Mussulman's Dream

Where is that World, to which the Fancy flies,
When Sleep excludes the Present from our Eyes;
Whose Map no Voyager cou'd e'er design,
Nor to Description its wild Parts confine?
Yet such a Land of Dreams We must allow,
Who nightly trace it, tho' we know not how:
Unfetter'd by the Days obtruded Rules,
We All enjoy that Paradise of Fools;
And find a Sorrow, in resuming Sense,
Which breaks some free Delight, and snatches us from thence.


Thus! in a Dream, a Musselman was shown
A Vizir, whom he formerly had known,
When at the Port he bore deputed Sway,
And made the Nations with a Nod obey.
Now all serene, and splendid was his Brow,
Whilst ready Waiters to his Orders bow;
His Residence, an artful Garden seem'd,
Adorn'd with all, that pleasant he esteem'd;
Full of Reward, his glorious Lot appear'd,
As with the Sight, our Dreamer's Mind was chear'd;
But turning, next he saw a dreadful Sight,
Which fill'd his Soul with Wonder and Affright,
Pursu'd by Fiends, a wretched Dervis fled
Through scorching Plains, which to wide Distance spread;
Whilst every Torture, gloomy Poets paint,
Was there prepar'd for the reputed Saint.
Amaz'd at this, the sleeping Turk enquires,
Why He that liv'd above, in soft Attires,
Now roll'd in Bliss, while t'other roll'd in Fires?
We're taught the Suff'rings of this Future State,
Th' Excess of Courts is likeliest to create;
Whilst solitary Cells, o'ergrown with Shade,
The readiest way to Paradise is made.
True, quoth the Phantom (which he dream'd reply'd)
The lonely Path is still the surest Guide,
Nor is it by these Instances deny'd.
For, know my Friend, whatever Fame report,
The Vizier to Retirements wou'd resort,
Th' ambitious Dervis wou'd frequent the Court.

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 Man Bitten By Fleas

A Peevish Fellow laid his Head
On Pillows, stuff'd with Down;
But was no sooner warm in Bed,
With hopes to rest his Crown,

But Animals of slender size,
That feast on humane Gore,
From secret Ambushes arise,
Nor suffer him to snore;

Who starts, and scrubs, and frets, and swears,
'Till, finding all in vain,
He for Relief employs his Pray'rs
In this old Heathen strain.

Great Jupiter! thy Thunder send
From out the pitchy Clouds,
And give these Foes a dreadful End,
That lurk in Midnight Shrouds:

Or Hercules might with a Blow,
If once together brought,
This Crew of Monsters overthrow,
By which such Harms are wrought.

The Strife, ye Gods! is worthy You,
Since it our Blood has cost;
And scorching Fevers must ensue,
When cooling Sleep is lost.

Strange Revolutions wou'd abound,
Did Men ne'er close their Eyes;
Whilst those, who wrought them wou'd be found
At length more Mad, than Wise.

Passive Obedience must be us'd,
If this cannot be Cur'd;
But whilst one Flea is slowly bruis'd,
Thousands must be endur'd.

Confusion, Slav'ry, Death and Wreck
Will on the Nation seize,
If, whilst you keep your Thunders back,
We're massacr'd by Fleas.

Why, prithee, shatter-headed Fop,
The laughing Gods reply;
Hast thou forgot thy Broom, and Mop,
And Wormwood growing nigh?

Go sweep, and wash, and strew thy Floor,
As all good Housewives teach;
And do not thus for Thunders roar,
To make some fatal Breach:

Which You, nor your succeeding Heir,
Nor yet a long Descent
Shall find out Methods to repair,
Tho' Prudence may prevent.

For Club, and Bolts, a Nation call'd of late,
Nor wou'd be eas'd by Engines of less Weight:
But whether lighter had not done as well,
Let their Great-Grandsons, or their Grandsons tell.

A Nocturnal Reverie

In such a Night, when every louder Wind
Is to its distant Cavern safe confin'd;
And only gentle Zephyr fans his Wings, {1}
And lonely Philomel, still waking, sings; {2}
Or from some Tree, fam'd for the Owl's delight,
She, hollowing clear, directs the Wand'rer right:
In such a Night, when passing Clouds give place,
Or thinly vail the Heav'ns mysterious Face;
When in some River, overhung with Green,
The waving Moon and trembling Leaves are seen;
When freshen'd Grass now bears it self upright,
And makes cool Banks to pleasing Rest invite,
Whence springs the Woodbind, and the Bramble–Rose,
And where the sleepy Cowslip shelter'd grows;
Whilst now a paler Hue the Foxglove takes,
Yet checquers still with Red the dusky brakes:
When scattered Glow-worms, but in Twilight fine,
Shew trivial Beauties watch their Hour to shine;
Whilst Salisb'ry stands the Test of every Light, {3}
In perfect Charms, and perfect Virtue bright:
When Odours, which declin'd repelling Day,
Thro' temp'rate Air uninterrupted stray;
When darken'd Groves their softest Shadows wear,
And falling Waters we distinctly hear;
When thro' the Gloom more venerable shows
Some ancient Fabrick, awful in Repose,
While Sunburnt Hills their swarthy Looks conceal,
And swelling Haycocks thicken up the Vale:
When the loos'd Horse now, as his Pasture leads,
Comes slowly grazing thro' th' adjoining Meads,
Whose stealing Pace and lengthen'd Shade we fear,
Till torn up Forage in his Teeth we hear:
When nibbling Sheep at large pursue their Food,
And unmolested Kine rechew the Cud;
When Curlews cry beneath the Village-walls,
And to her straggling Brood the Partridge calls;
Their shortliv'd Jubilee the Creatures keep,
Which but endures, whilst Tyrant-Man do's sleep;
When a sedate Content the Spirit feels,
And no fierce Light disturbs, whilst it reveals;
But silent Musings urge the Mind to seek
Something, too high for Syllables to speak;
Till the free Soul, to a compos'dness charm'd,
Finding the Elements of Rage disarm'd,
O'er all below a solemn Quiet grown,
Joys in th' inferiour World and thinks it like her Own:
In such a Night let Me abroad remain,
Till Morning breaks, and All's confus'd again;
Our Cares, our Toils, our Clamours are renew'd,
Or Pleasures, seldom reach'd, again pursu'd.

A Quack, to no true Skill in Physick bred,
With frequent Visits cursed his Patient's Bed;
Enquiring, how he did his Broths digest,
How chim'd his Pulse, and how he took his Rest:
If shudd'ring Cold by Burnings was pursu'd,
And at what time the Aguish Fit renew'd.
The waining Wretch, each day become more faint,
In like proportion doubles his Complaint;
Now swooning Sweats he begs him to allay,
Now give his Lungs more liberty to play,
And take from empty'd Veins these scorching Heats away:
Or if he saw the Danger did increase,
To warn him fair, and let him part in Peace.
My Life for yours, no Hazard in your Case
The Quack replies; your Voice, your Pulse, your Face,

Good Signs afford, and what you seem to feel
Proceeds from Vapours, which we'll help with Steel.
With kindled Rage, more than Distemper, burns
The suff'ring Man, who thus in haste returns:
No more of Vapours, your belov'd Disease,
Your Ignorance's Skreen, your What-you-please,
With which you cheat poor Females of their Lives,
Whilst Men dispute not, so it rid their Wives.
For me, I'll speak free as I've paid my Fees;
My Flesh consumes, I perish by degrees:
And as thro' weary Nights I count my Pains,
No Rest is left me, and no Strength remains.
All for the Better, Sir, the Quack rejoins:
Exceeding promising are all these Signs.
Falling-away, your Nurses can confirm,
Was ne'er in Sickness thought a Mark of Harm.
The want of Strength is for the Better still;
Since Men of Vigour Fevers soonest kill.
Ev'n with this Gust of Passion I am pleas'd;
For they're most Patient who the most are seiz'd.

But let me see! here's that which all repels:
Then shakes, as he some formal Story tells,
The Treacle-water, mixt with powder'd Shells.
My Stomach's gone (what d'you infer from thence?)
Nor will with the least Sustenance dispense.
The Better; for, where appetite endures,
Meats intermingle, and no Med'cine cures.
The Stomach, you must know, Sir, is a Part–
But, sure, I feel Death's Pangs about my Heart.

Nay then Farewel! I need no more attend
The Quack replies. A sad approaching Friend
Questions the Sick, why he retires so fast;
Who says, because of Fees I've paid the Last,
And, whilst all Symptoms tow'rd my Cure agree,
Am, for the Better, Dying as you see.

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.

Part Of The Fifth Scene In The Second Act Of Athalia

Enter, as in the Temple of Jerusalem,
ATHALIA, MATHAN, ABNER

[Mathan]
WHY, to our Wonder, in this Place is seen,
Thus discompos'd, and alter'd, Juda's Queen?
May we demand, what Terrors seize your Breast,
Or, why your Steps are to this House addrest,
Where your unguarded Person stands expos'd
To secret Foes, within its Walls inclos'd?
Can it be thought that you remit that Hate?


[Athalia]
No more! but Both observe what I relate:
Not, that I mean (recalling Times of Blood)
To make you Judges of the Paths I trod,
When to the empty'd Throne I boldly rose,
Treating all Intercepters as my Foes.
'Twas Heav'ns Decree, that I should thus succeed,
Whose following Favour justifies the Deed,
Extending my unlimited Command
From Sea to Sea o'er the obedient Land:
Whilst your Jerusalem all Peace enjoys,
Nor now the' encroaching Philistine destroys,
Nor wandring Arab his Pavilion spreads,
Near Jordan's Banks, nor wastes his flow'ry Meads.
The great Assyrian, Terror of your Kings,
Who bought his Friendship with their holiest Things,
Yields that a Sister, of his pow'rful Race,
Should sway these Realms, and dignify the Place.
Nor need we add the late insulting Foe,
The furious Jehu does this Sceptre know,
And sinks beneath the Load of conscious Fears,
When in Samaria he my Actions hears.
Distrest by Foes, which I've against him rais'd,
He sees me unmolested, fix'd, and pleas'd;
At least, till now thus glorious was my State;
But something's threatned from relaxing Fate,
And the last Night, which should have brought me Rest,
Has all these great Ideas dispossest.
A Dream, a Vision, an apparent View
Of what, methinks, does still my Steps pursue,
Hangs on my pensive Heart, and bears it down
More than the weight of an objected Crown,
My Mother (be the Name with Rev'rence spoke!)
Ere chearful Day thro' horrid Shades had broke,
Approach'd my Bed, magnificent her Dress,
Her Shape, her Air did Jesabel confess:
Nor seem'd her Face to have refus'd that Art,
Which, in despight of Age, does Youth impart,
And which she practis'd, scorning to decay,
Or to be vanquish'd ev'n in Nature's way.
Thus all array'd, in such defying Pride
As when th' injurious Conqu'ror she descry'd,
And did in height of Pow'r for ill-got Pow'r deride.
To me she spake, these Accents to me came:
"Thou worthy Daughter of my soaring Fame,
"Tho' with a more transcendent Spirit fill'd,
"Tho' struggling Pow'rs attempt thy Life to shield,
"The Hebrew's God (Oh, tremble at the sound!)
"Shall Thee and Them, and all their Rights confound.
A pitying Groan concludes, no Word of Aid.
My Arms I thought to throw about the Shade
Of that lov'd Parent, but my troubled Sight
No more directed them to aim aright,
Nor ought presented, but a heap of Bones,
For which fierce Dogs contended on the Stones,
With Flakes of mangled Flesh, that quiv'ring still
Proclaim'd the Freshness of the suffer'd Ill;
Distain'd with Blood the Pavement, and the Wall,
Appear'd as in that memorable Fall–


[Abner]
Oh! just avenging Heaven!– [aside.

[Mathan]
Sure, Dreams like these are for Prevention given.

The King And The Shepherd

Through ev'ry Age some Tyrant Passion reigns:
Now Love prevails, and now Ambition gains
Reason's lost Throne, and sov'reign Rule maintains.
Tho' beyond Love's, Ambition's Empire goes;
For who feels Love, Ambition also knows,
And proudly still aspires to be possest
Of Her, he thinks superior to the rest.

As cou'd be prov'd, but that our plainer Task
Do's no such Toil, or Definitions ask;
But to be so rehears'd, as first 'twas told,
When such old Stories pleas'd in Days of old.


A King, observing how a Shepherd's Skill
Improv'd his Flocks, and did the Pastures fill,
That equal Care th' assaulted did defend,
And the secur'd and grazing Part attend,
Approves the Conduct, and from Sheep and Curs
Transfers the Sway, and changed his Wool to Furrs.
Lord-Keeper now, as rightly he divides
His just Decrees, and speedily decides;
When his sole Neighbor, whilst he watch'd the Fold,
A Hermit poor, in Contemplation old,
Hastes to his Ear, with safe, but lost Advice,
Tells him such Heights are levell'd in a trice,
Preferments treach'rous, and her Paths of Ice:
And that already sure 't had turn'd his Brain,
Who thought a Prince's Favour to retain.
Nor seem'd unlike, in this mistaken Rank,
The sightless Wretch, who froze upon a Bank
A Serpent found, which for a Staff he took,
And us'd as such (his own but lately broke)
Thanking the Fates, who thus his Loss supply'd,
Nor marking one, that with amazement cry'd,
Throw quickly from thy Hand that sleeping Ill;
A Serpent 'tis, that when awak'd will kill.

A Serpent this! th' uncaution'd Fool replies:
A Staff it feels, nor shall my want of Eyes
Make me believe, I have no Senses left,
And thro' thy Malice be of this bereft;
Which Fortune to my Hand has kindly sent
To guide my Steps, and stumbling to prevent.
No Staff, the Man proceeds; but to thy harm
A Snake 'twill prove: The Viper, now grown warm
Confirm'd it soon, and fasten'd on his Arm.

Thus wilt thou find, Shepherd believe it true,
Some Ill, that shall this seeming Good ensue;
Thousand Distastes, t' allay thy envy'd Gains,
Unthought of, on the parcimonious Plains.
So prov'd the Event, and Whisp'rers now defame
The candid Judge, and his Proceedings blame.
By Wrongs, they say, a Palace he erects,
The Good oppresses, and the Bad protects.
To view this Seat the King himself prepares,
Where no Magnificence or Pomp appears,
But Moderation, free from each Extream,
Whilst Moderation is the Builder's Theme.
Asham'd yet still the Sycophants persist,
That Wealth he had conceal'd within a Chest,
Which but attended some convenient Day,
To face the Sun, and brighter Beams display.
The Chest unbarr'd, no radiant Gems they find,
No secret Sums to foreign Banks design'd,
But humble Marks of an obscure Recess,
Emblems of Care, and Instruments of Peace;
The Hook, the Scrip, and for unblam'd Delight
The merry Bagpipe, which, ere fall of Night,
Cou'd sympathizing Birds to tuneful Notes invite.
Welcome ye Monuments of former Joys!
Welcome! to bless again your Master's Eyes,
And draw from Courts, th' instructed Shepherd cries.
No more dear Relicks! we no more will part,
You shall my Hands employ, who now revive my Heart.
No Emulations, nor corrupted Times
Shall falsely blacken, or seduce to Crimes
Him, whom your honest Industry can please,
Who on the barren Down can sing from inward Ease.


How's this! the Monarch something mov'd rejoins.
With such low Thoughts, and Freedom from Designs,
What made thee leave a Life so fondly priz'd,
To be in Crouds, or envy'd, or despis'd?

Forgive me, Sir, and Humane Frailty see,
The Swain replies, in my past State and Me;
All peaceful that, to which I vow return.
But who alas! (tho' mine at length I mourn)
Was e'er without the Curse of some Ambition born.

In Fanscomb Barn (who knows not Fanscomb Barn?)
Seated between the sides of rising Hills,
Whose airy Tops o'erlook the Gallick Seas,
Whilst, gentle Stower, thy Waters near them flow,
To beautify the Seats that crown thy Banks.
–In this Retreat
Through Ages pass'd consign'd for Harbour meet,
And Place of sweet Repose to Wand'rers poor,
The weary Strolepedon felt that Ease,
Which many a dangerous Borough had deny'd
To him, and his Budgeta lov'd Compeer;
Nor Food was wanting to the happy Pair,
Who with meek Aspect, and precarious Tone,
Well suited to their Hunger and Degree,
Had mov'd the Hearts of hospitable Dames,
To furnish such Repast as Nature crav'd.
Whilst more to please the swarthy Bowl appears,
Replete with Liquor, globulous to fight,
And threat'ning Inundation o'er the Brim;
Yet, ere it to the longing Lips was rais'd
Of him who held it at its due Desert,
And more than all entreated Bounty priz'd,
Into the strong Profundity he throws
The floating Healths of Females, blith and young,
Who there had rendezvouz'd in past Delight,
And to stol'n Plenty added clamorous Mirth,
With Song and Dance, and every jovial Prank
Befitting buxom Crew, untied by Forms:
Whilst kind Budgeta nam'd such sturdy Youths,
As next into her tender Thoughts revolv'd,
And now were straggling East, and West, and South,
Hoof-beating, and at large, as Chance directs,
Still shifting Paths, lest Men (tho' stil'd of Peace)
Should urge their calmer Thoughts to Iron War,
Or force them to promote coercive Laws,
Beating that Hemp which oft entraps their Lives;
Or into Cordage pleated, and amass'd,
Deprives unruly Flesh of tempting Skin.
Thus kind Remembrance brought the Absent near
And hasten'd the Return of either's Pledge:
Brown were the Toasts, but not unsav'ry found
To Fancies clear'd by Exercise and Air,
Which the spirituous Nectar still improves,
And gliding now thro' every cherish'd Vein,
New Warmth diffus'd, new Cogitations bred,
With Self-conceit of Person, and of Parts.
When Strolepedon (late distorted Wight,
Limb-wanting to the View, and all mis-shap'd)
Permits a pinion'd Arm to fill the Sleeve,
Erst pendant, void, and waving with the Wind,
The Timber-Leg obsequiously withdraws,
And gives to that of Bone Precedence due.
Thus undisguis'd that Form again he wears,
Which Damsel fond had drawn from houshold Toils,
And strict Behests of Parents, old and scorn'd;
Whilst farther yet his Intellects confess
The bouzy Spell dilated and inhans'd,
Ripe for Description, and sett Turns of Speech,
Which to Conjugal Spouse were thus addrest.
My Wife (acknowledg'd such thro' maunding Tribes,
As long as mutual Love, the only Law,
Of Hedge or Barn, can bind our easy Faiths)
Be thou observant of thy Husband's Voice,
Sole Auditor of Flights and Figures bold;
Know, that the Valley which we hence descry
Richly adorn'd, is Fanscomb-Bottom call'd:
But whether from these Walls it takes the Name,
Or they from that, let Antiquaries tell,
And Men, well-read in Stories obsolete,
Whilst such Denomination either claims,
As speaks Affinity contiguous–
Thence let thy scatter'd Sight, and oft-griev'd Smell
Engulf the Sweets, and Colours free dispos'd
To Flowers promiscuous, and redundant Plants.
And (if the drouzy Vapour will admit,
Which from the Bowl soon triumphs o'er thy Lidds,
And Thee the weaker Vessel still denotes)
With Looks erect observe the verdant Slope
Of graceful Hills, fertile in Bush and Brake,
Whose Height attain'd, th' expatiated Downs
Shall wider Scenes display of rural Glee;
Where banner'd Lords, and fair escutcheon'd Knights,
With gentle Squires, and the Staff-griping Clown,
Pursue the trembling Prey impetuous;
Which yet escaping, when the Night returns,
And downy Beds enfold their careless Limbs,
More wakeful Trundle (Knapsack-bearing Cur)
Follows the Scent untrac'd by nobler Hounds,
And brings to us the Fruit of all their Toil.

Thus sung the Bard, whom potent Liquor rais'd,
Nor so contented, wish'd sublimer Aid.
Ye Wits! (he cry'd) ye Poets! (Loiterers vain,
Who like to us, in Idleness and Want
Consume fantastick Hours) hither repair,
And tell to list'ning Mendicants the Cause
Of Wonders, here observ'd but not discuss'd:
Where, the White Sparrow never soil'd her Plumes,
Nor the dull Russet cloaths the Snowy Mouse.
To Helicon you might the Spring compare,
That flows near Pickersdane renowned Stream,
Which, for Disport and Play, the Youths frequent,
Who, train'd in Learned School of ancient Wye,
First at this Fount suck in the Muses Lore,
When mixt with Product of the Indian Cane,
They drink delicious Draughts, and part inspir'd,
Fit for the Banks of Isis, or of Cham,
(For Cham, and Isis to the Bard were known,
A Servitor, when young in College-Hall,
Tho' vagrant Liberty he early chose,
Who yet, when Drunk, retain'd Poetick Phrase.)
Nor shou'd (quoth he) that Well, o'erhung with shade,
Amidst those neighb'ring Trees of dateless growth,
Be left unfathom'd by your nicer Skill

Who thence cou'd extricate a thousand Charms,
Or to oblivious Lethe might convert
The stagnant Waters of the sleepy Pool.
But most unhappy was that Morphean Sound
For lull'd Budgeta, who had long desir'd
Dismission fair from Tales, not throughly scann'd,
Thinking her Love a Sympathy confest,
When the Word Sleepy parted from his Lips,
Sunk affable and easy to that Rest,
Which Straw affords to Minds, unvex'd with Cares.

What art thou, SPLEEN, which ev'ry thing dost ape?
Thou Proteus to abus'd Mankind,
Who never yet thy real Cause cou'd find,
Or fix thee to remain in one continued Shape.
Still varying thy perplexing Form,
Now a Dead Sea thou'lt represent,
A Calm of stupid Discontent,
Then, dashing on the Rocks wilt rage into a Storm.
Trembling sometimes thou dost appear,
Dissolv'd into a Panick Fear;
On Sleep intruding dost thy Shadows spread,
Thy gloomy Terrours round the silent Bed,
And croud with boading Dreams the Melancholy Head:
Or, when the Midnight Hour is told,
And drooping Lids thou still dost waking hold,
Thy fond Delusions cheat the Eyes,
Before them antick Spectres dance,
Unusual Fires their pointed Heads advance,
And airy Phantoms rise.
Such was the monstrous Vision seen,
When Brutus (now beneath his Cares opprest,
And all Rome's Fortunes rolling in his Breast,
Before Philippi's latest Field,
Before his Fate did to Octavius lead)
Was vanquish'd by the Spleen.

Falsly, the Mortal Part we blame
Of our deprest, and pond'rous Frame,
Which, till the First degrading Sin
Let Thee, its dull Attendant, in,
Still with the Other did comply,
Nor clogg'd the Active Soul, dispos'd to fly,
And range the Mansions of it's native Sky.
Nor, whilst in his own Heaven he dwelt,
Whilst Man his Paradice possest,
His fertile Garden in the fragrant East,
And all united Odours smelt,
No armed Sweets, until thy Reign,
Cou'd shock the Sense, or in the Face
A flusht, unhandsom Colour place.
Now the Jonquille o'ercomes the feeble Brain;
We faint beneath the Aromatick Pain, {6}
Till some offensive Scent thy Pow'rs appease,
And Pleasure we resign for short, and nauseous Ease.

In ev'ry One thou dost possess,
New are thy Motions, and thy Dress:
Now in some Grove a list'ning Friend
Thy false Suggestions must attend,
Thy whisper'd Griefs, thy fancy'd Sorrows hear,
Breath'd in a Sigh, and witness'd by a Tear;
Whilst in the light, and vulgar Croud,
Thy Slaves, more clamorous and loud,
By Laughters unprovok'd, thy Influence too confess.
In the Imperious Wife thou Vapours art,
Which from o'erheated Passions rise
In Clouds to the attractive Brain,
Until descending thence again,
Thro' the o'er-cast, and show'ring Eyes,
Upon her Husband's soften'd Heart,
He the disputed Point must yield,
Something resign of the contested Field;
Til Lordly Man, born to Imperial Sway,
Compounds for Peace, to make that Right away,
And Woman, arm'd with Spleen, do's servilely Obey.

The Fool, to imitate the Wits,
Complains of thy pretended Fits,
And Dulness, born with him, wou'd lay
Upon thy accidental Sway;
Because, sometimes, thou dost presume
Into the ablest Heads to come:
That, often, Men of Thoughts refin'd,
Impatient of unequal Sence,
Such slow Returns, where they so much dispense,
Retiring from the Croud, are to thy Shades inclin'd.
O'er me, alas! thou dost too much prevail:
I feel thy Force, whilst I against thee rail;
I feel my Verse decay, and my crampt Numbers fail.
Thro' thy black Jaundice I all Objects see,
As Dark, and Terrible as Thee,
My Lines decry'd, and my Employment thought
An useless Folly, or presumptuous Fault:
Whilst in the Muses Paths I stray,
Whilst in their Groves, and by their secret Springs
My Hand delights to trace unusual Things,
And deviates from the known, and common way;
Nor will in fading Silks compose
Faintly th' inimitable Rose,
Fill up an ill-drawn Bird, or paint on Glass
The Sov'reign's blurr'd and undistinguish'd Face,
The threatning Angel, and the speaking Ass.

Patron thou art to ev'ry gross Abuse,
The sullen Husband's feign'd Excuse,
When the ill Humour with his Wife he spends,
And bears recruited Wit, and Spirits to his Friends.
The Son of Bacchus pleads thy Pow'r,
As to the Glass he still repairs,
Pretends but to remove thy Cares,
Snatch from thy Shades one gay, and smiling Hour,
And drown thy Kingdom in a purple Show'r.
When the Coquette, whom ev'ry Fool admires,
Wou'd in Variety be Fair,
And, changing hastily the Scene
From Light, Impertinent, and Vain,
Assumes a soft, a melancholy Air,
And of her Eyes rebates the wand'ring Fires,
The careless Posture, and the Head reclin'd,
The thoughtful, and composed Face,
Proclaiming the withdrawn, the absent Mind,
Allows the Fop more liberty to gaze,
Who gently for the tender Cause inquires;
The Cause, indeed, is a Defect in Sense,
Yet is the Spleen alleg'd, and still the dull Pretence.
But these are thy fantastic Harms,
The Tricks of thy pernicious Stage,
Which do the weaker Sort engage;
Worse are the dire Effects of thy more pow'rful Charms.
By Thee Religion, all we know,
That shou'd enlighten here below,
Is veil'd in Darkness, and perplext
With anxious Doubts, with endless Scruples vext,
And some Restraint imply'd from each perverted Text.

Whilst Touch not, Taste not, what is freely giv'n,
Is but thy niggard Voice, disgracing bounteous Heav'n.
From Speech restrain'd, by thy Deceits abus'd,
To Desarts banish'd, or in Cells reclus'd,
Mistaken Vot'ries to the Pow'rs Divine,
Whilst they a purer Sacrifice design,
Do but the Spleen obey, and worship at thy Shrine.
In vain to chase thee ev'ry Art we try,
In vain all Remedies apply,
In vain the Indian Leaf infuse,
Or the parch'd Eastern Berry bruise;
Some pass, in vain, those Bounds, and nobler Liquors use.
Now Harmony, in vain, we bring,
Inspire the Flute, and touch the String.
From Harmony no help is had;
Musick but soothes thee, if too sweetly sad,
And if too light, but turns thee gayly Mad.

Tho' the Physicians greatest Gains,
Altho' his growing Wealth he sees
Daily increas'd by Ladies Fees,
Yet dost thou baffle all his studious Pains.
Not skilful Lower thy Source cou'd find,
Or thro' the well-dissected Body trace
The secret, the mysterious ways,
By which thou dost surprize, and prey upon the Mind.
Tho' in the Search, too deep for Humane Thought,
With unsuccessful Toil he wrought,
'Til thinking Thee to've catch'd, Himself by thee was caught,
Retain'd thy Pris'ner, thy acknowleg'd Slave,
And sunk beneath thy Chain to a lamented Grave.

The Poor Man's Lamb

NOW spent the alter'd King, in am'rous Cares,
The Hours of sacred Hymns and solemn Pray'rs:
In vain the Alter waits his slow returns,
Where unattended Incense faintly burns:
In vain the whisp'ring Priests their Fears express,
And of the Change a thousand Causes guess.
Heedless of all their Censures He retires,
And in his Palace feeds his secret Fires;
Impatient, till from Rabbah Tydings tell,
That near those Walls the poor Uriah fell,
Led to the Onset by a Chosen Few,
Who at the treacherous Signal, soon withdrew;
Nor to his Rescue e'er return'd again,
Till by fierce Ammon's Sword they saw the Victim slain.
'Tis pass'd, 'tis done! the holy Marriage-Knot,
Too strong to be unty'd, at last is cut.
And now to Bathsheba the King declares,
That with his Heart, the Kingdom too is hers;
That Israel's Throne, and longing Monarch's Arms
Are to be fill'd but with her widow'd Charms.
Nor must the Days of formal Tears exceed,
To cross the Living, and abuse the Dead.
This she denies; and signs of Grief are worn;
But mourns no more than may her Face adorn,
Give to those Eyes, which Love and Empire fir'd,
A melting Softness more to be desir'd;
Till the fixt Time, tho' hard to be endur'd,
Was pass'd, and a sad Consort's Name procur'd:
When, with the Pomp that suits a Prince's Thought,
By Passion sway'd, and glorious Woman taught,
A Queen she's made, than Michal seated higher,
Whilst light unusual Airs prophane the hallow'd Lyre.

Where art thou Nathan? where's that Spirit now,
Giv'n to brave Vice, tho' on a Prince's Brow?
In what low Cave, or on what Desert Coast,
Now Virtue wants it, is thy Presence lost?


But lo! he comes, the Rev'rend Bard appears,
Defil'd with Dust his awful silver Hairs,
And his rough Garment, wet with falling Tears.
The King this mark'd, and conscious wou'd have fled,
The healing Balm which for his Wounds was shed:
Till the more wary Priest the Serpents Art,
Join'd to the Dove-like Temper of his Heart,
And thus retards the Prince just ready now to part.


Hear me, the Cause betwixt two Neighbors hear,
Thou, who for Justice dost the Sceptre bear:
Help the Opprest, nor let me weep alone
For him, that calls for Succour from the Throne.
Good Princes for Protection are Ador'd,
And Greater by the Shield, than by the Sword.
This clears the Doubt, and now no more he fears
The Cause his Own, and therefore stays and hears:
When thus the Prophet: –
–In a flow'ry Plain
A King-like Man does in full Plenty reign;
Casts round his Eyes, in vain, to reach the Bound,
Which Jordan's Flood sets to his fertile Ground:
Countless his Flocks, whilst Lebanon contains
A Herd as large, kept by his numerous Swains,
That fill with morning Bellowings the cool Air,
And to the Cedar's shade at scorching Noon repair.
Near to this Wood a lowly Cottage stands,
Built by the humble Owner's painful Hands;
Fenc'd by a Stubble-roof, from Rain and Heat,
Secur'd without, within all Plain and Neat.
A Field of small Extent surrounds the Place,
In which One single Ewe did sport and graze:
This his whole Stock, till in full time there came,
To bless his utmost Hopes, a snowy Lamb;
Which, lest the Season yet too Cold might prove,
And Northern Blasts annoy it from the Grove,
Or tow'ring Fowl on the weak Prey might sieze,
(For with his Store his Fears must too increase)
He brings it Home, and lays it by his Side,
At once his Wealth, his Pleasure and his Pride;
Still bars the Door, by Labour call'd away,
And, when returning at the Close of Day,
With One small Mess himself, and that sustains,
And half his Dish it shares, and half his slender Gains.
When to the great Man's table now there comes
A Lord as great, follow'd by hungry Grooms:

For these must be provided sundry Meats,
The best for Some, for Others coarser Cates.
One Servant, diligent above the rest
To help his Master to contrive the Feast,
Extols the Lamb was nourished with such Care,
So fed, so lodg'd, it must be Princely Fare;
And having this, my Lord his own may spare.
In haste he sends, led by no Law, but Will,
Not to entreat, or purchase, but to Kill.
The Messenger's arriv'd: the harmless Spoil,
Unus'd to fly, runs Bleating to the Toil:
Whilst for the Innocent the Owner fear'd,
And, sure wou'd move, cou'd Poverty be heard.
Oh spare (he cries) the Product of my Cares,
My Stock's Encrease, the Blessing on my Pray'rs;
My growing Hope, and Treasure of my Life!
More was he speaking, when the murd'ring Knife
Shew'd him, his Suit, tho' just, must be deny'd,
And the white Fleece in its own Scarlet dy'd;
Whilst the poor helpless Wretch stands weeping by,
And lifts his Hands for Justice to the Sky.

Which he shall find, th' incensed King replies,
When for the proud Offence th' Oppressor dies.
O Nathan! by the Holy Name I swear,
Our Land such Wrongs unpunished shall not bear
If, with the Fault, th' Offender thou declare.

To whom the Prophet, closing with the Time,
Thou art the Man replies, and thine th' ill-natur'd Crime.
Nor think, against thy Place, or State, I err;
A Pow'r above thee does this Charge prefer;
Urg'd by whose Spirit, hither am I brought
T' expostulate his Goodness and thy Fault;
To lead thee back to those forgotten Years,
In Labour spent, and lowly Rustick Cares,
When in the Wilderness thy Flocks but few,
Thou didst the Shepherd's simple Art pursue
Thro' crusting Frosts, and penetrating Dew:
Till wondring Jesse saw six Brothers past,
And Thou Elected, Thou the Least and Last;
A Sceptre to thy Rural Hand convey'd,
And in thy Bosom Royal Beauties laid;
A lovely Princess made thy Prize that Day,
When on the shaken Ground the Giant lay
Stupid in Death, beyond the Reach of Cries
That bore thy shouted Fame to list'ning Skies,
And drove the flying Foe as fast away,
As Winds, of old, Locusts to Egypt's Sea.
Thy Heart with Love, thy Temples with Renown,
Th' All-giving Hand of Heav'n did largely crown,
Whilst yet thy Cheek was spread with youthful Down.
What more cou'd craving Man of God implore?
Or what for favour'd Man cou'd God do more?
Yet cou'd not These, nor Israel's Throne, suffice
Intemp'rate Wishes, drawn thro' wand'ring Eyes.

One Beauty (not thy own) and seen by chance,
Melts down the Work of Grace with an alluring Glance;
Chafes the Spirit, fed by sacred Art,
And blots the Title AFTER GOD'S OWN HEART;
Black Murder breeds to level at his Head,
Who boasts so fair a Part'ner of his Bed,
Nor longer must possess those envy'd Charms,
The single Treasure of his House, and Arms:
Giving, by this thy Fall, cause to Blaspheme
To all the Heathen the Almighty Name.
For which the Sword shall still thy Race pursue,
And, in revolted Israel's scornful View,
Thy captiv'd Wives shall be in Triumph led
Unto a bold Usurper's shameful Bed;
Who from thy Bowels sprung shall seize thy Throne,
And scourge thee by a Sin beyond thy own.
Thou hast thy Fault in secret Darkness done;
But this the World shall see before the Noonday's Sun.


Enough! the King, enough! the Saint replies,
And pours his swift Repentance from his Eyes;
Falls on the Ground, and tears the Nuptial Vest,
By which his Crime's Completion was exprest:
Then with a Sigh blasting to Carnal Love,
Drawn deep as Hell, and piercing Heaven, above
Let Me (he cries) let Me attend his Rod,
For I have sinn'd, for I have lost my God.


Hold! (says the Prophet ) of that Speech beware,
God ne'er was lost, unless by Man's Despair.
The Wound that is thus willingly reveal'd,
Th' Almighty is as willing should be heal'd.
Thus wash'd in Tears, thy Soul as fair does show
As the first Fleece, which on the Lamb does grow,
Or on the Mountain's top the lately fallen Snow.

Yet to the World that Justice may appear
Acting her Part impartial, and severe,
The Offspring of thy Sin shall soon resign
That Life, for which thou must not once repine;
But with submissive Grief his Fate deplore,
And bless the Hand, that does inflict no more.

Shall I then pay but Part, and owe the Whole?
My Body's Fruit, for my offending Soul?
Shall I no more endure (the King demands)
And 'scape thus lightly his offended Hands?
Oh! let him All resume, my Crown, my Fame;
Reduce me to the Nothing, whence I came;
Call back his Favours, faster than he gave;
And, if but Pardon'd, strip me to my Grave:


Since (tho' he seems to Lose ) He surely Wins,
Who gives but earthly Comforts for his Sins.

I

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.

II

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.

III

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!

IV

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.

V

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?

VI

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.

VII

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
Anticipating learns.
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!

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