« ZurückWeiter »
My head and heart thus flowing through my quill,
Satire 's my weapon, but I'm too discreet
Slander or poison dread from Delia's rage ;
Then, learned sir! (to cut the matter short) Whate'er my fate, or well or ill at court; Whether old age, with faint but cheerful ray, Attends to gild the evening of my day, Or Death's black wing already be display'd, To wrap me in the universal shade ; Whether the darken'd room to muse invite, Or whiten'd wall provoke the skewer to write ; In durance, exile, Bedlam, or the Mint, Like Lee or Budgell, I will rhyme and print.
F. Alas, young man! your days can ne'er be long In flower of age you perish for a song! Plums and directors, Shylock and his wise, Will club their testers, now, to take your life!
P. What! arm'd for Virtue when I point the pen, Brand the bold front of shameless guilty men; Dash the proud gamester in his gilded car; Bare the mean heart that lurks beneath a star; Can there be wanting, to defend her cause, Lights of the church, or guardians of the laws ? Could pension'd Boileau lash in honest strain Flatterers and bigots e’en in Louis' reign? Could laureat Dryden pimp and friar engage, Yet neither Charles nor James be in a rage ? And I not strip the gilding off a knave, Unplaced, unpension'd, no man's heir or slave ? I will, or perish in the generous cause : Hear this, and tremble! you who 'scape the laws. Yes, while I live, no rich or noble knave Shall walk the world in credit to his grave: To Virtue only and her friends a friend, The world beside may murmur or commend. Know, all the distant din that world can keep, Rolls o'er my grotto, and but soothes my sleep. There, my retreat the best companions grace, Chiefs out of war, and statesmen out of place. There St. John mingles with my friendly bowl The feast of reason and the flow of soul : And he, whose lightning pierced the Iberian lines, Now forms my quincunx, and now ranks my vines , Or tames the genius of the stubborn plain, Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain.
Envy must own, I live among the great, No pimp of pleasure, and no spy of state : With eyes
that pry not, tongue that ne'er ropeats, Fond to spread friendships, but to cover, heats; To help who want, to forward who excol; This, all who know me, know, who love me, tell;
And who unknown defame me, let them be
Scribblers or peers, alike are mob to me.
F. Your plea is good; but still I say, beware!
P. Libels and satires ! lawless things indeed! But
grave epistles, bringing vice to light, Such as a king might read, a bishop write, Such as sir Robert would approve-
BOOK II.-SATIRE II.
TO MR. BETHEL. Wiat, and how great, the virtue and the art To live on little with a cheerful heart ! (A doctrine sage, but truly none of mine ;) Let's talk, my friends, but talk before we dine, Not when a gilt buffet's reflected pride Turns you from sound philosophy aside : Not when from plate to plate your eye-balls roll, And the brain dances to the mantling bowl. Hear Bethel's sermon, one not versed in schools, in sense,
and wise without the rules. Go work, hunt, exercise,' he thus began, • Then scorn a homely dinner, if you can.
Your wine lock'd up, your butler strollid abroad,
Preach as I please, I doubt our curious mcn.
I'll have a party at the Bedford head';
'Tis yet in vain, I own, to keep a pother
Avidien, or his wife, (no matter which,
Sell their presented partridges and fruits,
He knows to live, who keeps the middle state,
How pale each worshipful and reverend guest Rise from a clergy or a city feast! What life in all that ample body ? say, What heavenly particle inspires the clay? The soul subsides, and wickedly inclines To seem but mortal e'en in sound divines.
On morning wings how active springs the mind, That leaves the load of yesterday behind ! How easy every labour it pursues ! Ilow coming to the poet every Muse! Not but we may exceed, some holy time, Or tired in search of truth, or search of rhyme; Ill health some just indulgence may engage; And more the sickness of long lite, old age : VOL. II.