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Good sense in sacred worship would appear,
So to begin, as they might end the year.
Such feats in former times had wrought the falls
Of crowing chanticleers in cloister'd walls.
Expellid for this, and for their lands, they fled;
And sister Partlet with her hooded head*
Was hooted hence because she would not pray a-bed
The way to win the restiff world to God,
Was to lay by the disciplining rod,
Unnatural fasts, and foreign forms of prayer :
Religion frights us with a mien severe.
'T is prudence to reform her into ease,
And put her in undress, to make her please.
A lively faith will bear aloft the mind,
And leave the luggage of good works behind. “ A cruise of water and an ear of corn.”—The ideal monastic regimen! very different from that of monks in general.
= “ The bird that warn’d St. Peter of his fall.”—This verse is from Spenser :
“The bird that warnèd Peter of his fall."
Spenser, whom chance had put on the side of the Puritans (for no man would naturally have been more for a gorgeous creed than he), not unwillingly omitted the title of Saint to Peter. The Catholic Dryden as willingly availed himself of the abbreviated past tense to restore it. The reader may remember Sir Roger de Coverley's perplexity at the successive rebukes he received, when a little boy, from a Catholic for asking his way to “ Mary. bone,” and from a Puritan for restoring the saint her title.
• " Beast of a bird.”—What a happy anomaly, and vigor of alliteration! How well it comes, too, after the fond pathos of the luxury of the line before it!
John Philips was a young and lively writer, who, having suc. ceeded in a burlesque, was unfortunately induced to attempt serious poetry, and devoted himself to it with a scholarly dulness which he would probably have seen the folly of in any one else. His serious imitations of Milton are not worth a penny ; but his burlesque of the style of Paradise Lost, though it no longer possesses the novelty which made it popular, is still welcome to the lover of wit. The low every-day circumstances, and the lofty classic manner with its nomenclatures, are happily interwoven; the more trivial words are brought in with unlooked-for effect; the motto is particularly felicitous; and the comparison of the rent in the small-clothes with the ship that has sprung a leak at sea, and founders, concludes the poem with a tremendous and calamitous grandeur, only to be equalled by the exclamation of the Spaniard; who said he had torn his “ breeches, as if heaven and earth had come together.”
“Sing, heavenly muse, Things unattempled yet in prose or rhyme;" A shilling, breeches, and chimeras dire.
Happy the man, who, void of cares and strife,
In silken or in leathern purse retains
A Splendid Shilling: he nor hears with pain
New oysters cry'd, nor sighs for cheerful ale;
But with his friends, when nightly mists arise,
To Juniper's Magpye, or Town-hall repairs ;
Where, mindful of the nymph, whose wanton eyo
Transfix'd his soul, and kindled amorous flames,
Chloe or Phyllis, he each circling glass
Wisheth her health, and joy, and equal love.
Meanwhile, he smokes, and laughs at merry tale,
Or pun ambiguous or conundrum quaint.
But I, whom griping penury surrounds,
And hunger, sure attendant upon want,
With scanty offals, and small acid tij
(Wretched repast :) my meagre corpse sustain :
Then solitary walk, or doze at home
In garret vile, and with a warming puff
Regale chill'd fingers ; or from tube as black
As winter-chimney, or well polish'd jet,
Exhale mundungus, ill-perfuming scent.
Not blacker tube, nor of a shorter size,
Smokes Cambro-Briton (vers’d in pedigree,
Sprung from Cadwallador and Arthur, kings
Full famous in romantic tale) when he
O'er many a craggy hill and barren cliff,
Upon a cargo of fam'd Cestrian cheese,
High over-shadowing rides, with a design
To wend his wares at the Arvonian mart,
Or Maridunum, or the ancient town
Yclep'd Brechinia, or where Vaga's stream
Encircles Ariconium, fruitful soil !
Whence flow nectareous wines, that well may vie
With Massic, Setin, or renown'd Falern.
Thus, while my joyless minutes tedious flow,
With looks demure, and silent pace, a Dun,
Horrible monster! hated by gods and men,
To my aërial citadel ascends.*
With vocal heel thrice thundering at my gate,
With hideous accent thrice he calls ; I know
The voice ill-boding, and the solemn sound,
What should I do? or whither turn? Amaz'd,
Confounded, to the dark recess I fly
Of wood-hole ; straight my bristling hairs erect
Through sudden fear; a chilly sweat bedews
My shuddering limbs, and (wonderful to tell!)
My tongue forgets her faculty of speech;
So horrible he seems! His faded brow
Entrench'd with many a frown, and conic beard,
And spreading band, admir'd by modern saints,
Disastrous acts forebode ; in his right hand
Long scrolls of paper solemnly he waves,
With characters and figures dire inscribid,
Grievous to mortal eyes (ye gods avert
Such plagues from righteous men !) Behind him stalks
Another monster, not unlike itself,
Sullen of aspect, by the vulgar callid
A Catchpole, whose polluted hands the gods
With force incredible, and magic charms,
First have endued : if he his ample palm
Should haply on ill-fated shoulder lay
of debtor, straight his body to the touch
Obsequious (as whilom knights were wont)
To some enchanted castle is convey'd,
Where gates impregnable, and coercive chains,
In durance strict detain him, till, in form
Of money, Pallas sets the captive free.
Beware, ye debtors ! when ye walk, beware,
Be circumspect; oft with insidious ken
The caitiff eyes your steps aloof, and oft
Lies perdue in a nook or gloomy cave,
Prompt to enchant some inadvertent wretch
With his unhallow'd touch. So (poets sing)
Grimalkin to domestic vermin sworn
An everlasting foe, with watchful eye
Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky gap,
Portending her fell claws, to thoughtless mice
Sure ruin. So her disembowell’d web
Arachne, in a hall or kitchen, spreads
Obvious to vagrant flies : she secret stands
Within her woven cell; the humming prey,
Regardless of their fate, rush on the toils
Inextricable, nor will aught avail
Their arts, or arms, or shapes of lovely hue.
The wasp insidious, and the buzzing drone,
And butterfly proud of expanded wings
Distinct with gold, entangled in her snares,
Useless resistance make; with eager strides,
She towering flies to her expected spoils :
Then with envenom'd jaws the vital blood
Drinks of reluctant foes, and to her cave
Their bulky carcasses triumphant drags.
So pass my days., But when nocturnal shades
This world envelope, and th' inclement air
Persuades men to repel benumbing frosts
With pleasant wines, and crackling blaze of wood
Me, lonely sitting, nor the glimmering light
Of make-weight candle, nor the joyous talk
Of loving friend, delights; distress'd, forlorn,
Amidst the horrors of the tedious night,
Darkling I sigh, and feed with dismal thoughts
My anxious mind; or sometimes mournful verse
Indite, and sing of groves and myrtle shades,
Or desperate lady near a purling stream,
Or lover pendent on a willow-tree.
Meanwhile I labor with eternal drought,
And restless wish, and rave; my parched throat
Finds no relief, nor heavy eyes repose :
But if a slumber haply does invade
My weary limbs, my fancy, still awake,
Thoughtful of drink, and eager, in a dream,
Tipples imaginary pots of ale;
In vain ;-awake I find the settled thirst
Still gnawing, and the pleasant phantom curse.
Thus do I live, from pleasure quite debarr'd,
Nor taste the fruits that the sun's genial rays
Mature, john-apple, nor the downy peach,
Nor walnut in rough-furrowed coat secure,
Nor medlar fruit delicious in decay;
Afflictions great! yet greater still remain.
My galligaskins, that have long withstood
The winter's fury and encroaching frosts,
By time subdued (what will not time subdue)
An horrid chasm disclose with orifice
Wide, discontinuous ; at which the winds
Eurus and Auster and the dreadful force
Of Boreas, that congeals the Cronian waves,
Tumultuous enter with dire chilling blasts,
Portending agues. Thus a well-fraught ship,
Long sails secure, or through the Ægean deep,
Or the Ionian, till cruising near
The Lilybean shore, with hideous crush
On Scylla or Charybdis (dangerous rocks)
She strikes rebounding; whence the shatter'd oak,
So fierce a shock unable to withstand,
Admits the sea. In at the gaping side
The crowding waves gush with impetuous rage,