Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Who'd not be a glutton, and stick to the last ? Or, wherefore his characters thus without fault?
Here, waiter, more wine, let me sit while I'm able, Say, was it that vainly directing his view
Till all my companions sink under the table; To find out men's virtues, and finding them few,
Then, with chaos and blunders encircling my head, Quite sick of pursuing each troublesome elf,
Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.

He grew lazy at last, and drew from himself?
Here lies the good Dean, re-united to earth,

Here Douglas retires from bis toils to relax, Who mixt reason with pleasure, and wisdom with The scourge of impostors, the terror of quacks: mirth:

Come, all ye quack bards, and ye quacking divines, If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt,

Come, and dance on the spot where your tyrant reAt least, in six weeks, I could not find 'em out;

Yet some have declar'd, and it can't be denied 'em, When satire and censure encircled his throne,
That sly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em. I fear'd for your safety, I fear'd for my own;
Here lies our good Edmund, whose genius was But now he is gone, and we want a detector,

Our Dodds shall be pious, our Kenricks shall lecture;
We scarcely can praise it, or blame it too much; Macpherson write bombast, and call it a style,
Who, born for the universe, narrow'd his mind, Our Townshend make speeches, and I shall compile;
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind. New Lauders and Bowers the Tweed shall cross
Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his over,

No countryman living their tricks to discover;
To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote; Detection her taper shall quench to a spark,
Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining, And Scotchman meet Scotchman and cheat in the
And thought of convincing, while they thought of dark.

Here lies David Garrick, describe me who can,
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit, An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man;
Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit: As an actor, confest without rival to shine;
For a patriot too cool ; for a drudge, disobedient; As a wit, if not first, in the very first line:
And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient. Yet, with talents like these, and an excellent heart,
In short, 'twas his fate, unemploy'd, or in place, sir, The man had his failings, a dupe to his art.
To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor. Like an ill judging beauty, his colours he spread,

Here lies honest William, whose heart was a mint, And beplaster'd with rouge, his own natural red. While the owner ne'er kvew half the good that was On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting; in't;

'Twas only that, when he was off, he was acting. The pupil of impulse, it forc'd him along,

With no reason on earth to go out of his way, His conduct still right, with his argument wrong;

He turn'd and he varied full ten times a day: Still aiming at honour, yet fearing to roam, Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick, The coachman was tipsy, the chariot drove home; If they were not his own by finessing and trick: Would you ask for his merits? alas! he had none; He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack, What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his For he knew when he pleas'd he could whistle them


Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must sigh Of praise a mere glutton, he swallow'd what came,
Alas, that such frolic should now be so quiet! And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for fame;
What spirits were his! what wit and what whim! Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb! Who pepper'd the highest, was surest to please.
Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball! But let us be candid, and speak out our mind,
Now teasing and vexing, yet laughing at all! If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind.
In short, so provoking a devil was Dick,

Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, and Woodfalls so grave,
That we wish'd him full ten times a day at Old Nick; What a commerce was yours, while you got and
But, missing his mirth and agreeable vein,

you gave? As often we wish'd to have Dick back again. How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts that you Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,

rais'd, The Terence of England, the mender of hearts ; While he was be-Roscius'd,and you were be-prais'd? A flattering painter, who made it his care


peace to his spirit, wherever it flies, To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are.

To act as an angel, and mix with the skies: His gallants are all faultless, his women divine,

Those poets, who owe their best fame to his skill, And comedy wonders at being so fine;

Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will; Like a tragedy queen he has dizen’d her out,

Old Shakspeare receive him with praise and with Or rather like tragedy giving a rout.

love, His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd

And Beaumonts and Bens be his Kellys above. Of virtues and feelings, that folly grows proud,

Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt pleasant cresAnd coxcombs alike in their failings alone,

ture, Adopting his portraits are pleas'd with their own.

And slander itself must allow him good-nature: Say, where has our poet this malady caught?

He cherish'd his friend, and he relish'd a bumperi


Yet one fault he had, and that was a thumper. He has not left a wiser or better behind; Perhaps you may ask if the man was a miser: His pencil was striking, resistless and grand; 1 answer, no, no, for he always was wiser:

His manners were gentle, complying and bland; Too courteous, perhaps, or obligingly flat?

Still born to improve us in every part,
His very worst foe can't accuse him of that: His pencil our faces, his manners our heart:
Perhaps he confided in men as they go,

To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering, And so was too foolishly honest? ah no!

When they judg'd without skill he was still hard of Then what was his failing ? come tell it, and burn hearing: ye,

When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Corregios and He was, could he help it? a special attorney.

stuff, Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind, He shifted his trumpet, and only took souff.

ARMSTRONG-A.D. 1709-79.




Daughter of Pæon, queen of every joy, Hygeia ; whose indulgent smile sustains The various race luxuriant nature pours, And on th' immortal essences bestows Immortal youth ; auspicious, O descend! Thou cheerful guardian of the rolling year, Whether thou wanton’st on the western gale, Or shak’st the rigid pinions of the north, Diffusest life and vigour through the tracts Of air, through earth, and ocean's deep domain.When through the blue serenity of heaven Thy power approaches, all the wasteful host Of pain and sickness, squalid and deform’d, Confounded sink into the lothesome gloom, Where in deep Erebus involv'd the fiends Grow more profane. Whatever shapes of death, Shook from the hideous chambers of the globe, Swarm through the shudd'ring air: whatever

Or meagre famine breeds, or with slow wings
Rise from the putrid watery element,
The damp waste forest, motionless and rank,
That smothers earth and all the breathless winds,
Or the vile carnage of th’inhuman field:
Whatever baneful breathes the rotteu south;
Whatever ills th' extremes or sudden change
Of cold and hot, or moist and dry produce;
They fly thy pure effulgence: they and all
The secret poisons of avenging heaven,
And all the pale tribes halting in the train
Of vice and heedless pleasure; or if aught
The comet's glare amid the burning sky,
Mournful eclipse, or planets ill-combin’d,
Portend disastrous to the vital world;
Thy salutary power averts their rage,
Averts the general bane: and but for thee
Nature would sicken, nature soon would die.

Without thy cheerful active energy
No rapture swells the breast, no poet sings,
No more the maids of Helicon delight.
Come then with me, O goddess heavenly gay!
Begin the song; and let it sweetly flow,
And let it wisely teach thy wholesome laws:
“ How best the fickle fabric to support
Of mortal man; in healthful body how
A healthful mind the longest to maintain."
'Tis hard, in such a strise of rules, to choose
The best, and those of most extensive use;

Harder in clear and animated song
Dry philosophic precepts to convey.
Yet with thy aid the secret wilds I trace
Of nature, and with daring steps proceed
Through paths the Muses never trod before.

Nor should I wander doubtful of my way,
Had I the lights of that sagacious mind
Which taught to check the pestilential fire,
And quell the deadly Python of the Nile.
O thou belov'd by all the graceful arts,
Thou long the fav’rite of the healing powers,
Indulge, 0 Mead! a well-design'd essay,
Howe'er imperfect; and permit that I
My little knowledge with my country share,
Till you the rich Asclepian stores unlock,
And with new graces dignify the theme.

Ye who amid this feverish world would wear
A body free of pain, of cares a mind,
Fly the rank city, shun its turbid air;
Breathe not the chaos of eternal smoke
And volatile corruption, from the dead,
The dying, sick’ning, end the living world
Exhal'd, to sully heaven's transparent done
With dim mortality. It is not air
That from a thousand lungs reeks back to thine,
Sated with exhalations rank and fell,
The spoil of dunghills, and the putrid thax
‘Of nature; when from shape and texture she
Relapses into fighting elements :
It is not air, but floats a nauseous mass
Of all obscene, corrupt, offensive things.
Much moisture hurts; but here a sordid bath,
With oily rancour fraught, relaxes more
The solid frame than simple moisture can.
Besides, immur'd in many a sullen bay
That never felt the freshness of the breeze,
This slumb’ring deep remains, and ranker grows
With sickly rest: and (though the lungs abhor
To drink the dun fuliginous abyss)
Did not the acid vigour of the mine,
Rollid from so many thund'ring chimnies, tame
The putrid steams that overswarm the sky;
This caustic venom would perhaps corrode
Those tender cells that draw the vital air,
In vain with all their unctuous rills bedew'd;
Or by the drunken venous tubes, that yawn
In countless pores o'er all the pervious skin
Imbib’d, would poison the balsamic blood,
And rouse the heart to every fever's rage.
While yet you breathe, away; the rural wilds
Invite ; the mountains call you, and the vales,
The woods, the streams, and each ambrosial breeze

[ocr errors]

That fans the ever undulating sky;

Skin ill-perspiring, and the purple flood
A kindly sky! whose fost'ring power regales In languid eddies loitering into phlegm.
Man, beast, and all the vegetable reign.

Yet not alone from humid skies we pine;
Find then some woodland scene where nature smiles For air may be too dry. The subtle heaven,
Benign, where all her honest children thrive. That winnows into dust the blasted downs,
To us there wants not many a happy seat!

Bare and extended wide without a stream,
Look round the smiling land, such numbers rise Too fast imbibes th' attenuated lymph,
We hardly fix, bewilder'd in our choice;

Which, by the surface, from the blood exhales.
See where enthron'd in adamantine state,

The lungs grow rigid, and with toil essay
Proud of her bards, imperial Windsor sits ;

Their flexible vibrations; or, inflam'd,
There choose thy seat, in some aspiring grove Their tender ever-moving structure thaws,
Fast by the slowly-winding Thames; or where Spoil'd of its limpid vehicle, the blood
Broader she laves fair Richmond's green retreats, A mass of lees remains, a drossy tide
(Richmond that sees an hundred villas rise

That slow as Lethe wanders through the veins:
Rural or gay.) O! from the summer's rage, Unactive in the services of life,
0! wrap me in the friendly gloom that hides Unfit to lead its pitchy current through
Umbrageous Ham !-But, if the busy town

The secret mazy channels of the brain.
Attract thee still to toil for power or gold,

The melancholic fiend (that worst despair
Sweetly thou mayst thy vacant hours possess Of physic) bence the rust-complexion'd man
Io Hampstead, courted by the western wind; Pursues, whose blood is dry, whose fibres gain
Or Greenwich, waving o'er the winding flood; Too stretch'd a tone: and hence in climes adust
Or lose the world amid the sylvan wilds

So sudden tumults seize the trembling nerves,
Of Dulwich, yet by barbarous arts unspoil'd. And burning fevers glow with double rage.
Green rise the Kentish hills in cheerful air;

Fly, if you can, these violent extremes
But on the marshy plains that Lincolo spreads

Of air: the wholesome is nor moist nor dry.
Build not, nor rest too long thy wand'ring feet. But as the power of choosing is deny'd
For on a rustic throne of dewy turf,

To half mankind, a further task ensues ;
With baneful fogs her aching temples bound,

How best to mitigate these fell extremes,
Quartana there presides; a meagre fiend

How breathe, unhurt, the withering element,
Begot by Eurus, when his brutal force

Or hazy atmosphere: though custom moulds
Compress'd the slothful naiad of the fens.

To ev'ry clime the soft Promethean clay;
From such a mixture sprung, this fitful pest

And he who first the fogs of Essex breath'd
With fev'rish blasts subdues the sick’ning land: (So kind his native air) may in the fens
Cold tremors come, with mighty love of rest,

Of Essex from inveterate ills revive,
Convulsive yawnings, lassitude, and pains

At pure Montpelier or Bermuda caught,
That sting the burden'd brows, fatigue the loins, But if the raw and oozy heaven offend,
And rack the joints and every torpid limb;

Correct the soil, and dry the sources up
Then parching heat succeeds, till copious sweats Of watery exhalation : wide and deep
O'erflow: a short relief from former ills.

Conduct your trenches through the quaking bog;
Beneath repeated shocks the wretches pine;

Solicitous, with all your winding arts,
The vigour sinks, the habit melts away;

Betray th' unwilling lake into the stream;
The cheerful, pure, and animated bloom

And weed the forest, and invoke the winds
Dies from the face, with squalid atrophy

To break the toils where strangled vapours lie;
Devour’d, in sallow melancholy clad.

Or through the thickets send the crackling flames. And oft the sorceress, in her sated wrath,

Meantime, at home, with cheerful fires dispel
Resigns them to the furies of her train;

The humid air: and let your table smoke
The bloated hydrops ; and the yellow fiend,

With solid roast or bak’d; or what the herds
Ting'd with her own accumulated gall.

Of tamer breed supply; or what the wilds
In quest of sites, avoid the mournful plain Yield to the toilsome pleasures of the chase.
Where osiers thrive, and trees that love the lake; Generous your wine, the boast of rip’ning years;
Where many lazy muddy rivers flow:

But frugal be your cups: the languid frame,
Nor, for the wealth that all the Indies roll,

Vapid and sunk from yesterday's debauch,
Fix near the marshy margin of the main :

Shrinks from the cold embrace of watery heavens.
For from the humid soil and wat'ry reign

But neither these, nor all Apollo's arts,
Eternal vapours rise; the spungy


Disarm the dangers of the drooping sky,
For ever weeps : or, turgid with the weight

Unless with exercise and manly toil
Of waters, pours a sounding deluge down.

You brace your nerves, and spur the lagging blood.
Skies such as these let every mortal shun

The fatt’ning clime let all the sons of ease
Who dreads the dropsy, palsy, or the gout,

Avoid ; if indolence would wish to live,
Tertian, corrosive scurvy, or moist catarrh:

Go, yawn and loiter out the long slow year

In fairer skies. If droughty regions parch
Or any other injury that grows

The skin and lungs, and bake the thickening blood;
From raw-spun fibres idle and unstrung,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own ; Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vais; Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,

Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue; And his long nights of revelry and ease.

And even in penance planning sins anew. The naked negro, panting at the line,

All evils here contaminate the mind, Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine,

That opulence departed leaves behind; Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,

For wealth was theirs, not far remov'd the date, And thanks his gods for all the good they gave.

When commerce proudly flourish'd through the Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam,

At her command the palace learn'd to rise, (state; His first best country, ever is at home;

Again the long-fall’n column sought the skies; And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,

The canvas glow'd beyond ev'n nature warm, And estimate the blessings which they share, The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form. Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, An equal portion dealt to all mankind;

Commerce on other shores display'd her sail; As different good, by art or nature given

While nought remain’d of all that riches gave, To different nations, makes their blessings even.

But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave: Nature, a mother kind alike to all,

And late the nation found with fruitless skill,
Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call; Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
food as well the peasant is supply'd

Yet, still the loss of wealth is here supplied
On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side;

By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride; And though the rocky-crested summits frown, From these the feeble heart and long-fall'a mind These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down. An easy compensation seem to find. From art more various are the blessings sent; Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd, Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content. The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade; Yet these each other's power so strong contest, Processions form'd for piety and love, That either seems destructive of the rest.

A mistress or a saint in every grove. Where wealth and freedom reign, contentment fails; By sports like these are all their cares beguil', And honour sinks where commerce long prevails. The sports of children satisfy the child. Hence every state to one lov'd blessing prone,

Each nobler aim, represt by long controul, Conforms and models life to that alone.

Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul;
Each to the fav’rite happiness attends,

While low delights, succeeding fast behind,
And spurns the plan that aims at other ends ; In happier meanness occupy the mind:
Till carried to excess in each domain,

As in those domes, where Cæsars once bore sway, This favorite good begets peculiar pain.

Defac'd by time and tott'ring in decay, But let us try these truths with closer eyes, There in the ruin, heedless of the dead, And trace them through the prospect as it lies: The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed; Here, for a while my proper cares resign'd, And, wondering man could want the larger pile, Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind;

Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile. Like yon neglected shrub at random cast,

My soul turn from them, turn we to survey That shades the steep, and sighs at every blast. Where rougher climes a nobler race display,

Far to the right where Apennine ascends, Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion treed. Bright as the summer, Italy extends;

And force a churlish soil for scanty bread; Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side, No product here the barren hills afford, Woods over woods in gay theatric pride;

But man and steel, the soldier and his sword. While oft some temple's mould'ring tops between No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array, With venerable grandeur mark the scene.

But winter lingering chills the lap of May: Could nature's bounty satisfy the breast,

No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast, The sons of Italy were surely blest.

But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest. Whatever fruits in different climes are found,

Yet still, even here, content can spread a chars, That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground; Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm. Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear,

Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts that Whose bright succession decks the varied year;, He sees his little lot the lot of all; Whatever sweets salute the northern sky

Sees no contiguous palace rear its head With vernal lives, that blossom but to die;

To shame the meanness of his humble shed; These here disporting own the kindred soil, No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal, Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil:

To make him loathe his vegetable meal; While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand, But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil, To winnow fragrance round the smiling land. Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil.

But small the bliss that sense alone bestows, Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose, And sensual bliss is all the nation knows.

Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes; In florid beauty groves and fields appear,

With patient angle trolls the finny deep, Man seems the only growth that dwindles here. Or drives his vent'rous ploughshare to the sect; Contrasted faults through all his manners reign: Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the say,





« AnteriorContinuar »