« AnteriorContinuar »
(This hand in mouth y-fix'd, that rends his hair;} And eke with snubs profound, and heaving breast, Convulsions intermitting! does declare
His grievous wrong; his Dame's unjust behest; And scorns her offer'd love, and shuns to be caress'd.
His face besprent with liquid crystal shines,
His blooming face, that seems a purple flow'r,
Which low to earth its drooping head declines,
All smear'd and sully'd by a vernal show'r.
O the hard bosom of despotic pow'r!
All, all, but she, the author of his shame, All, all, but she, regret this mournful hour: Yet hence the youth, and hence the flow'r, shall claim, If so I deem aright, transcending worth and fame.
Behind some door, in melancholy thought,
Mindless of food, he, dreary caitiff, pines;
Ne for his fellows' joyaunce careth aught,
But to the wind all merriment resigns;
And deems it shame, if he to peace inclines;
And many a sullen look askance is sent,
Which for his Dame's annoyance he designs;
And still the more to pleasure him she's bent,
The more doth he, perverse, her haviour past resent.
Ah me! how much I fear lest pride it be!
But if that pride it be, which thus inspires,
Beware, ye dames, with nice discernment see.
Ye quench not too the sparks of nobler fires :
Ah! better far than all the muses' lyres,
All coward arts, is valour's gen'rous heat;
The firm fixt breast which fit and right requires,
Like Vernon's patriot soul; more justly great
Than craft that pimps for ill, or flow'ry false deceit.
Yet nurs'd with skill, what dazzling fruits appear!
Ev'n now sagacious foresight points to show
A little bench of heedless bishops here,
And there a chancellor in embryo,
Or bard sublime, if bard may e'er be so,
As Milton, Shakespeare, names that ne'er shall die!
Tho' now he crawl along the ground so low,
Nor weeting how the muse should soar on high,
Wisheth, poor starv'ling elf! his paper-kite may fly,
And this, perhaps, who, cens'ring the design, Low lays the house which that of cards doth build, Shall Dennis be! if rigid fates incline, And many an epic to his rage shall yield; And many a poet quit th' Aonian field; And, sour'd by age, profound he shall appear, As he who now with 'sdainful fury thrill'd Surveys mine work; and levels many a sneer, And furls his wrinkly front, and cries, "What stuff is here?"
But now Dan Phoebus gains the middle skie,
And Liberty unbars their prison-door;
And, like a rushing torrent, out they fly,
And now the grassy cirque han cover'd o'er
With boist'rous revel rout and wild uproar;
A thousand ways in wanton rings they run,
Heav'n shield their short-lived pastimes, I implore!
For well may freedom, erst so dearly won,
Appear to British elf more gladsome than the sun.
Enjoy, poor imps! enjoy your sportive trade;
And chase gay flies, and cull the fairest flow'rs:
For, when my bones in grass-green sods are laid,
For never may ye taste more careless hours
In nightly castles, or in ladies' bow'rs.
O vain to seek delight in earthly thing!
But most in courts, where proud ambition tow'rs ; Deluded wight! who weens fair peace can spring Beneath the pompous dome of kesar or of king.
See in each sprite some various bent appear!
These rudely carol most incondite lay;
Those sauntering on the green, with jocund leer,
Salute the stranger passing on his way;
Some builden fragile tenements of clay;
Some to the standing lake their courses bend,
With pebbles smooth at duck and drake to play;
Thilk to the huxter's sav'ry cottage tend,
In pastry kings and queens th' allotted mite to spend.
Here, as each season yields a diff'rent store,
Each season's stores in order ranged been;
Apples with cabbage-net y-cover'd o'er,
Galling full sore th' unmoney'd wight, are seen
And goose-b'rie clad in liv'ry red or green;
And here, of lovely dye, the cath`rine pear,
Fine pear! as lovely for thy juice, I ween:
O may no wight e'er penny less come there,
Lest, smit with ardent love, he pine with hopeless care!
See! cherries here, ere cherries yet abound,
With thread so white in tempting posies ty'd,
Scatt'ring like blooming maid their glances round,
With pamper'd look draw little eyes aside;
And must be bought, though penury betide.
The plum all azure, and the nut all brown,
And here, each season, do those cakes abide,
Whose honour'd names th' inventive city own,
Rend'ring thro' Britain's isle Salopia's praises known.*
Admir'd Salopia! that, with venial pride,
Eyes her bright form in Severn's ambient wave,
Fam'd for her loyal cares in perils try'd,
Her daughters lovely, and her striplings brave:
Ah! midst the rest, may flow'rs adorn his grave,
Whose art did first these dulcet cates display!
A motive fair to Learning's imps he gave,
Who chearless o'er her darkling reg ons stray;
Till reason's morn arise, and light them on their way.
A LETTER from ITALY,
To the Rt. Hon. CHARLES Lord HALIFAX, in the Year 1701.
WHILE you, my Lord, the rural shades admire,
And from Britannia's public posts retire,
Nor longer, her ungrateful sons to please,
For their advantage sacrifice your ease;
Me into foreign realms my fate conveys,
Through nations fruitful of immortal lays,
Where the soft season and inviting clime
Conspire to trouble your repose with rhime.
For wheresoe'er I turn my ravish'd eyes,
Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise,
Poetic fields encom ass me around,
And still I seem to tread on Classic ground:
* Shrewsbury Cakes.
For here the Muse so oft her harp has strung,
That not a mountain rears its head unsung,
Renown'd in verse each shady thicket grows,
And ev'ry stream in heav'nly numbers flows.
How am I pleas'd to search the hills and woods
For rising springs and celebrated floods↓
To view the Nar, tumultuous in his course,
And trace the smooth Clitunnus to his source;
To see the Mincio draw his wat'ry store
Through the long windings of a fruitful shore,
And hoary Albula's infected tide
O'er the warm bed of smoaking sulphur glide.
Fir'd with a thousand raptures, I survey
Eridanus through flow'ry meadows stray,
The king of floods! that rolling o'er the plains,.
The tow'ring Alps of half their moisture drains,
And, proudly swoln with a whole winter's snows,
Distributes wealth and plenty where he flows.
Sometimes, misguided by the tuneful throng,
I look for streams immortalized in song,
That lost in silence and oblivion lie,
(Dumb are their fountains and their channels dry)
Yet run for ever by the Muse's skill,
And in the smooth description murmur still.
Sometimes to gentle Tiber I retire,
And the fam'd river's empty shores admire,
That, destitute of strength, derives its course
From thrifty urns and an unfruitful source;
Yet, sung so often in poetic lays,
With scorn the Danube and the Nile surveys;
So high the deathless Muse exaits her theme!
Such was the Boyne, a poor inglorious stream,
That in Hibernian vales obscurely stray'd,
And, unobserv'd, in wild meanders play'd,
Till, by your lines and Nassau's sword renown'd,
Its rising billows through the world resound,
Where'er the Hero's godlike acts can pierce,
Or where the fame of an immortal verse,
O could the Muse my ravish'd breast inspire With warmth like yours, and raise an equal fire, Unnumber'd beauties-in my verse should shine, And Virgil's Italy should yield to mine! See how the golden groves around me smile, That shun the coast of Britain's stormy isle,
Or, when transplanted and preserv'd with care,
Curse the cold elime, and starve in northern air.
Here kindly warmth their mounting juice ferments
To nobler tastes, and more exalted scents:
E'en the rough rocks with tender myrtle bloom,
And trodden weeds send out a rich perfume.
Bear me, some God, to Baia's gentle seats,
Or cover me in Unbria's green retreats;
Where western gales eternally reside,
And all the seasons lavish all their pride :
Blossoms, and fruits, and flow'rs together rise,
And the whole year in gay confusion lies.
Immortal glories in my mind revive,
And in my soul a thousand passions strive,
When Rome's exalted beauties I descry,
Magnificent in piles of ruin lie.
An amphitheatre's amazing height
Here fills my eye with terror and delight,
That on its public shews unpeopled Rome,
And held uncrowded nations in its womb:
Here pillars rough with sculpture pierce the skies:
And here the proud triumphal arches rise,
Where the old Romans' deathless acts display'd
Their base degenerate progeny upbraid:
Whole rivers here forsake the fields below,
And, wond'ring at their height, through airy channels flow.
Still to new scenes my wand'ring Muse retires;
And the dumb show of breathing rocks admires;
Where the smooth chisel all its force has shown,
And soften'd into flesh the rugged stone.
In solemn silence, a majestic band,
Heroes, and Gods, and Roman Consuls, stand,
Stern tyrants, whom their cruelties renown,
And emperors, in Parian marble frown';
While the bright dames, to whom they humbly su'd,
Still show the charms that their proud hearts subdu'd.
Fain would I Raphael's godlike art rehearse,
And show th' immortal labours in my verse,
Where, from the mingled strength of shade and light,
A new creation rises to my sight.
Such heav'nly figures from his pencil flow,
So warm with lite his blended colours glow.
From theme to theme with secret pleasure tost,
Amidst the soft variety I'm lost;