« ZurückWeiter »
Soft on the paper ruff its leaves I spread,
“ Of all th' enamell'd race, whose silvery wing 421 Waves to the tepid zephyrs of the spring, Or swims along the fluid atmosphere, Once brightest shiu'd this child of heat and air. I saw, and started from its vernal bower
425 The rising game, and chas'd from flower to flower. It fled, I follow'd; now in hope, now pain; It stopt, I stopt; it mov'd, I mov'd again. At last it fix’d, 'twas on what plant it pleas'd, And where it fix'd, the beauteous bird I seiz'd: 430 Rose or carnation was below my care; I meddle, goddess ! only in my sphere. I tell the naked fact without disguise, And, to excuse it, need but shew the prize; 435 Whose spoils this paper offers to your eye, Fair ev'n in death! this peerless butterfly.”. [parts:
“ My sons! (she answer’d) both have done your Live happy both, and long promote our arts.
IMITATIONS. v. 421. Of all the enameli'd race.] The Poet seems to have an eye to Spenser, Muiopotmos.
«*Of all the race of silver-winged flies
Which do possess the empire of the air.” , 427, 428. It fled, I follow'd, &c.)
I started back;
But hear a mother, when she recommends
450 The head that turns at superlunar things, Pois'd with a tail, may steer on Wilkins' wings.
“ ()! would the sons of men once think their eyes And reason giv’n them but to study flies! See Nature in some partial narrow shape, 455 And let the Author of the whole escape: Learn but to trifle; or, who most observe, To wonder at their Maker, not to serve!”.
“ Be that my task (replies a gloomy clerk, Sworn foe to mystery, yet divinely dark; 460 Whosc pious hope aspires to see the day When moral evidence shall quite decay, And damns implicit faith, and holy lies, Prompt to impose, and fond to dogmatize :) Let others creep by timid steps, and slow,
465 On plain experience lay foundations low, By common sense to common knowledge bred, *And last, to Nature's cause through Nature led, All-seeing in thy mists, we want no guide, Mother of arrogance, and source of pride! 470 We nobly take the high priori road, And reason downward, till we doubt of God:
REMARKS. v. 452. Wilkins' wings.] One of the first projectors of the Royal Society, who, among many enlarged and useful notions, entertained the extravagant hope of a possibility to fly to the moon; which has put some volatile geniuses upon making wings for that purpose
Make Nature still encroach upon his plan,
480 Of nought so certain as our reason still, Of nought so doubtful as of soul and will. O hide the God still more! and make us see Such as Lucretius drew, a god like thee: Wrapt up in seli, a god without a thought; 485 Regardless of our merit or default. Or chat bright image to our fancy draw, Which Thcocles in raptur'd vision saw, While through poetic scenes the genius roves, Or wanders wild in academic groves;
490 That Nature our society adores, Where Tindal dictates, and Silenus snores!"
Rous’d at his name, up rose the bowzy sire, And shook from out his pipe the seeds of fire; Then snapt his box, and strok'd his belly down; 495 Rosy and reverend, though without a gown. Bland and familiar to the throne he came, Led up the youth, and callid the goddess dame. Then thus: “From priestcraft happily set free, Lo! every finish'd son returns to thee:
500 First slave to words, then vassal to a name, Then dupe to party; child and man the same; Bounded by nature, narrow'd still by art, A triling head, and a contracted heart. "Thus bred, thus taught, how many have I seen, 505 Smiling on all, and smild on by a queen! Mark'd out for honours, honour'd for their birth, To thee the most rebellious things on earth:
REMARKS. v. 492. Silenus.)
Silenus was an Epicurean philosopher, as appears from Virgil, Ecl. vi. where he sings the principles of that philosophy in his drink.
Now to thy gentle shadow all are shrunk,
With that a wizard old his cup extends,
But she, good goddess, sent to every child
On others interest her gay livery flings,
Others the syren sisters warble round,
No more, alas! the voice of fame they hear,
On some, a priest succinct in amice white Attends; all flesh is nothing in his sight! 550 Beeves, at his touch, at once to jelly turn, And the huge boar is shrunk into an urn: The board with specious miracles he loads, Turns hares to larks, and pigeons into toads. Another (for in all what one can shine:)
555 Explains the seve and verdeur of the vine. What cannot copious sacrifice atone? Thy truffles, Perigord! thy hains, Bayonne ! With French libation, and Italian strain, Wash Bladen white, and expiate Hays's stain. 560 Knight litts the head; for what are crowds undone, To three essential partridges in one? Gone every blush, and silent all reproach, Contending princes mount them in their coach.
ext bidding all draw near on bended knees, 565 The queen confers her titles and degrees. Her children first of more distinguish'd sort, Who study Shakspeare at the Inns of Court, Impale a glow-worm, or vertù profess, Shine in the dignity of F. R. S.
570 Some, deep free-masons, join the silent race, Worthy to fill Pythagoras's place: Some botanists, or florists at the least, Or issue members of an annual feast. Nor past the meanest unregarded, one
575 Rose a Gregorian, one a Gormogon.
REMARKS. v. 560.--- Bladen--- Hays.) Names of gamesters. Bladen is a black man. Robert Knight, Cashier of the South Sea Company, who fled from England in 1720 (afterwards pardoned in 1942.)--- These lived with the utmost magnificence at Paris, and kept open tables, frequented by persons of the first quality of England, and even by princes of the blood of France.