« ElőzőTovább »
Did e'er your heart o'er my affliction grieve,
Your interest prop me, or your purse relieve ?
Or could my wants my soul so far subdue,
That in distress she crawld for aid to you?
But let us grant the’ indulgence e'er so strong,
Display without reserve the' imagined wrong:
Among your kindred have I kindled strife,
Deflower'd your daughter, or debauch'd your
wife; Traduced your credit, bubbled you
game; Or soild with infamous reproach your name ?
No; but your cynic vanity (you'll own)
Exposed my private counsel
to the town.
Such fair advice 'twere pity sure to lose;
I grant I printed it for public use.
Yes; season'd with your own remarks between,
Inflamed with so much virulence of spleen
That the mild town (to give the devil his due)
Ascribed the whole performance to a Jew.
Jews, Turks, or Pagans, hallow'd be the mouth
That teems with moral zeal and dauntless truth!
Prove that my partial strain adopts one lie,
No penitent more mortified than I;
Not e’en the wretch in shackles,
doom'd to groan Beneath the inhuman scoffs of Williamson."
Hold let us see this boasted self-denial
The vanquish'd knight has triumph'd in his trial.
What then P
Your own sarcastic verse unsay, That brands him as a trembling runaway.
With all my soul!—the' imputed charge rehearse,
I'll own my error and expunge the verse.
Come, come,-howe'er the day was lost or won,
The world allows the race was fairly run.
But lest the truth too naked should appear,
A robe of fable shall the goddess wear:-
When sheep were subject to the lion's reign,
Ere man acquired dominion o'er the plain,
Voracious wolves, fierce rushing from the rocks,
Devour'd without control the' unguarded frocks:
The sufferers, crowding round the royal cave,
Their monarch's pity and protection crave:
Not that they wanted valour, force, or arms,
To shield their lambs from danger and alarms;
A thousand rams the champions of the fold,
In strength of horn, and patriot virtue bold,
Engaged in firm association stood,
Their lives devoted to the public good:
A warlike chieftain was their sole request,
To marshal, guide, instruct, and rule the rest;
Their prayer was heard, and, by consent of all,
A courtier-ape appointed general. -
He went, he led, arranged the battle stood,
The savage foe came pouring like a flood;
Then pug, aghast, fled swifter than the wind,
Nor deign'd, in threescore miles, to look behind,
band for orders bleat in vain,
And fall in slaughter'd heaps upon the plain:
The scared baboon (to cut the matter short)
With all his speed could not outrun Report
And to appease the clamours of the nation,
'Twas fit his case should stand examination.
The board was named-each worthy took his place;
All senior members of the horned race. — 1 It is not to be wondered at, that this board consisted of horned cattle only, since, before the use of arms, every creature was obliged in war to fight with such weapons as nature afforded it; consequently, those supplied with horns bid fairest for signalizing themselves in the field, and carrying off the first posts in the army.--But I observe, that among the members of this court there is no mention made of such of the horned family aš were chiefly celebrated for valour; namely, the bull, unicorn, rhinoceros, &c., which gives reason to suspect, that these last were either out of favour with the ministry, laid aside on account of their great age, or that the ape had interest enough at court to exclude them from the number of his judges.
The wether, goat, ram, elk, and ox were there,
And a grave, hoary stag possess’d the chair.-
The’ inquiry pass'd, each in his turn began
The culprit's conduct variously to scan.
At length, the sage upreard his awful crest,
And, pausing, thus his fellow chiefs address'd-
age, that from his head its honours stole,
Hath not impair’d the functions of my soul,
But sacred wisdom, with experience bought,
While this weak frame decays, matures my thought,
The' important issue of this grand debate
May furnish precedent for your own fate;
Should ever fortune call you to repel
The shaggy foe, so desperate and fell-
'Tis plain, you say, his excellence, Sir Ape,
From the dire field accomplish'd an escape;
Alas! our fellow-subjects ne'er had bled,
If every ram that fell, like him had fled;
Certes, those sheep were rather mad than brave,
Which scorn'd the example their wise leader gave.
Let us, then, every vulgar hint disdain,
And from our brother's laurel wash the stain.'-
The' admiring court applauds the president,
And pug was clear'd by general consent.
There needs no magic to divine your scope,
Mark'd as you are, a flagrant misanthrope:
Sworn foe to good and bad, to great and small,
Thy rankling pen produces nought but gall:
Let virtue struggle, or let glory shine,
Thy verse affords not one approving line.
Hail, sacred themes! the Muse's chief delight!
O, bring the darling objects to my sight!
My breast with elevated thought shall glow,
My fancy brighten, and my numbers flow!
The' Aonian grove with rapture would I tread,
To crop unfading wreaths for William's head;
But that my strain, unheard amidst the throng,
Must yield to Lockman's ode and Hanbury's song.' 1 Two productions resembling one another very much in that cloying mediocrity which Horace compares to-Crassum unguentuin, et sardo cuin melle papaver.
Nor would the enamoured Muse neglect to pay
To Stanhope's worth the tributary lay;
The soul unstain'd, the sense sublime to paint,
A people's patron, pride, and ornament !
Did not his virtues eternized remain
The boasted theme of Pope's immortal strain.
Not e’en the pleasing task is left, to raise
A grateful monument to Barnard's praise;
Else should the venerable patriot stand
The' unshaken pillar of a sinking land.
The gladdening prospect let me still pursue:
And bring fair Virtue's triumphs to the view!
Alike to me, by fortune bless'd or not,
From soaring Cobham to the melting Scot.?
But lo! a swarm of harpies intervene,
To ravage, mangle, and pollute the scene !
Gorged with our plunder, yet still gaunt for spoil,
Rapacious Gideon fastens on our isle;
Insatiate Lascelles, and the fiend Vaneck,
Rise on our ruins, and enjoy the wreck;
While griping Jaspar* glories in his prize,
Wrung from the widow's tears and orphan's cries.
Relapsed again! strange tendency to rail;
I fear'd this meekness would not long prevail.
You deem it rancour then ?Look round and see
What vices flourish still, unpruned by me:
Corruption roll'd in a triumphant car,
Displays his burnish'd front and glittering star
Nor heeds the public scorn, or transient curse,
Unknown alike to honour and remorse.
Behold the leering belle, caress’d by all,
Adorn each private feast and public ball;
Where peers attentive listen and adore,
And not one matron shuns the titled whore.
At Peter's obsequies? I sung no dirge;
Nor has my satire yet supplied a scourge
For the vile tribes of usurers and bites,
Who sneak at Jonathan's and swear at White's.
Each low pursuit, and slighter folly, bred
Within the selfish heart and hollow head,
Thrives uncontroll'd, and blossoms o'er the land,
Nor feels the rigour of my chastening hand:
While Codrus shivers o'er his bags of gold,
By famine wither'd, and benumb'd by cold;
I mark his haggard eyes with frenzy roll,
And feast upon the terrors of his soul;
The wrecks of war, the perils of the deep,
That curse with hideous dreams the caitiff's sleep;
Insolvent debtors, thieves, and civil strife,
Which daily persecute his wretched life;
With all the horrors of prophetic dread,
That rack his bosom while the mail is read,
Safe from the rod, untainted by the school,
A judge by birth, by destiny a fool,
young lordling struts in native pride,
His party-colour'd tutor) by his side,
Pleased, let me own the pious mother's care,
Who to the brawny sire commits her heir.
Fraught with the spirit of a Gothic monk,
Let Rich, with dulness and devotion drunk,
Enjoy the peal so barbarous and loud,
While his brain spews new monsters to the crowd;4