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THE BIRTH OF FLATTERY.
Omala habco, aec quiequsra habeo;
Quidquid dicuni, laudo; id rursnm si negant, laudo
id quoque: Kegat qnis. nego; ait, aio: Poturemo imperavi egomet mini Omnia asseatari.
TsUENT. in Eunucho.
It has been held in ancient rules,
Men of my Spenser, who io well could
aing The passions nil, their bearings and their
ties; Who could in view those shadowy beings
bring. And with bold hand remove each dark
disguise, Wherein love, hatred, scorn, or anger lies: Gaide him to Fairy-land, who now intends That way his flight; assist him as he flies. To mark those passions. Virtue's foes and
friends, By whom when led she droops, when leading she ascends.
Yea! they appear, I see the fairy-train! Ami who that modest nymph of meek
address? Not Vanity, though loved by all the vain; Not Hope, though promising to all success; Nor Mirth, nor Joy, though foe to all
distress; Thee, sprightly syren, from this train I
choose, Thy birth relate, thy soothing arts confess; Tw not in thy mild nature to refuse, When poets ask thine aid, so oft their meed
la Fairy-land, on wide and cheerless plain, Dwelt, in the house of Care, a sturdy swain; A hireling he, who, when he till'd the soil, Look's! to the pittance that repaid his toil; And to a master left the mingled joy And anxious rare that follow "d his employ: Sullen and patient he at once appcar'd, A* one who raurmur'd, yet as one who fcar'd; I'h' attire was coarse that clothed his sinewy
frame. Hade his address, and Poverty liit> name.
In that same plain a nymph, of curious
taste, A cottage (plann'd with all her skill) had
placed; Strange the materials, and for what design'd The various parts, no simple man might find; What seem'd the door, each entering guest
withstood, What seem'd a window wns hut painted
wood; But by a secret spring the wall would move, And daylight drop through glassy door
above: 'Twas all her pride, new traps for praise to
lay, And all her wisdom was to hide her way; In small attempts incessant were her pains, And Cunning was her name among the
Now, whether fate decreed this pair should
wed, And blindly drove them to the marriage-bed; Or whether love in some soft hour inclined The damsel's heart, and won her to be kind, Is yet unsung: they were an ill-mntch'd pair, But both disposed to wed—and wed they
Yet, though united in their fortune, still Their ways were diverse; varying was
their will; Nor long the maid had bless'd the simple man, Before distentions rose, and she began:—
Wretch that I am! since to thy fortune
bound, What plan, what project, with success is
crown'd? I, who a thousand secret arts possess, Who every rank approach with right address; Who've loosed a guinea from a miser's
chest, And worm'd his secret from a traitor's
breast; Thence gifts and gains collecting, great and
small, Have brought to thee, and thou consum'st
them all: For want like thine—a hog without a base— Ingulfs all gains I gather for the place; Feeding, unfill'd; destroying, undestroy'd; It craves for ever, and is ever void:—
Wretch that I am! what misery have I
found, Since my sure craft was to thy calling hound!
Oh! vaunt of worthless art, the swain replied, Scowling contempt, how pitiful this pride! What are these specious gifts, these paltry
gains, But base rewards for ignominious pains? With all thy tricking, still for bread we
strive, Thine is, proud wretch! the care that cannot thrive; By all thy boasted skill and baffled hooks, Thou gainst no more than students by
their books; No more than I for my poor deeds am paid, Whom none can blame, will help, or dare
upbraid. Call this our need, a bog that all devours,— Then what thy petty arts, but summcr
Gaudy and mean, and serving to betray The place they make unprofitably gay? Who know it not,somc useless beauties see,— But ah! to prove it, was reserved for me.
Unhappy state! that, in decay of love, Permits harsh truth his errors to disprove; While he remains, to wrangle and to jar, Is friendly tournament, no fatal war; Love in his play will borrow arms of hate, Anger and rage, upbraiding and debate; And by his power the desperate weapons
thrown, Become as safe and pleasant as his own; But left by him, their natures thry assume, And fatal, in their poisoning force, become.
Time fled, and now the swain, compell'd
to sec New cause for fear — Is this thy thrift?
quoth he. To whom the wife with cheerful voice
replied:— Thou moody man, lay all thy fears aside, I've seen a vision;—they, from whom I came, A daughter proraise,promise wealth and fame; Born with my features, with my arts, yel she Shall patient, pliant, persevering he. And in thy better ways resemble thee. The fairies round shall at her birth attend, The friend of all in all shall find a friend, And save that one sad star that hour must
gleam On our fair child, how glorious were my
This heard the husband, and, in surly smile, Aim'd at contempt, but yet he hoped the while:
For as, when sinking, wretched men arc found To catch nt rushes rather than he drown'd; So on a dream our peasant placid his hope. And found thnt rush as valid as u rope.
Swift fled the days, for now in hope they fled.
When a fair daughter bless'd the nuptial bed;
Her infant-face the mother's pains beguiled.
She lnok'd so pleasing, and so softly smiled;
Those smiles, those looks, with sweet sensations moved
The gazer's soul, and, as he look'd, he loved.
And now the fairies came, with gifts, to
grace So mild a nature and so fair a fare They gave, with beauty, that bewitching ort, That holds in easy chains the human heart; They gave her skill to win the stubborn
mind, To make the suffering to their sorrows blind. To bring on pensive looks the pleasing smile. And Care's stern brow of every frown beguile. These magic favours graced the infant-maid. Whose more enlivening smile the charming . gifts repaid.
Now Fortune changed, who, were rfie
constant long. Would leave us few adventures for our song. A wicked elfin roved this land around. Whose joys proceeded from the griefs he
found; Envy his name:—his fascinating eye From the light bosom drew the sudden nigh; Unsocial he, but with malignant mind. He dwelt with man, that he might curse
mankind; Like the first foe, he sought th' abode of joy. Grieved to behold, but eager to destroy; Round blooming beauty, like the wasp, he
flew, Soil'd the fresh sweet, and changed the ro-y
hue; The wise,the •rood, with anxious heart,he saw. And here a failing found, and there a flaw . Discord in families 'twas his to move. Distrust in friendship, jealousy in love; He told the poor, what joys the great po»
sess'd. The great—what calm content the rottapr
bless'd; To part the learned and the rich he tried. Till their slow friendship perish'd in their
pride. Such was the fiend, and so secure of prey. That only Misery pass'd unstiing away.
Soon as he heard the fairy-babe wast Ixra-n Scornful he smiled, but felt no mare scorn;
For why, when Fortune placed her state so
low, la uielcss spite his lofty malice show? Why, in a mischief of the meaner kind. Exhaust the vigour of a rane'rous mind? But, soon as Fame the fairy gifts prorlaim'd, Quick rising wrath his ready soul inflamed, Tii swear, by vows that e'en the wicked tie, The nymph should weep her varied destiny; That every gift, that now nppear'd to shine In her fair face and make her smiles divine, Should all the poison of his magic prove, And they should scorn her, whom she sought
His spell prepared.in form an ancient dame, A fiend in spirit, to the cot he came; There gain'd admittance, and the infant
press'd (Muttering his wicked magic) to his breast; And thus he said :—Of all the powers, who
wait On Jove's decrees and do the work of fate, Was I alone, despised or worthless, found, Weal to protect, or impotent to wound V See then thy foe, regret the friendship lost, And learn my skill, but learn it at your cost. Know then, O child! devote to fates severe, The good shall hate thy name, the wise
shall fear; Wit shall deride, and no protecting friend Thy shame shall cover, or thy name defend. Thy gentle sex, who, more than ours, should
spare A bnmble foe, will greater scorn declare; The base alone thy advocates shall be, Or boast alliance with a wretch like thee.
He spake and vanish'd, other prey to find, Aid waste in slow disease the conq.uer'd mind.
Awed by the elfin's threats, and fill'd with
dread, The parents wept, and sought their infant's
bed: Bi-inair alone the father's soul posscss'd; Ijut hope rose gently in the mother's breast; 'or well she knew that neither grief nor joy 'Wd without hope,or pleased without alloy; Aa*t while these hopes and fears her heart
divide, A cheerful vision hade the fears subside.
She saw descending to the world below An ancient form, with solemn pace and slow.
Daughter, no more be sad (the phantom
S ... , cried),
streets in seldom to the wise denied;
Is idle wishes fools supinely stay,
Be there a will and wisdom finds a way:
Why art thou grieved? Be rnther glad,
that he, Who hates the happy, aims his darts at thee; But aims in vain; thy favour'd daughter lies, Serenely blest, and shall to joy arise. For, grant that curses on her name shall
wait (So envy wills and such the voice of fate), Yet if that name be prudently suppress'd. She shall be courted, favour'd, and caress'd. For what are names? and where agree
mankind. In those to persons or to acts assign'd? Brave, learn'd, or wise, if some their favourites call, Have they the titles or the praise from all? Not so, but others will the brave disdain As rash, and deem the sons of wisdom vain; The self-same mind shall scorn or kindness
move, And the same deed attract contempt and love. So all the powers who move the human soul, Withaull the passions who the will control, Have various names—One giv'n by Truth
divine (As Simulation thus was fix'd for mine), The rest by man, who now, as wisdom's, prize My secret counsels, now as art despise; One h on r. us j ust. those counsels they embrace, And spurn, the next, as pitiful and base. Thee,too,my child, those fools ns Cunning fly, Who on thy counsel and thy craft rely; That worthy craft in others they rondemn, But 'tis their prudence, while conducting
them. Be Flattbrv, then, thy happy infant's name, Let Honour scorn her and let II'it defame; Let all be true that Envy dooms, yet all, Not on herself, but one her name, shall fall; While she thy fortune and her own shall
raise, And decent Truth be cnll'd, and loved, as
modest Praise. O happy child! the glorious day shall shine, When every ear shall to thy speech incline, Thy words alluring and thy voice divine: The sullen pedant and the sprightly wit, To hear thy soothing eloquence, shall sit; And both, abjuring Flattery, will agree That truth inspires, and they must honour
thee. Envy himself shall to-thy accents bend. Force a faint smile and sullenly attend, When thou shalt call him lirtue's jealous
friend. Whose bosom glows with generous rage to
find How fools and knaves are flatter'd by mankind. The sage retired, who spends alone his days. And flies th' obstreperous voice of public
praise; The vain,the vulgar cry,—shall gladly meet, And bid thee welcome to his still retreat; Much will he wonder, how thou cam'st to find A man to glory dead, to peace consign'd.
O Fame * he'll cry ( for he will call thee
Fame), From thee I fly, from thee conceal my name; Hat thon shall say: Though Genius takes
his flight, He leaves hehind a glorious train of light, And hides in vain: — yet prudent he that
flies The flatterer's art, and for himself is wise. Yes, happy child! I mark th' approaching
day, When warring natures will confess thy sway; When thou shall Saturn's golden reign restore, And vice and folly shall he known no more, Pride shall not then in human-kind have
place, Changed hy thy skill to Dignity and Grace; While Shame, who now betrays the inward
sense Of secret ill, shall he thy Diffidence; Avarice shall thenceforth prudent Forecast
And Moody Vengeance Magnanimity;
generous band. And deal the gifts of Hrnvcn from hand to
hand. In thy blest days no tyrant shall be seen, Thy gracious kings shall rule contented men; In thy blest days shall not a rebel be, But patriots* all and well approved of thee. Such powers are thine, that man, by thee,
shall wrest The gainful secret from the cautious breast; Nor then, with all his care, the good retain, Bnt yield to thee the secret and the gain. In vain shall much experience guard the heart Against the charm of thy prevailing art; Admitted once, so soothing is thy strain, It comes the sweeter, when it comes again; And when confess'd as thine, what mind so
strong Forbears the pleasure it indulged so long? Soft'ner of every ill! of all our woes The balmy solace! friend of fiercest foes! Begin thy reign, and like the morning rise! Bring joy, bring beauty, to our eager eyes; Break on the drowsy world like opening
day. While grace and gladness join thy flow'ry
way; While every voice is praise, while every
heart is gay. From thee all prospects shall new beauties
take, Tis thine to seek them and 'tis thine to make;
On the cold fen I see thee turn thine eyes, Its mists recede, its chilling vapour flies; Th1 enraptured lord th' improving ground
surveys, And for his Eden asks the traveller's praitc. Which yet, unview'd of thee, a bog had
been, Where spungy rushes hide the plashy green. I see thee breathing on the barren moor, That seems to bloom although 10 bleak
before; There, if benenth the gone the primrose
spring, Or the pied daisy smile below the ling, They shall new charms, at thy command,
disclose, And none shall miss the myrtle or the rose. The wiry moss, that whitens all the hill, Shall live a beauty by thy matchless skill; Gale from the bog shall yield Arabian balm, And the gray willow wave a golden palm. I see thee smiling in the pictured room, Now breathing beauty, now reviving bloom; There, each immortal name 'tis thine to
give, To graceless forms, and bid the lnmbcr
live. Shouldst thou coarse boors or gloomy martyrs see, These shall thy Gnidos,those thy Teniers be; There shalt thou Raphael's saints and angcU
trace, There make for Rubens and for Reynold*
place, And all the pride of art shall find, in hrr.
disgrace. Delight of cither sex! thy reignrommenrr; With balmy sweetness soothe the weary
sense. And to the sickening soul thy cheering aid
dispense. Queen of the mind! thy golden age begin; In mortal bosoms varnish shame and lis. Let all be fair without, let all be calm withui
The Vision fled, the happy mother rase, Kiss'd the fair infant, smiled* at all her foea. And Flittbbv made her name:—her rrip"
began. Her own dear sex she ruled, then vanqsi^«
man; A smiling friend, to every class, she •»•»♦• Assumed their manners, and their habit'
took } Her, for her humble mien, the ■osrn
loved; Her cheerful looks the light and gay *T~
proved; The just beheld her firm; the valiant bra»'| Her mirth the free, her silence pleased til
Zeal heard her voice, and, as he preach i
aloud. Well-pleased he caught her whispers frsa
Those whispers, soothing - sweet to every
car, Which some refuse to pay,l>ut none to hear:— Shame fled her presence; at her gentle strain, Care softly smiled, and guilt forgot its pain; The wretched thought, the happy found her
true, The learn'd confess'd that she their merits
The rich—could they a constant friend condemn?
The poor believed — for who should flatter them?
Thus on her name though all disgrace attend, In every creature she beholds a friend.
UPON THE SUBJECT —
Quiil juvat errores, merea Jam pnppe, fateri"'
What avails it, when shipwroek'd, that error appears 1 Are the crimes we commit wash'd away by oar tears 1
"ass all the fiercer passions cease,
(The glory and disgrace of youth!) When the deluded soul, in peace,
Can listen to the voice of truth; When we are taught in whom to trust,
And how to spare, to spend, to give; (Oar prudence hind, our pity just,)
Tis then we rightly learn to live.
It- weakness when the body feels,
Nor danger in contempt defies; To reason when desire appeals,
W hen, on experience, hope relies; When every passing hour we prize,
Nor rashly on our follies spend; Bat use it, as it quickly flies,
With sober aim to serious end; When prudence bounds our utmost views,
And bids us wrath and wrong forgive; When we can calmly gain or lose,—
Tia then we rightly learn to live.
Yet thus, when we our way discern,
Awl can upon our care depend, To travel safely when we learn,
Behold! we're near our journey's end. We've trod the maze of error round,
Long wand'ring in the winding glade; And now the torch of truth is found,
't only shows us where we stray'd: Lifrht for ourselves, what is it worth,
When we no more our way can choose? For others, when we hold it forth,
They, in their pride, the boon refuse.
By long experience taught, we now
Can all the worth of these allow,
And all their faults discern in those; Relentless hatred, erring love.
We can for sacred truth forego; We can the warmest friend reprove,
And bear to praise the fiercest foe: To what effect? Our friends are gone,
Beyond reproof, regard, or care; And of our foes remnins there one,
The mild relenting thoughts to share?
Now 'tis our boast that we can quell
The wildest passions in their rage; Can their destructive force repel,
And their impetuous wrath assuage: Ah! Virtue, dost thou arm, when now
This bold rebellious race are fled; When all these tyrants rest, and thon
Art warring with the mighty dead? Revenge, ambition, scorn, and pride,
And strong desire and fierce disdain, The giant-brood, by thee defied,
Lo! Time's resistless strokes have slain.
Yet Time, who could that race subdue,
O'erpow'ring strength, appeasing rage, Leaves yet a persevering crew,
To try the failing powers of age. Vex'd by the constant call of these,
Virtue awhile for conquest tries, But weary grown and fond of case,
She makes with them a compromise: Av'rice himself she gives to rest,
But rules him with her strict coimiiiincls; Rids Pity touch his torpid breast,
And Justice hold his eager hnnds.