Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

A bloated mass of rank, unwieldy woe;
Till, sapped their strength, and every part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
Even now the devastation is begun,
And half the business of destruction done;
Even now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
I see the rural Virtues leave the land.

Down where yon anchoring vessel spreads the sail,
That, idly waiting, flaps with every gale,
Downward they move, a melancholy band,
Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand:
Contented Toil, and hospitable Care,
And kind connubial Tenderness are there,
And Piety with wishes placed above,
And steady Loyalty, and faithful Love.
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade,
Unfit in these degenerate times of shame
To catch the heart or strike for honest fame;
Dear, charming nymph, neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride,
Thou source of all my bliss and all my woe,
That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so,
Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
Farewell! and oh, where'er thy voice be tried,
On Torno's cliffs or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigours of the inclement clime;
Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain;
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain:
Teach him that states of native strength possessed,
Though very poor, may still be very blest;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the laboured mole away,
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.

395

400

405

410

415

420

425

430

FROM

RETALIATION

Of old, when Scarron his companions invited,
Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united;
If our landlord supplies us with beef and with fish,
Let each guest bring himself—and he brings the best dish:
Our Dean shall be venison, just fresh from the plains;
Our Burke shall be tongue, with the garnish of brains;
Our Will shall be wild-fowl of excellent flavor,

And Dick with his pepper shall heighten the savor;
Our Cumberland's sweet-bread its place shall obtain;
And Douglas is pudding, substantial and plain;
Our Garrick's a salad, for in him we see
Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree;
To make out the dinner, full certain I am
That Ridge is anchovy, and Reynolds is lamb,
That Hickey's a capon, and, by the same rule,
Magnanimous Goldsmith a gooseberry fool.
At a dinner so various, at such a repast,
Who'd not be a glutton and stick to the last?
Here, waiter, more wine! let me sit while I'm able,
Till all my companions sink under the table;
Then, with chaos and blunders encircling my head,
Let me ponder and tell what I think of the dead.

[ocr errors]

5

10

15

20

Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was such We scarcely can praise it or blame it too much; Who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind, And to party gave up what was meant for mankind; Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote; Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining, And thought of convincing while they thought of dining; 30 Though equal to all things, for all things unfitToo nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit, For a patriot too cool, for a drudge disobedient, And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient: In short, 't was his fate, unemployed or in place, sir, To eat mutton cold and cut blocks with a razor.

25

35

Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,
The Terence of England, the mender of hearts;
A flattering painter, who made it his care
To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are:
His gallants are all faultless, his women divine,
And Comedy wonders at being so fine-
Like a tragedy-queen he has dizened her out,
Or rather like Tragedy giving a rout;

His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd
Of virtues and feelings that folly grows proud;
And coxcombs, alike in their failings alone,
Adopting his portraits, are pleased with their own.
Say, where has our poet this malady caught,
Or wherefore his characters thus without fault?
Say, was it that, vainly directing his view
To find out men's virtues, and finding them few,
Quite sick of pursuing each troublesome elf,
He grew lazy at last and drew from himself?

40

45

50

Here lies David Garrick: describe me who can An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man; As an actor, confest without rival to shine; As a wit, if not first, in the very first line. Yet with talents like these, and an excellent heart, The man had his failings, a dupe to his art: Like an ill-judging beauty his colours he spread, And beplastered with rouge his own natural red; On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting— 'T was only that when he was off he was acting. With no reason on earth to go out of his way, He turned and he varied full ten times a day: Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick If they were not his own by finessing and trick; He cast off his friends as a huntsman his pack, For he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back. 70 Of praise a mere glutton, he swallowed what came, And the puff of a dunce he mistook it for fame; Till, his relish grown callous, almost to disease, Who peppered the highest was surest to please. But let us be candid, and speak out our mind: If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind;

55

60

65

75

Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, and Woodfalls so grave,

What a commerce was yours while you got and you gave!
How did Grub Street re-echo the shouts that you raised,
While he was be-Rosciused and you were bepraised!
But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies

To act as an angel and mix with the skies!

Those poets who owe their best fame to his skill
Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will;

Old Shakespeare receive him with praise and with love, 85
And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above.

JAMES BEATTIE

Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind,
He has not left a wiser or better behind.
His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand;
His manners were gentle, complying, and bland;
Still born to improve us in every part-

His pencil our faces, his manners our heart.
To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering,
When they judged without skill he was still hard of hearing;
When they talked of their Raphaels, Correggios and stuff, 95
He shifted his trumpet and only took snuff.

1774.

FROM

1774.

THE MINSTREL

Lo where the stripling, rapt in wonder, roves
Beneath the precipice o'erhung with pine,
And sees on high, amidst th' encircling groves,
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine,
While waters, woods, and winds in concert join,
And echo swells the chorus to the skies.
Would Edwin this majestic scene resign
For aught the huntsman's puny craft supplies?
Ah, no! he better knows great Nature's charms to prize.

80

And oft he traced the uplands, to survey,
When o'er the sky advanced the kindling dawn,

90

5

10

The crimson cloud, blue main, and mountain grey,
And lake dim-gleaming on the smoky lawn;
Far to the west the long, long vale withdrawn,
Where twilight loves to linger for a while.
And now he faintly kens the bounding fawn,
And villager abroad at early toil:

But lo! the sun appears, and heaven, earth, ocean smile.

And oft the craggy cliff he loved to climb,
When all in mist the world below was lost.
What dreadful pleasure! there to stand sublime,
Like shipwrecked mariner on desert coast,
And view th' enormous waste of vapour, tost
In billows, lengthening to th' horizon round,
Now scooped in gulfs, with mountains now embossed,
And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound,
Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar profound!

In truth he was a strange and wayward wight,
Fond of each gentle and each dreadful scene.
In darkness and in storm he found delight,
Nor less than when on ocean-wave serene
The southern sun diffused his dazzling sheen.
Even sad vicissitude amused his soul;

And if a sigh would sometimes intervene,
And down his cheek a tear of pity roll,
A sigh, a tear, so sweet, he wished not to control.

When the long-sounding curfew from afar
Loaded with loud lament the lonely gale,
Young Edwin, lighted by the evening star,
Lingering and listening, wandered down the vale.
There would he dream of graves, and corses pale,
And ghosts that to the charnel-dungeon throng,
And drag a length of clanking chain, and wail,
Till silenced by the owl's terrific song,
Or blast that shrieks by fits the shuddering isles along.

Or when the setting moon, in crimson dyed,
Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep,

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

« ПредишнаНапред »