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Propitious god of love, thy succour bring,
Whilst I thy darling, thy Alexis sing;
Alexis, as the opening blossoms fair,
Lovely as light, and soft as yielding air.
For him each virgin sighs; and, on the plains,
The happy youth above each rival reigns.
Nor to the echoing groves, and whispering spring,
In sweeter strains, docs artful Conon sing;
When loud applauses fill the crowded groves,
And Phoebus the superior song approves,
Beauteous Aminta is as early light, Breaking the melancholy shades of night. When she is near, all anxious trouble flies, And our reviving hearts confess her eyes. Young love, and blooming joy, and gay desires, In every breast the beauteous nymph inspires; And on the plain when she no more appears, The plain a dark and gloomy prospect wears. In vain the streams roll on: the eastern breeze Dances in vain among the trembling trees: In vain the birds begin their evening song, And to the silent night their notes prolong : Nor groves, nor crystal streams, nor verdant field, Does wonted pleasure in her absence yield.
AUTHOR OF THE FOREGOING PASTORAL.
By Sylvia, if thy charming self be meant;
If friendship be thy virgin vows extent:
Oh! let me in Aminta's praises join:
Her's my esteem shall be, my passion thine.
When for thy head the garland I prepare,
A second wreath shall bind Aminta's hair;
And, when my choicest songs thy worth proclaim,
Alternate verse shall bless Aminta's name;
My heart shall own the justice of her cause,
And Love himself submit to Friendship's laws.
But if, beneath thy numbers' soft disguise,
Somé favour'd swain, some true Alexis lies;
If Amaryllis breathes thy secret pains,
And thy fond heart beats measure to thy strains;
May'st thou, howe'er I grieve, for ever find
The flame propitious, and the lover kind!
May Venus long exert her happy power,
And make thy beauty, like thy verse, endure!
May every god his friendly aid afford,
Pan guard thy flock, and Ceres bless thy board!
But if, by chance, the series of thy joys
Permit one thought less cheerful to arise,
Piteous transfer it to the mournful swain,
Who, loving much, who, not belov'd again,
Feels an ill-fated passion's last excess,
And dies in woe, that thou may'st live in peace.
SHE REFUSING TO CONTINUE A DISPUTE WITH ME, AND LEAVING ME IN THE ARGUMENT,
SPARE, generous victor, spare the slave,
Who did unequal war pursue; That more than triumph he might have, In being overcome by you.
In the dispute, whate'er I said,
My heart was by my tongue belied; And in my looks you might have read How much I argued on your side. You, far from danger as from fear,
Might have sustain'd an open fight; For seldom your opinions err;
Your eyes are always in the right. Why, fair one, would you not rely
On Reason's force with Beauty's join'd? Could I their prevalence deny,
I must at once be deaf and blind.
Alas! not hoping to subdue,
I only to the fight aspir'd:
To keep the beauteous foe in view
Was all the glory I desir'd.
But she, howe'er of victory sure,
Contemns the wreath too long delay'd; And, arm'd with more immediate power, Calls cruel Silence to her aid.
Deeper to wound, she shuns the fight;
She drops her arms, to gain the field; Secures her conquest by her flight;
And triumphs, when she seems to yield. So, when the Parthian turn'd his steed, And from the hostile camp withdrew, With cruel skill the backward reed He sent; and, as he fled, he slew.
THE DUKE OF ORMOND'S PICTURE
AT SIR GODFREY KNELLER'S
OUT from the injur'd canvass, Kneller, strike
These lines too faint: the picture is not like,
Exalt thy thought, and try thy toil again:
Dreadful in arins, on Landen's glorious plain
Place Ormond's duke: impendent in the air
Let his keen sabre, comet-like, appear,
Where'er it points, denouncing death: below
Draw routed squadrons, and the numerous foe,
Falling beneath, or flying from his blow:
Till, weak with wounds, and cover'd o'er with blood,
Which from the patriot's breast in torrents flow'd,
He faints; his steed no longer feels the rein;
But stumbles o'er the heap, his hand had slain.
And now exhausted, bleeding, pale he lies;
Lovely, sad object! in his half-clos'd eyes
Stern vengeance yet, and hostile terrour, stand:
His front yet threatens, and his frowns command.
The Gallic chiefs their troops around him call;
Fear to approach him, though they see him fall.-
O Kneller! could thy shades and lights express
The perfect hero in that glorious dress;
Ages to come might Ormond's picture know,
And palms for thee bencath his laurels grow:
In spite of Time, thy work might ever shine;
Nor Homer's colours last so long as thine.
Atque in amore mala hæc proprio, summéque se-
Lucret. lib. iv.
HAT can I say, what arguments can prove My truth, what colours can describe my love, If its excess and fury be not known,
In what my Celia has already done?
Thy infant flames, while yet they were conceal'd
In timorous doubts, with pity I beheld;
With easy smiles dispell'd the silent fear,
That durst not tell me what I dy'd to hear.
In vain I strove to check my growing flame,
Or shelter passion under Friendship's name,
You saw my heart, how it my tongue bely'd;
And when you press'd, how faintly I deny'd.-
Ere guardian Thought could bring its scatter'd aid,
Ere Reason could support the doubting maid,
My soul, surpris'd, and from herself disjoin'd,
Left all reserve, and all the sex, behind:
From your command her motions she receiv'd;
And not for me, but you, she breath'd and liv'd.
But ever blest be Cytherea's shrine,
And fires eternal on her altars shine!
Since thy dear breast has felt an equal wound;
Since in thy kindness my desires are crown'd.
By thy each look, and thought, and care, 'tis shown,
Thy joys are center'd all in me alone;
And sure I am, thou wouldst not change this hour
For all the white ones Fate has in its power.-
Yet thus belov'd, thus loving to excess,
Yet thus receiving and returning bliss,
In this great moment, in this golden now,
When every trace of what, or when, or how,
Should from my soul by raging love be torn,
And far on swelling seas of rapture borne;
A melancholy tear afflicts my eye,
And my heart labours with a sudden sigh:
Invading fears repel my coward joy,
And ills, foreseen, the present bliss destroy.
Poor as it is, this beauty was the cause,
That with first sighs your panting bosom rose :
But with no owner Beauty long will stay,
Upon the wings of Time borne swift away;
Pass but some fleeting years, and these poor eyes
(Where now, without a boast, some lustre lies)
No longer shall their little honours keep;
Shall only be of use to read or weep:
And on this forehead, where, your verse has said, "The Loves delighted, and the Graces play'd," Insulting Age will trace his cruel way,
And leave sad marks of his destructive sway.
Mov'd by my charms, with them your love may And, as the fuel sinks, the flame decrease: [cease, Or angry Heaven may quicker darts prepare, And Sickness strike what Time a while would spare. Then will my swain his glowing vows renew; Then will his throbbing heart to mine beat true; When my own face deters me from my glass, And Kneller only shows what Celia was?
Fantastic Fame may sound her wild alarms; Your country, as you think, may want your arms. You may neglect, or quench, or hate the flame, Whose smoke too long obscur'd your rising name; And quickly cold indifference will ensue, When you Love's joys through Honour's optic view. Then Celia's loudest prayer will prove too weak, To this abandon'd breast to bring you back; When my lost lover the tall ship ascends, With music gay, and wet with jovial friends, The tender accent of a woman's cry Will pass unheard, will unregarded die; When the rough seamen's louder shouts prevail, When fair occasion shows the springing gale, And Interest guides the helm, and Honour swells the sail.
Some wretched lines, from this neglected hand, May find my hero on the foreign strand, Warm with new fires, and pleas'd with new com
While she who wrote them, of all joy bereft,
To the rude censure of the world is left;
Her mangled fame in barbarous pastime lost,
The coxcomb's novel, and the drunkard's toast.
But nearer care (O pardon it!) supplies
Sighs to my breast, and sorrow to my eyes.
Love, Love himselt (the only friend I have)
May scorn his triumph, having bound his slave
That tyrant-god, that restless conqueror,
May quit his pleasure, may assert his power;
Forsake the provinces that bless his sway,
To vanquish those which will not yet obey.
Another nymph with fatal power may rise,
To damp the sinking beams o Celia's eyes;
With haughty pride may hear her charms confest,
And scorn the ardent vows that I have blest.
You every night may sigh for her in vain,
And rise each morning to some fresh disdain:
While Celia's softest look may cease to charm,
And her embraces want the power to warm:
While these fond arins, thus circling you, may
More heavy chains than those of hopeless love.
Just gods all other things their like produce; The Vine arises from her mother's juice: When feeble plants or tender flowers decay, They to their seed their images convey: Where the old Myrtle her good influence sheds, Sprigs of like leaf erect their filial heads: And when the parent Rose decays and dies, With a resembling face the daughter buds arise. That product only which our passions bear Eludes the planter's miserable care. While blooming Love assures us golden fruit, Some inborn poison taints the secret root: Soon fall the flowers of Joy, soon seeds of Hatred
Say, shepherd, say, are these reflections true? Or was it but the woman's fear that drew This cruel scene, unjust to love and you? Will you be only and for ever mine?
Shall neither time nor age our souls disjoin?
From this dear bosom shall I ne'er be torn?
Or you grow cold, respectful, and forsworn?
And can you not for her you love do more
Than any youth for any nymph before?
SPOKEN BY LORD BUCKHURST, IN WESTMINSTER
AT A REPRESENTATION OF MR. DRYDEN'S CLEOMENES,
AT CHRISTMAS 1695.
PISH, Lord, I wish this prologue was but Greek,
Then young Cleonidas would boldly speak;
But can lord Buckhurst in poor English say,
Gentle spectators, pray excuse the play?
No, witness all ye gods of ancient Greece,
Rather than condescend to terms like these,
'I'd go to school six hours on Christmas-day,
Or construe Persius while my comrades play.
Such work by hireling actors should be done,
Who tremble when they see a critic frown;
Poor rogues, that smart like fencers for their bread,
And, if they are not wounded, are not fed.
But, sirs, our labour has more noble ends,
We act our tragedy to see our friends:
Our generous scenes are for pure love repeated,
And if you are not pleas'd, at least you're treated.
The candles and the clothes ourselves we bought,
Our tops neglected, and our balls forgot.
To learn our parts, we left our midnight bed,
Most of you snor'd whilst Cleomenes read:
Not that from this confusion we would sue
Praise undeserved; we know ourselves and you :
Resolv'd to stand or perish by our cause,
We neither censure fear, nor beg applause,
For these are Westminster and Sparta's laws.
Yet, if we see some judgment well inclin'd,
To young desert, and growing virtue kind,
That critic by ten thousand marks should know,
That greatest souls to goodness only bow;
And that your little hero does inherit
Not Cleomenes' more than Dorset's spirit.
AN ODE, PRESENTED TO THE KING,
ON HIS MAJESTY'S ARRIVAL IN HOLLAND AFTER THE
QUEEN'S DEATH, 1695.
Quis desiderio sit pudor aut modus
Tam cari capitis? præcipe lugubres
Ar Mary's tomb (sad sacred place!)
The Virtues shall their vigils keep:
And every Muse, and every Grace,
In solemn state shall ever weep.
The future pious, mournful fair,
Oft as the rolling years return,
With fragrant wreaths and flowing hair,
Shall visit her distinguish'd urn.
For her the wise and great shall mourn,
When late records her deeds repeat:
Ages to come, and men unborn,
Shall bless her name, and sigh her fate.
Fair Albion shall, with faithful trust,
Her holy queen's sad relics guard,
Till Heaven awakes the precious dust,
And gives the saint her full reward.
But let the king dismiss his woes,
Reflecting on his fair renown;
And take the cypress from his brows,
To put his wonted laurels on.
If prest by grief our monarch stoops,
In vain the British lions roar:
If he, whose hand sustain'd them, droops,
The Belgic darts will wound no more.
Embattled princes wait the chief,
Whose voice should rule, whose arm should lead
And, in kind murmurs, chide that grief,
Which hinders Europe being freed.
The great example they demand
Who still to conquest led the way;
Wishing him present to command,
As they stand ready to obey.
They seek that joy, which us'd to glow,
Expanded on the hero's face;
When the thick squadrons prest the for,
And William led the glorious chase.
To give the mourning nations joy,
Restore them thy auspicious light,
Great Sun with radiant beams destroy
Those clouds, which keep thee from our sight.
Let thy sublime meridian course
For Mary's setting rays atone :
Our lustre, with redoubled force,
Must now proceed from thee alone.
See, pious king, with different strife
Thy struggling Albion's bosom torn:
So much she fears for William's life,
That Mary's fate she dares not moura.
Her beauty, in thy softer half
Bury'd and lost, she ought to grieve;
But let her strength in thee be safe;
And let her weep; but let her live.
Thou, guardian angel, save the land
From thy own grief, her fiercest foe;
Lest Britain, rescued by thy hand,
Should bend and sink beneath thy woe.
Her former triumphs all are vain,
Unless new trophies still be sought,
And hoary majesty sustain
The battles which thy youth has fought.
Where now is all that fearful love,
Which made her hate the war's alarms!
That soft excess, with which she strove
To keep her hero in her arms?
While still she chid the coming Spring,
Which call'd him o'er his subject seas:
While, for the safety of the king,
She wish'd the victor's glory less.
'Tis chang'd; 'tis gone: sad Britain now
Hastens her lord to foreign wars:
Happy, if toils may break his woe,
Or danger may divert his cares.
In martial din she drowns her sighs,
Lest he the rising grief should hear:
She pulls her helmet o'er her eyes,
Lest he should see the falling tear.
Go, mighty prince; let France be taught,
How constant minds by grief are try'd;
How great the land, that wept and fought,
When William led, and Mary dy'd.
Fierce in the battle make it known,
Where Death with all his darts is seen, That he can touch thy heart with none,
But that which struck the beauteous queen.
Belgia indulg'd her open grief,
While yet her master was not near:
With sullen pride refus'd relief,
And sat obdurate in despair.
As waters from their sluices, flow'd
Unbounded sorrow from her eyes:
To earth her bended front she bow'd,
And sent her wailings to the skies.
But when her anxious lord return'd,
Rais'd is her head, her eyes are dry'd ;
She smiles, as William ne'er had mourn'd,
She looks, as Mary ne'er had dy'd.
That freedom, which all sorrows claim,
She does for thy content resign:
Her piety itself would blame,
If her regrets should weaken thine.
To cure thy woe, she shows thy fame:
Lest the great mourner should forget
That all the race, whence Orange came,
Made Virtue triumph over Fate.
William his country's cause could fight,
And with his blood her freedom seal:
Maurice and Henry guard that right,
For which their pious parents fell.
How heroes rise, how patriots set,
Thy father's bloom and Death may tell :
Excelling others, these were great:
Thou, greater still, must these excel.
The last fair instance thou must give,
Whence Nassau's virtue can be try'd;
And show the world that thou canst live
Intrepid, as thy consort dy'd;
Thy virtue, whose resistless force
No dire event could ever stay,
Must carry on its destin'd course,
Though Death and Envy stop the way. For Britain's sake, for Belgia's, live: Pierc'd by their grief, forget thy own: New toils endure, new conquest give,
And bring them ease, though thou hast none.
Vanquish again; though she be gone,
Whose garland crown'd the victor's hair: And reign, though she has left the throne, Who made thy glory worth thy care. Fair Britain never yet before
Breath'd to her king an useless prayer: Fond Belgia never did implore,
While William turn'd averse his ear.
But, should the weeping hero now
Relentless to their wishes prove;
Should he recall, with pleasing woe,
The object of his grief and love;
Her face with thousand beauties blest,
Her mind with thousand virtues stor'd,
Her power with boundless joy confest,
Her person only not ador'd:
Yet ought his sorrow to be checkt;
Yet ought his passions to abate;
If the great mourner would reflect,
Her glory in her death complete.
She was instructed to command,
Great king, by long obeying thee;
Her sceptre, guided by thy hand,
Preserv'd the isles, and rul'd the sea.
But oh! 'twas little, that her life
O'er earth and water bears thy fame:
In death, 'twas worthy William's wife,
Amidst the stars to fix his name.
Beyond where matter moves, or place
Receives its forms, thy virtues roll;
From Mary's glory, angels trace
The beauty of her partner's soul.
Wise Fate, which does its Heaven decree
To heroes, when they yield their breath,
Hastens thy triumph. Half of thee
Is deify'd before thy death.
Alone to thy renown 'tis given,
Unbounded through all worlds to go:
While she, great saint, rejoices Heaven;
And thou sustain'st the orb below.
IN IMITATION OF ANACREON.
LET them censure: what care I?
The herd of critics I defy.
Let the wretches know, I write,
Regardless of their grace or spite.
No, no: the fair, the gay,
Govern the numbers of my song;
All that they approve is sweet;
And all is sense that they repeat.
Bid the warbling Nine retire;
Venus, string thy servant's lyre:
Love shall be my endless theme;
Pleasure shall triumph over Fame!
And, when these maxims I decline,
Apollo, may thy fate be mine!
May I grasp at empty praise;
And lose the nymph, to gain the bays!
SUR LA PRISE DE NAMUR,
PAR LES ARMES DU ROY, L'ANNEE 1692.
PAR MONSIEUR BOILEAU DESPREAUX.
QUELLE docte & saint yvresse
Aujourd'hui me fait la loi?
Chastes Nymphes du Permesse,
N'est-ce pas vous que je voi?
Accourez, troupe sçavante:
Des sons que ma lyre enfante
Ces arbres sont rejouis:
Marquez on bien la cadence:
Et vous, vents, faites silence :
Je vais parler de Louis.
Dans ses chansons immortelles,
Comme un aigle audacieux,
Pindare étendant ses aisles,
Fuit loin des vulgaires yeux.
Mais, ô ma fidele lyre,
Si, dans l'ardeur qui m'inspire,
Tu peus suivre mes transports:
Les chênes des monts de Thrace
N'ont rien oui, que n'efface
La douceur de tes accords.
Est-ce Apollon et Neptune,
Qui sur ces rocs sourcilleux
Ont, compagnons de Fortune,
Basti ces murs orgueilleux ?
De leur enceinte, fameuse
La Sambre unie à la Meuse,
Defend le fatal abord;
Et par cens bouches horribles
L'airain sur ces monts terribles
Vomit le fer, & la mort.
Dix mille vaillans Alcides
Les bordant de toutes parts,
D'éclairs au loin homicides
Font petiller leurs remparts:
Et dans son sein infidele
Par toute la terre
Un feu prêt à s'élancer,
Qui soudain perçant son goufre,
Ouvre un sepulchre de soufre,
A quiconque ose avancer.
Namur, devant tes murailles
Jadis la Grece eût vingt ans
Sans fruit veu les funerailles
De ses plus fiers combattans.
Quelle effroyable puissance
Aujourd'hui pourtant s'avance,
Prête à foudroyer tes monts?
Quel bruit, quel feu l'environne?
C'est Jupiter en personne ;
Ou c'est le vainqueur de Mons.
N'en doute point: c'est lui-même,
Tout brille en lui; tout est roi.
Dans Bruxelles Nassau blême
Commence à trembler pour toi.
En vain il voit le Batâve,
Rangé sous ses etendarts:
En vain au lion Belgique
Il voit l'aigle Germanique
Uni sous les leopards.
Plein de la frayeur nouvelle,
Dont ses sens sont agités,
A son secours il appelle
Les peuples les plus vantés.
Ceux-là viennent du rivage,
Où s'enorgueillit le Tage
De l'or, qui roule en ses eaux;
Ceux-ci des champs, où la neige
Des mara de la Norvége
Neuf mois couvre les roseaux.
Mais qui fait enfler la Sambre?
Sous les Jumeaux effrayés,
Des froids torrens de Decembre
Les champs par tout sont noyés.
Ceres s'enfuit, éplorée
De voir en proye à Borée
Ses guerets d'epis chargés,
Et sous les urns fangeuses
Des Hyades orageuses
Tous ses trésors submergés.
Déployez toutes vos rages,
Princes, vents, peuples, frimats }
Ramassez tous vos nuages;
Rassemblez tous vos soldats.
Malgré vous Namur en poudre
S'en va tomber sous la foudre
Qui domta Lille, Courtray,
Gand la superbe Espagnole,
Saint Omer, Bezançon, Dole,
Ypres, Mastricht, & Cambray.
Mes présages s'accomplissent
Il commence à chanceler:
Sous les coups qui retentissent
Ses murs s'en vont s'écrouler.
Mars en feu qui les domine,
Souffle à grand bruit leur ruine,
Et les bombes dans les airs
Allant chercher le tonnere,
Semblent tombant sur la terre,
Vouloir s'ouvrir les enfers.
Accourez, Nassau, Baviere,
De ces murs l'unique espoir
A couvert d'une riviere
Venez vous pouvez tout voir.
Considerez ces approches:
Voyez grimper sur ces roches
Ces athletes belliqueux;
Et dans les eaux, dans la flame,
Louis à tout donnant l'ame,
Marcher, courir avec eux.
Contemplez dans la tempête,
Qui sort de ces boulevards,
La plume qui sur sa tête
Attire tous les regards.
A cet astre redoubtable
Toûjours un sort favorable
S'attache dans les combats:
Et toûjours avec la gloire
Mars amenant la victoire
Vole, & le suit à grands pas.
Grands defenseurs de l'Espagne,
Montrez-vous: il en est tems:
Courage; vers la Mahagne
Voilà vos drapeaux flottans.
Jamais ses ondes craintives
N'ont vû sur leurs foibles rives
Tant de guerriers s'anasser
Courez done: Qui vous reta Je?
Tout l'univers vous regarde.
N'osez vous la traverser?
Loin de fermer le passage
A vos nombreux bataillons,
Luxembourg a du rivage
Reculé ses pavillons.
Quoi? leur seul aspect vor lace?
Où sont ces chefs pleins d'audace,
Jadis si prompts â marcher,
Qui devoient de la Tamise,
Et de la Drâve soûmise,
Jusqu'à Paris nous chercher?
Cependant l'effroi redouble
Sur les remparts de Namur.
Son gouverneur qui se trouble
S'enfuit sous son dernier mur.
Déja jusques à ses portes
Je voi monter nos cohortes,