Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Deep harvests bury all his pride has plann'd,
And laughing Ceres re-assume the land.

Who then shall grace, or who improve the soil?
Who plants like Bathurst, or whu builds like Boyle.
"Tis use alone that sanctifies expense,
And splendour borrows all her rays from sense. 180

His father's acres who enjoys in peace,
Or makes his neighbours glad, if he increase ;
Whose cheerful tenants bless their yearly toil,
Yet to their lord owe more than to the soil;
Whose ample lawns are not ashamed to feed
The milky heifer and deserving steed;
Whose rising forests, not for pride or show,
But future buildings, future navies, grow:
Let his plantations stretch from down to down,
First shade a country, and then raise a town. 190

You, too, proceed! make falling arts your care,
Erect new wonders, and the old repair;
Jones and Palladio to themselves restore,
And be whate'er Vitruvius was before :
Till kings call forth th' ideas of your mind
(Proud to accomplish what such hands design'd),
Bid harbours open, public ways extend,
Bid temples worthier of the God ascend;
Bid the broad arch the dangerous flood contain,
The mole projected break the roaring main ;

200
Back to his bounds their subject sea command,
And roll obedient rivers through the land :
These honours peace to happy Britain brings;
These are imperial works, and worthy kings.

EPISTLE V.

TO MR. ADDISON. Occasioned by his Dialogues on Medals. This was originally written in the year 1715, when Mr. Addison intended to publish his book of medals; it was some time before he was secretary of state ; but not published till Mr. Tickell's edition of his works; at which time his verses on Mr Craggs, which conclude the poem, were added, vis. in 1720,

As the third Epistle treated of the extremes of avarice and profusion; and the fourth took up one particular branch of the latter, namely, the vanity of expense in people of wealth and quality, and was therefore a corollary to the third ; so this treats of one circumstance of that vanity, as it appears in the common collectors of old coins ; and is, therefore, a corollary to the fourth. See the wild waste of all-devouring years ! Huw Rome her own sad sepulchre appears ! With nodding arches, broken temples spread ! The very tombs now vanish'd like their dead ! Imperial wonders raised on nations spoil'd, Where, mix'd with slaves, the groaning martyr toil'd: Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods, Now drain'd a distant country of her floods : Fanes, which admiring gods with pride survey; Statues of men, scarce less alive than they; 10 Some felt the silent stroke of mouldering age, Some hostile fury, some religious rage : Barbarian blindness, Christian zeal conspire, And Papal piety, and Gothic fire. Perhaps, by its own ruin saved from flame, Some buried marble half preserves a name; That name the learn'd with fierce disputes pursue, And give to Titus old Vespasian's due.

Ambition sigh'd : she found it vain to trust The faithless column and the crumbling bust; 20 Huge moles, whose shadows stretch'd from shore to Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more! (shore, Convinced, she now contracts her vast design, And all her triumphs shrink into a coin. A narrow orb each crowded conquest keeps, Beneath her palm here sad Judea weeps. Now scantier limits the proud arch confine, And scarce are seen the prostrate Nile or Rhine; A small Euphrates through the piece is roll'd, And little eagles wave their wings in gold,

30 The medal faithful to its charge of fame, Th climes and ages bea

form and name : In one short view subjected to our eye, Gods, emperors, heroes, sages, beauties, lie.

With sharpen'd sight pale antiquaries pore,
Th' inscription value, but the rust adore.
This the blue varnish, that the green endears,
The sacred rust of twice ten hundred years !
To gain Pescennius one employs his schemes,
One grasps a Cecrops in ecstatic dreams.

40
Poor Vadius, long with learned spleen devour'd,
Can taste no pleasure since his shield was scour'd:
And Curio, restless by the fair-one's side.
Sighs for an Otho, and neglects his bride.

Theirs is the vanity, the learning thine :
Touch'd by thy hand, again Rome’s glories shine ;
Her gods and godlike heroes rise to view,
And all her faded garlands bloom anew.
Nor blush these studies thy regard engage :
These pleased the fathers of poetic rage :

50 The verse and sculpture bore an equal part, And art reflected images to art.

Oh, when shall Britain, conscious of her claim, Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame? In living medals see her wars enroll’d, And vanquish'd realms supply recording gold? Here, rising bold, the patriot's honest face; There, warriors frowning in historic brass ; Then future ages with delight shall see How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks agree; 60 Or in fair series laurellid bards be shewn, A Virgil there, and here an Addison. Then shall thy Craggs (and let me call him mine) On the cast ore, another Pollio, shine; With aspect open shall erect his head, And round the orb in lasting notes be read,

Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere, In action faithful, and in honour clear : Who broke no promise, served no private end, Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend; 70 Ennobled by himself, by all approved, And praised, unenvied, by the muse he loved.

EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT ;

BEING
THE PROLOGUE TO THE SATIRES,

ADVERTISEMENT To the first Publication of this Epistle. This paper is a sort of bill of complaint, begun many years since, and drawn up by snatches, as the several occasions of fered. I had no thoughts of publishing it, till it pleased some persons of rank and fortune (the authors of Verses to the Imitator of Horace, and of an Epistle to a Doctor of Divinity from

a Nobleman at Hampton Court] to attack, in a very extraordinary manner, not only my writings (of which, being public, the public is judge) but my person, morals, and family: whereof, to those who know me not, a truer information may be requisite. Being divided between the necessity to say something of myself, and my own laziness

to undertake so awkward a task, I thought it the shortest way to put the last hand to this Epistle. If it have any thing pleasing, it will be that by which I am most desirous to please, the truth aud the sentiment; and if any thing offensive, it will be only to those I am least sorry to offend, the vicious or the ungenerous.

Many will know their own pictures in it, there being not a circumstance but what is true; but I have, for the most part, spared their names; and they may escape being laughed at, ir they please.

I would have some of them to know, it was owing to the re. quest of the learned and candid friend to whom it is inscribed, that I make not as free use of theirs as they have done of mine. However, I shall have this advantage and honour on my side, that whereas, by their proceeding, any abuse may be directed at any man, no injury can possibly be done by mine, since a nameless character can never be found out but by its truth and likeness. P.'SAUT, shut the door, good John!' fatigued, I said. 'Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.' The dog-star rages ! nay, 'tis past a doubt, All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out : Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand, They rave, recite, and madden round the land.

What walls can guard me, or what shades can hide? They pierce my thickets, through my grot they glide, By land, by water, they renew the charge; They stop the chariot, and they board the barge. No place is sacred, not the church is free, E'en Sunday shines no sabbath-day to me; Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme, Happy! to catch me, just at dinner-time.

Is there a parson, much bemused in beer, A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer,

A clerk foredoom'd his father's soul to cross,
Who pens a stanza when he should engross?
Is there who, lock'd from ink and paper, scrawls
With desperate charcoal round his darken'd walls?
All fly to Twit nam, and in humble strain
Apply to me, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws,
Imputes to me and my damn'd works the cause :
Poor Corous sees his frantic wife elope,
And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.

Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong,
The world had wanted many an idle song)
What drop or nostrum can this plague remove?
Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love?
A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped;
If foes, they write ; if friends, they read me dead.
Seized and tied down to judge, how wretched I!
Who can't be silent, and who will not lie:
To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace :
And to be grave, exceeds all power of face.
I sit with sad civility; I read
With honest anguish, and an aching head;
And drop at last, but in unwilling ears,
This saving council, “ Keep your piece nine years.'

« Nine years ! cries he, who, high in Drury-lane, Lull’d by soft zephyrs through the broken pane, Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before term ends. Obliged by hunger and request of friends : • The piece, you think, is incorrect; why take it, I'm all submission; what you'd have it make it.'

Three things another's modest wishes bound, My friendship, and a prologue, and ten pound.

Pitholeon sends to me: 'You know his grace : I want a patron; ask him for a place.' Pitholeon libell'd me- but here's a letter Informs you, sir, 'twas when he knew no better. Dare you refuse him? Curll invites to dine, He'll write a journal, or he'll turn divine.' Bless me! a packet.—' 'Tis a stranger sues, A virgin tragedy, an orphan muse. If I dislike it, 'Furies, death, and rage!' If I approve, ‘Commend it to the stage.'

« ZurückWeiter »