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Here Amphitritè sails through myrtle bow'rs,
My lord advances with majestic mien,
thighs, Just at his study door he'll bless your eyes.
His study ! with what authors is it stor'd ? In books, not authors, curious is my Lord; To all their dated backs he turns you round ; 135 These Aldus printed, those Du Sueil has bound ! Lo, some are vellum, and the rest as good, For all his Lordship knows, but they are wood ! For Locke or Milton 'tis in vain to look; These shelves admit not any modern book. 140
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear, That summons you to all the pride of pray'r : Light quirks of music, broken and unev'n, Make the soul dance upon a jig to heav'n. On painted cielings you devoutly stare, 145 Where sprawl the saints of Verrio or Laguerre, Or gilded clouds in fair expansion lie, And bring all Paradise before your eye. To rest the cushion and soft Dean invite, Who never mentions hell to ears polite. 150
But hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call; A hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall : The rich buffet well-color'd serpents grace, And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face, Is this a dinner ? this a genial room ? 155 No, it's a temple, and a hecatomb; A solemn sacrifice perform'd in state, You drink by measure, and to minutes eat. So quick retires each flying course, you'd swear Sancho's dread Doctor and his wand were there. Between each act the trembling salvers ring, 161 From Soup to sweet wine, and God bless the King. In plenty starving tantaliz'd in state, And complaisantly help'd to all I hate, Treated, caress’d, and tir’d, I take my leave, 165 Sick of his civil pride from morn to eve; I curse such lavish cost and little skill, And swear no day was ever past so ill.
Yet hence the poor are cloth’d, the hungry fed ; Health to: himself and to his infants bred 170 The lab'rer bears ; what his hard heart denies His charitable vanity supplies.
Another age shall see the golden ear Imbrown the slope, and not on the parterre. Deep harvests bury all his pride has plann'd, 175 And laughing Ceres reassume the land.
Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil ? Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like
'Tis use alone that sanctifies expense, And splendor borrows all her rays
180 His father's acres who enjoys in peace, Or makes his neighbors glad if he increase ; Whose cheerful tenants bless their yearly toil, Yet to their lord owe more than to the soil; Whose ample lawns are not asham'd to feed 185 The milky heifer and deserving steed: Whose rising forests not for pride or show, But future buildings, future navies grow; Let his plantations stretch from down to down, First shade a country, and then raise a town. 190 You, too, proceed ! make falling arts your care, Erect new wonders, and the old repair; Jones and Palladio to themselves restore, And be whate'er Vitruvius was before : Till kings call forth th' ideas of your mind, 195 (Proud to accomplish what such hands design’d) Bid harbors open, public ways extend, Bid temples worthier of the God ascend; Bid the broad arch the dang’rous flood contain, The mole projected break the roaring main; 200 Back to his bounds this subject sea command, And roll obedient rivers through the land: These honors Peace to happy Britain brings; These are imperial works, and worthy kings. 204
TO MR. ADDISON.
[Occasioned by his Dialogues on Medals.] SEE
E E the wild waste of all-devouring years ! How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears, With nodding arches, broken temples, spread ! The very tombs now vanish'd like their dead ! Imperial wonders rais'd on nations spoil'd, Where mix'd with slaves the groaning martyr toild: Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods, Now drain'd a distant country of her floods ; Fanes, which admiring gods with pride survey, Statues of men scarce less alive than they! Some felt the silent stroke of mould'ring age, Some hostile fury, some religious rage ; Barbarian blindness, Christian zeal conspire, And Papal piety, and Gothic fire. Perhaps, by its own ruins sav'd from flame, Some bury'd marble half préserves a name ;
This was originally written in the year 1715, when Mr. Addison, not yet Secretary of State, had prepared his book of Medals for the press, but not published till Mr. Tickell's edition ctAddison's works in 1720; when the verses on Mr. Craggs, which conclude this poem, were added.
As the third Epistle treated of the extremes of avarice and profusion ; and the fourth book upon one particular branch of the latter, namely, the vanity of expence in people of wealth and quality, and was therefore a corollary to the third ; so this treats of one circumstance of that variety, as it appears in the common collectors of old coins; and is, therefore a corollary to the fourth,
That name the learn'd with fierce disputes pursue, And give to Titus old Vespasian's due.
Ambition sigh'd ; she found it vain to trust The faithless column and the crumbling bust; Huge moles, whose shadow stretch'd from shore
to shore, Their ruins perish’d, and their place no more : Convinc'd, she now contracts her vast design, And all her triumphs shrink into a Coin. A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps, Beneath her palm here sad Judea weeps. Now scantier limits the proud arch confine, And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile, or Rhine; A small Euphrates through the piece is rollid, And little Eagles wave their wings in gold.
The Medal, faithful to its charge of fame, Through climes and ages bears each form and name: In one short view subjected to our eye, Gods, emp’rors, heroes, sages, beauties, lie. With sharpen'd sight pale Antiquaries pore, Th'inscription value, but the rust adore. This the blue varnish, that the green endears, The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years ! To gain Pescennius one employs his schemes, One grasps a Cecrops in extatic dreams Poor Vadius long with learned spleen devour'd Can taste no pleasure since his shield was scour'd; And Curio, restless by the fair-one's side, Sighs for an Otho, and neglects his bride.