Page images

And some are born to win the stars,
By sweat and blood and worthy scars;
Heroic virtue is by action seen,
And vices serve to make it keen;
And, as gigantic tyrants rise,

Nassaus and Churchills leave the skies,
The earth-born monsters to chastise.


[ocr errors]

PROLOGUE TO THE CITY WIVES, CONFEDERACY." Ye gods! what crime had my poor father done, That you should make a poet of his son?

Or is 't for some great services of his,

You're pleased to compliment his boy with this?

[showing a laurel crown.

The honour, I must needs confess, is great,

If, with his crown, you tell him where to eat: 'Tis well,-But I have more complaints! look here!

[showing his ragged coat.
Hark ye: d'ye think this suit good winter wear?
In a cold morning, when, at a lord's gate,
How have you let the porter let me wait!

You'll say, perhaps, you knew I'd get no harm;
You'd given me fire enough to keep me warm.

A world of blessings to that fire we owe;
Without it I'd ne'er make this princely show.
I have a brother too, now in my sight,
A busy man amongst us here to-night;
Your fire has made him play a thousand pranks,
For which no doubt you've had his daily thanks.
He's thanked you first for all his decent plays,
Where he so nicked it, when he writ for praise.
Next for his meddling with some folks in black,
And bringing, souse, a priest upon his back ;
For building houses here to oblige the peers,
And fetching all their house about his ears;
For a new play he's now thought fit to write
To soothe the town-which they will-damn to-night.
These benefits are such, no man can doubt
But he'll go on, and see your fancy out;

Till for reward of all his wondrous deeds,
At last like other spritely folks he speeds;
Has this great recompense fixed on his brow
At famed Parnassus has your leave to bow
And walk about the streets, equipped-as I am now,


Dear thoughtless Clara, to my verse attend,
Believe for once thy lover and thy friend;
Heaven to each sex has various gifts assigned
And shewn an equal care of human kind.
Strength does to man's imperial race belong ;
To yours that beauty which subdues the strong;
But, as our strength when misapplied is lost,
And what should save, urges our ruin most,

Women no more their empire can maintain,
Nor hope, vile slaves of lust, by love to reign.
Superior charms but make their case the worse,
And what should be their blessing, proves their curse.

No, Clara, no! that person and that mind
Were formed by nature and by heaven designed
For nobler ends; to these return, though late,
Return to these, and so avert thy fate.

Think, Clara, think, (nor will that thought be vain)
Thy slave, thy Harry, doomed to drag his chain
Of love, ill-treated and abused, that he
From more inglorious chains may rescue thee.
Thy drooping health restored, by his fond care,
Once more thy beauty its full lustre wear;
Moved by his love, by his example taught,
Soon shall thy soul, once more with virtue fraught,
With kind and generous truth thy bosom warm,
And thy fair mind, like thy fair person, charm.
To virtue thus, and to thyself restored,
By all admired, by one alone adored,
Be to thy Harry ever kind and true,

And live for him, who more than dies for you.



The wise and active conquer difficulties
By daring to attempt them: sloth and folly
Shiver and shrink at sight of toil and hazard,
And make th' impossibility they fear.


Great minds, like Heaven, are pleased with doing good,
Though the ungrateful subjects of their favours
Are barren in return. Virtue does still
With scorn the mercenary world regard,
Where abject souls do good, and hope reward:
Above the worthless trophies men can raise,
She seeks not honours, wealth, nor airy praise,
But with herself herself the goddess pays.



Let dogs delight to bark and bite,
For God hath made them so;
Let bears and lions growl and fight,
For 'tis their nature too;

But, children, you should never let
Such angry passions rise;

Your little hands were never made
To tear each other's eyes.

Let love through all your actions run,
And all your words be mild;
Live like the blessed virgin's son,
That sweet and lovely child.
His soul was gentle as a lamb ;
And as his stature grew,
He grew in favour both with man
And God his father too.

Now, Lord of all he reigns above,
And from his heavenly throne
He sees what children dwell in love,
And marks them for his own.

How doth the little busy bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every op'ning flower!
How skilfully she builds her cell!
How neat she spreads the wax!
And labours hard to store it well
With the sweet food she makes.
In works of labour or of skill
I would be busy too;

For Satan finds some mischief still
For idle hands to do.

1n books, or work, or healthful play,
Let my first years be past,
That I may give for every day
Some good account at last.



Thus, while my joyless minutes tedious flow, With looks demure, and silent pace a dun, Horrible monster, hated by gods and men! To my aërial citadel ascends,

With vocal heel thrice thundering at my gate,
With hideous accent thrice he calls: I know
The voice ill-boding, and the solemn sound.
What should I do? or whither turn? amaz'd,
Confounded, to the dark recess I fly

Of woodhole strait my bristling hairs erect
Thro' sudden fear; a chilly sweat bedews
My shudd'ring limbs and (wonderful to tell!)
My tongue forgets her faculty of speech;
So horrible he seems: his faded brow

Entrench'd with many a frown, and comic beard,
And spreading band admired by modern saints,
Disastrous acts forebode: in his right hand
Long scrolls of paper solemnly he waves,
With characters and figures dire inscrib'd,

Grievous to mortal eyes; (ye gods, avert
Such plagues from righteous men ;) behind him stalks
Another monster not unlike himself,
Sullen of aspect, by the vulgar call'd

A catchpole, whose polluted hands the gods
With force incredible and magic charms
Erst have endu'd: if he his ample palm
Should haply on ill-fated shoulder lay
Of debtor, straight his body, to the touch
Obsequious, (as whilom knights were wont)
To some enchanted castle is convey'd,
Where gates impregnable, coercive chains
In durance strict detain him, till in form
Of money, Pallas sets the captive free.



Farewell and think of death! Was it not so?
Do murderers then preach morality?

But how to think of what the living know not,
And the dead cannot, or else may not tell ?
What art thou, oh thou great mysterious terror?
The way to thee we know! Disease, and famine,
Sword, fire, and all thy ever-open gates,
That day and night stand ready to receive us.
But what's beyond them ?-who will draw that veil?
Yet death's not there-no; 'tis a point of time,
The verge 'twixt mortal and immortal beings.
It mocks our thoughts! On this side all is life;
And when we've reached it, in that very instant
'Tis past the thinking of! Oh, if it be

The pangs, the throes, the agonizing struggles
When soul and body part, sure I have felt it,
And there's no more to fear.



In ancient times, when Helen's fatal charms
Roused the contending universe to arms,
The Grecian council happily deputes
The sly Ulysses forth, to raise recruits.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »