Abbildungen der Seite






Witn age decay'd, with courts and bus'ness tir'd,

Caring for nothing but what ease requir'd;

Too dully serious for the Muse's sport,

And from the critics safe arriv'd in port;

I little thought of launching forth agen, J

Amidst advent'rous rovers of the pen;

And after so much undeserv'd success,

Thus hazarding at last to make it less.

Encomiums suit not this censorious time,
Itself a subject for satiric rhyme; 10

Ignorance honour'd, wit and worth defam'd.
Folly triumphant, and ev'n Homer blam'd!
But to this genius, join'd with so much art,
Such various learning mix'd in ev'ry part,
Poets are bound a loud applause to pay; i5

Apollo bids it, and they must obey.

And yet so wonderful, sublime a thing,
As the great Iliad, scarce could make me sing;
Except I justly could at once commend
A good companion, and as firm a friend. to

One moral, or a mere well-natur'd deed
Can all desert in sciences exceed. v

'T is great delight to laugh at some men's ways, But a much greater to give merit praise.


Is these more dull, as more censorious days,

When few dare give, and fewer merit praise,

A Muse sincere, that never flatt'ry knew,

Pays what to friendship and desert is due.

Young, yet judicious, in your verse are found 5

Art strength'ning Nature, seilse improv'd by sound.

Unlike those wits, whose numbers glide along

So smooth, no thought e'er interrupts the song;

Labouriously enervate they appear,

And write not to the head, but to the ear: 10

Our minds nnmov'd and unconccrn'd they lull,

And are at best most musically dull:

So purling streams with even murmurs creep,

And hush the heavy hearers into sleep.

As smoothest speech is most deceitful found, 15

The smoothest numbers oft are empty sound:

Bui wit and judgment join at once in you,

Sfirightly as youth, as age consummate too:

Your strains are regularly Bold, and please

With unfore'd care, and unaffected ease, 20

With proper thoughts and lively images;

Such as by Nature to the Ancients shewn,

Fancy improves, and judgment makes your own:

For great men's fashions to be follow'd are,

Altho' disgraceful 'tis their clothes to wear. 2; Some in a polish'd style write Pastoral;

Arcadia speaks the language of the Mall:

Like some fair shepherdess, the sylvan Muse

Should wear those flow'rs her native fields produce;

And the true measure of the shepherd's wit 30

Should, like his garb, be for the country fit:

Yet must his pure and unaffected thought

More nicely than the common swain's be wrought.

So, with becoming art, the players dress

In silks the shepherd, and the shepherdess; 35

Yet still unchang'd the form and mode remain,

Shap'd like the homely russet of the swain.

Your rural Muse appears to justify

The long lost graces of simplicity:

So rural beauties captivate our sense 40

With virgin charms and native excellence.

Yet long her modesty those charms conceal 'd,

'Till by men's envy to the world reveal'd;

Tor wits industrious to their trouble seem,

And needs will envy what they must esteem. 45

Live and enjoy their spite! nor mourn that fate Which would, if Virgil liv'd, on Virgil wait; Whose muse did once, like thine, in plains delight; Thine shall, like his, soon take a higher flight: So larks, which first from lowly fields arise, 50

Mount by degrees, and reach at last the skies.



Hail! sacred Bard! a muse unknown before

Salutes thee from the bleak Atlantic shore.

To our dark world thy shining page is shown,

And Windsor's gay retreat becomes our own.

The Eastern pomp had just bespoke our care, 5

And India pour'd her gaudy treasures here;

A various spoil adorn'd our naked land,

The pride of Persia giitter'd on our strand,

And China's earth was cast on common sand;

Toss'd up and down the glossy fragments lay, 10

And dress'd the rocky shelves, and pav'd the painted

Thy treasures next arriv'd; and now we boast [bay.

A nobler cargo on our barren coast:

From thy luxuriant Forest we receive

More lasting glories than the East can give. 15

Where'er we dip in thy delightful page,
What pompous scenes our busy thoughts engage I
The pompous scenes in all their pride appear,
Fresh in the page, as in the grove they were.
Nor half so true the fair Lodona shows 2»

The sylvan state that on her border grows,
While she the wond'ring shepherd entertains
With a new Windsor in her wat'ry plains;
Thy juster lays the lucid wave surpass,
The living scene is in the Muse's glass. J5

Nor sweeter notes the echoing forests cheer,
When Pnilomela sits and warbles there,

Than when you sing the greens and op'ning glades,
And give us harmony as well as shades:
A Titian's hand might draw the grove, but you 5o
Can paint the grove, and add the music too.

With vast variety thy pages shine;
A new creation starts in ev'ry line.
How sudden trees rise to the reader's sight,
And make a doubtful scene of shade and light, 5;

And give at once the day, at once the night!
And here again what sweet confusion reigns,
In dreary deserts mix'd with painted plains!
And see! tiie deserts cast a pleasing gloom,
And shrubby heaths rejoice in purple bloom: 40

Whilst fruitful crops rise by their barren side,
And bearded groves display their annual pride.

Happy the man, who strings his tuneful lyre
Where woods, and brooks, and breathing fields inspire!
Thrice happy you! and worthy best to dwell 45

Amidst the rural joys you sing so well.
I in a cold, and in a barren clime,
Cold as my thought, and barren ;is my rhyme,
Here on the Western beach attempt to chime.
O joyless flood! O rough tempestuous main! 5p

Border'd with woods, and solitudes obscene!

Snatch me, ye Gods! from these Atlantic shores,
And shelter me in Windsor's fragrant bow'rs;
Or to my much-lov'd Isis' walks convey,
And on her flow'ry banks for ever lay. 55

Thence let me view the venerable scene,
The awful dome, the grove's eternal green;

« ZurückWeiter »