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So very like a painter drew,
Sat proudly perking on a rose, That every eye the picture knew;
With pert conceit his bosom glows; He hit complexion, feature, air,
His wings (all glorious to behold) So just, the life itself was there.
Bedropt with azure, jet, and gold, No flattery, with his colours laid,
Wide he displays; the spangled dew To bloom restor'd the faded maid;
Reflects his eyes and various hue. He gave each muscle all its strength;
His now-forgotten friend a snail, The mouth, the chin, the nose's length;
Beneath his house, with slimy trail, His honest pencil touch'd with truth,
Crawls o'er the grass; whom when he spies, And mark'd the date of age and youth.
In wrath he to the gardener cries: He lost his friends, his practice fail'd ;
“ What means yon peasant's daily toil, Truth should not always be reveal’d:
From choking weeds to rid the soil ? In dusty piles his pictures lay,
Why wake you to the morning's care ? For no one sent the second pay.
Why with new arts correct the year? Two bustos, fraught with every grace,
Why grows the peach with crimson hue? A Venus' and Apollo's face,
And why the plum's inviting blue? He plac'd in view ; resolv'd to please,
Were they to feast his taste design'd, Whoever sat he drew from these ;
That vermin of voracious kind! From these corrected every feature,
Crush then the slow, the pilfering race, And spirited each aukward creature.
So purge thy garden from disgrace.” All things were set; the hour was come,
“ What arrogance !” the snail reply'd; His pallet ready o'er his thumb.
“ How insolent is upstart pride! My lord appear’d; and seated right,
Hadst thou not thus, with insult vain, In proper attitude and light,
Provok'd my patience to complain, The painter look’d, he sketch'd the piece,
I had conceal'd thy meaner birth, Then dipt his pencil, talk'd of Greece,
Nor trac'd thee to the scum of earth: Of Titian's tints, of Guido's air:
For scarce nine suns have wak'd the hours, * Those eyes, my lord, the spirit there,
To swell the fruit, and paint the flowers, Might well a Raphael's hand require,
Since I thy humbler life survey'd, To give them all the native fire;
In base, in sordid guise array'd; The features, fraught with sense and wit,
A hideous insect, vile, unclean, You'll grant, are very hard to hit;
You dragg'd a slow and noisome train ; But yet with patience you shall view
And from your spider bowels drew As much as paint and art can do."
Foul film, and spun the dirty clue. Observe the work. My lord replied,
I own my humble life, good friend; “ Till now I thought my mouth was wide ;
Snail was I born, and snail shall end. Besides, my nose is somewhat long:
And what's a butterfly? at best Dear sir, for me, 'tis far too young."
He's but a caterpillar drest; “ Oh! pardon me,” the artist cry'd;
And all thy race (a numerous seed) “ In this we painters must decide.
Shall prove of caterpillar breed.”
A fox, in life's extreme decay,
Weak, sick, and faint, expiring lay : A lady came; with borrow'd grace
All appetite had left his maw, He from his Venus form'd her face.
And age disarm’d his mumbling jaw. Her lover prais'd the painter's art;
His numerous race around him stand, So like the picture in his heart!
To learn their dying sire's command : To every age some charm he lent;
He rais'd his head with whining moan, Ev'n beauties were almost content.
And thus was heard the feeble tone: Through all the town his art they prais'd ;
“ Ah! sons! from evil ways depart; His custom grew, his price was rais'd.
My crimes lie heavy on my heart. Had be the real likeness shown,
See, see, the murder'd geese appear! Would any man the picture own?
Why are those bleeding turkeys there? But, when thus happily he wrought,
Why all around this cackling train, Each found the likeness in his thought.
Who haunt my ears for chickens slain ?"
The hungry foxes round them star'd,
And for the promis'd feast prepar'd.
“ Where, sir, is all this dainty cheer? Remind us of their vulgar race.
Nor turkey, goose, nor hen, is here. As in the sunshine of the morn
These are the phantoms of your brain; A butterfly (but newly born)
And your sons lick their lips in vain.".
THE FOX AT THE POINT OF DEATH,
THE TWO MONKIES.
“ Ogluttons !" says the drooping sire,
Insult not thus the meek and low ; “ Restrain inordinate desire.
In me thy benefactor know; Your liquorish taste you shall deplore,
My warm assistance gave thee birth, When peace of conscience is no more.
Or thou hadst perish'd low in earth ; Does not the hound betray our pace,
But upstarts, to support their station,
Cancel at once all obligation.”
The learned, full of inward pride,
The fops of outward show deride; Would you true happiness attain,
The fop, with learning at defiance, Let honesty your passions rein;
Scoffs at the pedant and the science: So live in credit and esteem,
The Don, a formal solemn strutter, And the good name you lost redeem.”
Despises Monsieur's airs and flutter; “ The counsel's good," a fox replies,
While Monsieur mocks the formal fool, “ Could we perform what you
Who looks, and speaks, and walks, by rule. Think what our ancestors have done ;
Britain, a medley of the twain, A line of thieves from son to son.
As pert as France, as grave as Spain, To us descends the long disgrace,
In fancy wiser than the rest,
Laughs at them both, of both the jest.
Censur'd by all the sons of prose ?
While bards of quick imagination We shall be thought to share the feast.
Despise the sleepy prose narration. The change shall never be believ’d.
Men laugh at apes: they men contemn; A lost good name is ne'er retriev'd.”
For what are we but apes to them? “ Nay, then,” replies the feeble fox,
Two monkies went to Southwark fair, “ (But, lark! I hear a hen that clucks),
No critics had a sourer air ; Go; but be moderate in your food;
They forc'd their way through draggled folks, A chicken, too, might do me good.”
Who gap'd to catch Jack Pudding's jokes;
And got by chance the foremost row.
To see their grave observing face, From Temple-bar to Aldgate-street!
Provok'd a laugh through all the place. Proud rogues, who shared the South-sea prey,
“ Brother,” says Pug, and turu'd his head, And sprung like mushrooms in a day!
“ The rabble's monstrously ill-bred.” They think it mean to condescend
Now through the booth loud hisses ran, To know a brother or a friend ;
Nor ended till the show began. They blush to hear their mother's name,
The tumbler whirls the flip-flap round, And by their pride expose their shame.
With somersets he shakes the ground; As cross his yard, at early day,
The cord beneath the dancer springs; A careful farmer took his way,
Aloft in air the vaulter swings; He stopp'd ; and, leaning on his fork,
Distorted now, now prone depends, Observ'd the flail's incessant work.
Now through his twisted arm ascends. In thought he measur'd all his store,
The crowd, in wonder and delight, His geese, his hogs, he number'd o'er;
With clapping hands applaud the sight. In fancy weigh'd the fleeces shorn,
With smiles, quoth Pug, “ If pranks like these And multiply'd the next year's corn.
The giant apes of reason please, A barley-mow, which stood beside,
How would they wonder at our arts! Thus to its musing master cry'd :
They must adore us for our parts. “ Say, good sir, is it fit or right
High on the twig I've seen you cling, To treat me with neglect and slight?
Play, twist, and turn in airy ring; Me, who contribute to your cheer,
How can those clumsy things, like me, And raise your mirth with ale and beer?
Fly with a bound from tree to tree? Why thus insulted, thus disgrac'd,
But yet, by this applause, we find And that vile dunghill near me plac'd?
These emulators of our kind Are those poor sweepings of a groom,
Discern our worth, our parts regard, That filthy sight, that nauseous fume,
Who our mean mimics thus reward." Meet objects here ? Command it hence;
“ Brother," the grinning mate replies, A thing so mean must give offence.”
“ In this I grant that man is wise : The humble dunghill thus reply'd :
While good example they pursue, “ Thy master hears, and mocks thy pride:
We must allow some praise is due;
THE BARLEY-MOW AND THE DUNGHILL.
THE POET AND THE ROSE,
But, when they strain beyond their guide,
Comply'd with every thing, like Gay, I laugh to scorn the mimic pride;
Was known by all the bestial train For how fantastic is the sight,
Who haunt the wood or graze the plain ; To meet men always bolt upright,
Her care was never to offend; Because we sometimes walk on two!
And every creature was her friend.
As forth she went at early dawn,
Behind she hears the hunter's cries,
And from the deep-mouth'd thunder flies. On ruins of another's fame.
She starts, she stops, she pants for breath; Thus prudes, by characters o'erthrown,
She hears the near advance of death ; Imagine that they raise their own.
She doubles to mislead the hound, Thus scribblers, covetous of praise,
And measures back her mazy round; Think slander can transplant the bays.
Till, fainting in the public way, Beauties and bards have equal pride,
Half dead with fear she gasping lay. With both all rivals are decry’d.
What transport in her bosom grew, Who praises Lesbia's eyes and feature,
When first the horse appear’d in view! Must call her sister aukward creature ;
“ Let me," says she, “ your back ascend, For the kind flattery's sure to charm,
And owe my safety to a friend. When we some other nymph disarm.
You know my feet betray my flight; As in the cool of early day
To friendship every burden's light." A poet sought the sweets of May,
The horse reply'd,“ Poor honest puss, The garden's fragrant breath ascends,
It grieves my heart to see thee thus: And every stalk with odour bends ;
Be comforted, relief is near ; A rose he pluck’d, he gaz’d, admir’d,
For all your friends are in the rear." Thus singing, as the Muse inspir'd :
She next the stately bull implor'd; “ Go, rose, my Chloe's bosom grace;
And thus reply'd the mighty lord : How happy shall I prove,
“ Since every beast alive can tell Might I supply that envy'd place
That I sincerely wish you well, With never fading love!
I may, without offence, pretend There, phænix-like, beneath her eye,
To take the freedom of a friend. Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die.
Love calls me hence; a favourite cow Know, hapless flower! that thou shalt find
Expects me near yon barley-mow; More fragrant roses there !
And, when a lady's in the case, I see thy withering head reclin'd
You know, all other things give place. With envy and despair!
To leave you thus might seem unkind; One common fate we both must prove ;
But see, the goat is just behind.” You die with envy, I with love."
The goat remark'd“ her pulse was high, “ Spare your comparisons," reply'd
Her languid head, her heavy eye: An angry rose, who grew beside.
My back, says he, may do you harm; “ Of all mankind you should not flout us;
The sheep's at hand, and wool is warm." What can a poet do without us?
The sheep was feeble, and complain'd In every love-song roses bloom;
“ His sides a load of wool sustain'd;" We lend you colour and perfume.
Said, he was slow, confess'd his fears; Does it to Chloe's charms conduce,
“ For hounds eat sheep as well as hares." To found her praise on our abuse ?
She now the trotting calf address’d, Must we, to flatter her, be made
To save from death a friend distress'd. To wither, envy, pine, and fade ?"
“ Shall 1,” says he, “ of tender age, In this important care engage?
Older and abler pass'd you by ; Friendship, like love, is but a name,
How strong are those ! how weak am I; Unless to one you stint the flame.
Should I presume to bear you hence, The child, whom many fathers share,
Those friends of mine may take offence. Hath seldom known a father's care.
Excuse me, then ; you know my heart; 'Tis thus in friendships ; who depend
But dearest friends, alas! must part. On many, rarely find a friend.
How shall we all lament! Adieu ; A hare who, in a civil way,
For see the hounds are just in view."
THE RARE AND MANY FRIENDS.
BLAIR-A. D. 1700-46.
THE GRAVE. Whilst some affect the sun, and some the shade, Some fee the city, some the hermitage ; Their aims as various, as the roads they take In journeying through life ;-the task be mine To paint the gloomy horrors of the tomb; Th’ appointed place of rendezvous, where all These travellers meet.—Thy succours I implore, Eternal king! whose potent arm sustains [thing! The keys of hell and death.—The grave, dread Men shiver when thou'rt nam'd: Nature appallid, Shakes off her wonted firmness.-Ah! how dark Thy long-extended realms, and rueful wastes ! Where nought but silence reigns, and night, dark Dark as was chaos, ere the infant sun [night, Was rollid together, or had try'd his beams Athwart the gloom profound.—The sickly taper, By glimm'ring through thy low-brow'd misty vaults, Furr'd round with mouldy damps, and ropy slime, Lets fall a supernumerary horror, And only serves to make thy night more irksome. Well do I know thee by thy trusty yew, Cheerless, unsocial plant! that loves to dwell Midst skulls and coffins, epitaphs, and worms; Where light-heel'd ghosts, and visionary shades, Beneath the wan cold moon (as fame reports) Embody'd, thick, perform their mystic rounds. No other merriment, dull tree! is thine.
See yonder hallow'd fane !-the pious work Of names once fam’d, now dubious or forgot, And bury'd midst the wreck of
ngs which were; There lie interr'd the more illustrious dead. The wind is up: hark! how it howls ! Methinks Till now I never heard a sound so dreary: [bird, Doors creak, and windows clap, and night's foul Rook'd in the spire,screams loud : the gloomy aisles Black plaster'd, and hung round with shreds of
scutcheons And tatter'd coats of arms, send back the sound Laden with heavier airs, from the low vaults, The mansions of the dead.-Rous'd from their In grim array the grisly spectres rise, [slumbers, Grin horrible, and obstinately sullen Pass and repass, hush'd as the foot of night. Again the screech-owl shrieks: ungracious sound! I'll hear no more; it makes one's blood run chill.
Quite round the pile, a row of reverend elms, (Coeval near with that) all ragged show, Long lash'd by the rude winds: some rift half down Their branchless trunks; others so thin a-top, That scarce two crows could lodge in the same tree. Strange things, the neighbours say, have happen'd
Wild shrieks have issued from the hollow tombs: Dead men have come again, and walk'd about; And the great bell has toll’d, unrung, untouch'd. Such tales their cheer, at wake or gossiping, When it draws near to witching time of night.
Oft, in the lone church-yard at night I've seen, By glimpse of moonshine cheq‘ring through the The school-boy with his satchel in his hand, (trees, Whistling aloud to bear his courage up, And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones (With nettles skirted, and with moss o'ergrown) That tell in homely phrase who lie below. Sudden he starts! and hears, or thinks he hears, The sound of something purring at his heels; Full fast he flies, and dares not look behind him, Till out of breath he overtakes his fellows; Who gather round, and wonder at the tale Of horrid apparition, tall and ghastly, That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand O'er some new open'd grave; and (strange to tell!) Evanishes at crowing of the cock.
The new-made widow, too, I've sometimes spied, Sad sight! slow moving o'er the prostrate dead; Listless, she crawls along in doleful black, Whilst bursts of sorrow gush from either eye, Fast falling down her now untasted cheek. Prone on the lowly grave of the dear man She drops ; whilst busy meddling memory In barbarous succession musters up The past endearments of their softer hours, Tenacious of its theme. Still, still she thinks She sees him, and indulging the fond thought, Clings yet more closely to the senseless turf, Nor heeds the passenger who looks that way.
Invidious grave! how dost thou rend in sunder Whom love has knit, and sympathy made one! A tie more stubborn far than nature's band. Friendship! mysterious cement of the soul; Sweet'ner of life, and solder of society, I owe thee much. Thou hast deserv'd from me, Far, far beyond what I can ever pay. Oft have I prov'd the labours of thy love, And the warm efforts of the gentle heart, Anxious to please.—0! when my friend and I In some thick wood have wander'd heedless on, Hid from the vulgar eye, and sat us down Upon the sloping cowslip-cover'd bank, Where the pure limpid stream has slid along In grateful errors through the uuderwood Sweet murm'ring; methought the shrill-tongu'd
thrush Mended his song of love; the sooty blackbird Mellow'd his pipe, and soften'd every note:
The eglantine smell’d sweeter, and the rose
Of conquerors, and coronation-pomps, Assum'd a dye more deep, whilst ev'ry flower In glory scarce exceed. Great gluts of people Vied with its fellow plant in luxury
Retard th' unwieldy show; whilst from the caseOf dress.-Oh! then, the longest summer's day Seem'd too, too much in haste: still the full heart And houses' tops, ranks behind ranks close wedg'd Had not imparted half: 'twas happiness
Hang bellying o'er. But tell us, why this waste? Too exquisite to last. Of joys departed,
Why this ado in earthing up a carcass
Midst all the gorgeous figures you exhibit,
You make this mighty stir ?—'Tis wisely done: Branding our laughter with the name of madness. What would offend the eye in a good picture, Where are the jesters now? the man of health The painter casts discreetly into shades. Complexionally pleasant? where the droll,
Proud lineage, now how little thou appear’st! Whose ev'ry look and gesture was a joke
Below the envy of the private man! To clapping theatres and shouting crowds,
Honor, that meddlesome officious ill, And made ev’n thick-lip'd musing Melancholy
Pursues thee ev'n to death ; nor there stops short. To gather up her face into a smile
Strange persecution! when the grave itself Before she was aware? Ah! sullen now,
Is no protection from rude sufferance. And dumb as the green turf that covers them.
Absurd ! to think to over-reach the grave, Where are the mighty thunderbolts of war?
And from the wreck of names to rescue ours ! The Roman Cæsars, and the Grecian chiefs,
The best concerted schemes men lay for fame The boast of story? Where the hot-brain's youth Die fast away: only themselves die faster. Who the tiara at his pleasure tore
The far-fam'd sculptor, and the laurel’d bard, From kings of all the then discover'd globe ;
Those bold insurers of eternal fame, And cry'd, forsooth, because his arm was hamper’d, Supply their little feeble aids in vain. And had not room enough to do its work?
The tapering pyramid, the Egyptian's pride, Alas! how slim, dishonourably slim,
And wonder of the world! whose spiky top And cram'd into a space we blush to name!
Has wounded the thick cloud, and long outliv'd Proud royalty ! how alter'd in thy looks!
The angry shaking of the winter's storm; How blank thy features, and how wan thy hue! Yet spent at last by th' injuries of heav'n, Son of the morning! whither art thou gone?
Shatter'd with age, and furrow'd o'er with years, Where hast thou hid thy muny-spangled head,
The mystic cone with hieroglyphics crusted, And the majestic menace of thine eyes
Gives way. O lamentable sight! at once Felt from afar? Pliant and powerless now
The labor of whole ages lumbers down ; Like new-born infant bound up in bis swathes, A hideous and mis-shapen length of ruins. Or victim tumbled flat upon his back,
Sepulchral columns wrestle but in vain That throbs beneath the sacrificer's knife.
With all-subduing Time; his cankering hand Mute, must thou bear the strife of little tongues,
With calm deliberate malice wasteth them: And coward insults of the base-born crowd;
Worn on the edge of days, the brass consumes, That grudge a privilege thou never badst,
The busto moulders, and the deep cut marble, But only hop'd for in the peaceful grave,
Unsteady to the steel, gives up its charge. Of being unmolested and alone.
Ambition, half convicted of her folly, Arabia's gums and odoriferous drugs,
Hangs down the head and reddens at the tale. And honours by the herald duly paid
Here all the mighty troublers of the earth, In mode and form, ev'n to a very scruple ;
Who swam to sov'reign rule thro' seas of blood; Oh cruel irony! these come too late;
The oppressive, sturdy man-destroying villains, And only mock, whom they were meant to honour. Who ravay'd kingdoms, and laid empires waste, Surely there's not a dungeon-slave that's bury'd
And in a cruel wantonness of power
To want the rest; now, like a storm that's spent, Sorry pre-eminence of high descent,
Lie hush'd, and meanly sneak behind thy covert. Above the baser-born, to rot in state.
Vain thought! to hide them from the general scorn But see! the well-plum'd herse comes nodding on, That haunts and dogs them like an injur'd ghost Stately and slow; and properly attended
Implacable. Here too the petty tyrant, By the whole sable tribe, that painful watch Whose scant domains geographer ne'er notic'd, The sick man's door, and live upon the dead, And, well for neighb'ring grounds, of arm as short, By letting out their persons by the hour,
Who fix'd his iron talons on the poor, To mimic sorrow, when the heart's not sad.
And grip'd them like some lordly beast of prey, How rich the trappings! how they're all unfurl’d, Deaf 10 the forceful cries of gnawing hunger, And glittering in the sun; triumphant entries And piteous plaintive voice of misery