Abbildungen der Seite

Great bard, whose numbers I myself infpire,
To whom I gave my own harmonious lyre,
If high exalted on the throne of wit,

Me and Homer thou aspire to fit,
No more let meaner satire dim the rays
That flow majestic from thy noble bays;
In all the flow'ry paths of Pindus stray,
But thun that thorny, that unpleasing way ;
Nor when each soft engaging muse is thine,
Address the least attractive of the nine.

Of thee more worthy were the talk, to raise
A lasting column to thy country's praise,
To sing the land, which yet alone can boast
That liberty corrupted Rome has loft ;
Where fcience in the arms of peace is laid,
And plants her palm beneath the olive's shade.
Such was the theme for which my lyre I ftrung,
Such was the people whose exploits I fung;
Brave, yet refind, for arms and arts renown'd,
With diff'rent bays by Mars and Phæbus crown'd,
Dauntless opposers of tyrannic sway,
But pleas'd, a mild AUGUSTUS to obey.

If these commands submissive thou receive,
Immortal and unblam'd thy name shall live;
Envy to black Cacytus fhall retire,
And howl with furies in tormenting fire ;
Approving time ihall consecrate thy lays,
And join the patriot's to the poet's praise.

The great use of medals is properly described in the ensuing elegant epistle from Mr. Pope to Mr. Addison ; and the extravagant passion which some people entertain only for the colour of them, is very agreeably and very juftly ridiculed.

From Mr. Pope to Mr. Addison. Occasioned by his dialogue

See the wild waste of all-devouring years !
How Rome her own sad sepulchre appears:
With nodding arches, broken temples spread !
The very tombs now vanish like their dead !
Imperial wonders rais'd on nations spoild,
Where mix'd with Naves the groaning martyr toild:

Huge theatres, that now unpeopled woods,
Now drain'd a diftant country of her floods :
Fanes, which admiring Gods with pride survey,
Statues of Men, scarce less alive than they !
Some felt the filent {troke of mould'ring age,
Some hofile fury, some religious rage;
Barbarian blindness, chriftian zeal conspire,
And papal piety, and gothic fire.
Perhaps, by its own ruin fav'd from fame,
Some bury'd marble half preserves a name ;
That name the learn'd with fierce disputes pursue,
And give to Titus old Vespasian's due.

Ambition figh’d: She found it vain to trust
The faithless column and the crumbling bust:
Huge moles, whose shadow ftretch'd from More to shore,
Their ruins perish'd, and their place no more !
Convinc'd, he now contracts her vaft design,
And all her triumphs shrink into a coin.
A narrow orb each crouded conquest keeps,
Beneath her palm here fad Judæa weeps
Now scantier limits the proud arch confine,
And scarce are seen the proftrate Nile or Rhine ;
A small Euphrates thro' the piece is rollid,
And little eagles wave their wings in gold.

The medal, faithful to its.charge of fame,
Thro' climes and ages bears each form and name :
In one short view subjected to our eye
Gods, emp'rors, heroes, fages, beauties, lie.
With sharpen'd fight pale antiquaries pore,
Th'inscription value, but the rust adore.
This the blue varnish, that the green endears,
The facred ruft of twice ten hundred years!
To gain Prefcennius one employs his schemes,
One grasps a Cecrops in estatic dreams.
Poor Vadius, long, with learned spleen devour'd,
Can taste no pleasure fince his shield was scour'd :
And Curio, restless by the fair-one's side,
Sighs for an Otho, and neglects his bride.

Their's is the vanity, the learning thine :
Touch'd by thy hand, again Rome's glories shine ;
Her gods, and god-like heroes rise to view,
And all her faded garlands bloom

[ocr errors]

Nor blush, these studies thy regard engage ;
These pleas'd the fathers of poetic rage ;
The verse and sculpture bore an equal part,
And art reflected images to art.

Oh when shall Britain, conscious of her claim,
Stand emulous of Greek and Roman fame?
In living medals see her wars enrollid,
And vanquilh'd realms supply recording gold?
Here, rising bold, the patriot's honest face
There warriors frowning in historic brass:
Then future ages with delight shall see
How Plato's, Bacon's, Newton's looks

agree ;
Or in fair series laurellid bards be shown,
A Virgil there, and here an Addifon.
Then Thall thy Craggs (and let me call bim mine)
On the cast ore, another Pollio shine ;
With aspect open shall erect his head,
And round the orb in lasting notes be read,
• Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere,
* In tion faithful, and in honour clear;
• Who broke no promise, serv'd no private end,
Who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend ;
“ Ennobled by himself, by all approv'd,
Prais'd, wept, and honour'd; by the muse he lov’d.

The following letter from Mr. Philips to the earl of Dorset is entirely descriptive; but is one of those descriptions which will be ever read with delight. Mr. PHILIPS to the Earl of Dorset.

Copenhagen, March 9, 1709. From frozen climes, and endless tracts of snow, From streams which northern winds forbid to flow, What present shall the muse to Dorset bring, Or how, so near the pole, attempt to fing? The hoary winter here conceals from fight All pleasing objects which to verse invite. The hills and dales, and the delightful woods, The flow'ry plains, and silver-streaming floods, By snow disguis'd, in bright confusion lie, And with one dazzling waste fatigue the eye.

No gentle breathing breeze prepares the spring, No birds within the desert region sing: The ships, unmov'd, the boift'rous winds defy, While rattling chariots o'er the ocean fly. The vaft Leviathan wants soom to play, And spout his waters in the face of day; The starving wolves along the main fea prowi, And to the moon in icy valleys howl. O'er many a shining league the level main Here spreads itself into a glassy plain : There folid billows of enormous size, Alps of green ice, in wild disorder rise.

And yet but lately have I seen, ev'n here,
The winter in a lovely dress appear,
’E’re yet the clouds let fall the treasur'd snow,
Or winds began through hazy skies to blow,
At ev'ning a keen eastern breeze arose,
And the descending rain unsully'd froze.
Soon as the filent Mades of night withdrew,
The ruddy morn disclos’d at once to view
The face of nature in a rich disguise,
And brighten'd ev'ry object to my eyes :
For ev'ry shrub, and ev'ry blade of grass,
And ev'ry pointed thorn, seem'd wrought in glass;
In pearls and rubies rich the hawthorns show,
While through the ice the crimson berries glow.
The thick-sprung reeds, which watry marshes yield,
Seem'd polith'd lances in a hostile field.
The stag in limpid currents, with surprise,
Sees chryftal branches on his forehead rise :
The spreading oak, the beech, and tow'ring pine,
Glaz'd over, in the freezing æther shine.
The frighted birds the rattling branches shun,
Which wave and glitter in the distant fun.

When if a sudden gust of wind arise,
The brittle forest into atoms flies,
The crackling woods beneath the tempeft bends,
And in a spangled shower the prospect ends :
Or, if a southern gale the region warm,
And by degrees unbind the wintry charm,
The traveller a miry country sees,
And journies fad beneath the dropping trees :

Like some deluded peasant, Merlin leads
Through fragrant bow'rs, and through delicious meads;
While here inchanted gardens to him rise,
Andairy fabricks there attract his eyes,
His wandring feet the magick paths pursue,
And while he thinks the fair illusion true,
The trackless scenes disperse in fuid air,
And woods, and wilds, and thorny ways appear,
A tedious road the weary wretch returns,
And, as he goes, the transient vision mourns.

We have already observed that the essential, and indeed the true characteristic of epiftolary writing is ease; and on this account, as well as others, the following letter from Mr Pope to Miss Blount is to be admired.

From Mr. Pope to Miss BLOUNT, on her leaving the Torin

after the Coronation.

As some fond virgin, whom her mother's care
Drags from the town to wholesome country air ;
Just when she learns to roll a melting eye,
And hear a spark, yet think no danger nigh;
From the dear man unwilling she must sever,
Yet takes one kiss before she parts for ever :
Thus from the world fair Zephalinda flew,
Saw others happy, and with fighs withdrew :
Not that their pleasures caus'd her discontent,
She figh'd not that they stay'd, but that she went.

She went, to plain-work, and to purling brooks,
Old-fashion'd halls, dull aunts, and croaking rooks:
She went from op'ra, park, assembly, play,
To morning-walks, and prayers three hours a day;
To part her time 'twixt reading and bohea,
To muse, and spill her solitary tea,
Or o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon,

Count the flow clock, and dine exact at noon ; ! Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire,

Hum half a tune, tell stories to the 'squire ;
Up to her godly garret after seven,
There starve and pray, for that's the way to heav'n.

Some 'squire, perhaps, you take delight to rack ;
Whose game is whisk, whose treat's a toast in fack;

G 4

« ZurückWeiter »