Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Repeat the search, and mend your pace, * (The joys above are understood • The capture shall reward the chace.

· And iclith'd only by the good). . Let ev'ry minute, as it springs,

• Who thail assume this guardian care ? • Convey freth knowledge on its wings; • Wilo Thali fecure their birthright there? • Let ev'ry minute, as it flics,

Souls are my charge--to me 'uis given Record thee good, as well as wise.

To train them for their native heaven. • While such pursuits your thoughts engage, • Know, then-Who vow the early knco, • In a few years you 'll live an age.

And give the willing hcart, to me; Who measures life by rolling years?

• Who wisely, when remplation waits, Fools measure by revolving Ipheres.

Elude her frauds, and spurn her baits; Go thou, and forch th’unerring rule

· Who dare to own my injur'd cause, * From Virtue's and from Wildom's school. • Tho' fools deride my sacred laws; • Who well improves life's shortcft day

" Or scorn to deviate to the wrong, • Will scarce regret its setting ray;

Tho' Perfecution lifts her thong; Contented with his share of light,

Tho' all the fons of hell confpire * Nor fear nor with th' approach of night : • To raise the frike, and light the firc • And when disease assaults the heart,

Know, that for such supcrior souls When fickness triumphs over art,

• There lies a bliss beyond the poles ; Reflection on a life well past

Where spirits fine with purer say, Shall prove a cordial to the last :

• And brighten to meridian day; • This ined cine Thall the foul sustain,

"Where Lore, where boundless Friendship rules, * And soften or suspend her pain ;

“ (No friends that change, no love that cools!) • Shall break Death's fell tyiannic pow'r, "Where uiting foods of knowledge roll, • And calm the troubled dying hour.'

• And pour, and pour upon the foul!' Best rules of cool prudential age !

* But where 's the paffage to the skies?' I liflen'd and rever'd the sage.

· The road thro' Death's i lack valley lies. When, do! a forin divincly bright

Nay, do not shudder at ny tale ; Descends, and bursts upon my fight;

• Tho' dark the shades, yet safe the vale. A seraph of illustrious birth

• This path the best of men have trod, (Religion was her name on earth);

• And who'd decline the road to God? Supremely sweet her radiant face,

*Oh! 'tis a glorious boon to die ! And blooming with celestial grace !

• This favour can't be priz'd too high.' Thrce shining cherubs form d her train,

While thus the spake, my looks express'd Wzx'd their light wings, and reach'd the plain ; The raptures kindling in my break: Faith, with sublime and piercing eye,

My soul a fix'd attention gave;
And pinions fluct'ring for the sky;

When the stern inonarch of the grave
Here Hope, that smiling angel, stands, Wità haughty strides approach'd-amaz'd
And golden anchors grace her hands;

food, and trembled as I gaz'd. There Charity in rohes of white,

The Seraph calın'd each anxious fear, Fairest and fav’ritc maid of light!

And kindly wip'd the falling tear; The seraph spake -'Tis reason's part Then hasien'd ivith expanded wing "To govern and to guard the heart;

To meet the pale, territic king. * To lull the wayward foul to rest,

But now what inilder scenes arise !
When hopes and fears distract the breast : The tyrant drops his hostile guise :
• Realon may claim this doubtful ftrife, He scéis a youth divinely fair;
And steer thy bark thra' various life.

In graceful ringlets waves his hair;
"But when the storms of Death are nigh, His wings their whit'ning plumes display,
* And midnight darkness veils the sky,

His burnih'd plumes reflect the day ; Shall reason then direct thy fail,

Light Hows his shining azure velt, Disperse the clouds, or sink the gale ? And all the angel ftands confeft Stranger, this tkili alone is mine,

I view'd the change with sweet surprise, *Skill that transcends his scanty line.

And, oh! I panted for the skies;
That hoary fage has counsell'd right: Thank'd Heaven that e'er I drew my breath,
Be wise, nor scorn his friendly light.

And triumph'd in the thoughts of Death.
Revere thyself-thou 'rt near allicd
* To angels on thy better fide.
How various c'er their ranks or kinds,

FABLES, by the late Mr. Gay. * Angels are but unbodied ininds :

Iniroduction to the FABLES. Part the Fift. • When the partition walls decay,

§ 120. The Shepberd and the Pbilosopber. Men emerge angels from their clay ; "Yes, when the frailer body dies,

REMOTE from cities liv'da fwain, • The foul afferts her kindred skies;

Unvex'd with all the cares of gain; * But minds, sho' sprung from heavenly race, His head was filver'd o'er with age, Munt Arf be tutor'd for the place

And long experience made him lage ;

In summer's heat, and winter's cold,

Thus ev'ry object of creation
He fed his Hock, and penn'd the fold; Can furniủ hints to contemplation ;
His hours in cheerful labour fcw,

And from the most minute and mean
Nor envy nor ambition knew :

A virtuous mind can inorals glean. His wisdom and his honest fame

Thy fame is just, the sage replies; Through all the country rais'd his name. Thy virtue proves thee iruly wise. A deep Philosopher (whote rules

Pride often guides the author's pen; Of moral life were drawn from schools)

Books as aflicted are as men:
The thepherd's homely cottage fought,

But he wlio liudies nature's laws,
And thus explor'd his reach of thought : From certain truth his maxims draivs ;

Whence is thv learning ? Hath thy toil And thole, without our schools, fuffice
O'er books consum’d the midnight oil ?

To make men inoral, good, and wise.
Haft thou old Greece and Rome survey'd,
And the vast sense of Plato weigh'da
Harh Socrates thy soul refin'd)

To bis Higbaess William Duke of Cumberland. And haft thou fathom'd Tully's minda

§ 121. FABLE 1. The Lion, the Tiger, and 16 Or, like the wise Ulyfics, thrown By various fates on realms unknown,

Hast thou through many cities stray'd, ACCEPT, young prince, the moral lay,
Their customs, laws, and manners weighid: And in these tales mankind survey;
The thepherd modestly replied:

With early virtues plant your breast,
I ne'er the paths of Icarning tried;

The fpecious arts of vice detest.
Nor have I roam'd in forcign parts,

Princes, like beauties, from their youth
To read mankind, their laws, and arts; Are strangers to the voice of trurh :
For man is practis'd in disguise,

Learn to contemn all praise betines;
He cheats the most difcerning cyes ;

For flattery's the nurse of crimes. Who by that search thall witer grow,

Friendship by swect reproof is shown When we ourfulves can never know?

(A virtue never near a throne); The little knowledge I have gain'd,

In courts such freedom must oflend, Was all from simple nature drain’d;

There none presumes to be a friend, Hence my life's maxims took their risc, To thofe of your exalted station Hence grew my settled hate to vice.

Each courtier is a dedication. The daily labours of the bee

Must I tou flatter like the rest, Awake my soul to industry,

And tuin my morals to a jest: Who can observe the carcful ant,

The mufe disdains to steal from those And not provide for future want?

Who thrive in courts by fullome proie. My dog (the trustiest of his kind)

But shall I hide your real praise, With gratitude in flames my mind,

Or tell


what a nation fays? I mark his truc, his faithful way,

They in your infant bolom trace And in my service copy Tray.

The virtues of your royal race, In constancy and nuptial love,

in the fair dawning of your mind I learn my duty from the dove.

Discern you genious, mild, and kind; The hen, who from the chilly air

They fec you grieve to bear diftrols, With pious wing protects her care,

And pant already to redress. And every fowl that flies at large,

Go on, the hciglit of good aitain, Inftrućts me in a parent's charge.

Vor let a nation hope in vain ; From nature too I take my rule,

For hence we jusily may prelage To thun contempt and ridicule :

The virtues, of a riper age. I never, with important air,

True courage shall your bosom fire, In conversation cvcrbcar.

And future actions own your fire. Can grave and formal pass for wire,

Cowards are cruci, but the brave Whe' men the folemn owl despise?

Love mercy, and delight to fare. My tongue within any lips Trein,

A Tiger roaining for his prey, For who talks much muit talk in vain ; Sprung on a Trarller in the way; We froin the wordy torrent Hy;

The prostrate gaine a Lion spics, W'ho listens to the chatt'ring pve?

And on the greedy tyrant flics : Nor would I, with felerious night,

With mingled roar rcfounds the wood, By stealth invade my neighbour's right; Their reeth, their claws, distil with blood; Rapacious animals we hate :

Till, vanquish'd by tlic Lion's strength,
Kircs, hawks, and wolres, deserve their fate, The fjetted fce extends his length.
Do not we just abhorrence find

The Man befought the shaggy lord,
Ayunft the toad and serpent kind?

And on his knees for life implor'd; But envy, calumny, and fpite,

His lite the gen'rous hero gave: Bvar stronger venom in their biten

Together walking to his case,


The lion thus bespoke his guest :

My whisper always met success; What hardy beast shall dare contest

The ladics prais’d me for address. My matchless strength? You saw the fight, I knew to hit each courtier's pailion, And must atteft my pow'r and right.

And flatter'd ev'ry vice in fathion. Forc'd to forego their native home,

But Jove, who hates the liar's ways, My starving flaves at distance roam;

At once cut short my prosp'rous days; Within thete woods I reign alone,

And, fentenc'd to retain my nature, The boundlcfs foreft is my own.

Transform'd me to this crawling crcature. Bears, wolves, and all the lavage brool,

Doom'd to a life obícure and mean, Hare dyed the regal der with blood.

[ wander in this sylvan scene. Thele carcases on cither hand,

For Jove the heart alone regards; Those bones that whiten all the land,

He punishes what man reivards. My former deeds and triumphs tell,

How different is thy case and mine! Beneath these jaws what numbers fell.

With men at least you lup and dine ;
True, says the man, the strength 1 faw While I, condemn'd to thinnest fare,
Might well the brutal nation awe:

Like thote I flatter'd, fced on air.
But shall a monarch, brave like you,
Place glory in so false a vicw ?
Robbers invade their neighbours' right:

s 123. FARLE 41. The Moiber, the Nurse, and Be lov'd; let justice bound your might.

ibe Fairy'. Mean are ambitious heroes' boasts


IVE mc a fon. The blessing fent, Of wasted lands and slaughtered hosts :

Were ever parents more content? Pirates their pow'r by murders gain ;

How partial are their doting cycs! Wise kings by lore and mercy reign.

No child is half fo fair and wisc. To me your clemency hath shown

Wak’d to the morning's pleasing care,
The virtue worthy of a throne.

The mother rofc, and fought her hcir.
Heaven gives you pow'r above the reft, Slic saw the Nurse, like one posseft
Like Heaven to succour the distrest.

With wringing hands, and fobbing breast.
The cale is plain, the monarch faid;

Sure some difafter has befel: False glory hath my youth miled;

Speak, Nurse! I hope the boy is well? For beasts of prey, a servile train,

Dear Madam, think not me to blame; Have been the fatt'rers of my reign.

Invisible the Fairy came : You reason well. Yet tell me, friend,

Your precious babe is hence conver'd, Did ever you in courts attend?

And in the place a changeling laid. For all my fawning rogues agree,

Where are the father's mouth and nose, 'That human herocs rule like me.

The mother's eyes, as black as floes?

See here, a kocking awkward creature, 122. FABLE 11. Tbe Spanic! and the Cameleon. That speaks a fool in ev'ry feature.

The woman 's blind, the mother cries;

SPANIEL, bred with all the care
That waits upon a fav’rite heir,

I fee wit sparkle in his cye:s.
Ne'er felt corrcétion's rigid hand :

Lord, Madain, what a Iquinting Icer! Indulg'd to disobey command,

No doubt the Fairy hath been here. In pamper'd ease his hours were spent;

Just as the spoke, a pigmy Sprite He never know what learning meant.

Pops through the key-hole, fivift as light; Such forward airs, fò pert, fo linart,

Perch'd on the cradle's top he stands, Were sure to win his lady's heart :

And thus her folly reprimands : Each little mischief yain'd him praise;

Wl'hunce sprung the vain conceited lie, How pretty were his faining ways !

That we the vorid with fools fupply? The wind was fouth, the morning fair,

What! give our sprightly race away, He ventures forth to take the air:

For the dull hclpless fons' of clay! He ranges all the meadow round,

Besides, by partial fondness rhein, And rolls upon the foftest ground;

Like you, we doat upon our own. When near him a Cameleon feen

Where yet was ever found a mother, Was scarce distinguish'd from the green,

Who 'd give her booby for another?

And should we change with human brerii,
Dear emblem of the flate ring host,
What, live with clowns? a genius lost !

Well inigiit we pass for fools indecdi
To cities and the court repaii,
A fortune cannot fail thee there;

§ 124: FABLE IV. The Eagle and the Affe mbily Preferincnt thall thy talents crown:

of Animals. Believe

me, friend; I know the town. Sir, says the sycophan:, like you,

AS Jupiter's all-fecing eye Of old, politer life I knew :

Survey'd the worlds beneath the sky, Like you, a courtier born a'd bred,

From this finall speck of earth were sent King, lean’d an ear to what I laid.

Murmurs and sounds of discontent;



For ev'ry thing alive complain'd

Yet think us not of soul so tame, That he the hardest life sustain'd.

Which no repeated wrongs inflame, Jove calls his Eagle. At the word

Insensible of ev'ry ill, Before him stands the royal bird.

Because we want thy tusks to kill. The bird, obedient, from heaven's hcight Know, those who violence pursue, Downward directs his rapid flight;

Give to themselves the vengeance due; Then cited ev'ry living thing

For in these masacres they find To hear the mandates of his king.

The two chief plagues that waste mankind. Ungrateful creatures! whence arise Our skin supplies the wrangling bar; These murmurs which offend the skies? It wakes their flumb'ring ions to war ; Why this disorder ? say the cause;

And well revenge may rest cont:nted, For just are Jove's eternal laws.

Since drums and parchment were invented. Let each his discontent reveal; To yon sour Dog I first appeal.

$ 126. FABLE Vi. The Miser and Plutas. Hard is my lot, the Hound replies : On what fleet nerves the Greyhound Alics!

Tuewin! was high, the window shakes;

With ludden start the Mifer wakes; While 1, with weary step and flow,

Along the filent room he stalks; D'er plains, and vales, and inountains go.

Looks back, and treinbles as he walks!

chace begun,

Each lock and ev'ry Lolt he tries,
Nor ends it till the setting fun.

In ev'ry crcek and corner pries; When (says the Greyhound) I pursue,

Then opes the chest with treasure stor’d,
My game is lost, or caught in view;

And stands in rapture o'er his hoard.
Beyond my fight the prey 's secure :
The Hound is low, but always sure ;

But now, with sudden qualms poliest,
And had I his fagacious fcent,

He wrings his hands, he bcats his bıcast;

By conscience ftung, he widely ftares,
Jove ne'er had heard my discontent.
The Lion crav'd the Fox's art;

And thus his guiity foul declares :

Had the deep earth her storos confinid, The Fox the Lion's force and heart;

This heart had known fweet peace of mind. The Cock implor’d the Pigeon's flight,

But virtue 's fold! Good gods! what price Whose wings were rapid, Itrong, and light; The Pigeon strength of wing despis'd,

Can recompense the pangs of vice? And the Cock's matchless valour priz'd;

O bane of good ! seducing cheat! The Fishes with'd to graze the plain ;

Can man, weak man, thy pow'r defeat ?

Goid banish'd honour from the mind, The Bcasts to skim beneath the main.

And only left the narne behind;
Thus, envious of another's state,

Gold fow'd the world with ev'ry ill;
Each blam'd the partial hand of Fate.
The bird of Heaven then cried aloud:

Gold taught the murderer's sword to kill; Jove bids disperse the murin’ring crowd;

'Twas gold instructed coward hearts The God rejects your idle prayứrs,

In treachery's more pernicious arts,

Who can recount the milchicfs o'er? Would ye, rebellious mutineers,

Virtue rcfides on carth no more!
Entircly change your name and nature,

He spoke, and ligh'l. In a dry mood,
And be the very envied creature?
What! silent all, and none consent?

Plutus, his god, before him tood.

The Miser, trembling, lock'd his cheft; Be happy then, and learn content:

The vifion frown'd, and thus addressid: Nor imitate the restless mind,

Whence is this vile ungrateful rant, And proud ambition, of mankind.

Each fordid rascal's daily cant?

Did 1, bale wretch! corrupt mankind ? $ 125. FABLE V. The Wild Boar and the Ram. The fault's in thy rapacious mind. AGAINST an elm a Theep, was tied, Because my blettings are abus’d,

The butcher's knife in blood was dyed; Must I bc cenfur'd, cursd, accus'da The patient flock, in silent fright,

E'en virtue's relf by knares is made From far beheld the horrid light:

A cloak to carry on the trade; A savage Boar, who ncar them food,

And pow'r (when lody'd in their possession) Thus mock'd to fcorn the fleecy brood; Grows tyranny, and rank oppression. All cowards fould be ferv'd like jou.

Thus, when the villain crams his chest, See, fee, your murd'rer is in view!

Gold is the canker of the breast;
With purple hands, and reeking knife, 'Tis av'rice, infolence, and pride,
He strips the skin yet warm with life:

And ev'ry shocking vice beside:
Your quarter'd fires, your bleeding dams, But when to virtuous hands 'tis given,
The dying bleat of harmless lambs,

It blesses like the dews of heaven;
Call for revenge, O ftupid race !

Like Heaven, it lears :he orphan's cries, The heart that wants revenge is base.

And wipes the tcars from widows' cyes. I grant, an ancient Ram replies,

Their crimes on gold fall mifers lay, We bear no terror in our cyes:

Who pawn'd their fordid fouls for pay?



Let bravoes then (when blood is fpilt)

As Doris, at her toilet's duty, Upbraid the pa live sword with guilt.

Sat meditating on her beauty,

She now was pensive, now was gay, $ 127. FABLE VII. The Lion, the Fox, and And lolld the fultry hours away. be Getfe.

As thus in indolence the lies,

& giddy wasp around her fies, A LION, tir'd with state affairs,

He now advances, now retres,
Quite fick of pomp, and worn with cares, Now to her neck and cheek aspires.
Resol d (remote from noise and strife)

Her fan in vain defends her charms;
In peace to pass his latter life.

Swift he returns, again alarms; It was proclaim'd; the day was set : For by repuile he bolder grew, Behold the gen'ral council mnet.

Perch'd on her lip, and lipp'd the dew. The Fox was viceroy nam'd. The crowd

She frowns, the frets. Good gods ! the cries, To the new Regent humbly bow'd.

Protect me from these teasing fies! Waves, tears, and mighty tigers bend,

Of all the plagues that Heaven hath fent, And frive who most shall condescend.

A Wasp is most impertinent. He straight assumes a solemn grace,

The hov'ring infect thus complain'd: Collects his wisdom in his face.

Am I then Nlighted, scorn'd, disdain'd? The crowd admire his wit, his sense ;

Can such offence your anger wake? Each word hath weight and consequence.

'Twas beauty caus'd the bold mistake. The fları'rer all his art displays :

Those cherry lips that breathe perfume, He who hath pow'r is lure of praise.

That cheek so ripe with youthful bloom, A fox ftepp'd forth before the rest,

Made me with strong deớre pursue And thus the servile throng address'd:

The fairelt peach that ever grew. How vast his talents, born to rule,

Strike him not, Jenny, Doris cries, And train'd in virtue's honest school!

Nor murder Walps like vulgar flies: What clemency his temper sways !

For though he 's free, (to do him right) How uncorrupi are all his ways !

The creature 's civil and polite. Beneath his conduct and command

In ecstasies away he posts ; Rapine shall cease to waste the land.

Where'er he came the favour boasts; His brain hath stratagem and art ;

Brags how her sweetest tea he sips, Prudence and mercy rule his heart.

And thews the sugar on his lips. What bleslings must attend the nation

The hint alarm’d the forward crew; Under this good administration !

Sure of success, away they flew. He said. A Goofe, who distant stood,

They share the dainties of the day, Harangu'd apart the cackiing brood :

Round her with airy music play; Whene'er I hear a kuave commend,

And now they flutter, now thcy rest, He bids me shun his worthy friend.

Now foar again, and skiin her breaft. What praise ! what mighty commendation !

Nor were they banith'd tili the found But 'twas a Fox who spoke th' oration.

That Wasps have stings, and felt the wound. Foxes this government may prize, As gentle, plentiful, and wife;

$ 129. FABLE ix. The Bull and the Majlif. If they enjoy the sweets, 'tis plain, We Gcefe must feel a tyrant reign.

SEEK you to train your fav'rite boy? What havoc now shall thin our race,

Each caution, ev'ry care employ: When er’ry petty clerk in place,

And ere you venture io confide, To prove his taste, and seem polite,

Let his preceptor's heart be tried:
Will feed on Geese both noon and night!

Weigh well his manners, life, and scope;
On these depends thy future hope.

As on a time, in peaceful reign,
( 128. FABLE VUI. The Lady and the Wasp. A Bull enjoy'd the dow'ry plain,
WHAT whispers must the beauty bear! A Mastiff pass'd ; inflam’d with ire,

What hourly nonsense haunts her ear! His eye-balls shot indignant fire;
Where'er her eyes dispense their charms, He foam'd, he rag'd with thirst of blood,
Impertinence around her swarms.

Spurning the ground the monarch stood,
Did not the tender nonsense strike,

And roar'd aloud-Suspend the fight;
Contempt and scorn might foon dislike : In a whole skin go flecp to-night:
Forbidding airs might thin the place ; Or tell me, ere the battle rage,
The slightest flap a Ay can chase.

What wrongs provoke thee to engage?
But who can drive the num'rous breed !

Is it ambition fires thy breaft, Chase one, another will succeed.

Or avarice, chat ne'er can rest ? Who knows a fool, must know his brother; From thesc alone unjustly springs One fop will recommend another :

The world-deftroying wrath of kings. Ard with this plague she's rightly curs, The surly Mastiff thus returns : Because the listen:d to the first

Within my bosom glory burns.

« PreviousContinue »