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He sails, he lands, he comes, he rings;
Does Squire Protogenes live here?
Tea, says a critic, big with laughter, Was found some twenty ages after; Authors, before they write, should read. Tis very true; but we'll procecd.
And, sir, at present would you please To leave your name? Fair maiden, yes. Reach me that board. No sooner spoke But done. With one judicious stroke, On the plain ground Apelles drew A circle regularly true : And will you please, sweetheart, said he, To show your master this from me? By it he presently will know How painters write their names at Co.
He gave the panel to the maid. Smiling and court'sying, Sir, she said,
I shall not fail to tell my master;
Again at six Apelles came,
She said ; and to his hand restored
The dullest genius cannot fail
pencil, sword, or pen, Should in life's visit leave their name, In characters which may proclaim
That they with ardour strove to raise
TO THE HON. CHARLES MONTAGUE, ESQ. HoWE'ER, 'tis well, that while mankind
Through fate's perverse meander errs, He can imagined pleasures find,
To combat against real cares.
Fancies and notions he pursues,
Which ne'er had being but in thought; Each, like the Grecian artist, woos
The image he himself has wrought.
Against experience he believes;
He argues against demonstration; Pleased, when his reason he deceives;
And sets his judgment by his passion.
The hoary fool, who many days
Has struggled with continued sorrow, Renews his hope, and blindly lays
The desperate bet upon to-morrow.
To-morrow comes ; 'tis noon, 'tis night;
This day like all the former flies: Yet on he runs, to seek delight
To-morrow, till to-night he dies.
Our hopes, like towering falcons, aim
At objects in an airy height: The little pleasure of the game
Is from afar to view the flight.
Our anxious pains we, all the day,
In search of what we like, employ:
At distance through an artful glass
To the mind's eye things well appear:
Confused and black if brought too near.
If we see right, we see our woes :
Then what avails it to have eyes?
The only wretched are the wise.
John Gay. 1688–1732.
A WELCOME FROM GREECE TO MR. POPE,
Long hast thou, friend! been absent from my soil,
Like patient Ithacus at siege of Troy; I have been witness of thy six years' toil,
Thy daily labours, and thy nights' annoy; Lost to thy native land, with great turmoil,
On the wide sea, oft threatening to destroy: Methinks with thee I've trod Sigæan ground, And heard the shores of Hellespont resound.
Did I not see thee when thou first set'st sail
To seek adventures fair in Homer's land ? Did I not see thy sinking spirits fail,
And wish thy bark had never left the strand ! Even in mid-ocean often didst thou quail,
And oft lift up thy holy eye and hand, Praying the Virgin dear, and saintly choir, Back to the port to bring thy bark entire.
Cheer up, my friend! thy dangers now are o'er;
Methinks—nay, sure the rising coasts appear; Hark! how the guns salute from either shore,
As thy trim vessel cuts the Thames so fair : Shouts answering shouts from Kent and Essex roar,
And bells break loud through every gust of air : Bonfires do blaze, and bones and cleavers ring, As at the coming of some mighty king. Now pass we Gravesend with a friendly wind,
And Tilbury's white fort, and long Blackwall; Greenwich, where dwells the friend of human kind,
More visited than or her park or hall ; Withers the good, and (with him ever join'd)
Facetious Disney, greet thee first of all : I see his chimney smoke and hear him say, Duke! that's the room for Pope, and that for Gay. Come in, my friends! here shall ye dine and lie,
And here shall breakfast, and here dine again; And sup and breakfast on (if ye comply),
For I have still some dozens of Champagne : His voice still lessens as the ship sails by;
He waves his hand to bring us back in vain; For now I see, I see proud London's spires : Greenwich is lost, and Deptford dock retires. Oh, what a concourse swarms on yonder quay!
The sky re-echoes with new shouts of joy!
I hear the voice of trumpet and hautboy.
Who come in crowds to welcome thee from Troy. Hail to the bard, whom long as lost we mourn'd; From siege, from battle, and from storm return'd! Of goodly dames and courteous knights, I view
The silken petticoat and broider'd vest;
(True blue, fair emblem of unstain'd breast).