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The guests withdrawn had left the treat,
Our courtier walks from dish to dish,
He stuffs, and swills, and stuffs again.
"An't please your honour," quoth the peasant,
AGAIN? new tumults in my breast?
Ah spare me, Venus! let me, let me rest!
I am not now, alas! the man
As in the gentle reign of my Queen Anne.
Ah, sound no more thy soft alarms,
Nor circle sober fifty with thy charms.
Mother too fierce of dear desires!
Turn, turn to willing hearts your wanton fires.
To Number Five direct your doves,
There spread round Murray all your blooming loves; 5 Noble and young, who strike the heart
With every sprightly, every decent part;
Equal, the injured to defend,
To charm the mistress, or to fix the friend.
He, with a hundred arts refined,
Shall stretch thy conquests over half the kind : To him each rival shall submit,
Make but his riches equal to his wit.
Then shall thy form the marble grace
(Thy Grecian form), and Chloe lend the face
His house, embosom'd in the grove,
Sacred to social life and social love, Shall glitter o'er the pendant green,
Where Thames reflects the visionary scene: Thither, the silver-sounding lyres
Shall call the smiling loves, and young desires;
For me the vernal garlands bloom no more.
The still-believing, still-renew'd desire;
Adieu! the heart-expanding bowl,
And all the kind deceivers of the soul!
But why? ah tell me, ah too dear!
Steals down my cheek the involuntary tear?
Why words so flowing, thoughts so free,
Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glance of thee? Thee, dress'd in Fancy's airy beam,
Absent I follow through the extended dream ;
Now, now I seize, I clasp thy charms,
And now you burst (ah cruel!) from my arms,
5 [Murray's chambers were at this time in King's Bench Walks, No. 5.]
And swiftly shoot along the Mall,
Or softly glide by the canal,
Now shown by Cynthia's silver ray,
And now on rolling waters snatch'd away.
PART OF THE NINTH ODE OF THE FOURTH BOOK.
LEST you should think that verse shall die,
Which sounds the silver Thames along,
Taught on the wings of Truth to fly
Above the reach of vulgar song;
Though daring Milton sits sublime,
Sages and chiefs long since had birth,
These raised new empires o'er the earth;
Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
In vain they schemed, in vain they bled!
ON RECEIVING FROM THE
RIGHT HON. THE LADY FRANCES SHIRLEY
A STANDISH AND TWO PENS.
[Warburton states that the poet was threatened with a prosecution in the House of Lords for the Epilogue to the Satires. In great resentment, he began a Third Dialogue, more severe and sublime than the first and second," which, becoming known, led to a compromise. The prosecution was dropped, and the poet agreed to leave the Third Dialogue unfinished and suppressed. "This affair," adds Warburton, " occasioned this little beautiful poem, to which it alludes throughout, but more especially in the four last stanzas. Lady Frances Shirley was a daughter of Earl Ferrers, who had at that time a house at Twickenham. She died unmarried in 1762.]
YES, I beheld the Athenian queen
Descend in all her sober charms;
"And take" (she said, and smiled serene),
Secure the radiant weapons wield;
This steel shall stab it to the heart.”
Awed, on my bended knees I fell,
"What well? what weapon?" (Flavia cries)
It came from Bertrand's, not the skies;
I gave it you to write again.
1 [Bertrand's was a toy-shop at Bath.]
But, friend, take heed whom you attack;
You'd write as smooth again on glass,
Athenian queen! and sober charms!
Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
That dares tell neither truth nor lies,
I'll list you in the harmless roll,
Of those that sing of these poor eyes."3
2 [Lambeth would seem to be here meant. In the Epilogue to the Satires, Dial. I., ver. 120, Pope had hazarded an allusion to a scandal, that the Archbishop of Canterbury had "pocketed" the will of George I. Walpole, however, states that the Archbishop produced the will, and that George II. carried it off. Pope's frequent satires on the Court prelates must have given great offence, and Lord Hervey alludes to the cabals and combinations of the bishops about this time, to oppose and influence the transactions of Parliament.]
8 [One that
sung of Lady Frances Shirley was Chesterfield-
First met my ravish'd sight,
Struck with her shape and air,
I gazed with strange delight.”
Sir Charles Hanbury Williams, in one of his light satires, alludes to the intimacy between Chesterfield and Fanny, and—
"That eternal whisper, which begun
Ten years ago, and never will be done."