Page images
PDF
EPUB

How much in him may rising Ireland boast,
How much in gaining him has Britain loft !
Their island in revenge has ours reclaim'd;
The more instructed we, the more we still are

ham’d.
'Tis well for us his generous blood did flow
Deriv'd from British channels long ago,
That here his conqu’ring ancestors were nurst;
And Ireland but translated England first:
By this reprisal we regain our right,
Else must the two contending nations fight;
A nobler quarrel for his native earth,
Than what divided Greece for Homer's birth.
To what perfection will our tongue arrive,
How will invention and translation thrive,
When authors nobly born will bear their part,
And not disdain th’inglorious praise of art !
Great generals thus, descending from command,
With their own toil provoke the soldiers hand.
How will sweet Ovid's ghost be pleas'd to hear
His fame augmented by an English peer
How he embellishes his Helen's loves,
Outdoes his softness, and his sense improves ?
When these translate, and teach translators too,
Nor firstling kid, nor any vulgar vow,

}

Should at Apollo's grateful altar stand : Roscommon writes ; to that auspicious hand, Muse, feed the bull that spurns the yellow fand. Roscommon, whom both court and camps com

mend, True to his prince, and faithful to his friend; Roscommon first in fields of honor known, First in the peaceful triumphs of the gown; Who both Minervas justly makes his own. Now let the few belov'd by Jove, and they Whom infus'd Titan form’d of better clay, On equal terms with ancient wit engage, Nor mighty Homer fear, nor sacred Virgil's page: Our English palace opens wide in state ; And without stooping they may pass the gate.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

EPISTLE the SIXT H.

TO THE

DU TCHESS of YORK,

ON HER

Return from ScoTLAND in the Year 1682.

W The queen of beauty, and the court of love,

HEN factious rage to cruel exile drove

The queen of beauty, and theçourt of love, The Muses droop’d, with their forsaken arts, And the fad Cupids broke their useless darts : Our fruitful plains to wilds and desarts turn'd, Like Eden's face, when banilh'd man it mourn’d.

}

Love was no more, when loyalty was gone,
The great supporter of his awful throne.
Love could no longer after beauty stay,
But wander'd northward to the verge of day,
As if the sun and he had lost their way.
But now th’illustrious nymph, return’d again,
Brings every grace triumphant in her train.
The wond'ring Nereids, tho they rais'd no storm,
Foreflow'd her passage, to behold her form:
Some cry'd, A Venus ; fome, A Thetis past;
But this was not so fair, nor that fo chafte.
Far from her fight flew Faction, Strife, and Pride ;
And Envy did but look on her, and dy’d.
Whate'er. we suffer'd from our sullen fate,
Her fight is purchas'd at an easy rate.
Three gloomy years against this day were set;
But this one mighty sum has clear'd the debt:
Like Joseph's dream, but with a better doom,
The famine past, the plenty still to come.
For her the weeping heavens become serene ;
For her the ground is clad in cheerful

green:
For her the nightingales are taught to sing,
And Nature has for her delay'd the spring.
The Muse resumes her long-forgotten lays,
And Love restor'd his ancient realm surveys,
Recals our beauties, and revives our plays;

}

[ocr errors]

His waste dominions peoples once again,
And from her presence dates his second reign.
But awful charms on her fair forehead fit,
Dispensing what she never will admit :
Pleasing, yet cold, like Cynthia’s filver beam,
The people's wonder, and the poet's theme.
Distemper'd Zeal, Sedition, canker'd Hate,
No more shall vex the church, and tear the state:
No more shall Faction civil discords move,
Or only discords of too tender love :
Discord, like that of music's various parts ;
Discord, that makes the harmony of hearts ;
Discord, that only this dispute shall bring,
Who best shall love the duke, and serve the king.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »