Графични страници
PDF файл

But soft-by regular approach-not yet
First through the length of yon hot terrace sweat;
And when up ten steep slopes you've dragg'd your

Just at his study,door he'll bless your eyes.

His study | with what authors is it stor'd ?
In books, not authors, curious is my Lord;
To all their dated backs be turns you round;

These Aldus printed, those Du Suil has bound !
Lo, some are vellum, and the rest as good,
For all his Lordship knows, but they are wood.
For Locke or Milton 'tis in vain to look ;
These shelves admit not any modern book.

And now the chapel's silver bell you hear, That summons you to all the pride of prayer : Light quirks of music, broken and unev'n, Make the soul dance upon a jig to heav'n. On painted ceilings you devoutly stare, Where sprawl the saints of Verrio or Laguerre, Or gilded clouds in fair expansion lie, And bring all Paradise before your eye. To rest, the cushion and soft Dean invite, Who never meutions hell to ears polite.

But hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call; A hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall: The rich beaufet well-colour'd serpents grace, And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face. Is this a dinner? this a genial room? No, 'tis a temple, and a hecatomb; A solemn sacrifice, perform'd in state, You drink by measure, and to minutes eat. So quick retires each flying course, you'd swear Sancho's dread doctor and his wand were there. Between each act the trembling salvers ring, From soup to sweet wine, and God bless the King. Io plenty starving, tantaliz'd in state, And complaisantly help'd to all I hate; Treated, caress'd, and tir'd, I take my leave, Sick of his civil pride from morn to ere ; :

I curse such lavish cost and little skill,
And swear no day was ever past so ill.

Yet hence the poor are cloth'd, the hungry fed ;
Health to himself, and to his infants bread
The labourer bears : what his hard heart denies
His charitable vanity supplies.

Another age shall see the golden ear Imbrown the slope, and nod on the parterre; Deep harvest bury all his pride has plann'd, And laughing Ceres reassume the land.

Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil ? Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like Boyle? Tis use alone that sanctifies expence, And splendour borrows all her rays from sense,

His father's acres who enjoys in peace, Or makes his neighbours glad if he increase ; Whose cheerful tenants bless their yearly toil, Yet to their lord owe more than to the soil ; Whose ample lawns are not asham'd to feed The milky heifer and deserving steed: Whose rising forests not for pride or show, But future buildings, future navies, grow; Let his plantations stretch from down to down, First shade a country, and then raise a town.

You, too, proceed ! make falling arts your care, Erect new wonders, and the old repair ; Jones and Palladio to themselves restore, And be whate'er Vitruvius was before : Till kings call forth the ideas of your mind, (Proud to accomplish what such hands design'd) Bid harbours open, public ways extend, Bid temples worthier of the God ascend; Bid the broad arch the dangerous food contain, The mole projected break the roaring main ; Back to his bounds their subject sea command, And roll obedient rivers through the land: These honours Peace to happy Britain brings; These are imperial works, and worthy kings.


ARGUMENT. Edipus king of Thebes having, by mistake, slain his father

Laius, and married bis mother Jocasta, put out his own eyes, and resigned his realm to his sons Eteocles and Polynices. Being neglected by them, he makes his prayer to the fury Tisiphone to sow debate betwixt the brothers. They agree at last to reign singly, each a year by turns, and the first lot is obtained by Eteocles. Jupiter, in & council of the gods, declares his resolution of punishing the Thebans, and Argives also, by means of a marriage betwixt Polynices and one of the daughters of Adrastus king of Argos. Juno opposes, but to no effect; and Mercury is sent on a message to the shades, to the ghost of Laius, who is to appear to Eteocles, and provoke him to break the agreement. Poly nices, in the mean time, departs from Thebes by night, is overtaken by a storm, and arrives at Argos; where he meets with Tydeos, who had fed from Calydon, having killed his brother. , Adras tus entertains them, baving received an oracle from Apollo that his daughters should be married to a boar and a lion, which he understands to be meant of these strangers, by whom the hides of those beasts were worn, and who arrived at the time when he kept an annual feast in honour of that god. The rise of this solemnity. He relates to his guests the loves of Phoebus and Psamathe, and the story of Choroebus : he inquires and is made acquainted with their descent and quality. The sacrifice is renewed, and the book concludes with a hymo to Apollo. FRATERNAL rage the guilty Thebes alarms,

The' alternate reign destroy'd by impious arms Demand our song; a sacred fury firos My ravish'd breast, and all the Muse inspires.

goddess ! say, shall I deduce my rhymes From the dire nation in its early times,

Europa's rape, Agenor's stero decree, And Cadmus searching round the spacious sea ? How with the serpent's teeth he sow'd the soil, And reap'd an iron harvest of his toil? Or how from joining stones the city sprung, While to his harp divine Amphion sung? Or shall I Juno's hate to Thebes resound, Whose fatal rage the unhappy monarch found ? The sire against the son his arrows drew; O'er the wide fields the furious mother flew, And while her arms a second hope contain, Sprung from the rocks, and plung'd into the main.

But wave whate'er to Cadmus may belong, And fix, O Muse! the barrier of thy song At Edipus-from his disasters trace The long confusions of his guilty race : Nor yet attempt to stretch thy bolder wing, And mighty Cæsar's conquering eagles sing ; How twice he tam'd proud Ister's rapid flood, While Dacian mountains stream'd with barbarous blood; Twice taught the Rhine beneath his laws to roll, And stretch'd his empire to the frozen pole ; Or, long before, with early valour strove In youthful arms to' assert the cause of Jove. And thou, great heir of all thy father's fame, Increase of glory to the Latian name! O! bless thy Rome with an eternal reign, Nor let desiring worlds entreat in vain. What tho' the stars contract their beavenly space, And crowd their shining ranks to yield thee place; Though all the skies, ambitious of thy sway, Conspire to court thee from our world away; Though Phæbus longs to mix his rays with thine, And in thy glories more serenely shine ; Though Jove himself no less content would be To part his throne, and share his heav'n with thee? Yet stay, great Cæsar! and vouchsafe to reign O'er the wide earth, and o'er the watery main; Resign to Jove his empire of the skies, And people heav'n with Roman deities.

The time will come when a diviner flame
Shall warm my breast to sing of Cæsar's fame ;
Mean-while permit that my preluding Muse
In Theban wars an humbler theme may chuse:
Of furious hate surviving death she sings,
A fatal throne to two contending kings,
And funeral flames that, parting wide in air,
Express the discord of the souls they, bear :
Of towns dispeopled, and the wandering ghosts
Of kings unbury'd in the wasted coasts;
When Dirce's fountain blush'd with Grecian blood,
And Thetis, pear Ismenos' swelling flood,
With dread beheld the rolling surges sweep
In heaps his slaughter'd sons into the deep.

What hero, Clio! wilt thou first relate?
The rage of Tydeus, or the prophet's fate ?
Or how, with hills of slain on every side,
Hippomedon repellid the hostile tide ?
Or how the youth, with every grace adorn'd,
Untimely fell, to be for ever mourn'd?
Then to fierce Capaneus thy verse extend,
And sing with horror his prodigious end.

Now wretched Edipus, depriv'd of sight,
Led a long death in everlasting night;
But while he dwells where not a cheerful ray
Can pierce the darkness, and abhors the day,
The clear reflecting mind presents his sin
In frightful views, and makes it day within ;
Returning thoughts in endless circles roll,
And thousand furies haunt his guilty soul :
The wretch then lifted to the' unpitying skies
Those empty orbs from whence he tore his eyes,
Whosewounds,yet fresh,with bloody handshestrook,
While from his breast these dreadful accents broke:

“ Ye gods! that o'er the gloomy regions reign, Where guilty spirits feel eternal pain; Thou, sable Styx ! whose livid streams are rollid Tbro' dreary coasts, which I though blind behold; Tisiphone ! that oft hast heard my pray'r, Assist, if Edipus deserve thy care.

« ПредишнаНапред »