Imatges de pÓgina



Made vocal for th' amusement of the rest: From Nature's bounty-that humane address The sprightly lyre, whose treasure of tweet founds and sweetness, without which no pleasure is The touch from many a trembling chord shakes 'n converse, cither starv'd by cold reserve,

Or Alush'd with fierce dispute, a fenseless braul; And the clear voice symphonious, yet diftinct, Yet, being free, I love thee: For the sake And in the charming strisc triumphant fill, Of that one feature, can be well content, Beguile the night, and set a keener edge Disgrac'd as thou hast been, poor as thou art, On female industry; the threaded steel

To teck no sublunary rest beside. Flies (wiftly, and unfelt the task proceeds. But, once enslav'd, farewel! I could endure The volume clos'd, the custoinary rites

Chains no where patiently; and chains at home, Of the lait meal commence. A Roman meal, Where I am free by birthright, not at all. Such as the mistress of the world once found Then what were left of roughness in the grain Delicious, when her patriots of high pote, Of British natures, wanting its excuse Perhaps by moon-night at their hunble doors, That it belongs to freemen, would disgust And under an old oak's domestic thade,

And shock me. I thould then with double paia Enjoyd, spare feast! a radith and an egg. Feel all the rigour of thy fickle clime; Discourse ensues, not trivial, yet not du!l, And if I must bewail the blessing loft Nor such as with a frown forbids the play For which our Hampdens and our Sidneys bled, Of fancy, or prescribes the sound of mirth. I would at least bewail it under skies Nor do we madly, like an impious world, Milder, among a people less aufiere, Who deem religion phrensy, and the God In scenes which having never known me free, That made them an intruder on their joys, Would not reproach me with the loss I felt. Start at his awful name, or decin his praise A jarring note. Themes of a graver tone Exciting oft our gratitude and love,

§ 48. Deftription of a Poet. COWPER. While we retrace with meinory's pointing wand, That calls the past to our exact review,


KNOW the mind that focis indeed the fire The dangers we have 'icap'd, the broken snare, Ads with a force, and kindles with a zeal,

The muse imparts, and can command the lyre, The disappointed foe, deliv'rance found Unlook'd for, life preferv'd and peace restora,

Whatc'er the theme, that others never feel. Fruits of omnipotent eternal love.

If human woes her foft attention claim, Oh evenings worthy of the gods! exclaim'd

A tender fympathy pervades the frame; The Sabine bard. Oh evenings! I reply,

She pours a sensibility divine More to be priz’d and coveted than yours,

Along the nerve of ev'ry feeling line. As more illumin’d and with nobler truths,

But if a decd not tamely to be borne
That I, and Mine, and those we love, enjoy.

Fire indignation, and a tense of scorn,
The strings are fwept with such a pow'r, so loud,

The ttorin of music shakes th' astonith'd crowd, $ 47. Liberty renders England preferalle 10 So when remote futurity is brought otber Nations, notwithstanding Taxes, óc. Before the keen enquiry of her thought,

Cow Per. A terrible lagacity informs

The Poet's heart, he looks to distant ftorins, T'S IS liberty alone that gives the flow's

He hears the thunder ere the tempest low'rs, Of fleeting life its luttre and perfume,

And, arm'd with strength surpalling human And we are weeds withou: it. All constraint,

pow'rs, Except what wisdom lays on evil men,

Scizes events as yet unknown to man, Is cvil; hurts the faculties, impedes

And darts his foul into the dawning plan. Their progress in the road of science; blinds

Hence, in a Roman mouth, the graceful dame The cye-light of discovery, and begets In those that suffer it a sordid mind

Of Prophet and of Poet was the fame;

Hence British poets too the priesthood thar'd,
Beitial, a meagre intellect, unfit
To be the tenant of man's noble form.

And ev'ry hallow'd Druid was a bard.
Thee therefore ftill, blame-worthy as thou art,
With all thy loss of empire, and though squeez’d

§ 49. Love Elrgirs. By
By public exigence till annual food
Fails for the craving hunger of the state,
Thee I account ftill happy, and the chief

'T's nighar, dead night; and o'er the plain - Among the nation's, feeing thou art free!

Darkness extends her ebon ray,
My native nook of earth! thy clime is rude,

While wide along the gloomy scene
Replete with vapours, and dispotes much
All hearts to fadness, and none more than mịne; Throughout the earth no chcerful beam

Deep filence holds her folemn sway.
Thine unadult'rate manuers are less loft
And plausible than focial life requires,

The melancholic eye surveys,
And thou hast need of discipline and art

Save where the worin's fantastic glcam ?o give thee what politer France receives

The 'nighted traveller betrays,


The favage race (so Heaven decrees)

Have I not loy'd ? O earth and heaven! Ne longer through the forest rove;

Where now is all my youthful boast; All nature rests, and not a breeze

The dear exchange I hop'd was given, Dikurbs the stillness of the grove.

For flighted fame and fortune lost? All nature rests; in Sleep's soft arms

Where now the joys that once were mine? The village swain forgets his care :

Where all my hopes of future bliss ? Sleep, that the sting of Sorrow charms, Must I those joys, those hopes, resign? And heals all sadness but Despair.

Is all her friend thip come to this ? Delpair alone her pow'r denies;

Must then cach woman faithless prove, And, when the fun withdraws his rays, And each fond lover be undone ? To the wild beach distracted Aies,

Are vows no more? Almighty Love,
Or cheerless through the desert ftrays;

The sad remembrance let me thun!
Or, to the church-yard's horrors led,
While fearful echocs burst around,

It will not be: my honest heart
On some cold stone he leans his head,

The dear sad image still retains;
Or throws his body on the ground.

And, spite of reason, spite of art,
The dreadful


remains. To some fuch drear and solemn scene, Some friendly pow'r direct my way,

Ye Pow'rs divine, whose wondrous skill Where pale misfortune's haggard train,

Deep in the womb of time can see, Sad luxury ! delight to stray.

Behold, I bend me to your will, Wrapp'd in the solitary gloom,

Nor dare arraign your high decree. Retir'd from life's fantastic crew,

Let her be bleft with health, with ease, Refign'd I'll wait my final doom,

With all your bounty has in store ; And bid the busy world adicu.

Let forrow cloud my future days : The world has now no joy for me,

Be Stella bleft; I ask no more. Nor can life now one pleasure boast; But, lo! where high in yonder east Since all my eyes desir'd to fee,

The star of morning mounts apace! My with, my hope, my all, is lost;

Hence! let ine fly th' unwelcome guest,
Since she, so form’d to please and bless,

And bid the Muse's labour cease.
So wife, so innocent, fo fair,
Whole converle liveet made forrow less,

And brighten'd all the gloom of care-
Since she is loft. Ye pow'rs divinc,

WHEN, young, life's journey I began,
What have I done, or thought, or faid ?

The glittering prospect charm'd my eyes, Olay, what horrid act of mine

I saw along th' extended plan Has drawn this vengeance on my head !

Joy after joy fucccffive rise; Why should Heaven favour Lycon's claim ?

And Fame her golden trumpet blew ; Why are my heart's best wishes croft ?

And Pow'r display'd her gorgeous charms; What fairer decds adorn his name?

And Wealth engag'd my wandering view; What nobler merit can he boaft:

And Pleasure woo'd me to her arms; What higher worth in him was found

To each by turns my vows I paid, My true heart's service to outweigh?

As Folly led me to admire ; A lenteless fop! a dull compound

While Fancy magnified each fhade, Of scarcely animated clay

And Hope increas'd each fond desire.

But soon I found 'twas all a dream;
He dressid, indeed, he danc'd with case,
And charm'd her by repeating o'er

And learn’d the fond pursuit to fun,

Where few can reach their purpos'd aim, Unmeaning raptures in her prate,

And thousands daily are undone : That twenty fools had toid before :

And Fame, I found,

was empty air ; But I, alas ! who thought all art

And Wealth had Terror for her guest; My pallion's force would meanly prove,

And Pleasure's path was strewn with Care; Could only boast an honest heart,

And Pow'r was vanity at best. And claim'd no merit but


love. Yave I not sat-ye conscious hours,

Tir'd of the chace, I gave it o'er; Be witness—while my Stella lung

And, in a far sequester d fhade, From morn to eve, with all my pow'rs

To Contemplation's sober pow'r. Rapt in th' enchantment of her tongue!

My youth's next services I paid.

There Health and Peace adorn'd the scene; Ye conscious hours, that saw me stand

And oft, indulgent to my pray'r, Entranc'd in wonder and surprise,

With mirthful eye and frolic mien In filent rapture press her hand,

The Mufe would dcign to visit there. With pallion bursting from my eyes



There would the oft delighted rove

Oh! who, that heard her voivs erewhile, The flow'r-enameli'd vale along;

Could dream those vows were in fincere ! Or wander with me through the grove, Or who could think, that saw her finile, And liften to the woodlark's long :

That fraud could find admittance there! Or 'mid the forest's awful gloom,

Yet the was falfe—my heart will break ! Whilst wild amazeinent fill'd my eyes,

Her fraud, her perjuries were suchRecall past ages from the tomb,

Some other tongue than mine must fpcakAnd bid ideal worlds arise.

I have not pow'r to say how much! Thus in the Muse's favour blest,

Ye swains, hence ward'd, avoid the bait,
Onc with alone my foul could frame,

Oh thun her paths, the trait'refs thun !
And Heaven bestow'd, to crown the rest, Her voice is death, her finile is fate;
A friend, and Thyrsis was his name.

Who hears or fees her is undone.
For manly constancy and truth,

And when Death's hand shall clofe my eye, And worth, unconfcious of a stain,

(For foon, I know, the day will come) He bloom'd the flow'r of Britain's youth;

O cheer my spirit with a sigh, The boast and wonder of the plain.

And grave these lines upon my tomb: Still with our years our friendship grew;

THE EPITAPH. No carcs did then my peace destroy;

CONSIGN D to dust, beneath this stone, Time brought new blessings as he flew,

In manhood's prime, is Damon laid; And ev'ry hour was wing'd with joy. Joyless he liv'd, and died unknown, But soon the blissful scene was lost,

In bicak misfortune's barren thade. Soon did the sad reverfe appear;

Lov'd by the Muse, but lov'd in vain, Love came, like an untimely frost,

'Twas beauty drew his ruin on; To blast the promise of my year.

He saw

young Daphne on the plain; I saw young Dapline's angel form

He lov'd, believ'd, and was undone! (Fool that I was ! I bless'd the smart) His heart then funk beneath the storm And while I gaz'd, nor thought of harm,

(Sad meed of unexampled truth!) The dear infection seiz'd my heart.

And sorrow, like an envious worin, She was, at least in Damon's cyes,

Devour'd the blofom of his youth.

of lovelinels and grace ;

Bencath this stone the youth is laid-
Her heart a stranger to disguisc,

O greet his ashes with a tear! Her mind as perfeet as her face.

May Heaven with blessings crown his thade, To hear her speak, to see her move

And grant that peace he wanted here ! (Unhappy I, alas ! the whilc), Her voice was joy, her look was love, § 50. An Elay on Poetry *. BUCKINGHAX,

And Heaven was open'd in her smile! She heard me breathe my amorous pray’rs,

OF all thole arts in which the wife excel,

Nature's chief mafter-piece is writing well : She liften'd to the tender strain,

No writing lifts exalted man so high
She heard my figlis, lle faw my tears,

As sacred and soul-moving Poesy:
And seem'd at length to share my pain. No kind of work requires to nice a touch ;
She said she lor'd-and I, poor youth 1

And, if well finishid, nothing shines to much. (How soon, alas ! can hope persuade)

But Heaven forbid we should be so profane, Thought all the said no more than truth; To grace the vulgar with that noble name! And all my love was well repaid.

'Tis not a flash of fancy, which sometimes,

Dazzling our minds, fets off the lightest rhymes; In joys unknown to courts or kings, With her I sat the live-long day,

Bright as a blaze, but in a moment done : And said and look'd such tender things

True wit is everlasting, like the fun;

Which, though sometimes behind a cloud retir'd, As none beside could look or say !

Breaks out again, and is by all admir'd. How soon can Fortune shift the scene,

Number, and rhyme, and that harmonious found, And all our earthly bliss destroy!

Which not the nicest ear with harshness wound, Care hovers round, and Grief's féll train

Are necessary, yet but vulgar arts; Still treads upon the heels of Joy.

And all in vain these superficial parts My age's hope, my youth's best boast,

Contribute to the structure of the whole, My soul's chief bletfing and my pride, Without a genius too, for that 's the soul: In one fad moment all were loft,

A spirit which inspires the work throughout, And Daphne chang'd, and Thyrsis died ! As that of nature moves the world about ;

* The Efay on Satire, which was written by this noble author and Mr. Dryden, is printed among the Poems of the latter. 3

A fame

A Aame that glows amidst conceptions fit; Here, as in all things else, is most unfit,
Even something of divine, and more than wit; Bare ribaldry, that poor pretence to wit;
Itself unseen, yet all things by it shewn, Such nauseous fongs by a late author * made,
Describing all men, but defcrib’d by none. Call an unwilling censure on his shade.
Where doit thou dwell? what caverns of the brain Not that warm thoughts of the transporting joy
Can such a vast and mighty thing contain ? Can shock the chafteit, or the nicest cloy;
When I, at vacant hours, in vain thy absence mourn, But words obscene, too gross to move desire,
Oh! where doft thou retire? and why dost thou Like heaps of fuel only choke the fire.

On other themes he well deserves our praise ; Sometimes with pow'rful charms to hurry me But palls that appetite he meant to raise. away,

Next, Elegy, of sweet but folemn voice, From pleatures of the night and business of the And of a subject grave exaêls the choice; day?

The praise of beauty, valour, wit contains; Even now, too far transported, I am fain And there too oft despairing love complains : To check thy course, and use the needful rein. In vain, alas ! for who by wit is mov’d, As all is dullness when the fancy 's bad; That Pha:nix-fhe deserves to be belov’d; So, without judgment, fancy is but mad : But noily nonsense, and such fops as vex And judgment has a boundless influence Mankind, take most with that fantastic sex. Not only in the choice of words, or sense, This to the praise of those who better knew; But on the world, on manners, and on men; The many raise the value of the few. Fancy is but the feather of the pen ;

But here (as all our sex too oft have tried) Reason is that fubftantial useful


Women have drawn my wand'ring thoughts aside, Which gains the head, while t'other wins the Their greatest fault, who in this kind have writ, heart.

Is not defect in words, or want of wit : Here I fall all the various sorts of verse, But should this Muse harmonious numbers yield, And the whole art of poetry, rehearse;

And ev'ry couplet be with fancy fillid; But who that task would after Horace do? If yet a just coherence be not made The best of masters and examples tuo !

Between each thought; and the whole model laid Echoes at best, all we can say is vain ;

So right, that ev'ry line may higher rise, Dull the design, and fruitless were the pain. Like goodly mountains, till they reach the skies; 'Tis true, the ancients we may rob sith ease! Such trifles may perhaps of latc have pass’d, But who with that mean shift himself can please, And may be lik'd awhile, but never last; Without an actor's pride! A player's art 'Tis epigram, ’ris point, 'tis what you will, Is above his who writes a borrow'd part. But not an elegy, nor writ with skill, Yet modern laws are made for latter faulis, No + Panegyric, nor a Cooper's Hill. And new absurdities inspire new thoughts; A higher flight, and of a happier force, What need has Satirc then to live on theft, Are Odes: the Muses' most unruly horse, When so much fresh occasion still is left ? That bounds fo fierce, the rider has no rest, Fertile our foil, and full of rankest weeds, Here foams at mouth,and moves like one possess’d. And monsters worse than ever Nilus breeds. The poet here must be indeed inspir'd But hold-the fool shall have no cause to fear; With fury too, as well as fancy fir'd. 'Tis wit and sense that are the subject here : Cowley might boast to have perform’d this part, Defeets of witty men deserve a cure;


Had he with nature join'd the rules of art; And those who are so will ev’n this endure. But sometimes diction mcan, or verse ill-wrought,

First then of songs which now so much abound; Deadens, or clouds, his noble frame of thought. Without his song no fop is to be found; Though all appear in heat and fury done, A most offensive weapon, which he draws The language fill must soft and easy run. On all he meets, against Apollo's laws.

These laws may sound a little too severe; Though nothing feems more easy, yet no part But judgment yields, and fancy governs here ; Of poetry requires a nicer art;

Which, though extravagant, this Muse allows, For as in rows of richest pearl there lies

And makes the work much easier than it thews. Many a blemish that escapes our eyes,

Of all the ways that wileft men could find The least of which defects is plainly shewn To mend the age, and mortify m

mankind, In one small ring, and brings the value down ; Satire well writ has inost successful prov’d, So fongs should be to just perfection wrought; And cures, because the remedy is lov'd. Yet where can one be seen without a fault? 'Tis hard to write on fich a subject more, Exact propriety of words and thought;

Without repeating things said oft before : Expression ealy, and the fancy high ;

Some vulgar errors only we'll remove, Yet that not seem to creep, nor this to fly; That stain a beauty which we so much love. No words transpos'd, but in such order all, Of chofen words fome take not care enough, As wrought with care, yet seem by chance to fall. And think they thould be as the subject rough;

• The Earl of Rocheiter. -It may be observed, however, that many of the worst songs afcribed to this pobleman were fpurious,

+ Waller's.

| Denham's.






This poem must be more exactly made, What things are these who would be poets And iharpest thoughts in smoothest words con- thought, vey’d.

By nature not infpir’d, nor learning taught? Some think, if tharp enough, they cannot fail, Some wit they have, and therefore may deserve As if their only business was to rail:

A better courie than this, by which they ítarve: But human frailty nicely to unfold,

But to write plays! why, 'tis a bold pretence Distinguishes a satyr from a fcold.

To judginent, broeding, wit, and cloquence: Rage you must hide, and prejudice lay down ; Nay more; for thuy must look withio, to find А r's smile is sharper than his frown: Those fecret turns of nature in the mind. So while you seem to light some rival youth, Without this part, in vain would be the whole, Malice itself may país cometimes for truth. And but a body all, without a [cul. The Laureat '* here may juftly claim our praise, All this united yet but makes a part Crown' by Mac Flecknce t with immortal bays; Of Dialogue, that great and pow’rful art, Yet once his Pegasus † has borne dead weight, Now almost loft, which the old Grecians knew, Rid by some lumpith minister of itate.

From whom the Romans fainter copies drew, Here reft, my Muse, suspend thy cares awhile; Scarce comprchended since but by a few. A more important task attends thy toil. Plato and Luciün are the beft remains As fome young eagle, that designs to fly, Of all the wonders which this art contains; A long unwonted journcy through the sky, Yet to ourselves we juftice muft allow, Weighis all the dangerous enterprise before, Shakespear and Fletcher are the wonders now: O'er what wide lands and seas she is to soar; Consider then, and read them o'er and o'er; Doubts her own ftrength so far, and justly fears Go see them play'd, then read thein as before ; The lofty road of airy travellers;

For though in many things they grossly fail, But yet, incited by some bold design,

Over our pallions still they fo prevail, That does her hopes beyond her fears incline, That our own grief by theirs is rock'd atletp; Prunes ev'ry feather, views herself with care,

The dull are forc'd to feel, the wise to weep. At last, resolv’d, lhe cleaves thc yielding air; Their beauties imita.c, avoid their faults; Away she Alics, so strong, so high, fo falt, First, on a plot employ thy careful thoughes; She leffens to us, and is lost at last :

Turn it, with time, a thousand sev'ral ways; So (though too weak for such a weighty thing) This oft, alone, has given success to plays. The Mufc inspires a tharper note to fing. Reject that vulgar error ( which appears And why should truth offend, when only told So fair) of making perfect characters; To guide the ignorant, avd warn the bold ? There's no such thing in nature, and you 'll draw On, then, my Muse; advent'iously engage A faultless monster-which the world ne'er law. To give instructions that concern the Stage. Some faulis must be, that his misfortunes drew,

The unities of action, time, and place, But such as may deserve compassion to. Which, if observ'd, give plays to great a grace,

Befides the main design compos'd with art, Are, tho' but little practis'd, too well known Each moving scene must be a plot apart; To be taught here, where we pretend alone Contrive each little turn, mark ev'ry place, Froin nicer faults to purge the present age, As painters first chalk out the future face : Less obvious errors of the English stage. Yet be not fondly your own flave for this,

Firt, then, Soliloquies had need be few, But change hereafter what appears amiss. Extremely short, and spoke in pallion too. Think not so much where shining thoughts to Our lovers talking to themselves, for want

place, Of others, make the pit their confidant;

As what a man would say in such a cafe: Nor is the matter mended yet, if thus

Neither in comedy will this suffice, They trust a friend, only to tell it us;

The player too must be before your eyes ; Th’occasion fhould as naturally fall,

And, though 'tis drudgery to ftoop so low,
As when Bellario confefles all .

To lim you must your fecret meaning thew.
Figures of speech, which poets think so fine Expose no single fop, but lay the loud
(Art's needless varnish to make nature shine) More equally, and spread the folly broad;
All are but pain: upon a beauteous face, Mere coxcombs are too obvious; oft we see
And in descriptions only claim a place : A fool derided by as bad as he:
But, to make rage declaim, and grief discourse, Hawks fly at nobler game; in this low way,
From lovers in despair fine things to force, A

may prove a bird of

prey. Must needs fucceed; for who can choose but pity Small poets thus will one poor fop derour: A dying hero, miserably witty?

But to collect, like becs, from ev'ry Aow'r,
But oh! thc Dialogues, where jelt and mock Ingredients to compose that precious juice,
Are held up like a rett at thuttle-cock; Which serves the world for pleasure and for use,
Or else like bells eternally they chime; In spite of faction-this would favour get;
They sigh in Simile, and dye in Rhyme. But Falstaff || stands inimitable yet.
* V., Dryden.

+ A famous satirical Poem of his. # A poem called the Hind and Panther. flu Philater, a play of Beaumont and Fletcher,

| The matchless character of Shakespear.

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