Page images

From the realms of peace above,
From the source of heavenly love,
From the starry throne of Jove,
Where tuneful Muses in a glitt'ring ring
To the celestial lyre's eternal string
Patient Virtue's triumph sing;
To these dim labyrinths where mortals stray,
Maz'd in passion's pathless way, 121
To save thy purer breast from spot and blame
Thy guardian Spirit came.


Nor on beds of fading flowers.
Shedding soon their gaudy pride;

Nor with swains in Syren bowers,
Will true pleasure long reside.

On awful virtue's hill sublime,
Enthroned sits th' immortal fair;

Who wins her height, must patient climb, 130
The steps are peril, toil and care.

So from the first did Jcve ordain,
Eternal bliss for transient pain.

[Exit the Spirit, the music playing loud and solemn.

Lady. Thanks, heav'nly songster I whosoe'er thou art,

Who deign'st to enter these unhallow'd walls,
To bring the song of virtue to mine ear I

O cease not, cease not the melodious strain,
Till my rapt soul high on the swelling note

To heav'n ascend far from these horrid fiends!

Com. Mere airy dreams of air-bred people these? Who look with envy on more happy man, 141 "And would decry the joys they cannot taste. "Qjit not the substance for a stalking shade "Of hollow virtue, which eludes the grasp." Drink this, and you will scorn such idle tales.

[He iffers the cup, which she puts by, and attempts torisc.\

Nay, lady, sit; if I but wave this wand,
Your nerves are all bound up in alabaster,
And you a statue: "or, as Daphne was,
"Root-bound, that fled Apollo."

Lady. Fool, do not boast; 150
Thou can'st not touch the freedom of my mind
With all thy charms, altho' this corp'ral rind
Thou hast immanacl'd, while heav'n sees good.

Com. Why are you vex'd, lady f why do you frown? Here dwell no frowns nor anger; from these gates Sorrow flies far. See, here be all the pleasures That fancy can beget on youthful thoughts, "When the fresh blood grows lively and returns "Brisk as the April buds in primrose season." And first behold this cordial julep here, 160 That flames and dances in his crystal bounds, "With spirits of balm and fragrant syrups mix'd, "Not that Nepenthes, which the wife of Thone "In ./Egypt gave to Jove-born Helena,

"Is of such pow'r to stir up joy, as this,
"To life so friendly, or so cool to thirst."

Lady. Know base deluder, that I will not taste it. Keep thy detested gifts for such as these.

[Points to his crew.

SONG. By a Man.

Mortals, learn yur lives to measure

Not by length of time, but pleasure; i -o

Soon your spring must have a fall;

Losing youth, is losing all:

Then you'll ash, but none will give,

And may linger, but not live.

Com. Why shou'd you be so cruel to yourself, And to those dainty limbs, which Nature lent For gentle usage and soft delicacy? "But you invert the cov'nants of her trust, "And harshly deal,iike an ill borrower, "With that which you receiv'd on other terms, 180 "Scorning the unexempt condition, "By which all human frailty must subsist, "Refreshment after toil, ease after pain;" That have been tir'd all day without repast, And timely rest have wanted. But, fair virgin, This will restore all soon.

Lady. 'Twill not, false traitor! 'Twill not restore the truth and honesty That thou hast banish'd from thy tongue with lies. Was this the cottage and the safe abode,' 190

Thou told'st me of? Hence with thy brew'd enchantments.

*' Hast thou betray'd my credulous innocence

"With vizor'd falshood, and base forgery 1

"And would'st thou seek again to trap me here

"With liqu'rish baits, fit to ensnare a brute?"

Were it a draught for Juno when she banquets,

I wou'd not taste thy treas'nous offer—None,

But such as are good men, can give good things;

And that which is not good is not delicious

To a well-govern'd and wise appetite. 200

Com. "O, foolishness of men! that lend their ears "To those budge doctors of the Stoic fur, "And fetch their precepts from the Cynic tub, "Praising the lean and sallow abstinence. "Wherefore did Nature pour her bounties forth "With such a full and unwithdrawing hand, "Cov'ring the earth with odours, fruits, and flocks, "Thronging the seas with spawn innumerable, "But all to please and sate the curious taste; "And set to work millions of spinning worms, eio "That in their green shops weave the smooth-hair'd silk,

"To deck her sons; and, that no corner might

'* Be vacant of her plenty, in her own loins

"She hutch'd th' all-worshipp'd ore, and precious


"To store her children with; if all the world "Should in a pet of temp'rance feed on pulse, "Drink the clear stream, and nothing w ear but frieze,

"Th' All-giver would be unthink'd, would be unprais'd,

"Not half his riches known, and yet despis'd, "And we should serve him as a grudging master, "As a penurious niggard of his wealth, B21 "And live like Nature's bastards, not her sons; "Who would be quite surcharg'd with her own weight,

"And strangled with her waste fertility.

Lady. "I had not thought to have unlock'd my lips "In this unhallow'd air, but that this juggler "Wou'd think to charm my judgment, as mine eyes, "Obtruding false rules, prank'd iiv reason's garb. "I hate when vice can bolt her arguments, "And virtue has no tongue to check her pride, 230 "Impostor, do not charge most innocent Nature, "As if she would her children should be riotous "With her abundance. She, good cateress, "Means her provision only to the good, "That live according to her sober laws, "And holy dictate of spare Temperance. "If ev'ry just man, that now pines with want, "Had but a mod'rate and beseeming share "Of that which lewdly-pamper'd Luxury "Now heaps upon some few with vast excess, 240 "Nature's full blessings would be well dispens'd "In unsuperfluous even proportion, "And she no whit encumber'd with her store; "And then the Giver wou'd be better thank'd,

His praise due paid. For swinish Gluttony

« PreviousContinue »