« PreviousContinue »
TO A FRIEND.
What is this wreath, so green ! so fair ! Have you ne'er seen, my gentle squire,
Which many wish, and few must wear?
Which some men's indolence can gain, The humours of your kitchen fire ?
And some men's vigils ne'er obtain ? Says Ned to Sal, " I lead a spade,a
For what must Sal or poet sue, Why don't ye play?-the girl's afraid
Ere they engage with Ned or you? Play something—any thing—but play
For luck in verse- for luck at loo? 'Tis but to pass the time away
Ah no! 't is genius gives you fame,
And Ned, through skill, secures the game.
THE POET AND THE DUN. 1741.
These are messengers
That feelingly persuade me what I am. SHAKE32. Methinks, old friend, 't is wondrous true, Comes a dun in the morning and raps at my doorThat verse is but a game at lov.
“I made bold to call-tisa twelvemonth and more While many a baru, that shows so clearly
I'm sorry, believe me, to trouble you thus, sir,He writes for his amusement merely,
But Job would be paid, sir, had Job been a mercer.” Is known to study, fret, and toil;
My friend, bave but patience"-" Aye, these are And play for nothing all the while:
your ways." Or praise at most ; for wreaths of yore
“ I've got but one shilling to serve me two days Ne'er signified a farthing more:
But, sir-pry'thee take it, and tell your attorney, Till, having vainly toil'd to gain it,
If I ha'n't paid your bill, I have paid for your jourHe sees your flying pen obtain it. Through fragrant scenes the trifler roves,
Well, now thou art gone, let me govern my pas. And hallow'd haunts that Phoebus loves ;
sion, Where with strange heats his bosom glows, And calmly consider-consider? vexation ! And mystic flames the god bestows.
What whore that must paint, and must put on false You now none other flame require,
locks, Than a good blazing parlour fire;
And counterfeit joy in the pangs of the pox! Write verses to defy the scorners,
What beggar's wife's nephew, now starv'd, and now In shit-houses and chimney-corners.
Who, wanting to eat, fears himself shall be eaten! Sal found her deep-laid schemes were vain
What porter, what turnspit, can deem his case The cards are cut-“ Come deal again
bard! No good coines on it when one lingers
Or what dun boast of patience that thinks of a bard! I'll play the card comes next my fingers"
Well, I'll leave this poor trade, for no trade can be Fortune could nerer let Ned loo her,
poorer, When she had left it wholly to her.
Turn shoe-boy, or courtier, or pimp, or procurer ; Well, now who wins ?-why, still the same- Get love, and respect, and good living, and pelf, For Sal has lost another game.
And dun some poor dog of a poet myself. “ I've done ;” (she mutterd) “ I was saying,
One's credit, however, of course will grow better; It did not argufy my playing.
Here enters the footman, and brings me a letter. Some folks will win, they cannot choose,
“Dear sir ! I receiv'd your obliging epistle, But think or not think-some must lose.
Your fame is secure—bid the critics go whistle. I may have won a game or som
I read over with wonder the poem you sent me; But then it was an age ago
And I must speak your praises, no soul shall preIt ne'er will be my lot again
vent me. I won it of a baby then
The audience, believe me, cried out every line Give me an ace of trumps and see,
Was strong, was affecting, was just, was divine; Our Ned will beat me with a three.
All pregnant, as gold is, with worth, weight, and 'Tis all by luck that things are carried
beauty, He'll sutier for it, when he's married."
And to hide such a genius was—far from your duty. Thus Sal, with tears in either eye;
I foresee that the court will be hugely delighted : While victor Ned sat tittering by.
Sir Richard, for much a less genius, was knighted.
Adieu, my good friend, and for high life prepare ye; Thus I, long envying your success,
I could say much more, but you're modest, I spare And bent to write and study less,
ye.” Sate down, and scribbled in a trice,
Quite fir'd with the fiattery, I call for my paper, Just what you see and you despise.
And waste that, and health, and my time, and my You, who can frame a tuneful song,
taper: And hum it as you ride along;
I scribble till morn, when, with wrath no small store, And, trotting on the king's bigh-way,
Comes my old friend the mercer, and raps at my Snatch from the hedge a sprig of bay;
door. Accept this verse, howe'er it flows,
« Ah! friend, 't is but idle to make such a pother, From one that is your friend in prose.
Fate, Fate has ordain'd us to plague one another."
305 WRITTEN AT AN INN AT HENLEY, Life squares not, friends, with your proceeding; To thee, fair Freedom ! I retire
It flies, while you display your breeding; From flattery, cards, and dice, and din ;
Such breeding as one's granam preaches, Nor art thou found in mansions higher
Or some old dancing-master teaches. Than the low cot, or humble inn.
O for some rude tumultuous fellow, 'T is here with boundless power' I reign;
Halfcrazy, or, at least, half mellow,
To come bebind you unawares,
And fairly push you both down stairs !
But Death's at hand-let me advise ye, Such freedom crowns it, at an inn.
Go forward, friends! or he'll surprise ye. I Ay from pomp, I fly from plate !
Besides, bow insincere you are! I fly from Falsehood's specious grin ;
Do ye not flatter, lie, forswear, Freedom I love, and form I hate,
And daily cheat, and weekly pray, And choose my lodgings at an inn.
And all for this-to lead the way?
Such is my theme, which means to prove,
As that or this is most in fashion,
Precedence is our ruling passion. Whoe'er has travell'd life's dull round,
When college students take degrees, Where'er his stages may have been,
And pay the beadle's endless fees, May sigh to think he still has found
What moves that scientific body,
But the first cutting at a gaudy?
Content to trudge the streets, and stare at
The fat apothecary's chariot,
But that, in Charlotte's chamber (see The clumsy shape, the frightful mien,
Moliere's “ Medicin malgré lui') Tremendous claws, and shagged hair,
The leech, howe'er his fortunes vary, Of that grim brute yclept a bear?
Still walks before th' apothecary? He from his dam, the learn'd agree,
Flavia in vain has wit and charms, Receiv'd the curious form you see;
And all that shines, and all that warms; Who, with her plastic tongue alone,
In vain all human race adore her, Produc'd a visage-like her own
For-Lady Mary ranks before her. And thus they bint, in mystic fashion,
O Celia, gentle Celia ! tell us, The powerful force of education
You who are neither vain nor jealous; Perhaps yon crowd of swains is viewing
The softest breast, the mildest mien ! E’en now, the strange exploits of Bruin;
Would you not feel some little spleen, Who plays his antics, roars aloud ;
Nor bite your lip, nor furl your brow, The wonder of a gaping crowd!
If Florimel, your equal now, So have I known an awkward lad,
Should, one day, gain precedence of ye? Whose birth has made a parish glad,
First serv'd—though in a dish of coffee? Forbid, for fear of sense, to roam,
Plac'd first, although, where you are found, And taught by kind mamma at home;
You gain the eyes of all around? Who gives him many a well-tried rule,
Nam'd first, though not with half the fame With ways and means—to play the fool.
That waits my charming Celia's name? In sense the same, in stature higher,
Hard fortune! barely to inspire He shines, ere long, a rural squire,
Our fixt esteem, and fond desire ! Pours forth unwitty jokes, and swears,
Barely, where'er you go, to prove And bawls, and drinks, but chiefly stares :
The source of universal love! His tenants of superior sense
Yet be content, observing this, Carouse, and laugh, at his expense;
Honour's the offspring of Caprice: And deem the pastime I'm relating
And Worth, howe'er you have pursued it,
Has now no power—but to exclude it.
Poor Swift, with all bis worth, could ne'er,
He tells us, hope to rise a peer;
So, to supply it, wrote for fame:
And well the wit secur'd bis aim.
Not quite so innocent as Swift: “ Sir, I'm at home, consider, sir"
In Britain's cause he rants, he labours; « Excuse me, sir, I'll not go first.”
“ He's honest, 'faith-have patience, neigh“ Well, if I must be rude, I must
bours ! But yet I wish I could evade it
For patriots may sometimes deceive, T is strangely clownish, be persuaded
May beg their friends' reluctant leave. Go forward, cits ! go forward, squires!
To serve them in a higher sphere, Nor scruple each what each admires.
And drop their virtue to get there.
As Lucian tells us, in his fashion, 1 Of a fond matron's education.
How souls put off each carthiy passion,
Ere on Elysium's fowery strand
The Devil's works are plain and evil, Old Charon suffer'd them to land;
But few or none have seen the Devil.
Old Noll, indeed, if we may credit
Contriv'd with Satan how to foul us,
And bargain'd face to face to rule us; If then tis rank which all men covet,
But then old Noll was one in ten, And saints alike and sinners love it:
And sought him more than other men. If place, for which our courtiers throng
Our shepherd too), with like attention, So thick, that few can get along;
May meet the female fiends we mention, For which such servile toils are seen,
He rose one morn at break of day, Who's happier than a king ?-a queen.
And near the field in ambush lay: Howe'er men aim at elevation,
When lo! a brace of girls appears, 'Tis properly a female passion :
The third, a matron much in years. Women, and beaux, beyond all measure
Smiling, amidst the pease, the sinners Are charm’d with rank's ecstatic pleasure.
Sate down to cull their future dinners; Sir, if your drift I rightly scan,
And, caring little who might own them, You'd bint a beau was not a man :
Made free as though themselves bad sown them. Say, women then are fond of places;
'Tis worth a sage's observation I wave all disputable cases.
How Love can make a jest of Passion. A man perhaps would something linger,
Anger had forc'd the swain from bed, Were his lov'd rank to cost-a finger;
His early dues to Love unpaid ! Or were an ear or toe the price on 't,
And Love, a god that keeps a potber, He might deliberate once or twice on't;
And will be paid one time or other, Perhaps ask Gataker's advice on 't,
Now banish'd Anger out of door, And many, as their frame grows old,
And claim'd the debt withheld before. Would hardly purchase it with gold.
If Anger bid our youth revile, But women risb precedence ever :
Love form'd his features to a smile: "T is their whole lite's supreme endeavour ;
And knowing well’t was all grimace, It fires their youth with jealous rage,
To tbreatcp rih a smiling face, And strongly animates their age.
He in few words express'd his mind Perhaps they would not sell out-right,
And none would deem them much unkind.
The amorous youth, for their otience,
That recompence from each, which shame
Forbids a bashful Muse to name. All fierce and pregnant with reply.
Yet, more this sentence to discover, But lend your patience and your car,
'Twas what Bet * * grants her lover, An argument shall make it clear.
When he, to make the struinpet willing, But hold, an argument may fal,
Has spent his fortune to a sbilling. Beside, my title: says a tale.
Each stuwd a while, as 't were suspended, Where Avon rolls her winding stream,
And loth tu do, ubat-each intended. Avon, the Muses' favourite theme!
At length, with soft pathetic signs, Avon, that fills the farmers' pur:es,
The matrun, bent with age, replies-And decks with flowers both farms and verses,
“ 'Tis vain to strive-Justice, I know, Sbe visits many a fertile rale
And our ill stars will have it som Such was the scene of this my tale.
But let my tears your wrath assuage, For 't is in Eveshain's vale, or near it,
And show some deference for age! That folks with laugbter telland hear it.
I from a distant village caine, The soil with annual plenty blest
Am old, God knows, and something lame; Was by young Corydon possest.
And if we yield, as yield we must, His youth alone I lay before ye,
Dispatch my crazy body first.” As most material to my story :
Our shepherd, like the Phrygian swain, For strength and vigour too, he had them,
Wben circled round on Ida's plain And 't were not much andiss to add them.
With goddesses be stood suspended, Thrice happy lout! whose wide domain
And Pallas's grave speech was ended,
But paid the compliment to Beauty.
TO BE PER PORMED BY DR. BRETT LE, AND A CHORUS The stripling own’d a field of pease ;
OP HALES-OWER CITIZENS.
The Instrumental Part, a Viol d'Amour. Each morn discover'd to his sight
AIR BY THE DOCTOR.
Awake' I say, awake, good people !
And be for once alive and gay;
Come let's be merry; stir the tipple;
EPILOGUE TO THE TRAGEDY OF CLEONE. How can you sleep, Whilst I do play? how can you sleep, &c.
Well, ladjes—so much for the tragic style
And now the custoin is to make you smile.
To make us smile !-meihinks I hear you say
Why, who can help it, at so strange a play?
The captain gone three years !--and then to blame For wondrous hard is our condition,
The faultless conduct of his virtuons dame!
My stars!-what gentle belle would think it treason,
When thus prorok'd, to give the brute some reason?
Out of my house !-this night, forsooth, depart ! To hear,
A modern wife had said " With all my heart-
But think not, haughty sir, I'll go alone!
Order your coach-conduct me safe to town-
A wight of skill and judgment deep! And pray take care my pin-money be paid.”
Yet memoirs, not of modern growth, declare
The tiine has been when modesty and truth Dr.-How could they go
Were deem'd additions to the charms of youth; Whilst I do play?
When women bid their necks, and veil'd their faces, Sal.-How could they go! Warlike music.
Nor romp'd, nor rak'd, nor star'd at public places,
Nor took the airs of Amazons for graces :
But wiih the joys of wedlock mix'd the cares.
Those times are past-yet sure they merit praise, When Celia, love's eternal foe,
For marriage triumph'd in those golden days: . To rich old Gomez tirst was married,
By chaste decorum thev affection gain'd; And angry Cupid came to know
By faith and fondness what they won, maintain'd. His shafts had err'd, his bow miscarried;
'Tis yours, ye fair, to bring those days again,
And form anew the hearts of thoughtless men; He sigh’d, he wept, he hung his head,
Make Beauty's lustre amiable as bright,
Reclaim from folly a fantastic age,
That scorns the press, the pulpit, and the stage: And sure,” he cried, “ you'll own at last Let truth and tenderness your breasts adorn, Your boasted power by mine exceeded:
The marriage chain with transport shall be worn ; Say, wretched boy, now all is past,
Each blooming virgin rais'd into a bride, How little she your efforts heeded.
shall double all their jors, their cares divide ;
Alleviate grief, compose the jars of strife, “ If with success you would assail,
And pour the balm that sweetens human life. Gild, youngster, doubly gild your arrows : Little the feather'd shafts avail, Though wing'd from Mamma's doves and spar
MORAL PIECES. " What though each reed, each arrow grew
Where Venus bath'd herself; depend on't, "T were more for use, for beauty too, A diamond sparkled at the end on't.”
THE JUDGMENT OF HERCULES. “ Peace, Plutus, peace !”—the boy replied; While blooming Spring descends from genial skies, “ Were not my arts by yours infested,
By whose mild influence instant wonders rise ; I could each other power deride,
From whose soft breath Elysian beauties flow, And rule this circle unmolested.
The sweets of Hagley, or the pride of Stowe;
Will Lyttelton the rural landscape range, “ See yonder pair! no worldly views
Leave noisy Fame, and not regret the change? In Chloe's generous breast resided :
Pleas'd will he tread the garden's early scenes, Love baile her the spruce valet choose,
And learn a moral from the rising greens? And she by potent love was guided,
There, warm'd al ke by Sol's enlivening power, “ For this she quits her golden dreams,
The weed, aspiring, emulates the flower: In her gilt coach no more she ranges:
The drooping flower, its fairer charms display'd, And her rich crimson, bright with gems,
Invites, from grateful hands, their generous aid : For cheeks impearl'd with tears, she changes.
Soon, if none check th' invasive fue's designs,
The lively lustre of these scenes declines. “ Though sordid Celia own'd your power,
'Tis thus the spring of youth, the morn of life, Think not so monstrous my disgrace is :
Rears in our minds the rival seeds of strife, You gaind this nymph—that very hour
Then passion riots, reason then contends; I gain'd a score in different places."
And on the conquest every bliss depends :
Life, from the nice decision, takes its hue: And while she chose in natire charms to shine,
There are, who, blind to Thought's fatiguing ray, Sublime her height, majestic was her pace,
charm'd. When ripen'd Thought, when Reason, born to reign, So strikes the gazer's eye, the silver gleam Check the wild tumults of the youthful vein ; That glittering quivers o'er a distant stream: While Passion's lawless tides, at their command, But from its banks we see new beauties rise, Glide through more useful tracts, and bless the land. And in its crystal bosom trace the skies.
Happiest of these is he whose matchless miud, With other charms the rival vision glow'd; By learning strengthen'd, and by taste refin'd, And from her dress her tinsel beauties flow'd. In Virtue's cause essay'd its earliest powers ; A fluttering robe her pamper'd shape conceald, Chose Virtue's paths, and strew'd her paths with And seem'd to shade the charms it best reveal'd. flowers.
Its form, contriv'd her faulty size to grace; The 'first alarm’d, if Freedom wares her wings: Its hue, to give fresh lustre to her face. The fittest to adorn each art she brings :
Her plaited hair disguis'd with brilliants glar'd; Lov'd by that prince whom every Virtue fires : Her cheeks the ruby's neighbouring lustre shard; Prais'd by that bard whom every Muse inspires: The gaudy topaz lent its gay supplies, Blest in the tuneful art, the social fame;
And every gein that strikes less curious eyes ; In all that wins, in all that merits fame :
Expos’d her breast with foreign sweets perfum'd; 'T'was youth's perplexing stage his doubts inspir'd, and round her brow a roseate garland bloom’d. When great Alcides to a grove retir’d.
Soft smiling, blushing lips conceal'd her wiles; Through the lone windings of a devious glade, Yet, ah! the blushes artful as the smiles. Resign'd to thought, with lingering steps he stray'd; Oft gazing on her shade, th' enraptur'd fair Blest with a mind to taste sincerer joy's,
Decreed the substance well deserv'd her care : Arm'd with a heart each false one to despise, Her thoughts, to others' charms malignly blind, Dubious he stray'd, with wavering thoughts possest, Centred in that, and were to that confind: Alternate passions, struggling, shar'd his breast; And if on others' eyes a glance were thrown, The various arts which human cares divide,
'Twas but to watch the influence of her own. In deep attention all his mind employ'd :
Much like her guardian, fair Cythera's queen, Anxious, if Fame an equal bliss secur’d,
When for her warrior she refines her mien; Or silent Ease with softer charms allur'd.
Or when, to bless her Delian favourite's arms, The sylvan choir, whose numbers sweetly flow'd, The radiant fair invigorates her charms : The fount that murmur'd, and the flowers that Much like her pupil, Egypt's sportive dame, The silver flood that in meanders led (blow'd; Her dress expressive, and her air the same, His glittering streams along th’enliven'd mead; When her gay bark o'er silver Cydnos roll'd, The soothing breeze, and all those beauties join'd, And all th' emblazon'd streamers war'd in gold. Which, whilst they please, efleminate the mind, Such shone the vision ; nor forbore to move In vain! while distant, on a summit rais'd,
The fond contagious airs of lawless love, Th’imperial towers of Faine attractive blaz'd. Each wanton eve deluding glances tird, While thus he trac'd through Fancy's puzzling And amorous dimples on each cheek conspir'd.
Lifeless her gait, and slow, with seeming pain The separate sweets of pleasure and of praise; She draggd her loitering limbs along the plain; Sudden the wind a fragrant gale convey'd, Yet made some faint etforts, and first approach'd And a new lustre gain'd upon the shade.
the swain. At once, before his wondering eyes were seen So glaring draughts, with tawdry lustre bright, Two female forms of more than mortal mien. Spring to the view, and rush upon the sight: Various their charms; and in their dress and face More slowly charms a Raphael's chaster air, Fach seem'd to vie with some peculiar grace. Waits the calm search, and pays the searcher's care. This, whose attire less clovg'd with art appear'd, Wrapp'd in a pleas'd suspense, the youth surrey'd The simple sweets of innocence endear'd.
The various charms of each attractive maid; Her sprightly bloom, her quick sagacious eye, Alternate each be view'd, and each admir'd, Show'd patire merit, mix'd with modesty.
and found, alternate, varying flames inspir'd. Her air diffus'd a mild but awful ray,
Quick o'er their forms his eyes with pleasure ran, Severely sweet, and innocently gay.
When she who first approach'd him, first began : Such the chaste image of the martial maid,
“ Hither, dear boy, direct thy wandering eyes In artless folds of virgin white array'd !
'Tis here the lovely vale of pleasure lies. She let no borrow'd rose her cheeks adorn,
Debate no more, to me thy life resign; Her blushing cheeks that sham’d the purple morn. Each sweet which Nature can diffuse is mine: Her charms nor had, nor wanted artful foils, For me the nymph diversifies her power, Or studied gestures, or well-practis'd smiles. Springs in a tree, or blossoms in a flower; She scorn'd the toys which render beauty less : To please my ear, she tunes the linnet's strains ; She provid th’ engaging chastity of dress ;
To please my eye, with lilies paints the plains;