« PoprzedniaDalej »
See my lord threaten, and my lady weep,
And trembling servants from the tempest creep.
Why that gay son to distant regions sent?
What fiends that daughter's destin'd match prevent?]
Why the whole house in sudden ruin laid,
O nothing, but last night-my lady play'd.
But wanders not my Satire from her theme?
Is this too owing to the love of fame?
Though now your hearts on lucre are bestow'd,
"Twas first a vain-devotion to the mode;
Nor cease we here, since 'tis a vice so strong;
The torrent sweeps all woman-kind along.
This may be said, in honor of our times,
That none now stand distinguish'd by their crimes.
If sin you must, take Nature for
Love has some soft excuse to soothe your pride:
Ye fair apostates from love's ancient power!
Can nothing ravish, but a golden shower?
Can cards alone your glowing fancy seize;
Must Cupid learn to punt, e'er he can please?
When you're enamour'd, of a lift or cast,
What can the preacher more, to make us chaste?
Why must strong youths unmarried pine away?
They find no woman disengag'd-from play.
Why pine the married?-O severer fate!
They find from play no disengag'd-estate.
Flavia, at lovers false, untouch'd, and hard,
Turns pale, and trembles at a cruel card.
Nor Arria's Bible can secure her age;
Her threescore years are shuffling with her page.
While Death stands by, but till the game is done,
To sweep that stake, in justice, long his own;
Like old cards ting'd with sulphur, she takes fire;
Or, like snuffs sunk in sockets, blazes higher.
Ye gods! with new delights inspire the fair;
Or give us sons, and save us from despair.
Sons, brothers, fathers, husbands, tradesmen,
In my complaint, and brand your sins in prose:
Yet I believe, as firmly as my Creed,
In spite of all our wisdom, you'll proceed :
Our pride so great, our passion is so strong,
Advice to right confirms us in the wrong.
I hear you cry, "This fellow's very odd."
When you chastise, who would not kiss the rod ?
But I've a charm your anger shall control,
And turn your eyes with coldness on the vole.
The charm begins! To yonder flood of light, That bursts o'er gloomy Britain, turn your sight. What guardian power o'erwhelms your souls with
Her deeds are precepts, her example law;
'Midst empire's charms, how Carolina's heart
Glows with the love of virtue, and of art!
Her favor is diffus'd to that degree,
Excess of goodness! it has dawn'd on me :
When in my page, to balance numerous faults,
Or godlike deeds were shown, or generous thoughts,
She smil'd, industrious to be pleas'd, nor knew
From whom my pen the borrow'd lustre drew.
Thus the majestic mother of mankind,*
To her own charms most amiably blind,
On the green margin innocently stood,
And gaz'd indulgent on the crystal flood;
Survey'd the stranger in the painted wave,
And, smiling, prais'd the beauties which she gave.
TO THE RIGHT HON. SIR ROBERT WALPOLE
Carmina tum melius, cum venerit Ipse, canemus.
ON this last labor, this my closing strain,
Smile, Walpole, or the Nine inspire in vain :
To thee, 'tis due; that verse how justly thine,
Where Brunswick's glory crowns the whole design'
That glory, which thy counsels make so bright;
That glory, which on thee reflects a light.
Illustrious commerce, and but rarely known,
To give, and take, a lustre from the throne.
Nor think that thou art foreign to my theme;
The fountain is not foreign to the stream.
How all mankind will be surpris'd to see
This flood of British folly charg'd on thee!
Say, Britain! whence this caprice of thy sons,
Which through their various ranks with fury runs?
The cause is plain, a cause which we must bless;
For caprice is the daughter of success.
(A bad effect, but from a pleasing cause!)
And gives our rulers undesign'd applause;
Tells how their conduct bids our wealth increase,
And lulls us in the downy lap of peace.
While I survey the blessings of our isle,
Her arts triumphant in the royal smile,
Her public wounds bound up, her credit high,
Her commerce spreading sails in every sky,
The pleasing scene recalls my theme again,
And shows the madness of ambitious men,
Who, fond of bloodshed, draw the murdering sword,
And burn to give mankind a single lord.
The follies past are of a private kind;
Their sphere is small; their mischief is confin'd:
But daring men there are (awake, my Muse,
And raise thy verse!) who bolder frenzy choose:
Who, stung by glory, rave, and bound away:
The world their field, and human-kind their prey.
The Grecian chief, th' enthusiast of his pride,
With Rage and Terror stalking by his side,
Raves round the globe; he soars into a god!
Stand fast, Olympus! and sustain his nod.
The pest divine in horrid grandeur reigns,
And thrives on mankind's miseries and pains.
What slaughter'd hosts! what cities in a blaze!
What wasted countries! and what crimson seas!
With orphans' tears his impious bowl o'erflows,
And cries of kingdoms lull him to repose.
And cannot thrice ten hundred years unpraise
The boisterous boy, and blast his guilty bays?
Why want we then encomiums on the storm,
Or famine, or volcano? They perform
Their mighty deeds; they, hero-like, can slay,
And spread their ample deserts in a day.
O great alliance! O divine renown!
With dearth, and pestilence, to share the crown.
When men extol a wild destroyer's name,
Earth's Builder and Preserver they blaspheme.
One to destroy, is murder by the law;
And gibbets keep the lifted hand in awe;
To murder thousands, takes a specious name,
War's glorious art, and gives immortal fame.
When, after battle, I the field have seen
Spread o'er with ghastly shapes, which once were
A nation crush'd, a nation of the brave!
A realm of death! and on this side the grave!
Are there, said I, who from this sad survey,
This human chaos, carry smiles away?
How did my heart with indignation rise!
How honest nature swell'd into my eyes!
How was I shock'd to think the hero's trade
Of such materials, fame and triumph, made!
How guilty these! Yet not less guilty they,
Who reach false glory by a smoother way;
Who wrap destruction up in gentle words,
And bows, and smiles, more fatal than their swords;
Who stifle nature, and subsist on art;
Who coin the face, and petrify the heart;
All real kindness for the show discard,
As marble polish'd, and as marble hard;
Who do for gold what Christians do through grace,
With open arms their enemies embrace;"
Who give a nod when broken hearts repine;
"The thinnest food on which a wretch can dine:"
Or, if they serve you, serve you disinclin❜d,
And, in their height of kindness, are unkind.
Such courtiers were, and such again may be,
Walpole, when men forget to copy thee.
Here cease, my Muse! the catalogue is writ;
Nor one more candidate for fame admit,
Though disappointed thousands justly blame
Thy partial pen, and boast an equal claim:
Be this their comfort, fools, omitted here,
May furnish laughter for another year.
Then let Crispino, who was ne'er refus'd
The justice yet of being well abus'd,
With patience wait; and be content to reign
The pink of puppies in some future strain.
Some future strain, in which the Muse shall tell How science dwindles, and how volumes swell.
How commentators each dark passage shun, And hold their farthing candle to the Sun.
How tortur'd texts to speak our sense are made, And every vice is to the Scripture laid.
How misers squeeze a young voluptuous peer; His sins to Lucifer not half so dear.
How Versus is less qualified to steal
With sword and pistol, than with wax and seal. How lawyers' fees to such excess are run, That clients are redress'd till they're undone.
How one man's anguish is another's sport; And e'en denials cost us dear at court.
How man eternally false judgments makes, And all his joys and sorrows are mistakes.
But oh! this passion planted in the soul, On eagle's wings to mount her to the Pole, The flaming minister of virtue meant, Set up false gods, and wrong'd her high descent. Ambition, hence, exerts a doubtful force, Of blots, and beauties, an alternate source; Hence Gildon rails, that raven of the pit, Who thrives upon the carcasses of wit; And in art-loving Scarborough is seen How kind a patron Pollia might have been. Pursuit of fame with pedants fills our schools, And into coxcombs burnishes our fools; Pursuit of fame makes solid learning bright, And Newton lifts above a mortal height; That key of Nature, by whose wit she clears Her long, long secrets of five thousand years.
Would you then fully comprehend the whole, Why, and in what degrees, pride sways the soul? (For, though in all, not equally she reigns) Awake to knowledge, and attend my strains.
Ye doctors! hear the doctrine I disclose, As true, as if 't were writ in dullest prose; As if a letter'd dunce had said, “ "Tis right,” And imprimatur usher'd it to light.
Ambition, in the truly noble mind, With sister Virtue is for ever join'd;
This swarm of themes that settles on my pen,
Which I, like summer flies, shake off again,
Let others sing; to whom my weak essay
But sounds a prelude, and points out their prey:
That duty done, I hasten to complete
My own design, for Tonson's at the gate.
The Love of Fame in its effect survey'd,
The Muse has sung: be now the cause display'd:
Since so diffusive, and so wide its sway,
What is this power, whom all mankind obey?
Shot from above, by Heaven's indulgence, came This generous ardor, this unconquer'd flame, To warm, to raise, to deify, mankind, Still burning brightest in the noblest mind. By large-soul'd men, for thirst of fame renown'd, Wise laws were fram'd, and sacred arts were found; Desire of praise first broke the patriot's rest; And made a bulwark of the warrior's breast; It bids Argyll in fields and senate shine: What more can prove its origin divine?
As in fam'd Lucrece, who, with equal dread,
From guilt and shame, by her last conduct, fled:
Her virtue long rebell'd in firm disdain,
And the sword pointed at her heart in vain;
But, when the slave was threaten'd to be laid
Dead by her side, her Love of Fame obey'd
In meaner minds Ambition works alone;
But with such art puts Virtue's aspect on,
That not more like in feature and in mien,
The God and mortal in the comic scene:*
False Julius, ambush'd in this fair disguise,
Soon made the Roman liberties his prize.
No mask in basest minds Ambition wears,
But in full light pricks up her ass's ears:
All I have sung are instances of this,
And prove my theme unfolded not amiss.
Ye vain! desist from your erroneous strife;
Be wise, and quit the false sublime of life.
The true ambition there alone resides,
Where justice vindicates, and wisdom guides;
Where inward dignity joins outward state;
Our purpose good, as our achievement great;
Where public blessings public praise attend;
Where glory is our motive, not our end.
Wouldst thou be fam'd? Have those high deeds
Brave men would act, though scandal should ensue. Behold a prince! whom no swoln thoughts in flame;
No pride of thrones, no fever after fame:
But when the welfare of mankind inspires.
And death in view to dear-bought glory fires,
Proud conquests then, then regal pomps delight;
Then crowns, then triumphs, sparkle in his sight;
Tumult and noise are dear, which with them bring
His people's blessings to their ardent king:
But, when those great heroic motives cease,
His swelling soul subsides to native peace;
From tedious grandeur's faded charms withdraws,
A sudden foe to splendor and applause;
Greatly deferring his arrears of fame,
Till men and angels jointly shout his name.
O pride celestial! which can pride disdain; O blest ambition! which can ne'er be vain.
From one fam'd Alpine hill, which props the sky, In whose deep womb unfathom'd waters lie, Here burst the Rhone and sounding Po; there shine, In infant rills, the Danube and the Rhine; From the rich store one fruitful urn supplies, Whole kingdoms smile, a thousand harvests rise.
In Brunswick such a source the Muse adores, Which public blessings through half Europe pours. When his heart burns with such a godlike aim, Angels and George are rivals for the fame; George, who in foes can soft affections raise, And charm envenom'd satire into praise.
Nor human rage alone his power perceives, But the mad winds, and the tumultuous waves.* E'en storms (Death's fiercest ministers!) forbear, And, in their own wild empire, learn to spare.
* The king in danger by sea.
Thus Nature's self, supporting man's decree,
Styles Britain's sovereign, sovereign of the sea.
While sea and air, great Brunswick! shook our state,
And sported with a king's and kingdom's fate,
Depriv'd of what she lov'd, and press'd by fear
Of ever losing what she held most dear,
How did Britannia, like Achilles, weep,
And tell her sorrows to the kindred deep!
Hang o'er the floods, and, in devotion warm,
Strive, for thee, with the surge, and fight the storm!
What felt thy Walpole, pilot of the realm!
Our Palinurus slept not at the helm;
His eye ne'er clos'd; long since inur'd to wake,
And out-watch every star for Brunswick's sake:
By thwarting passions tost, by cares opprest,
He found the tempest pictur'd in his breast:
But, now, what joys that gloom of heart dispel,
No powers of language-but his own, can tell;
His own, which Nature and the Graces form,
At will, to raise, or hush the civil storm.
MARK AKENSIDE was born in 1721, at Newcas-practice and reputation increased; so that, on the tle-upon-Tyne, where his father was a substantial settlement of the Queen's household, he was ap butcher. After receiving an education, first at a pointed one of her Majesty's physicians-an honor grammar-school, and then at a private academy at for which he is supposed to have been indebted to his native place, he was sent to the University of Mr. Dyson. It is affirmed that Dr. Akenside asEdinburgh, for the purpose of being fitted for a sumed a haughtiness and ostentation of manner Dissenting minister. He soon, however, exchanged which was not calculated to ingratiate him with his his studies for those of medicine; and, after con- brethren of the faculty, or to render him generally tinuing three years at Edinburgh, he removed to acceptable. He died of a putrid fever, in June Leyden, where he took the degree of M. D. in 1744. 1770, in the forty-ninth year of his age. In the same year, his poem "On the Pleasures of the Imagination" made its appearance, which was received with great applause, and raised the author at once into poetical fame. It was soon followed by a warm invective against the celebrated Pulteney, merited by the expansion of the plan of this prose Earl of Bath, in an "Epistle to Curio." In 1745 original, and by enriching its illustrations from the he published ten Odes on different subjects, and in stores of philosophy and poetry. No poem of so various styles and manners. All these works char-elevated and abstracted a kind was ever so popular. acterized him as a zealous votary of Grecian phi- It went through several editions soon after its aplosophy and classical literature, and an ardent lover pearance, and is still read with enthusiasm by those of liberty. He continued, from time to time, to who have acquired a relish for the conceptions of publish his poetical effusions, most of which first pure poetry, and the strains of numerous blank verse. appeared in Dodsley's collection. Of these, the most The author was known to have been employed considerable is, a "Hymn to the Naiads." many years in correcting, or rather new-modelling, this work; but the unfinished draught of this design seems to have rendered it probable that the piece would have lost as much in poetry as it would have gained in philosophy.
Respecting his poem "On the Pleasures of the Imagination," of which Addison's papers in the Spectator are the groundwork, it would be an injury to deny him the claims of an original writer, which he
His professional career affords few incidents worth recording. He settled for a short time at Northampton; then removed to Hampstead; and finally fixed himself in London. While his practice was small, he was generously assisted by his friend, Mr. Jere- Of his other poems, the Hymn to the Naiads is miah Dyson, who made him an allowance of 300l. the longest and best. With the purest spirit of clas per annum. He pursued the regular course to ad-sical literature, it contains much mythological inge vancement, becoming Fellow of the Royal Society, nuity, and many poetical ideas, beautifully expressed. Physician to St. Thomas's Hospital, Doctor of Physic In his lyric productions, the copiousness and eleva by mandamus at Cambridge, and Fellow of the Lon- tion of thought does not compensate for the total don College of Physicians. He also published seve- want of grace, ease, and appropriate harmony. The ral occasional pieces on medical subjects, among only sparks of animation which they exhibit, occur which was a Treatise on the Epidemic Dysentery of when they touch on political topics; and it is in these 1764, written in elegant Latin. By these efforts his instances alone we have ventured to select them.
The bloom of Nature, and before him turn
The gayest, happiest attitude of things.
Oft have the laws of each poetic strain
The critic-verse employ'd; yet still unsung
Lay this prime subject, though importing most
A poet's name for fruitless is th' attempt,
By dull obedience and by creeping toil
Obscure to conquer the severe ascent
Of high Parnassus. Nature's kindling breath
Must fire the chosen genius; Nature's hand
Epict. apud Arrian. II. 13.
Ασεβϊσμέν ἐςιν ἀνθρωπε τὰς παρὰ τῷ θεω χάρθας ἀτιμάζειν. Must string his nerves, and imp his eagle-wings
Impatient of the painful steep, to soar
High as the summit; there to breathe at large
Ethereal air; with bards and sages old,
Immortal sons of praise. These flattering scenes,
To this neglected labor court my song;
Yet not unconscious what a doubtful task
To paint the finest features of the mind,
And to most subtle and mysterious things
Give color, strength, and motion. But the love
Of Nature and the Muses bids explore,
Through secret paths erewhile untrod by man,
The fair poetic region, to detect
Untasted springs, to drink inspiring draughts,
And shade my temples with unfading flowers
Cull'd from the laureate vale's profound recess,
Where never poet gain'd a wreath before.
From Heaven my strains begin; from Heaven
PLEASURES OF IMAGINATION.
PUBLISHED IN THE YEAR 1744.
The subject proposed. Difficulty of treating it
poetically. The ideas of the Divine Mind, the
origin of every quality pleasing to the imagina-
tion. The natural variety of constitution in the
minds of men; with its final cause. The idea
of a fine imagination, and the state of the mind
in the enjoyment of those pleasures which it af-
fords. All the primary pleasures of the imagina-
tion result from the perception of greatness, or
wonderfulness, or beauty, in objects. The plea-The flame of genius to the human breast,
sure from greatness, with its final cause. Pleasure And love and beauty, and poetic joy
from novelty or wonderfulness, with its final And inspiration. Ere the radiant Sun
cause. Pleasure from beauty, with its final cause. Sprang from the east, or 'mid the vault of night
The connexion of beauty with truth and good, The Moon suspended her serener lamp;
applied to the conduct of life. Invitation to the Ere mountains, woods, or streams, adorn'd the globe,
study of moral philosophy. The different degrees Or Wisdom taught the sons of men her lore;
of beauty in different species of objects: color; Then liv'd th' Almighty One: then, deep retir'd
shape; natural concretes; vegetables; animals; In his unfathom'd essence, view'd the forms,
the mind. The sublime, the fair, the wonderful The forms eternal of created things;
of the mind. The connexion of the imagination
and the moral faculty. Conclusion.
The radiant Sun, the Moon's nocturnal lamp,
The mountains, woods and streams, the rolling globe,
And Wisdom's mien celestial. From the first
Of days, on them his love divine he fix'd,
His admiration: till in time complete,
What he admir'd and lov'd, his vital smile
Unfolded into being. Hence the breath
Of life informing each organic frame,
Hence the green earth, and wild resounding waves
Hence light and shade alternate; warmth and cold
And clear autumnal skies and vernal showers,
And all the fair variety of things.
WITH What attractive charms this goodly frame
Of Nature touches the consenting hearts
Of mortal men; and what the pleasing stores
Which beauteous imitation thence derives
To deck the poet's, or the painter's toil;
My verse unfolds. Attend, ye gentle powers
Of musical delight! and while I sing
Your gifts, your honors, dance around my strain.
Thou, smiling queen of every tuneful breast,
Indulgent Fancy! from the fruitful banks
Of Avon, whence thy rosy fingers cull
Fresh flowers and dews to sprinkle on the turf
Where Shakspeare lies, be present: and with thee
Let Fiction come, upon her vagrant wings
Wafting ten thousand colors through the air,
Which, by the glances of her magic eye,
She blends and shifts at will, through countless forms, To some she taught the fabric of the sphere,
But not alike to every mortal eye
Is this great scene unveil'd. For since the claims
Of social life, to different labors urge
The active powers of man! with wise intent
The hand of Nature on peculiar minds
Imprints a different bias, and to each
Decrees its province in the common toil.
The changeful Moon, the circuit of the stars,
The golden zones of Heaven; to some she gave
To weigh the moment of eternal things,
Her wild creation. Goddess of the lyre,
Which rules the accents of the moving sphere,
Wilt thou, eternal Harmony! descend
And join this festive train? for with thee comes
The guide, the guardian of their lovely sports,
Majestic Truth; and where Truth deigns to come,
Her sister Liberty will not be far.
Be present, all ye genii, who conduct
The wandering footsteps of the youthful bard,
New to your springs and shades: who touch his ear In balmy tears. But some, to higher hopes
With finer sounds: who heighten to his eye
Were destin'd; some within a finer mould
Of time, and space, and Fate's unbroken chain,
And will's quick impulse: others by the hand
She led o'er vales and mountains, to explore
What healing virtue swells the tender veins
Of herbs and flowers; or what the beams of morn
Draw forth, distilling from the clefted rind