Sidor som bilder

Is now to be no more: the muses' foes
Would sink their Maker's praises into profe.
Were they content to prune the lavish vine
Of ftraggling branches, and improve the wine,
Who, but a madman, would his thoughts defend ?
All would submit; for all but fools will mend.
But when to common sense they give the lye,
And turn distorted words to blasphemy.
They give the scandal ; and the wise discern,
Their glofses teach an age, too apt to learn.
What I have loosely, or prophanely, writ,
Let them to firęs, their due desert, commit :
Nor, when accus'd by me, let them complain :
Their faults, and not their function, I arraign.
Rebellion, worse than witchcraft, they pursu'd;
The pulpit preach'd the crime, the people ru’d.
The stage was filenc'd; for the saints would see
In fields perform'd their plotted tragedy.
But let us first reform, and then so live,
That we may teach our teachers to forgive :
Our desk be plac'd below their lofty chairs ;
Ours be the practice, as the precept

theirs, The moral part, at least, we may divide, Humility reward, and punish pride ;

[ocr errors]

Ambition, int'rest, avarice, accuse:
These are the province of a tragic muse.
These halt thou chufen; and the public voice
Has equall’d thy performance with thy choice.
Time, action, place, are so preserv'd by thee,
That e'en Cornäille might with envy

Th'alliance of his Tripled Unity.
Thy incidents, perhaps, too thick are fown;
But too much plenty is thy fault alone.
At least but two can that good crime commit,
Thou in design, and Wycherly in wit.
Let thy own Gauls condemn thee, if they dare ;
Contented to be thinly regular :
Born there, but not for them, our fruitful foil
With more increase rewards thy happy toil.
Their tongue, enfeebled, is refin'd too much;
And, like

pure gold, it bends at ev'ry touch:
Our sturdy Teuton yet will art obey,
More fit for manly thought, and strengthen'd with

allay. But whence art thou infpir’d, and thou alone, To flourish in an idiom not thy own? It moves our wonder, that a foreign guest Should over-match the most, and match the beft.



In under-praising thy deserts, I wrong;
Here find the first deficience of our tongue:
Words, once my stock, are wanting, to commend
So great a poet, and so good a friend.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Chesterton, in the County of Hun

TINGDON, Esq; OW bless'd is he, who leads a country life, HOW Unvex'd with anxious cares, and void of

strife! Who studying peace, and thunning civil rage, Enjoy'd his youth, and now enjoys his All who deserve his love, he makes his own; And, to be lov'd himfelf, needs only to be known. Just, good and wise, contending neighbors ?

come, From your

award to wait their final doom And, foes before, return in friendship home.




Without their cost, you terminate the cause ; And save th'expence of long litigious laws: Where suits are travers'd ; and so little won, That he who conquers, is but last undone : Such are not your decrees; but so design'd, The fanction leaves a lasting peace behind; Likeyourownfoul, ferene; a pattern of your mind.

Promoting concord, and composing strife, Lord of yourself, uncumber'd with a wife; Where, for a year, a month, perhaps a night, Long penitence succeeds a short delight : Minds are so hardly match'd, that ev’n the first, Tho pair’d by heaven, in Paradise were curs’d, For man and woman, tho in one they grow, Yet, first or last, return again to two. He to God's image, she to his was made; So, farther from the fount the stream at random

stray'd. How could he stand, when, put to double pain, He must a weaker than himself sustain ! Each might have stood perhaps; but each alone ; Two wrestlers help to pull each other down. Not that


verse would blemish all the fair ;) But yet if some be bad, 'tis wisdom to beware; And better shun the bait, than struggle in the


Thus have you shunn'd, and shun the marry'd state,
Trusting as little as you can to fate.
No porter guards the passage of your door,

T'admit the wealthy, and exclude the poor ;
For God, who gave the riches, gave the heart,
To fanctify the whole, by giving part ;
Heaven, who foresaw the will, the means has

wrought, And to the second son a bleffing brought; The first-begotten had his father's share: But you,

like Jacob, are Rebecca's heir.
So may your stores, and fruitful fields increase ;
And ever be you bless’d, who live to bless.
As Ceres sow'd, where-e'er her chariot flew

As heaven in deserts rain'd the bread of dew
So free to many, to relations most,
You feed with manna your own Ifrael hoft.

With crowds attended of your ancient race,
You seek the champion sports, or fylvan chace:
With well-breath'd beagles you surround the wood,
Ev’n then, industrious of the common good :
And often have you brought the wily fox
To suffer for the firstlings of the flocks ;
Chas'd even amid the folds; and made to bleed,
Like felons, where they did the murd'rous deed.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »