Page images
[ocr errors]

With cruel Scythe, inexorable Time
Mows down her youthly Bloom and Beauty's Prime.
Now wrinkly Ağe begins to draw his Plow
On that once-smooth, once-fnowy, spacious Brow.
Now, where her Teeth took up their Iv'ry-Seat,
Is all an empty Space, or Scene of Jet.
Her Head, which once with golden Tresses Dione,
Is filver'd o’er with Hairs but thinly fowni :
And now the Flame, which on my Marrow prey'd,
Begins to languidh; and the Heat's decay'd.
Phyllis no more can now her Charms employ,
But damps Defire, and frights the Cyprian Boy :
Deforni’d, she cures the Wound her Beauty, gave;
And the, whose Eyes could kill me, now can fave.

[Rowe Callip.
The Four A G ES of the World.

The Golden Age was first, when Man yet new,
No Rule, but uncorrupted Reason, knew;
And with a native Bent did Good pursue.
Unforc'd by Punishment, unaw'd by Fear,
His Words were simple, and his soul sincere :
Needless was written Law, where none opprefs'd :
The Law of Man was written in his Breaft.
No suppliant Crowds before the Judge appeard,
No Court erected yety, nor Cause was heard ;
But all was safe, for Confcience was their Guard,
The Mountain Trees in distant Profpect please ;
E'er yet the Pine descended to the Seas ;
È'er Sails were fpread new Oceans to explore,
And happy Mortals, unconcern'd for more,
Confind their Wishes to their native Shore.
No Walls were yet, nor Fence, nor Moat, nor Mound ;
Nor Drum was heard, nor Trumpet's angry Sound;
Nor Swords were forg'd ; but void of Care and Crime,
The soft Creation sept away their Time.
The teeming Eartb, yet guiltless of the Plough,
And un provok'd, did fruitful Stores allow.



Content with Food which Nature freely bred,
On Wildings and on Strawberries they fed :
Cornels and Bramble-berries gave the rest,
And falling Acrons furnish'd ont a Feaft.
The Flow'rs unsown, in: Fields and Meadows reign'd,
And Western Winds immortal Spring maintain'd. -
In following Years, the bearded Corn ensu'd
From Earth unalk'd, nor was that Earth renew'd,
From Veins and Vallies Milk and Nectar broke,
And Honey sweated thro' the Pores of Oak.

SILVER A G E. But when Good Şaturn, banish'd from above, Was driv'n to Hell, the World was under fove : Succeeding Times a filver Age behold, Excelling Brass, but more excell’d by Gold. Then Summer, Autumn, Winter, did appear, And Spring was but a Season of the Year. The Sun his annual Course obliquely made, Good Days contracted, and enlarg'd the bad. The Air with sultry Heats began to glow, The Wings of Winds were clogg'd with Iče and Snow: And fhiv'ring Mortals; into Houses driven, Sought Shelter from th' Inclemency of Heaven, Their Houses then were Caves, or homely Steds, With twining Oziers fenc'd, and Moss their Beds. Then Ploughs for Seed the fruitful Furrows broke, And Oxen labour'd first beneath the Yoke.

To this came next in Course the Brazen Age;
A warlike Off-Spring, bloody Rage,
Not in pious yet.


Hard Sceel succeeded then, And stubborn, as the Metal, were the Men.


[ocr errors]

Truth, Modesty, and Shame, the World for fook,' )
Fraud, Avarice, and Force, their Places took:
Then Sails were spread to ev'ry Wind that blew,
Raw were the Sailors, and the Depths were new.
Trees rudely hollow'd did the Waves suitain,
E'er Ships in Triumph plow'd the watry Main.
Then Land-marks limited to each his Right,
For all before was common as the Light :
Nor was the Ground alone requir'd to bear
Her annual Income to the crooked Share ;
But greedy Mortals, rummaging her Store,
Digg'd from her Entrails first the precious Ore ;
(Which next to Hell the prudent Gods had laid)
And that alluring Ill to Sight display'd :
Thus cursed Steel, and more accursed Gold,
Gave Mischief Birth, and made that Mischief bold;
And double Death did wretched Man invade;
By Steel assaulted, and by Gold berray'd.
Now, brandish'd Weapons glitt'ring in their Hands,
Mankind is broken loose from moral Bands.
No Rights of Hospitality remain,
The Guest, by him who harbour'd him, is flair.
The Son-in-Law persues the Father's Life ;
The Wife her Husband murders, he the Wife :
The Scep-dame Piofon for the Son prepares;
The Son enquires into his Father's Years;
Faith fies, and Piety in Exile mourns,
And Justice, here opprefs’d, to Heav'n returns.

(Dryat Ovid.

[ocr errors]

Silver Age.

E'er this no Peasant vex'd the peaceful Ground, Which only Turfs and Greens for Alcars found : No Fences parted Fields ; nor Marks, nòr Bonnds Diftinguish'd Acres of litigious Grounds : But all was common, and che fruitful Earth Was free to give her unexacted Birth. Jove added Venom to the Vipers Brood, And fwell’d with raging Storms the peaceful Flood ;

[ocr errors]

Commission'd hungry Wolves t' infest the Fokl,
And shook from Oaken Leaves the liquid Gold :
Remov'd from human Reach the chearful Fire ;
And from the Rivers bad the wine retire :
That studious Need might useful Aris explore,
From furrow'd Fields to reap the foodful Store :
And force the Veins of clashing Flints to expire
The lurking Seeds of their Celestial Fire.
Then first on Seas the hollow'd Alder swam :
Then Sailors quarter'd Heav'n, and found a Name
For ev'ry fix'd, and ev'ry wand'ring Star,
The Pleiads, Hyads, and the Northern Car.
Then Toils for Beasts, and Lime for Birds were found ;
And deep-mouth'd Dogs did Forest- Walks surround;
And Casting-Nets were spread in hollow Brooks;
Drags in the Deep, and Baits were hung on Hooks :
Then Saws were toorh'd, and founding Axes made ;
And various Arts in Order did succeed. Dryd. Virg.

Future Golden Age.
Unbidden Earth (all wreathing Ivy bring,
And fragrant Herbs, the Promises of Spring
The Goats with structing. Dugs fall honieward fpeed,
And lowing Herds secuire froin Lions feed.
The Serpents Brood shall die ; the facred Ground
Shall Weeds and pois’uous Plants refuse to bear,
Each common Bulli shall Syrian Roses wear :
Unlabour'd Harvefits all the Fields adorn,
And cluster'el Grapas ihall blush on ev'ry Thorn.
The knotted Oak Tall Show'rs of Honey weep.;
And thro' the marted Grass che liquid Gold Mall creep
The greedy Sailor shall the Seas forego ;
No Keel shall cut the Waves for foreign Ware,
For ev'ry Soil shall ev'ry Product bear.
The lab'ring Hind his Oxen Mall disjoin,
No Plough Thall hurt the Glebe, no Pruning-Hook

(the Vine, Nor Wool shall in disembled Colours thine.


[ocr errors]

But the luxurions Father of the Fold,
With native Purple, or unborrow'd Gold,
Beneath his pompous Fleece fhall proudly sweat,
And under Tyrian Robes the Lambs shall bleat. Dryd.

A I R.
Remark the Air's tranfparent Element,
Its curious Structure, and its vaft Excént :
Its wondrous Web proclaims the Loom Divine ;
Its Threads, the Hand that drew them out so fine..
This thin Contexture makes its Bofom fit
Celestial Heat and Lustre to transmit;
By which, of foreign Orbs.the Riches flow
On this dependent, need y Ball below.
Observe its Parts, link'd in such artful Sort,
All are at once supported, and support.
The Column pois'd fits hov’ring on our Headsg ,
And a soft Burthen on our Shoulders spreads.
So the Side-Arches all the Weight sustain;
We find no Pressure, and we feel no Pain :
Still are the subtile Strings in Tension fourid,
Like those of. Lutes to just Proportion wound,
Which of the Air's Vibration is the Source,
When it receives the Strokes of foreign Force.

Let curious Minds, who would the Air inspecto,
On its Elastie Energy

reflect t;
The fecret Force thro' all the Frame difusod,
By which its Springs are from Compression loos'd.
The fpungy Parts now to a straiter Seat
Are forc'd by Cold, and widen’d now by' Heat
By Turns they all extend, by Turns retire,
As Nature's various Services require.
They now expand, to fill an empty Space';
Now Shrink, to let a pond'rous Body pals.
If raging Winds invade the Atmosphere,
Their Force its curious Texture cannot tear,
Make no Disruption in the Threads of Air



« PreviousContinue »