« ZurückWeiter »
The reeking entrails next he tore away,
Darkling and desperate, with a staggering pace, And to his meagre mastiffs made a prey.
Of death afraid, and conscious of disgrace ; The pale assistants on each other star'd,
Fear, Pride, Remorse, at once her heart assail'd, With gaping mouths for issuing words prepar'd; Pride put Remorse to flight, but Fear prevailid. The sull-born sounds upon the palate hung, Friday, the fatal day, when next it came, And died imperfect on the faltering tongue. Her soul forethought the fiend would change his game, The fright was general; but the female band And her pursue, or Theodore be slain, (plain. (A belpless train) in more confusion stand :
And two ghosts join their packs to hunt her o'er the With horror shuddering, on a heap they run, This dreadful image so possess'd her mind, Sick at the sight of hateful justice done ; [own. That, desperate any succor else to find, Forconscience rung th'alarm, and made the case their She ceas'd all farther hope ; and now began
So, spread upon a lake, with upward eye, To make reflection on th' unhappy man, A plump of fowl behold their foe on high;
Rich, brave, and young, who past expression lov'd, They close their trembling troop; and all attend Proof to disdain, and not to be remov'd : On whom the sowsing eagle will descend.
Of all the men respected and admir'd, But most the proud Honoria fear'd ih' event, Of all the dames, except herself, desir'd: And thought to her alone the vision sent.
Why not of her ? preferr'd above the rest Her guilt presents to her distracted mind
By him with knightly deeds and open love profess'd ? Iloaven's justice, Theodore's revengeful kind, So had another been, where he his vows address'd. And the same fate to the same sin assign'd.
This quelld her pride, yet other doubts remain'd, Already sees herself the monster's prey,
That, once disdaining, she might be disdain'd. And feels her heart and entrails torn away.
The fear was just, but greater fear prevail'd, Twas a mute scene of sorrow, mix'd with fear; Fear of her life by hellish hounds assail'd : Still on the table lay th' unfinish'd cheer:
He took a lowering leave; but who can tell, The knight and hungry mastiffs stood around, What outward hate might inward love conceal ? The mangled dame lay breathless on the ground; Her sex's arts she knew; and why not, then, When on a sudden, reinspir'd with breath, Might deep dissembling have a place in men ? Again she rose, again to suffer death;
Here hope began to dawn; resolv'd to try,
Death was behind, but hard it was to die.
One maid she had, belov'd above the rest; But fear, the last of ills, remain d behind,
Secure of her, the secret she confess'd; And horror heavy sat on every mind.
And now the cheerful light her fears dispellid, Nor Theodore encourag'd more the feast,
She with no winding turns the truth conceal'd, But sternly look'd, as hatching in his breast
But put the woman off, and stood reveal'd: Some deep designs; which when Honoria view'd, With faults confess'd commission'd her to go, The fresh impulse her former fright renew'd; If pity yet had place, and reconcile her foe. She thought herself the trembling dame who fled, The welcome message made, was soon receiv'd ; And him the grisly ghost that spurr'd th' infernal "Twas to be wish'd, and hop'd, but scarce boliev'd ; steed:
Fate seem'd a fair occasion 10 present; The more dismay'd, for when the guests withdrew, He knew the sex, and fear'd she might repent, Their courteous host, saluting all the crew,
Should he delay the moment of consent. Regardless pass'd her o'er, nor grac'd with kind adieu; There yet remain'd to gain her friends (a care That sting infix'd within her haughty mind,
The modesty of maidens well might spare ;) The downfall of her empire she divin'd;
But she with such a zeal the cause embrac'd, And her proud heart with secret sorrow pin'd. (As women, where they will, are all in haste) Home as they went, the sad discourse renewd The father, mother, and the kin beside, of the relentless dame to death pursu'd,
Were overborne by fury of the tide ; And of the sight obscene so lately view'd.
With full consent of all, she chang'd her state; None durst arraign the righteous doom she bore, Resistless in her love, as in her hate. Ev'n they who pitied most, yet blam'd her more: By her example warn'd, the rest beware: 'The parallel they needed not to name,
More easy, less imperious, were the fair;
For one fair female, lost him half the kind.
AX EPISTLE. But in short slumbers dreamt the funeral feast. Awak’d, she turn'd her side, and slept again; Dim as the borrow'd beams of Moon and stars The same black vapors mounted in her brain, To lonely, weary, wandering travellers, And the same dreains return'd with double pain. Is Reason to the soul : and as on high,
Now forc'd to wake, because afraid to sleep, Those rolling fires discover but the sky, Her blood all sever'd, with a furious leap
Not light us here ; so Reason's glimmering ray She sprang from bed, distracted in her mind, Was lent, not to assure our doubtful way, And fear'd, at every step, a twitching sprite behind. But guide us upward to a better day.
And as those nightly tapers disappear
Canst thou by reason more of godhead know
Those giant wits in happier ages born,
Nor did remorse to expiate sin prescribe : Whether some soul encompassing this ball But slew their fellow-creatures for a bribe : Uninade, unmov'd; yet making, moving all; The guiltless victim groan'd for their offence; Or various atoms, interfering dance,
And cruelty and blood was penitence. Leap'd into form, the noble work of chance ; If sheep and oxen could atone for men, Or this great all was from eternity;
Ah! at how cheap a rate the rich might sin! Not ev'n the Stagirite himself could see ;
And great oppressors might Heaven's wrath beguile And Epicurus guess'd as well as he;
By offering his own creatures for a spoil ! As blindly grop'd they for a future state;
Darist thou, poor worm, offend Infinity ? As rashly judg'd of providence and fate :
And must the terms of peace be given by thee? But least of all could their endeavors find Then thou art Justice in the last appeal; What most concern'd the good of human-kind : Thy easy God instructs thee to rebel: For happiness was never to be found;
And, like a king remote and weak, must take But vanish'd from them like enchanted ground. What satisfaction thou art pleas'd to make. One thought content the good to be enjoy'd ;
But if there be a power too just and strong. This every little accident destroy’d:
To wink at crimes, and bear unpunish'd wrong, The wiser madmen did for virtue toil;
Look humbly upward, see his will disclose A thorny, or at best a barren soil :
The forfeit first, and then the fine impose :
See God descending in thy human frame;
All thy misdeeds to himn imputed see,
And all his righteousness devolv'd on thee. For what could fathom God were more than He. For, granting we have sinn'd, and that th' offence
The deist thinks he stands on firmer ground; |Of man is made against Omnipotence, Cries evpeka, the mighty secret's found :
Some price that bears proportion must be paid, God is that spring of good; supreme, and best; And infinite with infinite be weigh'd. We made to serve, and in that service blest. See then the deist lost: remorse for vice, If so, some rules of worship must be given, Not paid ; or, paid, inadequate in price: Distributed alike to all by Heaven:
What farther means can reason now direct,
Or what relief from human wit expect ?
Still to be sick, till Heaven reveal the cure :
If then Heaven's will must needs be understood, And when frail Nature slides into offence,
Which must, if we want cure, and Heaven be good, The sacrifice for crimes is penitence.
Let all records of will reveal'd be shown ; Yei, since the effects of providence, we find, With Scripture all in equal balance thrown, Are variously dispens'd to human-kind;
And our one sacred book will be that one. That Vice triumphs, and Virtue suffers here, Proof needs not here ; for whether we compare A brand that sovereign justice cannot bear; That impious, idle, superstitious ware Our reason prompts us to a fulure state;
of rites, lustrations, offerings, which before, The last appeal from fortune and from fate : In various ages, various countries bore, Where God's all-righteous ways will be declar'd; With Christian faith and virtues, we shall find The bad meet punishment, the good reward. None answering the great ends of human-kind
Thus man by his own strength to Heaven would soar, But this one rule of life, that shows us best And would not be oblig'd to God for more. How God may be appeas'd, and mortals blest. Vain wretched creature, how art thou misled Whether from length of time its worth we draw, To think thy wit these godlike notions bred! The word is scarce more ancient than the law : These truths are not the product of thy mind, Heaven's early care prescrib'd for every age; But dropt from Heaven, and of a nobler kind. First, in the soul, and after, in the page. * Reveal'd religion first informd thy sight,
Or, whether more abstractedly we look, And reason saw not till faith sprung to light. Or on the writers, or the written book, llence all thy natural worship takes the source : Whence, but from Heaven, could men unskill'd in arts. "Tis revelation what thou think'st discourse. In several ages born, in several parts, Else how com'st thou to see these truths so clear, Weave such agreeing truths? or how, or why, Which so obscure to heathens did appear?
Should all conspire to cheat us with a lie ? Not Plato these, nor Aristotle found :
Unask'd their pains, ungrateful their advice, Nor he whose wisdom oracles renown'd.
Starving their gain, and martyrdom their price. flast thou a wit so deep, or so sublime,
If on the book itself we cast our view, Or canst thou lower dive, or higher elimb? Concurrent heathens prove the story true :
The doctrine, miracles; which must convince, Then let us either think he meant to say
Flew high; and as his Christian fury rose,
Damn'd all for heretics who durst oppose. Commanding words; whose force is still the same Thus far my charity this path has tried ; As the first fiat that produc'd our frana.
A much unskilful, but well-meaning guide : All faiths beside, or did by arms ascend ,
Yet what they are, ev'n these crude thoughts were bred Or sense indulg'd has made mankind their friend : By reading that which better thou hast read. This only doctrine does our lusts oppose :
Thy matchless author's work: which thou, my friend, Unfed by Nature's soil, in which it grows; By well translating better dost commend : Cross to our interests, curbing sense and sin; Those youthful hours which, of thy equals most Oppress'd without, and undermin’d within,
In toys have squander'd, or in vice have lost, It thrives through pain; its own tormentors tires; Those hours hast thou to nobler use employ'd; And with a stubborn patience still aspires.
And the severe delights of truth enjoy'd. To what can reason such effects assign
Witness this weighty book, in which appears Transcending nature, but to laws divine;
The crabbed toil of many thoughtful years, Which in that sacred volume are contain'd; Spent by the author, in the sifting care Sufficient, clear, and for that use ordaind?
Of rabbins' old sophisticated ware But stay: the deist here will urge anew,
From gold divine; which he who well can sort No supernatural worship can be true;
May afterwards make algebra a sport.
A treasure, which is country-curates buy,
Save pains in various readings, and translations; Nor aught that bears reveal'd religion's name. And without Hebrew make inost learn'd quotations. "Tis said the sound of a Messiah's birth
A work so full with various learning fraught, Is gone through all the habitable Earth :
So nicely ponder'd, yet so strongly wrought, But still that text must be confin'd alone
As Nature's height and Art's last hand requir'd : To what was then inhabited and known :
As much as man could compass, uninspir'd. And what provision could from thence accrue Where we may see what errors have been made To Indian souls, and worlds discover'd new? Both in the copier's and translator's trade : In other parts it helps, that, ages past,
How Jewish, popish, interests have prevail'd, The Scriptures there were known, and were embrac'd, And where infallibility has fail'd. Till sin spread once again the shades of night: For some, who have his secret meaning guess'd, What's that to these, who never saw the light? Have found our author not too much a priest. Or all objections, this indeed is chief
For fashion-sake he seems to have recourse
To pope, and councils, and tradition's force :
Could not but find the weakness of the new :
If God's own people, who of God before Much more may strangers who ne'er heard his name. Knew what we know, and had been promis d more, And though no name be for salvation known, In fuller terms, of Heaven's assisting care, But that of his eternal Son's alone;
And who did neither time nor study spare Who knows how far transcending goodness can To keep this book untainted, unperplext, Extend the merits of that Son to man?
Let in gross errors 10 corrupt the text, Who knows what reasons may his mercy lead; Omitted paragraphs, embroil'd the sense, Or ignorance invincible may plead ?
With vain traditions stopt the gaping fence, Not only charity bids hope the best,
Which every common hand pulld up with ease. But more the great apostle has exprest:
What safety from such brushwood-helps as these? * That if the Gentiles, whom no law inspir'd, If written words from time are not secur’d, By nature did what was by law requir'd;
How can we think have oral sounds endur'd ?
O but, says one, tradition set aside,
Or Christian faith can have no certain ground, While thousand rubric-martyrs want a place. Or truth in church-tradition must be found. Nor does it balk my charity, to find
Such an omniscient church we wish indeed; Th' Egyptian bishop of another mind :
"Twere worth both Testaments ; cast in the creed: For though his creed eternal truth contains,
But if this mother be a guide so sure, Tis hard for man to doom to endless pains
As can all doubts resolve, all truth secure, All who believ'd not all his zeal requir'd;
Then her infallibility, as well Unless he first could prove he was inspir'd.
Where copies are corrupt or lame, can tell ;
Restore lost canon with as little pains,
But first they would assume, with wondrous art, As truly explicate what still remains :
Themselves to be the whole, who are but part Which yet no council dare pretend to do;
Of that vast frame the church ; yet grant they were Unless like Esdras they could write it new : The handers-down, can they from thence infer Strange confidence still to interpret true,
A right t'interpret? or would they alone, Yet not be sure that all they have explain'd
Who brought the present, claim it for their own? Is in the blest original contain'd.
The book 's a common largess to mankind; More safe, and much more modest 'tis, to say Not more for them than every man design'd: God would not leave mankind without a way: The welcome news is in the letter found; And that the Scriptures, though not everywhere The carrier's not commission'd to expound. Free from corruption, or entire, or clear,
It speaks itself, and what it does contain, Are uncorrupt, sufficient, clear, entire,
In all things needful to be known is plain. In all things which our needful faith require.
In times o'ergrown with rust and ignorance, If others in the same glass better see,
A gainful trade their clergy did advance : 'Tis for themselves they look, but not for me : When want of learning kept the laymen low, For my salvation must its doom receive,
And none but priests were authoriz'd to know: Not from what others, but what I believe.
When what small knowledge was, in them did dwell; Must all tradition then be set aside ?
And he a god who could but read and spell;
Then mother-church did mightily prevail :
To kecp it in her power to damn and save :
As needy men take money good or bad : From the same Scripture urges he's but man. God's word they had not, but the priest's they had. Now what appeal can end th' important suit? Yet whate'er false conveyances they made, Both parts talk loudly, but the rule is mute.
The lawyer still was certain to be paid. Shall I speak plain, and in a nation free
In those dark times they learn'd their knack so well, Assume an honest layman's liberty ?
That by long use they grew infallible : I think, according to my little skill,
At last a knowing age began t'inquire To my own mother-church submitting still,
If they the book, or that did them inspire : That many have been sav'd, and many may, And, making narrower search, they found, though Who never heard this question brought in play
late, Th' unletter'd Christian, who believes in gross, That what they thought the priest's, was their estate Plods on to Heaven; and ne'er is at a loss :
Taught by the will produc'd, the written word, For the strait-gate would be made straiter yet, How long they had been cheated on record. Were none admitted there but men of wit.
Then every man who saw the title fair,
Consulted soberly his private good;
And sav'd himself as cheap as e'er he could. Which doctrine, this, or that does best agree
"Tis true, my friend, and far be flattery hence, With the whole tenor of the work divine :
This good had full as bad a consequence : And plainliest points to Heaven's reveald design; The book thus put in every vulgar hand, Which exposition flows from genuine sense, Which each presum'd he best could understand, And which is forc d hy wit and eloquence.
The cominon rule was made the common prey ; Not that tradition's parts are useless here :
And at the mercy of the rabble lay. When general, old, disinterested, clear:
The tender page with horny fists was gall’d; That ancient fathers thus expound the page, And he was gifted most that loudest bawld : Gives truth the reverend majesty of age:
The spirit gave the doctoral degree: Confirms its force by biding every test;
And every member of a company For best authorities, next rules, are best.
Was of his trade, and of the Bible free. And still the nearer to the spring we go
Plain truths enough for needful use they found ; More limpid, more unsoil'd, the waters flow, But men would still be itching to expound : Thus first traditions were a proof alone;
Each was ambitious of th' obscurest place, Could we be certain such they were, 80 known: No measure ta'en from knowledge, all from grace. But since some flaws in long descent may be, Study and pains were now no more their care ; They make not truth, but probability.
|Texts were explain'd by fasting and by prayer: Ev'n Arius and Pelagius durst provoke
This was the fruit the private spirit brought; To what the centuries preceding spoke.
Occasion'd by great zeal and little thought. Such difference is there in an oft-told tale :
While crowds unlearn'd, with rude devotion warm, But truth by its own sinews will prevail.
About the sacred viands buzz and swarm. Tradition written therefore more commends
The fly-blown text creates a crawling brood; Authority, than what from voice descends :
And turns to maggots what was meant for food. And this, as perfect as its kind can be,
A thousand daily sects rise up and die; Rolls down to us the sacred history :
A thousand more the perish'd race supply: Which, from the universal church receiv'd,
So all we make of Heaven's discover'd will, Is tried, and after, for itself believ'd.
Is, not to have it, or to use it ill. The partial papists would inser from hence The danger's much the same; on several shelves Their church, in last resort, should judge the sense. If others wreck us, or we wreck ourselves.
What then remains, but, waving each extreme, Ere canvas yet was strain'd, before the grace
Of blended colors found their use and place,
Or cypress tablets first receiv'd a face.
As man grew polish'd, picture was enhanc'd :
Yet perspective was lame, no distance true, In doubtful questions 'tis the safest way
But all came forward in one common view; To learn what unsuspected ancients say:
No point of light was known, no bounds of art; For 'tis not likely we should higher soar
When light was there, it knew not to depart,
Not languish'd, and insensibly decay'd.
Rome rais'd not art, but barely kept alive, If after all they stand suspected still,
And with old Greece unequally did strive : For no man's faith depends upon his will;
Till Goths and Vandals, a rude northern race, 'Tis some relief, that points not clearly known Did all the matchless monuments deface. Without much hazard may be let alone :
Then all the Muses in one ruin lie, And, after hearing what our church can say, And rhyme began t' enervate poetry. If still our reason runs another way,
Thus, in a stupid military state, That private reason 'tis more just to curb,
The pen and pencil find an equal fate. Than by disputes the public peace disturb.
Flat faces, such as would disgrace a screen,
Unrais'd, unrounded, were the rude delight
Long time the sister arts, in iron sleep,
A heavy sabbath did supinely keep: As fittest for discourse, and nearest prose:
At length, in Raphael's age, at once they rise, For while from sacred truth I do not swerve, Stretch all their limbs, and open all their eyes. Tom Sternhold's or Tom Shadwell's rhymes will serve. Thence rose the Roman, and the Lombard line :
One color'd best, and one did best design.
Thy genius gives thee both ; where true design,
Postures unforcd, and lively colors, join.
Likeness is ever there; but still the best, PRINCIPAL PAINTER TO HIS MAJESTY. Like proper thoughts in lofty language drest;
Where light, to sharlos descending, plays, not strives, ONCE I beheld the fairest of her kind,
Dies by degrees, and by degrees revives. And still the sweet idea charms my mind :
Of various parts a perfect whole is wrought: True, she was dumb; for nature gaz'd so long, Thy pictures think, and we divine their thought. Pleas'd with her work, that she forgot her tongue; | Shakspeare, thy gift, I place before my sight : But, smiling, said, “She still shall gain the prize ; With awe, I ask his blessing ere I write; I only have transferr'd it to her eyes."
With reverence look on his majestic face; Such are thy pictures, Kneller: such thy skill, Proud to be less, but of his godlike race, That Nature seems obedient to thy will;
His soul inspires me, while thy praise I write, Comes out, and meets thy pencil in the draught; And I, like Teucer, under Ajax fight, Lives there, and wants but words to speak her Bids thee, through me, behold; with dauntless breast thought.
Contemn the bad, and emulate the best. At least thy pictures look a voice; and we
Like his, thy critics, in th' attempt are lost : Imagine sounds, deceiv'd to that degree,
When most they rail, know then, they envy most We think 'tis somewhat more than just to see. In vain they snarl aloof; a noisy crowd, Shadows are but privations of the light;
Like women's anger, impotent and loud. Yet, when we walk, they shoot before the sight; While they their barren industry deplore, With us approach, retire, arise, and fall;
Pass on secure, and mind the goal before. Nothing themselves, and yet expressing all.
Old as she is, my Muse shall march behind, Such are thy pieces, imitating lise
Bear off the blast, and intercept the wind. So near, they almost conquer in the strife;
Our arts are sisters, though not twins in birth : And from their animated canvas came,
For hymns were sung in Eden's happy earth : Demanding souls, and loosen'd from the frame. But oh, the painter Muse, though last in place,
Prometheus, were he here, would cast away Has seiz'd the blessing first, like Jacob's race. His Adam, and refuse a soul to clay :
Apelles' art an Alexander found ; And either would thy noble work inspire,
And Raphael did with Leo's gold abound; Or think it warm enough without his fire.
But Homer was with barren laurel crown'd. But vulgar hands may vulgar likeness raise ; Thou hadst thy Charles awhile, and so had I, This is the least attendant on thy praise :
But pass we that unpleasing image by. From hence the rudiments of art began;
Rich in thyself, and of thyself divine; A coal, or chalk, first imitated man:
All pilgrims come and offer at thy shrine. Perhaps the shadow, taken on a wall,
A graceful truth thy pencil can command ; Gave outlinos to the rude original;
| The fair themselves go mended from thy hand,