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To him each rival shall submit, Make but his riches equal to his wit. Then shall thy form the marble grace, (Thy Grecian form) and Chloe lend the face: His house embosom'd in the grove, Sacred to social life and social love, Shall glitter o'er the pendent green, Where Thames reflects the visionary scene: Thither, the silver-sounding lyres Shall call the smiling Loves, and young Desires; There every Grace and Muse shall throng, Exalt the dance, or animate the song; There youths and nymphs, in consort gay, Shall hail the rising, close the parting day With me, alas! those joys are o'er; For me, the vernal garlands bloom no more. Adieu ! fond hope of mutual fire, The still-believing, still-renew'd desire; Adieu ! the heart-expanding bowl, And all the kind deceivers of the soul! But why? ah tell me, ah too dear! Steals down my cheek, the involuntary tear? Why words so flowing, thoughts so free, Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glance of thee! Thee, drest in fancy's airy beam, Absent I follow through the extended dream Now, now I seize, I clasp thy charms, And now you burst (ah cruel !) from my arms And swiftly shoot along the Mall, Or softly glide by the canal, Now shown by Cynthia's silver ray, And now, on rolling waters snatch'd away.
LEST you should think that verse shall die,
Which sounds the silver Thames along, Taught on the wings of truth to fly
Above the reach of vulgar song;
Though daring Milton sits sublime,
In Spenser native muses play; Nor yet shall Waller yield to time,
Nor pensive Cowley's moral laySages and chiefs long since had birth
Ere Cæsar was, or Newton named;
Those raised new empires o'er the earth,
And these, new heavens and systems framed.
Vain was the chief's, the sage's pride!
They had no poet, and they died.
In vain they schemed, in vain they bled !
They had no poet, and are dead.
THE SATIRES OF DR. JOHN DONNE,
Quid vetat et nosmet Lucili scripta legentes
Quærere num illius, num rerum dura negârit
Versiculos natura magis factos, et euntes
YES; thank my stars! as early as I knew
This town, I had the sense to hate it too:
Yet here, as even in hell, there must be still
One giant-vice so excellently ill,
That all beside, one pities, not abhors;
As who knows Sappho, smiles at other whores.
I grant that poetry's a crying sin;
It brought (no doubt) the excise and army in:
Catch'd like the plague, or love, the Lord knows how,
But that the cure is starving, all allow.
Yet like the papist's, is the poet's state,
Poor and disarm'd and hardly worth your hate!
Here a lean bard; whose wit could never give
Himself a dinner, makes an actor live:
The thief condemn'd in law already dead,
So prompts, and saves a rogue who cannot read.
Thus as the pipes of some carved organ move,
The gilded puppets dance and mount above.
Heaved by the breath, the inspiring bellows blow:
The inspiring bellows lie and pant below.
One sings the fair; but songs no longer move;
No rat is rhymed to death, nor maid to love:
In love's, in nature's spite, the siege they hold,
And scorn the flesh, the devil, and all but gold.
These write to lords, some mean reward to get,
As needy beggars sing at doors for meat.
Those write because all write, and so have still
Excuse for writing, and for writing ill.
Wretched indeed! but far more wretched yet
Is he who makes his meal on others' wit:
'Tis changed, no doubt, from what it was before ;
His rank digestion makes it wit no more:
Sense, pass'd through him, no longer is the same;
For food digested takes another name.
o'er all those confessors and martyrs
Who live like Sutton, or who die like Chartres,
Out-cant old Esdras, or out-drink his heir,
Out-usure Jews, or Irishmen out-swear;
Wicked as pages, who in early years
Act sins which Prisca's confessor scarce hears.
Even those I pardon, for whose sinful sake
Schoolmen new tenements in hell must make;
Of whose strange crimes no canonist can tell
In what commandment's large contents they dwell.
One, one man only breeds my just offence;
Whom crimes gave wealth, and wealth gave impudence:
Time, that at last matures a clap to pox,
Whose gentle progress makes a calf an ox,
And brings all natural events to pass,
Hath made him an attorney of an ass.
No young divine, new beneficed, can be
More pert, more proud, more positive than he.
What further could I wish the føp to do,
But turn a wit, and scribble verses too;
Pierce the soft labyrinth of a lady's ear
With rhymes of this per cent. and that per year!
Or court a wife, spread out his wily parts,
Like nets, or lime-twigs, for rich widows' hearts;
Call himself barrister to every wench,
And woo in language of the Pleas and Bench?
Language, which Boreas might to Auster hold,
More rough than forty Germans when they scold.
Cursed be the wretch, so venal and so vain:
Paltry and proud, as drabs in Drury-lane.
Eis such a bounty as was never known,
If PETER deigns to help you to your own:
What thanks, what praise, if Peter but supplies!
And what a solemn face, if he denies!
Grave, as when prisoners shake the head and swear
'Twas only suretyship that brought-them there.
His office keeps your parchment fates entire,
He starves with cold to save them from the fire;
For you he walks the streets through rain or dust,
For not in chariots Peter put his trust;
For you he sweats and labours at the laws,
Takes God to witness he affects your cause,
And lies to every lord, in every thing,
Like a king's favourite-or like a king.
These are the talents that adorn them all,
From wicked Waters even to godly **;
Not more of simony beneath black gowns,
Nor more of bastardy in heirs to crowns.
In shillings and in pence at first they deal;
And steal so little, few perceive they steal;
Till, like the sea, they compass all the land,
From Scots to Wight, from Mount to Dover strand:
And when rank widows purchase luscious nights,
Or when a duke to Jansen punts at White's,
Or city-heir įn mortgage melts away;
Satan himself feels far less joy than they.
Piecemeal they win this acre first, then that,
Glean on, and gather up the whole estate.
Then strongly fencing ill-got wealth by law,
Indenture, covenants, articles they draw,
Large as the fields themselves, and larger far
Than civil codes, with all their glosses, are;
So vast, our new divines, we must confess,
Are fathers of the church for writing less.
But let them write for you, each rogue impairs
The deeds, and dextrouslv omits, ses heires:
No commentator can more slily pass
O’er a learn'd uninteligible place;
Or, in quotation, shrewd divines leave out
Those words, that would against them clear the doubt.
So Luther thought the paternoster long,
When doom'd to say his beads and even-song;
But having cast his cowl, and left those laws,
Adds to Christ's prayer, the power and glory clause.
The lands are bought; but where are to be found
Those ancient woods that shaded all the ground ?
We see no new-built palaces aspire,
No kitchens emulate the vestal fire.
Where are those troops of poor, that throng'd of yore
The good old landlord's hospitable door?
Well, I could wish, that still in lordly domes
Some beasts were kill'd, though not whole hecatombs;
That both extremes were banish'd from their walls,
Carthusian fasts, and fulsome bacchanals;
And all mankind might that just mean observe,
In which none e'er could surfeit, none could starve.
These” as good works, 'tis true, we all allow,
But oh! these works are not in fashion now:
Like rich old wardrobes, things extremely rare,
Extremely fine, but what no man will wear.
Thus much I've said, I trust, without offence;
Let no court sycophant pervert my sense,
Nor sly informer watch these words to draw
Within the reach of treason, or the law.
WELL, if it be my time to quit the stage,
Adieu to all the follies of the age !
I die in charity with fool and knave,
Secure of peace at least beyond the grave.
I've had my purgatory here betimes,
And paid for all my satires, all my rhymes.
The poet's hell, its tortures, fiends, and flames,
To this were trifles, toys, and empty names.
With foolish pride my heart was never fired,
Nor the vain itch to admire, or be admired;