Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

LIBER IV.

ODE IX.

Ne fortè credas interitura, quæ
Longè sonantem natus ad Aufidum
Non antè vulgatas per artes

Verba loquor socianda chordis.
Non, si priores Mæonius tenet
Sedes Homerus, Pindaricæ latent,
Ceæque, et Alcæi minaces,

Stesichorique graves Camænæ : Nec, si quid olim lusit Anacreon, Delevit ætas : spirat adhuc amor, Vivuntque commissi calores

Æoliæ fidibus puellæ.

Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona
Multi; sed omnes illacrymabiles
Urgentur ignotique longå

Nocte, carent quia vate sacro.

NOTES.

Ver. 8. Original-Stesichorique graves] The loss of the works of no two writers is perhaps more to be lamented than of Stesichorus and Menander. The former is thus characterized by Quintilian, 1. 10. “Stesichorus quam sit ingenio validus, materiæ quoque ostendunt, maxima bella et clarissimos duces canentem, et epici carminis onera Lyrà sustinentem. Reddit enim personis in agendo simul loquendoque debitam dignitatem; ac si tenuisset modum, videtur æmulari proximus Homerum potuisse.” Of the fragments of Menander, see a paper in the Adventurer, vol. iv. Warton,

PART OF THE NINTH ODE OF THE FOURTH

BOOK.

A FRAGMENT.

LEST you

should think that verse shall die, Which sounds the silver Thames along, Taught on the wings of truth to fly

Above the reach of vulgar song ; Though daring Milton sits subline,

In Spenser native Musęs play ; Nor yet shall Waller yield to time,

Nor pensive Cowley's moral laySages and chiefs long since had birth Ere Cæsar was, or Newton named;

10 Those raised new empires o'er the earth,

And these, new heavens and systems framed. Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!

They had no poet, and they died. In vain they schemed, in vain they bled ! 15

They had no poet, and are dead.

NOTES.

Ver. 6. In Spenser] How much this author was his favourite from his early to his latter years, will appear from what he said to Mr. Spence, from whose Anecdotes I transcribe literally this passage: “ There is something in Spenser that pleases one as strongly in one's old age as it did in one's youth. I read the Fairy Queen, when I was about twel with a vast deal of delight; and I think, it gave me as much when I read it over about a year or two ago.

Warton.

ON RECEIVING FROM

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

THE LADY FRANCES SHIRLEY,

A STANDISH AND TWO PENS.

Yes, I beheld the Athenian queen

Descend in all her sober charms; “ And take (she said, and smiled serene)

Take at this hand celestial arms :

“ Secure the radiant weapons wield;

This golden lance shall guard desert, And if a vice dares keep the field,

This steel shall stab it to the heart."

NOTES.

The Lady Frances Shirley] A lady whose great merit Mr. Pope took a real pleasure in celebrating.

Warburton. Ver. 1. Yes, I beheld, &c.] To enter into the spirit of this address, it is necessary to premise, that the Poet was threatened with a prosecution in the House of Lords, for the two foregoing Poems, the Epilogue to the Satires. On which, with great resentment against his enemies, for not being willing to distinguish between

Grave epistles bringing vice to light, and licentious libels, he began a third Dialogue, more severe and sublime than the first and second; which being no secret, matters were soon compromised. His enemies agreed to drop the prosecution, and he promised to leave the third Dialogue unfinished

and 10

Awed, on my bended knees I fell,

Received the weapons of the sky;
And dipp'd them in the sable well,

The fount of fame or infamy.

“What well ? what weapon? (Flavia cries)

A standish, steel and golden pen!
It came from Bertrand's, not the skies;

I gave it you to write again.

15

“ But, friend, take heed whom you attack;

You'll bring a house (I mean of peers) Red, blue, and green, nay, white and black, -- and all, about your ears.

20

“ You'd write as smooth again on glass,

And run, on ivory, so glib, As not to stick at fool or ass,

Nor stop at flattery or fib.

25

Athenian queen! and sober charms !

I tell ye, fool, there's nothing in't : 'Tis Venus, Venus gives these arms ;

In Dryden's Virgil see the print.

NOTES.

and suppressed. This affair occasioned this little beautiful poem, to which it alludes throughout, but more especially in the four last stanzas.

Warburton. Ver. 15. Bertrand's,] A famous toy-shop at Bath.

Warburton. Ver. 23. fool or ass,] The Dunciad.

Warburton. Ver. 24. Flattery or fib.] The Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot.

Warburton.

2

[blocks in formation]

30

“ Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,

That dares tell neither truth nor lies, I'll list you in the harmless roll

Of those that sing of these poor eyes.

NOTES.

Ver. 27. these arms ;] Such toys being the usual presents from lovers to their mistresses,

Warburton. Ver. 28. see the print.] When she delivers Æneas a suit of heavenly armour.

Warburton. Ver. 30. neither truth nor lies,] i. e. If you have neither the courage to write Satire, nor the application to attempt an Epic poem. He was then meditating on such a work. Warburton.

Ver. 32. Of those that sing of these poor eyes.] Among the many swains who

sung of “ these poor eyes," was Lord Chesterfield, in his well known ballad :

“When Fanny, blooming fair,

First met my ravish'd sight,
Struck with her face and air,

I gazed with strange delight." This beautiful Lady was fourth daughter of Earl Ferrers, who had at that time a house at Twickenham. Notwithstanding her numerous admirers, she died at Bath, unmarried, in the year 1762. At Clarendon Park, near Salisbury, the seat of her sister's son, Henry Bathurst, esq. there is a full length painting, by Sir Godfrey Kneller ; and if she was as handsome as she is there represented, Lord Chesterfield's passionate address might be easily accounted for. The writer of this note had looked at it for some time with admiration, without knowing whose portrait it was, when the hospitable and benevolent owner of the mansion said, “ That is the celebrated Fanny blooming fair.” Her sister, married to Mr. Bathurst's father, is painted at full length in the same

room.

Lady Frances is dressed in a Turkish habit, probably introduced by Lady M. W. Montagu to England at the time, as she lived at Twickenham. The dress is beautiful, and gives great effect to the attitude and countenance. The sketch of Earl Ferrers' house and gardens is in the back ground. Bowles.

« ПредишнаНапред »