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TO THE MEMORY OF AN UNFORTUNATE LADY.
See thy bright altars throng'd with prostrate kings, No friend's complaint, no kind domestic tear
By foreign hands thy dying eyes were clos'd, And seeds of gold in Ophir's mountains glow. By foreign hands thy decent limbs compos'd ; See Heaven his sparkling portals wide display, By foreign hands thy humble grave adorn'd, And break upon thee in a flood of day!
By strangers honor'd, and by strangers mourn'd! No more the rising Sun shall gild the morn, What though no friends in sable weeds appear, Nor evening Cynthia fill her silver horn;
Grieve for an hour, perhaps, then mourn a year But lost, dissolv'd in thy superior rays,
And bear about the mockery of woe One tide of glory, one unclouded blaze
To midnight dances, and the public show?
There shall the morn her earliest tears bestow,
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The ground now sacred by thy relics made.
So, peaceful rests, without a stone, a name,
What once had beauty, titles, wealth, and fame. What beckoning ghost, along the moonlight shade, How lov'd, how honor'd once, avails thee not, Invites my steps, and points lo yonder glade ?
To whom related, or by whom begot; 'Tis she!—but why that bleeding bosom gor'd,
A heap of dust alone remains of thee, Why dimly gleams the visionary sword ?
'Tis all thou art, and all the proud shall be! Oh, ever beauteous, ever friendly! tell,
Poets themselves must fall, like those they sung, Is it, in Heaven, a crime to love too well ?
Deaf the prais'd ear, and mute the tuneful tongue To bear too tender, or too firm a heart,
Ev'n he, whose soul now melts in mournful lays, To act a love or a Roman's part ?
Shall shortly want the generous tear he pays; Is there no bright reversion in the sky,
Then from his closing eyes thy form shall part: For those who greatly think, or bravely die ?
And the last pang shall tear thee from his heart;
The Muse forgot, and thou belov'd no more !
The first Part (to verse 132.) imitated in the Year 1714, by Dim lights of life, that burn a length of years,
Dr. Swift; the latter Part added afterwards.
I've often wish'd that I had clear
For life, six hundred pounds a year, From these perhaps (ere Nature bade her die) A handsome house to lodge a friend, Fate snatch'd her early to the pitying sky.
A river at my garden's end, As into air the purer spirits flow,
A terrace-walk, and half a rood And separate from their kindred dregs below; Of land, set out to plant a wood. So Aew the soul to its congenial place,
Well, now I have all this and more,
I ask not to increase my store;
All this is mine but till I die;
I can't but think 'twould sound more clever These cheeks now fading at the blast of Death ; To me and to my heirs for ever. Cold is that breast which warm'd the world before, “If I ne'er got or lost a groat, And those love-darting eyes must roll no more. By any trick, or any fault; Thus, if eternal Justice rules the ball,
And if I pray by Reason's rules, Thus shall your wives, and thus your children fall: And not like forty other fools : On all the line a sudden vengeance waits,
As thus, · Vouchsafe, oh gracious Maker! And frequent hearses shall besiege your gates : To grant me this and t'other acre: There passengers shall stand, and pointing say, Or, if it be thy will and pleasure, (While the long funerals blacken all the way,) Direct my plow to find a treasure:' “Lo! these were they, whose souls the Furies steeld, But only what my station fits, And curst with hearts unknowing how to yield.” And to be kept in my right wits, Thus unlamented pass the proud away,
Preserve, Almighty Providence! The gaze of fools, and pageant of a day!
Just what you gave me, competence : So perish all, whose breast ne'er learn'd to glow And let me in these shades compose For others' good, or melt at others' woe.
Something in verse as true as prose ; What can atone, oh, ever-injur'd shade :
Remoy'd from all th' ambitious scene, Thy fate unpitied, and thy rites unpaid ?
Nor puff’d by pride, nor sunk by spleen."
In short, I'm perfectly content,
I must by all means come to town,
“Good Mr. Dean, go change your gown,
I get a whisper, and withdraw :
This, humbly ffers me his case-
"Tis (let me see) three years and more,
Where all that passes, inter nos,
Yet some I know with envy swell,
Thus in a sea of folly toss'd,
Our friend Dan Prior told (you know) A tale extremely à propos : Name a town life, and in a trice He had a story of two mice. Once on a time (so runs the fable) A country mouse, right hospitable, Receiv'd a town mouse at his board, Just as a farmer might a lord. A frugal mouse upon the whole, Yet lov'd his friend, and had a soul, Knew what was handsome, and would do't On just occasion, coûle qui coûte. He brought him bacon (nothing lean); Pudding, that might have pleas'd a dean; Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make But wish'd it Stilton for his sake;
ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD AND EARL
Sent to the Earl of Oxford, with Dr. Parnell's Poems
published by our Author, after the said Earl's im. prisonment in the Tower, and Retreat into the Country, in the Year 1721.
Yet, to his guest though no way sparing,
The veriest hermit in the nation
Behold the place, where if a poet
Our courtier walks from dish to dish,
Such were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sudy
Fond to forget the statesman in the friend ;
The sober follies of the wise and great;
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear,
And sure, if aught below the seats divine
In vain to deserts thy retreat is made;
Jonathan Swift, a person who has carried one brought him under the heavy imputation, from species of poetry, that of humorous satire, to a de- which he was never able entirely to free himself, gree never before attained, was, by his parentage, of being a scoffer against revealed religion. of English descent, but probably born in Ireland. His prospects of advancement in the political It is known that his father, also called Jonathan, career were abortive, till 1710, when the Tories having married a Leicestershire lady, died at an came into power. His connexion with this party early age, leaving a daughter, and a posthumous son. began in an acquaintance with Harley, afterwards His widow, being left in narrow circumstances, Earl of Oxford, who introduced him to secretary was invited by her husband's brother, Godwin, St. John, afterwards Lord Boling broke; and, he who resided in Dublin, to his house ; and there, it engaged the confidence of these leaders to such a is supposed, Jonathan was born, on November 30th, degree, that he was admitted to their most secret 1667. After passing some time at a school in Kil. consultations. In all his transactions with them, ha kenny, he was removed to Trinity College, Dublin, was most scrupulously attentive to preserve every in his 15th year; in which university he spent seven appearance of being on an equality, and to repress years, and then obtained with difficulty the degree every thing that looked like slight or neglect on of bachelor of arts, conferred speciali gratia. The their parts; and there probably is not another er. circumstance affords sufficient proof of the misap- ample of a man of letters who has held his head so plication of his talents to mathematical pursuits ; high in his association with men in power. This but he is said to have been at this period engaged was undoubtedly owing to that constitutional pride eight hours a day in more congenial studies. and unsubmitting nature which governed all his
So profuse are the materials for the life of Swift, actions. that it has become almost a vain attempt to give, in A bishopric in England was the object at which a moderate compass, the events by which he was he aimed, and a vacancy on the bench occurring, distinguished from ordinary mortals; and it will he was recommended by his friends in the ministry therefore be chiefly in his character of a poetical to the Queen; but suspicions of his faith, and other composer that we shall now consider him. He was prejudices, being raised against him, he was passed early domesticated with the celebrated statesman, over; and the highest preferment which his patrons Sir William Temple, who now lived in retirement could venture to bestow upon him was the deanery at Moor Park; but having made choice of the of St. Patrick's, in Dublin; to which he was prechurch as his future destination, on parting in sented in 1713, and in which he continued for life. some disagreement from Temple, he went to Ire. The death of the Queen put an end to all contests land, with very moderate expectations, and took among the Tory ministers; and the change termi. orders. A reconciliation with his patron brought nated Swift's prospects, and condemned him to an him back to Moor Park, where he passed his time unwilling residence in a country which he always in harmony till the death of Sir William, who left disliked. On his return to Dublin, his temper was him a legacy and his papers. He then accepted severely tried by the triumph of the Whigs, who an invitation from the earl of Berkeley, one of the treated him with great indignily; but in length of Lords Justices of Ireland, to accompany him time, by a proper exercise of his clerical office, by thither as chaplain and private secretary; and he reforms introdnced into the chapter of St. Patrick's, continued in the family as long as his lordship re- and by his bold and able exposures of the abuses mained in that kingdom. Here Swist began to practised in the government of Ireland, he rose to distinguish himself by an incomparable talent of the title of King of the Mob in that capital. writing humorous verses in the true familiar style, His conduct with respect to the female sex was several specimens of which he produced for the not less unaccountable than singular, and certainly amusement of the house. After Lord Berkeley's does no honor to his memory. Early in life he return to England, Swift went to reside at his attached himself to his celebrated Stella, whose real living at Laracor, in the diocese of Meath; and name was Johnson, the daughter of Sir William here it was that ambition began to take possession Temple's steward. Soon after his settlement at of his mind. He thought it proper to increase his Laracor, he invited her to Ireland. She came, acconsequence by taking the degree of doctor of companied by a Mrs. Dingley, and resided near divinity in an English university; and, for the pur. the parsonage when he was at home, and in it when pose of forming connexions, he paid annual visits he was absent; nor were they ever known to lodge to that country. In 1701, he first engaged as a in the same house, or to see each other without a political writer ; and, in 1704, he published, though witness. In 1716, he was privately married to her, anonymously, his celebrated “Tale of a Tub," but the parties were brought no nearer than before which, while it placed him high as a writer, dis- and the act was attended with no acknowledgment tinguished by wit and humor of a peculiar cast, that could gratify the feelings of a woman who
had so long devoted herself to him. About the humorous and sarcastic was his habitual taste, year 1712, he became acquainted, in London, with which he frequently indulged beyond the bounds of Miss Esther Vanhomrigh, a young lady of fortune, decorum ; a circumstance which renders the task with a taste for literature, which Swift was fond of of selection from his works somewhat perplexing. cultivating. To her he wrote the longest and most In wit, both in verse and prose, he stands foremost finished of his poems, entitled Cadenus and in grave irony, maintained with the most plausible Vanessa ; and her attachment acquired so much air of serious simplicity, and supported by great strength, that she made him the offer of her hand. minuteness of detail. His “Gulliver's Travels" Even after his marriage to Stella, Swift kept are a remarkable exemplification of his powers in Miss Vanhomrigh in ignorance of this connexion; this kind, which have rendered the work wonder. but a report of it having at length reached her, she fully amusing, even to childish readers, whilst the took the step of writing a note to Stella, requesting keen satire with which it abounds may gratify the to know if the marriage were real. Stella assured most splenetic misanthropist. In general, however, her of the affirmative in her answer, which she his style in prose, though held up as a model of inclosed to Swist, and went into the country without clearness, purity, and simplicity, has only the merit seeing him. Swift went immediately to the house of expressing the author's meaning with perfect of Miss Vanhomrigh, threw Stella's letter on the precision. table, and departed, without speaking a word. She Late in life, Swift fell under the fate which he never recovered the shock, and died in 1723. dreaded : the faculties of his mind decayed before Stella, with her health entirely ruined, languished those of his body, and he gradually settled into abon till 1728, when she expired. Such was the fate solute idiocy. A total silence for some months which he prepared for both.
preceded his decease, which took place in October, Of the poems of Swift, some of the most striking 1744, when he was in his 78th year. He was inwere composed in mature life, after his attainment terred in St. Patrick's cathedral, under a monuof his deanery of St. Patrick; and it will be ad- ment, for which he wrote a Latin epitaph, in which mitted that no one ever gave a more perfect ex- one clause most energetically displays the state of ample of the easy familiarity attainable in the his feelings :-“Ubi sæva indignatio ulterius cor English language. His readiness in rhyme is lacerare nequit.” He bequeathed the greatest part truly astonishing; the most uncommon associations of his property to an hospital for lunatics and of sounds coming to him as it were spontaneously, idiots, in words seemingly the best adapted to the occasion. That he was capable of high polish and elegance,
To show, by one satiric touch,
No nation wanted it so much. some of his works sufficiently prove; but the
CADENUS AND VANESSA.*
WRITTEN AT WINDSOR, 1713.
The shepherds and the nymphs were seen
Against our sovereign lady's peace,
The nymphs with scorn beheld their foes
* Founded on an offer of marriage made by Miss Von. homrigh to Dr. Swift, who was occasionally her precep. tor. The lady's unhappy story is well known.