobis vates hoc de grege, sed tamen idem
Affirmo, criticorum ejusdem sortis abunde est.
Helluo librorum, qui sudat, hebetque legendo,
Cui mens nugarum doctâ farragine turget
Attentas propriae voci malè recreat aures,
Auditorque sibi solus miser ipse videtur.
Ille omnes legit authores, omnesque lacessit
Durseio infestus pariter magnoque Drydeno.
Judice sub tali semper furatur, emitve
Quisque suum bonus author opus: (non Garthius illi
Si credas) proprium contexuit ipse poema.
In scenis nova si comoedia agatur, "amicus
"Hujus scriptor (ait) meus est, cui non ego paucas
"Ostendi maculas; sed mens est nulla poetis."
[Page 89] Non locus est tam sanctus, ut hunc expellere possit,
Nec templum in tuto est, plusquam via; quin pete sacras
Aufugiens aras, & ad aras iste sequetur
Occidetque loquendo; etenim stultus ruet ultro
Nil metuens, ubi ferre pedem vix angelus audet.
Diffidit sibimet sapientia cauta, brevesque
Excursus tentans in se sua lumina vertit;
Stultitia at praeceps violento vortice currit
Nonunquam tremefacta, nec unquam e tramite cedens,
Flumine fulmineo se totam invicta profundit.
Tu vero quisnam es monita instillare peritus,
Qui, quod scis, laetus monstras, neque scire superbis,
Non odio ductus pravove favore, nec ulli
Addictus sectae, ut pecces, neque coecus, ut erres;
Doctus, at urbanus, sincerus, at aulicus idem,
Audactèrque pudens mediâque humanus in irâ.
Qui nunquam dubites vel amico ostendere culpas,
Et celebres inimicum haud parcâ laude merentem.
Purgato ingenio felix, sed & infinito,
Et quod librorumque hominumque scientia ditat;
Colloquium cui come, animus summissus & ingens,
Laudandique omnes, ratio cum praecipit, ardor!
Tales extiterunt critici, quos Graecia quondam,
Romaque mirata est nato; melioribus annis.
Primus Aristoteles est ausus solvere navem,
Atque datis velis vastum explorare profundum.
[Page 91] Tutus iit, longèque ignotas attigit oras
Lumina Maeoniae observans radiantia stellae.
Jam vates, gens illa, diu quae lege soluta est,
Et saevae capta est malè libertatis amore,
Laetantes dominum accipiunt, atque omnis eodem,
Qui domuit naturam, exultat praeside musa.
Nusquam non grata est incuria comis Horatî,
Qui nec opinantes nos erudit absque magistro,
Ille suas leges, affabilis instar amici
Quam veras simul & quam claro more profundit!
Ille licet tam judicio quam divite venâ
Maximus, audacem criticum, non scriptor inaudax,
Praestaret se jure, tamen sedatus ibidem
Censor, ubi cecinit divino concitus aestro,
Carminibusque eadem inspirat, quae tradidit Arte.
Nostrates homines planè in contraria currunt,
Turba, stylo vehemens critico, sed frigida Phoebo:
Nec malè vertendo Flaccum torsere poetae
Absurdi, magè quam critici sine mente citando.
Aspice, ut expoliat numeros Dionysius ipsi
Maeonidae, veneresque accersat ubique recentes!
Conditam ingenio jactat Petronius artem,
Cui doctrina scholas redolet simul & sapit aulam.
Cum docti Fabii cumulata volumina versas,
Optima perspicuâ in serie documenta videre est,
[Page 93] Haud secus utilia ac apothecis condimus arma,
Ordine perpetuo sita juncturâque decorâ,
Non modo ut obtineat quo sese oblectet ocellus,
Verum etiam in promptu, quando venit usus, habenda.
Te solum omnigenae inspirant, Longine, Camaenae,
Et propriam penitus tibi mentem animumque dederunt;
En! tibi propositi criticum fideique tenacem,
Qui vehemens sua jura, sed omnibus aequa ministrat;
Quo probat exemplo, quas tradit acumine leges,
Semper sublimi sublimior argumento!
Successere diù sibi tales, pulsaque fugit
Barbara praescriptas exosa licentia leges.
Româ perpetuo crescente scientia crevit,
Atque artes aquilarum equitâre audacibus alis;
Sed tandem superata îîsdem victoribus uno
Roma triumphata est musis comitantibus aevo.
Dira superstitio & comes est bacchata tyrannis,
Et simul illa animos, haec corpora sub juga misit.
Credita ab omnibus omnia sunt, sed cognita nullis,
Et stupor est ausus titulo pietatis abuti!
Obruta diluvio sic est doctrina secundo,
Et Monachis finita Gothorum exorsa fuerunt.
At vero tandem memorabile nomen Erasmus,
(Cuique sacerdoti jactandus, cuique pudendus)
[Page 95] Barbariae obnixus torrentia tempora vincit,
Atque Gothos propriis sacros de finibus arcet.
At Leo jam rursus viden' aurea secula condit,
Sertaque neglectis revirescunt laurea musis!
Antiquus Romae Genius de pulvere sacro
Attollit sublime caput. Tunc coepit amari
Sculptura atque artes sociae, caelataque rupes
Vivere, et in pulchras lapides mollescere formas;
Divinam harmoniam surgentia templa sonabant,
Atque stylo & calamo Raphael & Vida vigebant;
Illustris vates! cui laurea serta poetae
Intertexta hederis critici geminata refulgent:
Jamque aequat claram tibi, Mantua, Vida Cremonam,
Utque loci, sic semper erit vicinia famae.
Mox autem profugae metuentes improba musae
Arma, Italos fines linquunt, inque Arctica migrant
Littora; sed criticam sibi Gallia vendicat artem.
Gens ullas leges, docilis servire, capessit,
Boiloviusque vices domini gerit acer Horatî.
Atfortes spernunt praecepta externa Britanni,
Moribus indomiti quoque; nam pro jure furendi
[Page 97] Angliacus pugnat genius, Romamque magistram,
Romanumque jugum semper contemnere pergit.
At vero jam tum non defuit unus & alter
Corda, licet tumefacta minûs, magis alta gerentes,
Ingenii partes veri studiosa fovendi
Inque basi antiquâ leges & jura locandi.
Talis, qui cecinit doctrinae exemplar & author,
"Ars bene scribendi naturae est summa potestas."
Talis Roscommon—bonus & doctissimus idem,
Nobilis ingenio magè nobilitatus honesto;
Qui Graios Latiosque authores novit ad unguem,
Dum veneres texit pudibunda industria privas.
Talis Walshius ille fuit—judex & amicus
Musarum, censurae aequus laudisque minister,
Mitis peccantûm censor, vehemensque merentûm
Laudator, cerebrum sine mendo, & cor sine fuco!
Haec saltem accipias, lacrymabilis umbra, licebit,
Haec debet mea musa tuae munuscula famae,
Illa eadem, infantem cujus tu fingere vocem,
Tu monstrare viam; horridulas componere plumas
Tu saepe es solitus—duce jam miseranda remoto
Illa breves humili excursus molimine tentat,
Nec jam quid sublime, quid ingens amplius audet.
Illi hoc jam satis est—si hinc turba indocta docetur,
Docta recognoscit studii vestigia prisci:
[Page 99] Censuram haud curat, famam mediocritèr ardet,
Culpare intrepida, at laudis tamen aequa ministra;
Haud ulli prudens assentaturve notetve;
Se demum mendis haud immunem esse fatetur,
At neque fastidit limâ, quando indiget, uti.


Me quoque Parnassi per lubicra culmina raptat
Laudis amor: studium sequor insanabile vatis,
Ausus non operam, non formidare poetae
Nomen, adoratum quondam, nunc paene procaci
Monstratum digito.— Van. Praed. Rust.


THE land that answers best the farmer's care,
And silvers to maturity the Hop:
When to inhume the plants; to turn the glebe;
And wed the tendrils to th' aspiring poles:
Under what sign to pluck the crop, and how
To cure, and in capacious sacks infold,
I teach in verse Miltonian. Smile the muse,
And meditate an honour to that land
Where first I breath'd, and struggled into life
Impatient, Cantium, to be call'd thy son.
Oh! cou'd I emulate Dan Sydney's muse,
Thy Sydney, Cantium—He from court retir'd
In Penshurst's sweet elysium sung delight,
Sung transport to the soft-responding streams
Of Medway, and enliven'd all her groves:
[Page 104] While ever near him, goddess of the green,
Fair * Pembroke sat, and smil'd immense applause.
With vocal fascination charm'd the Hours
Unguarded left Heav'ns adamantine gate,
And to his lyre, swift as the winged sounds
That skim the air, danc'd unperceiv'd away.
Had I such pow'r, no peasants toil, no hops
Shou'd e'er debase my lay: far nobler themes,
The high atchievements of thy warrior kings
Shou'd raise my thoughts, and dignify my song.
But I, young rustic, dare not leave my cot,
For so enlarg'd a sphere—ah! muse beware,
Lest the loud larums of the braying trump,
Lest the deep drum shou'd drown thy tender reed,
And mar its puny joints: me, lowly swain,
Every unshaven arboret, me the lawns,
Me the voluminous Medway's silver wave,
Content inglorious, and the hopland shades!
Yeomen, and countrymen attend my song:
Whether you shiver in the marshy § Weald,
Egregious shepherds of unnumber'd flocks,
Whose fleeces, poison'd into purple, deck
[Page 105] All Europe's kings: or in fair * Madum's vale
Imparadis'd, blest denizons, ye dwell;
Or Dorovernia's awful tow'rs ye love:
Or plough Tunbridgia's salutiferous hills
Industrious, and with draughts chalybiate heal'd,
Confess divine Hygeia's blissful seat;
The muse demands your presence, ere she tune
Her monitory voice; observe her well,
And catch the wholesome dictates as they fall.
'Midst thy paternal acres, Farmer, say
Has gracious heav'n bestow'd one field, that basks
Its loamy bosom in the mid-day sun,
Emerging gently from the abject vale,
Nor yet obnoxious to the wind, secure
There shall thou plant thy hop. This soil, perhaps,
Thou'lt say, will fill my garners. Be it so.
But Ceres, rural goddess, at the best
Meanly supports her vot'ry', enough for her,
If ill-persuading hunger she repell,
And keep the soul from fainting: to enlarge,
To glad the heart, to sublimate the mind,
And wing the flagging spirits to the sky,
Require th' united influence and aid
Of Bacchus, God of hops, with Ceres join'd
[Page 106] 'Tis he shall gen'rate the buxom beer.
Then on one pedestal, and hand in hand,
Sculptur'd in Parian stone (so gratitude
Indites) let the divine co-part'ners rise.
Stands eastward in thy field a wood? 'tis well.
Esteem it as a bulwark of thy wealth,
And cherish all its branches; tho' we'll grant,
Its leaves umbrageous may intercept
The morning rays, and envy some small share
Of Sol's beneficence to the infant germ.
Yet grutch not that: when whistling Eurus comes,
With all his worlds of insects in thy lands
To hyemate, and monarchize o'er all
Thy vegetable riches, then thy wood
Shall ope it's arms expansive, and embrace
The storm reluctant, and divert its rage.
Armies of animalc'les urge their way
In vain: the ventilating trees oppose
Their airy march. They blacken distant plains.
This site for thy young nursery obtain'd,
Thou hast begun auspicious, if the soil
(As sung before) be loamy; this the hop
Loves above others, this is rich, is deep,
Is viscous, and tenacious of the pole.
Yet maugre all its native worth, it may
Be meliorated with warm compost. See!
[Page 107] * Yon craggy mountain, whose fastidious head,
Divides the star-set hemisphere above,
And Cantium's plains beneath; the Appennine
Of a free Italy, whose chalky sides
With verdant shrubs dissimilarly gay,
Still captivate the eye, while at his feet
The silver Medway glides, and in her breast
Views the reflected landskip, charm'd she views
And murmurs louder ectasy below.
Here let us rest awhile, pleas'd to behold
Th' all-beautiful horizon's wide expanse,
Far as the eagle's ken. Here tow'ring spires
First catch the eye, and turn the thoughts to heav'n.
The lofty elms in humble majesty
Bend with the breeze to shade the solemn groves,
And spread an holy darkness; Ceres there
Shines in her golden vesture. Here the meads
Enrich'd by Flora's daedal hand, with pride
Expose their spotted verdure. Nor are you
Pomona absent; you 'midst th' hoary leaves
Swell the vermilion cherry; and on you trees
Suspend the pippen's palatable gold.
There old Sylvanus in that moss-grown grot
Dwells with his wood-nymphs: they with chaplets green
And russet mantles oft bedight, aloft
[Page 108] From yon bent oaks, in Medway's bosom fair
Wonder at silver bleak, and prickly pearch,
That swiftly thro' their floating forests glide.
Yet not even these—these ever-varied scenes
Of wealth and pleasure can engage my eyes
T' o'erlook the lowly hawthorn, if from thence
The thrush, sweet warbler, chants th' unstudied lays
Which Phoebus' self vaulting from yonder cloud
Refulgent, with enliv'ning ray inspires.
But neither tow'ring spires, nor lofty elms,
Nor golden Ceres, nor the meadows green,
Nor orchats, nor the russet-mantled nymphs,
Which to the murmurs of the Medway dance,
Nor sweetly warbling thrush, with half those charms
Attract my eyes, as yonder hop-land close,
Joint-work of art and nature, which reminds
The muse, and to her theme the wand'rer calls.
Here then with pond'rous vehicles and teams
Thy rustics send, and from the caverns deep
Command them bring the chalk: thence to the kiln
Convey, and temper with Vulcanian fires.
Soon as 'tis form'd, thy lime with bounteous hand
O'er all thy lands disseminate; thy lands
Which first have felt the soft'ning spade, and drank
The strength'ning vapours from nutricious marl.
This done, select the choicest hop, t' insert
Fresh in the opening glebe. Say then, my muse,
Its various kinds, and from th' effete and vile,
The eligible separate with care.
The noblest species is by Kentish wights
The Master-hop yclep'd. Nature to him
Has giv'n a stouter stalk, patient of cold,
Or Phoebus ev'n in youth, his verdant blood
In brisk saltation circulates and flows
Indesinently vigorous: the next
Is arid, fetid, infecund, and gross
Significantly styl'd the Fryar: the last
Is call'd the Savage, who in ev'ry wood,
And ev'ry hedge unintroduc'd intrudes.
When such the merit of the candidates,
Easy is the election; but, my friend
Would'st thou ne'er fail, to Kent direct thy way,
Where no one shall be frustrated that seeks
Ought that is great or good. * Hail, Cantium, hail!
Illustrious parent of the finest fruits,
Illustrious parent of the best of men!
For thee Antiquity's thrice sacred springs
[Page 110] Placidly stagnant at their fountain head,
I rashly dare to trouble (if from thence,
If ought for thy util'ty I can drain)
And in thy towns adopt th' Ascraean muse.
Hail heroes, hail invaluable gems,
Splendidly rough within your native mines,
To luxury unrefined, better far
To shake with unbought agues in your weald,
Than dwell a slave to passion and to wealth,
Politely paralytic in the town!
Fav'rites of heav'n! to whom the general doom
Is all remitted, who alone possess
Of Adam's sons fair Eden—rest ye here,
Nor seek an earthly good above the hop;
A good! untasted by your ancient kings,
And almost to your very sires unknown.
In those blest days when great Eliza reign'd
O'er the adoring nation, when fair peace
Or spread an unstain'd olive round the land,
Or laurell'd war did teach our winged fleets
To lord it o'er the world, when our brave sires
Drank valour from uncauponated beer;
Then th' hop (before an interdicted plant,
Shun'd like fell aconite) began to hang
Its folded floscles from the golden vine,
And bloom'd a shade to Cantium's sunny shores
[Page 111] Delightsome, and in chearful goblets laught
Potent, what time Aquarius' urn impends
To kill the dulsome day—potent to quench
The Syrian ardour, and autumnal ills
To heal with mild potations; sweeter far
Than those which erst the subtile * Hengist mix'd
T' inthral voluptuous Vortigern. He, with love
Emasculate and wine, the toils of war,
Neglected, and to dalliance vile and sloth
Emancipated, saw th' incroaching Saxons
With unaffected eyes; his hand which ought
T' have shook the spear of justice, soft and smooth,
Play'd ravishing divisions on the lyre:
This Hengist mark'd, and (for curs'd insolence
Soon fattens on impunity! and becomes
Briareus from a dwarf) fair Thanet gain'd.
Nor stopt he here; but to immense attempts
Ambition sky-aspiring led him on
Adventrous. He an only daughter rear'd,
Roxena, matchless maid! nor rear'd in vain.
Her eagle-ey'd callidity, grave deceit,
And fairy fiction rais'd above her sex,
And furnish'd her with thousand various wiles
Preposterous, more than female; wondrous fair
[Page 112] She was, and docile, which her pious nurse
Observ'd, and early in each female fraud
Her 'gan initiate: well she knew to smile,
Whene'er vexation gall'd her; did she weep?
'Twas not sincere, the fountains of her eyes
Play'd artificial streams, yet so well forc'd
They look'd like nature; for ev'n art to her
Was natural, and contrarieties
Seem'd in Roxena congruous and allied.
Such was she, when brisk Vortigern beheld,
Ill-fated prince! and lov'd her. She perceiv'd,
Soon she perceiv'd her conquest; soon she told,
With hasty joy transported, her old sire.
The Saxon inly smil'd, and to his isle
The willing prince invited, but first bad
The nymph prepare the potions; such as fire
The blood's meand'ring rivulets, and depress
To love the soul. Lo! at the noon of night
Thrice Hecate invok'd the maid—and thrice
The goddess stoop'd assent; forth from a cloud
She stoop'd, and gave the philters pow'r to charm.
These in a splendid cup of burnish'd gold
The lovely sorceress mix'd, and to the prince
Health, peace, and joy propin'd, but to herself
Mutter'd dire exorcisms, and wish'd effect
To th' love-creating draught: lowly she bow'd
Fawning insinuation bland, that might
[Page 113] Deceive Laertes' son; her lucid orbs
Shed copiously the oblique rays; her face
Like modest Luna's shone, but not so pale,
And with no borrow'd lustre; on her brow
Smil'd Fallacy, while summoning each grace,
Kneeling she gave the cup. The prince (for who!
Who cou'd have spurn'd a suppliant so divine?)
Drank eager, and in ecstasy devour'd
Th' ambrosial perturbation; mad with love
He clasp'd her, and in Hymeneal bands
At once the nymph demanded and obtain'd.
Now Hengist, all his ample wish fulfill'd,
Exulted; and from Kent th' uxorious prince
Exterminated, and usurp'd his seat.
Long did he reign; but all-devouring time
Has raz'd his palace walls—Perchance on them
Grows the green hop, and o'er his crumbled bust
In spiral twines ascends the scancile pole.—
But now to plant, to dig, to dung, to weed;
Tasks how indelicate? demand the muse.
Come, fair magician, sportive Fancy come,
With thy unbounded imagery; child of thought,
From thy aeriel citadel descend,
And (for thou canst) assist me. Bring with thee
Thy all-creative Talisman; with thee
The active spirits ideal, tow'ring flights,
[Page 114] That hover o'er the muse-resounding groves,
And all thy colourings, all thy shapes display.
Thou to be here, Experience, so shall I
My rules nor in low prose jejunely say,
Nor in smooth numbers musically err;
But vain is Fancy and Experience vain,
If thou, O Hesiod! Virgil of our land,
Or hear'st thou rather, Milton, bard divine,
Whose greatness who shall imitate, save thee?
If thou O * Philips fav'ring dost not hear
Me, inexpert of verse; with gentle hand
Uprear the unpinion'd muse, high on the top
Of that immeasurable mount, that far
Exceeds thine own Plinlimmon, where thou tun'st
With Phoebus' self thy lyre. Give me to turn
Th' unwieldly subject with thy graceful ease,
Extol its baseness with thy art; but chief
Illumine, and invigorate with thy fire.
When Phoebus looks thro' Aries on the spring,
And vernal flow'rs promise the dulcet fruit,
Autumnal pride! delay not then thy setts
In Tellus' facile bosom to depose
Timely: if thou art wise the bulkiest chuse:
To every root three joints indulge, and form
[Page 115] The Quincunx with well regulated hills.
Soon from the dung-enriched earth, their heads
Thy young plants will uplift their virgin arms,
They'll stretch, and marriageable claim the pole.
Nor frustrate thou their wishes, so thou may'st
Expect an hopeful issue, jolly Mirth,
Sister of taleful Jocus, tuneful Song,
And fat Good-nature with her honest face.
But yet in the novitiate of their love,
And tenderness of youth suffice small shoots
Cut from the widow'd willow, nor provide
Poles insurmountable as yet. 'Tis then
When twice bright Phoebus' vivifying ray,
Twice the cold touch of winter's icy hand,
They've felt; 'tis then we fell sublimer props.
'Tis then the sturdy woodman's axe from far
Resounds, resounds, and hark! with hollow groans
Down tumble the big trees, and rushing roll
O'er the crush'd crackling brake, while in his cave
Forlorn, dejected, 'midst the weeping dryads
Laments Sylvanus for his verdant care.
The ash, or willow for thy use select,
Or storm-enduring chesnut; but the oak
Unfit for this employ, for nobler ends
Reserve untouch'd; she when by time matur'd,
Capacious, of fome British demi-god,
Vernon, or Warren, shall with rapid wing
[Page 116] Infuriate, like Jove's armour-bearing bird,
Fly on thy foes; They, like the parted waves,
Which to the brazen beak murmuring give way
Amaz'd, and roaring from the fight recede.—
In that sweet month, when to the list'ning swains
Fair Philomel fings love, and every cot
With garlands blooms bedight, with bandage meet
The tendrils bind, and to the tall pole tie,
Else soon, too soon their meretricious arms
Round each ignoble clod they'll fold, and leave
Averse the lordly prop. Thus, have I heard
Where there's no mutual tye, no strong connection
Of love-conspiring hearts, oft the young bride
Has prostituted to her slaves her charms,
While the infatuated lord admires
* Fresh-budding sprouts, and issue not his own.
Now turn the glebe: soon with correcting hand
When smiling June in jocund dance leads on
Long days and happy hours, from ev'ry vine
Dock the redundant branches, and once more
With the sharp spade thy numerous acres till.
The shovel next must lend its aid, enlarge
The little hillocks, and erase the weeds.
This in that month its title which derives
[Page 117] From great Augustus' ever sacred name!
Sovereign of Science! master of the Muse!
Neglected Genius' firm ally! Of worth
Best judge, and best rewarder, whose applause
To bards was fame and fortune! O! 'twas well,
Well did you too in this, all glorious heroes!
Ye Romans!—on Time's wing you've stamp'd his praise,
And time shall bear it to eternity.
Now are our lab'rours crown'd with their reward,
Now bloom the florid hops, and in the stream
Shine in their floating silver, while above
T'embow'ring branches culminate, and form
A walk impervious to the sun; the poles
In comely order stand; and while you cleave
With the small skiff the Medway's lucid wave,
In comely order still their ranks preserve,
And seem to march along th' extensive plain.
In neat arrangement thus the men of Kent,
With native oak at once adorn'd and arm'd,
Intrepid march'd; for well they knew the cries
Of dying Liberty, and Astraea's voice,
Who as she fled, to echoing woods complain'd▪
Of tyranny, and William; like a god,
Refulgent stood the conqueror, on his troops
He sent his looks enliv'ning as the sun's,
But on his foes frown'd agony, frown'd death.
[Page 118] On his left side in bright emblazonry
His falchion burn'd; forth from his sevenfold shield
A basilisk shot adamant; his brow
Wore clouds of fury!—on that with plumage crown'd
Of various hue sat a tremendous cone:
Thus sits high-canopied above the clouds,
Terrific beauty of nocturnal skies,
* Northern Aurora; she thro' th' azure air
Shoots, shoots her trem'lous rays in painted streaks
Continual, while waving to the wind
O'er Night's dark veil her lucid tresses flow.
The trav'ler views th' unseasonable day
Astound, the proud bend lowly to the earth,
The pious matrons tremble for the world.
But what can daunt th' insuperable souls
Of Cantium's matchless sons? On they proceed,
All innocent of fear; each face express'd
Contemptuous admiration, while they view'd
The well-fed brigades of embroider'd slaves
That drew the sword for gain. First of the van,
With an enormous bough, a shepherd swain
Whistled with rustic notes; but such as show'd
A heart magnanimous: The men of Kent
[Page 119] Follow the tuneful swain, while o'er their heads
The green leaves whisper, and the big boughs bend.
'Twas thus the Thracian, whose all-quick'ning lyre
The floods inspir'd, and taught the rocks to feel,
Play'd before dancing Haemus, to the tune,
The lute's soft tune! The flutt'ring branches wave,
The rocks enjoy it, and the rivulets hear,
The hillocks skip, emerge the humble vales,
And all the mighty mountain nods applause.
The conqueror view'd them, and as one that sees
The vast abrupt of Scylla, or as one
That from th' oblivious Lethaean streams
Has drank eternal apathy, he stood.
His host an universal panic seiz'd
Prodigious, inopine; their armour shook,
And clatter'd to the trembling of their limbs;
Some to the walking wilderness gan run
Confus'd, and in th' inhospitable shade
For shelter sought—Wretches! they shelter find,
Eternal shelter in the arms of death!
Thus when Aquarius pours out all his urn▪
Down on some lonesome heath, the traveller
That wanders o'er the wint'ry waste, accepts
The invitation of some spreading beech
Joyous; but soon the treach'rous gloom betrays
Th' unwary visitor, while on his head
Th' inlarging drops in double show'rs descend.
And now no longer in disguise the men
Of Kent appear; down they all drop their boughs,
And shine in brazen panoply divine.
Enough—Great William (for full well he knew
How vain would be the contest) to the sons
Of glorious Cantium, gave their lives, and laws,
And liberties secure, and to the prowess
Of Kentish wights, like Caesar, deign'd to yield.
Caesar and William! Hail immortal worthies,
Illustrious vanquish'd! Cantium, if to them,
Posterity will all her chiefs unborn,
Ought similar, ought second has to boast.
Once more (so prophecies the Muse) thy sons
Shall triumph, emulous of their sires—till then
With olive, and with hop-land garlands crown'd,
O'er all thy land reign Plenty, reign fair Peace.


Omnia quae multo ante memor provisa repones,
Si te digna manet divini gloria ruris.
VIRG. Geor. lib. 1.
AT length the Muse her destin'd task resumes
With joy; agen o'er all her hop-land groves
She longs t' expatiate free of wing. Long while
For a much-loving, much-lov'd youth she wept,
And sorrow'd silence o'er th' untimely urn.
Hush then, effeminate sobs; and thou, my heart,
Rebel to grief no more—And yet a while,
A little while, indulge the friendly tears.
O'er the wild world, like Noah's dove, in vain
I seek the olive peace, around me wide
See! see! the wat'ry waste—In vain, forlorn
I call the Phoenix fair Sincerity;
Alas!—extinguish'd to the skies she fled,
And left no heir behind her. Where is now
Th' eternal smile of goodness? Where is now
[Page 124] That all-extensive charity of soul,
So rich in sweetness, that the classic sounds
In elegance Augustan cloath'd, the wit
That flow'd perennial, hardly were observ'd,
Or, if observ'd, set off a brighter gem.
How oft, and yet how seldom did it seem!
Have I enjoy'd his converse?—When we met,
The hours how swift they sweetly fled, and till
Agen I saw him, how they loiter'd. Oh!
* THEOPHILUS, thou dear departed soul,
What flattering tales thou told'st me? How thou'dst hail
My Muse, and took'st imaginary walks
All in my hopland groves! Stay yet, oh stay!
Thou dear deluder, thou hast seen but half—
He's gone! and ought that's equal to his praise
Fame has not for me, tho' she prove most kind.
Howe'er this verse be sacred to thy name,
These tears, the last sad duty of a friend.
Oft i'll indulge the pleasurable pain
Of recollection; oft on Medway's banks
I'll muse on thee full pensive; while her streams
Regardful ever of my grief, shall flow
In sullen silence silverly along
The weeping shores—or else accordant with
My loud laments, shall ever and anon
Make melancholy music to the shades,
[Page 125] The hopland shades, that on her banks expose
Serpentine vines and flowing locks of gold.
Ye smiling nymphs, th' inseparable train
Of saffron Ceres; ye, that gamesome dance,
And sing to jolly Autumn, while he stands
With his right hand poizing the scales of heav'n,
And with his left grasps Amalthea's horn:
Young chorus of fair bacchanals, descend,
And leave a while the sickle; yonder hill,
Where stand the loaded hop-poles, claims your care.
There mighty Bacchus stradling cross the bin,
Waits your attendance—There he glad reviews
His paunch, approaching to immensity
Still nearer, and with pride of heart surveys
Obedient mortals, and the world his own.
See! from the great metropolis they rush,
Th' industrious vulgar. They, like prudent bees,
In Kent's wide garden roam, expert to crop
The flow'ry hop, and provident to work,
Ere winter numb their sunburnt hands, and winds
Engoal them, murmuring in their gloomy cells.
From these, such as appear the rest t' excell
In strength and young agility, select.
These shall support with vigour and address
The bin-man's weighty office; now extract
From the sequacious earth the pole, and now
[Page 126] Unmarry from the closely clinging vine.
O'er twice three pickers, and no more, extend
The bin-man's sway; unless thy ears can bear
The crack of poles continual, and thine eyes
Behold unmoved the hurrying peasant tear
Thy wealth, and throw it on the thankless ground.
But first the careful planter will consult
His quantity of acres, and his crop,
How many and how large his kilns; and then
Proportion'd to his wants the hands provide.
But yet, of greater consequence and cost,
One thing remains unsung, a man of faith
And long experience, in whose thund'ring voice
Lives hoarse authority, potent to quell
The frequent frays of the tumultuous crew.
He shall preside o'er all thy hop-land store,
Severe dictator! His unerring hand,
And eye inquisitive, in heedful guise,
Shall to the brink the measure fill, and fair
On the twin registers the work record.
And yet I've known them own a female reign,
And gentle * Marianne's soft Orphean voice
Has hymn'd sweet lessons of humanity
To the wild brutal crew. Oft her command
Has sav'd the pillars of the hopland state,
[Page 127] The lofty poles from ruin, and sustain'd,
Like ANNA, or ELIZA, her domain,
With more than manly dignity. Oft I've seen,
Ev'n at her frown the boist'rous uproar cease,
And the mad pickers, tam'd to diligence,
Cull from the bin the sprawling sprigs, and leaves
That stain the sample, and its worth debase.
All things thus settled and prepared, what now
Can let the planters purposes? Unless
The Heav'ns frown dissent, and ominous winds
Howl thro' the concave of the troubled sky.
And oft, alas! the long experienc'd wights
(Oh! could they too prevent them) storms foresee.
* For, as the storm rides on the rising clouds,
[Page 128] Fly the fleet wild-geese far away, or else
The heifer towards the zeinth rears her head,
And with expanded nostrils snuffs the air:
The swallows too their airy circuits weave,
And screaming skim the brook; and fen-bred frogs
Forth from their hoarse throats their old grutch recite:
Or from her earthly coverlets the ant
Heaves her huge eggs along the narrow way:
Or bends Thaumantia's variegated bow
Athwart the cope of heav'n: or sable crows
Obstreperous of wing, in crouds combine:
Besides, unnumber'd troops of birds marine,
And Asia's feather'd flocks, that in the muds
Of flow'ry-edg'd Cayster wont to prey,
Now in the shallows duck their speckled heads,
And lust to lave in vain, their unctious plumes
Repulsive baffle their efforts: Next hark
How the curs'd raven, with her harmful voice,
Invokes the rain, ahd croaking to herself,
Struts on some spacious solitary shore.
Nor want thy servants and thy wife at home
Signs to presage the show'r; for in the hall
Sheds Niobe her prescious tears, and warns
Beneath thy leaden tubes to fix the vase,
And catch the falling dew-drops, which supply
Soft water and salubrious, far the best
To soak thy hops, and brew thy generous beer.
[Page 129] But tho' bright Phoebus smile, and in the skies
The purple-rob'd serenity appear;
Tho' every cloud be fled, yet if the rage
Of Boreas, or the blasting East prevail,
The planter has enough to check his hopes,
And in due bounds confine his joy; for see
The ruffian winds, in their abrupt career,
Leave not a hop behind, or at the best
Mangle the circling vine, and intercept
The juice nutricious: Fatal means, alas!
Their colour and condition to destroy.
Haste then, ye peasants; pull the poles, the hops;
Where are the bins? Run, run, ye nimble maids,
Move ev'ry muscle, ev'ry nerve extend,
To save our crop from ruin, and ourselves.
Soon as bright Chanticleer explodes the night
With flutt'ring wings, and hymns the new-born day,
The bugle-horn inspire, whose clam'rous bray
Shall rouse from sleep the rebel rout, and tune
To temper for the labours of the day.
Wisely the several stations of the bins
By lot determine. Justice this, and this
Fair Prudence does demand; for not without
A certain method cou'dst thou rule the mob
Irrational, nor every where alike
Fair hangs the hop to tempt the picker's hand.
Now see the crew mechanic might and main
Labour with lively diligence, inspir'd
By appetie of gain and lust of praise:
What mind so petty, servile, and debas'd,
As not to know ambition? Her great sway
From Colin Clout to Emperors she exerts.
To err is human, human to be vain.
'Tis vanity, and mock desire of fame,
That prompts the rustic, on the steeple top
Sublime, to mark the outlines of his shoe,
And in the area to engrave his name.
With pride of heart the churchwarden surveys,
High o'er the bellfry, girt with birds and flow'rs,
His story wrote in capitals: "'Twas I
"That bought the font; and I repair'd the pews."
With pride like this the emulating mob
Strive for the mastery—who first may fill
The bellying bin, and cleanest cull the hops.
Nor ought retards, unless invited out
By Sol's declining, and the evening's calm,
Leander leads Laetitia to the scene
Of shade and fragrance—Then th' exulting band
Of pickers male and female, seize the fair
Reluctant, and with boist'rous force and brute,
By cries unmov'd, they bury her in the bin.
Nor does the youth escape—him too they seize,
And in such posture place as best may serve
[Page 131] To hide his charmer's blushes. Then with shouts
They rend the echoing air, and from them both
(So custom has ordain'd) a largess claim.
Thus much be sung of picking—next succeeds
Th' important care of curing—Quit the field,
And at the kiln th' instructive muse attend.
On your hair-cloth eight inches deep, nor more,
Let the green hops lie lightly; next expand
The smoothest surface with the toothy rake.
Thus for is just above; but more it boots
That charcoal flames burn equably below,
The charcoal flames, which from thy corded wood,
Or antiquated poles, with wond'rous skill,
The sable priests of Vulcan shall prepare.
Constant and moderate let the heat ascend;
Which to effect, there are, who with success
Place in the kiln the ventilating fan.
Hail, learned, useful * man! whose head and heart
Conspire to make us happy, deign t' accept
One honest verse; and if thy industry
Has serv'd the hopland cause, the Muse forebodes
This sole invention, both in use and fame,
The mystic fan of Bacchus shall exceed.
When the fourth hour expires, with careful hand
The half-bak'd hops turn over. Soon as time
Has well exhausted twice two glasses more,
They'll leap and crackle with their bursting seeds,
For use domestic, or for sale mature.
There are, who in the choice of cloth t'enfold
Their wealthy crop, the viler, coarser sort,
With prodigal oeconomy prefer:
All that is good is cheap, all dear that's base.
Besides, the planter shou'd a bait prepare,
T' intrap the chapman's notice, and divert
Shrewd Observation from her busy pry.
When in the bag thy hops the rustic treads,
Let him wear heel-less sandals; nor presume
Their fragrancy barefooted to defile:
Such filthy ways for slaves in Malaga
Leave we to practise—Whence I've often seen,
When beautiful Dorinda's iv'ry hands
Had built the pastry-fabric (food divine
For Christmas gambols and the hour of mirth)
As the dry'd foreign fruit, with piercing eye,
She cull'd suspicious—lo! she starts, she frowns
With indignation at a negro's nail.
Should'st thou thy harvest for the mart design,
Be thine own factor; nor employ those drones
[Page 133] Who've stings, but make no honey, felfish slaves!
That thrive and fatten on the planter's toil.
What then remains unsung? unless the care
To stack thy poles oblique in comely cones,
Lest rot or rain destroy them—'Tis a sight
Most seemly to behold, and gives, O Winter!
A landskip not unpleasing ev'n to thee.
And now, ye rivals of the hopland state,
Madum and Dorovernia rejoice,
How great amidst such rivals to excel!
Let * Grenovicum boast (for boast she may)
The birth of great Eliza.—Hail, my queen!
And yet I'll call thee by a dearer name,
My countrywoman, hail! Thy worth alone
Gives fame to worlds, and makes whole ages glorious!
Let Sevenoaks vaunt the hospitable seat
Of Knoll most ancient: Awefully, my Muse,
These social scenes of grandeur and delight,
Of love and veneration, let me tread.
How oft beneath you oak has amorous Prior
Awaken'd Echo with sweet Chloe's name!
While noble Sackville heard, hearing approv'd,
[Page 134] Approving, greatly recompens'd. But he,
Alas! has number'd with th' illustrious dead,
And orphan merit has no guardian now!
Next Shipbourne, tho' her precincts are confin'd
To narrow limits, yet can shew a train
Of village beauties, pastorally sweet,
And rurally magnificent. Here * Fairlawn
Opes her delightful prospects: Dear Fairlawn
There, where at once at variance and agreed,
Nature and art hold dalliance. There where rills
Kiss the green drooping herbage, there where trees,
The tall trees-tremble at th' approach of heav'n,
And bow their salutation to the sun,
Who fosters all their foliage—These are thine,
Yes, little Shipbourne, boast that these are thine—
And if—But oh!—and if 'tis no disgrace,
The birth of him who now records thy praise.
Nor shalt thou, Mereworth, remain unsung,
Where noble Westmoreland, his country's friend,
Bids British greatness love the silent shade,
Where piles superb, in classic elegance,
Arise, and all is Roman, like his heart.
Nor Chatham, tho' it is not thine to shew
The lofty forest or the verdant lawns,
[Page 135] Yet niggard silence shall not grutch thee praise.
The lofty forests by thy sons prepar'd
Becomes the warlike navy, braves the floods,
And gives Sylvanus empire in the main.
Oh that Britannia, in the day of war,
Wou'd not alone Minerva's valour trust,
But also hear her wisdom! Then her oaks
Shap'd by her own mechanics, wou'd alone
Her island fortify, and fix her fame;
Nor wou'd she weep, like Rachael, for her sons,
Whose glorious blood, in mad profusion,
In foreign lands is shed—and shed in vain.
Now on fair Dover's topmost cliff I'll stand,
And look with scorn and triumph on proud France.
Of yore an isthmus jutting from this coast,
Join'd the Britannic to the Gallic shore;
But Neptune on a day, with fury fir'd,
Rear'd his tremendous trident, smote the earth,
And broke th' unnatural union at a blow.—
"'Twixt you and you, my servants and my sons,
"Be there (he cried) eternal discord—France
"Shall bow the neck to Cantium's peerless offspring,
"And as the oak reigns lordly o'er the shrub,
"So shall the hop have homage from the vine."



UNDE labor novus hic menti? Quae cura quietam
Sollicitat, rapiensque extra confinia terrae,
Coelestes sine more jubet volitare per ignes?
Scilicet impatiens angusto hoc orbe teneri,
Fontinelle, tuos audax imitarier ausus
Gestio, & insolitas spirant praecordia flammas.
Fallor, an ipse venit? Delapsus ab aethere summo
Pegason urget eques, laterique flagellifer instat:
Me vocat; & duris desiste laboribus, inquit,
"Me duce, carpe viam facilem, tibi singula clarè
"Expediam, tibi cernere erit, quos sidera nôrunt,
"Indigenas cultusque virûm, moresque docebo."
Nec mora, pennipedem conscendo jussus, ovansque
(Quanquam animus secum volvens exempla priorum
Bellerophonteae pallet dispendia famae)
[Page 140] Post equitem sedeo, liquidumque per aëra labor.
—Mercurium petimus primum: Dux talibus infit,
"Aspicias vanae malesana negotia gentis,
"Quam mens destituit Titane exusta propinquo.
"Stramineis viden'? Hic velatus tempora sertis
"Emicat, & solos reges crepat atque tetrarchas.
"Ille suam carbone Chloen depingit amator
"Infelix, aegram rudia indigestaque mentem
"Carmina demulcent, indoctaque tibia musas.
"En! sedet incomptus crines barbataque menta
"Astrologus, nova qui venatur sidera, solus
"Semper in obscuro penetrali; multaque muros
"Linea nigrantes, & multa triangula pingunt.
"Ecce! sed interea curru flamante propinquat
"Titan.—Clamo, O me! gelidâ sub rupe, sub umbrâ
"Siste precor: tantos nequeo perferre calores."
Pegason inde tuo genius felicior astro
Appulit, alma Venus. Spirant quam molliter aurae!
[Page 142] Ridet ager, frugum facilis, lascivaque florum
Nutrix; non Euri ruit hic per dulcia Tempe
Vis fera, non Boreae; sed blandior aura Favonî,
Lenis agens tremulo nutantes vertice sylvas,
Usque fovet teneros, quos usque rescucitat, ignes.
Hic laetis animata sonis Saltatio vivit:
Hic jam voce ciet cantum, jam pectine, dulces
Musica docta modos: pulchrae longo ordine nymphae
Festivas ducunt choreas, dilecta juventus
Certatim stipant comites: latè halat amomo
Omne nemus, varioque aeterni veris odore:
Cura procul: circumvolitant risusque jocique:
Atque amor est, quodcunque vides. Venus ipsa volentes
Imperio regit indigenas, hic innuba Phoebe,
Innuba Pallas amet, cupiant servire Catones.
Jamque datum molimur iter, sedesque beatas
Multa gemens linquo; & lugubre rubentia Martis
[Page 144] Arva, ubi sanguineae dominantur in omnia rixae,
Advehimur, ferro riget horrida turba, geritque
Spiculaque, gladiosque, ferosque in bella dolones.
Pro choreà, & dulci modulamine, Pyrrhicus illis
Saltus, & horribiles placet aere ciere sonores.
Hic conjux viduata viro longo effera luctu
Flet noctem, solumque torum sterilesque Hymenaeos
Deplorans, lacerat crines, & pectora plangit:
Nequicquam—sponsus ni fortè appareat, hospes
Heu! brevis, in somnis, & ludicra fallat imago.
Immemor ille tori interea ruit acer in hostem:
Horrendum strepit armorum fragor undique campis;
Atque immortales durant in saecula pugnae.
Hinc Jovis immensum delati accedimus orbem.
Illic mille locis exercet saeva tyrannus
Imperia in totidem servos, totidemque rebelles:
Sed brevis exercet: parat illi fata veneno
[Page 146] Perjurus, populosque premit novus ipse tyrannus.
Hi decies pacem figunt pretio atque refigunt:
Tum demum arma parant: longe lateque cohortes
Extenduntur agris; simul aequora tota teguntur
Classibus, & ficti celebrantur utrinque triumphi.
Faedera mox ineunt nunquam violanda; brevique
Belli iterum simulachra cient; referuntur in altum
Classes, pacificoque replentur milite campi.
Filius hic patri meditatur, sponsa marito,
Servus hero insidias. Has leges scilicet illis
Imposuit natura locis, quo tempore patrem
Jupiter ipse suum solio detrusit avito.
Inde venena viris, perjuria, munera, fraudes
Suadet opum sitis, & regnandi dira cupido.
Saturni tandem nos illaetabilis ora
Accipit: ignavum pecus hic per opaca locorum
Pinguescunt de more, gravi torpentque veterno.
Vivitur in specubus: quis enim tam sedulus, arces
Qui struat ingentes, operosaque maenia condat?
[Page 148] Idem omnes stupor altus habet, sub pectore fixus.
Non studia ambitiosa Jovis, variosqve labores
Mercurii, non Martis opus, non Cyprida nôrunt.
Post obitum, ut perhibent, sedes glomerantur in istas
Qui longam nullas vitam excoluêre per artes;
Sed Cerere & Baccho pleni, somnoque sepulti
Cunctarum duxêre aeterna oblivia rerum.
Non avium auditur cantus, non murmur aquarum,
Mugitusve boum, aut pecorum balatus in agris:
Nudos non decorant segetes, non gramina campos.
Sylva, usquam s [...] sylva, latet sub monte nivali,
Et canet viduata comis: hic noctua tantùm
Glisque habitat, bufoque & cum testudine, talpa.
Flumina dum tardè subterlabentia terras
Pigram undam volvunt, & sola papavera pascunt:
Quorum lentus odor, lethaeaque pocula somnos
Suadent perpetuos, circumfusaeque tenebrae.
Horrendo visu obstupui: quin Pegason ipsum
Defecêre animi; sensit dux, terque flagello
Insonuit clarùm, terque altâ voce morantem
Increpuit: secat ille cito pede laevia campi
AEtherei, terraeque secundâ allabitur aurâ.

Translated by the Rev. Mr. FAWKES, A. M.

SAY, what uncommon cares disturb my rest,
And kindle raptures foreign to my breast?
From earth's low confines lift my mind on high,
To trace new worlds revolving in the sky?
Yes—I'm impatient of this orb of clay,
And boldly dare to meditate my way,
Where Fontinelle first saw the planets roll,
And all the God tumultuous shakes my soul.
'Tis He! He comes! and thro' the sun-bright skies
Drives foaming Pegasus, and thus he cries:
"Cease, cease, dear youth, too studiously employ'd,
"And wing with me the unresisting void;
"'Tis thine with me round other worlds to soar,
"And visit kingdoms never known before;
"While I succinctly shew each various race,
"The manners and the genius of the place."
I (tho' my mind with lively horror fraught,
Thinks on Bellerophon, and shudders at the thought)
[Page 141] Mount quick the winged steed; he springs, he flies,
Shoots thro' the yielding air, and cleaves the liquid skies!
—First, swift Cyllenius, circling round the sun,
We reach, when thus my friendly guide begun:
"Mark well the genius of this fiery place,
"The wild amusements of the brainsick race,
"Whose minds the beams of Titan, too intense,
"Affect with frenzy, and distract the sense.
"A monarch here gives subject princes law,
"A mighty monarch, with a crown of straw.
"There fits a lover, sad in pensive air,
"And like the dismal image of despair,
"With charcoal paints his Chloe heav'nly fair.
"In sadly-soothing strain rude notes he sings,
"And strikes harsh numbers from the jarring strings.
"Lo! an astrologer, with filth besmear'd,
"Rough and neglected, with a length of beard,
"Pores round his cell for undiscover'd stars,
"And decks the wall with triangles and squares.
"Lo!—But the radiant car of Phoebus nigh
"Glows with red ardour, and inflames the sky—
"Oh! waft me, hide me in some cool retreat;
"I faint, I sicken with the fervent heat."
Thence to that milder orb we wing our way,
Where Venus governs with an easy sway.
[Page 143] Soft breathes the air; fair Flora paints the ground,
And laughing Ceres deals her gifts around.
This blissful Tempe no rough blasts molest,
Of blust'ring Boreas, or the baleful East;
But gentle Zephyrs o'er the woodlands stray,
Court the tall trees, and round the branches play,
AEtherial gales dispensing as they flow,
To fan those passions which they teach to glow.
Here the gay youth in measur'd steps advance,
While sprightly music animates the dance;
There the sweet melody of sound admire,
Sigh with the song, or languish to the lyre:
Fair nymphs and amorous youths, a lovely band,
Blend in the dance, light-bounding hand in hand.
From ev'ry grove the buxom Zephyrs bring
The rich ambrosia of eternal spring.
Care dwells not here, their pleasures to destroy,
But Laughter, Jest, and universal joy:
All, all is love; for Venus reigns confest
The sole sultana of each captive breast:
Cold Cynthia here wou'd Cupid's victim prove,
Or the chaste daughter of imperial Jove,
And Cato's virtue be the slave of love.
But now thro' destin'd fields of air we fly,
And leave those mansions, not without a sigh:
[Page 145] Thence the dire coast we reach, the dreary plains,
Where Mars, grim god, and bloody discord reigns.
The host in arms embattled sternly stands,
The sword, the dart, the dagger, in their hands.
Here no fair nymphs to silver sounds advance,
But buskin'd heroes form the Pyrrhic dance.
And brazen trumpets, terrible from far,
With martial music fire the soul to war.
Here the lone bride be wails her absent lord,
The sterile nuptials, the deserted board,
Sighs the long nights, and, frantic with despair,
Beats her bare breast, and rends her flowing hair:
In vain she sighs, in vain dissolves in tears—
In sleep, perhaps, the warrior lord appears,
A fleeting form that glides before her sight,
A momentary vision of the night.
Mean while, regardless of her anxious pray'r,
The hardy husband sternly stalks to war;
Our ears the clang of ringing armour rends,
And the immortal battle never ends.
Hence thro' the boundless void we nimbly move,
And reach the wide-extended plains of Jove.
Here the stern tyrant sways an iron rod;
A thousand vassals tremble at his nod.
How short the period of a tyrant's date!
The pois'nous phial speeds the work of fate:
[Page 147] Scarce is the proud, imperious tyrant dead,
But, lo! a second lords it in his stead.
Here peace, as common merchandize, is sold,
Heav'n's first best blessing for pernicious gold:
War soon succeeds, the sturdy squadrons stand
Wide o'er the fields a formidable band;
With num'rous fleets they croud the groaning main,
And triumph for the victories they feign:
Again in strict alliances unite,
Till discord raise again the phantom of a fight;
Again they sail; again the troops prepare
Their falchions for the mockery of war.
The son inhuman seeks his father's life,
The slave his master's, and her lord's the wife.
With vengeance thus their kindling bosoms fire,
Since Jove usurp'd the sceptre of his fire.
Thence poisons, perjuries, and bribes betray;
Nor other passions do their souls obey
Than thirst of gold, and avarice of sway.
At length we land, vast fields of aether crost,
On Saturn's cold uncomfortable coast;
Here in the gloom the pamper'd sluggards lull
The lazy hours, lethargically dull.
In caves they live; for who was ever known
So wise, so sedulous to build a town?
[Page 149]The same stupidity infects the whole,
Fix'd in the breast, and center'd in the soul.
These never feel th' ambitious fires of Jove,
To Industry not Mercury can move,
Mars cannot spur to war, nor Venus woo to love.
Here rove those souls, 'tis said, when life departs,
Who never cultivated useful arts;
But stupify'd with plenty and repose,
Dreamt out long life in one continued dose!
No feather'd songsters, with sweet-warbled strains
Attune to melting melody the plains,
No flocks wide-past'ring bleat, nor oxen low,
No fountains musically murm'ring flow;
Th' ungenial waste no tender herbage yields,
No harvests wave luxuriant in the fields.
Low lie the groves, if groves this land can boast,
Chain'd in the fetters of eternal frost,
Their beauty wither'd, and their verdure lost.
Dull animals inhabit this abode,
The owl, mole, dormouse, tortoise, and the toad.
Dull rivers deep within their channels glide,
And slow roll on their tributary tide:
Nor aught th' unvegetative waters feed,
But sleepy poppy and the slimy reed;
Whose lazy fogs, like Lethe's cups, dispense
Eternal slumbers of dull indolence.
Agast I stood, the drowsy vapours lull
My soul in gloom, ev'n Pegasus grew dull.
My guide observ'd, and thrice he urg'd his speed,
Thrice the loud lash resounded from the steed;
Fir'd at the strokes, he flies with slacken'd rein
Swift o'er the level of the liquid plain,
Glides with the gentle gale, and lights on earth again.


Materies gaudet vi Inertiae.

VErvecum in patria, quà latè Hibernica squalent
Arva inarata, palus horrenda voragine crebrâ
Ante oculos jacet; haud illic impune viator
Per tenebras iter instituat; tremit undique tellus
Sub pedibus malefida, vapores undique densos
Sudat humus, nebulisque amicitur tristibus herba.
Huc fato infelix si quando agiteris iniquo,
Et tutò in medium liceat penetrare, videbis
Attonitus, nigrâ de nube emergere templum,
Templum ingens, immane, altum penetrale Stuporis.
Plumbea stat turris, plumbum sinuatur in arcus,
Et solido limosa tument fundamina plumbo.
Hanc, pia Materies, Divo aedem extruxit inerti,
Stultitiae impulsu—quid enim? Lethargica semper
[Page 156] Sponte-suà nihil aggreditur, dormitat in horas,
Et, sine vi, nullo gaudet Dea languida motu.
Hic ea monstra habitant, quae olim sub luminis auras
Materies peperit somno patre, lividus iste
Zoilus, & Bavio non impar Maevius; audax
Spinoza, & Pyrrho, cumque Hobbesio Epicurus.
Ast omnes valeat quae musa referre? frequentes
Usque adeo videas Hebetes properare?—nec adfert
Quidquam opis Anglorum doctae vicinia gentis.
Sic quondam, ut perhibent, stupuit Boeotica tellus
Vicina licet Antycirâ, nihil inde salutis,
Nil tulit hellebori Zephyrus, cum saepe per aequor
Felicem ad Lesbon levibus volitaverit alis,
Indigenae mellita ferens suspiria Florae.
Porticus illa vides? Gothicis suffulta columnis,
Templi aditus, quàm laxa patet! custodia qualis
[Page 158] Ante fores! quatuor formae sua tollere miris
Ora modis! en! torva tuens stat limine in ipso
Personam Logices induta Sophistica, denis
Cincta Categoriis, matrem quae maxima natu
Filia materiem agnoscit—quantum instar in ipsâ est!
Grande caput, tenues oculi, cutis arida produnt
Fallacem: rete una manus tenet, altera fustem.
Vestis arachneis sordit circumdata telis,
Queis gaudet labyrinthaeos Dea callida nodos.
Aspicias jam funereo gradientem incessu—
Quàm lentè caelo Saturni volvitur astrum,
Quàm lentè saltaverunt post Orphea montes,
Quàm lentè, Oxonii, solennis pondera caenae
Gestant tergeminorum abdomina bedellorum.
Proxima deinde tenet loca sorte insana Mathesis,
Nuda pedes, chlamydem discincta, incompta capillos,
Immemor externi, punctoque innixa reclinat.
[Page 160] Ante pedes vario inscriptam diagrammate arenam
Cernas, rectis curva, atque intertexta rotunda
Schemata quadratis—queis scilicet abdita rerum
Pandere se jactat solam, doctasque sorores
Fastidit, propriaeque nihil non arrogat arti.
Illàm olim, duce Neutono, tum tendit ad astra,
AEtheriasque domos superûm, indignata volantem
Turba mathematicûm retrahit, poenasque reposcens
Detinet in terris, nugisque exercet ineptis.
Tertia Microphile, proles furtiva parentis
Divinae; produxit enim commixta furenti
Diva viro Physice—muscas & papiliones
Lustrat inexpletum, collumque & tempora rident
Floribus, & fungis, totâque propagine veris.
Rara oculis nugarum avidis animalia quaerit
Omne genus, seu serpit humi, seu ludit in undis,
Seu volitans tremulis liquidum secat aëra pennis.
[Page 162] O! ubi littoribus nostris felicior aura
Polypon appulerit, quanto cava templa Stuporis
Mugitu concussa trement, reboabit & ingens
Pulsa palus! Plausu excipiet Dea blanda secundo
Microphile ante omnes; jam non crocodilon adorat;
Non bombyx, conchaeve juvant: sed Polypon ardet,
Solum Polypon ardet,—& ecce! faceta feraci
Falce novos creat assidue, pascitque creatos,
Ah! modo dilectis pascit nova gaudia muscis.
Quartam Materies peperit conjuncta Stupori,
Nomen Atheia illi, monstrum cui lumen ademptum,
Atque aures; cui sensus abest; sed mille trisulcae
Ore micant linguae, refugas quibus inficit auras.
Hanc Stupor ipse parens odit, vicina nefandos
Horret sylva sonos, neque surda repercutit Echo
[Page 164] Mendacem natura redarguit ipsa, Deumque
Et coelum, & terrae, veraciaque Astra fatentur.
Se simul agglomerans surgit chorus omnis aquarum,
Et puro sublimè sonat grave fulmen olympo.
Fonte ortus Lethaeo, ipsius ad ostia templi,
Ire soporifero tendit cum murmure rivus,
Huc potum Stolidos Deus evocat agmine magno:
Grebri adsunt, largisque sitim restinguere gaudent
Haustibus, atque iterant calices, certantque stupendo.
Me, me etiam, clamo, occurrens;—sed vellicat aurem
Calliope, nocuasque vetat contingere lymphas.


IN Ireland's wild, uncultivated plains,
Where torpid sloth, and foggy dulness reigns,
Full many a fen infests the putrid shore,
And many a gulph the melancholy moor.
Let not the stranger in these regions stray,
Dark is the sky, and perilous the way;
Beneath his foot-steps shakes the trembling ground,
Dense fogs and exhalations hover round,
And with black clouds the tender turf is crown'd.
Here shou'd'st thou rove, by Fate's severe command,
And safely reach the center of the land;
Thine eyes shall view, with horror and surprize,
The fane of Dulness, of enormous size,
Emerging from the sable cloud arise.
A leaden tow'r upheaves its heavy head,
Vast leaden arches press the slimy bed,
The soft soil swells beneath the load of lead.
Old Matter here erected this abode,
At Folly's impulse, to the Slothful God.
[Page 157] And here the drone lethargic loves to stay,
Slumb'ring the dull, inactive hours away;
For still, unless by foreign force imprest,
The languid Goddess holds her state of rest.
Their habitation here those monsters keep,
Whom Matter father'd on the God of Sleep:
Here Zoilus, with cank'ring envy pale,
Here Maevius bids his brother Bavius, hail;
Spinoza, Epicure, and all those mobs
Of wicked wits, from Pyrrho down to Hobbes.
How can the Muse recount the numerous crew
Of frequent fools that crowd upon the view?
Nor can learn'd Albion's sun that burns so clear,
Disperse the dulness that involves them here.
Boeotia thus remain'd, in days of yore,
Senseless and stupid, tho' the neighb'ring shore
Afforded salutary hellebore:
No cure exhal'd from Zephyr's buxom breeze,
That gently brush'd the bosom of the seas,
As oft to Lesbian fields he wing'd his way,
Fanning fair Flora, and in airy play
Breath'd balmy sighs, that melt the soul away.
Behold that portico! how vast, how wide!
The pillars Gothic, wrought with barb'rous pride:
[Page 159] Four monstrous shapes before the portal wait,
Of horrid aspect, centry to the gate:
Lo! in the entrance, with disdainful eye,
In Logick's dark disguise, stands Sophistry:
Her very front would common sense confound,
Encompass'd with ten categories round:
She from Old Matter, the great mother, came,
By birth the eldest—and how like the dame!
Her shrivel'd skin, small eyes, prodigious pate,
Denote her shrewd, and subtle in debate:
This hand a net, and that sustains a club,
T' entangle her antagonist, or drub.
The spider's toils, all o'er her garment spread,
Imply the mazy errors of her head.
Behold her marching with funereal pace,
Slow as old Saturn rolls thro' boundless space,
Slow as the mighty mountains mov'd along,
When Orpheus rais'd the lyre-attended song:
Or, as at Oxford, on some Gaudy day,
Fat Beadles, in magnificent array,
With big round bellies bear the pond'rous treat,
And heavily lag on, with the vast load of meat.
The next, mad Mathesis; her feet all bare,
Ungirt, untrim'd, with dissoluted hair:
No foreign object can her thoughts disjoint;
Reclin'd she sits, and ponders o'er a point.
[Page 161] Before her, lo! inscrib'd upon the ground,
Strange diagrams th' astonish'd sight confound,
Right lines and curves, with figures square and round
With these the monster, arrogant and vain,
Boasts that she can all mysteries explain,
And treats the sacred Sisters with disdain.
She, when great Newton sought his kindred skies,
Sprung high in air, and strove with him to rise,
In vain—the mathematic mob restrains
Her flight, indignant, and on earth detains;
E'er since the captive wretch her brains employs
On trifling trinkets, and on gewgaw toys.
Microphile is station'd next in place,
The spurious issue of celestial race;
From heav'nly Physice she took her birth,
Her sire a madman of the sons of earth;
On flies she pores with keen, unwearied sight,
And moths and butterflies, her dear delight;
Mushrooms and flow'rs, collected on a string,
Around her neck, around her temples cling,
With all the strange production of the spring.
With greedy eyes she'll search the world to find
Rare, uncouth animals of every kind;
Whether along the humble ground they stray,
Or nimbly sportive in the waters play,
Or thro' the light expanse of aether fly,
And with fleet pinions cleave the liquid sky.
[Page 163] Ye gales, that gently breathe upon our shore,
O! let the Polypus be wasted o'er;
How will the hollow dome of Dulness ring,
With what loud joy receive the wond'rous thing?
Applause will rend the skies, and all around
The quivering quagmires bellow back the sound;
How will Microphile her joy attest,
And glow with warmer raptures than the rest?
This will the curious crocodile excell,
The weaving worm, and silver-shining shell;
No object e'er will wake her wonder thus
As Polypus, her darling Polypus.
Lo! by the wounds of her creating knife,
New Polypusses wriggle into life,
Fast as they rise, she feeds with ample store
Of once rare flies, but now esteem'd no more.
The fourth dire shape from mother Matter came,
Dulness her sire, and Atheism is her name;
In her no glimpse of sacred Sense appears,
Depriv'd of eyes, and destitute of ears:
And yet she brandishes a thousand tongues,
And blasts the world with air-infecting lungs.
Curs'd by her sire, her very words are wounds,
No grove re-ecchoes the detested sounds.
[Page 165]Whate'er she speaks all nature proves a lye,
The earth, the heav'ns, the starry-spangled sky
Proclaim the wise, eternal Deity:
The congregated waves in mountains driven
Roar in grand chorus to the Lord of Heaven;
Thro' skies serene the glorious thunders roll,
Loudly pronounce the God, and shake the sounding Pole.
A river, murmuring from Lethaean source,
Full to the fane directs its sleepy course;
The Pow'r of Dulness, leaning on the brink,
Here calls the multitude of fools to drink.
Swarming they crowd to stupify the skull,
With frequent cups contending to be dull.
Me, let me taste the sacred stream, I cry'd,
Without-stretch'd arm—the Muse my boon deny'd,
And sav'd me from the sense-intoxicating tide.



MOMUS, scurra, procax superûm, quo tempore Pallas
Exiluit cerebro Jovis, est pro more jocatus
Nescio quid stultum de partu: excanduit irâ
Jupiter, asper, acerba tuens; "et tu quoque, dixit,
"Garrule, concipies, faetum (que) ex ore profundes:"
Haud mora, jamque supinus in aulâ extenditur ingens
Derisor; dubiâ velantur lumina nocte;
Stertit hians immane;—e naso Gallica clangunt
Classica, Germani (que) simul sermonis amaror:
Edita vix tandem est monstrum Polychasmia, proles
Tanto digna parente, aviae (que) simillima Nocti.
[Page 170] Illa oculos tentat nequicquam aperire, veterno
Torpida, & horrendo vultum distorta cachinno.
AEmulus hanc Jovis aspiciens, qui fictile vulgus
Fecerat infelix, imitarier arte Prometheus
Audet—nec flammis opus est coelestibus: aurae
Tres Stygiae flatus, nigrae tria pocula Lethes
Miscet, & innuptae suspiria longa puellae,
His adipem suis & guttur conjungit aselli,
Tensaque cum gemitu somnisque sequacibus ora.
Sic etiam in terris Dea, quae mortalibus aegris
Ferret opem, inque hebetes dominarier apta, creata est.
Nonne vides, ut praecipiti petit oppida cursu
Rustica plebs, stipatque forum? sublime tribunal
Armigerique equitesque premunt, de more parati
Justitiae lances proferre fideliter aequas,
Grande capillitium induti, frontemque minacem.
Non temerè attoniti caupones, turbaque furum
Aufugiunt, gravidaeque timent trucia ora puellae.
At mox fida comes Polychasmia, matutinis
Quae se miscuerat poc'lis Cerealibus, ipsum
Judicis in cerebrum scandit—jamque unus & alter
Caeperunt longas in hiatum ducere voces:
Donec per cunctos Dea jam solenne, profundum
Sparserit Hum—nutant taciti, tum brachia magno
Extendunt nisu, patulis & faucibus hiscunt.
[Page 172] Intereà legum Caupones jurgia miscent,
Queis nil Rhetorice est, nisi copia major hiandi:
Vocibus ambiguis certant, nugasque strophasque
Alternis jaculantur, & irascuntur amicè,
Donantque accipiuntque stuporis missile plumbum.
Vos, Fanatica turba, nequit pia musa tacere.
Majoremne aliunde potest diducere rictum?
Ascendit gravis Orator, miserâque loquelâ
Expromit thesin; in partes quam deinde minutas
Distrahit, ut connectat, & explicat obscurando:
Spargitur heu! pigris verborum somnus ab alis,
Grex circùm gemit, & plausum declarat hiando.
Nec vos, qui falso matrem jactatis Hygeian
Patremque Hippocratem, taceam—Polychasmia, vestros
Agnosco natos: tumidas sine pondere voces
In vulgum eructant; emuncto quisque bacillum
Applicat auratum naso, graviterque facetus
Totum se in vultum cogit, medicamina pandens—
Rusticus haurit amara, atque insanabile dormit;
[Page 174] Nec sensus revocare queant fomenta, nec herbae,
Non ars, non mirae magicus sonus ABRACADABRAE.
Ante alios summa es, Polychasmia, cura Sophistae:
Ille Tui caecas vires, causamque latentem
Sedulus exquirit—quo scilicet impete fauces
Invitae disjungantur; quo vortice aquosae
Particulae fluitent, comitesque ut fulminis imbres,
Cum strepitu erumpant; ut deinde vaporet ocellos
Materies subtilis; ut in cutis insinuet se
Retia; tum, si forte datur contingere nervos
Concordes, cunctorum ora expanduntur hiulca.
Sic ubi, Phoebe pater, sumis chelyn, harmoniamque
Abstrusam in chordis simul elicis, altera, siquam
AEqualis tenor aptavit, tremit aemula cantûs,
Memnoniamque imitata lyram sine pollicis ictu
Divinum resonat proprio modulamine carmen.
Me quoque, mene tuum tetigisti, ingrata, Poetam?
Hei mihi! totus hio tibi jam stupefactus; in ipso
Parnasso captus longè longèque remotas
Prospecto Musas, sitioque, ut Tantalus alter,
[Page 176] Castalias situs inter aquas, inhiantis ab ore
Nectarei fugiunt latices—hos Popius urnâ
Excipit undanti, & fontem sibi vendicat omnem.
Hand aliter Socium esuriens Sizator edacem
Dum videt, appositusque cibus frustratur hiantem,
Dentibus infrendens nequicquam lumine torvo
Saepius exprobrat; nequicquam brachia tendit
Sedulus officiosa, dapes removere paratus.
Olli nunquam exempta fames, quin frusta suprema
Devoret, & peritura immani ingurgitet ore:
Tum demum jubet auferri; nudata capaci
Ossa sonant, lugubre sonant, allisa catino.


WHEN Pallas issued from the brain of Jove,
Momus, the Mimic of the Gods above,
In his mock mood impertinently spoke,
About the birth, some low, ridiculous joke:
Jove, sternly frowning, glow'd with vengeful ire,
And thus Indignant said th' Almighty Sire,
"Loquacious Slave, that laugh'st without a cause,
"Thou shalt conceive, and bring forth at thy jaws."
He spoke—stretch'd in the hall the Mimic lies,
Supinely dull, thick vapours dim his eyes:
And as his jaws a horrid chasm disclose,
It seem'd he made a trumpet of his nose;
Tho' harsh the strain, and horrible to hear,
Like German jargon grating on the ear.
At length was Polychasmia brought to light,
Worthy her sire, a monster of a sight,
Resembling her great grandmother, Old Night.
[Page 171] Her eyes to open oft in vain she try'd,
Lock'd were the lids, her mouth distended wide.
Her when Prometheus happen'd to survey
(Rival of Jove, that made mankind of clay)
He form'd without the aid of heav'nly ray.
To three Lethaean cups he learnt to mix
Deep sighs of virgins, with three blasts from Styx,
The bray of asses, with the fat of brawn,
The sleep-preceding groan, and hideous yawn.
Thus Polychasmia took her wond'rous birth,
A Goddess helpful to the sons of earth.
Lo! how the rustic multitude from far
Haste to the town, and crowd the clam'rous bar.
The prest bench groans with many a squire and knight,
Who weight out justice, and distribute right:
Severe they seem, and formidably big,
With front important, and huge periwig.
The little villains skulk aloof dismay'd,
And panic terrors seize the pregnant maid.
But soon friend Polychasm', who always near,
Herself had mingled with their morning beer,
Steals to the judges brain, and centers there.
Then in the court the horrid yawn began,
And Hum, profound and solemn, went from man to man:
Silent they nod, and with prodigious strain
Stretch out their arms, then listless yawn again:
[Page 173] For all the flow'rs of rhetoric they can boast,
Amidst their wranglings, is to gape the most:
Ambiguous quirks, and friendly wrath they vent,
And give and take the leaden argument.
Ye too, Fanaticks, never shall escape
The faithful muse; for who so greatly gape?
Mounted on high, with serious care perplext,
The miserable preacher takes his text;
Then into parts minute, with wondrous pain,
Divides, connects, and then divides again,
And does with grave obscurity explain:
While from his lips lean periods lingring creep,
And not one meaning interrupts their sleep,
The drowsy hearers stretch their weary jaws
With lamentable groan, and yawning gape applause.
The Quacks of Physic next provoke my ire,
Who falsely boast Hippocrates their sire:
Goddess! thy sons I ken—verbose and loud,
They puff their windy bubbles on the crowd:
With look important, critical, and vain,
Each to his nose applies the gilded cane;
And as he nods, and ponders o'er the case,
Gravely collects himself into his face,
Explains his med'cines—which the rustic buys,
Drinks the dire draught, and of the doctor dies;
[Page 175] No pills, no potions can to life restore;
ABRACADABRA, necromantic pow'r
Can charm, and conjure up from death no more.
But more than aught that's marvellous and rare,
The studious Soph makes Polychasm' his care;
Explores what secret spring, what hidden cause,
Distends with hideous chasm th' unwilling jaws,
What latent ducts the dewy moisture pour
With sound tremendous, like a thunder-show'r:
How subtile matter, exquisitely thin,
Pervades the curious net-work of the skin,
Affects th' accordant nerve—all eyes are drown'd
In drowsy vapours, and the yawn goes round▪
When Phoebus thus his flying fingers flings
Across the chords, and sweeps the trembling strings;
If e'er a lyre at unison there be,
It swells with emulating harmony,
Like Memnon's harp, in ancient times renown'd,
Breathing, untouch'd, sweet-modulated sound.
But oh! ungrateful! to thy own true bard,
Oh! Polychasm', is this my just reward?
Thy drowsy dews upon my head distill,
Just at the entrance of th' Aonian hill;
Listless I gape, unactive, and supine,
And at vast distance view the sacred Nine:
[Page 177]Wistful I view—the streams increase my thirst,
In vain—like Tantalus, with plenty curst,
No draughts nectareous to my portion fall,
These godlike Pope exhausts, and greatly claims them all.
Thus the lean Sizar views, with gaze agast,
The hungry Tutor at his noon's repast;
In vain he grinds his teeth—his grudging eye,
And visage sharp, keen appetite imply;
Oft he attempts, officious, to convey
The lessening relicks of the meal away—
In vain—no morsel 'scapes the greedy jaw,
All, all is gorg'd in magisterial maw;
Till at the last, observant of his word,
The lamentable waiter clears the board,
And inly-murmuring miserably groans,
To see the empty dish, and hear the sounding bones.




HENCE, loathed Melancholy,
Of Cerberus, and blackest Mid-night born,
In Stygian cave forlorn,
Mongst horrid shapes, and shrieks, and sights unholy,
Find out some uncouth cell,
Where brooding Darkness spreads his jealous wings,
And the night-raven sings;
There under ebon shades, and low-brow'd rocks,
As ragged as thy locks,
In dark Cimmerian desart ever dwell.
But come thou Goddess fair and free,
In Heav'n yclep'd Euphrosyne,
And by men, heart-easing Mirth,
Whom lovely Venus at a birth
With two sister Graces more
To ivy-crowned Bacchus bore;
Or whether (as some Sages sing)
The frolick wind, that breathes the spring,
[Page 182] Zephyr with Aurora playing,
As he met her once a Maying,
There on beds of violets blue,
And fresh blown roses wash'd in dew,
Fill'd her with thee, a daughter fair,
So buxom, blith, and debonair;
Haste thee, Nymph, and bring with thee
Jest and youthful Jollity,
Quips and cranks, and wanton wiles,
Nods and becks, and wreathed smiles,
Such as hang on Hebe's cheek,
And love to live in dimple sleek;
Sport, that wrinkled Care derides,
And Laughter holding both his sides;
Come, and trip it, as you go,
On the light fantastic toe:
And in thy right hand lead with thee
The mountain Nymph, sweet Liberty;
And if I give thee honour due,
Mirth, admit me of thy crew,
To live with her, and live with thee,
In unreproved pleasures free;
To hear the lark begin his flight,
And singing startle the dull night,
From his watch-tow'r in the skies,
Till the dappled dawn doth rise;
[Page 184] Then to come in spight of sorrow,
And at my window bid good-morrow,
Thro' the sweet-briar, or the vine,
Or the twisted eglantine:
While the cock with lively din
Scatters the rear of darkness thin;
And to the stack, or the barn-door,
Stoutly struts his dames before.
Oft list'ning how the hounds and horn
Chearly rouse the slumb'ring morn,
From the side of some hoar hill,
Thro' the high wood echoing shrill.
Sometimes walking not unseen
By hedge-row elms, on hillocks green,
Right against the eastern gate,
Where the great sun begins his state,
Rob'd in flames, and amber light,
The clouds in thousand liveries dight.
While the plowman near at hand,
Whistles o'er the furrow'd land,
And the milkmaid singeth blithe,
And the mower whets his seythe,
And every shepherd tells his tale
Under the hawthorn in the dale.
Strait mine eye hath caught new pleasures,
Whilst the landskip round it measures,
[Page 186] Russet lawns, and fallows gray,
Where the nibbling flocks do stray
Mountains, on whose barren breast
The labouring clouds do often rest,
Meadows trim with daizies pide,
Shallow brooks, and rivers wide:
Tow'rs and battlements it sees
Bosom'd high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some beauty lies
The Cynosure of neighbouring eyes.
Hard by a cottage chimney smokes,
From betwixt two aged oaks,
Where Corydon and Thyrsis met,
Are at their favory dinner set
Of herbs and other country messes,
Which the neat-handed Phillis dresses;
And then in haste her bower she leaves
With Thestylis to bind the sheaves;
Or if the earlier season lead
To the tann'd hay-cock in the mead,
Sometimes with secure delight
The up-land Hamlets will invite,
When the merry bells ring round,
And the jocund rebecks sound
To many a youth and many a maid,
Dancing in the chequer'd shade;
[Page 188] And young and old come forth to play
On a sun-shine holy-day,
Till the live-long day-light fail,
Then to the spicy nut-brown ale,
With stories told of many a feat,
How fairy Mab the junkets eat;
She was pinch'd, and pull'd, she said,
And by the Friar's lanthorn led;
Tells how the drudging goblin sweat,
To earn his cream-bowl duly set,
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn
That ten day-labourers could not end,
Then lies him down the lubbar fiend,
And stretch'd out all the chimny's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength;
And crop-full out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his mattin sings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whispering winds soon lull'd asleep.
Towred cities please us then,
And the busy humm of men,
Where throngs of knights and barons bold,
In weeds of peace high triumph hold,
With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence, and judge the prize
[Page 190] Of wit or arms, while both contend
To win her grace whom all commend.
There let Hymen oft appear,
In saffron robe, with taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask and antique pageantry,
Such sights as youthful poets dream
On summer eves by haunted stream.
Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Johnson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespear, Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild,
And ever against eating cares
Lap me in soft Lydian airs,
Married to immortal verse,
Such as the meeting soul may pierce
In notes, with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out
With wanton heed, and giddy cunning,
The melting voice thro' mazes running;
Untwisting all the chains that tye
The hidden soul of harmony:
[Page 192] That Orpheus self may heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed
Of heap'd Elysian flow'rs, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half-regain'd Eurydice.
These delights, if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.


PROCUL hinc, O procul esto informis AEgrimonia,
Quam janitori Obscuritas nigerrima
Suscepit olim Cerbero,
Desertam in cavea Stygis profundâ,
Horribiles inter formas, visusque prosanos,
Obscoenosque ululatus,
Incultam licet invenire sedem,
Nox ubi parturiens
Zelotypis furtim nido superincubat alis
Queriturque tristis noctua,
Sub densis illic ebenis scopulisque cavatis,
Vestri rugosis more supercilii,
AEternùm maneas Cimmeriâ in domo.
Sed huc propinquet comis et pulcherrima,
Quae nympha divis audit Ephrosyne choris,
Patiens tamen vocatur a mortalibus
Medicina cordis hilaritas, quam candida
Venus duabus insuper cum Gratiis
Dias Lyaeo patri in auras edidit:
Sive ille ventus (caeteri ut Mystae canunt)
Jocundus aurâ qui ver implet melleâ,
[Page 183] Zephyrus puellam amplexus est Tithoniam
Quondam calendis feriatam Maiis,
Tunc pallidis genuit super violariis,
Super et rosarum roscidâ lanugine,
Alacrem, beatam, vividamque filiam.
Agedum puella, quin pari vadant gradu
Jocus et Juventas, Scommata et Protervitas,
Dolusque duplex, nutus et nictatio,
Tenuisque risus huc et huc contortilis;
Qualis venustâ pendet Hebes in genâ,
Amatque jungi laevibus gelasinis;
Curae sequatur Ludus infestus nigrae, et
Laterum Cachinnus pinguium frustra tenax.
Agite caterva ludat exultim levis,
Pedesque dulcis sublevet lascivia;
Dextrumque claudat alma Libertas latus,
Oreadum palantium suavissima;
Et, si tuis honoribus non defui,
Me scribe vestrae, laeta Virgo, familiae,
Ut illius simul et tui consortio
Liberrimâ juvenemur innocentiâ;
Ut cum volatus auspicatur concitos,
Stupidamque alauda voce noctem territat;
Levata coelestem in pharon diluculò,
Priùsque gilvum quam rubet crepusculum.
[Page 185] Tunc ad fenestras (anxii nolint, velint)
Diem precemur prosperam viciniae,
Caput exerentes e rosis sylvestibus,
Seu vite, sive flexili cynosbato.
Dum Martius clamore Gallus vivido
Tenuem lacessit in fugâ caliginem,
Graditurve farris ad struem, vel horreum,
Dominae praeeuns, graduque grandi glorians.
Saepe audiamus ut canes et cornua
Sonore laeto mane sopitum cient,
Dum quà praealti clivus albescit jugi,
Docilis canora reddit Echo murmura.
Mox, teste multo, quà virent colles, vager,
Ulmosque sepes ordinatas implicat,
Eoa stans apricus ante limina,
Ubi sol coruscum magnus instaurat diem
Vestitus igni, lucidoque succino,
Inter micantûm mille formas nubium.
Vicinus agrum dum colonus transmeat,
Atque aemulatur ore fistulam rudi,
Mulctramque portat cantitans puellula,
Falcique cotem messor aptat stridulae,
Suamque pastor quisque garrit fabulam,
Reclinis in convalle, subter arbuto.
Mox illecebras oculus arripuit novas,
Dum longus undiquaque prospectus patet,
[Page 187] Canum novale, et fusca saltûs aequora,
Quà pecora gramen demetunt vagantia,
Sublimium sterilia terga montium,
Qui ponderosa saepe torquent nubila,
Maculosa vernis prata passim bellibus,
Amnes vadosi, et latiora flumina.
Pinnasque murorum, atque turres cernere est
Cristata circùm quas coronant robora,
Ubi forte quaedam nympha fallit, cui decor
Viciniam (cynosura tanquam) illuminat.
Juxta duarum subter umbrâ quercuum,
Culmis opertâ fumus emicat casâ,
Qua jam vocati Thyrsis et Corydon sedent,
Famemque odoro compriment convivio,
Herbis, cibisque rusticis, nitidissimâ
Quae sufficit succincta Phillis dexterâ:
Mox Thestyli morem gerens jacentia
Aureis catenis cogit in fasces sata:
Vernisve in horis, sole tostum virgines
Faenum recenti pellicit fragrantiâ;
Est et serenis quando faeta gaudiis
Excelsiora perplacent magalia;
Utcunque juxta flumen in numerum sonant
Campanae, et icta dulcè barbitos strepit,
Dum multa nympha, multa pubes duritèr
Pellunt trementes ad canorem cespites
Dubias per umbras; qua labore liberi
[Page 189] Juvenesque ludunt, et senes promiscui,
Melius nitente sole propter ferias.
Jam quando vesperascit, omnes allicit
Auro liquenti Bacchus hordiaceus,
Phyllisque narrat fabulosa facinora,
Lamia ut paratas Mabba consumpsit dapes,
Se vapulasse, et esse pressam ab Incubo,
Fatuoque tritâ ab igne seductam viâ;
Ut et laborem subiit Idolon gravem,
Floremque lactis meritus est stipendium;
Unius (inquit) ante noctis exitum
Tot grana frugis fuste trivit veneficus,
Quot expedire rustici nequeunt decem,
Quo jam peracto plumbeum monstrum cubat,
Focumque totum latere longo metiens
Crinita membra fessus igne recreat;
Dein, priusquam gallus evocat diem,
Tandem satur phantasma sese proripit.
Sic absolutis fabulis ineunt toros,
Atque ad susurros dormiunt favonii,
Turrita deinde perplacebunt oppida,
Et gentis occupatae mixta murmura,
Equitumque turba, nobilesque spendidi,
Qui pacis ipsâ vel triumphant in togâ,
Nurusque, quarum lumen impetus viris
Jaculatur acres, praemiumque destinat
[Page 191] Marti aut Minervae, quorum uterque nititur
Nymphae probari, quae probatur omnibus:
Hymenaeus illic saepe praetendat facem
Clarissimam, croceumque velamen trahat,
Spectac'la, mimi, pompa, commissatio,
Veterumque ritu nocte sint convivia,
Talesque visus, quos vident in somniis
Juvenes poetae, dum celebris rivuli
Securi ad oram vespere aestivo jacent.
Tunc ad theatra demigrem frequentia
Johnsone, si tu, docte soccum proferas;
Sive * Ille musae filius fundat sonos,
Quam dulcè, quam felicitèr temerarios!
Curaeque carmen semper antidotos modis
Mentem relaxet involutam Lydiis;
Oh! sim perenni emancipatus carmini,
Quod tentet usque ad intimum cor emicans,
Auresque gratis detinens ambagibus
Pedibus ligatis suaviter nectat moras,
Dum liquida vox, labyrinthus ut, deflectitur
Dolo perita et negligenti industriâ,
Variàque caecos arte nodos explicat,
Animam latentem qui coercent musices;
[Page 193] Adeo ut quiete expergefactus aureâ
Toros relinquat ipse Thrax amaranthinos,
Medioque tales captet Elysio sonos,
Quales avaram suadeant Proserpinam
Nullâ obligatam lege sponsam reddere.
His si redundes gaudiis, prudentis est,
Laetitia, tecum velle vitam degere.


Adhuc supersunt multa, quae possim loqui,
Et copiosa abundat rerum varietas.


BY a prattling stream, on a Midsummer's eve,
Where the woodbine and jess'mine their boughs interweave,
Fair Flora, I cry'd, to my arbour repair,
For I must have a chaplet for sweet William's hair.
She brought me the vi'let that grows on the hill,
The vale dwelling lilly, and gilded jonquill:
But such languid odours how cou'd I approve,
Just warm from the lips of the lad that I love.
She brought me, his faith and his truth to display,
The undying myrtle, and ever-green bay:
But why these to me, who've his constancy known?
And Billy has laurels enough of his own.
The next was a gift that I could not contemn,
For she brought me two roses that grew on a stem:
Of the dear nuptial tie they stood emblems confest,
So I kiss'd 'em, and press'd 'em quite close to my breast.
She brought me a sun-flow'r—This, fair one's, your due;
For it once was a maiden, and love-sick like you:
Oh! give it me quick, to my shepherd I'll run,
As true to his flame, as this flow'r to the sun.

The LASS with the golden Locks. BALLAD II.

NO more of my Harriot, of Polly no more,
Nor all the bright beauties that charm'd me before;
My heart for a slave to gay Venus I've sold,
And barter'd my freedom for ringlets of gold:
I'll throw down my pipe, and neglect all my flocks,
And will sing to my lass with the golden locks.
Tho' o'er her white forehead the gilt tresses flow,
Like the rays of the sun on a hillock of snow;
Such painters of old drew the Queen of the Fair,
'Tis the taste of the antients, 'tis classical hair:
And tho' witlings may scoff, and tho' raillery mocks,
Yet I'll sing to my lass with the golden locks.
To live and to love, to converse and be free,
Is loving, my charmer, and living with thee:
Away go the hours in kisses and rhime,
Spite of all the grave lectures of old father Time;
A fig for his dials, his watches and clocks,
He's best spent with the lass of the golden locks.
Than the swan in the brook she's more dear to my sight,
Her mien is more stately, her breast is more white,
Her sweet lips are rubies, all rubies above,
Which are fit for the language or labour of love;
At the park in the mall, at the play in the box,
My lass bears the bell with her golden locks.
Her beautiful eyes, as they roll or they flow,
Shall be glad for my joy, or shall weep for my woe;
She shall ease my fond heart, and shall sooth my soft pain,
While thousands of rivals are sighing in vain;
Let them rail at the fruit they can't reach, like the fox,
While I have the lass with the golden locks.


MY Florio, wildest of his sex,
(Who sure the veriest saint wou'd vex)
From beauty roves to beauty;
Yet, tho' abroad the wanton roam,
Whene'er he deigns to stay at home,
He always minds his duty.
Something to every charming she,
In thoughtless prodigality,
He's granting still and granting,
To Phyllis that, to Cloe this,
And every madam, every miss;
Yet I find nothing wanting.
If haply I his will displease,
Tempestuous as th' autumnal seas
He foams and rages ever;
[Page 201] But when he ceases from his ire,
I cry, such spirit, and such fire,
Is surely wond'rous clever.
I ne'er want reason to complain;
But sweet is pleasure after pain,
And every joy grows greater.
Then trust me, damsels, whilst I tell,
I should not like him half so well,
If I cou'd make him better.


FROM morn to night, from day to day,
At all times and at every place,
You scold, repeat, and sing, and say,
Nor are there hopes, you'll ever cease.
Fobear, my Celia, oh! forbear,
If your own health, or ours you prize;
For all mankind that hear you, swear
Your tongue's more killing than your eyes.
Your tongue's a traytor to your face,
Your fame's by your own noise obscur'd,
All are distracted while they gaze;
But if they listen, they are cur'd.
Your silence wou'd acquire more praise,
Than all you say, or all I write;
One look ten thousand charms displays;
Then hush—and be an angel quite.


FROM all her fair loquacious kind,
So different is my Rosalind,
That not one accent can I gain
To crown my hopes, or sooth my pain.
Ye lovers, who can construe sighs,
And are the interpreters of eyes,
To language all her looks translate,
And in her gestures read my fate.
And if in them you chance to find
Ought that is gentle, ought that's kind,
Adieu mean hopes of being great,
And all the littleness of state.
All thoughts of grandeur I'll despise,
Which from dependence take their rise;
To serve her shall be my employ,
And love's sweet agony my joy.


THE blooming damsel, whose defence
Is adamantine innocence,
Requires no guardian to attend
Her steps, for modesty's her friend:
Tho' her fair arms are weak to wield
The glitt'ring spear, and massy shield;
Yet safe from force and fraud combin'd,
She is an Amazon in mind.
With this artillery she goes,
Not only 'mongst the harmless beaux:
But even unhurt and undismay'd,
Views the long sword and fierce cockade.
Tho' all a syren as she talks,
And all a goddess as she walks,
Yet decency each action guides,
And wisdom o'er her tongue presides.
Place her in Russia's showery plains,
Where a perpetual winter reigns,
The elements may rave and range,
Yet her fix'd mind will never change.
Place her, Ambition, in thy tow'rs,
'Mongst the more dang'rous golden show'rs,
E'en there she'd spurn the venal tribe,
And fold her arms against the bribe.
Leave her defenceless and alone,
A pris'ner in the torrid zone,
The sunshine there might vainly vie
With the bright lustre of her eye;
But Phoebus' self, with all his fire,
Cou'd ne'er one unchaste thought inspire.
But virtue's path she'd still pursue,
And still, my fair, wou'd copy you.


OF all my experience how vast the amount,
Since fifteen long winters I fairly can count!
Was ever a damsel so sadly betray'd,
To live to these years and yet still be a maid?
Ye heroes triumphant, by land and by sea,
Sworn vott'ries to love, but undmindful of me;
You can strom a strong fort, or can form a blockade,
Yet ye stand by, like dastards, and see me a maid.
Ye lawyers so just, who with slippery tongue,
Can do what you please, or with right, or with wrong,
Can it be, or by law or by equity said,
That a buxom young girl ought to die an old maid?
Ye learned physicians, whose excellent skill
Can save, or demolish, can cure, or can kill,
To a poor, forlorn damsel contribute your aid,
Who is sick—very sick—of remaining a maid.
Ye fops, I invoke, not to list to my song,
Who answer no end—and to no sex belong;
Ye echoes of echoes, and shadows of shade—
For if I had you—I might still be a maid.


YE ancient patriarchs of the wood,
That veil around these awful glooms,
Who many a century have stood
In verdant age, that ever blooms.
Ye Gothic tow'rs, by vapours dense,
Obscur'd into severer state,
In pastoral magnificence
At once so simple and so great.
Why all your jealous shades on me,
Ye hoary elders do ye spread?
Fair Innocence shou'd still be free,
Nought shou'd be chain'd, but what we dread.
Say, must these tears for ever flow?
Can I from patience learn content,
While solitude still nurses woe,
And leaves me leisure to lament.
My guardian see!—who wards off peace,
Whose cruelty is his employ,
Who bids the tongue of transport cease,
And stops each avenue to joy?
Freedom of air alone is giv'n,
To aggravate, not sooth my grief,
To view th' immensely-distant heav'n,
My nearest prospect of relief.

To Miss [...] one of the Chichester Graces. BALLAD IX.
Written in Goodwood Gardens, September 1750.

"YE hills that overlook the plains,
"Where wealth and Gothic greatness reigns,
"Where Nature's hand by Art is check'd,
"And Taste herself is architect;
"Ye fallows grey, ye forests brown,
"And seas that the vast prospect crown,
"Ye freight the soul with fancy's store,
"Nor can she one idea more!"
I said—when dearest of her kind
(Her form the picture of her mind)
Chloris approach'd—The landskip flew!
All nature vanish'd from my view!
She seem'd all Nature to comprize,
Her lips! her beauteous breasts! her eyes!
That rous'd, and yet abash'd desire,
With liquid, languid, living fire!
But then—her voice!—how fram'd t' endear!
The music of the Gods to hear!
Wit that so pierc'd, without offence,
So brac'd by the strong nerves of sense!
Pallas with Venus play'd her part,
To rob me of an honest heart;
Prudence and Passion jointly strove,
And Reason was th' ally of Love.
Ah me! thou sweet, delicious maid,
From whence shall I sollicit aid?
Hope and despair alike destroy,
One kills with grief, and one with joy.
Celestial Chloris! Nymph divine!
To save me, the dear task be thine.
Tho' conquest be the woman's care,
The angel's glory is to spare.


A LADY sent lately to one Doctor Drug,
To come in an instant, and clyster poor Pug—
As the fair one commanded he came at the word,
And did the grand office in tie-wig and sword.
The affair being ended, so sweet and so nice!
He held out his hand with—"You know, ma'am, my price."
"Your price," says the lady—"Why, Sir, he's your brother,
"And doctors must never take fees of each other."


WHEN Phoebus was am'rous, and long'd to be rude,
Miss Daphne cry'd Pish! and ran swift to the wood,
And rather than do such a naughty affair,
She became a fine laurel to deck the God's hair.
The nymph was, no doubt, of a cold constitution;
For sure to turn tree was an odd resolution!
Yet in this she behav'd like a true modern spouse,
For she fled from his arms to distinguish his brows.


A Bag-wig of a jauntee air,
Trick'd up with all a barber's care,
Loaded with powder and perfume,
Hung in a spendthrift's dressing-room;
Close by its side, by chance convey'd,
A black Tobacco-pipe was laid;
And with its vapours far and near,
Outstunk the essence of Monsieur;
At which its rage, the thing of hair,
Thus, bristling up, began declare.
"Bak'd dirt! that with intrusion rude
"Breaks in upon my solitude,
"And with thy fetid breath defiles
"The air for forty thousand miles—
[Page 212] "Avaunt—pollution's in thy touch—
"O barb'rous English! horrid Dutch!
"I cannot bear it—Here, Sue, Nan,
"Go call the maid to call the man,
"And bid him come without delay,
"To take this odious pipe away.
"Hideous! sure some one smoak'd thee, Friend,
"Reversely, at his t'other end.
"Oh! what mix'd odours! what a throng
"Of salt and sour, of stale and strong!
"A most unnatural combination,
"Enough to mar all perspiration—
"Monstrous! again—'twou'd vex a saint!
"Susan, the drops—or else I faint!"
The pipe (for 'twas a pipe of soul)
Raising himself upon his bole,
In smoke, like oracle of old,
Did thus his sentiments unfold.
"Why, what's the matter, Goodman Swagger,
"Thou flaunting French, fantastic bragger?
"Whose whole fine speech is (with a pox)
"Ridiculous and heterodox.
"'Twas better for the English nation
"Before such scoundrels came in fashion,
"When none sought hair in realms unknown,
"But every blockhead bore his own.
[Page 213] "Know, puppy, I'm an English pipe,
"Deem'd worthy of each Briton's gripe,
"Who, with my cloud-compelling aid
"Help our plantations and our trade,
"And am, when sober and when mellow,
"An upright, downright, honest fellow.
"Tho' fools, like you, may think me rough,
"And scorn me, 'cause I am in buff,
"Yet your contempt I glad receive,
"'Tis all the fame that you can give:
"None finery or fopp'ry prize;
"But they who've something to disguise;
"For simple nature hates abuse,
"And Plainness is the dress of Use."


OLD Care with Industry and Art,
At length so well had play'd his Part;
He heap'd up such an ample store,
That Av'rice cou'd not sigh for more:
Ten thousand flocks his shepherd told,
His coffers overflow'd with Gold;
The land all round him was his own,
With corn his crouded granaries groan.
[Page 214] In short so vast his charge and gain,
That to possess them was a pain;
With happiness oppress'd he lies,
And much too prudent to be wise.
Near him there liv'd a beauteous maid,
With all the charms of youth array'd;
Good, amiable, sincere and free,
Her name was Generosity.
'Twas hers the largess to bestow
On rich and poor, on friend and foe.
Her doors to all were open'd wide,
The pilgrim there might safe abide:
For th' hungry and the thirsty crew,
The bread she broke, the drink she drew;
There Sickness laid her aching head,
And there Distress cou'd find a bed.—
Each hour with an all-bounteous hand,
Diffused she blessings round the land:
Her gifts and glory lasted long,
And numerous was th' accepting throng.
At length pale Penury seiz'd the dame,
And Fortune fled, and Ruin came,
She found her riches at an end,
And that she had not made one friend.—
All cursed her for not giving more,
Nor thought on what she'd done before;
[Page 215] She wept, she rav'd, she tore her hair,
When lo! to comfort her came Care.—
And cry'd, my dear, if you will join,
Your hand in nuptial bonds with mine;
All will be well—you shall have store,
And I be plagu'd with Wealth no more.—
Tho' I restrain your bounteous heart,
You still shall act the generous part.—
The Bridal came—great was the feast,
And good the pudding and the priest;
The bride in nine moons brought him forth
A little maid of matchless worth:
Her face was mix'd of Care and Glee,
They christen'd her Oeconomy;
And styled her fair Discretion's Queen,
The mistress of the golden mean.
Now Generosity confin'd,
Is perfect easy in her mind;
She loves to give, yet knows to spare,
Nor wishes to be free from Care.


As it was acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane, on Thursday the 7th of March 1751, by Persons of Di­stinction for their Diversion.

WHILE mercenary actors tread the stage,
And hireling scriblers lash or lull the age,
Ours be the task t'instruct, and entertain,
Without one thought of glory or of gain.
Virtue's her own—from no external cause—
She gives, and she demands the Self-applause:
Home to her breast she brings the heart-felt bays,
Heedless alike of profit, and of praise.
This now perhaps is wrong—yet this we know,
'Twas sense and truth a century ago:
When Britain with transcendent glory crown'd,
For high atchievements, as for wit renown'd;
[Page 217] Cull'd from each growing grace the purest part,
And cropt the flowers from every blooming art.
Our noblest youth would then embrace the task
Of comic humour, or the mystic masque.
'Twas theirs t'incourage worth, and give to bards
What now is spent in boxing and in cards:
Good sense their pleasure—Virtue still their guide,
And English magnanimity—their pride.
Methinks I see with Fancy's magic eye,
The shade of Shakespear, in yon azure sky.
On you high cloud behold the bard advance,
Piercing all Nature with a single glance:
In various attitudes around him stand
The passions, waiting for his dread command.
First kneeling Love before his feet appears,
And musically sighing melts in tears.
Near him fell Jealousy with fury burns,
And into storms the amorous breathings turns;
Then Hope with heavenward look, and Joy draws near,
While palsied Terror trembles in the rear.
Such Shakespear's train of horror and delight,
And such we hope to introduce to-night.
But if, tho' just in thought, we fail in fact,
And good intention ripens not to act,
Weigh our design, your censure still defer,
When truth's in view 'tis glorious e'en to err.


TRUE woman to the last—my peroration
I come to speak in spight of suffocation;
To shew the present and the age to come,
We may be choak'd, but never can be dumb.
Well now methinks I see you all run out,
And haste away to Lady Bragwell's rout;
Each modish sentiment to hear and weigh,
Of those who nothing think, and all things say.
Prudella first in parody begins,
(For Nonsense and Buffoonery are twins)
"Can beaux the court for theatres exchange?
"I swear by Heaven 'tis strange, 'tis passing strange;
"And very whimsical, and mighty dull,
"And pitiful, and wond'rous pitiful:
"I wish I had not heard it—Blessed dame!
Whene'er she speaks her audience wish the same.
Next Neddy Nicely—"Fye, O fye, good lack,
"A nasty man to make his face all black."
Then Lady Stiffneck shews her pious rage,
And wonders we shou'd act—upon a stage.
[Page 219] "Why, ma'me, says Coquetilla, a disgrace?
"Merit in any form may shew her face:
"In this dull age the male things ought to play,
"To teach them what to do, and what to say."
In short, they all with different cavils cram us,
And only are unanimous to damn us.
But still there are a fair judicious few,
Who judge unbiass'd, and with candour view;
Who value honesty, tho' clad in buff,
And wit, tho' dress'd in an old English ruff.
Behold them here—I beaming sense descry,
Shot from the living lustre of each eye.
Such meaning smiles each blooming face adorn,
As deck the pleasure-painted brow of morn;
And shew the person of each matchless fair,
Tho' rich to rapture, and above compare,
Is, even with all the skill of heaven design'd,
But an imperfect image of their mind;
While chastity unblemish'd and unbrib'd
Adds a majestic mien that scorns to be describ'd:
Such, we will vaunt, and only such as these,
'Tis our ambition, and our fame to please.


‘Auriculas Asini Mida Rex habet. ’JUV.

PERSONS represented.

  • PAN.
  • TIMOLUS, God of the Mountain.
  • MIDAS.
  • AGNO, MELINOE, Two Wood-nymphs.
  • SATYRS, &c.


TIMOLUS, MELINOE and AGNO, two Wood-nymphs.
AGNO, To-day we wear our acron crown,
The parsley wreath be thine; it is most meet
We grace the presence of these rival gods
With all the honours of our woodland weeds.
Thine was the task, Melinoe, to prepare
The turf-built theatre, the boxen bow'r,
And all the sylvan scen'ry.
That task,
Sire of these shades, is done. On yester eve,
Assisted by a thousand friendly fays,
While fav'ring Dian held her glitt'ring lamp,
[Page 224] We ply'd our nightly toils, nor ply'd we long,
For Art was not the mistress of our revels,
'Twas gentle Nature, whom we jointly woo'd;
She heard, and yielded to the forms we taught her,
Yet still remain'd herself—Simplicity,
Fair Nature's genuine daughter, was there too,
So soft, yet so magnificent of mien,
She shone all ornament without a gem.
The blithsome Flora, ever sweet and young,
Offer'd her various store: We cull'd a few
To robe, and recommend our darksome verdure,
But shun'd to be luxuriant.—
It was well.
Agno, thy looks are pensive: What dejects
Thy pleasure-painted aspect? Sweetest nymph,
That ever trod the turf, or sought the shade,
Speak, nor conceal a thought.
King of the woods,
I tremble for the royal arbiter.
'Tis hard to judge, whene'er the great contend,
Sure to displease the vanquish'd: When such pow'rs
Contest the laurel with such ardent strife,
'Tis not the sentence of fair equity,
But 'tis their pleasure that is right or wrong.
[Page 225]
'Tis well remark'd, and on experience founded.
I do remember that my sister Ida
(Whenas on her own shadowy mount we met,
To celebrate the birth-day of the Spring,
And th' orgies of the May) wou'd oft recount
The rage of the indignant goddesses,
When shepherd Paris to the Cyprian queen,
With hand obsequious gave the golden toy.
Heav'n's queen, the sister and the wife of Jove,
Rag'd like a feeble mortal; fall'n she seem'd,
Her deity in human passions lost:
Ev'n Wisdom's goddess, jealous of her form,
Deem'd her own attribute her second virtue.
Both vow'd and sought revenge.
If such the fate
Of him who judg'd aright, what must be his
Who shall mistake the cause? for much I doubt
The skill of Midas, since his fatal wish:
Which Bacchus heard, and curs'd him with the gift.
Yet grant him wise, to err is human still,
And mortal is the consequence.
Most true.
Besides, I fear him partial; for with Pan
[Page 226] He tends the sheep-walks all the live-long day,
And on the braky lawn to the shrill pipe
In aukward gambols he affects to dance,
Or tumbles to the tabor—'tis not likely
That such an umpire shou'd be equitable,
Unless he guess at justice.
Soft—no more—
'Tis ours to wish for Pan, and fear from Phoebus,
Whose near approach I hear: Ye stately cedars
Forth from your summits bow your awful heads,
And reverence the gods. Let my whole mountain tremble,
Not with a fearful, but religious awe,
And holiness of horror. You, ye winds,
That make soft, solemn music 'mongst the leaves,
Be all to stillness hush'd; and thou their echo
Listen, and hold thy peace; for see they come.
SCENE opens, and discovers Apollo, attended by Clio and Melpomene, on the right hand of Midas, and Pan on the left, whom Timolus, with Agno and Melinoe, join.
Begin, celestial candidates for praise,
Begin the tuneful contest: I, mean while,
[Page 227] With heedful notice and attention meet,
Will weigh your merits, and decide your cause.
From Jove begin the rapturous song,
To him our earliest lays belong,
We are his offspring all;
'Twas he, whose looks supremely bright,
Smil'd darksome chaos into light,
And fram'd this glorious ball.
Sylvanus, in his shadowy grove,
The seat of rural peace and love,
Attends my Doric lays;
By th' altar on the myrtle mount,
Where plays the wood-nymph's favourite fount,
I'll celebrate his praise.
Parnassus, where's thy boasted height,
Where, Pegasus, thy fire and flight,
Where all your thoughts so bold and free,
Ye daughters of Mnemosyne?
If Pan o'er Phoebus can prevail,
And the great god of verse shou'd fail?
From nature's works, and nature's laws,
We find delight, and seek applause;
[Page 228] The prattling streams and zephyrs bland,
And fragrant flow'rs by zephyrs fann'd,
The level lawns and buxom bow'rs,
Speak Nature and her works are ours.
What were all your fragrant bow'rs,
Splendid days, and happy hours,
Spring's verdant robe, fair Flora's blush,
And all the poets of the bush?
What the paintings of the grove,
Rural music, mirth and love?
Life and ev'ry joy wou'd pall,
If Phoebus shone not on you all.
We chant to Phoebus, king of day,
The morning and the evening lay.
But Pan, each satyre, nymph and fawn,
Adore as laureat of the lawn;
From peevish March to joyous June
He keeps our restless souls in tune,
Without his oaten reed and song,
Phoebus, thy days wou'd seem too long.
Am I not he, who prescious from on high,
Sends a long look thro' all futurity?
Am I not he, to whom alone belong
The powers of Med'cine, Melody and Song?
[Page 229] Diffusely lib'ral, as divinely bright,
Eye of the universe and sire of light.
O'er cots and vales, and every shepherd swain,
Inpeaceable pre-eminence I reign;
With pipe on plain, and nymph in secret grove,
The day is music, and the night is love.
I blest with these, nor envy nor desire
Thy gaudy chariot, or thy golden lyre.
Soon as the dawn dispels the dark,
Illustrious Phoebus 'gins t' appear,
Proclaimed by the herald lark,
And ever-wakeful chanticleer,
The Persian pays his morning vow,
And all the turban'd easterns bow.
Soon as the evening shades advance,
And the gilt glow-worn glitters fair,
For rustic gambol, gibe and dance,
Fawns, nymphs and dryads all prepare,
Pan shall his swains from toil relieve,
And rule the revels of the eve.
In numbers as smooth as Callirhoe's stream,
Glide the silver-ton'd verse when Apollo's the theme;
[Page 230] While on his own mount Cyparissus is seen,
And Daphne preserves her immutable green.
We'll hail Hyperion with transport so long,
Th' inventor, the patron, and subject of song.
While on the calm ocean the Halcyon shall breed,
And Syrinx shall sigh with her musical reed,
While fairies, and satyres, and fawns shall approve
The music, the mirth, and the life of the grove,
So long shall our Pan be than thee more divine,
For he shall be rising when thou shalt decline.
No more—To Pan and to his beauteous nymphs
I do adjudge the prize, as is most due.
Enter two Satyres, and crown MIDAS with a pair of ass's ears
Such rural honours all the gods decree,
To those who sing like Pan, and judge like thee.
[Exeunt Omnes.

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