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OF THE PROPHESY OF NEREUS.
FROM HORACE. Book II. Ode XV.
Dicam insigne, recens, adhuc
Indictum ore alio : non secus in jugis
Ex somnis stupet Euias
Hebrum prospiciens, et nive candidam
Thracen, ac pede barbaro
As Mar his round one morning took,
(Whom some call earl, and some call duke,)
And his new brethren of the blade,
Shivering with fear and frost, survey'd,
On Perth's bleak hills he chanc'd to spy
An aged wizard six feet high,
With bristled hair and visage blighted,
Wall-ey'd, bare-haunch'd, and second-sighted.
The grisly sage in thought profound
Beheld the chief with back so round,
Then roll'd his eye-balls to and fro
O'er his paternal hills of snow,
And into these tremendous speeches
Broke forth the prophet without breeches.
“ Into what hills betray'd, by thee,
This ancient kingdom do I see!
Her realms unpeopled and forlorn!
Wae's me! that ever thou wert born!
Proud English loons (our clans o'ercome)
On Scottish pads shall amble home;
I see them drest in bonnets blue
(The spoils of thy rebellious crew);
I see the target cast away,
And chequer'd plaid become their prey,
The chequer'd plaid to make a gown
For many a lass in London town.
“ In vain thy hungry mountaineers
Come forth in all thy warlike geers,
The shield, the pistol, durk, and dagger,
In which they daily wont to swagger,
And oft have sally'd out to pillage
The hen-roosts of some peaceful village,
Or, while their neighbours were asleep,
Have carry'd off a lowland sheep.
“ What boots thy high-born host of beggars,
Mac-leans, Mac-kenzies, and Mac-gregors,
With popish cut-throats, perjur'd ruffrans,
And Foster's troop of raggamuffins ?
“ In vain thy lads around thee bandy,
Inflam'd with bag-pipe and with brandy.
Doth not bold Sutherland the trusty,
With heart so true, and voice so rusty,
(A loyal soul) thy troops affright,
While hoarsely he demands the fight?
Dost thou not generous Ilay dread,
The bravest hand, the wisest head ?
Undaunted dost thou hear th' alarms
Of hoary Athol sheath'd in arms?
“ Douglas, who draws his lineage down
From thanes and peers of high renown,
Fiery, and young, and uncontroll’d,
With knights, and squires, and barons bold,
(His noble household-band) advances,
And on the milk-white courser prances.
Thee Forfar to the combat dares,
Grown swarthy in Iberian wars;
And Monroe, kindled into rage,
Sourly defies thee to engage;
He'll rout thy foot, though ne'er so many,
And horse to boot — if thou hadst any.
“ But see Argyll, with watchful eyes,
Lodg'd in his deep intrenchments lies,
Couch'd like a lion in thy way,
He waits to spring upon his prey;
While, like a herd of timorous deer,
Thy army shakes and pants with fear,
Led by their doughty general's skill,
From frith to frith, from hill to hill.
“ Is thus thy haughty promise paid That to the Chevalier was made, When thou didst oaths and duty barter, For dukedom, generalship, and garter ? Three moons thy Jemmy shall command, With Highland sceptre in his hand, Too good for his pretended birth, ... Then down shall fall the king of Perth.
“ 'Tis so decreed: for George shall reign, And traitors be forsworn in vain. Heaven shall for ever on him smile, And bless him still with an Argyll. While thou, pursued by vengeful foes, Condemn'd to barren rocks and snows, And hinder'd passing Inverlocky, Shall burn the clan, and curse poor Jocky.”
AN EPISTLE FROM A LADY IN ENGLAND TO A GENTLEMAN AT
AVIGNON. To thee, dear rover, and thy vanquish'd friends, The health, she wants, thy gentle Chloe sends. Though much you suffer, think I suffer more, Worse than an exile on my native shore. Companions in your master's flight you roam, Unenvy'd by your haughty foes at home; For ever near the royal outlaw's side You share his fortunes, and his hopes divide, On glorious schemes, and thoughts of empire dwell, And with imaginary titles swell.
Say, for thou know'st I own his sacred line,
The passive doctrine, and the right divine,
Say, what new succours does the chief prepare ?
The strength of armies? or the force of prayer ?
Does he from Heaven or Earth his hopes derive ?
From saints departed, or from priests alive? (stand,
Nor saints nor priests can Brunswick's troops with-
And beads drop useless through the zealot's hand;
Heaven to our vows may future kingdoms owe,
But skill and courage win the crowns below.
Ere to thy cause, and thee, my heart inclin'd,
Or love to party had seduc'd my mind,
In female joys I took a dull delight,
Slept all the morn, and punted half the night:
But now, with fears and public cares possest,
The church, the church, for ever breaks my rest.
The postboy on my pillow I explore,
And sift the news of every foreign shore,
Studious to find new friends, and new allies;
What armies march from Sweden in disguise ;
How Spain prepares her banners to unfold,
And Rome deals out her blessings, and her gold :
Then o'er the map my finger, taught to stray,
Cross many a region marks the winding way;
From sea to sea, from realm to realm I rove,
And grow a mere geographer by love:
But still Avignon, and the pleasing coast
That holds thee banish’d, claims my care the most:
Oft on the well-known spot I fix my eyes,
And span the distance that between us lies.
Let not our James, though foil'd in arms, despair,
Whilst on his side he reckons half the fair :
In Britain's lovely isle a shining throng
War in his cause, a thousand beauties strong.
Th' unthinking victors vainly boast their powers ;
Be theirs the musket, while the tongue is ours.
We reason with such fluency and fire,
The beaux we baffle, and the learned tire,
Against her prelates plead the church's cause,
And from our judges vindicate the laws.
Then mourn not, hapless prince, thy kingdoms lost;
A crown, though late, thy sacred brows may boast;
Heaven seems through us thy empire to decree ;
Those who win hearts, have given their hearts to thee.
Hast thou not heard that when, profusely gay, Our well-drest rivals grac'd their sovereign's day, We stubborn damsels met the public view In loathsome wormwood, and repenting rue ? What Whig but trembled, when our spotless band In virgin roses whiten'd half the land !