Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Virtue repuls’d, yet knows not to repine:
But shall with unattainted honour shine;
Nor stoops to take the staff'*, nor lays it down,
Just as the rabble please to finile or frown.

HO

Virtue, to crown her fav’rites, loves to try Some new unbeaten passage to the fky; Where Jove a seat among the gods will give To those who die for meriting to live.

Next, faithful silence hath a fure reward;

15 Within our breast be ev'ry secret barr'd : He who betrays his friend, shall never be Under one roof, or in one ship, with me. For who with traitors would his fafety trust, Left with the wicked heaven involve the juft? And though the villain 'scape a while, he feels Slow vengeance, like a blood-hound, at his heels.

20

Ad amicum eruditum THOMAM SHERIDAN.

Scripfit O&t. ann. Dom. 1717.

DI
Eliciæ Sheridan mufarum, dulcis amice,

Sic tibi propitius Permefli ad flumen Apollo:
Occurrat, feu te mimum convivia rident,
Aquivocofque fales fpargis, feu ludere versu
Malles; dic, Sheridan, quifnam fuit ille deorum, 5
Quæ melor natura orto tibi tradidit artem
Rimandi genium puerorum, atque ima cerebri
Scrutandi? Tibi nafcenti ad cunabula Pallas
Aftitit; er dixit, mentis præfaga futuræ,
Heu, puer infelix ! nostro sub fidere natus ;

10

* A white staff is the ensign of the Lord Treasurer's office,

Nam

Nam tu pectus eris fine corpore, corporis umbra;
Sed levitate umbram superabiş, voce cicadam:
Musca femur, palmas tibi mus dedit, ardea crura.
Corpore fed tenui tibi quod natura negavit,
Hoc animi dotes fupplebunt; teque docente, 15
Nec longum tempus, furget tibi docta juventus,
Artibus egregiis animas instructa novellas.
Grex hinc Peonius venit, ecce, falutifer orbi.
Aft illi causas orant; his infula visa est
Divinam capiti nodo conftringere mitram. 20

Natalis te horæ non fallunt figna, sed usque
Confcius, expedias puero feu lætus Apollo
Nascenti arrifit; five illum frigidus horror
Saturni premit, aut feptem inflavere triones,

Quin tu alté penitusque latentia semina cernis, 25. Quæque diu obtundendo olim fub luminis auras Erumpent, piomis; quo ritu fæpe puella Sub cinere hesterno sopitos suscitat ignes.

Te dominum agnoscit quocunque sub aëre natus ; Quos indulgentis nimium cuftodia matris

30 Peisundat : nam fæpe vides in ftipite matrem.

Aureus at ramus, venerandæ dona Sibyllæ, Æneæ fedes tantùm patefecit Avernus; Sæpe puer, tua quem tetigit semel aurea virga, Cælumque terrasque videt, noctemque profundam.

APOLLO to the DEAN.

Written in the year 1720.

Right Trusty, and so forth, we let you to

know We are very ill us’d by you mortals below.

For

II

For, first, I have often by chymists been told,
Tho'I know nothing on’t, it is I that make gold,
Which when you have got, you so carefully hide it,
That, since I was born, I hardly have spy'd it.
Then it must be allow'd, that whenever I shine,
I forward the grass, and I ripen the vine;
To me the good fellows apply for relief,
Without whom they could get neither claret nor beef:
Yet their wine and their victuals thefe curmudgcon*

lubbards
Lock tip from my fight in cellars and cupboards.
That I have an ill eye they wickedly think,
And taint all their meat, and four all their drink.
But, thirdly and lastly, it must be allow'd, * 15
I alone can inspire the poetical croud :
This is gratefully own'd by each boy in the college,
Whom if I inspire, it is not to my knowledge.
This ev'ry pretender to rhyme will admit,
Without troubling his head about judgement or wit.
These gentlemen use me with kindness and freedom;
And as for their works, when I please I may read'em:
They lie open on purpose on counters and stalls,
And the titles I view, when I shine on the walls.
But a comrade of yours, that traitor Delany, 25
Whom I, for your fake, love better than any,
And of my mere motion, and special good grace,
Intended in time to succeed in your place,
On Tuesday the tenth feditiously came
With a certain false traitress, one Stella by name, 30
To the deanery-house, and on the north glass,
Where, for fear of the cold, I never can pass,
Then and there, vi et armis, with a certain utensil,
Of value five shillings, in English a pencil,

19

Curmudgecn, a word here used as an adjective, now signifies a fordid riggardly fellow, i út was perhaps in its orig nal sense of more exter five import, buing probably a cori uption of coeur mechant, a wicked heart.

[ocr errors]

Did maliciously, falsely, and trait'rously write, 35
Whilft Stella aforesaid stood by with a light *.
My fifter has lately depos'd upon oath,
That she stopt in her course to look at them both:
That Stella was helping, abetting, and aiding;
And still as he writ, ftood smiling and reading: 40
That her eyes were as bright as myself at 11oonday,
But her graceful black locks were mingled with grey;
And by the description I certainly know,
Tis the nymph that I courted some ten years ago;
Whom when I with the best of

my

talents endu'd 45 On lier promise of yielding, the acted the prude: That some verses were writ with felonious intent, Direct to the north, where I never went: That the letters appear'd reverse thro' the pane, But in Stella's bright eyes they were place'd right again;

50
Wherein she distinctly could read ev'ry line,
And presently guess’d the fancy was mine t.
Now
you

see why his verses fo seldom are shown:
The reason is plain, they're none of his own;
And observe while you live, that no man is shy
To discover the goods he came honestly by.
If I light on a thought he'll certainly steal it :
And when he has got it, finds way to conceal it :
Of all the fine things he keeps in the dark,
There's scarce one in ten, but what has my mark; 60
And let them be seen by the world if he dare,
I'll make it appear, they are all stolen ware.
But as for the poem he writ on your fath,
I think I have now got him under my lath;

* See verses said to be cut by two of the Dean's friends upon a pane of glass in one of his parii urs, among : he posthuincus pieces in this vo'ume.

+ The mechanism of this poem is formed upon a mistake, which a very right confideration of the laws of vision wou dlare preve..to ed. The whole de penes upon Cyrthia's se dire in Stelia's eyes the writing, wlich appeared inve:ted through be pani : hue as the writirg wis nue inviti don that fde of the glofs at which Sie.ia looked, it mı? nece ari'y be inverted in bir ey:s, VOL. VIII. E

Nv.

My fifter transcrib'd it last night to his forrow, 05
And the public shall see't, if I live till to-morrow.
Thro' the zodiac around it shall quickly be fpread,
In all parts of the globe, where your language is read.
He knows very well, I ne'er gave a refusal,
When he ask'd for my aid in the forms that are u.
fual:

-70 But the secret is this; I did lately intend To write a few verses on you, as my

friend : I studied a fortnight before I could find, As I rode in my chariot, a thought to my mind, And refolv'd the next winter, (for that is iny time, 75 When the days are at shortest), to get it in rhyme; Till then it was lock'd in my box at Parnassus : When that fubtle companion, in hopes to surpass us, Conveys out my paper of hints by a trick, (For I think in my conscience he deals with old nick), And from 11:y own stock provided with topics, 81 He gets to a window beyond both the tropics; There out of my light, just against the north zone, Writes down my conceits, and calls them his own; And you, like a cully, the bubble can swallow : 85 Now, who but Delany, that writes like Apollo? High treason by statute! but here you object, He only stole hints, but the verse is correct; Tho'the thought be Apollo's, 'tis finely express’d. So a thief steals my horse, and has him well dress'd. Now, whereas the said criminal feemspastrepentance, We Phoebus think fit to proceed to th: fentence. Since Delany has dar'd, like Prometheus his fire, To climb to our region, and thence to steal fire ; We order a vulture, in shape of the fplcen, 95 To prey on his liver, but not to be seen. And we order our subjects of ev'ry degree To believe all his verses were written by me; And, under the pain of our highest displeasure, To call nothing his but the rhyme and the measure. And laitly, for Stella just out of her prime, I'm too much reveng'd already by time.

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »