Epilogue To Mary Queen Of Scots

What could luxurious woman wish for more,
To fix her joys, or to extend her pow'r?
Their every wish was in this Mary seen,
Gay, witty, youthful, beauteous, and a queen.
Vain, useless blessings with ill-conduct join'd!
Light as the air, and fleeting as the wind.
Whatever poets write, and lovers vow,
Beauty, what poor omnipotence hast thou!
Queen Bess had wisdom, council, power, and laws;
How few espous'd a wretched beauty's cause!
Learn thence, ye fair, more solid charms to prize;
Contemn the idle flatt'rers of your eyes.
The brightest object shines but while 'tis new:
That influence lessens by familiar view.
Monarchs and beauties rule with equal sway,
All strive to serve, and glory to obey;
Alike unpitied when depos'd they grow --
Men mock the idol of their former vow.
Two great examples have been shown today,
To what sure ruin passion does betray;
What long repentance to short joys is due;
When reason rules, what glory must ensue.
If you will love, love like Eliza then;
Love for amusement, like those traitors, men.
Think that the pastime of a leisure hour
She favour'd oft -- but never shar'd her pow'r.
The traveller by desert wolves pursu'd,
If by his heart the savage foe's subdued,
The world will still the noble act applaud,
Though victory was gain'd by needful fraud.
Such is, my tender sex, our helpless case;
And such the barbarous heart, hid by the begging face;
By passion fir'd, and not withheld by shame,
They cruel hunters are, we trembling game.
Trust me, dear ladies (For I know 'em well),
They burn to triumph, and they sigh to tell:
Cruel to them that yield, cullies to them that sell.
Believe me, 'tis by far the wiser course,
Superior art should meet superior force:
Hear, but be faithful to your int'rest still:
Secure your hearts -- then fool with whom you will.

Epistle From Mrs. Yonge To Her Husband

Think not this paper comes with vain pretense
To move your pity, or to mourn th'offense.
Too well I know that hard obdurate heart;
No softening mercy there will take my part,
Nor can a woman's arguments prevail,
When even your patron's wise example fails.
But this last privilege I still retain;
Th'oppressed and injured always may complain.
Too, too severely laws of honor bind
The weak submissive sex of womankind.
If sighs have gained or force compelled our hand,
Deceived by art, or urged by stern command,
Whatever motive binds the fatal tie,
The judging world expects our constancy.
Just heaven! (for sure in heaven does justice reign,
Though tricks below that sacred name profane)
To you appealing I submit my cause,
Nor fear a judgment from impartial laws.
All bargains but conditional are made;
The purchase void, the creditor unpaid;
Defrauded servants are from service free;
A wounded slave regains his liberty.
For wives ill used no remedy remains,
To daily racks condemned, and to eternal chains.
From whence is this unjust distinction grown?
Are we not formed with passions like your own?
Nature with equal fire our souls endued,
Our minds as haughty, and as warm our blood;
O'er the wide world your pleasures you pursue,
The change is justified by something new;
But we must sigh in silence -- and be true.
Our sex's weakness you expose and blame
(Of every prattling fop the common theme).
Yet from this weakness you suppose is due
Sublimer virtue than your Cato knew.
Had heaven designed us trials so severe,
It would have formed our tempers then to bear.
And I have borne (oh what have I not borne!)
The pang of jealousy, the insults of scorn.
Wearied at length, I from your sight remove,
And place my future hopes in secret love.
In the gay bloom of glowing youth retired,
I quit the woman's joy to be admired,
With that small pension your hard heart allows,
Renounce your fortune, and release your vows.
To custom (though unjust) so much is due;
I hide my frailty from the public view.
My conscience clear, yet sensible of shame,
My life I hazard, to preserve my fame.
And I prefer this low inglorious state
To vile dependence on the thing I hate --
But you pursue me to this last retreat.
Dragged into light, my tender crime is shown
And every circumstance of fondness known.
Beneath the shelter of the law you stand,
And urge my ruin with a cruel hand,
While to my fault thus rigidly severe,
Tamely submissive to the man you fear.
This wretched outcast, this abandoned wife,
Has yet this joy to sweeten shameful life:
By your mean conduct, infamously loose,
You are at once my accuser and excuse.
Let me be damned by the censorious prude
(stupidly dull, or spiritually lewd),
My hapless case will surely pity find
From every just and reasonable mind.
When to the final sentence I submit,
The lips condemn me, but their souls acquit.
No more my husband, to your pleasures go,
The sweets of your recovered freedom know.
Go: court the brittle friendship of the great,
Smile at his board, or at his levee wait;
And when dismissed, to madam's toilet fly,
More than her chambermaids, or glasses, lie,
Tell her how young she looks, how heavenly fair,
Admire the lilies and the roses there.
Your high ambition may be gratified,
Some cousin of her own be made your bride,
And you the father of a glorious race
Endowed with Ch------l's strength and Low---r's face.

Verses Addressed To The Imitator Of The First Satire Of The Second Book Of Horace

In two large columns on thy motley page
Where Roman wit is strip'd with English rage;
Where ribaldry to satire makes pretence,
And modern scandal rolls with ancient sense:
Whilst on one side we see how Horace thought,
And on the other how he never wrote;
Who can believe, who view the bad, the good,
That the dull copyist better understood
That spirit he pretends to imitate,
Than heretofore that Greek he did translate?
Thine is just such an image of his pen,
As thou thyself art of the sons of men,
Where our own species in burlesque we trace,
A sign-post likeness of the human race,
That is at once resemblance and disgrace.
Horace can laugh, is delicate, is clear,
You only coarsely rail, or darkly sneer;
His style is elegant, his diction pure,
Whilst none thy crabbed numbers can endure;
Hard as thy heart, and as thy birth obscure.
If he has thorns, they all on roses grow;
Thine like thistles, and mean brambles show;
With this exception, that, though rank the soil,
Weeds as they are, they seem produc'd by toil.
Satire should, like a polish'd razor, keen,
Wound with a touch, that's scarcely felt or seen:
Thine is an oyster-knife, that hacks and hews;
The rage, but not the talent to abuse;
And is in hate, what love is in the stews.
'Tis the gross lust of hate, that still annoys,
Without distinction, as gross love enjoys:
Neither to folly, nor to vice confin'd,
The object of thy spleen is humankind:
It preys on all who yield, or who resist:
To thee 'tis provocation to exist.

But if thou seest a great and generous heart,
Thy bow is doubly bent to force a dart.
Nor dignity nor innocence is spar'd,
Nor age, nor sex, nor thrones, nor graves, rever'd.
Nor only justice vainly we demand,
But even benefits can't rein thy hand;
To this or that alike in vain we trust,
Nor find thee less ungrateful than unjust.
Not even youth and beauty can control
The universal rancour of thy soul;
Charms that might soften superstition's rage,
Might humble pride, or thaw the ice of age.
But how should'st thou by beauty's force be mov'd,
No more for loving made than to be lov'd?
It was the equity of righteous Heav'n,
That such a soul to such a form was giv'n;
And shows the uniformity of fate,
That one so odious should be born to hate.
When God created thee, one would believe
He said the same as to the snake of Eve;
To human race antipathy declare,
'Twixt them and thee be everlasting war.
But oh! the sequel of the sentence dread,
And whilst you bruise their heel, beware your head.
Nor think thy weakness shall be thy defence,
The female scold's protection in offence.
Sure 'tis as fair to beat who cannot fight,
As 'tis to libel those who cannot write.
And if thou draw'st thy pen to aid the law,
Others a cudgel, or a rod, may draw.
If none with vengeance yet thy crimes pursue,
Or give thy manifold affronts their due;
If limbs unbroken, skin without a stain,
Unwhipt, unblanketed, unkick'd, unslain,
That wretched little carcase you retain,
The reason is, not that the world wants eyes,
But thou'rt so mean, they see, and they despise:
When fretful porcupine, with ranc'rous will,
From mounted back shoots forth a harmless quill,
Cool the spectators stand; and all the while
Upon the angry little monster smile.
Thus 'tis with thee: -- while impotently safe,
You strike unwounding, we unhurt can laugh.
Who but must laugh, this bully when he sees,
A puny insect shiv'ring at a breeze?
One over-match'd by every blast of wind,
Insulting and provoking all mankind.
Is this the thing to keep mankind in awe,
To make those tremble who escape the law?
Is this the ridicule to live so long,
The deathless satire and immortal song?
No: like the self-blown praise, thy scandal flies;
And, as we're told of wasps, it stings and dies.
If none do yet return th'intended blow,
You all your safety to your dulness owe:
But whilst that armour thy poor corse defends,
'Twill make thy readers few, as are thy friends:
Those, who thy nature loath'd, yet lov'd thy art,
Who lik'd thy head, and yet abhorr'd thy heart:
Chose thee to read, but never to converse,
And scorn'd in prose him whom they priz'd in verse
Ev'n they shall now their partial error see,
Shall shun thy writings like thy company;
And to thy books shall ope their eyes no more
Than to thy person they would do their door.
Nor thou the justice of the world disown,
That leaves thee thus an outcast and alone;
For though in law to murder be to kill,
In equity the murder's in the will:
Then whilst with coward-hand you stab a name,
And try at least t'assassinate our fame,
Like the first bold assassin's be thy lot,
Ne'er be thy guilt forgiven, or forgot;
But, as thou hat'st be hated by mankind,
And with the emblem of thy crooked mind
Mark'd on thy back, like Cain by God's own hand,
Wander, like him, accursed through the land.

The Court Of Dulness

Her palace plac'd beneath a muddy road,
And such the influence of the dull abode,
The carrier's horse above can scarcely drag his load.
Here chose the goddess her belov'd retreat,
Which Phoebus tries in vain to penetrate;
Adorn'd within with shells of small expense,
(Emblems of tinsel rhyme and trifling sense),
Perpetual fogs enclose the sacred cave,
The neighbouring sinks their fragrant odours gave;
In contemplation here she pass'd her hours,
Closely attended by subservient powers:
Bold Profanation with a brazen brow, --
Much to this great ally does Dulness owe:
But still more near the goddess you attend,
Naked Obscenity! her darling friend.
To thee for shelter all the dull still fly,
Pert double meanings e'en at school we try.
What numerous writers owe their praise to thee,
No sex -- no age -- is from thy influence free;
By thee how bright appears the senseless song,
By thee the book is sold, the lines are strong.
The heaviest poet, by thy pow'rful aid,
Warms the brisk youth and charms the sprightly maid;
Where breathes the mortal who's not prov'd thy force
In well-bred pun, or waiting-room discourse?
Such were the chiefs who form'd her gloomy court,
Her pride, her ornaments, and her support:
Behind attended such a numerous crowd
Of quibbles strain'd old rhymes, and laughter loud,
Throngs that might even make a goddess proud.
Yet pensive thoughts lay brooding in her breast,
And fear, the mate of pow'r, her mind oppress'd.
Oft she revolv'd -- for oh, too well she knew
What Merlin sung, and part long since prov'd true,
"When Harry's brows the diadem adorn
From Reformation Learning shall be born;
Slowly in strength the infant shall improve,
The parents' glory and its country's love:
Free from the thraldom of monastic rhymes,
In bright progression bless succeeding times;
Milton free poetry from the monkish chain,
And Addison that Milton shall explain;
Point out the beauties of each living page;
Reform the taste of a degen'rate age;
Show that true wit disdains all little art,
And can at once engage and mend the heart;
Knows even popular applause to gain,
Yet not malicious, wanton, or profane."
This prophecy perplex'd her anxious head;
And, yawning thrice, thus to her sons she said:
"When such an author honour'd shall appear,
'Tis plain, the hour of our destruction's near!
And public rumour now aloud proclaims
At universal monarchy he aims.
What to this hero, whom shall we oppose?
A strong confederacy of stupid foes --
Such brave allies as are by nature fit
To check the progress of o'erflowing wit;
Where envy and where impudence are join'd
To contradict the voice of humankind,
At Dacier's ignorance shall gravely smile,
And blame the coarseness of Spectator's style;
Shall swear that Tickell understands not Greek,
That Addison can't write, nor Walpole speak."
Fir'd by this project Profanation rose --
"One leader, Goddess, let me here propose;
In a near realm, which owns thy gentle sway,
My darling son now chants his pleasing lay,
Trampling on order, decency, and laws,
And vaunts himself the champion of my cause.
Him will I bring to teach the callow youth
To scorn dry morals -- laugh at sacred truth.
All fears of future reckonings he shall quench,
And bid them bravely drink and freely wench.

By his example much, by precept more,
There learn 'tis wit to swear, and safe to whore.
* * * * * *
Mocks Newton's schemes, and Tillotson's discourse,
And imitates the virtues of a horse.
With this design to add to his renown,
He wears the rev'rend dress of band and gown."
The Goddess, pleas'd, bestow'd a gracious grin,
When thus does fair Obscenity begin:
"My humbler subjects are not plac'd so high,
They joke in kitchens, and in cellars ply;
Yet one I have, bred in those worthy schools,
Admir'd by shoals of male and female fools;
In ballads what I dictate he shall sing,
And troops of converts to my banners bring.
Bold in my cause, and most profoundly dull,
With smooth unmeaning rhymes the town shall lull;
Shall sing of worms in great Arbuthnot's strain,
In lewd burlesque the sacred Psalms profane;
To maids of honour songs obscene address,
Nor need we doubt his wonderful success.
Long have I watch'd this genius yet unknown,
Inspir'd his rhyme, and mark'd him for my own;
His early youth in superstition bred,
And monkish legends all the books he read.
Tinctur'd by these, proceeds his love of rhyme,
Milton he scorns, but Crambo thinks divine.
And oh! 'tis sure (our foes confess this truth)
The old Cambronians yield to this stupendous youth.
But present want obscures the poet's name,
Be it my charge to talk him into fame.
My Lansdowne (whose love-songs so smoothly run,
My darling author, and my fav'rite son)
He shall protect the man whom I inspire,
And Windsor Forest openly admire;
And Bolingbroke with flattery shall bribe,
'Till the charm'd lord most nobly shall subscribe;
And hostile Addison too late shall find,
'Tis easier to corrupt than mend mankind.
The town, which now revolts, once more obey,
And the whole island own my pristine sway!"
She said, and slowly leaves the realm of night,
While the curs'd phantoms praise her droning flight.