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Defertur capitis Vulteius ; mugit orator ;
Regia deseruit;-dat guttur nobile funi.
En uxorque, puerque, puellaque, sunt tua, Dæmon!
Sunt tua ; sed fisco cedit dilectius aurum.
Partitur prædam Satanas cum rege; Deumque
Exsecrans animam ponit Vulteius equestrem.
SOLUS uti pastor, procul inter littora Ebudům,
Lugubri æternùm reboantia murmure ponti,
(Sive hunc mens trepidans fallat male relligiosa,
Sive animæ ætheræ, mortali corpore amictæ,
Dignentur quondam nostros impellere sensus)
Imam per vallem, vel nuda cacumina montis,
Dum currum tremulo demergit in oceano Sol,
Incessu tacito videt agmina magna moveri ;
Omnia tum tenues abeunt liquefacta sub auras.
As when a shepherd of the Hebrid isles
Placed far amid the melancholy main;
(Whether it be lone fancy him beguiles,
Or that aërial beings sometimes deign
To stand embodied to our senses plain)
Sees on the naked hill, or valley low,
The whilst in ocean Phæbus dips his wain,
A vast assembly moving to and fro;
Then all at once in air dissolves the wondrous show,
Hunton, near Maidstone, Kent, August 1787. "TRAVELLING," saith Horace, somewhere, in a
“ May make our climate, not our manners, better.”
And bold are they who dare with folly tax him,
For my experience justifies the maxim.
Why else should I, while pleasure fills the time,
Here, as at home, sit scribbling scurvy rime ;
And, shameless, still on you the sing-song turn,
Bidding you read what justice bids you burn?
But since, in decency's and breeding's spite,
Impell’d by fate or folly, we must write ;
What reading, pray Sir, does your palate crave,
Home news or foreign, merry news or grave ?
(For, till one know what subject is to follow,
One can't with proper grace invoke Apollo ;
And till he hear, and answer at the call,
You know, one never tries to write at all.)
From Pindus' height shall then the heavenly muse Descending, deign to pore on publick news?
Her haunts, her pleasures, her ambition lost,
For weekly journals, and the Morning Post?
Shall in sad strain her scull-crown'd page relate
The purse demanded, and the robber's fate;
In lay mellifluent the verdict sign,
And with writ, clerk, judge, jury, pack the line?
Or shall she follow Discord's hoarse alarms,
Where the gruff greasy Dutchman growls-to arms;
Paint the brown cutlass swagging at his side,
His hairy cap
orange tatters tied ;
How to his waist the flapping surtout reaches;
How wide, how multitudinous his breeches ? -
Or, should she go where her dear country summons,
And speed impatient to the House of Commons;
Tell where the Speaker sits, his mace how big,
How wise his visage, and how vast his wig?
Or, with the vulgar, should she rather choose
To prate of Sadler's-wells, White-conduit-house,
Lions, balloons, apes, tumblers, dancing dogs,
And waxen dolls that speak, and learned hogs ;
Of rich old misers, and of wild
Deaf to town chat, she rather loves to trace The smiles and awful charms of Nature's face ; Wandering with careless footstep, to survey The flower-bud opening to the beam of day; To mark, what mellow wealth the orchard yields, What harvests undulate on golden fields ; Down the dark rock what sparkling torrents pour, What blue waves heave along the sounding shore; How the great sun his rising splendour shrouds Amid the purple light of circling clouds, Or rides supreme the fiery waste of heaven, Or slowly sinks down in the bed of even.
What charms like these can modish art convey, Or a whole city's childish pomp display ! There let rouge, buckles, diamonds, flambeaus glare, Shoes crush the feet, and burning irons the hair ; And there let Fashion all her craft bestow, To form her last, best, noblest work-a beau. But can her bungling skill one scene impart, To warm the fancy, or to sooth the heart ! Can she the mountain's stormy front assail, Snatch the long verdure of the closing vale ; Bid in majestic gloom the grove arise, Or liquid glory stream from pictur'd skies !