« ElőzőTovább »
But never will your works peruse
THE RAKE AND THE HERMIT. At any time, if they can choose. 'Tis not the thing which men call wit,
YOUTH, a pupil of the town, Nor characters, though truly bit,
Philosopher and atheist. grown, Nor flowing numbers soft or strong,
Benighted once upon the road, That bears the raptur'd soul along ;
Found out a Hermit's lone abode, 'Tis something of a diff'rent kind,
Whose hospitality in need 'Tis all those skilfully combin'd,
Reliev'd the trav'ler and his steed, To make what critics call a whole,
For both sufficiently were tird, Which ravishes and charms the soul.
Well drench'd in ditches and bemir'd. Alexis, by fair Celia's scom
Hunger the first attention claims; To grief abandon'd and forlorn,
Upon the coals a rasber flames, Had sought in solitude to cover
Dry crusts, and liquor something stale, His anguish, like a hopeless lover :
Were added to make up a meal; With his fond passion to debate,
At which our trav'ler as he sat, Gay Strephon sought his rural seat,
By intervals began to chat And found him with the shepherd's plac'd
“Tis odd,” quoth he, “ to think what strains Farin a solitary waste.
Of folly govern some folks' brains :
Alas, I fear, 'tis all a whim;
They talk of Providence's pow'r, But Clara's handsomer than she:
And say it rules us every hour; Euanthe's wit, which all commend,
To me all nature seems confusion, Does Celia's certainly transcend :
And such weak faucies mere delusion. Nor can you find the least pretence
Say, if it rul'd and govern'd right, With Phebe's to compare her sense ;
Cou'd there be such a thing as night; With better taste Belinda dresses,
Which, when the Sun has left the skies, With truer step the floor she presses ;
Puts all things in a deep disguise ? And for bebaviour soft and kind,
If then a trav'ler chance to stray Melissa leaves her far behind:
The least step from the public way, What witchcraft then can fix the chain
He's soon in endless mazes lost, Which makes you suffer ber disdain,
As I have found it to my cost. And riot attempt the manly part
Besides, the gloom which nature wears, To set at liberty your heart?
Assists imaginary fear Make but one struggle, and you'll see
Of ghosts and goblins from the waves
Of sulph'rous lakes, and yawning graves,
Like other maxims of the creed.
For my part, I reject the tales Alexis, sighing, thus reply'd :
Which faith suggests when reason fails; “ If Clara's handsome and a toast,
And reason nothing understands, 'Tis all the merit she can buast:
Unwarranted by eyes and hands. Some fame Euanthe's wit has gain'd,
These subtle essences, like wind, Because by prudence not restrain'd,
Which some have dreamt of and call mindo Phebe I own is wondrous wise,
It ne'er admits; nor joins the lie She never acts but in disguise :
Which says men rot, but never die. Belinda's merit all confess
It holds all future things in doubt, Who know the mystery of dress :
And therefore wisely leaves them out: But poor Melissa on the score
Suggesting what is worth our care, Of mere good-nature pleases more:
To take things present as they are, In those the reigning charm appears
Qur wisest course: the rest is folly, Alone, to draw our eyes and ears,
The fruit of spleen and melancholy.”No other rises by its side
Sir,” quoth the herinit, “ I agree And shines, attention to divide;
That reason still our guide shou'd be: Thus seen alone it strikes the eye,
And will admit her as the test, As something exquisite and high:
Of what is true and what is best : But in my Celia you will find
But reason sure wou'd blush for shame Perfection of another kind;
At what you mention in her name ; Each charm so artfully exprest
Her dictates are sublime and holy: As still to mingle with the rest :
Impiety's the child of folly: Averse and shunning to be known,
Reason with measur'd steps and slow An object by itself alone,
To things above from things below But thus combin'd they make a speil
Ascends, and guides us through her sphere Whose force no human tongue can tell ;
With caution, vigilance, and care, A pow'rful magic which my breast
Faith in the utmost frontier stands, Will ne'er be able to resist :
And reason puts us in her hands, For as she slights me or complies,
But not till her commission giv'n Her constant lover lives or dies."
Is found authentic, and from Heav'n,
Tis strange that man, a reas'ning creature, That envy, prejudice, and spite,
Will never sink a genius quite.
Experience shows beyond a doubt in ev'ry thing his hands have made :
That worth, though clouded, will shine out. Evin when we think their traves loss,
The second name for epic song, When found again, we see them most;
First classic of the English tongue, The night, itself which you would blame
Great Milton, when he first appear'd, As something erong in nature's frame,
Was ill receiv'd and coldly heard: Is but a curtain to invest
In vain did faction damn those lays Her weary children, when at rest :
Which all posterity shall praise : Like that which mothers draw to keep
Is Dryden or his works furgot, The light off from a child asleep.
For all that Buckingham has wrote? Beside, the fears which darkness breeds,
The peer's sharp satire, charg'd with sense, At least augments, in vulgar heads,
Gives pleasure at no one's expense: Are far from useless, when the mind
The bard and critic, both inspir'd Is narrow and to Earth confin'd;
By Phebus, shall be still admir'd: They make the wordsing think with pain 'Tis true that censure, right or wrong, On frauds and oaths and ill got gain;
May hurt at first the noblest song, Force from the rufhan's hand the knife
And for a while defeat the claim Just rais'd against his neighbour's life ;
Which any writer has to fame: And in defence of virtue's cause
A mere book-merchant with his tools Assist each sanction of the laws.
Can sway with ease the herd of fools, But souls serene, where wisdom dwells
Who on a moderate computation And superstitious dread expels,
Are ten to one in every nation. The silent majesty of night
“Your style is stiff—your periods halt Excites to take a nobler flight ;
In every line appears a faultWith saints and angels to explore
The plot and incidents ill sorted The wonders of creating pow'r ;
No single character supported And lifts on contemplation's wings
Your similes will scarce apply; Above the sphere of mortal things:
The whole misshapen, dark and dry." Walk forth and tread thuse dewy plains
All this will pass, and gain its end Where night in awful silence reigos;
On the best poem e'er was penn'd: The sky's serene, the air is still,
But when the first assaults are o'er, The woods stand list’ning on each hill,
When fops and witlings prate no more, To catch the sounds that sink and swell
And when your works are quite forgot Wide-foating from the ev'ning bell,
By all who praise or blame by rote : While foxes howl and beetles bum,
Without self-interest, spleen, or bate, Sounds which make silence still more danıb:
The men of sense decide your fate: And try if foliy rash and rude
Their judgment stands, and what they say Dares on the sacred hour intrude.
Gains greater credit ev'ry day; Then turn your eyes to Heav'n's broad frame,
Till groundless prejudices past, Attempt to quote those lights by name,
True mcrit has its due at last. Which shine so thick and spread so far;
The backney scribblers of the town, Conceive a sun in every star,
Who were the first to write you down Round which unnumber'd planets roll,
Their malice chang'd to admiration Wbile comets shoot ath wait the whole
Promote your growing reputation, From system still to system ranging,
And to excess of praise proceed; Their various benefits exchanging,
But this scarce happens till you're deady And staking from their flaming bair
When fame for genius, wit, and skill, The things most peeded every wbere.
Can do you neither good nor ill; Explore this glorious scene, and say
Yet, if you would not be forgot, That night discovers less than day;
They'll help to keep your name afloat. That 'tis qnite useless, and a sign
An aged swain that us'd to feed That chance disposes, not design:
His fock upon a mountain's head, Whoe'er maintains it, I'll pronounce
Drew crouds of shepherds from each hill, Him either mad, or else a dunce.
To hear and protit by his skill; For reasonthough 'tis far from strong,
For ev'ry simple of the rock, Will soon find out that nothing's wrong,
That can offend or cure a flock, From signs and evidences clear
He us'd to mark, and knew its pow's Of wise contrivance every where."
In stem and foliage, root and dow'r. The hermit ended, and the youth
Beside all this, he cou'd foretel Recame a convert to the truth;
Both rain and sunshive passing well; At least, he yielded, and confest
By deep sagacity he'd find,
The future shiftings of the wind;
If mutton wou'd be cheap or dear,
Of which he understood a part, I Cannot think but more or less
His sage adrice was wrapt in tales, True merit always galus success;
Which oft persuade when reason fails.
To do him justice every where
Those watry mirrors send your light Wou'd take more time tban I can spare, In streams amidst the shades of night: And therefore now shall only touch
Thus length’ning out your reign much mort Upon a fact which authors vouch;
Than they had shorten'd it before. That Phebus oft wou'd condescend
As this is so, I must maintain To treat this shepherd like a friend :
You've little reason to complain: Oft when the solar chariot past,
For when the matter's understood,
The ill seems balanc'd by the good;
Is that the mischief first takes place,
The compensation when you're gone He'd take, as landlords use to do,
Is rather somewhat late, I own : When, sick of finer folks in town,
But since 'tis so, you'll own 'tis fit
To make the best on't, and submit."
THE BREEZE AND THE TEMPEST,
That nation boasts a happy fate Show the just measure of the thong.
Whose, prince is good as well as great, “ Why, what's the inatter," quoth the swain, Calm peace at home with plenty reigns, “ My lord, it gives your servant pain ;
The law its proper course obtains; Sure some offence is in the case,
Abroad the public is respected, I read it plainly in your face.”
And all its int’rests are protected :
Is by ambition pointed wrong,
In place of public good bis breast,
'Tis certam, and I'll prove it true, Conspire to intercept my light;
That ev'ry mischief mast ensue. Rank vapours breath'd from putrid lakes, On some pretence a war is made, The streams of common-sew'rs and jakes,
he citizen must change his trade;. Which under-ground shou'd be confin'd, His steers the husbandman unyokes, Nor suffer'd to pollute the wind;
The shepherd too must quit his flocks, Escap'd in air by various ways,
His harmless life and honest gain, Extinguish or divert my rays.
To rub, to' murder, and be slain: Oft in the morning, when my steeds
The fields, once fruitful, yield no more Above the ocean lift their heads,
Their yearly produce as before : And when I hope to see my beains
Each useful plant neglected dies, Far glittering on the woods and streams :
Whileidle weeds licentious rise A ridge of lazy clouds that sleep
Unnumber'd, to usurp the land Upon the snrface of the deep,
Where yellow harvests us'd to stand. Receive at once and wrap me round
Lean famine soon in course succeeds ; In fogs extinguish'd half and drown'd.
Diseases follow as she leads. But mark my purpose, and by Styx
No infant bands at close of day I'm not soon alter'd when I fix;
In ev'ry village sport and play. If things are suffer'd at this pass,
The streets are throng'd with orphans dying * I'll fairly turn my nags to grass :
For want of bread, and widows crying: No more this idle round I'll dance,
Fierce rapine walks abroad anchain'd, But let all nature take its chance.".
By civil order not restrain'd: “ If,” quoth the shepherd, “it were fit Without regard to right and wrong, To argue with the god of wit,
The weak are injurd by the strong; I cou'd a circumstance suggest
The hungry mouth but rarely tastes That wou'd alleviate things at least.
The fattning food which riots wastes, That clouds oppose your rising light
All ties of conscience lose their force, Full oft and-lengthen out the night,
Ev'n sacred oaths grow words of course, Is plain; but soon they disappear,
By what strange cause are kings inclin'd And leave the sky serene and clear ;
To heap such mischiefs on mankind ? We ne'er expect a finer day,
What pow'rful arguments control Than when the morning has been gray ;
The native dictates of the soul? Besides, those vapours which confine
The love of glory and a name Yon issuing from your eastern shrine,
Loud-sounded by the trump of Fame: By heat sublim'd and thinly spread,
Nor shall they miss their end, unless Streak all the ev'ning sky with red:
Their guilty projects want success. And when your radiant orb in vain
Let one possessid of sov'reign sway Wou'd glow beneath the westero main,
Invade and murder and betray, And not a ray cou'd reach our cyes,
Let war and rapine fierce be hurl'd Vuless reflected from the skies,
Through half the nations of the world ;
And prove successful in a course
And when I choose, for pastime's sake, Of bad designs, and actions worse,
Can with a mountain shift a lake; At once a demi-god he grows,
The Nile bimself, at my command. And, incens'd both in verse and prose,
Oft hides his head beneath the sand, Becomes the idol of mankind;
And midst dry deserts blown and tost, Though to what's good he's weak and blind; For many a sultry league is lost. Approv'd, applauded, and respected,
All this I do with perfect ease, While better rulers are neglected.
And can repeat whene'er I please: Where Shotts's airy tops divide
What merit makes you then pretend Fair Lothian from the vale of Clyde,
With me to argue and contend, A tempest from the east and north
When all you boast of force or skill Fraught with the vapours of the Forth,
Is scarce enough to turn a mill, In passing to the Irish seas,
Or help the swain to clear his corn, Once chanc'd to meet the western breeze,
The servile tasks for which you're born ?" The tempest hail'd him with a roar,
“ Sir," quoth the breeze, “if force alone “ Make haste and clear the way before; Must pass for merit, I have none; No paltry zephyr must pretend
At least I'll readily confess To stand before me,or contend :
That yours is greater, mine is less. Begone, or in a whirlwind tost
But merit rightly understood Your weak existence will be lost."
Consists aloue in doing good; The tempest thus:--The breeze reply'd, And therefore you yourseli must see “ If both our merits shou'd be try'd,
That preference is due to me: Impartial justice wou'd decree
I cannot boast to rule the skies That you shou'd yield the way to me."
Like you, aud make the ocean rise, At this the tempest rav'd and storm'd, Nor e'er with shipwrecks strew ihe shore, Grew black and ten times more deformd. For wives and orphans to deplore. "What qualities," quoth he, “ of thine, Mine is the happier task, to please Vain flatt'ring wind, can equal mine?
The mariner, and smooth the seas, Breath'd from some river, lake, or bos,
And waft him safe from foreign harms Your rise at first is in a fog;
To bless his consort's longing arms. And creeping slowiy o'er the meads
With you I buast not to confuund Scarce stir the willows or the reeds;
The seasons in their annual round, While those that feel you hardly know
And marr that harmony in nature The certain part from which you blow.
That comforts ev'ry living creature. From Earth's deep womb, the child of fire, But oft from warmer climes I bring Fierce, active, vigorous, like my sire,
Soft airs to introduce the spring; I rush to light; the mountains quake
With genial heat unlock the soil, With dread, and all their forests shake:
And urge the ploughman to his toil: The globe itself convuls'd and torn,
I bid the op'ning blooms unfold Feels pangs unusual when I'm born:
Their streaks of purple, blue and gold, Now free in air, with sov'reign sway
And waft their fragrance to impart I rule, and all the clouds obey :
That new delight to ev'ry heart, From east to west my pow'r extends,
Which makes the shepherd all day long. Where day begins and where it ends :
To carrol sweet his vernal song: And from Bootes downwards far,
The summer's sultry heat to cool, AtbFart the track of ev'ry star.
From ev'ry river, lake and pool, Through me the polar deep disdains
I skim fresh airs.. The tawny swain, To sleep in winter's frosty chains;
Who turns at noon the furrow'd plain, But rous'd to rage, indignant heaves
Refresh'd and trusting in my aid, Huge rocks of ice upon its waves ;
His task pursues and scorns the shade : While dread tornados lift on high
And ev'n on Afric's sultry coast, The broad Atlantic to the sky.
Where such immense exploits you boast, I rule the elemental roar,
I blow to cool the panting flocks And strew with shipwrecks ev'ry shore:
Midst deserts brown and sun-burnt rocks, Nor less at land my pow'r is known
And health and vigour oft supply From Zembla to the burning zone,
To such as languish, faint and die : I bring Tartarian frosts to kill
Those humbler offices you nam’d, The bloom of summer; when I will
To own I'll never be asham'd, Wide desolation doth appear
With twenty others that conduce To mingle and confound the year:
To public good or private use, From cloudy Atlas wrapt in night,
The meanest of them far outweighs On Barca's sultry plains I light,
The whole amount of all your praise ; And make at once the desert rise
If to give happiness and joy, In dusty wbirlwinds to the skies;
Excels the talent to destroy." In vain the trav'ler turns hissteed,
The tempest, that till now had lent And shuns me with his utmost speed;
Attention to the argument, I overtake him as he flies,
Again began (his patience lost) O'erblown he struggles, pants, and dies. To rage, to threaten, huff and boast : Where some proud city lifts in air
Since reason faild, resolv'd in course Its spires, I make a desert bare;
The question to decide by force,
And his weak opposite to brave.-
Mid-Lothian, the seat of the capital. The The breeze retreated to a cave
style is precisely that of the vulgar Scotch; To shelter, till the raging blast
and that the matter might be suitable to it, I Had spent its fury and was past.
chose for the subject a little story adapted to the ideas of peasants. It is a tale commonly
told in Scotland among the country people; THE CROW AND THE OTHER
and may be looked upon as of the kind of those BIRDS.
aniles fabellæ, in which Horace observes his CONTAINING AN USEFUL HINT TO THE CRITICS. country neighbours were accustomed to con
vey their rustic philosophy.
Ae 3 creature livin, for a joke;
For be they weak or be they strang, Wou'd often meet in song to vie;
A jibe s leaves after it a stang The kinds that sing not, sitting by.
To mak them think on't ; and a lairdo A knavish crow, it seems, had got
May find a begger sae prepard, The nack to criticise by rote ;
Wi pawks 8 and wiles, whar pith, is wantin, He understood each learned phrase,
As soon will mak him rue his tauntin. As well as critics now-a-days:
Ye hae my moral, if am able Some say, he learn'd them from an owl,
All fit it nicely wi a fable. By listning where he taught a school.
A hare, ae morning, chanc'd to sec 'Tis strange to tell, this subtil creature,
A partan creepin on a leelo, Though nothing musical by nature,
A fishwife wha was early oot Had learn'd so well to play his part,
Had drapt 's the creature thereaboot. With nonsense couch'd in terms of art,
Mawkin 13 bumbas'd '* and frighted sair ' As to be own'd by all at last
To see a thing but hide and bair'e, Director of the public taste.
Which if it stur'd not might be taen 19 Then puffd with insolence and pride,
For naething ither than a stane 18. And sure of numbers on his side,
A squunt-wise '9, wambling so sair beset
Wi gerse and rashes a' like a net,
• A canny man) A canny man signifies nearly For ever stript him of his pow'r.
the same thing as a prudent man: but when the Once wben the birds assembled sat,
Scotch say that a person is not canny, they mean Al list’ning to his formal chat;
not that they are imprudent, but mischievous By instinct nice he chanc'd to find
and dangerous. If the term nol canny is applied A cloud approaching in the wind,
to persons without being explained, it charges And ravens hardly can 'refrain
them with sorcery and witchcraft. From croaking when they think of rain;
• Ae] One. His wonted song he sung: the blunder
Strang] Strong. The Scotch almost always Amaz'd and scar'd them worse than thunder;
turn o in the syllable ong, into a. In place of For no one thought so harsh a note
long, they say lang; in place of tongs, tangs; ** Cou'd ever sound from any throat;
here strang, for strong. They all at first with mute surprise
S A jibe] A satirical jest, Each on his neighbour turn'd his eyes :
6 Stang] Sting. But scorn succeeding soon took place,
? Laird] A gentleman of an estate in land. And might be read in ev'ry face.
• Pawks] Stratagems. All this the raven saw with pain,
9 Pith] Strength. And strove his credit to regain.
10 Lees A piece of ground let run into grass Quoth he, “ The solo which ye
for pasture. In public shou'd not have appear'd;
" Fishwise] A woman thats sells fish. It is The trifle of an idle hour,
to be observed that the Scotch always use the
word woman. To please my mistress once when sour: My voice, that's somewhat rough and strong,
· Drap?] Dropt. Might chance the melody to wrong,
13 Mawhin] A cant name for a hare, like that But, try'd by rules, you'll find the grounds, of Reynard for a fox, or Grimalkin for a cat, &c. Most perfect and harmonious sounds."
14 Bumbas'd] Astonish’d. He reason'd thus; but to his trouble,
» Sair] Sore. I shall observe, once for all At every word the langh grew double,
that the Scotch avoid the vowels o and u; and At last o'ercome with shame and spite,
have in innumerable instances supplied their He few away quite out of sight.
places with a and e, or diplhthongs in which these letters are predominant,
16 But hide and hair] Without hide and hair. THE HARE AND THE PARTAN.1
» Taen] Taken.
18 Nasching ither than a stane] Nothing other The chief design of this fable is to give a true than a stone.
specimen of the Scotcn dialect, where it may 19 A syuunt-wise) Obliquely or asquat. be supposed to be most perfect, namely, in " Hambling] A feeble motion like that of a
woim or serpent. (Purlan] A Crabe
• Gerse and rashes] Grass and rushes. The