Elegy Ii. On Posthumous Reputation - To A Friend

O grief of griefs! that Envy's frantic ire
Should rob the living virtue of its praise;
O foolish Muses! that with zeal aspire
To deck the cold insensate shrine with bays.

When the free spirit quits her humble frame,
To tread the skies with radiant garlands crown'd;
Say, will she hear the distant voice of Fame?
Or, hearing, fancy sweetness in the sound?

Perhaps even Genius pours a slighted lay;
Perhaps even Friendship sheds a fruitless tear;
Even Lyttleton but vainly trims the bay,
And fondly graces Hammond's mournful bier.

Though weeping virgins haunt his favour'd urn,
Renew their chaplets, and repeat their sighs;
Though near his tomb Sabæan odours burn,
The loit'ring fragrance will it reach the skies?

No; should his Delia votive wreaths prepare,
Delia might place the votive wreaths in vain:
Yet the dear hope of Delia's future care
Once crown'd his pleasures, and dispell'd his pain.

Yes-the fair prospect of surviving praise
Can every sense of present joys excel;
For this, great Hadrian chose laborious days;
Through this, expiring, bade a gay farewell.

Shall then our youths, who Fame's bright fabric raise,
To life's precarious date confine their care?
O teach them you to spread the sacred base,
To plan a work through latest ages fair!

Is it small transport, as with curious eye
You trace the story of each Attic sage,
To think your blooming praise shall time defy?
Shall waft, like odours, through the pleasing page?

To mark the day when, through the bulky tome,
Around your name the varying style refines?
And readers call their lost attention home,
Led by that index where true genius shines?

Ah! let not Britons doubt their social aim,
Whose ardent bosoms catch this ancient fire;
Cold interest melts before the vivid flame,
And patriot ardours but with life expire.

Love And Music. Written At Oxford, When Young

Shall Love alone for ever claim
An universal right to fame,
An undisputed sway?
Or has not Music equal charms,
To fill the breast with strange alarms,
And make the world obey?

The Thracian bard, as poets tell,
Could mitigate the powers of hell,
Even Pluto's nicer ear:
His arts, no more than Love's, we find
To deities or men confined,
Drew brutes in crowds to hear.

Whatever favourite passion reign'd,
The poet still his right maintain'd
O'er all that ranged the plain:
The fiercer tyrants could assuage,
Or fire the timorous into rage,
Whene'er he changed the strain.

In milder lays the bard began;
Soft notes through every finger ran,
And echoing charm'd the place:
See! fawning lions gaze around,
And, taught to quit their savage sound,
Assume a gentler grace.

When Cymon view'd the fair one's charms,
Her ruby lips, and snowy arms,
And told her beauties o'er:
When Love reform'd his awkward tone,
And made each clownish gesture known,
It show'd but equal power.

The bard now tries a sprightlier sound,
When all the feather'd race around
Perceived the varied strains;
The soaring lark the note pursues;
The timorous dove around him coos,
And Philomel complains.

An equal power of Love I've seen,
Incite the deer to scour the green,
And chase his barking foe.
Sometimes has Love, with greater might,
To challenge-nay-sometimes-to fight,
Provoked the enamour'd beau.

When Silvia treads the smiling plain,
How glows the heart of every swain,
By pleasing tumults tost!
When Handel's solemn accents roll,
Each breast is fired, each raptured soul
In sweet confusion lost.

If she her melting glances dart,
Or he his dying airs impart,
Our spirits sink away.
Enough, enough! dear nymph, give o'er;
And thou, great artist! urge no more
Thy unresisted sway.

Thus Love or Sound affects the mind:
But when their various powers are join'd,
Fly, daring mortal, fly!
For when Selinda's charms appear,
And I her tuneful accents hear-
I burn, I faint, I die!

Have you ne'er seen, my gentle Squire!
The humours of your kitchen fire?
Says Ned to Sal, 'I lead a spade;
Why don't ye play?-the girl's afraid-
Play something-anything-but play-
'Tis but to pass the time away-
Phoo-how she stands-biting her nails-
As though she play'd for half her vails-
Sorting her cards, haggling, and picking-
We play for nothing, do us, chicken?
That card will do-'blood never doubt it,
It's not worth while to think about it.'
Sal thought, and thought, and miss'd her aim,
And Ned ne'er studying won the game.
Methinks, old friend! 'tis wondrous true
That verse is but a game at loo:
While many a bard, that shows so clearly
He writes for his amusement merely,
Is known to study, fret, and toil,
And play for nothing all the while,
Or praise at most; for wreaths of yore
Ne'er signified a farthing more!
Till having vainly toil'd to gain it,
He sees your flying pen obtain it.
Through fragrant scenes the trifler roves,
And hallow'd haunts that Phoebus loves:
Where with strange heats his bosom glows,
And mystic flames the god bestows.
You now none other flames require
Than a good blazing parlour fire;
Write verses-to defy the scorners
In -houses and chimney-corners.
Sal found her deep-laid schemes were vain-
The cards were cut-come, deal again-
No good comes on it when one lingers-
I'll play the cards come next my fingers-
Fortune could never let Ned loo her,
When she had left it wholly to her.
Well, now who wins?-why, still the same-
For Sal has lost another game.
I've done (she mutter'd); I was saying,
It did not argufy my playing.
Some folks will win, they cannot choose;
But think or not think-some must lose.
I may have won a game or so-
But then it was an age ago-
It ne'er will be my lot again-
I won it of a baby then-
Give me an ace of trumps, and see!
Our Ned will beat me with a three!
'Tis all by luck that things are carried-
He'll suffer for it, when he's married.'
Thus Sal, with tears in either eye,
While victor Ned sate tittering by.
Thus I, long envying your success,
And bent to write and study less,
Sate down, and scribbled in a trice,
Just what you see-and you despise.
You, who can frame a tuneful song,
And hum it as you ride along,
And, trotting on the king's highway,
Snatch from the hedge a sprig of bay,
Accept this verse, howe'er it flows,
From one that is your friend in prose.
What is this wreath, so green, so fair,
Which many wish, and few must wear;
Which some men's indolence can gain,
And some men's vigils ne'er obtain?
For what must Sal or poet sue,
Ere they engage with Ned or you?
For luck in verse, for luck at loo?
Ah, no! 'tis genius gives you fame,
And Ned, through skill, secures the game.

Colemira : A Culinary Eclogue

Insensible of soft desire,
Behold Colemira prove
More partial to the kitchen fire
Than to the fire of Love.

Night's sable clouds had half the globe o'erspread,
And silence reign'd, and folks were gone to bed;
When love, which gentle sleep can ne'er inspire,
Had seated Damon by the kitchen fire.

Pensive he lay, extended on the ground,
The little Lares kept their vigils round
The fawning cats compassionate his case,
And purr around, and gently lick his face:

To all his plaints the sleeping curs reply,
And with hoarse snorings imitate a sigh:
Such gloomy scenes with lovers' minds agree,
And solitude to them is best society.

'Could I,' he cried, 'express how bright a grace
Adorns thy morning hands, and well-wash'd face,
Thou wouldst, Colemira, grant what I implore,
And yield me love, or wash thy face no more.

'Ah! who can see, and seeing not admire,
Whene'er she sets the pot upon the fire?
Her hands outshine the fire and redder things;
Her eyes are blacker than the pot she brings.

'But sure no chamber-damsel can compare,
When in meridian lustre shines my fair,
When warm'd with dinner's toil, in pearly rills,
Adown her goodly cheeks the sweat distils.

'Oh! how I long, how ardently desire,
To view those rosy fingers strike the lyre!
For late, when bees to change their climes began,
How did I see them thrum the frying-pan!

'With her I should not envy George his queen,
Though she in royal grandeur deck'd be seen;
Whilst rags, just sever'd from my fair one's gown,
In russet pomp and greasy pride hang down.

'Ah! how it does my drooping heart rejoice,
When in the hall I hear thy mellow voice!
How would that voice exceed the village bell,
Wouldst thou but sing, 'I like thee passing well!'

'When from the hearth she bade the pointers go,
How soft, how easy, did her accents flow!
'Get out,' she cried: 'when strangers come to sup,
One ne'er can raise those snoring devils up.'

'Then, full of wrath, she kick'd each lazy brute;
Alas! I envied even that salute:
'Twas sure misplaced-Shock said, or seem'd to say,
He had as lief I had the kick, as they.

'If she the mystic bellows take in hand,
Who like the fair can that machine command?
O mayst thou ne'er by Æolus be seen,
For he would sure demand thee for his queen!

'But should the flame this rougher aid refuse,
And only gentler medicines be of use,
With full-blown cheeks she ends the doubtful strife,
Foments the infant flame, and puffs it into life.

'Such arts as these exalt the drooping fire,
But in my breast a fiercer flame inspire:
I burn! I burn! O give thy puffing o'er,
And swell thy cheeks, and pout thy lips, no more!

With all her haughty looks, the time I've seen
When this proud damsel has more humble been,
When with nice airs she hoist the pancake round,
And dropt it, hapless fair! upon the ground.

'Look, with what charming grace, what winning tricks,
The artful charmer rubs the candlesticks:
So bright she makes the candlesticks she handles,
Oft have I said-there were no need of candles.

But thou, my fair! who never wouldst approve,
Or hear the tender story of my love,
Or mind how burns my raging breast - a button -
Perhaps art dreaming of - a breast of mutton.'

Thus said, and wept, the sad desponding swain,
Revealing to the sable walls his pain:
But nymphs are free with those they should deny;
To those they love, more exquisitely coy.

Now chirping crickets raise their tinkling voice,
The lambent flames in languid streams arise,
And smoke, in azure folds, evaporates and dies.

Colemira. A Culinary Eclogue

Nec tantum Veneris, quantum studiosa culinae.

Imitation.

Insensible of soft desire,
Behold Colemira prove
More partial to the kitchen fire
Than to the fire of Love.


Night's sable clouds had half the globe o'erspread,
And silence reign'd, and folks were gone to bed;
When love, which gentle sleep can ne'er inspire,
Had seated Damon by the kitchen fire.

Pensive he lay, extended on the ground,
The little Lares kept their vigils round
The fawning cats compassionate his case,
And purr around, and gently lick his face:

To all his plaints the sleeping curs reply,
And with hoarse snorings imitate a sigh:
Such gloomy scenes with lovers' minds agree,
And solitude to them is best society.

'Could I,' he cried, 'express how bright a grace
Adorns thy morning hands, and well-wash'd face,
Thou wouldst, Colemira, grant what I implore,
And yield me love, or wash thy face no more.

'Ah! who can see, and seeing not admire,
Whene'er she sets the pot upon the fire?
Her hands outshine the fire and redder things;
Her eyes are blacker than the pot she brings.

'But sure no chamber-damsel can compare,
When in meridian lustre shines my fair,
When warm'd with dinner's toil, in pearly rills,
Adown her goodly cheeks the sweat distils.

'Oh! how I long, how ardently desire,
To view those rosy fingers strike the lyre!
For late, when bees to change their climes began,
How did I see them thrum the frying-pan!

'With her I should not envy George his queen,
Though she in royal grandeur deck'd be seen;
Whilst rags, just sever'd from my fair one's gown,
In russet pomp and greasy pride hang down.

'Ah! how it does my drooping heart rejoice,
When in the hall I hear thy mellow voice!
How would that voice exceed the village bell,
Wouldst thou but sing, 'I like thee passing well!'

'When from the hearth she bade the pointers go,
How soft, how easy, did her accents flow!
'Get out,' she cried: 'when strangers come to sup,
One ne'er can raise those snoring devils up.'

'Then, full of wrath, she kick'd each lazy brute;
Alas! I envied even that salute:
'Twas sure misplaced-Shock said, or seem'd to say,
He had as lief I had the kick, as they.

'If she the mystic bellows take in hand,
Who like the fair can that machine command?
O mayst thou ne'er by Æolus be seen,
For he would sure demand thee for his queen!

'But should the flame this rougher aid refuse,
And only gentler medicines be of use,
With full-blown cheeks she ends the doubtful strife,
Foments the infant flame, and puffs it into life.

'Such arts as these exalt the drooping fire,
But in my breast a fiercer flame inspire:
I burn! I burn! O give thy puffing o'er,
And swell thy cheeks, and pout thy lips, no more!

With all her haughty looks, the time I've seen
When this proud damsel has more humble been,
When with nice airs she hoist the pancake round,
And dropt it, hapless fair! upon the ground.

'Look, with what charming grace, what winning tricks,
The artful charmer rubs the candlesticks:
So bright she makes the candlesticks she handles,
Oft have I said-there were no need of candles.

But thou, my fair! who never wouldst approve,
Or hear the tender story of my love,
Or mind how burns my raging breast-a button-
Perhaps art dreaming of-a breast of mutton.'

Thus said, and wept, the sad desponding swain,
Revealing to the sable walls his pain:
But nymphs are free with those they should deny;
To those they love, more exquisitely coy.

Now chirping crickets raise their tinkling voice,
The lambent flames in languid streams arise,
And smoke, in azure folds, evaporates and dies.

To A Lady, With Some Coloured Patterns Of Flowers

Madam,-

Though rude the draughts, though artless seem the lines,
From one unskill'd in verse, or in designs;
Oft has good-nature been the fool's defence,
And honest meaning gilded want of sense.
Fear not, though flowers and beauty grace my lay,
To praise one fair, another shall decay.
No lily, bright with painted foliage, here,
Shall only languish, when Selinda's near:
A fate reversed no smiling rose shall know,
Nor with reflected lustre doubly glow.
Praises which languish when applied to you,
Where flattering schemes seem obviously true.
Yet sure your sex is near to flowers allied,
Alike in softness, and alike in pride:
Foes to retreat, and ever fond to shine,
Both rush to danger, and the shades decline;
Exposed, the short-lived pageants of a day,
To painted flies or glittering fops a prey:
Changed with each wind, nor one short day the same,
Each clouded sky affects their tender frame.
In glaring Chloe's man-like taste and mien,
Are the gross splendours of the tulip seen:
Distant they strike, inelegantly gay,
To the near view no pleasing charms display.
To form the nymph, a vulgar wit must join,
As coarser soils will most the flower refine.
Ophelia's beauties let the jasmine paint,
Too faintly soft, too nicely elegant.
Around with seeming sanctity endued,
The passion-flower may best express the prude.
Like the gay rose, too rigid Silvia shines,
While, like its guardian thorn, her virtue joins.
Happy the nymph from all their failures free!
Happy the nymph in whom their charms agree!
Faint these productions, till you bid disclose,
The pink new splendours, and fresh tints the rose:
And yet condemn not trivial draughts like these,
Form'd to improve, and make even trifles please.
A power like yours minuter beauties warms,
And yet can blast the most aspiring charms:
Thus, at the rays whence other objects shine,
The taper sickens, and its flames decline.
When by your art the purple violet lives,
And the pale lily sprightlier charms receives;
Garters to me shall glow inferior far,
And with less pleasing lustre shine the star.
Let serious triflers, fond of wealth or fame,
On toils like these bestow too soft a name;
Each gentler art with wise indifference view,
And scorn one trifle, millions to pursue:
More artful I their specious schemes deride
Fond to please you, by you in these employed;
A nobler task, or more sublime desire,
Ambition ne'er could form, nor pride inspire.
The sweets of tranquil life and rural ease
Amuse securely, nor less justly please.
Where gentle pleasure shows her milder power,
Or blooms in fruit, or sparkles in the flower;
Smiles in the groves, the raptured poet's theme;
Flows in the brook, his Naiad of the stream;
Dawns, with each happier stroke the pencil gives,
And, in each livelier image, smiling lives;
Is heard, when Silvia strikes the warbling strings,
Selinda speaks, or Philomela sings:
Breathes with the morn; attends, propitious maid,
The evening ramble, and the noon-day glade
Some visionary fair she cheats our view,
Then only vigorous when she seems like you.
Yet Nature some for sprightlier joys design'd,
For brighter scenes, with nicer care, refined.
When the gay jewel radiant streams supplies,
And vivid brilliants meet your brighter eyes;
When dress and pomp around the fancy play,
By fortune's dazzling beauties borne away;
When theatres for you the scenes forego,
And the box bows obsequiously low:
How dull the plan which indolence has drawn,
The mossy grotto, or the flowery lawn!
Though roseate scents in every wind exhale,
And sylvan warblers charm in every pale.
Of these be hers the choice whom all approve;
And whom but those who envy, all must love:
By nature modell'd, by experience taught,
To know and pity every female fault:
Pleased even to hear her sex's virtues shown,
And blind to none's perfections but her own:
Whilst, humble fair! of these too few she knows,
Yet owns too many for the world's repose;
From wit's wild petulance serenely free,
Yet blest in all that nature can decree.
Not like a fire, which, whilst it burns, alarms;
A modest flame, that gently shines and warms:
Whose mind, in every light, can charms display,
With wisdom serious, and with humour gay;
Just as her eyes in each bright posture warm,
And fiercely strike, or languishingly charm:
Such are your honours-mention'd to your cost,
Those least can hear them, who deserve them most:
Yet ah! forgive-the less inventive muse,
If e'er she sing, a copious theme must choose.

The Ruined Abbey, Or, The Affects Of Superstition

At length fair Peace, with olive crown'd, regains
Her lawful throne, and to the sacred haunts
Of wood or fount the frighted Muse returns.
Happy the bard who, from his native hills,
Soft musing on a summer's eve, surveys
His azure stream, with pensile woods enclosed;
Or o'er the glassy surface with his friend,
Or faithful fair, through bordering willows green,
Wafts his small frigate. Fearless he of shouts,
Or taunts, the rhetoric of the watery crew
That ape confusion from the realms they rule;
Fearless of these; who shares the gentler voice
Of peace and music; birds of sweetest song
Attune from native boughs their various lay,
And cheer the forest; birds of brighter plume
With busy pinion skim the glittering wave,
And tempt the sun; ambitious to display
Their several merit, while the vocal flute
Or number'd verse, by female voice endear'd,
Crowns his delight, and mollifies the scene.
If solitude his wandering steps invite
To some more deep recess (for hours there are
When gay, when social minds to Friendship's voice,
Or Beauty's charm, her wild abodes prefer),
How pleased he treads her venerable shades,
Her solemn courts! the centre of the grove!
The root-built cave, by far extended rocks
Around embosom'd, how it soothes the soul!
If scoop'd at first by superstitious hands,
The rugged cell received alone the shoals
Of bigot minds, Religion dwells not here,
Yet Virtue, pleased at intervals retires:
Yet here may Wisdom, as she walks the maze,
Some serious truths collect, the rules of life,
And serious truths of mightier weight than gold!
I ask not wealth; but let me hoard with care,
With frugal cunning, with a niggard's art,
A few fix'd principles, in early life,
Ere indolence impede the search, explored;
Then, like old Latimer, when age impairs
My judgment's eye, when quibbling schools attack
My grounded hope, or subtler wits deride,
Will I not blush to shun the vain debate,
And this mine answer: 'Thus, 'twas thus I thought,
My mind yet vigorous, and my soul entire;
Thus will I think, averse to listen more
To intricate discussion, prone to stray.
Perhaps my reason may but ill defend
My settled faith; my mind, with age impair'd,
Too sure its own infirmities declare.
But I am arm'd by caution, studious youth,
And early foresight: now the winds may rise,
The tempest whistle, and the billows roar;
My pinnace rides in port, despoil'd and worn,
Shatter'd by time and storms, but while it shuns
The unequal conflict, and declines the deep,
Sees the strong vessel fluctuate, less secure.'
Thus while he strays, a thousand rural scenes
Suggest instruction, and instructing please.
And see betwixt the grove's extended arms
An Abbey's rude remains attract thy view,
Gilt by the mid-day sun: with lingering step
Produce thine axe (for, aiming to destroy
Tree, branch, or shade, for never shall thy breast
Too long deliberate), with timorous hand
Remove the obstructive bough; nor yet refuse,
Though sighing, to destroy that favourite pine,
Raised by thine hand, in its luxuriant prime
Of beauty fair, that screens the vast remains.
Aggrieved, but constant as the Roman sire,
The rigid Manlius, when his conquering son
Bled by a parent's voice, the cruel meed
Of virtuous ardour, timelessly display'd;
Nor cease till; through the gloomy road, the pile
Gleam unobstructed: thither oft thine eye
Shall sweetly wander; thence returning, soothe
With pensive scenes thy philosophic mind.
These were thy haunts, thy opulent abodes,
O Superstition! hence the dire disease
(Balanced with which the famed Athenian pest
Were a short headache, were the trivial pain
Of transient indigestion) seized mankind.
Long time she raged, and scarce a southern gale
Warm'd our chill air, unloaded with the threats
Of tyrant Rome; but futile all, till she,
Rome's abler legate, magnified their power,
And in a thousand horrid forms attired.
Where then was truth to sanctify the page
Of British annals? if a foe expired,
The perjured monk suborn'd infernal shrieks,
And fiends to snatch at the departing soul
With hellish emulation: if a friend,
High o'er his roof exultant angels tune
Their golden lyres, and waft him to the skies.
What then were vows, were oaths, were plighted faith?
The sovereign's just, the subject's loyal pact,
To cherish mutual good, annull'd and vain
By Roman magic, grew an idle scroll
Ere the frail sanction of the wax was cold.
With thee, Plantagenet! from civil broils
The land awhile respired, and all was peace.
Then Becket rose, and, impotent of mind,
From regal courts with lawless fury march'd
The Church's blood-stain'd convicts, and forgave;
Bid murderous priests the sovereign frown contemn,
And with unhallow'd crosier bruised the crown.
Yet yielded not supinely tame a prince
Of Henry's virtues; learn'd, courageous, wise,
Of fair ambition. Long his regal soul,
Firm and erect, the peevish priest exiled,
And braved the fury of revengeful Rome.
In vain! let one faint malady diffuse
The pensive gloom which Superstition loves,
And see him, dwindled to a recreant groom,
Rein the proud palfrey while the priest ascends!
Was Coeur-de-Lion blest with whiter days?
Here the cowl'd zealots with united cries
Urged the crusade; and see! of half his stores
Despoil'd the wretch, whose wiser bosom chose
To bless his friends, his race, his native land.
Of ten fair suns that rode their annual race,
Not one beheld him on his vacant throne;
While haughty Longchamp, 'mid his liveried files
Of wanton vassals, spoil'd his faithful realm,
Battling in foreign fields; collecting wide
A laurel harvest for a pillaged land.
Oh! dear-bought trophies! when a prince deserts
His drooping realm, to pluck the barren sprays!
When faithless John usurp'd the sullied crown,
What ample tyranny! the groaning land
Deem'd earth, deem'd heaven, its foe! Six tedious years
Our helpless fathers in despair obey'd
The papal interdict; and who obey'd
The sovereign plunder'd. O inglorious days!
When the French tyrant, by the futile grant
Of papal rescript, claim'd Britannia's throne,
And durst invade! be such inglorious days
Or hence forgot, or not recall'd in vain!
Scarce had the tortured ear, dejected heard
Rome's loud anathema, but heartless, dead
To every purpose, men nor wish'd to live
Nor dared to die. The poor laborious hind
Heard the dire curse, and from his trembling hand
Fell the neglected crook that ruled the plain:
Thence journeying home, in every cloud he sees
A vengeful angel, in whose waving scroll
He reads damnation; sees its sable train
Of grim attendants, pencill'd by despair!
The weary pilgrim from remoter climes
By painful steps arrived; his home, his friends,
His offspring left, to lavish on the shrine
Of some far-honour'd saint his costly stores,
Inverts his foot-step; sickens at the sight
Of the barr'd fane, and silent sheds his tear.
The wretch, whose hope by stern Oppression chased
From every earthly bliss, still as it saw
Triumphant wrong, took wing, and flew to heaven,
And rested there, now mourn'd his refuge lost,
And wonted peace. The sacred fane was barr'd;
And the lone altar, where the mourners throng'd
To supplicate remission, smoked no more:
While the green weed luxuriant round uprose,
Some from their deathbed, whose delirious faith
Through every stage of life to Rome's decrees
Obsequious, humbly hoped to die in peace,
Now saw the ghastly king approach, begirt
In tenfold terrors; now expiring heard
The last loud clarion sound, and Heaven's decree
With unremitting vengeance bar the skies.
Nor light the grief, by Superstition weigh'd,
That their dishonour'd corse, shut from the verge
Of hallow'd earth, or tutelary fane,
Must sleep with brutes, their vassals, on the field,
Unneath some path, in marl unexercised!
No solemn bell extort a neighbour's tear!
No tongue of priest pronounce their soul secure,
Nor fondest friend assure their peace obtain'd!
The priest, alas! so boundless was the ill,
He, like the flock he pillaged, pined forlorn;
The vivid vermeil fled his fady cheek;
And his big paunch, distended with the spoils
Of half his flock, emaciate, groan'd beneath
Superior pride, and mightier lust of power!
'Twas now Rome's fondest friend, whose meagre hand
Told to the midnight lamp his holy beads
With nice precision, felt the deeper wound,
As his gull'd soul revered the conclave more.
Whom did the ruin spare? for wealth, for power,
Birth, honour, virtue, enemy, and friend,
Sunk helpless, in the dreary gulf involved,
And one capricious curse enveloped all!
Were kings secure? in towering stations born,
In flattery nursed, inured to scorn mankind,
Or view diminish'd from their site sublime
As when a shepherd, from the lofty brow
Of some proud cliff surveys his lessening flock
In snowy groups diffusive stud the vale.
Awhile the furious menace John return'd,
And breathed defiance loud. Alas! too soon
Allegiance sickening, saw its sovereign yield,
An angry prey to scruples not his own.
The loyal soldier, girt around with strength,
Who stole from mirth and wine his blooming years,
And seized the falchion, resolute to guard
His sovereign's right, impalsied at the news,
Finds the firm bias of his soul reversed
For foul desertion; drops the lifted steel,
And quits Fame's noble harvest, to expire
The death of monks, of surfeit and of sloth!
At length, fatigued with wrongs, the servile king
Drain'd from his land its small remaining stores
To buy remission. But could these obtain?
No! resolute in wrongs the priest obdured,
Till crawling base, to Rome's deputed slave,
His fame, his people, and his crown, he gave.
Mean monarch! slighted, braved, abhorr'd, before!
And now, appeased by delegated sway,
The wily pontiff scorns not to recall
His interdictions. Now the sacred doors
Admit repentant multitudes, prepared
To buy deceit; admit obsequious tribes
Of satraps: princes crawling to the shrine
Of sainted villany! the pompous tomb
Dazzling with gems and gold, or in a cloud
Of incense wreath'd amidst a drooping land
That sigh'd for bread! 'Tis thus the Indian clove
Displays its verdant leaf, its crimson flower,
And sheds its odours; while the flocks around,
Hungry and faint, the barren sands explore
In vain! nor plant nor herb endears the soil,
Drain'd and exhaust to swell its thirsty pores,
And furnish luxury.-Yet, yet in vain
Britannia strove; and whether artful Rome
Caress'd or cursed her, Superstition raged,
And blinded, fetter'd, and despoil'd the land.
At length some murderous monk, with poisonous art,
Expell'd the life his brethren robb'd of peace.
Nor yet surceased with John's disastrous fate
Pontific fury: English wealth exhaust,
The sequent reign beheld the beggar'd shore
Grim with Italian usurers; prepared
To lend, for griping unexampled hire,
To lend-what Rome might pillage uncontroll'd.
For now with more extensive havoc raged
Relentless Gregory, with a thousand arts,
And each rapacious, born to drain the world!
Nor shall the Muse repeat how oft he blew
The croise's trumpet; then for sums of gold
Annull'd the vow, and bade the false alarm
Swell the gross hoards of Henry, or his own:
Nor shall she tell how pontiffs dared repeal
The best of charters! dared absolve the tie
Of British kings, by legal oath restrain'd:
Nor can she dwell on argosies of gold
From Albion's realm to servile shores convey'd,
Wrung from her sons, and speeded by her kings!
Oh, irksome days! when wicked thrones combine
With papal craft to gull their native land!
Such was our fate, while Rome's director taught
Of subjects, born to be their monarch's prey,
To toil for monks, for gluttony to toil,
For vacant gluttony; extortion, fraud,
For avarice, envy, pride, revenge, and shame!
O doctrine breathed from Stygian caves! exhaled
From inmost Erebus!-Such Henry's reign!
Urging his royal realm's reluctant hand
To wield the peaceful sword, by John erewhile
Forced from its scabbard, and with burnish'd lance,
Essay the savage cure, domestic war!
And now some nobler spirits chased the mist
Of general darkness. Grosted now adorn'd
The mitred wreath he wore, with Reason's sword
Staggering delusion's frauds; at length beneath
Rome's interdict expiring calm, resign'd
No vulgar soul, that dared to Heav'n appeal!
But, ah! this fertile glebe, this fair domain,
Had well-nigh ceded to the slothful hands
Of monks libidinous; ere Edward's care
The lavish hand of deathbed Fear restrain'd.
Yet was he clear of Superstition's taint?
He, too, misdeemful of his wholesome law,
Even he, expiring, gave his treasured gold
To fatten monks on Salem's distant soil!
Yes, the Third Edward's breast, to papal sway
So little prone, and fierce in honour's cause,
Could Superstition quell! before the towers
Of haggard Paris, at the thunder's voice
He drops the sword, and signs ignoble peace!
But still the Night, by Romish art diffused,
Collects her clouds, and with slow pace recedes;
When, by soft Bourdeau's braver queen approved,
Bold Wickliff rose; and while the bigot power
Amidst her native darkness skulk'd secure,
The demon vanish'd as he spread the day.
So from his bosom Cacus breathed of old
The pitchy cloud, and in a night of smoke
Secure, awhile his recreant life sustain'd;
Till famed Alcides, o'er his subtlest wiles
Victorious, cheer'd the ravaged nations round.
Hail, honour'd Wickliff! enterprising sage!
An Epicurus in the cause of truth!
For 'tis not radiant suns, the jovial hours
Of youthful Spring, an ether all serene,
Nor all the verdure of Campania's vales,
Can chase religious gloom! 'Tis reason, thought,
The light, the radiance, that pervades the soul,
And sheds its beams on heaven's mysterious way!
As yet this light but glimmer'd, and again
Error prevail'd; while kings by force upraised,
Let loose the rage of bigots on their foes,
And seek affection by the dreadful boon
Of licensed murder. Even the kindest prince,
The most extended breast, the royal Hal,
All unrelenting heard the Lollards' cry
Burst from the centre of remorseless flames;
Their shrieks endured! O stain to martial praise!
When Cobham, generous as the noble peer
That wears his honours, paid the fatal price
Of virtue blooming ere the storms were laid!
'Twas thus, alternate, truth's precarious flame
Decay'd or fiourish'd. With malignant eye
The pontiff saw Britannia's golden fleece,
Once all his own, invest her worthier sons!
Her verdant valleys, and her fertile plains,
Yellow with grain, abjure his hateful sway!
Essay'd his utmost art, and inly own'd
No labours bore proportion to the prize.
So when the tempter view'd, with envious eye,
The first fair pattern of the female frame,
All Nature's beauties in one form display'd,
And centering there, in wild amaze he stood;
Then only envying Heaven's creative hand;
Wish'd to his gloomy reign his envious arts
Might win this prize, and doubled every snare.
And vain were reason, courage, learning, all,
Till power accede; till Tudor's wild caprice
Smile on their cause; Tudor! whose tyrant reign,
With mental freedom crown'd, the best of kings
Might envious view, and ill prefer their own!
Then Wolsey rose, by Nature form'd to seek
Ambition's trophies, by address to win,
By temper to enjoy-whose humbler birth
Taught the gay scenes of pomp to dazzle more.
Then from its towering height with horrid sound
Rush'd the proud abbey: then the vaulted roofs,
Torn from their walls, disclosed the wanton scene
Of monkish chastity! Each angry friar
Crawl'd from his bedded strumpet, muttering low
An ineffectual curse. The pervious nooks,
That, ages past, convey'd the guileful priest
To play some image on the gaping crowd,
Imbibe the novel daylight, and expose,
Obvious, the fraudful enginery of Rome.
As though this opening earth to nether realms
Should flash meridian day, the hooded race
Shudder, abash'd to find their cheats display'd,
And, conscious of their guilt, and pleased to waive
Its fearful meed, resign'd their fair domain.
Nor yet supine, nor void of rage, retired
The pest gigantic; whose revengeful stroke
Tinged the red annals of Maria's reign,
When from the tenderest breast each wayward priest
Could banish mercy and implant a fiend!
When cruelty the funeral pyre uprear'd,
And bound Religion there, and fired the base!
When the same blaze, which on each tortured limb
Fed with luxuriant rage, in every face
Triumphant faith appear'd, and smiling hope.
O blest Eliza! from thy piercing beam
Forth flew this hated fiend, the child of Rome;
Driven to the verge of Albion, linger'd there,
Then with her James receding, cast behind
One angry frown, and sought more servile climes.
Henceforth they plied the long-continued task
Of righteous havoc, covering distant fields
With the wrought remnants of the shatter'd pile;
While through the land the musing pilgrim sees
A tract of brighter green, and in the midst
Appears a mouldering wall, with ivy crown'd,
Or Gothic turret, pride of ancient days!
Now but of use to grace a rural scene,
To bound our vistas, and to glad the sons
Of George's reign, reserved for fairer times!

The Progress Of Taste, Or The Fate Of Delicacy

Part first.

Perhaps some cloud eclipsed the day,
When thus I tuned my pensive lay:
The ship is launch'd-we catch the gale-
On life's extended ocean sail:
For happiness our course we bend,
Our ardent cry, our general end!
Yet, ah! the scenes which tempt our care
Are, like the forms dispersed in air,
Still dancing near disorder'd eyes,
And weakest his who best descries!'
Yet let me not my birthright barter,
(For wishing is the poet's charter;
All bards have leave to wish what's wanted,
Though few e'er found their wishes granted;
Extensive field! where poets pride them
In singing all that is denied them).
For humble ease, ye Powers! I pray;
That plain warm suit for every day,
And pleasure and brocade, bestow,
To flaunt it-once a month, or so.
The first for constant wear we want;
The first, ye Powers! for ever grant;
But constant wear the last bespatters,
And turns the tissue into tatters.
Where'er my vagrant course I bend,
Let me secure one faithful friend.
Let me, in public scenes, request
A friend of wit and taste, well drest;
And, if I must not hope such favour,
A friend of wit and taste, however.
Alas! that Wisdom ever shuns
To congregate her scatter'd Sons,
Whose nervous forces, well combined,
Would win the field, and sway mankind.
The fool will squeeze, from morn to night,
To fix his follies full in sight;
The note he strikes, the plume he shows,
Attract whole flights of fops and beaus,
And kindred fools, who ne'er had known him,
Flock at the sight, caress and own him;
But ill-starr'd Sense, not gay nor loud,
Steals soft on tiptoe through the crowd;
Conveys his meagre form between,
And slides, like pervious air, unseen;
Contracts his known tenuity,
As though 'twere even a crime to be;
Nor even permits his eyes to stray,
And win acquaintance in their way.
In company, so mean his air,
You scarce are conscious he is there;
Till from some nook, like sharpen'd steel,
Occurs his face's thin profile,
Still seeming, from the gazer's eye,
Like Venus newly bathed, to fly:
Yet while reluctant he displays
His real gems before the blaze,
The fool hath, in its centre, placed
His tawdry stock of painted paste.
Disused to speak, he tries his skill,
Speaks coldly, and succeeds but ill;
His pensive manner dulness deem'd,
His modesty reserve esteem'd;
His wit unknown, his learning vain,
He wins not one of all the train:
And those who, mutually known,
In friendship's fairest list had shone,
Less prone than pebbles to unite,
Retire to shades from public sight,
Grow savage, quit their social nature,
And starve, to study mutual satire.
But friends and favourites, to chagrin them,
Find counties, countries, seas, between them;
Meet once a year, then part, and then
Retiring, wish to meet again.
Sick of the thought, let me provide
Some human form to grace my side:
At hand, where'er I shape my course,
An useful, pliant, stalking-horse!
No gesture free from some grimace,
No seam, without its share of lace,
But, mark'd with gold or silver either,
Hint where his coat was pieced together.
His legs be lengthen'd, I advise,
And stockings roll'd abridge his thighs.
What though Vandyke had other rules?
What had Vandyke to do with fools?
Be nothing wanting, but his mind;
Before a solitaire, behind
A twisted ribband, like the track
Which Nature gives an ass's back.
Silent as midnight! pity 'twere,
His wisdom's slender wealth to share!
And, whilst in flocks our fancies stray,
To wish the poor man's lamb away.
This form attracting every eye,
I stroll all unregarded by:
This wards the jokes of every kind,
As an umbrella sun or wind;
Or, like a sponge, absorbs the sallies
And pestilential fumes of malice;
Or, like a splendid shield, is fit
To screen the Templar's random wit;
Or, what some gentler cit lets fall,
As woolpacks quash the leaden ball.
Allusions these of weaker force,
And apter still the stalking-horse!
O let me wander all unseen
Beneath the sanction of his mien!
As lilies soft, as roses fair!
Empty as airpumps drain'd of air!
With steady eye and pace remark
The speckled flock that haunts the Park;
Level my pen with wondrous heed
At follies, flocking there to feed;
And as my satire burns amain,
See feather'd foppery strew the plain.
But when I seek my rural grove,
And share the peaceful haunts I love,
Let none of this unhallow'd train
My sweet sequester'd paths profane.
Oft may some polish'd virtuous friend
To these soft-winding vales descend,
And love with me inglorious things,
And scorn with me the pomp of kings;
And check me when my bosom burns
For statues, paintings, coins, and urns;
For I in Damon's prayer could join,
And Damon's wish might now be mine-
But all dispersed! the wish, the prayer,
Are driven to mix with common air.


Part second.

How happy once was Damon's lot,
While yet romantic schemes were not,
Ere yet he sent his weakly eyes,
To plan frail castles in the skies!
Forsaking pleasures cheap and common,
To court a blaze, still flitting from one.
Ah! happy Damon! thrice and more,
Had Taste ne'er touch'd thy tranquil shore.
Oh days! when to a girdle tied
The couples jingled at his side,
And Damon swore he would not barter
The sportsman's girdle for a garter.
Whoever came to kill an hour,
Found easy Damon in their power,
Pure social Nature all his guide;
'Damon had not a grain of pride.'
He wish'd not to elude the snares
Which Knavery plans, and Craft prepares,
But rather wealth to crown their wiles,
And win their universal smiles:
For who are cheerful, who at ease,
But they who cheat us as they please?
He wink'd at many a gross design
The new-fallen calf might countermine:
Thus every fool allow'd his merit;
'Yes; Damon had a generous spirit.'
A coxcomb's jest, however vile,
Was sure, at least, of Damon's smile;
That coxcomb ne'er denied him sense;
For why? it proved his own pretence.
All own'd, were modesty away,
Damon could shine as much as they.
When wine and folly came in season,
Damon ne'er strove to save his reason;
Obnoxious to the mad uproar,
A spy upon a hostile shore!
'Twas this his company endear'd;
Mirth never came till he appear'd.
His lodgings-every drawer could show them;
The slave was kick'd who did not know them.
Thus Damon, studious of his ease,
And pleasing all whom mirth could please,
Defied the world, like idle Colley,
To show a softer word than folly.
Since Wisdom's gorgon-shield was known
To stare the gazer into stone,
He chose to trust in Folly's charm,
To keep his breast alive and warm.
At length grave Learning's sober train
Remark'd the trifler with disdain;
The sons of Taste contemn'd his ways,
And rank'd him with the brutes that graze;
While they to nobler heights aspired,
And grew beloved, esteem'd, admired.
Hence with our youth, not void of spirit,
His old companions lost their merit,
And every kind well-natured sot
Seem'd a dull play, without a plot,
Where every yawning guest agrees,
The willing creature strives to please:
But temper never could amuse;
It barely led us to excuse;
'Twas true, conversing they averr'd
All they had seen, or felt, or heard;
Talents of weight! for wights like these
The law might choose for witnesses;
But sure th' attesting dry narration
Ill suits a judge of conversation.
What were their freedoms? mere excuses
To vent ill-manners, blows, and bruises.
Yet freedom, gallant freedom! hailing,
At form, at form, incessant railing,
Would they examine each offence,
Its latent cause, its known pretence.
Punctilio ne'er was known to breed them,
So sure as fond prolific freedom.
Their courage! but a loaded gun,
Machine the wise would wish to shun;
Its guard unsafe, its lock an ill one,
Where accident might fire and kill one
In short, disgusted out of measure,
Through much contempt, and slender pleasure,
His sense of dignity returns;
With native pride his bosom burns;
He seeks respect-but how to gain it?
Wit, social mirth, could ne'er obtain it;
And laughter, where it reigns uncheck'd,
Discards and dissipates respect:
The man who gravely bows, enjoys it,
But shaking hands, at once destroys it;
Precarious plant! which, fresh and gay,
Shrinks at the touch, and fades away!
Come then, Reserve! yet from thy train
Banish Contempt and cursed Disdain.
Teach me, he cried, thy magic art,
To act the decent distant part;
To husband well my complaisance;
Nor let even Wit too far advance;
But choose calm Reason for my theme,
In these her royal realms supreme,
And o'er her charms, with caution shown,
Be still a graceful umbrage thrown,
And each abrupter period crown'd
With nods, and winks, and smiles profound;
Till, rescued from the crowd beneath,
No more with pain to move or breathe,
I rise with head elate, to share
Salubrious draughts of purer air.
Respect is won by grave pretence,
And silence, surer even than sense.
'Tis hence the sacred grandeur springs
Of Eastern, and of other kings;
Or whence this awe to Virtue due,
While Virtue's distant as Peru?
The sheathless sword the guard displays,
Which round emits its dazzling rays;
The stately fort, the turrets tall,
Portculliss'd gate, and battled wall,
Less screens the body than controls,
And wards contempt from royal souls.
The crowns they wear but check the eye
Before it fondly pierce too nigh;
That dazzled crowds may be employ'd
Around the surface of-the void.
Oh, 'tis the stateman's craft profound
To scatter his amusements round,
To tempt us from their conscious breast,
Where full-fledged crimes enjoy their nest;
Nor awes us every worth reveal'd,
So deeply as each vice conceal'd.
The lordly log, despatch'd of yore,
That the frog people might adore,
With guards to keep them at a distance,
Had reign'd, nor wanted Wit's assistance;
Nay-had addresses from his nation,
In praise of log-administration.


Part third.

The buoyant fires of youth were o'er,
And fame and finery pleased no more,
Productive of that general stare,
Which cool reflection ill can bear!
And, crowds commencing mere vexation,
Retirement sent its invitation.
Romantic scenes of pendent hills,
And verdant vales, and falling rills,
And mossy banks the fields adorn,
Where Damon, simple swain! was born.
The Dryads rear'd a shady grove,
Where such as think, and such as love,
May safely sigh their summer's day,
Or muse their silent hours away.
The Oreads liked the climate well,
And taught the level plain to swell
In verdant mounds, from whence the eye
Might all their larger works descry.
The Naiads pour'd their urns around,
From nodding rocks o'er vales profound;
They form'd their streams to please the view,
And bade them wind, as serpents do,
And having shown them where to stray,
Threw little pebbles in their way.
These Fancy, all-sagacious maid!
Had at their several tasks survey'd:
She saw and smiled; and oft would lead
Our Damon's foot o'er hill and mead;
There, with descriptive finger, trace
The genuine beauties of the place;
And when she all its charms had shown,
Prescribe improvements of her own.-
'See yonder hill, so green, so round,
Its brow with ambient beeches crown'd!
'Twould well become thy gentle care
To raise a dome to Venus there;
Pleased would the nymphs thy zeal survey,
And Venus, in their arms, repay.
'Twas such a shade, and such a nook,
In such a vale, near such a brook;
From such a rocky fragment springing,
That famed Apollo chose to sing in;
There let an altar wrought with art
Engage the tuneful patron's heart:
How charming there to muse and warble
Beneath his bust of breathing marble!
With laurel wreath and mimic lyre,
That crown a poet's vast desire
Then, near it, scoop the vaulted cell
Where Music's charming maids may dwell;
Prone to indulge thy tender passion,
And make thee many an assignation.
Deep in the grove's obscure retreat
Be placed Minerva's sacred seat;
There let her awful turrets rise,
(For wisdom flies from vulgar eyes);
There her calm dictates shalt thou hear
Distinctly strike thy listening ear;
And who would shun the pleasing labour,
To have Minerva for his neighbour?'
In short, so charm'd each wild suggestion,
Its truth was little call'd in question
And Damon dreamt he saw the Fawns
And nymphs distinctly skim the lawns;
Now traced amid the trees, and then
Lost in the circling shades again,
With leer oblique their lover viewing-
And Cupid-panting-and pursuing-
'Fancy, enchanting Fair!' he cried,
'Be thou my goddess, thou my guide;
For thy bright visions I despise
What foes may think, or friends advise.
The feign'd concern when folks survey
Expense, time, study, cast away;
The real spleen with which they see;
I please myself and follow thee.'
Thus glow'd his breast, by Fancy warm'd,
And thus the fairy landscape charm'd;
But most he hoped his constant care,
Might win the favour of the fair;
And, wandering late through yonder glade,
He thus the soft design betray'd:-
'Ye Doves! for whom I rear'd the grove,
With melting lays salute my love!
My Delia with your notes detain,
Or I have rear'd the grove in vain.
Ye flowers which early spring supplies,
Display at once your brightest dyes,
That she your opening charms may see,
Or what were else your charms to me?
Kind Zephyr! brush each fragrant flower,
And shed its odours round my bower,
Or ne'er again, O gentle wind,
Shall I in thee refreshment find.
Ye Streams! if e'er your banks I loved.
If e'er your native sounds improved,
May each soft murmur soothe my fair,
Or, oh! 'twill deepen my despair.
Be sure, ye Willows, you be seen,
Array'd in liveliest robes of green,
Or I will tear your slighted boughs,
And let them fade around my brows;
And thou, my Grot! whose lonely bounds
The melancholy pine surrounds,
May she admire thy peaceful gloom,
Or thou shalt prove her lover's tomb.'
And now the lofty domes were rear'd,
Loud laugh'd the squires, the rabble stared.
'See, Neighbours! what our Damon's doing;
I think some folks are fond of ruin!
I saw his sheep at random stray-
But he has thrown his crook away-
And builds such huts as, in foul weather,
Are fit for sheep nor shepherd neither.'
Whence came the sober swain misled?
Why, Phoebus put it in his head:
Phoebus befriends him we are told;
And Phoebus coins bright tuns of gold.
'Twere prudent not to be so vain on't.
I think he'll never touch a grain on't.
And if from Phoebus and his muse,
Mere earthly laziness ensues;
'Tis plain, for aught that I can say,
The devil inspires as well as they.
So they-while fools of grosser kind,
Less weeting what our bard design'd,
Impute his schemes to real evil;
That in these haunts he met the devil.
He own'd, though their advice was vain,
It suited wights who trod the plain;
For dulness-though he might abhor it,
In them he made allowance for it;
Nor wonder'd, if, beholding mottos,
And urns, and domes, and cells, and grottos,
Folks, little dreaming of the Muses,
Were plagued to guess their proper uses.
But did the Muses haunt his cell?
Or in his dome did Venus dwell?
Did Pallas in his counsels share?
The Delian god reward his prayer?
Or did his zeal engage the fair?
When all the structure shone complete,
Not much convenient, wondrous neat;
Adorn'd with gilding, painting, planting,
And the fair guests alone were wanting;
Ah, me! ('twas Damon's own confession)
Came Poverty and took possession.

Part fourth.

Why droops my Damon, whilst he roves
Through ornamented meads and groves,
Near columns, obelisks, and spires,
Which every critic eye admires?
'Tis Poverty, detested maid!
Sole tenant of their ample shade;
'Tis she that robs him of his ease,
And bids their very charms displease.
But now, by Fancy long controll'd,
And with the sons of Taste enroll'd,
He deem'd it shameful to commence
First minister to Common-sense;
Far more elated, to pursue
The lowest talk of dear virtu.
And now, behold his lofty soul,
That whilom flew from pole to pole,
Settle on some elaborate flower,
And, like a bee, the sweets devour!
Now, of a rose enamour'd, prove
The wild solicitudes of love!
Now, in a lily's cup enshrined,
Forego the commerce of mankind!
As in these toils he wore away
The calm remainder of his day;
Conducting sun, and shade, and shower,
As most might glad the new-born flower,
So fate ordain'd-before his eye
Starts up the long-sought butterfly,
While fluttering round, her plumes unfold
Celestial crimson, dropt with gold.
Adieu, ye bands of flowerets fair!
The living beauty claims his care:
For this he strips-nor bolt nor chain
Could Damon's warm pursuit restrain.
See him o'er hill, morass, or mound,
Where'er the speckled game is found,
Though bent with age, with zeal pursue,
And totter towards the prey in view.
Nor rock nor stream his steps retard
Intent upon the blest reward!
One vassal fly repays the chase!
A wing, a film, rewards the race!
Rewards him, though disease attend,
And in a fatal surfeit end.
So fierce Camilla skimm'd the plain,
Smit with the purple's pleasing stain;
She eyed intent the glittering stranger,
And knew, alas! nor fear nor danger;
Till deep within her panting heart
Malicious Fate impell'd the dart.
How studious he what favourite food
Regales Dame Nature's tiny brood;
What junkets fat the filmy people,
And what liqueurs they choose to tipple!
Behold him, at some crise, prescribe,
And raise with drugs the sickening tribe!
Or haply, when their spirits falter,
Sprinkling my Lord of Cloyne's tar-water!
When Nature's brood of insects dies,
See how he pimps for amorous flies!
See him the timely succour lend her,
And help the wantons to engender!
Or see him guard their pregnant hour,
Exert his soft obstetric power,
And lending each his lenient hand,
With new-born grubs enrich the land!
O Wilks! what poet's loftiest lays
Can match thy labours, and thy praise?
Immortal Sage! by Fate decreed
To guard the moth's illustrious breed!
Till fluttering swarms on swarms arise,
And all our wardrobes teem with flies!
And must we praise this taste for toys?
Admire it then in girls and boys.
Ye youths of fifteen years, or more!
Resign your moths-the season's o'er;
'Tis time more social joys to prove;
'Twere now your nobler task to love.
Let -'s eyes more deeply warm;
Nor, slighting Nature's fairest form,
The bias of your souls determine
Towards the mean love of Nature's vermin.
But, ah! how wondrous few have known,
To give each stage of life its own!
'Tis the pretexta's utmost bound,
With radiant purple edged around,
To please the child; whose glowing dyes
Too long delight maturer eyes:
And few, but with regret, assume
The plain-wrought labours of the loom.
Ah! let not me by fancy steer,
When life's autumnal clouds appear;
Nor even in learning's long delays
Consume my fairest, fruitless days;
Like him, who should in armour spend
The sums that armour should defend.
Awhile in Pleasure's myrtle bower
We share her smiles, and bless her power;
But find at last, we vainly strive
To fix the worst coquette alive.
O you! that with assiduous flame
Have long pursued the faithless dame;
Forsake her soft abodes awhile,
And dare her frown, and slight her smile;
Nor scorn, whatever wits may say,
The footpath road, the king's highway;
No more the scrupulous charmer tease,
But seek the roofs of honest Ease;
The rival fair, no more pursued,
Shall there with forward pace intrude;
Shall there her every art essay
To win you to her slighted sway,
And grant your scorn a glance more fair
Than e'er she gave your fondest prayer.
But would you happiness pursue?
Partake both ease and pleasure too?
Would you, through all your days, dispense
The joys of reason and of sense?
Or give to life the most you can?
Let social virtue shape the plan.
For does not to the virtuous deed
A train of pleasing sweets succeed?
Or, like the sweets of wild desire,
Did social pleasures ever tire?
Yet midst the group be some preferr'd,
Be some abhorr'd-for Damon err'd:
And such there are-of fair address-
As 'twere unsocial to caress.
O learn by Reason's equal rule
To shun the praise of knave or fool;
Then, though you deem it better still
To gain some rustic squire's good-will;
And souls, however mean or vile,
Like features, brighten by a smile;
Yet Reason holds it for a crime,
The trivial breast should share thy time:
And Virtue, with reluctant eyes,
Beholds this human sacrifice!
Through deep reserve and air erect,
Mistaken Damon won respect;
But could the specious homage pass
With any creature, but an ass?
If conscious, they who fear'd the skin
Would scorn the sluggish brute within.
What awe-struck slaves the towers enclose,
Where Persian monarchs eat and doze!
What prostrate reverence all agree
To pay a prince they never see!
Mere vassals of a royal throne;
The Sophi's virtues must be shown,
To make the reverence his own.
As for Thalia-wouldst thou make her
Thy bride without a portion?-take her:
She will with duteous care attend,
And all thy pensive hours befriend;
Will swell thy joys, will share thy pain,
With thee rejoice, with thee complain;
Will smooth thy pillow, plait thy bowers,
And bind thy aching head with flowers.
But be this previous maxim known-
If thou canst feed on love alone;
If, bless'd with her, thou canst sustain
Contempt, and poverty, and pain;
If so-then rifle all her graces-
And fruitful be your fond embraces!
Too soon, by caitiff Spleen inspired,
Sage Damon to his groves retired,
The path disclaimed by sober Reason;
Retirement claims a later season,
Ere active youth and warm desires,
Have quite withdrawn their lingering fires.
With the warm bosom, ill agree
Or limpid stream or shady tree
Love lurks within the rosy bower,
And claims the speculative hour;
Ambition finds his calm retreat,
And bids his pulse too fiercely beat;
Even social Friendship duns his ear,
And cites him to the public sphere.
Does he resist their genuine force?
His temper takes some froward course,
Till passion, misdirected, sighs
For weeds, or shells, or grubs, or flies!
Far happiest he whose early days,
Spent in the social paths of praise,
Leave, fairly printed on his mind,
A train of virtuous deeds behind:
From this rich fund the memory draws
The lasting meed of self-applause.
Such fair ideas lend their aid
To people the sequester'd shade:
Such are the Naiads, Nymphs, and Fawns,
That haunt his floods or cheer his lawns.
If, where his devious ramble strays,
He Virtue's radiant form surveys,
She seems no longer now to wear
The rigid mien, the frown severe;
To show him her remote abode,
To point the rocky arduous road;
But from each flower his fields allow,
She twines a garland for his brow.

The Judgement Of Hercules

While blooming Spring descends from genial skies,
By whose mild influence instant wonders rise;
From whose soft breath Elysian beauties flow;
The sweets of Hagley, or the pride of Stowe;
Will Lyttleton the rural landscape range,
Leave noisy fame, and not regret the change?
Pleased will he tread the garden's early scenes,
And learn a moral from the rising greens?
There, warm'd alike by Sol's enlivening power,
The weed, aspiring, emulates the flower;
The drooping flower, its fairer charms display'd,
Invites, from grateful hands, their generous aid:
Soon, if none check'd the invasive foe's designs,
The lively lustre of these scenes declines!

'Tis thus the spring of youth, the morn of life,
Rears in our minds the rival seeds of strife:
Then passion riots, reason then contends,
And on the conquest every bliss depends:
Life from the nice decision takes its hue,
And blest those judges who decide like you!
On worth like theirs shall every bliss attend,
The world their favourite, and the world their friend.

There are, who, blind to Thought's fatiguing ray,
As Fortune gives examples, urge their way;
Not Virtue's foes, though they her paths decline,
And scarce her friends, though with her friends they join;
In hers or Vice's casual road advance,
Thoughtless, the sinners or the saints of Chance!
Yet some more nobly scorn the vulgar voice,
With judgment fix, with zeal pursue their choice,
When ripen'd thought, when Reason, born to reign,
Checks the wild tumults of the youthful vein;
While passion's lawless tides, at their command,
Glide through more useful tracks, and bless the land.

Happiest of these is he whose matchless mind,
By learning strengthen'd, and by taste refined,
In Virtue's cause essay'd its earliest powers,
Chose Virtue's paths, and strew'd her paths with flowers.
The first alarm'd, if Freedom waves her wings,
The fittest to adorn each art she brings;
Loved by that prince whom every virtue fires,
Praised by that bard whom every Muse inspires;
Blest in the tuneful art, the social flame;
In all that wins, in all that merits, fame!

'Twas youth's perplexing stage his doubts inspired,
When great Alcides to a grove retired:
Through the lone windings of a devious glade,
Resign'd to thought, with lingering steps he stray'd;
Blest with a mind to taste sincerer joys,
Arm'd with a heart each false one to despise.
Dubious he stray'd, with wavering thoughts possest,
Alternate passions struggling shared his breast;
The various arts which human cares divide,
In deep attention all his mind employ'd;
Anxious, if Fame an equal bliss secured;
Or silent Ease with softer charms allured.
The sylvan choir, whose numbers sweetly flow'd,
The fount that murmur'd, and the flowers that blow'd;
The silver flood that in meanders led
His glittering streams along the enliven'd mead;
The soothing breeze, and all those beauties join'd,
Which, whilst they please, effeminate the mind;
In vain! while distant, on a summit raised,
The imperial towers of Fame attractive blazed.

While thus he traced through Fancy's puzzling maze
The separate sweets of pleasure and of praise,
Sudden the wind a fragrant gale convey'd,
And a new lustre gain'd upon the shade:
At once, before his wondering eyes were seen
Two female forms, of more than mortal mien:
Various their charms, and in their dress and face,
Each seem'd to vie with some peculiar grace.
This, whose attire less clogg'd with art appear'd,
The simple sweets of innocence endear'd;
Her sprightly bloom, her quick sagacious eye,
Show'd native merit mix'd with modesty:
Her air diffused a mild, yet awful ray,
Severely sweet, and innocently gay;
Such the chaste image of the martial maid,
In artless folds of virgin white array'd;
She let no borrow'd rose her cheeks adorn,
Her blushing cheeks, that shamed the purple morn:
Her charms nor had nor wanted artful foils,
Or studied gestures, or well-practised smiles:
She scorn'd the toys which render beauty less;
She proved the engaging chastity of dress;
And while she chose in native charms to shine,
Even thus she seem'd, nay, more than seem'd divine.
One modest emerald clasp'd the robe she wore,
And in her hand the imperial sword she bore.
Sublime her height, majestic was her pace,
And match'd the awful honours of her face.
The shrubs, the flowers, that deck'd the verdant ground,
Seem'd, where she trod, with rising lustre crown'd.
Still her approach with stronger influence warm'd;
She pleased while distant, but when near she charm'd.
So strikes the gazer's eye the silver gleam
That, glittering, quivers o'er a distant stream;
But from its banks we see new beauties rise,
And, in its crystal bosom, trace the skies.

With other charms the rival vision glow'd,
And from her dress her tinsel beauties flow'd.
A fluttering robe her pamper'd shape conceal'd,
And seem'd to shade the charms it best reveal'd:
Its form contrived her faulty size to grace,
Its hue, to give fresh lustre to her face.
Her plaited hair, disguised, with brilliants glared;
Her cheeks the ruby's neighbouring lustre shared;
The gaudy topaz lent its gay supplies,
And every gem that strikes less curious eyes;
Exposed her breast, with foreign sweets perfumed,
And round her brow a roseate garland bloom'd.
Soft smiling, blushing lips conceal'd her wiles;
Yet, ah! the blushes artful as the smiles.
Oft, gazing on her shade, the enraptured fair
Decreed the substance well deserved her care;
Her thoughts, to others' charms malignly blind,
Center'd in that, and were to that confined;
And if on others' eyes a glance were thrown,
'Twas but to watch the influence of her own:
Much like her guardian, fair Cythera's queen,
When for her warrior she refines her mien;
Or when, to bless her Delian favourite's arms,
The radiant fair invigorates her charms:
Much like her pupil, Egypt's sportive dame,
Her dress expressive, and her air the same,
When her gay bark o'er silver Cydnus roll'd,
And all the emblazon'd streamers waved in gold.
Such shone the vision, nor forbore to move
The fond contagious airs of lawless love;
Each wanton eye deluding glances fired,
And amorous dimples on each cheek conspired.
Lifeless her gait, and slow; with seeming pain
She dragg'd her loitering limbs along the plain,
Yet made some faint efforts, and first approach'd the swain.
So glaring draughts, with tawdry lustre bright,
Spring to the view, and rush upon the sight;
More slowly charms a Raphael's chaster air,
Waits the calm search, and pays the searcher's care.

Wrapp'd in a pleased suspense, the youth survey'd
The various charms of each attractive maid:
Alternate each he view'd, and each admired,
And found, alternate, varying flames inspired:
Quick o'er their forms his eyes with pleasure ran,
When she, who first approach'd him, first began:-

'Hither, dear boy, direct thy wandering eyes;
'Tis here the lovely Vale of Pleasure lies:
Debate no more, to me thy life resign;
Each sweet which Nature can diffuse is mine:
For me the nymph diversifies her power,
Springs in a tree, or blossoms in a flower;
To please my ear, she tunes the linnet's strains;
To please my eye, with lilies paints the plains;
To form my couch, in mossy beds she grows;
To gratify my smell, perfumes the rose;
Reveals the fair, the fertile scene you see,
And swells the vegetable world for me.

'Let the gull'd fool the toils of war pursue,
Where bleed the many to enrich the few
Where Chance from Courage claims the boasted prize;
Where, though she give, your country oft denies.
Industrious thou shalt Cupid's wars maintain,
And ever gently fight his soft campaign;
His darts alone shalt wield, his wounds endure,
Yet only suffer, to enjoy the cure.
Yield but to me-a choir of nymphs shall rise,
And fire thy breast, and bless thy ravish'd eyes:
Their beauteous cheeks a fairer rose shall wear,
A brighter lily on their necks appear;
Where fondly thou thy favour'd head shalt rest,
Soft as the down that swells the cygnet's nest;
While Philomel in each soft voice complains,
And gently lulls thee with mellifluous strains;
Whilst with each accent sweetest odours flow,
And spicy gums round every bosom glow.
Not the famed bird Arabian climes admire
Shall in such luxury of sweets expire.
At Sloth let War's victorious sons exclaim,
In vain! for Pleasure is my real name:
Nor envy thou the heads with bays o'ergrown;
No, seek thou roses to adorn thy own;
For well each opening scene that claims my care
Suits and deserves the beauteous crown I wear.

'Let others prune the vine; the genial bowl
Shall crown thy table, and enlarge thy soul.
Let vulgar hands explore the brilliant mine,
So the gay produce glitter still on thine.
Indulgent Bacchus loads his labouring tree,
And, guarding, gives its clustering sweets to me.
For my loved train, Apollo's piercing beam
Darts through the passive globe, and frames the gem.
See in my cause consenting gods employ'd,
Nor slight these gods, their blessings unenjoy'd.
For thee the poplar shall its amber drain;
For thee, in clouded beauty, spring the cane;
Some costly tribute every clime shall pay,
Some charming treasure every wind convey;
Each object round some pleasing scene shall yield,
Art built thy dome, while Nature decks thy field:
Of Corinth's Order shall the structure rise,
The spiring turrets glitter through the skies;
Thy costly robe shall glow with Tyrian rays,
Thy vase shall sparkle, and thy car shall blaze;
Yet thou, whatever pomp the sun display,
Shalt own the amorous night exceeds the day.

'When melting flutes and sweetly sounding lyres
Wake the gay Loves, and cite the young Desires;
Or in the Ionian dance some favourite maid
Improves the flame her sparkling eyes convey'd;
Think, canst thou quit a glowing Delia's arms
To feed on Virtue's visionary charms?
Or slight the joys which wit and youth engage
For the faint honour of a frozen sage?
To find dull envy even that hope deface,
And, where you toiled for glory, reap disgrace?

'Oh! think that beauty waits on thy decree,
And thy loved loveliest charmer pleads with me;
She whose soft smile, or gentler glance, to move,
You vow'd the wild extremities of love;
In whose endearments years, like moments, flew;
For whose endearments millions seem'd too few;
She, she implores; she bids thee seize the prime,
And tread with her the flowery tracts of time,
Nor thus her lovely bloom of life bestow
On some cold lover, or insulting foe.
Think, if against that tongue thou canst rebel,
Where Love yet dwelt, and Reason seem'd to dwell,
What strong persuasion arms her softer sighs!
What full conviction sparkles in her eyes!

'See, Nature smiles, and birds salute the shade,
Where breathing jasmine screens the sleeping maid;
And such her charms, as to the vain may prove
Ambition seeks more humble joys than Love!
There busy toil shall ne'er invade thy reign,
Nor sciences perplex thy labouring brain;
Or none, but what with equal sweets invite,
Nor other arts, but to prolong delight.
Sometimes thy fancy prune her tender wing,
To praise a pendant, or to grace a ring;
To fix the dress that suits each varying mien;
To show where best the clustering gems are seen;
To sigh soft strains along the vocal grove,
And tell the charms, the sweet effects, of love!
Nor fear to find a coy disdainful Muse,
Nor think the Sisters will their aid refuse:
Cool grots, and tinkling rills, or silent shades,
Soft scenes of leisure, suit the harmonious maids;
And all the wise, and all the grave decree
Some of that sacred train allied to me.

'But if more specious ease thy wishes claim,
And thy breast glow with faint desire of fame,
Some softer science shall thy thoughts amuse,
And learning's name a solemn sound diffuse.
To thee all Nature's curious stores I'll bring,
Explain the beauties of an insect's wing;
The plant which Nature, less diffusely kind,
Has to few climes with partial care confined;
The shell she scatters with more careless air,
And in her frolics seems supremely fair;
The worth that dazzles in the tulip's stains,
Or lurks beneath a pebble's various veins.

'Sleep's downy god, averse to war's alarms,
Shall o'er thy head diffuse his softest charms,
Ere anxious thought thy dear repose assail,
Or care, my most destructive foe, prevail.
The watery nymphs shall tune the vocal vales,
And gentle zephyrs harmonize their gales;
For thy repose, inform, with rival joy,
Their streams to murmur, and their winds to sigh.
Thus shalt thou spend the sweetly-flowing day,
Till, lost in bliss, thou breathe thy soul away;
Till she the Elysian bowers of joy repair,
Nor find my charming scenes exceeded there.'

She ceased; and on a lilied bank reclined,
Her flowing robe waved wanton with the wind;
One tender hand her drooping head sustains,
One points, expressive, to the flowery plains.
Soon the fond youth perceived her influence roll
Deep in his breast, to melt his manly soul;
As when Favonius joins the solar blaze,
And each fair fabric of the frost decays,
Soon, to his breast, the soft harangue convey'd
Resolves too partial to the specious maid.
He sigh'd, he gazed, so sweetly smiled the dame,
Yet sighing, gazing, seem'd to scorn his flame;
And oft as Virtue caught his wandering eye,
A crimson blush condemn'd the rising sigh.
'Twas such the lingering Trojan's shame betray'd
When Maia's son the frown of Jove display'd;
When wealth, fame, empire, could no balance prove
For the soft reign of Dido, and of love.
Thus ill with arduous glory love conspires,
Soft tender flames with bold impetuous fires!
Some hovering doubts his anxious bosom moved,
And Virtue, zealous fair! those doubts improved.-

'Fly, fly, fond youth! the too indulgent maid,
Nor err, by such fantastic scenes betray'd.
Though in my path the rugged thorn be seen,
And the dry turf disclose a fainter green;
Though no gay rose or flowery product shine,
The barren surface still conceals the mine.
Each thorn that threatens, even the weed that grows
In Virtue's path, superior sweets bestows-
Yet should those boasted specious toys allure,
Whence could fond Sloth the flattering gifts procure?
The various wealth that tempts thy fond desire,
'Tis I alone, her greatest foe, acquire.
I from old Ocean rob the treasured store;
I through each region latent gems explore:
'Twas I the rugged brilliant first reveal'd,
By numerous strata deep in earth conceal'd;
'Tis I the surface yet refine, and show
The modest gem's intrinsic charms to glow;
Nor swells the grape, nor spires its feeble tree,
Without the firm supports of industry.

'But grant we Sloth the scene herself has drawn,
The mossy grotto, and the flowery lawn;
Let Philomela tune the harmonious gale,
And with each breeze eternal sweets exhale;
Let gay Pomona slight the plains around,
And choose, for fairest fruits, the favour'd ground;
To bless the fertile vale should Virtue cease,
Nor mossy grots, nor flowery lawns could please;
Nor gay Pomona's luscious gifts avail,
The sound harmonious, or the spicy gale.

'Seest thou yon rocks in dreadful pomp arise,
Whose rugged cliffs deform the encircling skies?
Those fields, whence Phœbus all the moisture drains,
And, too profusely fond, disrobes the plains?
When I vouchsafe to tread the barren soil,
Those rocks seem lovely, and those deserts smile:
The form thou view'st to every scene with ease
Transfers its charms, and every scene can please.
When I have on those pathless wilds appear'd,
And the lone wanderer with my presence cheer'd,
Those cliffs the exile has with pleasure view'd,
And call'd that desert, blissful solitude!

'Nor I alone to such extend my care,
Fair blooming Health surveys her altars there
Brown Exercise will lead thee where she reigns,
And with reflected lustre gild the plains:
With her in flower of youth and beauty's pride,
Her offspring, calm Content and Peace, reside;
One ready offering suits each neighbouring shrine,
And all obey their laws, who practise mine.

'But Health averse, from Sloth's smooth region flies,
And, in her absence, Pleasure droops and dies;
Her bright companions, Mirth, Delight, Repose,
Smile where she smiles, and sicken when she goes:
A galaxy of powers! whose forms appear
For ever beauteous, and for ever near.

'Nor will soft Sleep to Sloth's request incline,
He from her couches flies unbid to mine.

'Vain is the sparkling bowl, the warbling strain,
The incentive song, the labour'd viand vain!
Where she, relentless, reigns without control,
And checks each gay excursion of the soul;
Unmoved though Beauty, deck'd in all its charms,
Grace the rich couch, and spread the softest arms;
Till joyless Indolence suggests desires,
Or drugs are sought to furnish languid fires;
Such languid fires as on the vitals prey,
Barren of bliss, but fertile of decay:
As artful heats, applied to thirsty lands,
Produce no flowers, and but debase the sands.

'But let fair Health her cheering smiles impart!
How sweet is Nature, how superfluous Art!
'Tis she the fountain's ready draught commends,
And smooths the flinty couch which Fortune lends;
And when my hero from his toils retires,
Fills his gay bosom with unusual fires;
And while no checks the unbounded joy reprove,
Aids and refines the genuine sweets of love.
His fairest prospect rising trophies frame;
His sweetest music is the voice of Fame:
Pleasures to Sloth unknown! she never found
How fair the prospect, or how sweet the sound.

'See Fame's gay structure from yon summit charms,
And fires the manly breast to arts or arms;
Nor dread the steep ascent, by which you rise
From grovelling vales to towers which reach the skies.

'Love, fame, esteem, 'tis labour must acquire,
The smiling offspring of a rigid fire!
To fix the friend, your service must be shown;
All, ere they loved your merit, loved their own;
That wondering Greece your portrait may admire,
That tuneful bards may string for you their lyre,
That books may praise, or coins record your name,-
Such, such rewards 'tis toil alone can claim!
And the same column which displays to view
The conqueror's name, displays the conquest too.

''Twas slow Experience, tedious mistress! taught
All that e'er nobly spoke or bravely fought:
'Twas she the patriot, she the bard, refined
In arts that serve, protect, or please mankind.
Not the vain visions of inactive schools,
Not Fancy's maxims, nor Opinion's rules,
E'er form'd the man whose generous warmth extends
To enrich his country, or to serve his friends.
On active worth the laurel War bestows;
Peace rears her olive for industrious brows;
Nor earth, uncultured, yields its kind supplies;
Nor heaven its showers, without a sacrifice.

'See, far below such grovelling scenes of shame,
As lull to rest Ignavia's slumbering dame;
Her friends, from all the toils of Fame secure,
Alas! inglorious, greater toils endure;
Doom'd all to mourn who in her cause engage;
A youth enervate, and a painful age;
A sickly sapless mass, if Reason flies,
And, if she linger, impotently wise!
A thoughtless train, who, pamper'd, sleek, and gay,
Invite old age, and revel youth away;
From life's fresh vigour move the load of care,
And idly place it where they least can bear;
When to the mind, diseased, for aid they fly,
What kind reflection shall the mind supply?
When with lost health, what should the loss allay?
Peace, peace is lost; a comfortless decay!
But to my friends, when youth, when pleasure, flies,
And earth's dim beauties fade before their eyes,
Through death's dark vista flowery tracts are seen,
Elysian plains, and groves for ever green.
If o'er their lives a refluent glance they cast,
Theirs is the present who can praise the past;
Life has its bliss for these, when past its bloom,
As wither'd roses yield a late perfume.

'Serene, and safe from passion's stormy rage,
How calm they glide into the port of Age!
Of the rude voyage less deprived than eased;
More tired than pain'd, and weaken'd than diseased;
For health on age 'tis temperance must bestow,
And peace from piety alone can flow;
And all the incense bounteous Jove requires,
Has sweets for him who feeds the sacred fires.

'Sloth views the towers of Fame with envious eyes,
Desirous still, still impotent to rise.
Oft, when resolved to gain those blissful towers,
The pensive queen the dire ascent explores,
Comes onward, wafted by the balmy trees,
Some sylvan music, or some scented breeze;
She turns her head, her own gay realm she spies,
And all the short-lived resolution dies.
Thus some fond insect's faltering pinions wave,
Clasp'd in its favourite sweets, a lasting slave;
And thus in vain these charming visions please
The wretch of glory, and the slave of ease,
Doom'd ever in ignoble state to pine,
Boast her own scenes, and languish after mine.
But shun her snares; nor let the world exclaim,
Thy birth, which was thy glory, proved thy shame.
With early hope thine infant actions fired,
Let manhood crown what infancy inspired;
Let generous toils with health reward thy days,
Prolong thy prime, and eternize thy praise.
The bold exploit that charms the attesting age,
To latest times shall generous hearts engage;
And with that myrtle shall thy shrine be crown'd,
With which, alive, thy graceful brows were bound,
Till Time shall bid thy virtues freely bloom,
And raise a temple where it found a tomb.

'Then in their feasts thy name shall Grecians join,
Shall pour the sparkling juice to Jove's and thine:
Thine, used in war, shall raise their native fire;
Thine, used in peace, their mutual faith inspire.
Dulness, perhaps, through want of sight, may blame,
And Spleen, with odious industry, defame;
And that, the honours given, with wonder view,
And this, in secret sadness, own them due.
Contempt and Envy were by fate design'd
The rival tyrants which divide mankind;
Contempt, which none but who deserve can bear,
While Envy's wounds the smiles of Fame repair:
For know, the generous thine exploits shall fire,
Thine every friend it suits thee to require;
Loved by the gods, and, till their seats I show,
Loved by the good, their images below.'

'Cease, lovely maid! fair daughter of the Skies;
My guide! my queen!' the ecstatic youth replies:
'In thee I trace a form design'd for sway,
Which chiefs may court, and kings with pride obey;
And by thy bright immortal friends I swear,
Thy fair idea shall no toils impair.
Lead me, O lead me! where whole hosts of foes
Thy form depreciate, and thy friends oppose.
Welcome all toils the unequal Fates decree,
While toils endear thy faithful charge to thee.
Such be my cares to bind the oppressive hand,
And crush the fetters of an injured land;
To see the monster's noxious life resign'd,
And tyrants quell'd, the monsters of mankind!
Nature shall smile to view the vanquish'd brood,
And none, but Envy, riot unsubdued.
In cloister'd state let selfish sages dwell,
Proud that their heart is narrow as their cell!
And boast their mazy labyrinth of rules,
Far less the friends of Virtue, than the fools;
Yet such in vain thy favouring smiles pretend,
For he is thine, who proves his country's friend.
Thus when my life, well spent, the good enjoy,
And the mean envious labour to destroy;
When strongly lured by Fame's contiguous shrine,
I yet devote my choicer vows to thine;
If all my toils thy promised favour claim,
O lead thy favourite through the gates of Fame!'

He ceased his vows, and, with disdainful air,
He turn'd to blast the late exulting fair:
But vanish'd, fled to some more friendly shore,
The conscious phantom's beauty pleased no more;
Convinced her spurious charms of dress and face,
Claim'd a quick conquest, or a sure disgrace.
Fantastic power! whose transient charms allured,
While Error's mist the reasoning mind obscured;
Not such the victress, Virtue's constant queen,
Endured the test of truth, and dared be seen;
Her brightening form and features seem'd to own,
'Twas all her wish, her interest to be known;
And when his longing view the fair declined,
Left a full image of her charms behind.

Thus reigns the moon, with furtive splendour crown'd,
While glooms oppress us, and thick shades surround;
But let the source of light its beams display,
Languid and faint the mimic flames decay,
And all the sickening splendour fades away.

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