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Yet too innocent to blush,
Like the linnet in the bush,
To the mother-linnet's note
Moduling her slender throat,
Chirping forth thy petty joys,
Wanton in the change of toys,
Like the linnet green, in May,
Flitting to each bloomy spray,
Wearied then, and glad of rest,
Like the linnet in the nest.
This thy present happy lot,
This, in time, will be forgot:
Other pleasures, other cares,
Ever-busy Time prepares;
And thou shalt in thy daughter see,
This picture, once, resembled thee.
RIGHT HON. ROBERT WALPOLE, ESQ.
June 15, 1724.
VOTARY to public zeal,
Minister of England's weal,
Have you leisure for a song,
Tripping lightly o'er the tongue,
Swift and sweet in every measure,
Tell me, Walpole, have you leisure?
Nothing lofty will I sing,
Nothing of the favourite king,
Something, rather, sung with ease,
Simply elegant to please.
Fairy virgin, British Muse,
Some unheard-of story choose:
Choose the glory of the swain,
Gifted with a magic strain,
Swaging grief of every kind,
Healing, with a verse, the mind:
To him came a man of power,
To him, in a cheerless hour;
When the swain, by Druids taught,
Soon divin'd his irksome thought,
Soon the maple harp he strung,
Soon, with silver-accent, sung,
"Steerer of a mighty realm,
Pilot waking o'er the helm,
Blessing of thy native soil,
Weary of a thankless toil,
Cast repining thought behind,
Give thy trouble to the wind.
Mortal, destin'd to excel,
Bear the blame of doing well,
Like the worthies great of old,
In the list of Fame enroll'd.
What, though titles thou decline!
Still the more thy virtues shine.
Envy, with her serpent eye,
Marks each praise that soars on high.
To thy lot resign thy will:
Every good is mixt with ill.
See, the white unblemish'd rose
On a thorny bramble blows:
See, the torrent pouring rain
Does the limpid fountain stain:
See, the giver of the day
Urgeth on, through clouds, his way:
Nothing is entirely blest;
Envy does thy worth attest.
"Pleasing visions, at command, Answer to my voice and hand; Quick, the blissful scene prepare, Sooth the patriot's heavy care: Visions, cheering to the sight, Give him earnest of delight. "Wise disposer of affairs, View the end of all thy cares! Forward cast thy ravish'd eyes, See the gladdening harvest rise: Lo, the people reap thy pain! Thine the labour, theirs the gain. Yonder turn, awhile, thy view, Turn thee to yon spreading yew, Once the gloomy tree of Fate, Once the plighted virgin's hate : Now, no longer does it grow, Parent of the warring bow: See, beneath the guiltless shade, Peasants shape the plow and spade, Rescued ever from the fear Of the whistling shaft and spear. Lo, where Plenty comes, with Peace! Hear the breath of murmur cease: See, at last, unclouded days; Hear, at last, unenvied praise. Nothing shall thy soul molest; Labour is the price of rest.
"Mortal, destin'd to excel, Bless the toil of doing well!"
SUPPLICATION FOR MISS CARTERET IN THE SMALL-POX.
POWER o'er every power supreme,
Thou the poet's hallow'd theme,
From thy mercy-seat on high,
Hear my numbers, hear my cry.
Breather of all vital breath,
Arbiter of life and death,
Oh, preserve this innocence,
Yet unconscious of offence,
Yet in life and virtue growing,
Yet no debt to Nature owing.
Thou, who giv'st angelic grace
To the blooming virgin face,
Let the fell disease not blight
What thou mad'st for man's delight:
O'er her features let it pass
Like the breeze o'er springing grass,
Gentle as refreshing showers
Sprinkled over opening flowers.
O, let years alone diminish
Beauties thou wast pleas'd to finish.
To the pious parents give
That the darling fair may live:
Turn to blessings all their care,
Save their fondness from despair.
Mitigate the lurking pains
Lodg'd within her tender veins;
Soften every throb of anguish,
Suffer not her strength to languish;
Take her to thy careful keeping,
And prevent the mother's weeping.
TO MISS GEORGIANA,
YOUNGEST DAUGHTER TO
August 10, 1725.
LITTLE charm of placid mien,
Miniature of beauty's queen,
Numbering years, a scanty Nine,
Stealing hearts without design,
Young inveigler, fond in wiles,
Prone to mirth, profuse in smiles,
Yet a novice in disdain,
Pleasure giving without pain,
Still caressing, still caress'd,
Thou and all thy lovers bless'd,
Never teas'd, and never teasing,
O, for ever pleas'd and pleasing!
Hither, British Muse of mine,
Hither all the Grecian Nine,
With the lovely Graces three,
And your promis'd nurseling see:
Figure on her waxen mind
Images of life refin'd;
Make it as a garden gay,
Every bud of thought display,
Till, improving year by year,
The whole culture shall appear,
Voice, and speech, and action, rising,
All to human sense surprising.
Is the silken web so thin
As the texture of her skin?
Can the lily and the rose
Such unsullied hue disclose?
Are the violets so blue
As her veins expos'd to view?
Do the stars, in wintery sky,
Twinkle brighter than her eye?
Has the morning lark a throat
Sounding sweeter than her note?
Who e'er knew the like before thee?
They who knew the nymph that bore thee.
From thy pastime and thy toys,
From thy harmless cares and joys,
Give me now a moment's time:
When thou shalt attain thy prime,
And thy bosom feel desire,
Love the likeness of thy sire,
One ordain'd, through life, to prove
Still thy glory, still thy love.
Like thy sister, and like thee,
Let thy nurtur'd daughters be:
Semblance of the fair who bore thee,
Trace the pattern set before thee,
Where the Liffy meets the main,
Has thy sister heard my strain:
From the Liffy to the Thames,
Minstrel echoes sing their names,
Wafting to the willing ear
Many a cadence sweet to hear,
Smooth as gently breathing gales
O'er the ocean and the vales,
While the vessel calmly glides
O'er the level glassy tides,
While the summer flowers are springing,
And the new-fledg'd birds are singing.
EPIGRAMS AND SHORT POEMS.
UPON THE TOASTS OF THE HANOVER
THE reigning fair on polish'd crystal shine,
Enrich our glasses, aud improve our wine.
The favourite names we to our lips apply,
Indulge our thoughts, and drink with ecstasy.
While these, the chosen beauties of our isle,
Propitious on the cause of freedom smile,
The rash Pretender's hopes we may despise,
And trust Britannia's safety to their eyes.
A COMPANY OF BAD DANCERS TO GOOD MUSIC'.
How ill the motion with the music suits!
So Orpheus fiddled, and so danc'd the brutes.
GEORGE came to the crown without striking a blow: Ah, quoth the Pretender, would I could do so!
IN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION,
WHAT IS THOUGHT?
THE hermit's solace in his cell,
The fire that warms the poet's brain,
The lover's Heaven, or his Hell,
The madman's sport, the wise man's pain.
MR. ADDISON ON CATO.
THE mind to virtue is by verse subdu'd,
And the true poet is a public good:
This Britain feels, while, by your lines inspir'd,
Her free-born sons to glorious thoughts are fir'd.
In Rome had you espous'd the vanquish'd cause,
Inflam'd her senate and upheld her laws,
Your manly scenes had liberty restor❜d,
And given the just success to Cato's sword,
O'er Cæsar's arms your genius had prevail'd,
And the Muse triumph'd where the Patriot fail'd
In search of Wisdom far from Wit I fly:
Wit is a harlot beauteous to the eye,
In whose bewitching arms our early time
We waste, and vigour of our youthful prime;
But when reflection comes with riper years,
And manhood with a thoughtful brow appears,
This epigram is claimed by Mr. Jeffreys, and is printed in his Works
We cast the mistress off to take a wife, And, wed to Wisdom, lead a happy life.
The following Epitaph on the monument of my kinswoman was written at the request of her husband. WITHIN the burial-vault near this Marble, lieth the body of PENELOPE, youngest daughter (and coheir with her sister ELIZABETH) to ROBERT PHILIPS of Newton-Regis, in the county of Warwick, esquire. She died in her six-and-thirtieth year, on the 25th day of January, 1726.
LET THIS INSCRIPTION
(Appealing yet to testimonies manifold)
Recall to every surviving witness,
And, for ensample, record to posterity,
Whether owing to the indulgency of Nature,
Or to the assiduous lessons of education,
Or to the silent admonitions of reflection.
To her parents, husband, children,
In no care, no duty, no affection,
Was she wanting,
Receiving, deserving. winning,
From them respectively,
Of countenance and of disposition,
Open, cheerful, modest;
Of behaviour, humble, courteous, easy;
Of speech, affable, free, discreet;
In civilities, punctual, sincere, and elegant;
Prone to offices of kindness and good-will;
To enmity a stranger;
Forward, earnest, impatient,
To succour the distrest,
To comfort the afflicted;
Solicitous for the poor,
And rich in store of alms:
Whereby she became
The delight, the love, the blessing, of all.
In her household flourished
Cheerfulness, due order, thrift, and plenty.
In the closet retired,
In the temple public.
Morning and evening did she worship;
By instruction, by example,
Sedulous to nurture her children in godliness: So prevalent her love to them, Visited with that sore disease, Which too often kills or blights The mother's fondest hopes, That (regardless of self-preservation) In piously watching over their lives, She, catching the infection, lost her own, Triumphing, through resignation, Over sickness, pain, anguish, agony, And (encompassed with tears and lamentations) Expiring in the fervour of prayer.
To the Memory, ever dear and precious, of his most affectionate, most beloved, and most deserving wife, is this monument raised by HENRY VERNON, of Hilton, in the county of Stafford, esquire. To him she bore five son sand two daughters, all surviving, save ELIZABETH; who, dying in her second year of the small-pox, some few days before, resteth by her mother.
FAR northward as the Dane extends his sway,
Where the Sun glances but a sloping ray,
Beneath the sharpest rigour of the skies,
Disdainful Thule's wintery island lies.
Unhappy maid! thy tale, forgotten long,
Shall virgins learn from my instructive song,
And every youth, who lingers in despair,
By thy example warn the cruel fair.
In Cyprus, sacred to the queen of love,
(Where stands her temple, and her myrtle grove,)
Was Thule born, 'uncertain how: 't is said
Once Venus won Adonis to her bed,
And pregnant grew, the birth to chance assign'd,
In woods, and foster'd by the feather'd kind.
With flowers some strew the helpless orphan round,
With downy moss some spread the carpet ground,
Some ripen'd fruits, some fragrant honey, bring;
And some fetch water from the running spring;
While others warble from the boughs, to cheer
Their infant-charge, and tune her tender ear.
Soon as the Sun forsakes the evening skies,
And hid in shades the gloomy forest lies,
The nightingales their tuneful vigils keep,
And lull her, with their gentler strains, to sleep.
This the prevailing rumour: as she grew,
No dubious tokens spoke the rumour true.
In every forming feature might be seen
Some bright resemblance of the Cyprian queen:
Nor was it hard the hunter youth to trace,
In all her early passion of the chase:
And when, on springing flowers reclin'd, she sung,
The birds upon the bending branches hung,
While, warbling, she express'd their various strains,
And, at a distance, charm'd the listening swains:
So sweet her voice resounding through the wood,
They thought the nymph some Syren from the flood.
Half human thus by lineage, half divine,
In forests did the lonely beauty shine,
Like woodland flowers which paint the desert glades,
And waste their sweets in unfrequented shades.
No human face she saw, and rarely seen
By human face: a solitary queen
She rul'd, and rang'd, her shady empire round.
No horn the silent huntress bears; no hound,
With noisy cry, disturbs her solemn chase,
Swift, as the bounding stag, she wings her pace:
And, bend whene'er she will her ebon bow,
A speedy death arrests the flying foe.
The bow the hunting goddess first supplied,
And ivory quiver cross her shoulders tied.
Th' imperious queen of Heaven, with jealous eyes,
Beholds the blooming virgin from the skies,
At once admires, and dreads her growing charms,
And sees the god already in her arms:
In vain, she finds, her bitter tongue reproves
His broken vows, and his clandestine loves:
Jove still continues frail: and all in vain
Does Thule in obscurest shades remain,
While Maja's son, the thunderer's winged spy,
Informs him where the lurking beauties lie.
What sure expedient then shall Juno find,
To calm her fears, and ease her boding mind?
Delays to jealous minds a torment prove;
And Thule ripens every day for love.
She mounts her car, and shakes the silken reins; The harness'd peacocks spread their painted trains, And smooth their glossy necks against the Sun: The wheels along the level azure run.
Eastward the goddess guides her gaudy team,
And perfects, as she rides, her forming scheme.
The various orbs now pass'd, adown the steep
Of Heaven the chariot whirls, and plunges deep
In fleecy clouds, which o'er the mid-land main
Hang pois'd in air, to bless the isles with rain:
And here the panting birds repose a while:
Nor so their queen; she gains the Cyprian isle,
By speedy Zephyrs borne in thicken'd air:
Unseen she seeks, unseen she finds, the fair.
Now o'er the mountain tops the rising Sun
Shot purple rays: now Thule had begun
Her morning chase, and printed in the dews
Her fleeting steps. The goddess now pursues,
Now overtakes her in her full career,
And flings a javelin at the flying deer.
Amaz'd, the virgin huntress turns her eyes;
When Juno (now Diana in disguise),
"Let no vain terrours discompose thy mind;
My second visit, like my first, is kind.
Thy ivory quiver, and thy ebon bow,
Did not I give?"-Here sudden blushes glow
On Thule's cheeks: her busy eyes survey
The dress, the crescent; and her doubts give way.
"I own thee, goddess bright," the nymph replies,
"Goddess, I own thee, and thy favours prize :
Goddess of woods, and lawns, and level plains,
Fresh in my mind thine image still remains."
Then Juno, "Beauteous ranger of the grove,
My darling care, fair object of my love,
Hither I come, urg'd by no trivial fears,
To guard thy bloom, and warn thy tender years."
THE FIRST OLYMPIONIQUE OF PINDAR. TO HIERO OF SYRACUSE,
VICTORIOUS IN THE HORSE-RACE.
The poet praises Hiero for his justice, his wisdom, and his skill in music. He likewise celebrates the horse that won the race, and the place where the Olympic games were performed. From the place (namely Peloponnesus) he takes an occasion of digressing to the known fable of Tantalus and Pelops; whence, returning to Hiero, he sets forth the felicity of the Olympian victors. Then he concludes, by praying to the gods to preserve the glory and dignity of Hiero, admonishing him to moderation of mind, in his high station; and lastly, glories in his own excellency in compositions of this kind.
STROPHE I. Measures 18.
EACH element to water yields;"
And gold, like blazing fire by night,
Amidst the stores of wealth that builds
The mind aloft, is eminently bright:
But if, my soul, with fond desire
To sing of games thou dost aspire,
As thou by day canst not descry,
Through all the liquid waste of sky,
One burnish'd star, that like the Sun does glow,
And cherish every thing below,
So, my sweet soul, no toil divine,
In song, does like th' Olympian shine:
Hence do the mighty poets raise
A hymn, of every tongue the praise,
The son of Saturn to resound,
When far, from every land, they come
To visit Hiero's regal dome,
Where peace, where plenty, is for ever found:
ANTISTROPHE I. Measures 18.
Lord of Sicilia's fleecy plains,
He governs, righteous in his power,
And, all excelling while he reigns,
From every lovely virtue crops the flower:
In music, blossom of delight,
Divinely skill'd, he cheers the night,
As we are wont, when friends design
To feast and wanton o'er their wine:
But from the wall the Dorian harp take down,
If Pisa, city of renown,
And if the fleet victorious steed,
The boast of his unrival'd breed,
Heart-pleasing raptures did inspire,
And warm thy breast with sacred fire,
When late, on Alpheus' crowded shore,
Forth-springing quick, each nerve he strain'd,
The warning of the spur disdain'd,
And swift to victory his master bore.
The lov'd Syracusian, the prince of the course, The king, who delights in the speed of the horse: Great his glory, great his fame,
Throughout the land where Lydian Pelops came To plant his men, a chosen race,
A land the ocean does embrace,
Pelops, whom Neptune, ruler of the main,
Was known to love, when into life again,
From the reviving cauldron warm,
Clotho produc'd him whole, his shoulder-blade,.
And its firm brawn, of shining ivory made:
But truth, unvarnish'd, oft neglected lies,
When fabled tales, invented to surprise,
In miracles mighty, have power to charm,
Where fictions, happily combin'd,
Deceive and captivate the mind:
STROPHE II. Measures 18.
Thus Poesy, harmonious spell,
The source of pleasures ever new,
With dignity does wonders tell;
And we, amaz'd, believe each wonder true.
Day after day brings truth to light,
Unveil'd and manifest to sight:
But, of the blest, those lips which name
Foul deeds aloud, shall suffer blame.
Thee, son of Tantalus, my faithful song
Shall vindicate from every wrong,
The glories of thy house restore,
And baffle falschoods told before:
Now, in his turn, thy sire prepar'd
A banquet; when the Gods appear'd
At Sipylus, his sweet abode,
To grace the due proportion'd feast:
There, first, the trident-bearing guest
Beheld thy lovely form; and now, he glow'd;
ANTISTROPHE II. Measures 18.
And now, his soul subdued by love,
Thee in his golden car he bore
Swift to the lofty towers of Jove,
Whose name the nations all around adore:
Thus Ganymede was caught on high,
To serve the power who rules the sky.
When thou no longer didst appear,
And those who sought a pledge so dear,
Without thee to thy widow'd mother came,
Some envious neighbour, to defame
Thy father's feast, a rumour spread,
The rumour through the country fled,
That thou, to heighten the repast,
Wast into seething water cast,
Fierce bubbling o'er the raging fire,
Thy limbs without compassion carv'd,
Thy sodden flesh in messes serv'd,
To gorge the gods, and a voracious sire:
EPODE II. Measures 16.
But, in thought ever pure, shall I deem it amiss,
Vile gluttons to call the partakers of bliss:
Let me then refrain, and dread:
A curse hangs over the blasphemer's head,
If they, who supervise and ward
The Heavens, did ever show regard
To mortal man, this Tantalus might boast,
Of mortal men that he was honour'd most :
But he not able to digest
The glut, the surfeit, of immortal joys,
One heinous forfeit all his bliss destroys:
For over him the godhead hung, in air,
A ponderous stone, a dreadful poise of care!
From his head to remove it, with terrour opprest,
In vain he tries, and seeks in vain
One cheerful moment to regain :
STROPHE III. Measures 18.
A life of woe beyond relief,
His portion now; ordain'd before
To torments of a three-fold grief,
This fourth was added to complete his store,
Since, high presuming in his soul,
He nectar and ambrosia stole,
To give to men; by which he knew
That, tasting, he immortal grew:
But be not man deceiv'd: the gods reveal
What most we labour to conceal:
For this the powers, who deathless reign,
To Earth sent down his son again,
To dwell with men, a short-liv'd race,
Whose sudden fates come on apace.
His flowery age in all its pride,
When, o'er his chin, a blackening shade
Of down was cast, a vow he made,
Deep in his soul, to win the proffer'd bride:
ANTISTROPHE III. Measures 18.
Hippodamia, boasted name,
From her great sire, the Pisan proud.
Alone, by night, the lover came
Beside the hoary sea, and call'd aloud
On him who sways the triple spear,
And fills with din the deafen'd ear;
When, at his feet, the god arose :
Then Pelops, eager to disclose
His mighty care, "O Neptune, if thy mind
In love did ever pleasure find,
Let not Oenomaüs prevail,
And let this brazen javelin fail :
Oh! bear me hence on wheels of speed.
To Elis, to the glorious meed:
To victory, oh! whirl me, straight:
Since, after ten, and other three,
Bold suiters slain, yet still we see,
From year to year, the promis'd nuptials wait
EPODE III. Measures 16.
"Of his daughter. No perilous toil can excite The dastard in heart, who despairs of his might. Since we all are born to die,
Who, overcast, would in oblivion lie,
In unreputed age decay,
And meanly squander life away,
Cut off from every praise? Then let me dare
This conflict, in the dusty lists, to share;
And prosper thou my glowing wheels."
Thus Pelops spoke; nor was his fervent prayer
Pour'd forth in fruitless words, to waft in air:
The deity his whole ambition grants;
Nor shining car, nor coursers now he wants:
In the golden bright chariot new vigour he feels,
Exulting in the horses' feet,
Unwearied ever, ever fleet:
Oenomaüs, he triumphs o'er
Thy prowess, and, to share thy bed,
Claims the bright maid; who to him bore
Six princely sons, to manly virtues bred.
Now, solemniz'd with steaming blood,
And pious rites, near Alpheus' flood
Entomb'd, he sleeps, where th' altar stands,
That draws the vows of distant lands:
And round his tomb the circling racers strive:
And round the wheeling chariots drive.
In thy fam'd courses, Pelops, rise
Th' Olympian glories to the skies,
And shine afar: there we behold
The stretch of manhood, strenuous, bold,
In sore fatigues, and there the strife
Of winged feet. Thrice happy he,
Who overcomes! for he shall see
Unclouded days, and taste the sweets of life.
ANTISTROPHE IV. Measures 18.
Thy boon, O victory! thy prize.
The good that, in a day obtain'd,
From day to day fresh joy supplies,
Is the supreme of bliss to man ordain'd:
But let me now the rider raise
And crown him with Æolian lays,
The victor's due: and I confide,
Though every welcome guest were tried,
Not one, in all the concourse, would be found For fairest knowledge more renown'd,
Nor yet a master more to twine,
In lasting hymns, each wreathing line.
The guardian god, who watchful guides
Thy fortnnes, Hiero, presides
O'er all thy cares with anxious power:
And soon, if he does not deny
His needful aid, my hopes run high
To sing more pleasing in the joyful hour,
On thy chariot, triumphant when thou shalt appear
And fly o'er the course with a rapid career,
Tracing paths of language fair,
As I to Cronion's sunny mount repair.
Even now the Muse prepares to raise
Her growth, the strongest dart of praise,
For me to wield. Approv'd in other things,
Do others rise, conspicuous, only kings,
High mounting on the summit fix:
There bound thy view, wide-spread, nor vainly try
Further to stretch the prospect of thine eye: