« PreviousContinue »
Not fo a buck was then a week's repaft,
And 'twas their point, I ween, to make it laft;
More pleas'd to keep it till their friends could come, 95
Than eat the fweeteft by themselves at home.
Why had not I in thofe good times my birth,
Ere coxcomb pyes or coxcombs were on earth?
Unworthy he, the voice of Fame to hear,
That sweetest mufic to an honeft ear;
(For 'faith, lord Fanny! you are in the wrong,
The world's good word is better than a fong)
Who has not learn'd, fresh fturgeon and ham-pye
Are no rewards for want, and infamy!
When luxury has lick'd up all thy pelf,
Curs'd by thy neighbours, thy trustees, thyself,
To friends, to fortune, to mankind a shame,
Think how pofterity will treat thy name;
And buy a rope, that future times may tell
Thou haft at least beftow'd one penny well.
"Right, cries his lordship, for a rogue in need "To have a tafte is infolence indeed :
"In me 'tis noble, fuits my birth and state,
"My wealth unwieldly, and my heap too great."
Then, like the fun, let bounty spread her ray,
And shine that fuperfluity away.
O impudence of wealth! with all thy ftore,
How dar'ft thou let one worthy man be poor?
Shall half the new-built churches round thee fall?
Make keys, build bridges, or repair Whitehall :
Or to thy country let that heap be lent,
As M**o's was, but not at five per cent.
Who thinks that fortune cannot change her mind,
Perhaps a dreadful jeft for all mankind.
And who ftands fafeft? tell me, is it he
That spreads and fwells in puff'd profperity,
Or bleft with little, whofe preventing care
In peace provides fit arms against a war?
Thus BETHEL fpoke, who always fpeaks his thought,
And always thinks the very thing he ought:
what I can,
His equal mind I
And as I love, would imitate the man.
In South-fea days not happier, when furmis'd
The lord of thousands, than if now excis'd;
In foreft planted by a father's hand,
Than in five acres now of rented land.
Content with little I can piddle here
On brocoli and mutton, round the year;
But ancient friends (tho' poor, or out of play)
That touch my bell, I cannot turn away.
'Tis true, no turbots dignify my boards,
But gudgeons, flounders, what my Thames affords :
To Hounslow-heath I point and Banfted-down,
Thence comes your mutton, and these chicks my own:
From yon old walnut-tree a fhow'r fhall fall;
And grapes, long ling'ring on my only wall,
And figs from standard and espalier join;
The dev❜l is in you if you cannot dine:
Then chearful healths (your mistress shall have place)
And, what's more rare, a poet fhall fay grace.
Fortune not much of humbling me can boast:
Tho' doubly tax'd, how little have I loft!
My life's amusements have been juft the fame,
Before, and after standing armies came.
My lands are fold, my father's house is gone;
I'll hire another's; is not that my own,
And yours, my friends? thro' whose free-op'ning gate None comes too early, none departs too late; (For I, who hold fage Homer's rule the beft, Welcome the coming, fpeed the going gueft.) "Pray heav'n it laft! (cries SWIFT!) as you go on; "I wish to God this houfe had been your own: "Pity! to build, without a fon or wife;
Why you'll enjoy it only all your life." Well, if the ufe be mine, can it concern one, Whether the name belong to Pope or Vernon? What's property? dear Swift! you fee it alter From you to me, from me to Peter Walter;
Or, in a mortgage, prove a lawyer's fhare;
Or, in a jointure, vanifh from the heir;
Or in pure equity (the cafe not clear)
The Chanc'ry takes your rents for twenty year :
At beft, it falls to fome ungracious son,
Who cries, "My father's damna'd, and all's my own.”
Shades, that to Bacon could retreat afford,
Become the portion of a booby lord;
And Hemiley, once proud Buckingham's delight,
Slides to a fcriv'ner or a city knight,
Let lands and houfes § have what lords they will,
Let us be fix'd, and our own mafters ftill.
Villiers duke of Buckingham.
The turn of his imitation, in the concluding part, obliged him to diverfify the fentiment. They are equally noble: but Horace's is expreffèd with the greater force.
FIRST EPISTLE of the FIRST BOOK
T. JOHN, whofe love indulg'd my labours paft,
Matures my present, and shall bound my last!
Why will you break the Sabbath of my days?
Now fick alike of envy and of praise.
Public too long ah let me hide my age! See modeft Cibber now has left the ftage: Our gen'rals now, retir'd to their eftates, Hang their old trophies o'er the garden gates, In life's cool ev'ning fatiate of applaufe, Nor fond of bleeding, ev'n in BRUNSWICK's caufe. A voice there is, that whispers in my car, ('Tis Reafon's voice, which fometimes one can hear) "Friend Pope! be prudent, let your Muse take breath, "And never gallop Pegasus to death;
"Left ftiff, and ftately, void of fire or force, "You limp, like Blackmore
on a lord-mayor's horse."
* The fame of this heavy poet, however problematical elsewhere, was universally received in the city of London. His verfification is here exactly described: stiff, and not strong; stately and yet dull, like the fober and flow-paced animal generally employed to mount the lord-mayor and therefore here humorously oppofed to Pegasus.
Farewell then verfe and love, and ev'ry toy.
The rhymes and rattles of the man or boy;
What right, what true, what fit we justly call,
Let this be all my care-for this is all :
To lay this harvest up, and hoard with haste,
What ev'ry day will want, and moft, the laft.
But ask not, to what doctors I apply?
Sworn to no mafter, of no fect am I:
As drives the ftorm, at any door I knock :
And houfe with Montagne now, or now with Locke,
Sometimes a patriot, active in debate,
Mix with the world, and battle for the ftate,
Free as young Lyttleton, her cause pursue,
Still true to virtue, and as warm as true :/
Sometimes with Ariftippus, or St. Paul,
Indulge my candor, and grow all to all.
Back to my native moderation flide,
And win my way by yielding to the tide.
Long, as to him who works for debt, the day,
Long as the night to her whofe love's away,
Long as the year's dull circle seems to run,
When the brifk minor pants for twenty-one;
So flow th' unprofitable moments roll,
That lock up all the functions of my foul;
That keep me from myself; and still delay
Life's inftant business to a future day :
That task, which as we follow, or despise,
The eldest is a fool, the youngest wise :
Which done, the pooreft can no wants endure;
And which not done, the richest must be poor.
Late as it is, I put myself to school,
And feel fome comfort, not to be a fool.
Weak tho' I am of limb, and fhort of fight,
Far from a lynx, and not a giant quite;
I'll do what Mead and Chefelden advise,
To keep thefe limbs, and to preferve these eyes.
Not to go back, is fomewhat to advance,
And men muft walk at leaft before they dance.