Графични страници
PDF файл

• 'Twas; sit, your law'~and, “ sir, your clo

" quence,” " Your's Cowper's manner---and your's Talbot's

sense." Thus we dispose of all poetic merit, 135 Your's Milton's genius, and mine Homer's spirit. Call Tibbald Shakespeare, and he'll swear the Nine, Dear Cibber! never match'd one ode of thine. Lord ! how we strut through Merlin's cave, to see No poets there but Stephen, you, and me. 140 Walk with respect behind, while we at ease Weave laurel crowns, and take what names we

please. • My dear Tibullus ! if that will not do, “Let me be Horace, and be Ovid you ; . .

Or, I'm content, allow me Dryden's strains, 145 * And you shall rise up Otway for your pains.' Much do I suffer, much, to keep in peace This jealous, waspish, wrong-head, rhyming, race ; And much must flatter, if the whim should bite, To court applause by printing what I write. 150 But let the fit pass o'er ; I'm wise enough To stop my ears to their confounded stuff.

In vain bad rhymers all mankind reject : They treat themselves with most profound respect. 'Tis to small purpose that you hold your tongue, Each prais'd within, is happy all day long. 156 But how severely with themselves proceed The men, who write such verse as we can read?

Their own strict judges, not a word they spare That wants of force, or light, or weight, or care; Howe'er unwillingly it quits its place, 161 Nay, though at court (perhaps) it may find grace: Such they'll degrade; and, sometimes in its stead, In downright charity revive the dead; Mark where a bold expressive phrase appears, 165 Bright through the rubbish of some hundred years; Command old words, that long have slept, to wake, Words that wise Bacon, or bravc Rawleigh, spake; Or bid the new be English ages hence, (For Use will father what's begot by Sense) 170 Pour the full tide of eloquence along, Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong, Rich with the treasures of each foreign tongue ;) Prune the luxuriant, the uncouth refine, But show no mercy to an empty line; 175 Then polish all with so much life and ease You think ?tis Nature, and a knack to please : • But ease in writing flows from art, not chance, " As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance.'

If such the plague, and pains, to write by rule, Better (say 1) be pleas'd, and play the fool; 181 Call, if you will, bad rhyming a disease ; It gives men happiness, or leaves them ease. There liv'd in primo Georgië (they record) A worthy member, no small fool, a lord; 185 Who, though the House was up, delighted sate, Heard, noted, answer'd, as in full debate ;

i

In all, but this, a inan of sober life,
Fond of his friend, and civil to his wife ;
Not quite a madman, though a pasty fell, 190
And much too wise to walk into a well.
Him the damn'd doctors, and his friends, immur'd,
They bled, they cupp'd, they purg'd; in short,

they cur'd:
Whereat the gentleman began to stare :
My friends! (he cry'd) p-x take you for your
care!

195
That from a patriot of distinguish'd note
Have bled and purg'd me to a simple vote.'
Well, on the whole, plain prose must be my

fate!
Wisdom (curse on it !) will come soon, or late.
There is a time when poets will grow dull; 200
I'll ev'n leave verses to the boys at school :
To rules of poetry no more confin'd,
I'll learn to smooth and harmonize my mind,
Teach ev'ry thought within its bounds to roll,
And keep the equal measure of the soul. 205

Soon as I enter at my country door
My mind resumes the thread it dropp'd before ;
Thoughts, which at Hyde-Park Corner I forgot,
Meet, and rejoin me, in the pensive grot:
There all alone, and compliments apart, 210
I ask these sober questions of my heart :

If, when the more you drink the more you crave,
You tell the doctor ; when the more you have

The more you want, why not, with equal case,
Confess as well your folly as disease ? 215
The heart resolves this matter in a trice,
• Men only feel the smart, but not the vice.'

When golden angels cease to cure the evil, .,
You give all royal witchcraft to the devil:
When servile chaplains cry that birth and place
Endue a peer with honor, truth, and grace, 221
Look in that breast, most dirty Dean ! be fair,
Say, can you find out one such lodger there?
Yet still, not heeding what your heart can teach,
You go to church, to hear these flatt'rers preach.

Indeed, could wealth bestow, or wit, or merit, A grain of courage, or a spark of spirit, The wisest man might blush, I must agree, If D*** lov'd sixpence more than he.

If there be truth in law, and use can give 230 A property, that's yours on which you live. Delightful Abs-court, if its field afford Their fruits to you, confesses you its lord : All Worldly's hens, nay partridge, sold to town, His ven'son too, a guinea makes your own: 235 He bought at thousands, what with better wit You purchase as you want, and bit by bit : Now, or long since, what diff'rence will be found? You pay a penny, and he paid a pound.

Heathcote himself, and such large-acred men, . Lords of fat E'sham, or of Lincoln Fen, 241 Buy ev'ry stick of wood that lends them heat, Buy ev'ry pullet they afford to cat.

Yet these are wights who fondly call their own
Half that the devil o'erlooks from Lincoln town.
The laws of God, as well as of the land, 246
Abhor a perpetuity should stand :
Estates have wings, and hang in Fortune's pow'r,
Loose on the point of ev'ry wav'ring hour,
Ready by force, or of your own accord, 250
By sale, at least by death, to change their lord.
Man? and for ever? wretch! what wouldst thou

I have ?
Heir urges heir, like wave impelling wave.
All vast possessions, (just the same the case
Whether you call them Villa, Park, or Chace)
Alas, my Bathurst! what will they avail ? 256
Join Cotswood hills to Saperton's fair dale ;
Let rising granaries and temples, here,
There, mingled farms and pyramids, appear;
Link towns to towns with avenues of oak; 260
Enclose whole downs in walls ; 'tis all a joke!
Inexorable death shall level all,
And trees, and stones, and farms, and farmer, fall.
Gold, silver, iv'ry vases sculptur'd high,
Paint, marble, gems, and robes of Persian dye,
There are who have not-and, thank Heaven, there
are

266 Who, if they have not, think not worth their care. Talk what you will of taste, my friend ! you'll find Two of a face as soon as of a mind. Why of two brothers, rich and restless one 270 Ploughs, burns, manures, and toils from sun to sun;

VOL. 111.

« ПредишнаНапред »