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To arms! cried Mortimer, and couch'd his quiver- While proudly riding o'er the azure realm ing lance.
In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes;
Youth on the prow, and pleasure at the helm; On a rock, whose haughty brow Frowns o'er old Conway's foaming flood,
Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway,
That hush'd in grim repose,expects his evening prey. Rob'd in the sable garb of woe, With haggard eyes the poet stood;
“ Fill high the sparkling bowl, (Loose his beard, and hoary hair,
The rich repast prepare ;
Reft of a crown, he yet may share the feast :
Fell thirst and famine scowl
Heard ye the din of battle bray, O'er thee, oh king! their hundred arms they weave, Lance to lance, and horse to horse! Revenge on thee in hoarser murmurs breathe; Long years of havoc urge their destin'd course, Vocal no more, since Cambria's fatal day,
And through the kindred squadrons mow their way. To high-born Hoel’s harp, or soft Llewellyn's lay. Ye towers of Julius, London's lasting shame, · Cold is Cadwallo's tongue,
With many a foul and midnight murder fed, That hush'd the stormy main;
Revere his consort's faith, his father's fame, Brave Urien sleeps upon his craggy bed:
And spare the meek usurper's holy head. Mountains, ye mourn in vain
Above, below, the rose of snow, Modred, whose magic song
Twin'd with her blushing foe, we spread: Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-top'd head.
The bristled boar in jufant gore On dreary Arvon's shore they lie,
Wallows beneath the thorny shade. Smear'd with gore, and ghastly pale:
Now, brothers, bending o'er th'accursed loom, Far, far aloof th’affrighted ravens sail:
Stamp we our vengeance deep, and ratify his doom. The famish'd eagle screams and passes by. Dear lost companions of my tuneful art,
“ Edward, lo! to sudden fate Dear as the light that visits these sad eyes,
(Weave we the woof. The thread is spun.) Dear as the ruddy drops that warm my heart,
Half of thy heart we consecrate. Ye died amidst your dying country's cries.
(The web is wove. The work is done.)” No more I weep. They do not sleep.
Stay, oh stay! nor thus forlorn On yonder cliffs, a griesly band,
Leave me unbless'd, unpitied, here to mourn: I see them sit: they linger yet,
In yon bright track, that fires the western skies, Avengers of their native land:
They melt, they vanish from my eyes. With me in dreadful harmony they join,
But oh! what solemn scenes on Snowdon's height And weave with bloody hands the tissue of thy line.'
Descending slow their glittering skirts unroll?
Visions of glory, spare my aching sight! “ Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul! The winding-sheet of Edward's race:
No more our long-lost Arthur we bewail. Give ample room, and verge enough,
All-hail, ye genuine kings; Britannia’s issue, hail!
. Girt with many a baron bold
In bearded majesty, appear.
In the midst a form divine!
What strings symphonious tremble in the air, Amazement in his van, with flight combin'd; What strains of vocal transport round her play! And sorrow's faded form, and solitude behind. Hear from the grave, great Taliessin, hear;
They breathe a soul to animate thy clay. Mighty victor, mighty Lord,
Bright rapture calls, and soaring, as she sings, Low on his funeral couch he lies !
Waves in the eye of Heaven her many-colour'd No pitying heart, no eye afford
• The verse adorn again
In buskin'd measures move
With horror, tyrant of the throbbing breast. To-morrow he repairs the golden flood,
And warms the nations with redoubled ray.
Enough for me: with joy I see And distant warblings lessen on my ear,
The different doom our fates assign. That lost in long futurity expire.
Be thine despair, and scepter'd care; Fond impious man, think'st thou, yon sanguine To triumph, and to die, are mine.' cloud,
He spoke, and headlong from the mountain's height Rais'd by thy breath, has quench'd the orb of day? Deep in the roaring tide he plung’d to endless night. CHURCHILL-A. D. 1731-64.
Roscius deceas’d, each high aspiring play'r
But though bare merit might in Rome appear
What can an actor give? In ev'ry age
The town divided, each runs several ways,
From galleries loud peals of laughter roll, And thunder Shuter's praises—he's so droll. Embox’d, the ladies must have something smart. Palmer! Oh! Palmer tops the jaunty part. Seated in pit, the dwarf, with aching eyes, Looks up, and vows that Barry's out of size; Whilst to six feet the vigʻrous stripling grown, Declares that Garrick is another Coan.
When place of judgment is by whim supply'd,
At length agreed, all squabbles to decide,
For Johnson, some, but Johnson, it was fear'd, Would be too grave; and Sterne too gay appearid: Others for Francklin voted; but 'twas known, He sicken’d at all triumplis but his own: For Colman many, but the peevish tongue Of prudent age found out that he was young: For Murphy some few pilf’ring wits declar'd, Whilst folly clapp'd her hands, and wisdom star'd.
To mischief train'd, ev’n from his mother's womb, Grown old in fraud, though yet in manhood's bloom, Adopting arts by which gay villains rise, And reach the heights which honest men despise ; Mute at the bar, and in the senate loud, Dull’mongst the dullest, proudest of the proud; A pert, prim prater, of the northern race, Guilt in his heart, and famine in his face, Stood forth ;-and thrice he wav'd his lily hand And thrice he twirld his eye-thrice strok'd his
band. “At friendship's call (thus oft with trait'rous aim, Men void of faith usurp faith's sacred name) At friendship’s call I come, by Murphy sent, Who thus by me developes his intent. But lest, transfus’d, the spirit should be lost, That spirit which in storms of rhet'ric tost, Bounces about, and fies like bottled beer, In his own words his own intentions hear.
“Thanks to my friends.—But to vile fortunes born, No robes of fur these shoulders must adorn, Vain your applause, no aid from thence I draw, Vain all my wit, for what is wit in law ? Twice (curs'd remembrance)! twice I strove to gain Admittance 'mongst the law-instructed train, Who in the Temple and Gray’s-inn prepare For clients wretched feet the legal snare: Dead to those arts which polish and refine, Deaf to all worth, because that worth was mine, Twice did those blockheads startle at my name, And foul rejection gave me up to shame. To laws and lawyers then I bid adieu, And plans of far more lib'ral note pursue. Who will may be a judge-my kindling breast Burns for that chair which Roscius once possess'd.
Here give your votes, your int'rest here exert, Triumphant seem'd, when that strange savage dame, And let success for once attend desert."
Known but to few, or only known by name, With sleek appearance, and with ambling pace, Plain common sense appear'd by nature there And, type of vacant head, with vacant face,
Appointed, with plain truth, to guard the chair. The Proteus Hill put in his modest plea.
The pageant saw, and blasted with her frown, “ Let favour speak for others, worth for me."- To its first state of nothing melted down. For who, like him, his various powers could call Nor shall the Muse (for even there the pride Into so many shapes, and shine in all?
Of this vain nothing shall be mortified) Who could so nobly grace the motley list,
Nor shall the Muse (should fate ordain ber rhymes, Actor, inspector, doctor, botanist?
Fond, pleasing thought! to live in after times) Knows any one so well-sure no one knows, With such a trifler's name her pages blot; At once to play, prescribe, compound, compose ? Known be the character, the thing forgot; Who can — - But Woodward came,- Hill slipp'd Let it, to disappoint each future aim, Melting, like ghosts, before the rising day. (away, Live without sex, and die without a name!
With that low cunning, which in fools supplies, Cold-blooded critics, by enervate sires And amply too, the place of being wise,
Scarce hammer'd out, when nature's feeble fires Which nature, kind, indulgent parent, gave Glimmer'd their last; whose sluggish blood, half To qualify the blockhead for a knave; (charms,
(ne'er glows With that smooth falsehood, whose appearance Creeps lab'ring through the veins; whose heart And reason of each wholesome doubt disarms, With fancy-kindled heat ;-a servile race, Which to the lowest depths of guile descends, Who in mere want of fault all merit place; By vilest means pursues the vilest ends,
Who blind obedience pay to ancient schools, Wears friendship's mask for purposes of spite, Bigots to Greece, and slaves to musty rules; Fawns in the day, and butchers in the night; With solemn consequence declar'd that none With that malignant envy, which turns pale, Could judge that cause but Sophocles alone. And sickens, even if a friend prevail,
Dupes to their fancied excellence, the crowd, Which merit and success pursues with hate, Obsequious to the sacred dictate, bow'd. And damns the worth it cannot imitate;
When from amidst the throng, a youth stood forth, With the cold caution of a coward's spleen,
Unknown his person, not unknown his worth; Which fears not guilt, but always seeks a screen ; . His look bespoke applause ; alone he stood, Which keeps this maxim ever in her view
Alone he stemm'd the mighty critic food. What's basely done, should be done safely too: He talk'd of ancients, as the man became With that dull, rooted, callous impudence,
Who priz'd our own, but envied not their fame; Which, dead to shame, and ev'ry nicer sense, With noble rev'rence spoke of Greece and Rome, Ne'er blush’d, unless, in spreading vice's snares, And scorn'd to tear the laurel from the tomb. She blunder'd on some virtue unawares:
“ But more than just to other countries grown, With all these blessings, which we seldom find Must we turn base apostates to our own? Lavish'd by nature on one happy mind;
Where do these words of Greece and Rome excel, A motley figure, of the fribble tribe,
That England may not please the ear as well? Which heart can scarce conceive, or pen describe, What mighty magic's in the place or air, Came simp’ring on: to ascertain whose sex, That all perfection needs must centre there? Twelve sage impanell'd matrons would perplex. In states, let strangers blindly be preferr'd; Nor male, nor female, neither, and yet both ; In state of letters, merit should be heard. Of neuter gender, though of Irish growth;
Genius is of no country; her pure ray A six foot suckling, mincing in its gait;
Spreads all abroad, as gen'ral as the day; Affected, peevish, prim, and delicate;
Foe to restraint, from place to place she flies, Fearful it seem'd, though of athletic make,
And may hereafter e'en in Holland rise. Lest brutal breezes should too roughly shake May not (to give a pleasing fancy scope, Its tender form, and savage motion spread
And cheer a patriot heart with patriot hope) O'er its pale cheeks the horrid manly red.
May not some great extensive genius raise Much did it talk, in its own preity phrase,
The name of Britain 'bove Athenian praise ; Of genius and of taste, of play’rs and plays;
And whilst brave thirst of fame his bosom warms, Much too of writings, which itself had wrote,
Make England great in letters as in arms? Of special merit, though of little note;
There may—there hath-and Shakspeare's Muse For fate, in a strange humour, had decreed
aspires That what it wrote, none but itself should read;
Beyond the reach of Greece: with native fires Much too it chatter'd of dramatic laws,
Mounting aloft, he wings his daring flight, Misjudging critics, and misplac'd applause; While Sophocles below stands trembling at his Then, with a self-complacent jutting air.
height. It smil'd, it smirk’d, it wriggled to the chair;
“Why should we then abroad for judges roam, And, with an awkward briskness not its own,
When abler judges we may find at home! Looking around, and perking on the th
Happy in tragic and in comic pow'rs,
Have we not Shakspeare?- Is not Jonson ours? But, hark! - The trumpet sounds, the crowd For them, your nat'ral judges, Britons, vote ;
gives way, They'll judge like Britons, who like Britons wrote.” And the procession comes in just array. He said, and conquer'd - Sense resum'd her Now should I, in some sweet poetic line, sway,
Offer up incense at Apollo's shrine; And disappointed pedants stalk'd away.
Invoke the Muse to quit her calm abode, Shakspeare and Jonson, with deserv'd applause, And waken mem'ry with a sleeping ode. Joint-judges, were ordain'd to try the cause. For how should mortal man, in mortal verse, Meantime the stranger ev'ry voice employ'd, Their titles, merits, or their names, rehearse ? To ask or tell his name-Who is it?-Lloyd. But give, kind dullness, memory and rhyme,
Thus, when the aged friends of Job stood mute, We'll put off genius till another time. And, tamely prudent, gave up the dispute,
First, order came,—with solemn step, and slow, Elibu, with the decent warmth of youth,
In measur'd time his feet were taught to go. Boldly stood forth the advocate of truth;
Behind, from time to time, he casts his eye, Confuted falsehood, and disabled pride,
Lest this should quit his place, that step awry. Whilst baffled age stood snarling at his side. Appearances to save his only care; The day of trial's fix’d, nor any fear
So things seem right, no matter what they are. Lest day of trial should be put off here.
In him his parents saw themselves renew'd, Causes but seldom for delay can call
Begotten by Sir Critic on Saint Prude. In courts where forms are few, fees none at all. Then came drum, trumpet, hautboy, fiddle, flute;
The morning came, nor find I that the sun, Next snuffer, sweeper, shifter, soldier, mute: As he on other great events hath done,
Legions of angels all in white advance; Put on a brighter robe than what he wore
Furies, all fire, come forward in a dance; To go his journey in the day before.
Pantomine figures then are brought to view; Full in the centre of a spacious plain,
Fools hand in hand with fools, go two by two. On plan entirely new, where nothing vain,
Next came the treasurer of either house; Nothing magnificent appear'd, but art
One with full purse, t'other with not a sous. With decent modesty perform'd her part,
Behind, a group of figures awe create, Rose a tribunal: from no other court
Set off with all th' impertinence of state ; It borrow'd ornament, or sought support:
By lace and feather consecrate to fame, No juries here were pack'd to kill or clear,
Expletive kings, and queens without a name. No bribes were taken, nor oaths broken here;
Here Havard, all serene, in the same strains, No gownsmen, partial to a client's cause,
Loves, hates, and rages, triumphs, and complains; To their own purpose turn’d the pliant laws. His easy vacant face proclaim'd a heart Each judge was true and steady to his trust, Which could not feel emotions, nor impart. As Mansfield wise, and as old Foster just.
With him came mighty Davies. On my life, In the first seat, in robe of various dyes,
That Davies hath a very pretty wife: A noble wildness flashing from his eyes,
Statesmen all over :-In plots famous grown! Sat Shakspeare-In one hand a wand he bore, He mouths a sentence, as curs mouth a bone. For mighty wonders fam'd in days of yore;
Next Holland came.—With truly tragic stalk, The other held a globe, which to his will
He creeps, he flies—a hero should not walk. Obedient turn'd, and own'd the master's skill: As if with heav'n he warr'd, his eager eyes Things of the noblest kind his genius drew,
Planted their batteries against the skies; And look'd through nature at a single view: Attitude, action, air, pause, start, sigh, groan, A loose he gave to his unbounded soul,
He borrow'd, and made use of as his own. And taught new lands to rise, new seas to roll; By fortune thrown on any other stage, Call'd into being scenes unknown before,
He might, perhaps, have pleas'd an easy age ; And, passing nature's bounds, was something more. But now appears a copy and no more,
Next Jonson sat, in ancient learning train'd, Of something better we have seen before. His rigid judgment fancy's flights restrain'd, The actor who would build a solid fame, Correctly pruu'd each wild luxuriant thought, Must imitation's servile arts disclain ; Mark'd out her course, nor spar'd a glorious fault. Act from himself, on his own bottom stand; The book of man he read with nicest art,
I hate e'en Garrick thus at second-hand. And ransack'd all the secrets of the heart;
Behind came King.–Bred up in modest lore, Exerted penetration's utmost force,
Bashful and young he sought Hibernia's shore; And trac'd each passion to its proper source;
Hibernia, fam'd, 'bove ev'ry other grace, Then strongly mark'd, in liveliest colours drew, For matchless intrepidity of face. And brought each foible forth to public view. From her his features caught the gen'rous flame, The coxcomb felt a lash in every word,
And bid defiance to all sense of shame. And fools, hung out, their brother fools deterr'd. Tutor'd by her all rivals to surpass, His comic humour kept the world in awe,
'Mongst Drury's sons he comes, and shines in Brass. Avd laughter frightend folly more than law.
Lo Yates! -Without the least finesse of art,