Abbildungen der Seite


See! strow'd with learned dust, his nightcap on,
He walks, an object new beneath the sun!
The boys flock round him, and the people stare :
So stiff, so mute! some statue you would swear,
Stept from its pedestal to take the air !
And here, while town, and court, and city roars,
With mobs, and duns, and soldiers, at their doors ;
Shall I, in London, act this idle part?

125. Composing songs, for fools to get by heart?

The Temple late two brother serjeants saw, Who deem'd each other oracles of law ;, With equal talents these congenial souls, One lulld th’ Exchequer, and one stunn'd the Rolls; Each had a gravity would make you split, 131 And shook his head at MURRAY, as a wit. [quence," 'Twas, Sir, your law,”-and “ Sir, your elo“ Yours, Cowper's manner and yours, Talbot's

sense.Thus we dispose of all poetic merit,

135 Yours Milton's genius, and mine Homer's spirit. Call Tibbald Shakespear, and he'll swear the Nine, Dear Cibber! never match'd one ode of thine. Lord! how we strut through Merlin's Cave, to see No poets there, but Stephen, you, and me.

140 Walk

Ver. 140. but Stephen,] Mr. Stephen Duck, a modest and worthy. man, esteemed by Mr. Pope. Queen Caroline chose this man for her favourite poet. By the interest of Mr. Spence, who had a sincere regard for Stephen Duck, whose life he wrote, and published his poems, he obtained the living of Byfleet in Surry. He was unfortunately drowned at Reading, 1756.


Walk with respect behind, while we at ease
Weave laurel crowns, and take what names we please.

My dear Tibullus !” if that will not do, 6 Let me be Horace, and be Ovid you : • Or, I'm content, allow me Dryden's strains, 145 « And you shall rise up Otway for your pains." Much do I suffer, much, to keep in peace This jealous, waspish, wrong-head, rhyming race ; And much must Hatter, if the whim should bite To court applause by printing what I write :

150 But let the fit pass o’er, I'm wise enough To stop my ears to their confounded stuff.

In vain, bad rhymers all mankind reject, They treat themselves with most profound respect; 'Tis to small



your tongue,
Each prais'd within, is happy all day long;
But how severely with themselves proceed
The men, who write such verse as we can read ?
Their own strict judges, not a word they spare
That wants or force, or light, or weight, or care,
Howe'er unwillingly it quits its place,

Nay tho' at court (perhaps) it may find grace :
Such they'll degrade ; and sometimes, in its stead,
In downright charity revive the dead;
Mark where a bold expressive phrase appears, 165
Bright through the rubbish of some hundred years ;
Command old words that long have slept, to wake,
Words, that wise Bacon, or brave Raleigh spake ;



[ocr errors]

Or bid the new be English, ages hence,
(For use will father what's begot by sense,) 170
Pour the full tide of eloquence along,
Serenely pure, and yet divinely strong,
Rich with the treasures of each foreign tongue ;
Prune the luxuriant, the uncouth refine,
But show no mercy to an empty line :

175 Then polish all, with so much life and ease, You think 'tis nature, and a knack to please : “ But ease in writing flows from art, not chance ; 56 As those move easiest who have learn'd to dance."

If such the plague and pains to write by rule, Better (say I) be pleas'd, and play the fool; 181 Call, if you will, bad rhyming a disease, It gives men happiness, or leaves them ease. There liv'd in primo Georgii (they record) A worthy member, no small fool, a lord;

185 Who, tho' the House was up, delighted sate, Heard, noted, answer'd, as in full debate : In all but this, a man of sober life, Fond of his friend, and civil to his wife; Not quite a madman, tho' a pasty fell,

190 And much too wise to walk into a well. Him, the damn'd doctors and his friends immur'd, They bled, they cupp'd, they purg'd; in short, they Whereat the gentleman began to stare

[cur'd: My friends! he cried, p-X


for That from a patriot of distinguish'd note,

196 Have bled and purg'd me to a simple vote.


your care !


Well, on the whole, plain prose must be my fate: Wisdom (curse on it) will come soon or late. There is a time when poets will


dull :
I'll e’en leave verses to the boys at school :
To rules of poetry no more confin'd,
I'll learn to smooth and harmonise my mind,
Teach ev'ry thought within its bounds to roll,
And keep the equal measure of the soul. 205

Soon as I enter at my country door,
My mind resumes the thread it dropt before ;
Thoughts, which at Hyde-park-corner I forgot,
Meet and rejoin me, in the pensive grot.
There all alone, and compliments apart,

210 I ask these sober questions of my heart.

If, when the more you drink, the more you crave; You tell the doctor ; when the more you have, The more you want, why not with equal ease Confess as well your folly, as disease ? The heart resolves this matter in a trice, " Men only feel the smart, but not the vice."

When golden angels cease to cure the evil, You give all royal witchcraft to the devil: When servile chaplains ery, that birth and place with honour,

truth, and

grace, Look in that breast, most dirty D-! be fair, Say, can you find out one such lodger there?

Yet VER. 218. When golden angels cease, &c.] The whole of this passage alludes to a de:lication of Mr. afterwards Bishop Kennel, to the Duke of Devonshire; to whom he was chaplain.



Indue a peer


[ocr errors]

Yet still, not heeding what your heart can teach,
You go to church to hear these flatt'rers preach.

Indeed, could wealth bestow or wit or merit, 226
A grain of courage, or a spark of spirit,
The wisest man might blush, I must agree,
If D*** lov'd sixpence, more than he.

If there be truth in law, and use can give 23® A property, that's yours on which you

live. Delightful Abs-court, if its fields afford Their fruits to you, confesses you its lord : All Worldly's hens, nay partridge, sold to town, His ven’son too, a guinea makes your own : 235 He bought at thousands, what with better wit You purchase as you want, and bit by bit ; Now, or long since, what diff'rence will be found ! You pay a penny, and he paid a pound.

Heathcote himself, and such large-acred men, Lords of fat E’sham, or of Lincoln fen,

241 Buy ev'ry stick of wood, that lends them heat, Buy ev'ry pullet they afford to eat. Yet these are wights, who fondly call their own Half that the dev'l o'erlooks from Lincoln town. The laws of God, as well as of the land, 246 Abhor, a perpetuity should stand: Estates have wings, and hang in fortune's pow'r Loose on the point of ev'ry wav'ring hour.


Ver. 232. Delightful Abs-court,) A farm over-against Hampton-Court.

« ZurückWeiter »