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Nor fame nor censure they regarded;
They neither punish'd nor rewarded.
He car'd not what the footman did;
Her maids she neither prais'd nor chid:
So every servant took his course;
And, bad at first, they all grew worse,
Slothful disorder fill'd his stable,
And sluttish plenty deck'd her table.
Their beer was strong; their wine was port;
Their meal was large; their grace was short.
They gave the poor the remnant meat,
Just when it grew not fit to eat.
They paid the church and parish rate,
And took, but read not, the receipt;
For which they claim their Sunday's due,
Of slumbering in an upper pew.
No man's defects sought they to know;
So never made themselves a foe.
No man's good deeds did they commend;
So never rais'd themselves a friend.
Nor cherish'd they relations poor;
That might decrease their present store:
Nor barn nor house did they repair;
That might oblige their future heir.
They neither added nor confounded ;
They neither wanted nor abounded.
Each Christmas they accompts did clear,
And wound their bottom round the year.
Nor tear nor smile did they employ
At news of public grief or joy.
When bells were rung, and bonfires made,
If ask'd, they ne'er deny'd their aid:
Their jug was to the ringers carried,
Whoever either died or married:
Their billet at the fire was found,
Whoever was depos'd or crown'd.
Nor good, nor bad, nor fools, nor wise;
They would not learn, nor could advise:
Without love, hatred, joy, or fear,
They led-a kind of as it were:
Nor wish'd, nor car'd, nor laugh'd, nor cried :
And so they liv'd, and so they died.
DESIRING THE QUEEN'S PICTURE.
WRITTEN AT PARIS, 1714; BUT LEFT UNFINISHED, BY
THE SUDDEN NEWS OF HER MAJESTY's death.
THE train of equipage and pomp of state,
The shining side-board, and the burnish'd plate,
Let other ministers, great Anne, require,
And partial fall thy gift to their desire.
To the fair portrait of my sovereign dame,
To that alone, eternal be my claim.
My bright defender, and my dread delight,
If ever I found favour in thy sight;
If all the pains that, for thy Britain's sake,
My past has took, or future life may take,
Be grateful to my queen; permit my prayer,
And with this gift reward my total care.
Will thy indulgent hand, fair saint, allow
The boon? and will thy ear accept the vow?
That, in despite of age, of impious flame,
And eating Time, thy picture, like thy fame,
Entire may last; that, as their eyes survey
The semblant shade, men yet unborn may say,
"Thus great, thus gracious, look'd Britannia's
Her brow thus smooth, her look was thus serene;
When to a low, but to a loyal hand,
The mighty empress gave her high command,
That he to hostile camps and kings should haste,
To speak her vengeance, as their danger, past;
To say, she wills detested wars to cease;
She checks her conquest, for her subjects ease,
And bids the world attend her terms of peace."
Thee, gracious Anne, thee present I adore,
Thee, queen of peace-If Time and Fate have
Higher to raise the glories of thy reign,
In words sublimer, and a nobler strain,
May future bards the mighty theme rehearse:
Here, Stator Jove, and Phoebus king of verse,
The votive tablet I suspend
GIVEN TO THE DUKE OF SHREWSBURY IN FRANCE,
AFTER THE PEACE, 1713.
DICTATE, O mighty judge, what thou hast seen
Of cities and of courts, of books and men ;
And deign to let thy servant hold the pen.
Through ages thus I may presume to live,
And from the transcript of thy prose receive
What my own short-liv'd verse can never give,
Thus shall fair Britain, with a gracious smile, Accept the work; and the instructed isle, For more than treaties made, shall bless my toil.
Nor longer hence the Gallic style preferr'd, Wisdom in English idiom shall be heard, While Talbot tells the world, where Montaigne err'd.
TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE THE
COUNTESS DOWAGER OF DEVONSHIRE,
WHEREON WERE ALL HER GRANDSONS PAINTED.
WIESSEN and Nature held a long contest,
If she created, or he painted, best;
With pleasing thought the wondrous combat grew
She still form'd fairer; he still liker drew.
In these seven brethren they contended last,
With art increas'd, their utmost skill they tried, And, both well pleas'd they had themselves surpass'd,
The goddess triumph'd, and the painter died. That both their skill to this vast height did raise, Be ours the wonder, and be yours the praise: For here, as in some glass, is well descry'd Only yourself thus often multiply'd.
When Heaven had you and gracious Anna' made, What more exalted beauty could it add?
! Eldest daughter of the countess.
Having no nobler images in store,
It but kept up to these, nor could do more
Than copy well what it had fram'd before.
If in dear Burghley's generous face we see
Obliging truth and handsome honesty,
With all that world of charms, which soon will move
Reverence in men, and in the fair-ones love;
His very grace his fair descent assures,
He has his mother's beauty, she has yours.
If every Cecil's face had every charm,
That Thought can fancy, or that Heaven can form;
Their beauties all become your beauty's due,
They are all fair, because they're all like you.
If every Ca'ndish great and charming look ;
From you that air, from you the charms they took.
In their each limb your image is exprest,
But on their brow firm courage stands confest;
There, their great father, by a strong increase,
Adds strength to beauty, and completes the piece:
Thus still your beauty, in your sons, we view,
Wiessen seven times one great perfection drew:
Whoever sat, the picture still is you.
So when the parent Sun, with genial beams,
Has animated many goodly gems,
He sees himself improv'd, while every stone,
With a resembling light, reflects a sun.
So when great Rhea many births had given,
Such as might govern Earth, and people Heaven ;
Her glory grew diffus'd, and, fuller known,
She saw the deity in every son:
And to what god soe'er men altars rais'd,
Honouring the offspring, they the mother prais'd.
In short-liv'd charms let others place their joys,
Which sickness blasts, and certain age destroys:
Your stronger beauty Time can ne'er deface,
Tis still renew'd, and stamp'd in all your race.
Ah! Wiessen, had thy art been so refin'd,
As with their beauty to have drawn their mind,
Through circling years thy labours would survive,
And living rules to fairest virtue give,
To men unborn and ages yet to live:
'Twould still be wonderful, and still be new,
Against what Time, or Spite, or Fate, could do;
Till thine confus'd with Nature's pieces lie,
And Cavendish's name and Cecil's honour die.
A FABLE, FROM ̊ PHÆDRUS.
to the author of the medley, 1710. THE FOX an actor's vizard found, And peer'd, and felt, and turn'd it round; Then threw it in contempt away, And thus old Phædrus heard him say: "What noble part canst thou sustain, Thou specious head without a brain?"
RIGHT HONOURABLE MR. HARLEY.
HORACE, I EP. IX. IMITATED.
Septimius, Claudi, nimirum intelligit unus,
Quanti me facias, &c.
DEAR Dick, howe'er it comes into his head,
Believes as firmly as he does his creed,
2 Richard Shelton, esq.
That you and I, sir, are extremely great;
Though I plain Mat, you minister of state:
One word from me, without all doubt, he says,
Would fix his fortune in some little place.
Thus better than myself, it seems, he knows,
How far my interest with my patron goes;
And, answering all objections I can make,
Still plunges deeper in his dear mistake.
From this wild fancy, sir, there may proceed
One wilder yet, which I foresee and dread;
That I, in fact, a real interest have,
Which to my own advantage I would save,
And, with the usual courtier's trick, intend
To serve myself, forgetful of my friend.
To shun the censure, I all shame lay by,
And make my reason with his will comply;
Hoping, for my excuse, 'twill be confest,
That of two evils I have chose the least.
So, sir, with this epistolary scroll,
Receive the partner of my inmost soul:
Him you will find in letters and in laws
Not unexpert, firm to his country's cause,
Warm in the glorious interest you pursue,
And, in one word, a good man and a true.
TO MR. HARLEY,
WOUNDED BY GUISCARD, 1711.
Ducit opes animumque ferro.
Is one great now, superiour to an age,
The full extremes of Nature's force we find:
How heavenly Virtue can exalt, or Rage
Infernal how degrade the human mind ! While the fierce monk does at his trial stand, He chews revenge, abjuring his offence: Guile in his tongue, and murder in his hand,
He stabs his judge, to prove his innocence.
The guilty stroke and torture of the steel
Infix'd, our dauntless Briton scarce perceives: The wounds his country from his death must feel, The patriot views; for those alone he grieves. The barbarous rage that durst attempt thy life, Harley, great counsellor, extends thy fame: And the sharp point of cruel Guiscard's knife,
In brass and marble carves thy deathless name.
Faithful assertor of thy country's cause,
Britain with tears shall bathe thy glorious wound:
She for thy safety shall enlarge her laws,
And in her statutes shall thy worth be found.
Yet 'midst her sighs she triumphs, on the hand
Reflecting, that diffus'd the public woe;
A stranger to her altars, and her land:
No son of hers could meditate this blow.
Meantime thy pain is gracious Anna's care:
Our queen, our saint, with sacrificing breath,
Softens thy anguish: in her powerful prayer
She pleads thy service, and forbids thy death.
Great as thou art, thou canst demand no more,
O breast bewail'd by Earth, preserv'd by Heaven!
No higher can aspiring Virtue soar:
Enough to thee of grief and fame is given.
Our weekly friends to morrow meet
At Matthew's palace, in Duke-street,
To try, for once, if they can dine
On bacon-ham and mutton-chine.
If, weary'd with the great affairs
Which Britain trusts to Harley's cares,
Thou, humble statesman, may'st descend
Thy mind one moment to unbend,
To see thy servant from his soul
Crown with thy health the sprightly bowl;
Among the guests which e'er my house
Receiv'd, it never can produce
Of honour a more glorious proof—
Though Dorset us'd to bless the roof.
ERLE ROBERT'S MICE.
IN CHAUCER'S STYLE.
TWAY mice, full blythe and amicable,
Baten beside erle Robert's table.
Lies there ne trap their necks to catch,
Ne old black cat their steps to watch,
Their fill they eat of fowl and fish ;
Feast lyche as heart of mouse mote wish.
As guests sat jovial at the board,
Forth leap'd our mice: eftsoons the lord
Of Boling, whilome John the Saint,
Who maketh oft propos full queint,
Laugh'd jocund, and aloud he cried,
To Matthew seated on t'oth' side;
"To thee, lean bard, it doth partain
To understand these creatures tweine.
Come frame us now some clean device,
Or playsant rhyme on yonder mice:
They seem, God shield me! Mat and Charles."
Bad as sir Topas, or squire Quarles," (Matthew did for the nonce reply)
"At emblem, or device am 1:
But, could I chaunt, or rhyme, pardie,
Clear as Dan Chaucer, or as thee,
Ne verse from ine (so God me shrive)
On mouse, or other beast alive.
Certes I have this many days
Sent myne poetic herd to graze.
Ne armed knight ydrad in war
With lion fierce will I compare;
Ne judge unjust, with furred fox,
Harming in secret guise the flocks;
Ne priest unworth of goddess coat,
To swine ydrunk, or filthy stoat:
Elk simile farewell for aye,
From elephant, I trowe, to flea."
Reply'd the friendlike peer,
Matthew is angred on the spleen."-
"Ne so," quoth Mat, ne shall be e'er,
With wit that falleth all so fair:
Eftoons, well weet ye, wine intent
Boweth to your commandement.
If by these creatures ye have seen,
Pourtrayed Charies and Matthew beçn;
PROTOGENES AND APELLES.
WHEN poets wrote, and painters drew,
As Nature pointed out the view;
Ere Gothic forms were known in Greece
To spoil the well-proportion'd piece;
And in our verse ere monkish rhymes
Had jangled their fantastic chimes:
Ere on the flowery lands of Rhodes
Those knights had fix'd their dull abodes,
Who knew not much to paint or write,
Nor car'd to pray, nor dar'd to fight:
Protogenes, historians note,
Liv'd there, a burgess, scot and lot;
And, as old Pliny's writings show,
Apelles did the same at Co.
Agreed these points of time and place,
Proceed we in the present case,
Piqu'd by Protogenes's fame,
From Co to Rhodes Apelles came,
To see a rival and a friend,
Prepar'd to censure, or commend ;
Here to absolve, and there object,
As art with candour might direct.
He sails, he lands, he comes, he rings;
His servants follow with the things:
Appears the governante of th' house;
For such in Greece were much in use:
If young or handsome, yea or no,
Concerns not me or thee to know.
"Does squire Protogenes live here ?”— "Yes, sir," says she, with gracious air, And court'sey low, "but just call'd out By lords peculiarly devout,
Who came on purpose, sir, to borrow
Our Venus for the feast to morrow,
To grace the church; 'tis Venus' day:
I hope, sir, you intend to stay,
To see our Venus: 'tis the piece
The most renown'd throughout all Greece;
So like th' original, they say:
But I have no great skill that way.
But, sir, at six ('tis now past three)
Dromo must make my master's tea:
At six, sir, if you please to come,
You'll find my master, sir, at home."
"Tea," says a critic big with laughter, "Was found some twenty ages after; Authors, before they write, should read," "Tis very true; but we'll proceed.
"And, sir, at present would yon please
To leave your name."-" Fair maiden, yes.
Reach me that board." No sooner spoke
But done. With one judicious stroke,
On the plain ground Apelles drew
A circle regularly true:
"And will you please, sweet-heart," said he
"To show your master this from me?
By it he presently will know.
How painters write their names at Co."
He gave the pannel to the maid.
Smiling and court'sying, "Sir," she said,
"I shall not fail to tell my master:
And, sir, for fear of all disaster,
I'll keep it my ownself: safe bind,
Says the old proverb, and safe find.
So, sir, as sure as key or lock-
Your servant, sir,-at six o'clock."
Again at six Apelles came,
Found the same prating civil dame.
"Sir, that my master has been here,
Will by the board itself appear.
If from the perfect line be found
He has presum'd to swell the round,
Or colours on the draught to lay,
'Tis thus (he order'd me to say),
Thus write the painters of this isle:
Let those of Co remark the style."
She said; and to his hand restor'd
The rival pledge, the missive board.
Upon the happy line were laid
Such obvious light, and easy shade,
That Paris' apple stood confest,
Or Leda's egg, or Cloe's breast,
Apelles view'd the finish'd piece:
"And live," said he, "the arts of Greece I Howe'er Protogenes and I
May in our rival talents vie ;
Howe'er our works may have express'd
Who truest drew, or colour'd best,
When he beheld my flowing line,
He found at least I could design:
And from his artful round, I grant
That he with perfect skill can paint."
The dullest genius cannot fail
To find the moral of my tale;
That the distinguish'd part of men,
With compass, pencil, sword, or pen,
Should in life's visit leave their name,
In characters which may proclaim
That they with ardour strove to raise
At once their arts, and country's praise;
And in their working took great care,
That all was full, and round, and fair.
Yet credit but lightly what more may be said,
For we flatter ourselves, and teach marble to lie.
Yet, counting as far as to fifty his years,
His virtues and vices were as other men's are; High hopes he conceiv'd, and he smother'd great fears,
In a life party-colour'd, half pleasure, half care. Nor to business a drudge, nor to faction a slave. He strove to make interest and freedom agree; In public employments industrious and grave, And alone with his friends, lord, how merry was he!
Now in equipage stately, now humbly on foot,
Both fortunes he try'd,but to neither would trust; And whirl'd in the round, as the wheel turn'd about, He found riches had wings, and knew man was but dust.
This verse little polish'd, though mighty sincere,
Sets neither his titles nor merit to view;
It says, that his relics collected lie here,
And no mortal yet knows too if this may be true. Fierce robbers there are that infest the highway,
So Mat may be kill'd, and his bones never found; False witness at court, and fierce tempests at sea, So Mat may yet chance to be hang'd, or be drown'd.
If his bones lie in earth, roll in sea, fly in air, - To Fate we must yield, and the thing is the same. And if passing thou giv'st him a smile or a tear,
He cares not-yet pr'ythee be kind to his fame.
GUALTERUS DANISTONUS AD AMICOS.
Dum studeo fungi fallentis munere vitæ,
Adfectoque viam sedibus Elysiis,
Arctoa florens sophiâ, Samisque superbus
Discipulis, animas morte carere cano.
Has ego corporibus profugas ad sidera mitto;
Sideraque ingressis otia blanda dico;
Qualia conveniunt Divis, queis fata volebant
Vitäe faciles molliter ire vias:
Vinaque Coelicolis media inter gaudia libo;
Et me quid majus suspicor esse viro.
Sed fuerint nulli forsan, quos spondeo, cœli;
Nullaque sint Ditis numina, nulla Jovis !
Fabula sit terris agitur quæ vita relictis ;
Quique superstes, Homo; qui nihil, esto Deus.
Attamen esse hilares, & inanes mittere curas
Proderit, ac vitæ commoditate frui,
Et festos agitâsse dies, ævique fugacis
Tempora perpetuis detinuisse jocis.
His me parentem præceptis occupet Orcus,
Et Mors; seu Divum, seu nihil, esse velit: Nam sophia ars illa est, quæ fallere suaviter horas Admonet, atque Orci non timuisse minas.
STUDIOUS the busy moments to deceive, That fleet between the cradle and the grave, I credit what the Grecian dictates say, And Samian sounds o'er Scotia's hills convey. When mortal man resigns his transient breath, The body only I give o'er to death; The parts dissolv'd and broken frame I mouru: What came from earth I see to earth return. The immaterial part, th' ethereal soul, Nor can change vanquish, nor can death control. Glad I release it from its partner's cares, And bid good angels waft it to the stars. Then in the flowing bowl I drown those sighs, Which, spite of wisdom, from our weakness rise. The draught to the dead's memory I commend, And offer to thee now, immortal friend. But if, oppos'd to what my thoughts approve, Nor Pluto's rage there be, nor power of Jove; On its dark side if thou the prospect take; Grant all forgot beyond black Lethe's lake; In total death suppose the mortal lie, No new hereafter, nor a future sky: Yet bear thy lot content; yet cease to grieve: Why, ere death comes, dost thou forbear to live? The little time thou hast, 'twixt instant now And of this little hast thou aught to spare And Fate's approach, is all the Gods allow : To sad reflection, and corroding care? The moments past, if thou art wise, retrieve With pleasant memory of the bliss they gave. The present hours in present mirth employ, And bribe the future with the hopes of joy: The future (few or more, howe'er they be) Were destin'd erst; nor can by Fate's decree Be now cut off betwixt the grave and thee.
THE FIRST HYMN-OF CALLIMACHUS.
WHILE we to Jove select the holy victim, Whom apter shall we sing, than Jove himself,