An Apology For My Fearfull Temper
Tis true of courage I'm no mistress
No Boadicia nor Thalestriss
Nor shall I e'er be famed hereafter
For such a Soul as Cato's Daughter
Nor active valour nor enduring
Nor leading troops nor forts securing
Like Teckley's wife or Pucell valiant
Will e'er be reckonded for my talent
Who all things fear whilst day is shining
And my own shadow light declining
And from the Spleen's prolifick fountain
Can of a mole hill make a mountain
And if a Coach that was invented
Since Bess on Palfrey rode contented
Threatens to tumble topsy turvy
With screeches loud and faces scurvey
I break discourse whilst some are laughing
Some fall to chear me some to chaffing
As secretly the driver curses
And whips my fault upon the horses
These and ten thousand are the errours
Arising from tumultuous terrours
Yet can't I understand the merit
In Female's of a daring spirit
Since to them never was imparted
In manly strengh tho' manly hearted
Nor need that sex be self defending
Who charm the most when most depending
And by sweet plaints and soft distresses
First gain asistance then adresses
As our fourth Edward (beauty suing)
From but releiving fell to wooing
Who by Heroick speech or ranting
Had ne'er been melted to galanting
Nor had th'Egyptian Queen defying
Drawn off that fleet she led by flying
Whilst Cesar and his ships crew hollow'd
To see how Tony row'd and follow'd
Oh Action triumph of the Ladies
And plea for her who most afraid is
Then let my conduct work no wonder
When fame who cleaves the air asunder
And every thing in time discovers
Nor council keeps for Kings or Lovers
Yet stoops when tired with States and battles
To Gossips chats and idler tattles
When she I say has given no knowledge
Of what has happen'd at Wye College
Think it not strange to save my Person
I gave the family diversion
'Twas at an hour when most were sleeping
Some chimnies clean some wanted sweeping
Mine thro' good fires maintain'd this winter
(Of which no FINCH was e'er a stinter)
Pour'd down such flakes not Etna bigger
Throws up as did my fancy figure
Nor does a Cannon ram'd with Powder
To others seem to Bellow louder
All that I thought or spoke or acted
Can't in a letter be compacted
Nor how I threatn'd those with burning
Who thoughtless on their beds were turning
As Shakespear says they serv'd old Prium
When that the Greeks were got too nigh'em
And such th'effect in spite of weather
Our Hecuba's all rose together
I at their head half cloath'd and shaking
Was instantly the house forsaking
And told them 'twas no time for talking
But who'd be safe had best be walking
This hasty councel and conclusion
Seem'd harsh to those who had no shoes on
And saw no flames and heard no clatter
But as I had rehears'd the matter
And wildly talk't of fire and water
For sooner then 'thas took to tell it
Right applications did repell it
And now my fear our mirth creating
Affords still subject for repeating
Whilst some deplore th'unusual folly
Some (kinder) call it melancholy
Tho' certainly the spirits sinking
Comes not from want of wit or thinking
Since Rochester all dangers hated
And left to those were harder pated.
An Epistle From Alexander To Hephaestion In His Sickness
WITH such a Pulse, with such disorder'd Veins,
Such lab'ring Breath, as thy Disease constrains;
With failing Eyes, that scarce the Light endure,
(So long unclos'd, they've watch'd thy doubtful Cure)
To his Hephaestion Alexander writes,
To soothe thy Days, and wing thy sleepless Nights,
I send thee Love: Oh! that I could impart,
As well my vital Spirits to thy Heart!
That, when the fierce Distemper thine wou'd quell,
They might renew the Fight, and the cold Foe repel.
As on Arbela's Plains we turn'd the Day,
When Persians through our Troops had mow'd their way,
When the rough Scythians on the Plunder run,
And barb'rous Shouts proclaim'd the Conquest won,
'Till o'er my Head (to stop the swift Despair)
The Bird of Jove fans the supporting Air,
Above my Plume does his broad Wings display,
And follows wheresoe'er I force my way:
Whilst Aristander, in his Robe of White,
Shews to the wav'ring Host th' auspicious Sight;
New Courage it inspires in ev'ry Breast,
And wins at once the Empire of the East.
Cou'd He, but now, some kind Presage afford,
That Health might be again to Thee restor'd;
Thou to my Wishes, to my fond Embrace;
Thy Looks the same, the same Majestick Grace,
That round thee shone, when we together went
To chear the Royal Captives in their Tent,
Where Sysigambis, prostrate on the Floor,
Did Alexander in thy Form adore;
Above great Æsculapius shou'd he stand,
Or made immortal by Apelles Hand.
But no reviving Hope his Art allows,
And such cold Damps invade my anxious Brows,
As, when in Cydnus plung'd, I dar'd the Flood
T' o'er-match the Boilings of my youthful Blood.
But Philip to my Aid repair'd in haste;
And whilst the proffer'd Draught I boldly taste,
As boldly He the dangerous Paper views,
Which of hid Treasons does his Fame accuse.
More thy Physician's Life on Thine depends,
And what he gives, his Own preserves, or ends.
If thou expir'st beneath his fruitless Care,
To Rhadamanthus shall the Wretch repair,
And give strict Answer for his Errors there.
Near thy Pavilion list'ning Princes wait,
Seeking from thine to learn their Monarch's State.
Submitting Kings, that post from Day to Day,
To keep those Crowns, which at my Feet they lay,
Forget th' ambitious Subject of their Speed,
And here arriv'd, only Thy Dangers heed.
The Beauties of the Clime, now Thou'rt away,
Droop, and retire, as if their God of Day
No more upon their early Pray'rs would shine,
Or take their Incense, at his late Decline.
Thy Parisatis whom I fear to name,
Lest to thy Heat it add redoubl'd Flame;
Thy lovely Wife, thy Parisatis weeps,
And in her Grief a solemn Silence keeps.
Stretch'd in her Tent, upon the Floor she lies,
So pale her Looks, so motionless her Eyes,
As when they gave thee leave at first to gaze
Upon the Charms of her unguarded Face;
When the beauteous Sisters lowly knelt,
And su'd to those, who more than Pity felt.
To chear her now Statira vainly proves,
And at thy Name alone she sighs, and moves.
But why these single Griefs shou'd I expose?
The World no Mirth, no War, no Bus'ness knows,
But, hush'd with Sorrow stands, to favour thy Repose.
Ev'n I my boasted Title now resign,
Not Ammon's Son, nor born of Race Divine,
But Mortal all, oppress'd with restless Fears,
Wild with my Cares, and Womanish in Tears.
Tho' Tears, before, I for lost Clytus shed,
And wept more Drops, than the old Hero bled;
Ev'n now, methinks, I see him on the Ground,
Now my dire Arms the wretched Corpse surround,
Now the fled Soul I wooe, now rave upon the Wound.
Yet He, for whom this mighty Grief did spring,
Not Alexander valu'd, but the King.
Then think, how much that Passion must transcend,
Which not a Subject raises but a Friend:
An equal Partner in the vanquished Earth,
A Brother, not impos'd upon my Birth,
Too weak a Tye unequal Thoughts to bind,
But by the gen'rous Motions of the Mind.
My Love to thee for Empire was the Test,
Since him, who from Mankind cou'd chuse the best,
The Gods thought only fit for Monarch o'er the rest.
Live then, my Friend; but if that must not be,
Nor Fate will with my boundless Mind agree,
Affording, at one time, the World and Thee;
To the most Worthy I'll that Sway resign,
And in Elysium keep Hyphaestion mine.