« AnteriorContinuar »
Slaves that no longer can be safe in flight?
No. 603. WEDNESDAY, OCT. 6, 1714.
Ducite ab urbe domum, mea carmina, ducite Daphnim.
Virg. Ecl viii. 68.
The following copy of verses comes from one of my correspondents, and has something in it so ori, ginal, that I do not much doubt but it will divert my readers *
* The Phæbe of this admired pastoral, was Joanna, the daughter of the very learned Dr. Richard Bentley ? archdea. con and prebendary of Ely, regius professor and master of Trinity college, Cambridge, who died in 1742. She was afterwards married to Dr. Dennison Cumberland, bishop of Clonfert in Killaloe in Ireland, and grandson of Dr. Richard Cumberland, bishop of Peterborough.
• My time, O ye Muses, was happily spent,
• With such a companion, to tend a few sheep, To rise up and play, or to lie down and sleep, I was so good-humour'd, so cheerful and gay, My heart was as light as a feather all day. But now I so cross and so peevish am grown, So strangely uneasy as never was known. My fair-one is gone, and my joys are all drown'd, And my heart-I am sure it weighs more than a pound.
• The fountain that wont to run sweetly along, And dance to soft murmurs the pebbles among ; Thou know'st, little Cupid, if Phæbe was there, 'Twas pleasure to look at, 'twas music to hear : But now she is absent I walk by its side, And still as it murmurs do nothing but chide. Must you be so cheerful while I go in pain ? Peace there with your bubbling, and hear me complain.
· When my lambkins around me would oftentimes play, And when Phæbe and I were as joyful as they, How pleasant their sporting, how happy the time, When spring, love, and beauty, were all in their prime ! But now in their frolics when by me they pass, I fling at their fleeces an handful of grass : Be still, then I cry; for it makes me quite mad, To see you so merry while I am so sad.
..My dog I was ever well pleased to see
· When walking with Phæbe, what sights have I seen! How fair was the flower ! how fresh was the green ! What a lovely appearance the trees and the shade,
The corn-fields, and hedges, and every thing made !
VII. Sweet music went with us both all the wood through, The lark, linnet, throstle, and nightingale too; Winds over us whisper'd, flocks by us did bleat, And chirp went the grasshopper under our feet. But now she is absent, though still they sing on, The woods are but lonely, the melody's gone : Her voice in the concert, as now I have found, Gave every thing else its agreeable sound.
· Rose, what is become of thy delicate hue ? And where is the violet's beautiful blue? Does aught of its sweetness the blossom beguile? That meadow, those daisies, why do they not smile? Ah! rivals, I see what it was that you dress’d And made yourselves fine for; a place on her breast : You put on your colours to pleasure her eye, To be pluck'd by her hand, on her bosom to die.
IX. • How slowly Time creeps, till my Phæbe return! While amidst the soft zephyr's cool breezes I burn! Methinks if I knew whereabouts he would tread, I could breathe on his wings, and 'twould melt down the lead. Fly swifter, ye minutes, bring hither my dear, And rest so much longer for't when she is here, Ah, Colin ! old Time is full of delay, Nor will budge one foot faster for all thou canst say.
• Will no pitying power that hears me complain,
No. 604. FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8, 1714.
Tu ne quæsieris (scire nefas) quem mihi, quem tibi,
HOR. 1 Od. xi. 1.
My dear Leuconoe,
The desire of knowing future events is one of the strongest inclinations in the mind of man. Indeed an ability of foreseeing probable accidents, is what, in the language of men, is called wisdom and prudence; but, not satisfied with the light that reason holds out, mankind hath endeavoured to penetrate more compendiously into futurity. Magic, oracles, omens, lucky hours, and the various arts of superstition, owe their rise to this powerful cause. As this principle is founded in self-love, every man is sure to be solicitous in the first place about his own fortune, the course of his life, and the time and manner of his death.
If we consider that we are free agents, we shall discover the absurdity of such inquiries. One of our actions, which we might have performed or nega lected, is the cause of another that succeeds it, and so the whole chain of life is linked together. Pain, poverty, or infamy, are the natural product of vi. cious and imprudent acts, as the contrary blessings are of good ones ; so that we cannot suppose our Jot to be determined without impiety. A great enhancement of pleasure arises from its being unex.