ON A GROTTO near the THAMES, at TWICKENHAM, Composed of Marbles, Spars, and Mineralsa.

THOU who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent wave
Shines a broad mirrour through the shadowy cave,
Where lingering drops from mineral roofs distill,
And pointed crystals break the sparkling rill,
[Page 2]Unpolish'd gems no ray on pride bestow,
And latent metals innocently glow:
Approach. Great NATURE studiously behold!
And eye the mine without a wish for gold.
Approach: But aweful! Lo th' Aegerian b grott
Where, nobly-pensive, ST. JOHN sate and thought:
Where British sighs from dying WYNDHAM stole,
And the bright flame was shot thro' MARCHMONT'S soul.
Let such, such only, tread this sacred floor,
Who dare to love their country, and be poor.


HAIL, ever-pleasing Solitude!
Companion of the wise and good!
But, from whose holy, piercing eye,
The herd of fools, and villains fly.
Oh! how I love with thee to walk!
And listen to thy whisper'd talk;
[Page 3]Which innocence, and truth imparts,
And melts the most obdurate hearts.
A thousand shapes you wear with ease,
And still in every shape you please;
Now rapt in some mysterious dream,
A lone philosopher you seem;
Now quick from hill to dale you fly,
And now you sweep the vaulted sky,
And nature triumphs in your eye:
Then strait again you court the shade,
And pining hang the pensive head.
A shepherd next you haunt the plain,
And warble forth your oaten strain.
A lover now with all the grace
Of that sweet passion in your face!
Then, soft-divided, you assume
The gentle-looking Hertford's a bloom,
As, with her PHILOMELAb, she,
(Her PHILOMELA fond of thee)
Amid the long withdrawing vale,
Awakes the rival'd nightingale.
A thousand shapes you wear with ease,
And still in every shape you please.
Thine is th' unbounded breath of morn,
Just as the dew-bent rose is born;
[Page 4]And while meridian fervors beat
Thine is the woodland's dumb retreat;
But chief, when evening scenes decay,
And the faint landscape swims away,
Thine is the doubtful dear decline,
And that best hour of musing thine.
Descending angels bless thy train,
The virtues of the sage, and swain;
Plain Innocence in white array'd,
And Contemplation rears the head:
Religion with her aweful brow,
And rapt URANIA waits on you.
Oh, let me pierce thy secret cell!
And in thy deep recesses dwell:
For ever with thy raptures fir'd,
For ever from the world retir'd;
Nor by a mortal seen, save he


AETherial race, inhabitants of air!
Who hymn your God amid the secret grove;
Ye unseen beings to my harp repair,
And raise majestic strains, or melt in love.
Those tender notes, how kindly they upbraid!
With what soft woe they thrill the lover's heart!
Sure from the hand of some unhappy maid,
Who dy'd of love, these sweet complainings part.
But hark! that strain was of a graver tone,
On the deep strings his hand some hermit throws;
Or he the sacred Bard! b who sat alone,
In the drear waste, and wept his people's woes.
Such was the song which Zion's children sung,
When by Euphrates' stream they made their plaint:
And to such sadly solemn notes are strung
Angelic harps, to sooth a dying saint.
Methinks I hear the full celestial choir,
Thro' heaven's high dome their aweful anthem raise;
Now chanting clear, and now they all conspire
To swell the lofty hymn, from praise to praise.
Let me, ye wand'ring spirits of the wind,
Who as wild Fancy prompts you touch the string,
Smit with your theme, be in your chorus join'd,
For, 'till you cease, my Muse forgets to sing.

On the Report of a WOODEN BRIDGE to be built at Westminstera.

BY Rufus' hall, where Thames polluted flows,
Provok'd, the Genius of the river rose,
And thus exclaim'd: — "Have I, ye British swains,
"Have I, for ages, lav'd your fertile plains?
"Given herds, and flocks, and villages increase,
"And fed a richer than the Golden Fleece?
"Have I, ye merchants, with each swelling tide,
"Pour'd Afric's treasure in, and India's pride?
"Lent you the fruit of every nation's toil?
"Made every climate your's, and every soil?
"Yet pilfer'd from the poor, by gaming base,
"Yet must a Wooden Bridge my waves disgrace?
"Tell not to foreign streams the shameful tale,
"And be it publish'd in no Gallic vale."
He said; — and plunging to his crystal dome,
White o'er his head the circling waters foam.


NOW had the son of Jove mature, attain'd
The joyful prime: when youth, elate and gay,
Steps into life; and follows unrestrain'd
Where passion leads, or prudence points the way.
In the pure mind, at those ambiguous years,
Or vice, rank weed, first strikes her pois'nous root;
Or haply virtue's op'ning bud appears
By just degrees; fair bloom, of fairest fruit:
Summer shall ripen what the Spring began;
Youth's generous fires will glow more constant in the man.
As on a day, reflecting on his age
For highest deeds now ripe, Alcides sought
Retirement; nurse of contemplation sage;
Step following step, and thought succeeding thought;
[Page 9]Musing, with steady pace the youth pursu'd
His walk; and lost in meditation stray'd
Far in a lonely vale, with solitude
Conversing; while intent his mind survey'd
The dubious path of life: before him lay
Here Virtue's rough ascent, there Pleasure's flow'ry way.
Much did the view divide his wav'ring mind:
Now glow'd his breast with generous thirst of fame;
Now love of ease to softer thought inclin'd
His yielding soul, and quench'd the rising flame.
When lo! far off two female forms he spies;
Direct to him their steps they seem to bear:
Both large and tall, exceeding human size;
Both, far exceeding human beauty, fair.
Graceful, yet each with different grace, they move:
This, striking sacred awe; that softer, winning love.
The first, in native dignity surpast;
Artless and unadorn'd she pleas'd the more:
Health, o'er her looks, a genuine lustre cast;
A vest, more white than new-fall'n snow, she wore,
August she trod, yet modest was her air;
Serene her eye, yet darting heav'nly fire.
Still she drew near; and nearer still more fair,
More mild appear'd: yet such as might inspire
Pleasure corrected with an aweful fear;
Majestically sweet, and amiably severe.
The other dame seem'd ev'n of fairer hue;
But bold her mien; unguarded rov'd her eye:
And her flush'd cheeks confess'd at nearer view
The borrow'd blushes of an artful dye.
All soft and delicate, with airy swim
Lightly she danc'd along; her robe betray'd
Thro' the clear texture every tender limb,
Height'ning the charms it only seem'd to shade:
And as it flow'd adown, so loose and thin,
Her stature shew'd more tall; more snowy-white her skin.
Oft with a smile she view'd herself askance;
Ev'n on her shade a conscious look she threw;
Then all around her cast a careless glance,
To mark what gazing eyes her beauty drew.
As they came near, before that other maid
Approaching decent, eagerly she prest
With hasty step; nor of repulse afraid,
The wond'ring youth with fredom bland addrest;
With winning fondness on his neck she hung;
Sweet as the honey-dew flow'd her enchanting tongue.
"Dear Hercules, whence this unkind delay?
"Dear youth, what doubts can thus distract thy mind?
"Securely follow, where I lead the way;
"And range through wilds of pleasure unconfin'd.
[Page 11]"With me retire, from noise, and pain, and [...]are,
"Embath'd in bliss, and wrapt in endless ease:
"Rough is the road to fame, thro' blood and war;
"Smooth is my way, and all my paths are peace.
"With me retire, from toils and perils free;
"Leave honour to the wretch! Pleasures were made for thee.
"Then will I grant thee all thy soul's desire;
"All that may charm thine ear, and please thy sight:
"All that thy thought can frame, or wish require,
"To steep thy ravish'd senses in delight.
"The sumptuous feast, enhanc'd with music's sound;
"Fittest to tune the melting soul to love:
"Rich odours, breathing choicest sweets around;
"The fragrant bow'r, cool fountain, shady grove:
"Fresh flowers, to strew thy couch, and crown thy head;
"Joy shall attend thy steps, and ease shall smooth thy bed.
"These will I, freely, constantly supply;
"Pleasures, not earn'd with toil, nor mixt with woe:
"Far from thy rest repining want shall fly;
"Nor labour bathe in sweat thy careful brow.
"Mature the copious harvest shall be thine;
"Let the strong hind subdue the stubborn soil:
"Leave the rash soldier spoils of war to win;
"Won by the soldier thou shalt share the spoil:
"These softer cares my blest allies employ,
"New pleasures to invent; to wish, and to enjoy."
The youth her winning voice attentive caught;
He gaz'd impatient on the smiling maid;
Still gaz'd, and listen'd: then her name besought:
"My name, fair youth, is Happiness, she said.
"Well can my friends this envy'd truth maintain:
"They share my bliss; they best can speak my praise:
"Tho' Slander call me Sloth—detraction vain!
"Heed not what Slander, vain detractor, says:
"Slander, still prompt true merit to defame;
"To blot the brightest worth, and blast the fairest name."
By this, arriv'd the fair majestic maid:
(She all the while, with the same modest pace,
Compos'd, advanc'd.) "Know, Hercules," she said
With manly tone, "thy birth of heav'nly race;
"Thy tender age that lov'd Instruction's voice,
"Promis'd thee generous, patient, brave, and wise;
"When manhood should confirm thy glorious choice:
"Now expectation waits to see thee rise.
"Rise, youth! exalt thyself, and me: approve
"Thy high descent from heav'n; and dare be worthy Jove.
"But what truth prompts, my tongue shall not disguise;
"The steep ascent must be with toil subdu'd:
"Watchings and cares must win the lofty prize
"Propos'd by heav'n; true bliss, and real good.
[Page 13]"Honour rewards the brave and bold alone;
"She spurns the timorous, indolent, and base:
"Danger and toil stand stern before her throne;
"And guard (so Jove commands) the sacred place.
"Who seeks her must the mighty cost sustain,
"And pay the price of fame; labour, and care, and pain.
"Would'st thou engage the gods peculiar care?
"O Hercules, th' immortal pow'rs adore!
"With a pure heart, with sacrifice and pray'r
"Attend their altars; and their aid implore.
"Or would'st thou gain thy country's loud applause,
"Lov'd as her father, as her god ador'd?
"Be thou the bold assertor of her cause:
"Her voice, in council; in the fight, her sword.
"In peace, in war, pursue thy country's good:
"For her, bare thy bold breast; and pour thy generous blood.
"Would'st thou, to quell the proud and lift th'opprest,
"In arts of war and matchless strength excel?
"First conquer thou thyself. To ease, to rest,
"To each soft thought of pleasure, bid farewel.
"The night, alternate due to sweet repose,
"In watches waste; in painful march, the day:
"Congeal'd, amidst the rigorous winter's snows;
"Scorch'd, by the summer's thirst-inflaming ray.
"Thy harden'd limbs shall boast superior might:
"Vigour shall brace thine arm, resistless in the fight."
"Hear'st thou, what monsters then thou must engage?
(Abrupt says Sloth,) "what toils she bids thee prove?
"What endless toils? Ill fit thy tender age
"Tumult and war; fit age, for joy and love.
"Turn, gentle youth, to me, to love and joy!
"To these I lead: no monsters here shall stay
"Thine easy course; no cares thy peace annoy:
"I lead to bliss a nearer, smoother way.
"Short is my way; fair, easy, smooth, and plain:
Turn, gentle youth! With me, eternal pleasures reign."
"What pleasures, vain mistaken wretch, are thine!
(Virtue with scorn reply'd:) "who sleep'st in ease
"Insensate; whole soft limbs the toil decline
"That seasons bliss, and makes enjoyment please.
"Draining the copious bowl, ere thirst require;
"Feasting, ere hunger to the feast invite:
"Whose tasteless joys anticipate desire;
"Whom luxury supplies with appetite:
"Yet nature loaths; and thou employ'st in vain
"Variety and art to conquer her disdain.
"The sparkling nectar, cool'd with summer snows;
"The dainty board, with choicest viands spread;
"To thee are tasteless all! Sincere repose
"Flies from thy flowr'y couch, and downy bed.
[Page 15]"For thou art only tir'd with indolence:
"Nor sleep with self-rewarding toil hast bought;
"Th' imperfect sleep, that lulls thy languid sense
"In dull oblivious interval of thought:
"That kindly steals th' inactive hours away
"From the long, ling'ring space, that lengthens out the day.
"From bounteous nature's unexhausted stores
"Flows the pure fountain of sincere delights:
"Averse from her, you waste the joyless hours;
"Sleep drowns thy days, and riot rules thy nights.
"Immortal though thou art, indignant Jove
"Hurl'd thee from heaven, th'immortals blissful place;
"For ever banish'd from the realms above,
"To dwell on earth, with man's degenerate race:
"Fitter abode! On earth alike disgrac'd;
"Rejected by the wise, and by the fool embrac'd.
"Fond wretch, that vainly weenest all delight
"To gratify the sense reserv'd for thee!
"Yet the most pleasing object to the fight,
"Thine own fair action, never didst thou see.
"Though lull'd with softest sounds thou liest along;
"Soft music, warbling voices, melting lays;
"Ne'er did'st thou hear, more sweet than sweetest song
"Charming the soul, thou ne'er didst hear thy praise!
"No—to thy revels let the fool repair:
"To such, go smooth thy speech; and spread thy tempting "snare.
"Vast happiness enjoy thy gay allies!
"A youth, of follies; an old age, of cares:
"Young, yet enervate; old, yet never wise;
"Vice wastes their vigour, and their mind impairs.
"Vain, idle, delicate, in thoughtless ease
"Reserving woes for age their prime they spend;
"All wretched, hopeless, in the evil days
"With sorrow to the verge of life they tend.
"Griev'd with the present; of the past asham'd;
"They live, and are despis'd: they die, nor more are nam'd.
"But with the gods, and god-like men, I dwell:
"Me, his supreme delight, th' almighty Sire
"Regards well-pleas'd: whatever works excel,
"All or divine or human, I inspire.
"Counsel with strength, and industry with art,
"In union meet conjoin'd, with me reside:
"My dictates arm, instruct, and mend the heart;
"The surest policy, the wisest guide.
"With me, true friendship dwells; she deigns to bind
"Those generous souls alone, whom I before have join'd.
"Nor need my friends the various costly feast;
"Hunger to them th' effects of art supplies;
"Labour prepares their weary limbs to rest;
"Sweet is their sleep: light, chearful, strong they rise.
[Page 17]"Thro' health, thro' joy; thro' pleasure and renown
"They tread my paths; and by a soft descent,
"At length to age all gently sinking down,
"Look back with transport on a life well-spent:
"In which, no hour flew unimprov'd away;
"In which, some generous deed distinguish'd every day.
"And when, the destin'd term at length compleat,
"Their ashes rest in peace; eternal Fame
"Sounds wide their praise: triumphant over fate.
"In sacred song, for ever lives their name.
"This, Hercules, is happiness! Obey
"My voice; and live. Let thy celestial birth
"Lift, and enlarge thy thoughts. Behold the way
"That leads to fame; and raises thee from earth
"Immortal! Lo, I guide thy steps. Arise,
"Pursue the glorious path; and claim thy native skies."
Her words breathe fire celestial, and impart
New vigour to his soul, that sudden caught
The generous flame: with great intent his heart
Swells full; and labours with exalted thought:
The mist of error from his eyes dispell'd,
Through all her fraudful arts in clearest light
Sloth in her native form he now beheld;
Unveil'd, she stood confest before his sight;
False Siren!—All her vaunted charms, that shone
So fresh erewhile, and fair: now wither'd, pale, and gone.
No more, the rosy bloom in sweet disguise
Masks her dissembled looks: each borrow'd grace
Leaves her wan cheek; pale sickness clouds her eyes
Livid and sunk, and passions dim her face.
As when fair Iris has awhile display'd
Her watry arch, with gaudy painture gay;
While yet we gaze, the glorious colours fade,
And from our wonder gently steal away:
Where shone the beauteous phantom erst so bright,
Now lowers the low-hung cloud; all gloomy to the sight.
But Virtue more engaging all the while
Disclos'd new charms; more lovely, more serene;
Beaming sweet influence. A milder smile
Soften'd the terrors of her lofty mien.
"Lead, goddess, I am thine! (transported cry'd
Alcides:) "O propitious pow'r, thy way
"Teach me! possess my soul; be thou my guide:
"From thee, O never, never let me stray!"
While ardent thus the youth his vows address'd;
With all the goddess fill'd, already glow'd his breast.
The heavenly maid, with strength divine endu'd
His daring soul; there all her pow'rs combin'd;
Firm constancy, undaunted fortitude,
Enduring patience, arm'd his mighty mind.
[Page 19]Unmov'd in toils, in dangers undismay'd,
By many a hardy deed and bold emprize,
From fiercest monsters, through her pow'rful aid,
He freed the earth: through her he gain'd the skies.
'Twas Virtue plac'd him in the blest abode;
Crown'd with eternal youth; among the Gods, a God.

An ODE. TO THE PEOPLE of GREAT BRITAIN. In Imitation of the Sixth ODE of the Third Book of HORACE. Written in 1746.

BRITON! the thunder of the wrath divine,
Due to thy fathers crimes, and long with-held from thine,
Shall burst with tenfold rage on thy devoted head;
Unless with conscious terrors aw'd,
By meek, heart-struck repentance led,
Suppliant thou fall before th' offended God:
If haply yet thou may'st avert his ire;
And stay his arm out-stretch'd to launce the avenging fire.
Did not high God of old ordain,
When to thy grasp he gave the scepter of the main,
That empire in this favour'd land,
Fix'd on religion's solid base should stand?
When from thy struggling neck he broke
Th' inglorious, galling, papal yoke,
Humbled the pride of haughty Spain,
And freed thee by a woman-hero's hand;
He then confirm'd the strong decree:
"Briton, be virtuous and be free;
"Be truth, be sanctity thy guide:
"Be humble: fear thy God; and fear thou none beside."
Oft has th' offended Pow'r his rising anger shown:
Led on by his avenging hand
Rebellion triumphs in the land:
Twice have her barbarous sons our war-train'd hosts o'er­thrown.
They fell a cheap inglorious prey;
Th' ambitious victor's boast was half supprest,
While heav'n-bred fear, and wild dismay,
Unman'd the warrior's heart, and reign'd in every breast.
Her arms to foreign lands Britannia bore;
Her arms, auspicious now no more!
With frequent conquests where the sires were crown'd;
The sons ill-fated fell, and bit the hostile ground:
[Page 21]The tame, war-trading Belgian fled,
While in his cause the Briton bled:
The Gaul stood wond'ring at his own success;
Oft did his hardiest bands their wonted-fears confess,
Struck with dismay, and meditating flight;
While the brave foe still urg'd th' unequal fight,
While WILLIAM with his Father's ardour fir'd,
Through all th' undaunted host the generous flame inspir'd!
But heavier far the weight of shame
That sunk Britannia's naval fame:
In vain she spreads her once-victorious sails;
Or sear, or rashness, in her chiefs prevails;
And wildly these prevent, those basely shun the fight;
Content with humble praise, the foe
Avoids the long-impending blow;
Improves the kind escape, and triumphs in his flight.
The monstrous age, which still increasing years debase,
Which teems with unknown crimes, and genders new dis­grace,
First, unrestrain'd by honour, faith, or shame,
Confounding every sacred name,
The hallow'd nuptial bed with lawless lust profan'd:
Deriv'd from this polluted source
The dire corruption held its course
Through the whole canker'd race, and tainted all the land.
The rip'ning mad is vers'd in every dangerous art,
That ill adorns the form while it corrupts the heart:
Practis'd to dress, to dance, to play,
In wanton mask to lead the way,
To move the pliant limbs, to roll the luring eye;
With folly's gayest partizans to vye
In empty noise and vain expence;
To celebrate with flaunting air
The midnight revels of the fair;
Studious of every praise, but virtue, truth, and sense.
Thus lesson'd in intrigue her early thought improves,
Nor meditates in vain forbidden loves:
Soon the gay nymph in Cyprus' train shall rove
Free and at large amidst th' Idalian grove;
Or haply jealous of the voice of fame,
Mask'd in the matron's sober name,
With many a well-dissembled wile
The kind, convenient husband's care beguile;
More deeply vers'd in Venus' mystic lore,
Yet for such meaner arts too lofty and sublime,
The proud, high-born, patrician whore,
Bears unabash'd her front; and glories in her crime.
Hither from city and from court
The votaries of love resort;
[Page 23]The rich, the great, the gay, and the severe;
The pension'd architect of laws;
The patriot, loud in virtue's cause;
Proud of imputed worth, the peer:
Regardless of his faith, his country, or his name,
He pawns his honour and estate;
Nor reckons at how dear a rate
He purchases disease, and servitude, and shame.
Not from such dastard sires, to every virtue lost,
Sprung the brave youth which Britain once could boast:
Who curb'd the Gaul's usurping sway,
Who swept th' unnumber'd hosts away,
In Agincourt, and Cressy's glorious plain;
Who dy'd the seas with Spanish blood,
Their vainly-vaunted fleets subdu'd,
And spread the mighty wreck o'er all the vanquish'd main.
No—'twas a generous race, by worth transmissive known:
In their bold breast their fathers spirit glow'd:
In their pure veins their mothers virtue flow'd:
They made hereditary praise their own.
The sire his emulous offspring led
The rougher paths of fame to tread;
The matron train'd their spotless youth
In honour, sanctity, and truth;
Form'd by th' united parents care,
The sons, tho' bold, were wise; the daughters chaste, tho' fair.
How Time, all-wasting, ev'n the worst impairs,
And each foul age to dregs still fouler runs!
Our sires, more vicious ev'n than theirs,
Left us, still more degenerate heirs,
To spawn a baser brood of monster-breeding sons.


WHERE early Phoebus sheds his milder beams,
The happy gardens of Adonis lay:
There Time, well pleas'd to wonne, a youth beseems.
Ne yet his wings were fledg'd, ne locks were grey;
[Page 25]Round him in sweet accord the Seasons play
With fruites and blossoms meint, in goodly gree▪
And dancing hand in hand rejoice the lea.
Sick gardens now no mortal wight can see,
Ne mote they in my simple verse descriven be.
The temper'd clime full many a tree affords;
Those many trees blush forth with ripen'd fruite;
The blushing fruite to feast invites the birds;
The birds with plenteous feasts their strength recruite;
And warble songs more sweet than shepherd's flute.
The gentle stream that roll'd the stones among,
Charm'd with the place, almost forgot its suite;
But list'ning and responding to the song,
Loit'ring, and winding often, murmured elong.
Here Panacea, here Nepenthe grew,
Hero Polygon, and each ambrosial weed;
Whose vertues could decayed health renew,
And, answering exhausted nature's need,
[Page 26]Mote eath a mortal to immortal feed.
Here lives Adonis in unfading youth;
Celestial Venus grants him that rich meed,
And him successive evermore renew'th,
In recompence for all his faithful love and truth.
Not she, I ween, the wanton queen of love,
All buxom as the waves from whence she rose,
With her twin sons, who idly round her rove,
One Eros hight, the other Anteros;
Albeit brothers, different as foes:
This sated, sullen, apt for bickerment;
That hungry, eager, fit for derring-does.
That flies before, with scorching flames ybrent;
This foll'wing douts those flames with peevish discontent.
Celestial Venus does such ribaulds shun,
Ne dare they in her purlues to be seen;
But Cupid's torch, fair mother's fairest son,
Shines with a steady unconsuming sheen;
Not fierce, yet bright, coldness and rage between.
The backs of lyons fellonest he strod;
And lyons tamely did themselves amene;
On nature's wild full sov'reignly he rod;
Wild natures, chang'd, confess'd the mild puissant god.
A beauteous Fay, or heav'n-descended spright,
Sprung from her sire, withouten female's aid,
(As erst Minerva did) and Psyche hight,
In that inclosure happy sojourn made.
No art some heel'd uncomelyness betray'd,
But Nature wrought her many-colour'd stole;
Ne tarnish'd like an Aethiopian maid,
Scorch'd with the suns that ore her beauties roll;
Ne faded like the dames who bleach beneath the pole.
Nor shame, nor pride of borrow'd substance wrought
Her gay embroidery and ornament:
But she who gave the gilded insect's coat
Spun the soft silk, and spread the various teint:
The gilded insect's colours yet were feint
To those which nature for this fairy wove.
Our grannams thus with diff'rent dies besprent,
Adorn'd in naked majesty the grove,
Charm'd our great sires, and warm'd our frozen clime to love.
On either side, and all adown her back,
With many a ring at equal distance plac'd,
Contrary to the rest, was heben black,
With shades of green, quick changing as she pass'd;
[Page 28]All were on ground-work of bright gold orecast.
The black gave livelood to the greenish hue,
The green still deep'd the heben ore it lac'd;
The gold, that peep'd atween and then withdrew,
Gave lustre to them both, and charm'd the wond'ring view.
It seem'd like arras, wrought with cunning skill,
Where kindly meddle colours, light, and shade:
Here flows the flood; there rising wood or hill
Breaks off its course; gay verdure dies the mead.
The stream, depeinten by the glitt'rand braid,
Emong the hills now winding seems to hide;
Now shines unlook'd for through the op'ning glade,
Now in full torrent pours its golden tyde;
Hills, woods, and meads' refresh'd, rejoicing by its side.
Her Cupid lov'd, whom Psyche lov'd again.
He, like her parent and her belamour,
Sought how she mote in sickerness remain,
From all malengine fafe, and evil stour.
"Go, tender cosset, said he, forray ore
"These walks and lawnds; thine all these buskets are;
"Thine every shrub, thine every fruite and flower:
"But oh! I charge thee, love, the rose forbear;
"For prickles sharp do arm the dang'rous rosiere.
"Prickles will pain, and pain well banish love:
"I charge thee, Psyche, then the rose forbear.
"When faint and sick, thy languors to remove,
"To yon ambrosial shrubs and plants repair;
"Thou weetest not what med'cines in them are:
"What wonders follow their repeated use
"N'ote thy weak sense conceive, should I declare;
"Their labour'd balm, and well-concocted juice,
"New life, new forms, new thews, new joys, new worlds produce.
"Thy term of tryal past with constancy,
"That wimpling slough shall fall like filth away;
"On pinions broad, uplifted to the skie,
"Thou shalt astert, thy stranger self survey.
"Together, Psyche, will we climb and play;
"Together wander through the fields of air,
"Beyond where suns and moons mete night and day.
"I charge thee, O my love, the rose forbear,
"If thou wouldst scathe avoid. Psyche, forewarn'd, beware!"
"How sweet thy words to my enchanted ear!"
(With grateful, modest confidence she said)
"If Cupid speak, I could for ever hear;
"Trust me, my love, thou shalt be well obey'd.
[Page 30]"What rich purveyance for me hast thou made,
"The prickly rose alone denied! the rest
In full indulgence giv'n! 'twere to upbraid
"To doubt compliance with this one request:
"How small, and yet how kind, Cupid, is thy beheast!
"And is that kindness made an argument
"To raise me still to higher scenes of bliss?
"Is the acceptance of thy goodness meant
"Merit in me for farther happiness?
"No merit and no argument, I wiss,
"Is there besides in me unworthy maid:
"Thy gift the very love I bear thee is.
"Trust me, my love, thou shalt be well obey'd;
"To doubt compliance here, Cupid, were to upbraid."
Withouten counterfesaunce thus she spoke;
Unweeting of her frailty. Light uprose
Cupid on easy wing: yet tender look,
And oft reverted eye on her bestows;
Fearful, but not distrustful of her vows.
And mild regards she back reflects on him:
With aching eye pursues him as he goes:
With aching heart marks each diminish'd limb;
'Till indistinct, diffus'd, and lost in air he seem.
He went to set the watches of the east,
That none mote rush in with the tyde of wind:
He went to Venus to make fond request
From fleshly ferm to loosen Psyche's mind,
And her eftsoons transmew. She forlore pin'd;
And mov'd for solace to the glassy lake,
To view the charms that had his heart entwin'd.
She saw, and blush'd, and smil'd; then inly spake:
"These charms I cannot chuse but love, for Cupid's sake."
But sea-born Venus 'gan with envy stir
At bruite of their great happiness; and sought
How she mote wreak her spight: then call'd to her
Her sons, and op'd what rankled in her thought;
Asking who'd venture ore the mounds to vau't
To breed them scathe unwares; to damp the joy
Of blissful Venus, or to bring to nought
The liefest purpose of her darling boy,
Or urge them both their minion Psyche to destroy.
Eros recul'd, and noul'd the work atchieve.
"Bold is th' attempt, said he, averse from love:
"If love inspires I could derreign to reave
"His spear from Mars, his levin-brond from Jove."
[Page 32]Him Anteros, sneb'd surly. "Galless dove!
"Than love's, spight's mightier prowess understond:
"If spight inspires I dare all dangers prove:
"And if successful, stand the levin-brond,
"When hurlen angry forth from Jove's avenging hond."
He said, and deffly t'wards the gardens flew;
Horribly smiling at his soul emprise.
When, nearer still and nearer as he drew,
Unsufferable brightness wounds his eyes
Forth beaming from the crystal walls; he tries
Arrear to move, averted from the blaze.
But now no longer the pure aether buoys
His grosser body's disproportion'd peaze;
Down drops, plumb from his tow'ring path, the treachor base.
So ore Avernus, or the Lucrine lake,
The wistless bird pursues his purpos'd flight:
Whether by vapours noy'd that thenceforth break,
Or else deserted by an air too light,
Down tumbles the fowl headlong from his height.
So Anteros astonied fell to ground,
Provok'd, but not accoid at his straunge plight.
He rose, and wending coasts it round and round
To find unguarded pass, hopeless to leap the mound.
As on the margin of a stream he stood,
Slow rolling from that paradise within,
A snake's out-case untenanted he view'd:
Seizing the spoil, albe it worthless been,
He darts himself into the vacant skin.
In borrow'd gear, th' exulting losel glides,
Whose faded hues with joy flush bright again;
Triumphant ore the buoyant flood he rides;
And shoots th' important gulph, born on the gentle tydes.
So shone the brazen gates of Babylon;
Armies in vain her muniments assail:
So strong, no engines could them batter down:
So high, no ladders could the ramparts scale;
So flank'd with tow'rs, besiegers n'ote avail;
So wide, sufficient harvests they enclose:
But where might yields, there stratagems prevail.
Faithless Euphrates through the city flows,
And through his channel pours the unexpected foes.
He sails along in many a wanton spire;
Now floats at length, now proudly rears his crest:
His sparkling eyes and scales, instinct with fire,
With splendor as he moves, the waves ore kest:
[Page 34]And the waves gleam beneath his flaming breast.
As through the battle, set in full array,
When the sun walks in radiant brightness dress'd;
His beams that on the burnish'd helmets play,
The burnish'd helms reflect, and spread unusual day.
So on he fares, and stately wreaths about,
In semblance like a seraph glowing bright:
But without terror flash'd his lightning out,
More to be wonder'd at, than to affright.
The backward stream soon led the masker right
To the broad lake, where hanging ore the flood
(Narcissus like, enamour'd with the sight
Of his own beauties) the fond Psyche stood,
To mitigate the pains of lonely widowhood.
Unkenn'd of her, he raught th' embroider'd bank;
And through the tangled flourets weft aside
To where a rosiere by the river dank,
Luxuriant grew in all its blowing pride,
Not far from Psyche; arm'd with scaly hide
He clamb the thorns, which no impression make;
His glitt'ring length, with all its folds untied,
Plays floating ore the bush; then silence brake,
And thus the nymph, astonish'd at his speech, bespake.
"O fairest, and most excellent compleat
"In all perfections, sov'reign queen of nature!
"The whole creation bowing at thy feet
"Submissive pays thee homage! wond'rous creature,
"If aught created thou! for every feature
"Speaks thee a Goddess issued from the skie;
"Oh! let not me offend, unbidden waiter,
"At aweful distance gazing thus! But why
"Should gazing thus offend? or how unbidden I?
"The sun that wakes those flourets from their beds,
"Or opes these buds by his soft influence,
"Is not offended that they peep their heads,
"And shew they feel his pow'r by their quick sense,
"Off'ring at his command, their sweet incense;
"Thus I, drawn here, by thy enliv'ning rays,
"(Call not intrusion my obedience!)
"Perforce, yet willing thrall, am come to gaze,
"To pay my homage meet, and bask in beauty's blaze."
Amaz'd she stood, nor could recover soon:
From contemplation suddenly abraid:
Starting at speech unusual: yet the tune
Struck sootly on her ear, and concert made
[Page 36]With her own thoughts. Nor with less pleasure stray'd
Her eyes delighted o'er his glossy skin;
Yet frighted at the thorn on which he play'd:
Pleasure with horror mixt! she hung between
Suspended; yields, recoils, uncertain where to lin.
At length she spoke: "Reptile, no charms I know
"Such as you mention: yet whate'er they are,
"(And nill I lessen what the gods bestow)
"Their is the gift, and be the tribute their!
"For them these beauties I improve with care,
"Intent on them alone from eve to morn.
"But reed me, reptile, whence this wonder rare,
"That thou hast speech, as if to reason born?
"And how, unhurt you sport on that forbidden thorn?"
"Say, why forbidden thorn? the foe replied:
"To every reptile, every insect free,
"Has malice harsh to thee alone denied
"The fragrance of the rose enjoy'd by me?"
"—'Twas love, not malice, form'd the kind decree,
(Half-wroth, she cried:) "Thine all these buskets are,
"Thine fruite and flow'r, were Cupid's words to me:
"But oh! I charge thee, love, the rose forbear;
"For prickles sharp do arm the dang'rous rosiere.
"Prickles will pain, and pain will banish love:
"I charge thee, Psyche, then the rose forbear.
"When faint and sick, thy languors to remove,
"To yon ambrosial shrubs and plants repair;
"Thou weetest not what med'cines in them are:
"What wonders follow their repeated use
"N'ote thy weak sense conceive, should I declare;
"Their labour'd balm, and well-concocted juice,
"New life, new forms, new thews, new joys, new worlds produce.
"Thy term of tryal past with constancy,
"That wimpling slough shall fall like filth away;
"On pinions broad, uplifted to the skie,
"Thou shalt, astert, thy stranger self survey.
"Together, Psyche, will we climb and play;
"Together wander through the fields of air,
"Beyond where suns and moons mete night and day.
"I charge thee, O my love, the rose forbear,
"If thou wouldst scathe avoid. Psyche, forewarn'd, beware!"
Out burst the frannion into open laugh:
She blush'd and frown'd at his uncivil mirth.
Then, soften'd to a smile, as hiding half
What mote offend if boldly utter'd forth,
[Page 38]He seem'd t' assay to give his answer birth:
But stopt; and chang'd his smiles to looks of ruth.
"Is this (quoth he) fit guerdon for thy worth?
"Does Cupid thus impose upon thy youth?
"Dwells then in heav'n such envy, void of love and truth?
"Is this the instance of his tenderness,
"To envy Psyche what to worms is given?
"To cut her off from present happiness
"With feign'd reversion of a promis'd heaven?
"By threat'nings false from true enjoyments driven!
"How innocent the thorn to touch, he knows:
"Where are my wounds? or where th' avenging levin?
"How softly blush these colours of the rose!
"How sweet (and div'd into the flow'r) its fragrance flows!
"Disadvantageous are thy terms of tryal;
"No longer Psyche then the rose forbear.
"What is to recompence the harsh denyal,
"But dreams of wand'ring through the fields of air,
"And joys, I know not what, I know not where!
"As eath, on leafy pinions borne the tree
"Mote rush into the skies, and flutter there,
"As thou soar yon, and quit thy due degree:
"Thou for this world wert made; this world was made for thee.
"In vain you'd fly to yonder shrubs and plants;
"Bitter their taste, and worthless their effect:
"Here is the polychrest for all thy wants;
"No panacea, like the rose, expect.
"Mute as my fellow-brutes, as them abject
"And reasonless was I, 'till haply woke
"By tasting of the rose, (O weak neglect
"In thee the while!) the dawn of sapience broke
"On my admiring soul, I reason'd, and I spoke.
"Nor this the only change; for soon I found
"The brisker spirits flow in fuller tyde;
"And more than usual lustre spread around;
"Such virtue has the rose, in me well tried.
"But wise, I ween, thy lover has denied
"Its use to thee; I join him too: beware
"The dang'rous rose.—For such thy beauty's pride
"'Twere death to gaze on, if my rov'd!—Forbear
"To sharp that wit, too keen!—Touch not the rosiere."
Uncheckt, indulg'd, her growing passions rise:
Wonder, to see him safe, and hear his telling;
Ambition vain, to be more fair and wise;
And rage, at Cupid's misconceiv'd false dealing:
[Page 40]Various the gusts, but, all one way impelling,
She plung'd into the bosom of the tree,
And snatch'd the rose, ne dreaded pain or quelling.
Off drops the snake, nor farther staid to see;
But rush'd into the flood, and vanish'd presently.
Full many a thorn her tender body rent;
Full many a thorn within the wounds remain,
And throbbing cause continual detriment:
While gory drops her dainty form distain.
She wishes her lost innocence again,
And her lost peace, lost charms, lost love to find;
But shame upbraids her with a wish so vain:
Despair succeeded, and aversion blind;
Pain fills her tortur'd sense, and horror clouds her mind.
Her bleeding, faint, disorder'd, woe-begon,
Stretcht on the bank beside the fatal thorn,
Venus who came to seek her with her son,
Beheld. She stop'd: And albe heav'nly born,
Ruthful of others' woe, began to mourn.
The loss of Venus' smiles sick nature found:
As frost-nipt drops the bloom, the birds forelorn
Sit hush'd, the faded sun spreads dimness round;
The clatt'ring thunders crash, and earthquakes rock the ground.
Then arming with a killing frown her brow;
"Die, poor unhappy"—Cupid suppliant broke
Th' unfinish'd sentence; and with dueful bow
Beg'd her to doff the keenness of her look,
Which Nature feeling to her center shook.
"Then how should Psyche bear it? Spare the maid;
"'Tis plain that Anteros his spight has wroke:
"Shall vengeance due to him, on her be laid?
"Oh! let me run, and reach th' ambrosial balms," he said.
"Ah what would Cupid ask?" the queen replies;
"Can all those balms restore her peace again?
"Wouldst thou a wretched life immortalize?
"Wouldst thou protract by potent herbs, her pain?
"Love bids her die: thy cruel wish restrain."—
"Why then (quoth he) in looms of fate were wove
"The lives of those, in long successive train,
"From her to spring, through yon bright tracts to rove?
"Due to the skies, and meant to shine in fields above?
"Say, would thy goodness envy them the light
"Appointed for them, or the good prevent
"Foreseen from them to flow? erasing quite
"The whole creation through avengement?
[Page 42]"One only species from its order rent,
"The whole creation shrivels to a shade."—
"—Better all vanish'd, said she, than be meint
"In wild confusion; through free will misled,
"And tempted to go wrong from punishment delay'd."
"Let me that exemplary vengeance bear,
(Benign return'd her amiable son:)
"Justice on her would lose its aim; severe
"In vain, productive of no good; for none
"Could by that desolating blow be won.
"So falls each generous purpose of the will
"Correct, extinguish'd by abortion:
"Whence justice would its own intendments spill;
"And cut off virtue, by the stroke meant vice to kill.
"Yet lest impunity should forehead give
"To vice, in me let guilt adopted find
"A victim; here awhile vouchsafe me live
"Thy proof of justice, mixt with mercy kind!"
"—Oh! strange request (quoth she) of pity blind!
"How shouldst thou suffer, who didst ne'er offend?
"How can'st thou bear to be from me disloin'd?
"To wander here, where Nature 'gins to wend
"To waste and wilderness, and pleasures have an end?"
"You, Venus, suffer, (said he) when you strike
"Not for your own, but others' foul offence:
"Why not permitted I to do the like,
"When greater good, I see, will coul from thence?
"That greater good ore pays all punishments;
"And makes my suff'rings, pleasure: if they prove
"A means to conquer Anteros, dispense
"Healing to Psyche's wounds, regain her love,
"And lead her, with her happy sons, to realms above."
"To thy intreaties Psyche's life I give,
(Replied th' indulgent mother to her son:)
"But yet deform'd, and minish'd let her live?
"'Till thou shalt grant a better change foredone;
"Nor shall that change, but thro' death gates be won.
"This meed be thine, ore her▪ and hers to reign!
"Already Nature puts her horrors on:
"Away!—I to my bow'r of bliss again!
"Thou to thy task of love, and voluntary pain."
She went; and like a shifted stage, the scene
Vanish'd at once; th' ambrosial plants were lost;
The jarring seasons brought on various teen;
Each sought, each seeking, each by other crost.
[Page 44]Young spring to summer flies from winter's frost;
While sweltry summer thirsts for autumn's bowl,
Which autumn holds to winter; winter tost
With scorn away, young spring inflames his soul:
Still craving, never pleas'd, thus round and round they roll.
Th' inclement airs bind up the sluggish soil;
The sluggish soil the toilsome hand requires;
Yet thankless pays with sour harsh fruits the toil;
Ne willing yields, but ragged thorns and briers.
Birds, birds pursue; as hunger's rage inspires:
Their sweetest songs are now but songs of woe.
Here from th' encroaching shore the wave retires:
There hoarse floods roar; impetuous torrents flow;
Invade the land, and the scarce harvests overthrow.
Stretch'd on the bank eftsoons th' inviting form
Of Psyche faded; brac'd up lank and slim,
Her dwindled body shrunk into a worm:
Her make new-moulded, chang'd in every limb;
Her colours only left, all pale and dim:
Doom'd in a caterpillar's shape to lout.
Her passions ill such worthless thing beseem;
Pride, rage, and vanity to banish out,
She creeping crawls, and drags a loathsome length about.
How Cupid wash'd her noisome filth away;
What arts he tried to win her love again;
By what wiles guileful Ant'ros did assay,
By leasing, still her recreant to maintain,
And render Cupid's kindly labours vain:
Their combat, Cupid's conquest, Psyche's crown,
(My day's set task here ended) must remain
Unsung; far nobler verse mote they renown:
Unyoke the toiled steers, the weary sun goes down.


Quisnam igitur liber? Sapiens, sibique imperiosus;
Quem neque pauperies, neque mors, neque vincula terrent:
Responsare cupidinibus, contemnere honores
Fortis; et in seipso totus teres atque rotundus.
HOR. Serm. Lib. II. Sat. 7.
HAIL LIBERTY! whose presence glads th' abode
Of heav'n itself, great attribute of God!
[Page 46]By thee sustain'd, th' unbounded spirit runs,
Moulds orbs on orbs, and lights up suns on suns;
By thee sustain'd, in love unwearied lives,
And uncontroul'd creates, supports, forgives:
No pow'r, or time, or space his will withstood;
Almighty! endless! infinite in good!
"If so, why not communicate the bliss,
"And let man know what this great blessing is?"
Say what proportion, creature, would'st thou claim;
As thy Creator's, in extent, the same!
Unless his other attributes were join'd
To poise the will, and regulate the mind,
Goodness to aim, and wisdom to direct,
What mighty mischiefs must we thence expect?
The maker knows his work; nor judg'd it fit
To trust the rash resolves of human wit:
Which prone to hurt, too blind to help, is still
Alike pernicious, mean it good or ill.
A whim, t' improvements making fond pretence,
Would burst a system in experiments;
Sparrows and cats indeed no more should fear,
But Saturn tremble in his distant sphere:
Give thee but footing in another world,
Say, Archimedes, where should we be hurl'd?
A sprightly wit, with liquor in his head,
Would burn a globe to light him drunk to bed:
Th' Ephesian temple had escap'd the flame,
And heaven's high dome had built the madman's fame.
The sullen might (when malice boil'd within)
Strike out the stars to intimate his spleen:
Not poppy-heads had spoke a Tarquin crost;
Nature's chief spring had broke, and all been lost.
Nor less destructive would this license prove,
Though thy breast flam'd with universal love.
In vain were thy benevolence of soul;
Soon would thy folly disconcert the whole.
No rains, or snows, should discompose the air;
But flow'rs and sun-shine drain the weary year:
No clouds should sully the clear face of day;
No tempests rise,—to blow a plague away.
Mercy should reign untir'd, unstain'd with blood;
Spare the frail guilty,—to eat up the good:
In their defence, rise, sacred Justice, rise!
Awake the thunder sleeping in the skies,
Sink a corrupted city in a minute:
—Wo! to the righteous ten who may be in it.
Pick out the bad, and sweep them all away!
—So leave their babes, to cats and dogs a prey.
Such pow'r, without God's wisdom and his will,
Were only an omnipotence of ill.
Suited to man can we such pow'r esteem?
Fiends would be harmless, if compar'd with him.
Say then, shall all his attributes be given?
His essence follows, and his throne of heaven;
His very unity. Proud wretch! shall he
Un-god himself to make a god of thee?
How wide, such lust of liberty confounds!
Would less content thee, prudent mark the bounds!
"Those which th' almighty Monarch first design'd,
"When his great image seal'd the human mind;
"When to the beasts the fruitful earth was given;
"To fish the ocean, and to birds their heaven;
"And all to man: whom full creation, stor'd,
"Receiv'd as its proprietor, and lord.
"Ere earth, whose spacious tract unmeasur'd spreads,
"Was slic'd by acres and by roods to shreds:
"When trees and streams were made a general good;
"And not as limits, meanly to exclude:
"When all to all belong'd; ere pow'r was told
"By number'd troops, or wealth by counted gold:
"Ere kings, or priests, their tyranny began;
"Or man was vassal'd to his fellow-man."
O halcyon state! when man begun to live!
A blessing, worthy of a god to give!
When on th' unspotted mind his Maker drew
The heav'nly characters, correct and true.
All useful knowledge, from that source, supply'd;
No blindness sprung from ignorance, or pride:
All proper blessings, from that hand, bestow'd:
No mischiefs, or from want, or fulness, flow'd:
The quick'ning passions gave a pleasing zest;
While thankful man submitted to be blest.
Simplicity, was wisdom; temperance, health:
Obedience, pow'r; and full contentment, wealth.
[Page 49]So happy once was man! 'till the vain elf
Shook off his guide, and set up for himself.
Smit with the charms of independency,
He scorns protection, raging to be free.
Now, self-expos'd, he feels his naked state;
Shrinks with the blast, or melts before the heat:
And blindly wanders, as his fancy leads,
To starve on wastes, or feast on pois'nous weeds.
Now to the savage beasts an obvious prey;
Or crafty men, more savage still than they:
No less imprudent to his breast to take
The friend unfaithful, or th' envenom'd snake;
Equally fatal, whether on the Nile,
Or in the city, weeps the crocodile.
Nor yet less blindly deviates learned pride:
In Aetna burn'd, or drown'd amid the tide:
Boasts of superior sense; then raves to see,
(When contradicted) fools less wise than he.
Mates with his great Creator; vainly bold▪
To make new systems, or to mend the old.
Shapes out a Deity; doubts, then denies:
And drunk with science, curses God and dies.
Not heav'nly wisdom, only, is with-held,
But the free bounty of the self-sown field:
No more, as erst, from Nature's ready feast,
Rises the satisfy'd, but temp'rate guest:
Cast wild abroad, no happy mean preserves;
By choice he surfeits, by constraint he starves:
[Page 50]Toils life away upon the stubborn plain,
T' extort from thence the slow reluctant grain;
The slow reluctant grain, procur'd to-day,
His less industrious neighbour steals away:
Hence fists and clubs the village-peace confound,
'Till sword and cannon spread the ruin round;
For time and art but bring from bad to worse:
Unequal lots succeed unequal force,
Each lot a several curse. Hence rich, and poor:
This pines, and dies neglected at the door;
While gouts and fevers wait the loaded mess,
And take full vengeance for the poor's distress.
No more the passions are the springs of life;
But seeds of vice, and elements of strife:
Love, social love, t' extend to all design'd,
Back to its fountain flows; to self confin'd.
Source of misfortunes; the fond husband's wrong;
The maid dishonour'd; and deserted young!
The mischief spreads; when vengeance for the lust
Unpeoples realms, and calls the ruin just.
Hence, Troy, thy fate! the blood of thousands spilt,
And orphans mourning for unconscious guilt.
Thus love destroys, for kinder purpose giv'n;
And man corrupts the blessings meant by heav'n;
Self-injur'd, let us censure HIM no more:
Ambition makes us slaves, and av'rice poor.
What arts the wild disorder shall controul,
And render peace with virtue to the soul?
[Page 51]Out-reason interest, balance prejudice;
Give passion ears, and blinded error eyes?
Arm the weak hand with conquest, and protect
From guile, the heart too honest to suspect?
For this, mankind, by sad experience taught,
Again their safety in dependence sought:
Press'd to the standard, sued before the throne;
And durst rely on wisdom not their own.
Hence Saturn rul'd in peace th' Ausonian plains,
While Salian songs to virtue won the swains.
But pois'nous streams must flow from pois'ned springs:
The priests were mortal, and mere men the kings.
What aid from monarchs, mighty to enslave?
What good from teachers, cunning to deceive?
Allegiance gives defensive arms away;
And faith usurps imperial reason's sway.
Let civil Rome, from faithful records, tell
What royal blessings from her Nero fell.
When those, prefer'd all grievance to redress,
Bought of their prince a licence to oppress;
When uncorrupted merit found no place,
But left the trade of honour to the base.
See industry, by draining imposts curst,
Starve in the harvest, in the vintage thirst!
In vain for help th' insulted matron cries,
'Twas death in husbands to have ears and eyes:
Fatal were beauty, virtue, wealth, or fame:
No man in aught a property could claim;
[Page 52]No, not his sex: strange arts the monster try'd;
And Sporus, spite of nature, was his bride.
Unhurt by foes proud Rome for ages stands,
Secure from all, but her protector's hands.
Recall your pow'rs, ye Romans, back again;
Unmake the monarch, and ne'er fear the man.
Naked, and scorn'd, see where the abject flies!)
And once un-caesar'd, soon the fidler dies.
Next, holy Rome, thy happiness declare;
While peace and truth watch round the sacred chair.
Peace!—which from racks and persecution flows!
Mysterious truths!—which every sense oppose!
That God made man, was all th' unlearn'd could reach;
That man makes God, th' enlighten'd fathers teach.
Men, blind and partial, need a light divine;
Which popes new trim, and teach it how to shine.
Rude nature dreads accusing guilt, unknown
The balmy doctrine, that dead saints atone;
The careful pontiff, merciful to save,
Hoards up a fund of merit from the grave;
And righteous hands the equal balance hold,
Nor weigh it out, but to just sums of gold.
Sole judge, he deals his pardon, or his curse:
Not heav'n itself the sentence can reverse:
Grac'd with his scepter, aweful with his rod,
This man of sin usurps the seat of God;
Disarm'd and unador'd th' Almighty lies,
And quits to saints his incense, and his skies:
[Page 53]No more the object of our fears, or hope:
The creature, and the vassal of the pope.
"From fanes and cities scar'd, fly swift away!"
—To the rude Libyan in his wilds a prey.
"The blood-stain'd sword from the fell tyrant wrest!"
—Thousands unsheath'd shall threat thy naked breast.
"The dogmatists imperious aid disdain!"
—So sink in brutish ignorance again.
"Is there no medium? must we victims fall
"To one man's LUST, or to the RAGE of all?
"Is reason doom'd a certain slave to be,
"To our blind PASSIONS, or a priest's DECREE?"
Hail happy Albion! whose distinguish'd plains
This temp'rate mean, so dearly earn'd, maintains!
Senates, (the will of individuals check'd)
The strength and prudence of the realm collect:
Each yields to all; that each may thence receive
The full assistance which the whole can give,
For this, thy patriots lawless pow'r withstood,
And bought their childrens charter with their blood;
While reverend years, and various-letter'd age,
Dispassion'd open the mysterious page;
Not one alone the various judgment sways;
But prejudice the general voice obeys:
For this, thy martyrs wak'd the bloody strife,
Asserting truth with brave contempt of life.
Oh! OXFORD! let deliver'd Britain know
From thy fam'd seats her several blessings flow.
[Page 54]Th' accouter'd barons, and assisting knights,
In thee prepar'd for council, or for fights,
Plan'd and obtain'd her a civil liberty:
Truth found her fearless b witnesses in thee;
When, try'd as gold, saints, from thy tott'ring pyres,
Rose up to heav'n, Elijah-like, in fires!
Peace to thy walls! and honour to thy name!
May age to age record thy gathering fame!
While thy still-favour'd seats pour forth their youth,
Brave advocates of liberty and truth!
In fair succession rise to bless the realm!
Fathers in church, and statesmen at the helm!
"But factious synods through resentment err;
"And venal senates private good prefer:
"How wild the faith which wrangling sophs dispose!
"The laws how harsh of pension'd ayes and noes!"
Wilt thou by no authority be aw'd,
Self-excommunicated, self-outlaw'd?
Expunge the creed, the decalogue reject?
If they oblige not, nor will they protect.
You fear no God;—convinc'd by what you say,
Knaves praise your wit, and swear your lands away.
[Page 55]Corrupt not wives, erase it if you will;
The injur'd husband blots out,—do not kill.
From God his sabbaths steal, for sport, not need;
Why hangs the wretch, who steals thy purse for bread?
Or shall each schismatic your faith new mould,
Or senates stand by patriot mobs controul'd?
Drive back, ye floods! roll, Xanthus, to your spring!
Go, crown the people, and subject the king;
Break rule to pieces, analyse its pow'r,
And every atom to its lord restore:
As mixt with knaves, or fools, the weak, or brave,
A dupe, a plague, a tyrant, or a slave.
"What shall I do; how hit the happy mean
"'Twixt blind submission, and unruly spleen?"
Consult your watch? you guide your actions by't;
And great its use, though not for ever right.
What though some think implicit faith be due,
And dine at twelve if their town-clock strike two?
Or others bravely squir their watch away,
Disdain a guide, and guess the time of day?
Their guess so lucky, or their parts so great,
They come on all affairs, but just too late;
You neither choose. Nor trav'ling through the street,
Correct its hand by every one you meet;
Yet scruple not, if you should find at one
It points to six, to set it by the SUN.
Aim at the bliss that's suited to thy state,
Nor vainly hope for happiness compleat;
[Page 56]Some bounds imperfect natures must include,
And vice and weakness feel defects of good.
Nor is it blind necessity alone:
Contriving wisdom, in the whole, we own:
And in that wisdom satisfy'd may trust,
In its restraints, as merciful, as just.
By these thy selfish passions it corrects;
By these from wrong thy weakness it protects;
In sovereign power thy safety's heaven's design;
Some faults permitted, as the scourge of thine.
Absurd the wish of all men, if exprest;
Each grieves that he's not lord of all the rest.
Why then should we complain, or thankless live,
Because not blest with more than God can give?
Would you be safe from others? 'tis but due,
That others also should be safe from you.
It is not virtue wakes the clam'rous throng;
Each claims th' exclusive privilege, to wrong.
Whence ceaseless faction must embroil the mad;
Alike impatient, under A, or Zad.
How patriot Cromwell fights for liberty!
He shifts the yoke, then calls the nation free.
He cannot bear a monarch on the throne;
But vindicates his right—to rule alone.
Macheath roars out for freedom in his cell;
And Tindal c wisely would extinguish hell.
[Page 57]Macheath's approv'd by all whom Tyburn awes,
And trembling guilt gives Tindal's page applause.
O sage device, to set the conscience free
From dread! he winks; then says that heav'n can't see.
Both blindly plan the paradise of fools;
Peace without laws, and virtue without rules.
Full of the Roman let the school-boy quote,
And rant all Lucan's rhapsodies by rote.
Gods! shall he tremble at a mortal's nod!
His generous soul disdains the tyrant's rod.
Forc'd to submit, at last he tastes the fruit;
Finds wealth and honours blossom from its root.
Would thy young soul be like the Roman free?
From Romans paint thy form of LIBERTY:
The goddess offers gifts from either hand;
dTh' auspicious bonnet, with the PRAETOR'S wand;
The privilege of that would'st thou not miss,
Bend, and submit beneath the stroke of this.
See Furioso on his keeper frown,
Depriv'd the precious privilege to drown;
Greatly he claims a right to his undoing;
The chains that hold him, hold him from his ruin.
Kindly proceed; strict discipline dispense;
'Till water-gruel low'rs him down to sense.
"Why this to me? am I the forward boy,
"Or knave to wrong, or madman to destroy?"
[Page 58]Will thy denial prove that thou art none!
'Tis Newgate's logic: thou art all in one.
Blind to their good, to be instructed loth,
eMen are but children of a larger growth;
If no superior force the will controul,
Self-love's a villain, and corrupts the soul;
Wild and destructive projects fire our brains;
We all are madmen, and demand our chains.
Know your own sphere, content to be a man;
Well-pleas'd, to be as happy as you can:
Lose not all good, by shunning ills in vain;
'Tis wiser to enjoy than to complain.
Some evils must attend imperfect states;
But discontent new worlds of ills creates.
Hush thy complaints, nor quarrel with thy God;
If just the stroke, approve and kiss the rod.
By man if injur'd, turn thy eyes within;
Thou'lt find recorded some unpunish'd sin;
Then heav'n acquit: and with regard to man,
Coolly th' amount of good and evil scan;
If greater evils wait the wish'd redress,
Grieve not that thou art free to choose the less.
Unknown to courts, ambition's thirst subdu'd,
My lesson is to be obscurely good;
In life's still shade, which no man's envy draws,
fTo reap the fruit of government and laws.
[Page 59]In fortune's round, as on the globe, I know
No top, no bottom, no where high or low;
Where-ever station'd, heav'n in prospect still,
That points to me, the zenith of her wheel.
"What! double tax'd, unpension'd, unprefer'd,
"In such bad times be easy! most absurd!"
Yet heav'n vouchsafes the daily bread intreated;
And these bad times have left me free to eat it:
My taxes, gladly paid, their nature shift;
If just, cheap purchase; if unjust, a gift:
Nor knows ambition any rank so great;
My servants kings, and ministers of state!
They watch my couch, my humble roof defend;
Their toil the means, my happiness the end.
My freedom to compleat, convinc'd I see
gThy service, Heav'n, is perfect LIBERTY.
The h will, conform'd to thy celestial voice,
Knows no restraint! for duty is her choice:
What ills thou sendest, thankful I approve,
As kind corrections, pledges of thy love:
In every change, whatever stage I run,
My daily wish succeeds; THY WILL BE DONE.

AN EPISTLE FROM A SWISS Officer to his Friend at ROME.

FROM horrid mountains ever hid in snow,
And barren lands, and dreary plains below;
To you, dear sir, my best regards I send,
The weakest reasoner, as the truest friend,
[Page 61]Your arguments, that vainly strive to please,
Your arts, your country, and your palaces;
What signs of Roman grandeur still remain—
Much you have said; and much have said in vain.
Fine pageants these for slaves, to please the eye;
And put the neatest dress on misery!
Bred up to slav'ry and dissembled pain,
Unhappy man! you trifle with your chain:
But should your friend with your desires comply,
And sell himself to Rome and slav'ry;
He could not wear his trammels with that art,
Or hide the noble anguish of his heart:
You'd soon repent the livery that you gave;
For, trust me, I should make an aukward slave.
Falsely you blame our barren rocks and plains,
Happy in freedom and laborious swains:
Our peasants chearful to the field repair,
And can enjoy the labours of the year;
Whilst yours, beneath some tree, with mournful eyes,
Sees for his haughty lord his harvest rise:
[Page 62]Then silent sighs; but stops his slavish breath:
He silent sighs: for should he speak, 'tis death.
Hence from our field the lazy grain we call,
Too much for want, for luxury too small:
Whilst all Campania's rich inviting soil
Scarce knows the ploughshare, or the reaper's toil.
In arms we breed our youth. To dart from far,
And aim aright the thunder of the war;
To whirl the faulchion, and direct the blow;
To ward the stroke, or bear upon the foe.
Early in hardships through the woods they fly,
Nor feel the piercing frost, or wintry sky;
Some prowling wolf or foamy boar to meet,
And stretch the panting savage at their feet:
Inur'd by this, they seek a nobler war,
And shew an honest pride in every scar;
With joy the danger and the blood partake,
Whilst every wound is for their country's sake.
But you, soft warriors, forc'd into the field,
Or faintly strike, or impotently yield;
For well this universal truth you know,
Who fights for tyrants is his country's foe.
I envy not your arts, the Roman schools,
Improv'd, perhaps, but to inslave your souls.
May you to stone, or nerves or beauty give,
And teach the soft'ning marble how to live;
May you the passions in your colours trace,
And work up every piece with every grace;
[Page 63]In airs and attitudes be wond'rous wise,
And know the arts to please, or to surprise;
In music's softest sound consume the day,
Sounds that would melt the warrior's soul away:
Vain efforts these, an honest fame to raise;
Your painters, and your eunuchs, be your praise:
Grant us more real goods, you heav'nly pow'rs!
Virtue, and arms, and liberty be ours.
Weak are your offers to the free and brave;
No bribe can purchase me to be a slave.
Hear me, ye rocks, ye mountains, and ye plains,
The happy bounds of our Helvetian swains!
In thee, my country, will I fix my seat;
Nor envy the poor wretch, that would be great:
My life and arms I dedicate to thee;—
For, know, it is my int'rest to be free.

LIFE burthensome, because we know not how to use it. An EPISTLE.

WHAT, sir,—a month, and not one line afford!
'Tis well:—how finely some folk keep their word!
I own my promise—But to steal an hour,
'Midst all this hurry—'tis not in my pow'r,
Where life each day does one fix'd order keep,
Successive journies, weariness and sleep.
Or if our scheme some interval allows,
Some hours design'd for thought and for repose;
Soon as the scatter'd images begin
In the mind to rally—company comes in:
Reason, adieu! there's no more room to think;
For all the day behind is noise and drink.
Thus life rolls on, but not without regret;
Whene'er at morning, in some cool retreat
I walk alone:—'tis then in thought I view
Some sage of old; 'tis then I think of you;
[Page 65]Whose breast no tyrant passions ever seize,
No pulse that riots, blood that disobeys;
Who follow but where judgment points the way,
And whom too busy sense ne'er led astray.
Not that you joys with moderation shun;
You taste all pleasures, but indulge in none.
Fir'd by this image, I resolve anew:
'Tis reason calls, and peace and joy's in view.
How bless'd a change! a long adieu to sense:
O shield me, sapience! virtue's reign commence!
Alas, how short a reign!—the walk is o'er,
The dinner waits, and friends some half a score:
At first to virtue firm, the glass I fly;
'Till some sly sot,—"Not drink the family!"
Thus gratitude is made to plead for sin;
My trait'rous breast a party forms within:
And inclination brib'd, we never want
Excuse—"'Tis hot, and walking makes one faint."
Now sense gets strength; my bright resolves decay,
Like stars that melt at the approach of day:
Thought dies; and ev'n, at last, your image fades away.
My head grows warm; all reason I despise:
"To-day be happy, and to-morrow wise!"
Betray'd so oft, I'm half persuaded now,
Surely to fail, the first step is to vow.
The country lately, 'twas my wish: oh there!
Gardens, diversions, friends, relations, air:
[Page 66]For London now, dear London, how I burn!
I must be happy, sure, when I return.
Whoever hopes true happiness to see,
Hopes for what never was, nor e'er will be:
The nearest ease, since we must suffer still,
Are they, who dare be patient under ill.
Whilom a fool saw where a fiddle lay;
And after poring round it, strove to play:
Above, below, across, all ways he tries;
He tries in vain, 'tis discord all and noise:
Fretting he threw it by: then thus the lout;
"There's music in it, could I fetch it out."
If life does not its harmony impart,
We want not instruments, but have not art.
'Tis endless to defer our hopes of ease,
'Till crosses end, and disappointments cease.
The sage is happy, not that all goes right,
His cattle feel no rot, his corn no blight;
The mind for ease is fitted to the wise,
Not so the fool's—'tis here the difference lies;
Their prospect is the same, but various are their eyes.

The Duty of Employing one's Self. An EPISTLE.

FEW people know it, yet, dear sir, 'tis true,
Man should have somewhat evermore to do.
Hard labour's tedious, every one must own;
But surely better such by far, than none;
The perfect drone, the quite impertinent,
Whose life at nothing aims, but—to be spent;
Such heaven visits for some mighty ill:
'Tis sure the hardest labour, to sit still.
Hence that unhappy tribe who nought pursue:
Who sin, for want of something else to do.
Sir John is bless'd with riches, honour, love;
And to be bless'd indeed, needs only move.
For want of this, with pain he lives away,
A lump of hardly-animated clay:
Dull 'till his double bottle does him right;
He's easy just at twelve o'clock at night.
Thus for one sparkling hour alone he's blest;
While spleen and head-ach seize on all the rest.
What numbers, sloth with gloomy humours fills!
Racking their brains with visionary ills.
Hence what loud outcries, and well-meaning rage,
What endless quarrels at the present age!
How many blame! how often may we hear,
"Such vice!—well, sure, the last day must be near!"
T' avoid such wild, imaginary pains,
The sad creation of distemper'd brains,
Dispatch, dear friend! move, labour, sweat, run, fly!
Do aught—but think the day of judgment nigh.
There are, who've lost all relish for delight:
With them no earthly thing is ever right.
T' expect to alter to their taste, were vain;
For who can mend so fast, as they complain?
Whate'er you do, shall be a crime with such;
One while you've lost your tongue, then talk too much:
Thus shall you meet their waspish censure still;
As hedge-hogs prick you, go which side you will.
Oh! pity these whene'er you see them swell!
Folks call 'em cross—poor men! they are not well.
How many such, in indolence grown old,
With vigour ne'er do any thing, but scold?
Who spirits only from ill-humour get;
Like wines that die, unless upon the fret.
Weary'd of flouncing to himself alone,
Acerbus keeps a man to fret upon.
The fellow's nothing in the earth to do,
But to sit quiet and be scolded to.
[Page 69]Pishes and oaths, whene'er the master's sour'd,
All largely on the scape-goat slave are pour'd.
This drains his rage; and though to John so rough,
Abroad you'd think him complaisant enough.
As for myself, whom poverty prevents
From being angry at so great expence;
Who, should I ever be inclin'd to rage,
For want of slaves, war with myself must wage;
Must rail, and hear; chastising, be chastis'd;
Be both the tyrant, and the tyranniz'd;
I choose to labour, rather than to fret:
What's rage in some, in me goes off in sweat.
If times are ill, and things seem never worse;
Men, manners to reclaim,—I take my horse.
One mile reforms 'em, or if aught remain
Unpurg'd,—'tis but to ride as far again.
Thus on myself in toils I spend my rage:
I pay the fine; and that absolves the age.
Sometimes, still more to interrupt my ease,
I take my pen, and write—such things as these:
Which though all other merit be deny'd,
Shew my devotion still to be employ'd.
Add too, though writing be itself a curse,
Yet some distempers are a cure for worse:
And since 'midst indolence, spleen will prevail,
Since who do nothing else, are sure to rail;
Man should be suffer'd thus to play the fool,
To keep from hurt, as children go to school.
[Page 70]You should not rhyme in spite of nature!—True;
Yet sure 'tis greater trouble, if you do:
And if 'tis lab'ring only, men profess,
Who writes the hardest, writes with most success.
Thus for myself and friends, I do my part;
Promoting doubly the pains-taking art:
First to myself, 'tis labour to compose;
To read such lines, is drudgery to those.


NO single rule's more frequently enjoin'd,
Than this; "Observe the bias of your mind."
However just by every one confess'd,
There's not a rule more frequently transgress'd;
For mortals, to their int'rest blind, pursue
The thing they like, not that they're fit to do.
This Verro's fault, by frequent praises fir'd,
He several parts had try'd, in each admir'd.
That Verro was not every way compleat,
'Twas long unknown, and might have been so yet:
[Page 71]But music-mad, th' unhappy man pursu'd
That only thing heav'n meant he never should;
And thus his proper road to fame neglected,
He's ridicul'd for that he but affected.
Would men but act from nature's secret call,
Or only, where that fails, not act at all:
If not their skill, they'd shew at least good sense,—
They'd get no fame—nor would they give offence.
Not that where some one merit is deny'd,
Men must be every way unqualify'd;
Nor hold we, like that wrong-concluding wight,
A man can't fish—because he could not write.
View all the world around: each man design'd
And furnish'd for some fav'rite part you find.
That, sometimes low: yet this, so small a gift,
Proves nature did not turn him quite adrift.
The phlegmatic, dull, aukward, thick, gross-witted,
Have all some clumsy work for which they're fitted.
'Twas never known, in men a perfect void,
Ev'n I and T—ld might be well employ'd;
Would we our poverty of parts survey,
And follow as our genius led the way.
What then? obedient to that turn of mind
Should men jog on to one dull path confin'd;
From that small circle never dare depart,
To strike at large, and snatch a grace from art?
At least with care forbidden paths pursue?
Who quits the road, should keep it still in view:
[Page 72]From genius some few 'scapes may be allow'd;
But ever keep within its neighbourhood.
But C—r, faithless to his bias see,
With giant-sin opposing heav'n's decree.
Still fond where he should not, he blunders on
With all that haste fools make to be undone:
Want of success his passion but augments;
Like eunuchs rage of love, from impotence.
'Mongst all the instances of genius crost,
The rhyming tribe are those who err the most.
Each piddling wretch who hath but common sense,
Or thinks he hath, to verse shall make pretence:
Why not? 'tis their diversion, and 'twere hard
If men of their estates should be debarr'd.
Thus wealth with them gives every thing beside;
As people worth so much are qualify'd:
They've all the requisites for writing fit,
All but that one—some little share of wit.
Give way, ye friends, nor with fond pray'rs proceed
To stop the progress of a pen full speed.
'Tis heav'n, incens'd by some prodigious crime,
Thus for mens sins determines them to rhyme.
Bad men, no doubt; perhaps 'tis vengeance due
For shrines they've plunder'd, or some wretch they slew.
W [...]ate'er it be, sure grievous is th' offence,
And grievous is (heaven knows!) its recompence.
At once in want of rhyme, and want of rest;
Plagues to themselves, and to mankind a jest:
[Page 73]Seduc'd by empty forms of false delight—
Such, in some men, their deadly lust to write!
Ev'n I, whose genius seems as much forgot,
(Mine when I write, as your's when you do not;)
Who gravely thus can others' faults condemn,
Myself allowing, what I blame in them;
With no pretence to Phoebus' aid divine,
Nor the least int'rest in the tuneful Nine,
With all the guilt of impotence in view,
Griev'd for past sins, but yet committing new;
Whate'er the wits may say, or wise may think,
Am fooling every way with pen and ink.
When all who wish me best, begin t' advise,
'That being witty, is not being wise;
'That if the voice of int'rest might be heard,
'For one who wears a gown,—would be preferr'd'—
Incorrigibly deaf, I feign a yawn;
And mock their just conclusions, ere they're drawn.
If to my practice, they oppos'd my theme;
And pointed, how I swam against the stream:
With all the rancour of a bard in rage,
I'd quote 'em half the writers of the age;
Who in a wrath of verse, with all their might
Write on, howe'er unqualify'd to write.


THE Mimic's ductile features claim my lays,
Chang'd to a thousand shapes, a thousand ways;
Who with variety of arts puts on
All other persons, and throws off his own;
[Page 75]Whose looks well disciplin'd his will obey,
Bloom at command, or at command decay:
Nor blush, my Muse, those changes to impart,
Which ask an Ovid's or Apollo's art.
But who, Apollo, all the arts can trace,
All the deceits of that delusive face?
For lo! in sight the various artist comes;
Lo! how in beauty and in health he blooms:
Its smoothest charms triumphant youth supplies,
Laughs in his cheeks, and sparkles in his eyes.
But sudden see, the scene is snatch'd away,
See each inverted feature in decay;
His muscles all relax'd, his face o'ergrown,
Rough and emboss'd with wrinkles not his own.
He trails his dangling legs: the wond'ring train
Laugh at the solemn conduct of his cane;
Rapt through the scenes of life, he drops his prime;
A cripple sixty years before his time;
Runs in a moment all his stages o'er,
And steps from four-and-twenty to four-score.
Now he a venerable judge appears,
And the long garb of lazy purple wears;
Like drowsy Page's b looks his aged frame,
His mien, his habit, and address the same:
[Page 76]When to the sneering crowd he lisps a joke,
Puns from the law, or quibbles out of Coke;
With settled air, and most judicious face,
Nods o'er the cushion, counsel, and the case;
Slumbers, and hears by starts the noisy train;
Catches a period, and drops down again.
And now his hearers in their turn to lull,
Himself stands up most venerably dull,
Talks of old times; commends their loyal zeal,
Their wholesome statutes, discipline, and ale;
On different themes bestows one common praise,
The Thames, the streets, the king, and king's highways,
You see him quit the bench, and strait appear
An huge old gouty counsel at the bar;
Bawl for his client, wrest the tortur'd laws
From their true sense, and mould them to the cause;
In solemn form harangue the list'ning crowd,
And hem and cough emphatically loud;
Blest art indeed! and glorious eloquence,
Where empty noise supplies the want of sense.
For meaning, signs and motions he affords,
And interjections for the want of words.
What shape to you, O Symonsc, is unknown!
What face, but you adopt into your own!
At the least hint, fictitious crouds you raise,
And multiply yourself ten thousand ways:
[Page 77]This moment, to indulge the mirthful vein,
A fool's or doctor's person you sustain;
The next resume yourself and sense again.
Am I deceiv'd? or by some sudden slight,
A starch'd tub-preacher now he strikes the sight,
(Quick the transition, and unseen the art!)
Pale and entirely chang'd in every part,
His shorten'd visage, and fantastic dress,
The mad fanatic to the life express;
That small silk cap; those puritanic hairs,
Crop'd to the quick, and circling round his ears;
That rounded face the Mimic here proclaim,
How very different, yet how still the same!
Now he, by just degrees, his silence breaks;
His frantic silence mutt'ring ere he speaks:
Protracted hams the solemn farce begin,
And groans and pauses interrupt the scene;
As each in just succession comes and goes,
Work'd to its pitch, the spirit stronger grows,
And squeezes out his eyes, and twangs his vocal nose.
Now quick and rapid, and in rage more loud,
A storm of nonsense bursts upon the crowd:
His hand and voice proclaim the gen'ral doom,
While this the hour-glass shakes, and that the room.
On nature's ruins all his doctrines dwell,
And throw wide open every gate of hell.
A thousand other shapes he wears with grace;
A thousand more varieties of face:
[Page 78]But who, in every shape, can count him o'er,
Who multiplies his person every hour?
What Muse his flying features can pursue,
Or keep his wand'ring countenance in view?
Had I a thousand mouths, a thousand tongues,
A throat of brass, and adamantine lungs,
I could not celebrate this Proteus' skill,
Who shifts his person and his face at will;
This Proteus, who out-numbers hosts alone;
A crowd himself; a multitude in one.

An EPISTLE from FLORENCE. To THOMAS ASHTON, Esq Tutor to the Earl of Plymouth. Written in the Year 1740.

WHEN flourish'd with their state th'ATHENIAN name,
And Learning and Politeness were the same,
Philosophy with gentle art refin'd
The honest roughness of th' unpractis'd mind:
She call'd the latent beams of Nature forth,
Guided their ardour, and insur'd their worth.
[Page 79]She pois'd th' impetuous Warrior's vengeful steel,
Mark'd true Ambition from destructive Zeal,
Pointed what lustre on that laurel blows,
Which Virtue only on her sons bestows.
Hence clement CIMON of unspotted fame,
Hence ARISTIDES' ever fav'rite name;
Heroes, who knew to wield the righteous spear,
And guard their native tow'rs from foreign fear;
Or in firm bands of social Peace to bind
Their Country's good, and benefit mankind,
She trim'd the thoughtful Statesman's nightly oil,
Confirm'd his mind beneath an empire's toil,
Or with him to his silent villa stole,
Gilded his ev'ning hours, and harmoniz'd his soul.
To woods and caves she never bade retreat,
Nor fix'd in cloyster'd monkeries her seat:
No lonely precepts to her sons enjoin'd,
Nor taught them to be men, to shun mankind.
CYNICS there were, an uncouth selfish race,
Of manners foul, and boastful of disgrace:
Brutes, whom no Muse has ever lov'd to name,
Whose Ignominy is their only fame.
No hostile Trophies grace their honour'd urn,
Around their tomb no sculptur'd Virtues mourn;
Nor tells the marble into emblems grav'd,
An Art discover'd, or a City sav'd.
Be this the goal to which the Briton-Peer
Exalt his hope, and press his young career!
[Page 80]Be this the goal to which, my Friend, may you
With gentle skill direct his early view!
Artful the various studies to dispense,
And melt the schoolman's jargon down to sense.
See the pedantic Teacher, winking dull,
The letter'd Tyrant of a trembling school;
Teaching by force, and proving by a frown,
His lifted fasces ram the lesson down.
From tortur'd strains of eloquence he draws
Barbaric precepts and unmeaning laws,
By his own sense would TULLY'S word expound,
And a new VANDAL tramples classic ground.
Perhaps a Bigot to the learned page,
No modern custom can his thoughts engage;
His little farm by GEORGIC rules he ploughs,
And prunes by metre the luxuriant boughs,
Still from ARATUS' spherè or MARO'S signs.
The future calm or tempest he divines,
And fears if the prognostic Raven's found
aExpatiating alone along the dreary round.
What scanty precepts! studies how confin'd!
Too mean to fill your comprehensive mind:
Unsatisfy'd with knowing when or where
Some Roman Bigot rais'd a Fane to FEAR;
On what green medal VIRTUE stands express'd,
How CONCORD'S pictur'd, LIBERTY how dress'd;
[Page 81]Or with wise KEN judiciously define,
When Pius marks the honorary coin
Thirsting for knowledge, but to know the right,
Through judgment's optic guide th' illusive sight;
To let in rays on Reason's darkling cell,
And Prejudice's lagging mists dispel;
For this you turn the Greek and Roman page,
Weigh the contemplative and active Sage;
And cull some useful flow'r from each heroic Age.
Thence teach the Youth the necessary art,
To know the Judge's from the Critic's part;
Shew how ignoble is the passion, FEAR,
And place some patriot Roman's model near;
Their bright examples to his soul instil,
Who knew no Fear, but that of doing ill.
Tell him, 'tis all a cant, a trifle all,
To know the folds that from the TOGA fall,
The CLAVUS' breadth, the BULLA'S golden round,
And every leaf that every VIRTUE crown'd;
But shew how brighter in each honest breast
Than in her shrine, the Goddess stood confess'd.
Tell him, it is not the fantastic Boy,
Elate with pow'r and swell'd with frantic joy,
'Tis not a slavish Senate, fawning, base,
Can stamp with honest fame a worthless race;
Though the false Coin proclaim him great and wise,
The tyrant's life shall tell that Coin, it lies.
But when your early Care shall have design'd
To plan the Soul and mould the waxen Mind;
When you shall pour upon his tender Breast
Ideas that must stand an Age's test,
Oh! there imprint with strongest deepest dye
The lovely form of Goddess LIBERTY!
For her in Senates be he train'd to plead,
For her in Battles be he taught to bleed.
Lead him where Dover's rugged cliff resounds
With dashing seas, fair Freedom's honest bounds,
Point to yon azure Carr be dropp'd with gold,
Whose weight the necks of Gallia's sons uphold;
Where proudly sits an iron-scepter'd Queen,
And fondly triumphs o'er the prostrate scene,
Cry, That is Empire! shun her baleful path.
Her Words are Slavery, and her Touch is Death!
Through wounds and blood the Fury drives her way,
And murthers half, to make the rest her prey.
Thus spoke each Spartan matron, as she dress'd
With the bright cuirass the young soldier's breast;
On the new warrior's tender-sinew'd thigh,
Girt Fear of Shame and Love of Liberty.
Steel'd with such precepts, for a cause so good,
What scanty bands the Persian host withstood!
Before the sons of Greece let Asia tell
How fled her b Monarch, how her Millions fell!
[Page 83]When arm'd for LIBERTY, a Few how brave!
How weak a Multitude, where each a Slave!
No welcome Faulchion fill'd their fainting hand,
No Voice inspir'd of favourite Command:
No Peasant fought for wealthy lands possess'd,
No fond remembrance warm'd the Parent's breast:
They saw their lands for royal riot groan,
And toil'd in vain for banquets, not their own;
They saw their infant Race to bondage rise,
And frequent heard the ravish'd Virgin's cries,
Dishonour'd but to cool a transient gust
Of some luxurious Satrap's barb'rous lust.
The greatest curses any Age has known
Have issued from the Temple or the Throne;
Extent of ill from Kings at first begins,
But Priests must aid, and consecrate their sins.
The tortur'd Subject might be heard complain,
When sinking under a new weight of chain,
Or more rebellious might perhaps repine,
When tax'd to dow'r a titled Concubine,
But the Priest christens all a Right Divine.
When at the altar a new Monarch kneels,
What conjur'd awe upon the people steals!
The chosen HE adores the precious oil,
Meekly receives the solemn charm, and while
The Priest some blessed nothings mutters o'er,
Sucks in the sacred grease at every pore:
[Page 84]He seems at once to shed his mortal skin,
And feels Divinity transfus'd within.
The trembling Vulgar dread the royal Nod,
And worship God's anointed more than God.
Such Sanction gives the Prelate to such Kings!
So mischief from those hallow'd fountains springs.
But bend your eye to yonder harrass'd plains,
Where King and Priest in one united reigns;
See fair Italia mourn her holy state,
And droop oppress'd beneath a papal weight:
Where fat Celibacy usurps the soil,
And sacred Sloth consumes the peasant's toil:
The holy Drones monopolize the sky,
And plunder by a vow of Poverty.
The Christian Cause their lewd profession taints;
Unlearn'd, unchaste, uncharitable Saints.
Oppression takes Religion's hallow'd name,
And Priest-craft knows to play the specious game.
Behold how each enthusiastic fool
Of ductile piety, becomes their tool:
Observe with how much art, what fine pretence,
They hallow Foppery and combat Sense.
Some hoary Hypocrite, grown old in sin,
Whose thought of heav'n with his last hours begin,
Counting a chaplet with a bigot care,
And mumbling somewhat 'twixt a charm and pray'r,
Hugs a dawb'd image of his injur'd Lord,
And squeezes out on the dull idol-board
[Page 85]A sore-ey'd gum of tears; the flannel Crew.
With cunning joy the fond repentance view,
Pronounce Him bless'd, his miracles proclaim,
Teach the slight crowd t' adore his hallow'd name,
Exalt his praise above the Saints of old,
And coin his sinking conscience into Gold.
Or when some Pontiff with imperious hand
Sends forth his edict to excise the land,
The tortur'd Hind unwillingly obeys,
And mutters curses as his mite he pays!
The subtle Priest th' invidious name forbears,
Asks it for holy use or venal pray'rs;
Exhibits all their trumpery to sale,
A bone, mouldy morsel, or a nail:
Th' idolatrous Devout adore the show,
And in full streams the molten off'rings flow.
No pagan object, nothing too profane,
To aid the Romish zeal for Christian gain.
Each Temple with new weight of idols nods,
And borrow'd Altars smoke to other Gods.
PROMETHEUS' Vulture MATTHEW'S Eagle proves;
And heav'nly Cherubs sprout from heathen Loves;
Young GANYMEDE a winged Angel stands
By holy LUKE, and dictates God's commands:
cAPOLLO, though degraded, still can bless,
Rewarded with a Sainthood, and an S.
[Page 86]Each convert Godhead is apostoliz'd,
And Love himself by d PETER'S name baptiz'd,
ASTARTE shines in Jewish MARY'S fame,
Still Queen of heav'n, another and the same.
While the proud Priest the sacred Tyrant reigns
Of empty cities and dispeopled plains,
Where fetter'd Nature is forbid to rove
In the free commerce of productive Love:
Behold imprison'd with her barren kind,
In gloomy cells the votive Maid confin'd;
Faint streams of blood, by long stagnation weak,
Scarce tinge the fading damask of her cheek;
In vain she pines, the holy Faith withstands,
What Nature dictates and what God commands:
But if some sanguine He, some lusty Priest
Of [...]ollier morals taste the tempting feast,
From the strong grasp if some poor babe arise,
Unwelcome, unindear'd, it instant dies;
Or poisons blasting soon the hasty joy,
Th' imperfect seeds of infant life destroy.
Fair Modesty, thou virgin tender-ey'd,
From thee the Muse the grosser acts must hide,
Nor the dark cloister's mystic rites display,
Whence num'rous brawny Monkhoods waste away,
And unprolific, though forsworn, decay.
BRITANNIA smiling, views her golden plains
From mitred bondage free and papal chains;
Her jocund Sons pass each unburthen'd day
Securely quiet, innocently gay:
Lords of themselves the happy Rustics sing,
Each of his little tenement the King.
Twice did usurping Rome extend her hand,
To reinslave the new-deliver'd land;
Twice were her fable bands to battle warm'd,
With pardons, bulls, and texts, and murthers arm'd;
eWith PETER'S sword and MICHAEL'S lance were sent,
And whate'er stores supply'd the Church's armament.
Twice did the gallant Albion race repel
The Jesuit legions to the gates of hell;
Or whate'er Angel, friend to Britain, took
Or WILLIAM'S or ELIZA'S guardian look.
Arise, young Peer! shine forth in such a cause!
Who draws the sword for Freedom, justly draws.
Reflect how dearly was that Freedom bought;
For that, how oft your ancestors have fought;
Through the long series of our princes down,
How wrench'd some right from each too potent Crown.
See abject JOHN, that vassal-Monarch, see!
Bow down the royal neck, and crouch the supple knee!
[Page 88]Oh! prostitution of imperial State!
To a vile Romish Priest's vile f Delegate.
Him the bold Barons scorning to obey,
And be the subjects of a subject sway;
Heroes whose names to latest fame shall shine,
Aw'd by no visions of a Right Divine,
That bond by eastern Politicians wrought,
Which ours have learnt, and Rabbi Doctors taught,
To straiter banks restrain'd the Royal Will,
That great prerogative of doing ill.
To late example and experience dead,
See g HENRY in his Father's footsteps tread.
Too young to govern, immature to pow'r,
His early follies haunt his latest hour.
His nobles injur'd, and his realms oppress'd,
No violated Senate's wrongs redress'd,
His hoary age sinks in the feeble wane
Of an inglorious, slighted, tedious reign.
The Muse too long with idle glories fed,
And train'd to trumpet o'er the warlike dead,
The wanton fain on giddy plumes would soar,
To Gallic Loire and Jordan's humbled shore;
Again would teach the Saracen and Gaul,
At h EDWARD'S and at i HENRY'S name to fall;
[Page 89]Romantic heroes! prodigal of blood;
What numbers stain'd each ill-disputed flood!
Tools to a Clergy! warring but to feast
With spoils of provinces each pamper'd Priest.
Be dumb, fond Maid; thy sacred ink nor spill
On specious Tyrants, popularly ill;
Nor be thy comely locks with Roses dight
Of either victor colour, Red or White.
Foil'd the assassin k King, in union blow
The blended flow'rs on seventh HENRY'S brow.
Peace lights again on the forsaken strand,
And banish'd Plenty re-assumes the land.
No nodding crest the crouching infant frights,
No clarion rudely breaks the bride's delights;
Reposing sabres seek their ancient place
To bristle round a gaping l GORGON'S face.
The wearied arms grotesquely deck the wall,
And tatter'd trophies fret the Royal m hall.
Put Peace in vain on-the blood-fatten'd plains
From her exuberant horn her treasures rains:
She deals her gifts; but in an useless hour,
To glut the iron hand of griping Pow'r:
Such LANCASTER, whom harrass'd Britain saw,
Mask'd in the garb of antiquated Law:
[Page 90]More politic than wise, more wise than great:
A legislator to enslave the state;
Coolly malicious; by design a knave:
More mean than false, ambitious more than brave;
Attach'd to Interest's more than Honour's call;
More strict than just, more covetous than wall.
Not so the Reveller profuse, his n Son,
His contrast course of tyranny begun;
Robust of limb, and flush'd with florid grace,
Strength nerv'd his youth, and squar'd his jovial face.
To feats of arms and carpet-combats prone,
In either field the vig'rous monarch shone:
Mark'd out for riot each luxurious day
In tournaments and banquets danc'd away.
But shift the scene, and view what slaughters stain
Each frantic period of his barb'rous reign:
A Tyrant to the people whom he rul'd,
By every potentate he dealt with, fool'd:
Sold by one o minister, to all unjust;
Sway'd by each dictate of distemper'd lust;
Changing each worship that controul'd the bent
Of his adult'rous will, and lewd intent;
Big in unwieldy majesty and pride,
And smear'd with Queens and Martyrs blood, He dy'd.
Pass we the pious p Youth too slightly seen;
The murd'rous zeal of a weak Romish q Queen:
Nor with faint pencil, impotently vain,
Shadow the glories of ELIZA'S reign,
Who's still too great, though some few faults she had,
To catalogue with all those Royal bad.
Arise, great JAMES! thy course of wisdom run!
Image of David's philosophic Son!
He comes! on either hand in seemly state,
Knowledge and Peace, his fondled handmaids, wait:
Obscurely learn'd, elaborately dull,
Of quibbling cant and grace fanatic full.
Thron'd in full senate, on his pedant tongue,
These for six hours each weighty morning hung;
For these each string of royal pow'r he strain'd,
For these he sold whate'er ELIZA gain'd;
For these he squander'd every prudent store
The frugal Princess had reserv'd before,
On pension'd sycophants and garter'd boys,
Tools of his will, and minions of his joys.
For these he let his beggar'd r daughter roam;
Bubbled, for these, by Spanish art at home;
For these, to sum the blessings of his reign,
Poison'd one son s and t'other sent to Spain.
Retire, strict Muse, and thy impartial verse
In pity spare on CHARLES'S bleeding herse;
Or all his faults in blackest notes translate
To tombs where rot the authors of his fate;
To lustful HENRIETTA'S Romish shade,
Let all his acts of lawless pow'r be laid;
Or to the t Priest, more Romish still than her;
And whoe'er made his gentle virtues err.
On the next u Prince, expell'd his native land,
In vain Affliction laid her iron hand;
Fortune, or fair or frowning, on his soul
Could stamp no virtue, and no vice controul:
Honour, or morals, gratitude or truth,
Nor learn'd his ripen'd age, nor knew his youth;
The care of Nations left to whores or chance,
Plund'rer of Britain, pensioner of France;
Free to buffoons, to ministers deny'd,
He liv'd an atheist, and a bigot dy'd.
The reins of Empire, or resign'd or stole,
Are trusted next to JAMES'S weak controul;
Him, meditating to subvert the laws,
His Hero w Son in Freedom's beauteous cause
Rose to chastise: x unhappy still! howe'er
Posterity the gallant action bear.
Thus have I try'd of Kings and Priests to sing,
And all the ills that from their vices spring;
While victor GEORGE thunders o'er either Spain,
Revenges Britain and asserts the Main;
To y willing Indians deals our equal laws,
And from his Country's voice affects applause;
zWhat time fair Florence on her peaceful shore,
Free from the din of war and battle's roar,
Has lap'd me trifler in inglorious ease,
Modelling precepts that may serve and please;
Yours is the task—and glorious is the plan,
To build the Free, the Sensible, Good Man.


DEsponding artist, talk no more
Of Beauties of the days of yore,
Of Goddesses renown'd in Greece,
And ZEUXIS' composition-piece,
Where every nymph that could at most
Some single grace or feature boast,
Contributed her favourite charm
To perfect the ideal form.
'Twas CYNTHIA'S brow, 'twas LESBIA'S eye,
'Twas CLOE'S cheeks' vermilion dye;
ROXANA lent the noble air,
Dishevell'd flow'd ASPASIA'S hair,
And CUPID much too fondly press'd
His mimic mother THAIS' breast.
Antiquity, how poor thy use!
A single Venus to produce!
Friend Eckardt, ancient story quit,
Nor mind whatever Pliny writ;
Felibien and Fresnoy declaim,
Who talk of Raphael's matchless fame,
[Page 95]Of Titian's tints, Corregio's grace,
And Carlo's each Madonna face,
As if no Beauties now were made,
But Nature had forgot her trade.
'Twas Beauty guided Raphael's line
From heavenly Women, styl'd divine;
They warm'd old Titian's fancy too,
And what he could not taste he drew:
Think you Devotion warm'd his breast
When Carlo with such looks express'd
His virgins, that her vot'ries feel
Emotions—not, I'm sure, of zeal?
In Britain's isle observe the Fair,
And curious choose your models there;
Such patterns as shall raise your name
To rival sweet Corregio's fame:
Each single piece shall be a test,
And Zeuxis' patchwork be a jest;
Who ransack'd Greece, and cull'd the age
To bring one Goddess on the stage:
On your each canvass we'll admire
The charms of the whole heav'nly choir.
Majestic Juno shall be seen
In a HARVEY'S glorious aweful mien.
Where b FITZROY moves, resplendent Fair;
So warm her bloom, sublime her air;
[Page 96]Her ebon tresses, form'd to grace,
And heighten while they shade her face:
Such troops of martial youth around,
Who court the band that gives the wound;
'Tis Pallas, Pallas stands confess'd,
Though c STANHOPE'S more than Paris bless'd,
So d CLEVELAND shown in warlike pride,
By Lely's pencil deify'd:
So e GRAFTON, matchless dame, commands
The fairest work of Kneller's hands:
The blood that warm'd each amorous court,
In veins as rich still loves to sport:
And George's age beholds restor'd,
What William boasted, Charles ador'd.
For Venuses the Trojan ne'er
Was half so puzzled to declare:
Ten Queens of Beauty, sure I see!
Yet sure the true is f EMILY:
Such majesty of youth and air,
Yet modest as the village fair:
Attracting all, indulging none,
Her beauty like the glorious Sun
[Page 97]Thron'd eminently bright above,
Impartial warms the world to love.
In smiling g CAPEL'S beauteous look
Rich Autumn's Goddess is mistook,
With poppies and with spiky corn,
Eckardt, her nut-brown Curls adorn;
And by her side, in decent line,
Place charming h BERKLEY, Proserpine.
Mild as a summer sea, serene,
In dimpled beauty next be seen,
iAYLESBURY like hoary Neptune's Queen.
With her the light-dispensing Fair,
Whose beauty gilds the morning air,
And bright as her attendant sun,
The new Aurora, k LYTTLETON:
Such l Guido's pencil beauty-tip'd,
And in ethereal colours dip'd,
In measur'd dance to tuneful song
Drew the sweet Goddess, as along
Heaven's azure 'neath their light feet spread,
The buxom Hours she fairest led.
The crescent on her brow display'd,
In curls of loveliest brown inlaid,
With every charm to rule the night,
Like Dian, m STRAFFORD woos the sight;
The easy shape, the piercing eye,
The snowy bosom's purity,
The unaffected gentle phrase
Of native wit in all she says;
Eckardt, for these thy art's too faint;
You may admire, but cannot paint.
How Hebe smil'd, what bloom divine
On the young Goddess lov'd to shine,
From n CARPENTER we guess, or see,
All-beauteous o MANNERS, beam from thee.
How pretty Flora; wanton maid,
By Zephyr woo'd in noon-tide shade,
With rosy hand coquetly throwing
Pansies, beneath her sweet touch blowing;
How blithe she look'd let p FANNY tell;
Let Zephyr own if half so well.
Another q Goddess of the year,
Fair Queen of Summer, see, appear;
[Page 99]Her auburn locks with fruitage crown'd,
Her panting bosom loosely bound,
Ethereal beauty in her face,
Rather the beauties of her race,
Whence every Goddess, envy smit,
Must own each Stonehouse meets in r PITT.
Exhausted all the heav'nly train,
How many Mortals yet remain,
Whose eyes shall try your pencil's art,
And in my numbers claim a part!
Our sister Muses must describe
sCHUDLEIGH, or name her of the tribe;
And t JULIANA with the Nine
Shall aid the melancholy line,
To weep her dear u Resemblance gone,
Where all these beauties met in One.
Sad fate of beauty! more I see,
Afflicted, lovely family!
Two beauteous Nymphs, here, Painter, place,
Lamenting o'er their w sister Grace;
xOne, matron-like, with sober grief,
Scarce gives her pious sighs relief;
[Page 100]While y t' other lovely Maid appears
In all the melting pow'r of tears;
The softest form, the gentlest grace,
The sweetest harmony of face;
Her snowy limbs, and artless move
Contending with the Queen of Love,
Whilst bashful Beauty shuns the prize,
Which EMILY might yield to EVELYN'S eyes.

EPILOGUE to TAMERLANE. On the Suppression of the REBELLION. Spoken by Mrs. Pritchard, in the Character of the COMIC MUSE, Nov. 4, 1746.

BRITONS, once more in annual joy we meet,
This genial night in Freedom's fav'rite seat:
And o'er the a two great empires still I reign
Of Covent-Garden, and of Drury-Lane.
[Page 101]But ah; what clouds o'er all our realms impended!
Our ruin artless prodigies portended.
Chains, real chains, our Heroes had in view,
And scenes of mimic dungeons chang'd to true.
An equal fate the Stage and Britain dreaded,
Had Rome's young missionary Spark succeeded.
But Laws and Liberties are trifling treasures:
He threaten'd that grave property, your Pleasures.
For me, an idle Muse, I ne'er dissembled
My fears; but ev'n my tragic sister trembled:
O'er all her sons she cast her mournful eyes,
And heav'd her breast more than dramatic sighs;
To eyes well-tutor'd in the trade of grief,
She rais'd a small and well-lac'd handkerchief;
And then with decent pause—and accent broke,
Her buskin'd progeny the Dame bespoke:
"Ah! Sons, b our dawn is over-cast, and all
"Theatric glories nodding to their fall;
"From foreign realms a bloody Chief is come,
"Big with the work of Slav'ry and of Rome.
"A general ruin on his sword he wears,
"Fatal alike to Audience and to Play'rs.
"For ah! my Sons, what freedom for the Stage,
"When Bigotry with Sense shall battle wage?
[Page 102]"When monkish Laureats only wear the bays,
"cInquisitors Lord Chamberlains of plays?
"Plays shall be damn'd that 'scape the Critic's rage,
"For Priests are still worse Tyrants to the Stage.
"Cato, receiv'd by audiences so gracious,
"Shall find ten Caesars in one St. Ignatius:
"And god-like Brutus here shall meet again
"His evil Genius in a Capuchin.
"For heresy the fav'rites of the pit
"Must burn, and excommunicated wit;
"And at one stake we shall behold expire
"My Anna Bullen, and the Spanish Fryar.
"Ev'n d Tamerlane, whose sainted name appears
"Red-letter'd in the calendar of play'rs,
"Oft as these festal rites attend the morn
"Of Liberty restor'd and WILLIAM born—
"But at That Name, what transports flood my eyes?
"What golden vision's this I see arise?
"What Youth is he with comeliest conquest crown'd,
"His warlike brow with full-blown laurels bound?
"What wreaths are these that Vict'ry dares to join,
"And blend with trophies of my fav'rite Boyn?
"Oh! if the Muse can happy aught presage
"Of new deliv'rance to the State and Stage;
[Page 103]"If not untaught the characters to spell
"Of all who bravely fight or conquer well;
"eThou shalt be WILLIAM—like the Last design'd
"The tyrant's scourge, and blessing of mankind;
"Born civil tumult and blind zeal to quell,
"That teaches happy subjects to rebel.
"Nassau himself but half our vows shall share,
"Divide our incense and divide our pray'r;
"And oft as Tamerlane shall lend his fame
"To shadow his, thy rival Star shall claim
"fTh' ambignous larrel and the double name."


‘Rure vero barbaroque laetatur. MARTIAL.
— Ut mihi devio
Rupes, & vacuum nemus
Mirari libet!
YE green-rob'd Dryads, oft' at dusky eve
By wondering shepherds seen, to forests brown,
To unfrequented meads, and pathless wilds,
Lead me from gardens deck'd with art's vain pomps.
Can gilt alcoves, can marble-mimic gods,
Parterres embroider'd, obelisks, and urns
Of high relief; can the long, spreading lake,
Or vista lessening to the sight; can Stow,
With all her Attic fanes, such raptures raise,
As the thrush-haunted copse, where lightly leaps
The fearful fawn the rustling leaves along,
[Page 105]And the brisk squirrel sports from bough to bough,
While from an hollow oak, whose naked roots
O'erhang a pensive rill, the busy bees
Hum drowsy lullabies? The bards of old,
Fair Nature's friends, sought such retreats, to charm
Sweet Echo with their songs; oft' too they met
In summer evenings, near sequester'd bowers,
Or mountain-nymph, or muse, and eager learnt
The moral strains she taught to mend mankind.
As to a secret grot Aegeria stole
With patriot Numa, and in silent night
Whisper'd him sacred laws, he list'ning sat
Rapt with her virtuous voice, old Tyber lean'd
Attentive on his urn, and hush'd his waves.
Rich in her weeping country's spoils Versailles
May boast a thousand fountains, that can cast
The tortur'd waters to the distant heav'ns;
Yet let me choose some pine-topt precipice
Abrupt and shaggy, whence a foamy stream,
Like Anio, tumbling roars; or some bleak heath,
Where straggling stands the mournful juniper,
Or yew-tree scath'd; while in clear prospect round,
From the grove's bosom spires emerge, and smoak
In bluish wreaths ascends, ripe harvests wave,
Low, lonely cottages, and ruin'd tops
Of Gothic battlements appear, and streams
Beneath the sun-beams twinkle.—The shrill lark,
That wakes the wood-man to his early task,
[Page 106]Or love-sick Philomel, whose luscious lays
Sooth lone night-wanderers, the moaning dove
Pitied by list'ning milk-maid, far excel
The deep-mouth viol, the soul-lulling lute,
And battle-breathing trumpet. Artful sounds!
That please not like the choristers of air,
When first they hail th' approach of laughing May.
Can Kent design like Nature? Mark where Thames
Plenty and pleasure pours through a Lincoln's meads;
Can the great artist, though with taste supreme
Endu'd, one beauty to this Eden add?
Though he, by rules unfetter'd, boldly scorns
Formality and Method, round and square
Disdaining, plans irregularly great.
Creative Titian, can thy vivid strokes,
Or thine, O graceful Raphael, dare to vie
With the rich tints that paint the breathing mead?
The thousand-colour'd tulip, violet's bell
Snow-clad and meek, the vermil-tinctur'd rose,
And golden crocus?—Yet with these the maid,
Phillis or Phoebe at a feast or wake,
Her jetty locks enamels; fairer she,
In innocence and home-spun vestments dress'd,
Than if coerulean saphires at her ears
Shone pendent, or a precious diamond-cross
Heav'd gently on her panting bosom white.
Yon' shepherd idly stretch'd on the rude rock,
Listening to dashing waves, and sea-mews' clang
High-hovering o'er his head, who views beneath
The dolphin dancing o'er the level brine,
Feels more true bliss than the proud admiral,
Amid his vessels bright with burnish'd gold
And silken streamers, though his lordly nod
Ten thousand war-worn mariners revere.
And great Aeneas b gaz'd with more delight
On the rough mountain shagg'd with horrid shades,
(Where cloud-compelling Jove, as fancy dream'd,
Descending shook his direful Aegis black)
Than if he enter'd the high Capitol
On golden columns rear'd, a conquer'd world
Exhausted, to enrich its stately head.
More pleas'd he slept in poor Evander's cott
On shaggy skins, lull'd by sweet nightingales,
Than if a Nero, in an age refin'd,
Beneath a gorgeous canopy had plac'd
His royal guest, and bade his minstrels sound
Soft slumb'rous Lydian airs, to sooth his rest.
cHappy the first of men, ere yet confin'd
To smoaky cities; who in sheltering groves,
Warm caves, and deep-sunk vallies liv'd and lov'd,
By cares unwounded; what the sun and showers,
[Page 108]And genial earth untillag'd could produce,
They gather'd grateful, or the acorn brown,
Or blushing berry; by the liquid lapse
Of murm'ring waters call'd to slake their thirst,
Or with fair nymphs their sun-brown limbs to bathe;
With nymphs who fondly clasp'd their fav'rite youths,
Unaw'd by shame, beneath the beechen shade,
Nor wiles, nor artificial coyness knew.
Then doors and walls were not; the melting maid
Nor frowns of parents fear'd, nor husband's threats;
Nor had curs'd gold their tender hearts allur'd:
Then beauty was not venal. Injur'd love,
O whither, god of raptures, art thou fled?
While Avarice waves his golden wand around,
Abhorr'd magician, and his costly cup
Prepares with baneful drugs, t'enchant the souls
Of each low-thoughted fair to wed for gain.
In earth's first infancy (as sung the d bard,
Who strongly painted what he boldly thought)
Though the fierce north oft' smote with iron whip
Their shiv'ring limbs, though oft' the briftly boar
Or hungry lion 'woke them with their howls,
And scar'd them from their moss-grown caves to rove
Houseless and cold in dark tempestuous nights;
Yet were not myriads in embattel'd fields
Swept off at once, nor had the raging seas
O'erwhelm'd the found'ring bark and shrieking crew;
[Page 109]In vain the glassy ocean smil'd to tempt
The jolly sailor unsuspecting harm,
For commerce ne'er had spread her swelling sails,
Nor had the wond'ring Nereids ever heard
The dashing oar: then famine, want, and pine,
Sunk to the grave their fainting limbs; but us,
Diseaseful dainties, riot and excess,
And feverish luxury destroy. In brakes,
Or marshes wild unknowingly they crop'd
Herbs of malignant juice; to realms remote
While we for powerful poisons madly roam,
From every noxious herb collecting death.
What though unknown to those primaeval sires
The well-arch'd dome, peopled with breathing forms
By fair Italia's skilful hand, unknown
The shapely column, and the crumbling busts
Of aweful ancestors in long descent?
Yet why should man mistaken deem it nobler
To dwell in palaces, and high-roof'd halls,
Than in God's forests, architect supreme!
Say, is the Persian carpet, than the field's
Or meadow's mantle gay, more richly wov'n;
Or softer to the votaries of ease
Than bladed grass, perfum'd with dew-dropt flow'rs?
O taste corrupt! that luxury and pomp,
In specious names of polish'd manners veil'd,
Should proudly banish Nature's simple charms!
All-beauteous Nature! by thy boundless charms
Oppress'd, O where shall I begin thy praise,
[Page 110]Where turn th' ecstatic eye, how ease my breast
That pants with wild astonishment and love!
Dark forests, and the op'ning lawn, refresh'd
With ever-gushing brooks, hill, meadow, dale,
The balmy bean-field, the gay-clover'd close,
So sweetly interchang'd, the lowing ox,
The playful lamb, the distant water-fall
Now faintly heard, now swelling with the breeze,
The sound of pastoral reed from hazel-bower,
The choral birds, the neighing steed, that snuffs
His dappled mate, stung with intense desire,
The ripen'd orchard when the ruddy orbs
Betwixt the green leaves blush, the azure skies,
The chearful sun that through earth's vitals pours
Delight and health and heat; all, all conspire,
To raise, to sooth, to harmonize the mind,
To lift on wings of praise, to the great Sire
Of being and of beauty, at whose nod
Creation started from the gloomy vault
Of dreary Chaos, while the griesly king
Murmur'd to feel his boisterous power confin'd.
What are the lays of artful Addison,
Coldly correct, to Shakspeare's warblings wild?
Whom on the winding Avon's willow'd banks
Fair Fancy found, and bore the smiling babe
To a close cavern: (still the shepherds shew
The sacred place, whence with religious awe
They hear, returning from the field at eve,
[Page 111]Strange whisp'rings of sweet music through the air)
Here, as with honey gather'd from the rock,
She fed the little prattler, and with songs
Oft' sooth'd his wond'ring ears, with deep delight
On her soft lap he sat, and caught the sounds.
Oft' near some crowded city would I walk,
Listening the far-off noises, rattling cars,
Loud shouts of joy, sad shrieks of sorrow, knells
Full slowly tolling, instruments of trade,
Striking mine ears with one deep-swelling hum.
Or wand'ring near the sea, attend the sounds
Of hollow winds, and ever-beating waves,
Ev'n when wild tempests swallow up the plains,
And Boreas' blasts, big hail, and rains combine
To shake the groves and mountains, would I sit,
Pensively musing on the outrageous crimes
That wake heaven's vengeance: at such solemn hours,
Daemons and goblins through the dark air shriek,
While Hecat, with her black-brow'd sisters nine,
Rides o'er the earth, and scatters woes and death.
Then too, they say, in drear Aegyptian wilds
The lion and the tiger prowl for prey
With roarings loud! the list'ning traveller
Starts fear-struck, while the hollow-echoing vaults
Of pyramids increase the deathful sounds.
But let me never fail in cloudless nights,
When silent Cynthia in her silver car
Through the blue concave slides, when shine the hills,
[Page 112]Twinkle the streams, and woods look tip'd with gold,
To seek some level mead, and there invoke
Old Midnight's sister Contemplation sage,
(Queen of the rugged brow, and stern-fixt eye)
To lift my soul above this little earth,
This folly-fetter'd world: to purge my ears,
That I may hear the rolling planets' song,
And tuneful turning spheres: if this be barr'd,
The little Fayes that dance in neighbouring dales,
Sipping the night-dew, while they laugh and love,
Shall charm me with aërial notes.—As thus
I wander musing, lo, what aweful forms
Yonder appear! sharp-ey'd Philosophy
Clad in dun robes, an eagle on his wrist,
First meets my eye: next, virgin Solitude
Serene, who blushes as each gazer's sight;
Then Wisdom's hoary head, with crutch in hand,
Trembling, and bent with age; last Virtue's self
Smiling, in white array'd, who with her leads
Sweet Innocence, that prattles by her side,
A naked boy!—Harrass'd with fear I stop,
I gaze, when Virtue thus— 'Whoe'er thou art,
'Mortal, by whom I deign to be beheld
'In these my midnight-walks; depart, and say
'That henceforth I and my immortal train
'Forsake Britannia's isle; who fondly stoops
'To Vice, her favourite paramour.'—She spoke,
And as she turn'd, her round and rosy neck,
[Page 113]Her flowing train, and long ambrosial hair,
Breathing rich odours, I enamour'd view.
O who will bear me then to western climes,
(Since Virtue leaves our wretched land) to fields
Yet unpolluted with Iberian swords:
The isles of Innocence, from mortal view
Deeply retir'd, beneath a plantane's shade,
Where Happiness and Quiet sit enthron'd,
With simple Indian swains, that I may hunt
The boar and tyger through Savannahs wild,
Through fragrant desarts, and through citron-groves?
There fed on dates and herbs, would I despise
The far-fetch'd cares of Luxury, and hoards
Of narrow-hearted Avarice; nor heed
The distant din of the tumultuous world.
So when rude whirlwinds rouze the roaring main,
Beneath fair Thetis sits, in coral caves,
Serenely gay, nor sinking sailors' cries
Disturb her sportive nymphs, who round her form
The light fantastic dance, or for her hair
Weave rosy crowns, or with according lutes
Grace the soft warbles of her honied voice.


O Parent of each lovely Muse,
Thy spirit o'er my soul diffuse,
O'er all my artless longs preside,
My footsteps to thy temple guide,
To offer at thy turf-built shrine,
In golden cups no costly wine,
No murder'd fatling of the flock,
But flowers and honey from the rock.
O Nymph with loosely-flowing hair,
With buskin'd leg, and bosom bare,
Thy waist with myrtle-girdle bound,
Thy brows with Indian feathers crown'd,
Waving in thy snowy hand
An all-commanding magic wand,
Of pow'r to bid fresh gardens blow,
'Mid cheerless Lapland's barren snow,
Whose rapid wings thy flight convey
Through air, and over earth and sea,
While the vast various landscape lies
Conspicuous to thy piercing eyes.
[Page 115]O lover of the desart, hail!
Say, in what deep and pathless vale,
Or on what hoary mountain's side,
'Mid fall of waters you reside,
'Mid broken rocks, a rugged scene,
With green and grassy dales between,
'Mid forests dark of aged oak,
Ne'er echoing with the woodman's stroke,
Where never human art appear'd,
Nor ev'n one straw-roof'd cott was rear'd,
Where NATURE seems to sit alone,
Majestic on a craggy throne;
Tell me the path, sweet wand'rer, tell,
To thy unknown sequester'd cell,
Where woodbines cluster round the door,
Where shells and moss o'erlay the floor,
And on whose top an hawthorn blows,
Amid whose thickly-woven boughs
Some nightingale still builds her nest,
Each evening warbling thee to rest:
There lay me by the haunted stream,
Rapt in some wild, poetic dream,
In converse while methinks I rove
With SPENSER through a fairy grove;
'Till suddenly awoke, I hear
Strange whisper'd music in my ear,
And my glad soul in bliss is drown'd
By the sweetly-soothing sound!
[Page 116]Me, Goddess, by the right-hand lead,
Sometimes through the yellow mead,
Where JOY and white-rob'd PEACE resort,
And VENUS keeps her festive court,
Where MIRTH and YOUTH each evening meet,
And lighthy trip with nimble feet,
Nodding their lilly-crowned heads,
Where LAUGHTER rose-tip'd HEBE leads;
Where ECHO walks steep hills among,
List'ning to the shepherd's song:
Yet not these flowery fields of joy
Can long my pensive mind employ,
Haste, FANCY, from these scenes of folly,
To meet the matron MELANCHOLY,
Goddess of the tearful eye,
That loves to fold her arms and sigh!
Let us with silent footsteps go
To charnels and the house of woe,
To Gothic churches, vaults, and tombs,
Where each sad night some virgin comes,
With throbbing breast, and faded cheek,
Her promis'd bridegroom's urn to seek;
Or to some abbey's mould'ring tow'rs,
Where, to avoid cold wintry show'rs,
The naked beggar shivering lies,
While whistling tempests round her rise,
And trembles lest the tottering wall
Should on her sleeping infants fall.
Now let us louder strike the lyre,
For my heart glows with martial fire,
I feel, I feel, with sudden heat,
My big tumultuous bosom beat;
The trumpet's clangors pierce my ear,
A thousand widows' shrieks I hear,
Give me another horse, I cry,
Lo! the base GALLIC squadrons fly;
Whence is this rage?—what spirit, say,
To battle hurries me away?
'Tis FANCY, in her fiery car,
Transports me to the thicketst war,
There whirls me o'er the hills of slain,
Where Tumult and Destruction reign;
Where mad with pain, the wounded steed
Tramples the dying and the dead;
Where giant Terror stalks around,
With sullen joy surveys the ground,
And pointing to th' ensanguin'd field,
Shakes his dreadful Gorgon-shield!
O guide me from this horrid scene
To high-arch'd walks and alleys green,
Which lovely LAURA seeks, to shun
The fervors of the mid-day sun;
The pangs of absence, O remove,
For thou canst place me near my lover,
Canst fold in visionary bliss,
And let me think I steal a kiss,
[Page 118]While her ruby lips dispense
Luscious nectar's quintessence!
When young-ey'd SPRING profusely throw▪
From her green lap the pink and rose,
When the soft turtle of the dale
To SUMMER tells her tender tale,
When AUTUMN cooling caverns seeks,
And stains with wine his jolly cheeks,
When WINTER, like poor pilgrim old,
Shakes his silver beard with cold,
At every season let my ear
Thy solemn whispers, FANCY, hear.
O warm, enthusiastic maid,
Without thy powerful, vital aid,
That breathes an energy divine,
That gives a soul to every line,
Ne'er may I strive with lips profane
To utter an unhallow'd strain,
Nor dare to touch the sacred string,
Save when with smiles thou bid'st me sing.
O hear our prayer, O hither come
From thy lamented SHAKSPEARE'S tomb,
On which thou lov'st to sit at eve,
Musing o'er thy darling's grave;
O queen of numbers, once again
Animate some chosen swain,
Who fill'd with unexhausted fire,
May boldly smite the sounding lyre,
[Page 119]May rise above the rhyming throng,
Who with some new, unequall'd song,
O'er all our list'ning passions reign,
O'erwhelm our souls with joy and pain;
With terror shake, with pity move,
Rouse with revenge, or melt with love.
O deign t' attend his evening walk,
With him in groves and grottoes talk:
Teach him to scorn with frigid art
Feebly to touch th' unraptur'd heart;
Like lightning, let his mighty verse
The bosom's in most foldings pierce;
With native beauties win applause,
Beyond cold critics' studied laws:
O let each Muse's fame increase,

STANZAS written on taking the Air after a long Illness.

HAIL, genial sun! I feel thy powerful-ray
Strike vigorous health into each languid vein;
Lo, at thy bright approach, are fled away
The pale-ey'd sisters, Grief, Disease, and Pain.
O hills, O forests, and thou painted mead,
Again admit me to your secret seats,
From the dark bed of pining sickness freed,
With double joy I seek your green retreats.
Yet once more, O ye rivers, shall I lie,
In summer evenings on your willow'd banks,
And unobserv'd by passing shepherd's eye,
View the light Naiads trip in wanton ranks.
Each rural object charms, so long unseen,
The blooming orchards, the white wand'ring flocks,
The fields array'd in sight-refreshing green,
And with his loosen'd yoke the wearied ox.
Here let me stop beneath this spreading bush,
While Zephyr's voice I hear the boughs among,
And listen to the sweet thick-warbling thrush,
Much have I wish'd to hear her vernal song.
The Dryad Health frequents this hallow'd grove,
O where may I the lovely virgin meet?
From morn to dewy evening will I rove
To find her haunts, and lay an off'ring at her feet.


'TWere well, my friend, for human kind,
Would every man his bus'ness mind;
In his own orbit always move,
Nor blame, nor envy those above.
A Beaver, well advanc'd in age,
By long experience render'd sage,
Was skill'd in all the useful arts,
And justly deem'd a beast of parts;
Which he apply'd (as patriots shou'd)
In cultivating public good.
This Beaver on a certain day,
A friendly visit went to pay
To a young cousin, pert and vain,
Who often rov'd about the plain:
[Page 123]With every idle beast conferr'd,
Hearing, and telling what he heard.
The vagrant youth was gone from home,
When th' ancient sage approach'd his dome,
Who each apartment view'd with care,
But found each wanted much repair.
The walls were crack'd, decay'd the doors,
The corn lay mouldy on the floors;
Through gaping crannies rush'd a main
The blust'ring winds with snow and rain;
The timber all was rotten grown,—
In short, the house was tumbling down.
The gen'rous beast, by pity sway'd,
Griev'd to behold it thus decay'd;
And while he mourn'd the tatter'd scene,
The master of the lodge came in.
The first congratulations o'er,
They rest recumbent on the floor;
When thus the young conceited beast
His thoughts impertinent express'd.
I long have been surpriz'd to find,
The lion grown so wond'rous kind
To one peculiar sort of beasts,
While he another sort detests;
His royal favour chiefly falls
Upon the species of jack-alls;
They share the profits of his throne,
He smiles on them, and them alone,
[Page 124]Mean while the ferret's useful race
He scarce admits to see his face;
Traduc'd by lies and ill report,
They're banish'd from his regal court,
And counted, over all the plain,
Opposers of the lion's reign.
Now I conceiv'd a scheme last night,
Would doubtless set this matter right:
These parties should unite together;
The lion partial be to neither,
But let them both his favours share,
And both consult in peace and war.
This method (were this method try'd)
Would spread politic basis wide,
And on a bottom broad and strong,
Support the social union long—
But uncle, uncle, much I fear,
Some have abus'd the lion's ear;
He listens to the leopard's tongue;
That cursed leopard leads him wrong:
Were he but banish'd far away—
You don't attend to what I say!
Why really, couz, the sage rejoin'd,
The rain and snow, and driving wind,
Beat through with such prodigious force,
It made me deaf to your discourse.
Now, couz, were my advice pursu'd,
(And sure I mean it for your good)
[Page 125]Methinks you should this house repair;
Be this your first and chiefest care.
Your skill the voice of prudence calls
To stop these crannies in the walls,
And prop the roof before it falls.
If you this needful task perform,
You'll make your mansion dry and warm;
And we may then converse together,
Secure from this tempestuous weather.


FArewell aspiring thoughts, no more
My soul shall leave the peaceful shore,
To fail Ambition's main;
Fallacious as the harlot's kiss,
You promise me uncertain bliss,
And give me certain pain.
A beauteous prospect first you shew,
Which ere survey'd you print anew,
And paint it wond'rous pleasant:
This in a third is quickly lost:
Thus future good we covet most,
But ne'er enjoy the present.
Deluded on from scene to scene,
We never end, but still begin,
By flatt'ring Hope betray'd;
I'm weary of the painful chace,
Let others ran this endless race
To catch a flying shade.
Let others boast their useless wealth;
Have I not honesty and health?
Which riches cannot give:
Let others to preferment soar,
And, changing liberty for pow'r,
In golden shackles live.
'Tis time, at length, I should be wise,
'Tis time to seek substantial joys;
Joys out of Fortune's pow'r:
Wealth, honours, dignities, and fame,
Are toys the blind capricious dame
Takes from us every hour.
Come, conscious Virtue, fill my breast,
And bring Content, thy daughter, dress'd
In ever-smiling charms:
Let sacred Friendship too attend;
A friendship worthy of my friend,
Such as my LAELIUS warms.
With these I'll in my bosom make
A bulwark Fortune cannot shake,
Though all her storms arise;
Look down and pity gilded slaves,
Despise Ambition's giddy knaves,
And wish the Fools were wise.


AH me! is all our pleasure mix'd with woe?
Is there on earth no happiness sincere?
Must e'en this bitter stream of sorrow flow
From joy's domestic spring, our children dear?
How oft did Thetis drop the silver tear,
When with fond eyes she view'd her darling boy!
How oft her breast heav'd with presaging fear,
Lest vice's secret canker should annoy
Fair virtue's op'ning bud, and all her hopes destroy!
At length, so Nereus had her rightly taught,
That doubtful cares might eat her heart no more,
Her imp in prattling infancy she brought
To the fam'd Centaur, on mount Pelion hoar,
Hight Chiron, whom to Saturn Phyl'ra bore;
Chiron, whose wisdom flourish'd 'bove his peers,
In every goodly thew, and virtuous lore,
To principle his yet untainted years;
The seed that's early sown, the fairest harvest bears.
Far in the covert of a bushy wood,
Where aged trees their star-proof branches spread,
A grott, with grey moss ever dropping stood;
Ne costly gems the sparkling roof display'd,
Ne crystal squares the pavement rich inlaid,
But o'er the pebbles, clear with glassy shine,
A limpid stream in soothing murmurs stray'd,
And all around the flow'ring eglantine
Its balmy tendrils spread in many a wanton twine.
A lowly habitation, well I ween,
Yet sacred made by men of mickle fame,
Who there in precepts wise had lesson'd been;
Chaste Peleus, consort of the sea-born dame,
[Page 129]Sage Aesculape, who could the vital flame
(Blest leach!) relumine by his healing skill;
And Jason, who, his father's crown to claim,
Descended dreadful from the craggy hill,
And with his portance stern did false usurper thrill.
Fast by the cave a damsel was ypight,
Afraid from earth her blushing looks to rear,
Lest aught indecent should offend her sight,
Lest aught indecent should offend her ear;
Yet would she sometimes deign at sober chear
Softly to smile, but ever held it shame
The mirth of foul-mouth'd ribaldry to bear,
A cautious nymph, and MODESTY her name.
Ah! who but churlish carle would hurt so pure a dame?
With her sate TEMPERANCE, companion meet,
Plucking from tree-en bough her simple food,
And pointing to an urn beside her feet,
Fill'd with the crystal of the wholesome flood:
With her was seen, of grave and aweful mood,
Hoary FIDELITY, a matron staid;
And sweet BENEVOLENCE, who smiling stood,
Whilst at her breast two fondling infants play'd,
And turtles, billing soft, coo'd through the echoing glade.
On t'other side, of bold and open air,
Was a fair personage hight EXERCISE;
Reclin'd he seem'd upon his rough boar-spear,
As late surceas'd from hardy enterprize;
(For Sloth inglorious did he aye despise)
Fresh glow'd his cheek with health's vermilion dye,
On his sleek brow the swelling sweat-drops rise,
And oft around he darts his glowing eye
To view his well-breath'd hounds, full jolly company.
Not far away was sage EXPERIENCE plac'd,
With care-knit brow, fix'd looks, and sober plight,
Who weighing well the present with the past,
Of every accident could read aright.
With him was rev'rend CONTEMPLATION pight,
Bow-bent with eld, his beard of snowy hue,
Yet age's hand mote not empare the sight,
Still with sharp ken the eagle he'd pursue,
As through the buxom air to heav'n's bright bow'rs she flew.
Here the fond parent left her darling care,
Yet foftly breath'd a sigh as she withdrew;
Here the young hero, ev'n from tender year,
Eftsoons imbib'd Instruction's hony'd dew,
[Page 131](For well to file his tongue, sage Chiron knew)
And learnt to discipline his life aright;
To pay to pow'rs supreme a reverence due,
Chief to Saturnian Jove, whose dreaded might
Wings through disparted clouds the bik'ring lightning's flight.
Aye was the stripling wont, ere morning fair
Had rear'd o'er eastern waves her rosy tede,
To grasp with tender hand the pointed spear,
And beat the thicket where the boar's fell breed
Enshrouded lay, or lion's tawny seed.
Oft would great Dian, with her woody train,
Stop in mid chace to wonder at his speed,
Whilst up the hill's rough side she saw him strain,
Or sweep with winged feet along the level plain.
And when dun shades had blent the day's bright eye,
Upon his shoulders, with slow stagg'ring pace,
He brought the prey his hand had done to die,
Whilst blood with dust besprent did foul disgrace
The goodly features of his glowing face.
When as the sage beheld on grassy soil
Each panting corse, whilst life did well apace,
The panther of his spotted pride he'd spoil,
To deck his foster son: fit meed of daring toil.
And ever and anon the godlike sire,
To temper stern behests with pleasaunce gay,
Would touch (for well he could) the silver lyre;
So sweetly ravish'd each enchanting lay,
That Pan, in scornful wise, would fling away
His rustic pipe, and ev'n the sacred train
Would leave their lov'd Parnass' in trim array,
And thought their own Apollo once again
Charm'd his attentive flock, a simple shepherd swain.
And ever and anon of worthies old,
Whose praise Fame's trump through earth's wide bounds had spread,
To fire his mind to brave exploits, he told;
Pirithous, known for prowest hardy-head;
Theseus, whose wrath the dire Procrustes fled;
And Hercules, whom trembling Lerna fear'd,
When Hydra fell, in loathsome marshes bred,
In vain against the son of Jove uprear'd
Head sprouting under head, by thrillant faulchion shear'd.
The stern-brow'd boy in mute attention stood,
To hear the sage relate each great emprise;
Then strode along the cave in haughtier mood,
Whilst varying passions in his bosom rise,
[Page 133]And lightning-beams flash from his glowing eyes.
Ev'n now he scorns the prey the desarts yield,
Ev'n now (as hope the future scene supplies)
He shakes the terror of his heav'n-form'd shield,
And braves th' indignant flood, and thunders o'er the field.

An EPISTLE from S. J. Esq in the Country, to the Right Hon. the Lord LOVELACE in Town. Written in the Year 1735.

IN days, my Lord, when mother Time,
Though now grown old, was in her prime,
When SATURN first began to rule,
And JOVE was hardly come from school,
How happy was a country life!
How free from wickedness and strife!
Then each man liv'd upon his farm,
And thought and did no mortal harm;
On mossy banks fair virgins slept,
As harmless as the flocks they kept;
Then love was all they had to do,
And nymphs were chaste, and swains were true.
But now, whatever poets write,
'Tis sure the case is alter'd quite,
[Page 134]Virtue no more in rural plains,
Or innocence, or peace remains;
But vice is in the cottage found,
And country girls are oft unsound:
Fierce party-rage each village fires,
With wars of justices and 'squires:
Attorneys, for a barley-straw,
Whole ages hamper folks in law;
And every neighbour's in a flame
About their rates, or tythes, or game:
Some quarrel for their hares and pigeons,
And some for diff'rence in religions:
Some hold their parson the best preacher,
The tinker some a better teacher;
These, to the Church they fight for, strangers,
Have faith in nothing, but her dangers;
While those, a more believing people,
Can swallow all things—but a steeple.
But I, my Lord, who, as you know,
Care little how these matters go,
And equally detest the strife
And usual joys of country life,
Have by good fortune little share
Of its diversions, or its care;
For seldom I with 'squires unite,
Who hunt all day, and drink all night;
Nor reckon wonderful inviting,
A quarter-sessions, or cock-fighting:
[Page 135]But then no farm I occupy,
With sheep to rot and cows to die:
Nor rage I much, or much despair,
Though in my hedge I find a snare;
Nor view I, with due admiration,
All the high honours here in fashion;
The great commissions of the quorum,
Terrors to all who come before 'em;
Militia scarlet, edg'd with gold,
Or the white staff high-sheriffs hold;
The representative's caressing,
The judge's bow, the bishop's blessing.
Nor can I for my soul delight
In the dull feast of neighb'ring knight,
Who, if you send three days before,
In white gloves meets you at the door,
With superfluity of breeding
First makes you sick, and then with feeding.
Or if with ceremony cloy'd,
You would next time such plagues avoid,
And visit without previous notice,
JOHN, JOHN, a coach!—I can't think who 'tis,
My lady cries, who spies your coach,
Ere you the avenue approach;
Lord, how unlucky!—washing-day!
And all the men are in the hay!
Entrance to gain is something hard,
The dogs all bark, the gates are barr'd;
[Page 136]The yard's with lines of linen cross'd,
The hall-door's lock'd, the key is lost:
These difficulties all o'ercome,
We reach at length the drawing-room,
Then there's such trampling over-head,
Madam you'd swear was brought to-bed;
Miss in a hurry bursts the lock,
To get clean sleeves to hide her smock;
The servants run, the pewter clatters,
My lady dresses, calls, and chatters;
The cook-maid raves for want of butter,
Pigs squeak, fowls scream, and green geese flutter.
Now after three hours tedious waiting,
On all our neighbours faults debating,
And having nine times view'd the garden,
In which there's nothing worth a farthing,
In comes my lady, and the pudden:
You will excuse, sir,—on a sudden—
Then, that we may have four and four,
The bacon, fowls, and colly-flow'r
Their ancient unity divide,
The top one graces, one each side;
And by and by the second course
Comes lagging like a distanc'd horse;
A salver then to church and king,
The butler sweats, the glasses ring;
The cloth remov'd, the toasts go round,
Bawdy and politics abound;
[Page 137]And as the knight more tipsy waxes,
We damn all ministers and taxes.
At last the ruddy sun quite sunk,
The coachman tolerably drunk,
Whirling o'er hillocs, ruts, and stones,
Enough to dislocate one's bones,
We home return, a wond'rous token
Of heaven's kind care, with limbs unbroken.
Afflict us not, ye Gods, though sinners,
With many days like this, or dinners!
But if civilities thus teaze me,
Nor business, nor diversions please me,
You'll ask, my Lord, how time I spend?
I answer, with a book, or friend:
The circulating hours dividing
'Twixt reading, walking, eating, riding:
But books are still my highest joy,
These earliest please, and latest cloy.
Sometimes o'er distant climes I stray,
By guides experienc'd taught the way;
The wonders of each region view,
From frozen LAPLAND to PERU;
Bound o'er rough seas, and mountains bare,
Yet ne'er forsake my elbow chair.
Sometimes some fam'd historian's pen
Recalls past ages back agen,
Where all I see, through every page,
Is but how men with senseless rage
[Page 138]Each other rob, destroy, and burn,
To serve a priest's, or statesman's turn;
Though loaded with a diff'rent aim,
Yet always asses much the same.
Sometimes I view with much delight,
Divines their holy game-cocks fight;
Here faith and works at variance set,
Strive hard who shall the victory get;
Presbytery and episcopacy
There fight so long, it would amaze ye:
Here free-will holds a fierce dispute
With reprobation absolute;
There sense kicks transubstantiation,
And reason pecks at revelation.
With learned NEWTON now I fly
O'er all the rolling orbs on high,
Visit new worlds, and for a minute
This old one scorn, and all that's in it:
And now with labouring BOYLE I trace
Nature through every winding maze,
The latent qualities admire
Of vapours, water, air and fire:
With pleasing admiration see
Matter's surprising subtlety;
As how the smallest lamp displays,
For miles around, its scatter'd rays;
Or how (the case still more t' explain)
aA fart that weighs not half a grain,
[Page 139]The atmosphere will oft perfume
Of a whole spacious drawing-room.
Sometimes I pass a whole long day
In happy indolence away,
In fondly meditating o'er
Past pleasures, and in hoping more:
Or wander through the fields and woods,
And gardens bath'd in circling floods,
There blooming flow'rs with rapture view,
And sparkling gems of morning dew,
Whence in my mind ideas rise
Of CAELIA'S cheeks, and CHLOE'S eyes.
'Tis thus, my lord, I, free from strife,
Spend an inglorious country life;
These are the joys I still pursue,
When absent from the town and you:
Thus pass long summer suns away,
Busily idle, calmly gay;
Nor great, nor mean, nor rich, nor poor,
Nor having much, or wishing more;
Except that you, when weary grown
Of all the follies of the town,
And seeing, in all public places,
The same vain fops and painted faces,
Would sometimes kindly condescend
To visit a dull country friend:
Here you'll be ever sure to meet
A hearty welcome, though no treat,
[Page 140]One who has nothing else to do,
But to divert himself and you:
A house, where quiet guards the door,
No rural wits smoak, drink and r [...]ar;
Choice books, safe horses, wholsome liquor,
Cle [...] girls, backgammon, and the vicar.

To a LADY in Town, soon after her leaving the Country.

WHilst you, dear maid, o'er thousands born to reign,
For the gay town exchange the rural plain,
The cooling breeze and evening walk forsake
For stifling crowds, which your own beauties make;
Through circling joys while you incessant stray,
Charm in the Mall, and sparkle at the play;
Think (if successive vanities can spare
One thought to love) what cruel pangs I bear,
Left in these plains all wretched, and alone,
To weep with fountains, and with echoes groan,
And mourn incessantly that fatal day,
That all my bliss with CHLOE snatch'd away.
Say, by what arts I can relieve my pain,
Music, verse, all I try, but try in vain;
In vain the breathing flute my hand employs,
Late the companion of my CHLOE'S voice.
[Page 141]Nor HANDEL'S, nor CORELLI'S tuneful airs
[...] harmonize my soul, or sooth my cares;
Those once-lov'd med'cines unsuccessful prove,
Music, alas, is but the voice of love!
In vain I oft harmonious lines peruse,
And seek for aid from POPE'S and PRIOR'S Muse;
Their treach'rous numbers but assist the foe,
And call forth scenes of sympathising woe;
Here HELOISE mourns her absent lover's charms,
There panting EMMA sighs in HENRY'S arms;
Their loves like mine ill-fated I bemoan,
And in their tender sorrows read my own.
Restless sometimes, as oft the mournful dove
Forsakes her nest forsaken by her love,
I fly from home, and seek the sacred fields,
Where CAM'S old urn its silver current yields,
Where solemn tow'rs o'er-look each mossy grove,
As if to guard it from th' assaults of love;
Yet guard in vain, for there my CHLOE'S eyes
But lately made whole colleges her prize;
Her sons, though few, not PALLAS could defend,
Nor DULLNESS succour to her thousands lend;
Love like a fever with infectious rage
Scorch'd up the young, and thaw'd the frost of age;
To gaze at her, ev'n DONS are seen to run,
And leave unfinish'd pipes, and authors—scarce begun,
*So HELEN look'd, and mov'd with such a grace,
When the grave seniors of the TROJAN race
[Page 142]Were forc'd those fatal beauties to admire,
That all their youth consum'd, and set their town on fire.
At fam'd NEWMARKET oft I spend the day,
An unconcern'd spectator of the play;
There pitiless observe the ruin'd heir
With anger fir'd, or melting with despair:
For how should I his trivial loss bemoan,
Who feel one, so much greater, of my own?
There while the golden heaps, a glorious prize,
Wait the decision of two rival dice,
While long disputes 'twixt seven and five remain,
And each, like parties, have their friends for gain,
Without one wish I see the guineas shine,
Fate, keep your gold, I cry, make CHLOE mine.
Now see, prepar'd their utmost speed to try,
O'er the smooth turf the bounding racers fly!
Now more and more their slender limbs they strain,
And foaming stretch along the velvet plain!
Ah stay! swift steeds, your rapid flight delay,
No more the jockey's smarting lash obey!
But rather let my hand direct the rein,
And guide your steps a nobler prize to gain;
Then swift as eagles cut the yielding air,
Bear me, oh bear me to the absent fair.
Now when the winds are hush'd, the air serene,
And chearful sun-beams gild the beauteous scene,
Pensive o'er all the neighb'ring fields I stray,
Where-e'er or choice, or chance directs the way;
[Page 143]Or view the op'ning lawns, or private woods,
Or distant bluish hills, or silver floods:
Now harmless birds in silken nets insnare,
Now with swift dogs pursue the flying hare;
Dull sports! for oh my CHLOE is not there!
Fatigued at length I willingly retire
To a small study, and a chearful fire,
There o'er some folio pore; I pore, 'tis true,
But oh my thoughts are fled, and fled to you;
I hear you, see you, feast upon your eyes,
And clasp with eager arms the lovely prize.
Here for a while I could forget my pain,
Whilst I by dear reflection live again;
But ev'n these joys are too sublime to last,
And quickly fade, like all the real ones past:
For just when now beneath some silent grove
I hear you talk—and talk perhaps of love,
Or charm with thrilling notes the list'ning ear,
Sweeter than angels sing, or angels hear,
My treach'rous hand its weighty charge lets go,
The book falls thund'ring on the floor below,
The pleasing vision in a moment's gone,
And I once more am wretched and alone.
So when glad ORPHEUS from th' infernal shade
Had just recall'd his long-lamented maid,
Soon as her charms had reach'd his eager eyes,
Lost in eternal night—again she dies.

To the Right Hon. the Lady MARGARET CAVENDISH HARLEYa, presented with a Collection of POEMS.

THE tuneful throng was ever beauty's care,
And verse a tribute sacred to the fair.
Hence in each age the loveliest nymph has been,
By undisputed right, the Muses' queen;
Her smiles have all poetic bosoms fir'd,
And patroniz'd the verse themselves inspir'd:
LESBIA presided thus in Roman times,
Thus SACCHARISSA reign'd o'er British rhymes,
And present bards to MARGARETTA bow,
For, what they were of old, is HARLEY now.
From OXFORD'S house, in these dull busy days,
Alone we hope for patronage, or praise;
He to our slighted labours still is kind,
Beneath his roof w' are ever sure to find
(Reward sufficient for the world's neglect)
Charms to inspire, and goodness to protect;
[Page 145]Your eyes with rapture animate our lays,
Your sire's kind hand uprears our drooping bays,
Form'd for our glory and support, ye seem,
Our constant patron he, and you our theme.
Where should poetic homage then be pay'd?
Where every verse, but at your feet be lay'd?
A double right you to this empire bear,
As first in beauty, and as OXFORD'S heir.
Illustrious maid! in whose sole person join'd
Every perfection of the fair we find,
Charms that might warrant all her sex's pride,
Without one foible of her sex to hide:
Good-nature, artless as the bloom that dies
Her cheeks, and wit as piercing as her eyes.
Oh HARLEY! could you but these lines approve,
These children sprung from idleness, and love,
Could they (but ah how vain is the design!)
Hope to amuse your hours, as once they've mine,
Th' ill-judging world's applause, and critic's blame
Alike I'd scorn; your approbation's fame.


TOO plain, dear youth, these tell-tale eyes
My heart your own declare,
But for heav'n's sake let it suffice
You reign triumphant there:
Forbear your utmost pow'r to try,
Nor farther urge your sway;
Press not for what I must deny,
For fear I should obey.
Could all your art successful prove,
Would you a maid undo,
Whose greatest failing is her love,
And that her love for you?
Say, would you use that very pow'r
You from her fondness claim,
To ruin in one fatal hour
A life of spotless fame?
Ah! cease, my dear, to do an ill,
Because perhaps you may!
But rather try your utmost skill
To save me than betray:
Be you yourself my virtue's guard,
Defend, and not pursue;
Since 'tis a task for me too hard,
To fight with love and you.

To the Right honourable the EARL of CHES­TERFIELD, on his being installed Knight of the GARTERa

THESE trophies, STANHOPE, of the lovely dame,
Once the bright object of a monarch's flame,
Who with such just propriety can wear,
As thou, the darling of the gay and fair?
See every friend to wit, politeness, love,
With one consent thy sovereign's choice approve!
And liv'd PLANTAGENET her voice to join,
Herself, and GARTER, both were surely thine.

To a LADY, sent with a Present of Shells and Stones designed for a GROTTO.

WITH gifts like these, the spoils of neighb'ring shores,
The Indian swain his sable love adores,
Off'rings well suited to the dusky shrine
Of his rude goddess, but unworthy mine:
And yet they seem not such a worthless prize,
If nicely view'd by philosophic eyes:
And such are yours, that nature's works admire
With warmth like that, which they themselves inspire.
To such how fair appears each grain of sand,
Or humblest weed, as wrought by nature's hand!
How far superior to all human pow'r
Springs the green blade, or buds the painted flow'r!
In all her births, though of the meanest kinds,
A just observer entertainment finds,
With fond delight her low productions sees,
And how she gently rises by degrees;
A shell, or stone he can with pleasure view,
Hence trace her noblest works, the heav'ns—and you.
Behold how bright these gaudy trifles shine,
The lovely sportings of a hand divine!
See with what art each curious shell is made,
Here carv'd in fret-work, there with pearl in laid!
What vivid streaks th' enamel'd stones adorn,
Fair as the paintings of the purple morn!
Yet still not half their charms can reach our eyes,
While thus confus'd the sparkling Chaos lies;
Doubly they'll please, when in your Grotto plac'd,
They plainly speak the fair disposer's taste;
Then glories yet unseen shall o'er them rise,
New order from your hand, new lustre from your eyes.
How sweet, how charming, will appear this Grot,
When by your art to full perfection brought!
Here verdant plants, and blooming flow'rs will grow,
There bubbling currents through the shell-work flow;
Here coral mix'd with shells of various dies,
There polish'd stone will charm our wond'ring eyes;
Delightful bow'r of bliss! secure retreat!
Fit for the Muses, and STATIRA'S seat.
But still how good must be that fair-one's mind,
Who thus in solitude can pleasure find!
The Muse her company, good-sense her guide,
Resistless charms her pow'r, but not her pride;
Who thus forsakes the town, the park, and play,
In silent shades to pass her hours away;
Who better likes to breathe fresh country air,
Than ride imprison''d in a velvet chair,
[Page 150]And makes the warbling nightingale her choice,
Before the thrills of FARINELLI'S voice;
Prefers her books, and conscience void of ill,
To concerts, balls, assemblies, and quadrille:
Sweet bow'rs more pleas'd, than gilded chariots sees,
For groves the play-house quits, and beaus for trees.
Blest is the man, whom heav'n shall grant one hour
With such a lovely nymph, in such a lovely bow'r.

To a LADY, in answer to a LETTER wrote in a very fine Hand.

WHilst well-wrote lines our wond'ring eyes command,
The beauteous work of CHLOE'S artful hand,
Throughout the finish'd piece we see display'd
Th' exactest image of the lovely maid;
Such is her wit, and such her form divine,
This pure, as flows the style through every line,
That, like each letter, exquisitely fine.
See with what art the fable currents stain
In wand' [...]ing mazes all the milk-white plain!
Thus o'er the meadows wrap'd in silver snow
Unfrozen brooks in dark meanders flow;
[Page 151]Thus jetty curls in shining ringlets deck
The ivory plain of lovely CHLOE'S neck:
See, like some virgin, whose unmeaning charms
Receive new lustre from a lover's arms,
The yielding paper's pure, but vacant breast,
By her fair hand and flowing pen impress'd,
At every touch more animated grows,
And with new life and new ideas glows;
Fresh beauties, from the kind defiler gains,
And shines each moment brighter from its stains.
Let mighty Love no longer boast his darts,
That strike unerring, aim'd at mortal hearts;
CHLOE, your quill can equal wonders do,
Wound full us sure, and at a distance too:
Arm'd with your feather'd weapons in your hands,
From pole to pole you send your great commands;
To distant climes in vain the lover flies,
Your pen o'ertakes him, if he 'scapes your eyes;
So those, who from the sword in battle run,
But perish victims to the distant gun.
Beauty's a short-liv'd blaze, a fading flow'r,
But these are charms no ages can devour;
These, far superior to the brightest face,
Triumph alike o'er time, as well as space,
When that fair form, which thousands now adore,
By years decay'd, shall tyrannize no more,
These lovely lines shall future ages view,
And eyes unborn, like ours, be charm'd by you.
How oft do I admire with fond delight
The curious piece, and wish like you to write!
Alas, vain hope! that might as well aspire
To copy PAULO'S stroke, or TITIAN'S fire:
Ev'n now your splendid lines before me lie,
And I in vain to imitate them try;
Believe me, fair, I'm practising this art,
To steal your hand, in hopes to steal your heart.

The ART of DANCING. A POEM. Inscribed to the Right Hon. the Lady FANNY FIELDINGa. Written in the Year 1730.

‘Incessu patuit Dea. VIRG.


IN the smooth dance to move with graceful mien,
Easy with care, and sprightly though serene,
To mark th' instructions echoing strains convey,
And with just steps each tuneful note obey,
I teach; be present, all ye sacred Choir,
Blow the soft flute, and strike the sounding lyre;
When FIELDING bids, your kind assistance bring,
And at her feet the lowly tribute fling;
[Page 153]O [...] may her eyes (to her this verse is due)
What first themselves inspir'd, vouchsafe to view!
Hail loftiest art! thou canst all hearts insnare,
And make the fairest still appear more fair.
Beauty can little execution do,
Unless she borrows half her arms from you!
Few, like PYGMALION, doat on lifeless charms,
Or care to clasp a statue in their arms;
But breasts of flint must melt with fierce desire,
When art and motion wake the sleeping fire:
A Venus, drawn by great Apelles' hand,
May for a while our wond'ring eyes command,
But still, though form'd with all the pow'rs of art,
The lifeless piece can never warm the heart;
So fair a nymph, perhaps, may please the eye,
Whilst all her beauteous limbs unactive lie,
But when her charms are in the dance display'd,
Then every heart adores the lovely maid:
This sets her beauty in the fairest light,
And shews each grace in full perfection bright;
Then, as she turns around, from every part,
Like porcupines she sends a piercing dart;
In vain, alas! the fond spectator tries
To shun the pleasing dangers of her eyes,
For, Parthian-like, she wounds as sure behind,
With flowing curls, and ivory neck reclin'd:
Whether her steps the Minuet's mazes trace,
Or the slow Louvre's more majestic pace,
[Page 154]Whether the Rigadoon employs her care,
Or sprightly Jigg displays the nimble fair,
At every step new beauties we explore,
And worship now, what we admir'd before:
So when Aeneas, in the Tyrian grove,
Fair Venus met, the charming queen of Love,
The beauteous goddess, whilst unmov'd she stood,
Seem'd some fair nymph, the guardian of the wood;
But when she mov'd, at once her heav'nly mien
And graceful step confess'd bright Beauty's queen,
New glories o'er her form each moment rise,
And all the Goddess opens to his eyes.
Now haste, my Muse, pursue thy destin'd way,
What dresses best become the dancer, say;
The rules of dress forget not to impart,
A lesson previous to the dancing art.
The soldier's scarlet glowing from afar,
Shews that his bloody occupation's war;
Whilst the lawn band, beneath a double chin,
As plainly speaks divinity within;
The milk-maid safe through driving rains and snows,
Wrapt in her cloak, and prop'd on pattens goes;
Whilst the soft Belle, immur'd in velvet chair,
Needs but the silken shoe, and trusts her bosom bare:
The woolly drab, and English broad-cloth warm,
Guard well the horseman from the beating storm,
But load the dancer with too great a weight,
And call from every pore the dewy sweat;
[Page 155]Rather let him his active limbs display
In camblet thin, or glossy paduasoy.
Let no unwieldy pride his shoulders press;
But airy, light, and easy be his dress;
Thin be his yielding soal, and low his heel,
So shall he nimbly bound, and safely wheel.
But let not precepts known my verse prolong,
Precepts which use will better teach, than song;
For why should I the gallant spark command,
With clean white gloves to fit his ready hand?
Or in his fob enlivening spirits wear,
And pungent salts to raise the fainting fair?
Or hint, the sword that dangles at his side,
Should from its silken bandage be unty'd?
Why should my lays the youthful tribe advise,
Lest snowy clouds from out their wigs arise;
So shall their partners mourn their laces spoil'd,
And shining silks with greasy powder soil'd?
Nor need I, sure, bid prudent youths beware,
Lest with erected tongues their buckles stare,
The pointed steel shall oft' their stocking rend,
And oft' th' approaching petticoat offend.
And now, ye youthful fair, I sing to you,
With pleasing smiles my useful labours view:
For you the silkworms fine-wrought webs display,
And lab'ring spin their little lives away;
For you bright gems with radiant colours glow,
Fair as the dies that paint the heav'nly bow
[Page 156]For you the sea resigns its pearly store,
And earth unlocks her mines of treasur'd ore;
In vain yet Nature thus her gifts bestows,
Unless yourselves with art those gifts dispose.
Yet think not, Nymphs, that in the glitt'ring ball,
One form of dress prescrib'd can suit with all;
One brightest shines when wealth and art combine
To make the finish'd piece compleatly fine;
When least adorn'd, another steals our hearts,
And rich in native beauties, wants not arts;
In some are such resistless graces found,
That in all dresses they are sure to wound;
Their perfect forms all foreign aids despise,
And gems but borrow lustre from their eyes.
Let the fair Nymph, in whose plump cheeks is seen
A constant blush, be clad in chearful green;
In such a dress the sportive sea-nymphs go;
So in their grassy bed fresh roses blow:
The lass whose skin is like the hazel brown,
With brighter yellow should o'ercome her own:
While maids grown pale with sickness or despair,
The fable's mournful dye should choose to wear;
So the pale moon still shines with purest light,
Cloath'd in the dusky mantle of the night.
But far from you be all those treach'rous arts,
That wound with painted charms unwary hearts,
Dancing's a touchstone that true beauty tries,
Nor suffers charms that Nature's hand denies;
[Page 157]Though for a while we may with wonder vi [...]
The rosy blush, and skin of lovely hue,
Yet soon the dance will cause the cheeks to grow,
And melt the waxen lips, and neck of snow,
So shine the fields in icy fetters bound,
Whilst frozen gems bespangle all the ground,
Through the clear crystal of the glitt'ring snow,
With scarlet dye the blushing hawthorns glow;
O'er all the plains unnumber'd glories rise,
And a new bright creation charms our eyes:
'Till Zephyr breathes, then all at once decay
The splendid scenes, their glories fade away,
The fields resign the beauties not their own,
And all their snowy charms run trickling down.
Dare I in such momentous points advise,
I should condemn the hoop's enormous size,
Of ills I speak by long experience found,
Oft' have I trod th' immeasurable round,
And mourn'd my shins bruis'd black with many a wound.
Nor should the tighten'd stays, too straitly lac'd,
In whale-bone bondage gall the slender waist;
Nor waving lappets should the dancing fair,
Nor ruffles edg'd with dangling fringes wear;
Oft' will the cobweb ornaments catch hold
On the approaching button rough with gold,
Nor force, nor art can then the bonds divide,
When once th' intangled Gordian knot is ty'd:
[Page 158]So the unhappy pair, by Hymen's pow'r
Together join'd in some ill-fated hour,
The more they strive their freedom to regain,
The faster binds th' indissoluble chain.
Let each fair maid, who fears to be disgrac'd,
Ever be sure to tye her garter fast,
Lest the loos'd string, amidst the public ball,
A wish'd-for prize to some proud fop should fall,
Who the rich treasure shall triumphant shew,
And with warm blushes cause her cheeks to glow.
But yet, (as Fortune by the self-same ways
She humbles many, some delights to raise)
It happen'd once, a fair illustrious dame
By such neglect acquir'd immortal fame.
And hence the radiant Star and Garter blue
BRITANNIA'S nobles grace, if Fame says true:
Hence still, PLANTAGENET, thy beauties bloom,
Though long since moulder'd in the dusky tomb,
Still thy lost Garter is thy sov'reign's care,
And what each royal breast is proud to wear.
But let me now my lovely charge remind,
Left they forgetful leave their fans behind;
Lay not, ye fair, the pretty toy aside,
A toy at once display'd, for use and pride,
A wond'rous engine, that by magic charms,
Cools your own breast, and every other's warms.
What daring bard shall e'er attempt to tell
The pow'rs, that in this little weapon dwell?
[Page 159]What verse can e'er explain its various parts,
Its numerous uses, motions, charms and arts?
Its painted folds, that oft extended wide,
Th' afflicted fair one's blubber'd beauties hide,
When secret sorrows her sad bosom fill,
If STREPHON is unkind, or SHOCK is ill;
Its sticks, on which her eyes dejected pore,
And pointing fingers number o'er and o'er,
When the kind virgin burns with secret shame,
Dies to consent, yet fears to own her flame;
Its shake triumphant, its victorious clap,
Its angry flutter, and its wanton tap?
Forbear, my Muse, th' extensive theme to sing,
Nor trust in such a flight thy tender wing;
Rather do you in humble lines proclaim
From whence this engine took its form and name,
Say from what cause it first deriv'd its birth,
How form'd in heav'n, how thence deduc'd to earth.
Once in Arcadia, that fam'd seat of love,
There liv'd a nymph, the pride of all the grove,
A lovely nymph, adorn'd with every grace,
An easy shape, and sweetly-blooming face;
FANNY the damsel's name, as chaste as fair,
Each virgin's envy, and each swain's despair:
To charm her ear the rival shepherds sing,
Blow the soft flute, and wake the trembling string;
For her they leave their wand'ring flocks to rove,
Whilst FANNY'S name resounds through every grove,
And spreads on every tree, inclos'd in knots of love;
[Page 160]As FIELDING'S now, her eyes all hearts inflame,
Like her in beauty, as alike in name.
'Twas when the summer sun, now mounted high,
With fiercer beams had scorch'd the glowing sky,
Beneath the covert of a cooling shade,
To shun the heat, this lovely nymph was lay'd;
The sultry weather o'er her cheeks had spread
A blush, that added to their native red,
And her fair breasts, as polish'd marble white,
Were half conceal'd, and half expos'd to sight;
Aeolus the mighty God, whom winds obey,
Observ'd the beauteous maid, as thus she lay,
O'er all her charms he gaz'd with fond delight,
And suck'd in poison at the dangerous fight;
He sighs, he burns; at last declares his pain,
But still he fighs, and still he wooes in vain;
The cruel nymph, regardless of his moan,
Minds not his flame, uneasy with her own;
But still complains, that he who rul'd the air
Would not command one Zephyr to repair
Around her face, nor gentle breeze to play
Through the dark glade, to cool the sultry day;
By love incited, and the hopes of joy,
Th' ingenious God contriv'd this pretty toy,
With gales incessant to relieve her flame;
And call'd it FAN, from lovely FANNY'S name.


NOW see prepar'd to lead the sprightly dance,
The lovely nymphs, and well-dress'd youths advance;
The spacious room receives each jovial guest,
And the floor shakes with pleasing weight oppress'd:
Thick rang'd on every side, with various dyes
The fair in glossy silks our sight surprize:
So, in a garden bath'd with genial show'rs,
A thousand sorts of variegated flow'rs,
Jonquils, carnations, pinks, and tulips rise,
And in a gay confusion charm our eyes.
High o'er their heads, with num'rous candles bright,
Large sconces shed their sparkling beams of light,
Their sparkling beams, that still more brightly glow,
Reflected back from gems, and eyes below:
Unnumber'd fans to cool the crowded fair
With breathing Zephyrs move the circling air:
The sprightly fiddle, and the sounding lyre,
Each youthful breast with gen'rous warmth inspire;
Fraught with all joys the blissful moments fly,
While music melts the ear, and beauty charms the eye.
Now let the youth, to whose superior place
It first belongs the splendid ball to grace,
With humble bow, and ready hand prepare,
Forth from the crowd to lead his chosen fair;
The fair shall not his kind request deny,
But to the pleasing toil with equal ardour fly.
But stay, rash pair, nor yet untaught advance,
First hear the Muse, ere you attempt to dance:
*By art directed o'er the foaming tide
Secure from rocks the painted vessels glide;
By art the chariot scours the dusty plain,
Springs at the whip, and hears the strait'ning rein:
To art our bodies must obedient prove,
If e'er we hope with graceful ease to move.
Long was the dancing art unfix'd, and free,
Hence, lost in error and uncertainty,
No precepts did it mind, or rules obey,
But every master taught a diff'rent way;
Hence ere each new-born dance was fully try'd,
The lovely product ev'n in blooming dy'd,
Through various hands in wild confusion toss'd,
Its steps were alter'd, and its beauties lost;
Fuillet wrote the Art of Dancing by characters in French, since translated by Weaver.
FUILLET, the pride of GALLIA, rose,
And did the dance in characters compose,
Each lovely grace by certain marks he taught,
And every step in lasting volumes wrote:
Hence o'er the world this pleasing art shall spread,
And every dance in every clime be read;
[Page 163]By distant masters shall each step be seen,
Though mountains rise, and oceans roar between;
Hence, with her sister arts, shall Dancing claim
An equal right to universal fame,
And ISAAC'S rigadoon shall live as long,
As RAPHAEL'S painting, or as VIRGIL'S song.
Wise Nature ever, with a prudent hand,
Dispenses various gifts to every land,
To every nation frugally imparts
A genius fit for some peculiar arts;
To trade the DUTCH incline, the SWISS to arms,
Music and verse are soft ITALIA'S charms;
BRITANNIA justly glories to have found
Lands unexplor'd, and sail'd the globe around:
But none will sure presume to rival FRANCE,
Whether she forms, or executes the dance;
To her exalted genius 'tis we owe
The sprightly Rigadoon and Louvre slow,
The Borée, and Courant unpractis'd long,
Th' immortal Minuet, and the smooth Bretagne,
With all those dances of illustrious fame,
*That from their native country take their name;
With these let every ball be first begun,
Nor Country-dance intrude 'till these are done.
Each cautious bard, ere he attempts to sing,
First gently flutt'ring tries his tender wing,
[Page 164]And if he finds that with uncommon fire
The Muses all his raptur'd soul inspire,
At once to heav'n he soars in lofty odes,
And sings alone of heroes and of gods;
But if he trembling fears a flight so high,
He then descends to softer elegy;
And if in elegy he can't succeed,
In past'ral he may tune the oaten reed:
So should the dancer, ere he tries to move,
With care his strength, his weight, and genius prove;
Then, if he finds kind Nature's gifts impart
Endowments proper for the dancing art,
If in himself he feels together join'd,
An active body and ambitious mind,
In nimble Rigadoons he may advance,
Or in the Louvre's slow majestic dance;
If these he fears to reach, with easy pace
Let him the Minuets circling mazes trace:
Is this too hard? this too let him forbear,
And to the Country-dance confine his care.
Would you in dancing every fault avoid,
To keep true time be your first thoughts employ'd;
All other errors they in vain shall mend,
Who in this one important point offend;
For this, when now united hand in hand
Eager to start the youthful couple stand;
Let him awhile their nimble feet restrain,
And with soft taps beat time to every strain:
[Page 165]So for the race prepar'd two coursers stand,
And with impatient pawings spurn the sand.
In vain a master shall employ his care,
Where Nature once has fix'd a clumsy air:
Rather let such, to country sports confin'd,
Pursue the flying hare, or tim'rous hind:
Nor yet, while I the rural 'squire despise,
A mien effeminate would I advise;
With equal scorn I would the fop deride,
Nor let him dance—but on the woman's side.
And you, fair nymphs, avoid with equal care,
A stupid dulness, and a coquet air;
Neither with eyes, that ever love the ground,
Asleep, like spinning-tops, run round and round;
Nor yet with giddy looks, and wanton pride,
Stare all around, and skip from side to side.
True dancing, like true wit, is best express'd
By nature only to advantage dress'd;
'Tis not a nimble bound, or caper high,
That can pretend to please a curious eye;
Good judges no such tumblers tricks regard,
Or think them beautiful, because they're hard.
'Tis not enough, that every stander-by
No glaring errors in your steps can spy,
The dance and music must so nicely meet,
Such note should seem an echo to your feet;
A nameless grace must in each movement dwell,
Which words can ne'er express, or precepts tell,
[Page 166]Not to be taught, but ever to be seen
In FLAVIA'S air, and CHLOE'S easy mien:
'Tis such an air that makes her thousands fall,
When FIELDING dances at a birth-night ball;
Smooth as CAMILLA she skims o'er the plain,
And flies like her through crowds of heroes slain.
Now when the Minuet oft repeated o'er,
(Like all terrestrial joys) can please no more,
And every nymph, refusing to expand
Her charms, declines the circulating hand;
Then let the jovial country-dance begin,
And the loud fiddles call each straggler in:
But ere they come, permit me to disclose,
How first, as legends tell, this pastime rose.
In ancient times (such times are now no more)
When Albion's crown illustrious ARTHUR wore,
In some fair op'ning glade, each summer's night,
Where the pale moon diffus'd her silver light,
On the soft carpet of a grassy field,
The sporting fairies their assemblies held:
Some lightly tripping with their pigmy queen,
In circling ringlets mark'd the level green;
Some with soft notes bade mellow pipes resound,
And music warble through the groves around:
Oft' lonely shepherds by the forest side,
Belated peasants oft their revels spy'd,
And home returning, o'er the nut-brown ale,
Their guests diverted with the wond'rous tale.
[Page 167]Instructed hence, throughout the British isle,
And fond to imitate the pleasing toil,
Round where the trembling may-pole's fix'd on high,
And bears its flow'ry honours to the sky,
The ruddy maids, and sun-burnt swains resort,
And practise every night the lovely sport;
On every side Aeolian artists stand,
Whose active elbows swelling winds command,
The swelling winds harmonious pipes inspire,
And blow in every breast a generous fire.
Thus taught at first the Country-dance began,
And hence to cities and to courts it ran;
Succeeding ages did in time impart
Various improvements to the lovely art:
From fields and groves to palaces remov'd,
Great ones the pleasing exercise approv'd;
Hence the loud fiddle, and shrill trumpet's sounds,
Are made companions of the dancer's bounds;
Hence gems, and silks, brocades, and ribands join,
To make the ball with perfect lustre shine.
So rude at first the tragic Muse appear'd,
Her voice alone by rustic rabble heard;
Where twisting trees a cooling arbour made,
The pleas'd spectators sat beneath the shade;
The homely stage with rushes green was strew'd,
And in a cart the strolling actors rode:
'Till time at length improv'd the great design,
And bade the scenes with painted landscapes shine;
[Page 168]Then art did all the bright machines dispose,
And theatres of Parian marble rose,
Then mimic thunder shook the canvas sky,
And gods descended from their tow'rs on high.
With caution now let every youth prepare
To chuse a partner from the mingled fair;
Vain would be here th' instructing Muse's voice,
If she pretended to direct his choice:
Beauty alone by fancy is exprest,
And charms in different forms each different breast;
A snowy skin this am'rous youth admires,
While nut-brown cheeks another's bosom fires.
Small waists and slender limbs some hearts ensnare,
While others love the more substantial fair.
But let not outward charms your judgments sway,
Your reason rather than your eyes obey,
And in the dance, as in the marriage-noose,
Rather for merit, than for beauty, choose:
Be her your choice, who knows with perfect skill
When she should move, and when she should be still,
Who uninstructed can perform her share,
And kindly half the pleasing burthen bear.
Unhappy is that hopeless wretch's fate,
Who fetter'd in the matrimonial state
With a poor, simple, unexperienc'd wife,
Is forc'd to lead the tedious dance of life;
And such is his, with such a partner join'd,
A moving puppet, but without a mind;
[Page 169]Still must his hand be pointing out the way,
Yet ne'er can teach so fast, as she can stray;
Beneath her follies he must ever groan,
And ever blush for errors not his own.
But now behold united hand in hand,
Rang'd on each side, the well-pair'd couples stand!
Each youthful bosom beating with delight,
Waits the brisk signal for the pleasing fight:
While lovely eyes, that flash unusual rays,
And snowy bubbies pull'd above the stays,
Quick busy hands, and bridling heads declare
The fond impatience of the starting fair.
And see, the sprightly dance is now begun!
Now here, now there the giddy maze they run,
Now with slow steps they pace the circling ring,
Now all confus'd, too swift for sight they spring:
So, in a wheel with rapid fury tost,
The undistinguish'd spokes are in the motion lost.
The dancer here no more requires a guide,
To no strict steps his nimble feet are ty'd,
The Muse's precepts here would useless be,
Where all is fancy'd, unconfin'd, and free;
Let him but to the music's voice attend,
By this instructed, he can ne'er offend;
If to his share it falls the dance to lead,
In well-known paths he may be sure to tread;
If others lead, let him their motions view,
And in their steps the winding maze pursue.
In every Country-dance a serious mind,
Turn'd for reflection, can a moral find;
In Hunt-the-Squirrel thus the nymph we view,
Seeks when we fly, but flies when we pursue;
Thus in Round-dances, where our partners change,
And unconfin'd from fair to fair we range,
As soon as one from his own confort flies,
Another seizes on the lovely prize:
Awhile the fav'rite youth enjoys her charms,
Till the next comer steals her from his arms,
New ones succeed, the last is still her care;
How true an emblem of th' inconstant fair!
Where can philosophers, and sages wise,
Who read the curious volumes of the skies,
A model more exact than dancing name,
Of the creation's universal frame?
Where worlds unnumber'd o'er th' aethereal way,
In a bright regular confusion stray;
Now here, now there they whirl along the sky,
Now near approach, and now far distant fly,
Now meet in the same order they begun,
And then the great celestial dance is done.
Where can the mor'list find a juster plan
Of the vain labours, and the life of man?
Awhile through justling crowds we toil, and sweat,
And eagerly pursue we know not what,
Then when our trifling short-liv'd race is run,
Quite tir'd sit down, just where we first begun.
Though to your arms kind fate's indulgent care
Has giv'n a partner exquisitely fair,
Let not her charms so much engage your heart,
That you neglect the skilful dancer's part;
Be not, when you the tuneful notes should hear,
Still whisp'ring idle prattle in her ear;
When you should be employ'd, be not at play,
Nor for your joys all others' steps delay:
But when the finish'd dance you once have done,
And with applause through every couple run,
There rest awhile: there snatch the fleeting bliss,
The tender whisper, and the balmy kiss;
Each secret wish, each softer hope confess,
And her moist palm with eager fingers press;
With smiles the fair shall hear your warm desires,
When music melts her soul, and dancing fires.
Thus mix'd with love, the pleasing toil pursue,
'Till the unwelcome morn appears in view;
Then when approaching day its beams displays,
And the dull candles shine with fainter rays,
Then when the sun just rises o'er the deep,
And each bright eye is almost set in sleep,
With ready hands, obsequious youths prepare
Safe to her coach to lead each chosen fair,
And guard her from the morn's inclement air:
Let a warm hood enwrap her lovely head,
And o'er her neck a handkerchief be spread,
[Page 172]Around her shoulders let this arm be cast,
Whilst that from cold defends her slender waist;
With kisses warm her balmy lips shall glow,
Unchill'd by nightly damps, or wintry snow;
While gen'rous white-wine, mull'd with ginger warm,
Safely protects her inward frame from harm.
But ever let my lovely pupils fear
To chill their mantling blood with cold small-beer;
Ah! thoughtless fair! the tempting draught refuse,
When thus forewarn'd by my experienc'd Muse;
Let the sad consequence your thoughts employ,
Nor hazard future pains, for present joy,
Destruction lurks within the pois'nous dose,
A fatal fever, or a pimpled nose.
Thus through each precept of the dancing art
The Muse has play'd the kind instructor's part,
Through every maze her pupils she has led,
And pointed out the surest paths to tread:
No more remains; no more the goddess sings,
But drops her pinions, and unfurls her wings;
On downy beds the weary dancers lie,
And sleep's filk cords tie down each drowsy eye;
Delightful dreams their pleasing sports restore,
And ev'n in sleep they seem to dance once more.
And now the work completely finish'd lies,
Which the devouring teeth of time defies;
Whilst birds in air, or fish in streams we find,
Or damsels fret with aged partners join'd;
[Page 173]As long as nymphs shall with attentive ear
A fiddle rather than a sermon hear;
So long the brightest eyes shall oft peruse
The useful lines of my instructive Muse;
Each belle shall wear them wrote upon her fan,
And each bright beau shall read them—if he can.

THE MODERN FINE GENTLEMAN. Written in the Year 1746.

Quale portentum neque militaris
Daunia in latis alit esculetis,
Nec Jubae tellus generat, leonum
Arida nutrix.
JUST broke from school, pert, impudent, and raw;
Expert in Latin, more expert in taw,
His Honour posts o'er ITALY and FRANCE,
Measures St. PETER'S dome, and learns to dance.
Thence having quick through various countries flown,
Glean'd all their follies, and expos'd his own,
He back returns, a thing so strange all o'er,
As never ages past produc'd before:
[Page 174]A monster of such complicated worth,
As no one single clime could e'er bring forth:
Half Atheist, Papist, gamester, bubble, rook,
Half fiddler, coachman, dancer, groom, and cook.
Next, because bus'ness now is all the vogue,
And who'd be quite polite must be a rogue,
In parliament he purchases a seat,
To make th' accomplish'd Gentleman compleat.
There safe in self-sufficient impudence,
Without experience, honesty, or sense,
Unknowing in her int'rest, trade, or laws,
He vainly undertakes his country's cause:
Forth from his lips, prepar'd at all to rail,
Torrents of nonsense burst; like bottled ale,
aThough shallow, muddy; brisk, though mighty dull;
Fierce without strength; o'erflowing, though not full.
Now quite a Frenchman in his garb and air,
His neck yok'd down with bag and solitaire,
The liberty of BRITAIN he supports,
And storms at placemen, ministers, and courts;
Now in crop'd greasy hair, and leather breeches,
He loudly bellows out his patriot speeches;
King, lords, and commons ventures to abuse,
Yet dares to shew those ears he ought to lose.
From hence to WHITE'S our virtuous CATO flies,
There sits with countenance erect, and wise,
And talks of games of whist, and pig-tail pies;
Plays all the night, nor doubts each law to break,
Himself unknowingly has help'd to make;
Trembling and anxious, stakes his utmost groat,
Peeps o'er his cards, and looks as if he thought:
Next morn disowns the losses of the night,
Because the fool would fain be thought a bite.
Devoted thus to politics, and cards,
Nor mirth, nor wine, nor women he regards;
So far is every virtue from his heart,
That not a gen'rous vice can claim a part;
Nay, lest one human passion e'er should move
His soul to friendship, tenderness, or love,
To FIGG and BROUGHTON he commits his breast,
To steel it to the fashionable test.
Thus poor in wealth, he labours to no end,
Wretched alone, in crowds without a friend;
Insensible to all that's good, or kind,
Deaf to all merit, to all beauty blind;
For love too busy, and for wit too grave,
A harden'd, sober, proud, luxurious knave,
By little actions striving to be great,
And proud to be, and to be thought a cheat.
And yet in this so bad is his success,
That as his fame improves, his rents grow less;
[Page 176]On parchment wings his acres take their flight,
And his unpeopled groves admit the light;
With his estate his interest too is done,
His honest borough seeks a warmer sun.
For him, now cash and liquor flows no more,
His independent voters cease to roar:
And BRITAIN soon must want the great defence
Of all his honesty, and eloquence,
But that the gen'rous youth, more anxious grown
For public liberty, than for his own,
Marries some jointur'd antiquated crone;
And boldly, when his country is at stake,
Braves the deep yawning gulf, like CURTIUS, for its sake
Quickly again distress'd for want of coin,
He digs no longer in th' exhausted mine,
But seeks preferment, as the last resort,
Cringes each morn at levées, bows at court,
And, from the hand he hates, implores support:
The minister, well pleas'd at small expence
To silence so much rude impertinence,
With squeeze and whisper yields to his demands,
And on the venal list enroll'd he stands;
A riband and a pension buy the slave,
This bribes the fool about him, that the knave.
And now arriv'd at his meridian glory,
He sinks apace, despis'd by Whig and Tory;
Of independence now he talks no more,
Nor shakes the senate with his patriot roar;
[Page 177]But silent votes, and with court-trappings hung,
Eyes his own glitt'ring star, and holds his tongue.
In craft political a bankrupt made,
He sticks to gaming, as the surer trade;
Turns downright sharper, lives by sucking blood,
And grows, in short, the very thing he wou'd:
Hunts out young heirs, who have their fortunes spent,
And lends them ready cash at cent per cent;
Lays wagers on his own and others lives,
Fights uncles, fathers, grandmothers, and wives;
'Till Death at length, indignant to be made
The daily subject of his sport and trade,
Veils with his sable hand the wretch's eyes,
And, groaning for the bets he loses by't, he dies.

THE MODERN FINE LADY. Written in the Year 1750.

—Miseri quibus
Intentata nites.
SKILL'D in each art that can adorn the fair,
The sprightly dance, the soft Italian air,
The toss of quality, and high-bred fleer,
Now Lady Harriot reach'd her fifteenth year.
[...] [...]
[Page 178]Wing'd with diversions all her moments flew,
Each, as it pass'd, presenting something new;
Breakfasts and auctions wear the morn away,
Each evening gives an opera, or a play;
Then Brag's eternal joys all night remain,
And kindly usher in the morn again.
For love no time has she, or inclination,
Yet must coquet it for the sake of fashion;
For this she listens to each fop that's near,
Th' embroider'd col'nel flatters with a sneer,
And the cropt ensign nuzzles in her ear.
But with most warmth her dress and airs inspire
Th' ambitious bosom of the landed 'squire,
Who fain would quit plump Dolly's softer charms,
For wither'd, lean Right Honourable arms;
He bows with reverence at her sacred shrine,
And treats her as if sprung from race divine,
Which she returns with insolence and scorn,
Nor deigns to smile on a plebeian born.
Ere long, by friends, by cards, and lovers crost,
Her fortune, health, and reputation lost;
Her money gone, yet not a tradesman paid,
Her fame, yet she still damn'd to be a maid;
Her spirits fink, her nerves are so unstrung,
aShe weeps, if but a handsome thief is hung:
[Page 179]By mercers, lacemen, mantua-makers press'd,
But most for ready cash for play distress'd,
Where can she turn?—the 'squire must all repair,
She condescends to listen to his pray'r,
And marries him at length in mere despair.
But soon th' endearments of a husband cloy,
Her soul, her frame incapable of joy:
She feels no transports in the bridal bed,
Of which so oft sh' has heard, so much has read;
Then vex'd, that she should be condemn'd alone
To seek in vain this philosophic stone,
To abler tutors she resolves t'apply,
A prostitute from curiosity:
Hence men of every sort, and every size,
bImpatient for heav'n's cordial drop, she tries;
The fribbling beau, the rough unwieldy clown,
The ruddy templar newly on the town,
Th' Hibernian captain of gigantic make,
The brimful parson, and th' exhausted rake.
But still malignant Fate her wish denies,
Cards yield superior joys, to cards she flies;
All night from rout to rout her chairmen run,
Again she plays, and is again undone.
Behold her now in Ruin's frightful jaws!
Bonds, judgments, executions, ope their paws;
[Page 180]Seize jewels, furniture, and plate, nor spare
The gilded chariot, or the tassel'd chair;
For lonely seat she's forc'd to quit the town,
And Tubbs c conveys the wretched exile down.
Now rumbling o'er the stones of Tyburn-road,
Ne'er press'd with a more griev'd or guilty load,
She bids adieu to all the well-known streets,
And envies every cinder-wench she meets:
And now the dreaded country first appears,
With fighs unfeign'd the dying noise she hears
Of distant coaches fainter by degrees,
Then starts and trembles at the sight of trees.
Silent and sullen, like some captive queen,
She's drawn along, unwilling to be seen,
Until at length appears the ruin'd hall
Within the grass-green moat, and ivy'd wall,
The doleful prison where for ever she,
But not, alas! her griefs, must bury'd be.
Her coach the curate and the tradesmen meet,
Great-coated tenants her arrival greet,
And boys with stubble bonfires light the street,
While bells her ears with tongues discordant grate,
Types of the nuptial tyes they celebrate;
But no rejoicings can unbend her brow,
Nor deigns she to return one awkward bow,
[Page 181]But bounces in, disdaining once to speak,
And wipes the trickling tear from off her cheek.
Now see her in the sad decline of life,
A peevish mistress, and a sulky wife;
Her nerves unbrac'd, her faded cheek grown pale
With many a real, many a fancy'd ail;
Of cards, admirers, equipage bereft;
Her insolence, and title, only left;
Severely humbled to her one-horse chair,
And the low pastimes of a country-fair:
Too wretched to endure one lonely day,
Too proud one friendly visit to repay,
Too indolent to read, too criminal to pray.
At length half dead, half mad, and quite confin'd,
Shunning, and shunn'd by all of human kind,
Ev'n robb'd of the last comfort of her life,
Insulting the poor curate's callous wife,
Pride, disappointed pride, now stops her breath,
And with true scorpion rage she stings herself to death.

AN ESSAY ON VIRTUE. To the Honourable PHILIP YORKE, Esq now Earl of Hardwicke.

‘Atque ipsa utilitas justi prope mater aequi. HOR.
THOU, whom nor honours, wealth, nor youth can spoil
With the least vice of each luxuriant soil,
Say, YORKE, (for sure, if any, you can tell,)
What Virtue is, who practise it so well;
Say, where inhabits this Sultana queen;
Prais'd and ador'd by all, but rarely seen?
By what sure marks her essence can we trace,
When each religion, faction, age, and place
Sets up some fancy'd idol of its own,
A vain pretender to her sacred throne?
In man, too oft a well-dissembled part,
A self-denying pride in woman's heart,
In synods faith, and in the fields of fame
Valour usurps her honours, and her name.
[Page 183]Whoe'er their sense of Virtue would express,
'Tis still by something they themselves possess.
Hence youth good-humour, frugal craft old-age,
Warm politicians term it party-rage;
True churchmen zeal right orthodox; and hence
Pools think it gravity, and wits pretence:
To constancy alone fond lovers join it,
And maids unask'd to chastity confine it.
But have we then no law besides our will?
No just criterion fix'd to good and ill?
As well at noon we may obstruct our sight,
Then doubt if such a thing exists as light;
For no less plain would nature's law appear,
As the meridian sun unchang'd, and clear.
Would we but search for what we were design'd,
And for what end th' Almighty form'd mankind,
A rule of life we then should plainly see,
For to pursue that end must Virtue be.
Then what is that? not want of power, of fame,
Or worlds unnumber'd to applaud his name,
But a desire his blessings to diffuse,
And fear lest millions should existence lose;
His goodness only could his pow'r employ,
And an eternal warmth to propagate his joy.
Hence soul, and sense diffus'd through every place,
Make happiness as infinite as space;
Thousands of suns beyond each other blaze,
Orbs roll o'er orbs, and glow with mutual rays;
[Page 184]Each is a world, where form'd with wond'rous art,
Unnumber'd species live through every part:
In every tract of ocean, earth, and skies
Myriads of creatures still successive rise;
Scarce buds a leaf, or springs the vilest weed,
But little flocks upon its verdure feed;
No fruit our palate courts, or flow'r our smell,
But on its fragrant bosom nations dwell,
All form'd with proper faculties to share
The daily bounties of their Maker's care:
The great Creator from his heav'nly throne,
Pleas'd, on the wide-expanded joy looks down,
And his eternal law is only this,
That all contribute to the general bliss.
Nature so plain this primal law displays,
Each living creature sees it, and obeys;
Each, form'd for all, promotes through private care
The public good, and justly tastes its share.
All understand their great Creator's will,
Strive to be happy, and in that fulfill;
Mankind excepted; lord of all beside,
But only slave to folly, vice, and pride;
'Tis he that's deaf to this command alone,
Delights in others' woe, and courts his own;
Racks and destroys with tort'ring steel and flame,
For lux'ry brutes, and man himself for fame:
Sets Superstition high on Virtue's throne,
Then thinks his Maker's temper like his own:
[Page 185]Hence are his altars stain'd with reeking gore,
As if he could atone for crimes by more:
Hence whilst offended heav'n he strives in vain
T' appease by fasts, and voluntary pain,
Ev'n in repenting he provokes again.
How easy is our yoke! how light our load!
Did we not strive to mend the laws of God:
For his own sake no duty he can ask,
The common welfare is our only task;
For this sole end his precepts, kind as just,
Forbid intemp'rance, murder, theft, and lust,
With every act injurious to our own
Or others' good, for such are crimes alone:
For this are peace, love, charity, enjoin'd,
With all that can secure and bless mankind.
Thus is the public safety Virtue's cause,
And happiness the end of all her laws;
For such by nature is the human frame,
Our duty and our int'rest are the same.
But hold, cries out some Puritan divine,
Whose well-stuff'd cheeks with ease and plenty shine,
Is this to fast, to mortify, refrain,
And work salvation out with fear and pain?
We own, the rigid lessons of their schools
Are widely diff'rent from these easy rules:
Virtue, with them, is only to abstain
From all that nature asks, and covet pain;
[Page 186]Pleasure and vice are ever near akin,
And, if we thirst, cold water is a sin:
Heav'n's path is rough and intricate, they say,
Yet all are damn'd that trip, or miss their way;
God is a being cruel and severe,
And man a wretch, by his command plac'd here,
In sun-shine for awhile to take a turn,
Only to dry and make him fit to burn.
Mistaken men, too piously severe!
Through craft misleading, or misled by fear;
How little they God's counsels comprehend,
Our universal parent, guardian, friend!
Who, forming by degrees to bliss mankind,
This globe our sportive nursery assign'd,
Where for awhile his fond paternal care
Feasts us with every joy our state can bear:
Each sense, touch, taste, and smell dispense delight,
Music our hearing, beauty charms our sight;
Trees, herbs, and flow'rs to us their spoils resign,
Its pearl the rock presents, its gold the mine;
Beasts, fowl, and fish their daily tribute give
Of food and cloaths, and die that we may live:
Seasons but change, new pleasures to produce,
And elements contend to serve our use:
Love's gentle shafts, ambition's tow'ring wings,
The pomps of senates, churches, courts, and kings,
All that our rev'rence, joy, or hope create,
Are the gay play-things of this infant state.
[Page 187]Scarcely an ill to human life belongs,
But what our follies cause, or mutual wrongs;
Or if some stripes from Providence we feel,
He strikes with pity, and but wounds to heal;
Kindly perhaps sometimes afflicts us here,
To guide our views to a sublimer sphere,
In more exalted joys to fix our taste,
And wean us from delights that cannot last.
Our present good the easy task is made,
To earn superior bliss, when this shall fade;
For, soon as e'er these mortal pleasures cloy,
His hand shall lead us to sublimer joy;
Snatch us from all our little sorrows here,
Calm every grief, and dry each childish tear;
Waft us to regions of eternal peace,
Where bliss and virtue grow with like increase;
From strength to strength our souls for ever guide,
Through wond'rous scenes of being yet untry'd,
Where in each stage we shall more perfect grow,
And new perfections, new delights bestow.
Oh! would mankind but make these truths their guide▪
And force the helm from prejudice and pride,
Were once these maxims fix'd, that God's our friend,
Virtue our good, and happiness our end,
How soon must reason o'er the world prevail,
And error, fraud, and superstition fail!
None would hereafter then with groundless fear
Describe th' Almighty cruel and severe,
[Page 188]Predestinating some without pretence
To heav'n, and some to hell for no offence;
Inflicting endless pains for transient crimes,
And fav'ring sects or nations, men or times.
To please him, none would foolishly forbear,
Or food, or rest, or itch in shirts of hair,
Or deem it merit to believe, or teach,
What reason contradicts, or cannot reacha;
None would fierce zeal for piety mistake,
Or malice for whatever tenet's sake,
Or think salvation to one sect confin'd,
And heav'n too narrow to contain mankind.
No more then nymphs, by long neglect grown nice,
Would in one female frailty sum up vice,
And censure those, who nearer to the right,
Think Virtue is but to dispense delightb.
No servile tenets would admittance find,
Destructive of the rights of human-kind;
Of pow'r divine, hereditary right,
And non-resistance to a tyrant's might:
For sure that all should thus for one be curs'd,
Is but great nature's edict just revers'd.
No moralists then, righteous to excess,
Would show fair Virtue in so black a dress,
That they, like boys, who some feign'd spright array,
First from the spectre fly themselves away:
No preachers in the terrible delight,
But chuse to win by reason, not affright;
Not conj'rers like, in fire and brimstone dwell,
And draw each moving argument from hell.
No more our sage interpreters of laws
Would fatten on obscurities, and flaws,
But rather, nobly careful of their trust,
Strive to wipe off the long-contracted dust,
And be, like HARDWICKE, guardians of the just.
No more applause would on ambition wait,
And laying waste the world be counted great;
But one good-natur'd act more praises gain,
Than armies overthrown, and thousands slain:
No more would brutal rage disturb our peace,
But envy, hatred, war, and discord cease;
Our own and others' good each hour employ,
And all things smile with universal joy;
Virtue with Happiness her consort join'd,
Would regulate and bless each human mind,
And man be what his Maker first design'd.

The FEMALE DRUM: Or, The Origin of CARDS. A Tale. Address'd to the Honourable Miss CARPENTERa.

THOU, whom to counsel is to praise,
With candor view these friendly lays,
Nor, from the vice of gaming free,
Believe the satire points at thee:
Who truth and worth betimes canst prize,
Nor yet too sprightly to be wise;
But hear this tale of ancient time,
Nor think it vain, though told in rhyme.
Elate with wide-extended pow'r,
Sworn rivals from the natal hour,
AV'RICE and SLOTH, with hostile art
Contended long for woman's heart;
She fond of wealth, afraid of toil,
Still shifted the capricious smile;
By turns, to each the heart was sold,
Now bought with ease, and now with gold;
Scarce either grasp the sov'reign sway,
When chance revers'd the prosp'rous day.
[Page 191]The doubtful strife was still renew'd,
Each baffled oft, but ne'er subdu'd;
When AV'RICE shew'd the glitt'ring prize,
And hopes and fears began to rise,
SLOTH shed on every busy sense
The gentle balm of indolence.
When SLOTH had screen'd, with artful night,
The soft pavilion of delight;
Stern AV'RICE, with reproachful frown,
Would scatter thorns amongst her down.
Thus each by turns the realm controul'd,
Which each in turn despair'd to hold;
At length unable to contend,
They join to chuse a common friend,
To close in love the long debate,
Such love, as mutual fears create;
A friend they chose, a friend to both,
Of AV'RICE born, and nurs'd by SLOTH;
An artful nymph, whose reign began
When Wisdom ceas'd to dwell with man;
In Wisdom's awful robes array'd,
She rules o'er politics and trade;
And by the name of CUNNING known,
Makes wealth, and fame, and pow'r her own.
In quest of CUNNING then they rove
O'er all the windings of the grove,
Where twining boughs their shade unite,
For CUNNING ever flies the light;
[Page 192]At length through maze perplex'd with maze,
Through tracts confus'd, and private ways,
With sinking hearts and weary feet,
They gain their fav'rite's dark retreat;
There, watchful at the gate, they find
SUSPICION, with her eyes behind;
And wild ALARM, awaking, blows
The trump that shakes the world's repose.
The guests well known, salute the guard,
The hundred gates are soon unbarr'd;
Through half the gloomy cave they press,
And reach the wily queen's recess;
The wily queen disturb'd, they view,
With schemes to fly, though none pursue;
And, in perpetual care to hide,
What none will ever seek, employ'd.
"Great queen, (they pray'd), our feuds compose,
"And let us never more be foes."
"This hour (she cries) your discord ends,
"Henceforth, be SLOTH and AV'RICE friends;
"Henceforth, with equal pride, prepare
"To rule at once the captive fair."
Th' attentive pow'rs in silence heard,
Nor utter'd what they hop'd or fear'd,
But search in vain the dark decree,
For CUNNING loves obscurity;
Nor would she soon her laws explain,
For CUNNING ever joys to pain.
She then before their wond'ring eyes,
Bid piles of painted paper rise;
"Search now these heaps, (she cries) here find
"Fit emblem of your pow'r combin'd."
The heap to AV'RICE first she gave,
Who soon descry'd her darling Knave:
And SLOTH, ere Envy long could sting,
With joyful eyes beheld a King.
"These gifts (said CUNNING) bear away,
"Sure engines of despotic sway;
"These charms dispense o'er all the ball,
"Secure to rule where-e'er they fall.
"The love of cards let SLOTH infuse,
"The love of money soon ensues;
"The strong desire shall ne'er decay,
"Who plays to win, shall win to play;
"The breast, where love has plann'd his reign,
"Shall burn, unquench'd, with lust of gain;
"And all the charms that wit can boast,
"In dreams of better luck be lost."
Thus, neither innocent nor gay,
The useless hours shall fleet away,
While TIME o'erlooks the trivial strife,
And, scoffing, shakes the sands of life;
Till the wan maid, whose early bloom
The vigils of quadrille consume;
Exhausted, by the pangs of play,
To SLOTH and AV'RICE falls a prey.

To Mr. FOXa, written at FLORENCE. In Imitation of HORACE, Ode IV. Book 2.

‘Septimi, Gades aditure mecum.’
THOU dearest youth, who taught me first to know
What pleasures from a real friendship flow,
Where neither interest nor design have part,
But all the warmth is native of the heart;
[Page 195]Thou know'st to comfort, sooth, or entertain,
Joy of my health, and cordial of my pain.
When life seem'd failing on her latest stage,
And fell disease anticipated age;
When wasting sickness and afflictive pain,
By Esculapius' sons oppos'd in vain,
Forc'd me reluctant, desperate, to explore
A warmer sun, and seek a milder shore;
Thy steady love with unexampled truth,
Forsook each gay companion of thy youth,
Whate'er the prosp'rous or the great employs,
Bus'ness and int'rest, and love's softer joys,
The weary steps of mis'ry to attend,
To share distress, and make a wretch thy friend.
If o'er the mountain's snowy height we stray,
Where Carthage first explor'd the vent'rous way;
Or through the tainted air of Rome's parch'd plains,
Where Want resides, and Superstition reigns;
Chearful and unrepining, still you bear
Each dangerous rigour of the various year;
And kindly anxious for thy friend alone,
Lament his suff'rings, and forget thy own.
Oh! would kind Heav'n, these tedious suff'rings past,
Permit me Ickworthc, rest, and health at last,
In that lov'd shade, my youth's delightful seat,
My early pleasure, and my late retreat,
[Page 196]Where lavish Nature's favourite blessings flow,
And all the seasons all their sweets bestow;
There might I trifle carelesly away
The milder evening of life's clouded day,
From bus'ness and the world's intrusion free,
With books, with love, with beauty, and with thee
No farther want, no wish yet unpossest
Could e'er disturb this unambitious breast.
Let those who Fortune's shining gifts implore,
Who sue for glory, splendor, wealth, or pow'r,
View this unactive state with scornful eyes,
And pleasures they can never taste, despise;
Let them still court that goddess' falser joys,
Who, while she grants their pray'r their peace destroys.
I envy not the foremost of the great,
Not Walpole's self, directing Europe's fate;
Still let him load Ambition's thorny shrine,
Fame be his portion, and contentment mine.
But if the gods, sinister still, deny
To live in Ickworth, let me there but die;
Thy hand to close my eyes in death's long night,
Thy image to attract their latest sight:
Then to the grave attend thy poet's herse,
And love his mem'ry as you lov'd his verse.

To the Same. From Hampton-Court, 1731.

‘Bono locores humanae sunt, quod nemo, nisi vitio suo, miser est. SENECA in EPIST.
WHILST in the fortunes of the gay and great,
The glare of courts, and luxury of state;
All that the meaner covet and deplore,
The pomp of wealth, and insolence of pow'r!
Whilst in these various scenes of gilded life,
Of fraud, ambition, policy, and strife;
Where every word is dictated by art,
And every face the mask of every heart;
Whilst with such diff'rent objects entertain'd,
In all that's really felt, and all that's feign'd,
I speculate on human joys and woes
'Till from my pen the verse spontaneous flows;
To whom these artless off'rings should I bring,
To whom these undigested numbers sing,
But to a friend!—and to what friend but you,
Safe, just, sincere, indulgent, kind, and true?
Disdain not then these trifles to attend,
Nor fear to blame, nor study to commend.
[Page 198]Say, where false notions erring I pursue,
And with the plausible confound the true:
Correct with all the freedom that I write;
And guide my darken'd reason with thy light.
Thee partial heaven has bless'd, profusely kind,
With wit, with judgment, and a taste refin'd.
Thy fancy rich, and thy observance true,
The last still wakeful, and the first still new.
Rare blessings! and to few divided known,
But giv'n united to thyself alone.
Instruction are thy words, and lively truth,
The school of age, and the delight of youth.
When men their various discontents relate,
And tell how wretched this our mortal state;
That life is but diversify'd distress,
The lot of all, and hardly more or less;
That kings and villagers have each their share,
These pinch'd with mean, and those with splendid care;
That seeming pleasure is intrinsic woe,
And all call'd happiness, delusive show;
Food only for the snakes in Envy's breast,
Who often grudges what is ne'er possest;
Say, for thou know'st the follies of mankind,
Canst tell how obstinate, perverse, and blind;
Say, are we thus oppress'd by Nature's laws,
Or of our miseries, ourselves the cause?
Sure oft, unjustly, we impute to Fate
A thousand evils which ourselves create;
[Page 199]Complain that life affords but little joy,
And yet that little foolishly destroy.
We check the pleasures that too soon subside,
And break the current of too weak a tide:
Like Atalanta, golden trifles chase,
And baulk that swiftness which might win the race;
For life has joys adapted to each stage,
Love for our youth, ambition for our age.
But wilful man inverting her decrees,
When young would govern, and when old would please,
Covets the fruits his autumn should bestow,
Nor tastes the fragrance whilst the blossoms blow.
Then far-fled joys in vain he would restore,
His appetite unanswer'd by his pow'r:
Round beauty's neck he twists his wither'd arms:
Receiv'd with loathing to her venal charms:
He rakes the ashes, when the fire is spent,
Nor gains fruition, though he gains consent.
But can we say 'tis Providence's fault,
If thus untimely all her gifts are sought,
If summer-crops which must decay we keep,
And in the winter would the harvest reap?
When brutes, with what they are allow'd content,
Listen to Nature, and pursue her bent,
And still their pow'r with their ambition weigh'd,
Gain what they can, but never force a trade:
A thousand joys her happy followers prove,
Health, plenty, rest, society, and love.
[Page 200]To us alone, in fatal ign'rance proud,
To deviate from her dictates 'tis allow'd:
That boasted gift our reason to believe,
Or let caprice, in reason's garb, deceive.
To us the noble privilege is giv'n
Of wise refining on the will of heav'n.
Our skill we trust, but lab'ring still to gain
More than we can, lose what we might obtain.
Will the wise elephant desert the wood,
To imitate the whale and range the flood?
Or will the mole her native earth forsake,
In wanton madness to explore the lake?
Yet man, whom still ideal profit sways,
Than those less prudent, and more blind than these,
Will quit his home, and vent'rous brave the seas.
And when his rashness its desert has found,
The fool surviving, weeps the fool that's drown'd.
Herds [...]ange the fields, the feather'd kind the grove,
Chuse, woo, caress, and with promiscuous love,
As taste a [...]d n [...]ture prompt, adhere, or rove;
They meet with pleasure, and with ease they part,
For beasts are only coupled by the heart.
The body still accompanies the mind,
And when this wanders, that is unconfin'd:
The love that join'd the sated pair once fled,
They change their haunts, their pasture, and their bed.
No four-legg'd idiots drag, with mutual pain,
The nat'ral cement pass'd, an artful chain:
[Page 201]Th' effect of passion ceases with the cause,
Clogg'd with no after-weight of forms or laws:
To no dull rules of custom they submit,
Like us they cool, but when they cool, they quit.
Nor find we in the wood, the sea, or plain,
One e'er elected o'er the rest to reign.
If any rule, 'tis force that gives the law,
What brutes are bound in voluntary awe?
Do they, like us, a pageant idol raise,
Swoln with false pride, and flatter'd by false praise?
Do they their equal, sometimes less, revere?
At once detest and serve, despise and fear?
To strength inferior do they bend the knee?
With ears and eyes of others hear and see?
Or ever vest a mortal god with pow'r
To do those wrongs they afterwards deplore?
These institutions are of man alone,
Marriage and monarchy are both our own.
Public oppression, and domestic strife,
Are ills which we ourselves annex'd to life,
God never made a husband, king, or wife.
Boast then, oh man! thy profitable gain,
To folly polish'd, civiliz'd to pain.
Here would I launch into the various field
Of all the cares our prejudices yield;
What multiply'd examples might be told,
Of pains they give, and joys that they with-hold?
[Page 202]When to credulity tradition preaches,
And ign'rance practises what error teaches!
Would any feather'd maiden of the wood,
Or scaly female of the peopled flood,
When lust and hunger call'd, its force resist?
In abstinence, or chastity persist?
And cry, 'If heaven's intent was understood,
'These tastes were only given to be withstood?'
Or would they wisely both these gifts improve,
And eat when hungry, and when am'rous love?
Yet superstition, in religion's name,
With future punishment and present shame,
Can fright weak woman from her lover's arms,
Who weeps with mutual pain her useless charms;
Whilst she, poor wretch! consum'd in secret fires,
With pow'r to seize, foregoes what she desires,
'Till beauty fades, and inclination dies,
And the fair tree, the fruit ungather'd, dies.
But are these ills, the ills which heav'n design'd?
Are we unfortunate, or are we blind?
If in possession of our wishes curst,
Bath'd in untasted springs we die with thirst;
If we make miseries, what were blessings meant,
And benefits convert to punishment?
When in the spring the wise industrious bees
Collect the various bloom from fragrant trees,
Extract the liquid sweet of every flow'r,
And cull the garden to enrich their store:
[Page 203]Should any pedant bee of all the hive,
From this or that perfume the plund'rers drive,
And say, that he by inspiration knows
The sacred, tempting, interdicting rose,
By heav'n's command, though sweetest, useless grows:
Think you the fool would ever be obey'd,
And that the lie would grow into a trade?
Ev'n Turks would answer, no—and yet we see
The vine, that rose, and Mahomet, that bee.
To these, how many proofs I yet could add,
That man's superior sense is being mad?
That none, refining, their true int'rest view,
But for the substance, still the shade pursue.
That oft perverse, and prodigal of life,
(Our pow'r and will at everlasting strife,)
We waste the present for the future hour,
And, miser-like, by hoarding, still are poor;
Or foolishly regretful of the past,
The good which yet remains neglect to taste.
Nor need I any foreign proof to bring,
Myself an instance of the truths I sing.
Whilst in a court, repugnant to my taste,
From my lov'd friend these precious hours I waste,
Why do I vainly here thy absence mourn,
And not anticipate thy wish'd return?
Why stay my passage to those happy fields,
Where fate in thee my every pleasure yields?
[Page 204]Fortune allows the blessings I refuse,
And ev'n this moment, were my heart to chuse,
For thee I should forsake this joyless crowd,
And not on paper think, but think aloud:
With thy lov'd converse fill the shorten'd day,
And glad my soul.—Yet here unpleas'd I stay,
And by mean, sanguine views of int'rest sway'd,
By airy hopes, to real cares betray'd;
Lament a grievance which I might redress,
And wish that happiness I might possess.


IF e'er in thy fight I found favour, Apollo,
Defend me from all the disasters which follow:
From the knaves, and the fools, and the fops of the time,
From the drudges in prose, and the triflers in rhyme:
From the patch-work and toils of the royal sack-bibber,
Those dead birth-day odes, and the farces of CIBBER:
From servile attendance on men in high places,
Their worships, and honours, and lordships, and graces:
From long dedications to patrons unworthy,
Who hear and receive, but will do nothing for thee:
From being caress'd to be left in the lurch,
The tool of a party, in state or in church:
[Page 205]From dull thinking blockheads, as sober as Turks,
And petulant bards who repeat their own works:
From all the gay things of a drawing-room show,
The sight of a Belle, and the smell of a Beau:
From busy back-biters, and tatlers, and carpers,
And scurvy acquaintance of fiddlers and sharpers:
From old politicians, and coffee-house lectures,
The dreams of a chymist, and schemes of projectors:
From the fears of a jail, and the hopes of a pension,
The tricks of a gamester, and oaths of an ensign:
From shallow free-thinkers in taverns disputing,
Nor ever confuted, nor ever confuting:
From the constant good fare of another man's board,
My lady's broad hints, and the jests of my lord:
From hearing old chymists prelecting de oleo,
And reading of Dutch commentators in folio:
From waiting, like GAY, whole years at Whitehall:
From the pride of gay wits, and the envy of small:
From very fine ladies with very fine incomes,
Which they finely lay out on fine toys and fine trincums:
From the pranks of ridottoes and court-masquerades,
The snares of young jilts, and the spite of old maids:
From a saucy dull stage, and submitting to share
In an empty third night with a beggarly play'r:
From CURL and such Printers as would ha' me curst
To write second parts, let who will write the first:
From all pious patriots, who would to their best
Put on a new tax, and take off an old test:
[Page 206]From the faith of informers, the fangs of the law,
And the great rogues, who keep all the lesser in awe:
From a poor country-cure, that living interment,
With a wife, and no prospect of any preferment:
From scribbling for hire, when my credit is sunk,
To buy a new coat, and to line an old trunk:
From 'squires, who divert us with jokes at their tables,
Of hounds in their kennels, and nags in their stables:
From the nobles and commons, who bound in strict league are
To subscribe for no book, yet subscribe to Heideggera:
From the cant of fanatics, the jargon of schools,
The censures of wise men, and praises of fools:
From critics who never read Latin or Greek,
And pedants, who boast they read both all the week▪
From borrowing wit, to repay it like BUDGEL,
Or lending, like POPE, to be paid by a cudgel:
If ever thou didst, or wilt ever befriend me;
From these, and such evils, APOLLO, defend me;
And let me be rather but honest with no-wit,
Than a noisy, nonsensical, half-witted poet.


WHEN the heart akes with anguish, pines with grief,
And heav'n and you alike deny relief;
When ev'n the flatt'rer Hope is no where found,
'Tis hard to feel the smart, and not lament the wound.
Permit me then to sigh one last adieu,
Nor scorn a sorrow friendship owes to you:
A friendship, modesty might well return;
A sorrow, cruelty itself might mourn.
Think how the miser, pierc'd with inward pain,
Looks down with horror on the troubled main,
Or wildly roams along the rocky coast,
T' explore his treasures in the tempest lost;
Hates his own safety, chides the waves that roll'd
Himself ashore, but sunk his dearer gold.
Like him afflicted, pensive, and forlorn,
I look on life and all its pomp with scorn.
You was the sweet'ner of each busy scene;
You gave the joy without, the pain within.
Pleasure and you were both so near ally'd,
That when I lost the one, the other dy'd;
Pain too has lavish'd all her killing store;
Nor can she add, nor can I suffer more.
In vain I view'd you with as chaste a fire;
As angels mingle, or as saints admire;
By reason prompted, passion had no part,
A virtuous ardour, that refin'd the heart.
In vain I sought a friendship free from fault,
Where sex and beauty were alike forgot:
A friendship by the noblest union join'd,
The female softness, and the manly mind.
Courage to conquer evils, or endure:
Sweetness to sooth the pain, and smiles to cure.
Scandal, a busy fiend, in Truth's disguise,
Like Fame all cover'd o'er with ears and eyes,
Learns the fond tale, and spreads it as she flies;
Nor spreads alone, but alters, adds, defames,
Affects to pity, though her duty blames;
Feigns not to credit all she sees or hears,
But hopes the evil only in her fears;
Pretends to weigh the fact in even scale,
And wish, at least, that justice may prevail;
Insinuates, dissembles, lies, betrays,
Plays the whole hypocrite such various ways,
That Innocence itself must suffer wrong,
And Honour bleed, the prey of Slander's tongue.
Such is my fate, so grievous my distress,
Condemn'd to suffer, but deny'd redress:
Too fond of joy, too sensible of pain,
To part with all that's dear, and not complain:
[Page 209]Too delicate to injure what I love,
To ask the pity fame will ne'er approve.
What more remains, then, but to drop my claim,
And by my conduct justify my flame?
Burst the dear bands that to my heart-strings join,
And sacrifice my peace to purchase thine?
As the fond mother, who delirious eyes
Her dying babe, will scarce believe it dies;
But strains it still with transport in her arms,
Dwells on its lips, and numbers o'er its charms;
Pleads that it slumbers, and expects, in vain,
To see the little cherub live again:
So my torn heart must all the sorrows prove
That torture constancy, or sadden love:
Yet fondly follow your dear image still,
Fancy I hear you speak, I see you smile:
Dote on a phantom, idolize the name,
And wish the shade and substance were the same.
Alas! how fruitless is the idle pray'r!
The joy's imagin'd, real the despair.
Like Adam forc'd his Eden to forego,
I lose my only paradise below,
And dread the prospect of succeeding woe.


Three worthy friends, o'er all the nation
Agreed to roam; then pass the seas,
And visit Italy and Greece;
By travel to improve their parts,
And learn the languages and arts;
Not like our modern fops and beaus,
T' improve the pattern of their cloaths:
Thus GENIUS said;—"Companions dear,
"To what I speak, incline an ear.
"Some chance, perhaps, may us divide;
"Let us against the worst provide,
"And give some sign by which to find
"A friend thus lost, or left behind.
"For me, if cruel fate should ever
"Me and my dear companions sever,
[Page 211]"Go, seek me 'midst the walls of Rome,
"At Angelo's or Raphael's tomb;
"Or else at Virgil's sacred shrine,
"Lamenting with the mournful Nine."
Next VIRTUE, pausing;— (for she knew
The places were but very few,
Where she could fairly hope to stay
'Till her companions came that way,)
"Pass by (she cry'd) the court, the ball,
"The masquerade, and carnival,
"Where all in false disguise appear,
"But Vice, whose face is ever bare;
"Tis ten to one, I am not there.
"CAELIA, the loveliest maid on earth!
"I've been her friend; e'er since her birth;
"Perfection in her person charms,
"And virtue all her bosom warms;
"A matchless pattern for the fair:
"Her dwelling seek, you'll find me there."
Cry'd REPUTATION, "I, like you,
"Had once a soft companion too:
"As fair her person, and her fame,
"And COQUETISSA was her name.
"Ten thousand lovers swell'd her train;
"Ten thousand lovers sigh'd in vain:
"Where-e'er she went, the danglers came;
"Yet still I was her favourite flame,
[Page 212]"'Till once,—('twas at the public show)
"The play being done, we rose to go;
"A thing who long had ey'd the fair,
"His neck stiff yok'd in solitaire,
"With clean white gloves first made approach,
"Then begg'd to lead her to her coach:
"She smil'd, and gave her lily hand;
"Away they tript it to the Strand:
"A hackney-coach receive the pair,
"They went to— but I won't tell where.
"Then lost she Reputation quite;
"Friends, take example from that night,
"And never leave me from your sight.
"For oh! if cruel fate intends
"Ever to part me from my friends,
"Think that I'm dead; my death deplore,
"But never hope to see me more!
"In vain you'll search the world around;
"Lost Reputation's never to be found."


A Grove there was, by nature made,
Of trees that form'd a pleasing shade;
Where warbled, ever free from care,
The wing'd musicians of the air.
Here tun'd the Nightingale her throat;
The Thrush there thrill'd her piercing note;
The Finch, Lark, Linnet, all agree
To join the sylvan harmony.
Two amorous Sparrows chose this place,
The softest of the feather'd race;
The MARS and VENUS of the grove,
Less fam'd for singing than for love.
The songsters warbled sweet, while they
As sweetly bill'd their time away.
So closely seated were the two,
Together you would think they grew:
The twig was slender where they sat,
And bent beneath their little weight;
[Page 214]But scarcely in their lives was known
To bear the one, when one was flown.
When hunger call'd, they left the wood,
Together sought the field for food;
When thirsty, in the shallow rills
Together dip their little bills.
When PHOEBUS setting in the west,
And thick'ning shades invite to rest,
They homeward bent their mutual flight:
Thus pass'd their day, thus pass'd their night.
The castle, where these lovers lay,
Was in a hollow oak, they say:
There, side by side, all night they kept,
Together walk'd, together slept:
And mixing amorous disport,
They made their winter-evening short.
Though free, 'twas left to either's mind,
To chuse a mate from all their kind;
She only lov'd the loving he;
He only lov'd the lovely she.
Pure JOY, poor mortals seldom find;
Her footman, SORROW, waits behind:
And FATE impartial deals to all
The honey'd potion mix'd with gall.
This pair, on an unhappy day,
Too far together chanc'd to stray;
Benighted, and with snares beset,
Our MARS and VENUS in a net,
[Page 215]Alas! were caught.—O change of state!
A little cage is now their fate.
No more they seek the spacious grove;
No more they burn with mutual love;
Their passion changes with their life,
And soon they fall from love to strife.
Their little souls with growing rage
High swell; they flutter round the cage;
Forget the slender twig, where late
Close side by side in love they sat;
One perch is now too small to hold
The fiery mate and chirping scold:
They peck each other o'er their food;
And thirst to drink each other's blood.
Two cages must the pair divide,
Or death the quarrel will decide.
A picture this of human life!
The modern husband, and the wife.
Who e'er in courtship saw a pair
So kind as he, as she so fair?
The kisses that they gave each other,
You'd think had seal'd their lips together;
Each vows to each a mutual flame;
And dreams, 'twill always last the same;
But fix them once in HYMEN'S chains,
And each alternately complains.
The honey-moon is scarce declin'd,
But all the honey of their mind
Is gone, and leaves the sting behind.
[Page 216]The scene of love is vanish'd quite:
They pout, grow peevish, scold, and fight.
Two tables feed each parted guest;
Two beds receive the pair to rest;
And law alone can end the strife,
With separate maintenance for life.


Quercus loquitur.
WHO by retirement to these sacred groves
Impregnate fancy, and on thought divine
Build harmony—If sudden glow your breast
With inspiration, and the rapt'rous song
Bursts from a mind unconscious whence it sprang:
— Know that the sisters of these hallow'd haunts,
Dryad or Hamadryad, though no more
From Jove to man prophetic truths they sing,
Are still attendant on the lonely bard,
Who step by step these silent woods among
Wanders contemplative, lifting the soul
From lower cares, by every whisp'ring breeze
Tun'd to poetic mood; and fill the mind
With truths oracular, themselves of old
Deign'd utter from the Dodonean shrine.


THE solitary bird of night
Through the thick shades now wings his flight,
And quits his time-snook tow'r;
Where, shelter'd from the blaze of day,
In philosophic gloom he lay,
Beneath his ivy bow'r.
With joy I hear the solemn sound,
Which midnight-echoes waft around,
And sighing gales repeat.
Fav'rite of PALLAS! I attend,
And, faithful to thy summons, bend
At WISDOM'S awful seat.
She loves the cool, the silent eve,
Where no false shews of life deceive,
Beneath the lunar ray.
Here Folly drops each vain disguise,
Nor sports her gaily-colour'd dyes,
As in the beam of day.
O PALLAS! queen of every art,
That glads the sense, and mends the heart,
Bless'd source of purer joys:
In every form of beauty bright,
That captivates the mental sight
With pleasure and surprize:
At thy unspotted shrine I bow;
Attend thy modest suppliant's vow,
That breathes no wild desires;
But taught by thy unerring rules,
To shun the fruitless wish of fools,
To nobler views aspires.
Not FORTUNE'S gem, AMBITION'S plume,
Nor CYTHEREA'S fading bloom,
Be objects of my pray'r:
Those envy'd glitt'ring toys, divide
The dull rewards of care.
To me thy better gifts impart,
Each moral beauty of the heart,
By studious thought refin'd:
For Wealth, the smiles of glad Content;
For Pow'r, its amplest, best extent,
An empire o'er the mind.
When FORTUNE drops her gay parade,
When PLEASURE'S transient roses fade,
And wither in the tomb;
Unchang'd is thy immortal prize,
Thy ever-verdant laurels rise
In undecaying bloom.
By thee protected, I defy
The coxcomb's sneer, the stupid lie
Of ignorance and spite:
Alike contemn the leaden fool,
And all the pointed ridicule
Of undiscerning wit.
From envy, hurry, noise, and strife,
The dull impertinence of life,
In thy retreat I rest:
Pursue thee to the peaceful groves,
Where PLATO'S sacred spirit roves,
In all thy beauties drest.
He bade Ilissu's tuneful stream
Convey thy philosophic theme
Of Perfect, Fair, and Good:
Attentive Athens caught the sound,
And all her list'ning sons around
In aweful silence stood:
Reclaim'd, her wild licentious youth
Confess'd the potent voice of TRUTH,
And felt its just controul:
The Passions ceas'd their loud alarms,
And Virtue's soft persuasive charms
O'er all their senses stole.
Thy breath inspires the POET'S song,
The PATRIOT'S free, unbiass'd tongue,
The HERO'S gen'rous strife;
Thine are Retirement's silent joys,
And all the sweet engaging ties
Of still domestic life.
No more to fabled Names confin'd,
To thee! supreme all-perfect Mind
My thoughts direct their flight:
Wisdom's thy gift, and all her force
From thee deriv'd, eternal source
Of intellectual light.
O send her sure, her steady ray,
To regulate my doubtful way
Through life's perplexing road:
The mists of error to controul,
And through its gloom direct my soul
To happiness and good.
Beneath her clear discerning eye
The visionary shadows fly
Of Folly's painted show:
She sees through every fair disguise,
That all but VIRTUE'S solid joys
Are vanity and woe.

To a GENTLEMANa, On his intending to cut down a GROVE to enlarge his Prospect.

IN plaintive sounds, that tun'd to woe
The sadly-sighing breeze,
A weeping HAMADRYAD mourn'd
Her fate-devoted trees.
Ah! stop thy sacrilegious hand,
Nor violate the shade,
Where Nature form'd a silent haunt
For Contemplation's aid.
Canst thou, the son of Science, bred
Where learned Isis flows,
Forget that, nurs'd in shelt'ring groves,
The Grecian genius rose?
Within the plantane's spreading shade,
Immortal PLATO taught;
And fair LYCEUM form'd the depth
Of ARISTOTLE'S thought.
To Latian groves reflect thy views,
And bless the Tuscan gloom;
Where Eloquence deplor'd the fate
Of Liberty and Rome.
Retir'd beneath the beechen shade,
From each inspiring bough
The Muses wove th' unfading wreaths
That circled VIRGIL'S brow.
Reflect before the fatal axe
My threaten'd doom has wrought;
Nor sacrifice to sensual taste
The nobler growth of thought.
Not all the glowing fruits that blush
On India's sunny coast,
Can recompense thee for the worth
Of one idea lost.
My shade a produce may supply,
Unknown to solar fire;
And what excludes APOLLO'S rays,
Shall harmonize his lyre.


PART I. MELPOMENE; or, The Melancholy.

—Reason thus with Life;
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing,
That none but fools would weep.
SHAKSP. Meas. for Meas.
OFFSPRING of folly and of noise,
Fantastic train of airy joys,
Cease, cease your vain delusive lore,
And tempt my serious thoughts no more,
[Page 224]Ye horrid forms, ye gloomy throng,
Who hear the bird of midnight's song;
Thou too, DESPAIR, pale spectre, come,
From the self-murd'rer's haunted tomb,
While sad MELPOMENE relates,
How we're afflicted by the fates.
What's all this wish'd-for empire, Life?
A scene of mis'ry, care, and strife;
And make the most, that's all we have
Betwixt the cradle and the grave.
The being is not worth the charge:
Behold the estimate at large.
Our youth is filly, idle, vain;
Our age is full of care and pain;
From wealth accrues anxiety;
Contempt and want from poverty;
What trouble business has in store!
How idleness fatigues us more!
To reason, th' ignorant are blind;
The learned's eyes are too refin'd;
Each wit deems every wit his foe,
Each fool is naturally so;
And every rank and every station
Meet justly with disapprobation.
Say, man, is this the boasted state,
Where all is pleasant, all is great?
Alas! another face you'll see,
Take off the vail of vanity.
[Page 225]Is aught in pleasure, aught in pow'r,
Has wisdom any gift in store,
To make thee stay a single hour?
Tell me, ye youthful, who approve
Th' intoxicating sweets of love,
What endless nameless throbs arise,
What heart-felt anguish and was sighs,
When jealousy has gnaw'd the root,
Whence love's united branches shoot?
Or grant that Hymen lights his torch,
To lead you to the nuptial porch.
Behold! the long'd-for rapture o'er!
Desire begins to lose its pow'r,
Then cold indifference takes place,
Fruition alters quite the case;
And what before was ecstasy,
Is scarcely now civility.
Your children bring a second care;
If childless, then you want an heir;
So that in both alike you find
The same perplexity of mind.
Do pow'r or wealth more comfort own?
Behold yon pageant on a throne,
Where silken swarms of flattery
Obsequious wait his asking eye.
But view within his tortur'd breast,
No more the downy seat of rest,
[Page 226]Suspicion casts her poison'd dart,
And guilt, that scorpion, stings his heart.
Will knowledge give us happiness?
In that, alas! we know there's less,
For every pang of mental woe
Springs from the faculty, to know.
Hark! at the death-betok'ning knell
Of yonder doleful passing-bell,
Perhaps a friend, a father's dead,
Or the lov'd partner of thy bed!
Perhaps thy only son lies there,
Breathless upon the fable bier!
Say, what can ease the present grief,
Can former joys afford relief?
Those former joys remember'd still,
The more augment the recent ill,
And where you seek for comfort, gain
Additional increase of pain.
What woes from mortal ills accrue!
And what from natural ensue!
Disease and casualty attend
Our footsteps to the journey's end;
The cold catarrh, the gout and stone,
The dropsy, jaundice, join'd in one,
The raging fever's inward heat,
The pale consumption's fatal sweat,
And thousand more distempers roam,
To drag us to th' eternal home.
And when solution sets us free
From prison of mortality,
The soul dilated joins in air,
To go, alas! we know not where,
And the poor body will become
A clod within a lonely tomb.
Reflection sad! such bodies must
Return, and mingle with the dust!
But neither sense nor beauty have
Defensive charms against the grave,
Nor virtue's shield, nor wisdom's lore,
Nor true religion's sacred pow'r;
For as that charnel's earth you see,
E'en, my EUDOCIA, you will be.

PART II. CALLIOPE; or, The Chearful.

Inter cuncta leges, et percunctabere doctos,
Qua ratione queas traducere leniter aevum.
HOR. Lib. I. Ep. 18.
GRIM Superstition, hence away
To native night, and leave the day,
Nor let thy hellish brood appear,
Begot on Ignorance and Fear.
Come, gentle Mirth, and Gaiety,
Sweet daughter of Society;
[Page 228]Whilst fair CALLIOPE pursues
Flights worthy of the chearful muse.
O life, thou great essential good,
Where every blessing's understood!
Where Plenty, Freedom, Pleasure meet,
To make each fleeting moment sweet;
Where moral Love and Innocence,
The balm of sweet Content dispense;
Where Peace expands her turtle wings,
And Hope a constant requiem sings;
With easy thought my breast inspire,
To thee I tune the sprightly lyre.
From Heav'n this emanation flows,
To Heav'n again the wand'rer goes:
And whilst employ'd beneath on earth,
Its boon attendants, Ease and Mirth,
Join'd with the Social Virtues three,
And their calm parent Charity,
Conduct it to the sacred plains
Where happiness terrestrial reigns.
'Tis Discontent alone destroys
The harvest of our ripening joys;
Resolve to be exempt from woe,
Your resolution keeps you so.
Whate'er is needful man receives,
Nay more superfluous Nature gives,
Indulgent parent, source of bliss,
Profuse of goodness to excess!
[Page 229]For thee 'tis, man, the zephyr blows,
For thee the purple vintage flows,
Each flow'r its various hue displays,
The lark exalts her vernal lays,
To view yon azure vault is thine,
And my EUDOCIA'S form divine.
Hark! how the renovating Spring
Invites the feather'd choir to sing,
Spontaneous mirth and rapture glow
On every shrub, and every bough;
Their little airs a lesson give,
They teach us mortals how to live,
And well advise us, whilst we can,
To spend in joy the vital span.
Ye gay and youthful, all advance
Together knit in festive dance,
See blooming HEBE leads the way,
For youth is Nature's holiday.
If dire Misfortune should employ
Her dart to wound the timely joy,
Solicit Bacchus with your pray'r,
No earthly goblin dares come near,
Care puts an easier aspect on,
Pale Anger smooths her threat'ning frown,
Mirth comes in Melancholy's stead,
And Discontent conceals her head.
The thoughts on vagrant pinions fly,
And mount exulting to the sky;
[Page 230]Thence with enraptur'd views look down
On golden empires all their own.
Or let, when Fancy spreads her sails,
Love waft you on with easier gales,
Where in the soul-bewitching groves,
EUPHROSYNE, sweet goddess, roves;
'Tis rapture all, 'tis ecstasy!
An earthly immortality!
This all the ancient Bards employ'd,
'Twas all the ancient gods enjoy'd,
Who often from the realms above
Came down on earth t' indulge in love.
Still there's one greater bliss in store,
'Tis virtuous Friendship's social hour,
When goodness from the heart sincere
Pours forth Compassion's balmy tear,
For from those tears such transports flow,
As none but friends and angels know.
Bless'd state! where every thing conspires
To fill the breast with heav'nly fires!
Where for a while the soul must roam,
To preconceive the state to come,
And when through life the journey's past,
Without repining or distaste,
Again the spirit will repair,
To breathe a more celestial air,
And reap, where blessed beings glow,
Completion of the joys below.

PART III. TERPSICHORE; or, The Moderate.

‘— [...]. HOM. Od. Θ.
Haec satis est orare Jovem, qui donat et aufert;
Det vitam, det opes; aequum mî animum ipse parabo.
HOR. Lib. I. Ep. 18.
DESCEND, Astraea, from above,
Where Jove's celestial daughters rove,
And deign once more to bring with thee
Thy earth-deserting family,
Calm Temperance, and Patience mild,
Sweet Contemplation's heavenly child,
Reflection firm, and Fancy free,
Religion pure, and Probity,
Whilst all the Heliconian throng
Shall join TERPSICHORE in song.
Ere man, great Reason's lord, was made,
Or the world's first foundations laid,
As high in their divine abodes,
Consulting sat the mighty gods,
Jove on the chaos looking down,
Spoke thus from his imperial throne:
"Ye deities and potentates,
"Aerial pow'rs, and heav'nly states,
[Page 232]"Lo, in that gloomy place below,
"Where darkness reigns and discord now,
"There a new world shall grace the skies,
"And a new creature form'd arise,
"Who shall partake of our perfections,
"And live and act by our directions,
"(For the chief bliss of any station
"Is nought without communication)
"Let therefore every godhead give
"What this new being should receive;
"But care important must be had,
"To mingle well of good and bad,
"That, by th' allaying mixture, he
"May not approach to deity."
The sovereign spake, the gods agree,
And each began in his degree:
Behind the throne of Jove there stood
Two vessels of celestial wood,
Containing just two equal measures;
One fill'd with pain, and one with pleasures;
The gods drew out from both of these,
And mix'd 'em with their essences,
(Which essences are heav'nly still,
When undisturb'd by nat'ral ill,
And man to moral good is prone,
Let but the moral pow'rs alone,
And not pervert 'em by tuition,
Or conjure 'em by superstition)
[Page 233]Hence man partakes an equal share
Of pleasing thoughts and gloomy care,
And Pain and Pleasure e'er shall be,
As * PLATO says, in company.
Receive the one, and soon the other
Will follow to rejoin his brother.
Those who with pious pain pursue
Calm Virtue, by her sacred clue,
Will surely find the mental treasure
Of Virtue, only real pleasure:
Follow the pleasurable road,
That fatal Siren reckons good,
'Twill lead thee to the gloomy cell,
Where Pain and Melancholy dwell.
Health is the child of Abstinence,
Disease, of a luxurious sense;
Despair, that hellish fiend, proceeds
From loosen'd thoughts, and impious deeds;
And the sweet offspring of Content,
Flows from the mind's calm government.
Thus, man, thy state is free from woe,
If thou wouldst chuse to make it so.
Murmur not then at heaven's decree,
The gods have given thee liberty,
And plac'd within thy conscious breast,
Reason, as an unerring test,
And shouldst thou fix on misery,
The fault is not in them, but thee.


HAPPY the babe whose natal hour
The Muse propitious deigns to grace,
No frowns on his soft fore-head low'r,
No cries distort his tender face;
But o'er her child, forgetting all her pangs,
Insatiate of her smiles, the raptur'd parent hangs.
Let statesmen on the sleepless bed
The fate of realms and princes weigh,
While in the agonizing head
They form ideal scenes of sway;
Not long, alas! the fancied charms delight,
But melt, like spectre-forms, in silent shades of night.
Ye heavy pedants, dull of lore,
Nod o'er the taper's livid flame;
Ye misers, still increase your store;
Still tremble at the robber's name:
Or shudd'ring from the recent dream arise,
While visionary fire glows dreadful to your eyes.
Far other joys the Muses show'r
Benignant, on the aching breast;
'Tis theirs, in the lone, cheerless hour,
To lull the lab'ring heart to rest:
With bright'ning calms they glad the prospect drear,
And bid each groan subside, and dry up every tear.
From earthly mists, ye gentle Nine!
Whene'er you purge the visual ray,
Sudden the landscapes fairer shine,
And blander smiles the face of day:
Ev'n Chloe's lips with brighter vermil glow,
And on her youthful cheek the rose-buds fresher blow.
When Boreas sounds his fierce alarms,
And all the green-clad nymphs are fled,
Oh! then I lie in Fancy's arms
On fragrant May's delicious bed;
And through the shade, slow-creeping from the dale,
Feel on my drowsy face the lily-breathing gale.
Or on the mountain's airy height
Hear Winter call his howling train,
Chas'd by the Spring and Dryads light,
That now resume their blissful reign:
While smiling Flora binds her Zephyr's brows,
With every various flow'r that Nature's lap bestows.
More potent than the Sibyl's gold
That led Aeneas' bold emprize,
When you, Calliope, unfold
Your laurel branch, each phantom flies!
Slow cares with heavy wings beat the dull air,
And dread, and pale-ey'd grief, and pain and black despair.
With you Elysium's happy bow'rs,
The mansions of the glorious dead,
I visit oft, and cull the flow'rs
That rise spontaneous to your tread;
Such active virtue warms that pregnant earth,
And heav'n with kindlier hand assists each genial birth.
Here oft I wander through the gloom,
While pendent fruit the leaves among
Gleams through the shade with golden bloom,
Where lurk along the feather'd throng,
Whose notes th' eternal spring unceasing chear,
Nor leave in mournful silence half the drooping year.
And oft I view along the plain
With slow and solemn steps proceed
Heroes and chiefs, an awful train,
And high exalt the laurell'd head;
Submiss I honour every sacred name,
Deep in the column grav'd of adamantine fame.
But cease, my Muse, with tender wing
Unfledg'd, ethereal flight to dare,
Stern Cato's bold discourse to sing,
Or paint immortal Brutus' air;
May Britain ne'er the weight of slav'ry feel,
Or bid a Brutus shake for her his crimson steel!
Lo! yonder negligently laid
Fast by the stream's impurpled side,
Where through the thick-entangled shade,
The radiant waves of nectar glide,
Each sacred poet strikes his tuneful lyre,
And wakes the ravish'd heart, and bids the soul aspire.
No more is heard the plaintive strain,
Or pleasing Melancholy's song,
Tibullus here forgets his pain,
And joins the love-exulting throng;
For Cupid flutters round with golden dart,
And fiercely twangs his bow at every rebel heart.
There stretch'd at ease Anacreon gay;
And on his melting Lesbia's breast,
With eye half-rais'd Catullus lay,
And gaz'd himself to balmy rest:
While Venus' self through all the am'rous groves
With kisses fresh distill'd supply'd their constant loves.
Now Horace' hand the string inspir'd,
My soul, impatient as he sung,
The Muse unconquerable fir'd,
And heavenly accents seiz'd my tongue;
Then lock'd in admiration sweet I bow'd,
Confess'd his potent art, nor could forbear aloud*.
Hail, glorious bard! whose high command
A thousand various strings obey,
While joins and mixes to thy hand
At once the bold and tender lay!
Not mighty Homer down Parnassus steep,
Rolls the full tide of verse so clear, and yet so deep.
O could I catch one ray divine
From thy intolerable blaze!
To pour strong lustre on my line,
And my aspiring song to raise;
Then should the Muse her choicest influence shed,
And with eternal wreaths entwine my lofty head.
Then would I sing the sons of Fame,
Th' immortal chiefs of ancient age,
Or tell of love's celestial flame,
Or ope fair friendship's sacred page,
And leave the sullen thought and struggling groan,
To take their watchful stands around the gaudy throne.


WHEN tuneful Orpheus strove by moving strains
To sooth the furious hate of rugged swains,
The list'ning multitude was pleas'd,
Ev'n Rapine dropt her ravish'd prey,
'Till by the soft oppression seiz'd,
Each savage heard his rage away:
And now o'ercome, in kind consent they move,
And all is harmony, and all is love!
Not so, when Greece's chief by heav'n inspir'd,
With love of arms each glowing bosom fir'd:
But now the trembling soldier fled,
Regardless of the glorious prize;
And his brave thirst of honour dead,
He durst not meet with hostile eyes;
Whilst glittering shields and swords, war's bright array,
Were either worn in vain, or basely thrown away.
Soon as the hero, by his martial strains,
Had kindled virtue in their frozen veins:
Afresh the warlike spirit grows,
Like flame, the brave contagion ran;
See in each sparkling eye it glows,
And catches on from man to man!
'Till rage in every breast to fear succeed;
And now they dare, and new they wish to bleed!
With different movements fraught were Maro's lays,
Taught flowing grief, and kind concern to raise:
He sung Marcellus' mournful name!
In beauty's, and in glory's bloom,
Torn from himself, from friends, from fame,
And rapt into an early tomb!
He sung, and sorrow stole on all,
And sighs began to heave, and tears began to fall!
But Rome's high empress felt the greatest smart,
Touch'd both by nature, and the poet's art:
For as he sung the mournful strain,
So well the hero's portraiture he drew,
She saw him sicken, fade again,
And in description bleed anew.
Then pierc'd, and yielding to the melting lay,
She sighed, she fainted, sunk, and died away.
Thus numbers once did human breasts controul!
Ah! where dwells now such empire o'er the soul?
Transported by harmonious lays,
The mind is melted down, or burns:
With joy o'er Windsor forest strays,
Or grieves when Eloisa mourns:
Still the same ardour kindles every line,
And our own POPE is now, what VIRGIL was, divine.

To a Young Lady, with FONTENELLE'S Plurality of Worlds.

IN this small work, all nature's wonders see,
The soften'd features of philosophy.
In truth by easy steps you here advance,
Truth as diverting, as the best romance.
Long had these arts to sages been confin'd,
None saw their beauty, 'till by poring blind;
By studying spent, like men that cram too full,
From Wisdom's feast they rose not chear'd, but dull:
The gay and airy smil'd to see 'em grave,
And fled such wisdom like Trophonius' cave.
Justly they thought they might those arts despise,
Which made men sullen, ere they could be wise.
[Page 242]Brought down to sight, with ease you view 'em here;
Though deep the bottom, yet the stream is clear.
Your flutt'ring sex still valu'd science less;
Careless of any but the arts of dress.
Their useless time was idly thrown away
On empty novels, or some new-born play;
The best, perhaps, a few loose hours might spare
For some unmeaning thing, miscall'd a pray'r.
In vain the glitt'ring orbs, each starry night,
With mingling blazes shed a flood of light:
Each nymph with cold indiff'rence saw 'em rise;
And, taught by fops, to them preferr'd her eyes.
None thought the stars were suns so widely sown,
None dreamt of other worlds, besides our own.
Well might they boast their charms, when every fair
Thought this world all; and her's the brightest here.
Ah! quit not the large thoughts this book inspires,
For those thin trifles which your sex admires:
Assert your claim to sense, and shew mankind,
That reason is not to themselves confin'd.
The haughty belle, whose beauty's awful shrine
'Twere sacrilege t' imagine not divine,
Who thought so greatly of her eyes before,
Bid her read this, and then be vain no more.
How poor ev'n you, who reign without controul,
If we except the beauties of your soul!
Should all beholders feel the same surprise:
Should all who see you, see you with my eyes;
[Page 243]Were no sick blasts to make that beauty less;
Should you be what I think, what all confess:
'Tis but a narrow space those charms engage;
One island only, and not half an age!


IF truth can fix thy wav'ring heart,
Let Damon urge his claim;
He feels the passion void of art,
The pure, the constant flame.
Though sighing swains their torments tell,
Their sensual love contemn:
They only prize the beauteous shell,
But slight the inward gem.
Possession cures the wounded heart,
Destroys the transient fire;
But when the mind receives the dart,
Enjoyment whets desire.
By age your beauty will decay,
Your mind improves with years;
As when the blossoms fade away,
The rip'ning fruit appears:
May Heav'n and Sylvia grant my suit,
And bless the future hour,
That Damon, who can taste the fruit,
May gather every flow'r!

To the Author of the Farmer's Letters, which were written in IRELAND in the Year of the Rebellion, by HENRY BROOKE, Esq a 1745.

OH thou, whose artless, free-born genius charms,
Whose rustic zeal each patriot bosom warms;
Pursue the glorious talk, the pleasing toil,
Forsake the fields, and till a nobler soil;
Extend the Farmer's care to human kind,
Manure the heart, and cultivate the mind;
There plant religion, reason, freedom, truth,
And sow the seeds of virtue in our youth:
[Page 245]Let no rank weeds corrupt, or brambles choak,
And shake the vermin from the British oak;
From northern blasts protect the vernal bloom,
And guard our pastures from the wolves of Rome.
On Britain's liberty ingraft thy name,
And reap the harvest of immortal fame!

VERSES written in a Book, called, Fables for the Female Sex, by EDWARD MOORE.

WHILE here the poet paints the charms
Which bless the perfect dame,
How unaffected beauty warms,
And wit preserves the flame;
How prudence, virtue, sense agree,
To form the happy wife:
In LUCY, and her book, I see,
The Picture, and the Life.


UNtouch'd by love, unmov'd by wit,
I found no charms in MATTHEW'S lyre,
But unconcern'd read all he writ,
Though love and Phoebus did inspire:
'Till SYLVIA took her favourite's part,
Resolv'd to prove my judgment wrong;
Her proofs prevail'd, they reach'd my heart,
And soon I felt the poet's song.


ARACHNE once, as poets tell,
A goddess at her art defy'd;
But soon the daring mortal fell
The hap [...]ess victim of her pride.
O then beware Arachne's fate,
Be prudent, CHLOE, and submit;
For you'll more surely feel her hate,
Who rival both her Art and Wit.

DEATH and the DOCTOR. Occasioned by a Physician's lampooning a Friend of the AUTHOR.

AS Doctor * * musing sat,
Death saw, and came without delay:
Enters the room, begins the chat
With, "Doctor, why so thoughtful, pray?"
The Doctor started from his place,
But soon they more familiar grew:
And then he told his piteous case,
How trade was low, and friends were few.
"Away with fear," the phantom said,
As soon as he had heard his tale:
"Take my advice, and mend your trade;
"We both are losers if you fail.
"Go write, your wit in satire show,
"No matter, whether smart, or true;
"Call * * names, the greatest foe
"To dullness, folly, pride, and you.
"Then copies spread, there lies the trick,
"Among your friends be sure you send 'em;
"For all who read will soon grow sick,
"And when you're call'd upon, attend 'em.
"Thus trade increasing by degrees,
"Doctor, we both shall have our ends:
"For you are sure to have your fees,
"And I am sure to have your friends."

INSCRIPTIONS on a Monument to the Memory of a Lady's favourite Bullfinch.

On the Front of the Stone.

Blandientis Volucris
Hunc Lapidem
D — G—
et hoc
Nobilissimae Luciae
Officii sui
qauale quale est

On the Right Side.

THE goddesses of wit and love
Have patroniz'd the owl and dove;
From whose protection both lay claim
To immortality and fame:
Could wit alone, or beauty, give
To birds the same prerogative;
My double claim had fate defy'd,
And a LUCY'S fav'rite ne'er had dy'd.

On the Left Side.

THOUGH here my body lies interr'd,
I still can be a tell-tale bird:
If DAVID b should pollute these shades,
And wanton with my lady's maids;
Or DICK c sneak out to field or park,
To play with MOPSY in the dark;
Or WILLd, that noble, generous youth,
Should err from wisdom, taste, and truth;
And bless'd with all that's fair and good,
Should quit a feast for grosser food:
I'll rise again a restless sprite,
Will haunt my lonely cage by night;
There swell my throat and plume my wing,
And every tale to LUCY sing.

The TRIAL of SELIM the PERSIANa, For divers High Crimes and Misdemeanours.

THE court was met; the pris'ner brought;
The counsel with instruction fraught;
And evidence prepar'd at large,
On oath, to vindicate the charge.
But first 'tis meet, where form denies
Poetic helps of fancy'd lies,
Gay metaphors, and figures fine,
And similes to deck the line;
'Tis meet (as we before have said)
To call description to our aid.
Begin we then (as first 'tis fitting)
With the three CHIEFS in judgment sitting.
[Page 251]Above the rest, and in the chair,
Sat FACTION with dissembled air;
Her tongue was skill'd in specious lies,
And murmurs, whence dissensions rise;
A smiling mask her features veil'd,
Her form the patriot's robe conceal'd;
With study'd blandishments she bow'd,
And drew the captivated crowd.
The next in place, and on the right,
Sat ENVY, hideous to the sight;
Her snaky locks, her hollow eyes,
And haggard form forbad disguise;
Pale discontent, and sullen hate
Upon her wrinkled forehead sate:
Her left-hand clench'd, her cheek sustain'd,
Her right (with many a murder stain'd)
A dagger clutch'd, in act to strike,
With starts of rage, and aim oblique.
Last on the left was CLAMOUR seen,
Of stature vast, and horrid mien;
With bloated cheeks, and frantic eyes,
She sent her yellings to the skies;
Prepar'd with trumpet in her hand,
To blow sedition o'er the land.
With these, four more of lesser fame,
And humbler rank, attendant came:
HYPOCRISY with smiling grace,
And IMPUDENCE with brazen face,
[Page 252]CONTENTION bold, with iron lungs,
And SLANDER with her hundred tongues.
The walls in sculptur'd tale were rich,
And statues proud (in many a nich)
Of chiefs, who fought in FACTION'S cause,
And perish'd for contempt of laws.
The roof in vary'd light and shade,
The seat of ANARCHY display'd,
Triumphant o'er a falling throne
(By emblematic figures known)
CONFUSION rag'd, and LUST obscene,
And RIOT with distemper'd mien,
And OUTRAGE bold, and MISCHIEF dire,
And DEVASTATION clad in fire.
Prone on the ground, a martial maid
Expiring lay, and groan'd for aid;
Her shield with many a stab was pierc'd,
Her laurels torn, her spear revers'd;
And near her crouch'd, amidst the spoils,
A lion painted in the toils.
With look compos'd the pris'ner stood,
And modest pride. By turns he view'd
The court, the counsel, and the crowd,
And with submissive rev'rence bow'd.
Proceed we now, in humbler strains,
And lighter rhymes, with what remains.
Th' indictment grievously set forth,
That SELIM, lost to truth and worth,
[Page 253](In company with one WILL PITTc,
And many more, not taken yet)
In FORTY-FIVEd, the royal palace
Did enter, and to shame grown callous,
Did then and there his faith forsake,
And did accept, receive and take,
With mischievous intent and base,
Value unknown, a certain place.
He was a second time indicted,
For that, by evil zeal excited,
With learning more than layman's share,
(Which parsons want, and he might spare)
In letter to one GILBERT WESTe,
He, the said SELIM, did attest,
Maintain, support, and make assertion
Of certain points, from PAUL'S conversion:
By means whereof the said apostle
Did many an unbeliever jostle,
Starting unfashionable fancies,
And building truths on known romances.
A third charge run, that knowing well
Wits only eat, as pamphlets sell,
He, the said SELIM, notwithstanding
Did fall to answ'ring, shaming, branding
[Page 254]Three curious Letters to the Whigsf;
Making no reader care three figs
For any facts contain'd therein;
By which uncharitable sin,
An author, modest and deserving,
Was destin'd to contempt, and starving;
Against the king, his crown and peace,
And all the statutes in that case.
The pleader rose with brief full charg'd,
And on the pris'ner's crimes enlarg'd—
But not to damp the Muse's fire
With rhet'ric such as courts require,
We'll try to keep the reader warm,
And sift the matter from the form.
Virtue and social love, he said,
And honour from the land were fled;
That PATRIOTS now, like other folks,
Were made the butt of vulgar jokes;
While OPPOSITION dropp'd her crest,
And courted power for wealth and rest.
Why some folks laugh'd, and some folks rail'd,
Why some submitted, some assail'd,
Angry or pleas'd—all solv'd the doubt
With who were in, and who were out.
The sons of CLAMOUR grew so sickly,
They look'd for dissolution quickly;
[Page 255]Their weekly Journals finely written,
Were sunk in privies all besh—n;
Old-England g and the London-Evening,
Hardly a soul was found believing in,
And Calebh, once so bold and strong,
Was stupid now, and always wrong.
Ask ye whence rose this foul disgrace?
Why SELIM has receiv'd a place,
And thereby brought the cause to shame;
Proving that people, void of blame,
Might serve their country and their king,
By making both the self-same thing.
By which the credulous believ'd,
And others (by strange arts deceiv'd)
That Ministers were sometimes right,
And meant not to destroy us quite.
That bart'ring thus in state-affairs,
He next must deal in sacred wares;
The clergy's rights divine invade,
And smuggle in the gospel-trade.
And all this zeal to re-instate
Exploded notions, out of date;
Sending old rakes to church in shoals,
Like children sniv'ling for their souls,
[Page 256]And ladies gay, from smut and libels,
To learn beliefs, and read their Bibles;
Erecting conscience for a tutor,
To damn the present by the future.
As if to evils known and real
'Twas needful to annex ideal;
When all of human life we know
Is care, and bitterness, and woe,
With short transitions of delight,
To set the shatter'd spirits right.
Then why such mighty pains and care,
To make us humbler than we are?
Forbidding short-liv'd mirth and laughter
By fears of what may come hereafter?
Better in ignorance to dwell;
None fear, but who believe an hell:
And if there should be one, no doubt
Men of themselves would find it out.
But SELIM'S crimes, he said, went further,
And barely stopp'd on this side murther;
One yet remain'd, to close the charge,
To which (with leave) he'd speak at large.
And first 'twas needful to premise,
That though so long (for reasons wife)
The press inviolate had stood,
Productive of the public good;
Yet still, too modest to abuse,
It rail'd at vice, but told not whose.
[Page 257]That great improvements, of late days,
Were made, to many an author's praise,
Who, not so scrupulously nice,
Proclaim'd the person with the vice,
Or gave, where vices might be wanted,
The name, and took the rest for granted.
Upon this plan, a Champion i rose,
Unrighteous greatness to oppose,
Proving the man inventus non est,
Who trades in pow'r, and still is honest;
And (God be prais'd) he did it roundly,
Flogging a certain junto foundly;
But chief his anger was directed
Where people least of all suspected;
And SELIM, not so strong as tall,
Beneath his grasp appear'd to fall.
But INNOCENCE (as people say)
Stood by, and sav'd him in the fray:
By her assisted, and one TRUTH,
A busy, prating, forward youth,
He rally'd all his strength anew,
And at the foe a letter threwk,
His weakest part the weapon found,
And brought him senseless to the ground.
[Page 258]Hence OPPOSITION fled the field,
And IGN'RANCE with her seven-fold shield;
And well they might, for (things weigh'd fully)
The pris'ner, with his Whore and Bully,
Must prove for every foe too hard,
Who never fought with such a guard.
But TRUTH and INNOCENCE, he said,
Would stand him here in little stead,
For they had evidence on oath,
That would appear too hard for both.
Of witnesses a fearful train
Came next th' indictments to sustain;
And PARTY, of all foes the worst,
And DISAPPOINTMENT, worn with grief,
DISHONOUR foul, unaw'd by shame,
And every fiend that vice can name.
All these in ample form depos'd
Each fact the triple charge disclos'd,
With taunts and gibes of bitter sort,
And asking vengeance from the court.
The pris'ner said in his defence,
That he indeed had small pretence,
To soften facts so deeply sworn,
But would for his offences mourn;
Yet more he hop'd than bare repentance
Might still be urg'd to ward the sentence;
[Page 259]That he had held a place some years,
He own'd with penitence and tears,
But took it not from motives base,
Th' indictment there mistook the case;
And though he had betray'd his trust,
In being to his country just,
Neglecting FACTION and her friends,
He did it not for wicked ends,
But that complaints and feuds might cease,
And jarring parties mix in peace.
That what he wrote to GILBERT WEST
Bore hard against him, he confest;
Yet there they wrong'd him; for the fact is,
He reason'd for Belief, not Practice;
And people might believe, he thought,
Though Practice might be deem'd a fault.
He either dreamt it, or was told,
Religion was rever'd of old,
That it gave breeding no offence,
And was no foe to wit and sense;
But whether this was truth or whim,
He would not say; the doubt with him
(And no great harm he hop'd) was how
Th' enlighten'd world would take it now;
If they admitted it, 'twas well,
If not, he never talk'd of hell,
Nor even hop'd to change men's measures,
Or frighten ladies from their pleasures.
One accusation, he confess'd,
Had touch'd him more than all the rest;
Three Patriot-Letters, high in fame,
By him o'erthrown, and brought to shame.
And though it was a rule in vogue,
If one man call'd another rogue,
The party injur'd might reply,
And on his foe retort the lie;
Yet what accru'd from all his labour,
But foul dishonour to his neighbour?
And he's a most unchristian elf,
Who others damns to save himself.
Besides, as all men knew, he said,
These Letters only rail'd for bread;
And hunger was a known excuse
For prostitution and abuse;
A guinea, properly apply'd,
Had made the writer change his side;
He wish'd he had not cut and carv'd him,
And own'd, he should have bought, not starv'd him.
The court, he said, knew all the rest,
And must proceed as they thought best;
Only he hop'd such resignation
Would plead some little mitigation;
And if his character was clear
From other faults (and friends were near,
Who would, when call'd upon, attest it)
He did in humblest form request it,
[Page 261]To be from punishment exempt,
And only suffer their contempt.
The pris'ner's friends their claim preferr'd,
In turn demanding to be heard.
BENEVOLENCE and twenty more,
That he was always of their party,
And that they knew him firm and hearty.
RELIGION, sober dame, attended,
And, as she could, his cause befriended;
She said, 'twas since she came from college
She knew him introduc'd by KNOWLEDGE;
The man was modest and sincere,
Nor farther could she interfere.
The MUSES begg'd to interpose,
But ENVY with loud hissings rose,
And call'd them women of ill fame,
Liars, and prostitutes to shame;
And said, to all the world 'twas known,
SELIM had had them every one.
The pris'ner blush'd, the MUSES frown'd,
When silence was proclaim'd around,
And FACTION, rising with the rest,
In form the pris'ner thus addrest.
You, SELIM, thrice have been indicted,
First, that by wicked pride excited,
And bent your country to disgrace,
You have receiv'd, and held a PLACE.
[Page 262]Next, INFIDELITY to wound,
You've dar'd, with arguments profound,
To drive FREETHINKING to a stand,
And with RELIGION vex the land.
And lastly, in contempt of right,
With horrid and unnat'ral spite,
You have an AUTHOR'S fame o'erthrown,
Thereby to build and fence your own.
These crimes successive, on your trial,
Have met with proofs beyond denial;
To which yourself, with shame, conceded,
And but in mitigation pleaded.
Yet that the justice of the court
May suffer not in men's report,
Judgment a moment I suspend,
To reason as from friend to friend.
And first, that you, of all mankind,
With KINGS and COURTS should stain your mind
You! who were OPPOSITION'S lord!
Her nerves, her sinews, and her sword!
That you at last, for servile ends,
Should wound the bowels of her friends!—
Is aggravation of offence,
That leaves for mercy no pretence.
Yet more—for you to urge your hate,
And back the church to aid the state!
For you to publish such a letter!
You! who have known RELIGION better!
[Page 263]For you I say, to introduce
The fraud again!—There's no excuse.
And last of all, to crown your shame,
Was it for you to load with blame
The writings of a Patriot-Youth,
And summon INNOCENCE and TRUTH
To prop your cause?—Was this for you!—
But justice does your crimes pursue;
And sentence now alone remains,
Which thus, by me, the court ordains.
"That you return from whence you came,
"There to be stripp'd of all your fame
"By vulgar hands, that once a week
"Old-England pinch you till you squeak;
"That ribald pamphlets do pursue you,
"And lies, and murmurs, to undo you,
"With every foe that WORTH procures,
"And only VIRTUE'S friends be YOURS."

The TROPHY: BEING SIX CANTATAS To the Honour of his ROYAL HIGHNESS WILLIAM, Duke of CUMBERLAND; Expressing the just Sense of a grateful Nation, in the several Characters of • The VOLUNTEER, , • The POET, , • The PAINTER, , • The MUSICIAN, , • The SHEPHERD, , and • The RELIGIOUS. 


DEEP in a forest's shadowy seat,
A youth enjoy'd his calm retreat,
[Page 265]Deaf to the din of civil rage,
And discord of the impious age;
When visionary sleep deprest
His drowsy lids, and thus alarm'd his rest.
Two rival forms immensely bright
Appear'd, and charm'd his mental sight;
Honour and Pleasure seem'd descending,
On each her various train attending,
Of decent, sober, great, and plain,
Of gay, fantastic, loud, and vain.
With confident, yet charming grace,
Pleasure first brake the silence of the place.
Enjoy with me this calm retreat,
Dissolv'd in ease thine hours shall flow:
With love alone thy heart shall beat,
And this be all th' alarms you know:
Cares to sooth, and life befriend,
Pleasures on your nod attend.
[Page 266] CHORUS.
Cares to sooth, and life befriend,
Pleasures on your nod attend.
Her decent front strait Honour shew'd,
Where mingled scorn and anger glow'd;
Contempt of Pleasure's flow'ry reign,
Enrag'd at all her abject train;
And thus in rapid strains exprest
The tumults of her honest breast.
Rise, youth—thy country calls thee from thy shade;
Behold her tears,
And hear her cries:
Religion fears,
And Freedom dies,
Amid the horrors of War's dreadful trade.
Thy country groans: forego thy shade—
'Tis Honour calls thee to her aid.
Thy country groans: forego thy shade—
'Tis Honour calls thee to her aid.
The youth awoke—and starting wide,
Sleep, with its vision, left his side.
[Page 267]His soul th' idea fill'd alone;
The heroic form, the piercing tone
Of Honour on his memory play'd,
And all his heart confess'd the heav'nly maid.
Sweet object of my choice,
Adieu, thou calm recess!
My bleeding country's voice
Tears me from thy embrace.
From musing water-falls,
From shades and flow'ry meads,
'Tis virtuous Honour calls,
And princely WILLIAM leads.
From all a father's love,
From all a nation's care,
Behold where BRITAIN'S Jove
Sends forth his god of war:
'Gainst mountains cap'd with snows,
'Gainst foul Rebellion's rage
The willing Hero goes
Gigantic war to wage—
The gen'rous heart what flow'ry scenes can please,
Or tempt to waste his youth in useless ease!
[Page 268] CHORUS.
The gen'rous heart what flow'ry scenes can please,
Or tempt to waste his youth in useless ease!


Give me, indulgent Muse, to rove
The mazes of thy laurel'd grove,
To chuse a wreath for WILLIAM'S brow
Above Sybilla's golden bough.
I walk—I wander here and there—
How can I chuse, where all is fair?
This I prefer, and that refuse—
Guide me, my still-inspiring Muse,
I said, and pluck'd the chosen wreath:
Large drops of blood distill'd beneath;
A sigh now shook the weeping tree,
And thus a vocal sound
Brake from the recent wound,
And set the form of beauteous Daphne free.
Coy Daphne you behold in me;
For WILLIAM'S sake I willing bleed.
No wreath but this from Phoebus' tree
Is worthy him, who Britain freed.
[Page 269]Less fair was Phoebus' chace for unsought fame,
Be his the wreath, who woo'd and won the dame.


Sweet mimic thou of Nature's face,
Thy pencil take, thy colour spread;
On thy canvas curious trace
Every virtue, every grace,
That hovers round our WILLIAM'S head.
Let Victory before him fly,
And Fortitude with stedfast eye;
Let Prudence with her mirrour haste,
Studious of future by the past;
With Industry in vigour blooming,
And Science knowing much, yet less assuming.
To group the piece, and swell the train,
With Hydra heads Rebellion draw,
Spouting at every vein
The blood of thousands slain;
Thousands too few to glut her rav'nous maw:
Paint her panting, sinking, dying,
Paint her sons at distance flying:
Paint Britannia full of smiles,
Scarce recover'd from her toils:
[Page 270]Paint Justice ready to avenge her pain,
Dragging the monster in her massy chain.
Near her paint Mercy crown'd: soft-smiling let her stand,
With arm out-stretch'd to stop her just, determin'd hand.
Cease to declaim, the artist cries,
Of every virtue, every grace,—
See, by degrees the features rise:
Behold them all in WILLIAM'S face.


O various power of magic strains,
To damp our joys and sooth our pains!
Every movement of the will
Obedient owns the artist's skill.
Thus in gay notes, and boastful words,
The master of the tuneful chords;
But soon he found his boast was air,
His love still blasted with despair,
And Chloe cold, or seeming cold
To all the tuneful tales he told.
To love when he tun'd the soft lyre,
It sigh'd, and it trembled in vain;
Tho' warm'd by his amorous fire,
The fair one ne'er answer'd his strain.
[Page 271] RECITATIVE.
Hear, cries the artist, pow'r divine,
Great leader of the tuneful Nine;
Teach thy votary to swell
With love-inspiring strains the shell,
Such as please my Chloe best,
And easiest glide into her breast.
No more I woo in warbling strains,
No more I sing the lover's pains
To cold and careless ears:
To warlike notes I tune the string,
The song to WILLIAM'S praise I sing—
The nymph with rapture hears.


Beneath an oak's indulgent shade
A shepherd at his ease was laid;
He pluck'd the bough, the wreath he wove
Sacred to WILLIAM, and to love,
And taught the vocal woods around
His name and Delia's to resound.
Of peace restor'd the shepherd sung,
And plenty smiling o'er the fields;
Of peace restor'd the woodlands rung,
And all the sweets that quiet yields;
[Page 272]Of love he sung and Delia's charms,
And all restor'd by WILLIAM'S arms.
Driv'n from his native soil belov'd,
By cost and care not unimprov'd,
A northern swain himself betook
To rest, in that sequester'd nook.
One fav'rite lamb escap'd the spoil,
The only meed of all his toil;
Which now o'erspent he drove before,
Now fondling in his bosom bore.
He heard, and strait the cause requir'd,
With wonder more than envy fir'd.
Say, swain, by what good pow'r
Thou wing'st the fleeting hour,
With strains that wonder move,
And tell of ease and love;
While I by war's alarms
Am forc'd from safety's arms;
From home and native air,
And all their social care.
Say, swain, &c.
Again, replied the swain, repair
To northern fields and native air;
Again thy kindly home review
And all its social cares renew.
[Page 273]Within what cave, or forest deep,
To grief indulgent, or to sleep,
Hast thou escap'd the gen'ral joy,
Sweet gift of BRITAIN'S fav'rite BOY?
'Twas WILLIAM'S toil this leisure gave,
By him I tune my oaten reed,
By him yon golden harvests wave,
By him these herds in safety feed:
Him shall our grateful songs declare
Ever to British shepherds dear.
Him shall our grateful songs declare
Ever to British shepherds dear.


Here, tyrant Superstition, ugly fiend,
Harpy with an angel's face,
Monster in Religion's dress,
Thy impious pray'rs and bloody visions end.
Hence, with thy sister Persecution, go—
Hence with all her pleasing dreams
Of martyrs' groans, and virgins' screams
The stretching rack, and horrid wheel,
Slow fires, and consecrated steel,
And every priestly implement of woe,
[Page 274]And every threaten'd tool of hoodwink'd zeal,
Ingenious Rome can find, or tortur'd Nature feel.
From Britain's happier clime repair
To southern suns and slavish air—
To empty halls,
To midnight bells,
To cloister'd walls,
To gloomy cells
Where moping Melancholy dwells—
WILLIAM'S name shall reach you there,
And sink your souls with black despair.
The Hero comes, and with him brings
Fair Hope, that soars on Cherub's wings;
Firm Faith attends with stedfast eye,
Intent on things above the sky,
To mortal ken unknown; and She,
Meek and seemly, kind and free,
Ever hoping, still believing,
Still forbearing, still forgiving,
Greatest of the havenly Three.
Britons, join the godlike train,
Learn, that all but Truth is vain,
And to her lyre attune your joy:
No gifts so pure as those she brings,
No notes so sweet as those she sings,
To praise the heav'nly-favour'd BOY.

The Marriage of the MYRTLE and the YEW. A FABLE. To DELIA, about to marry beneath herself. 1744.

A Myrtle flourish'd 'mongst the flowers,
And happy pass'd her maiden hours:
The lovely Rose, the garden's queen,
Companion of this shrub was seen;
The Lily fair, the Violet blue,
The Eglantine beside her grew:
The Woodbine's arms did round her twine,
With the pale genteel Jessamine:
With her's the Tuberose mixt her sweet;
The flow'rs were gracious, she discreet.
The envious shrub, with some regret,
Saw all her friends in wedlock met;
Up the tall Elm the Woodbine swarms,
And twines her marriageable arms;
A gorgeous bower the Jess'mine chose,
The glory of some ancient house;
With joy she views the short-liv'd maid,
The Violet, drooping in the shade;
[Page 276]And sees (which pleas'd her to the quick)
The Lily hug a sapless stick.
"And must Myrtilla still be seen
"Pining in sickness ever-green?
"Shall she"—
With that she arm'd her brow,
Which once had conquests gain'd, but now—
Too old to chuse, too proud to sue,
Strikes flag to her good cousin Yew.
This Yew was fair, and large, and good,
Esteem'd a pretty stick of wood:
But never in the garden plac'd,
Or to be borne by nymphs of taste,
But in a wilderness, or waste:
And cut and clip, whate'er you do,
This pretty stick was still but Yew.
The pois'nous drops, the baleful shade
Struck each genteeler flower dead;
But Myrtle, being ever-green,
Thought Nature taught to wed her kin,
And careless of th' event, withdrew
From her old friends, and sought her Yew.
Behold the am'rous shrub transplanted,
And her last pray'r in vengeance granted.
The bride and bridegroom cling together,
Enjoy the fair, and scorn foul weather.
Visits are pay'd: around are seen
The scrubbed race of ever-green,
[Page 277]Th' ill-natur'd Holly, ragged Box,
And Yew's own family in flocks:
But not a flow'r of scent or flavour
Would do the bride so great a favour,
But in contempt drew in their leaves,
And shrunk away, as Sensitives.
The blushing * Queen, with decent pride,
Turn'd, as she pass'd, her head aside;
The Lily nice, was like to spue
The Eglantine, a prude by nature,
Would never go a-near the Creacher;
And the gay Woodbine gave a flaunt,
Nor answer'd her but with a taunt.
Poor MYRTLE, strangely mortify'd,
Too late resumes her proper pride;
Which, heighten'd now by pique and spleen,
Paints her condition doubly mean.
She sour'd her mind, grew broken-hearted
And soon this spiteful world departed;
And now lies decently interr'd,
Near the old YEW in — church-yard.

On a BAY-LEAF, pluck'd from VIRGIL'S Tomb near Naples. 1736.

BOLD was the irreligious hand,
That could all reverence withstand,
And sacrilegiously presume
To rob the poet's sacred tomb
Of so much honourable shade,
As this, so small a trophy, made;
Could dare to pluck from VIRGIL'S brow
The honours Nature did bestow.
aSweetly the gentle goddess smil'd,
And listen'd to her favourite child;
Whether in shepherd's cleanly weed
He deftly tun'd his oaten reed,
And taught the vocal woods around
His Amaryllis to resound;
bOr taught he in a graver strain
To clothe the field with waving grain;
And in the marriage-folds to twine
The barren elm, and cluster'd vine;
[Page 279]To yoke the lab'ring ox, to breed
To the known goal the foaming steed;
And sung the manners, rights, degrees,
And labours of the frugal bees;
cOr whether with Aeneas' name
He swell'd th' extended cheek of Fame,
And all his god-like labours sung,
Whence Rome's extended glories sprung;
The goddess smil'd, and own'd she knew
Th' original from whence he drew,
And grateful she, spontaneous gave
This living honour to his grave.
Hail, thou sweet shade, whose reverenc'd name
Still foremost in the mouth of Fame,
Doth preference and value give,
And teach this little leaf to live.
Methinks secluded from that brow,
Where grateful Nature bade it grow,
This beauteous green should fade away,
And yield to iron-tooth'd decay:
But VIRGIL'S name forbids that crime,
And blunts the threat'ning fithe of Time.

To CHLOE. Written on my Birth-day, 1734.

THE minutes, the hours, the days, and the years,
That fill up the current of Time,
Neither flowing with hopes, neither ebbing with fears,
Unheeded roll'd on to my prime.
In infancy prattling, in youth full of play,
Still pleas'd with whatever was new,
I bade the old cripple fly swifter away,
To o'ertake some gay trifle in view.
But when CHLOE, with sweetness and sense in her look,
First taught me the lesson of love;
Then I counted each step the wing'd fugitive took,
And bade him more leisurely move.
Stop, runaway, stop, nor thy journey pursue,
For CHLOE has giv'n me her heart:
To enjoy it thy years will prove many too few,
If you make so much haste to depart.
[Page 281]Still, still he flies on—still, still let him fly,
'Till he's tir'd, and panting for breath;
My love both his teeth and his sithe shall defy—
That can only be conquer'd by Death.


TO silent groves, where weeping yew
With sadly-mournful cypress join'd,
Poor DAMON from the plain withdrew,
To ease with plaints his love-sick mind;
Pale willow into mystic wreaths he wove,
And thus lamented his forsaken love.
How often, CELIA, faithless maid,
With arms entwined did we walk
Beneath the close unpierced shade,
Beguiling time with am'rous talk!
But that, alas! is past, and I must prove
The pangs attending on forsaken love.
But think not, CELIA, I will bear
With dull submission all the smart;
No, I'll at once drive out despair,
And thy lov'd image from my heart:
All arts, all charms I'll practise to remove
The pangs attending on forsaken love.
Bacchus, with greenest ivy crown'd,
Hither repair with all thy train;
And chase the jovial goblet round,
For CELIA triumphs in my pain:
With gen'rous wine assist me to remove
The pangs attending on forsaken love.
Could reason be so drown'd in wine,
As never to revive again,
How happy were this heart of mine
Reliev'd at once from all its pain!
But reason still with love returns, to prove
The torments lasting of forsaken love.
Bring me the nymph, whose gen'rous soul
Kindles at the circling bowl;
Whose sparkling eye with wanton fire
Shoots through my blood a fierce desire;
For ev'ry art I'll practise to remove
The pangs attending on forsaken love.
And what is all this transient flame!
'Tis but a blaze, and seen no more;
A blaze that lights us to our shame,
And robs us of a gay sour-score;
Reason again with love returns, to prove
The torments lasting of forsaken love.
Hark! how the jolly huntsman's cries,
In concert with the op'ning hounds,
Rend the wide concave of the skies,
And tire dull Echo with their sounds:
Thou Phoebe, goddess of the chace, remove
The pangs attending on forsaken love.
Ah me! the sprightly-bounding doe,
The chace, and every thing I view,
Still to my mind recall my woe;
So CELIA flies, so I pursue:
So rooted here, no arts can e'er remove
The pangs attending on forsaken love.
Then back, poor Damon, to thy grove:
Since nought avails to ease thy pain,
Let constancy thy flame improve,
And patience answer her disdain:
So gratitude may CELIA'S bosom move,
To pity and reward thy constant love.


‘Honestius putamus, quod frequentius; recti apud nos locum tenet error, ubi publicus factus. SENECA.
YES, yes, my friend, disguise it as you will,
To right or wrong 'tis Fashion guides us still;
A few perhaps rise singularly good,
Defy and stem the fool-o'erwhelming flood;
The rest to wander from their brethren fear,
As social herrings in large shoals appear.
'Twas not a taste, but pow'rful mode, that bade
Yon' purblind, poking peer run picture mad;
With the same wonder-gaping face he stares
On flat DUTCH dawbing, as on GUIDO'S airs;
What might his oak-crown'd manors mortgag'd gain?
Alas! five faded landscapes of a LORAINE.
Not so GARGILIUS—sleek, voluptuous lord,
A hundred dainties smoke upon his board;
Earth, air, and ocean's ransack'd for the feast,
In masquerade of foreign OLIO'S dress'd;
Who praises, in this sauce-enamour'd age,
Calm, healthful temp'rance, like an INDIAN sage:
[Page 285]But could he walk in public, were it said,
"GARGILIUS din'd on beef, and eat brown bread?"
Happy the grotto'd hermit with his pulse,
Who wants no truffles, rich ragouts—nor b HULSE.
How strict on Sundays gay LAETITIA'S face!
How curl'd her hair, how clean her Brussels lace!
She lifts her eyes, her sparkling eyes to heav'n,
Most nun-like mourns, and hopes to be forgiv'n.
Think not she prays, or is grown penitent —
She went to church—because the parish went.
Close CHREMES, deaf to the pale widow's grief,
Parts with an unsunn'd guinea for relief;
No meltings o'er his ruthless bosom steal,
More than fierce Arabs, or proud tyrants feel;
Yet, since his neighbours give, the churl unlocks,
Damning the poor, his triple-bolted box.
Why loves not HIPPIA rank obscenity?
Why would she not with twenty porters lie?
Why not in crowded Malls quite naked walk?
Not aw'd by virtue—but "The world would talk."—
Yet how demurely looks the wishing maid,
For ever, but in bed, of man afraid!
Thus c HAMMON'S spring by day feels icy-cool,
At night is hot as hell's sulphureous pool.
Each panting warble of VESCONTI'S throat,
To DICK, is heav'nlier than a seraph's note;
[Page 286]The trills, he swears, soft-stealing to his breast,
Are lullabies, to sooth his cares to rest;
Are sweeter far, than LAURA'S luscious kiss,
Charm the whole man, and lap his soul in bliss:
Who can such counterfeited raptures bear,
Of a deaf fool who scarce can thunders hear?
CROWDERO might with him for FESTIN pass,
And touching HANDEL yield to trifling HASSE.
But curd-fac'd CURIO comes! all prate, and smile,
Supreme of beaux, great bulwark of our isle!
Mark well his feather'd hat, his gilt cockade,
Rich rings, white hand, and coat of stiff brocade;
Such weak-wing'd May-flies BRITAIN'S troops disgrace,
That FLANDRIA, wond'ring, mourns our alter'd race:
With him the fair, enraptur'd with a rattle,
This self-pleas'd king of emptiness permit
At the dear toilette harmlessly to fit;
As mirthless infants, idling out the day,
With wooden swords, or toothless puppies play:
'Tis meaner (cries the manling) to command
A conquering host, or save a sinking land,
Than furl fair FLAVIA'S fan, or lead a dance,
Or broach new-minted FASHIONS fresh from FRANCE.
O FRANCE, whose edicts govern dress and meat,
Thy victor BRITAIN bends beneath thy feet!
Strange! that pert grashoppers should lions lead,
And teach to hop, and chirp across the mead:
[Page 287]Of fleets and laurell'd chiefs let others boast,
Thy honours are to bow, dance, boil, and roast,
Let ITALY give mimic canvas fire,
Carve rock to life, or tune the lulling lyre;
For gold let rich POTOSI be renown'd,
Be balmy-breathing gums in INDIA found:
'Tis thine for sleeves to teach the shantiest cuts,
Give empty coxcombs more important struts,
Prescribe new rules for knots, hoops, manteaus, wigs,
Shoes, soups, complexions, coaches, farces, jigs.
MUSCALIA dreams of last night's ball 'till ten,
Drinks chocolate, stroaks FOP, and sleeps agen;
Perhaps at twelve dares ope her drowsy eyes,
Asks LUCY if 'tis late enough to rise;
By three each curl and feature justly set,
She dines, talks scandal, visits, plays piquette:
Meanwhile her babes with some foul nurse remain,
For modern dames a mother's cares disdain;
Each fortnight once she bears to see the brats,
"For oh they stun one's ears, like squalling cats!"
Tigers and pards protect, and nurse their young,
The parent-snake will roll her forked tongue,
The vulture hovers vengeful o'er her nest,
If the rude hand her helpless brood infest;
Shall lovely woman, softest frame of heav'n,
To whom were tears, and feeling pity giv'n,
Most fashionably cruel, less regard
Her offspring, than the vulture, snake, and pard?
What art, O FASHION, pow'r supreme below▪
You make us virtue, nature, sense, forego;
You sanctify knave, atheist, whore, and fool,
And shield from justice, shame, and ridicule.
Our grandames modes, long absent from our eyes,
At your all-powerful bidding duteous rise;
As ARETHUSA sunk beneath the plain
For many a league, emerging flows again;
Now d Mary's mobs, and flounces you approve,
Now shape-disguising sacks, and slippers love:
Scarce have you chose (like Fortune fond to joke)
Some reigning dress, but you the choice revoke:
So when the deep-tongu'd organ's notes swell high,
And loud HOSANNAHS reach the distant sky,
Hark, how at once the dying strains decay,
And soften unexpectedly away.
The peer, prince, peasant, soldier, squire, divine,
Goddess of Change, bend low before your shrine,
Swearing to follow, wheresoe'er you lead,
Though you eat toads, or walk upon your head.
'Tis hence belles game, intrigue, sip citron-drams,
And hide their lovely locks with e heads of rams;
Hence girls, once modest, without blush appear,
With legs display'd, and swan-soft bosoms bare;
[Page 289]Hence stale, autumnal dames, still deck'd with laces,
Look like vile canker'd coins in velvet cases.
Ask you, why whores live more belov'd than wives,
Why weeping virtue exil'd, flattery thrives,
Why mad for pensions, BRITONS young and old
Adore base ministers, those calves of gold,
Why witling templars on religion joke,
Fat, rosy justices, drink, doze, and smoke,
Dull critics on best bards pour harmless spite,
As babes that mumble coral, cannot bite,
Why knaves malicious, brother-knaves embrace,
With hearts of gall, but courtly smiling face,
Why scornful FOLLY from her gaudy coach,
At starving houseless VIRTUE points reproach,
Why AV'RICE is the great all-worshipp'd God?
Methinks some DAEMON answers—" 'Tis the mode!"
At this CORRUPTION smiles with ghastly grin,
Presaging triumphs to her mother, SIN;
Who, as with baneful wings aloft she flies,
"This falling land be mine!"—exulting cries;
Grim TYRANNY attends her on her way,
And frowns, and whets his sword that thirsts to slay.
Look from the frigid to the torrid zone,
By custom all are led, by nature none.
fThe hungry TARTAR rides upon his meat,
To cook the dainty flesh with buttocks' heat:
[Page 290]The CHINESE complaisantly takes his bed
With his big wife, and is with caudle fed.
How would our tender British beauties shriek,
To see slim beaux on bulls their lances break!
Yet no LUCINDA, in heroic SPAIN,
Admits a youth, but who his beast has slain.
See, wond'rous lands, where the fell victor brings
To his glad wives, the heads of slaughter'd kings,
The mangled heads!—o'er which they sing and laugh,
And in dire banquets the warm life-blood quaff;
Where youths their grandfires, age-bent, trembling, grey,
Pitying their weary weakness, kindly slay:
Where fainted BRACHMANS, sick of life, retire,
To die spontaneous on the spicy pyre;
Where (stranger still!) with their wild dates content,
The simple swains no sighs for gold torment.
How fondly partial are our judgments grown,
We deem all manners odious but our own!
O teach me, friend, to know wise NATURE'S rules,
And laugh, like you, at FASHION'S hoodwink'd fools;
You, who to woods remov'd from modish sin,
Despise the distant world's hoarse, busy din;
As shepherds from high rocks hear far below,
Hear unconcern'd loud torrents fiercely flow;
You, though mad millions the mean taste upbraid,
Who still love VIRTUE, fair, forsaken maid;
As BACCHUS charming ARIADNE bore,
By all abandon'd, from the lonesome shore.


NATURE and FORTUNE blyth and gay,
To pass an hour or two,
In frolic mood agreed to play
At "What shall this man do?"
Come, I'll be judge then, FORTUNE cries,
And therefore must be blind;
Then whipt a napkin round her eyes,
And ty'd it fast behind.
NATURE had now prepar'd her list
Of names on scraps of leather,
Which roll'd, she gave them each a twist,
And hustled them together.
[Page 292]Thus mixt, whichever came to hand,
She very surely drew;
Then bade her sister give command,
For what that man should do.
'Twould almost burst one's sides to hear
What strange commands she gave;
That C—R should the laurel wear,
And C—I an army have.
At length when STANHOPE'S name was come,
Dame NATURE smil'd, and cry'd,
Now tell me, sister, this man's doom,
And what shall him betide?
That man, said FORTUNE, shall be one
Bless'd both by you and me:
Nay, then, quoth NATURE, let's have done;
Sister, I'm sure you see.


SPANHOPE has gain'd one branch of fame,
To which, I'll prove, he has no claim.
Say they—"His favours he extends,
"Without regard to wealth, or friends;
"Of such disinterested spirit,
"Nothing prevails, with him, but merit;
"Nay, he'll dispense with merit too;
"When modest want can reach his view."
Mere prejudice! 'tis plain to me,
No man takes sweeter bribes than he.
To clear this point from any doubt,
A parallel shall help me out.
The noble FULVIA spurns at gain;
Freely she heals her lover's pain:
But, surely, you'll allow me this,
That when she grants, she shares the bliss.
So STANHOPE, in each gen'rous action,
Reaps more than half the satisfaction.

To the Earl of CHESTERFIELD.

CAN ease be consistent with state?
Can freedom and pomp thus agree?
O STANHOPE, who would not be great,
If easy in greatness like thee?
Let statesmen pretend to despise
Those talents that furnish delight,
'Tis STANHOPE'S alone to be wise,
Yet pleasure with wisdom unite.
State burthens with form the gay soul,
Unbended alone we taste joy.
Too soon our grey hairs must control
That bliss which our prime should employ.
Then, STANHOPE, be bless'd in your choice,
Be happy your life in each stage;
While spirits attend you rejoice,
You've wisdom enough for old age.

HONOUR. A POEM. By the Rev. Dr. BROWNa. Inscribed to the Right Hon. the Lord Visc. LONSDALE.

Hic Manus ob Patriam pugnando vulnera passi;
Quique Sacerdotes casti dum vita manebat;
Quique pii Vates, & Phoebo digna locuti,
Inventas aut qui Vitam excoluere per Artes,
Quique sui memores alios fecere merendo;
Omnibus his nivea cinguntur Tempora vitta.
VIRG. Aen. 6.
— Who shall go about
To cozen Fortune, and be honourable
Without the Stamp of Merit?
YES: all, my Lord, usurp fair HONOUR'S fame,
Verse 1, &c. The various and ridiculous pretensions of mankind to Honour and Fame enumerated. IMITATIONS.
Verse 1, &c. Oui, l'honneur, Valincour, est chéri dans le monde—
L'Ambitieux le met souvent à tout bruler,
L'Avare à voir chez lui le Pactole rouler,
Un faux brave à vanter sa proüesse frivole.
Though false as various be the boasted claim:
Th' ambitious miser swells his boundless store,
And dreads that highest scandal, to be poor;
[Page 296]His wiser heir derides the dotard's aim,
And bids profusion bribe him into fame.
[Page 297]Oft' Honour, perching on the ribbon'd breast,
Sneers at weak justice, and defies th' arrest:
She dwells exulting on the tongues of kings;
She wakes the Muse to flight, and plumes her wings; 10
The soldier views her in the shining blade;
The pedant midst the lumber in his head.
She to fell Treason the disguise can lend,
And sheath her sword remorseless in a friend:
Her throne's fantastic pride, we often see 15
Rear'd on the tombs of Truth and Honesty;
Fops, templars,—courtiers, slaves,—cheats, patriots,—all
Pretend to hear, and to obey her call.
Where fix we then? — Each boasting thus his own,
Say, does true Honour dwell with all, or none?20
The truth, my Lord, is clear:—though impious pride134
Is ever self-ador'd, self-deify'd;
Though fools by passion or self-love betray'd,
Fall down and worship what themselves have made;
[Page 298]Still does the Goddess, in her form divine,25
O'er each grim idol eminently shine;
Array'd in lasting majesty, is known
Through every clime and age, unchang'd, and one.
But how explor'd?—Take reason for your guide,135
Discard self-love; set passion's glass aside; 30
Nor view her with the jaundic'd eye of pride.
Yet judge not rashly from a partial view136
Of what is wrong or right, or false or true;
Objects too near deceive th' observer's eye;
Examine those which at a distance lie.35
Scarce is the structure's harmony descry'd
'Midst the tall column's, and gay order's pride;
But tow'rds the destin'd point your sight remove,
And this shall lessen still, and that improve,
New beauties gain upon your wond'ring eyes,40
And the fair Whole in just proportion rise.
Thus Honour's true proportions best are seen,
Where the due length of ages lies between:
This separates pride from greatness, show from worth,
Detects false beauty, real grace calls forth; 45
[Page 299]Points out what merits praise, what merits blame,
Sinks in disgrace, or rises into fame.
Come then, from past examples let us prove137
What raises hate, contempt, esteem, or love.
Can greatness give true Honour? can expence?138 50
Can luxury? or can magnificence?
Wild is the purpose, and the fruitless aim,
Like a vile prostitute to bribe fair Fame;
Persuasive splendor vainly tempts her ear,
And e'en all-potent gold is baffled here.55
Ye pyramids, that once could threat the skies,
Aspiring tow'rs, and cloud-wrapt wonders, rise!
To latest age your founder's pride proclaim;
Record the tyrant's greatness; tell his name;
No more:—The treacherous brick and mould'ring stone 60
Are sunk in dust: the boasting title gone:
Pride's trophies swept by Time's devouring flood;
Th' inscription want, to tell where once they stood.
But could they rival Nature, Time defy,
Yet what record but Vice or Vanity?65
His the true glory, though his name unknown,
Who taught the arch to swell; to rise, the stone;
[Page 300]Not his, whose wild command fair art obey'd,
Whilst folly dictated, or passion sway'd.
No: spite of greatness, pride and vice are seen,70
Shameful in pomp, conspicuously mean.
In vain, O Studleyb, thy proud forests spread;140
In vain each gilded turret rears its head;
In vain thy lord commands the streams to fall,
Extends the view, and spreads the smooth canal,75
While guilt's black train each conscious walk invade,
And cries of orphans haunt him in the shade.
Mistaken man! by crimes to hope for fame!
Thy imag'd glory leads to real shame:
Is villany self-hated? thus to raise 80
Upbraiding monuments of soul disgrace?
Succeeding times, and ages yet unborn,
Shall view the guilty scenes with honest scorn;
Disdain each beauty thy proud folly plann'd,
And curse the labours of oppression's hand.85
Next, view the Hero in th' embattled field;141
True Honour's fruit can conquest's laurel yield?
Him only honour'd, only lov'd we find,
Who fights not to destroy, but save mankind:
[Page 301]PELIDES' fury may our wonder move,90
But god-like HECTOR is the man we love.
See WILLIAM'S sword a tyrant's pride disarm;
See LEWIS trembling under MARLB'RO'S arm:
Say, which to human kind are friends or foes;
And who detests not These, and loves not Those?95
Conquest unjust can ne'er command applause;
'Tis not the vict'ry charms you, but the cause:
Not Caesar's self can feign the patriot's part,142
Nor his false virtues hide his poison'd heart:
But round thy brows the willing laurels twine,100
Whose voice c wak'd freedom in the savage mine!
Yes: truly glorious, only great is he,
Who conquers, or who bleeds for liberty.
"Heroes are much the same, the point's agreed,
"From Macedonia's madman to the Swede."105
Like baleful comets flaming in the skies,
At destin'd times th' appointed scourges rise;
Awhile in streaming lustre sweep along,
And fix in wonder's gaze th' admiring throng;
But reason's eye detects the spurious ray,110
And the false blaze of glory dies away.
Now all th' aërial cells of wit explore;
The mazy rounds of science travel o'er;
Search all the deep recesses of the mind,
And see, if there true Honour sits enshrin'd.115
Alas, nor wit nor science this can boast,144
Oft' dash'd with error, oft' in caprice lost!
Transient as bright the short-liv'd bubbles fly!
And modes of wit, and modes of science die.
See Rab'lais once the idol of the age; 120
Yet now neglected lies the smutted page!
Of once renown'd Des Cartes how low the fall,—
His glory with his whirlpools vanish all!
See folly, wit—and weakness, wisdom stain,—
And Villars witty—Bacon wise in vain!125
Oft' vice corrupts what sense and parts refine,145
And clouds the splendor of the brightest line,
Sullies what Congreve, and what Dryden writ,—
This, fashion's slave: as that, the slave of wit.
[Page 303]In vain fair Genius bids the laurel shoot,130
The deadly worm thus eating at the root:
Corroded thus, the greenest wreaths decay,
And all the poet's honours fall away;
Quick as autumnal leaves, the laurels fade,
And drop on Rochester's and Otway's head.135
Where then is found TRUE HONOUR, heavenly fair?
Ask, LONSDALE, ask your heart—she dictates there.
Yes: 'tis in VIRTUE:—That alone can give146
The lasting honour, and bid glory live:
On Virtue's basis only fame can rise,140
To stand the storms of age, and reach the skies:
Arts, conquest, greatness, feel the stroke of fate,
Shrink sudden, and betray th' incumbent weight;
Time with contempt the faithless props surveys,
"And buries madmen in the heaps they raise."145
'Tis Virtue only can the bard inspire,
And fill his raptur'd breast with lasting fire:
Touch'd by th' ethereal ray each kindled line
Beams strong: still Virtue feeds the flame divine;
Where-e'er she treads she leaves her footsteps bright,150
In radiant tracts of never-dying light;
These shed the lustre o'er each sacred name,
Give SPENSER'S clear, and SHAKSPEARE'S noble flame;147
Blaze to the skies in MILTON'S ardent song,
And kindle the brisk-sallying fire of YOUNG; 155
[Page 304]These gild each humble verse in modest GAY;
These give to SWIFT the keen, soul-piercing ray;
Mildly through ADDISON'S chaste page they shine,
And glow and warm in POPE'S immortal line.
Nor less the sage must live by Virtue's aid; 160
Truth must support him, or his glories fade;
And truth and virtue differ but in name:
Like light and heat—distinguish'd, yet the same.
To truth and virtue the ascent is sure;148
The wholesome stream implies the fountain pure; 165
To taste the spring we oft' essay in vain:
Deep lies the source, too short is reason's chain;
But those the issues of pure truth we know,
Which in clear strength through virtue's channel flow:
Error in vain attempts the soul disguise,170
Still tasted in the bitter wave of vice;
Drawn from the springs of Falsehood all confess
Each baneful drop that poisons happiness;
Gordon's thin shallows, Tindal's muddy page,149
And Morgan's gall, and Woolston's furious rage; 175
[Page 305]Th' envenom'd stream that flows from Toland's quill,
And the rank dregs of Hobbes and Mandeville.
Detested names! yet sentenc'd ne'er to die:
Snatch'd from oblivion's grave by infamy!
Insect-opinions, hatch'd by folly's ray,2 180
Bask in the beam that wing'd them, for a day:
[Page 306]Truth, Phoenix-like immortal, though she dies,
With strength renew'd shall from her ashes rise.
See, how the lustre of th' ATHENIAN d sage152
Shines through the lengthen'd gloom of many an age!185
Virtue alone so wide the beam could spread,
And throw the lasting glory round his head.
See NEWTON chase conjecture's twilight ray,
And light up nature into certain day!
He wide creation's trackless mazes trod; 190
And in each atom found the ruling God.
Unrival'd pair! with truth and virtue fraught!
Whose lives confirm'd whate'er their reason taught!
Whose far-stretch'd views, and bright examples join'd
At once t' enlighten and persuade mankind!195
Hail names rever'd! which time and truth proclaim
The first and fairest in the list of fame.
Kings, statesmen, patriots, thus to glory rise;153
On virtue grows their fame, or soon it dies;
But grafted on the vigorous stock, 'tis seen 200
Brighten'd by age, and springs in endless green:
[Page 307]Pride, folly, vice, may blossom for an hour,
Fed by court sun-shine, and poetic show'r;
But the pale tendrils, nurs'd by flattery's hand,154
Unwearied tendance, fresh supplies demand; 205
By heats unnatural push'd to sudden growth,
They sicken at th' inclement blasts of truth;
Shook by the weakest breath that passes by,
Their colours fade, they wither, droop, and die.
'Tis Virtue only that shall grow with time,210
Live through each age, and spread through every clime.
See god-like patriots, gen'rous, wise, and good,
Stand in the breach, and stem corruption's flood!
See martyr-bishops at the stake expire,
Smile on the faggot, and defy its fire!215
How great in exile HYDE e and TULLY shone!
How ALFRED'S virtues brighten'd all his throne!
From worth like this unbidden glories stream;
Nor borrow'd blaze it asks, nor fortune's beam;
Affliction's gloom but makes it still more bright,220
As the clear lamp shines clearest in the night.
Thus various honours various states adorn,156
As different stars with different glories burn;
Their orbs too wider, as their sphere is higher;
Yet all partake the same celestial fire.225
See then heav'n's endless bounty, and confess,157
Which gives in Virtue fame and happiness;
See mankind's folly, who the boon despise,
And grasp at pain and infamy in Vice!
Not so the man who mov'd by Virtue's laws,158 230
Reveres himself—and gains, not seeks applause;
Whose views concenter'd all to Virtue tend;
Who makes true glory but his second end:
Still sway'd by what is fit, and just, and true,
Who gives to all whate'er to all is due; 235
When parties mad sedition's garb put on,
Snatches the highest praise,—and is of none:
Whilst round and round the veering patriots roll,
Unshaken points to Truth, as to his pole;
Contemns alike what factions praise or blame; 240
O'er rumour's narrow orbit soars to fame:
Unmov'd whilst malice barks, or envy howls,
Walks firm to virtue through the scoffs of fools;
[Page 309]No minion flatters; gains no selfish end;
His own—his king's—his country's—mankind's friend;—
Him Virtue crowns with wreaths that ne'er decay; 246
And glory circles him with endless day.
Such he who deep in VIRTUE roots his fame;
And such through ages shall be LONSDALE'S name.


YE green-hair'd nymphs! whom PAN allows
To tend this sweetly-solemn a Wood,
To speed the shooting scions into boughs,
And call the roseate blossoms from the bud;
But chief, thou NAIAD, wont so long to lead
This fluid crystal sparkling as it flows;
Whither, ah! whither art thou fled?
What shade is conscious to thy woes?
Ah! 'tis yon poplar's awful gloom;
Poetic eyes can pierce the scene,
Can see thy drooping head, thy with'ring bloom,
See grief diffus'd o'er all thy languid mien.
[Page 310]Well mayst thou wear misfortune's fainting air,
Well rend those flow'ry honours from thy brow,
Devolve that length of careless hair,
And give yon azure veil to flow
Loose to the wind. For ah! thy pain
The pitying Muse can well relate:
Ah! let her, plaintive, pour the tend'rest strain,
To teach the Echoes thy disastrous fate.
'Twas where the alder's close-knit shade entwin'd
(What time the dog-star's fires intensely burn,)
In gentlest indolence reclin'd,
Beside your ever-trickling urn
You slept serene; all free from fears,
No friendly dream foretold your harm,
When sudden, see! the tyrant Art appears
To snatch the liquid treasures from thy arm.
Art, Gothick Art, has seiz'd thy darling vase,
That vase which silver-slipper'd Thetis gave,
For some soft story told with grace,
Amid th' associates of the wave;
When in sequester'd coral vales,
While worlds of waters roll'd above,
The circling sea-nymphs told alternate tales
Of fabled changes, and of slighted love.
Ah! loss too justly mourn'd! for now the fiend
Has on yon shell-wrought terras pois'd it high,
And thence he bids its streams descend,
With torturing regularity;
[Page 311]From step to step with sullen sound
The forc'd cascades indignant leap,
'Till pent they fill the bason's measur'd round,
There in a dull stagnation doom'd to sleep.
Lost is the vocal pebble's gurgling song,
The rill soft-dripping from its rocky spring,
No free meander winds along,
Or curls, when Zephyr waves his wing,
These charms, alas! are now no more—
Fortune, oh! give me to redeem
The ravish'd vase; oh! give me to restore
Its pristine honours to this hapless stream!
Then, Nymph, again, with all their native ease,
Thy wanton waters, volatile and free,
Shall wildly warble, as they please,
Their soft loquacious harmony.
Where-e'er they vagrant chuse to rove,
There will I lead, not force their way,
Whether to gloom beneath the shady grove,
Or in the mead reflect the sparkling ray.
Not HAGLEY'S various stream shall thine surpass,
Though Nature, and her LYTTELTON ordain
That there the NAIAD band should grace
With every watry charm the plain;
That there the frequent rills should roll,
And health to every flower dispense,
Free as their master pours from all his soul
The gen'rous tide of warm benevolence;
[Page 312]Should now glide sweetly plaintive through the vale
In melting murmurs querulously slow;
Soft as that master's love-lorn tale,
When LUCY calls forth all his woe:
Should now from steepy heights descend,
Deep thund'ring the rough rocks among,
Loud as the praise applauding senates lend,
When England's cause inspires his glowing tongue.




SOrrowing I catch the reed, and call the Muse;
If yet a Muse on Britain's plain abide,
Since rapt MUSAEUS tun'd his parting strain:
With him they liv'd, with him perchance they dy'd.
For who e'er since their virgin train espy'd,
Or on the banks of Thames, or that mild plain,
Where Isis sparkles to the sunny ray?
Or have they deign'd to play,
Where Camus winds along his broider'd vale,
Feeding each white pink, and each daisy pied,
That mingling paint his rushy-fringed side?
Yet ah! celestial maids, ye are not dead;
Immortal as ye are, ye may not die:
And well I ween, ye cannot quite be fled,
Ere ye entune his mournful elegy.
Stay then awhile, O stay, ye fleeting fair;
Revisit yet, nor hallow'd Hippocrene,
Nor Thespia's shade; 'till your harmonious teen
Be grateful pour'd on some slow-ditted air.
Such tribute paid, again ye may repair
To what lov'd haunt you whilom did elect;
Whether Lycaeus, or that mountain fair
Trim Maenelaus, with piny verdure deck'd.
But now it boots you not in these to stray,
Or yet Cyllene's hoary shade to chuse,
Or where mild Ladon's swelling waters play.
Forego each vain excuse,
And haste to Thames's shores; for Thames shall join
Our sad society, and passing mourn,
Letting cold tears bedew his silver urn.
And, when the poet's wither'd grot he laves,
His reed-crown'd locks shall shake, his head shall bow,
His tide no more in eddies blithe shall rove,
But creep soft by with long-drawn murmurs slow.
For oft the poet rous'd his charmed waves
With martial notes, or lull'd with strains of love.
He must not now in brisk meanders flow
Gamesome, and kiss the sadly-silent shore,
Without the loan of some poetic woe.
Can I forget how erst his osiers made
Sad sullen music, as bleak Eurus fann'd?
Can I forget, how gloom'd yon laureat shade,
Ere death remorseless wav'd his ebon wand?
How, 'midst yon grot, each silver-trickling spring
Wander'd the shelly channels all among;
While as the coral roof did softly ring
Responsive to their sweetly-doleful song?
Meanwhile all pale th' expiring poet laid,
And sunk his awful head,
While vocal shadows pleasing dreams prolong:
For so, his sick'ning spirits to release,
They pour'd the balm of visionary peace.
First, sent from Cam's fair banks, like Palmer old,
Came a TITYRUS slOW, with head all silver'd o'er,
And in his hand an oaken crook he bore,
And thus in antique guise short talk did hold.
"Grete clerk of Fame' is house, whose excellence
"Maie wele befitt thilk place of eminence,
"Mickle of wele betide thy houres last,
"For mich gode wirkè to me don and past.
"For syn the daies whereas my lyre ben strongen,
"And deftly many a mery laie I songen,
"Old Time, which alle things don maliciously,
"Gnawen with rusty tooth continually,
[Page 318]"Gnattrid my lines, that they all cancrid ben,
"'Till at the last thou smoothen 'hem hast again:
"Sithence full semely gliden my rhymes rude,
"As, (if fitteth thilk similitude)
"Whannè shallow brooke yrenneth hobling on,
"Ovir rough stones it maken full rough song:
"But, them stones removen, this lite rivere
"Stealen forth by, making pleasant murmere:
"So my sely rhymes, whoso may them note,
"Thou maken everichone to ren right sote;
"And in my verse entuneth so fetisely,
"That men sayen I make trewe melody,
"And speaken every dele to myne honoure.
"Mich wele, grete clerk, betide thy parting houre!"
He ceas'd his homely rhyme.
When b COLIN CLOUT, Eliza's shepherd swain,
The blithest lad that ever pip'd on plain,
Came with his reed soft-warbling on the way.
And thrice he bow'd his head with motion mild,
And thus his gliding numbers 'gan essay:
"cAh! luckless swain, alas! how art thou lorn,
"Who once like me couldst frame thy pipe to play
"Shepherds devise, and chear the ling'ring morn:
"Ne bush, ne breere, but learnt thy roundelay.
[Page 319]"Ah plight too sore such worth to equal right!
"Ah worth too high to meet such piteous plight!
"But I nought strive, poor Colin, to compare
"My Hobbin's, or my Thenot's rustic skill
"To thy deft Swains, whose dapper ditties rare
"Surpass ought else of quaintest shepherd's quill.
"Ev'n Roman Tityrus, that peerless wight,
"Mote yield to thee for dainties of delight.
"Eke when in Fable's flow'ry path you stray'd,
"Masking in cunning feints Truth's splendent face;
"Ne Sylph, ne Sylphid, but due tendance paid,
"To shield Belinda's lock from felon base,
"But all mote nought avail such harm to chase,
"Than Una fair 'gan droop her princely mein,
"Eke Florimel, and all my Faery race:
"Belinda far surpast by beauties sheen,
"Belinda, subject meet for such soft lay I ween.
"Like as in villag'd troop of birdlings trim,
"Where Chanticleer his red crest high doth hold,
"And quaking Ducks, that wont in lake to swim,
"And Turkeys proud, and Pigeons nothing bold;
[Page 320]"If chance the Peacock doth his plumes unfold,
"Eftsoons their meaner beauties all decaying,
"He glist'neth purple, and he glist'neth gold,
"Now with bright green, now blue himself arraying.
"Such is thy beauty bright, all other beauties swaying.
"But why do I descant this toyish rhyme,
"And fancies light in simple guise pourtray?
"Listing to chear thee at this rueful time,
"While as black Death doth on thy heartstrings prey.
"Yet rede aright, and if this friendly lay
"Thou nathless judgest all too slight and vain,
"Let my well-meaning mend my ill essay:
"So may I greet thee with a nobler strain,
"When soon we meet for aye, in yon star-sprinkled plain."
Last came a bard of more exalted tread,
And d THYRSIS hight by Dryad, Fawn, or Swain,
Whene'er he mingled with the sylvan train;
But seldom that; for higher thoughts he fed;
For him full oft the heav'nly Muses led
To clear Euphrates, and the secret mount,
To Araby, and Eden, fragrant climes;
All which the sacred bard would oft recount:
[Page 321]And thus in strain, unus'd in grove or shade,
To sad MUSAEUS rightful homage paid.
"Thrice hail, thou heav'n-taught warbler, last and best
"Of all the train! Poet, in whom conjoin'd
"All that to ear, or heart, or head, could yield
"Rapture; harmonious, manly, clear, sublime!
"Accept this gratulation: may it chear
"Thy sinking soul; nor these corporeal ills
"Ought daunt thee, or appall. Know, in high heav'n
"Fame blooms eternal o'er that spirit divine,
"Who builds immortal verse. There thy bold Muse,
"Which while on earth could breathe Maeonian fire,
"Shall soar seraphic heights; while to her voice
"Ten thousand Hierarchies of angels harp
"Symphonious, and with dulcet harmonies
"Usher the song rejoicing. I meanwhile,
"To sooth thee in these irksome hours of pain,
"Approach thy visitant, with mortal laud
"To praise thee mortal. First, (as first beseems)
"For rhyme subdu'd; rhyme, erst the minstrel rude
"Of Chaos, Anarch old: she near his throne
"Oft taught the rattling elements to chime
"With tenfold din; 'till late to earth upborn
"On strident wing, what time fair poesie
"Emerg'd from Gothic cloud, and faintly shot
"Rekindling gleams of lustre. Her the fiend
"Oppress'd; forcing to utter uncouth dirge,
"Runic, or Leonine; and with dire chains
[Page 322]"Fetter'd her scarce-fledg'd pinion. I such bonds
"Aim'd to destroy, mistaking: bonds like these
'Twere greater art t' ennoble, and refine.
"For this superior part MUSAEUS came:
"Thou cam'st, and at thy magic touch the chains
"Off dropt, and (passing strange!) soft-wreathed bands
"Of flow'rs their place supply'd! which well the Muse
"Might wear for choice, not force; obstruction none,
"But loveliest ornament. Wondrous this, yet here
"The wonder rests not; various argument
"Remains for me, all doubting, where to cull
"The primal grace, where countless graces charm.
"Various this peaceful scene, this mineral roof;
"This 'semblance meet of coral, ore, and shell;
"These pointed crystals fair, 'mid each obscure
"Bright glist'ring; all these slowly dripping rills,
"That tinkling stray amid the cooly cave.
"Yet not this various peaceful scene; with this
"Its mineral roof; nor this assemblage meet
"Of coral, ore, and shell; nor 'mid th' obscure
"These pointed crystals, glist'ring fair; nor rills,
"That straying tinkle through the cooly cave;
"Deal charms more various to each raptur'd sense,
"Than thy mellifluous lay.—"
"Cease, friendly swain;"
(MUSAEUS cry'd, and rais'd his aching head)
"All praise is foreign, but of true desert;
"Plays round the head, but comes not to the heart.
[Page 323]"Ah! why recall the toys of thoughtless youth?
"When flow'ry fiction held the place of truth:
"When fancy rul'd; when trill'd each trivial strain,
"But idly sweet, and elegantly vain.
"Oh! in that strain, if all of wit had flow'd,
"All music warbled, and all beauty glow'd;
"Had liveliest nature, happiest art combin'd,
"That lent each grace, and this each grace refin'd;
"Alas! how little were my proudest boast!
"The sweetest trifler of my tribe at most.
"To sway the judgment, while he charms the ear;
"To curb mad passion in its wild career:
"To blend with skill, as loftiest themes inspire,
"All reason's rigour, and all fancy's fire;
"Be this the poet's praise; with this uncrown'd,
"Wit dies a jest, and poetry a sound.
"Come then that honest fame; whose sober ray
"Or gilds the satire, or the moral lay,
"Which dawns, tho' thou, rough DONNE! hew out the line,
"But beams, sage HORACE, from each strain of thine.
"O! if, like these, one poet more could brave
"The venal statesman, or the titled slave;
"Brand frontless Vice, strip all her stars and strings,
"Nor spare her basking in the smile of kings:
"Yet stoop to Virtue, though the prostrate maid
"Lay sadly pale in bleak misfortune's shade:
"If grave, yet lively; rational, yet warm;
"Clear to convince, and eloquent to charm;
[Page 324]"He pour'd, for her lov'd cause, serene along
"The purest precept, in the sweetest song:
"For her lov'd cause, he trac'd his moral plan,
"Yon various region of bewild'ring man:
"Explor'd alike each scene, that frown'd or smil'd,
"The flow'ry garden, or the weedy wild;
"Unmov'd by sophistry, unaw'd by name,
"No dupe to doctrines, and no fool to fame:
"Led by no system's devious glare astray,
"As earth-born meteors glitter to betray:
"But all his soul to reason's rule resign'd,
"And heav'n's own views fair op'ning on his mind,
"Catch'd from bright nature's flame the living ray,
"Through passion's cloud pour'd in resistless day;
"And this great truth in all its lustre shew'd,
"If this his boast, pour here the welcome lays:
"Praise less than this, is impotence of praise."
"To pour that praise be mine," fair VIRTUE cry'd,
And shot all radiant, through an op'ning cloud.
But ah! my Muse, how will thy voice express
Th' immortal strain, harmonious, as it flow'd?
Ill suits immortal strain a Doric dress:
And far too high already hast thou soar'd.
Enough for thee, that, when the lay was o'er,
The goddess clasp'd him to her throbbing breast,
But what might that avail? Blind Fate before
[Page 325]Had op'd her shears, to slit his vital thread;
And who may hope gainsay her stern behest?
Then thrice he wav'd the hand, thrice bow'd the head,
And sigh'd his soul to rest.
Then wept the Nymphs; witness, ye waving shades!
Witness, ye winding streams! the Nymphs did weep;
The heav'nly Goddess too with tears did steep
Her plaintive voice, that echo'd through the glades;
And, "cruel gods," and "cruel stars," she cry'd:
Nor did the shepherds, through the woodlands wide,
On that sad day, or to the pensive brook,
Or stagnant river, drive their thirsty flocks;
Nor did the wild-goat brouze the steepy rocks;
And Philomel her custom'd oak forsook;
And roses wan were wav'd by zephyrs weak,
As nature's self was sick;
And every lily droop'd its velvet head;
And groan'd each faded lawn, and leafless grove;
Sad sympathy! yet sure his rightful meed,
Who charm'd all nature; well might Nature mourn
Through all her sweets; and flow'r, and lawn, and shade,
All vocal grown, all weep MUSAEUS dead.
Here end we, Goddess: this your shepherd sang,
All as his hands an ivy chaplet wove.
O! make it worthy of the sacred bard,
And make it equal to the shepherd's love.
Nor thou, MUSAEUS, from thine ear discard,
[Page 326]For well I ween thou hear'st my doleful song;
Whether 'mid angel troops, the stars among,
From golden harps thou call'st seraphic lays;
Or, anxious for thy dearest Virtue's fare,
Thou still art hov'ring o'er her tuneless sphere,
And mov'st some hidden spring her weal to raise.
Thus the fond swain on Doric oat essay'd,
Manhood's prime honours downing on his cheek:
Trembling he strove to court the tuneful maid
With stripling arts, and dalliance all too weak;
Unseen, unheard, beneath an hawthorn shade.
But now dun clouds the welkin 'gan to streak;
And now down-dropt the larks, and ceas'd their strain:
They ceas'd, and with them ceas'd the shepherd swain.

AN ESSAY ON SATIRE, Occasioned by the Death of Mr. POPE*.



O while along the stream of Time thy Name
Expanded flies, and gathers all its fame;
Say, shall my little barque attendant sail,
Pursue the triumph, and partake the gale?


PART I. OF the end and efficacy of Satire. The love of glory and fear of shame universal, ver. 29. This passion, implanted in man as a spur to virtue, is generally perverted, v. 41. And thus becomes the occasion of the greatest follies, vices, and mise­ries, v. 61. It is the work of Satire to rectify this passion, to reduce it to its proper channel, and to convert it into an in­centive to wisdom and virtue, v. 89. Hence it appears that Satire may influence those who defy all laws human and di­vine, v. 99. An objection answered, v. 131.

PART II. Rules for the conduct of Satire. Justice and truth its chief and essential property, v. 169. Prudence in the application of wit and ridicule, whose province is, not to explore unknown, but to enforce known truths, v. 191. Proper subjects of Satire are the manners of present times, v. 239. Decency of expression recommended, v. 255. The different methods in which folly and vice ought to be chastised, v. 269. The variety of style and manner which these two subjects require, v. 277. The praise of virtue may be admitted with propriety, v. 315. Caution with regard to panegyric, v. 319. The dignity of true Satire, v. 331.

PART III. The history of Satire. Roman Satirists, Lucilius, Ho­race, Persius, Juvenal, v. 347, &c. Causes of the decay of literature, particularly of Satire, v. 379. Revival of Satire, v. 391. Erasmus one of its principal restorers, v. 395. Donne, v. 401. The abuse of Satire in England, during the licentious reign of Charles II. v. 405. Dryden, v. 419. The true ends of Satire pursued by Boileau in France, v. 429; and by Mr. Pope in England, v. 435.




FATE gave the word; the cruel arrow sped;
And POPE lies number'd with the mighty dead!
Resign'd he fell; superior to the dart,
That quench'd its rage in YOURS and BRITAIN'S heart:
[Page 330]You mourn: But BRITAIN, lull'd in rest profound,5
(Unconscious Britain!) slumbers o'er her wound.
Exulting Dulness ey'd the setting light,
And flapp'd her wing, impatient for the night:
Rous'd at the signal, Guilt collects her train,
And counts the triumphs of her growing reign:10
With inextinguishable rage they burn,
And snake-hung Envy hisses o'er his urn:
Th' envenom'd monsters spit their deadly foam,
To blast the laurel that surrounds his tomb.
But You, O WARBURTON! whose eye refin'd 15
Can see the greatness of an honest mind;
Can see each virtue and each grace unite,
And taste the raptures of a pure delight;
You visit oft' his awful page with care,
And view that bright assemblage treasur'd there; 20
You trace the chain that links his deep design,
And pour new lustre on the glowing line.
Yet deign to hear the efforts of a Muse,
Whose eye, not wing, his ardent flight pursues;
Intent from this great archetype to draw 25
SATIRE'S bright form, and fix her equal law;
Pleas'd if from hence th' unlearn'd may comprehend,
And rev'rence HIS and SATIRE'S generous end.
In every breast there burns an active flame,
The love of glory, or the dread of shame:30
The passion ONE, though various it appear,
As brighten'd into hope, or dimm'd by fear.
[Page 331]The lisping infant, and the hoary sire,
And youth and manhood feel the heart-born fire;
The charms of praise the coy, the modest woo,35
And only fly, that glory may pursue:
She, power resistless, rules the wise and great;
Bends ev'n reluctant hermits at her feet:
Haunts the proud city, and the lowly shade,
And sways alike the scepter and the spade.40
Thus heav'n in pity wakes the friendly flame,
To urge mankind on deeds that merit fame:
But man, vain man, in folly only wise,
Rejects the manna sent him from the skies:
With rapture hears corrupted passion's call,45
Still proudly prone to mingle with the stall.
As each deceitful shadow tempts his view,
He for the imag'd substance quits the true:
Eager to catch the visionary prize,
In quest of glory plunges deep in vice; 50
'Till madly zealous, impotently vain,
He forfeits every praise he pants to gain.
Thus still imperious Nature plies her part;
And still her dictates work in every heart.55
Each pow'r that sov'reign Nature bids enjoy,
Man may corrupt, but man can ne'er destroy.
Like mighty rivers, with resistless force
The passions rage, obstructed in their course;
Swell to new heights, forbidden paths explore,
And drown those virtues which they fed before.60
And sure, the deadliest foe to virtue's flame,
Our worst of evils, is perverted shame.
Beneath this load what abject numbers groan,
Th' entangled slaves to folly not their own!
Meanly by fashionable fear opprest,65
We seek our virtues in each other's breast;
Blind to ourselves, adopt each foreign vice,
Another's weakness, interest, or caprice.
Each fool to low ambition, poorly great,
That pines in splendid wretchedness of state,70
Tir'd in the treach'rous chace, would nobly yield,
And but for shame, like SYLLA, quit the field:
The daemon Shame paints strong the ridicule,
And whispers close, "the world will call you fool."
Behold, yon wretch, by impious fashion driv'n,75
Believes and trembles while he scoffs at heav'n.
By weakness strong, and bold through fear alone,
He dreads the sneer by shallow coxcombs thrown;
Dauntless pursues the path Spinoza a trod;
To man a coward, and a brave to Godb.
Faith, justice, heav'n itself now quit their hold,
When to false fame the captiv'd heart is sold:
Hence blind to truth, relentless Cato dy'd:
Nought could subdue his virtue, but his pride.
Hence chaste Lucretia's innocence betray'd 85
Fell by that honour which was meant its aid.
Thus Virtue sinks beneath unnumber'd woes,
When passions born her friends, revolt, her foes.
Hence SATIRE'S pow'r: 'tis her corrective part
To calm the wild disorders of the heart.90
She points the arduous height where glory lies,
And teaches mad ambition to be wise:
In the dark bosom wakes the fair desire,
Draws good from ill, a brighter flame from fire;
Strips black Oppression of her gay disguise,95
And bids the hag in native horror rise;
Strikes tow'ring pride and lawless rapine dead,
And plants the wreath on Virtue's awful head.
Nor boasts the Muse a vain imagin'd pow'r,
Though oft she mourns those ills she cannot cure.100
The worthy court her, and the worthless fear;
Who shun her piercing eye, that eye revere.
Her awful voice the vain and vile obey,
And every foe to wisdom feels her sway.
[Page 334]Smarts, pedants, as she smiles, no more are vain; 105
Desponding fops resign the clouded cane:
Hush'd at her voice, pert folly's self is still,
And dulness wonders while she drops her quill.
cLike the arm'd BEE, with art most subtly true
From pois'nous vice she draws a healing dew:110
Weak are the ties that civil arts can find,
To quell the ferment of the tainted mind:
Cunning evades, securely wrapt in wiles;
And Force strong-sinew'd rends th' unequal toils:
The stream of vice impetuous drives along,115
Too deep for policy, for pow'r too strong.
Ev'n fair Religion, native of the skies,
Scorn'd by the crowd, seeks refuge with the wise;
The crowd with laughter spurns her awful train,
And Mercy courts, and Justice frowns in vain.120
But SATIRE'S shaft can pierce the harden'd breast;
She plays a ruling passion on the rest:
Undaunted mounts the battery of his pride,
And awes the Brave, that earth and heav'n defy'd.
When fell Corruption, by her vassals crown'd,125
Derides fall'n Justice prostrate on the ground;
Swift to redress an injur'd people's groan,
Bold SATIRE shakes the tyrant on her throne;
[Page 335]Pow'rful as death, defies the fordid train,
And slaves and sycophants surround in vain.130
But with the friends of Vice, the foes of SATIRE,
All truth is spleen; all just reproof, ill-nature.
Well may they dread the Muse's fatal skill;
Well may they tremble when she draws her quill:
Her magic quill, that like ITHURIEL'S spear 135
Reveals the cloven hoof, or lengthen'd ear:
Bids Vice and Folly take their natural shapes,
Turns duchesses to strumpets, beaux to apes;
Drags the vile whisperer from his dark abode,
'Till all the daemon starts up from the toad.140
O sordid maxim, form'd to screen the vile,
That true good-nature still must wear a smile!
In frowns array'd her beauties stronger rise,
When love of virtue wakes her scorn of vice:
Where justice calls, 'tis cruelty to save; 145
And 'tis the law's good-nature hangs the knave.
Who combats Virtue's foe is Virtue's friend;
Then judge of SATIRE'S merit by her end:
To guilt alone her vengeance stands confin'd,
The object of her love is all mankind.150
Scarce more the friend of man, the wise must own,
Ev'n ALLEN'S d bounteous hand, than SATIRE'S frown:
[Page 336]This to chastise, as that to bless, was giv'n;
Alike the faithful ministers of heav'n.
Oft' on unfeeling hearts the shaft is spent:155
Though strong th' example, weak the punishment.
They least are pain'd, who merit SATIRE most;
Folly the Laureat's e, Vice was Chartres' f boast;
Then where's the wrong, to gibbet high the name
Of fools and knaves already dead to shame?160
Oft' SATIRE acts the faithful surgeon's part;
Generous and kind, though painful is her art:
With caution bold, she only strikes to heal,
Tho' folly raves to break the friendly steel.
Then sure no fault impartial SATIRE knows,165
Kind, ev'n in vengeance kind, to Virtue's foes.
Whose is the crime, the scandal too be theirs;
The knave and fool are their own libellers.


DARE nobly then: but conscious of your trust,
As ever warm and bold, be ever just:170
Nor court applause in these degenerate days:
The villain's censure is extorted praise.
But chief, be steady in a noble end,
And shew mankind that truth has yet a friend.
[Page 337]'Tis mean for empty praise of wit to write,175
As foplings grin to show their teeth are white:
To brand a doubtful folly with a smile.
Or madly blaze unknown defects, is vile:
'Tis doubly vile, when but to prove your art,
You fix an arrow in a blameless heart.180
O lost to honour's voice, O doom'd to shame,
Thou fiend accurs'd, thou murderer of fame!
Fell ravisher, from innocence to tear
That name, than liberty, than life more dear!
Where shall thy baseness meet its just return,185
Or what repay thy guilt, but endless scorn!
And know, immortal truth shall mock thy toil:
Immortal truth shall bid the shaft recoil;
With rage retorted, wing the deadly dart;
And empty all its poison in thy heart.190
With caution, next, the dang'rous power apply;
An eagle's talon asks an eagle's eye:
Let SATIRE then her proper object know,
And ere she strike, be sure she strikes a foe.
Nor fondly deem the real fool confest,195
Because blind Ridicule conceives a jest:
Before whose altar Virtue oft' hath bled,
And oft' a destin'd victim shall be led:
Lo, g Shaftsb'ry rears her high on Reason's throne,
And loads the slave with honours not her own:200
[Page 338]Big-swoln with folly, as her smiles provoke,
Profaneness spawns, pert dunces nurse the joke!
Come, let us join awhile this tittering crew,
And own the idiot guide for once is true;
Deride our weak forefathers' musty rule,205
Who therefore smil'd, because they saw a fool;
[Page 339]Sublimer logic now adorns our isle,
We therefore see a fool, because we smile.
Truth in her gloomy cave why fondly seek?
Lo, gay she sits in Laughter's dimpled cheek; 210
Contemns each surly academic foe,
And courts the spruce free-thinker and the beau,
[Page 340] Daedalian arguments but few can trace,
But all can read the language of grimace.
Hence mighty Ridicule's all-conqu'ring hand 215
Shall work Herculean wonders through the land:
Bound in the magic of her cobweb chain,
YOU, mighty WARBURTON, shall rage in vain,
In vain the trackless maze of Truth YOU scan,
And lend th' informing clue to erring man:220
[Page 341]No more shall Reason boast her power divine,
Her base eternal shook by Folly's mine!
Truth's sacred fort th' exploded laugh shall win;
And coxcombs vanquish BERKELEY h by a grin.
But you, more sage, reject th' inverted rule,225
That Truth is e'er explor'd by ridicule:
On truth, on falsehood let her colours fall,
She throws a dazzling glare alike on all;
As the gay prism but mocks the flatter'd eye,
And gives to every object every dye.230
Beware the mad advent'rer: bold and blind
She hoists her sail, and drives with every wind;
Deaf as the storm to sinking Virtue's groan,
Nor heeds a friend's destruction, or her own.
Let clear-ey'd Reason at the helm preside,235
Bear to the wind, or stem the furious tide;
Then mirth may urge, when reason can explore,
This point the way, that waft us glad to shore.
Though distant times may rise in SATIRE'S page,
Yet chief 'tis her's to draw the present age: 240
With Wisdom's lustre, Folly's shade contrast,
And judge the reigning manners by the past:
Bid Britain's heroes (awful shades!) arise,
And ancient honour beam on modern vice:
Point back to minds ingenuous, actions fair,245
'Till the sons blush at what their fathers were:
[Page 342]Ere yet 'twas beggary the great to trust;
Ere yet 'twas quite a folly to be just;
When low-born sharpers only dar'd a lie,
Or falsify'd the card, or cogg'd the dye:250
Ere lewdness the stain'd garb of honour wore,
Or chastity was carted for the whore;
Vice flutter'd, in the plumes of freedom drest;
Or public spirit was the public jest.
Be ever in a just expression bold,255
Yet ne'er degrade fair SATIRE to a scold:
Let no unworthy mien her form debase,
But let her smile, and let her frown with grace:
In mirth be temp'rate, temp'rate in her spleen;
Nor while she preaches modesty, obscene,260
Deep let her wound, not rankle to a sore,
Nor call his Lordship —, her Grace a —:
The Muse's charms resistless then assail,
When wrapt in irony's transparent veil:
Her beauties half-conceal'd the more surprize,265
And keener lustre sparkles in her eyes.
Then be your line with sharp encomiums grac'd:
Style Clodius honourable, Bufa chaste.
Dart not on Folly an indignant eye:
Who e'er discharg'd artillery on a fly?270
Deride not Vice: absurd the thought and vain,
To bind the tyger in so weak a chain.
Nay more: when flagrant crimes your laughter move,
The knave exults: to smile is to approve.
[Page 343]The Muse's labour then success shall crown,275
When Folly feels her smile, and Vice her frown.
Know next what measures to each theme belong,
And suit your thoughts and numbers to your song:
On wing proportion'd to your quarry rise,
And stoop to earth, or soar among the skies,280
Thus when a modish folly you rehearse,
Free the expression, simple be the verse.
In artless numbers paint th' ambitious peer
That mounts the box, and shines a charioteer:
In strains familiar sing the midnight toil 285
Of camps and senates disciplin'd by Hoyle.
Patriots and chiefs whose deep design invades,
And carries off the captive king of — spades!
Let SATIRE here in milder vigour shine,
And gayly graceful sport along the line; 290
Bid courtly Fashion quit her thin pretence,
And smile each affectation into sense.
Not so when Virtue by her guards betray'd,
Spurn'd from her throne, implores the Muse's aid;
When crimes, which erst in kindred darkness lay,295
Rise frontless, and insult the eye of day;
Indignant Hymen veils his hallow'd fires,
And white-rob'd Chastity with tears retires;
When rank Adultery on the genial bed
Hot from Cocytus rears her baleful head:300
When private faith and public trust are sold,
And traitors barter liberty for gold;
[Page 344]When fell Corruption dark and deep, like Fate,
Saps the foundation of a sinking state:
When giant-vice and irreligon rise,305
On mountain'd falsehoods to invade the skies:
Then warmer numbers glow through SATIRE'S page,
And all her smiles are darken'd into rage:
On eagle-wing she gains Parnassus' height,
Not lofty EPIC soars a nobler flight:310
Then keener indignation fires her eye;
Then flash her lightnings, and her thunders fly;
Wide and more wide her flaming bolts are hurl'd,
'Till all her wrath involves the guilty world.
Yet SATIRE oft' assumes a gentler mien,315
And beams on Virtue's friends a look serene:
She wounds reluctant, pours her balm with joy,
Glad to commend where merit strikes her eye.
But tread with cautious step this dangerous ground,
Beset with faithless precipices round:320
Truth be your guide; disdain Ambition's call;
And if you fall with truth, you greatly fall.
'Tis Virtue's native lustre that must shine:
The poet can but set it in his line:
And who unmov'd with laughter can behold 325
A sordid pebble meanly grac'd with gold?
Let real merit then adorn your lays,
For shame attends on prostituted praise:
And all your wit, your most distinguish'd art
But makes us grieve, you want an honest heart,330
Nor think the Muse by SATIRE'S law confin'd:
She yields description of the noblest kind.
Inferior art the landscape may design,
And paint the purple evening in the line:
Her daring thought essays a higher plan; 335
Her hand delineates passion, pictures man.
And great the toil, the latent soul to trace,
To paint the heart, and catch internal grace;
By turns bid vice or virtue strike our eyes,
Now bid a Wolsey or a Cromwell rise; 340
Now with a touch more sacred and refin'd,
Call forth a CHESTERFIELD'S or LONSDALE'S mind.
Here sweet or strong may every colour flow:
Here let the pencil warm, the canvas glow:
Of light and shade provoke the noble strife,345
And wake each striking feature into life.


THROUGH ages thus hath SATIRE keenly shin'd,
The friend to truth, to virtue, and mankind:
Yet the bright flame from virtue ne'er had sprung,
And man was guilty ere the poet sung.350
This Muse in silence joy'd each better age,
Till glowing crimes had wak'd her into rage.
Truth saw her honest spleen with new delight,
And bade her wing her shafts, and urge their flight.
[Page 346]First on the sons of Greece she prov'd her art,355
And Sparta felt the fierce Iambic darti.
To LATIUM next avenging SATIRE flew:
The flaming faulchion rough LUCILIUS k drew;
With dauntless warmth in Virtue's cause engag'd,
And conscious villains trembled as he rag'd.360
Then sportive HORACE l caught the generous fire,
For SATIRE'S bow resign'd the sounding lyre:
Each arrow polish'd in his hand was seen,
And as it grew more polish'd, grew more keen.
His art, conceal'd in study'd negligence,365
Politely sly, cajol'd the foes of sense:
He seem'd to sport and trifle with the dart,
But while he sported, drove it to the heart.
In graver strains majestic PERSIUS wrote,
Big with a ripe exuberance of thought:370
Greatly sedate, contemn'd a tyrant's reign,
And lash'd corruption with a calm disdain.
More ardent eloquence, and boundless rage
Inflame bold JUVENAL'S exalted page.
[Page 347]His mighty numbers aw'd corrupted Rome, 375
And swept audacious greatness to its doom;
The headlong torrent thundering from on high,
Rent the proud rock that lately brav'd the sky.
But lo! the fatal victor of mankind,
Swoln Luxury!—Pale Ruin stalks behind!380
As countless insects from the north-east pour,
To blast the spring, and ravage every flow'r:
So barbarous millions spread contagious death:
The sick'ning laurel wither'd at their breath.
Deep superstition's night the skies o'erhung,385
Beneath whose baleful dews the poppy sprung.
No longer Genius woo'd the Nine to love,
But Dulness nodded in the Muses' grove:
Wit, spirit, freedom, were the sole offence,
Nor aught was held so dangerous as sense.390
At length, again fair Science shot her ray,
Dawn'd in the skies, and spoke returning day.
Now, SATIRE, triumph o'er thy flying foe,
Now load thy quiver, string thy slacken'd bow!
'Tis done—See, great ERASMUS breaks the spell,395
And wounds triumphant Folly in her cell!
(In vain the solemn cowl surrounds her face,
Vain all her bigot cant, her sour grimace)
With shame compell'd her leaden throne to quit,
And own the force of reason urg'd by wit.400
'Twas then plain DONNE in honest vengeance rose,
His wit refulgent, though his rhyme was prose:
[Page 348]He 'midst an age of puns and pedants wrote
With genuine sense, and Roman strength of thought.
Yet scarce had SATIRE well relum'd her flame,405
(With grief the Muse records her country's shame)
Ere Britain saw the foul revolt commence,
And treach'rous Wit began her war with Sense.
Then 'rose a shameless, mercenary train,
Whom latest time shall view with just disdain:410
A race fantastic, in whose gaudy line
Untutor'd thought, and tinsel beauty shine;
Wit's shatter'd mirror lies in fragments bright,
Reflects not nature, but confounds the sight.
Dry morals the court-poet blush'd to sing:415
'Twas all his praise to say "the oddest thing."
Proud for a jest obscene, a patron's nod,
To martyr Virtue, or blaspheme his God.
Ill-fated DRYDEN! who unmov'd can see
Th' extremes of wit and meanness join'd in thee!420
Flames that could mount, and gain their kindred skies,
Low creeping in the putrid sink of vice:
A Muse whom Wisdom woo'd, but wou'd in vain,
The pimp of pow'r, the prostitute to gain:
Wreaths, that should deck fair Virtue's form alone,425
To strumpets, traitors, tyrants, vilely thrown:
Unrival'd parts, the scorn of honest fame;
And genius rise, a monument of shame!
More happy France: immortal BOILEAU there
Supported genius with a sage's care:430
[Page 349]Him with her love propitious SATIRE blest:
And breath'd her airs divine into his breast;
Fancy and sense to form his line conspire,
And faultless judgment guides the purest fire.
But see, at length, the British Genius smile,435
And show'r her bounties o'er her favour'd isle:
Behold for POPE she twines the laurel crown,
And centers every poet's power in one:
Each Roman's force adorns his various page;
Gay smiles, collected strength, and manly rage.440
Despairing Guilt and Dulness loath the sight,
As spectres vanish at approaching light:
In this clear mirror with delight we view
Each image justly fine, and boldly true:
Here Vice, dragg'd forth by Truth's supreme decree,445
Beholds and hates her own deformity;
While self-seen Virtue in the faithful line
With modest joy surveys her form divine.
But oh, what thoughts, what numbers shall I find,
But faintly to express the poet's mind!450
Who yonder star's effulgence can display,
Unless he dip his pencil in the ray?
Who paint a god, unless the god inspire?
What catch the lightning, but the speed of fire?
So, mighty POPE, to make thy genius known,455
All pow'r is weak, all numbers — but thy own.
Each Muse for thee with kind contention strove,
For thee the Graces left th' IDALIAN grove:
[Page 350]With watchful fondness o'er thy cradle hung,
Attun'd thy voice, and form'd thy infant tongue.460
Next, to her bard majestic Wisdom came;
The bard enraptur'd caught the heav'nly flame:
With taste superior scorn'd the venal tribe;
Whom fear can sway, or guilty greatness bribe;
At fancy's call who rear the wanton sail,465
Sport with the stream, and trifle in the gale:
Sublimer views thy daring spirit bound;
Thy mighty voyage was creation's round;
Intent new worlds of wisdom to explore,
And bless mankind with Virtue's sacred store; 470
A nobler joy than wit can give, impart;
And pour a moral transport o'er the heart.
Fantastic wit shoots momentary fires,
And like a meteor, while we gaze, expires:
Wit kindled by the sulph'rous breath of Vice,475
Like the blue lightning, while it shines, destroys:
But genius, fir'd by Truth's eternal ray,
Burns clear and constant, like the source of day:
Like this, its beam prolific and refin'd
Feeds, warms, inspirits, and exalts the mind; 480
Mildly dispels each wint'ry passion's gloom,
And opens all the virtues into bloom.
This praise, immortal POPE, to thee be given:
Thy genius was indeed a gift from heav'n.
Hail, bard unequall'd, in whose deathless line 485
Reason and wit with strength collected shine:
[Page 351]Where matchless wit but wins the second praise,
Lost, nobly lost, in Truth's superior blaze.
Did FRIENDSHIP e'er mislead thy wand'ring Muse?
That friendship sure may plead the great excuse,490
That sacred friendship which inspir'd thy song,
Fair in defect, and amiably wrong.
Error like this ev'n truth can scarce reprove;
'Tis almost virtue when it flows from love.
Ye deathless names, ye sons of endless praise,495
By virtue crown'd with never-fading bays!
Say, shall an artless Muse, if you inspire,
Light her pale lamp at your immortal fire?
Or if, O WARBURTON, inspir'd by YOU,
The daring Muse a nobler path pursue,500
By You inspir'd, on trembling pinion soar,
The sacred founts of social bliss explore,
In her bold numbers chain the tyrant's rage,
And bid her country's glory fire her page:
If such her fate, do thou, fair Truth, descend,505
And watchful guard her in an honest end;
Kindly severe, instruct her equal line
To court no friend, nor own a foe but thine.
But if her giddy eye should vainly quit
Thy sacred paths, to run the maze of wit; 510
If her apostate heart should e'er incline
To offer incense at Corruption's shrine;
[Page 352]Urge, urge thy pow'r, the black attempt confound,
And dash the smoking censer to the ground.
Thus aw'd to fear, instructed bards may see,515
That guilt is doom'd to sink in infamy.
He died 30 May, 1744.
Benedict de Spinoza, the son of a Portuguese Jew settled at Am­sterdam. He was born in 1633, and commenced philosopher very early in life. His great atheistical principle was, That there is nothing properly and absolutely existing, but matter and the modifications of matter; among which are even comprehended thoughts, abstract and general ideas, comparisons, relations, combinations of relations, &c. He died in 1677.
Vois tu ce libertin en public intrepide,
Qui preche contre un Dieu que dans son Ame il croit?
It iroit embrasser la verité qu'il voit;
Mais de ses faux amis il craint la raillerie,
Et ne brave ainsi Dieu que par poltronnerie.
Alluding to these lines of Mr. Pope;
In the nice bee what art so subtly true,
From pois'nous herbs extracts a healing dew.
Ralph Allen, Esquire, of Prior Park, near Bath. He died 29th of June, 1764, aged 72.
Colley Cibber.
The infamous Colonel Chartres.

It were to be wished that Lord Shaftsbury had expressed himself with greater precision on this subject: however, thus much may be affirmed with truth.

1st, By the general tenor of his essays on Enthusiasim, and the freedom of wit and humour, it appears that his principal design was to recommend the way of ridicule, (as he calls it) for the investigation of truth, and detection of falsehood, not only in moral but religious sub­jects.

2dly, It appears no less evident, that, in the course of his reasonings on this question, he confounds two things which are in their nature and consequences entirely different. These are ridicule and good-humour: the latter acknowledged by all to be the best mediator in every debate; the former no less regarded by most, as an embroiler and incendiary. Though he sets out with a formal profession of proving the efficacy of wit, hu­mour, and ridicule, in the investigation of truth, yet, by shifting and mixing his terms, he generally slides insensibly into mere encomiums on good-breeding, chearfulness, urbanity, and free enquiry. This in­deed keeps something like an argument on foot, and amuses the super­ficial reader; but to a more observant eye discovers a very contemptible defect, either of sincerity or penetration.

The question concerning ridicule may be thus not improperly stated, Whether doubtful propositions of any kind can be determined by the appli­cation of ridicule? Much might be said on this question; but a few words will make the matter clear to an unprejudiced mind.

The disapprobation or contempt which certain objects raise in the mind of man, is a particular mode of passion. The objects of this passion are apparent falsehood, incongruity, or impropriety of some particular kinds. Thus, the object of fear is apparent danger: the object of anger is apparent injury. But who hath ever dreamt of exalting the passions of fear and anger into a standard or test of real danger and injury? The design must have been rejected as absurd, be­cause it is the work of reason only, to correct and fix the passions on their proper objects. The case is parallel: apparent or seeming false­hoods, &c. are the objects of contempt; but it is the work of rea­son only, to determine whether the supposed falsehood be real or ficti­tious. But it is said, "The sense of ridicule can never be mistaken." —Why, no more can the sense of danger, or the sense of injury. —"What, do men never fear or resent without reason?"— Yes, very commonly: but they as often despise and laugh without rea­son. Thus before any thing can be determined in either case, reason, and reason only, must examine circumstances, separate ideas, decide upon, restrain, and correct the passion.

Hence it follows, that the way of ridicule, of late so much cele­brated, is in fact no more than a species of eloquence; and that too the lowest of all others: so Tully justly calls it, tenuissimus ingenii fruc­tus. It applies to a passion, and therefore can go no farther in the in­vestigation of truth, than any of those arts which tend to raise love, pity, terror, rage, or hatred in the heart of man. Consequently, his Lordship might have transplanted the whole system of rhetoric into his new scheme, with the same propriety as he hath introduced the way of ridicule itself. A hopeful project this, for the propagation of truth!

As this seems to be the real nature of ridicule, it hath been generally discouraged by philosophers and divines, together with every other mode of eloquence, when applied to controverted opinions. This discouragement, from what is said above, appears to have been rational and just: there­fore the charge laid against divines with regard to this affair by a zealous admirer of Lord Shaftsbury (see a note on the Pleasures of Imagination, Book III.) seems entirely groundless. The distinction which the same author hath attempted with respect to the influence of ridicule, between speculative and moral truths, seems no better founded. It is certain that opinions are no less liable to ridicule than actions. And it is no less cer­tain, that the way of ridicule cannot determine the propriety or impro­priety of the one, more than the truth or falsehood of the other; because the same passion of contempt is equally engaged in both cases, and there­fore, as above, reason only can examine the circumstances of the action or opinion, and thus fix the passion on its proper objects.

Upon the whole, this new design of discovering truth by the vague and unsteady light of ridicule, puts one in mind of the honest Irishman, who apply'd his candle to the sun-dial in order to see how the night went.

Bishop Berkley.
‘Archilochum proprio rabies armavit Iambo. HOR.
Ense velut stricto quoties Lucilius ardens
Infremuit, rubet auditor cui frigida mens est
Criminibus, tacita sudant praecordia culpa.
JUV. S. 1.
Omne vaser vitium ridenti Flatcus amico
Tangit, & admissus circum praecordia ludit,
Callidus excuilo populum suspendere naso.
PERS. S. 1.

A Character of Mr. POPE's WRITINGS. BEING An Episode from the Poem called SICKNESS, Book II.

— In measur'd time
(So heav'n has will'd) together with their snows,
The everlasting hills shall melt away:
This solid globe dissolve, as ductile wax
Before the breath of Vulcan; like a scroll
Shrivel th' unfolded curtains of the sky;
[Page 353]Thy planets, NEWTON, tumble from their spheres;
The moon be perish'd from her bloody orb;
The sun himself, in liquid ruin, rush
And deluge with destroying flames the globe—
Peace then, my soul, nor grieve that POPE is dead.
If e'er the tuneful spirit, sweetly strong,
Spontaneous numbers, teeming in my breast,
Enkindle; O, at that exalting name,
Be favourable, be propitious now,
While, in the gratitude of praise, I sing
The works and wonders of this man divine.
I tremble while I write—His lisping Muse
Surmounts the loftiest efforts of my age.
What wonder? when an infant, he apply'd
The loud b Papinian trumpet to his lips,
Fir'd by a sacred fury, and inspir'd
With all the god, in sounding numbers sung
"Fraternal rage, and guilty Thebes' alarms."
Sure at his birth (things not unknown of old)
The Graces round his cradle wove the dance,
And led the maze of harmony: the Nine,
Prophetic of his future honours, pour'd
Plenteous, upon his lips, Castalian dews;
And Attic bees their golden store distill'd.
The soul of HOMER, sliding from its star,
[Page 354]Where, radiant, over the poetic world
It rules and sheds its influence, for joy
Shouted, and bless'd the birth: the sacred choir
Of poets, born in elder, better times,
Enraptur'd, catch'd the elevating sound,
And roll'd the gladd'ning news from sphere to sphere.
cImperial Windsor! raise thy brow august,
Superbly gay exalt thy tow'ry head;
And bid thy forests dance, and nodding, wave
A verdant testimony of thy joy:
A native ORPHEUS warbling in thy shades.
O listen to d ALEXIS' tender plaint!
How gently rural! without coarseness plain;
How simple in his elegance of grief!
A shepherd, but no clown. His every lay
Sweet as the early pipe along the dale,
When hawthorns bud, or on the thy my brow
When all the mountains bleat, and valleys sing;
Soft as the nightingale's harmonious woe,
In dewy even-tide, when cowslips drop
Their sleepy heads, and languish in the breeze.
eNext in the critic-chair survey him thron'd,
Imperial in his art, prescribing laws
Clear from the knitted brow, and squinted sneer;
Learn'd without pedantry; correctly bold,
[Page 355]And regularly easy. Gentle, now,
As rising incense, or descending dews,
The variegated echo of his theme:
Now, animated flame commands the soul
To glow with sacred wonder. Pointed wit
And keen discernment form the certain page.
Just, as the STAGYRITE; as HORACE, free;
As FABIAN, clear; and as PETRONIUS, gay.
fBut whence those peals of laughter shake the sides
Of decent mirth? Am I in Fairy-land?
Young, evanescent forms, before my eyes,
Or skim, or seem to skim; thin essences
Of fluid light; zilphs, zilphids, elves, and gnomes;
Genii of Rosicruce, and ladies' gods!—
And, lo, in shining trails BELINDA'S hair,
Bespangling with dishevell'd beams the skies,
Flames o'er the night. Behind, a satyr grins,
And, jocund, holds a glass, reflecting, fair,
Hoops, crosses, mattadores; beaux, shocks, and belles,
Promiscuously whimsical and gay.
gTASSONI, hiding his diminish'd head,
Droops o'er the laughing page: while BOILEAU skulks,
With blushes cover'd, low beneath the desk.
More h mournful scenes invite. The milky vein
Of amorous grief devolves its placid wave
Soft-streaming o'er the soul, in weeping woe
And tenderness of anguish. While we read
Th' infectious page, we sicken into love,
And languish with involuntary fires.
The Zephyr, panting on the silken buds
Of breathing violets; the virgin's sigh,
Rosy with youth, are turbulent and rude,
To SAPPHO'S plaint, and ELOÏSA'S moan.
Heav'ns! what a flood of empyréal day
My aking eyes involves: A i temple soars,
Rising like exhalations on a mount,
And wide its adamantine valves expands.
Three monumental columns, bright in air,
Of figur'd gold, the centre of the quire
With lustre fill. POPE on the midmost shines
Betwixt his HOMER and his HORACE plac'd,
Superior, by the hand of justice. FAME,
With all her mouths, th' eternal trumpet swells,
Exulting at his name; and, grateful, pours
The lofty notes of never-dying praise,
Triumphant, floating on the wings of wind,
Sweet o'er the world: th' ambrosial spirit flies
[Page 357]Diffusive, in its progress wid'ning still,
"Dear to the earth, and grateful to the sky."
FAME owes him more than e'er she can repay:
She owes her very temple to his hands;
Like Ilium built; by hands no less divine!
Attention, rouze thyself! the master's hand
(The master of our souls!) has chang'd the key,
And bids the thunder of the battle roar
Tumultuousk. HOMER, HOMER is our own!
And Grecian heroes flame in British lines.
What pomp of words! what nameless energy
Kindles the verse; invigours every line;
Astonishes, and overwhelms the soul
In transports toss'd! when fierce ACHILLES raves,
And flashes, like a comet, o'er the field,
To wither armies with his martial frown.
I see the battle rage; I hear the wheels
Careering with their brazen orbs! The shout
Of nations rolls (the labour of the winds)
Full on my ear, and shakes my inmost soul.
Description never could so well deceive:
'Tis real! TROY is here, or I at TROY
Enjoy the war. My spirits, all on fire,
With unextinguish'd violence are borne
Above the world, and mingle with the gods.
[Page 358]Olympus rings with arms! the firmament,
Beneath the lightning of Minerva's shield,
Burns to the centre: rock the tow'rs of heav'n,
All nature trembles, save the throne of JOVE.
lTo root excesses from the human breast;
Behold a beauteous pile of Ethics rise;
Sense, the foundation; harmony, the walls;
(The Dorique grave, and gay Corinthian join'd)
Where SOCRATES and HORACE jointly reign.
Best of philosophers! of poets too
The best! he teaches thee thyself to know:
That virtue is the noblest gift of heav'n:
"And vindicates the ways of GOD to man."
O hearken to the moralist polite!
Enter his school of truth, where PLATO'S self
Might preach, and TULLY deign to lend an ear.
mLast see him waging with the fools of rhyme
A wanton, harmless war. Dunce after dunce;
Beaux, doctors, templars, courtiers; sophs and cits,
Condemn'd to suffer life. The motley crew,
Emerging from oblivion's muddy pool,
Give the round face to view; and shameless front
Proudly expose; 'till laughter have her fill.
Born to improve the age, and cheat mankind
Into the road of honour!—Vice again
The gilded chariot drives:—For he is dead!
I saw the sable barge, along his Thames,
In slow solemnity beating the tide,
Convey his sacred dust!—Its swans expir'd;
Wither'd, in Twit'nam bowers, the laurel-bough;
Silent, the Muses broke their idle lyres:
Th' attendant Graces check'd the sprightly dance,
Their arms unlock'd, and catch'd the starting tear:
And Virtue for her lost defender mourn'd!

The Cave of POPE. A Prophecy.

WHEN dark oblivion in her sable cloak
Shall wrap the names of heroes and of kings;
And their high deeds, submitting to the stroke
Of time, shall fall amongst forgotten things:
Then (for the Muse that distant day can see)
On Thames's bank the stranger shall arrive,
With curious wish thy sacred grott to see,
Thy sacred grott shall with thy name survive.
Grateful posterity, from age to age,
With pious hand the ruin shall repair:
Some good old man, to each enquiring sage
Pointing the place, shall cry, "The Bard liv'd there,
"Whose song was music to the list'ning ear,
"Yet taught audacious vice and folly, shame:
"Easy his manners, but his life severe;
"His word alone gave infamy or fame.
"Sequester'd from the fool and coxcomb-wit,
"Beneath this silent roof the Muse he found;
"'Twas here he slept inspir'd, or sat and writ;
"Here with his friends the social glass went around."
With awful veneration shall they trace
The steps which thou so long before hast trod;
With reverend wonder view the solemn place,
From whence thy genius soar'd to nature's God.
Then, some small gem, or moss, or shining ore,
Departing, each shall pilfer, in fond hope
To please their friends on every distant shore,
Boasting a relic from the cave of POPE.


  • ON a Grotto near the Thames, at Twickenham Page 1
  • Hymn on Solitude 2
  • An Ode to Aeolus's Harp 5
  • On the Report of a Wooden Bridge to be built at Westminster 7
  • The Choice of Hercules. A Poem 8
  • An Ode to the People of Great Britain, in Imitation of the Sixth Ode of the Third Book of Horace 19
  • Psyche: Or, the great Metamorphosis, a Poem, written in Imitation of Spenser 24
  • Jovi Eleutherio: Or, an Offering to Liberty 45
  • An Epistle from a Swiss Officer to his Friend at Rome 60
  • Life burthensome, because we know not how to use it, an Epistle 64
  • The Duty of employing One's Self, an Epistle 67
  • On Scribbling against Genius, an Epistle 70
  • The Mimic 74
  • [Page 364]An Epistle from Florence, to Thomas Ashton, Esq Tutor to the Earl of Plymouth Page 78
  • The Beauties, an Epistle to Mr. Eckardt, the Painter 94
  • Epilogue to Tamerlane, on the Suppression of the Rebellion 100
  • The Enthusiast, or the Lover of Nature, a Poem 104
  • An Ode to Fancy 114
  • Stanzas written on taking the Air after a long Illness 120
  • The two Beavers, a Fable 121
  • Contentment 124
  • The Education of Achilles 127
  • An Epistle from S. J. Esq in the Country, to the Right Hon. the Lord Lovelace in Town, written in the Year 1735 133
  • To a Lady in Town, soon after her leaving the Country 140
  • To the Right Hon. the Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley, presented with a Collection of Poems 144
  • Chloe to Strephon. A Song 146
  • To the Right. Hon. the Earl of Chesterfield, on his being in­stalled Knight of the Garter 147
  • To a Lady, sent with a Present of Shells and Stones designed for a Grotto 148
  • To a Lady, in Answer to a Letter wrote in a very fine Hand 150
  • The Art of Dancing. A Poem 152
  • The modern fine Gentleman, written in the Year 1746 173
  • The modern fine Lady 177
  • An Essay on Virtue, to the Hon. Philip Yorke, Esq 182
  • The Female Drum: or the Origin of Cards. A Tale. Ad­dress'd to the Hon. Miss Carpenter 190
  • [Page 365]To Mr. Fox, written at Florence. In Imitation of Horace, Ode IV. Book 2. Page 194
  • To the Same, from Hampton-Court, 1731 197
  • The Poet's Prayer 204
  • An Epistle to a Lady 207
  • Genius, Virtue, and Reputation: A Fable 210
  • Marriage A-la-Mode: Or, the two Sparrows. A Fable 213
  • An Inscription 216
  • Ode to Wisdom 217
  • To a Gentleman, on his intending to cut down a Grove to en­large his Prospect 221
  • The Estimate of Life, a Poem, in three Parts 223
  • The Pleasure of Poetry. An Ode 234
  • The Power of Poetry 239
  • To a young Lady, with Fontenelle's Plurality of Worlds 241
  • Song. To Sylvia 243
  • To the Author of the Farmer's Letters 244
  • Verses written in a Book, called, Fables for the Female Sex 245
  • Verses written in Sylvia's Prior 246
  • Upon a Lady's Embroidery ibid.
  • Death and the Doctor. Occasioned by a Physician's lampoon­ing a Friend of the Author 247
  • Inscriptions on a Monument to the Memory of a Lady's favou­rite Bullfinch 248
  • The Trial of Selim the Persian, for divers High Crimes and Misdemeanours 250
  • [Page 366]The Trophy, being fix Cantatas to the Honour of his Royal Highness William, Duke of Cumberland Page 264
  • The Marriage of the Myrtle and Yew. A Fable 275
  • On a Bay-leaf, pluck'd from Virgil's Tomb near Naples, 1736 278
  • To Chloe 280
  • A Song 281
  • Fashion: a Satire 284
  • Nature and Fortune. To the Earl of Chesterfield 291
  • The Exception 293
  • To the Earl of Chesterfield 294
  • Honour. A Poem. Inscribed to the Right Hon. the Lord Visc. Lonsdale 295
  • Ode to a Water-Nymph 309
  • Musaeus: A Monody to the Memory of Mr. Pope, in Imitation of Milton's Lycidas 315
  • An Essay on Satire: occasioned by the Death of Mr. Pope 327
  • A Character of Mr. Pope's Writings 352
  • The Cave of Pope. A Prophecy 359
The END of VOL. III.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.