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Not suffering wrath to discompose his mind,
He strove a temper for th’ extremes to find,
So to be just, as he might still be kind; *
Then, all maturely weigh'd, pronounc'd a doom
Of sacred strength for every age to come.
By this the Doves their wealth and state possess,
No rights infring’d, but licence to oppress:
Such power have they as factious lawyers long
To crowns ascrib'd, that kings can do no wrong.
But since his own domestic birds have try’d
The dire effects of their destructive pride,
He deems that proof a measure to the rest,
Concluding well within his kingly breast,
His fowls of nature too unjustly were opprest.
He therefore makes all birds of every sect
Free of his farm, with promise to respect
Their several kinds alike, and equally protect.
His gracious edict the same franchise yields
To all the wild increase of woods and fields,
And who in rocks aloof, and who in steeples builds:
To Crows the like impartial grace affords,
And Choughs and Daws, and such republic birds:
Secur'd with ample privilege to feed,
Each has his district, and his bounds decreed:
Combin’d in common interest with his own,
But not to pass the Pigeon's Rubicon.
“Here ends the reign of his pretended Dove;
All prophecy's accomplish'd from above,
For Shiloh comes the sceptre to remove.
Reduc’d from her imperial high abode,
Like Dionysius to a private rod,
The passive church, that with pretended grace
Did her distinctive mark in duty place,
Now touch'd, reviles her Maker to his face.
“What after happen'd is not hard to guess:
The small beginnings had a large increase,
And arts and wealth succeed, the secret spoils of
'Tis said, the Doves repented, though too late,
Become the smiths of their own foolish fate:
Nor did their owner hasten their ill hour;
But, sunk in credit, they decreas'd in power:
Like snows in warmth that mildly pass away,
Dissolving in the silence of decay.
“The Buzzard, not content with equal place,
Invites the feather'd Nimrods of his race;
To hide the thinness of their flock from sight,
And all together make a seeming goodly flight:
But each have separate interests of their own;
Two czars are one too many for a throne.
Nor can th' usurper long abstain from food;
Already he has tasted Pigeon's blood:
And may be tempted to his former fare,
When this indulgent lord shall late to Heaven repair.
Bare benting times, and moulting months may come,
When, lagging late, they cannot reach their home;
Or rent in schism (for so their fate decrees)
Like the tumultuous college of the bees,
They fight their quarrel, by themselves opprest;
The tyrant smiles below, and waits the falling feast.”
Thus did the gentle Hind her fable end, Nor would the Panther blame it, nor commend; But, with affected yawnings at the close, Seem'd to require her natural repose; For now the streaky light began to peep; And setting stars admonish'd both to sleep. The dame withdrew, and, wishing to her guest The peace of Heaven, betook herself to rest. Ten thousand angels on her slumbers wait, With glorious visions of her future state.
A roeM on the PRINce, Born on THE TENTH of just, 1688.
Our vows are heard betimes, and Heaven takes care
To grant, before we can conclude the prayer:
Preventing angels met it half the way,
And sent us back to praise, who came to pray.
Just on the day, when the high-mounted Sun
Did furthest in its northern progress run,
He bended forward, and ev’n stretch'd the sphere
Beyond the limits of the lengthen'd year,
To view a brighter sun in Britain born;
That was the business of his longest morn;
The glorious object seen, 'twas time to turn.
Departing Spring could only stay to shed
Her gloomy beauties on the genial bed,
But left the manly Summer in her stead,
With timely fruit the longing land to cheer,
And to fulfil the promise of the year.
Betwixt two seasons comes th’ auspicious heir,
This age to blossom, and the next to bear.
Last solemn sabbath saw the church attend,
The Paraclete in fiery pomp descend;
But when his wondrous octave roll'd again,
He brought a royal infant in his train.
So great a blessing to so good a king,
None but th' Eternal Comforter could bring.
Or did the mighty Trinity conspire,
As once in council to create our fire 2
It seems as if they sent the new-born guest
To wait on the procession of their feast;
And on their sacred anniverse decreed
To stamp their image on the promis'd seed.
Three realms united, and on one bestow'd,
An emblem of their mystic union show'd :
The mighty trine the triple empire shard:
As every person would have one to guard.
Hail, son of prayers! by holy violence
Drawn down from Heaven; but long be banish'd
And late to thy paternal skies retire:
To mend our crimes, whole ages would require;
To change th’ inveterate habit of our sins,
And finish what thy godlike sire begins.
Kind Heaven, to make us Englishmen again,
No less can give us than a patriarch's reign.
The sacred cradle to your charge receive,
Ye seraphs, and by turns the guard relieve;
Thy father's angel, and thy father join,
To keep possession, and secure the line;
But long defer the honours of thy fate:
Great may they be like his, like his be late;
That James his running century may view,
And give this Son an auspice to the new.
Our wants exact at least that moderate stay:
For see the dragon winged on his way,
To watch the travail, and devour the prey.
Or, if aliusions may not rise so high,
Thus, when Alcides rais'd his infant cry,
The snakes besieg'd his young divinity:
But vainly with their forked tongues they threat;
For opposition makes a hero great.
To needful succour all the good will run,
And Jove assert the godhead of his son.
O still repining at your present state,
Grudging yourselves the benefits of fate,
Look up, and read in characters of light
A blessing sent you in your own despite.
The manna falls, yet that celestial bread
Like Jews you munch, and murmur while you feed.
May not your fortune be like theirs, exil'd,
Yet forty years to wander in the wild !
Or if it be, may Moses live at least,
To lead you to the verge of promis'd rest!
Though poets are not prophets, to foreknow
What plants will take the blight, and what will grow,
By tracing Heaven, his footsteps may be found:
Behold ! how awfully he walks the round!
God is abroad, and, wondrous in his ways,
The rise of empires, and their fall surveys;
More, might I say, than with an usual eye,
He sees his bleeding church in ruin lie,
And hears the souls of saints beneath his altar cry.
Already has he lifted high the sign,
Which crown'd the conquering arms of Constantine:
The Moon grows pale at that presaging sight,
And half her train of stars have lost their light.
Behold another Sylvester, to bless
The sacred standard, and secure success;
Large of his treasures, of a soul so great,
As fills and crowds his universal seat.
Now view at home a second Constantine;
(The former too was of the British line)
Has not his bealing balm your breaches clos'd,
Whose exile many sought, and few oppos'd :
O, did not Heaven by its eternal doom
Permit those evils, that this good might come 2
So manifest, that ev'n the moon-ey'd sects
See whom and what this Providence protects.
Methinks, had we within our minds no more
Than that one shipwreck on the fatal ore,
That only thought may make us think again,
What wonders God reserves for such a reign.
To dream that Chance his preservation wrought,
Were to think Noah was preserv'd for nought;
Or the surviving eight were not design'd
To people Earth, and to restore their kind.
When humbly on the royal babe we gaze,
The manly lines of a majestic face
Give awful joy : 'tis paradise to look --
On the fair frontispiece of Nature's book:
If the first opening page so charms the sight,
Think how th' unfolded volume will delight!
See how the venerable infant lies
In early pomp; how through the mother's eyes
The father's soul, with an undaunted view,
Looks out, and takes our honage as his due.
See on his future subjects how he smiles,
Nor meanly flatters, nor with craft beguiles;
But with an open face, as on his throne,
Assures our birthrights, and assumes his own:
Born in broad daylight, that th' ungrateful rout
May find no room for a remaining doubt;
Truth, which itself is light, does darkness shun,
And the true eaglet safely dares the Sun.
Fain would the fiends have made a dubious birth,
Loth to confess the Godhead cloth'd in earth:
But sicken'd after all their baffled lies,
To find an heir apparent in the skies:
Abandon'd to despair, still may they grudge,
And, owning not the Saviour, prove the judge.
Not great Æneas stood in plainer day,
When, the dark mantling mist dissolv'd away,
He to the Tyrians show’d his sudden face,
Shining with all his goddess mother's grace:
For she herself had made his countenance bright,
Breath'd honour on his eyes, and her own purple
If our victorious Fdward, as they say, Gave Wales a prince on that propitious day, Why may not years, revolving with his fate, Produce his like, but with a longer date 2 One, who may carry to a distant shore The terrour that his fam'd forefather bore. But why should James or his young hero stay For slight presages of a name or day 2 We need no Edward's fortune to adorn That happy moment when our prince was born: Our prince adorns this day, and ages hence Shall wish his birth-day for some future prince. Great Michael, prince of all th’ ethereal hosts, And whate'er inborn saints our Britain boasts; And thou, th’ adopted patron of our isle, With cheerful aspects on this infant smile: The pledge of Heaven, which, dropping from above, Secures our bliss, and reconciles his love. Enough of ills our dire rebellion wrought, When to the dregs we drank the bitter draught: Then airy atoms did in plagues conspire, Nor did th’ avenging angel yet retire, But purg'd our still-increasing crimes with fire. Then perjur’d plots, the still impending test, And worse—but charity conceals the rest: Here stop the current of the sanguine flood; Require not, gracious God, thy martyrs' blood; But let their dying pangs, their living toil, Spread a rich harvest through their native soil; A harvest ripening for another reign, Of which this royal babe may reap the grain. Enough of early saints one womb has given; Enough increas'd the family of Heaven: Let them for his, and our atonement go; And, reigning blest above, leave him to rule below. Enough already has the year foreshow’d His wonted course, the sea has overflow'd, The meads were floated with a weeping spring, And frighten’d birds in woods forgot to sing: The strong-limb'd steed beneath his harness faints, And the same shivering sweat his lord attaints. When will the minister of wrath give o'er? Behold him at Araunah's threshing-floor: He stops, and seems to sheath his flaming brand, Pleas'd with burnt incense from our David's hand. David has bought the Jebusite's abode, And rais'd an altar to the living God. Heaven, to reward him, makes his joys sincere: No future ills nor accidents appear To sully and pollute the sacred infant's year. Five months to discord and debate were given: He sanctifies the yet remaining seven. Sabbath of months' henceforth in him be blest, And prelude to the realm's perpetual rest! Let his baptismal drops for us atone; Lustrations for offences not his own. Let Conscience, which is Interest ill disguis'd, In the same font be cleans'd, and all the land baptiz'd. Unnam'd as yet; at least unknown to fame: Is there a strife in Heaven about his name; Where every famous predecessor vies, And makes a faction for it in the skies 2 Or must it be reserv'd to thought alone? Such was the sacred Tetragrammaton. Things worthy silence must not be reveal’d: Thus the true name of Rome was kept conceal’d, To shun the spells and sorceries of those, Who durst her infant majesty oppose. But when his tender strength in time shall rise To dare ill tongues, and fascinating eyes;
This isle, which hides the little thunderer's fame,
Shall be too narrow to contain his name;
Th’ artillery of Heaven shall make him known;
Crete could not hold the god, when Jove was grown.
As Jove's increase, who from his brain was born,
Whom arms and arts did equally adorn,
Free of the breast was bred, whose milky taste
Minerva's name to Venus had debas'd;
So this imperial babe rejects the food
That mixes monarch's with plebeian blood:
Food that his inborn courage might control,
Extinguish all the father in his soul,
And for his Estian race, and Saxon strain,
Might reproduce some second Richard's reign.
Mildness he shares from both his parents' blood:
But kings too tame are despicably good:
Be this the mixture of this regal child,
By nature manly, but by virtue mild.
Thus far the furious transport of the news
Had to prophetic madness fir'd the Muse;
Madness ungovernable, uninspir'd,
Swift to foretel whatever she desir'd.
Was it for me the dark abyss to tread,
And read the book which angels cannot read 2
How was I punish'd when the sudden blast,
The face of Heaven, and our young Sun o'ercast!
Fame, the swift ill, increasing as she roll'd,
Disease, despair, and death, at three reprises told:
At three insulting strides she stalk'd the town,
And, like contagion, struck the loyal down.
Down fell the winnow’d wheat; but, mounted high,
The whirlwind bore the chaff, and hid the sky.
Here black Rebellion shooting from below,
(As Earth's gigantic brood by moments grow)
And here the sons of God are petrified with woe:
An apoplex of grief! so low were driven
The saints, as hardly to defend their Heaven. -
As, when pent vapours run their hollow round,
Earthquakes, which are convulsions of the ground,
Break bellowing forth, and no confinement brook,
Till the third settles what the former shook;
Such heavings had our souls; till, slow and late,
Our life with his return'd, and Faith prevail'd on
By prayers the mighty blessing was implor’d,
To prayers was granted, and by prayers restor'd.
So, ere the Shunamite a son conceiv'd,
The prophet promis'd, and the wife believ'd.
A son was sent, the son so much desir’d;
But soon upon the mother's knees expir’d.
The troubled seer approach'd the mournful door,
Ran, pray'd, and sent his pastoral staff before,
Then stretch'd his limbs upon the child, and mourn'd,
Till warmth, and breath, and a new soul, return'd.
Thus Mercy stretches out her hand, and saves
Desponding Peter sinking in the waves.
As when a sudden storm of hail and rain
Beats to the ground the yet unbearded grain,
Think not the hopes of harvest are destroy'd
On the flat field, and on the naked void;
The light, unloaded stem, from tempest freed,
Will raise the youthful honours of his head;
And soon, restor'd by native vigour, bear
The timely product of the bounteous year.
Nor yet conclude all fiery trials past:
For Heaven will exercise us to the last;
Sometimes will check us in our full career,
With doubtful blessings, and with mingled fear;
That, still depending on his daily grace,
His every mercy for an alms may pass,
With sparing hands will diet us to good:
Preventing surfeits of our pamper'd blood.
So feeds the mother bird her craving young
With little morsels, and delays them long.
True, this last blessing was a royal feast;
But where's the wedding-garment on the guest?
Our manners, as religion were a dream,
Are such as teach the nations to blaspheme.
In lusts we wallow, and with pride we swell,
And injuries with injuries repel;
Prompt to revenge, not daring to forgive,
Our lives unteach the doctrine we believe.
Thus Israel sinn'd, impenitently hard,
And vainly thought the present ark their guard;
But when the haughty Philistines appear,
They fled, abandon'd to their foes and fear;
Their God was absent, though his ark was there.
Ah! lestour crimes should snatch this pledge away,
And make our joys the blessings of a day !
For we have sinn'd him hence; and that he lives,
God to his promise, not our practice gives.
Our crimes would soon weigh down the guilty scale,
But James and Mary, and the church, prevail.
Nor Amalek can rout the chosen bands,
While Hur and Aaron hold up Moses' hands.
By living well, let us secure his days,
Moderate in hopes, and humble in our ways.
No force the free-born spirit can constrain,
But charity, and great examples gain.
Forgiveness is our thanks for such a day,
'Tis godlike, God in his own coin to pay.
But you, propitious queen, translated here,
From your mild Heaven, to rule our rugged sphere,
Beyond the sunny walks, and circling year:
You, who your native climate have bereft
Of all the virtues, and the vices left;
Whom piety and beauty make their boast,
Though beautiful is well in pious lost;
So lost as starlight is dissolv'd away,
And melts into the brightness of the day;
Or gold about the royal diadem,
Lost to improve the lustre of the gem.
What can we add to your triumphant day ?
Let the great gift the beauteous giver pay.
For should our thanks awake the rising Sun,
And lengthen, as his latest shadows run, [be done.
That, though the longest day, would soon, too soon
Let angels' voices with their harps conspire,
But keep th’ auspicious infant from the choir;
Late let him sing above, and let us know
No sweeter music than his cries below.
Nor can I wish to you, great monarch, more
Than such an annual income to your store;
The day which gave this unit, did not shine
For a less omen, than to fill the trine.
After a prince, an admiral beget;
The Royal Sovereign wants an anchor yet.
Our isle has younger titles still in store,
And when th” exhausted land can yield no more,
Your line can force them from a foreign shore.
The name of great your martial mind will suit;
But justice is your darling attribute:
Of all the Greeks, ’twas but one hero's due,
And, in him, Plutarch prophesy'd of you.
A prince's favours but on few can fall,
But justice is a virtue shar'd by all.
Some kings the name of conquerors have assum'd,
Some to be great, some to be gods presum’d;
But boundless power, and arbitrary lust,
Made tyrants still abhor the name of just;
They shunn'd the praise this godlike virtue gives,
And fear'd a title that reproach'd their lives.
The power, from which all kings derive their state,
Whom they pretend, at least, to imitate,
Is equal both to punish and reward;
But few would love their God, unless they fear'd.
Resistless force and immortality
Make but a lame, imperfect, deity:
Tempests have force unbounded to destroy,
And deathless being ev'n the damn'd enjoy;
And yet Heaven's attributes, both last and first,
One without life, and one with life accurst:
But justice is Heaven's self, so strictly he,
That could it fail, the Godhead could not be.
This virtue is your own; but life and state
Are one to Fortune subject, one to Fate:
Equal to all, you justly frown or smile;
Nor hopes nor fears your steady hand beguile;
Yourself our balance hold, the world's our isle.
f And when Fate summons, monarchs must obey.
This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young
Was call'd to empire, and had govern'd long :
In prose and verse, was own'd, without dispute,
Through all the realms or Nonsense, absolute.
This aged prince, now flourishing in peace,
And blest with issue of a large increase; t
Worn out with business, did at length debate
To settle the succession of the state: o
And, pondering, which of all his sons was fits
To reign, and wage immortal war with wit,
Cry’d, “”Tis resolv’d; for Nature pleads, that he
Should only rule, who most resembles me.
Shadwell alone my perfect image bears,
Mature in dulness from his tender years:
Shadwell alone, of all my sons, is he,
Who stands confirin'd in full stupidity.
The rest to some faint meaning make pretence,
But Shadwell never deviates into sense.
Some beams of wit on other souls may fall,
Strike through, and make a lucid interval:
But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray,
His rising fogs prevail upon the day.
Besides, his goodly fabric fills the eye,
And seems design'd for thoughtless majesty:
Thoughtless as monarch oaks, that shade the plain,
And, spread in solemn state, supinely reign.
Heywood and Shirley were but types of thee,
Thou last great prophet of tautology'
Ev’n I, a dunce of more renown than they,
Was sent before but to prepare thy way;
And, coarsely clad in Norwich drugget, came
To teach the nations in thy greater name.
My warbling lute, the lute I whilom strung,
When to king John of Portugal I sung,
Was but the prelude to that glorious day,
When thou on silver Thames didst cut thy way,
With well-tim'd oars before the royal barge,
Swell'd with the pride of thy celestial charge;
And, big with hymn, commander of an host,
The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets tost.
Methinks I see the new Arion sail,
The lute still trembling underneath thy nail.
At thy well-sharpen'd thumb from shore to shore
The trebles squeak for fear, the bases roar: *
Echoes from Pissing-Alley Shadwell call,
And Shadwell they resound from Aston-Hall.
About thy boat the little fishes throng,
As at the morning toast that floats along.
Sometimes, as prince of thy harmonious band,
Thou wield'st thy papers in thy threshing hand.
St. Andre's feet ne'er kept more equal time,
Not ev'n the feet of thy own Psyche's rhyme:
Though they in number as in sense excel;
So just, so like tautology, they fell,
That, pale with envy, Singleton forswore
The lute and sword, which he in triumph bore,
And vow'd he ne'er would act Villerius more.”
Here stopt the good old sire, and wept for joy,
In silent raptures of the hopeful boy.
All arguments, but most his plays, persuade,
That for anointed dulmess he was made.
Close to the walls which fair Augusta bind,
(The fair Augusta, much to fears inclin'd)
An ancient fabric rais'd to inform the sight,
There stood of yore, and Barbican it hight :
A watch-tower once; but now, so Fate ordains,
Of all the pile an empty name remains:
From its old ruins brothel-houses rise,
Scenes of lewd loves, and of polluted joys,
Where their vast courts the mother-strumpets
And, undisturb’d by watch, in silence sleep.
Near these a nursery erects its head, o
Where queens are form’d, and future heroes bred;
Where undedg'd actors learn to laugh and cry,
Where infant punks their tender voices try,
And little Maximins the gods defy.
Great Fletcher never treads in buskins here,
Nor greater Jonson dares in socks appear;
But gentle Simkin just reception finds
Amidst this monument of vanish'd minds:
Pure clinches the suburbian Muse affords,
And Panton waging harmless war with words.
Here Flecknoe, as a place to Fame well known,
Ambitiously design'd his Shadwell's throne.
For ancient Decker prophesy’d long since,
That in this pile should reign a mighty prince,
Born for a scourge of wit, and flail of sense.
To whom true dulness should some Psyches owc,
But worlds of misers from his pen should flow:
Humorists and hypocrites it should produce,
Whole Raymond families, and tribes of Bruce.
Now empress Fame had publish'd the renown
Of Shadwell's coronation through the town.
Rous’d by report of Fame, the nations meet,
From near Bunhill, and distant Watling-street.
No Persian carpets spread th’ imperial way,
But scatter'd limbs of mangled poets lay:
From dusty shops neglected authors come,
Martyrs of pies, and relics of the bum.
Much Heywood, Shirley, Ogleby, there lay,
But loads of Shadwell almost chok'd the way.
Bilk'd stationers for yeomen stood prepar’d,
And Herringman was captain of the guard.
The hoary prince in majesty appeard,
High on a throne of his own labours rear'd.
At his right hand our young Ascanius sate,
Rome's other hope, and pillar of the state.
His brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace,
And lambent dulness play'd around his face.
As Hannibal did to the altars come,
Swore by his sire, a mortal foe to Rome;
So Shadwell swore, nor should his vow be vain,
That he till death true dulness would maintain;
And, in his father's right, and realm's defence, Ne'er to have peace with wit, nor truce with sense. The king himself the sacred unction made, As king by office, and as priest by trade. In his sinister hand, instead of ball, He plac'd a mighty mug of potent ale; Love's kingdom to his right he did convey, At once his sceptre, and his rule of sway; Whose righteous lore the prince had practis'd young, And from whose loins recorded Psyche sprung. His temples, last, with poppies were o'erspread, That nodding seem'd to consecrate his head. Just at the point of time, if Fame not lie, On his left hand twelve reverend owls did fly. So Romulus, ’tis sung, by Tyber's brook, Presage of sway from twice six vultures took. Th' admiring throng loud acclamations make, And omens of his future empire take. The sire then shook the honours of his head, And from his brows damps of oblivion shed Full on the filial dulness: long he stood, Repelling from his breast the raging god; At length burst out in this polio mood. “Heavens bless my son from Ireland let him reign To far Barbadoes on the western main; Of his dominion may no end be known, And greater than his father's be his throme; Beyond Love's kingdom let him stretch his pen!—” He paus'd, and all the people cry’d “Amen.” Then thus continued he: “my son, advance Still in new impudence, new ignorance. Success let others teach, learn thou from me Pangs without birth, and fruitless industry. Let virtuosos in five years be writ; Yet not one thought accuse thy toil of wit. Let gentle George in triumph tread the stage, Make Dorimant betray, and Loveit rage; Let Cully, Cockwood, Fopling, charm the pit, And in their folly show the writer's wit. Yet still thy fools shall stand in thy defence, And justify their author's want of sense. Let them be all by thy own model made Of dulness, and desire no foreign aid; That they to future ages may be known, Not copies drawn, but issue of thy own. Nay, let thy men of wit too be the same, All full of thee, and differing but in name. Butlet no alien Sedley interpose, To lard with wit thy hungry Epsom prose. And when false flow'rs of rhetoric thou wouldst cull, Trust Nature, do not labour to be dull; But write thy best, and top; and, in each line, Sir Formal's oratory will be thine: Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill, And does thy northern dedications fill. Nor let false friends seduce thy mind to fame, By arrogating Jonson's hostile name. Let father Flecknoe fire thy mind with praise, And uncle Ogleby thy envy raise. Thou art my blood, where Jonson has no part: What share have we in Nature or in Art? Where did his wit on learning fix a brand, And rail at arts he did not understand 2 Where made he love in prince Nicander's vein, Or swept the dust in Psyche's humble strain? Where sold he bargains, whip-stitch, kiss my arse, Promis'd a play, and dwindled to a farce When did his Muse from Fletcher scenes purloin, As thou whole Etherege dost transfuse to thine *
But so transfus'd, as oil and waters flow,
His always floats above, thine sinks below.
This is thy province, this thy wondrous way,
New humours to invent for each new play:
This is that boasted bias of thy mind,
By which, one way, to dulness 'tis inclin'd:
Which makes thy writings lean on one side still,
And, in all changes, that way bends thy will.
Nor let thy mountain-belly make pretence
Of likeness; thine's a tympany of sense.
A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ,
But sure thou'rt but a kilderkin of wit.
Like mine, thy gentle numbers feebly creep;
Thy tragic Muse gives smiles, thy comic sleep.
With whate'er gall thou sett'st thyself to write,
Thy inoffensive satires never bite.
In thy felonious heart though venom lies,
It does but touch thy Irish pen, and dies.
Thy genius calls thee not to purchase fame
In keen Iambics, but mild Anagram.
Leave writing plays, and choose for thy command,
Some peaceful province in Acrostic land.
There thou mayst wings display and altars raise,
And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.
Or if thou wouldst thy different talents suit,
Set thy own songs, and sing them to thy lute.”
He said; but his last words were scarcely heard:
For Bruce and Longvil had a trap prepard,
And down they sent the yet declaiming bard.
Sinking he left his drugst robe behind,
Borne upwards by a subterranean wind.
The mantle fell to the young prophet's part,
With double portion of his father's art.
To MY Honour El) FRIEND SIR ROBERT howARD,
on his excellent pure Ms.
As there is music uninform'd by art
In those wild notes, which with a merry heart
The birds in unfrequented shades express,
Who, better taught at home, yet please us less:
So in your verse a native sweetness dwells,
Which shames composure, aud its art excels.
Singing no more can your soft numbers grace,
Than paint adds charms unto a beauteous face.
Yet as, when mighty rivers gently creep,
Their even calmness does suppose them deep;
Such is your Muse: no metaphor swell'd high
With dangerous boldness lifts her to the sky:
Those mounting fancies, when they fall again,
Show sand and dirt at bottom do remain.
So firm a strength, and yet withal so sweet,
Did never but in Samson's riddle meet.
'Tis strange each line so great a weight should bear,
And yet no sign of toil, no sweat appear.
Fither your art hides art, as stoics feign
Then least to feel, when most they suffer pain;
And we, dull souls, admire, but cannot see
What hidden springs within the engine be.
Or 'tis some happiness that still pursues
Each act and motion of your graceful Muse,