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By just degrees they every moment rise,
Hither," they cried, “direct your eyes, and see
Ours is the place at banquets, balls, and plays;
To pay due visits, and address the fair:
Of unknown duchesses lewd tales we tell,
Pleas'd with the same success, vast numbers prest
This band dismiss'd, behold another crowd " What you!" (she cried) “ unlearn'd in arts to please,
Would you usurp the lover's dear-bought praise ?
Straight the black clarion sends a horrid sound,
And scornful hisses run through all the crowd.
Last, those who boast of mighty mischiefs done,
Calm, thinking villains, whom no faith could fix,
And startled Nature trembled with the blast.
known “ Be all your acts in dark oblivion drown'd; Straight chang’d the scene, ånd snatch'd me from There sleep forgot, with mighty tyrants gone,
the throne. Your statues moulder'd, and your names unknown!" Before my view appear'd a structure fair, A sudden cloud straight snatch'd them from my Its site uncertain, if in earth or air; sight,
With rapid motion turn'd the mansion round; And each majestic phantom sunk in night. With ceaseless noise the ringing walls resound; Then came the smallest tribe I yet had seen;
Not less in number were the spacious doors,
Pervious to winds, and open every way.
Hither, as to their proper place, arise
All various sounds from earth, and seas, and skies
Next these a youthful train their vows express'd, Through undulating air the sounds are sent,
There various news I heard of love and strife, Oh! if the Muse must flatter lawless sway, of peace and war, health, sickness, death, and life, and follow still where Fortune leads the way; Of loss and gain, of famine and of store,
Or if no basis bear my rising name, Of storms at sea, and travels on the shore,
But the fall'n ruins of another's fame; of prodigies, and portents seen in air,
Then teach me, Heaven! to scorn the guilty bays,
Unblemish'd let me live, or die unknown;
Above, below, without, within, around,
THE FABLE OF DRYOPE.
FROM Ovid's METAMORPHOSES, BOOK IX.
That pleas'd a god, succeeded to her arms. Till to the clouds their curling heads aspire,
A lake there was, with shelving banks around, And towers and temples sink in floods of fire. Whose verdant summit fragrant myrtles crown'd.
When thus ripe lies are to perfection sprung, These shades, unknowing of the Fates, she sought, Full grown, and fit to grace a mortal tongue, And to the Naiads flowery garlands brought; Through thousand vents, impatient, forth they flow, Her smiling babe (a pleasing charge) she prest And rush in millions on the world below; Within her arms, and nourish'd at her breast. Fame sits aloft, and points them out their course, Not distant far, a watery lotos grows; Their date determines, and prescribes their force: The spring was new, and all the verdant boughs, Some to remain, and some to perish soon : Adorn'd with blossoms, promis'd fruits that vie Or wane and wax alternate like the Moon. In glowing colors with the Tyrian dye: Around a thousand winged wonders fly, (the sky. Of these she cropp'd to please her infant son : Borne by the trumpet's blast, and scatter'd through And I myself the same rash act had done ;
There, at one passage, oft you might survey But lo! I saw (as near her side I stood)
The violated blossoms drop with blood.
Lotis the nymph (if rural tales be true),
As from Priapus' lawless lust she flew,
Forsook her form; and, fixing here, became
While thus I stood, intent to see and hear, This change unknown, astonish'd at the sight,
But when she backward would have fled, she found For who so fond as youthful bards of Fame? Her stiffening feet were rooted in the ground: But few, alas! the casual blessing boast,
In vain to free her fastening feet she strove,
And, as she struggles, only moves above;
The child Amphissus, to her bosom press'd,
And stood the helpless witness of thy fate,
Embrac'd thy boughs, thy rising bark delay'd, Now sliding streams the thirsty plants renew,
These cares alone her virgin breast employ,
Averse from Venus and the nuptial joy.
Her private orchards, wallid on every side,
And old Silenus, youthful in decay,
To pass the fences, and surprise the fair!
To gain her sight a thousand forms he wears :
oft o'er his back a crooked scythe is laid,
Oft in his harden'd hand a goad he bears,
Now gathering what the bounteous year allows
On her bright charms to feast his longing eyes.
Propp'd on his staff, and stooping as he goes,
The god, in this decrepit formi array'd,
And “Happy you!" (he thus address'd the maid)
“Whose charms as far all other nymphs outshine
Then kiss'd the fair; (his kisses warmer grow
Than such as women on their sex bestow ;)
She ceas'd at once to speak, and ceas'd to be ; He view'd her twining branches with delight,
And this fair vine, but that her arms surround
Ah, beauteous maid ! let this example move
Your mind, averse from all the joys of love:
Deign to be lov'd, and every heart subdue !
What nymph could e'er attract such crowds as you?
Not she whose beauty urg'd the Centaur's arms,
Ulysses' queen, nor Helen's fatal charms.
A thousand court you, though they court in vain,
All that these lovers ever felt of love,
For his firm faith I dare engage my own;
To distant lands Vertumnus never roves;
the place of God, and judging of the fitness or Like you, contented with his native groves;
unfitness, perfection or imperfection, justice or inNor at first sight, like most, admires the fair; justice, of his dispensations. V. The absurdity For you he lives ; and you alone shall share of conceiting himself the final cause of the creaHis last affection, as his early care.
tion, or expecting that perfection in the moral Besides, he's lovely far. above the rest,
world, which is not in the natural. VI. The unWith youth immortal, and with beauty blest. reasonableness of his complaints against Provi. Add, that he varies every shape with ease,
dence, while on the one hand demands the And tries all forms that may Pomona please.
perfection of the angels, and on the other the But what should most excite a mutual flame,
bodily qualifications of the brutes; though, to Your rural cares and pleasures are the same. possess any of the sensitive faculties in a higher To him your orchard's early fruit are due,
degree, would render him miserable. VII. That (A pleasing offering when 'tis made by you,) throughout the whole visible world, an universal He values these; but yet (alas !) complains,
order and gradation in the sensual and mental That still the best and dearest gift remains.
faculties is observed, which causes a subordinaNot the fair fruit that on yon branches glows tion of creature to creature, and of all creatures to With that ripe red th’autumnal sun bestows ; man. The gradations of sense, instinct, thought, reNor tasteful herbs that in these gardens rise, fection, reason; that reason alone countervails all Which the kind soil with milky sap supplies;
the other faculties. VIII. How much farther this You, only you, can move the god's desire :
order and subordination of living creatures may exOh, crown so constant and so pure a fire!
tend above and below us; were any part of which Let soft compassion touch your gentle mind; broken, not that part only, but the whole conThink, 'tis Vertumnus begs you to be kind;
nected creation, must be destroyed. IX. The exSo may no frost, when early buds appear,
travagance, madness, and pride of such a desire. Destroy the promise of the youthful year;
X. The consequence of all the absolute submisNor winds, when first your florid orchard blows, sion due to Providence, both as to our present and Shake the light blossoms from their blasted boughs!" future state.
This when the various god had urg'd in vain, He straight assum'd his native form again; Awake, my St. John! leave all meaner things Such, and so bright an aspect now he bears, To low ambition and the pride of kings. As when through clouds th' emerging Sun appears, Let us (since life can liule more supply And, thence exerting his refulgent ray,
Than just to look about us, and to die) Dispels the darkness, and reveals the day. Expatiate free o'er all this scene of man; Force he prepar'd, bat check'd the rash design: A mighty maze! but not without a plan: For when, appearing in a form divine,
A wild, where weeds and flowers promiscuous shoot;
Of all who blindly creep, or sightless soar;
But vindicate the ways of God to man.
I. Say, first, of God above, or man below,
What can we reason, but from what we know? IN FOUR EPISTLES,
of man, what see we but his station here,
From which to reason, or to which refer? TO H. ST. JOHN, LORD BOLINGBROKE. Through worlds unnumber'd though the God be
known, EPISTLE I.
"Tis ours to trace him only in our own.
He, who through vast immensity can pierce, OF THE NATURE AND STATE OF MAN WITH RE- See worlds on worlds compose one universe,
Observe how system into system runs,
What other planets circle other suns,
What varied Being peoples every star,
May tell why Heaven has made us as we are. of man in the abstract.-I. That we can judge only But of this frame the bearings and the ties,
with regard to our own system, being ignorant of the strong connexions, nice dependencies, the relations of systems and things. II. That man Gradations just, has thy pervading soul is not to be deemed imperfect, but a being suited Look'd through? or can a part contain the whole ? to his place and rank in the creation, agreeable Is the great chain, that draws all to agree, to the general order of things, and conformable And drawn supports, upheld by God, or thee ? to ends and relations to him unknown. III. That II. Presumptuous man! the reason wouldst thou it is partly upon his ignorance of future events,
find, and partly upon the hope of a future state, that why form'd so weak, so little, and so blind ? all his happiness in the present depends. IV. The First, if thou canst, the harder reason guess, pride of aiming at more knowledge, and pretend- Why form'd no weaker, blinder, and no less ? ing to more perfection, the cause of man's error Ask of thy mother Earth, why oaks are made and misery. The impiety of putting himself in Taller or weaker than the weeds they shade ?
SPECT TO THE UNIVERSE.
Or ask of yonder argent fields above,
To be, contents his natural desire, Why Jove's Satellites are less than Jove?
He asks no angel's wing, no seraph's fire ; Of systems possible, if 'tis confest,
But thinks, admitted to that equal sky, That Wisdom infinite must form the best,
His faithful dog shall bear him company. Where all must full or not coherent be,
IV. Go, wiser thou! and in thy scale of sense, And all that rises, rise in due degree;
Weigh thy opinion against Providence;
Respecting man, whatever wrong we call If man alone engross not Heaven's high care,
Alone made perfect here, immortal there :
All quit their sphere, and rush into the skies.
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel:
Of order, sins against th' Eternal Cause. His fiery course, or drives him o'er the plains; V. Ask for what end the heavenly bodies shine, When the dull ox, why now he breaks the clod, Earth for whose use? Pride answers, " Tis for Is now a victim, and now Egypt's god :
mine: Then shall man's pride and dullness comprehend For me kind Nature wakes her genial power; His actions', passions', being's, use and end ; Suckles each herb, and spreads out every flower ; Why doing, suffering, check'd, impellid; and why Annual for me, the grape, the rose, renew This hour a slave, the next a deity.
The juice nectareous, and the balmy dew; Then say not Man's imperfect, Heaven in fault; For me, the mine a thousand treasures brings; Say, rather, Man's as perfect as he ought:
health gushes from a thousand springs ; His knowledge measur'd to his state and place; Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise ; His time a moment, and a point his space. My foolstool Earth, my canopy the skies." If to be perfect in a certain sphere,
But errs not Nature from this gracious end, What matter, soon or late, or here, or there? From burning suns when livid deaths descend, The blest to-day is as completely so,
When earthquakes swallow, or when tempests sweep As who began a thousand years ago.
Towns to one grave, whole nations to the deep? III. Heaven from all creatures hides the book of "No," 'tis replied, “ the first Almighty Cause Fate,
Acts not by partial, but by general laws; All but the page prescrib'd, their present state: Th’exceptions few; some change since all begun: From brutes what men, from men what spirits know: And what created perfect ?” Why then man? Or who could suffer being here below?
If the great end be human happiness, The lamb thy riot dooms to bleed to-day,
Then Nature deviates; and can man do less ? Had he thy reason, would he skip and play? As much that end a constant course requires Pleas'd to the last, he crops the flowery food, Of showers and sun-shine, as of man's desires; And licks the hand just rais'd to shed his blood. As much eternal springs and cloudless skies, Oh blindness to the future! kindly given,
As men for ever temperate, calm, and wise. That each may fill the circle mark'd by Heaven: If plagues or earthquakes break not Heaven's design, Who sees with equal eye, as God of all,
Why ihen a Borgia, or a Catiline; A hero perish, or a sparrow fall,
Who knows, but he whose hand the lightning forms, Atoms or systems into ruin hurld,
Who heaves old Ocean, and who wings the storms; And now a bubble burst, and now a world. Pours fierce ambition in a Cæsar's mind,
Hope humbly then; with trembling pinions soar, Or turns young Ammon loose to scourge mankind ? Wait the great teacher, Death ; and God adore. From pride, from pride our very reasoning springs : What future bliss, he gives not thee to know, Account for moral as for natural things : But gives that hope to be thy blessing now. Why charge we Heaven in those, in these acquit? Hope springs eternal in the human breast : In both, to reason right, is to submit. Man never Is, but always To be blest :
Better for us, perhaps, it might appear,
That never air or ocean felt the wind,
The general order, since the whole began,
Is kept in Nature, and is kept in man. Behind the cloud-topt hill, an humbler Heaven; VI. What would this man? Now upward will he Some safer world in depth of woods embrac'd,
soar, Some happier island in the watery waste,
And, little less than angel, would be more ; Where slaves once more their native land hehold, Now looking downwards, just as griev'd appears No fiends torment, no Christians thirst for gold. To want the strength of bulls, the fur of bears.