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At last I've hit upon a thought-
Sure this will do -- 'tis good for nought-
This line I peevishly erase,
And choose another in its place;
Again I try, again commence,
But cannot well express the sense ;
The line's too short to hold my meaning;
I'm cramp'd, and cannot bring the Dean in.
O for a rhyme to glorious birth!
I've hit upon't
-The rhyme is earth
But how to bring it in, or fit it,
I know not, so I'm forc'd to quit it.
Again I try—I'll sing the man-
Ay do, says Phebus, if you can;
I wish with all my heart you would not,
Were Horace now alive he could not:
And will you venture to pursue,
What none alive or dead could do?
Pray see, did ever Pope or Gay
Presume to write on his birthday?
Though both were fav’rite bards of mine;
The task they wisely both decline.
With grief I felt his admonition,
And much lamented my condition:
Because I could not be content
Without some grateful compliment.
If not the poet, sure the friend
Must something on your birthday send.
I scratch'd, and rubb'd my head once more :
“ Let ev'ry patriot him adore.”
Alackaday, there's nothing in't-
Such stuff will never do in print.
Pray, reader, ponder well the sequel,
I hope this epigram will take well.
In others, life is deem'd a vapour,
In Swift, it is a lasting taper,
Whose blaze continually refines,
The more it burns the more it shines.
I read this epigram again, 'Tis much too flat to fit the Dean.
Then down I lay some scheme to dream on, Assisted by some friendly demon. I slept, and dream'd that I should meet A birthday poem in the street; So after all my care and rout, You see, dear Dean, my dream is out.
AY AND NO. A TALE FROM DUBLIN.
Ar Dublin's high feast sat primate and dean,
Both dress'd like divines, with band and face clean.
Qoth Hugh of Armagh, “ The mob is grown bold."
Ay, ay," quoth the dean, “ the cause is old gold."
“ No, no," quoth the primate, “ if causes we sift,
This mischief arises from witty dean Swift."
The smart one replied, “There's no wit in the case;
And nothing of that ever troubled your grace.
Though with your state șieve your own notions you
split, A Boulter by name is no bolter of wit. It's matter of weight, and a mere money job; But the lower the coin the higher the mob. Go tell your friend Bob and the other great folk, , That sinking the coin is a dangerous joke. The Irish dear joys have enough common sense, To treat gold reduced like Wood's copper pence. It is pity a prelate should die without law; But if I say the word--take care of Armagh!"
AN ANSWER TO A FRIEND'S QUESTION*.
he furniture that best doth please
St. Patrick's Dean, good sir, are these:
The knife and fork with which I eat;
And next the pot that boils the nieat;
The next to be preferr'd, I think,
Is the glass in which I drink;
The shelves on which my books I keep;
And the bed on which I sleep;
An antique elbow.chair between,
Big enough to hold the Dean;
And the stove that gives delight
In the cold bleak wintry night ;
To these we add a thing below,
More for use resery'd than show:
These are what the Dean do please ;
All superfluous are but these.
Behold! a proof of Irish sense ;
Here Irish wit is seen!
When nothing's left, that's worth defence,
We build a magazine.
* Ascribed to Dr. Swift, but possibly without foundation. N.
+ The Dean, in his lunacy, had some intervals of sense ; at which time his guardians or physicians took him out for the air. On one of these days, when they came to the Park, Swift remarked a new building, which he had never seen, and asked what
TO DR. SWIFT, ON HIS BIRTH-DAY *.
While I the godlike men of old,
In admiration wrapt, behold;
Rever'd antiquity explore,
And turn the long-liv'd volumes o'er;
Where Cato, Plutarch, Flaccus, shine,
In every excellence divine:
I grieve that our degenerate days
Produce no mighty soul like these:
Patriot, philosopher, and bard,
Are names unknown, and seldom heard.
Spare your reflection," Phæbus cries;
“ 'Tis as ungrateful as unwise :
Can you complain, this sacred day,
That virtues or that arts decay?
Behold in Swift reviv'd appears
The virtues of unnumber'd years ;
Behold in him, with new delight,
The patriot, bard, and sage, unite;
And know, lerne in that name
Shall rival Greece and Rome in fame."
it was designed for. To which Dr. Kingsbury answered, “ That, Mr. Dean, is the magazine for arms and powder, for the security of the city.” “ Oh! oh!” says the Dean, pulling out his poc. ketbook, « let me take an item of that. This is worth remarking : my tablets,' as Hamlet says, ' my tablets-memory, put down that!"—Which produced the above lines, said to be the last he ever wrote. N.
* Written by Mrs. Pilkington, at a time when she wished to be introduced to the Dean. The verses being presented to him by Di. Deluny, he kindly accepted the compliment. N.
o pedant Bentley proud, uncouth,
Nor sweetening dedicator smooth,
In one attempt has ever dar'd
To sap, or storm, this mighty bard.
Nor Envy does, nor Ignorance,
Make on his works the least advance.
For this, behold! still flies afar
Where'er his genius does appear;
Nor has that ought to do above,
So meddles not with Swift and Jove.
A faithful, universal fame
In glory spreads abroad his name;
Pronounces Swift, with loudest breath,
Immortal grown before his death.
EPIGRAMS, OCCASIONED BY DR. SWIFT'S INTENDED HOSPITAL
FOR IDIOTS AND LUNATICKS.
The Dean must die our idiots to maintain !
Perish, ye idiots! and long live the Dean!
O Genius of Hibernia's state,
Sublimely good, severely great,
How doth this latest act excel
have done or wrote so well!