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This being, by a model bred
Known by the Gods, as near he draws, In Jove's eternal sable head,
They make him umpire of the cause. Contriv'd a shape empower'd to breathe,
O'er a low trunk his arm he laid, And be the worldling here beneath.
Where since his hours a dial made; The man rose staring like a snake,
Then leaning heard the nice debate, Wondering to see himself awake!
And thus pronounc'd the words of fate: Then look'd so wise, before he knew
Since body from the parent earth, The business he was made to do;
And soul from Jove receiv'd a birth, That, pleas'd to see with what a grace
Return they where they first began; He gravely show'd his forward face,
But since their union makes the man, Jove talk'd of breeding him on high,
Till Jove and earth shall part these two, An under-something of the sky.
To Care who join'd them, man is due. But ere he gave the mighty nod,
He said, and sprung with swift career Which ever binds a poet's god
To trace a circle for the year ; (For which his curls ambrosial shake,
Where ever since the seasons wheel, And mother earth's oblig'd to quake),
And tread on one another's heel. He saw old mother earth arise,
'Tis well, said Jove, and for consent She stood confess'd before his eyes ;
Thund'ring he shook the firmament. But not with what we read she wore,
Our umpire Time shall have his way, A castle for a crown before,
With Care I let the creature stay : Nor with long streets and longer roads
Let business vex him, avarice blind, Dangling behind her, like commodes :
Let doubt and knowledge rack his mind, As yet with wreaths alone she drest,
Let error act, opinion speak, And trail'd a landskip-painted vest.
And want afflict, and sickness break, Then thrice she rais'd, as Ovid said,
And anger burn, dejection chill,
And joy distract, and sorrow kill.
Time draws the long destructive blow ;
And wasted man, whose quick decay Then what hast thou to call him thine?
Comes hurrying on before his day, Nay rather ask, the monarch said,
Shall only find by this decree,
The soul flies sooner back to me.
Far in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age a reverend hermit grew; Thus with the Gods debate began,
The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell, On such a trivial cause, as man.
His food the fruits, bis drink the crystal well : And can celestial tempers rage ?
Remote from men, with God he pass'd his days, Quoth Virgil, in a later age.
Prayer all his business, all his pleasure praise. As thus they wrangled, Time came by;
A life so sacred, such serene repose, (There's none that paint him such as I,
Seem'd heaven itself, till one suggestion rose ; For what the fabling ancients sung
That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey, Makes Saturn old, when Time was young.)
This sprung some doubt of Providence's sway: As yet his winters had not shed
His hopes no more a certain prospect boast, Their silver honours on his head;
And all the tenour of his soul is lost : He just had got his pinions free,
So when a smooth expanse receives imprest From his old sire, Eternity.
Calm nature's image on its watery breast, A serpent girdled round he wore,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow, The tail within the mouth, before ;
And skies beneath with answering colours glow: By which our almanacks are clear
But if a stone the gentle sea divide, That learned Egypt meant the year.
Swift ruffling circles curl on every side, A staff he carry'd, where on high
And glimmering fragments of a broken sun, A glass was fix'd to measure by,
Banks, trees, and skies, in thick disorder run. As amber boxes made a show
To clear this doubt, to know the world by sight, For heads of canes an age ago.
To find if books, or swains, report it right, His vest, for day and night, was py'd;
(For yet by swains alone the world he knew, A bending sickle arm’d his side ;
Whose feet came wandering o'er the nightly dew) And spring's new months his train adorn!
He quits his cell; the pilgrim staff he bore, The other seasons were unborn.
And fix'd the scallop in his hat before;
Then with the sun a rising journey went,
Its owner's temper, timorous and severe, Sedate to think, and watching each event.
Unkind and griping, caus'd a desert there. The morn was wasted in the pathless grass,
As near the miser's heavy doors they drew, And long and lonesome was the wild to pass; Fierce rising gusts with sudden fury blew; But when the southern sun had warm'd the day, The nimble lightning mix'd with showers began, A youth came posting o'er a crossing way;
And o'er their heads loud rolling thunders ran. His raiment decent, his complexion fair,
Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain, And soft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair. Driven by the wind, and batter'd by the rain. Then near approaching, father, hail! he cry'd, At length some pity warm’d the master's breast And hail, my son, the reverend sire reply'd ; ('Twas then his threshold first receiv'd a guest); Words follow'd words, from question answer flow'd, Slow creeking turns the door with jealous care, And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road;
And half he welcomes in the shivering pair; Till each with other pleas'd, and loth to part, One frugal faggot lights the naked walls, While in their age they differ, join in heart. And nature's fervour through their limbs recalls Thus stands an aged elm in ivy bound,
Bread of the coarsest sort, with eager wine, Thus youthful ivy clasps an elm around.
(Each hardly granted) serv'd them both to dine ; Now sunk the sun; the closing hour of day And when the tempest first appear'd to cease, Came onward, mantled o'er with sober grey; A ready warning bid them part in peace. Nature in silence bid the world repose ;
With still remark the pondering hermit view'd, When near the road a stately palace rose :
In one so rich, a life so poor and rude ; There, by the moon, through ranks of trees they pass, And why should such, within himself he cry'd, Whose verdure crown'd their sloping sides of grass ; Lock the lost wealth a thousand want beside ? It cbanc'd the noble master of the dome
But what new marks of wonder soon took place, Still made his house the wandering stranger's home:
In every settling feature of his face; Yet still the kindness, from a thirst of praise, When from his vest the young companion bore Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive ease.
That cup the generous landlord own'd before, The pair arrive : the livery'd servants wait;
And paid profusely with the precious bowl Their lord receives them at the pompous gate. The stinted kindness of this churlish soul. The table groans with costly piles of food,
But now the clouds in airy tumult fly;
The sun emerging opes an azure sky;
And, glittering as they tremble, cheer the day: At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day, The weather courts them from the poor retreat, Along the wide canals the zephyrs play :
And the glad master bolts the wary gate. Fresh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep, While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bosom And shake the neighbouring wood to banish sleep.
wrought Up rise the guests, obedient to the call:
With all the travel of uncertain thought; An early banquet deck'd the splendid hall ;
His partner's acts without their cause appear, Rich luscious wine a golden goblet grac'd,
'Twas there a vice, and seem'd a madness here : Which the kind master forc'd the guests to taste. Detesting that, and pitying this, he goes, Then, pleas'd and thankful, from the porch they go ; Lost and confounded with the various shows. And, but the landlord, none had cause of woe ; Now night's dim shades again involve the sky," His cup was vanish’d; for in secret guise
Again the wanderers want a place to lie; The younger guest purloin'd the glittering prize. Again they search, and find a lodging nigh. As one who spies a serpent in his way,
The soil improv'd around, the mansion neat, Glistening and basking in the summer ray,
And neither poorly low, nor idly great: Disorder'd stops to shun the danger near,
It seem'd to speak its master's turn of mind, Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear;
Content, and not for praise but virtue kind. So seem'd the sire; when far upon the road,
Hither the walkers turn with weary feet, The shining spoil his wily partner show'd.
Then bless the mansion, and the master greet: He stop'd with silence, walk'd with trembling heart, Their greeting fair, bestow'd with modest guise, And much he wish'd but durst not ask to part: The courteous master hears, and thus replies: Murmuring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard Without a vain, without a grudging heart, That generous actions meet a base reward.
To him who gives us all, 1 yield a part; While thus they pass, the sun his glory shrouds, From him you come, for him accept it here, The changing skies hang out their sable clouds ; A frank and sober, more than costly cheer. A sound in air presag'd approaching rain,
He spoke, and bid the welcome table spread: And beasts to covert scud across the plain.
They talk of virtue till the time of bed, Warn’d by the signs, the wandering pair retreat, When the grave household round his hall repair, To seek for shelter at a neighbouring seat.
Warn’d by a bell, and close the hours with prayer. 'Twas built with turrets, on a rising ground,
At length the world, renew'd by calm repose, And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around; Was strong for toil, the dappled morn arose ;
Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept,
'Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye, Near the clos'd cradle where an infant slept, The Power exerts his attributes on high ; And writh'd his neck: the landlord's little pride, Your actions uses nor controuls your will, O strange return! grew black, and gasp'd, aud dy’d. And bids the doubting sons of men be still. Horror of horrors! what! his only son!
Whatstrange events can strike with more surprise, How look'd our hermit when the fact was done ! Than those which lately struck thy wondering eyes? Not hell, though hell's black jaws in sunder part, Yet, taught by these, confess th' Almighty just, And breathe blue fire, could more assault his heart. And where you can't unriddle learn to trust !
Confus’d, and struck with silence at the deed, The great, vain man, who far'd on costly food, He flies, but trembling fails to fly with speed.
Whose life was too luxurious to be good ; His steps the youth pursues; the country lay
Who made his ivory stands with goblets shine, Perplex'd with roads, a servant show'd the way: And forc'd his guests to morning draughts of wine; A river cross'd the path ; the passage o'er
Has, with the cup, the graceless custom lost, Was nice to find; the servant trod before ;
And still he welcomes, but with less of cost. Long arms of oaks an open bridge supply'd,
The mean suspicious wretch, whose bolted door And deep the waves beneath the bending glide. Ne'er mov'd in duty to the wandering poor ; The youth, who seem'd to watch a time to sin, With him I left the cup, to teach his mind Approach'd the careless guide, and thrust him in ; That Heaven can bless, if mortals will be kind. Plunging he falls, and rising lifts his head,
Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl, Then flashing turns, and sinks among the dead. And feels compassion touch bis grateful soul.
Wild, sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes, Thus artists melt the sullen ore of lead, He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries,
With heaping coals of fire upon its head; Detested wretch !-But scarce his speech began,
In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow, When the strange partner seem'd no longer man :
And loose from dross the silver runs below. His youthful face grew more serenely sweet;
Long had our pious friend in virtue trod, His robe turn’d white, and flow'd upon his feet;
But now the child half wean'd his heart from God; Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair ; (Child of his age) for him he liv'd in pain, Celestial odours breathe through purpled air;
And measur'd back his steps to earth again. And wings, whose colours glitter'd on the day,
To what excesses had his dotage run? Wide at his back their gradual plumes display.
But God, to save the father, took the son. The form ethereal burst upon his sight,
To all but thee, in fits he seem'd to go, And moves in all the majesty of light.
(And 'twas my ministry to deal the blow) Though loud at first the pilgrim's passion grew,
The poor fond parent, humbled in the dust, Sudden he gaz'd, and wist not what to do;
Now owns in tears the punishment was just. Surprise in secret chains his words suspends,
But now had all his fortune felt a wrack, And in a calm his settling temper ends.
Had that false servant sped in safety back; But silence here the beauteous angel broke
This night his treasur'd heaps he meant to steal, (The voice of music ravish'd as he spoke).
And what a fund of charity would fail! Thy prayer, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown, Thus Heaven instructs thy mind: this trial o'er, In sweet memorial rise before the throne :
Depart in peace, resign, and sin no more. These charms success in our bright region find, On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew, And force an angel down to calm thy mind; The sage stood wondering as the seraph flew. For this commission'd, I forsook the sky;
Thus look'd Elisha when, to mount on high, Nay, cease to kneel—Thy fellow-servant I.
His master took the chariot of the sky; Then know the truth of government divine, The fiery pomp ascending left to view, And let these scruples be no longer thine,
The prophet gazed, and wished to follow too. The Maker justly claims that world he made, The bending hermit here a prayer begun, In this the right of Providence is laid ;
“ Lord! as in Heaven, on earth thy will be done :" Its sacred majesty through all depends
Then gladly turning sought his ancient place, On using second means to work his ends:
And pass’d a life of piety and peace.
PRIOR-A. D. 1664-1721.
Calliope, and God knows who.
The sum of all I have to say,
There's one thing more I had almost slipt,
No family, that takes a whelp
My uncle, rest his soul! when living,
All this you made me quit, to follow
ANOTHER EPISTLE TO THE SAME. Sir,
Burleigh, May 14, 1689.
Or as, with gondolas and men, his
Or, not to rove, and pump one's fancy
Then take it, Sir, as it was writ,
Here some would scratch their heads, and try
If once for principle 'tis laid,
In verse or prose, we write or chat, That thought is trouble to the head;
Not sixpence matter upon what. I argue thus: the world agrees
"Tis not how well an author says; That he writes well, who writes with ease :
But 'tis how much, that gathers praise. Then he, by sequel logical,
Tonson, who is himself a wit, Writes best that never thinks at all.
Counts writers' merits by the sheet. Verse comes from heaven, like inward light;
Thus each should down with all he thinks, Mere human pains can ne'er come by't;
As boys eat bread, to fill up chinks. The god, not we, the poem makes ;
Kind Sir, I should be glad to see you ; We only tell folks what he speaks.
I hope y' are well; so God be wi' you; Hence, when anatomists discourse,
Was all I thought at first to write : How like brutes' organs are to ours;
But things since then are alter'd quite ; They grant, if higher powers think fit,
Fancies flow in, and Muse flies high: A bear might soon be made a wit;
So God knows when my clack will lie:
I must, Sir, pratile on, as afore,
So at pure barn of loud Non-con,
Where with my grannuin I have gone, Rome oft has heard a cross haranguing,
When Lobb had sifted all his text, With prompting priest behind the hanging: And I well hop'd the pudding next; The wooden head resolv'd the question
“ Now to apply," has plagu'd me more While you and Pettis help'd the jest on.
Than all his villain cant before. Your crabbed rogues, that read Lucretius,
For your religion, first, of her, Are against gods, you know; and teach us,
Your friends do savoury things aver ; The gods make not the poet; but
They say, she's honest as your claret, The thesis, vice-versa put,
Nor sour'd with cant, nor stumm’d with merit; Should Hebrew-wise be understood;
Your chamber is the sole retreat And means, the poet makes the god.
Of chaplains every Sunday night : Egyptian gardeners thus are said to
Of grace, no doubt, a certain sign, Have set the leeks they after pray'd to;
When layman herds with man divine; And Romish bakers praise the deity
For if their fame be justly great, They chipp'd while yet in its paniety.
Who would no Popish nuncio treat; That when you poets swear and cry,
That his is greater, we must grant, The god inspires; I rave, I die;
Who will treat nuncios Protestant. If inward wind does truly swell ye,
One single positive weighs more, 'T must be the cholic in your belly:
You know, than negatives a score. That writing is but just like dice,
In politics, I hear, you're stanch, And lucky mains make people wise :
Directly bent against the French; That jumbled words, if fortune throw 'em,
Deny to have your free-born toe Shall, well as Dryden, form a poem;
Dragoon'd into a wooden shoe: Or make a speech, correct and witty,
Are in no plots; but fairly drive at As you know who-at the committee.
The public welfare, in your private ; So atoms dancing round the centre,
And will for England's glory try They urge, made all things at a venture.
Turks, Jews, and Jesuits, to defy, But, granting matters should be spoke
And keep your places till you die. By method, rather than by luck;
For me, whom wandering fortune threw This may confine their younger styles,
From what I lov'd, the town and you : Whom Dryden pedagogues at Will's;
Let me just tell you how my time is But never could be meant to tie
Past in a country life.—Imprimis, Authentic wits, like you and I:
As soon as Phæbus' rays inspect us, For as young children, who are tied in
First, Sir, I read, and then I breakfast; Go-carts, to keep their steps from sliding ;
So on, till foresaid God does set, When members knit, and legs grow stronger, I sometimes study, sometimes eat. Make use of such machine no longer;
Thus, of your heroes and brave boys, But leap pro libitu, and scout
With whom old Homer makes such noise, On horse call’d hobby, or without;
The greatest actions I can find, So when at school we first declaim,
Are, that they did their work, and din'd. Old Busby walks us in a theme,
The books, of which I'm chiefly fond, Whose props support our infant vein,
Are such as you have whilom conn'd; And help the rickets in the brain :
That treat of China's civil law, But, when our souls their force dilate,
And subjects' rights in Golconda ; And thoughts grow up to wit's estate ;
Of highway elephants at Ceylon,