Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

Forms the soft bosom with the gentlest art,
And
pours

each human Virtue in the heart. 220
Let Ireland tell, how Wit upheld her cause,
Her Trade supported, and supplied her Laws;
And leave on SWIFT this grateful verse ingrav'd,
“ The Rights a Court attack'd, a Poet sav'd.”
Behold the hand that wrought a Nation's cure, ,
Stretch'd to Y relieve the Idiot and the Poor, 226
Proud Vice to brand, or injur'd Worth adorn,
And * stretch the Ray to Ages yet unborn.
Not but there are, who merit other palms;
Hopkins and Sternhold glad the heart with 'Psalms:
The 2 Boys and Girls whom charity maintains,231
Implore your help in these pathetic strains:

NOTES.

VER. 217. He from the taste obscene, etc.] This, in imitation of his Original, refers to the true Poet,

torquet ab obfcoenis. and likewise to Mr. Addison's papers in the Tatlers, Spectators, and Guardians; the character of which is given in the preceding note. But their excellence may be best gathered from their having procured so long credit to that vast heap of crude and indigested things with which they are intermixed.

Ver. 226. the Idiot and the Poor.) A foundation for the maintenance of Idiots, and a Fund for asisting the Poor, by lending small sums of money on demand.

P. VER. 229. Not but there are, etc.) Nothing can be more truly humorous or witty than all that follows to y 240. Yet the noble fobriety of the original, or, at lealt, the appearance of

Disceret unde preces, vatem ni Musa dediffet ?
Poscit opem chorus, et praesentia numina sentit;
Coelestes implorat aquas,

docta
prece

blandus; Avertit morbos, metuenda pericula pellit;

Impetrat et pacem, et locupletem frugibus annum, Carmine Dî superi placantur, carmine Manes,

· Agricolae prisci, fortes, parvoque beati, Condita poft frumenta, levantes tempore festo

Corpus et ipsum animum spe finis dura ferentem,

Cum sociis operum pueris et conjuge fida,
Tellurem porco,

Silvanum lacte piabant,

Floribus et vino Genium memorem brevis aevi.

Fescennina

per

hunc inventă licentia morem

Versibus alternis opprobria rustica fudit ;
Libertasque recurrentes accepta per annos

NOTES. fobriety, which is the same thing here, is of a taste vastly fuperior to it.

VER. 230. Sternhold.] One of the versifiers of the old singing psalms. He was a Courtier, and Groom of the Robes to Hen, vilt, and of the Bedchamber to Edward vi. Fuller, in

How could Devotion b touch the country pews,
Unless the Gods bestow'd a

proper

Muse ?
Verse chears their leisure, Verse assists their work,
Verse prays for Peace, or fings down Pope and
Turk.

236 The silenc'd Preacher yields to potent strain, And feels that

grace his pray'r besought in vain ; The blessing thrills thro' all the lab’ring throng, And a Heav'n is won by Violence of Song. 240

Our rural Ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labour when the end was rest,
Indulg'd the day that hous’d their annual grain,
With feasts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain:
The joy their wives, their sons, and servants share,
Ease of their toil, and partners of their care: 246
The laugh, the jest, attendants on the bowl,
Smooth'd ev'ry brow, and open'd ev'ry soul :
With growing years the pleasing Licence grew,
And Taunts alternate innocently flew. 250

-1

NOTES. his Church History, says he was esteemed an excellent Poet.

VER. 241. Our rural Ancestors, etc.) This is almost literal ; and shews, that the beauty and spirit, so much admired in these Poems, owe lefs to the liberty of imitating, than to the superios genius of the imitator,

Lusit amabiliter : & donec jam faevus apertam

In rabiem cocpit verti jocus, et per

honeftas

Ire domos impune minax, doluere cruento

Dente laceffiti: fuit intactis quoque cura

Conditione super communi: quin etiam lex Poenaque lata, malo quae nollet carmine dhem

quam

Describi. vertere modum, formidine fustis
Adi bene dicendum, dele&tandumque redacti.

k Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit, et artes

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

VER. 259. Most warp'd to Flatt'ry's side, etc.] These two lines (notwithstanding the reference) are an addition to the Original. They seemed neceffary to compleat the History of the rise and progress of Wit; and, if attended to, will be seen to make much for the argument the Poet is upon, viz. the recommendation of Poetry to the protection of the Magistrate. And is, therefore, what Horace would have chosen to say, had he reAlected on it.

But Times corrupt, and & Nature, ill-inclin'd,
Produc'd the point that left a sting behind;
Till friend with friend, and families at strife,

..
Triumphant Malice rag'd thro' private life.
Who felt the wrong, or fear'd it, took th' alarm,
Appeal’d to Law, and Justice lent her arm. 256
At length, by wholsome "dread of statutes bound,
The Poets learn’d to please, and not to wound:
Most warp'd to · Flatt’ry's side ; but some, more nice,
Preserv'd the freedom, and forbore the vice. 260
Hence Satire rose, that just the medium hit,
And heals with Morals what it hurts with Wit.
k We conquer'd France, but felt our Captive's

charms; Her Arts victorious triumph'd o'er our Arms; Britain to soft refinements less a foe,

265 Wit grew polite, and Numbers learn’d to flow.

NOTES. VER. 263. We conquerid France, etc.] The instance the Poet here gives, to answer that in the Original, is not so happy. However, it might be said with truth, that our Intrigues on the Continent brought us acquainted with the Provincial Poets, and produced Chaucer. I, only, wonder, when he had such an example before him, of a Bard who fo greatly polished the rusticity of his age, he did not use it to paraphrafe the sense of

Defluxit numerus Saturnius, et grave virus
Munditiae pepulere ;

« ZurückWeiter »