A Greedy Heir long waited to fulfill,
As his Executor, a Kinsman's Will;
And to himself his Age repeated o'er,
To his Infirmities still adding more;
And nicely kept th' Account of the expected Store:
When Death, at last, to either gave Release,
Making One's Pains, the Other's Longings cease:
Who to the Grave must decently convey,
Ere he Possession takes the kindred Clay,
Which in a Coach was plac'd, wherein he rides,
And so no Hearse, or following Train provides;
Rejecting Russel, who wou'd make the Charge
Of one dull tedious Day, so vastly Large.
When, at his Death, the humble Man declar'd,
He wished thus privately to be Interr'd.
And now, the Luggage moves in solemn State,
And what it wants in Number, gains in Weight.
The happy Heir can scarce contain his Joy,
Whilst sundry Musings do his Thoughts employ,
How he shalt act, now Every thing's his Own,
Where his Revenge, or Favour shall be shown;
Then recollecting, draws a counterfeited Groan.
The Avenues, and Gardens shall be chang'd,
Already he the Furniture has ranged.
To ransack secret Draw'rs his Phancy flies,
Nor can th' appearing Wealth his Mind suffice.
Thus he an Age runs o'er betwixt the Porch
Of his Friend's House, and the adjacent Church:
Whilst the slow Driver, who no reck'ning kept
Of what was left, indulging Nature, slept;
Till on a Bank, so high, the Wheel was borne
That in a Moment All must overturn:
Whilst the rich Heir now finds the giving Dead
Less weighty in his Gold, than in his Lead;
Which falling just on his contriving Breast,
Expell'd the Soul, leaving the corpse to rest
In the same Grave, intended for his Friend.
Then why shou'd We our Days in Wishes spend,
Which, e'er we see fulfill'd, are often at an End?
The Shepherd And The Calm
Soothing his Passions with a warb'ling Sound,
A Shepherd-Swain lay stretch'd upon the Ground;
Whilst all were mov'd, who their Attention lent,
Or with the Harmony in Chorus went,
To something less than Joy, yet more than dull Content.
(Between which two Extreams true Pleasure lies,
O'er-run by Fools, unreach'd-at by the Wise )
But yet, a fatal Prospect to the Sea
Wou'd often draw his greedy Sight away.
He saw the Barques unlading on the Shore,
And guess'd their Wealth, then scorn'd his little Store.
Then wou'd that Little lose, or else wou'd make it more.
To Merchandize converted is the Fold,
The Bag, the Bottle, and the Hurdles sold;
The Dog was chang'd away, the pretty Skell
Whom he had fed, and taught, and lov'd so well.
In vain the Phillis wept, which heretofore
Receiv'd his Presents, and his Garlands wore.
False and upbraided, he forsakes the Downs,
Nor courts her Smiles, nor fears the Ocean's Frowns.
For smooth it lay, as if one single Wave
Made all the Sea, nor Winds that Sea cou'd heave;
Which blew no more than might his Sails supply:
Clear was the Air below, and Phoebus laugh'd on high.
With this Advent'rer ev'ry thing combines,
And Gold to Gold his happy Voyage joins;
But not so prosp'rous was the next Essay,
For rugged Blasts encounter'd on the way,
Scarce cou'd the Men escape, the Deep had all their Prey.
Our broken Merchant in the Wreck was thrown
Upon those Lands, which once had been his own;
Where other Flocks now pastur'd on the Grass,
And other Corydons had woo'd his Lass.
A Servant, for small Profits, there he turns,
Yet thrives again, and less and less he mourns;
Re-purchases in time th'abandon'd Sheep,
Which sad Experience taught him now to keep.
When from that very Bank, one Halcyon Day,
On which he lean'd, when tempted to the Sea,
He notes a Calm; the Winds and Waves were still,
And promis'd what the Winds nor Waves fulfill,
A settl'd Quiet, and Conveyance sure,
To him that Wealth, by Traffick, wou'd procure.
But the rough part the Shepherd now performs,
Reviles the Cheat, and at the Flatt'ry storms.
Ev'n thus (quoth he) you seem'd all Rest and Ease,
You sleeping Tempests, you untroubl'd Seas,
That ne'er to be forgot, that luckless Hour,
In which I put my Fortunes in your Pow'r;
Quitting my slender, but secure Estate,
My undisturb'd Repose, my sweet Retreat,
For Treasures which you ravish'd in a Day,
But swept my Folly, with my Goods, away.
Then smile no more, nor these false Shews employ,
Thou momentary Calm, thou fleeting Joy;
No more on me shall these fair Signs prevail,
Some other Novice may be won to Sail,
Give me a certain Fate in the obscurest Vale.
The Critick And The Writer Of Fables
Weary, at last, of the Pindarick way,
Thro' which advent'rously the Muse wou'd stray;
To Fable I descend with soft Delight,
Pleas'd to Translate, or easily Endite:
Whilst aery Fictions hastily repair
To fill my Page, and rid my Thoughts of Care,
As they to Birds and Beasts new Gifts impart,
And Teach, as Poets shou'd, whilst they Divert.
But here, the Critick bids me check this Vein.
Fable, he crys, tho' grown th' affected Strain,
But dies, as it was born, without Regard or Pain.
Whilst of his Aim the lazy Trifler fails,
Who seeks to purchase Fame by childish Tales.
Then, let my Verse, once more attempt the Skies,
The easily persuaded Poet cries,
Since meaner Works you Men of Taste despise.
The Walls of Troy shall be our loftier Stage,
Our mighty Theme the fierce Achilles Rage.
The Strength of Hector, and Ulysses Arts
Shall boast such Language, to adorn their Parts,
As neither Hobbes, nor Chapman cou'd bestow,
Or did from Congreve, or from Dryden flow.
Amidst her Towers, the dedicated Horse
Shall be receiv'd, big with destructive Force;
Till Men shall say, when Flames have brought her down.
" Troy is no more, and Ilium was a Town.
Is this the way to please the Men of Taste,
The Interrupter cries, this old Bombast?
I'm sick of Troy, and in as great a Fright,
When some dull Pedant wou'd her Wars recite,
As was soft Paris, when compell'd to Fight.
To Shades and Springs shall we awhile repair,
The Muse demands, and in that milder Air
Describe some gentle Swain's unhappy Smart
Whose folded Arms still press upon his Heart,
And deeper drive the too far enter'd Dart?
Whilst Phillis with a careless pleasure reigns
The Joy, the Grief, the Envy of the Plains;
Heightens the Beauty of the verdant Woods,
And softens all the Murmurs of the Floods.
Oh! stun me not with these insipid Dreams,
Th' Eternal Hush, the Lullaby of Streams.
Which still, he cries, their even Measures keep,
Till both the Writers, and the Readers sleep.
But urge thy Pen, if thou wouldst move our Thoughts,
To shew us private, or the publick Faults.
Display the Times, High-Church or Low provoke;
We'll praise the Weapon, as we like the Stroke,
And warmly sympathizing with the Spite
Apply to Thousands, what of One you write.
Then, must that single Stream the Town supply,
The harmless Fable-writer do's reply,
And all the Rest of Helicon be dry ?
And when so many choice Productions swarm,
Must only Satire keep your Fancies warm?
Whilst even there, you praise with such Reserve,
As if you'd in the midst of Plenty starve,
Tho' ne'er so liberally we Authors carve.
Happy the Men, whom we divert with Ease,
Whom Opera's and Panegyricks please.
From The First Act Of The Aminta Of Tasso
Daphne's Answer to Sylvia, declaring she
should esteem all as Enemies,
who should talk to her of LOVE.
THEN, to the snowy Ewe, in thy esteem,
The Father of the Flock a Foe must seem,
The faithful Turtles to their yielding Mates.
The cheerful Spring, which Love and Joy creates,
That reconciles the World by soft Desires,
And tender Thoughts in ev'ry Breast inspires,
To you a hateful Season must appear,
Whilst Love prevails, and all are Lovers here.
Observe the gentle Murmurs of that Dove,
And see, how billing she confirms her Love!
For this, the Nightingale displays her Throat,
And Love, Love, Love, is all her Ev'ning Note.
The very Tygers have their tender Hours,
And prouder Lyons bow beneath Love's Pow'rs.
Thou, prouder yet than that imperious Beast,
Alone deny'st him Shelter in thy Breast.
But why should I the Creatures only name
That Sense partake, as Owners of this Flame?
Love farther goes, nor stops his Course at these:
The Plants he moves, and gently bends the Trees.
See how those Willows mix their am'rous Boughs;
And, how that Vine clasps her supporting Spouse!
The silver Firr dotes on the stately Pine;
By Love those Elms, by Love those Beeches join.
But view that Oak; behold his rugged Side:
Yet that rough Bark the melting Flame do's hide.
All, by their trembling Leaves, in Sighs declare
And tell their Passions to the gath'ring Air.
Which, had but Love o'er Thee the least Command,
Thou, by their Motions, too might'st understand.
AMINTOR, being ask'd by THIRSIS
Who is the Object of his Love?
speaks as follows.
Amint. THIRSIS! to Thee I mean that Name to show,
Which, only yet our Groves, and Fountains know:
That, when my Death shall through the Plains be told,
Thou with the wretched Cause may'st that unfold
To every-one, who shall my Story find
Carv'd by thy Hand, in some fair Beeches rind;
Beneath whose Shade the bleeding Body lay:
That, when by chance she shall be led that way,
O'er my sad Grave the haughty Nymph may go,
And the proud Triumph of her Beauty shew
To all the Swains, to Strangers as they pass;
And yet at length she may (but Oh! alas!
I fear, too high my flatt'ring Hopes do soar)
Yet she at length may my sad Fate deplore;
May weep me Dead, may o'er my Tomb recline,
And sighing, wish were he alive and Mine!
But mark me to the End–
Thir. Go on; for well I do thy Speech attend,
Perhaps to better Ends, than yet thou know'st.
Amint. Being now a Child, or but a Youth at most,
When scarce to reach the blushing Fruit I knew,
Which on the lowest bending Branches grew;
Still with the dearest, sweetest, kindest Maid
Young as myself, at childish Sports I play'd.
The Fairest, sure, of all that Lovely Kind,
Who spread their golden Tresses to the Wind;
Cydippe's Daughter, and Montano's Heir,
Whose Flocks and Herds so num'rous do appear;
The beauteous Sylvia; She, 'tis She I love,
Warmth of all Hearts, and Pride of ev'ry Grove.
With Her I liv'd, no Turtles e'er so fond.
Our Houses met, but more our Souls were join'd.
Together Nets for Fish, and Fowl we laid;
Together through the spacious Forest stray'd;
Pursu'd with equal Speed the flying Deer,
And of the Spoils there no Divisions were.
But whilst I from the Beasts their Freedom won,
Alas! I know not how, my Own was gone.
By unperceiv'd Degrees the Fire encreas'd,
Which fill'd, at last, each corner of my Breast;
As from a Root, tho' scarce discern'd so small,
A Plant may rise, that grows amazing tall.
From Sylvia's Presence now I could not move,
And from her Eyes took in full Draughts of Love,
Which sweetly thro' my ravish'd Mind distill'd;
Yet in the end such Bitterness wou'd yield,
That oft I sigh'd, ere yet I knew the cause,
And was a Lover, ere I dream'd I was.
But Oh! at last, too well my State I knew;
And now, will shew thee how this Passion grew.
Then listen, while the pleasing Tale I tell.
THIRSIS persuades AMINTOR not to despair upon the
redictions of Mopsus discov'ring him to be an Impostor.
Thirsis. Why dost thou still give way to such Despair!
Amintor. Too just, alas! the weighty Causes are.
Mopsus, wise Mopsus, who in Art excels,
And of all Plants the secret Vertue tells,
Knows, with what healing Gifts our Springs abound,
And of each Bird explains the mystick Sound;
'Twas He, ev'n He! my wretched Fate foretold.
Thir. Dost thou this Speech then of that Mopsus hold,
Who, whilst his Smiles attract the easy View,
Drops flatt'ring Words, soft as the falling Dew;
Whose outward Form all friendly still appears,
Tho' Fraud and Daggers in his Thoughts he wears,
And the unwary Labours to surprize
With Looks affected, and with riddling Lyes.
If He it is, that bids thy Love despair,
I hope the happier End of all thy Care.
So far from Truth his vain Predictions fall.
Amint. If ought thou know'st, that may my Hopes recall,
Conceal it not; for great I've heard his Fame,
And fear'd his Words–
Thir. –When hither first I came,
And in these Shades the false Imposter met,
Like Thee I priz'd, and thought his Judgment great;
On all his study'd Speeches still rely'd,
Nor fear'd to err, whilst led by such a Guide:
When on a Day, that Bus'ness and Delight
My Steps did to the Neighb'ring Town invite,
Which stands upon that rising Mountain's side,
And from our Plains this River do's divide,
He check'd me thus–Be warn'd in time, My Son,
And that new World of painted Mischiefs shun,
Whose gay Inhabitants thou shalt behold
Plum'd like our Birds, and sparkling all in Gold;
Courtiers, that will thy rustick Garb despise,
And mock thy Plainness with disdainful Eyes.
But above all, that Structure see thou fly,
Where hoarded Vanities and Witchcrafts lie;
To shun that Path be thy peculiar Care.
I ask, what of that Place the Dangers are:
To which he soon replies, there shalt thou meet
Of soft Enchantresses th' Enchantments sweet,
Who subt'ly will thy solid Sense bereave,
And a false Gloss to ev'ry Object give.
Brass to thy Sight as polish'd Gold shall seem,
And Glass thou as the Diamond shalt esteem.
Huge Heaps of Silver to thee shall appear,
Which if approach'd, will prove but shining Air.
The very Walls by Magick Art are wrought,
And Repitition to all Speakers taught:
Not such, as from our Ecchoes we obtain,
Which only our last Words return again;
But Speech for Speech entirely there they give,
And often add, beyond what they receive.
There downy Couches to false Rest invite,
The Lawn is charm'd, that faintly bars the Light.
No gilded Seat, no iv'ry Board is there,
But what thou may'st for some Delusion fear:
Whilst, farther to abuse thy wond'ring Eyes,
Strange antick Shapes before them shall arise;
Fantastick Fiends, that will about thee flock,
And all they see, with Imitation mock.
Nor are these Ills the worst. Thyself may'st be
Transform'd into a Flame, a Stream, a Tree;
A Tear, congeal'd by Art, thou may'st remain,
'Till by a burning Sigh dissolv'd again.
Thus spake the Wretch; but cou'd not shake my Mind.
My way I take, and soon the City find,
Where above all that lofty Fabrick stands,
Which, with one View, the Town and Plains commands.
Here was I stopt, for who cou'd quit the Ground,
That heard such Musick from those Roofs resound!
Musick! beyond th' enticing Syrene's Note;
Musick! beyond the Swan's expiring Throat;
Beyond the softest Voice, that charms the Grove,
And equal'd only by the Spheres above.
My Ear I thought too narrow for the Art,
Nor fast enough convey'd it to my Heart:
When in the Entrance of the Gate I saw
A Man Majestick, and commanding Awe;
Yet temper'd with a Carriage, so refin'd
That undetermin'd was my doubtful Mind,
Whether for Love, or War, that Form was most design'd.
With such a Brow, as did at once declare
A gentle Nature, and a Wit severe;
To view that Palace me he ask'd to go,
Tho' Royal He, and I Obscure and Low.
But the Delights my Senses there did meet,
No rural Tongue, no Swain can e'er repeat.
Celestial Goddesses, or Nymphs as Fair,
In unveil'd Beauties, to all Eyes appear
Sprinkl'd with Gold, as glorious to the View,
As young Aurora, deck'd with pearly Dew;
Bright Rays dispensing, as along they pass'd,
And with new Light the shining Palace grac'd.
Phoebus was there by all the Muses met,
And at his Feet was our Elpino set.
Ev'n humble Me their Harmony inspir'd,
My Breast expanded, and my Spirits fir'd.
Rude Past'ral now, no longer I rehearse,
But Heroes crown with my exalted Verse.
Of Arms I sung, of bold advent'rous Wars;
And tho' brought back by my too envious Stars,
Yet kept my Voice and Reed those lofty Strains,
And sent loud Musick through the wond'ring Plains:
Which Mopsus hearing, secretly malign'd,
And now to ruin Both at once design'd.
Which by his Sorceries he soon brought to pass;
And suddenly so clogg'd, and hoarse I was,
That all our Shepherds, at the Change amaz'd,
Believ'd, I on some Ev'ning-Wolf had gaz'd:
When He it was, my luckless Path had crost,
By whose dire Look, my Skill awhile was lost.
This have I told, to raise thy Hopes again,
And render, by distrust, his Malice vain.
From the AMINTA of TASSO.
THO' we, of small Proportion see
And slight the armed Golden Bee;
Yet if her Sting behind she leaves,
No Ease th' envenom'd Flesh receives.
Love, less to Sight than is this Fly,
In a soft Curl conceal'd can lie;
Under an Eyelid's lovely Shade,
Can form a dreadful Ambuscade;
Can the most subtil Sight beguile
Hid in the Dimples of a Smile.
But if from thence a Dart he throw,
How sure, how mortal is the Blow!
How helpless all the Pow'r of Art
To bind, or to restore the Heart!
From the AMINTA of TASSO.
Part of the Description of the Golden Age.
THEN, by some Fountains flow'ry side
The Loves unarm'd, did still abide.
Then, the loos'd Quiver careless hung,
The Torch extinct, the Bow unstrung.
Then, by the Nymphs no Charms were worn,
But such as with the Nymphs were born.
The Shepherd cou'd not, then, complain,
Nor told his am'rous Tale in vain.
No Veil the Beauteous Face did hide,
Nor harmless Freedom was deny'd.
Then, Innocence and Virtue reign'd
Pure, unaffected, unconstrain'd.
Love was their Pleasure, and their Praise,
The soft Employment of their Days.
All Is Vanity
How vain is Life! which rightly we compare
To flying Posts, that haste away;
To Plants, that fade with the declining Day;
To Clouds, that sail amidst the yielding Air;
Till by Extention into that they flow,
Or, scatt'ring on the World below,
Are lost and gone, ere we can say they were;
To Autumn-leaves, which every Wind can chace;
To rising Bubbles, on the Waters Face;
To fleeting Dreams, that will not stay,
Nor in th' abused Fancy dance,
When the returning Rays of Light,
Resuming their alternate Right,
Break on th' ill-order'd Scene on the fantastick Trance:
As weak is Man, whilst Tenant to the Earth;
As frail and as uncertain all his Ways,
From the first moment of his weeping Birth,
Down to the last and best of his few restless Days;
When to the Land of Darkness he retires
From disappointed Hopes, and frustrated Desires;
Reaping no other Fruit of all his Pain
Bestow'd whilst in the vale of Tears below,
But this unhappy Truth, at last to know,
That Vanity's our Lot, and all Mankind is Vain.
If past the hazard of his tendrest Years,
Neither in thoughtless Sleep opprest,
Nor poison'd with a tainted Breast,
Loos'd from the infant Bands and female Cares,
A studious Boy, advanc'd beyond his Age,
Wastes the dim Lamp, and turns the restless Page;
For some lov'd Book prevents the rising Day,
And on it, stoln aside, bestows the Hours of Play;
Him the observing Master do's design
For search of darkned Truths and Mysteries Divine;
Bids him with unremitted Labour trace
The Rise of Empires, and their various Fates,
The several Tyrants o'er the several States,
To Babel's lofty Towers, and warlike Nimrod's Race;
Bids him in Paradice the Bank survey,
Where Man, new-moulded from the temper'd Clay,
(Till fir'd with Breath Divine) a helpless Figure lay:
Could he be led thus far--What were the Boast,
What the Reward of all the Toil it cost,
What from that Land of ever-blooming Spring,
For our Instruction could he bring,
Unless, that having Humane Nature found
Unseparated from its Parent Ground,
(Howe'er we vaunt our Elevated Birth)
The Epicure in soft Array,
The lothsome Beggar, that before
His rude unhospitable Door,
Unpity'd but by Brutes, a broken Carcass lay,
Were both alike deriv'd from the same common Earth?
But ere the Child can to these Heights attain,
Ere he can in the Learned Sphere arise;
A guilding Star, attracting to the Skies,
A fever, seizing the o'er labour'd Brain,
Sends him, perhaps, to Death's concealing Shade;
Where, in the Marble Tomb now silent laid,
He better do's that useful Doctrine show,
(Which all the sad Assistants ought to know,
Who round the Grave his short continuance mourn)
That first from Dust we came, and must to Dust return.
A bolder Youth, grown capable of Arms,
Bellona courts with her prevailing Charms;
Bids th' inchanting Trumpet sound,
Loud as Triumph, soft as Love,
Striking now the Poles above,
Then descending from the Skies,
Soften every falling Note;
As the harmonious Lark that sings and flies,
When near the Earth, contracts her narrow Throat,
And warbles on the Ground:
Shews the proud Steed, impatient of the Check,
'Gainst the loudest Terrors Proof,
Pawing the Valley with his steeled Hoof,
With Lightning arm'd his Eyes, with Thunder cloth'd his Neck;
Who on the th' advanced Foe, (the Signal giv'n)
Flies, like a rushing Storm by mighty Whirlwinds driv'n;
Lays open the Records of Fame,
No glorious Deed omits, no Man of mighty Name;
Their Stratagems, their Tempers she'll repeat,
From Alexander's, (truly stil'd the GREAT)
From Cæsar's on the World's Imperial Seat,
To Turenne's Conduct, and to Conde's Heat.
'Tis done! and now th' ambitious Youth disdains
The safe, but harder Labours of the Gown,
The softer pleasures of the Courtly Town,
The once lov'd rural Sports, and Chaces on the Plains;
Does with the Soldier's Life the Garb assume,
The gold Embroid'ries, and the graceful Plume;
Walks haughty in a Coat of Scarlet Die,
A Colour well contriv'd to cheat the Eye,
Where richer Blood, alas! may undistinguisht lye.
And oh! too near that wretched Fate attends;
Hear it ye Parents, all ye weeping Friends!
Thou fonder Maid! won by these gaudy Charms,
(The destin'd Prize of his Victorious Arms)
Now fainting Dye upon the mournful Sound,
That speaks his hasty Death, and paints the fatal Wound!
Trail all your Pikes, dispirit every Drum,
March in a slow Procession from afar,
Ye silent, ye dejected Men of War!
Be still the Hautboys, and the Flute be dumb!
Display no more, in vain, the lofty Banner;
For see! where on the Bier before ye lies
The pale, the fall'n, th' untimely Sacrifice
To your mistaken Shrine, to your false Idol Honour!
As Vain is Beauty, and as short her Power;
Tho' in its proud, and transitory Sway,
The coldest Hearts and wisest Heads obey
That gay fantastick Tyrant of an Hour.
On Beauty's Charms, (altho' a Father's Right,
Tho' grave Seleucus! to thy Royal Side
By holy Vows fair Stratonice be ty'd)
With anxious Joy, with dangerous Delight,
Too often gazes thy unwary Son,
Till past all Hopes, expiring and undone,
A speaking Pulse the secret Cause impart;
The only time, when the Physician's Art
Could ease that lab'ring Grief, or heal a Lover's Smart.
See Great Antonius now impatient stand,
Expecting, with mistaken Pride,
On Cydnus crowded Shore, on Cydnus fatal Strand,
A Queen, at his Tribunal to be try'd,
A Queen that arm'd in Beauty, shall deride
His feeble Rage, and his whole Fate command:
O'er the still Waves her burnisht Galley moves,
Row'd by the Graces, whilst officious Loves
To silken Cords their busie Hands apply,
Or gathering all the gentle Gales that fly,
To their fair Mistress with these Spoils repair,
And from their purple Wings disperse the balmy Air.
Hov'ring Perfumes ascend in od'rous Clouds,
Curl o'er the Barque, and play among the Shrouds;
Whilst gently dashing every Silver Oar,
Guided by the Rules of Art,
With tuneful Instruments design'd
To soften, and subdue the stubborn Mind,
A strangely pleasing and harmonious Part
In equal Measures bore.
Like a new Venus on her native Sea,
In midst of the transporting Scene,
(Which Pen or Pencil imitates in vain)
On a resplendent and conspicuous Bed,
With all the Pride of Persia loosely spread,
The lovely Syrene lay.
Which but discern'd from the yet distant Shore,
Th' amazed Emperor could hate no more;
No more a baffled Vengeance could pursue;
But yielding still, still as she nearer drew,
When Cleopatra anchor'd in the Bay,
Where every Charm cou'd all its Force display,
Like his own Statue stood, and gaz'd the World away.
Where ends alas! this Pageantry and State;
Where end the Triumphs of this conqu'ring Face,
Envy'd of Roman Wives, and all the Female Race?
Oh swift Vicissitude of Beauty's Fate!
Now in her Tomb withdrawn from publick Sight,
From near Captivity and Shame,
The vanquish'd, the abandon'd Dame
Proffers the Arm, that held another's Right,
To the destructive Snake's more just Embrace,
And courts deforming Death, to mend his Leaden Pace.
But Wit shall last (the vaunting Poet cries)
Th' immortal Streams that from Parnassus flow,
Shall make his never-fading Lawrels grow,
Above this mouldring Earth to flourish in the Skies:
'And when his Body falls in Funeral Fire,
When late revolving Ages shall consume
The very Pillars, that support his Tomb,
'His name shall live, and his best Part aspire.
Deluded Wretch! grasping at future Praise,
Now planting, with mistaken Care,
Round thy enchanted Palace in the Air,
A Grove, which in thy Fancy time shall raise,
A Grove of soaring Palms, and everlasting Bays;
Could'st Thou alas! to such Reknown arrive,
As thy Imagination wou'd contrive;
Should numerous Cities, in a vain contest,
Struggle for thy famous Birth;
Should the sole Monarch of the conquer'd Earth,
His wreathed Head upon thy Volume rest;
Like Maro, could'st thou justly claim,
Amongst th' inspired tuneful Race,
The highest Room, the undisputed Place;
And after near Two Thousand Years of Fame,
Have thy proud Work to a new People shown;
Th' unequal'd Poems made their own,
In such a Dress, in such a perfect Stile
As on his Labours Dryden now bestows,
As now from Dryden's just Improvement flows,
In every polish'd Verse throughout the British Isle;
What Benefit alas! would to thee grow?
What Sense of Pleasure wou'dst thou know?
What swelling Joy? what Pride? what Glory have,
When in the Darkness of the abject Grave,
Insensible, and Stupid laid below,
No Atom of thy Heap, no Dust wou'd move,
For all the airy Breath that form'd thy Praise above?
True, says the Man to Luxury inclin'd;
Without the Study of uncertain Art,
Without much Labour of the Mind,
Meer uninstructed Nature will impart,
That Life too swiftly flies, and leaves all good behind.
Sieze then, my Friends, (he cries) the present Hour;
The Pleasure which to that belongs,
The Feasts, th' o'erflowing Bowls, the Mirth, the Songs,
The Orange-Bloom, that with such Sweetness blows,
Anacreon's celebrated Rose,
The Hyacinth, with every beauteous Flower,
Which just this happy Moment shall disclose,
Are out of Fortune's reach, and all within our Power.
Such costly Garments let our Slaves prepare,
As for the gay Demetrius were design'd;
Where a new Sun of radiant Diamonds shin'd,
Where the enamel'd Earth, and scarce-discerned Air,
With a transparent Sea were seen,
A Sea composed of the Em'rald's Green,
And with a golden Shore encompass'd round;
Where every Orient Shell, of wondrous shape was found.
The whole Creation on his Shoulders hung,
The whole Creation with his Wish comply'd,
Did swiftly, for each Appetite provide,
And fed them all when Young.
No less, th' Assyrian Prince enjoy'd,
Of Bliss too soon depriv'd, but never cloy'd,
Whose Counsel let us still pursue,
Whose Monument, did this Inscription shew
To every Passenger, that trod the way,
Where, with a slighting Hand, and scornful Smile
The proud Effigies, on th' instructive Pile,
A great Example lay.
I, here Entomb'd, did mighty Kingdoms sway,
Two Cities rais'd in one prodigious Day:
Thou wand'ring Traveller, no longer gaze,
No longer dwell upon this useless Place;
Go Feed, and Drink, in Sports consume thy Life;
For All that else we gain's not worth a Moment's Strife.
Thus! talks the Fool, whom no Restraint can bound,
When now the Glass has gone a frequent round;
When soaring Fancy lightly swims,
Fancy, that keeps above, and dances o'er the Brims;
Whilst weighty Reason sinks, and in the bottom's drown'd;
Adds to his Own, an artificial Fire,
Doubling ev'ry hot Desire,
Till th' auxiliary Spirits, in a Flame,
The Stomach's Magazine defy,
That standing Pool, that helpless Moisture nigh,
Thro' every Vital part impetuous fly,
And quite consume the Frame;
When to the Under-world despis'd he goes,
A pamper'd Carcase on the Worms bestows,
Who rioting on the unusual Chear,
As good a Life enjoy, as he could boast of here.
But hold my Muse! thy farther Flight restrain,
Exhaust not thy declining Force,
Nor in a long, pursu'd, and breathless Course,
Attempt, with slacken'd speed, to run
Through ev'ry Vanity beneath the Sun,
Lest thy o'erweary'd Reader, should complain,
That of all Vanities beside,
Which thine, or his Experience e'er have try'd,
Thou art, too tedious Muse, most frivolous and vain;
Yet, tell the Man, of an aspiring Thought,
Of an ambitious, restless Mind,
That can no Ease, no Satisfaction find,
Till neighb'ring States are to Subjection brought,
Till Universal Awe, enslav'd Mankind is taught;
That, should he lead an Army to the Field,
For whose still necessary Use,
Th' extended Earth cou'd not enough produce,
Nor Rivers to their Thirst a full Contentment yield;
Yet, must their dark Reverse of Fate
Roll round, within that Course of Years,
Within the short, the swift, and fleeting Date
Prescrib'd by Xerxes, when his falling Tears
Bewail'd those Numbers, which his Sword employ'd,
And false, Hyena-like, lamented and destroy'd.
Tell Him, that does some stately Building raise,
A Windsor or Versailles erect,
And thorough all Posterity expect,
With its unshaken Base, a firm unshaken Praise;
Tell Him, Judea's Temple is no more,
Upon whose Splendour, Thousands heretofore
Spent the astonish'd Hours, forgetful to Adore:
Tell him, into the Earth agen is hurl'd,
That most stupendious Wonder of the World,
Justly presiding o'er the boasted Seven,
By humane Art and Industry design'd,
This! the rich Draught of the Immortal Mind,
The Architect of Heaven.
Remember then, to fix thy Aim on High,
Project, and build on t'other side the Sky,
For, after all thy vain Expence below,
Thou canst no Fame, no lasting Pleasure know;
No Good, that shall not thy Embraces fly;
Or thou from that be in a Moment caught,
Thy Spirit to new Claims, new Int'rests brought,
Whilst unconcern'd thy secret Ashes lye,
Or stray about the Globe, O Man ordain'd to Dye!
On The Hurricane
You have obey'd, you WINDS, that must fulfill
The Great Disposer's righteous Will;
Throughout the Land, unlimited you flew,
Nor sought, as heretofore, with Friendly Aid
Only, new Motion to bestow
Upon the sluggish Vapours, bred below,
Condensing into Mists, and melancholy Shade.
No more such gentle Methods you pursue,
But marching now in terrible Array,
Undistinguish'd was your Prey:
In vain the Shrubs, with lowly Bent,
Sought their Destruction to prevent;
The Beech in vain, with out-stretch'd Arms,
Deprecates th' approaching Harms;
In vain the Oak (so often storm'd)
Rely'd upon that native Force,
By which already was perform'd
So much of his appointed Course,
As made him, fearless of Decay,
Wait but the accomplish'd Time
Of his long-wish'd and useful Prime,
To be remov'd, with Honor, to the Sea.
The strait and ornamental Pine
Did in the like Ambition joyn,
And thought his Fame shou'd ever last,
When in some Royal Ship he stood the planted Mast;
And shou'd again his Length of Timber rear,
And new engrafted Branches wear
Of fibrous Cordage and impending Shrouds,
Still trimm'd with human Care, and water'd by the Clouds.
But oh, you Trees! who solitary stood;
Or you, whose Numbers form'd a Wood;
You, who on Mountains chose to rise,
And drew them nearer to the Skies;
Or you, whom Valleys late did hold
In flexible and lighter Mould;
You num'rous Brethren of the Leafy Kind,
To whatsoever Use design'd,
Now, vain you found it to contend
With not, alas! one Element; your Friend
Your Mother Earth, thro' long preceding Rains,
(Which undermining sink below)
No more her wonted Strength retains;
Nor you so fix'd within her Bosom grow,
That for your sakes she can resolve to bear
These furious Shocks of hurrying Air;
But finding All your Ruin did conspire,
She soon her beauteous Progeny resign'd
To this destructive, this imperious Wind,
That check'd your nobler Aims, and gives you to the Fire.
Thus! have thy Cedars, Libanus, been struck
As the lythe Oziers twisted round;
Thus! Cadez, has thy Wilderness been shook,
When the appalling, and tremendous Sound
Of rattl'ing Tempests o'er you broke,
And made your stubborn Glories bow,
When in such Whirlwinds the Almighty spoke,
Warning Judea then, as our Britannia now.
Yet these were the remoter Harms,
Foreign the Care, and distant the Alarms:
Whilst but sheltring Trees alone,
Master'd soon, and soon o'erthrown,
Felt those Gusts, which since prevail,
And loftier Palaces assail;
Whose shaken Turrets now give way,
With vain Inscriptions, which the Freeze has borne
Through Ages past, t'extol and to adorn,
And to our latter Times convey;
Who did the Structures deep Foundation lay,
Forcing his Praise upon the gazing Croud,
And, whilst he moulders in a scanty Shroud,
Telling both Earth and Skies, he when alive was proud.
Now down at once comes the superfluous Load,
The costly Fret-work with it yields,
Whose imitated Fruits and Flow'rs are strew'd,
Like those of real Growth o'er the Autumnal Fields.
The present Owner lifts his Eyes,
And the swift Change with sad Affrightment spies:
The Cieling gone, that late the Roof conceal'd;
The Roof untyl'd, thro' which the Heav'ns reveal'd,
Exposes now his Head, when all Defence has fail'd.
What alas, is to be done!
Those, who in Cities wou'd from Dangers run,
Do but encreasing Dangers meet,
And Death, in various shapes, attending in the Street;
While some, too tardy in their Flight,
O'ertaken by a worse Mischance,
Their upward Parts do scarce advance,
When on their following Limbs th' extending Ruins light.
One half's interr'd, the other yet survives,
And for Release with fainting Vigour strives;
Implores the Aid of absent Friends in vain;
With fault'ring Speech, and dying Wishes calls
Those, whom perhaps, their own Domestick Walls
By parallel Distress, or swifter Death retains.
O Wells! thy Bishop's Mansion we lament,
So tragical the Fall, so dire th'Event!
But let no daring Thought presume
To point a Cause for that oppressive Doom.
Yet strictly pious KEN! had'st Thou been there,
This Fate, we think, had not become thy share;
Nor had that awful Fabrick bow'd,
Sliding from its loosen'd Bands;
Nor yielding Timbers been allow'd
To crush thy ever-lifted Hands,
Or interrupt thy Pray'r.
Those Orizons, that nightly Watches keep,
Had call'd thee from thy Bed, or there secur'd thy Sleep.
Whilst you, bold Winds and Storms! his Word obey'd,
Whilst you his Scourge the Great Jehova made,
And into ruin'd Heaps our Edifices laid.
You South and West the Tragedy began,
As, with disorder'd haste, you o'er the Surface ran;
Forgetting, that you were design'd
(Chiefly thou Zephyrus, thou softest Wind!)
Only our Heats, when sultry, to allay,
And chase the od'rous Gums by your dispersing Play.
Now, by new Orders and Decrees,
For our Chastisement issu'd forth,
You on his Confines the alarmed North
With equal Fury sees,
And summons swiftly to his Aid
Eurus, his Confederate made,
His eager Second in th' opposing Fight,
That even the Winds may keep the Balance right,
Nor yield increase of Sway to arbitrary Might.
Meeting now, they all contend,
Those assail, while These defend;
Fierce and turbulent the War,
And in the loud tumultuous Jar
Winds their own Fifes, and Clarions are.
Each Cavity, which Art or Nature leaves,
Their Inspiration hastily receives;
Whence, from their various Forms and Size,
As various Symphonies arise,
Their Trumpet ev'ry hollow Tube is made,
And, when more solid Bodies they invade,
Enrag'd, they can no farther come,
The beaten Flatt, whilst it repels the Noise,
Resembles but with more outrageous Voice
The Soldier's threatning Drum:
And when they compass thus our World around,
When they our Rocks and Mountains rend,
When they our Sacred Piles to their Foundations send,
No wonder if our ecchoing Caves rebound;
No wonder if our list'ning Sense they wound,
When arm'd with so much Force, and usher'd with such Sound.
Nor scarce, amidst the Terrors of that Night,
When you, fierce Winds, such Desolations wrought,
When you from out his Stores the Great Commander brought,
Cou'd the most Righteous stand upright;
Scarcely the Holiest Man performs
The Service, that becomes it best,
By ardent Vows, or solemn Pray'rs addrest;
Nor finds the Calm, so usual to his Breast,
Full Proof against such Storms.
How shou'd the Guilty then be found,
The Men in Wine, or looser Pleasures drown'd,
To fix a stedfast Hope, or to maintain their Ground!
When at his Glass the late Companion feels,
That Giddy, like himself, the tott'ring Mansion reels!
The Miser, who with many a Chest
His gloomy Tenement opprest,
Now fears the over-burthen'd Floor,
And trembles for his Life, but for his Treasure more.
What shall he do, or to what Pow'rs apply?
To those, which threaten from on High,
By him ne'er call'd upon before,
Who also will suggest th' impossible Restore?
No; Mammon, to thy Laws he will be true,
And, rather than his Wealth, will bid the World adieu.
The Rafters sink, and bury'd with his Coin
That Fate does with his living Thoughts combine;
For still his Heart's inclos'd within a Golden Mine.
Contention with its angry Brawls
By Storms o'er-clamour'd, shrinks and falls;
Nor WHIG, nor TORY now the rash Contender calls.
Those, who but Vanity allow'd,
Nor thought, it reach'd the Name of Sin,
To be of their Perfections proud,
Too much adorn'd without, or too much rais'd within,
Now find, that even the lightest Things,
As the minuter parts of Air,
When Number to their Weight addition brings,
Can, like the small, but numerous Insects Stings,
Can, like th' assembl'd Winds, urge Ruin and Despair.
Thus You've obey'd, you Winds, that must fulfill
The Great disposer's Righteous Will:
Thus did your Breath a strict Enquiry make,
Thus did you our most secret Sins awake,
And thus chastis'd their Ill.
Whilst vainly Those, of a rapacious Mind,
Fields to other Fields had laid,
By Force, or by injurious Bargains join'd,
With Fences for their Guard impenetrable made;
The juster Tempest mocks the wrong,
And sweeps, in its directed Flight,
Th' Inclosures of another's Right,
Driving at once the Bounds, and licens'd Herds along.
The Earth agen one general Scene appears;
No regular distinction now,
Betwixt the Grounds for Pasture, or the Plough,
The Face of Nature wears.
Free as the Men, who wild Confusion love,
And lawless Liberty approve,
Their Fellow-Brutes pursue their way,
To their own Loss, and disadvantage stray,
As wretched in their Choice, as unadvis'd as They.
The tim'rous Deer, whilst he forsakes the Park,
And wanders on, in the misguiding Dark,
Believes, a Foe from ev'ry unknown Bush
Will on his trembling Body rush,
Taking the Winds, that vary in their Notes,
For hot pursuing Hounds with deeply bellowing Throats.
Th' awaken'd Birds, shook from their nightly Seats,
Their unavailing Pinions ply,
Repuls'd, as they attempt to fly
In hopes they might attain to more secure Retreats.
But, Where ye wilder'd Fowls wou'd You repair?
When this your happy Portion given,
Your upward Lot, your Firmament of Heaven,
Your unentail'd, your undivided Air,
Where no Proprietor was ever known,
Where no litigious Suits have ever grown,
Whilst none from Star to Star cou'd call the space his Own;
When this no more your middle Flights can bear,
But some rough Blast too far above conveighs,
Or to unquitted Earth confines your weak Essays.
Nor You, nor wiser Man cou'd find Repose,
Nor cou'd our Industry produce
Expedients of the smallest Use,
To ward our greater Cares, or mitigate your Woes.
Ye Clouds! that pity'd our Distress,
And by your pacifying Showers
(The soft and usual methods of Success)
Kindly assay'd to make this Tempest less;
Vainly your Aid was now alas! employ'd,
In vain you wept o'er those destructive Hours,
In which the Winds full Tyranny enjoy'd,
Nor wou'd allow you to prevail,
But drove your scorn'd, and scatter'd Tears to wail
The Land that lay destroy'd.
Whilst You obey'd, you Winds! that must fulfill
The just Disposer's Righteous Will;
Whilst not the Earth alone, you disarray,
But to more ruin'd Seas wing'd your impetuous Way.
Which to foreshew, the still portentious Sun
Beamless, and pale of late, his Race begun,
Quenching the Rays, he had no Joy to keep,
In the obscure, and sadly threaten'd Deep.
Farther than we, that Eye of Heaven discerns,
And nearer plac'd to our malignant Stars,
Our brooding Tempests, and approaching Wars
When now, too soon the dark Event
Shews what that faded Planet meant;
Whilst more the liquid Empire undergoes,
More she resigns of her entrusted Stores,
The Wealth, the Strength, the Pride of diff'rent Shores
In one Devoted, one Recorded Night,
Than Years had known destroy'd by generous Fight,
Or Privateering Foes.
All Rules of Conduct laid aside,
No more the baffl'd Pilot steers,
Or knows an Art, when it each moment veers,
To vary with the Winds, or stem th'unusual Tide.
Dispers'd and loose, the shatter'd Vessels stray,
Some perish within sight of Shore,
Some, happier thought, obtain a wider Sea,
But never to return, or cast an Anchor more!
Some on the Northern Coasts are thrown,
And by congealing Surges compass'd round,
To fixt and certain Ruin bound,
Immoveable are grown:
The fatal Goodwin swallows All that come
Within the Limits of that dangerous Sand,
Amphibious in its kind, nor Sea nor Land;
Yet kin to both, a false and faithless Strand,
Known only to our Cost for a devouring Tomb.
Nor seemed the HURRICANE content,
Whilst only Ships were wreckt, and Tackle rent;
The Sailors too must fall a Prey,
Those that Command, with those that did Obey;
The best Supporters of thy pompous Stile,
Thou far Renown'd, thou pow'rful BRITISH Isle!
Foremost in Naval Strength, and Sov'reign of the Sea!
These from thy Aid that wrathful Night divides,
Plung'd in those Waves, o'er which this Title rides.
What art Thou, envy'd Greatness, at the best,
In thy deluding Splendors drest?
What are thy glorious Titles, and thy Forms?
Which cannot give Security, or Rest
To favour'd Men, or Kingdoms that contest
With Popular Assaults, or Providential Storms!
Whilst on th'Omnipotent our Fate depends,
And They are only safe, whom He alone defends.
Then let to Heaven our general Praise be sent,
Which did our farther Loss, our total Wreck prevent.
And as our Aspirations do ascend,
Let every Thing be summon'd to attend;
And let the Poet after God's own Heart
Direct our Skill in that sublimer part,
And our weak Numbers mend!