Page images
PDF
EPUB

A moon,

Then mark, my looser hand may fit

Still turus to each mearder tame, The lines, ioo coarse for Love to hit.

And livims the straw of ev'ry stream. 'Tis said that woman, prone to changing, Her soul intrinsic worth rejects, Thro' all the rounds of folly ranging,

Accomplith'd only in dcfcéts; On life's uncertain ocean riding,

Such excellence is her ambition, No reason, rule, nor rudder guiding,

Folly her wilest acquisition ; Is like the comet's wand'ring light,

And even from pity and disdain Eccentric, ominous, and bright;

She 'll cull fome reason to be vain. Trackless, and shifting as the wind;

Thus, Sir, from ev'ry form and feature, A fea, whole fathom none can find ;

The wealth and wants of female nature, still changing and revolving ;

And even from vice, which you 'd admire, A riddle, past all human folving ;

I gather fuel to my fire; A biiss, a plague, a heaven, a hell ;

And on the very base of shame A-something that no man can tell.

Erect my monument of fame. Now learn a lecret from a friend,

Let me another truth attempt, But keep your counsel, and attend.

Of which your godship has not dreamt. Tho' in their tempers thought so distant, Those thining virtues, which you muster, Nor with their sex nor selves consistent,

Whence think you they derive their lustre? 'Tis but the difference of a name,

From native honour and devotion And ev'ry woman is the same;

yes, a mighty likely notion ! For as the world, however varied,

Trust me, from titled dames to spinners, And through unnumber'd changes carried, 'Tis I make saints, whoe'er makes siniers; Of elemental modes and forms,

'Tis I instruct them to withdraw, Clouds, metcors, colours, calms and storins, And hold prcsumptuous man in awe; Tho' in a thousand suits array'd,

For female worth, as I inspire, Is of one subject matter made;

In just degrecs, still mounts the higher, So, Sir, a woman's constitution,

And virtue, so extremely nice, The world's cnigma, finds folution;

Demands long toil and mighty price. And let her form bc what you will,

Like Samson's pillars, fix'd clate, I am the subject offence ftill.

I bcar the sex's tott'ring Nate ; With the first spark of feinale sense,

Sap these, and in a moment's space The speck of being, I commence,

Down links the fabric to its basc. Within the womb make fresh advances,

Alike from titles and from toys And dićtate future qualms and fancies; I spring, the fount of female joys; Thence in the growing form expand,

In cv'ry widow, wife, and miss, With childhood travel hand in hand,

The fole artificer of bliss ; And give a taste for all thuir joys

For them cach tropic I explore, In gewgaws, rattles, pomp, and roise.

I cleave the land of ev'ry shore ; And now, familiar and unaw'd,

To them uniting Indias fail, I send the flutt'ring foul abroad.

Sabæa breathes her farthest gale : Prais’d for her shape, her air, her mien,

For them the bullion ( refinc, The little goddess, and the queen,

Dig sense and virtue from the mine,
Takes at her infant thrine oblation,

And froin the bowels of invention
And drinks sweet draughts of adulation. Spio out the various arts you mention.
Now blooming, tall, erect, and fair,

Nur bliss alone my pow'rs bestow,
To dress becomes her darling care;

They hold the sov'reign balm of woc The realms of beauty then I bound;

Beyond the stoic's boalted art I swell the hoop's enchanted round,

I tooth the heavings of the heart; Shrink in the waist's descending size,

To pain give splendor and relief, Heav'd in the snowy bofom, rile,

And gild the pallid face of grief. High on the flowing lappet fail,

Alike the palace and the plain Or, curl'd in treffes, kiss the gale.

Admit the glories of my reign! Then to her glass I lead the fair,

Thro' ev'ry age, in ev'ry nation, And shew the lovely idol there;

Taste, talents, tempers, itate, and station, Where, ftruck as by divine emotion,

Whate'er a woman says, I say; She bows with most sincere devotion,

Whate'er a woman spends, I pay; And, numb'ring ev'ry beauty o'er,

Alike I fill and empty bags, In secret bids the world adore.

Flutter in finery and rags, Then all for parking and parading,

With light coquettes thro' folly range, Coquetting, dancing, masquerading :

And with the prude disdain to change. For balls, plays, courts, and crowds

what passion ! And now you 'd think, 'twixt you and I, And churches, sometimes—if the fashion; That things were ripe for a replyFor woman's sense of right and wrong

But soft, and while I 'm in the mood, Is ruld by the almighty throng;

Kindly permit me to conclude,

Their

N 3

Their utmost mazes to unravel,

When happily arriv'd in view
And touch the farthest step they travel.

A Goddess whom our grandames knew,
When ev'ry pleasure 's run aground, Of aspect grave, and sober gait,
And folly tir'd thro' many a round,

Majestic, awful, and fedate,
The nymph, conceiving discontent hence, As heaven's autumnal eve ferone,
May ripen to an hour's repentance,

When not a cloud o'ercafts the scene;
And rapours, shed in pious moisture,

Once Prudence call'd, a matron fam'd, Dismiss her to a church, or clovster;

And in old Rome Cornelia nam d. Then on I lead her, with devotion

Quick at a venture both agree Conspicucus in her dress and inotion,

To leave their strife to her decree. Inspire the heavenly-breathing air,

And now by each the facts were stated, Roll up the lucid eye in pray's,

In form and manner as related. Soften the voice, and in the face

The case was short. They crav'd opinion, Look melting harmony and grace.

Which held o'er females chief dominion : Thus far extends my friendly pow'r, When thus the Goddess, answ'ring mild, Nor quits her in her latest hour;

First look her gracious head, and linildi The couch of decent pain I spread,

Alas, how willing to comply, In form recline her languid bead;

Yet how unfit a judge am I! Her thoughts I methodize in death,

In times of golden date, 'tis true, And part not with her parring breath ;

i lar'd the fickle sex with you ; Then do I fet, in order bright,

But from their presence long precluded, A length of fun’ral pomp to hight,

Or held as one whose form intruded, The glitt’ring tapers and attire,

Full fifty annual suns can tell, The plumes that whiten o'er the bier ;

Prudence has bid the fox farewell. And last, presenting to her cyc

In this dilemma what to do, Angelic fncries on high,

Or who to think of, neither knew; To scenes of painted bliss I waft her,

For both, still bials'd in opinion, And form the heaven the hopes hereafter. And arrogant of fole dominion, In truth, rejoin'd love's gentle God,

Were forc'd to hold the case compounded, You 've gone a tedious length of road,

Or Icave the quarra where they found it. And, strange, in all the toilsome

way

When in the nick, a rural fair, No house of kind refreshment lay ;

Of inexperienc'd gait and air, No nymph, whose virtues might have tempted Who ne'er had cross'd the neighb'ring lake, To hold her from her sex exempted.

Nor seen the world beyond a wake, For one we 'll never quarrel, man;

With cambric coif, and kerchief clean, Take her, and keep her, if you can ;

Tripp'd lightly by them o'er the green. And pleas'd I yield to your petition,

Now, now I cried love's triumphant cliild, Since cv'ry fair, by such permillion,

And at approaching conquest smild, Will hold herself the one selected ;

If Vanity will once be guided, And so my lyften stands protected.

Our diffrence foon may be decided ; 0, deaf to virtue, deaf to glory,

Behold yon wench, a fit occasion To truths divinely vouch'd in story!

To try your force of gay persuasion.
The Godhead in his zeal return'd,

Go
ynu,

while I retire alcof, And, kindling at her inalice, burn'd:

Go, put those boasted pow'rs to proof; Then sweetly rais'd his voice, and told

Ard if your prevalence of art Of heavenly nymphs, rever'd of old ;

Tranfcends my yet unerring dart, Hypsipyle, who sav'd her fire,

I give the fav'rite contest o'er, And Portia's love, approv'd by fire ;

Ard ne'er will boast my empire more. Alike Penclope was quoted,

At once, fo faid, and so confented ; Nor laureld Daphne pass'd unnoted,

And well our Goddess seem'd contented, Nor Laodamia's fatal garter,

Nor pauling made a moment's stand, Nor fam'd Lucretia, honour's martyr,

But tripp'd, and took the girl in hand. Alceste's voluntary steel,

Meanwhile the Godhead, unalarmid, And Catherine, filing on the wheel.

As one to each occasion arm'd, But who can hope to plant conviction

Forth from his quiver cull'd a dart, Where cavil grows on contradiction?

That crít had wounded many a heart; Soinc shc evades or disavows,

Then, bending, drew it to the head; Demurs to all, and none allows

The bow-string twang d, the arrow ficd, A kind of ancient thing call d fables !

And, to her secret foul addrest, And thus the Goddels turn'd the tables.

Transfix'd the whiteness of her brcast. Now both in argument grew high,

But here the Dame, whose guardian care And choler flash'd from either eye;

Had to a moment watch'd ihe tair, Nor wonder cach refus'd to yicid

At once her pocket-mirror drew, The conquest of so fair a ticld.

And held the wonder full in view;

As

As quickly rang'd in order bright,

'Tis strange to think how female wit A thousand beauties rush to fight,

So oft fhould make a lucky lit;
A world of charms, till now unknown, When man, with all his high pretence
A world recal'd to her alone;

To deeper judgment, founder iente,
Enraptur'd stands the love-fick maid,

Will crr, and measures falle pursueSuspended o'er the darling lhade,

'Tis very firange, I own, but true.Here only fixes to admire,

Mamma observ'd the rising lass
And centres ev'ry fond desire.

By stealth retiring to the glats,
To praciile littlc airs unseen,

In the true genius of thirteen : $326. Toe Young Lady and Looking-Glass.

On this a deep design fhe laid

WILKIE. To came the humour of the Maid; YE deep philosoplaers, who can

Contriving, like a prudent mother, Explain that various creature, Man, To make one folly cure another, Say, is there any point fo nice

Upon the wall, against the seat As that of off ring an advice?

Which Jeffy us'd for her retreat, To bid rour friend his errors mend,

Whene'er by accident offended, Is almost certain to offend:

A looking-glass was straight suspended, Tho' you in softest terms advise,

That it might thew her how deformid Confess him good, admit him wife;

She look'd, and frightful, when the storm'd; in vain you sweeten the discourse,

And warn her, as the priz'd her beauty, He thinks you call him fool, or worse,

To bend her humour to her duty. You paint his character, and try

All this the looking-glass achiev'd ; If he will own it, and apply;

Its threats were minded and believ'd. Without a name reprove and warn;

The Maid, who spurn'd at all advice, Here none are hurt, and all may learn :

Grew tame and gentle in a trice: This too must fail; the picture shewn,

So, when all other means had fail'd, No man will take it for his own.

The filent monitor prerail'd. In moral Icetures treat the caso,

Thus, Fable to the human kind Say this is honeft, that is base;

| Prefents an image of the inind; In conversation none will bear it;

It is a mirror, where we spy And for the pulpit, few come near it.

At large our own deformity; And is there then no other way

And learn of course thost faults to mend,
A moral lesson to convey?

Which but to mention would offend.
Muit all that shall attempt to teach,
Admonish, satirize, or prcach ?

§ 327. The Boy and the Rainbow. WILKIE. Yes, there is one, an ancient art,

DECLARE, ye fagcs, if ye find By sages found to reach the heart,

'Mongst animals of ev'ry kind, Ere science, with distinctions nice,

Of each condition, fort, and size, Had fix'd what virtue is, and vice,

From whales and elephants to tlies, Inventing all the various names

A creature that mistakes his plan, On which the moralift declaims :

And crrs, so conftantly as man. They would by fiinple tales advise,

Each kind pursues his proper good, Which took the heaier by surprise ;

And feeks for pleasure, rest, and food, Alarm d his conscience, unprepar'd,

As nature points, and never errs Ere pride had put it on its guard ;

In what it chooses and prcfers ; And made him from himself receive

Man only blunders, though poftest The lessons which they mcant to give,

Of talents far above the rest. That this device will oft prevail,

Descend to instances, and try; And gain its end when others fail,

An ox will scarce attempt to fly, If any lhall pretend to doubt,

Or leave his parture in the wood, The cale which follows makes it out,

With fishes to explore the food. There was a little stubborn dame,

Man only acts, of ev'ry creature, Whom no authority could tame ;

In opposition to his nature. Rettive, by long indulgence, grown,

The happiness of human-kind No will the minded but her own :

Consists in rectitude of mind; At rrifes oft The'd fcold and fret,

A will subdu'd to reason's sway, Thco in a corner take a seat,

And pailions practis'd to obey ; And, fourly moping all the day,

An open and a gen'rous heart, Disdain alike to work or play.

Refin'd from solidness and art; Papa all fofter arts had tried,

Patience, which mocks at fortune's pow's, And sharper remedies applied ;

And wisdom never fad nor sour: But both were vain ; for ev'ry course

In these confitis our proper blifs ; He took, dill made her worse and worse. Else Plato reasons much amils :

But

N4

But foolish mortals still pursue

Ar which our trav’ller, as he fat, False happiness in place of true;

By intervals began to chat.Ambition serves us for a guide,

'lis odd, quoth he, to think what strains Or lust, or avarice, or pride;

Of folly govern fore folks' brains : While Reason no assent can gain,

\Vhat makes you choose this will abode? And Revelation warns in rain.

You 'll tay, 'Tis to converse with God.
Hence through our lives, in ev'ry stage, Alas, I fear, 'tis all a whim;
From infancy itsulf to age,

You never saw or fpoke with him.
A happiness we toil to find,

They talk of Providence's pow'r, Whichi ftill avoids us like the wind;

And say, it rules us ev'ry hour: Ev'n when we think the prize our own,

Tome all nature fecis confusion, At once 'ris vanith'd, loft and gone.

And fuch weak fancies mcre delufion. You 'll ask me why I thus rehearse

Say, if it rul'd and govern'd right, All Epictetus in my verse?

Could there be such a thing as night; And if I fondly hope to please

Which, when the sun has left the skies, With dry reficētions, such as these,

Puts all things in a deep disguite? So trite, so hackney'd, and so stale ?

If then a tray'ller chance to stray I'll take the hint, and tell a tale.

The least step from the public way, One evening, as a simple livain

He's foon in endless mazos lost, His fcck attended on the plain,

As I have found it to my coft.
The shining bow he chanc'd to spy,

Besides, the gloom which nature wears
Which warns us when a show'r is nigh. Alliits imaginary fears,
With brightest rays it seem'd to glow : Of ghostsünd goblins from the waves
Its distance eighty yards or so.

Of sulph'rous lakes and yawning graves;
This bumpkin bad, it feems, been told All sprung from superstitious ftici,
The story of the cup of gold,

Like other maxims of the ciocd. Which fame reports is to be found

For ny part, I reject the talis Just where the Rainbow meets the ground; Which faith suggests when reason fails; He therefore felt a sudden itchi

And reason nothing underlands, To seize the goblet, and be rich ;

Unwarranted by eyes and hands. Hoping, yet hopes are oft but vain,

These subtile cilences, like wind, No more to toil thro' wind and rain,

Which some have dreamt of, and call inind, But sit indulging by the fire,

It ne'er admits; nor joins the lye, 'Midft ease and plenty, like a 'squire.

Which says men rot, but never die. He mark'd the very spot of land

It holds all future things in doi:bt, On which the Rainbow scem'd to stand, And therefore wisely leaves them out: And, stepping forwards at his leisure,

Suggesting what is worth our care, Expected to have found the treafure.

To take things prosent as they are, But as he mov'd, the colourd ray

Our wifes courte: the rest is fully, Ştill chang'd its place, and lipp'd away, The fruit of spleen and melancholy.As seeming his approach to thun.

Sir, quoth the Hermit, I agree From walking he began to run;

That Reason fill our guide fould be ; But all in vain, it still withdrew

And will admit her as the teft As nimbly as he could pursue.

Of what is truc, and what is beft: At last, thro' many a' bog and lake,

But Reason fare would bluth for thame Rough craggy road, and thorny brake,

At what you mention in her name; It led the caly fool, till night

Her dictates are sublime and holy; Approach'd, then vanilh'd in his right,

Impiety's the child of Folly; And left him to compute his gains,

Realon, with measurd steps and slow, With nought but labour for bis pains.

To things above from things below

Afcends, and guides us thro' her sphere $ 328. The Rake and ibe Hermit. WILKIE.

With caution, vigilance, and care.
A
YOUTH, a pupil of the town,

Faith in the utmost frontier stands,
Philosopher and atheist grown,

And Reason puts us in her hands;
Benighted once upon the road,

But not till her commission giv'n Found out a hermit's lone abode,

found authentic, and from Heav'n. Whose hospitality in need

'Tis strange, that man, a rcas'ning creature, Reliey'd the trav'ller and his steed;

Should miss a God in viewing nature ; For both sufficiently were tir'd,

Whose high perfections are display'd Well drench'd in ditches, and bemir'de

In ev'ry thing his hands lave made : Hunger the first aticntion claims;

Ev'n when we think their traces lost, Upon the coals a rather tlamos.

When found again, we see them mott: Dry crufts, and liquor fomething stalc,

The night itself, which you would blamę Were added to make up a meal;

As something wrong in nature's frame,

Is but a curtain to invest

Would often boast his matchiers kill Her weary children, when at rest :

To curb the steed, and guide the wheel; Like that which mothers draw to keep

And as he pass’d the gazing throng The light off from a child alleep.

With graceful ease, and smack'd the thong, Befde, the fiars which dirkncis breeds

The idiot wonder they express'd (At least augments) in vulgar heads,

Was praise and transport to his breast. Are far from useless, when the mind

At lengthy quite vain, he needs would thew Is narrow, and to earth confin'd;

His master what his art could do; They make the worldling think with pain And bade his slaves the chariot lead On frauds, and oaths, and ill-got gain ;

To Academus' sacred thade.. Force from the ruffian's hand the knife

The trembling grove confess'd its fright, Just rais’d against his neighbour's life; The wood-nyinphs started at the fight; And in defence of virtue's cause,

The Muses drop the learned lyre, Athift each sanction of the laws.

And to their inmoft shades retire. But souls serene, where wildom dwells,

Howe'er, the youth, with forward air, And superstitious dread expels,

Bows to the tage, and mounts the car ; The filent majesty of night

The lash resounds, the coursers spring, Excites to take a nobler flight;

The chariot marks the rolling ring; With faints and angels to explore

And gath'ring crowds, with eager eyes, The wonders of creating pow'r;

And shouts, pursue him as he flics. And lifts on contemplation's wings

Triumphant to the goal return'd, Above the sphere of mortal things.

With nobler thirst his bosom burn'd; Walk forth, and tread those dewy plains And now along th' indented plain Where night in awful silence reigns;

The felf-fame track he marks again ; The sky 's ferene, the air is still,

Pursues with care the nice design, The woods stand lift'uing on cach hill,

Nor ever deviates from the line. To catch the founds that link and swell,

Amazement seiz'd the circling crowd; Wide-floating from the ev'ning bell,

The youths with emulation glow'd; While fpxes lowl, and bectles hum,

Ev'n bearded fages hail'd the boy, Sounds which make silence fill more dumb; And all but Plato gaz'd with joy. And try if folly, rah and rude,

For he, deep-judgmg sage, beheld Dare on the sacred hour intrude.

With pain the triumphs of the field: Then turn your eyes to heav'n's broad frame, And when the charioteer drew nigh, Attempt to quote those lights by name

And, flush'd with hope, had caught his eye,
Which shine so thick, and spread so far; Alas! unhappy youth, he cried,
Conceive a fun in ev'ry star,

Expect ng praise froin me (and figh'd).
Round which unnumber'd planets roll, With indignation I survey
While comets 1hoot athwart the whole; Such skill and judgment thrown away.
From system ftill to system ranging,

The time profusely squander'd there
Their various benefits exchanging,

On vulgar arts, beneath thy care, And shaking from their flaming hair

If well employ'd, at less expence, The things most needed ev'rywhere

llad taught thee honour, virtue, sense, Explore this glorious scene, and lay

And rais'd thee from a coachman's fate
That night discovers less than day;

To govern men, and guide the state.
That 'uis quite useless, and a sign
That chance disposes, not design:

§ 330. The Bee, the Ant, and the Sparrow. Whoe'er maintains it, I'll pronounce

Dr. COTTON. Him either mad, or else a dunce ;

Addressed to Phæbe and Kitty C. at BoardingFor reason, tho' 'ris far from strong,

School.
Will soon find out that nothing 's wrong,
From figns and evidences clear

MYdcars, 'tis said, in days of old
Of wise contrivance ev'rywhere.

That beasts could talk, and birds could scold: The Hermit ended, and the youth

But now, it feems, the human race Became a convert to the truth;

Alone engross the speaker's place. At least he yielded, and confess'd

Yet lately, if report be true,
That all was order'd for the best.

(And much the tale relates to you)
There met a Sparrow, Ant, and Bee,

Which reason'd and convers'd as we.
$ 329. The Youth and the Philosopher.

Who reads my page will doubtless grant W. WHITEHEAD.

That Phe's the wise industrious Ant; A GRECIAN youth; of talents rare,

And all with half an eye may see

That Kitty is the busy Bee. Had form’d for virtue's nobler view,

Here then are two-but where's the third ? By precept and example too,

Go scarch the school, you 'll find the bird.

Your

« PreviousContinue »