« PreviousContinue »
Their utmost mazes to unravel,
And touch the fartheft step they travel.
When ev'ry pleasure 's run aground,
And folly tir'd thro' many a round,
The nymph, conceiving difcontent hence,
May ripen to an hour's repentance,
And vapours, fhed in pious moisture,
Difmifs her to a church, or cloyster;
Then on I lead her, with devotion
Confpicuous in her drefs and motion,
Infpire the heavenly-breathing air,
Roll up the lucid eye in prayer,
Soften the voice, and in the face
Look melting harmony and grace.
Thus far extends my friendly pow'r,
Nor quits her in her lateft hour;
The couch of decent pain I fpread,
In form recline her languid head;
Her thoughts I methodize in death,
And part not with her parting breath;
Then do I fet, in order bright,
A length of fun'ral pomp to fight.
The glitt'ring tapers and attire,
The plumes that whiten o'er the bier;
And last, prefenting to her eye
Angelic fineries on high,
To fcenes of painted blifs I waft her,
And form the heaven the hopes hereafter.
In truth rejoin'd love's gentle god,
You 've gone a tedious length of road,
And, ftrange, in all the toilfome way
No houfe of kind refreshment lay;
No nymph, whofe virtues might have tempted
To hold her from her fex exempted.
For one we 'll never quarrel, man;
Take her, and keep her, if you can;
And pleas'd I yield to your petition,
Since ev'ry fair, by fuch permiffion,
Will hold herself the one felected;
And fo my fyftem ftands protected.
O, deaf to virtue, deaf to glory,
To truths divinely vouch'd in ftory!
The Godhead in his zeal return'd,
And, kindling at her malice, burn'd:
Then fweetly rais'd his voice, and told
Of heav'nly nymphs, rever'd of old;
Hypfipyle, who fav'd her fire,
And Portia's love, approv'd by fire;
Alike Penelope was quoted,
Nor laurel'd Daphne pafs'd unnoted,
Nor Laodamia's fatal garter,
Nor fam'd Lucretia, honour's martyr,
Alcefte's voluntary steel,
And Catherine, fimiling on the wheel.
But who can hope to plant conviction
Where cavil grows on contradiction?
Some the evades or disavows,
Demurs to all, and none allows-
A kind of ancient thing called fables!
And thus the Goddefs turn'd the tables.
Now both in argument grew high,
And choler flash'd from either eye;
Nor wonder each refis'd to yield
The conqueft of fo air a field.
When happily arriv'd in view
A Goddefs whom our grand-dames knew,
Of afpect grave, and fober gait,
Majestic, awful, and fedate,
As heaven's autumnal eve ferene,
When not a cloud o'ercafts the fcene;
Once Prudence call'd, a matron fam'd,
And in old Rome Cornelia nam'd.
Quick at a venture both agree
To leave their strife to her deeree.
And now by each the facts were stated,
In form and manner as related.
The cafe was fhort. They crav'd opinion,
Which held o'er females chief dominion:
When thus the Goddess, anfw'ring mild,
Firft fhook her gracious head, and fmil'd:
Alas, how willing to comply,
Yet how unfit a judge am I!
In times of golden date, 'tis true,
I fhar'd the fickle fex with you;
But from their prefence long precluded,
Or held as one whofe form intruded,
Full fifty annual funs can tell,
Prudence has bid the fex farewell.
In this dilemma what to do,
Or who to think of, neither knew;
For both, ftill biafs'd in opinion,
And arrogant of fole dominion,
Were forc'd to hold the cafe compounded,
Or leave the quarrel where they found it.
When in the nick, a rural fair,
Of inexperienc'd gait and air,
Who ne'er had crofs'd the neighb'ring lak
Nor feen the world beyond a wake,
With cambric coif, and kerchief clean,
Tripp'd lightly by them o'er the green.
Now, now! cried Love's triumphant chil And at approaching conqueft fmil'd, If Vanity will once be guided, Our diff'rence foon may be decided; Behold yon wench, a fit occafion To try your force of gay perfuafion. Go you while I retire aloof, Go, put thofe boafted pow'rs to proof; And if your prevalence of art Tranfcends my yet unerring dart, I give the fav'rite contest o'er, And ne'er will boaft my empire more.
At once, fo faid, and so consented; And well our Goddess seem'd contented; Nor paufing made a moment's ftand, But tripp'd. and took the girl in hand.
Meanwhile the Godhead, unalarm`d, As one to each occafion arm'd, Forth from his quiver cull'd a dart, That erit had wounded many a heart; Then bending, drew it to the head; The bowftring twang'd, the arrow fled, And to her fecret foul addreft, Transfix'd the whitenefs of her breast. But here the Dame, whofe guardian care Had to a moment watch'd the fair, At once her pocket-mirror drew, And held the wonder full in view;
A quang'd in order bright, rou at beauties rush to fight, two charms, till now unknown, And reveal'd to her alone; frstar'd hands the love-fick maid, dedo'er the darling thade,
rizes to admire,
centres ev'ry fond defire.
h. The Young Lady and Looking-Glass.
Yilemtiofophers, who can Free that various creature, Man, ere any point fo nice hoofring an advice? Tour friend his errors mend, A certain to offend:
* la foteft terms advise, taset rood, admit him wife; Ta weeten the difcourfe, you call him fool, or worse. - bis character, and try own it, and apply;
name reprove and warn;
here hurt, and all may learn ;
I fail, the picture fhewn,
Make it for his own.
lectures treat the cafe,
sneft, that is base;
Action none will bear it;
Andre pupil, few come near it.
here then no other way
en to convey?
attempt to teach,
ze, or preach?
Yene, an ancient art,
Bto reach the heart,
I diftinétions nice,
Birtue is, and vice.
Iga various names
the moralift declaims: by fimple tales advise, the hearer by surprise; Aas confcience, unprepar'd, I had put it on its guard; de him from himself receive as which they meant to give. s device will oft prevail, its end when others fail, All pretend to doubt,
e which follows makes it out. was a little ftubborn dame, 50 authority could tame; by long indulgence, grown, fhe minded but her own: es oft the 'd fcold and fret, In a corner take a feat, bourly moping all the day, ake to work or play. ça al lofter arts had tried, *tharper remedies applied; Both were vain; for ev'ry course Art, fill made her worie and worfe.
'Tis ftrange to think how female wit
So oft fhould make a luckly hit;
When man, with all his high pretence
To deeper judgment, founder fenfe,
Will err, and meatures falfe purfue-
'Tis very ftrange, I own, but true.—
Mamma obferv'd the rifing lafs
By ftealth retiring to the glafs,
To practite little airs unfeen,
In the true genius of thirteen:
On this a deep defign the laid
To tame the humour of the Maid;
Contriving, like a prudent mother,
To make one fully cure another.
Upon the wall, against the feat
Which Jeffy us'd for her retreat,
Whene'er by accident offended,
A looking-glafs was ftraight fufpended,
That it might fhew her how deform'd
|She lock'd, and frightful, when she storm'd;
And warn her, as the priz'd her beanty,
To bend her humour to her duty.
All this the looking-glafs achiev`d;
Its threats were minded and believ'd.
The Maid, who fpurn'd at all advice,
Grew tame and gentle in a trice:
So, when all other means had fail'd,
The filent monitor prevail'd.
Thus, Fable to the human kind
Prefents an image of the mind;
It is a mirror, where we spy
At large our own deformity;
And learn of courfe thofe faults to mend,
Which but to mention would offend.
Defcend to inftances, and try; An ox will fcarce attempt to fly, Or leave his pafture in the wood, With fishes to explore the flood. Man only acts, of ev'ry creature, In oppofition to his nature. The happinefs of human-kind Confifts in rectitude of mind; A will fubdu'd to reafon's fway, And paffions practis'd to obey; An open and a gen'rous heart, Refin'd from felfithnefs and art; Patience, which mocks at fortune's pow'r, And wifdom never fad nor four: In thefe confifts our proper blifs; Elfe Plato reafons much amifs:
But foolish mortals ftill purfue
Falfe happiness in place of true;
Ambition ferves us for a guide,
Or luft, or avarice, or pride;
While Reafon no affent can gain,
And Revelation warns in vain.
Hence through our lives, in ev'ry stage,
From infancy itself to age,
A happiness we toil to find,
Which ftill avoids us like the wind;
Ev'n when we think the prize our own,
At once 'tis vanish'd, loft and gone.
You ll afk me why I thus rehearse
All Epictetus in my verfe?
And if I fondly hope to please
With dry reflections, fuch as these,
So trite, fo hackney'd, and so stale?
I'll take the hint, and tell a tale.
One evening, as a timple fwain
His flock attended on the plain,
The fhining bow he chanc'd to fpy,
Which warns us when a fhow'ris nigh.
With brightest rays it feem'd to glow:
Its diftance eighty yards or fo.
This bumpkin had, it feems, been told
The ftory of the cup of gold,
Which fame reports is to be found
Juft where the Rainbow meets the ground;
He therefore felt a fudden itch
To feize the goblet, and be rich;
Hoping, yet hopes are oft but vain,
No more to toil thro' wind and rain,
But fit indulging by the fire,
"Midft eafe and plenty, like a 'fquire.
He mark'd the very fpot of land
On which the Rainbow feem'd to stand,
And, ftepping forwards at his leifure,
Expected to have found the treasure.
But as he mov'd, the colour'd ray
Still chang'd its place, and flipp'd away,
As feeming his approach to fhun.
From walking he began to run;
But all in vain, it ftill withdrew
As nimbly as he could purfue.
At laft, thro' many a bog and lake,
Rough craggy road, and thorny brake,
It led the eafy fool, till night
Approach'd, then vanish'd in his fight,
And left him to compute his gains,
With nought but labour for his pains.
$328. The Rake and the Hermit. Wilkie.
A YOUTH, a pupil of the town,
Philofopher and atheist grown,
Benighted once upon the road,
Found out a hermit's lone abode.
Whofe hospitality in need
Relicv'd the traveller and his steed;
For both fufficiently were tir'd,
Well diench'd in ditches, and bemir'd.
Hunger the firft attention claims;
Upon the coals a rather flames.
Dry crufts, and liquor fomething ftale,
Were added to make up a meal;
At which our trav'ller, as he fat,
By intervals began to chat.-
'Tis odd, quoth he, to think what ftraina
Of folly govern fome folks' brains:
What makes you choose this wild abode?
You'll fay, 'Tis to converfe with God.
Alas, I fear, 'tis all a whim;
You never faw or spoke with him.
They talk of Providence's pow'r,
And fay, it rules us ev'ry hour:
To me all nature feems confufion,
And fuch weak fancies mere delufion.
Say, if it rul'd and govern'd right,
Could there be fuch a thing as night;
Which, when the fun has left the fkies,
Puts all things in a deep difguife?
If then a travller chance to ftray
The leaft ftep from the public way,
He's foon in endleís mazes loft,
As I have found it to my colt.
Beides, the gloom which naturs wears
Affifts imaginary fears,
Of ghofts and goblins from the waves
Of fulph'rous lakes and yawning graves;
All fprung from fuperftitious feed,
Like other maxims of the creed.
For my part, I reject the tales
Which faith fuggefts when reafon fails;
And reafon nothing understands,
Unwarranted by eyes and hands.
Thefe fubtle effences, like wind,
Which fome have dreamt of, and call mind,
It ne'er admits; nor joins the lie,
Which fays men rot, but never die.
It holds all future things in doubt,
And therefore wifely leaves them out:
Suggefting what is worth our care,
To takes things prefent as they are,
Our wifeft courfe: the reft is folly,
The fruit of ipleen and melancholy.-
Sir, quoth the Hermit, I agree
That Reafon fill our guide thould be;
And will admit her as the test
Of what is true, and what is beft;
But Reafon fure would bluth for fhame
At what you mention in her name;
Her dictates are fublime and holy;
Impiety 's the child of Folly;
Reaton with meafur'd fteps and flow,
To things above from things below
Afcends, and guides us thro' her sphere
With caution, vigilance, and care.
Faith in the utmoft frontier stands,
And afen puts us in her hands;
But not till her commiflion giv'n
Is found authentic, and from Heav'n.
'Tis ftrange, that man, a reas'ning creature,
Should mils a God in viewing nature;
Whofe high perfections are difplay'd
In ev'ry thing his hands have made:
Ev'n when we think their traces loft,
When found again, we fee them moft:
The night itself, which you would blame
As fomething wrong in nature's frame,
Is but a rain to invest
Her wear children when a reft:
Like that which mothers day to keep
The light off from a child aûtep.
Pride, the fears which cakes breeds
EC (At least augments) in vagir heads,
Are far from utele's, whe the mind
Is narrow, and to earth coin'd;
They make the world
think with pain
On frauds, and catlis, and il-got gain;
Force from the ran's hand the knife
Jun ris'd again his reghbour's life;
And in defence of wre's caufe,
Aft each ten of the laws.
But fouls ferent, where wildom dwells,
And fuperftitious dread expeis,
The fient moeity of night
Excites to take a nobier night;
With faints and cages to explore
The wonders of creating pow'r;
And lifts on contemplation's wings
Above the sphere of mortal things.
Walk forth, and tread those dewy plains
Where night in awful filence reigns;
The sky's ferae, the air is still,
The woods and listening on each hill,
To catch the founds that fink and fwell,
Wide-duating from the ev`ning bell,
While foxes howl, and beetles hum,
Sounds which make filence ftill more dumb:
And try it folly, math and rude,
Dure on the facred hour intrude.
Then turn your eyes to heaven's broad frame,
Attempt to quote thofe lights by name
Which hine to thick, and spread so far;
Conceive a fun in ev'ry star,
Round which unnumber'd planets roll,
While comets foot athwart the whole;
From fy item it to fyftem ranging,
Their various benefits exchanging,
And thiking from their flaming hair
Te things mot needed ev'ry where-
Explore this glorious scene, and fay
That night discovers lefs than day;
That is quite ufelefs, and a fign
That chance difpoles, not defign:
Weer maintains it, I'll pronounce
Her mad, or else a dunce;
For on, tho' tis far from strong,
Woon find out that nothing's wrong,
Ffgus and evidences clear
Ot we contrivance ev'ry where.
The Hermit ended, and the youth
Brame a convert to the truth;
At the yielded, and confefs'd
That all was order'd for the best.
29 The Youth and the Philofopher. W. Whitehead. AGRICIAN youth, of talents rare, Wom Plato's philofophic care
1 form'd for virtue's nobler view, * precept and example too,
Would often boaft his matchlefs skill
To curb the fteed, and guide the wheel;
And as he pafs'd the gazing throng
With graceful eafe, and fmack'd the thong,
The idiot wonder they exprefs'd
Was praife and transport to his breast.
At length, quite vain, he needs would fhew His maiter what his art could do;
And bade his flaves the chariot lead
To Academus' facred fhade.
The trembling grove confefs'd its fright,
The wood-nymphs started at the fight;
The Mufes drop the learned lyre,
And to their inmoft thades retire.
Howe'er the youth, with forward air,
Bows to the lage, and mounts the car;
The lafh refounds, the courfers spring,
The chariot marks the rolling ring;
And gathering crowds, with eager eyes,
And shouts, pursue him as he fies.
Triumphant to the goal return'd,
With nobler thirit his bofom burn'd;
And now along th` indented plain
The felf-fame track he marks again;
Purfues with care the nice defign,
Nor ever deviates from the line.
Amazement feiz'd the circling crowd;
The youths with emulation glow'd;
Ev'n bearded fages hail'd the boy,
And all but Plato gaz'd with joy.
For he, deep-judging fage, beheld
With pain the triumphs of the field:
And when the charioteer drew nigh,
And, flush'd with hope, had caught his eye,
Alas! unhappy youth, he cried,
Expect no praise from me (and figh'd.)
With indignation I furvey
Such fkill and judgment thrown away.
The time profufely fquander'd there
On vulgar arts, beneath thy care,
If well employ'd, at lefs expence,
Had taught thee honour, virtue, sense,
And rais'd thee from a coachman's fate
To govern men, and guide the itate.
§ 330. The Bee, the Ant, and the Sparrow.
Dr. Cotton. Addreffed to Phoebe and Kitty C. at BoardingSchool.
My dears, 'tis faid, in days of old
That beafts could talk, and birds could fcold:
But now, it feems, the human race
Alone engrofs the fpeaker's place.
Yet lately, if report be true,
(And much the tale relates to you)
There met a Sparrow, Ant, and Bee,
Which reafon'd and convers'd as we.
Who reads my page will doubtless grant
That Phe's the wife induftrious Ant;
And all with half an eye may fee
That Kitty is the bufy Bee.
Here then are two-but where's the third?
Go fearch the school, you'll find the bird.
Your school! I ask your pardon, Fair;
I'm fure you'll find no Sparrow there.
Now to my tale-One fummer's morn
A Bee rang'd o'er the verdant lawn;
Studious to hufband ev'ry hour,
And make the most of ev'ry flow'r.
Nimble from stalk to ftalk the flies,
And loads with yellow wax her thighs;
With which the artist builds her comb,
And keeps all tight and warm at home:
Or from the cowlip's golden beils
Sucks honey, to enrich her cells:
Or ev'ry tempting rofe pursues,
Or fips the lily's fragrant dews;
Yet never robs the thining bloom
Or of its beauty or perfume.
Thus the difcharg`d in ev'ry way
The various duties of the day.
It chanc'd a frugal Ant was near,
Whofe brow was wrinkled o'er by care:
A great economift was the,
Nor lefs laborious than the Bee;
By penfive parents often taught
What ills arife from want of thought;
That poverty on floth depends;
On poverty the lofs of friends;
Hence ev'ry day the Ant is found
With anxious iteps to tread the ground;
With curious fearch to trace the grain,
And drag the heavy load with pain.
The active Bee with pleafure faw
The Ant fulfil her parent's law.
Ah! fifter labourer, fays the,
How very fortunate are we !
Who, taught in infancy to know
The comforts which from labour flow,
Are independant of the great,
Nor know the wants of pride and state.
Why is our food so very sweet?
Because we earn before we eat.
Why are our wants so very few?
Because we nature's calls purine.
Whence our complacency of mind?
Because we act our parts aflign'd.
Have we inceffant talks to do?
Is not all nature busy too?
Doth not the fun, with conftant pace,
Perfift to run his annual race?
Do not the ftars, which thine fo bright,
Renew their courfes ev'ry night?
Doth not the ox obedient bow
His patient neck, and draw the plough?
Or when did e'er the gen'rous fteed
Withhold his labour or his fpeed?
If you all nature's fyftem fcan,
The only idle thing is man.
A wanton Sparrow long'd to hear
Their fage difcourfe, and ftraight drew near.
The bird was talkative and loud,
And very pert and very proud;
As worthlefs and as vain a thing,
Perhaps, as ever wore a wing.
She found, a on a fpry the fat,
The little triends were deep in chat;
That virtue was their fav'rite theme,
And toil and probity their scheme :
Such talk was hateful to her breast;
She thought them arrant prudes at best.
When to difplay her naughty mind,
Hunger with cruelty combin'd,
She view'd the Ant with favage eyes,
And hopp'd and hopp'd to fnatch her prize
The Bee, who watch'd her op'ning bill,
And guefs'd her fell defign to kill,
Afk'd her from what her anger role,
And why the treated Ants as foes?
The Sparrow her reply began,
And thus the converfation ran:
Whenever I'm difpos'd to dine,
I think the whole creation mine;
That I'm a bird of high degree,
And ev'ry infect made for me.
Hence oft I fearch the emmet-brood
(For emmets are delicious food),
And oft, in wantonnefs and play,
I flay ten thousand in a day.
For truth it is, without difguife,
That I love mifchief as my eyes.
Oh! fie! the honeft Bee replied,
I fear you make bafe men your guide;
Of ev'ry creature fure the worit,
Though in creation's scale the first!
Ungrateful man! 'tis ftrange he thrives,
Who burns the Bees to rob their hives!
I hate his vile administration,
And fo do all the emmet nation.
What fatal foes to birds are men,
Quite to the Eagle from the Wren!
O! do not men's example take,
Who mifchief do for mischief's fake;
But fpare the Ant-her worth demands
Efteem and friendship at your hands.
A mind with ev'ry virtue bleft,
Muft raife compaffion in your breast.
Virtue rejoin'd the fneering bird,
Where did you learn that Gothic word?
Since I was hatch'd, I never heard
That virtue was at all rever'd.
But fay it was the ancients' claim,
Yet moderns difavow the name;
Unlefs, my dear, you read romances,
I cannot reconcile your fancies.
Virtue in fairy tales is feen
To play the goddefs or the queen ;
But what's a queen without the pow'r
Or beauty, child, without a dow`r?
Yet this is all that virtue brags,
At beft 'tis only worth in rags.
Such whims my very heart derides:
Indeed you make me burft my fides.
Truft me, Mifs Bee-to fpeak the truth,
I've copied men from earlieft youth;
The fame our tafte, the fame our school,
Paffion and appetite our rule;
And call me bird, or call me finner,
I'll ne'er forego my fport or dinner.
A prowling cat the mifcreant ipies,
And wide expands her amber eyes: