« PreviousContinue »
To Juniper's Magpye, or Town Hall, repairs;
Where, mindful of the nymph whofe wanton eye
Transfix'd his foul, and kindled amorous flames,
Chloe or Phillis, he each circling glafs
Witheth her health, and joy, and equal love.
Meanwhile he finokes, and laughs at merry tale,
Or pun ambiguous, or conundrum quaint.
But I, whom griping penury furrounds,
And hunger, fure attendant upon want,
With fcanty offals, and small acid tiff,
(Wretched repaft!) my meagre corfe sustain :
Then folitary walk, or doze at home
In garret vile, and with a warming puff
Regale chill'd fingers; or, from tube as black
As winter chimney, or well-polifh'd jet,
Exhale mundungus, ill-perfuming fcent.
Not blacker tube, nor of a fhorter fize,
Smokes Cambro-Briton (vers'd in pedigree,
Sprung from Cadwallader and Arthur, kings
Full famous in romantic tale) when he
O'er many a craggy hill and barren cliff,
Upon a cargo of fam'd Ceftrian cheefe,
High overthadowing rides, with a design
To verd his wares, or at th' Arvonian mart,
Or Maridunum, or the ancient town
Yclep'd Brechinia, or where Vaga's stream
Encircles Ariconium, fruitful foil!
Whence flow nectareous wines, that well may vie
With Maffic, Setin, or renown'd Falern.
Thus, while my joylefs minutes tedious flow,
With looks demure, and filent pace, a Dun,
Horrible monfter! hated by gods and men,
To my aerial citadel afcends?
With vocal heel thrice thund'ring at my gate,
With hideous accent thrice he calls; I know
The voice ill-boding, and the folemn found.
What fhould I do? or whither turn? Amaz'd,
Confounded, to the dark recefs 1 fy
Of wood-hole; ftraight my bristling hairs erect
Thro' fudden fear; a chilly fweat bedews
My fhudd'ring limbs, and (wonderful to tell!)
My tongue forgets her faculty of speech;
So horrible he feems! His faded brow
Entrench'd with many a frown, and conick beard,
And spreading band, admir'd by modern faints,
Disastrous acts forebode; in his right hand
Long ferolls of paper folemnly he waves,
With characters and figures dire infcrib'ċ,
Grievous to mortal eyes (ye gods, avert
Such plagues from righteous men!). Behind him
Another monster, not unlike himself,
Sullen of afpe&t, by the vulgar call'd
A Catchpole, whofe polluted hands the gods
With force incredible, and magic charms,
Erft have endued; if he his ample palm
Should haply on ill-fated fhoulder lay
Of debtor, ftraight his body, to the touch
Obfequious (as whilom knights were wont),
To fome enchanted castle is convey'd,
Where gates impregnable, and coercive chains,
In durance ftrict detain him; till, in form
Of money, Pallas fets the captive free.
Beware, ye debtors! when ye walk beware, Be circumfpect: oft with infidious ken
This caitiff eyes your fteps aloof; and oft
Lies perdue in a nook or gloomy cave,
Prompt to enchant fome inadvertent wretch
With his unhallow'd touch. So (poets fing)
Grimalkin, to domeftic vermin fworn
An everlafting foe, with watchful eye
Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky gap,
Protending her fell claws, to thoughtless mice
Sure ruin. So her difembowell'd web
Arachne in a hall or kitchen spreads,
Obvious to vagrant flies: fhe fecret stands
Within her woven cell; the humming prey,
Regardless of their fate, rush on the toils
Inextricable, nor will aught avail
Their arts, or arms, or fhapes of lovely hue;
The wafp infidious, and the buzzing drone,
And butterfly, proud of expanded wings
Diftinct with gold, entangled in her fnares,
Ufelefs refiftance make: with eager ftrides,
She tow'ring flies to her expected fpoils;
Then with envenom'd jaws the vital blood
Drinks of reluctant foes, and to her cave
Their bulky carcafes triumphant drags.
So pafs my days. But when nocturnal shades
This world envelop, and th' inclement air
Perfuades men to repel benumbing frosts
With pleasant wines, and crackling blaze of wood;
Me, lonely fitting, nor the glimmering light
Of make-weight candle, nor the joyous talk
Of loving friends, delights; diftrefs'd, forlorn,
Amidft the horrors of the tedious night,
Darkling I figh, and feed with difmal thoughts
My anxious mind; or fometimes mournful verfe
Indite, and fing of groves and myrtle fhades,
Or defp'rate lady near a purling stream,
Or lover pendent on a willow-tree.
Meanwhile I labour with eternal drought,
And reftlefs with, and rave; my parched throat
Finds no relief, nor heavy eyes repofe :
But if a flumber haply does invade
My weary limbs, my fancy 's ftill awake,
Thoughtful of drink, and eager, in a dream,
Tipples imaginary pots of ale,
In vain: awake, I find the fettled thirst
Still gnawing, and the pleasant phan om curfer
Thus do I live, from pleasure quite debarr'd,
Nor tafte the fruits that the fun's genial rays
Mature-john-apple, nor the downy peach,
Nor walnut in rough-furrow'd coat fecure,
Nor medlar fruit delicious in decay.
Afflictions great! yet greater still remain :
My galligafkins, that have long with flood
The winter's fury, and encroaching frofts,
By time fubdued (what will not time fubdue
A horrid chafm difclofe, with orifice
Vide, difcontinuous; at which the winds,
Eurus and Aufter, and the dreadful force
Of Borcas, that congeals the Cronian waves,
Tumultuous enter with dire chilling blaft,
Portending agues. Thus a well-fraught ship,
Long fail'd fecure, or thro' th' gean deep,
Or the Ionian, till cruising near
The Lilybean fhore, with hideous crush
On Scylla or Charybdis (dang 'rous rocks)
Two noted alehoufes in Oxford, 1700.
She ftrikes rebounding; whence the fhatter'd oak |The troubled mind's fantaftic drefs,
So fierce a fhock unable to withstand,
Which madness titles Happiness;
Admits the fea; in at the gaping fide
While the gay wretch to revels bears
The crewding waves guth with impetuous rage, The pale remains of fighs and tears;
Refiftlefs, overwhelming! Horrors feize
And leeks in crowds, like her undone,
The mariners; death in their eyes appears; What only can be found in one.
They ftare, they rave, they pump, they fwear,
(Vain efforts!) ftill the batt'ring waves rufh in, Implacable; till, delug'd by the foam, The fhip finks found'ring in the vast abyss.
$100. An Epifile to a Lady. NUGENT.
LARINDA, dearly lov'd, attend
The counfels of a faithful friend;
Who, with the warmeft withes fraught,
Feels all, at least, that friendship ought !
But fince, by ruling Heaven's defign,
Another's fate fhail influence thine;
Oh may thefe lines for him prepare
A blifs which I would die to fhare!
Man may for wealth or glory roam,
But woman must be bleft at home;
To this fhould all her ftudies tend,
This her great object and her end.
Diftafte unmingled pleasures bring,
And ufe can blunt Affliction's fting;
Hence perfect blifs no mortals know,
And few are plung'd in utter woe:
While Nature, arm'd against Despair,
Gives pow'r to mend, or ftrength to bear;
And half the thought content may gain,
Which fpleen employs to purchafe pain.
Trace not the fair domeftic plan
From what you would, but what you can!
Nor, peevish, fpurn the fcanty ftore,
Because you think you merit more!
Blifs ever differs in degree,
Thy fhare alone is meant for thee;
And thou shouldft think, however small,
That fhare enough, for 'tis thy all:
Vain fcorn will aggravate distress,
And only make that little lefs.
Admit whatever trifles come; Units compofe the largest fum: Oh tell them o'er, and fay how vain Are thofe who form Ambition's train; Which fwell the monarch's gorgeous state, And bribe to ill the guilty great! But thou, more bleft, more wife than these, Shalt build up happiness on eafe. Hail, fwcet Content! where joy ferene Gilds the mild foul's unruffled fcene; And, with biith Fancy's pencil wrought, Spreads the white web of flowing thought; Shines lovely in the cheerful face, And clothes each charm with native grace; Effufion pure of blits fincere, A veftment for a god to wear.
Far other ornaments compofe The garb that throuds diffembled woes, Pic'd out with motley dyes and forts, Freaks, whimfies, feftivals, and fports:
But chief, my gentle friend! remove Far from thy couch feducing Love. Oh fhun the falfe magician's art, Nor truft thy yet unguarded heart! Charm'd by his fpells fair Honour flies, And thoufand treach'rous phantoms rife; Where Guilt in Beauty's ray beguiles, And Ruin lurks in Friendship's fmiles. Lo! where th' enchanting captive dreams Of warbling groves and purling ftreams; Of painted meads, of flow'rs that fhed Their odours round her fragrant bed. Quick fhifts the scene, the charm is loft, She wakes upon a desert coast; No friendly hand to lend its aid, No guardian bow'r to spread its shade; Expos'd to ev'ry chilling blaft, She treads th' inhofpitable wafte; And down the drear decline of life Sinks a forlorn, dishonour'd wife. Neglect not thou the voice of Fame, But, clear from crime, be free from blame! Tho' all were innocence within,
'Tis guilt to wear the garb of fin;
Virtue rejects the foul difguife:
None merit praife who praife defpife.
Slight not, in fupercilious ftrain,
Long practis'd modes, as low or vain!
The world will vindicate their caufe,
And claim blind faith in Custom's laws.
Safer with multitudes to ftray,
Than tread alone a fairer way:
To mingle with the erring throng,
Than boldly fpeak ten millions wrong.
Beware of the relentless train
Who forms adore, whom forms maintain!
Left prudes demure, or coxcombs loud,
Accufe thee to the partial crowd;
Foes who the laws of honour flight,
A judge who measures guilt by fpite.
Behold the fage Aurelia ftand,
Difgrace and fame at her command;
As if Heaven's delegate design'd,
Sole arbiter of all her kind.
Whether the try fome favour'd piece
By rules devis'd in ancient Greece;
Or whether, modern in her flight,
She tells what Paris thinks polite:
For much, her talents to advance,
She studied Greece, and travell'd France;
There learn'd the happy art to please
With all the charms of labour'd ease;
Thro' looks and nods, with meaning fraught,
To teach what he was never taught.
By her each latent fpring is feen;
The workings foul of fecret fpleen;
The guilt that fkulks in fair pretence;
Or folly veil'd in fpecious fenfe.
And much her righteous fpirit grieves,
When worthleffnefs the world deceives;
Whether the erring crowd commends
Some patriot fway'd by private ends;
Or husband truft a faithlefs wife,
Secure, in ignorance, from strife.
Averfe the brings their deeds to view,
But juftice claims the rig'rous due;
Humanely anxious to produce
At leaft fome poffible excufe.
Oh ne'er may virtue's dire difgrace
Prepare a triumph for the bafe!
Mere forms the fool implicit fway,
Which witlings with contempt furvey;
Blind folly no defect can fee,
Half wifdom views but one degree.
The wife remoter ufes reach,
Which judgment and experience teach.
Whoever would be pleas'd and please,
Muft do what others do with ease.
Great precept, undefin'd by rule,
And only learn'd in Cuftom's fchool;
To no peculiar form confin'd,
It fpreads thro' all the human kind;
Beauty, and wit, and worth fupplies,
Yet graceful in the good and wife.
Rich with this gift, and none befide,
In Fashion's stream how many glide!
Secure from ev'ry mental woe,
From treach'rous friend or open foe
From focial fympathy, that shares
The public lofs or private cares;
Whether the barb'rous foe invade,
Or Merit pine in Fortune's fhade.
Hence gentle Anna, ever gay, The fame to-morrow as to-day, Save where, perchance, when others weep, Her cheek the decent forrow steep; Save when, perhaps, a melting tale O'er ev'ry tender breaft prevail: The good, the bad, the great, the small, She likes, the loves, the honours all. And yet, if fland'rous malice blame, Patient the yields a fifter's fame. Alike if fatire or if praife, She fays whate'er the circle fays; Implicit does whate'er they do, Without one point in with or view. Sure test of others, faithful glass, Thro' which the various phantoms pafs, Wide blank, unfeeling when alone; No care, no joy, no thought her own.
Not thus fucceeds the peerlefs dame, Who looks, and talks, and acts for fame; Intent, fo wide her cares extend, To make the universe her friend. Now with the gay in frolics fhines, Now reafons deep with deep divines. With courtiers now extols the great, With patriots fighs o'er Britain's fate. Now breathes with zealots holy fires, Now melts in lefs refin'd defires. Doom'd to exceed in each degree, Too wife, too weak, too proud, ico free;
Too various for one fingle word,
The high fublime of deep abfurd:
While ev'ry talent nature grants
Juft ferves to fhew how much the wants.
The virtues of our fex and thine :
Her hand reftrains the widow's tears;
Her fenfe informs, and fooths, and cheers:
Yet, like an angel in difguife,
She fhines but to fomne favour'd eyes;
Nor is the diftant herd allow'd
To view the radiance thro' the cloud,
But thine is ev'ry winning art; Thine is the friendly, honeft heart; And fhould the gen'rous fpirit flow Beyond where prudence fears to ga; Such fallies are of nobler kind Than virtues of a narrow mind.
Timotheus, plac'd on high
Amid the tuneful quire,
With flying fingers touch'd the lyre:
The trembling notes afcend the fky,
And heavenly joys inspire.
The fong began from Jove;
Who left his blifsful feats above,
Such is the pow'r of mighty love!
A dragon's fiery form belied the god :
Sublime on radiant fpheres he rode,
When he to fair Olympia prefs'd, And ftamp'd an image of himself, a fov'reign of the world.
The lift'ning crowd admire the lofty found;
A prefent deity, the vaulted roofs rebound:
With ravish'd ears
The monarch hears,
Affumes the god, Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.
The praife of Bacchus then the fweet musician fung;
Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young: The jolly god in triumph comes; Sound the trumpets, beat the drums; Flush'd with a purple grace
He fhews his honeft face. Kk3
The mighty mafter fmil'd, to fee
That love was in the next degree:
"Twas but a kindred found to move;
For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly fweet, in Lydian measures,
Soon he footh'd his foul to pleasures.
War he fung is toil and trouble;
Honour but an empty bubble;
Never ending, ftill beginning,
Fighting ftill, and still destroying:
If the world be worth thy winning,
Think, oh think it worth enjoying!
Lovely Thais fits befide thee,
Take the good the gods provide thee.
The many rend the skies with loud applaufe;
So love was crown'd, but mufic won the cause. The prince, unable to conceal his pain,
Gaz'd on the fair
Who caus'd his care,
And figh'd and look'd, figh'd and look'd, Sigh'd and look'd, and figh'd again : At length, with love and wine at once opprefs'd, The vanquish'd victor funk upon her breast.
Now strike the golden lyre again;
And louder yet, and yet a louder ftrain.
Break his bands of fleep afunder,
And roufe him, like a rattling peal of thunder.
Hark, hark, the horrid found
Has rais'd up his head,
As aw k'd from the dead,
Aud amaz'd, he flares around.
What prefent fhall the Mufe to Dorset bring,
Or how, fo near the Pole, attempt to fing?
The hoary winter here conceals from fight
All pleafing objects that to verse invite.
The flow'ry plains, and filver ftreaming floods,
The hills and dales, and the delightful woods,
By fnow difguis'd, in bright confufion lie,
And with one dazzling wafte fatigue the eye.
No gentle breathing breeze prepares the fpring,
No birds within the defert region fing.
The thips, unmov'd, the boift'rous winds defy,
The vaft Leviathan wants room to play,
While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly.
And fpout his waters in the face of day.
The ftarving wolves along the main fea prowl,
And to the moon in icy valleys howl.
For many a fhining league the level main
Here fpreads itfelf into a glaffy plain :
There folid billows, of enormous fize,
Alps of green ice, in wild diforder rife.
And yet but lately have I feen, e'en here,
The winter in a lovely drefs appear.
Ere yet the clouds let fall the treafur'd snow,
Or winds begun thro' hazy kies to blow,
At ev'ning a keen eastern breeze arote;
And the defcending rain unfullied froze.
Soon as the filent fhades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn difelos'd at once to view
The face of nature in a rich disguise,
And brighten'd ev'ry object to my eyes:
For ev'ry fhrub, and ev'ry blade of grafs,
And ev'ry pointed thorn, feem'd wrought in glafs,
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns fhow,
While thro' the ice the crimfon berries glow.
The thick-fprung reeds the wat'ry marthes yield
Seem polish'd lances in a hofule field.
The flag, in limpid currents, with surprise
Sees crystal branches on his forehead rife.
The fpreading oak, the beech, and tow'ring pine,
Glaz'd over, in the freezing æther fhine.
The frighted birds the rattling branches thun,
That wave and glitter in the diftant fun.
When, if a fudden guft of wind arife,
The brittle foreft into atoms flies:
The crackling wood beneath the tempeft bends,
And in a fpangled show'r the prospect ends;
Or, if a fouthern gale the region warm,
And by degrees unbind the wint'ry charm,
The traveller a miry country fees,
And journeys fad beneath the dropping trees.
Like fome deluded peafant Merlin leads
Thro' fragrant bow'rs, and thro' delicious meads;
While here enchanting gardens to him ife,
And airy fabrics there attract his eyes,
His wand'ring feet the magic paths purfue;
And, while he thinks the fair illufion true,
The tracklefs fcenes difperfe in fluid air,
And woods, and wilds, and thorny ways appear:
A tedious road the weary wretch returns,
And, as he goes, the tranfient vifion mourns.
She vifits oft the hamlet cot,
When Want and Sorrow are the lot
Of Avarice and me.
But fee or is it Fancy's dream?
Methought a bright celeftial gleam
Shot fudden thro' the groves;
Behold, behold, in loofe array,
Euphrofyne, more bright than day,
More mild than Paphian doves!
Welcome, oh welcome, Pleafure's queen!
And fee, along the velvet green
The jocund train advance:
With fcatter'd flow'rs they fill the air;
The wood-nymph's dew-befpangled hair
Plays in the fportive dance.
Ah! baneful grant
When to the feeling wretch is given
A foul alive to joy!
Joys fly with every hour away,
And leave th' unguarded heart a prey
To cares that peace deftroy.
And fee, with vifionary hafte
(Too foon) the gay delufion paft,
Despair has feiz'd my captive foul;
And horror drives without controul,
And flackens ftill the reins.
Ten thoufand beauties round me throng;
What beauties, fay, ye nymphs, belong
To the diftemper'd foul?
I fee the lawn of hideous dye;
The towering elm nods mifery;
the waters rolí.
Ye gilded roofs, Palladian domes,
Ye vivid tints of Perfia's looms,
Ye were for mifery made.-
'Twas thus the Man of Sorrow spoke;
His wayward step then penfive took
Along th' unhallow'd shade.
§104. Monody to the Memory of a Young Lady..
YET do I live? Oh how fhall I fuftain
This vaft unutterable weight of woe?
This worse than hunger, poverty, or pain,
Or all the complicated ills below?
She, in whofe life my hopes were treafur'd all,
Is gone-for ever fled-
My dearest Emma's dead;
Thefe eyes, thefe tear-fwoln eyes beheld her fall.
Ah no-the lives on fome far happier fhore,
She lives-but (cruel thought!) the lives for me
I, who the tedious absence of a day
Remov'd, would languish for my charmer's
Would chide the lingering moments for delay,
And fondly blame the flow return of night;
How, how fhall I endure
(O mifery paft a cure!)
Hours, days, and years, fucceffively to roll,
Nor ever ingre behold the comfort of my foul?
K k 4