Song Xi. - Perhaps It Is Not Love

Perhaps it is not love, said I,
That melts my soul when Flavia's nigh;
Where wit and sense like hers agree,
One may be pleased, and yet be free.

The beauties of her polish'd mind
It needs no lover's eye to find;
The hermit freezing in his cell
Might wish the gentle Flavia well.

It is not love-averse to bear
The servile chain that lovers wear;
Let, let me all my fears remove,
My doubts dispel-it is not love.

Oh! when did wit so brightly shine
In any form less fair than thine?
It is-it is love's subtle fire,
And under friendship lurks desire.

Elegy Xii. His Recantation

No more the Muse obtrudes her thin disguise,
No more with awkward fallacy complains
How every fervour from my bosom flies,
And Reason in her lonesome palace reigns.

Ere the chill winter of our days arrive,
No more she paints the breast from passion free;
I feel, I feel one loitering wish survive-
Ah! need I, Florio, name that wish to thee?

The star of Venus ushers in the day,
The first, the loveliest of the train that shine!
The star of Venus lends her brightest ray,
When other stars their friendly beams resign.

Still in my breast one soft desire remains,
Pure as that star, from guilt, from interest, free
Has gentle Delia tripp'd across the plains,
And need I, Florio, name that wish to thee?

While, cloy'd to find the scenes of life the same,
I tune with careless hand my languid lays,
Some secret impulse wakes my former flame,
And fires my strain with hopes of brighter days.

I slept not long beneath yon rural bowers,
And, lo! my crook with flowers adorn'd I see:
Has gentle Delia bound my crook with flowers,
And need I, Florio, name my hopes to thee?

Elegy V. He Compares The Turbulence Of Love With The Tranquillity Of Friendship

From Love, from angry Love's inclement reign
I pass awhile to Friendship's equal skies;
Thou, generous Maid! reliev'st my partial pain,
And cheer'st the victim of another's eyes.

'Tis thou, Melissa, thou deserv'st my care;
How can my will and reason disagree?
How can my passion live beneath despair?
How can my bosom sigh for aught but thee?

Ah! dear Melissa! pleased with thee to rove,
My soul has yet survived its dreariest time
Ill can I bear the various clime of Love!
Love is a pleasing, but a various clime.

So smiles immortal Maro's favourite shore,
Parthenope, with every verdure crown'd;
When straight Vesuvio's horrid cauldrons roar,
And the dry vapour blasts the regions round.

Oh, blissful regions, oh, unrivall'd plains,
When Maro to these fragrant haunts retired!
Oh, fatal realms, and oh, accursed domains,
When Pliny, 'mid sulphureous clouds, expired!

So smiles the surface of the treacherous main,
As o'er its waves the peaceful halcyons play;
When soon rude winds their wonted rule regain,
And sky and ocean mingle in the fray.

But let or air contend, or ocean rave,
Even Hope subside, amid the billows tost;
Hope, still emergent, still contemns the wave,
And not a feature's wonted smile is lost.

Ode - So Dear My Lucio Is To Me

So dear my Lucio is to me,
So well our minds and tempers blend,
That seasons may for ever flee,
And ne'er divide me from my friend;
But let the favour'd boy forbear
To tempt with love my only fair.

O Lycon! born when every Muse,
When every Grace, benignant smiled,
With all a parent's breast could choose
To bless her loved, her only child;
'Tis thine, so richly graced, to prove
More noble cares than cares of love.

Together we from early youth
Have trod the flowery tracks of time,
Together mused in search of truth,
O'er learned sage, or bard sublime;
And well thy cultured breast I know,
What wondrous treasure it can show!

Come, then, resume thy charming lyre,
And sing some patriot's worth sublime,
Whilst I in fields of soft desire
Consume my fair and fruitless prime;
Whose reed aspires but to display
The flame that burns me night and day.

O come! the Dryads of the woods
Shall daily soothe thy studious mind,
The blue-eyed nymphs of yonder floods
Shall meet and court thee to be kind;
And Fame sits listening for thy lays
To swell her trump with Lucio's praise.

Like me, the plover fondly tries
To lure the sportsman from her nest,
And fluttering on with anxious cries,
Too plainly shows her tortured breast;
O let him, conscious of her care,
Pity her pains, and learn to spare.

Ode, Written 1739

Urit spes animi credula mutui.-Hor.


Fond hope of a reciprocal desire
Inflames the breast.

'Twas not by beauty's aid alone
That Love usurp'd his airy throne,
His boasted power display'd;
'Tis kindness that secures his aim,
'Tis hope that feeds the kindling flame
Which beauty first convey'd.

In Clara's eyes the lightning view;
Her lips with all the rose's hue
Have all its sweets combined;
Yet vain the blush, and faint the fire,
Till lips at once, and eyes, conspire
To prove the charmer kind--

Though wit might gild the tempting snare
With softest accent, sweetest air,
By envy's self admired;
If Lesbia's wit betray'd her scorn,
In vain might every Grace adorn
What every Muse inspired.

Thus airy Strephon tuned his lyre-
He scorn'd the pangs of wild desire,
Which lovesick swains endure;
Resolved to brave the keenest dart,
Since frowns could never wound his heart;
And smiles-must ever cure.

But, ah! how false these maxims prove,
How frail security from love,
Experience hourly shows;
Love can imagined smiles supply;
On every charming lip and eye
Eternal sweets bestows.

In vain we trust the fair one's eyes;
In vain the sage explores the skies,
To learn from stars his fate;
Till, led by fancy wide astray,
He finds no planet mark his way;
Convinced and wise-too late.

As partial to their words we prove,
Then boldly join the lists of love,
With towering hopes supplied:
So heroes, taught by doubtful shrines,
Mistook their deity's designs;
Then took the field-and died.

A Pastoral Ballad Iv: Disappointment

Ye shepherds give ear to my lay,
And take no more heed of my sheep:
They have nothing to do but to stray;
I have nothing to do but to weep.
Yet do not my folly reprove;
She was fair -- and my passion begun;
She smil'd -- and I could not but love;
She is faithless -- and I am undone.
Perhaps I was void of all thought:
Perhaps it was plain to foresee,
That a nymph so compleat would be sought
By a swain more engaging than me.
Ah! love ev'ry hope can inspire;
It banishes wisdom the while;
And the lip of the nymph we admire
Seems for ever adorn'd with a smile.
She is faithless, and I am undone;
Ye that witness the woes I endure;
Let reason instruct you to shun
What it cannot instruct you to cure.
Beware how you loiter in vain
Amid nymphs of an higher degree:
It is not for me to explain
How fair, and how fickle they be.
Alas! from the day that we met,
What hope of an end to my woes?
When I cannot endure to forget
The glance that undid my repose.
Yet time may diminish the pain:
The flow'r, and the shrub, and the tree,

Which I rear'd for her pleasure in vain,
In time may have comfort for me.
The sweets of a dew-sprinkled rose,
The sound of a murmuring stream,
The peace which from solitude flows,
Henceforth shall be Corydon's theme.
High transports are shewn to the sight,
But we are not to find them our own;
Fate never bestow'd such delight,
As I with my Phyllis had known.
O ye woods, spread your branches apace;
To your deepest recesses I fly;
I would hide with the beasts of the chace;
I would vanish from every eye.
Yet my reed shall resound thro' the grove
With the same sad complaint it begun;
How she smil'd, and I could not but love;
Was faithless, and I am undone!

Optima quaeque dies miseris mortalibus aevi
Prima fugit-…

Ah! wretched mortals we! - our brightest days
On fleetest pinions fly.

A tear bedews my Delia's eye,
To think yon playful kid must die;
From crystal spring, and flowery mead,
Must, in his prime of life, recede!

Erewhile, in sportive circles round
She saw him wheel, and frisk, and bound!
From rock to rock pursue his way,
And on the fearful margin play.

Pleased on his various freaks to dwell,
She saw him climb my rustic cell;
Thence eye my lawns with verdure bright,
And seem'd all ravish'd at the sight:

She tells with what delight he stood,
To trace his features in the flood:
Then skipp'd aloof with quaint amaze,
And then drew near again to gaze.

She tells me how with eager speed
He flew to hear my vocal reed;
And how, with critic face profound,
And steadfast ear, devour'd the sound.

His every frolic, light as air,
Deserves the gentle Delia's care;
And tears bedew her tender eye,
To think the playful kid must die.

But knows my Delia, timely wise,
How soon this blameless era flies;
While violence and craft succeed,
Unfair design, and ruthless deed?

Soon would the vine his wounds deplore,
And yield her purple gifts no more;
Ah! soon erased from every grove
Were Delia's name, and Strephon's love.

No more those bowers might Strephon see,
Where first he fondly gazed on thee;
No more those beds of flowerets find,
Which for thy charming brows he twined.

Each wayward passion soon would tear
His bosom, now so void of care;
And, when they left his ebbing vein,
What, but insipid age, remain?

Then mourn not the decrees of Fate,
That gave his life so short a date;
And I will join my tenderest sighs,
To think that youth so swiftly flies!

A Pastoral Ballad I: Absence

Arbusta humilesque myricæ. Virg.

Ye shepherds so chearful and gay,
Whose flocks never carelessly roam;
Should Corydon's happen to stray,
Oh! call the poor wanderers home.
Allow me to muse and to sigh,
Nor talk of the change that ye find;
None once was so watchful as I;
-- I have left my dear Phyllis behind.
Now I know what it is, to have strove
With the torture of doubt and desire;

What it is, to admire and to love,
And to leave her we love and admire.
Ah lead forth my flock in the morn,
And the damps of each ev'ning repel;
Alas! I am faint and forlorn:
-- I have bade my dear Phyllis farewel.
Since Phyllis vouchsaf'd me a look,
I never once dreamt of my vine;
May I lose both my pipe and my crook,
If I knew of a kid that was mine.

I priz'd every hour that went by,
Beyond all that had pleas'd me before;
But now they are past, and I sigh;
And I grieve that I priz'd them no more.
But why do I languish in vain;
Why wander thus pensively here?
Oh! why did I come from the plain,
Where I fed on the smiles of my dear?
They tell me, my favourite maid,
The pride of that valley, is flown;

Alas! where with her I have stray'd,
I could wander with pleasure, alone.
When forc'd the fair nymph to forego,
What anguish I felt at my heart!
Yet I thought -- but it might not be so --
'Twas with pain that she saw me depart.
She gaz'd, as I slowly withdrew;
My path I could hardly discern;
So sweetly she bade me adieu,
I thought that she bade me return.

The pilgrim that journeys all day
To visit some far-distant shrine,
If he bear but a relique away,
Is happy, nor heard to repine.
Thus widely remov'd from the fair,
Where my vows, my devotion, I owe,
Soft hope is the relique I bear,
And my solace wherever I go.

A Pastoral Ballad

Ye shepherds so cheerful and gay,
Whose flocks never carelessly roam;
Should Corydon's happen to stray,
Oh! call the poor wanderers home.
Allow me to muse and to sigh,
Nor talk of the change that ye find;
None once was so watchful as I;
I have left my dear Phillis behind.
Now I know what it is, to have strove
With the torture of doubt and desire;
What it is to admire and to love,
And to leave her we love and admire,
Ah, lead forth my flock in the morn,
And the damps of each evening repel;
Alas! I am faint and forlorn:
-I have bade my dear Phillis farewell.

Since Phillis vouchsaf'd me a look,
I never once dreamed of my vine;
May I lose both my pipe and my crook,
If I knew of a kid that was mine!
I priz'd every hour that went by,
Beyond all that had pleas'd me before;
But now they are past, and I sigh;
And I grieve that I priz'd them no more.

But why do I languish in vain;
Why wander thus pensively here?
Oh! why did I come from the plain,
Where I fed on the smiles of my dear?
They tell me, my favourite maid,
The pride of that valley, is flown;
Alas! where with her I have stray'd,
I could wander with pleasure, alone.

When forc'd the fair nymph to forgo,
What anguish I felt at my heart!
Yet I thought-but it might not be so-
'Twas with pain that she saw me depart.
She gaz'd, as I slowly withdrew:
My path I could hardly discern;
So sweetly she bade me adieu,
I thought that she bade me return.

The pilgrim that journeys all day
To visit some far distant shrine,
If he bear but a relique away,
Is happy, nor heard to repine.
Thus widely remov'd from the fair,
Where my vows, my devotion, I owe,
Soft hope is the relique I bear,
And my solace wherever I go.

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!

The Poet And The Dun

'These are messengers
That feelingly persuade me what I am.' -Shakspeare.

Comes a dun in the morning and raps at my door-
'I made bold to call-'tis a twelvemonth and more-
I'm sorry, believe me, to trouble you thus, sir-
But Job would be paid, sir, had Job been a mercer.'
My friend, have but patience-'Ay, these are your ways.'
I have got but one shilling to serve me two days-
But, sir-prithee take it, and tell your attorney,
If I han't paid your bill, I have paid for your journey.
Well, now thou art gone, let me govern my passion,
And calmly consider-consider? vexation!
What whore that must paint, and must put on false locks,
And counterfeit joy in the pangs of the pox?
What beggar's wife's nephew, now starved, and now beaten,
Who, wanting to eat, fears himself shall be eaten?
What porter, what turnspit, can deem his case hard?
Or what Dun boast of patience that thinks of a Bard?
Well, I'll leave this poor trade, for no trade can be poorer,
Turn shoe-boy, or courtier, or pimp, or procurer;
Get love, and respect, and good living, and pelf,
And dun some poor dog of a poet myself.
One's credit, however, of course will grow better.
Here enters the footman, and brings me a letter:
'Dear Sir! I received your obliging epistle;
Your fame is secure-bid the critics go whistle.
I read over with wonder the poem you sent me,
And I must speak your praises, no soul shall prevent me.
The audience, believe me, cried out, every line
Was strong, was affecting, was just, was divine;
All pregnant as gold is, with worth, weight, and beauty,
And to hide such a genius was-far from your duty.
I foresee that the court will be hugely delighted:
Sir Richard, for much a less genius, was knighted:
Adieu, my good friend! and for high life prepare ye;
I could say much more, but you're modest, I spare ye.'
Quite fired with the flattery, I call for my paper,
And waste that, and health, and my time, and my taper;
I scribble till morn, when, with wrath no small store,
Comes my old friend the mercer, and raps at my door.
'Ah, Friend! 'tis but idle to make such a pother;
Fate, Fate has ordain'd us to plague one another.'

A Pastoral Ballad Iii: Solicitude

Why will you my passion reprove?
Why term it a folly to grieve?
Ere I shew you the charms of my love,
She is fairer than you can believe.
With her mien she enamours the brave;
With her wit she engages the free;
With her modesty pleases the grave;
She is ev'ry way pleasing to me.

O you that have been of her train,
Come and join in my amorous lays;

I could lay down my life for the swain,
That will sing but a song in her praise.
When he sings, may the nymphs of the town
Come trooping, and listen the while;
Nay on him let not Phyllida frown;
-- But I cannot allow her to smile.
For when Paridel tries in the dance
Any favour with Phyllis to find,
O how, with one trivial glance,
Might she ruin the peace of my mind!

In ringlets he dresses his hair,
And his crook is be-studded around;
And his pipe -- oh may Phyllis beware
Of a magic there is in the sound.
'Tis his with mock passion to glow;
'Tis his in smooth tales to unfold,
``How her face is as bright as the snow,
And her bosom, be sure, is as cold?
How the nightingales labour the strain,
With the notes of his charmer to vie;

How they vary their accents in vain,
Repine at her triumphs, and die.''
To the grove or the garden he strays,
And pillages every sweet;
Then, suiting the wreath to his lays
He throws it at Phyllis's feet.
``O Phyllis, he whispers, more fair,
More sweet than the jessamine's flow'r!
What are pinks, in a morn, to compare?
What is eglantine, after a show'r?

Then the lily no longer is white;
Then the rose is depriv'd of its bloom;
Then the violets die with despight,
And the wood-bines give up their perfume.''
Thus glide the soft numbers along,
And he fancies no shepherd his peer;
-- Yet I never should envy the song,
Were not Phyllis to lend it an ear.
Let his crook be with hyacinths bound,
So Phyllis the trophy despise:

Let his forehead with laurels be crown'd,
So they shine not in Phyllis's eyes.
The language that flows from the heart
Is a stranger to Paridel's tongue;
-- Yet may she beware of his art,
Or sure I must envy the song.

Elegy Viii. He Describes His Early Love Of Poetry, And Its Consequences

To Mr. Graves, 1745.

Ah me! what envious magic thins my fold?
What mutter'd spell retards their late increase?
Such lessening fleeces must the swain behold,
That e'er with Doric pipe essays to please.

I saw my friends in evening circles meet;
I took my vocal reed, and tuned my lay;
I heard them say my vocal reed was sweet:
Ah, fool! to credit what I heard them say.

Ill-fated Bard! that seeks his skill to show,
Then courts the judgment of a friendly ear;
Not the poor veteran, that permits his foe
To guide his doubtful step, has more to fear.

Nor could my Graves mistake the critic's laws,
Till pious Friendship mark'd the pleasing way:
Welcome such error! ever bless'd the cause!
E'en though it led me boundless leagues astray.

Couldst thou reprove me, when I nursed the flame,
On listening Cherwell's osier banks reclined?
While, foe to Fortune, unseduced by Fame,
I soothed the bias of a careless mind?

Youth's gentle kindred, Health and Love, were met;
What though in Alma's guardian arms I play'd?
How shall the Muse those vacant hours forget?
Or deem that bliss by solid cares repaid?

Thou know'st how transport thrills the tender breast
Where Love and Fancy fix their opening reign;
How Nature shines, in livelier colours drest,
To bless their union, and to grace their train.

So first when Phœbus met the Cyprian queen,
And favour'd Rhodes beheld their passion crown'd,
Unusual flowers enrich'd the painted green,
And swift spontaneous roses blush'd around.

Now sadly lorn, from Twitnam's widow'd bower
The drooping Muses take their casual way,
And where they stop, a flood of tears they pour;
And where they weep, no more the fields are gay.

Where is the dappled pink, the sprightly rose?
The cowslip's golden cup no more I see:
Dark and discolour'd every flower that blows,
To form the garland, Elegy! for thee.

Enough of tears has wept the virtuous dead;
Ah! might we now the pious rage control!
Hush'd be my grief ere every smile be fled,
Ere the deep-swelling sigh subvert the soul!

If near some trophy spring a stripling bay,
Pleased we behold the graceful umbrage rise;
But soon too deep it works its baneful way,
And low on earth the prostrate ruin lies.

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.


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.

Elegy Xvii. He Indulges The Suggestions Of Spleen.-- An Elegy To The Winds

AEole! namque tibi divûm Pater atque hominum rex,
Et mulcere dedit mentes et tollere vento.


O AEolus! to thee the Sire supreme
Of gods and men the mighty power bequeath'd
To rouse or to assuage the human mind.

Stern Monarch of the winds! admit my prayer;
Awhile thy fury check, thy storms confine;
No trivial blast impels the passive air,
But brews a tempest in a breast like mine.

What bands of black ideas spread their wings!
The peaceful regions of Content invade!
With deadly poison taint the crystal springs!
With noisome vapour blast the verdant shade!

I know their leader, Spleen, and the dread sway
Of rigid Eurus, his detested sire;
Through one my blossoms and my fruits decay;
Through one my pleasures and my hopes expire.

Like some pale stripling, when his icy way
Relenting, yields beneath the noontide beam,
I stand aghast; and, chill'd with fear, survey
How far I've tempted life's deceitful stream.

Where, by remorse impell'd, repulsed by fears,
Shall wretched Fancy a retreat explore?
She flies the sad presage of coming years,
And sorrowing dwells on pleasures now no more.

Again with patrons and with friends she roves;
But friends and patrons never to return;
She sees the Nymphs, the Graces, and the Loves,
But sees them weeping o'er Lucinda's urn.

She visits, Isis! thy forsaken stream,
Oh! ill forsaken for BÅ“otian air;
She deems no flood reflects so bright a beam,
No reed so verdant, and no flower so fair.

She dreams beneath thy sacred shades were peace,
Thy bays might even the civil storm repel;
Reviews thy social bliss, thy learned ease,
And with no cheerful accent cries, Farewell!

Farewell, with whom to these retreats I stray'd,
By youthful sports, by youthful toils, allied;
Joyous we sojourn'd in thy circling shade,
And wept to find the paths of life divide.

She paints the progress of my rival's vows.
Sees every muse a partial ear incline,
Binds with luxuriant bays his favour'd brow,
Nor yields the refuse of his wrath to mine.

She bids the flattering mirror, form'd to please,
Now blast my hope, now vindicate despair;
Bids my fond verse the lovesick parley cease,
Accuse my rigid fate, acquit my fair.

Where circling rocks defend some pathless vale,
Superfluous mortal! let me ever rove;
Alas! there Echo will repeat the tale-
Where shall I find the silent scenes I love?

Fain would I mourn my luckless fate alone,
Forbid to please, yet fated to admire;
Away, my friends! my sorrows are my own!
Why should I breathe around my sick desire?

Bear me, ye winds, indulgent to my pains,
Near some sad ruin's ghastly shade to dwell!
There let me fondly eye the rude remains,
And from the mouldering refuse build my cell!

Genius of Rome! thy prostrate pomp display!
Trace every dismal proof of Fortune's power;
Let me the wreck of theatres survey,
Or pensive sit beneath some nodding tower.

Or where some duct, by rolling seasons worn,
Convey'd pure streams to Rome's imperial wall,
Near the wide breach in silence let me mourn,
Or tune my dirges to the water's fall.

Genius of Carthage! paint thy ruin'd pride;
Towers, arches, fanes, in wild confusion strewn;
Let banish'd Marius, lowering by thy side,
Compare thy fickle fortunes with his own.

Ah no! thou monarch of the storms! forbear;
My trembling nerves abhor thy rude control,
And scarce a pleasing twilight soothes my care,
Ere one vast death, like darkness, shocks my soul

Forbear thy rage-on no perennial base
Is built frail Fear, or Hope's deceitful pile;
My pains are fled-my joy resumes its places
Should the sky brighten, or Melissa smile.

Elegy Xxiv. He Takes Occasion, From The Fate Of Eleanor Of Bretagne

He Takes Occasion, From the Fate of Eleanor of Bretagne, To Suggest the Imperfect Pleasures of a Solitary Life.

When Beauty mourns, by Fate's injurious doom,
Hid from the cheerful glance of human eye,
When Nature's pride inglorious waits the tomb,
Hard is that heart which checks the rising sigh.

Fair Eleonora! would no gallant mind,
The cause of Love, the cause of Justice, own?
Matchless thy charms, and was no life resign'd
To see them sparkle from their native throne?

Or had fair Freedom's hand unveil'd thy charms,
Well might such brows the regal gem resign;
Thy radiant mien might scorn the guilt of arms,
Yet Albion's awful empire yield to thine.

O shame of Britons! in one sullen tower
She wet with royal tears her daily cell;
She found keen anguish every rose devour;
They sprung, they shone, they faded, and they fell.

Through one dim lattice, fringed with ivy round,
Successive suns a languid radiance threw,
To paint how fierce her angry guardian frown'd,
To mark how fast her waning beauty flew.

This, age might bear; then sated Fancy palls,
Nor warmly hopes what splendour can supply;
Fond Youth incessant mourns if rigid walls
Restrain its listening ear, its curious eye.

Believe me -- the pretence is vain!
This boasted calm that smooths our early day;
For never yet could youthful mind restrain
The alternate pant for pleasure and for praise.

Even me, by shady oak or limpid spring,
Even me, the scenes of polish'd life allure!
Some genius whispers, 'Life is on the wing,
And hard his lot that languishes obscure.

'What though thy riper mind admire no more-
The shining cincture, and the broider'd fold,
Can pierce like lightning thorough the figured ore,
And melt to dross the radiant forms of gold.

'Furs, ermines, rods, may well attract thy scorn,
The futile presents of capricious Power!
But wit, but worth, the public sphere adorn,
And who but envies then the social hour?

'Can Virtue, careless of her pupil's meed,
Forget how -- sustains the shepherd's cause?
Content in shades to tune a lonely reed,
Nor join the sounding pæan of applause?

For public haunts, impell'd by Britain's weal,
See Grenville quit the Muse's favourite ease;
And shall not swains admire his noble zeal?
Admiring praise, admiring strive to please?

'Life,' says the sage, 'affords no bliss sincere,
And courts and cells in vain our hopes renew:
But, ah! where Grenvile charms the listening ear,
'Tis hard to think the cheerless maxim true.

'The groves may smile; the rivers gently glide;
Soft through the vale resound the lonesome lay;
Even thickets yield delight, if taste preside,
But can they please, when Lyttleton's away?

'Pure as the swain's the breast of -- glows;
Ah! were the shepherd's phrase, like his, refined!
But, how improved the generous dictate flows
Through the clear medium of a polish'd mind!

'Happy the youths who, warm with Britain's love,
Her inmost wish in -- periods hear!
Happy that in the radiant circle move,
Attendant orbs, where Lonsdale gilds the sphere!

'While rural faith, and every polish'd art,
Each friendly charm, in -- conspire,
From public scenes all pensive must you part;
All joyless to the greenest fields retire!

'Go, plaintive Youth! no more by fount or stream,
Like some lone halcyon, social pleasures shun;
Go, dare the light, enjoy its cheerful beam,
And hail the bright procession of the sun.

'Then, cover'd by thy ripen'd shades, resume
The silent walk, no more by passion tost;
Then seek thy rustic haunts, the dreary gloom,
Where every art, that colours life, is lost.'

In vain! the listening Muse attends in vain!
Restraints in hostile bands her motions wait-
Yet will I grieve, and sadden all my strain,
When injured Beauty mourns the Muse's fate.

To A Lady, With Some Coloured Patterns Of Flowers


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.

Elegy Xxvi. Describing The Sorrow Of An Ingeneous Mind

Why mourns my friend? why weeps his downcast eye,
That eye where mirth, where fancy, used to shine?
Thy cheerful meads reprove that swelling sigh;
Spring ne'er enamell'd fairer meads than thine.

Art thou not lodged in Fortune's warm embrace?
Wert thou not form'd by Nature's partial care?
Bless'd in thy song, and bless'd in every grace
That wins the friend, or that enchants the fair?

'Damon,' said he, 'thy partial praise restrain;
Not Damon's friendship can my peace restore:
Alas! his very praise awakes my pain,
And my poor wounded bosom bleeds the more.

'For, O that Nature on my birth had frown'd,
Or Fortune fix'd me to some lowly cell!
Then had my bosom 'scaped this fatal wound,
Nor had I bid these vernal sweets farewell.

'But, led by Fortune's hand, her darling child,
My youth her vain licentious bliss admired;
In Fortune's train the syren Flattery smiled,
And rashly hallow'd all her queen inspired.

'Of folly studious, even of vices vain,
Ah, vices gilded by the rich and gay!
I chased the guileless daughters of the plain,
Nor dropp'd the chase till Jessy was my prey.

'Poor artless maid! to stain thy spotless name,
Expense, and Art, and Toil united strove;
To lure a breast that felt the purest flame,
Sustain'd by Virtue, but betray'd by Love.

'School'd in the science of Love's mazy wiles,
I clothed each feature with affected scorn;
I spoke of jealous doubts, and fickle smiles,
And, feigning, left her anxious and forlorn.

'Then while the fancied rage alarm'd her care,
Warm to deny, and zealous to disprove,
I bade my words the wonted softness wear,
And seized the minute of returning love.

'To thee, my Damon, dare I paint the rest?
Will yet thy love a candid ear incline?
Assured that virtue, by misfortune press'd,
Feels not the sharpness of a pang like mine.

'Nine envious moons matured her growing shame,
Erewhile to flaunt it in the face of day,
When scorn'd of Virtue, stigmatized by Fame,
Low at my feet desponding Jessy lay.

''Henry,' she said, 'by thy dear form subdued,
See the sad relics of a nymph undone!
I find, I find this rising sob renew'd;
I sigh in shades, and sicken at the sun.

''Amid the dreary gloom of night, I cry,
When will the morn's once pleasing scenes return?
Yet what can morn's returning ray supply,
But foes that triumph, or but friends that mourn?

''Alas! no more that joyous morn appears
That led the tranquil hours of spotless fame,
For I have steep'd a father's couch in tears,
And tinged a mother's glowing cheek with shame.

''The vocal birds that raise their matin strain,
The sportive lambs, increase my pensive moan;
All seem to chase me from the cheerful plain,
And talk of truth and innocence alone.

''If through the garden's flowery tribes I stray,
Where bloom the jasmines that could once allure,
'Hope not to find delight in us,' they say,
'For we are spotless, Jessy; we are pure.'

''Ye flowers! that well reproach a nymph so frail,
Say, could you with my virgin fame compare?
The brightest bud that scents the vernal gale
Was not so fragrant; and was not so fair.

''Now the grave old alarm the gentler young,
And all my fame's abhorr'd contagion flee;
Trembles each lip, and falters every tongue,
That bids the morn propitious smile on me.

''Thus for your sake I shun each human eye,
I bid the sweets of blooming youth adieu:
To die I languish, but I dread to die,
Lest my sad fate should nourish pangs for you.

''Raise me from earth; the pains of want remove,
And let me, silent, seek some friendly shore;
There only, banish'd from the form I love,
My weeping virtue shall relapse no more.

''Be but my friend; I ask no dearer name;
Be such the meed of some more artful fair;
Nor could it heal my peace, or chase my shame,
That Pity gave what Love refused to share.

''Force not my tongue to ask its scanty bread,
Nor hurl thy Jessy to the vulgar crew;
Not such the parent's board at which I fed!
Not such the precepts from his lips I drew!

''Haply, when age has silver'd o'er my hair,
Malice may learn to scorn so mean a spoil;
Envy may slight a face no longer fair,
And Pity welcome to my native soil.'

'She spoke-nor was I born of savage race,
Nor could these hands a niggard boon assign;
Grateful she clasp'd me in a last embrace,
And vow'd to waste her life in prayers for mine.

'I saw her foot the lofty bark ascend,
I saw her breast with every passion heave;
I left her-torn from every earthly friend;
Oh, my hard bosom! which could bear to leave!

'Brief let me be: the fatal storm arose;
The billows raged, the pilot's art was vain;
O'er the tall mast the circling surges close;
My Jessy-floats upon the watery plain!

'And-see my youth's impetuous fires decay:
Seek not to stop Reflection's bitter tear;
But warn the frolic, and instruct the gay,
From Jessy floating on her watery bier.'

The Speeches Of Sloth And Virtue

[Upon the Plan of Xenophen's Judgment of Hercules]


Hither, dear Boy, direct thy wandring Eyes,
'Tis here the lovely Vale of Pleasure lies.
Debate no more -- to me thy self resign;
Her mossy Caves, her Groves, and all are mine.
For me the Goddess opes her various Pow'r,
Springs in a Tree, or blossoms in a Flow'r:
To please my Ear she breaths celestial Strains:
To please my Eye, with Lillies strews the Plains:
To form my Couch in mossy Beds she grows:
To gratify my Smell she blooms a Rose.
Oft' in some Nymph the Deity I find,
Where in one Form the various Sweets are join'd.
Yield but to me, -- a Choir of Nymphs shall rise,
And with the blooming Sight regale thy Eyes:
Their beauteous Cheeks a fairer Rose shall wear,
A brighter Lilly in their Necks appear:
Thou on their Breasts thy wearied Head recline,
Nor at the Swan's less pleasing Nest repine:
Whilst Philomel in each soft Voice complains,
And gently lulls thee with her dying Strains:
Whilst spicy Gums round each fair Bosom glow;
And in each Accent myrrhy Odours flow.
For thee with softest Art the Dome shall rise,
And spiring Turrets glitter thro' the Skies.
For thee the Robe shall glow with purple Rays;
The Side-board sparkle, and gilt Chariot blaze.
In brilliant Mines, be other Hands employ'd,
So the gay Product be by thine enjoy'd.
For thee the Poplar shall her Amber drain:
For thee in clouded Beauty spring the Cane.
To please thy Taste shall Gallia prune the Vine:
To swell thy Treasures India sink the Mine.
For thee each Nations nicer Stores shall grow,
And ev'ry Wind some lovely Tribute blow.
Learning shall ne'er molest thy tranquil Reign,
Nor Science puzzle thy inactive Brain:
Sometimes perhaps thy Fancy take her Wing
To grace a Fan, or celebrate a Ring:
Fix various Dyes to suit each varying Mien:
Prescribe where Patches shou'd in Crouds be seen:

Or sigh soft Strains along the vocal Grove,
And tell the Charms, the sweet Effects of Love!
Or if more specious Ease thy Care shou'd claim,
And thy Breast glow with faint Desire of Fame,
Some trivial Science shall thy Thoughts amuse;
And Learning's Name a solemn Sound diffuse.
To Thee all Nature's shelly Store I'll bring,
To thee the Sparklings on the Insect's Wing.
Pleasure in infant Forms shalt thou descry;
View, in an Ant, or hear her in a Fly;

When near thy Path, as oft as Spring appears,
The sportive Goddess buzzes round thy Ears:
Now in some Pebble's curious Vein is seen,
Or on some Leaf bestows unusual Green.
Then Sleep shall wrap thee in her downy Arms,
And round thy weary'd Head diffuse her Charms;
Lest growing Pride thy peaceful Schemes o'erthrow,
And Thought succeed, -- my most destructive Foe.
The watry Nymphs shall tune the tinkling Vales,
And gentle Zephyrs harmonize their Gales:

For thy repose instruct, 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 breath thy Soul away:
How easy a Transition should'st thou find,
Were to thy Fate Annihilation join'd!


Fly, fly, fond Youth, the too indulgent Maid,
Nor err, by such fantastick Scenes betray'd.
Tho' in my Path the prickly Thorn be seen,
And the waste Turf produce a fainter Green;

Tho' no gay Rose, or purple Product shine,
The rugged Surface still conceals the Mine;
And each unsightly Object can supply
More lasting Pleasure, more substantial Joy.
But shou'd those airy glittr'ing Toys allure,
Yet whence cou'd Sloth the mighty Boon procure?
Or whence receive, or how those Gifts bestow,
Which I alone possess -- her greatest Foe?
I from old Ocean rob the treasur'd Store,
And hidden Gems thro' ev'ry Realm explore:

'Twas I the rugged Brilliant first reveal'd,
By tenfold Strata in the Earth conceal'd:
'Tis I the shapeless Surface still refine,
And teach the rugged Brilliant how to shine.
Where blooms the Rose, where spires the shapely Tree,
Where smiles the Grape, without fair Industry?
But grant we Sloth the Scene herself has drawn,
The mossy Grotto, and the flow'ry Lawn:
Let Frankincense with ev'ry Wind exhale,
And Philomela breath in ev'ry Gale:

Let Brilliants sparkle, (dear Machines of Pride!)
And from the Poplar flow the Amber Tide:
Let gay Pomona, quitting all around,
For choicest Fruits select the hallow'd Ground;
To tread the favour'd Soil shou'd Virtue cease,
Nor mossy Grotts, nor flow'ry Lawns cou'd please:
Nor ought Pomona's luscious Gifts avail:
The Sound harmonious; or the spicy Gale.
See'st thou those Rocks in dreadful Pomp arise,
And barren Cliffs that sweep the vaulted Skies?

Those Fields whence Phoebus all their Moisture drains,
And, too profusely kind, disrobes the Plains?
When I vouchsafe to tread the lonely Soil,
Those Rocks seem lovely, and those Desarts smile;
Oft' on those pathless Wilds as I appear,
(With Converse sweet his lonely Steps to chear)
Those Cliffs the Exile has with Pleasure view'd,
And call'd that Desart, ``Blissful Solitude!
Known by its airy Height and tow'ring Spires,
Behind that Scene Fame's lofty Dome retires.

Steep the Ascent by which to Fame we rise,
Yet equal to the Labour is the Prize:
From thence you gain an earthly Crown;
From thence -- you reach the Skies.
Far, far below the downy Throne is seen
That lulls to Rest Ignavia's softer Queen:

Thence to Fame's Turrets oft' She lifts her Eyes,
Desirous still, still impotent to rise.
Oft', when resolv'd to gain those shining Tow'rs,
The pensive Queen the dire Ascent explores;

Comes onward, wafted by the gummy Trees,
Some Sylvan Musick, or some scented Breeze;
She turns her Head; her own gay Realm she spies,
And all the airy Resolution dies.
Thus still in vain these gilded Visions please
The Wretch of Glory, whilst the Slave of Ease;
Doom'd ever in ignoble State to pine,
Boast her own Scenes, and languish after mine.

Charms Of Precedence - A Tale

'Sir, will you please to walk before?'-
'No, pray, Sir-you are next the door.'-
'Upon mine honour, I'll not stir.'-
'Sir, I'm at home; consider, Sir'-
'Excuse me, Sir; I'll not go first.'-
'Well, if I must be rude, I must-
But yet I wish I could evade it-
'Tis strangely clownish, be persuaded.'
Go forward, Cits! go forward, Squires!
Nor scruple each, what each admires.
Life squares not, Friends! with your proceeding,
It flies while you display your breeding;
Such breeding as one's grannum preaches,
Or some old dancing-master teaches.
Oh! for some rude tumultuous fellow,
Half crazy, or, at least, half mellow,
To come behind you unawares,
And fairly push you both down stairs!
But Death's at hand-let me advise ye
Go forward, Friends! or he'll surprise ye.
Besides, how insincere you are!
Do ye not flatter, lie, forswear,
And daily cheat, and weekly pray,
And all for this-to lead the way?
Such is my theme, which means to prove,
That though we drink, or game, or love,
As that, or this, is most in fashion,
Precedence is our ruling passion.
When college-students take degrees,
And pay the beadle's endless fees,
What moves that scientific body,
But the first cutting at a gaudy?
And whence such shoals, in bare conditions,
That starve and languish as physicians,
Content to trudge the streets, and stare at
The fat apothecary's chariot?
But that in Charlotte's chamber (see
Molière's Médecin malgré lui),
The leech, howe'er his fortunes vary,
Still walks before the apothecary.
Flavia in vain has wit and charms,
And all that shines, and all that warms;
In vain all human race adore her,
For-Lady Mary ranks before her.
O Celia! gentle Celia! tell us,
You, who are neither vain nor jealous!
The softest breast, the mildest mien!
Would you not feel some little spleen,
Nor bite your lip, nor furl your brow,
If Florimel, your equal now,
Should, one day, gain precedence of ye?
First served-though in a dish of coffee?
Placed first, although where you are found
You gain the eyes of all around?
Named first, though not with half the fame
That waits my charming Celia's name?
Hard fortune! barely to inspire
Our fix'd esteem, and fond desire!
Barely, where'er you go, to prove
The source of universal love!
Yet be content, observing this,
Honour's the offspring of caprice;
And worth, howe'er you have pursued it,
Has now no power-but to exclude it:
You'll find your general reputation
A kind of supplemental station.
Poor Swift, with all his worth, could ne'er,
He tells us, hope to rise a peer;
So, to supply it, wrote for fame,
And well the wit secured his aim.
A common patriot has a drift
Not quite so innocent as Swift:
In Britain's cause he rants, he labours;
'He's honest, faith,'-have patience, Neighbours,
For patriots may sometimes deceive,
May beg their friends' reluctant leave,
To serve them in a higher sphere,
And drop their virtue to get there.-
As Lucian tells us, in his fashion,
How souls put off each earthly passion,
Ere on Elysium's flowery strand
Old Charon suffer'd them to land;
So, ere we meet a court's caresses,
No doubt our souls must change their dresses;
And souls there be, who, bound that way,
Attire themselves ten times a-day.
If then 'tis rank which all men covet,
And saints alike and sinners love it;
If place, for which our courtiers throng
So thick, that few can get along,
For which such servile toils are seen,
Who's happier than a king?-a queen!
Howe'er men aim at elevation,
'Tis properly a female passion:
Women and beaus, beyond all measure,
Are charm'd with rank's ecstatic pleasure.
Sir, if your drift I rightly scan,
You'd hint a beau was not a man:
Say, women then are fond of places;
I waive all disputable cases.
A man, perhaps, would something linger,
Were his loved rank to cost-a finger;
Or were an ear, or toe, the price on 't,
He might deliberate once or twice on 't;
Perhaps ask Gataker's advice on 't;
And many, as their frames grow old,
Would hardly purchase it with gold.
But women wish precedence ever;
'Tis their whole life's supreme endeavour;
It fires their youth with jealous rage,
And strongly animates their age:
Perhaps they would not sell outright,
Or maim a limb-that was in sight;
Yet on worse terms they sometimes choose it,
Nor even in punishment refuse it,
Pre-eminence in pain! you cry,
All fierce and pregnant with reply:
But lend your patience and your ear,
An argument shall make it clear.
But hold, an argument may fail,
Beside, my title says, A Tale.
Where Avon rolls her winding stream,
Avon! the Muses' favourite theme;
Avon! that fills the farmers' purses,
And decks with flowers both farms and verses,
She visits many a fertile vale-
Such was the scene of this my Tale;
For 'tis in Evesham's Yale, or near it,
That folks with laughter tell and hear it.
The soil with annual plenty bless'd
Was by young Corydon possess'd.
His youth alone I lay before ye,
As most material to my story:
For strength and vigour too, he had them,
And 'twere not much amiss to add them.
Thrice happy lout! whose wide domain,
Now green with grass, now gilt with grain,
In russet robes of clover deep,
Or thinly veil'd, and white with sheep;
Now fragrant with the bean's perfume,
Now purpled with the pulse's bloom,
Might well with bright allusion store me,-
But happier bards have been before me!
Amongst the various year's increase
The stripling own'd a field of pease,
Which, when at night he ceased his labours,
Were haunted by some female neighbours.
Each morn discover'd to his sight
The shameful havoc of the night:
Traces of this they left behind them,
But no instructions where to find them.
The devil's works are plain and evil,
But few or none have seen the devil.
Old Noll, indeed, if we may credit
The words of Echard, who has said it,
Contrived with Satan how to fool us,
And bargain'd face to face to rule us;
But then Old Noll was one in ten,
And sought him more than other men.
Our shepherd, too, with like attention,
May meet the female fiends we mention.
He rose one morn at break of day,
And near the field in ambush lay;
When, lo! a brace of girls appears,
The third, a matron much in years.
Smiling, amidst the pease, the sinners
Sat down to cull their future dinners
And caring little who might own them,
Made free as though themselves had sown them.
'Tis worth a sage's observation,
How love can make a jest of passion
Anger had forced the swain from bed,
His early dues to love unpaid!
And Love a god that keeps a pother,
And will be paid one time or other,
Now banish'd Anger out of door,
And claim'd the debt withheld before.
If Anger bid our youth revile,
Love form'd his features to a smile
And knowing well 'twas all grimace
To threaten with a smiling face,
He in few words express'd his mind-
And none would deem them much unkind.
The amorous youth, for their offence,
Demanded instant recompence;
That recompence from each, which shame
Forbids a bashful Muse to name:
Yet, more this sentence to discover,
'Tis what Bet -- grants her lover,
When he, to make the strumpet willing,
Has spent his fortune-to a shilling.
Each stood awhile, as 'twere, suspended,
And loth to do, what-each intended.
At length, with soft pathetic sighs,
The matron, bent with age, replies:
''Tis vain to strive-justice, I know,
And our ill stars, will have it so-
But let my tears your wrath assuage,
And show some deference for age:
I from a distant village came,
Am old, God knows, and something lame;
And if we yield, as yield we must,
Despatch my crazy body first.'
Our shepherd, like the Phrygian swain,
When circled round on Ida's plain
With goddesses, he stood suspended,
And Pallas's grave speech was ended,
Own'd what she ask'd might be his duty,
But paid the compliment to beauty.

Sed neque Medorum silvae, ditissima terra
Nec pulcher Ganges, atque auro turbidus Haemus,
Laudibus Angligenum certent; non Bactra, nec Indi,
Totaque thuriferis Panchaia pinguis arenis.


Yet let not Median woods, (abundant track!)
Nor Ganges fair, nor Haemus, miser-like,
Proud of his hoarded gold, presume to vie
With Britain's boast and praise; nor Persian Bactra,
Nor India's coasts, nor all Panchaia's sands,
Rich, and exulting in their lofty towers.


Let the green olive glad Hesperian shores;
Her tawny citron, and her orange groves,
These let Iberia boast; but if in vain,
To win the stranger plant's diffusive smile,
The Briton labours, yet our native minds,
Our constant bosoms, these the dazzled world
May view with envy; these Iberian dames
Survey with fix'd esteem and fond desire.
Hapless Elvira! thy disastrous fate
May well this truth explain, nor ill adorn
The British lyre; then chiefly, if the Muse,
Nor vain, nor partial, from the simple guise
Of ancient record catch the pensive lay,
And in less grovelling accents give to Fame.
Elvira! loveliest maid! the Iberian realm
Could boast no purer breast, no sprightlier mind,
No race more splendent, and no form so fair.
Such was the chance of war, this peerless maid,
In life's luxuriant bloom, enrich'd the spoil
Of British victors, victory's noblest pride!
She, she alone, amid the wailful train
Of captive maids, assign'd to Henry's care,
Lord of her life, her fortune, and her fame!
He, generous youth! with no penurious hand,
The tedious moments, that unjoyous roll
Where Freedom's cheerful radiance shines no more,
Essay'd to soften; conscious of the pang
That Beauty feels, to waste its fleeting hours
In some dim fort, by foreign rule restrain'd,
Far from the haunts of men, or eye of day!
Sometimes, to cheat her bosom of its cares,
Her kind protector number'd o'er the toils
Himself had worn; the frowns of angry seas,
Or hostile rage, or faithless friend, more fell
Than storm or foe; if haply she might find
Her cares diminish'd; fruitless, fond essay!
Now to her lovely hand, with modest awe
The tender lute he gave; she, not averse,
Nor destitute of skill, with willing hand
Call'd forth angelic strains; the sacred debt
Of gratitude, she said, whose just commands
Still might her hand with equal pride obey!
Nor to the melting sounds the nymph refused
Her vocal art; harmonious as the strain
Of some imprison'd lark, who, daily cheer'd
By guardian cares, repays them with a song;
Nor droops, nor deems sweet liberty resign'd.
The song, not artless had she framed to paint
Disastrous passion; how, by tyrant laws
Of idiot custom sway'd, some soft-eyed fair
Loved only one, nor dared that love reveal!
How the soft anguish banish'd from her cheek
The damask rose full-blown; a fever came,
And from her bosom forced the plaintive tale;
Then, swift as light, he sought the love-lorn maid,
But vainly sought her; torn by swifter fate
To join the tenants of the myrtle shade,
Love's mournful victims on the plains below.
Sometimes, as Fancy spoke the pleasing task,
She taught her artful needle to display
The various pride of spring; then swift upsprung
Thickets of myrtle, eglantine, and rose:
There might you see, on gentle toils intent,
A train of busy Loves; some pluck the flower,
Some twine the garland, some with grave grimace
Around a vacant warrior cast the wreath.
'Twas paint, 'twas life! and sure to piercing eyes
The warrior's face depictured Henry's mien.
Now had the generous chief with joy perused
The royal scroll, which to their native home,
Their ancient rights, uninjured, unredeem'd,
Restored the captives. Forth with rapid haste
To glad his fair Elvira's ear, he sprung,
Fired by the bliss he panted to convey;
But fired in vain! Ah! what was his amaze,
His fond distress, when o'er her pallid face
Dejection reign'd, and from her lifeless hand
Down dropt the myrtle's fair unfinish'd flower!
Speechless she stood; at length, with accents faint,
'Well may my native shore,' she said, 'resound
Thy monarch's praise; and here Elvira prove
Of thine forgetful; flowers shall cease to feel
The fostering breeze, and Nature change her laws!'
And now the grateful edict wide alarm'd
The British host. Around the smiling youths,
Call'd to their native scenes, with willing haste
Their fleet unmoor; impatient of the love
That weds each bosom to its native soil.
The patriot passion! strong in every clime,
How justly theirs who find no foreign sweets
To dissipate their loves, or match their own.
Not so Elvira! she, disastrous maid!
Was doubly captive; power nor chance could loose
The subtle bands; she loved her generous foe;
She, where her Henry dwelt, her Henry smiled,
Could term her native shore; her native shore,
By him deserted, some unfriendly strand,
Strange, bleak, forlorn! a desert waste and wild.
The fleet careen'd, the wind propitious fill'd
The swelling sails, the glittering transports waved
Their pennants gay, and halcyons' azure wing,
With flight auspicious, skimm'd the placid main.
On her lone couch in tears Elvira lay,
And chid the officious wind, the tempting sea,
And wish'd a storm as merciless as tore
Her labouring bosom. Fondly now she strove
To banish passion; now the vassal days,
The captive moments, that so smoothly past,
By many an art recall'd; now from her lute
With trembling fingers call'd the favourite sounds
Which Henry deign'd to praise; and now essay'd,
With mimic chains of silken fillets wove,
To paint her captive state; if any fraud
Might to her love the pleasing scenes prolong,
And with the dear idea feast the soul.
But now the chief return'd, prepared to launch
On Ocean's willing breast, and bid adieu
To his fair prisoner. She, soon as she heard
His hated errand, now no more conceal'd
The raging flame; but with a spreading blush
And rising sigh, the latent pang disclosed.
'Yes, generous youth! I see thy bosom glow
With virtuous transport, that the task is thine
To solve my chains, and to my weeping friends,
And every longing relative, restore
A soft-eyed maid, a mild offenceless prey!
But know, my Soldier! never youthful mind,
Torn from the lavish joys of wild expense
By him he loathed, and in a dungeon bound
To languish out his bloom, could match the pains
This ill-starr'd freedom gives my tortured mind.
'What call I freedom? is it that these limbs,
From rigid bolts secure, may wander far
From him I love? Alas! ere I may boast
That sacred blessing, some superior power
To mortal kings, to sublunary thrones,
Must loose my passion, must unchain my soul:
Even that I loathe: all liberty I loathe!
But most the joyless privilege to gaze
With cold indifference, where desert is love.
'True, I was born an alien to those eyes
I ask alone to please; my fortune's crime!
And ah! this flatter'd form, by dress endear'd
To Spanish eyes, by dress may thine offend,
Whilst I, ill-fated maid! ordain'd to strive
With custom's load, beneath its weight expire.
'Yet Henry's beauties knew in foreign garb
To vanquish me; his form, howe'er disguised,
To me were fatal! no fantastic robe
That e'er Caprice invented, Custom wore,
Or Folly smiled on, could eclipse thy charms.
'Perhaps by birth decreed, by Fortune placed
Thy country's foe, Elvira's warmest plea
Seems but the subtler accent fraud inspires;
My tenderest glances but the specious flowers,
That shade the viper while she plots her wound.
And can the trembling candidate of love
Awake thy fears? and can a female breast,
By ties of grateful duty bound, ensnare?
Is there no brighter mien, no softer smile
For love to wear, to dark Deceit unknown?
Heaven search my soul! and if through all its cells
Lurk the pernicious drop of poisonous guile,
Full on my fenceless head its viall'd wrath
May Fate exhaust, and for my happiest hour
Exalt the vengeance I prepare for thee!
'Ah me! nor Henry's nor his country's foe,
On thee I gazed, and Reason soon dispell'd
Dim Error's gloom, and to thy favour'd isle
Assign'd its total merit, unrestrain'd.
Oh! lovely region to the candid eye!
'Twas there my fancy saw the Virtues dwell,
The Loves, the Graces, play, and bless'd the soil
That nurtured thee! for sure the Virtues form'd
Thy generous breast; the Loves, the Graces plann'd
Thy shapely limbs. Relation, birth, essay'd
Their partial power in vain; again I gazed,
And Albion's isle appear'd, amidst a tract
Of savage wastes, the darling of the skies!
And thou, by Nature form'd, by Fate assign'd,
To paint the genius of thy native shore.
''Tis true, with flowers, with many a dazzling scene
Of burnish'd plants, to lure a female eye,
Iberia glows; but, ah! the genial sun,
That gilds the lemon's fruit, or scents the flower,
On Spanish minds, a nation's nobler boast,
Beams forth ungentle influences. There
Sits Jealousy enthroned, and at each ray
Exultant lights his slow consuming fires.
Not such thy charming region; long before
My sweet experience taught me to decide
Of English worth, the sound had pleased mine ear.
Is there that savage coast, that rude sojourn,
Stranger to British worth? the worth which forms
The kindest friends, the most tremendous foes;
First, best supports of liberty and love!
No, let subjected India, while she throws
O'er Spanish deeds the veil, your praise resound.
Long as I heard, or ere in story read
Of English fame, my biass'd partial breast
Wish'd them success: and happiest she, I cried,
Of women happiest she, who shares the love,
The fame, the virtues, of an English lord.
And now, what shall I say? Blest be the hour
Your fair-built vessels touch'd the Iberian shores:
Blest, did I say, the time? if I may bless
That loved event, let Henry's smiles declare.
Our hearts and cities won, will Henry's youth
Forego its nobler conquest? will he slight
The soft endearments of the lovelier spoil?
And yet Iberia's sons, with every vow
Of lasting faith, have sworn these humble charms
Were not excell'd; the source of all their pains,
And love her just desert, who sues for love,
But sues to thee, while natives sigh in vain.
'Perhaps in Henry's eye (for vulgar minds
Dissent from his) it spreads a hateful stain
On honest Fame, amid his train to bear
A female friend. Then learn, my gentle youth!
Not Love himself, with all the pointed pains
That store his quiver, shall seduce my soul
From honour's laws. Elvira once denied
A consort's name, more swift than lightning flies
When elements discordant vex the sky,
Shall, blushing, from the form she loves retire.
Yet if the specious wish the vulgar voice
Has titled Prudence, sways a soul like thine,
In gems or gold what proud Iberian dame
Eclipses me? Nor paint the dreary storms
Or hair-breadth 'scapes that haunt the boundless deep,
And force from tender eyes the silent tear;
When Memory to the pensive maid suggests,
In full contrast, the safe domestic scene
For these resign'd. Beyond the frantic rage
Of conquering heroes brave, the female mind,
When steel'd by love, in Love's most horrid way
Beholds not danger, or, beholding, scorns.
Heaven take my life, but let it crown my love!'
She ceased; and ere his words her fate decreed,
Impatient, watch'd the language of his eye:
There Pity dwelt, and from its tender sphere
Sent looks of love, and faithless hopes inspired.
'Forgive me, generous maid!' the youth return'd,
'If by thy accents charm'd, thus long I bore
To let such sweetness plead, alas! in vain.
Thy virtue merits more than crowns can yield
Of solid bliss, or happiest love bestow
But ere from native shores I plough'd the main,
To one dear maid, by virtue, and by charms
Alone endear'd, my plighted vows I gave;
To guard my faith, whatever chance should wait
My warring sword: if conquest, fame, and spoil,
Graced my return, before her feet to pour
The glittering treasure, and the laurel wreath,
Enjoying conquest then, and fame and spoil:
If Fortune frown'd adverse, and Death forbade
The blissful union, with my latest breath
To dwell on Medway's and Maria's name.
This ardent vow deep-rooted, from my soul
No dangers tore; this vow my bosom fired
To conquer danger, and the spoil enjoy.
Her shall I leave, with fair events elate,
Who crown'd mine humblest fortune with her love?
Her shall I leave, who now, perchance, alone
Climbs the proud cliff, and chides my slow return?
And shall that vessel, whose approaching sails
Shall swell her breast with extasies, convey
Death to her hopes, and anguish to her soul?
No! may the deep my villain corse devour,
If all the wealth Iberian mines conceal,
If all the charms Iberian maids disclose,
If thine, Elvira, thine, uniting all,
Thus far prevail-nor can thy virtuous breast
Demand what honour, faith, and love, denies.'
'Oh! happy she,' rejoin'd the pensive maid,
'Who shares thy fame, thy virtue, and thy love!
And be she happy! thy distinguish'd choice
Declares her worth, and vindicates her claim.
Farewell my luckless hopes! my flattering dreams
Of rapturous days! my guilty suit, farewell!
Yet fond howe'er my plea, or deep the wound
That waits my fame, let not the random shaft
Of Censure pierce with me the Iberian dames;
They love with caution, and with happier stars.
And, oh! by pity moved, restrain the taunts
Of levity, nor brand Elvira's flame;
By merit raised, by gratitude approved,
By hope confirm'd, with artless truth reveal'd,
Let, let me say, but for one matchless maid
Of happier birth, with mutual ardour crown'd.
'These radiant gems, which burnish Happiness,
But mock Misfortune, to thy favourite's hand
With care convey; and well may such adorn
Her cheerful front, who finds in thee alone
The source of every transport, but disgrace
My pensive breast, which, doom'd to lasting woe,
In thee the source of every bliss resign.
'And now, farewell, thou darling youth! the gem
Of English merit! Peace, content, and joy,
And tender hopes, and young desires, farewell!
Attend, ye smiling Train! this gallant mind
Back to his native shores; there sweetly smooth
His evening pillow, dance around his groves,
And, where he treads, with violets paint his way:
But leave Elvira! leave her, now no more
Your frail companion! in the sacred cells
Of some lone cloister let me shroud my shame
There to the matin bell, obsequious, pour
My constant orisons. The wanton Loves
And gay Desires, shall spy the glimmering towers,
And wing their flight aloof: but rest confirm'd,
That never shall Elvira's tongue conclude
Her shortest prayer, ere Henry's dear success
The warmest accent of her zeal employ.'
Thus spoke the weeping fair, whose artless mind
Impartial scorn'd to model her esteem
By native customs; dress, and face, and air,
And manners, less; nor yet resolved in vain.
He, bound by prior love, the solemn vow
Given and received, to soft compassion gave
A tender tear; then with that kind adieu
Esteem could warrant, wearied Heaven with prayers
To shield that tender breast he left forlorn.
He ceased; and to the cloister's pensive scene
Elvira shaped her solitary way.

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.

Economy, A Rhapsody, Addressed To Young Poets

Insanis; omnes gelidis quaecunqne lacernis
Sunt tibi, Nasones Virgiliosque vides.

--Thou know'st not what thou say'st;
In garments that scarce fence them from the cold
Our Ovids and our Virgils you behold.

Part first.

To you, ye Bards! whose lavish breast requires
This monitory lay, the strains belong;
Nor think some miser vents his sapient saw,
Or some dull cit, unfeeling of the charms
That tempt profusion, sings; while friendly Zeal,
To guard from fatal ills the tribe he loves,
Inspires the meanest of the Muse's train!
Like you I loathe the grovelling progeny,
Whose wily arts, by creeping time matured,
Advance them high on Power's tyrannic throne,
To lord it there in gorgeous uselessness,
And spurn successless Worth that pines below!
See the rich churl, amid the social sons
Of wine and wit, regaling! hark, he joins
In the free jest delighted! seems to show
A meliorated heart! he laughs, he sings!
Songs of gay import, madrigals of glee,
And drunken anthems, set agape the board,
Like Demea, in the play, benign and mild,
And pouring forth benevolence of soul,
Till Micio wonder; or, in Shakspeare's line,
Obstreperous Silence, drowning Shallow's voice,
And startling Falstaff, and his mad compeers.
He owns 'tis prudence, ever and anon
To smooth his careful brow, to let his purse
Ope to a sixpence's diameter!
He likes our ways; he owns the ways of wit
Are ways of pleasance, and deserve regard.
True, we are dainty good society,
But what art thou? Alas! consider well,
Thou bane of social pleasure, know thyself:
Thy fell approach, like some invasive damp
Breathed through the pores of earth from Stygian caves
Destroys the lamp of mirth; the lamp which we,
Its flamens, boast to guard: we know not how,
But at thy sight the fading flame assumes
A ghastly blue, and in a stench expires.
True, thou seem'st changed; all sainted, all enskied:
The trembling tears that charge thy melting eyes
Say thou art honest and of gentle kind:
But all is false! an intermitting sigh
Condemns each hour, each moment given to smiles,
And deems those only lost thou dost not lose.
Even for a demi-groat this open'd soul,
This boon companion, this elastic breast,
Revibrates quick; and sends the tuneful tongue
To lavish music on the rugged walls
Of some dark dungeon. Hence, thou Caitiff! fly;
Touch not my glass, nor drain my sacred bowl,
Monster, ingrate! beneath one common sky
Why shouldst thou breathe? beneath one common roof
Thou ne'er shalt harbour, nor my little boat
Receive a soul with crimes to press it down.
Go to thy bags, thou Recreant! hourly go,
And, gazing there, bid them be wit, be mirth,
Be conversation. Not a face that smiles
Admits thy presence! not a soul that glows
With social purport, bid, or even or morn,
Invest thee happy! but when life declines,
May thy sure heirs stand tittering round thy bed,
And, ushering in their favourites, burst thy locks,
And fill their laps with gold, till Want and Care
With joy depart, and cry, 'We ask no more.'
Ah! never, never may the harmonious mind
Endure the worldly! Poets, ever void
Of guile, distrustless, scorn the treasured gold,
And spurn the miser, spurn his deity.
Balanced with friendship, in the poet's eye
The rival scale of interest kicks the beam,
Than lightning swifter. From his cavern'd store
The sordid soul, with self-applause, remarks
The kind propensity; remarks and smiles,
And hies with impious haste to spread the snare.
Him we deride, and in our comic scenes
Contemn the niggard form Moliere has drawn:
We loathe with justice; but, alas! the pain
To bow the knee before this calf of gold;
Implore his envious aid, and meet his frown!
But 'tis not Gomez, 'tis not he whose heart
Is crusted o'er with dross, whose callous mind
Is senseless as his gold, the slighted Muse
Intensely loathes. 'Tis sure no equal task
To pardon him who lavishes his wealth
On racer, foxhound, hawk, or spaniel, all
But human merit; who with gold essays
All, but the noblest pleasure, to remove
The wants of Genius, and its smiles enjoy.
But you, ye titled youths! whose nobler zeal
Would burnish o'er your coronets with fame;
Who listen pleased when poet tunes his lay;
Permit him not, in distant solitudes,
To pine, to languish out the fleeting hours
Of active youth; then Virtue pants for praise.
That season unadorn'd, the careless bard
Quits your worn threshold, and, like honest Gay,
Contemns the niggard boon ye time so ill.
Your favours then, like trophies given the tomb,
The enfranchised spirit soaring, not perceives,
Or scorns perceived, and execrates the smile
Which bade his vigorous bloom, to treacherous hopes
And servile cares a prey, expire in vain!
Two lawless powers, engaged by mutual hate
In endless war, beneath their flags enrol
The vassal world: this, Avarice is named;
That, Luxury: 'tis true their partial friends
Assign them softer names; usurpers both!
That share by dint of arms the legal throne
Of just Economy; yet both betray'd
By fraudful ministers. The niggard chief,
Listening to want, all faithless, and prepared
To join each moment in his rival's train,
His conduct models by the needless fears
The slave inspires, while Luxury, a chief
Of amplest faith, to Plenty's rule resigns
His whole campaign. 'Tis Plenty's flattering sounds
Engross his ear; 'tis Plenty's smiling form
Moves still before his eye. Discretion strives,
But strives in vain, to banish from the throne
The perjured minion: he, secure of trust,
With latent malice to the hostile camp;
Day, night, and hour, his monarch's wealth conveys.
Ye towering minds! ye sublimated souls!
Who, careless of your fortunes, seal and sign,
Set, let, contract, acquit, with easier mien
Than fops take snuff! whose economic care
Your green silk purse engrosses! easy, pleased,
To see gold sparkle through the subtle folds;
Lovely, as when the Hesperian fruitage smiled
Amid the verdurous grove! who fondly hope
Spontaneous harvests! harvests all the year!
Who scatter wealth, as though the radiant crop
Glitter'd on every bough; and every bough,
Like that the Trojan gather'd, once avulsed,
Were by a splendid successor supplied
Instant, spontaneous listen to my lays;
For 'tis not fools, whate'er proverbial phrase
Have long decreed, that quit with greatest ease
The treasured gold. Of words indeed profuse,
Of gold tenacious, their torpescent soul
Clenches their coin; and what electral fire
Shall solve the frosty gripe, and bid it flow?
'Tis Genius, Fancy, that to wild expense
Of health, of treasure, stimulates the soul;
These, with officious care, and fatal art,
Improve the vinous flavour; these the smile
Of Cloe soften: these the glare of dress
Illume; the glittering chariot gild anew,
And add strange wisdom to the furs of Power.
Alas! that he, amid the race of men,
That he who thinks of purest gold with scorn,
Should with unsated appetite demand,
And vainly court the pleasure it procures!
When Fancy's vivid spark impels the soul
To scorn quotidian scenes, to spurn the bliss
Of vulgar minds, what nostrum shall compose
Its fatal tension? in what lonely vale
Of balmy Medicine's various field, aspires
The blest refrigerant? Vain, ah! vain the hope
Of future peace, this orgasm uncontroll'd!
Impatient, hence, of all the frugal mind
Requires; to eat, to drink, to sleep, to fill
A chest with gold, the sprightly breast demands
Incessant rapture; life, a tedious load
Denied its continuity of joy.
But whence obtain? philosophy requires
No lavish cost; to crown its utmost prayer
Suffice the root-built cell, the simple fleece,
The juicy viand, and the crystal stream.
Even mild Stupidity rewards her train
With cheap contentment. Taste alone requires
Entire profusion! Days, and nights, and hours,
Thy voice, hydropic Fancy! calls aloud
For costly draughts, inundant bowls of joy,
Rivers of rich regalement, seas of bliss-
Seas without shore, infinity of sweets!
And yet, unless sage Reason join her hand
In Pleasure's purchase, Pleasure is unsure!
And yet, unless Economy's consent
Legitimate expense, some graceless mark,
Some symptom ill conceal'd, shall, soon or late,
Burst like a pimple from the vicious tide
Of acid blood, proclaiming Want's disease,
Amidst the bloom of show. The scanty stream,
Slow-loitering in its channel, seems to vie
With Vaga's depth; but should the sedgy power,
Vain-glorious, empty his penurious urn
O'er the rough rock, how must his fellow streams
Deride the tinklings of the boastive rill!
I not aspire to mark the dubious path
That leads to wealth, to poets mark'd in vain!
But, ere self-flattery soothe the vivid breast
With dreams of fortune near allied to fame,
Reflect how few, who charm'd the listening ear
Of satrap or of king, her smiles enjoyed!
Consider well, what meagre alms repaid
The great Maeonian! fire of tuneful song,
And prototype of all that soar'd sublime,
And left dull cares below; what griefs impell'd
The modest bard of learn'd Eliza's reign
To swell with tears his Mulla's parent stream,
And mourn aloud the pang, 'to ride, to run,
To spend, to give, to want, to be undone.'
Why should I tell of Cowley's pensive Muse,
Beloved in vain? too copious is my theme!
Which of your boasted race might hope reward
Like loyal Butler, when the liberal Charles,
The judge of wit, perused the sprightly page,
Triumphant o'er his foes? Believe not Hope,
The poet's parasite; but learn alone
To spare the scanty boon the Fates decree.
Poet and rich! 'tis solecism extreme!
'Tis heighten'd contradiction! in his frame,
In every nerve and fibre of his soul,
The latent seeds and principles of want
Has Nature wove, and Fate confirm'd the clue.
Nor yet despair to shun the ruder gripe
Of Penury: with nice precision learn
A dollar's value. Foremost in the page
That marks the expense of each revolving year,
Place inattention. When the lust of praise,
Or honour's false idea, tempts thy soul
To slight frugality, assure thine heart
That danger's near. This perishable coin
Is no vain ore. It is thy liberty;
It fetters misers, but it must alone
Enfranchise thee. The world, the cit-like world,
Bids thee beware; thy little craft essay;
Nor, piddling with a tea-spoon's slender form,
See with soup-ladles devils gormandize.
Economy! thou good old aunt, whose mien,
Furrow'd with age and care, the wise adore,
The wits contemn! reserving still thy stores
To cheer thy friends at last! why with the cit
Or bookless churl, with each ignoble name,
Each earthly nature, deign'st thou to reside?
And shunning all, who by thy favours crown'd
Might glad the world, to seek some vulgar mind,
Inspiring pride, and selfish shapes of ill?
Why with the old, infirm, and impotent,
And childless, love to dwell; yet leave the breast
Of youth unwarn'd, unguided, uninform'd?
Of youth, to whom thy monitory voice
Were doubly kind? for, sure, to youthful eyes,
(How short soe'er it prove), the road of life
Appears protracted; fair on either side
The Loves, the Graces play, on Fortune's child
Profusely smiling: well might youth essay
The frugal plan, the lucrative employ,
Source of their favour all the livelong day;
But Fate assents not. Age alone contracts
His meagre palm, to clench the tempting bane
Of all his peace, the glittering seeds of care!
O that the Muse's voice might pierce the ear
Of generous youth! for youth deserves her song.
Youth is fair virtue's season, virtue then
Requires the pruner's hand; the sequent stage,
It barely vegetates; nor long the space
Ere, robb'd of warmth, its arid trunk displays
Fell Winter's total reign. O lovely source
Of generous foibles, youth! when opening minds
Are honest as the light, lucid as air,
As fostering breezes kind, as linnets gay,
Tender as buds, and lavish as the spring!
Yet, hapless state of man! his earliest youth
Cozens itself; his age defrauds mankind.
Nor deem it strange that rolling years abrade
The social bias. Life's extensive page,
What does it but unfold repeated proofs
Of gold's omnipotence? With patriots, friends,
Sickening beneath its ray, enervate some,
And others dead, whose putrid name exhales
A noisome scent, the bulky volume teems:
With kinsmen, brothers, sons, moistening the shroud,
Or honouring the grave, with specious grief
Of short duration; soon in fortune's beams
Alert, and wondering at the tears they shed.
But who shall save, by tame prosaic strain,
That glowing breast where wit with youth conspires
To sweeten luxury? The fearful Muse
Shall yet proceed, though by the faintest gleam
Of hope inspired, to warn the train she loves.

Part second.

In some dark season, when the misty shower
Obscures the sun, and saddens all the sky,
When linnets drop the wing, nor grove nor stream
Invites thee forth, to sport thy drooping muse;
Seize the dull hour, nor with regret assign
To worldly Prudence. She, nor nice nor coy,
Accepts the tribute of a joyless day;
She smiles well pleased when wit and mirth recede,
And not a Grace, and not a Muse will hear.
Then, from majestic Maro's awful strain,
Or towering Homer, let thine eye descend
To trace, with patient industry, the page
Of income and expense: and, oh! beware
Thy breast, self-flattering; place no courtly smile,
No golden promise of your faithless Muse,
Nor latent mine which Fortune's hand may show,
Amid thy solid store: the Siren's song
Wrecks not the listening sailor, half so sure.
See by what avenues, what devious paths,
The foot of Want, detested, steals along,
And bars each fatal pass! Some few short hours
Of punctual care, the refuse of thy year,
On frugal schemes employ'd, shall give the Muse
To sing intrepid many a cheerful day.
But if too soon before the tepid gales
Thy resolution melt; and ardent vows,
In wary hours preferr'd, or die forgot,
Or seem the forced effect of hazy skies;
Then, ere surprise, by whose impetuous rage
The massy fort, with which thy gentler breast
I not compare, is won, the song proceeds.
Know, too, by Nature's undiminish'd law,
Throughout her realms obey'd, the various parts
Of deep creation, atoms, systems, all,
Attract, and are attracted; nor prevails the law
Alone in matter; soul alike with soul
Aspires to join; nor yet in souls alone;
In each idea it imbibes, is found
The kind propensity; and when they meet
And grow familiar, various though their tribe,
Their tempers various, vow perpetual faith;
That, should the world's disjointed frame once more
To chaos yield the sway, amid the wreck
Their union should survive; with Roman warmth,
By sacred hospitable laws endear'd,
Should each idea recollect its friend.
Here then we fix; on this perennial base
Erect thy safety, and defy the storm.
Let soft Profusion's fair idea join
Her hand with Poverty; nor here desist,
Till o'er the group that forms their various train
Thou sing loud hymeneals. Let the pride
Of outward show in lasting leagues combine
With shame threadbare; the gay vermilion face
Of rash Intemperance be discreetly pair'd
With sallow Hunger: the licentious joy
With mean dependence; even the dear delight
Of sculpture, paint, intaglios, books, and coins,
Thy breast, sagacious Prudence! shall connect
With filth and beggary; nor disdain to link
With black Insolvency. Thy soul, alarm'd,
Shall shun the Siren's voice; nor boldly dare
To bid the soft enchantress share thy breast,
With such a train of horrid fiends conjoin'd.
Nor think, ye sordid race! ye grovelling minds!
I frame the song for you; for you the Muse
Could other rules impart. The friendly strain,
For gentler bosoms plann'd, to yours would prove
The juice of lurid aconite, exceed
Whatever Colchos bore; and in your breast
Compassion, love, and friendship, all destroy!
It greatly shall avail, if e'er thy stores.
Increase apace, by periodic days
Of annual payment, or thy patron's boon,
The lean reward of gross unbounded praise!
It much avails, to seize the present hour,
And, undeliberating, call around
Thy hungry creditors; their horrid rage,
When once appeased, the small remaining store
Shall rise in weight tenfold, in lustre rise,
As gold improved by many a fierce assay.
'Tis thus the frugal husbandman directs
His narrow stream, if o'er its wonted banks,
By sudden rains impell'd, it proudly swell;
His timely hand through better tracts conveys
The quick decreasing tide: ere borne along,
Or through the wild morass, or cultured fields,
Or bladed grass mature, or barren sands,
It flow destructive, or it flow in vain.
But happiest he who sanctifies expense
By present pay; who subjects not his fame
To tradesmen's varlets, nor bequeaths his name,
His honour'd name, to deck the vulgar page
Of base mechanic, sordid, unsincere!
There haply, while thy Muse sublimely soars
Beyond this earthly sphere, in heaven's abodes,
And dreams of nectar and ambrosial sweets,
Thy growing debt steals unregarded o'er
The punctual record; till nor Phoebus self,
Nor sage Minerva's art, can aught avail
To soothe the ruthless dun's detested rage:
Frantic and fell, with many a curse profane
He loads the gentle Muse, then hurls thee down
To want, remorse, captivity, and shame.
Each public place, the glittering haunts of men,
With horror fly. Why loiter near thy bane?-
Why fondly linger on a hostile shore,
Disarm'd, defenceless? why require to tread
The precipice? or why, alas! to breathe
A moment's space, where every breeze is death,
Death to thy future peace? Away, collect
Thy dissipated mind; contract thy train
Of wild ideas, o'er the flowery fields
Of show diffused, and speed to safer climes.
Economy presents her glass, accept
The faithful mirror, powerful to disclose
A thousand forms, unseen by careless eyes,
That plot thy fate. Temptation in a robe
Of Tyrian dye, with every sweet perfumed,
Besets thy sense; Extortion follows close
Her wanton step, and Ruin brings the rear.
These and the rest shall her mysterious glass
Embody to thy view; like Venus kind,
When to her labouring son, the vengeful powers
That urged the fall of Ilium, she displayed:
He, not imprudent, at the sight declined
The unequal conflict, and decreed to raise
The Trojan welfare on some happier shore.
For here to drain thy swelling purse await
A thousand arts, a thousand frauds attend:
'The cloud-wrought canes, the gorgeous snuff-boxes,
The twinkling jewels, and the gold etui,
With all its bright inhabitants, shall waste
Its melting stores, and in the dreary void
Leave not a doit behind.' Ere yet, exhaust,
Its flimsy folds offend thy pensive eye,
Away! embosom'd deep in distant shades,
Nor seen nor seeing, thou mayst vent thy scorn
Of lace, embroidery, purple, gems, and gold!
There of the faded fop and essenced beau,
Ferocious, with a Stoic's frown disclose
Thy manly scorn, averse to tinsel pomp;
And fluent thine harangue. But can thy soul
Deny thy limbs the radiant grace of dress,
Where dress is merit? where thy graver friend
Shall wish thee burnish'd? where the sprightly fair
Demand embellishment? even Delia's eye,
As in a garden, roves, of hues alone
Inquirent, curious? Fly the cursed domain;
These are the realms of luxury and show,
No classic soil; away! the bloomy spring
Attracts thee hence; the warning autumn warns;
Fly to thy native shades, and dread, even there,
Lest busy fancy tempt thy narrow state
Beyond its bounds. Observe Florelio's mien:
Why treads my friend with melancholy step
That beauteous lawn? why, pensive, strays his eye
O'er statues, grottos, urns, by critic art
Proportion'd fair? or from his lofty dome,
Bright glittering through the grove, returns his eye
Unpleased, disconsolate? And is it love,
Disastrous love, that robs the finish'd scenes
Of all their beauty, centering all in her
His soul adores? or from a blacker cause
Springs this remorseful gloom? Is conscious guilt
The latent source of more than love's despair?
It cannot be within that polish'd breast,
Where science dwells, that guilt should harbour there.
No; 'tis the sad survey of present want
And past profusion! lost to him the sweets
Of yon pavilion, fraught with every charm
For other eyes; or if remaining, proofs
Of criminal expense! Sweet interchange
Of river, valley, mountain, woods, and plains!
How gladsome once he ranged your native turf,
Your simple scenes, how raptured! ere Expense
Had lavish'd thousand ornaments, and taught
Convenience to perplex him, Art to pall,
Pomp to deject, and Beauty to displease!
Oh! for a soul to all the glare of wealth,
To Fortune's wide exhaustless treasury,
Nobly superior! but let Caution guide
The coy disposal of the wealth we scorn,
And Prudence be our Almoner. Alas!
The pilgrim wandering o'er some distant clime,
Sworn foe of avarice! nor disdains to learn
Its coin's imputed worth, the destined means
To smooth his passage to the favour'd shrine.
Ah! let not us, who tread this stranger world,
Let none who sojourn on the realms of life,
Forget the land is mercenary, nor waste
His fare, ere landed on no venal shore.
Let never bard consult Palladio's rules;
Let never bard, O Burlington! survey
Thy learned art, in Chiswick's dome display'd;
Dangerous incentive! nor with lingering eye
Survey the window Venice calls her own.
Better for him, with no ingrateful Muse,
To sing a requiem to that gentle soul
Who plann'd the skylight, which to lavish bards
Conveys alone the pure ethereal ray;
For garrets him, and squalid walls, await,
Unless, presageful, from this friendly strain
He glean advice, and shun the scribbler's doom.

Part third.

Yet once again, and to thy doubtful fate
The trembling Muse consigns thee. Ere contempt,
Or Want's empoison'd arrow, ridicule,
Transfix thy weak unguarded breast, behold!
The poet's roofs, the careless poet's, his
Who scorns advice, shall close my serious lay.
When Gulliver, now great, now little deem'd,
The plaything of Comparison, arrived
Where learned bosoms their aerial schemes
Projected, studious of the public weal;
'Mid these, one subtler artist he descried,
Who cherish'd in his dusty tenement
The spider's web, injurious, to supplant
Fair Albion's fleeces! Never, never may
Our monarchs on such fatal purpose smile,
And irritate Minerva's beggar'd sons,
The Melksham weavers! Here in every nook
Their wefts they spun; here revell'd uncontroll'd,
And, like the flags from Westminster's high roof
Dependent, here their fluttering textures waved.
Such, so adorn'd the cell I mean to sing!
Cell ever squalid! where the sneerful maid
Will not fatigue her hand! broom never comes,
That comes to all! o'er whose quiescent walls
Arachne's unmolested care has drawn
Curtains subsusk, and save the expense of art.
Survey those walls, in fady texture clad,
Where wandering snails in many a slimy path,
Free, unrestrain'd, their various journeys crawl;
Peregrinations strange, and labyrinths
Confused, inextricable! such the clue
Of Cretan Ariadne ne'er explain'd!
Hooks! angles! crooks! and involutions wild!
Meantime, thus silver'd with meanders gay,
In mimic pride the snail-wrought tissue shines,
Perchance of tabby, or of aretine,
Not ill expressive; such the power of snails!
Behold his chair, whose fractured seat infirm
An aged cushion hides! replete with dust
The foliaged velvet; pleasing to the eye
Of great Eliza's reign, but now the snare
Of weary guest that on the specious bed
Sits down confiding. Ah! disastrous wight!
In evil hour and rashly dost thou trust
The fraudful couch! for though in velvet cased,
Thy fated thigh shall kiss the dusty floor.
The traveller thus, that o'er Hibernian plains
Hath shaped his way, on beds profuse of flowers,
Cowslip, or primrose, or the circular eye
Of daisy fair, decrees to bask supine.
And see! delighted, down he drops, secure
Of sweet refreshment, ease without annoy,
Or luscious noonday nap. Ah! much deceived,
Much suffering pilgrim! thou nor noonday nap
Nor sweet repose shalt find; the false morass
In quivering undulations yields beneath
Thy burden, in the miry gulf enclosed!
And who would trust appearance? cast thine eye
Where 'mid machines of heterogeneous form
His coat depends; alas! his only coat,
Eldest of things! and napless as an heath
Of small extent by fleecy myriads grazed.
Not different have I seen in dreary vault
Display'd a coffin; on each sable side
The texture unmolested seems entire;
Fraudful, when touch'd it glides to dust away,
And leaves the wondering swain to gape, to stare,
And with expressive shrug and piteous sigh,
Declare the fatal force of rolling years,
Or dire extent of frail mortality.
This aged vesture, scorn of gazing beaus,
And formal cits (themselves too haply scorn'd),
Both on its sleeve, and on its skirt, retains
Full many a pin wide-sparkling: for, if e'er
Their well-known crest met his delighted eye,
Though wrapt in thought, commercing with the sky,
He, gently stooping, scorn'd not to upraise,
And on each sleeve, as conscious of their use,
Indenting fix them; nor, when arm'd with these,
The cure of rents and separations dire,
And chasms enormous, did he view, dismay'd,
Hedge, bramble, thicket, bush, portending fate
To breeches, coat, and hose! had any wight
Of vulgar skill the tender texture own'd;
But gave his mind to form a sonnet quaint
Of Silvia's shoe-string, or of Chloe's fan,
Or sweetly-fashion'd tip of Celia's ear.
Alas! by frequent use decays the force
Of mortal art! the refractory robe
Eludes the tailor's art, eludes his own;
How potent once, in union quaint conjoin'd!
See, near his bed (his bed, too falsely call'd
The place of rest, while it a bard sustains;
Pale, meagre, muse-rid wight! who reads in vain
Narcotic volumes o'er) his candlestick,
Radiant machine! when from the plastic hand
Of Mulciber, the Mayor of Birmingham,
The engine issued; now, alas! disguised
By many an unctuous tide, that wandering down
Its sides congeal; what he, perhaps, essays,
With humour forced, and ill-dissembled smile,
Idly to liken to the poplar's trunk,
When o'er its bark the lucid amber, wound
In many a pleasing fold, incrusts the tree;
Or suits him more the winter's candied thorn,
When from each branch, annealed, the works of frost
Pervasive, radiant icicles depend?
How shall I sing the various ills that wait
The careful sonneteer? or who can paint
The shifts enormous, that in vain he forms
To patch his paneless window; to cement
His batter'd tea-pot, ill-retentive vase,
To war with ruin? anxious to conceal
Want's fell appearance, of the real ill
Nor foe, nor fearful. Ruin unforeseen
Invades his chattels; Ruin will invade,
Will claim his whole invention to repair,
Nor of the gift, for tuneful ends design'd,
Allow one part to decorate his song;
While Ridicule, with ever-pointing hand,
Conscious of every shift, of every shift
Indicative, his inmost plot betrays,
Points to the nook, which he his Study calls,
Pompous and vain! for thus he might esteem
His chest a wardrobe; purse, a treasury;
And shows, to crown her full display, himself;
One whom the powers above, in place of health
And wonted vigour, of paternal cot,
Or little farm; of bag, or scrip, or staff,
Cup, dish, spoon, plate, or worldly utensil,
A poet framed, yet framed not to repine,
And wish the cobbler's loftiest site his own;
Nor, partial as they seem, upbraid the Fates,
Who to the humbler mechanism join'd
Goods so superior, such exalted bliss!
See with what seeming ease, what labour'd peace,
He, hapless hypocrite! refines his nail,
His chief amusement! then how feign'd, how forced,
That care-defying sonnet, which implies
His debts discharged, and he of half-a-crown
In full possession, uncontested right
And property! Yet, ah! whoe'er this wight
Admiring view, if such there be, distrust
The vain pretence, the smiles that harbour grief,
As lurks the serpent deep in flowers enwreath'd.
Forewarn'd, be frugal, or with prudent rage
Thy pen demolish; choose the trustier flail,
And bless those labours which the choice inspired.
But if thou view'st a vulgar mind, a wight
Of common sense, who seeks no brighter name,
Him envy, him admire; him, from thy breast,
Prescient of future dignities, salute
Sheriff, or mayor, in comfortable furs
Enwrapt, secure; nor yet the laureat's crown
In thought exclude him! he perchance shall rise
To nobler heights than foresight can decree.
When fired with wrath for his intrigues display'd
In many an idle song, Saturnian Jove
Vow'd sure destruction to the tuneful race;
Appeased by suppliant Phoebus; 'Bards,' he said,
'Henceforth of plenty, wealth and pomp debarr'd,
But fed by frugal cares, might wear the bay
Secure of thunder.'-Low the Delian bow'd,
Nor at the invidious favour dared repine.