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With annual joy the reddening shoots to greet,
Or see the stretching branches long to meet!
His son's fine taste an opener vista loves,
Foe to the Dryads of his father's groves!
One boundless green, or flourish'd carpet views,
With all the mournful family of yews:
The thriving plants, ignoble broomsticks made,
Now sweep those alleys they were born to shade.
At Timon's villa let us pass a day,
Where all cry out, What sums are thrown away!'
So proud, so grand: of that stupendous air,
Soft and agreeable come never there.
Greatness, with Timon, dwells in such a drought
As brings all Brobdignag before your thought.
To compass this, his building is a town,
His pond an ocean, his parterre a down:
Who but must laugh, the master when he sees,
A puny insect, shivering at a breeze!
Lo, what huge heaps of littleness around!
The whole a labour'd quarry above ground.
Two Cupids squirt before: a lake behind
Improves the keenness of the northern wind.
His gardens next your admiration call,
On every side you look, behold the wall!
No pleasing intricacies intervene,
No artful wildness to perplex the scene;
Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,
And half the platform just reflects the other.
The suffering eye inverted nature sees,
Trees cut to statues, statues thick as trees;
With here a fountain, never to be play'd,
And there a summer-house that knows no shade;
Here Amphitrite sails through myrtle bowers;
There gladiators fight, or die in flowers;
Unwater'd see the drooping sea-horse mourn,
And swallows roost in Nilus' dusty urn.
My lord advances with majestic mien,
Smit with the mighty pleasure to be seen:
But soft-by regular approach-not yet-
First through the length of yon hot terrace sweat:
And when up ten steep slopes you've dragg'd your
Just at his study-door he'll bless your eyes.
His study with what authors is it stored?
In books, not authors, curious is my lord;
To all their dated backs he turns you round;
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.
And now the chapel's silver bell you hear,
That summons you to all the pride of
Light quirks of music, broken and uneven,
Make the soul dance upon a jig to heaven.
On painted ceilings you devoutly stare,
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.
But, hark! the chiming clocks to dinner call;
A hundred footsteps scrape the marble hall:
The rich buffet well-colour'd serpents grace,
And gaping Tritons spew to wash your face.
Is this a dinner? this a genial room?
No; 'tis 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. 160
Between each act the trembling salvers ring,
From soup to sweet wine, and God bless the King."
In plenty starving, tantalized in state:
And complaisantly help'd to all I hate;
Treated, caress'd, and tir'd, I take my leave,
Sick of his civil pride from morn to eve;
I curse such lavish cost and little skill,
And swear no day was ever pass'd so ill.
Yet hence the poor are clothed, the hungry fed;
Health to himself, and to his infants bread,
The labourer bears; what his hard heart denies,
His charitable vanity supplies.
Another age shall see the golden ear Imbrown the slope, and nod on the parterre,
Deep harvests bury all his pride has plann'd,
And laughing Ceres re-assume the land.
Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil? Who plants like Bathurst, or who builds like Boyle. "Tis use alone that sanctifies expense,
And splendour borrows all her rays from sense. 180
His father's acres who enjoys in peace,
Or makes his neighbours 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 ashamed to feed
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.
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
(Proud to accomplish what such hands design'd),
Bid harbours open, public ways extend,
Bid temples worthier of the God ascend;
Bid the broad arch the dangerous flood contain,
The mole projected break the roaring main;
Back to his bounds their subject sea command,
And roll obedient rivers through the land:
These honours peace to happy Britain brings;
These are imperial works, and worthy kings.
TO MR. ADDISON.
Occasioned by his Dialogues on Medals.
This was originally written in the year 1715, when Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of medals; it was some time before he was secretary of state; but not published till Mr. Tickell's edition of his works; at which time his verses on Mr Craggs, which conclude the poem, were added, vis. in 1720.
As the third Epistle treated of the extremes of avarice and profusion; and the fourth took up one particular branch of the latter, namely, the vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality, and was therefore a corollary to the third; so this treats of one circumstance of that vanity, as it appears in the common collectors of old coins; and is, therefore, a corollary to the fourth.
SEE 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 raised on nations spoil'd,
Where, mix'd with slaves, the groaning martyr toil'd:
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 mouldering age,
Some hostile fury, some religious rage:
Barbarian blindness, Christian zeal conspire,
And Papal piety, and Gothic fire.
Perhaps, by its own ruin saved from flame,
Some buried marble half preserves a name;
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 shadows stretch'd from shore to
Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more! [shore,
Convinced, 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 roll'd,
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, emperors, 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 ecstatic 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.
Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine :
Touch'd by thy hand, again Rome's glories shine;
Her gods and godlike heroes rise to view,
And all her faded garlands bloom anew.
Nor blush these studies thy regard engage:
These pleased the fathers of poetic rage:
The verse and sculpture bore an equal part,
And art reflected images to art.
Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame?
In living medals see her wars enroll'd,
And vanquish'd realms supply recording gold?
Here, rising bold, the patriot's honest face;
There, warriors frowning in historic brass;
Then future ages with delight shall see
How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agree;
Or in fair series laurell'd bards be shewn,
A Virgil there, and here an Addison.
Then shall thy Craggs (and let me call him mine)
On the cast ore, another Pollio, shine;
With aspect open shall erect his head,
And round the orb in lasting notes be read,-
"Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere,
In action faithful, and in honour clear:
Who broke no promise, served no private end,
Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend;
Ennobled by himself, by all approved,
And praised, unenvied, by the muse he loved.