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"wift, for silver eels renown'd; The Loauc. slow, with verdant alders crown'd; Cole, whose dark streams his flowery islands lave; And chalky Wey, that rolls a milky waye : The blue, transparent Vandalis appears ; The gulfy Lee his sedgy tresses rears; and sullen Mole, that hides his diving flood; And silent Darent, stain'd with Danish blood.
High in the midst, upon his urg reclin'd, (His sea-green mantle waving with the wind) The god appear'd: he turn'd his azure eyes Where Windsor-domes and pompous turrets rise ; Then bow'd and spoke; the winds forget to roar, And the hush'd waves glide softly to the shore :
“ Hail, sacred peace! hail, long-expected days, That Thames's glory to the stars shall raise! Though Tyber's streams immortal Rome behold, Though foaming Hermus swells with tides of gold, From Heav'n itself though sevenfold Nilus flows, And harvests on a hundred realms bestows; These now no more shall be the Muse's themes, Lost in my fame, as in the sea their streams. Let Volga's banks with iron squadrons shine, And groves of lances glitter on the Rhine; Let barbarous Ganges arm a servile train, Be mine the blessings of a peaceful reign. No more my sons shall dye with British blood Red Iber's sands, or Ister's foaming flood : Safe on my shore each unmolested swain Shall tend the docks, or reap the bearded grain; The shady empire sball retain no trace. Of war or blood, but in the silvan chace; The trumpet sleep, while cheerful horns are blown, And arms employ'd on birds and beasts alone. Behold! the ascending villas op my side, Project long shadows o'er the crystal tide; Behold! Augusta's: glittering spires increase, And temples rise, the beauteous works of peace. I see, I see, where two fair cities bend Their ample bow, a new Whitehall ascend !
There mighty nations shall inquire their doom,
Weapons blunted, and extinct her fires :
There Faction roar, Rebellion bite her chain,
Here cease thy flight, nor with unhallow'd lays,
To Robert Earl of Oxford and Mortimer."
were the notes thy once-lov'd poet sung, Till death untimely stopp'd his tuneful tongue. Oh, just beheld and lost! admir'd and mourn'd! With softest manners, gentlest arts, adorn'd! Bless'd in each ścience! bless'd in every strain ! Dear to the Muse! to Harley dear-in vain!
For him thou oft hast bid the world attend, Fond to forget the statesman in the friend; For Swift and him despis'd the farce of state, The sober follies of the wise and great ; Dext'rous the craving, fawning, crowd to quit, And pleas'd to 'scape from flattery to wit.
• Sent to the Earl of Oxford with Dr. Parnell's poems, published by our author after the said Earl's imprisonment in the Tower and retreat into the country, in the year 1721.
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear, (A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear) Recall those nights that clos'd thy toilsome days, Still hear thy Parnell in his living lays; Who, careless now of interest, fame, or fate, Perhaps forgets that Oxford e'er was great ; Or deeming meanest what we greatest call, Beholds thee glorious only in thy fall.
And sure if aught below the seats divine Can touch immortals, 'tis a soul like thine ; A soul supreme, in each hard instance tried, Above all pain, all passion, and all pride, The rage of pow's, the blast of public breath, The lust of lucre, and the dread of death.
In vain to deserts thy retreat is made, The Muse attends thee to thy silent shade: "Tis her's the brave man's latest steps to trace, Rejudge his acts, and dignify disgrace. When Interest calls off all her sneaking train, And all the oblig'd desert, and all the vain, She waits, or to the scaffold or the cell, When the last lingering friend has bid farewell. Ev'n now she shades thy evening walk with bays; (No hireling she, no prostitute to praise) Ev'n now, observant of the parting ray, Eyes the calm sunset of thy various day, Through fortune's cloud one truly great can see, Nor fears to tell that Mortimer is he.
To James Craggs, Esq. Secretary of State. 1720. A Soul,
as full of worth as void of pride, Which nothing seeks to show, or needs to hide, Which nor to guilt nor fear its caution owes, And boasts a warmth that from no passion flows. A face untaught to feign ; a judging eye, That darts severe upon a rising lie, And strikes a blush through frontless flattery.
All this thou wert; and being this before,
To Mr. Jeroas, with Mr. Dryden's Translation of
Fresnoy's Art of Painting." THIS
verse be thine, my friend ! nor thou refuse This from no venal or ungrateful Muse. Whether thy hand strike out some free design, Where life awakes, and dawns at every line, Or blend in beauteous tints the colour'd mass, And from the canvass call the mimic face; Read these instructive leaves, in which conspire Fresnoy's close art and Dryden's native fire; And reading wish, like theirs, our fate and fame, So mix'd our studies, and so join'd our name; Like them to shine through long succeeding age, So just thy skill, so regular my rage.
Smit with the love of sister-arts we came, And met congenial, mingling flame with flame; Like friendly colours found them both unite, And each from each contract new strength and light. How oft in pleasing tasks we wear the day, While summer-suns roll unperceiv'd away! How oft our slowly-growing works impart, While images reflect from art to art! How oft review ; each finding, like a friend, Something to blame, and something to commend !
* This epistle, and the two following were written some years before the rest, and originally printed in 1717.