« PoprzedniaDalej »
SIR WILLIAM CHAMBERS, KNT.
COMPTROLLER-GENERAL OF HIS MAJESTY'S WORKS,
And Author of a late Dissertation
ON ORIENTAL GARDENING.
Non omnes arbusta juvant, humilesque myricae. Virg.
KNIGHT of the Polar Star! by Fortune plac'd
To shine the Cynosure of British taste;
Whose orb collects in one refulgent view
The scatter'd glories of Chinese Virtu ;
And spread their lustre in so broad a blaze,
That kings themselves are dazzled, while they gaze.
O let the Muse attend thy march sublime,
And, with thy prose, caparison her rhyme;
Teach her, like thee, to gild her splendid song,
With scenes of Yven-Ming, and sayings of Li
Like thee to scorn Dame Nature's simple fence;
Leap each Ha-ha of truth and common sense;
And proudly rising in her bold career,
Demand attention from the gracious ear
Of him, whom we and all the world admit
Patron supreme of science, taste, and wit.
Does Envy doubt? Witness, ye chosen train !
Who breathe the sweets of his Saturnian reign;
Witness ye Hills, ye Johnsons, Scots, Shebbeares,
Hark to my call, for some of you have ears.
Let David Hume, from the remotest North,
In see-saw sceptic scruples hint his worth;
David, who there supinely deigns to lye
The fattest Hog of Epicurus' sty;
Tho' drunk with Gallic wine, and Gallic praise,
David shall bless Old England's halcyon days;
The mighty Home, bemir'd in prose so long,
Again shall stalk upon the stilts of song:
While bold Mac-Ossian, wont in Ghosts to deal,
Bids candid Smollet from his coffin steal;
Bids Mallock quit his sweet Elysian rest,
Sunk in his St. John's philosophic breast,
And, like old Orpheus, make some strong effort
To come from Hell, and warble Truth at Court.
There was a time, "in Esher's peaceful grove, When Kent and Nature vy'd for Pelham's love, That Pope beheld them with auspicious smile, And own'd that Beauty blest their mutual toil." Mistaken Bard! could such a pair design Scenes fit to live in thy immortal line? Hadst thou been born in this enlighten'd day, Felt, as we feel, Taste's oriental ray,
Thy satire sure had given them both a stab,
Call'd Kent a Driveller, and the Nymph a Drab.
For what is Nature? Ring her changes round,
Her three flat notes are water, plants, and ground ;
Prolong the peal, yet spite of all your clatter,
The tedious chime is still ground, plants, and water,
So, when some John his dull invention racks,
To rival Boodle's dinners, or Almack's,
Three uncouth legs of mutton shock our eyes,
Three roasted geese, three butter'd apple-pies.
Come then, prolific Art, and with thee bring The charms that rise from thy exhaustless spring; To Richmond come, for seę, untutor'd Brown Destroys those virtues which were once thy own. Lo, from his melon ground the peasant slave Has rudely rush'd, and levell'd Merlin's Çave; Knock'd down the waxen wizard, seiz'd his wand, Transform'd to lawn what late was Fairy land; And marr'd, with impious hand, each sweet design Of Stephen Duck, and good Queen Caroline. Haste, bid yon livelong Terrace reascend, Replace each vista, straighten every bend; Shut out the Thames; shall that ignoble thing Approach the presence of great Ocean's King? No! let Barbaric glories feast his eyes, August Pagodas round his palace rise, And finish'd Richmond open to his view, "A work to wonder at, perhaps a” Kew..
Nor rest we here, but, at our magic call,
Monkies shall climb our trees, and lizards crawl;
Huge dogs of Tibet bark in yonder grove,
Here parrots prate, there cats make cruel love;
In some fair island will we turn to grass
(With the Queen's leave) her elephant and ass.
Giants from Africa shall guard the glades,
Where hiss our snakes, where sport our Tartar
Or, wanting these, from Charlotte Hayes we bring Damsels alike adroit to sport and sing,
Now to our lawns of dalliance and delight,
Join we the groves of horror and affright;
This to achieve no foreign aids we try,
Thy gibbets, Bagshot! shall our wants supply;
Hounslow, whose heath sublimer terror fills,
Shall with her gibbets lend her powder mills.
Here too, O King of Vengeance, in thy fane,
Tremendous Wilkes shall rattle his gold chain;
And round that fane on many a Tyburn tree,
Hang fragments dire of Newgate's history ;
On this shall Holland's dying speech be read,
Here Bute's confession and his wooden head;
While all the minor plunderers of the age
(Too numerous far for this contracted page)
The Rigbys, Calcrafts, Mungos, Bradshaws there,
In straw-stuft effigy, shall kick the air.
But say, ye Powers, who come when Fancy calls,
Where shall our mimic London rear her walls
That Eastern feature, Art must next produce,
Tho' not for present yet for future use,
Our sons some slave of greatness may behold,
Cast in the genuine Asiatic mould :
Who of three realms shall condescend to know
No more than he can spy from Windsor's brow;
For him that blessing of a better time,
The Muse shall deal awhile in brick and lime;
Surpass the bold AAEAOI in design,
And o'er the Thames fling one stupendous line
Of marble arches, in a bridge, that cuts
From Richmond Ferry slant to Brentford Butts.
Brentford with London's charms will we adorn;
Brentford, the bishopric of Parson Horne.
There at one glance, the royal eye shall meet 0
Each varied beauty of St. James's-street;
Stout Talbot there shall ply with hackney chair,
And Patriot Betty fix her fruit-shop there.
Like distant thunder now the coach of state
Rolls o'er the bridge, that groans beneath its weight.
The court hath crost the stream; the sports begin;
Now Nowel preaches of rebellion's sin :
And as the powers of his strong pathos rise,
Lo, brazen tears fall from Sir Fletcher's eyes:
While skulking round the pews, that babe of grace,/20
Who ne'er before at sermon shew'd his face,
See Jemmy Twitcher shambles; stop! stop thief!
He's stoln'n the Earl of Denbigh's hankerchief.
Let Barrington arrest him in mock fury,
And Mansfield hang the knave without a jury.