« PreviousContinue »
His house, embosom'd in the grove,
Sacred to social life and social love, Shall glitter o'er the pendant green,
Where Thames reflects the visionary scene: Thither the silver sounding lyres Shall call the siniling Loves and young Desires ;
; There, every grace and muse shall throng,
Exalt the dance, or animate the song; There youths and nymphs, in concert gay,
Shall hail the rising, close the parting day. With me, alas ! those joys are q'er;
For me the vernal garlands bloom no more. Adieu! fond hope of mutual fire,
The still believing, still renew'd desire: Adieu ! the heart expanding bowl,
And all the kind deceivers of the soul! But why ? ah tell me, ah too dear!
Steals down my cheek the involuntary tear? Why words so flowing, thoughts so free,
Stop, or turn nonsense, at one glance of thee? Thee dress'd in fancy's airy beam,
Absent I follow through the extended dream; Now, now I cease, I clasp thy charms,
And, now you burst (ah cruel) from my arms ! And swiftly shoot along the Mall,
Or softly glide by the canal;
And now on rolling waters snatch'd away.
PART OF THE NINTH ODE
OF THE FOURTH BOOK.
LEST you should think that verse shall die,
Which sounds the silver 'Thames along, Taught on the wings of truth to fly
Above the reach of vulgar song ; Though daring Milton sits sublime,
In Spenser native muses play; Nor yet shall Waller yield to time,
Nor pensive Cowley's moral laySages and chiefs long since had birth
Ere Cæsar was, or Newton named: These raised new empires o'er the earth,
And those new heavens and systems framed. Vain was the chief's the sage's pride! They had no poet, and they died; In vain they schemed, in vain they bled! They had no poet, and are dead.
Yes, 1 beheld the Athenian queen
Descend in all her sober charms ;
Take at this hand celestial arms :'
Secure the radiant weapons wield;
This golden lance shall guard desert, And if a vice dares keep the field,
This steel shall stab it to the heart." Awed, on my bended knees I fell,
Received the weapons of the sky; And dipp'd them in the sable well,
The fount of fame or infamy.
What well? what weapon ?' Flavia cries,
• A standish, steel and golden pen!
I gave it you to write again.
You'll bring a house, I mean of peers,
L ***** and all about your ears. You'd write as smooth again on glass, And run on ivory so glib,
3 E 2
As not to stick at fool or ass,
Nor stop at flattery or fib. Athenian queen! and sober charms?
I tell you, fool, there's nothing in't: "Tis Venus, Venus.gives these arms;
In Dryden's Virgil see the print. Come, if you'll be a quiet soul,
That dares tell neither truth nor lies, I'll list you in the harmless roll
Of those that sing of these poor eyes.
EPISTLE TO ROBERT EARL OF OXFORD
AND EARL MORTIMER.
Sent to the Earl of Oxford, with Dr. Parnell's Poems, published
by our Author, after the said Earl's imprisonment in the Tower and Retreat into the Country, in the year 1721.
Such were the notes thy once-loved poet sung,
Absent or dead, still let a friend be dear (A sigh the absent claims, the dead a tear,)
Recall those nights that closed thy toilsome days,
And sure, if aught below the seats divine
In vain to deserts thy retreat is made; The muse attends thee to thy silent shade; 'Tis her's the brave man's latest steps to trace, Re judge his acts, and dignify disgrace. When interest calls off all her sneaking train, And all the obliged desert, and all the vain; She waits, or to the scaffold, or the cell, When the last lingering friend has bid farewell. E'en now she shades thy evening-walk with bays (No hireling she, no prostitute to praise): E'en now, observant of the parting ray, Eyes the calm sun-set of thy various day Through fortune's cloud one truly great can see, Nor fears to tell that Mortimer is he.
EPISTLE TO JAMES ORAGGS, 29Q.
Secretary of State in the year 1720.
A SOUL as full of worth as void of pride,