« PreviousContinue »
JOHN Philips, an English poet, was the son of His didactic poem on Cider, published in 1706, in Dr. Stephen Philips, archdeacon of Salop. He was considered as his principal performance, and is that born at Bampton, in Oxfordshire, in 1676, and re- with which his name is chiefly associated. It beceived his classical education at Winchester school. came popular, and raised him to eminence among He was removed to Christ-Church college, in Ox- the poets of his age and class. This, and his ford, in 1694, where he fully maintained the dis- " Splendid Shilling," are the pieces by which he tinction he had already acquired at school, and ob- will chiefly deserve to be remembered. Philips tained the esteem of several eminent literary char- died of a pulmonary affection, in February 1708,
In 1703 he made himself known by his at his mother's house in Hereford, greatly regretted poem of “The Splendid Shilling," a pleasant bur- by his friends, to whom he was endeared by the lesque, in which he happily imitated the style of modesty, kindness, and blamelessness of his charac. Milton. The reputation he acquired by this piece ter. Besides a tablet, with a Latin inscription, caused him to be selected by the leaders of the in Hereford cathedral, he was honored with a monuTory party to celebrate the victory of Blenheim, ment in Westminster Abbey, erected by Lord in competition with Addison, an attempt wlich, Chancellor Harcourt, with a long and classical however, seems to have added little to his fame. epitaph, composed by Atterbury.
THE SPLENDID SHILLING.
Sing, heavenly Muse! Things unattempted yet, in prose or rhyme," A shilling, breeches, and chimeras dire.
Happy the man, who, void of cares and strife,
Regale chill'd fingers: or from tube as black
As winter-chimney, or well-polish'd jel,
Not blacker tube, nor of a shorter size,
High over-shadowing rides, with a design
Thus while my joyless minutes tedious flow,
Of wood-hole ; straight my bristling hairs erect
* Two noted alehouses in Oxford, 1700.
My shuddering limbs, and (wonderful to tell!) Nor taste the fruits that the Sun's genial rays
Mature, john-apple, nor the downy peach,
Nor walnut in rough-furrow'd coat secure,
My galligaskins, that have long withstood
The winter's fury, and encroaching frosts,
By time subdued (what will not time subdue !)
An horrid chasm disclos'd with orifice
Eurus and Auster, and the dreadful force
Of Boreas, that congeals the Cronian waves,
Portending agues. Thus a well-fraught ship.
Long sail'd secure, or through th' Ægean deep,
Or the Ionian, till cruising near
The Lilybean shore, with hideous crush
She strikes rebounding; whence the shatter'd oak,
Admits the sea: in at the gaping side
The crowding waves gush with impetuous rage,
The mariners; Death in their eyes appears,
They stare, they lave, they pump, they swear, they
The ship sinks foundering in the vast abyss.
A POEM, IN TWO BOOKS.
Honos erit huic quoque Pomo? Virg.
Thy gift, Pomona, in Miltonian verse
Invites me, and the theme as yet unsung.
Ye Ariconian knights, and fairest dames,
To whom propitious Heaven these blessings grants,
Attend my lays, nor hence disdain to learn,
And thou, O Mostyn, whose benevolence,
And candor, oft experienc'd, me vouchsat'd
Is moulder'd into dust, and I become
With fruitage, and a kindly harvest yield,
Be this his first concern, to find a tract
Impervious to the winds, begirt with hills
Tempestuous, and cold Eurus' nipping force,
Noxious to feeble buds : but to the west
Let him free entrance grant, let zephyrs bland
Nought fear he from the west, whose gentle warmth
Discloses well the Earth's all-teeming womb,
Hesperian fruits, and wasts their odors sweet
To deck this rise with fruits of various tastes. Wide through the air, and distant shores perfumes. Fail not by frequent vows t'implore success ; Nor only do the hills exclude the winds:
Thus piteous Heaven may fix the wandering glebs But, when the blackening clouds in sprinkling But if (for Nature doth not share alike showers
Her gifts) an happy soil should be withheld ;
Next let the planter, with discretion meet, Beneath thy toil; the sturdy pear-tree here
Pierce the obstructing grit, and restive marle. Without this necessary care, in vain
Thus nought is useless made; nor is there land, He hopes an apple-vintage, and invokes.
But what, or of itself, or else compellid, Pomona's aid in vain. The miry fields,
Affords advantage. On the barren heath Rejoicing in rich mould, most ample fruit
The shepherd tends his flock, that daily crop Of beauteous form produce; pleasing to sight, Their verdant dinner from the mossy turf, But to the tongue inelegant and flat.
Sufficient; after them the cackling goose, So Nature has decreed; so oft we see
Close-grazier, finds wherewith to ease her want. Men passing fair, in outward lineaments
What should I more ? Ev'n on the cliffy height Elaborate ; less, inwardly, exact.
Of Penmenmaur, and that cloud-piercing hill, Nor from the sable ground expect success,
Plinlimmon, from afar the traveller kens Nor from cretaceous, stubborn and jejune :
Astonishid, how the goats their shrubby browse The Must, of pallid hue, declares the soil
Gnaw pendent; nor untrembling canst thou see, Devoid of spirit ; wretched he, that quaffs How from a scraggy rock, whose prominence Such wheyish liquors; oft with colic pangs,
Half overshades the ocean, hardy men,
Of pamper'd luxury. Then, let thy ground
Refuse to thrive, yet who would doubt to plant For apples : thence thy industry shall gain Somewhat, that may to human use redound, Ten-fold reward : thy garners, thence with store And penury, the worst of ills, remove? Surcharg'd, shall burst; thy press with purest juice There are, who, fondly studious of increase, Shall flow, which, in revolving years, may try
Rich foreign mould on their ill-natur'd land Thy feeble feet, and bind thy faltering tongue.
Induce laborious, and with fattening muck Such is the Kent-church, such Dantzeyan ground, Besmear the roots; in vain! the nursling grove Such thine, O learned Broome, and Capel such, Seems fair awhile, cherish'd with foster earth ; Willisian Burlton, much-lov'd Geers his Marsh, But when the alien compost is exhaust, And Sutton-acres, drench'd with regal blood Its native poverty again prevails. Of Ethelbert, when to th' unhallow'd feast
Though this art fails, despond not ; little pains, Of Mercian Offa he invited came,
In a due hour employ'd, great profit yield. To treat of spousals : long connubial joys
Th’industrious, when the Sun in Leo rides, He promisd to himself, allur'd by fair
And darts his sultriest beams, portending drought, Elfrida's beauty: but, deluded, died
Forgets not at the foot of every plant
Exhausted sap recruiting; else false hopes
Th’autumnal season, but, in summer's pride,
To grots, and caves, and the cool umbrage seek
Still streaming fresh revisit, to allay
Or blast septentrional with brushing wings kept moving for three days together, carrying with it sheep in their cotes, hedgerows and trees, and in its pas: Sweep up the smoky mists, and vapors damp, sage overthrew Kinnaston Chapple, and turned two high. Then woe to mortals! Titan then exerts ways near an hundred yards from their former position. His heat intense, and on our vitals preys ; The ground thus moved was about twenty-six acres, Then maladies of various kinds and names which opened itself, and carried the earth before it for Unknown, malignant fevers, and that foe four hundred yards' space, leaving that which was pasture To blooming beauty, which imprints the face in the place of the tillage, and the tillage overspread of fairest nymph, and checks our growing love with pasture. Sce Speed's Account of Herefordshire, Reign far and near; grim Death in different shapes page 49, and Camden's Britannia.
Depopulates the nations ; thousands fall
His victims; youths, and virgins, in their flower, Supplants their footsteps : to, and fro, they reel Reluctant die, and sighing leave their loves Astonish'd, as o'ercharg'd with wine ; when lo! Unfinish’d, by infectious Heaven destroy'd. The ground adust her riven mouth disparts,
Such heats prevail'd, when fair Eliza, last" Horrible chast'; profound! with swift descent Of Winchcomb's name (next thee in blood and Old Ariconium sinks, and all her tribes, worth,
Heroes, and senators, down to the realms O fairest St. John!) left this toilsome world' Of endless night. Meanwhile, the loosen'd winds, In beanty's prime, and sadden'd all the year: Infuriate, molten rocks and flaming globes Nor could her virtues, nor repeated vows
Hurld high above the clouds ; till, all their force Of thousand lovers, the relentless hand
Consum'd, her ravenous jaws th’ Earth satiate clos'd Of Death arrest: she' with the vulgar fell,
Thus this fair city fell, of which the name Only distinguish'd by this humble verse.
Survives alone ; nor is there found a mark, But if it please the Sun's intemperate force Whereby the curious passenger may learn To know, attend; whilst I of ancient fame Her ample site, save coins, and mouldering urns, The annals trace, and image to thy mind,
And huge unwieldy bones, lasting remains How our forefathers, (luckless men!) ingulft Of that gigantic ráce; which, as he breaks By the wide-yawning Earth, to Stygian shades The clotted glebe, the plowman haply finds, Went quick, in one sad sepulchre inclos'd. Appall’d. Upon that treacherous tract of land, In elder days, ere yet the Roman bands
She whilom stood ; now Ceres, in her prime, Victorious, this our other world subdued,
Smiles fertile, and with ruddiest freight bedeck'd, A spacious city stood, with firmest 'walls"
The apple-tree, by our forefathers' blood
Urging her destin'd labors to pursue.
The prudent will observe, what passions reign Fam'd Ariconium : uncontrollid and free,
In various plants (for not to Man alone, Till all-subduing Latian arms prevailid.
But all the wide creation, Nature gave Then also, though to foreign yoke submiss,
Love, and aversion :) everlasting hate She undemolish'd stood, and ev'n till now
The Vinó to Ivy bears, nor less abhors Perhaps had stood, of ancient British art
The Colewort's rankness; but with amorous twine d pleasing monument, not less admir'd
Clasps the tall Elm: the Pæstan Rosé unfolds
Her bud more lovely, near the fetid Leek,
Caresses freely the contiguous Peach,
Hazel, and weight-resisting Palm, and likes The bastion of a well-built city, deem'd
T' approach the Quince, and the Elder's pithy stem ; Impregnable: th' infernal winds, till now
Uneasy, seated by funereal Yew, Closely imprison'd, by Titanian warmth
Or Walnut, (whose malignant touch impairs Dilating, and with unctuous vapors fed,
All generous fruits,) or near the bitter dews Disdain'd their narrow cells; and, their full strength of Cherries. Therefore weigh the habits well Collecting, from beneath the solid mass
Of plants, how they associate best, nor let Upheav'd, and all her castles rooted deep
Ill neighborhood corrupt thy hopeful graffs Shook from their lowest seat: old Vaga's stream, Wouldst thou thy vats with gen'rous juice should Forc'd by the sudden shock, her wonted track
froth ? Forsook, and drew her humid train aslope, Respect thy orchats; think not, that the trees Crankling her banks : and now the lowering sky, Spontaneous will produce an wholesome draught. And baleful lightning, and the thunder, voice Let Art correct thy breed : from parent bough Of angry gods, that rattled solemn, dismay'd A cion meetly sever: after, force The sinking hearts of men. Where should they turn A way into the crabstock's close-wrought grain Distress'd? whence seek for aid ? when from below By wedges, and within the living wound Hell threatens, and even Fate supreme gives signs Inclose the foster twig; nor over-nice Of wrath and Jesolation : vain were vows, Refuse with thy own hands around to spread And plaints, and suppliant hands to Heaven erect! The binding clay: ere-long their differing veins Yet some to fanes repair'd, and humble rites Unite, and kindly nourishment convey Perform'd to Thor, and Woden, fabled gods, To the new papil ; now he shoots his arms Who with their votaries in one ruin shard,
With quickest growth; now shake the teeming trunk Crush'd, and o'erwhelm'd. Others in frantic mood Down rain th' empurpled balls, ambrosial fruit. Run howling through the streets; their hideous yells Whether the Wilding's fibres are contriv'd Rend the dark welkin; Horror stalks around, To draw th' earth's purest spirit, and resist Wild-staring, and, his sad concomitant,
Its feculence, which in more porous stocks Despair, of abject look : at every gate
Of cider-plants finds passage free, or else The thronging populace with hasty strides
The native verjuice of the Crab, deriv'd Press furious, and, too eager of escape,
Through th' infix'd graff, a grateful mixture forms Obstruct the easy way; the mcking lown
Of tart and sweet; whatever be the cause,
This doubtful progeny by nicest tastes
Be unassay'd ; prevent the morning-star Expected best acceptance finds, and pays
Assiduous, nor with the western Sun Largest revenues to the orchat-lord.
Surcease to work ; lo! thoughtful of thy gain,
Consume in meditation deep, recluse
Thee I may counsel right; and oft this care
To lie supinely, hoping Heaven will bless Conjoin with others. So Silurian plants
Thy slighted fruits, and give thee bread unearn d ? Admit the Peach's odoriferous globe,
"Twill profit, when the stork, sworn foe of snakes, And Pears of sundry forms; at different times Returns, to show compassion to thy plants, Adopted Plums will alien branches grace;
Fatigu'd with breeding. Let the arched knife And men have gather'd from the Hawthorn's branch Well sharpen'd now assail the spreading shades Large Medlars, imitating regal crowns.
Of vegetables, and their thirsty limbs Nor is it hard to beautify each month
Dissever : for the genial moisture, due With files of party-color'd fruits, that please To apples, otherwise misspends itself The tongue, and view, at once. So Maro's Muse, In barren twigs, and for th' expected crop, Thrice-sacred Muse! commodious precepts gives Nought but vain shoots, and empty leaves, abound. Instructive to the swains, not wholly bent
When swelling buds their odorous foliage shed, On what is gainful: sometimes she diverts
And gently harden into fruit, the wise
Redundant; but the thronging clusters thin
A slender autumn; which the niggard soul
Let sage Experience teach thee all the arts Of gardening, how to scare nocturnal thieves, Of grafting and in-eyeing; when to lop
And how the little race of birds that hop The flowing branches; what trees answer best From spray to spray, scooping the costliest fruit From root, or kernel : she will best the hours Insatiate, undisturb'd. Priapus' form Of harvest, and seed-time, declare ; by her
Avails but little ; rather guard each row The different qualities of things were found, With the false terrors of a breathless kite. And secret motions ; how with heavy bulk This done, the timorous flock with swiftest wing Volatile Hermes, fluid and unmoist,
Scud through the air ; their fancy represents Mounts on the wings of air; to her we owe
His mortal talons, and his ravenous beak
Besides, the filthy swine will oft invade
Halloo thy furious mastiff, bid him vex
A sad memorial of their past offence.
The flagrant Procyon will not fail to bring She found the polish'd glass, whose small convex Large shoals of slow house-bearing snails, that creep Enlarges to ten millions of degrees
O'er the ripe fruitage, paring slimy tracts
In the sleek rinds, and unprest Cider drink.
With morning and with evening hand to rid
Decline this labor, which itself rewards Of Nature wouldst thou know? how first she frames With pleasing gain, whilst the warm limbec draus All things in miniature? Thy specular orb
Salubrious waters from the nocent brood. Apply to well-dissected kernels; lo !
Myriads of wasps now also clustering hang, Strange forms arise, in each
And drain a spurious honey from thy groves, Unfolds its boughs: observe the slender threads Their winter food; though oft repuls'd, again Of first beginning trees, their roots, their leaves, They rally, undismay'd; but fraud with ease In narrow seeds describ'd; thou 'lt wondering say,
Ensnares the noisome swarms ; let every bouglı An inmate orchat every apple boasts.
Bear frequent vials, pregnant with the dregs Thus all things by experience are display'd, Of Moyle, or Mum, or Treacle's viscous juice; And most improv'd. Then sedulously think They, by th' alluring odor drawn, in haste To meliorate thy stock; no way, or rule,
Fly to the dulcet cates, and crowding sip
Their palatable bane; joyful thou 'lt see * Tobacco
The clammv surface all o'erstrown with tribes