Page images

« Teach me this pride, these doubtings, to controul,

« And break, Oh! break these lime-twigs of the soul.” Here the meek fuff'rer rais'd her pitying eyes :

" Ah! see this book, from which my comforts rise.

“ Here taught we hope, when this frail life is o'er,

« And all its storms, to gain a happier shore :

" And though a while some fyren fin deceive,

« The hand of heav'n is always stretch'd to save.

« Hence thro' the mists, which hover round the tomb,

« Faith learns to contemplate a world to come.”

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

έυτε πιοιμι μελαν ποιον, ένθεος δια Παν επG- αφθεγκλω τώδε λεγω τοματι. .



"HAT subtle pow'rs direct the grey goose-Quill,

How lov’d, how fear'd, how great its magic


I fing;

I sing ; let Phoebus aid the pious lays ;

His was the gift, let his too be the praise.

[ocr errors]

When once, as poets tell, in mortal guise

He tended sheep, an outcast of the skies,

Taught by his strains, which oft in noontide bow'rs,

Or ev’ning shades, beguild the tedious hours,

With rival aim the shepherds pip'd and sung;

Through Tempe's plains the ceaseless echos rung.
The phrenzy grew ; and trees in ev'ry grove
Bore in their barks recorded songs of love.

This quaint device his forming hands refin'd,

And, yet unknown, the shapely pen design’d.
Pointed and smooth’d, and dipt in fable juice,

A fender * reed defcrib'd its wond'rous use.


* Reeds and canes were the first instruments used in writing. Pliny says, that Egypt furnished a great.quantity of reeds for this purpose ; and Martial confirms it, Dat chartis habiles calamos Memphitica tellus. Reeds and canes are still used by the Tartars, the Indians, the Persians, the Turks, and the Greeks.

Artic’s Origin and Progress of Writing, c. 8.

Still from the trees they drew their simple aid,
And the peeld + bark their rustic tales convey’d.
But soon, when Folly spawn'd her scribbling brood,
When, tho' the Muse's scorn, the Muse they woo’d,

The reed-crown'd Naiads wept the spreading ill :

He faw, and bad the goose resign her Quill.

Hail, sacred gift! when truth, and learning guide, With joy we trace, where-e'er thy currents glide.

'Tis thine, to teach, persuade, reprove, console,

To paint each varying movement of the soul.

Fast as ideas spring, they meet our eyes ;

Thou giv'st them shape and substance, as they rise ;

In ev'ry tongue thou speak’st to ev'ry end,

To all, in all, interpreter, and friend.


† The bark of trees hath been used for writing upon, in every quarter of the globe, and is still used in several parts of Asia. It is observable, that the word LIBER was used, by the Romans, as well for the bark of a tree, as for a book. A specimen of Latin writing on bark is still preserved.

See Astie's Origin, &c.

Thine too that pow'r, whose influence can impart

Such harmless pride, to sooth the poet's heart.

Him, who ne'er bask'd in fortune's golden smiles,

Untrain’d in gainful arts and worldly wiles,

Though friendless, fafting, shiv'ring through the day,

Though duns and bailiffs mark him for their prey,

Though round his cell their webs the fpiders weave,

Which hungry rats by cautious instinct leave,

Thy single aid can cheer; the scene illume,

And pour bright comfort o'er the joyless gloom.

Heedless of home, his sportive fancy roves
Through lawns, and roseate bow'rs, and myrtle groves,
Walks with the wood-nymphs in their verdant glades,
Or holds high converse with Aonia's maids.

Full oft he mounts sublime to heav'n's abodes,

And hears, and speaks the language of the gods.

Thus in romance the forc'rer waves his wand,

When instant culture clothes a naked land;


The rude, bleak waste a blooming verdure wears ;

Rocks blush with vines, and heaths are gay parterres ;

While airy forms trip o'er th'enchanted ground,

And heav’nly music charms the region round.

Ah! spare your sneers, ye fons of wealth and care:

Gold cannot paint a scene so


and fair.

Such too that pow'r, which bids the landskip glow,
Provok'd it deals fure vengeance on the foe.

Scorn all, who lift; if e'er the plumed dart

Is aim'd to strike, it awes the proudest heart.
This dullness feels, enflam'd with rage and shame,

When Dunciads doom it to the scoffs of fame,

When human laws are bought, its active zeal

Restores to Justice her impartial scale.

No lurking vice escapes its scourging lay,
Stripp'd bare, and branded in the eye of day.
So Rome's grave censors o'er her manners reign’d,
Where justice fail'd, their chaft'ning rod restrain’d;

[ocr errors][merged small]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »