Page images
PDF
EPUB

For if your author be profoundly good, Affected noise is the most wretched thing
'Twill cost you dear before he 's understood. That to contempt can empty fcribblers brin
How many ages lince has Virgil writ? Vowels and accents, regulariy plac'd,
How few are they who underitand him yet! On even fyllables (and full the lart),
Approach his altars with religious fear, Though gross innumerable faults a yound,
Nu vuigar deity inhabits there :

In 1pite of nonfease, riever nail of found.
Heaven shakes not more at Jove's imperial nod, But this is meant of even verie alone,
Than poets should before their Mantuan god. As being most harmonious and most known
Hail, mighty Maro! may that sacred name For if you will unequal numbers try,
Kindle my breast with thy celestial isme; There accents on odd syllables muit lie.
Sublime ide:is and apt words infuse ;[the Muse! Whatever fiiter of the learned Nine
The Mufe inftruét ny voice, and thou inspire Does to your suit a willing ear incline,

What I have instanc'd only in the best, Urge your succeis, deserve a laiting name, Is, in proportion, true of all the reft.

She'l crown a grateful and a content i:nie. Take pains the genuine meaning to explore; But if a wild uncertainty prevail, There lu cat, there ftrain, tug the laborious var; and turn your veering heart with ev'ry gale Search tv'ry comment that your care can find, You lote the fruit of all your former care Some here, some there, may hit the poet's mind; For the sad prolject of a just dcpr. Yet be not blindly guided by the throng; A quick (too scandalously mean to name The multitude is always in the wrong. Had, by man-midwifery, got weaith and f. When things appear uri natural or hard, As if Lucina had forgot her trade, Consult your author, with himself compar'd; Thc klouring wife invokes his lurer aid. Who knows what beiling Phæbus may bestow, Well-feton d bowis the gotip's spirits rai? And future ages to your labour owė? Who,while ile guzzles, chats the doctor's pi Such secrets are not caly found out; And largely what she wants in words su; n. But, once diicover'd, leave no room for doubt. With noullin-eloquence of trickling eyes. Truth itamps conviction in your ravith'd brezit, But what a thoughtless antın il is man! And peace and joy attend the glorious guest. How very active in his own trepan!

Truth fill is one ; truth is divinely bright; For greety of physicians' frequent fees, No cloudy doubts obscure her native light; From female mcilow praile he takes dentes While in your thoughts you find the lead debate, struts in a new unlicens'd gown, and then,

You may confoundi, but never can translate. From faving women, falls to killing men. | Your style will this through all diluiles fhew, Another such lnd left the nation thin,

For none explain more clearly than they know. In spite of all the children he brought in. He only proves he understands a text, !!is pills as thick as hund-granadoes rew; Whose exposition leaves it unnerplex'd. And where they tell, as ce. tainly they few; They who too faithfully on nimes inilt, His name iruck every where as great a di Rather create thun diupare the miit;

Is Archime ies through the Roman ca. And grow unjult by being over nice

With this, the doctor's pride begin to co. (For superstitious virtue turns to vice). For Invarting foundly muy convince a fun's I et Crasius'* ghost and Labienus tell But now repentance came too late for grae; How twice in Parthian plains their legions fell: And me acre famine star'd himn in ile 1.C : Since Rome bath been lo jealous of her fame, Fain would be to the wives be reconcil'i, That tiw know Pacorus' or Monzeses' name. But found no hufband left to oun a chill.

Weds in one language elegantly us'd, The frien'istlint got the brats were poifen ! Will hardiy in another be excus'd.

In this fad cafe uhat couid our verinin dod And some that Rome admired in Cæsar's time, Worried with debts, and pait all hope of heal May reither fuit our genius nor our clime. Th’umpiti d wretch lies rotting in a jari; The ginuielinle, inielligibly toid, And there with bathet-alms cuce kepezliv1 Shows a tran.lator both diicreet and bold. Shewskick miitaken talents ought to thrive. Excursions are inexpirbly bad ;

Irit; fon my foul, unliappy men, And 'tis much later io leve out than add. Compir 3 by want to proti itute their pen; Abftrule and mystic thoughts you must express Who auft, like lawyers, either sturve or pile With painful care, but lecmin: eatinets; And follow, right or wrong, wheregnincas !¢1 For truth Mines brighteit thio' the plainet) But you, Pompilian, wealthy pamperd Fein dr ss.

Who to yourcountry owe yourtword and cari Th’Anean Muse, wh:n the aprcars in state, Let no van hope ycur easy mind seduce, Mak's all Jove's thunder on ler vertes wait; For rich ill roets are without excuie. Yet wrives tometimes 15 fe ft and moving things I is very dun erous, tampering with a mufe As Venus freaks, or Philoinela tiners. The prurit's tail, and you have much to lut Your : uthor always wil tl.e best advise; For though true wit adorns your birth or pias Fall when he falls, and when he rises rise. Degenerate lines degrade th' attainted race. • Hor. jii. Od. 6.

1

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

No poet ay paffion cae excite, [write. This ancient Rome and elder Athens found,
Bat what they feel transport them when they Before mistaken stops debauch'd the found.
Eser been led through the Cumean cave, When, by impulse from Heaven, Tyrtæus fung,
And ford the impatient maid divinely rave? In drooping soldiers a new courage sprung;
Izber now; I see her rolling eyes: Reviving Sparta now the flight maintain d,
And punting, Lo! the god! the god! the cries; And what two generals lost

, a poet gain d. With wordsnothers and more than humansound, By secret influence of indulgent skies, She makes it bedient gbosts peep trembling Empire and poefy together rise. thro' the ground.

True poets are the guardians of the state, t But, tho' we muft obey when Heaven commands, And, when they

fail, portend approaching fate And man in vain the Sacred call withstands, For that which Rome to conquest did inspire, Beware what fpirit nges in your breast; Was not the vestal, but the muse's fire; For ten inbited, ten boufand are poffeft.

Heaven joins the bleßings: no declining age Thus make the proga ole of each extreme,

E'er felt the raptures of poetic rage. And write with fuy, but correct with phlegm. Of many faults rhyme is perhaps the cause ; As when the cheerful hoars too freely pais, Too ftrict to rhyme, we flight more useful laws; And sparkling wine fmiles in the tempting glass, For that, in Greece or Rome, was never known, Your pulle adries, and begins to beat Till by barbarian deluges o'erflown: Through ev'ry lwelling vein a loud retreat: Subdu'd, undone, they did at last obey, So wbra a mul propitioufly invites, And change their own for their invader's way.

rove her favours, and indulge her flights; I grant that, from fome mofly idol oak, at when yoa find that vigorous heat abate, In double rhymes our Thor and Woden spuke; SOE, and for another summons wait. And by succession of unlearned times, Bebe the radiant fun a glimmering lamp, As bards began, fo monks rurg on the chimes. fetiteite metals to the sterling stamp,

But now that Phoebus and the facred Nine Apper hat meaner than mere human lines, With all their beams on our blest island shine,

'd with those whose inspiration shines: Why should not we their ancient rights restore, Bisous, bold; those languid and remiss; And be what Rome or Athens were before? Da, nid Glutes; but here a lover's kiss. * Have youforgothowRaphael'snumerousprose

bave I seen a rapid headlong tide · Led our exalted souls thro' heavenly camps,

foaming waves the passive Soane divide; And mark'd the ground where proud apostate ne lazy waters without motion lay,

thrones bile be with eager force, arg'd his

impetuous Defied Jehovah! here, 'twixt host and hoft,

*(A narrow, but a dreadful interval) The privilege that ancient poets claim ? Satan with valt and haughty ftrides advanc’d,

Portentous fight! before the cloudy van tan'd to licence by too juft a name, bags to none but an establish'd fame, Came tow'ring arm’d in adamant and gold. cafcoms to take it

* There bellowing engines, with their fiery tubes, urd expressions, crude abortive thoughts, Dispers’d ethereal forms, and down they fell the lewd legion of exploded faults,

By thousands, angels on archangels roll'd; E fagitives, to that asylum fly,

| Recover'd, to the hills they ran, they flew, facred laws with infolence defy. “Which (with their ponderous load, rocks, hos our heroes of the former days.

waters, woods), vid and gain a their never-fading bays; From their firm seats torn by the shaggy tops, I milake, or far the greatest part They bore like thields before them through the that some call neglect, was study's art.

air,

[foes. Wha Vagil seems to trifle in a line,

“Till more incensid they hurled them at their To make your fancy, and prepare your fight,

\
" All was confufion, heaven's foundation

fhook, * Threat’ning no less than universal wreck;

." For Michael's arm main promontories Aung, kis my patience when, with faucy pride, | And over-press’d whole legions weak with fin. I matund ears I hear his numbers tried. * Yet they blasphem’d and itruggled as they lay, Reserle of nature; fhall such copies then

|Till the great ensign of Meffiah blaz’d, I had the rude notions of pedantic schools Seraga th' originals of Maro's pen; And (armd with vengeance) God's victorious

(Effulgence of paternal deity!) [Son Boheme the sacred founder of our rules? Grasping ten thousand thunders in his hand, The delicacy of the niceft ear

| Drove th' old original rebels headlong down, ads nothing harsh or out of order there. * And sent them flaming to the vast abyss.' Sublime or low, unbended or intense,

O may I live to hail the glorious day, The found is fill a comment to the sense. And sing loud pæans through the crowded way,

A skilful ear in numbers should prelide, When in triumphant state the British Muse, and all disputes without appeal decide. True to herself, shall barbarous aid refuse,

And An Effay on Blank Verse, out of Paradise Loft, B. VI.

[ocr errors]

And in the Roman majesty appear, (near. Who banishid David did from Hebron bring Which none know better, and none come so And with a gen’ral thout proclaim'd him k'o

Those very Jews, who at their very best $ 27. Abfalom and Achitopbel.

Their humour more than loyalty express il, Dryden.

Now wonder'd why so long they had obey i In picis times, ere priestcraft did begin, An idol monarch, which their hands had m Before polygamy was made a sin;

Thought they might ruin him they could cru When man on many multiplied his kind, Or melt him to tliat golden calf of state. Ere one to one was cursedly confined ! But these were random bolts: no formid des When nature prompted, and no law denied Nor int’rest made the factious crowd to joi Promiscuous use of concubine and bride; The fober part of Israel, free from stain, Then Israel's monarch,after Heaven's own heart, Well knew the value of a peaceful reign; His vigorous wurmth did variously impart And looking backward with a wise attright, To wives and llaves; and wide as his command, Saw seams of wounds dishonest to the light: Scatter'd his Maker's image thro' the land. In contemplation of whose ugly scars, Michal, of royal blood, the crown did wear; They cursd the memory of civil wars. A foil ungrateful to the tiller's care ;

The moderate sort of men thus qualified, Not so the rest; for several mothers bore Inclined the balance to the better fide: To godike David several fons before. And David's mildness manag'd it so well, But since, like slaves, his bed they did ascend, The bad found no occasion to rebel. No true succession could their feed attend. But when to fin our biass d nature leans, Of all the numerous progeny, was none The careful devil is still at hand with mean So beautiful, so brave, as Abfalom :

And providently pimps for ill desires : Whether inspired by some diviner lust, The good old caule reviv'd a piot requires. His father got him with a greater gust; Plots true or false are necesary things Or that his conscious destiny made way, To raise up cominonwealths, and ruin king: By manly beauty, to imperial 1way,

Th’inhabitants of old Jerusalem Early in foreign fields he won renown, Were Jebufites; the town so call'd from the With kings and states allied to Ifrael's crown: And theirs the native rightIn peace the thonglits of war he could remove, But when the chosen people grew more stro And feem'd as he were only born for love. The rightful cause at length beca:me the wro Whate'er he did was done with so much ease, And ev'ry loss the men of Jebus bore, In him alone 'twas natural to please : They still were thought God's enemies the mi His motions all accompanied with grace; Thus worn or weaken’d, well or ill content And paradise was open’d in his face. Submit they must to David's government ; With secret joy indulgent David view'd Impoverith'd, and depriv'd of all comman His youthful image in his son renew'd : Their taxes doubled as they lost their land: To all his wishes noihing he denied; And what was harder yet to flesh and blood And made the charming Annabel his bride. Their gods disgrac'd, and burnt like comr What faults he had (for who from faults is free?) wood. His father could not, or he would not see. This set the heathen priesthood in a flame; Some warm excefles which the law forbore, For priests of all religions are the fame. Were construedyouth that purg'd byboilingo'er, of whatsoe'er descent their godhead be, And Ammon's murder, by a lpecious name, Stock, stone, or other homoly pedigree, Was call’d a just revenge for injur’d fume. In his defence his servants are as hold Thus prais'dand lov'd the noble youth iemain’d, As if he had been born of beaten gold. While David undifturl'd in Sion reign'd; The Jewith rabbins, though their enemies, But lite can never be sincerely bleft:

In this conclude them honest men and wie. Heaven punishes the bad, and proves the best. For 'twas their duty, all the learned think, The Jews,a headstrong, moody,murmuring race, 'T' espouse his cause liy whom they eat and dr. As ever tried thi'extent and itreach of grace; From hence began that plot, the nation's cur God's pamper’d people, whom, debauched with Bad in ithilf, but reprelented worse ; eare,

Rasd in extremes, and in extremes decried No king could govern, nor no God could please. With oaths affirni'', with dying vows denie Gods they had tried of every shape and lize, Not weigh'd nor winnow'd by the multitu! That godsmiths conhd produce, or priests devise : (But swallow'Jin the mass, umchewd and cru. Thele Adam-wits, too fortunately free, Some truth there was, but d3th dand breuil w Began to dream they wanted liberty; To please the tools, and puzzle all the wife. [lee And when no rule, no precedent was found Succeeding times did equal folly call, Of men by laws less circumscrib'd and bound, Believing nothing, or believing all. They led their wild desires to woods and caves, Tl' Egyptian rites the Jebulites embrac'd; And thought that all but Savages were llaves.' Where gods were recommended by their til They who, when Stul was dead, without a blow, such favoury cities must needs be good, Made foolish Ithbotheth the crown forego; As terv'd at once for wordhip ani for food,

[graphic]

Tillthy frei glories, which now shine so bright, Unwarily was led from virtue's ways, Grow iti le, and tarnish with our daily light? Made drunk with honour, and debauch'd Believe me, royal youth, thy fruit must be

praise. Or gather'd ripe, or rot upon the tree. Half lot), and half consenting to the ill, Heaven has to all allotted, foon or late, For royal blood within him ftruggled ftill

, Sume lucky revolution of their fate;

He thus replied :-And what pretence has Whose motions if we watch and guide witli skill, To take up arms for public liberty? For human good depends on human will, My father governs with ungleftioned rih Our fortune rolls as from a mouth descent, The faith's defender, and mankind's delig And froin the first impresion takes tlie bent: Good, gracious, just, obturvint of the laws But, if unseiz'd, the glides away like wind, And Heaven by wonders has espous'd hisc. And leaves repenting fully far behind. Whom has he wrong'd in all his peaceful Now, now she meets you with a glorious prize, who fues for justice to his throne in vain And spreads her locks before you as she flies. What millions has be pardon'd of his fia, Had thus cid David, from whole loins you spring, Whom just revenge diit to his wrath ex Not dar'd when fortune call d him to be king, Mild, caly, liumble, studious of our to At Gath an exile he migh: still remain, Inclinod to mercy, and averle from blod. And Heaven's anointing oil had been in vain. If mildness ill with fiubhorn Israel uit, Let his successful youth your hopes engage;

His crime is God's beloveri attribute. But thun th' example of declining age : What could he gain his people to betra!, Behold him setting in his western skies, Or change his right for arbitrary fway? The shadows length’ning as the vapours rise. Let haughty Pharaoh curse with such an He is not now, as when on Jordan's fand His fruitful Nile, and yoke a servile traiz. The joyful people throng'd to see him land, (if David's rule Jerufalem displease, Covering the beach, and blackening all the The dog-ítar hests their brains to this dis Itrand;

Why then should I, encouraging the had, But, like the prince of angels, from his height, Turn rebel, and run popularly mad? Come tumbling downwardwithdiminish dlight; Were he the tyrant, who by lawless mich* Betray'd by one poor plot to public scorn; Oppress’d the Jews, and rais d the Jebut Our only blessing since bis curs'd return: Well might I mourn; but nature's hory Those heaps of people which one sheafdid bind, Would curb my spirits, and reftrain myit Blown oft and scatter'd by a pul of wind, The people might allert their liberty; What strength can he to your defigns oppose, But what was right in them were crime in Naked of friends, and round beset with foes? His favour leaves me nothing to require, If Pharaoh's doubtful fuccour he should use, Prevents my wishe, and outruns detire ; A foreign aid would more incense the Jews: What more can I expect while David lii's Proud Egypt would disembled ti erdhiy bring: All but his kingly dimlum he gives: Foment the war, but not support the king: And that but here he pausd; tlen, 1, Nor would the royal party e'er unite

faidWith Pharaoh's arins t'uilt the Jebusite; Is juftly deftin'd for a worthier head. Or,if they should,theirint'rtit foor would brcik, For when my fither from his toils th Jiren And with such odious aid make Divid weak. And late augment the ruber of the bles All sorts of me., hy iny fuccefful tris, This liwtud ilue lhall the throne afcend, Abhorring kinc,citrange their alterca hearts or the collateral line, where that ihailend. From David's rule; and 'tis their general cry, Hisbeuther, thouglı oppreis d u ith vulgari; Religion, commonwealth, and liverty. Yet dauntless, and secure of native righi, If you, as champion of the public good, of ev'ry royal virtue Itands poteft; Add to their arms a chief of royal blood, Still dear to all the bravert and the belt. What may not Irael hope, ar 1 what applause His courage foes, his friends his truth procha Might such a g?nral gain by such a caute? His loyalty the king, the world his fame. Not barren praile alone, that grudy flow'r Ils mercy e'en the offending crowd wil di Fair only to the fight, but folid pow'r; I or fire lie comes of a forgiving kind. And nobler is a limited command, "why should I then repine at Heaven's decir Given by the love of (!) your native land, Which gives me no pretence to royalty? Than a luccellive title, long and dark, Yet, oh that fate, propitioully inclind, Drawn from the mouldy rolls of Noali's ark. Hind rais'd my birth, or had debas'd my min

Virat cannot praise effect in mighty minds, lo my large roul not all her treasure lent, When flatt'ry sooths, and whenambition blinds? And then betray'd it to a mean de!cent! Desire of pow'r, on earth a vicious weed, I find, I find my mounting spirits bold, Yet ip ung from high, is of celestial feed : And David's part divains my mother's mou. In God 'tis glory; and when men aspire, Wliy am I kvanted by a niggard birtli? "Tis but a spark too much of heavenly fire. My soul disclaiins the kindred of her earth; Th'ambitious youth, too covetous of fame, Ani, made for empire, whispers me within, Tuo tull of an ei's medal in his frame, Dưure of greatneis is a godlike fin.

H

« PreviousContinue »