Page images

To save his sire and sister: think'st thou, maid,
Her gentleness can hear the tale, and live!
And yet she must. Oh gods, I grow a talker!
Grief and old age are ever full of words:
But I'll be mute. Adieu! ye holy men;
Yet one look more-Now lead us hence for ever.



Take, holy earth! all that my soul holds dear :

Take that best gift which Heav'n so lately gave: To Bristol's fount I bore with trembling care

Her faded form; she bow'd to taste the wave, And died. Does youth, does beauty, read the line?

Does sympathetic fear their breasts alarm? Speak, dead Maria ! breathe a strain divine: Ev'n from the grave thou shalt have power to

charm. Bid them be chaste, be innocent, like thee;

Bid them in duty's sphere as meekly move; And if so fair, from vanity as free;

As firm in friendship, and as fond in love. Tell them, though 'tis an awful thing to die,

('Twas ev'n to thee) yet the dread path once trod, Heav'n lifts its everlasting portals high,

And bids “ the pure in heart behold their God."

[ocr errors]






[ocr errors]

KNIGHT of the polar star! by fortune plac’d
To shine the Cynosure of British tasteR;
Whose orb collects in one refulgent view
The scatter'd glories of Chinese virtù;
And spread their lustre in so broad a blaze,
That kings themselves are dazzled while they gaze.
O let the Muse attend thy march sublime,
And, with thy prose, caparison her rhyme;
Teach her, like thee, to gild her splendid song,
With scenes of Yven-Ming, and sayings of Li-Tsong';
Like thee to scorn dame Nature's simple fence;
Leap each ha-ha of truth and common sense ;
And proudly rising in her bold career,
Demand attention from the gracious ear
Of him, whom we and all the world admit,
Patron supreme of science, taste, and wit.
Does envy doubt? Witness ye chosen train,
Who breathe the sweets of his Saturnian reign;
Witness ye Hills, ye Johnsons, Scots, Sheabbeares,
Hark to my call, for some of you have ears.
Let David Hume, from the remotest north,
In see-saw sceptic scruples hint his worth;
David, who there supinely deigns to lye
The fattest hog of Epicurus' sty;
Though drunk with Gallic wine, and Gallic praise,
David shall bless Old England's halcyon days;
The mighty Home, bemir'd in prose so long,
Again shall stalk upon the stilts of song:
While bold Mac-Ossian, wont in ghosts to deal,
Bids candid Smollett from his coffin steal;
Bids Mallock quit his sweet Elysian rest,
Sunk in his St. John's philosophic breast,
And, like old Orpheus, make some strong effort
To come from Hell, and warble Truth at Court'.

· This poem was fit published in May 73.

Cynosure, an affected phrase. “Cynosura is the constellation of Ursa Minor, or the Lesser Bear, the next star to the pole.” Dr. Newton, on the word in Milton.

3« Many trees, shrubs and flowers," sayeth Li-Tsong, a Chinese author of great antiquity, “ thrive best in low, moist situations ; many on hills and mountains; some require a rich soil; but others will grow on clay, in sand, or even upon rocks, and in the water : to some a sunny exposition is necessary; but for others the shade is preferable. There are plants which thrive best in exposed situations, but in general, shelter is requisite. The skilful gardener, to whom study and experience have taught these qualities, carefully attends to them in his operations; knowing that thereun depend the health and growth of his plants; and consequently the beauty of his plantations.” Vide Diss. p. 77. The reader, 1 presame, will readily allow, that he never met with so much recondite truth, as this ancient Chinese here exhibits.

1 Vide (if it be extant) a poem under this title, for which (or for the publication of lord Bolingbroke's philosophical writings)

There was a time, “ in Esher's peaceful grove,
" When Kent and Nature vy'd for Pelham's love,"
That Pope beheld them with auspicious smile,
And own'd that beauty blest their mutual toil.
Mistaken bard! could such a pair design
Scenes fit to live in thy immortal line?
Hadst thou been born in this enlighten'd day,
Felt, as we feel, taste's oriental ray,
Thy satire sure had given them both a stab,
Call’d Kent a driveller, and the nymph a drab.
For what is Nature? Ring her changes round,
Her three flat notes are water, plants, and ground';
Prolong the peal, yet, spite of all your clatter,
The tedious chime is still ground, plants and water.
So, when some John his dull invention racks,
To rival Boodle's dinners, or Almack's;
Three uncouth legs of mutton shock our eyes,
Three roasted geese, three butter'd apple-pies.
Come then, prolific Art, and with thee bring
The charms that rise from thy exhaustless spring;
To Richmond come, for see, untutor'd Browne
Destroys those wonders which were once thy own.
Lo, from his melon ground the peasant slave
Has rudely rush'd, and levellid Merlin's cave;
Knock'd down the waxen wizard, seized his wand,
Transform'd to lawn what late was fairy land;
And marr'd, with impious hand, each sweet design
Of Stephen Duck, and good queen Caroline.
Haste, bid yon livelong terrace re-ascend,
Replace each vista, straighten every bend;
Shut out the Thames; shall that ignoble thing
Approach the presence of great Ocean's king?
No! let barbaric glories feast his eyes',
August pagodas round his palace rise,
And finish'd Richmond open to his view,
A work to wonder at, perhaps a Kew."
Nor rest we here, but, at our magic call,
Monkeys shall climb our trees, and lizards crawl" ;

tions ;

the person here mentioned received a considerable pension in the time of lord Bute's administration.

* This is the great and fundamental axiom, on which oriental taste is founded. It is therefore expressed here with the greatest precisiun, and in the identical phrase of the great original. The figurative terms, and even the explanatory simile, are entirely borrowed from sir William's Dissertation. “ Nature" (says the Chinese, or sir William for them) “ affords us but few materials to work with. Plants, grounds and water, are her only produc

and though both the forms and arrangements of these may be varied to an incredible degree, yet they have but few striking varieties, the rest being of the nature of changes rung upon bells, which, though in reality different, still produce the same uniform kind of gingling; the variation being too minute to be easily perceived."._ “ Art must therefore supply the scantiness of Nature,” &c. &c. page 14. And again, " Our larger works are only a repetition of the small ones, like the honest bachelor's feast, which consisted in nothing but a multiplication of his own dinner; three legs of mutton and turnips, three roasted geese, and three buttered apple-pies." Preface, page 7.

! So Milton.

Where the gorgeous east with richest hand

Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold. “In their lofty woods serpents and lizards, of many beautiful

« PreviousContinue »