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Like some free port of trade:
Here first their entry made.
Spaniards or French came to her:
Twas S'il vous plait, Monsieur.
Obscure by birth, renowned by crimes,
At length she turns a bride:
And flutters in her pride.
So have I known those insects fair
Still vary shapes and dyes;
Then painted butterflies.
Parson, these things in thy possessing
That carries double when there's need: 1 Jonathan Swift (Dean), born 1667, died 1745. He was the intimate friend of Pope.
October store, and best Virginia,
He that has these, may pass his life,
· THE TEMPLE OF FAME.
The hint of the following piece was taken from Chaucer's “House of Fame.” The design is in a manner entirely altered, the descriptions and most of the particular thoughts my own: yet I could not suffer it to be printed without this acknowledgment. The reader who would compare this with Chaucer, may begin with his third book of “Fame," there being nothing in the two first books that answers to their title: wherever any hint is taken from him, the passage itself is set down in the marginal notes.
In that soft season, when descending shower's ?
I stood, methought, betwixt earth, seas, and skies;
1 This poem is introduced in the manner of the Provencal poets, whose works were for the most part visions, or pieces of imagination, and constantly descriptive. From these Petrarch and Chaucer frequently borrow the idea of their poems. See the "Trionfi” of the former, and the “ Dream,” “Flower and the Leaf,” &c., of the latter. The author of this therefore chose the same sort of exordium.-Pope,
O’er the wide prospect as I gazed around, Sudden I heard a wild promiscuous sound, Like broken thunders that at distance roar, Or billows murm’ring on the hollow shore: Then gazing up, a glorious pile beheld, Whose tow'ring summit ambient clouds concealed. High on a rock of ice the structure lay, Steep its ascent, and slipp’ry was the way; The wondrous rock like Parian marble shone, And seemed, to distant sight, of solid stone. Inscriptions here of various names I viewed, The greater part by hostile time subdued; Yet wide was spread their fame in ages past, And poets once had promised they should last. Some fresh engraved appeared of wits renowned ; I looked again nor could their trace be found. Critics I saw, that other names deface, And fix their own, with labour, in their place: Their own, like others, soon their place resigned, Or disappeared, and left the first behind. Nor was the work impaired by storms alone, But felt th' approaches of too warm a sun; For Fame, impatient of extremes, decays Not more by envy than excess of praise. Yet part no injuries of heav'n could feel, Like crystal faithful to the graving steel: The rock's high summit, in the temple's shade, Nor heat could melt, nor beating storm invade. Their names inscribed unnumbered ages past From time's first birth, with time itself shall last; These ever new, nor subject to decays, Spread, and grow brighter with the length of days.
So Zembla's rocks (the beauteous work of frost)' Rise white in air, and glitter o'er the coast; Pale suns, unfelt, at distance roll away, And on th' impassive ice the lightnings play; Eternal snows the growing mass supply,
1 Though a strict verisimilitude be not required in the description of this visionary and allegorical kind of poetry, which admits of every wild object that fancy may present in a dream, and where it is sufficient if the moral meaning atone for the improbability, yet men are naturally so desirous of truth, that a reader is generally pleased, in such a case, with some excuse or allusion that seems to reconcile the description to probability and nature. The simile here is of that sort, and renders it not wholly unlikely that a rock of ice should remain for ever, by men. tioning something like it in our northern regions agreeing with the accounts of our modern travellers,-Pope,
Till the bright mountains prop th' incumbent sky :
On this foundation Fame's high temple stands ;
Westward, a sumptuous frontispiece appeared, On Doric pillars of white marble reared, Crowned with an architrave of antique mold, And sculpture rising on the roughened gold. In shaggy spoils here Theseus? was beheld, And Perseus dreadful with Minerva's shield: 3 There great Alcides* stooping with his toil, Rests on his club, and holds th' Hesperian spoil. Here Orpheus sings ; trees moving to the sound Start from their roots, and form a shade around: Amphion there the loud creating lyre Strikes, and beholds a sudden Thebes aspire!
i The temple is described to be square. the four fronts with open gates facing the different quarters of the world, as an intimation that all nations of the earth may alike be received into it. The western front is of Grecian architecture: the Doric order was peculia' ly sacred to heroes and worthies. Those whose statues are after mentioned were the first names of old Greece in arms and arts.--Pope.
2 The Athenian hero, who was known as the destroyer of monsters and tyrants. He was the son of Ægeus, King of Athens. The sbaggy spoils probably allude to the Minotaur, which he killed, and thus freeil the Atheniaus from the tribute of human victims which they had to yield to it.
s Perseus, a demi.god. Minerva lent him her shield to fight the Gorgon Medusa. When he had slain the Gorgon, he cut off her head, aud gave it to Minerva, who fixed it in her Ægis or shield.
That snaky-headed Gorgon shield
Wherewith she freezed her foes to congealed stone. 4 Hercules. The "Hesperian spoil” was the golden apples of the Hesperides. “The figure of Hercules is drawn with an eye to the position of the famous statute of Farnese.”- Pope,
6 See notes to the “Thebais."