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Fair Amoret is gone astray ;
Pursue and seek her every lover ; I'll tell the signs by which you may
The wandering shepherdess discover.
Coquet and coy at once her air,
Both studied, though both seem. neglected ;
Affecting to seem unaffected.
Yet change so soon you'd ne'er suspect 'em ;
Though certain aim and art direct 'em.
She likes herself, yet others hates
For that which in herself she prizes ; And, while she laughs at them, forgets
She is the thing that she despises.
False though she be to me and love,
I'll ne'er pursue revenge ;
Though I deplore her change.
In hours of bliss we oft have met,
They could not always last; And though the present I regret
I'm grateful for the past.
SIR SAMUEL GARTH.
[SAMUEL GARTH was born at Bolam in Durham about the year 1660. He was knighted at the accession of George I, and died on Jan. 18, 1718. The Dispensary appeared in 1699, and quickly ran through numerous editions. The short poem on Claremont came out in 1715, and in 1717 Garth edited a translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, in which Dryden's versions were completed by a great number of hands, he himself contributing the fourteenth book and parts of others.]
Garth is mainly interesting at the present day because he was the first writer who took the couplet, as Dryden had fashioned it, from Dryden's hands, and displayed it in the form it maintained throughout the eighteenth century. In some respects it may be said that no advance in this peculiar model was ever made on The Dispensary. Its best lines are equal to any of Pope's in mere fashion, and in it appear clearly enough the inherent defects of the form when once Dryden's 'energy divine' and his cunning admixture of what looked like roughness had been lost or rejected. The monotony, the mannerism, and the other defects, emerge side by side with the polish and smoothness which are its great merits. Except for its versification, which not only long preceded Pope, but also anticipated Addison's happiest effort by some years, The Dispensary is not now an interesting poem. The dispute on which it is based is long forgotten, its mock heroic plan looks threadbare to our eyes, and the machinery and imagery have lost all the charm that they may at one time have had. But as a versifier Garth must always deserve a place in the story of English literature. Claremont and his other minor works display the same faculty, but at their date it was already common enough. We therefore here give extracts from The Dispensary only, reminding the reader that the poem gives a burlesque account of the opposition made by some physicians and apothecaries to the plan of giving gratuitous advice and medicine to the poor. We may add that our selections form part of the descriptions and episodes' added by the author in the edition of 1703.
FROM "THE DISPENSARY.'
[Dr. Horoscope flies to consult Fortune at Teneriffe.] The wondering sage pursues his airy flight, And braves the chill unwholesome damps of night : He views the tracts where luminaries rove, To settle seasons here, and fates above ; The bleak Arcturus still forbid the seas, The stormy Kids, the weeping Hyades; The shining lyre with strains attracting more Heaven's glittering mansions now than Hell's before ; Glad Cassiopeia circling in the sky, And each fair Churchill of the galaxy.
Aurora, on Etesian breezes borne,
The vine undressed her swelling clusters bears,
Spadillio, that at table serv'd of late,