« ZurückWeiter »
Well, if our author in the wife offends, 25 He has a husband that will make amends: He draws him gentle, tender, and forgiving; And sure such kind good creatures may be living. In days of old, they pardon'd breach of vows, Stern Cato's self was no relentless spouse : SO Plu–Plutarch, what's his name, that writes his life? Tells us, that Cato dearly lov’d his wife : Yet if a friend, a night or so, should need her, He'd recommend her as a special breeder. To lend a wife, few here would scruple make; 35 But, pray, which of you all would take her back? Though with the stoic chief our stage may ring, The stoic husband was the glorious thing. The man bad courage, was a sage, 'tis true. And lov’d his country--but what's that to you? 40 Those strange examples ne'er were made to fit ye, But the kind cuckold might instruct the city: There, many an honest man may copy Cato, Who ne'er saw naked sword, or look'd in Plato. If, after all, you think it a disgrace,
45 That Edward's miss thus perks it in your face; To see a piece of failing flesh and blood, In all the rest so impudently good; Faith, let the modest matrons of the town Come here in crowds, and stare the strumpet down.
ON RECEIVING FROM
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
THE LADY FRANCES SHIRLEY,
A STANDISH AND TWO PENS
Yes, I beheld th’ Athenian Queen
Descend in all her sober charms;
" And take," she said, and smil'd serene,
“ Take at this hand celestial arms:
* These lines were occasioned by the poet's being threatened with a prosecution in the House of Lords, for writing the Epilogue to the Satires. VOL. II.
“ Secure the radiant weapons wield;
This golden lance shall guard desert,
And if a vice dares keep the field,
This steel shall stab it to the heart."
Aw'd, on my bended knees I fell,
Receiv'd the weapons of the sky,
And dipp'd them in the sable well,
The fount of fame or infamy.
“ What well ? what weapon?" Flavia cries,
" A standish, steel, and golden pen!
It came from Bertrand's, not the skies;
to write again.
“ But, friend! take heed whom you attack;
You'll bring a House (I mean of Peers)
Red, blue, and green, nay, white and black,
L** and all about your ears.
6 You'd write as smooth again on glass,
And run on ivory so glib,
As not to stick at fool or ass,
Nor stop at Aattery or fib.
6 Athenian Queen! and sober charms!
I tell ye, fool! there's nothing in't:
'Tis Venus, Venus gives these arms;
In Dryden's Virgil see the print.
“ Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
That dares tell neither truth nor lies,
I'll list you in the harmless roll
Of those that sing of these poor eyes.”
BY A PERSON OF QUALITY.
Written in the Year 1733.
FLUTTERING spread thy purple pinion's,
Gentle Cupid ! o'er my heart;
I a slave in thy dominions:
Nature must give way to art.
Mild Arcadians, ever blooming,
Nightly nodding o'er your flocks,
See my weary days consuming
All beneath yon flowery rocks.
Thus the Cyprian goddess weeping,
Mourn'd Adonis, darling youth!
Him the boar, in silence creeping,
Gor'd with unrelenting tooth.
Cynthia! tune harmonious numbers;
Fair Discretion ! string the lyre !
Sooth my ever-waking slumbers;
Bright Apollo! lend thy choir.
Gloomy Pluto! king of terrors,
Arm’d'in adamantine chains,
Lead me to the chrystal mirrors,
Watering soft Elysian plains.
Mournful cypress, verdant willow,
Gilding my Aurelia's brows,
Morpheus hovering o'er my pillow,
Hear me pay my dying vows.
Melancholy smooth Mæander
Swiftly purling in a round,
On thy margin lovers wander,
With thy flow'ry chaplets crown'd.
Thus when Philomela drooping,
Softly seeks her silent mate,
See the bird of Juno stooping;
Melody resigns to Fate.
When simple Macer, now of high renown,
First sought a poet's fortune in the town,
'Twas all th' ambition his high soul could feel
To wear red stockings, and to dine with Steele :
Some ends of verse his betters might afford,
And gave the harmless fellow a good word.
Set up with these he ventur’d on the town,
And with a borrow'd play outdid poor Crown.
There he stopp'd short, nor since has writ a tittle,
But has the wit to make the most of little; 10
Like stunted hide-bound trees, that just have got
Sufficient sap at once to bear and rot.
Now he begs verse, and what he gets commends,
Not of the wits his foes, but fools his friends.
So some coarse country-wench, almost decay'd, 15
Trudges to town, and first turns chambermaid;
Awkward and supple each devoir to pay,
She flatters her good lady twice a-day;
Thought wondrous honest, tho' of mean degree,
And strangely lik'd for her simplicity:
20 In a translated suit then tries the town, With borrow'd pins, and patches not her own; But just endur'd the winter she began, And in four months a batter'd harridan: Now nothing left, but wither'd, pale, and shrunk, To bawd for others, and go shares with punk. 26
A CERTAIN LADY AT COURT.
I know the thing that's most uncommon;
(Envy be silent and attend !)
I know a reasonable woman,
Handsome and witty, yet a friend.
Not warp'd by passion, aw'd by rumour,
Not grave through pride, nor gay through folly,
An equal mixture of good humour,
And sensible soft melancholy.
“ Has she not faults then (Envy says), sir ?”
Yes, she has one, I must aver;
When all the world conspires to praise her,
The woman's deaf, and does not hear.
VERBATIM FROM BOILEAU.
Un jour, dit un auteur, &c. ONCE (says an author, where I need not say) Two travellers found an oyster in their way: Both fierce, both hungry, the dispute grew strong, While, scale in hand, dame Justice pass'd along. Before her each with clamour pleads the laws, 5 Explain'd the matter, and would win the cause. Danie Justice weighing long the doubtful right, Takes, opens, swallows it before their sight. The cause of strife remov’d so rarely well, There take (says Justice), take ye each a shell. We thrive at Westminster on fools like you: 'Twas a fat oyster-live in peace-Adieu.”
TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTION OF MRS. HOWE.
What is prudery?
'Tis a beldam,
Seen with wit and beauty seldom.
"Tis a fear that starts at shadows;
'Tis (no, 'tis n't) like Miss Meadows.
'Tis a virgin hard of feature,
Old, and void of all good-nature;
Lean and fretful; would seem wise,
Yet plays the fool before she dies.
'Tis an ugly envious shrew,
That rails at dear Lepell and you.
OF HIS GRACE THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
Muse, 'tis enough, at length thy labour ends,
And thou shalt live, for Buckingham commends.