« AnteriorContinuar »
None that, in thy domestic snug recess,
To show him in an insect or a flower
To combat atheists with in modern days;
To spread the earth before him, and commend, And too, that, thus estranged, thou canst obtain With designation of the finger's end, By no kind arts his confidence again;
Its various parts to his attentive note, That here begins with most that long complaint Thus bringing home to him the most remote; Of filial frankness lost, and love grown faint,
To teach his heart to glow with generous flame, Which, oft neglected, in life's waning years Caught from the deeds of men of ancient fame: A parent pours into regardless ears.
And, more than all, with commendation due, Like caterpillars, dangling under trees
To set some living worthy in his view, By slender threads, and swinging in the breeze,
Whose fair example may at once inspire Which filthily bewray and sore disgrace
A wish to copy what he must admire. The boughs in which are bred th’ unsecmly race; Such knowledge gained betimes, and which apWhile every worm industriously weaves
pears And winds his web about the rivelled leaves;
Though solid, not too weighty for his years, So numerous are the follies, that annoy
Sweet in itself, and not forbidding sport, The mind and heart of every sprightly boy;
When health demands it, of athletic sort, Imaginations noxious and perverse,
Would make him—what some lovely boys have Which admonition can alone disperse.
been, Th'encroaching nuisance asks a faithful hand,
And more than one perhaps that I have seenPatient, affectionate, of high command,
An evidence and reprehension both To check the procreation of a breed
Of the mere shool-boy's lean and tardy growth. Sure to exhaust the plant on which they feed.' · Art thou a man professionally tied, *Tis not enough, that Greek or Roman page, With all thy faculties elsewhere applied, At stated hours, his freakish thoughts engage;
Too busy to intend a meaner care, Een in his pastimes he requires a friend, Than how t' enrich thyself, and next thine heir; To warn, and teach him safely to unbend; Or art thou (as though rich, perhaps thou art) O'er all his pleasures gently to preside,
But poor in knowledge, having none t' impart: Watch his emotions, and control their tide: Behold that figure, neat, though plainly clad; And levying thus, and with an easy sway, His sprightly mingled with a shade of sad; A tax of profit from his very play,
Not of a nimble tongue, though now and then T'impress a value, not to be erased,
Heard to articulate like other men; On moments squandered else, and running all to No jester, and yet lively in discourse, waste.
His phrase well chosen, clear, and full of force; And seems it nothing in a father's eye,
And his address, if not quite French in ease,
Wise for himself and his few friends alone
Armed for a work too difficult for thee;
Prepared by taste, by learning, and true worth, Dismiss their cares, when they dismiss their fock, To form thy son, to strike his genius forth ; Machines themselves, and governed by a clock. Beneath thy roof, beneath thine eye, to prove Perhaps a father, blest with any brains, The force of discipline, when backed by love; Would deem it no abuse, or waste of pains, To double all thy pleasure in thy child, T' improve this diet, at no great expense,
His mind informed, his morals undefiled. With savoury truth and wholesome common sense; Safe under such a wing, the boy shall show To lead his son, for prospects of delight, No spots contracted among grooms below, To some not steep, though philosophic height, Nor.taint his speech with meannesses, designed Thence to exhibit to his wondering eyes By footman Tom for witty and refined. Yon circling worlds, their distance, and their There, in his commerce with the liv'ried herd, size;
Lurks the contagion chiefly to be feared; The moons of Jove, and Saturn's belted ball, For since (so fashion dictates) all, who claim And the harmonious order of them all;
A higher than a mere plebeian fame,
Find it expedient, come what mischief may, Or is thine house, though less superb thy rank, To entertain a thief or two in pay,
If not a scene of pleasure, a mere blank, (And they that can afford th' expense of more, And thou at best, and in thy soberest mood, Some half a dozen, and some half a score) A trifler vain, and empty.of all good; Great cause occurs, to save him from a band Though mercy for thyself thou canst have none, Sosure to spoil him, and so near at hand; Hear nature plead, show mercy to thy son. A point secured, if once he be supplied
Saved from his home, where every day brings forth With some such Mentor always at his side. Some mischief fatal to his future rth, Are such men rare? perhaps they would abound, Find him a better in a distant spot, Were occupation easier to be found,
Within some pious pastor's humble cot, Were education, else so sure to fail,
Where vile example (yours I chiefly mean, Conducted on a manageable scale,
The most seducing, and the oftenest seen,) And schools, that have outlived all just esteem, May never more be stamped upon his breast, Exchanged for the secure domestic scheme. - Nor yet perhaps incurably impressed. But, having found him, be thou duke or earl, Where early rest makes early rising sure, Show thou hast sense enough to prize the pearl,
Disease or comes not, or finds easy cure, And, as thou wouldst th' advancement of thine heir Prevented much by diet neat and plain; In all good faculties beneath his care,
Or, if it enter, soon starved out again: Respect, as is but rational and just,
Where all th' attention of his faithful host, A man deemed worthy of so dear a trust. Discreetly limited to two at most, Despised by thee, what more can he expect May raise such fruits as shall reward his care, From youthful folly than the same neglect; And not at last evaporate in air : A flat and fatal negative obtains
Where, stillness aiding study, and his mind That instant upon all his future pains;
Serene, and to his duties much inclined,
In settled habit and decided taste.
Th’incorrigibly young, the deaf, the dead,
Whom care and cool deliberation suit
Who, if their sons some slight tuition share,
Deem it of no great moment whose, or where; Account him no just mark for idle wit; Too proud t' adopt the thoughts of one unknown, Offend not him, whom modesty restrains And much too gay t' have any of their own. From repartee, with jokes that he disdains; But courage, man!"methought the muse replied, Much less transfix his feelings with an oath; Mankind are various, and the world is wide: Nor frown, unless he vanish with the cloth. The ostrich, silliest of the feathered kind, And, trust me, his utility may reach
And formed of God without a parent's mind, To more than he is hired or bound to teach ; Commits her eggs incautious to the dust, Much trash unuttered, and some ills undone, Forgetful that the foot may crush the trust; Through reverence of the censor of thy son. And, while on public nurseries they rely, But, if thy table be indeed unclean,
Not knowing, and too oft not caring, why, Foul with excess, and with discourse obscene, Irrational in what they thus prefer, And thou a wretch, whom, following her old plan, No few, that would seem wise, resemble her. The world accounts an honourable man, But all are not alike. Thy warning voice Because forsooth thy courage has been tried, May here and there prevent erroneous choice; And stood the test, perhaps, on the wrong side; And some perhaps, who, busy as they are, Though thou hadst never grace enough to prove Yet make their progeny their dearest care, That any thing but vice could win thy love;- (Whose hearts will ache, once told what ills may Or hast thou a polite, card-playing wife,
reach Chained to the routs that she frequents for life; Their offspring, left upon so wild a beach,) Who, just when industry begins to snore, Will need no stress of argument t'enforce Flies, winged with joy, to some coach-crowded door, Th'expedience of a less advent'rous course : And thrice in every winter throngs thine own The rest will slight thy counsel, or condemn; With half the chariots and sedans in town, But they have human feelings, turn to them. Thyself meanwhile c'en shifting as thou mayst: To you then, tenants of life's middle state, Not very sober though, nor very chaste; Securely placed between the small and great,
Whose character, yet undebauched, retains Thou canst not! Nature, pulling at thine heart Two thirds of all the virtue that remains, Condemns th' unfatherly, th' imprudent part. Who, wise yourselves, desire your son should learn Thou wouldst not, deaf to Nature's tenderest plea, Your wisdom and your ways--to you I turn,
Turn him adrift upon a rolling sea, Look round you on a world perversely blind; Nor Go thither, conscious that there lay See what contempt is fallen on human kind; A brood of asps, or quicksands in his way; See wealth abused, and dignities misplaced, Then, only governed by the self-same rule Great titles, offices, and trusts disgraced, Of natural pity, send him not to school. Long lines of ancestry, renowned of old, No-guard him better. Is he not thine own, Their noble qualities all quenched and cold; Thyself in miniature, thy flesh, thy bone ? See Bedlam's closeted and hand-cuffed charge And hop'st thou not ('tis every father's hope) Surpassed in frenzy by the mad at large; That, since thy strength must with thy years elope, See great commanders making war a trade, And thou wilt need some comfort, to assuage Great lawyers, lawyers without study made; Health's last farewell, a staff of thine old age, Churehmen, in whose esteem their best employ That then, in recompense of all thy cares, Is odious, and their wages all their joy,
Thy child shall show respect to thy gray hairs, Who, far enough from furnishing their shelves Befriend thee, of all other friends bereft, With Gospel lore, turn infidels themselves; And give thy life its only cordial left ? See womanhood despised, and manhood shamed Aware then how much danger intervenes, With infamy too nauseous to be named,
To compass that good end, forecast the means. Fops at all corners, lady-like in mien,
His heart, now passive, yields to thy command, Civeted fellows, smelt ere they are seen, Secure it thine, its key is in thine hand. Else coarse and rude in manners, and their tongue If thou desert thy charge, and throw it wide, On fire with curses, and with nonsense hung, Nor heed what guests there enter and abide, Now flushed with drunkenness, now with whore- Complain not if attachments lewd and base dom pale,
Supplant thee in it, and usurp thy place. Their breath a sample of last night's regale; But, if thou guard its sacred chambers sure See volunteers in all the vilest arts,
From vicious inmates, and delights impure, Men well endowed, of honourable parts,
Either his gratitude shall hold him fast, Designed by Nature wise, but self-made fools; And keep him warm and filial to the last; All these, and more like these, were bred at Or, if he prove unkind (as who can say schools :
But, being man, and therefore frail, he may ?) And if it chance, as sometimes chance it will, One comfort yet shall cheer thine aged heart, That though school-bred, the boy be virtuous still, Howe'er he slight thee, thou hast done thy part. Such rare exceptions, shining in the dark, Oh, barbarous! wouldst thou with a Gothic hand, Prove, rather than impeach, the just remark: Pull down the schools-what!-all the schools i' As here and there a twinkling star descried,
th' land ;
Merely to sleep, and let him run astray?
Thence the prevailing manners take their cast,
Or better managed, or encouraged less.
THE YEARLY DISTRESS,
TITHING TIME AT STOCK, IN ESSEX. Verses addressed to a country clergyman, complaining of the
disagreeableness of the day annually appointed for receiving the dues at the parsonage. COME, ponder well, for 'tis no jest,
To laugh it would be wrong
The burthen of my song.
Three quarters of a year,
When tithing time draws near.
As one at point to die,
He heaves up many a sigh.
Along the miry road,
To make their payments good.
Is not to be expressed,
Are both alike distressed.
One wipes his nose upon his sleeve,
One spits upon the floor,
Hold up the cloth before.
And lumpish still as ever;
They only weigh the heavier.
“Come, neighbours, we must wag—" The money chinks, down drop their chins,
Each lugging out his bag.
And one of storms of hail,
By maggots at the tail.
In pulpit none shall hear:
You sell it plaguy dear.”
Or clergy made so fine?
May kill a sound divine.
'Twould cost him, I dare say, Less trouble taking twice the sum,
Without the clowns that pay.
Now all unwelcome at his gates
The clumsy swains alight, With rueful faces and bald pates
He trembles at the sight.
Thou art not voice alone, but hast beside
Where rises, and where sets the day, Both heart and head; and couldst with music Whate'er they boast of rich and gay, sweet
Contribute to the gorgeous plan, Of Attic phrase and senatorial tone,
Proud to advance it all they can. Like thy renowned forefathers, far and wide
This plumage neither dashing shower, Thy fame diffuse, praised not for utterance meet Nor blasts that shake the dripping bower, Of others' speech, but magic of thy own. Shall drench again or discompose,
But, screened from every storm that blows,
It boasts a splendour ever new,
Safe with protecting Montagu.
To the same patroness resort,
Secure of favour at her court,
Strong Genius, from whose forge of thought
Forms rise, to quick perfection wrought, Two Poets* (poets, by report,
Which, though new-born, with vigour move, Not oft so well agree,)
Like Pallas springing armed from Jovem Sweet Harmonist of Flora's court!
Imagination scattering round
Wild roses over furrowed ground,
Which Labour of his frown beguile,
And teach Philosophy a smile
Wit flashing on Religion's side, The pangs of a poetic birth
Whose fires, to sacred Truth applied, · By labours of their own.
The gem, though luminous before,
Obtrudes on human notice more,
Like sunbeams on the golden height
Of some tall temple playing bright-
Well-tutored Learning, from his books
Dismissed with grave, not haughty, looks. No envy mingles with our praise,
Their order on his shelves exact,
Not more harmonious or compact
Than that, to which he keeps confined
The various treasures of his mind
All these to Montagu's repair,
Ambitious of a shelter there.
There Genius, Learning, Fancy, Wit,
Their ruffed plumage calm refit,
(For stormy troubles loudest roar And deem the Bard, whoe'er he be,
Around their flight who highest soar)
And in her eye, and by her aid,
She thus maintains divided sway
And she the works of Phæbus aiding,
Both poet saves and plume from fading.
Supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk, during his
solitary abode in the island of Juan Fernandez, The Pheasant plumes, which round infold
I am monarch of all I survey, His mantling neck with downy gold;
My right there is none to dispute ; The Cock his arched tail's azure show;
From the centre all round to the sea, And,ʻriver-blanched, the Swan his snow.
I am lord of the fowl and the brute. All tribes beside of Indian name,
O solitude! where are the charms That glossy shine, or vivid flame,
That sages have seen in thy face?
Better dwell in the midst of alarms, Alluding to the poem by Mr. Hayley, which accompanied these lines,
Than reign in this horrible place.