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Through sudden fear: a chilly sweat bedews
· My shuddering limbs, and-wonderful to tell I-
My tongue forgets her faculty of speech;
So horrible he seems! His faded brow
Intrenched with many a frown, and conic beard,
And spreading band, admired by modern saints,
Disastrous acts forbode; in his right hand
Long scrolls of paper solemnly he waves,
With characters and figures dire inscribed,
Grievous to mortal eyes--ye gods, avert
Such plagues from righteous men !-Behind him stalks
Another monster, not unlike himself,
Sullen of aspect, by the vulgar called
A catchpole, whose polluted hands the gods
With force incredible, and magic charins,
First have endued : if he his ample palm
Should haply on ill-fated shoulder lay
Of debtor, straight his body, to the touch
Obsequious—as whilom knights were wont-
To some enchanted castle is conveyed,
Where gates impregnable, and coercive chains,
In durance strict detain him, till, in form
Of money, Pallas sets the captive free.
Beware, ye debtors! when ye walk, beware,
Be circumspect; oft with insidious ken
This caitiff eyes your steps aloof, and oft
Lies perdue in a nook or gloomy cave.
Prompt to enchant some inadvertent wretch
With his unhallowed touch. So-poets sing-
Grimalkin, to domestic vermin sworn
An everlast ng foe, with watchful eye
Lies nightly brooding o'er a chinky gap,
Portending her fell claws, to thoughtless mice
Sure ruin. So her disembowelled web
Arachne, in a hall or kitchen, spreads
Obvious to vagrant flies: she secret stands
Within her woven cell; the humiring prey,
Regardless of their fate, rush on the toils
Inextricable; nor will aught avail
Their arts, or arms, or shapes of lovely hue;
The wasp insidious, and the buzzing drone,
And butterfly, proud of expanded wings
Distinct with gold, entangled in her spares,
Useless resistance make: with eager strides,
She tow'ring flies to her expected spoils :
Then, with en venomed jaws, the vital blood
Drinks of reluctant foes, and to her cave
Their bulky carcasses triumphant drags.
So pass my days. But, when nocturnal shades
This world envelop, and th’inclement air
Persuades men to repel benumbing frosts
With pleasant wines and crackling blaze of wood,
Me, lonely sitting, nor the glimmering light
Of make-weight candle, nor the joyous talk
Of loving friend, delights ; distressed, forlorn,
Amidst the horrors of the tedious night,
Darkling I sigh, and feed with dismal thoughts
My anxious mind; or sometimes mournful verso
Indite, and sing of groves and myrtle shades,
Or desperate lady near a purling stream,
Or lover pendent on a willow-tree,
Meanwhile I labour with eternal drought,
And restless wish, and rave; my parched throat
Finds no relief, nor heavy eyes repose :
But if a slumber haply does invade
My weary linibs, my fancy's still awake;
Thoughtful of drink, and eager, in a dream,
Tipples imaginary pots of ale,
In vain; awake, I find the settled thirst
Still gnawing, and the pleasant phantom curse.
Thus do I live, from pleasure quite debarred,
Nor taste the fruits that the sun's genial rays
Mature, John-apple, nor the downy peach,
Nor walnut in rough-furrowed coat secure,
Nor medlar, fruit delicious in decay.
Afflictions great! yet greater still remain :
My galligaskins, that liave long withstood
The winter's fury and incroaching frosts,
By time subdued—what will not time subduel
A horrid chasm disclosed with orifice
Wide, discontinuous; at which the winds
Eurus and Auster, and the dreadful force
Of Boreas, that congeals the Cronian waves,
Tumultuous enter with dire chilling blasts,
Portending agues. Thus, a well-fraught ship,
Long sailed secure, or through th' Ægean deep,
Or the Ionian, till, cruising near
The Lilybean shore, with hideous crush
Ou Scylla or Charybdis-dangerous rocks!-
She strikes rebounding; whence the shattered oak,
So fierce a shock unable to withstand,
Admits the sea ; in at the gaping side
The crowding waves gush with impetuous rage,
Resistless, overwhelming! horrors seize
The mariners; death in their eyes appears ,
They stare, they lave, they pump, they swear, they pray;
(Vain efforts !) still the battering waves rush in,
Implacable ; till, deluged by the foam,
The ship sinks foundering in the vast abyss.
JOHN POMFRET (1667-1703) was the son of a clergyman, rector of Luton, in Bedfordshure, and himself a minister of the Church of England He obtained the rectory of Malden, also in Bedfordshire, and had the prospect of preferment; but the bishop of London considered, unjustly, his poem, the Choice,' as conveying an inmoral sentiment, and rejected the poetical candidate. Detained in London by this unsuccessful negotiation, Pomfret caught the small-pox, and died. His works consist of occasional poems and some ‘Pindaric Essays, the latter evidently copied from Cowley. The only piece of Pomfret's now remembered-we can hardly say read-is the Choice.' Dr. Johnson remarks that no composition in our language has been oftener peruseid; and Southey asks wliy Pomfret's Choice' is the most popular poem in the English language. To the latter observation, Campbell makes a quaint reply: Imight have been demanded with equal propriety, why London Bridge is built of Parian marble.' It is difficult in the present day, when the English muse has awakened to so much higher a strain of thought and expression, and a
large body of poetry, full of passion, natural description, and emotion, lies between us and the times of Pomfret, to conceive that the Choice' could ever have been a very popular poem, It is tame and commonplace. The idea, however, of a country retirement, a private seat, with a wood, garden, and stream, a clear and competent estate, and the enjoyment of lettered ease and happiness, is so grateful and agreeable to the mind of man, especially in large cities, that we can hardly forbear liking a poem that recalls so beloved an image to our recollection. Swifi and Pope, in their exquisite imitation of Horace ( Sat.' Book ii, 6), kave drawn a similar picture; and Thomson and Cowper, by their descriptions of rural life, have completely obliterated from ile public mind the feeble draft of Pomfret
Extract from “The Choice.'
If Heaven the grateful liberty would give
That I might choose my method how to live;
And all those hours propitious fate should lend,
In blissful ease and satisfaction spend;
Near some fair towu I'd have a private seat,
Built uniform, not little, nor too great ;
Better, it on a rising ground it stood;
On this side fields, on that a neighbouring wood.
It should within no other things contain
But what are useful, necessary, plain ;
Methinks 'tis nauseous, and I'd ne'er endure
The needless pomp of gaudy furniture.
A little garden grateful to the eye,
And a cool rivulet run murmuring by ;
On whose delicious banks a stately row
Of shady limes or sycamores should grow.
At the end of which a silent study placed,
Should be with all the noblesé authors graced:
Horace and Virgil, in whose mighty lives
Immortal wit and solid learning shines;
Sharp Juvenal, and amorous Ovid too,
Who all the turns of love's soft passion knew :
He that with judgment reads his charmiug lines,
In which strong art with stronger nature joins,
Must grant his fancy does the best excel-
His thoughts so tender, and expressed so well:
With all those moderns, men of steady sense,
Esteemed for learning and for eloquence.
In some of these, as fancy should advise,
I'd always take my morning exercise;
For sure no minutes bring us more content
Than those in pleasing useful studies spent.
I'd have a clear and competent estate,
That I night live genteelly, but not great;
As much as I could moderately speud;
A little more, sometimes to oblige a friend.
Nor should the sons of poverty repine
Too much at fortwe; they should taste of mine ;
And all that objects of true pity were,
Should be relieved with what my wants could spare ;
For that our Maker has too largely given
Should be returned in gratitude to Heaven.
A frugal plenty should my table spread;
With healthy, not luxurious, dishes spread;
Enough to satisfy, and something more,
To feed the stranger, and the neighbouring poor.
Strong meat indulges vice, and pampering food
Creates diseases, and inflames the blood.
But what's sufficient to make nature strong,
And the bright lamp of life continue long.
I'd freely take; and, as I did possess,
The bounteous Author of my plenty bless. .
CHARLES SACKVILLE, EARL OF DORSET (1637-8-1705-6), wrote little, but was capable of doivg more, and being a liberal patron of poets, was a nobleman highly popular in his day. In the first Dutch war, 1665, when Earl of Buckhurst, he went a volunteer under the Duke of York, and was said to have written or finished a song-his best composition, one of the prettiest that ever was made,' according to Prior—the night before the naval engagement in which Opdam, the Dutch admiral, was blown up, with all his crew. The circumstance of such a lively, easy-flowing song, consisting of eleven stanzas, having been written on board ship, on the eve of an engagement, was justly held to be a fine instance of courage and gallantry. But when Pepys's Diary' was published, it was found that the song existed six months before the great sea-fight. Prior's story was an embellishment. Dorset was a lord of the bedchamber to Charles II. and was chamberlain of the household to William and Mary. Prior relates, that when Dorset, as lord-chamberlain, was obliged to take the king's pension from Dryden, he allowed him an equivalent out of his own estate. He introduced Butler's 'Hudibras' to the notice of the court, was consulted by Waller, and almost idolised by Dryden. Hospitable, generous, and refined, we need not wonder at the incense which was heaped upon Dorset by his contemporaries. His works are trifling; a few satires and songs make up the catalogue. They are elegant, and sometimes forcible; but when a man like Prior writes of them, “there is a lustre in his verses like that of the sun in Claude Lorraine's landscapes,' it is impossible not to be struck with that gross adulation of rank and fashion which disgraced the literature of the age.
Dorinda's sparkling wit and eyes,
United, cast too fierce a light,
Which blazes high, but quickly dies;
Pains,not the heart, but hurts the sight.
Love is a calmer, gentler joy ;
Smooth are his looks, and soft his pace;
Her Cupid is a blackguard boy,
That runs his link full in your face.
Song. • Written at sea, by the late Earl of Dorset, in the First Datch War.' (Lintot's
Miscellany,' 1712. To all you ladies now at land,
No sorrow we shall find : We men at sea indite;
'Tis then no matter how things go, But first would have you understand Or who's our friend, or who's our foe. How hard it is to write;
With'a fa, &c.
The Muses now, and Neptune too,
We must implore to write to you.
To pass our tedious hours away,
With a fa la, la, la, la.
We throw a merry main;
Or else at serious ombre play;
For though the Muses should prove kind, But why should we in vain
And fill our empty brain ;
Each other's ruin thus pursue ?
Yet if rough Neptune rouse the wind, We were undone when we left you.
To wave the azure main,
With a fa, &c.
Onr paper, pen and ink, and we,
Roll up and down our ships at sea. But now our fears tempestuous grow,
With a fa, &c.
And cast our hopes away;
Whilst you, regardless of our woe, Then, if we write not by each post,
Sit careless at a play : Think not we are unkind;
Perhaps permit some happier man
Nor yet conclude our ships are lost To kiss your hand, or flirt your fan.
By Dutchmen or by wind :
With a fa, &c.
Our tears we 'll send a speedier way-
The tide shall bring them twice a day. When any mournful tune you hear,
With a fa, &c.
That dies in every note,
As if it sighed with each man's care
The king with wonder and surprise, For being so remote:
Will swear the seas grow bold;
Think then how often love we've made Because the tide will higher rise
To you, when all those tunes were played. Than e'er they used of old :
With a fa, &c.
But let him know it is our tears
Bring floods of grief to Whitehall-stairs. In justice, you can not refuse
With a fa, &c.
To think of our distress,
When we for hopes of honour loge
Should foggy Opdam chance to know Our certain happiness ;
Our sad and dismal story,
All those designs are but to prove
The Dutch would scorn so weak a foe, Ourselves more worthy of your love
And quit their fort at Goree;
With a fa, &c.
For what resistance can they find
From men who've left their hearts be- And now we've told you all our loves,
And likewise all our fears,
With a fa, &c.
In hopes this declaration moves
Some pity for our tears ;
Let wind and weather do its worst, Let's hear of no inconstancy,
Be you to us but kind;
We have too much of that at sea.
Let Dutchmen vapour, Spaniards curse,
With a fa la, la, la, la.
JOHN SHEFFIELD, DUKE OF BUCKINGHAMSHIRE (1649—1720-21), was associated in his latter days with the wits and poets of the reign of Queen Anne, but he properly belongs to the previous age. He went with Prince Rupert against the Dutch, and was afterwards colonel of a regiment of foot. In order to learn the art of war under Marshal Turenne, he made a campaign in the French service The literary taste of Sheffield was never neglected amidst the din of arms, and he made himself an accomplished scholar. He was a member