« PreviousContinue »
My life, if thou preserv'st my life,
Thy sacrifice shall be ;
Shall join my soul to thee.
MATTHEW PRIOR. 1664-1721.
As the chameleon, who is known To have no colours of his own, But borrows from his neighbour's hue His white or black, his green or blue; And struts as much in ready light, Which credit gives him upon sight, As if the rainbow were in tail Settled on him and his heirs male; So the young 'squire, when first he comes From country school to Will's or Tom's, And equally, in truth, is fit To be a statesman or a wit; Without one notion of his own, He saunters wildly up and down, Till some acquaintance, good or bad, Takes notice of a staring lad, Admits him in among the gang; They jest, reply, dispute, harangue: He acts and talks as they befriend him, Smear'd with the colours which they lend him.
Thus, merely as his fortune chances, His merit or his vice advances.
If, haply, he the sect pursues That read and comment upon news, He takes up their mysterious face, He drinks his coffee without lace;
This week his mimic tongue runs o'er
Or if it be his fate to meet
PROTOGENES AND APELLES.
When poets wrote and painters drew,
Piqued by Protogenes's fame,
He sails, he lands, he comes, he rings;
Does Squire Protogenes live here?
Tea, says a critic, big with laughter, Was found some twenty ages after ; Authors, before they write, should read. 'Tis very true; but we'll proceed.
And, sir, at present would you please To leave your name? Fair maiden, yes. Reach me that board. No sooner spoke But done. With one judicious stroke, On the plain ground Apelles drew A circle regularly true : And will you please, sweetheart, said he, To show your master this from me? By it he presently will know How painters write their names at Co.
He gave the panel to the maid. Smiling and court'sying, Sir, she said,
I shall not fail to tell my master;
Again at six Apelles came,
She said; and to his hand restored
The dullest genius cannot fail
pencil, sword, or pen, Should in life's visit leave their name, In characters which may proclaim
That they with ardour strove to raise
TO THE HON. CHARLES MONTAGUE, ESQ. Howe’ER, 'tis well, that while mankind
Through fate's perverse meander errs, He can imagined pleasures find,
To combat against real cares. Fancies and notions he pursues,
Which ne'er had being but in thought; Each, like the Grecian artist, woos
The image he himself has wrought. Against experience he believes ;
He argues against demonstration; Pleased, when his reason he deceives;
And sets his judgment by his passion.
The hoary fool, who many days
Has struggled with continued sorrow, Renews his hope, and blindly lays
The desperate bet upon to-morrow.
To-morrow comes; 'tis noon, 'tis night;
This day like all the former flies : Yet on he runs, to seek delight
To-morrow, till to-night he dies.
Our hopes, like towering falcons, aim
At objects in an airy height: The little pleasure of the game
Is from afar to view the flight.