Page images
PDF
EPUB

TO

He look'd, and turn'd his eyes away,
With high disdain I heard hiin say,
" Bliss is not made of glittering clay."

DAVID POLHILL, ESQ.
Now Pomp and Grandeur court his bead

An answer to an infamous Satire, called Advice With 'scutcheons, arms, and ensigns spread; Gay magnificence and state,

to a Painter; written by a nameless Author, Guards, and chariots, at his gate,

against King William III., of Glorious MeAnd slaves in endless order round his table

wait;

mory, 1698.

PART I.

They learn the dictates of his eyes,

SIR, And now they fall, and now they rise,

When you put this satire into my hand, you gave Watch every motion of their lord,

me the occasion of employing my pen to answer Hang on his lips with most impatient zeal, With swift ambition seize th' unfinish'd word,

so detestable a writing; which might be done And the command fulfil.

much more effectually by your known zeal for Tir'd with the train that Grandeur brings,

the interest of bis majesty, your counsels and He dropp'd a tear; and pitied kings;

your courage employed in the defence of your king Then, flying from the noisy throng,

and country. And since you provoked me to write, Seeks the diversion of a song.

you will accept of those efforts of my loyalty to

the best of kings, addressed to one of the most Music, descending on a silent cloud,

zealous of his subjects, by, Tun'd all her strings with endless art;

SIR, By slow degrees from soft to loud

your most obedient servant, Changing she rose: the harp and flute Harmonious join, the hero to salute,

I. W. And make a captive of his heart. Fruits, and rich wine, and scenes of lawless

love,
Each with utmost luxury strove

AND must the hero that redeem'd our land,
To treat their favourite best;

Here in the front of vice and scandal stand?
But sounding strings, and fruits, and wine, The man of wondrous soul, that scorn'd his ease,
And lawless love in vain combine

Tempting the winters, and the faithless seas, To make his virtue sleep, or lull his soul to And paid an annual tribute of his life rest.

To guard his England from the Irish Knife,

And crush the French dragoon? Must William's He saw the tedious round, and, with a sigh,

name, Pronounc'd the world but vanity.

That brightest star that gilds the wings of Fame, “ In crowds of pleasure still I find

William the brave, the pious, and the just, A painful solitude of mind;

Adorn these gloomy scenes of tyrany and lust? A vacancy within which sense can ne'er supply. Hence, and be gone, ye flattering snares,

Polhill, my blood boils high, my spirits fame; Ye vulgar charms of eyes and ears,

Can your zeal sleep? or are your passions tame? Ye unperforming promisers !

Nor call revenge and darkness on the poet's name? Be all my baser passions dead,

Why smoke the skies not ? why no thunders roll? And base desires, by Nature made

Nor kindling lightnings blast his guilty soul ?
Por animals and boys:

Audacious wretch ! to stab a monarch's fame, Man has a relish more refin'd,

And fire his subjects with a rebel-fame; Souls are for social bliss design’d;

To call the painter to his black designs, Give me a blessing fit to match iny mind,

To draw our gardian's face in hellish lines: A kindred-soul to double and to share my Under no shape but angels, or his own,

Painter, beware! the monarch can be shown joys."

Gabriel, or William, on the British throne. Myrrha appear'd: “Serene her soul

O! could my thought but grasp the vast design, And active as the Sun, yet steady as the and words with infinite ideas join, pole:

I'd rouse Apelles from his iron sleep, In softer beauties shone her face ;

And bid bim trace the warrior o'er the deep : Every Muse, and every Grace,

Trace him, Apelles, o'er the Belgian plain, Made her heart and tongue their seat,

Fierce, how he climbs the mountains of the slain, Her heart profusely good, her tongue divinely Scattering just vengeance through the red campaign sweet :

Then dash the canvass with a flying stroke, Myrrha the wonder of his eyes ;"

Till it be lost in clouds of fire and smoke, His heart recoild with sweet surprise,

And say, 'Twas thus the conqueror through the With joys unknown before: His soul dissolv'd in pleasing pain,

squadrons broke. Flow'd to his eyes, and look'd again,

Mark him again emerging from the cloud,
And could endure no more.

Far from his troops; there like a rock he stood “ Enough! (th' impaticnt hero cries) His country's single barrier in a sea of blood. And seiz'd her to his breast,

Calmly he leaves the pleasures of a throne,
I seek no more below the skies,

And his Maria weeping; whilst alone
I give my slaves the rest."

He wards the fate of nations, and provokes his own

TO

But Heaven secures its champion; o'er the field Paint forth the knaves that have the nation sold,
Pamt hovering angels; though they fly conceal'd, And tinge their greedy looks with sordid gold.
Each intercepts a Death, and wears it on his shield. Mark what a selfish faction undermines
Now, noble pencil, lead him to our isle,

The pious monarch's generous designs,
Mark how the skies with joyful lustre smile,

Spoil their own native land as vipers do, Then imitate the glory, on the strand

Vipers that tear their mother's bowels through. Spread half the nation, longing till he land.

Let great Nassau, beneath a careful crown, Wash off the blood, and take a peaceful teint,

Mournful in majesty, look gently down, All red the warrior, white the ruler paint ;

Mingling soft pity with an awful frown : Abroad a hero, and at home a saint.

He grieves to see how long in vain he strove Throne him on high upon a shining seat,

To make us blest, how vain his laborirs prove

To save the stubborn land he condescends to love. Lust and Profaneness dying at his feet, While round his head the laurel and the olive meet, The crowns of war and peace; and may they blow With flowery blessings always on his brow. At his right hand pile up the English laws

THE DISCONTENTED AND UNQUIET. In sacred volumes; thence the monarch draws

Imitated partly from Casimire, B. iv. Od. 15, His wise and just commands Rise, ye old sages of the British isle,

Varia, there 's nothing here that 's free
On the fair tablet cast a reverend smile,

From wearisome anxiety;
And bless the piece; these statutes are your own, and the whole round of mortal joys
That sway the cottage, and direct the throne ; With short possession tires and cloys :
People and prince are one in William's name, 'Tis a dull circle that we tread,
Their joys, their dangers, and their laws the same. Just from the window to the bed;
Let Liberty and Right, with plumes display'd,

We rise to see and to be seen,
Clap their glad wings around their guardian's head, Gaze on the world awhile, and then
Religion o'er the rest her starry pinions spread.

We yawn, and stretch to sleep again.
Religion guards him: round th' imperial queen

But Fancy, that uneasy guest, Place waiting Virtues, each of heavenly mien;

Still holds a longing in our breast : Learn their bright air, and paint it from his eyes;

She finds or frames vexations still, The just, the bold, the temperate, and the wise

Herself the greatest plague we feel ; Dwell in his looks; majestic, but serene;

We take strange pleasure in our pain, Sweet, with no fondness; cheerful, but not vain :

And make a mountain of a grain, Bright, without terrour; great, without disdain.

Assume the load, and pant and sweat His soul inspires us what his lips command,

Beneath th' imaginary weight: And spreads his brave example through the land :

With our dear selves we live at strife, Not so the former reigns ;

While the most constant scenes of life Bend down his ear to each afflicted cry,

From peevish humours are not free; Let beams of grace dart gently from his eye;

Still we affect variety. But the bright treasures of his sacred breast

Rather than pass an easy day,

We fret and chide the hours away;
Are too divine, too vast to be exprest:
Colours must fail where words and numbers faint,

Grow weary of this circling Sun,
And leave the hero's heart for Thought alone to paint. And vex that he should ever run

The same old track, and still and still
Rise red behind yon eastern hill;

And chide the Moon, that darts her light
Now, Muse, pursue the satirist again,

Through the same casement every night. Wipe off the blots of his envenom'd pen;

We shift our chambers and our homes,
Hark, how he bids the servile painter draw,

To dwell where trouble never comes;
In monstrous shapes, the patrons of our law; Sylvia has left the city crowd,
At one slight dash he cancels every name

Against the court exclaims aloud,
From the white rolls of Honesty and Fame ; Flies to the woods; a hermit saint !
This scribbling wretch marks all he meets for knave, She loaths her patches, pins, and paint;
Shoots sudden bolts promiscuous at the base and Dear diamonds from her neck are torn:
And with unpardonable malice sheds [brave, But Humour, that eternal thorn,
Poison and spite on undistinguish'd heads.

Sticks in her heart: she is hurried still,
Painter, forbear; or if thy bolder hand

"Twixt her wild passions and her will ; Dares to attempt the villains of the land,

Haunted and hagg'd where'er she roves, Draw first this poet, like some baleful star,

By purling streams and silent groves, With silent influence shedding civil war;

Or with her Furies, or her Loves. Or factious trumpeter, whose magic sound

Then our own native land we hate, Calls off the subjects to the hostile ground,

Too cold, too windy, or too wet;
And scatters hellish feuds the nation round.

Change the thick climate, and repair
These are the imps of hell, that cursed tribe (scribe To France or Italy for air :
That first create the plague, and then the pain de- In vain we change, in vain we fly;

Draw next above, the great ones of our isle, Go, Sylvia, mount the whirling sky,
Still from the good distinguishing the vile; Or ride upon the feather'd wind!
Seat them in pomp, in grandeur, and command, In vain; if this diseased mind
Peeling the subject with a greedy hand :

dings fast, and still sits close behind : VOL. XIII.

PART II.

[ocr errors]

Faithful disease, that never fails

Now fiery Joy, now sullen Grief, Attendance at her lady's side,

Commands the reins of human life, Over the desert or the tide,

. The wheels impetuous roll; On rolling wheels, or flying sails.

The harness'd hours and minutes strive, Happy the soul that Virtue shows

And days with stretching pinions drive To fix the place of her repose,

Down fiercely on the goal. Needless to more; for she can dwell

Not half so fast the galley flies In her old grandsire's hall as well.

O'er the Venetian sea, Virtue, that never loves to roam,

'When sails, and oars, and labouring skies, But sweetly hides herself at home;

Contend to make her way. And easy on a native throne

Swift wings for all the flying hours Of humble turf sits gently down.

The God of time prepares; Yet should tumultuous souls arise,

The rest lie still yet in their nest,
And mingle earth, and seas, and skies;

And grow for future years.
Should the waves swell, and make her roll
Across the line, or near the pole,
Still she's at peace; for well she knows
To lanch the stream that duty shows,

TO THOMAS GUNSTON, ESQ.
And makes her home where'er she goes.

HAPPY SOLITUDE.
Bear her, ye seas, upon your breast,
Or waft her, winds, from east to west,

Casimire, Book iv. Ode 12. imitated.
On the soft air; she cannot find

Quid me latentem, &c. A couch so casy as her mind,

1700. Nor breathe a climate half so kind.

The noisy world complains of me
That I should shun their sight, and flee
Visits, and crowds, and company.
Gunston, the lark dwells in her nest

Till she ascend the skies;
JOHN HARTOPP, ESQ.

And in my closet I could rest
(AFTERWARDS SIR JOHN HARTOPP, BART.)

Till to the Heavens I rise.

Yet they will urge, “ This private life
Casimire, Book i. Ode 4. imitated.

Can never make you blest,
Vive jucundae metuens juventæ, &c.

And twenty doors are still at strife

July, 1700. T engage you for a guest.” Live, my dear Hartopp, live to-day,

Friend, should the towers of Windsor or Whitehall Nor let the Sun look down and say,

Spread open their inviting gates " Inglorious here he lies;"

To make my entertainment gay; Shake off your ease, and send your name

I would obey the royal call, To immortality and fame, .

But short would be my stay, By every hour that flies.

Since a diviner service waits Youth 's a soft scene, but trust her not:

Temploy my hours at home, and better fill the day. Her airy minutes, swift as thought,

When I within myself retreat, Slide off the slippery sphere;

I shut my doors against the great; Moons with their months make hasty rounds,

My busy eye-balls inward roll, The Sun has pass'd his vernal bounds,

And there with large survey I see And whirls about the year.

All the wide theatre of me,

And view the various scenes of my retiring soul; Let Folly dress in green and red,

There I walk o'er the mazes I have trod, And gird her waist with flowing gold,

While hope and fear are in a doubtful strife, Knit blushing roses round her head,

Whether this Opera of life
Alas! the gaudy colours fade,

Be-acted well to gain the plaudit of my God.
The garmelt waxes old.
Hartopp, mark the withering rose,

There's a day hastening, ('tis an awful day!)
And the pale gold how dim it shows !

When the great Sovereign shall at large review

All that we speak, and all we do, Bright and lasting bliss below

The several parts we act on this wide stage of clay: Is all romance and dream;

These he approves, and those he blames, Only the joys celestial flow

And crowns perhaps a porter, and a prince he damns. In an eternal stream:

O if the Judge from his tremendous seat The pleasures that the smiling day

Shall not condemn what I have done, With large right hand bestows,

I shall be happy though unknown, Falsely her left conveys away,

Nor need the gazing rabble, nor the shouting street. And shuffies in our woes.

I hate the glory, friend, that springs So have I seen a mother play,

From vulgar breath, and empty sound; And cheat her silly child;

Fame mounts her upward with a flattering gale She gave and took a toy away,

Upon her airy wings, The infant cried and smil'd.

Till Envy shoots, and Fame receives the wound: Airy Chance and iron Fate

Then her tagging pinions fail, Hurry and vex our murtal state,

Down Glory falls, and strikes the ground, And all the race of ills create;

And breaks her batter'd liabs.

TO

Rather let me be quite conceal'd from Fame; the accounts are but well balanced at last, and How happy I should lie

things set in a due light, I hope there is no ground In sweet obscurity,

for censure. Here you will find an attempt made Nor the lond world pronounce my little name! to talk of one of the most important concerns of Here I could live and die alone;

human nature in verse, and that with a solemnity Or, if society be due

becoming the argument. I have banished grimace To keep our taste of pleasure new,

and ridicule, that persons of the most serious chaGunston, I'd live and die with you,

racter may read without offence. What was writFor both our souls are one.

ten several years ago to yourself, is now permitted Here we could sit and pass the hour,

to entertain the world; but you may assume it to And pity kingdoms and their kings,

yourself as a private entertainment still, while you And smile at all their shining things,

lie concealed behind a feigned name, Their toys of state, and images of power ;

Virtue should dwell within our seat,

Virtue alone could make it sweet,
Nur is herself secure but in a close retreat.

THE MOURNING-PIECE.
While she withdraws from public praise,
Envy perhaps would cease to rail,

Life's a long tragedy: this globe the stage,
Envy itself may innocently gaze

Well fix'd and well adorn’d with strong machines, At Beauty in a veil:

Gay fields, and skies, and seas: the actors many: But if she once advance to light,

The plot immense: a flight of demons sit
Her charms are lost in Envy's sight,

On every sailing cloud with fatal purpose;
And Virtue stands the mark of universal spite.

And shoots across the scenes ten thousand arrows
Perpetual and unseen, headed with pain,
With sorrow, infamy, disease, and death.
The pointed plagues fly silent through the air,

Nor twangs the bow, yet sure and deep the wound
JOHN HARTOPP, ESQ.

Dianthe acts her little part alone,
(AFTERWARDS SIR JOHN HARTOPP, BART.) Nor wishes an associate. Lo she glides

Single through all the storm, and more secure;
THE DISDAIN.

Less are her dangers, and her breast receives 1700.

The fewest darts. “ But, O my lov'd Marilla, HARTOPP, I love the soul that dares

My sister, once my friend, (Dianthe cries) Tread the temptations of his years

How much art thou expos'd! Thy growing soul Beneath his youthful feet:

Doubled in wedlock, multiplied in children, Fleetwood and all thy heavenly line

Stands but the broader mark for all the mischiefs Look through the stars, and sinile divine

That rore promiscuous o'er the mortal stage: l'pon an heir so great.

Children, those dear young liibs, those tenderest Young Hartopp knows this noble theme,

Of your own flesh, those little other selves, [pieces That the wild scenes of busy life,

How they dilate the heart to wide dimensions, The noise, th' amusements, and the strife,

And soften every fibre to improve Are but the visions of the night,

The mother's sad capacity of pain ! Gay phantoms of delusive light,

I mourn Fidelio too; though Heaven has chose Or a vexatious dream.

A farourite mate for him, of all her sex Flesh is the vilest and the least

The pride and flower. How blest the lovely pair, Ingredient of our frame:

Beyond expression, if well mingled loves We're born to live above the beast,

And woes well mingled could improve our bliss ! Oc quit the manly name.

Amidst the rugged cares of life behold Pleasures of sense we leave for boys;

The father and the husband ; flattering names, Be shining dust the miser's food;

That spread his title, and enlarge his share Let Fancy feed on fame and noise,

Of common wretchedness. He fondly hopes Souls must pursue diviner joys,

To multiply his joys, but every hour
And seize th' immortal good.

Renews the disappointment and the smart.
There not a wound afflicts the meanest joint
Of his fair partner, or her infant-train,
(Sweet babes!) but pierces to his inmost soul.

Strange is thy power, O Love' what numerous veins,
MITIO, MY FRIEND.

And arteries, and arms, and hands, and eyes,
Are link'd and fasten'd to a lover's heart,

By strong but secret strings ! With vain attempt FORCive me, Mitio, that there should be any mor- We put the Stoic on; in vain we try tifying lines in the following poems inscribed to To break the ties of nature and of blood; you, so soon after your entrance into that state, Those hidden threads maintain the dear communion which was designed for the completest happiness Inviolably firm ; their thrilling motions on Earth : but you will quickly discover that the Reciprocal give endless sympathy Muse in the first poem only represents the shades In all the bitters and the sweets of life. and dark colours that melancholy throws upon Thrice happy man, if Pleasure only knew love and the social life. In the second, perhaps, These avenues of love to reach our souls, she indulges her own bright ideas a little. Yet if | And Pain bad never found them !"

TO

AN EPISTLE,

Thas sang the tuneful maid, fearful to try

THE SECOND PART : OR,
The bold experiment. Oft Daphnia came,
And oft Narcissus, rivals of her heart,

THE BRIGHT VISION.
Luring her eyes with trifles dipt in gold,

Thus far the Muse, in unaccustom'd mood, And the gay silken bondage. Firm she stood, And strains unpleasing to a lover's ear, And bold repuls'd the bright temptation still, Indulg'd a gloom of thought; and thus she sang Nor put the chains on ; dangerous to try,

Partial: for Melancholy's hateful form And hard to be dissolv’d. Yet rising tears Stood by in sable robe: the pensive Muse Sat on her eye-lids, whfle her pumbers flow'd Survey'd the darksome scenes of life, and sought Harmonious sorrow; and the pitying drops Some bright relieving glimpse, some cordial ray Stole down her cheeks to mourn the hapless state In the fair world of love. But while she gaz'd Of mortal love. Love, thou best blessing sent Delightful on the state of twin-born souls To soften life, and make our iron cares

United, blest, the cruel shade applied Easy : but thy own cares of softer kind

A dark long tube, and a false tinctur'd glass Give sharper wounds: they lodge too near the heart, Deceitful : blending love and life at once Beat, like the pulse, perpetual, and create

In darkness, chaos, and the common mass A strange uneasy sense, a tempting pain.

Of misery. Now Uran a feels the cheat,

And breaks the hated optic in disdain. Say, my companion Mitio, speak sincere, Swift vanishes the sullen form, and lo (For thou art learned now) what anxious thoughts, The scene shines bright with bliss. Behold the place What kind perplexities tumultuous rise,

Where mischiefs never fly, cares never come If but the absence of a day divide

With wrinkled brow, nor anguish, nor disease, 'Thee from thy fair beloved ! Vainly smiles Nor malice forky-tongued. On this dear spot, The cheerful Sun, and Night with radiant eyes Mitio, my love would fix and plant thy station Twinkles in vain : the region of thy soul

To act thy part of life, serene and blest,
Is darkness, till thy better star appear.

With the fair consort fitted to thy heart.
Tell me, what toil, what torment to sustain
The rolling burthen of the tedious hours ?

Sure, 'tis a vision of that happy grove

Where the first authors of our mournful race
The tedious hours are ages. Fancy roves
Restless in fond inquiry, nor believes

Liv'd in sweet partnership! One hour they livet Charissa safe : Charissa, in whose life

But chang'd the tasted bliss (imprudent pair!) Thy life consists, and in her comfort thine.

For sin and shame, and this waste wilderness

Of briers, and nine hundred years of pain. Fear and surmise put on a thousand forms

The wishing Muse new-dresses the fair garden
Of dear disquietude, and round thine ears

Amid this desert world, with budding bliss,
Whisper ten thousand dangers, endless woes,
Till thy frame shudders at her fancied death :

And ever-greens, and balms, and flowery beauties, Then dies my Mitio, and his blood creeps cold

Without one dangerous tree. There heavenly dews Through every vein. Speak, does the stranger And verdant herbage; drops of fragrancy

Nightly descending shall impearl the grass Cast happy guesses at the unknown passion, (Muse Sit trembling on the spires: the spicy yapours Or has she fabled all ? Inform me, friend,

Rise with the dawn, and through the air diflus'd Are half thy joys sincere? thy hopes fulfill'd, Or frustrate Here commit thy secret griefs

Salute your waking senses with perfume:

While vital fruits with their ambrosial juice
To faithful ears, and be they buried here
In friendship and oblivion ; lest they spoil

Renew life's purple flood and fountain, pure

From vicious taint; and with your innocence Thy new-born pleasures with distasteful gall.

Immortalize the structure of your clay.
Nor let thine eye too greedily drink in

On this new Paradise the cloudless skies
The frightful prospect, when untimely Death
Shall make wild inroads on a parent's heart,

Shall smile perpetual, while the lamp of day
And his dear offspring to the cruel grave

With flames unsullied (as the fabled torch

Of Hymen) measures out your golden hours
Are dragg'd in sad succession, while his soul

Along his azure road. The nuptial Moon
Is torn away piece-meal. Thus dies the wretch
A various death, and frequent, ere he quit

In milder rays serene, should nightly rise

Full orb'd (if Heaven and Nature will indulge The theatre, and make his exit final.

So fair an emblem), big with silver joys, But if his dearest half, his faithful mate

And still forget her wane. The feather'd choir, Survive, and in the sweetest saddest airs

Warbling their Maker's praise on early wing, Of love and grief approach with trembling hand

Or perch’d'on evening bough, shall juin your worship, To close his swimming eyes, what double pangs,

Join your sweet vespers, and the morning song. What racks, what twinges rend his heart-strings off

O sacred symphony! hark, through the grove From the fair bosom of that fellow-dove

I hear the sound divine! I'm all attention, He leaves behind to mourn! What jealous cares All ear, all ecstasy ; unknown delight! Hang on his parting soul, to think his love

And the fair Muse proclaims the Heaven below, Expos'd to wild oppression, and the herd

Not the seraphic minds of high degree Of savage men ! So parts the dying turtle

Disdain converse with men. Again returning, With sobbing accents, with such sad regret

I see th' ethereal host on downward wing. Leaves his kind feather'd mate. The widow bird Lo, at the eastern gate young cherubs stand Wanders in lonesome shades, forgets her food, Guardians, commission'd to convey their joys Forgets her life ; or falls a speedier prey

To earthly lovers. Go, ye happy pair, To talon'd falcons, and the crooked beak

Go taste their banquet, learn the nobler pleasures Of hawks athirst for blood

Supernal, and from brutal dregs refin'd,

« PreviousContinue »