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Excus'd, if in her cause we never stir, Pleas'd with the strength and beauty of the ravisher?
Thus sings our bard with heat almost divine;
'Tis pity that his thought was not as strong as fine.
Would it more justly did the case express,
Or that its beauty, and its grace were less.
(Thus a nymph sometimes we see,
Who so charming seems to be,
That, jealous of a soft surprise,
We scarce durst trust our eager eyes)
Such a fallacious ambush to escape,
It were but vain to plead a willing rape;
A valiant son would be provok'd the more;
A force we therefore must confess, but acted long
A marriage since did intervene, [before;
With all the solemn and the sacred scene:
Lond was the Hymenean song;
The violated dame' walk'd smilingly along,
And in the midst of the most sacred dance,
As if enamour'd of his sight,
Often she cast a kind admiring glance
On the bold struggier for delight;
Who afterwards appear'd so moderate and cool,
As if for public good alone he so desir'd to rule.
But, oh! that this were all which we can urge
Against a Roman of so great a soul!
And that fair truth permitted us to purge
His fact, of what appears so foul!
Friendship, that sacred and sublimest thing!
The noblest quality, and chiefest good,
(In this dull age scarce understood) [to sing, Inspires us with unusual warmth her injur'd rites Assist, ye angels! whose immortal bliss, Though more refin'd, chiefly consists in this. How plainly your bright thoughts to one another
Oh! how ye all agree in harmony divine!
The race of mutual love with equal zeal ye run,
A course, as far from any end, as when at first be-
Ye saw, and smil'd upon this matchless pair, Who still betwixt them did so many virtues share, Some which belong to peace, and some to strife,
Those of a calm, and of an active life, That all the excellence of human-kind Concurr'd to make of both but one united mind, Which friendship did so fast and closely bind, Not the least cement could appear by which their souls were join'd.
That tye which holds our mortal frame, Which poor unknowing we a soul and body name, Seems not a composition more divine, [shine.
Or more abstruse, than all that does in friendship
From mighty Cæsar and his boundless grace, Though Brutus, once at least, his life receiv'd; Such obligations, though so high believ'd,
Are yet but slight in such a case. Where friendship so possesses all the place, There is no room for gratitude, since he, Who so obliges, is more pleas'd than his sav'd friend can be.
Just in the midst of all this noble heat,
While their great hearts did both so kindly beat, That it amaz'd the lookers-on,
And forc'd them to suspect a father and a son2;
(Though here ev'n Nature's self still seem'd to be outdone)
From such a friendship unprovok'd to fall
Is horrid, yet I wish that fact were all
Which does with too much cause ungrateful Brutus
In coolest blood he laid a long design
Against his best and dearest friend;
Did ev'n his foes in zeal excecd,
To spirit others up to work so black a deed;
Himself the centre where they all did join.
Cæsar, meantime, fearless, and fond of him,
Was as industrious all the while
To give such ample marks of fond esteem,
To see with how much ease love can the wise be-
As made the gravest Romans smile
He, whom thus Brutus doom'd to bleed,
Did, setting his own race aside,
Nothing less for him provide,
Than in the world's great empire to succeed:
Which we are bound in justice to allow,
Is all-sufficient proof to show
That Brutus did not strike for his own sake: And if, alas! he fail'd, 'twas only by mistake,
YIELD, I yield, and can no longer stay My eager thoughts, that force themselves away. Sure none inspir'd (whose heat-transports them still Above their reason, and beyond their will) Can firm against the strong impulse remain; Censure itself were not so sharp a pain. Let vulgar minds submit to vulgar sway; What Ignorance shall think, or Malice say, To me are trifles; if the knowing few, Applaud that genius which themselves partake, Who can see faults, but can see beauties too, And spare the poet for the Muse's sake.
The Muse, who raises me from humble ground, To view the vast and various world around; How fast I mount! in what a wondrous way I grow transported to this large survey! I value Earth no more, and far below Methinks I see the busy pigmies go. My soul entranc'd is in a rapture brought Above the common tracks of vulgar thought: With fancy wing'd, I feel the purer air, And with contempt look down on human care. Airy Ambition, ever soaring high, Stands first expos'd to my censorious eyc. Behold some toiling up a slippery hill, Where, though arriv'd, they must be toiling still: Some, with unsteady feet, just fallen to ground, Others at top, whose heads are turning round. To this high sphere it happens still that some, The most unfit, are forwardest to come; Yet among these are princes forc'd to choose, Or seek out such as would perhaps refuse. Favour too great is safely plac'd on none, And soon becomes a dragon or a drone, Either remiss and negligent of all, Or else imperious and tyrannical.
The Muse inspires me now to look again, And see a meaner sort of sordid men Doating on little heaps of yellow dust; For that despising honour, ease, and lust. Let other bards, expressing how it shines, Describe with envy what the miser finds; Only as heaps of dirt it seems to me, Where we such despicable vermin see, Who creep through filth a thousand crooked ways, Insensible of infamy or praise:
Loaded with guilt, they still pursue their course, Not ev'n restrain'd by love or friendship's force.
Not to enlarge on such an obvious thought, Behold their folly, which transcends their fault! Alas! their cares and cautions only tend To gain the means, and then to lose the end. Like heroes in romances, still in sight For mistresses that yield them no delight. This, of all vice, does most debase the mind, Gold is itself th' allay to human-kind. Oh, happy times! when no such thing as coin E'er tempted friends to part, or foes to join! Cattle or corn, among those harmless men, Was all their wealth, the gold and silver then : Corn was too bulky to corrupt a tribe, And bellowing herds would have betray'd the bribe. Ev'n traffic now is intercourse of ill, And every wind brings a new mischief still; By trade we flourish in our leaves and fruit, But avarice and excess devour the root.
Thus far the Muse unwillingly has been Fix'd on the dull, less happy sorts of sin;
Hold, hold, impetuous Muse-I would restrain
Her over-eager heat, but all in vain ;
Abandon'd to delights, she longs to rove;
I check'd her here, and now she flies to love;
Shows me some rural nymph, by shepherd chas'd,
Soon overtaken, and as soon embrac'd:
The grass by her, as she by him, is press'd;
For shame, my Muse, let fancy guess the rest:
At such a point fancy can never stay,
But flies beyond whatever you can say.
Behold the silent shades, the amorous grove,
The dear delights, the very act of Love.
This is his lowest sphere, his country scene,
Where Love is humble, and his fare but mean;
Yet springing up without the help of art,
Leaves a sincerer relish in the heart,
More healthfully, though not so finely fed,
And better thrives than where more nicely bred.
But 'tis in courts where most he makes a show,
And, high enthron'd, governs the world below;
For though in histories learn'd ignorance
Attributes all to cunning or to chance,
Love will in those disguises often smile,
And knows the cause was kindness all the while
What story, place, or person, cannot prove
The boundless influence of mighty Love?
Where'er the Sun can vigorous heat inspire,
Both sexes glow, and languish with desire.
The weary'd swain, fast in the arms of sleep,
Love can awake, and often sighing keep;
And busy gown-men, by fond love disguis'd,
Will leisure find to make themselves despis'd.
But now, more pleas'd, she views the different ways The proudest kings submit to Beauty's sway;
Of luxury, and all its charms surveys.
Dear Luxury! thou soft, but sure deceit !
Rise of the mean, and ruin of the great!
Thou sure presage of ill-approaching fates,
The bane of empires, and the change of states!
Armies in vain resist thy mighty power;
Not the worst conduct would confound
Thus Rome herself, while o'er the world she flew,
And did by virtue all that world subdue,
Was by her own victorious arms oppress'd,
And catch'd infection from the conquer'd East;
Whence all those vices came, which soon devour
The best foundations of renown and power.
But oh! what need have we abroad to roam,
Who feel too much the sad effects at home,
Of wild excess! which we so plainly find
Decays the body, and impairs the mind.
But yet grave fops must not presume from hence
To slight the sacred pleasures of the sense:
Our appetites are Nature's laws, and given
Under the broad authentic seal of Heaven.
Let pedants wrangle, and let bigots fight,
To put restraint on innocent delight,
But Heaven and Nature's always in the right;
They would not draw poor wretched mortals in,
Or give desires that shall be doom'd for sin.
Yet, that in height of harmless joy we may
Last to old age, and never lose a day,
Amidst our pleasures we ourselves should spare,
And manage all with temperance and care.
The gods forbid but we sometimes may steep
Our joys in wine, and lull our cares asleep :
It raises Nature, ripens seeds of worth,
As moistening pictures calls the colours forth;
But if the varnish we too oft apply,
Alas! like colours, we grow faint and die.
Beauty itself, a greater prince than they,
Lies sometimes languishing with all its pride
By a belov'd, though fickle lover's side.
I mean to slight the soft enchanting charm,
But, oh! my head and heart are both too warm.
I doat on woman-kind with all their faults,
Love turns my satire into softest thoughts;
Of all that passion which our peace destroys
Instead of mischief, I describe the joys.
But short will be his reign (I fear too short),
And present cares shall be my future sport.
Then Love's bright torch put out, his arrows broke,
Loose from kind chains, and from th' engaging yoke,
To all fond thoughts I'll sing such counter-charms,
The fair shall listen in their lovers arms.
Now the enthusiastic fit is spent,
I feel my weakness, and too late repent.
As they who walk in dreams oft climb too high
For sense to follow with a waking eye;
And in such wild attempts are blindly bold,
Which afterwards they tremble to behold:
So I review these sallies of my pen,
And modest Reason is return'd again;
My confidence I curse, my fate accuse,
Scarce hold from censuring the sacred Muse.
No wretched poet of the railing pit,
No critic curs'd with the wrong side of wit,
Is more severe from ignorance and spite,
Than I with judgment against all I write.
MR. HOBBES, AND HIS WRITINGS. Such is the mode of these censorious days, The art is lost of knowing how to praise;
Poets are envious now, and fools alone Admire at wit, because themselves have none. Yet whatsoe'er is by vain critics thought, Praising is harder much than finding fault; In homely pieces ev'n the Dutch excel, Italians only can draw beauty well.
As strings, alike wound up, so equal prove, That one resounding makes the other move; From such a cause our satires please so much, We sympathize with each ill-natur'd touch; And as the sharp infection spreads about, The reader's malice helps the writer out. To blame, is easy; to commend, is bold,; Yet, if the Muse inspires it, who can hold? To merit we are bound to give applause, Content to suffer in so just a cause.
For how could such a wretch succeed, But that, alas, it was decreed?
While in dark ignorance we lay, afraid
Of fancies, ghosts, and every empty shade,
Great Hobbes appear'd, and by plain reason's light
Put such fantastic forms to shameful flight.
Fond is their fear, who think men needs must be
To vice enslav'd, if from vain terrours free;
The wise and good morality will guide,
And superstition all the world beside.
In other authors, though the thought be good,
'Tis not sometimes so easily understood;
That jewel oft' unpolish'd has remain'd;
Some words should be left out, and some explain'd;
So that in search of sense, we either stray,
Or else grow weary in so rough a way.
But here sweet eloquence does always smile,
In such a choice, yet unaffected style,
As must both knowledge, and delight impart,
The force of reason, with the flowers of art;
Clear as a beautiful transparent skin,
Which never hides the blood, yet holds it in:
Like a delicious stream it ever ran,
As smooth as woman, but as strong as man.
Bacon himself, whose universal wit
Does admiration through the world beget,
Scarce more his age's ornament is thought,
Or greater credit to his country brought.
While Fame is young, too weak to fly away,
Malice pursues her, like some bird of prey;
But once on wing, then all the quarrels cease;
Envy herself is glad to be at peace,
Gives over, weary'd with so high a flight,
Above her reach, and scarce within her sight.
Hobbes, to this happy pitch arriv'd at last,
Might have look'd down with pride on dangers past:
But such the frailty is of human-kind,
Men toil for Fame, which no man lives to find;
Long ripening under ground this China lies;
Fame bears no fruit, till the vain planter dies.
Thus Nature, tir'd with his unusual length
Of life, which put her to her utmost strength,
Such stock of wit unable to supply,
To spare herself, was glad to let him die.
WRITTEN OVER A GATE,
Here lives a man, who, by relation
Depends upon predestination;
For which the learned and the wise
His understanding much despise :
But I pronounce with loyal tongue
Him in the right, them in the wrong ;
THE MIRACLE, 1707.
MERIT they hate, and wit they slight;
They neither act, nor reason right,
And nothing mind but pence.
Unskilful they victorious are,
Conduct a kingdom without care,
A council without sense.
So Moses once and Joshua,
And that virago Debora,
Bestrid poor Israel:
Like reverence pay to these! for who
Could ride a nation as they do,
Without a miracle?
ON THE DEATH OF HENRY PURCELL.
Joyful they flew, singing and soaring through the GooD angels snatch'd him eagerly on high;
sky, Teaching his new-fledg'd soul to fly; While we, alas! lamenting fie.
He went musing all along,
Composing new their heavenly song:
A while his skilful notes loud hallelujahs drown'd; But soon they ceas'd their own, to catch his pleas
David himself improv'd the harmony,
David, in sacred story so renown'd
No less for music, than for poetry!
Genius sublime in either art!
Crown'd with applause surpassing all desert!
A man just after God's own heart!
If human cares are lawful to the blest,
Already settled in eternal rest;
Needs must he wish, that Purcell only might
Have liv'd to set what he vouchsaf'd to write;
For, sure, the noble thirst of fame
With the frail body never dies;
But with the soul ascends the skies,
From whence at first it came.
"Tis sure no little proof we have
That part of us survives the grave,
And in our fame below still bears a share:
Why is the future else so much our carè,
Ev'n in our latest moment of despair?
And death despis'd for fame by all the wise and
Oh, all ye blest harmonious choir!
Who Power Almighty only love, and only that ad-
ON THE LOSS OF AN ONLY SON,
ROBERT MARQUIS OF NORMANBY.
OUR morning's gay
The days our joys declare;
At evening no repining;
And night's all void of care.
A fond transported mother
Was often heard to cry,
Oh, where is such an other
So bless'd by Heaven as I?
A child at first was wanting;
Now such a son is sent,
As parents most lamenting
In him would find content.
A child of whom kind Heaven
Not only hope bestows,
But has already given
Him all our hopes propose.
The happy sire's possessing
His share in such a boy,
Adds still a greater blessing
To all my other joy.
But ah! this shiny weather
Became too hot at last;
Black clouds began to gather,
And all the sky o'ercast.
So fierce a fever rages,
We all fie drown'd in tears; And dismal sad presages
Come thundering in our ears.
The doubts that made us languish
Did worse, far worse than kill.
Yet, oh, with all their anguish,
Would we had doubted still!
But why so much digression,
This fatal loss to show?
Alas, there's no expression
Can tell a parent's woe!
One moral, or a mere well-natur'd deed,
Can all desert in sciences exceed.
'Tis great delight to laugh at some men's ways; But a much greater to give merit praise.
WHENE'ER my foolish bent to public good,
Or fonder zeal for some misguided prince,
Shall make my dangerous humour understood,
For changing ministers for men of sense:
When, vainly proud to show my public care,
And ev'n asham'd to see three nations fool'd,
I shall no longer bear a wretched share
In ruling ill, or being over-rul'd:
Then, as old lechers in a winter's night
To yawning hearers all their pranks disclose;
And what decay deprives them of delight,
Supply with vain endeavours to impose:
Just so shall I as idly entertain
Some stripling patriots, fond of seeming wise; Tell how I still could great employments gain, Without concealing truths, or whispering lies! Boast of succeeding in my country's cause
Ev'n against some almost too high to blame; Whom, when advanc'd beyond the reach of laws, I oft' had ridicul'd to sense and shame:
Say, I resisted the most potent fraud;
But friendless merit openly approv'd; And that I was above the being aw'd
Not only by my prince, but those he lov'd: Who knows but my example then may please Such noble, hopeful spirits as appear Willing to slight their pleasures and their ease, For fame and honour? till at last they hear, After much trouble borne, and danger run, The crown assisted, and my country serv'd; Without good fortune I had been undone,
Without a good estate I might have starv'd.
ON MR. POPE, AND HIS POEMS. WITH
ITH age decay'd, with courts and business tir'd,
Caring for nothing but what ease requir'd,
Too serious now a wanton Muse to court,
And from the critics safe arriv'd in port;
I little thought of lanching forth again,
Amidst adventurous rovers of the pen;
And, after some small undeserv'd success,
Thus hazarding at last to make it less.
Encomiums suit not this censorious time,
Itself a subject for satiric rhyme;
Ignorance honour'd, Wit and Worth defam'd,
Folly triumphant, and ev'n Homer blam'd.
But to this genius, join'd with so much art,
Such various learning mix'd in every part,
Poets are bound a loud applause to pay;
Apollo bids it, and they must obey.
And yet so wondrous, so sublime a thing,
As the great Hiad, scarce could make me sing;
Except I justly could at once commend
A good companion, and as firm a friend.
THE ELECTION OF A POET LAUREAT
A FAMOUS assembly was summon'd of late:"
To crown a new Laureat, came Phobus in state,
With all that Montfaucon himself could desire,
His bow, laurel, harp, and abundance of fire.
At Bartlemew-fair ne'er did bullies so justle,
No country-election e'er made such a bustle:
From garret, mint, tavern, they all post away,
Some thirsting for sack, some ambitious of bay.
All came with full confidence, flush'd with vain
From Cibber and Durfey, to Prior and Pope.
Pho:bus smild on these last, but yet ne'ertheless,
Said, he hop'd they had got enough by the press.
With a huge mountain-load of heroical lumber,
Which from Tonson to Curll every press had groan'd
Came Blackmore, and cry'd, “Look, all these are my lays,"
But at present I beg you'd but read my Essays."
Lampooners and critics rush'd in like a tide,
Stern Dennis and Gildon came first side-by side.
Apollo confess'd that their lashes had stings,
But beadles and hangmen were never chose kings.
Steele long had so cunningly manag'd the town,
He could not be blam'd for expecting the crown;
Apollo demurr'd as to granting his wish,
But wish'd him good luck in his project of fish.
Lame Congreve, unable such things to endure,
Of Apollo begg'd either a crown or a cure;
To refuse such a writer, Apollo was loth,
And almost inclin'd to have granted him both.
And so spying one who came only to gaze,
A hater of verse, and despiser of plays;
To him in great form, without any delay,
(Though a zealous fanatic) presented the bay.
All the wits stood astonish'd at hearing the god
So gravely pronounce an election so odd;
And though Prior and Pope only laugh'd in his face,
Most others were ready to sink in the place.
Yet some thought the vacancy open was kept,
Concluding the bigot would never accept :
But the hypocrite told them, he well understood,
Though the function was wicked, the stipend was
At last in rush'd Eusden, and cry'd, "Who shall have it,
But I, the true laureat, to whom the king gave it?"
When Buckingham came, he scarce car'd to be Apollo begg'd pardon, and granted his claim;
Till Phoebus desir'd his old friend to walk in;
But a laureat peer had never been known,
The commoners claim'd that place as their own.
Yet if the kind god had been ne'er so inclin'd
To break an old rule, yet he well knew his mind,
Who of such preferment would only make sport,
And laugh'd at all suitors for places at court.
Notwithstanding this law, yet Lansdowne was nam'd,
But Apollo with kindness his indolence blam'd,
And said he would choose him, but that he should
An employment of trouble he never could bear.
A prelate' for wit and for eloquence fam'd,
Apollo soon miss'd, and he needs not be nam'd;
Since, amidst a whole bench, of which some are so
No one of them shines so learn'd and polite.
To Shippen, Apollo was cold with respect,
Since he for the state could the Muses neglect:
But said, in a greater assembly he shin'd,
And places were things he had ever declin'd.
Trapp, Young, and Vanbrugh, expected reward,
For some things writ well: but Apollo declar'd,
That one was too flat, the other too rough,
And the third sure already had places enough.
Pert Budgell came next, and, demanding the bays,
Said, "Those works must be good, which had Addi-
But Apollo reply'd, "Child Eustace, 'tis known,
Most authors will praise whatsoever's their own."
When Philips came forth, as starch as a Quaker,
Whose simple profession's a Pastoral-maker;
Apollo advis'd him from playhouse to keep,
And pipe to nought else but his dog and his sheep.
Hughes, Fenton, and Gay, came last in the train,
Too modest to ask for the crown they would gain:
Phabus thought them too bashful, and said they
More boldness, if ever they hop'd to succeed.
Apollo, now driven to a cursed quandary,
Was wishing for Swift, or the fam'd Lady Mary:
Nay, had honest Tom Southerne but been within
But at last he grew wanton, and laugh'd at them all:
' Dr. Atterbury, bishop of Rochester.
But vow'd though, till then he ne'er heard of his
SINCE in vain our parsons teach,
Hear, for once, a poet preach.
Vice has lost its very name,
Skill and cozenage thought the same;
Only playing well the game.
Foul contrivances we see
Call'd but ingenuity:
Ample fortunes often made
Out of frauds in every trade,
Which an aukward child afford
Enough to wed the greatest lord.
The miser starves to raise a son,
But, if once the fool is gone,
Years of thrift scarce serve a day,
Rake-hell squanders all away.
Husbands seeking for a place,
Or toiling for their pay;
While their wives undo their race
By petticoats and play:
Breeding boys to drink and dice,
Carrying girls to comedies,
Where mamma's intrigues are shown,
Which ere long will be their own.
Having first at sermon slept,
Tedious day is weekly kept
By worse hypocrites than men,
Till Monday comes to cheat again.
Ev'n among the noblest-born,
Moral virtue is a scorn;
Gratitude, but rare at best,
And fidelity a jest.
All our wit but party-mocks,
All our wisdom raising stocks:
Counted folly to defend
Sinking side, or falling friend,
Long an officer may serve,
Prais'd and wounded, he may starve:
No receipt, to make him rise,
Like inventing loyal lies.
We, whose ancestors have shin'd
In arts of peace, and fields of fame,
To ill and idleness inclin'd,
Now are grown a public shame.