Page images


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

But each have sep'rate int’rests of their own;
Two czars are one too many for a throne.
Nor can th' usurper long abstain from food;
Already he has tasted Pigeons' blood,
And may be tempted to his former fare,
When this indulgent lord shall late to heav'n repair.
Bare-benting times and moulting months may come,
When, lagging late, they cannot reach their home;
Or rent in schism (for so their fate decrees)
Like the tumultuous college of the bees,
They fight their quarrel, by themselves oppressid,
The tyrant smiles below, and waits the falling feast.

Thos did the gentle Hind her fable end, 1291
Nor would the Panther blame it, nor commend;
But, with affected yawnings, at the close
Seem'l to require her natural repose;
For now the streaky light began to peep,
And setting stars admonish'd both to sleep:
The Dame withdrew, and, wishing to her guest,
The peace of Heav'n, betook herself to rest.
Ten thousand angels on her slumbers wait,
With glorious visions of her future state.


[ocr errors]

All human things are subject to decay, And, when Fate summons, monarchs must obey. This, Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young, Was call’d to empire, and had govern'd long ; In prose and verse was own'd, without dispute, Through all the realms of Nonsense, absolute. This aged prince, now flourishing in peace, And blest with issue of a large increase, Worn out with bus’ness, did at length debate To settle the succession of the state; And, pond'ring which of all his sons was fit To reign, and wage immortal war with Wit, Cry'd, 'Tis resolv'd; for Nature pleads that he Should only rule who most resembles me. Shadwell'alone my perfect image bears, Mature in duiness from his tender years; Shadwell alone, of all my sons, is he Who stands confirm'd in full stupidity: The rest to some faint meaning make pretence, But Shadwell never deviates into sense. Some beams of wit on other souls may fall, Strike through, and make a lucid interval; But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray, His rising fogs prevail upon the day. Besides, his goodly fabric fills the eye, And seeins design’d for thoughtless majesty:


Thoughtless as monarch oaks that shade the plain,
And, spread in solemn stale, supinely reign.
Heywood and Shirley, were but types of thee,
Thou last great prophet of Tautology.
Even I, a dunce of more repown than they,
Was sent before but to prepare thy way;
And, coarsely clad in Norwich drugget, came
To teach the nations in thy greater name.
My warbling lute, the lute I whilom strung,
When to King John of Portugal I sung,
Was but the prelude to that glorious day,
When thou on Silver Thames didst cut thy way,
With well-tim’d oars before the royal barge,
Swelled with the pride of thy celestial charge;
And big with hymn, commander of an host,
The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets tost.
Methinks I see the new Arion sail,
The lute still trembling underneath thy nail.
Al thy well sharpen'd thumb from shore to shore
The Trebles squeak for fear, the Basses roar:
Echoes from Pissing-Alley Shadwell call,
And Shadwell they resound from Aston-Hall.
About thy boat the little fishes throng.
As at the morning toast that floats along.

Sometimes, as Prince of thy harmonious band,
Thox wield'st thy papers in thy threshing hand.
St. Andre's feet ne'er kept more equal time,
Not e'en the feet of ihy own Psyche's styme:


[ocr errors]


Though they in number as in sense excel;
So just, so like tautology, they fell,
That, pale with envy, Singleton foreswore
The lute and sword which he in triumph bore,
And vow'd he ne'er would act Villerius more.

Here stop'd the good old sire, and wept for joy,
In silent raptures of the hopeful boy.
All arguments, but most his plays, persuade
That for anointed Dulness he was made.

Close to the walls which fair Augusta bind,
(The fair Augu ta, much to fears inclined)
An ancient fabric, rais'd l'inform the sight,
There stood of yore, and Barbican it hight;
A watch-tower once: but now, so Fale ordains,
Of all the pile an empty name remains:
From its old ruins brothel-houses rise,
Scenes of lewd loves, and of polluted joys,
Where their vast courts the mother-strumpets keep,
And, undisturb’d by watch, in lence sleep. *
Near these a nursery erects its head,
Where queens are form’d, and future heroes bred;
Where un fledg'd actors learn to laugh and cry,
Where infant punks their tender voices try to
And little Maximins the gods defy.

* Parodies on these lines of Cowley, Davideis, Book [.

Where their vast courts the mother-waters keep,
And undisturb'd by moons, in silence sleep.

Where untledg'd tempests lie,
And infant Winds their tender voices try.

[ocr errors][merged small]

Great Fletcher never treads in buskins here,
Nor greater Johnson dares in*socks appear;
But gentle Simkin just reception finds
Amidst this monument of vanish'd minds:
Pure clinches the suburban muse affords,
And Panton, waging harmless war with words.
Here Flecnoe, as a place to fame well known,
Ambitiously design’d his Shadwell's throne:
For ancient Decker prophesy'd long since,
That in this pile shouid reign a mighty prince,
Born for a scourge of wit and flail of sense:
To whom true Dulness should some Psyches owe,
But worlds of misers from his pen should flow;
Humourists and hypocrites it should produce,
Whole Raymond families, and tribes of Bruce.

Now Empress Fame had publish'd the renown
Of Shadwell's coronation through the Town.
Rouz’d by report of fame, the nations meet,
From near Bunhill and distant Watling-street.
No Persian carpets spread th' imperial way,
But scatter'd limbs of mangled poets lay;
From dusty shops neglected authors come,
Martyrs of pies, and reliques of the bum.
Much Heywood, Shirley, Ogleby; there lay,
But loads of of Shadwell almost choak’d the way,
Bilk'd stationers for yeomen stood prepar'd,
And Herringman was captain of the guard,



« PreviousContinue »