« PreviousContinue »
Will you regard the hawker's cries,
Who in his titles always lies >
Whate'er the noisy scoundrel says,
It might be fomething in your praise :
And praise bestow'd on Grub-street rhymes,
Would vex one more a thousand times. -
Till critics blame, and judges praise,
The poet cannot claim his bays.
On me, when dunces are satiric,
I take it for a panegyric.
Hated by fools, and fools to bate,
Be that my motto, and my fate.
An imitation of PETRONIUS. 1
Written in the year 1724. Somnia quæ mentes ludunt volitantibus umbris, &c. T "HOSE dreams, that on the filent night intrude,
And with false fitting shades our minds delude, Jove never sends us downward from the skies ; Nor can they from infernal mansions rise ; But are all mere productions of the brain,
5 And fools consult interpreters in vain.
For, when in bed we rest our weary limbs,
The mind unburthen'd sports in various whims ;
The bufy head with mimic art runs o’er
The scenes and actions of the day before.
The drousy tyrant, by his minions led,
To regal rage devotes some patriot's head.
With equal terrors, not with equal guilt,
The murd'rer dreams of all the blood he spilt.
The soldier smiling hears the widow's cries, 15
And stabs the son before the mother's eyes.
With like remorse his brother of the trade,
The butcher, fells the lamb beneath his blade.
The statesman rakes the town to find a plot,
And dreams of forfeitureş by treason got.
Nor less Tomt-diman, of true ftateiman mold,
Collects the city-filth in search of gold.
Orphans around his bed the lawyer fees,
And takes the plaintiff's and defendant's fees.
His fellow pick-purse, watching for a job,
Fancies his fingers in the cully's fob.
The kind physician grants the husband's pray'rs,
Or gives relief to long-expecting heirs.
The sleeping hangman ties the fatal noose,
Nor unsuccessful waits for dead mens shoes.
The grave divine with knotty points perplext,
As if he was awake, nods o'er his text:
While the fly mountebank attends his trade,
Harangues the rabble, and is better paid.
The hireling fenator of modern days
35 Bedaubs the guilty great with nauseous praise: And Dick the scavenger with equal grace Flirts from his càrt the mud in W-l-e's face.
TO STELLA visiting me in my fick
ness, October 1727. PALLAS, observing Stella's wit
Was more than for her sex was fit,
And that her beauty, foon or late,
Might breed confusion in the state,
In high concern for human-kind,
5. Fix'd honour in her infant mind.
But, (not in wranglings to engage
With such a stupid vicious age),
If honour I would here define,
It answers faith in things divine.
As nat'ral life the body warms,
And, scholars teach, the soul informs ;
So honour animates the whole,
And is the spirit of the soul.
Those num'rous virtues which the tribe
Of tedious-moralifts describe,
And by such various titles call,
True honour comprehends them all.
Let melancholy rule fupreme,
Choler preside, or blood, or phlegm,
It makes no diff'rence in the case,
Nor is complexion honour's place.
But, left we should for honour take
The drunken quarrels of a rake;
Or think it seated in a scar,
Or on a proud triumphal car,
Or in the payment of a debt
We lose with sharpers at Picquet ;
Or when a whore in her vocation
Keeps punctual to an affignation ;
Or that on which his Lordship swears,
When vulgar knaves would lose their ears ;
Let Stella's fair example preach
A lesson she alone can teach.
In points of honour to be try'd,
All paffions must be laid afide :
Ask no advice, but think alone;
Suppose the queftion not your own:
How shall I act? is not the case ;
But how would Brutus in my place?
In such a case would Cato bleed ?
And how would Socrates proceed?
Drive all objections from your mind,
Else you relapse to human-kind;
Ambition, avarice, and lust,
And factious rage, and breach of trust,
And flatt'ry tipt with nauseous feer,
And guilty shame, and servile fear,
Envy, and cruelty, and pride,
Will in your tainted heart preside.
Heroes and heroines of old
By honour only were inroll'd
Among their brethren in the skies,
To which (tho' late) fall Stella rise.
Ten thousand oaths upon
Are not so facred as her word :
The world shall in its atoms end,
Ere Stella can deceive a friend.
By honour feated in her breast
She still determines what is best :
What indignation in her mind
Against inflavers of mankind !
Base kings, and ministers of state,
Eternal objects of her hate
She thinks that nature ne'er defign'd
Courage to man alone confin'd:
Can cowardice her fex adorn,
Which most exposes ours to scorn ?
She wonders where the charm appears
In Florimel's affected fears ;
For Stella never learn'd the art
times to scream and start;
Nor calls up all the house at night,
And swears she saw a thing in white.
Doll never Aies to cut her lace,
Or throw cold water in her face,
Because she heard a sudden drum,
Or found an earwig in a plum.
· Her hearers are amaz'd from whence
Proceeds that fund of wit and sense ;
Which, cho' her modesty would shroud,
Breaks like the fun behind a cloud
; While gracefulness its art conceals, And yet thro' ev'ry motion steals.
SAY, Stella, was Prometheus blind, And, forming you, mistook your kind? No; 'twas for
alone he stole
The fire that forms a manly soul;
Then, to compleat it ev'ry way,
He moulded it with female clay :
To that you owe the nobler flamę,
To this the beauty of your frame.
How would Ingratitude delight,
And how would Censure glut her spight,
If I should Stella's kindness hide
In silence, or forget with pride?
When on my fickly couch I lay,
Impatient both of night and day,
Lamenting in unmanly, strains,
Call'd ev'ry pow'r to ease my pains ;
Then Stella ran to my
With chearful face, and inward grief ;
And, tho’ by heav'n's severe decree
She suffers hourly more than me,
No cruel master could require
From flaves employd for daily hire,
What Stella, by her friendship warm'd,
With vigour and delight perform d :
My finking spirits now supplies
With cordials in her hands and eyes.;
Now with a soft and filent tread
Unheard the moves about my bed.
I see her taste each nauseous draught,
And so obligingly am caught :
I bless the hand from whence they came,
Nor dare diftort my face for Thame. ::
Best pattern of true friends, beware: '
You pay too dearly for your care,
If, while your tenderness secures
My life, it muft endanger yours;