Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

And while the nymph was kind as fair,
Wish'd not to gain his native air,
But thought he bargain'd to his cost,
To gain the liberty he lost,

Till at the last, a fop was seen,
A Parrot, dress'd in red and green,
Who could not boast one genuine note,
But chatter'd, swore and ly'd-by rote.
“Nonsense and noise will oft prevail,
" When honour and affection fail.”
The lady lik’d her foreign guest,
For novelty will please the best;
And whether it is lace or fan,
Or silk, or china, bird or man,
None sure can think it wrong, or strange,
That ladies should admire a change.
The Parrot now came into play,
The Robin! he had had his day,
But could not brook the nymph's disdain,
So fed—and ne'er came back again.

A

FAMILIAR EPISTLE.

TO A FRIEND

WHO SENT THE AUTHOR A HAMPER OF WINE.

Decipit Exemplar vitiis imitabile.—Hor.

Fond of the loose familiar vein,
Which neither tires, nor cracks the brain,
The Muse is rather truant grown
To buckram works of higher tone;
And though perhaps her pow'rs of rhyme,
Might rise to fancies more sublime,
Prefers this easy down-hill road,
To dangerous leaps at five-barr'd ODE,
Or starting in the Classic race
Jack-booted for an EPIC chace.

That Bard, as other Bards, divine,
Who was a sacris to the Nine,
Dan PRIOR I mean, with natural ease,
(For what's not nature cannot please)
Would sometimes make his rhyming bow,
And greet his friend as I do now;

* too.

And, howsoe'er the critic train
May hold my judgment rather vain,
Allow me one resemblance true,
I have, my friend, a SuePHERD

You know, dear Sir, the Muses pine,
Though sober Maids, are woo'd in wine,
And therefore, as beyond a doubt,
You've found my dangling foible out,
Send me nectareous Inspiration,
'Though others read Intoxication.
For there are those who vainly use
This grand Elixir of the Muse,
And fancy in their apish fit,
An idle trick of maudlin wit,
Their genius takes a daring flight,
'Bove PINDUS, or PLINLIMMON's height.
Whilst more of madman than of poet,
They're drunk indeed, and do not know it.

The Bard, whose charming measure fows
With all the native ease of prose,
Who, without flashy vain pretence,
Has best adorn’d Eternal Sense,
Ard, in his cheerful moral page,
Speaks to mankind in every age;

* Dr. Richard Shepherd, Author of a didactic Poema called 'The Nuptials.

Tells us, from folks whose situation
Makes them the mark of observation,
Example oft gives Folly rise,
And Imitation clings to Vice.

Ennius could never write, 'tis said,
Without a bottle in his head;
And your own HORACE quaff'd his wine
In plenteous draughts at Bacchus' sbrine ;
Nay, ADDISON would oft unbend,
T'indulge his genius with a friend ;
(For fancy, which is often dry,
Must wet her wings, or cannot fy)
What precedents for fools to follow
Are Ben, the Devil, and APOLLO!
While the great gawky ADMIRATION,
Parent of stupid imitation,
Intrinsic proper worth neglects,
And copies Errors and Defects.

The man, secure in strength of Parts,
Has no recourse to shuffling Arts,
Seeks not his nature to disguise,
Nor heeds the people's tongues, or eyes,
His wit, his faults at once displays,
Careless of envy, or of praise;
And foibles, which we often find
Just on the surface of the mind,

Strike common eyes, which can't discern What to avoid, and what to learn.

Errors in wit conspicuous grow, To use Gay's words, like specks in snow; Yet it were kind, at least, to make Allowance for the merit's sake; And when such beauties fill the eye, To let the blemishes go by. Plague on your philosophic sots! I'll view the sun without its spots.

Wits are peculiar in their mode;
They cannot bear the hackney road,
And will contract habitual ways,
Which sober people cannot praise,
And fools admire: Such fools I hate;
-Begone, ye slaves, who imitate.

Poor SPURIUS ! eager to destroy
And murder hours he can't enjoy,
The last of witlings, next to dunce,
Would fain turn Genius all at once,
But that the wretch mistakes bis aim,
And thinks a Libertine the same.
Connected as the hand and glove,
Is Madam POETRY and LOVE;
Shall not He then possess his Muse,
And fetch CORINNA from the stews,

« ZurückWeiter »