Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Like Aristophanes, let him but smile
On this my honest work, tho writ in homely

stile:
And if two lines or three in all the vein
Appear less drofly, read those lines again.
May they perform their author's just intent,
Glow in thy ears, and in thy breast ferment.
But from the reading of my book and me,
Be far, ye foes of virtuous poverty :
Who fortune's fault upon the poor can throw;
Point at the tatter'd coat, and ragged shoe:
Lay nature's failings to their charge, and jeer
The dim weak eye-light; when the mind is

clear,
When thou thyself, thus.infolent in state,
Art but, perhaps, fome country magistrate ;
Whose pow'r extends no farther than to speak
Big on the bench, and scanty weights to break,

Him, also, for my cenfor I disdain,
Who thinks all science, as all virtue vain ;
Who counts geometry, and numbers, toys;
And, with his foot, the sacred duft destroys:
Whose pleasure is to see a strumpet tear
A Cynick's beard, and lug him by the hair,
VOL. IV.

A 2

[ocr errors][merged small]

Such, all the morning, to the pleadings run ;
But when the bus’ness of the day is done,
On dice, and drink, and drabs, they spend their

afternoon,

[ocr errors]

THE

§ È COND SATİRE

OF

PE R SI U S.

THE ARGUMENT.

This fatire contains á most grave and philosophical

argument, concerning prayers and wishes. Undoubtedly it gave occasion to Juvenal's tenth Jatire; and both of them had their original from one of Plato's dialogues; called the Second Alcibiades. Our author has induced it with great mystery of art, by taking his rise from the birtl-day of his friend; on which occasions, prayers were made, and facrifices offered by the native. Persius commending the purity of his friend's vows, descends to the impious and immoral requests of others. The Jatire is divided into three parts: the first is the exordium Macrinus, which the poet confines within the compass of four verses. The second relates to the matter of the án enumeration of those things, wherein men com

prayers and

vows, and

monly finned against right reason, and offended ith their requests. The third part consists in sewing the repugrances of those prayers and wishes, to those of other men, and inconsistencies with themselves. He shews the original of these vows, and farply inveighs against them : and lastly, not only corrects the false opinion of mankind concerning them, but gives the true do&trine of all addresses made to heaven, and how they may be made acceptable to the Powers above, in excellent precepts, and more worthy of a Chriftian than a Heathen,

THE

SECOND SA TI R E.

[ocr errors]

Dedicated to his friend Plotius MACRINUS, on

his birth-day.

[ocr errors]

ET this auspicious morning be expreft

With a whitestone, distinguish'd from the reft;
White as thy fame, and as thy honour clear ;
And let new joys attend on thy new added year.
Indulge thy genius, and o’erflow thy foul,
Till thy wit sparkle, like the chearful bowl.
Pray; for thy pray’rs the test of heav'n will bear;
Nor need'st thou take the Gods aside, to hear :

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

While others, ev'n the mighty men of Rome,
Big swell’d with mischief, to the temples come;
And in low murmurs, and with costly smoke,
Heav'n's help, to prosper their black vows invoke.
So boldly to the Gods mankind reveal
What from each other they, for shame, conceal.
Give me good fame, ye Pow’rs, and make me just:
Thus much the rogue to public ears will trust:
In private then :~When wilt thou, mighty Jove,
My wealthy uncle from this world remove?
Orthou Thund'rer's son, great Hercules,
That once thy bounteous Deity would please
To guide my rake, upon the chinking found
Of some vast treasure, hidden under ground !

O were my pupil fairly knock'd o’th' head;
I should possess th' estate, if he were dead!
He's so far gone with rickets, and with th' evil,
That one small dofe will send him to the devil.

This is my neighbour Nerius his third spouse,
Of whom in happy time he rids his house.
But my eternal wife !--Grant heav'n I may
Survive to see the fellow of this day!
Thus, that thou mayst the better bring about
Thy wilhęs, thou art wickedly devout:

[ocr errors]

A a 3

« FöregåendeFortsätt »