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THE GHOST OF THE OLD HOUSE OF COMMONS. 209
I seem'd (and did but seem) to fear the guards, THE DREAM.
And took for mine the Bethels and the Wards:
Anti-mornarchic heretics of state, To the pale tyrant, who to horrid graves
Immoral atheists, rich and reprobate: Condemns so many thousand helpless slaves,
But above all I got a little guide, Ungrateful we do gentle Sleep compare,
Who every ford of villany had try'd: Who, though his victories as numerous are,
None knew so well the old pernicious way, Yet from his slaves no tribute does he take, To ruin subjects, and make kings obey ; But woful cares that load men while they wake. And my small Jehu, at a furious rate, When his soft charms had eas'd my weary sight Was driving Eighty back to Forty-eight. Of all the baleful troubles of the light,
This the king knew, and was resolv'd to bear,
But I mistook his patience for his fear.
Yet it in pieces I conspir'd to tear;
Beware, my child! divinity is there. Once more present the vision to my view,
This so undid all I had done before, The sweet illusion, gentle Pate, renew!
I could attempt, and he endure no more; How kind, how lovely she, how ravish'd I !
My unprepar'd, and unrepenting breath,
And I, with all my sins about me, hurl'd
If you believe seducers more than me.
TO THE NEW ONE, APPOINTED TO MEET AT
From deepest dungeons of eternal night,
DEATH OF A LADY'S DOG.
From all the torments we endure;
Despair, ambition, jealousy, Is like a surfeit of luxurious ease :
Lost friends, nor love, disquiet thee; And of all others, the most tempting things A sullen prudence drew thee hence Are too much wealth, and too indulgent kings. From noise, fraud, and impertinence. None ever was superlatively ill,
Though Life essay'd the surest wile,
Gilding itself with Laura's smile;
As when on Laura's lap you lay,
How fondly human passions turn!
ALEXANDER THE GREAT,
who all the then known world possest, Prisoners and witnesses were waiting by,
That kings in chains did son of Ammon call, These had been taught to swear, and those to die, And kingdoms thought divine, by treason fall. And to expect their arbitrary fates,
Him Fortune only favour'd for her sport ; Some for ill faces, some for good estates.
And when his conduct wanted her support, To fright the people, and alarm the town, His empire, courage, and his boasted line, Bedloe and Oates employ'd the reverend gown. Were all prov'd mortal by a slave's design. Bat while the triple mitre bore the blame, Great Charles, whose birth has promis'd milder sway, The king's three crowns were their rebellious aim: Whose awful nod all nations must obey,
WHEN ACTED AT THE THEATRE IN DUBLIN.
Secur'd by higher powers, exalted stands
Forget not what my ransom cost, Above the reach of sacrilegious hands;
Nor let my dear-bought soul be lost,
That Heaven has form'd a monarch worth their care; Thou, who for me didst feel such pain,
Whose precious blood the cross did stain,
Let not those agonies be vain. And stopt our prince in his triumphant way,
Thou, whom avenging powers obey, Fled like a mist before this radiant day.
Cancel my debt (too great to pay)
Before the sad accounting-day.
Whose load my soul with anguish bears,
I sigh, I weep: accept my tears.
Thou, who wert mov'd with Mary's grief,
And, by absolving of the thief,
Reject not my unworthy prayer,
Preserve me from that dangerous snare
Which Death and gaping Hell prepare.
Give my exalted soul a place
Among thy chosen right-hand race;
The sons of God, and heirs of grace.
Where flames devour, and serpents hiss,
Promote me to thy seat of bliss.
Prostrate my contrite heart I rend,
Do not forsake me in my end.
Let guilty man compassion find !
AND ACTED AT THE THEATRE IN DUBLIN.
The last loud trumpet's wondrous sound
The mighty rivals, whose destructive rage
and now can give bim law. Great Pompey too, comes as a suppliant here, But says he cannot now begin to fear: He knows your equal justice, and (to tell A Roman truth) he knows himself too well. Success, 'tis true, waited on Cæsar's side, But Pompey thinks he conquer'd when he died. His fortune, when she prov'd the most unkind, Chang'd his condition, but not Cato's minde
SIXTH ODE OF THE THIRD BOOK OF HORACE.
271 Then of what doubt can Pompey's cause admit, Let Crassus' ghost and Labienus tell Since here so many Catos judging sit.
How twice by Jove's revenge our legions fell, But you, bright nymphs, give Cæsar leave to woo, And, with unsulting pride, The greatest wonder of the world, but you ; Shining in Roman spoils, the Parthian victors ride. And hear a Muse, who has that hero taught
The Scythian and Egyptian scum To speak as generously, as e'er he fought;
Had almost ruin'd Rome, Whose eloquence from such a theme deters
While our seditions took their part, (dart. All tongues but English, and all pens but hers.
Fill each Egyptian sail, and wing'd each Scythian By the just Fates your sex is doubly blest, You conquer'd Cæsar, and you praise him best.
First, those flagitious times And you (illustrious sir') receive as due,
(Pregnant with unknown crimes) A present desting preserv'd for you.
Conspire to violate the nuptial bed,
Infectious streams of crowding sins began,
Behold a ripe and melting maid,
Bound 'prentice to the wanton trade,
Instruct her in the mysteries of vice;
What nets to spread, where subtle baits to lay, SAAME of my life, disturber of my tomb,
And with an early hand they form the temper'd clay. Ba-e as thy mother's prostituted womb;
Marry'd, their lessons she improves Huffing to cowards, fawning to the brave,
By practice of adulterous loves, To knaves a fool, to credulous fools a knave,
And scorns the common mean design The king's betrayer, and the people's slave.
To take advantage of her husband's wine, Like Samuel, at thy necromantic call,
Or snatch, in some dark place,
A hasty illegitimate embrace.
And bids her rise when lovers call;
Hither a merchant from the straits, Places of master of the horse, and spy,
Grown wealthy by forbidden freights, You (like Tom Howard) did at once supply:
Or city cannibal, repairs, From Sidney's blood your loyalty did spring,
Who feeds upon the flesh of heirs; You show us all your parents, but the king,
Convenient brutes, whose tributary flame From wbose too tender and too bounteous arins Pays the full price of lust, and gilds the slighted (Cohappy he who such a viper warms !
shame. As dutiful a subject as a son!)
'Twas not the spawn of such as these, To your true parent, the whole town, you run.
That dy'd with Punic blood the conquerd seas, Read, if you can, how th' old apostate fell,
And quash'd the stern Æacides; Out-do bis pride, and merit more than Hell:
Made the proud Asian monarch feel Both he and you were glorious and bright,
How weak his gold was against Europe's steel, The first and fairest of the sons of light:
Forc'd even dire Hannibal to yield; But when, like him, you offer'd at the crown,
And won the long-disputed world at Zama's fatal field. Like him, your angry father kick'd you down,
But soldiers of a rustic mould,
Either they dug the stubborn ground, (sound.
Or through hewn woods their weighty strokes did THE SIXTH ODE
And after the declining Sun
Had chang'd the shadows, and their task was done, OF THE THIRD BOOK OF HORACE.
Home with their weary team they took their way, OF THE CORRUPTION OF THE TIMES.
And drown'd in friendly bowls the labour of the day. Those ills your ancestors have done,
Time sensibly all things impairs ; Romans, are now become your own;
Our fathers have been worse than theirs;
And we than ours; next age will see
A race more profligate than we
(With all the pains we take) have skill enough to be. And statues sully'd yet with sacrilegious smoke. Propitious Heaven, that rais'd your fathers high, For humble, grateful piety,
OP THE FOLLOWING VERSE FROM LUCAN.
All empires on the gols depend, [end. Victrix causa diis placuit, sed victa Catoni. Begun by their command, at their command they
Tue gods were pleas’d to choose the conquering side, "To the lord lieutenant.
But Cato thought he conquer'd when he dy'd.
When you begin with so much pomp and show,
Be what you will, so you be still the same.
Deluded by a seeming excellence: none upon the reader ; but tell him plainly, that I And when they would write smoothly, they want think it could never be more seasonable than now to lay down such rules, as, if they be observed, Their spirits sink; while others, that affect
strength, will make men write more correctly, and judge A lofty style, swell to a tympany. more discreetly: but Horace must be read seriously, or not at all; for else the reader wont be some timorous wretches start at every blast, the better for him, and I shall have lost my la-Others, in love with wild variety,
And, fearing tempests, dare not leave the shore; bour. I have kept as close as I could, both to Draw boars in waves, and dolphins in a wood : the meaning and the words of the author, and Thus fear of erring, join'd with want of skill, done nothing but what I believe he would forgive Is a most certain way of erring still. if he were alive, and I have often asked myself
The meanest workman in th' Æmilian square, that question. I know this is a field,
May grave the nails, or imitate the hair, Per quem magnus equos Auruncæ flexit But cannot finish what he hath begun: Alumnus.
What can be more ridiculous than he? But with all the respect due to the name of Ben Where all the rest are scandalously ill
For one or two good features in a face, Jonson, to which no man pays more veneration Make it but more remarkably deform’d. than I, it cannot be denied, that the constraint of rhyme, and a literal translation, (to which Horace And often try what weight they can support,
Let poets match their subject to their strength, in this book declares himself an enemy) has made And what their shoulders are too weak to bear. him want a comment in many places. My chief care has been to write intelligibly; Method and eloquence will never fail
After a serious and judicious choice,
As well the force as ornament of verse
Consists in choosing a fit time for things, durst, I would beg them to remember, that Horace In her full fight, and when she should be curb’d. owed his favour and his fortune to the character given of him by Virgil and Varius ; that Fundanius You gain your point, when by the noble art
Words must be chosen, and be plac'd with skill : and Pollio are still valued by what Horace says of Of good connection, an unusual word them, and that, in their golden age, there was a Is made at first familiar to our ear. good understanding among the ingenious, and But if you write of things abstruse or new, those who were the most esteemed were the best Some of your own inventing may be us’d, natured.
So it be seldom and discreetly done:
Must so derive them from the Grecian spring, If in a picture (Piso) you should see
As they may seem to flow without constraint. A handsome woman with a fish's tail,
Can an impartial reader discommend Or a man's head upon a horse's neck,
In Varius, or in Virgil, what he likes Or limbs of beasts of the most different kinds, In Plautis or Cæcilius? Why should I Cover'd with feathers of all sorts of birds,
Be envy'd for the little I invent, Would you not laugh, and think the painter mad! When Ennius and Cato's copious style Trust me, that book is as ridiculous,
Have so enrich'd, and so adorn'd our tongue ? Whose incoherent style (like sick men's dreams) Men ever had, and ever will have, leave Varies all shapes, and mixes all extremes.
To coin new words well suited to the age. Painters and poets have been still allow'd
Words are like leaves, some wither every year,
Death is a tribute all things owe to Fate;
Protects our navies from the raging north;
And (since Cethegus drain'd the Pontine lake) And hungry tigers court the tender lambs. We plough and reap where former ages row'd.
Some, that at first have promis'd mighty things, See how the Tiber (whose licentious waves Applaud themselves, when a few florid lines So often overflow'd the neighbouring fields) Shine through th' insipid dulness of the rest; Now runs a smooth and inoffensive course, Here they describe a temple, or a wood,
Confin'd by our great emperor's command : Or streams that through delightful meadows run, Yet this, and they, and all, will be forgot. And there the rainbow, or the rapid Rhine ; Why then should words challenge eternity, But they misplace them all, and crowd them in, When greatest men and greatest actions die! And are as much to seek in other things,
Use may revive the obsoletest words, As he, that only can design a tree,
And banish those that now are most in vogue; Would be to draw a shipwreck or a storm. Use is the judge, the law, and rule of speech.
Homer first taught the world in epic verse 1 Printed from Dr. Rawlinson's copy, corrected to write of great commanders and of kings. by the earl of Roscommon's own hand.
Elegies were at first design’d for grief,
Though now we use them to express our joy: Begin not as th’ old poetaster did,
In what will all this ostentation end?
The labouring mountain scarce brings forth a mouse: Numbers for dialogue and action fit,
How far is this from the Mæonian style? And favourites of the dramatic Muse:
Muse, speak the man, who, since the siege of Troy, Fierce, lofty, rapid, whose commanding sound So many towns, such change of manners saw.” Awes the tumultnous noises of the pit,
One with a flash begins, and ends in smoke,
The other out of smoke brings glorious light.
The bloody Lestrygons, Charybdis' gulf,
He doth not trouble us with Leda's egys,
Go back as far as Meleager's death:
Nothing is idle, each judicious line
He chooses only what he can improve,
That all seems uniform, and of a piece. Forget their swelling and gigantic words.
Now hear what every auditor expects;
The epilogue, and see the curtain fall,
And by that rule form all your characters.
Loves childish plays, is soon provok'd and pleasd, I feel the weight of your calamities,
And changes every hour his wavering inind. And fancy all your miseries my own:
A youth, that first casts off his tutor's yoke, But, if you act them ill, I sleep or laugh;
Loves horses, hounds, and sports, and exercise,
Gain and ambition rule our riper years,
With restless pain, and more tormenting fear, But he whose words and fortunes disagree,
Lazy, morose, full of delays and hopes, Absurd, unpity'd, grows a public jest.
Oppress’d with riches which they dare not use;
And fond of all the follies of the past.
Our ebb of life for ever takes away.
Boys must not have th' ambitious care of men, Argires or Thebans, Asians or Greeks.
Nor men the weak anxieties of age.
Some things are acted, others only told;
But what we hear moves less than what we see; Impatient, rash, inexorable, proud,
Spectators only have their eyes to trust, Scorning all judges, and all law but arms;
But auditors must trust their ears and you; Medea must be all revenge and blood,
Yet there are things improper for a scene, Ino all tears, Ixion all deceit,
Which men of judgment only will relate. lo most wander, and Orestes mour.
Medea must not draw her murdering knife,
Nor Atreus there his horrid feast prepare.
(She to a swallow turn'd, he to a snake) And you had better choose a well-known theme And wbatsoever contradicts my sense, Than trust to an invention of your own:
I hate to see, and never can believe.
Five acts are the just measure of a play.
But for a business worthy of a god ;
A chorus should supply what action wants, Nor (as some servile imitators do)
And hath a generous and manly part; Prescribe at first such strict uneasy rules,
Bridles wild rage, loves rigid honesty, As you must ever slavishly observe,
And strict observance of impartial laws,
Sobriety, security, and peace,