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Thomas William Parsons.
When to any saint I pray,
On the Atlantic faint and sick,
Next in pleasant Normandie,
All the ancient kings repose;
At the "Golden Fleece,"—he knows!
In my wanderings, vague and various,
Reaching Naples — as I lay watching Vesuvius from the bay, I besought Saint Januarius. But I was a fool to try him; Naught I said could liquefy him; And I swear he did me wrong, Keeping me shut up so long In that pest-house, with obscene Jews and Greeks and things unclean —
What need had I of quarantine?
In Sicily at least a score —
Worn with travel, tired and lame,
To Assisi's walls I came:
Sad and full of homesick fancies,
I addressed me to Saint Francis:
But the beggar never did
Any thing as he was bid,
Never gave me aught — but fleas —
Plenty had I at Assise.
But in Provence, near Vaucluse, Hard by the Rhone, I found a saint
Gifted with a wondrous juice.
Potent for the worst complaint.
Though till then I had not heard
With such magic Into mine,
Poet never drew from wine.
Rest he gave me, and reflection, chastened hopes, calm retrospecttion,
Softened images of sorrow,
Now, why should any almanac
The Yankee boy, before he's sent to school,
Well knows the mysteries of that magic tool,
The pocket-knife. To that his wistful eye
Tunis, while he hears his mother's lullaby;
His hoanled cents he gladly gives to get it,
Then leaves no stone unturned till he
can whet it; And in the education of the lad No little part that implement hath
His pocket-knife to the young whit
tler brings A growing knowledge of material
Projectiles, music, and the sculptor's art,
His chestnut whistle and his shingle cart,
His elder pop-gun with its hickory rod,
Its sharp explosion and rebounding wad,
His corn-stalk fiddle, and the deeper tone
That murmurs from his pumpkinstalk trombone.
Conspire to teach the boy. To these succeed
His bow, 1lis arrow of a feathered reed,
His windmill, raised the passing
breeze to win. His water-wheel, that turns upon a
Or, if his father lives upon the shore, you'll see his ship, " beam ends upon the floor,"
Full rigged, with raking masts, and timbers staunch,
And waiting, near the wash-tub, for a launch.
Thus, by his genius and his jackknife driven
Ere Iong he'll solve you any problem given;
Make any gimcrack, musical or mute,
A plough, a couch, an organ, or a flute;
Make you a locomotive or a clock. Cut a canal, or build a floatingdock.
Or lead forth beauty from a marble block; —
Make anything, in short, for sea or shore,
From a child's rattle to a seventyfour;—
Make it, said I ?— Ay, when he undertakes it,
He'll make the thing and the machine that makes it.
And when the thing is made,—
whether it be To move on earth, in air, or on the
Whether on water, o'er the waves to glide.
Or, upon land to roll, revolve, or slide;
Whether to whirl or jar, to strike or ring.
Whether it be a piston or a spring, Wheel, pulley, tube sonorous, wood or brass.
The thing designed shall surely come to pass;
For, when his hand's upon it, you
may know That there's go in it, and he'll make
[From the Dtmciad.]
In eldest time, ere mortals writ or read,
Sre Pallas issued from the Thunderer's head.
Dullness o'er all possessed her ancient right,
Daughter of Chaos and eternal Night: Fate in their dotage this fair idiot gave,
Gross as her sire, and as her mother grave,
Laborious, heavy, busy, bold and blind,
She ruled, in native anarchy, the mind.
Still her old empire to restore she tries,
For, born a goddess, Dullness never dies.
How hints, like spawn, scarce quick in embryo lie.
How new-born nonsense first is taught to cry;
Maggots half-formed in rhyme exactly meet,
And learn to crawl upon poetic feet. Here one poor word an hundred
clenches makes, And ductile Dullness new meanders
There motley images her fancy strike, Figures Ill-paired, and similes unlike. She sees a mob of metaphors advance,
Pleased with the madness of the mazy dance:
How Tragedy and Comedy embrace; How Farce and Epic get a jumbled race;
How Time itself stands still at her
command, Realms shift their place, and ocean
turns to land, Here gay description Egypt glads
Or gives to Zembla fruits, to Barca
Glittering with ice here hoary hills are seen.
There painted valleys of eternal green,
In cold December fragrant chaplets blow,
And heavy harvests nod beneath the snow.
All these, and more, the cloudcompelling queen
Beholds through fogs, that magnify the scene:
She, tinselled o'er in robes of varying hues.
With self-applause her wild creation views;
Sees momentary monsters rise and fall,
And with her own fool's-colors gilds them all.
[From The Epistle to Dr. Arlmtlmot. The Prologue to the Satires.]
AN AUTHOR'S COMPLAINT.
Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigued, I said, Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead,
The Dog-star rages: nay, 'tis past a doubt.
All Bedlam, or Parnassus, is let out: Fire in each eye, and papers in each hand,
They rave, recite, and madden round the land.
What walls can guard me, or what
shades can hide? They pierce my thickets, through my
grot they glide, By land, by water, they renew the
They stop the chariot, and they board the barge;
No place is sacred, not the church is free,
Even Sunday shines no Sabbath-day to me:
Then from the Mint walks forth the man of rhyme,
Happy to catch me, just at dinnertime.
Is there a parson much be-mused in beer,
A maudlin poetess, a rhyming peer, A clerk, foredoomed his father's soul to cross,
Who pens Co stanza, when he should engross?
Is there, who, locked from ink and
paper, scrawls With desperate charcoal round his
darkened walls? All fly to Twick'nam, and in humble
Apply to ine, to keep them mad or vain.
Arthur, whose giddy son neglects the laws,
Imputes to me and to my works the
Poor Cornus T his frantic wife elope.
And curses wit, and poetry, and Pope.
Friend to my life! (which did not you prolong, The world had wanted many an idle song)
What drop or nostrum can this plague remove?
Or which must end me, a fool's wrath or love?
A dire dilemma! either way I'm sped.
If foes, they write, — if friends, they
read me dead. Seized and tied down to judge, how
wretched I! Who can't be silent, and who will not
To laugh, were want of goodness and of grace,
And to be grave, exceeds all power of face.
I sit with sad civility, I read With honest anguish and an aching head;
And drop at last,but in unwillingears,
broken pane. Rhymes ere he wakes, and prints before Term ends, Obliged by hunger, and request of friends:
"The piece, you think, is incorrect?
Why, take it, I'm all submission, what you'd have
it, make it." Three things another's modest
wishes bound, My friendship, and a prologue, and
ten pound. Pitholeon sends to me: "Youknow
his Grace, I want a patron; ask him for a
Pitholeon libelled me — "but here's a letter
Informs you, sir, 'twas when he knew
no better. Dare you refuse him? Curl invites
to dine, • He'll write a journal, or he'll turn
Bless me! a packet. —"'Tis a
stranger sues, A virgin tragedy, an orphan muse." If I dislike it, "Furies, death, and
If I approve, "Commend it to the stage."
There (thank my stars) my whole
commission ends, The players and I are, luckily, no
Fired that the House reject him, "'Sdeath, I'll print it.
And shame the fools — Your interest, sir, with Lintot."
Lintot, dull rogue! will think your price too much:
"Not, sir, if you revise it, and retouch."
All my demurs but double his attacks;
At last he whispers, "Do; and we go snacks."
Glad of a quarrel, straight I clap the door,
Sir, let me see your works and you no more.
"Tis sung, when Midas' ears began
to spring, (Midas, a sacred person and a king,) His very minister who spied them
(Some say his queen) was forced to
speak or burst. And is not mine, my friend, a sorer
When every coxcomb perks them in my face?
You think this cruel? take it for a rule.
No creature smarts so little as a fool. Let peals of laughter, Codrus! round
thee break, Thou unconcerned canst hear the
mighty crack: Pit, box, and gallery in convulsions
Thou standest unshook amid a bursting world.
Who shames a scribbler? break one cobweb through,
He spins the slight, self-pleasing thread anew:
Destroy his fib, or sophistry, in vain,
The creature's at his dirty work again,
Throned in the centre of his thin designs,
Proud of a vast extent of flimsy lines!
Of all mad creatures, if the learned
are right, It is the slaver kills, and not the bite. A fool quite angry is quite innocent, Alas! 'tis ten times worse when they
One dedicates in high heroic prose, And ridicules beyond a hundred foes: One from all Grub Street will my
fame defend, And, more abusive, calls himself my friend.
This prints my letters, that expects a bribe,
And others roar aloud, "Subscribe, subscribe."
There are, who to my person pay
their court: I cough like Horace, and, though
lean, am short. Ammon's great son one shoulder had
Such Ovid's nose, and "Sir! you
have an eye." — Go on, obliging creatures, make me
All that disgraced my betters, met in me.
Say for my comfort, languishing in bed,
"Just so immortal Maro held his head:"
And when I die, be sure you let me know
Great Homer died three thousand
years ago. Why did I write? what sin to me
unknown Dipped me in ink, my parents', or
my own? Asyet a child, nor yet a fool to fame, I lisped in numbers, for the numbers
I left no calling for this idle trade,
No duty broke, no father disobeyed.
The muse but served to ease some friend, not wife,
To help me through this long disease, my life:
To second, Arrutiinot! thy art and care,
And teach the being you preserved to bear.
[From the Rape of the Lock.]
And now, unveiled, the toilet
Each silver vase in mystic order laid.
First, robed in white the nymph intent adores,
With head uncovered, the cosmetic powers.
A heavenly image in the glass appears,
To that she bends, to that her eyes she rears;